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Mutational signatures in esophageal adenocarcinoma define etiologically distinct subgroups with therapeutic relevance.

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Secrier, Maria 
Li, Xiaodun 
de Silva, Nadeera 
Eldridge, Matthew D 
Contino, Gianmarco 


Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has a poor outcome, and targeted therapy trials have thus far been disappointing owing to a lack of robust stratification methods. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis of 129 cases demonstrated that this is a heterogeneous cancer dominated by copy number alterations with frequent large-scale rearrangements. Co-amplification of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and/or downstream mitogenic activation is almost ubiquitous; thus tailored combination RTK inhibitor (RTKi) therapy might be required, as we demonstrate in vitro. However, mutational signatures showed three distinct molecular subtypes with potential therapeutic relevance, which we verified in an independent cohort (n = 87): (i) enrichment for BRCA signature with prevalent defects in the homologous recombination pathway; (ii) dominant T>G mutational pattern associated with a high mutational load and neoantigen burden; and (iii) C>A/T mutational pattern with evidence of an aging imprint. These subtypes could be ascertained using a clinically applicable sequencing strategy (low coverage) as a basis for therapy selection.



Adenocarcinoma, Aged, Antineoplastic Agents, CD8 Antigens, Cell Line, Tumor, Cohort Studies, DNA Damage, DNA, Neoplasm, Esophageal Neoplasms, Female, Genetic Heterogeneity, Genome, Human, Humans, Male, Mutation, Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors, Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases, Sequence Analysis, DNA

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Nat Genet

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Cancer Research Uk (None)
Whole-genome sequencing of esophageal adenocarcinoma samples was performed as part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) through the oEsophageal Cancer Clinical and Molecular Stratification (OCCAMS) Consortium and was funded by Cancer Research UK. We thank the ICGC members for their input on verification standards as part of the benchmarking exercise. We thank the Human Research Tissue Bank, which is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, from Addenbrooke’s Hospital and UCL. Also the University Hospital of Southampton Trust and the Southampton, Birmingham, Edinburgh and UCL Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres and the QEHB charities. This study was partly funded by a project grant from Cancer Research UK. R.C.F. is funded by an NIHR Professorship and receives core funding from the Medical Research Council and infrastructure support from the Biomedical Research Centre and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. We acknowledge the support of The University of Cambridge, Cancer Research UK (C14303/A17197) and Hutchison Whampoa Limited. We would like to thank Dr. Peter Van Loo for providing the NGS version of ASCAT for copy number calling. We are grateful to all the patients who provided written consent for participation in this study and the staff at all participating centres. Some of the work was undertaken at UCLH/UCL who received a proportion of funding from the Department of Health’s NIHR Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme. The work at UCLH/UCL was also supported by the CRUK UCL Early Cancer Medicine Centre.