Utility of Genomic Analysis In Circulating Tumor DNA from Patients with Carcinoma of Unknown Primary
Carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP) is a rare and difficult-to-treat malignancy, the management of which might be improved by the identification of actionable driver mutations. We interrogated 54 to 70 genes in 442 patients with CUP using targeted clinical-grade, next-generation sequencing of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). Overall, 80% of patients exhibited ctDNA alterations; 66% (290/442) ≥1 characterized alteration(s), excluding variants of unknown significance. TP53 -associated genes were most commonly altered [37.8% (167/442)], followed by genes involved in the MAPK pathway [31.2% (138/442)], PI3K signaling [18.1% (80/442)], and the cell-cycle machinery [10.4% (46/442)]. Among 290 patients harboring characterized alterations, distinct genomic profiles were observed in 87.9% (255/290) of CUP cases, with 99.7% (289/290) exhibiting potentially targetable alterations. An illustrative patient with dynamic changes in ctDNA content during therapy and a responder given a checkpoint inhibitor–based regimen because of a mismatch repair gene anomaly are presented. Our results demonstrate that ctDNA evaluation is feasible in CUP and that most patients harbor a unique somatic profile with pharmacologically actionable alterations, justifying the inclusion of noninvasive liquid biopsies in next-generation clinical trials. Cancer Res; 77(16); 4238–46. ©2017 AACR .