BMC cancer 2018 03 0518(1) 251 doi 10.1186/s12885-018-4159-2
Esophageal sarcomatoid carcinoma (ESC) is a rare disease with a mixture of both carcinomatous and sarcomatous components in the tumor. Its genetic background and mechanisms of oncogenesis remain largely unknown.
Here we performed targeted next generation sequencing (NGS) on a pan-cancer gene panel in 15 ESC tumors to explore their genetic alterations, and aimed to identify clinically actionable mutations for future treatment instructions.
TP53 alterations were identified in all patients. Alterations in receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) were identified in 10 out of 15 patients. Members of downstream RAS and PI3-kinase pathways are also mutated in 10 patients, and PIK3CA is the top mutated gene in these pathways. In addition, we identified mutations on histone modification genes in 5 patients, including histone acetyltransferase gene EP300 and its homologue CREBBP, lysine methyltransferase genes KMT2A and KMT2B, and lysine demethylase gene KDM5A. Finally, mismatch repair (MMR) genes and proofreading gene POLE all together were mutated in one third of the ESC patients.
This is the first study to unravel the mutational profile of ESC tumors. Our findings could match 9 patients to the targeted therapies currently available in clinical practice or in active clinical trials, suggesting the potential utility of targeted therapies for this rare disease in the future.