Publications by authors named "Brian M Wolpin"

168 Publications

Patterns of Adjuvant Chemotherapy Use and Association With Survival in Adults 80 Years and Older With Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Dec 2. Epub 2021 Dec 2.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mass General Brigham, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Patients 80 years and older with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) have not consistently received treatments that have established benefits in younger older adults (aged 60-79 years), yet patients 80 years and older are increasingly being offered surgery. Whether adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) provides additional benefit among patients 80 years and older with PDAC following surgery is not well understood.

Objective: To describe patterns of AC use in patients 80 years and older following surgical resection of PDAC and to compare overall survival between patients who received AC and those who did not.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Retrospective cohort study among patients 80 years or older diagnosed with PDAC (stage I-III) between 2004 to 2016 who underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy at hospitals across the US reporting to the National Cancer Database.

Exposures: AC vs no AC 90 days following diagnosis of PDAC.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The proportion of patients who received AC was assessed over the study period. Overall survival was compared between patients who received AC and those who did not using Kaplan-Meier estimates and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. A landmark analysis was performed to address immortal time bias. A propensity score analysis was performed to address indication bias. Subgroup analyses were conducted in node-negative, margin-negative, clinically complex, node-positive, and margin-positive cohorts.

Results: Between 2004 and 2016, 2569 patients 80 years and older (median [IQR] age, 82 [81-84] years; 1427 were women [55.5%]) underwent surgery for PDAC. Of these patients, 1217 (47.4%) received AC. Findings showed an 18.6% (95% CI, 8.0%-29.0%; P = .001) absolute increase in the use of AC among older adults who underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy comparing rates in 2004 vs 2016. Receipt of AC was associated with a longer median survival (17.2 months; 95% CI, 16.1-19.0) compared with those who did not receive AC (12.7 months; 95% CI, 11.8-13.6). This association was consistent in propensity and subgroup analyses. In multivariable analysis, receipt of AC (hazard ratio [HR], 0.72; 95% CI, 0.65-0.79; P < .001), female sex (HR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.80-0.96; P < .001), and surgery in the more recent time period (≥2011) (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0.99; P = .02) were associated with a decreased hazard of death. An increased hazard of death was associated with higher pathologic stage (stage II: HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.43-1.97; P < .001; stage III: HR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.88-3.04; P < .001), positive surgical margins (HR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.34-1.65; P < .001), length of stay greater than median (10 days) (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.07-1.28; P < .001), and receipt of oncologic care at a nonacademic facilities (Community Cancer Program: HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.07-1.35; P < .001; Integrated Network Cancer Program: HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.07-1.46; P < .001).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, the use of AC among patients who underwent resection for PDAC increased over the study period, yet it still was administered to fewer than 50% of patients. Receipt of AC was associated with a longer median survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.5407DOI Listing
December 2021

The oral microbiome in relation to pancreatic cancer risk in African Americans.

Br J Cancer 2021 Oct 30. Epub 2021 Oct 30.

Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: African Americans have the highest pancreatic cancer incidence of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. The oral microbiome was associated with pancreatic cancer risk in a recent study, but no such studies have been conducted in African Americans. Poor oral health, which can be a cause or effect of microbial populations, was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in a single study of African Americans.

Methods: We prospectively investigated the oral microbiome in relation to pancreatic cancer risk among 122 African-American pancreatic cancer cases and 354 controls. DNA was extracted from oral wash samples for metagenomic shotgun sequencing. Alpha and beta diversity of the microbial profiles were calculated. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between microbes and pancreatic cancer risk.

Results: No associations were observed with alpha or beta diversity, and no individual microbial taxa were differentially abundant between cases and control, after accounting for multiple comparisons. Among never smokers, there were elevated ORs for known oral pathogens: Porphyromonas gingivalis (OR = 1.69, 95% CI: 0.80-3.56), Prevotella intermedia (OR = 1.40, 95% CI: 0.69-2.85), and Tannerella forsythia (OR = 1.36, 95% CI: 0.66-2.77).

