: Although several studies have explored the molecular landscape of metastatic melanoma, the genetic determinants of therapy resistance are still largely unknown. Here, we aimed to determine the contribution of whole-exome sequencing and circulating free DNA (cfDNA) analysis in predicting response to therapy in a consecutive real-world cohort of 36 patients, undergoing fresh tissue biopsy and followed during treatment. Although the underpowered sample size limited statistical analysis, samples from non-responders had higher copy number variations and mutations in melanoma driver genes compared to responders in the BRAF V600+ subset. In the BRAF V600- subset, Tumor Mutational Burden (TMB) was twice that in responders vs. non-responders. Genomic layout revealed commonly known and novel potential intrinsic/acquired resistance driver gene variants. Among these, RAC1, FBXW7, GNAQ mutations, and BRAF/PTEN amplification/deletion were present in 42% and 67% of patients, respectively. Both Loss of Heterozygosity (LOH) load and tumor ploidy were inversely associated with TMB. In immunotherapy-treated patients, samples from responders showed higher TMB and lower LOH and were more frequently diploid compared to non-responders. Secondary germline testing and cfDNA analysis proved their efficacy in finding germline predisposing variants carriers (8.3%) and following dynamic changes during treatment as a surrogate of tissue biopsy, respectively.

Whole-Exome Sequencing and cfDNA Analysis Uncover Genetic Determinants of Melanoma Therapy Response in a Real-World Setting

Lorenza Pastorino;Enrica Teresa Tanda;Eleonora Allavena;William Bruno;Gabriella Pietra;Michele Piana;Gabriele Zoppoli;Lorenzo Ferrando;Francesco Spagnolo;Paola Ghiorzo
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Although several studies have explored the molecular landscape of metastatic melanoma, the genetic determinants of therapy resistance are still largely unknown. Here, we aimed to determine the contribution of whole-exome sequencing and circulating free DNA (cfDNA) analysis in predicting response to therapy in a consecutive real-world cohort of 36 patients, undergoing fresh tissue biopsy and followed during treatment. Although the underpowered sample size limited statistical analysis, samples from non-responders had higher copy number variations and mutations in melanoma driver genes compared to responders in the BRAF V600+ subset. In the BRAF V600- subset, Tumor Mutational Burden (TMB) was twice that in responders vs. non-responders. Genomic layout revealed commonly known and novel potential intrinsic/acquired resistance driver gene variants. Among these, RAC1, FBXW7, GNAQ mutations, and BRAF/PTEN amplification/deletion were present in 42% and 67% of patients, respectively. Both Loss of Heterozygosity (LOH) load and tumor ploidy were inversely associated with TMB. In immunotherapy-treated patients, samples from responders showed higher TMB and lower LOH and were more frequently diploid compared to non-responders. Secondary germline testing and cfDNA analysis proved their efficacy in finding germline predisposing variants carriers (8.3%) and following dynamic changes during treatment as a surrogate of tissue biopsy, respectively.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1110058
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