Cancer Med. 2022 Jun 23. doi: 10.1002/cam4.4971. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: New treatment strategies for advanced non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) include synthetic lethality targets focused on protein arginine methyl transferases such as PRMT5 that exploit the impact of genomic loss of methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP).
METHODS: Twenty nine thousand three hundred seventy nine advanced NSCLC cases underwent hybrid-capture based comprehensive genomic profiling between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020. PD-L1 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry (Dako 22C3 PharmDx assay).
RESULTS: 13.4% (3928/29,379) NSCLC cases exhibited MTAP loss distributed in adenocarcinoma (59%), squamous cell carcinoma (22%), NSCLC not otherwise specified (16%), and 1% each for large-cell neuroendocrine, sarcomatoid, and adenosquamous carcinoma. Statistically significant differences in mitogenic driver alterations included more KRAS G12C mutations in MTAP-intact versus MTAP-lost (12% vs. 10%, p = 0.0003) and fewer EGFR short variant mutations in MTAP-intact versus MTAP-lost NSCLC (10% vs. 13%, p < 0.0001). Statistically significant differences in currently unforgettable genomic alterations included higher frequencies of TP53 (70% vs. 63%, p < 0.0001) and RB1 inactivation (10% vs. 2%, p < 0.0001) in MTAP-intact compared to MTAP-lost NSCLC. SMARCA4 inactivation (7% vs. 10%, p < 0.0001) was less frequent in MTAP-intact versus MTAP-lost NSCLC. Alterations in ERBB2, MET, ALK, ROS1, and NTRK1 did not significantly differ between the two groups. Predictors of immunotherapy efficacy were higher in MTAP-intact versus MTAP-lost NSCLC including tumor mutational burden (9.4 vs. 8.6 mut/Mb, p = 0.001) and low (30% vs. 28%, p = 0.01) and high PD-L1 (32% vs. 30%, p = 0.01) expression. Alterations in biomarkers potentially predictive of immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance (STK11, KEAP1, and MDM2) were similar in the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS: MTAP loss occurs in 13% of NSCLC, supporting the development of targeted therapies to exploit PRMT5 hyper-dependence. MTAP loss is accompanied by small differences in targeted and immunotherapy options which may impact future combination strategies.