Conclusions: Previously reported associations between oral taxa and pancreatic cancer were not present in this African-American population overall.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01578-5DOI Listing
October 2021

Low glycaemic diets alter lipid metabolism to influence tumour growth.

Nature 2021 11 20;599(7884):302-307. Epub 2021 Oct 20.

Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Dietary interventions can change metabolite levels in the tumour microenvironment, which might then affect cancer cell metabolism to alter tumour growth. Although caloric restriction (CR) and a ketogenic diet (KD) are often thought to limit tumour progression by lowering blood glucose and insulin levels, we found that only CR inhibits the growth of select tumour allografts in mice, suggesting that other mechanisms contribute to tumour growth inhibition. A change in nutrient availability observed with CR, but not with KD, is lower lipid levels in the plasma and tumours. Upregulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD), which synthesises monounsaturated fatty acids, is required for cancer cells to proliferate in a lipid-depleted environment, and CR also impairs tumour SCD activity to cause an imbalance between unsaturated and saturated fatty acids to slow tumour growth. Enforcing cancer cell SCD expression or raising circulating lipid levels through a higher-fat CR diet confers resistance to the effects of CR. By contrast, although KD also impairs tumour SCD activity, KD-driven increases in lipid availability maintain the unsaturated to saturated fatty acid ratios in tumours, and changing the KD fat composition to increase tumour saturated fatty acid levels cooperates with decreased tumour SCD activity to slow tumour growth. These data suggest that diet-induced mismatches between tumour fatty acid desaturation activity and the availability of specific fatty acid species determine whether low glycaemic diets impair tumour growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04049-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8628459PMC
November 2021

Unrestrained eating behavior and risk of mortality: A prospective cohort study.

Clin Nutr 2021 11 17;40(11):5419-5429. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background & Aims: Unrestrained eating behavior has been thought to be a proxy for diet frequency, timing, and caloric intake. We investigated the association of unrestrained eating with mortality risk in the Nurses' Health Study prospectively.

Methods: During follow-up (1994-2016), 21,953 deaths were documented among 63,999 eligible participants in analyses of eating anything at any time, 22,120 deaths were documented among 65,839 participants in analyses of no concern with figure change. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Eating anything at any time was associated with an increased mortality from cancer (overall HR, 95%CI: 1.07, 1.00-1.13; driven by gastrointestinal tract cancer: 1.30, 1.10-1.54) and respiratory disease (1.16, 1.05-1.29), and decreased cardiovascular disease-specific mortality (0.92, 0.86-0.99), compared to those without this behavior; however, no association was observed between this behavior and all-cause mortality (1.02, 0.99-1.05). Women who reported having no concern with figure change experienced higher risk of mortality from all-cause (1.08, 1.05-1.11), cancer (1.08, 1.02-1.14), and respiratory disease (1.18, 1.08-1.30), compared to those not reporting this behavior. Their combined effect was associated with a higher all-cause (1.09, 1.04-1.14), cancer-specific (overall: 1.18, 1.09-1.28; gastrointestinal tract cancer: 1.36, 1.08-1.71; lung cancer: 1.09; 1.04-1.14), and respiratory disease-specific (1.30, 1.13-1.50) mortality, and was inversely associated with cardiovascular disease-specific mortality (0.88, 0.80-0.98), compared to those exhibiting the opposite.

