Introduction/Background*The molecular endometrial cancer (EC) classification has proven prognostic value and can direct adjuvant treatment decisions. Despite this, a relatively large group of EC is still molecularly unclassified (NSMP-EC). In this study we aimed to identify biomarkers among high-risk NSMP-EC patients with prognostic and/or predictive relevance.
Methodology Paraffin-embedded tumour material (n=423) from the PORTEC-3 HREC trial were available for analysis. All patients with NSMP-EC were selected, hence those without pathogenic POLE mutations, mismatch repair deficiency and p53-abnormal immunohistochemistry (IHC). Protein expression of L1CAM, ER and PR (ongoing) were analysed by IHC using a 10% threshold for positivity. Tumour DNA was analysed for pathogenic somatic mutations using a next generation sequencing (NGS) cancer hotspot panel. Time to recurrence was analysed using the Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank tests and Cox’s proportional hazard models.
Result(s)*In total, 126 NSMP-EC were identified in PORTEC-3, the majority were hormone receptor positive (ER n=106/121, 87.6%, PR will be presented at ESGO2021). L1CAM overexpression was observed in 11.2% (n=14/125) and mutations in CTNNB1-exon-3 were identified in 34.3% (n=36/105). Clustering showed that ER-positive NSMP-EC were predominantly endometrioid EC (n=99, 93.4%), low grade (n=88, 83.0%) and L1CAM-negative (n=102, 97.1%) (figure 1). PIK3CA and KRAS mutations were present in 27.3% (n=24) and 19.3% (n=17), respectively. ER-negative NSMP-EC were frequently non-endometrioid (n=11, 73.3%), L1CAM-positive (n=11, 73.3%) and rarely harboured PTEN and CTNNB1 mutations (n=1, 7.1% and 0%, respectively). ER-positivity was associated with lower risk of recurrence (HR 0.32 [95%CI 0.14-0.70]; figure 2A), while L1CAM-overexpression and CTNNB1-exon-3 mutations were not (HR 2.25 [95%CI 0.93-5.43] and HR 1.20 [95%CI 0.57-2.54], respectively). Multivariable analysis confirmed independent favourable prognostic impact of ER-positivity and LVSI. Figure 2B shows impact of LVSI on time to recurrence among patients with ER-positive NSMP-EC.
Conclusion*The vast majority of NSMP-HREC are ER-positive (87.6%) and are likely sensitive to hormonal therapy. Other treatment targets might be found in this subgroup too as 27.3% had PIK3CA and 19.3% had KRAS mutations. NSMP-EC with loss of ER-expression were often of non-endometrioid histology and had a high risk of recurrence. Future studies should investigate whether this subgroup would benefit from other systemic therapies.
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