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Next-generation sequencing of prostate cancer: genomic and pathway alterations, potential actionability patterns, and relative rate of use of clinical-grade testing.


Despite being one of the most common cancers, treatment options for prostate cancer are limited. Novel approaches for advanced disease are needed. We evaluated the relative rate of use of clinical-grade next generation sequencing (NGS) in prostate cancer, as well as genomic alterations identified and their potential actionability. Of 4864 patients from multiple institutions for whom NGS was ordered by physicians, only 67 (1.4%) had prostate cancer, representing 1/10 the ordering rate for lung cancer. Prostate cancers harbored 148 unique alterations affecting 63 distinct genes. No two patients had an identical molecular portfolio. The median number of characterized genomic alterations per patient was 3 (range, 1 to 9). Fifty-six of 67 patients (84%) had ≥ 1 potentially actionable alteration. TMPRSS2 fusions affected 28.4% of patients. Genomic aberrations were most frequently detected in TP53 (55.2% of patients), PTEN (29.9%), MYC (17.9%), PIK3CA (13.4%), APC (9.0%), BRCA2 (9.0%), CCND1 (9.0%), and RB1 genes (9.0%). The PI3K (52.2% of patients), WNT (13.5%), DNA repair (17.9%), cell cycle (19.4%), and MAPK (14.9%) machinery were commonly impacted. A minority of patients harbored BRAF, NTRK, ERBB2, or mismatch repair gene abnormalities, which are highly druggable in some cancers. Only ~ 10% of prostate cancer trials (, year 2017) applied a (non-hormone) biomarker before intervention. In conclusion, though use of clinical-grade NGS is relatively low and only a minority of trials deploy DNA-based biomarkers, many prostate cancer-associated molecular alterations may be pharmacologically tractable with genomcially targeted therapy or, in the case of mismatch repair anomalies, with checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy.

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