Conclusions: Unrestrained eating was associated with increased risk of all-cause, cancer-specific (particularly for gastrointestinal tract cancer and lung cancer), and respiratory disease-specific mortality, and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease-specific mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.09.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8571025PMC
November 2021

A 584 bp deletion in CTRB2 inhibits chymotrypsin B2 activity and secretion and confers risk of pancreatic cancer.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 10 23;108(10):1852-1865. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Laboratory of Translational Genomics, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have discovered 20 risk loci in the human genome where germline variants associate with risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in populations of European ancestry. Here, we fine-mapped one such locus on chr16q23.1 (rs72802365, p = 2.51 × 10, OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.31-1.40) and identified colocalization (PP = 0.87) with aberrant exon 5-7 CTRB2 splicing in pancreatic tissues (p = 1.40 × 10, β = 1.99; p = 1.02 × 10, β = 1.99). Imputation of a 584 bp structural variant overlapping exon 6 of CTRB2 into the GWAS datasets resulted in a highly significant association with pancreatic cancer risk (p = 2.83 × 10, OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.31-1.42), indicating that it may underlie this signal. Exon skipping attributable to the deletion (risk) allele introduces a premature stop codon in exon 7 of CTRB2, yielding a truncated chymotrypsinogen B2 protein that lacks chymotrypsin activity, is poorly secreted, and accumulates intracellularly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We propose that intracellular accumulation of a nonfunctional chymotrypsinogen B2 protein leads to ER stress and pancreatic inflammation, which may explain the increased pancreatic cancer risk in carriers of CTRB2 exon 6 deletion alleles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.09.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8546220PMC
October 2021

Inherited Pancreatic Cancer Syndromes and High-Risk Screening.

Surg Oncol Clin N Am 2021 10 22;30(4):773-786. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Johns Hopkins University, 1550 Orleans Street, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with a 5-year survival rate of 9%. Individuals with inherited pancreatic cancer syndromes are at an increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer and may benefit from pancreatic cancer surveillance with the goal to detect and intervene on early-stage cancer or high-risk precursor lesions. Given the screening implications for family members and therapeutic implications for probands, all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are recommended to undergo germline genetic testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soc.2021.06.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8438225PMC
October 2021

Beyond the Front Line: Emerging Data for Maintenance Therapy in Pancreatic Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2021 10 24;39(29):3199-3206. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.01510DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8500570PMC
October 2021

Large-scale cross-cancer fine-mapping of the 5p15.33 region reveals multiple independent signals.

HGG Adv 2021 Jul 12;2(3). Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified thousands of cancer risk loci revealing many risk regions shared across multiple cancers. Characterizing the cross-cancer shared genetic basis can increase our understanding of global mechanisms of cancer development. In this study, we collected GWAS summary statistics based on up to 375,468 cancer cases and 530,521 controls for fourteen types of cancer, including breast (overall, estrogen receptor [ER]-positive, and ER-negative), colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, glioma, head/neck, lung, melanoma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and renal cancer, to characterize the shared genetic basis of cancer risk. We identified thirteen pairs of cancers with statistically significant local genetic correlations across eight distinct genomic regions. Specifically, the 5p15.33 region, harboring the and genes, showed statistically significant local genetic correlations for multiple cancer pairs. We conducted a cross-cancer fine-mapping of the 5p15.33 region based on eight cancers that showed genome-wide significant associations in this region (ER-negative breast, colorectal, glioma, lung, melanoma, ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate cancer). We used an iterative analysis pipeline implementing a subset-based meta-analysis approach based on cancer-specific conditional analyses and identified ten independent cross-cancer associations within this region. For each signal, we conducted cross-cancer fine-mapping to prioritize the most plausible causal variants. Our findings provide a more in-depth understanding of the shared inherited basis across human cancers and expand our knowledge of the 5p15.33 region in carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xhgg.2021.100041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8336922PMC
July 2021

Unrestrained eating behavior and risk of digestive system cancers: a prospective cohort study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 11;114(5):1612-1624

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Unrestrained eating behavior, as a potential proxy for diet frequency, timing, and caloric intake, has been questioned as a plausible risk factor for digestive system cancers, but epidemiological evidence remains sparse.

Objectives: We investigated prospectively the associations between unrestrained eating behavior and digestive system cancer risk.

