Genomic characterization of biliary tract cancers identifies driver genes and predisposing mutations.
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are clinically and pathologically heterogeneous and respond poorly to treatment. Genomic profiling can offer a clearer understanding of their carcinogenesis, classification and treatment strategy. We performed large-scale genome sequencing analyses on BTCs to investigate their somatic and germline driver events and characterize their genomic landscape.
METHODS: We analyzed 412 BTC samples from Japanese and Italian populations, 107 by whole-exome sequencing (WES), 39 by whole-genome sequencing (WGS), and a further 266 samples by targeted sequencing. The subtypes were 136 intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ICCs), 101 distal cholangiocarcinomas (DCCs), 109 peri-hilar type cholangiocarcinomas (PHCs), and 66 gallbladder or cystic duct cancers (GBCs/CDCs). We identified somatic alterations and searched for driver genes in BTCs, finding pathogenic germline variants of cancer-predisposing genes. We predicted cell-of-origin for BTCs by combining somatic mutation patterns and epigenetic features.
RESULTS: We identified 32 significantly and commonly mutated genes including TP53, KRAS, SMAD4, NF1, ARID1A, PBRM1, and ATR, some of which negatively affected patient prognosis. A novel deletion of MUC17 at 7q22.1 affected patient prognosis. Cell-of-origin predictions using WGS and epigenetic features suggest hepatocyte-origin of hepatitis-related ICCs. Deleterious germline mutations of cancer-predisposing genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2, RAD51D, MLH1, or MSH2 were detected in 11% (16/146) of BTC patients.
CONCLUSIONS: BTCs have distinct genetic features including somatic events and germline predisposition. These findings could be useful to establish treatment and diagnostic strategies for BTCs based on genetic information.
LAY SUMMARY: We here analyzed genomic features of 412 BTC samples from Japanese and Italian populations. A total of 32 significantly and commonly mutated genes were identified, some of which negatively affected patient prognosis, including a novel deletion of MUC17 at 7q22.1. Cell-of-origin predictions using WGS and epigenetic features suggest hepatocyte-origin of hepatitis-related ICCs. Deleterious germline mutations of cancer-predisposing genes were detected in 11% of patients with BTC. BTCs have distinct genetic features including somatic events and germline predisposition.
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