Ährlund-Richter A, Holzhauser S, Dalianis T, Näsman A, Mints M
Cancers (Basel) 14 (1) - [2021-12-24; online 2021-12-24]
To identify predictive/targetable markers in human papillomavirus positive (HPV+) tonsillar and base of tongue cancer (TSCC/BOTSCC), whole-exome sequencing (WES) of tumours of patients with/without recurrence was performed. Forty primary tumours and adjacent normal tissue were separated by micro-dissection from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue from patients treated with curative intent 2000-2014 at Karolinska University Hospital. Successful sequencing was obtained in primary tumours of 18 patients without and primaries of 17 with local or distant recurrence, as well as in 10 corresponding recurrences (i.e., five local relapses and five distant metastases) from these 17 patients. One variant-a high-impact deletion in the CDC27 gene-was observed only in primaries of 5/17 patients that had a recurrence after full treatment but in none of those without recurrence. In addition, 3 variants and 26 mutated genes, including CDC27, BCLAF1 and AQP7, were present in at least 30% of all primary tumours independent of prognosis. To conclude, a CDC27 deletion was specific and found in ~30% of samples from patients with a local relapse/distant metastasis and could, therefore, potentially be a prospective marker to predict prognosis. Commonly mutated genes, such as BCLAF1, should be further studied in the context of targeted therapy.