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A community-based lung cancer rapid tissue donation protocol provides high-quality drug-resistant specimens for proteogenomic analyses

Chiang, Derek, Leary, Rebecca, Wong, Connie, Singh, Angad and Charette, LaSalette (2019) A community-based lung cancer rapid tissue donation protocol provides high-quality drug-resistant specimens for proteogenomic analyses. Cancer Medicine. ISSN 20457634


Background: For the advancement of cancer research, the collection of tissue specimens from drug-resistant tumors after targeted therapy is crucial. Although patients with lung cancer are often provided targeted therapy, post-therapy specimens are not routinely collected due to the risks of collection, limiting the study of targeted therapy resistance mechanisms. Posthumous rapid tissue donation (RTD) is an expedient collection process that provides an opportunity to understand treatment-resistant lung cancers. Methods: Consent to participate in the thoracic RTD protocol was obtained during patient care. When death occurred, tumor and paired non-tumor, cytology, and blood specimens were collected within 48 hours and preserved as formalin-fixed and frozen specimens. Tissue sections were evaluated with hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunohistochemistry (IHC) against multiple biomarkers, including various programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) clones. Next-generation sequencing was performed on 13 specimens from 5 patients. Results: Postmortem specimens (N = 180) were well preserved from 9 patients with lung cancer. PD-L1 IHC revealed heterogeneity within and between tumors. An AGK-BRAF fusion was newly identified in tumor from a donor with a known echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 to anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) fusion and history of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor therapy. RNA expression analysis revealed a clonal genetic origin of metastatic cancer cells. Conclusions: Post-therapy specimens demonstrated PD-L1 heterogeneity and an acyl glycerol kinase to B-rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma (AGK-BRAF) fusion in a patient with an EML4-ALK–positive lung adenocarcinoma as a potential resistance mechanism to ALK inhibitor therapy. Rapid tissue donation collection of postmortem tissue from lung cancer patients is a novel approach to cancer research that enables studies of molecular evolution and drug resistance.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: donation heterogeneity lung cancer PD-L1 rapid autopsy resistance mutation specimen quality
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 00:45
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2020 00:45


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