Methods: Participants in the Nurses' Health Study who were free of cancer and reported dietary information in 1994 were followed for ≤18 y. Cox models were used to estimate HRs and 95% CIs for unrestrained eating (eating anything at any time, no concern with figure change, or both) and risk of digestive system cancers.

Results: During follow-up, 2064 digestive system cancer cases were documented among 70,450 eligible participants in analyses of eating anything at any time, In total, 2081 digestive system cancer cases were documented among 72,468 eligible participants in analyses of no concern with figure change. In fully adjusted analyses, women with the behavior of eating anything at any time had a higher risk of overall digestive system cancer (HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.35), overall gastrointestinal tract cancer ((HR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.18, 1.50), buccal cavity and pharynx cancer (HR: 1.50; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.21), esophageal cancer (HR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.01, 2.62), small intestine cancer (HR: 1.92; 95% CI: 1.02,3. 59), and colorectal cancer (HR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.38), and a non-statistically significant increased risk of stomach cancer (HR: 1.54; 95% CI: 0.96,2.48), compared with women without this behavior. No statistically significant association was observed for pancreatic cancer and liver and gallbladder cancer. The combined effect of eating anything at any time and having no concern with figure change was associated with a significantly increased risk of overall digestive system cancer (HR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.46), overall gastrointestinal tract cancer (HR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.23, 1.71), and colorectal cancer (HR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.63), compared with women exhibiting the opposite.

Conclusions: Unrestrained eating behavior was independently associated with increased risk of gastrointestinal tract cancers. The potential importance of unrestrained eating behavior modification in preventing gastrointestinal tract cancers should be noted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab235DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8588850PMC
November 2021

Opportunities for Utilization of DNA Repair Inhibitors in Homologous Recombination Repair-Deficient and Proficient Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jul 20. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Dana-Farber Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Pancreatic cancer is rapidly progressive and notoriously difficult to treat with cytotoxic chemotherapy and targeted agents. Recent demonstration of the efficacy of maintenance PARP inhibition in germline mutated pancreatic cancer has raised hopes that increased understanding of the DNA damage response pathway will lead to new therapies in both homologous recombination (HR) repair-deficient and proficient pancreatic cancer. Here, we review the potential mechanisms of exploiting HR deficiency, replicative stress, and DNA damage-mediated immune activation through targeted inhibition of DNA repair regulatory proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-1367DOI Listing
July 2021

Hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism genes and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a pathway analysis of genome-wide association studies.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 10;114(4):1408-1417

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.

Background: Epidemiological studies have suggested positive associations for iron and red meat intake with risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Inherited pathogenic variants in genes involved in the hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism pathway are known to cause iron overload and hemochromatosis.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine whether common genetic variation in the hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism pathway is associated with PDAC.

Methods: We conducted a pathway analysis of the hepcidin-regulating genes using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) summary statistics generated from 4 genome-wide association studies in 2 large consortium studies using the summary data-based adaptive rank truncated product method. Our population consisted of 9253 PDAC cases and 12,525 controls of European descent. Our analysis included 11 hepcidin-regulating genes [bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2), bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6), ferritin heavy chain 1 (FTH1), ferritin light chain (FTL), hepcidin (HAMP), homeostatic iron regulator (HFE), hemojuvelin (HJV), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), ferroportin 1 (SLC40A1), transferrin receptor 1 (TFR1), and transferrin receptor 2 (TFR2)] and their surrounding genomic regions (±20 kb) for a total of 412 SNPs.

Results: The hepcidin-regulating gene pathway was significantly associated with PDAC (P = 0.002), with the HJV, TFR2, TFR1, BMP6, and HAMP genes contributing the most to the association.

