Ann Oncol. 2016 Jan;27(1):127-33. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdv508. Epub 2015 Oct 21.
Comprehensive analyses using next-generation sequencing and immunohistochemistry enable precise treatment in advanced gastric cancer.
BACKGROUND: In advanced gastric cancer (AGC), most clinical trials are designed on the basis of protein expression or gene amplification of specific genes. Recently, next-generation sequencing (NGS) allowed us to comprehensively profile the tumor gene status. This study aimed to elucidate the profiling between gene alterations and protein expression in AGC to aid in future clinical trials on AGC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples from 121 stage III/IV gastric cancer patients were examined for protein expression of tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs; ERBB2, EGFR, c-MET, and FGFR2) using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Furthermore, 409 cancer-related genes were sequenced to detect mutations and copy number variations using NGS.
RESULTS: Most ERBB2 overexpression (IHC 3+) cases (80.0%) had ERBB2 amplification and did not have other RTK amplification or oncogene mutations. However, one-fourth of MET overexpression cases (25.0%) had ERBB2 alterations. EGFR and FGFR2 overexpression cases had ERBB2 alterations or other gene alterations such as KRAS or PIK3CA. On the other hand, most of the four RTK amplification cases (88.2%) were mutually exclusive with each amplification. However, RTK amplification did not simply correlate with protein overexpression, whereas cases with RTK high-level amplification had protein overexpression and rarely showed other co-existing gene alterations.
CONCLUSION: AGC involves a complicated arrangement of protein expression and gene alterations. Comprehensive analyses of NGS and IHC will be necessary to design the optimal therapy for treating the appropriate population of patients in future clinical trials.