Background: Certain sequences of genomic mutations can lead to cancer formation and affect treatment outcomes and drug resistance. We constructed a cancer evolutionary tree using bulk-targeted deep sequencing to explore the impact of sequential and co-occurring somatic mutations on patients with stage III colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: A total of 108 stage III CRC patients from National Cheng Kung University Hospital (NCKUH) were recruited for this study between Jan. 2014 and Jan. 2019. Clinical information and tumor-targeted deep sequencing data were collected. Phylogenetic trees were reconstructed for evolutionary trajectories. We used a machine learning model for survival analysis. Results: Six sequential somatic mutations stratified patients into seven subgroups based on survival. Patients carrying sequential germline followed by DNA damage response-related ATM or BRCA2 somatic mutations or non-TP53, APC somatic mutations had a better outcome than those without such mutations. The 4-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) probability was 88% in the low-risk group (G1) and 46% in the high-risk group (G2) (log-rank p-value 2e-05). The predictive efficacy by the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.73, 0.7, 0.797, and 0.88 at 2, 4, 6, and 8 years, respectively. The mutation status of mismatch repair (MMR) genes was not associated with RFS. Different genomic features were found between the groups. The orders of APC, KRAS and APC, BRCA2 sequential somatic mutations were associated with clinical outcomes. The occurrence of somatic mutations in BRCA2, such as TP53 somatic mutations, affected recurrence-free survival. Conclusions: According to the evolution model, DNA damage response (DDR)-related ATM or BRCA2 somatic mutations are promising biomarkers for assessing the response of stage III CRC patients to oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy. The sequential order and co-occurring DDR somatic mutations are associated with recurrence-free survival.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research