Genomic Underpinnings of Tumor Behavior in and Early Lung Adenocarcinoma.


We have a limited understanding of the molecular underpinnings of early adenocarcinoma (ADC) progression. We hypothesized that the behavior of early ADC can be predicted based on genomic determinants. To identify genomic alterations associated with resected indolent and aggressive early lung ADCs. DNA was extracted from 21 ADCs (AISs), 27 minimally invasive ADCs (MIAs), and 54 fully invasive ADCs. This DNA was subjected to deep next-generation sequencing and tested against a custom panel of 347 cancer genes. Sequencing data was analyzed for associations among tumor mutation burden, frequency of mutations or copy number alterations, mutation signatures, intratumor heterogeneity, pathway alterations, histology, and overall survival. We found that deleterious mutation burden was significantly greater in invasive ADC, whereas more copy number loss was observed in AIS and MIA. Intratumor heterogeneity establishes early, as in AIS. Twenty-one significantly mutated genes were shared among the groups. Mutation signature profiling did not vary significantly, although the APOBEC signature was associated with ADC and poor survival. Subclonal KRAS mutations and a gene signature consisting of PIK3CG, ATM, EPPK1, EP300, or KMT2C mutations were also associated with poor survival. Mutations of KRAS, TP53, and NF1 were found to increase in frequency from AIS and MIA to ADC. A cancer progression model revealed selective early and late drivers. Our results reveal several genetic driver events, clonality, and mutational signatures associated with poor outcome in early lung ADC, with potential future implications for the detection and management of ADC.