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An insight into the driver mutations and molecular mechanisms underlying mucinous adenocarcinoma of the rectum
Background: Mucinous adenocarcinoma of the rectum accounts for 10% of all rectal cancers and has an impaired response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and worse overall survival. To date, insufficient genomic research has been performed on this histological subtype.
Objective: This study aims to define the mismatch repair deficiency rate and the driver mutations underpinning mucinous adenocarcinoma of the rectum and to compare it with rectal adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified.
Design: Immunohistochemistry and sequencing were performed on tumor samples from our tumor biobank.
Settings: This study was conducted across 2 tertiary referral centers.
Patients: Patients with mucinous adenocarcinoma and rectal adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified who underwent rectal resection between 2008 and 2018 were included.
Main outcome measures: Mismatch repair status was performed by immunohistochemical staining. Mutations in the panel of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes were determined by sequencing on the MiSeq V3 platform.
Results: The study included 33 patients with mucinous adenocarcinoma of the rectum and 100 patients with rectal adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified. Those with mucinous adenocarcinoma had a mismatch repair deficiency rate of 12.1% compared to 2.0% in the adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified cohort (p = 0.04). Mucinous adenocarcinoma and adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified rectal tumors had similar mutation frequencies in most oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. No difference was found in the KRAS mutation rate (50.0% vs 37.1%, p = 0.29) or BRAF mutation rate (6.7% vs 3.1%, p = 0.34) between the cohorts. No difference was found between the cohorts regarding recurrence-free (p = 0.29) or overall survival (p = 0.14).
Limitations: The major limitations of this study were the use of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue over fresh-frozen tissue and the small number of patients included, in particular, in the mucinous rectal cohort.
Conclusions: Most mucinous rectal tumors develop and progress along the chromosomal instability pathway. Further research in the form of transcriptomics, proteomics, and analysis of the effects of the mucin barrier may yield valuable insights into the mechanisms of resistance to chemoradiotherapy in this cohort. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/B464.
Beaumont Hospital Colorectal Research Fund
Science Foundation Ireland (15/ERA-CSM/3268)
CommentsThis is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Reynolds IS. et al. An insight into the driver mutations and molecular mechanisms underlying mucinous adenocarcinoma of the rectum. Dis Colon Rectum. 2021;64(6):677-688.
Published CitationReynolds IS. et al. An insight into the driver mutations and molecular mechanisms underlying mucinous adenocarcinoma of the rectum. Dis Colon Rectum. 2021;64(6):677-688.
Publication Date1 June 2021
- Beaumont Hospital
- Centre for Systems Medicine
- Physiology and Medical Physics
- School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
- Accepted Version (Postprint)