Background Advanced stage/recurrent clear cell ovarian cancers (CCOCs) are characterized by a low response to chemotherapy and a poor prognosis. There is growing interest in investigating novel/molecular targeted therapies in patients with CCOC in histotype-specific trials. However, CCOCs are not a uniform entity and comprise a number of molecular subtypes and it is unlikely that a single approach to treatment will be appropriate for all patients. The aim of this study was to analyze the results of a multiplatform profiling panel in CCOCs to identify potential therapeutic targets.
Patients and Methods Tumor profiling was performed on 521 CCOCs. They were grouped into pure (n = 422) and mixed (n = 99) CCOC for analysis. Testing included a combination of DNA sequencing (including next-generation sequencing) using a 46-gene panel, immunohistochemistry, fluorescent or chromogenic in situ hybridization, and RNA fragment analysis.
Results The most common findings were in the PIK3CA/Akt/mTOR pathway, with 61% of all CCOCs showing a molecular alteration in one of these pathway components. Next-generation sequencing revealed PIK3CA mutations in 50% of pure CCOCs. Significant differences were observed between pure and mixed CCOCs with respect to hormone receptor expression (9% vs 34.7% for ER, 13.45 vs 26.4% for PR), cMET (24.1% vs 11.6%), PD-1 tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (48.1% vs 100%), expression of PD-L1 (7.4% vs 25%), and TOPO1 (41% vs 27.1%) on immunohistochemistry, whereas next-generation sequencing revealed significant differences in mutation frequency in PIK3CA (50% vs 18.5%), TP53 (18.1% vs 57.7%), KRAS (12.4% vs 3.7%), and cMET (1.9% vs 11.1%).
Conclusions This large study confirms that the PIK3CA/Akt/mTOR pathway is commonly altered in CCOCs, and highlights the significant differences between pure and mixed CCOCs. Clear cell ovarian cancers are molecularly heterogeneous and there are a number of potential therapeutic targets which could be tested in clinical trials.
- Clear cell ovarian cancer
- Next-generation sequencing
- Molecular profiling
- Targeted therapies
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