Evaluating mismatch repair deficiency in pancreatic adenocarcinoma: Challenges and recommendations
© 2018 American Association for Cancer Research. Purpose: Immune checkpoint inhibition has been shown to generate profound and durable responses in mismatch repair deficient (MMR-D) solid tumors and has elicited interest in detection tools and strategies to guide therapeutic decision-making. Herein we address questions on the appropriate screening, detection methods, patient selection, and initiation of therapy for MMR-D pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and assess the utility of next-generation sequencing (NGS) in providing additional prognostic and predictive information for MMR-D PDAC. Experimental Design: Archival and prospectively acquired samples and matched normal DNA from N ¼ 833 PDAC cases were analyzed using a hybridization capture–based, NGS assay designed to perform targeted deep sequencing of all exons and selected introns of 341 to 468 cancer-associated genes. A computational program using NGS data derived the MSI status from the tumor-normal paired genome sequencing data. Available germline testing, IHC, and microsatellite instability (MSI) PCR results were reviewed to assess and confirm MMR-D and MSI status. Results: MMR-D in PDAC is a rare event among PDAC patients (7/833), occurring at a frequency of 0.8%. Loss of MMR protein expression by IHC, high mutational load, and elevated MSIsensor scores were correlated with MMR-D PDAC. All 7 MMR-D PDAC patients in the study were found to have Lynch syndrome. Four (57%) of the MMR-D patients treated with immune checkpoint blockade had treatment benefit (1 complete response, 2 partial responses, 1 stable disease). Conclusions: An integrated approach of germline testing and somatic analyses of tumor tissues in advanced PDAC using NGS may help guide future development of immune and molecularly directed therapies in PDAC patients.
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