Next-Generation Sequencing at High Sequencing Depth as a Tool to Study the Evolution of Metastasis Driven by Genetic Change Events of Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Hicham Mansour, Abdelhak Ouhajjou, Vladimir B. Bajic, Roberto Incitti

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5 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of this study is to report tumoral genetic mutations observed at high sequencing depth in a lung squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) sample. We describe the findings and differences in genetic mutations that were studied by deep next-generation sequencing methods on the primary tumor and liver metastasis samples. In this report, we also discuss how these differences may be involved in determining the tumor progression leading to the metastasis stage. Methods: We followed one lung SqCC patient who underwent FDG-PET scan imaging, before and after three months of treatment. We sequenced 26 well-known cancer-related genes, at an average of ~6,000 × sequencing coverage, in two spatially distinct regions, one from a primary lung tumor metastasis and the other from a distal liver metastasis, which was present before the treatment. Results: A total of 3,922,196 read pairs were obtained across all two samples' sequenced locations. Merged mapped reads showed several variants, from which we selected 36 with high confidence call. While we found 83% of genetic concordance between the distal metastasis and primary tumor, six variants presented substantial discordance. In the liver metastasis sample, we observed three de novo genetic changes, two on the FGFR3 gene and one on the CDKN2A gene, and the frequency of one variant found on the FGFR2 gene has been increased. Two genetic variants in the HRAS gene, which were present initially in the primary tumor, have been completely lost in the liver tumor. The discordant variants have coding consequences as follows: FGFR3 (c.746C>G, p. Ser249Cys), CDKN2A (c.47_50delTGGC, p. Leu16Profs*9), and HRAS (c.182A>C, p. Gln61Pro). The pathogenicity prediction scores for the acquired variants, assessed using several databases, reported these variants as pathogenic, with a gain of function for FGFR3 and a loss of function for CDKN2A. The patient follow-up using imaging with 18F-FDG PET/CT before and after four cycles of treatment shows discordant tumor progression in metastatic liver compared to primary lung tumor. Conclusions: Our results report the occurrence of several genetic changes between primary tumor and distant liver metastasis in lung SqCC, among which non-silent mutations may be associated with tumor evolution during metastasis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - Aug 5 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This paper is dedicated to Professor VB, in memoriam. We would like to thank Dr. Kumaran Mande for his scientific comments and Mr. Ismail Hadouch for the 18F-FDG PET/CT images and we apologize to colleagues whose work we could not include due to space limitations.


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