Conclusions: Our results support that genetic susceptibility related to the hepcidin-regulating gene pathway is associated with PDAC risk and suggest a potential role of iron metabolism in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Further studies are needed to evaluate effect modification by intake of iron-rich foods on this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8488877PMC
October 2021

Acquired Resistance to KRAS Inhibition in Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2021 06;384(25):2382-2393

From Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (M.M.A., S.L., J.D., J.O.J., K.E.L., H.F., K.M.H., B.M.W., P.A.J., A.J.A.), Massachusetts General Hospital (R.S.H., Y.P.H.), and Brigham and Women's Hospital (L.M.S., A.J.A.), Boston, and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (S.L., X.Y., N.S.P., D.E.R., K.M.H., A.J.A.) and Foundation Medicine (J.L., A.B.S.), Cambridge - all in Massachusetts; Henry Ford Cancer Institute, Detroit (I.I.R.); Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (K.C.A., G.J.R., P.L.); Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, Orange (V.W.Z., S.S.Z., S.-H.I.O.), Boundless Bio, La Jolla (J.W., J.C.), and Mirati Therapeutics, San Diego (L.D.E., L.W., J.D.L., P.O., J.G.C.) - all in California; Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Tennessee Oncology/OneOncology, Nashville (M.L.J.); the University of Colorado, Aurora (T.P.); and Resolution Bioscience, Kirkland, WA (L.P.L., K.G., M.L.).

Background: Clinical trials of the KRAS inhibitors adagrasib and sotorasib have shown promising activity in cancers harboring KRAS glycine-to-cysteine amino acid substitutions at codon 12 (KRAS). The mechanisms of acquired resistance to these therapies are currently unknown.

Methods: Among patients with -mutant cancers treated with adagrasib monotherapy, we performed genomic and histologic analyses that compared pretreatment samples with those obtained after the development of resistance. Cell-based experiments were conducted to study mutations that confer resistance to KRAS inhibitors.

Results: A total of 38 patients were included in this study: 27 with non-small-cell lung cancer, 10 with colorectal cancer, and 1 with appendiceal cancer. Putative mechanisms of resistance to adagrasib were detected in 17 patients (45% of the cohort), of whom 7 (18% of the cohort) had multiple coincident mechanisms. Acquired alterations included G12D/R/V/W, G13D, Q61H, R68S, H95D/Q/R, Y96C, and high-level amplification of the allele. Acquired bypass mechanisms of resistance included amplification; activating mutations in , , , and ; oncogenic fusions involving , , , , and ; and loss-of-function mutations in and . In two of nine patients with lung adenocarcinoma for whom paired tissue-biopsy samples were available, histologic transformation to squamous-cell carcinoma was observed without identification of any other resistance mechanisms. Using an in vitro deep mutational scanning screen, we systematically defined the landscape of mutations that confer resistance to KRAS inhibitors.

Conclusions: Diverse genomic and histologic mechanisms impart resistance to covalent KRAS inhibitors, and new therapeutic strategies are required to delay and overcome this drug resistance in patients with cancer. (Funded by Mirati Therapeutics and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03785249.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2105281DOI Listing
June 2021

Neoadjuvant Selicrelumab, an Agonist CD40 Antibody, Induces Changes in the Tumor Microenvironment in Patients with Resectable Pancreatic Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Aug 10;27(16):4574-4586. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Purpose: CD40 activation is a novel clinical opportunity for cancer immunotherapy. Despite numerous active clinical trials with agonistic CD40 monoclonal antibodies (mAb), biological effects and treatment-related modulation of the tumor microenvironment (TME) remain poorly understood.

Patients And Methods: Here, we performed a neoadjuvant clinical trial of agonistic CD40 mAb (selicrelumab) administered intravenously with or without chemotherapy to 16 patients with resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) before surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and CD40 mAb.

Results: The toxicity profile was acceptable, and overall survival was 23.4 months (95% confidence interval, 18.0-28.8 months). Based on a novel multiplexed immunohistochemistry platform, we report evidence that neoadjuvant selicrelumab leads to major differences in the TME compared with resection specimens from treatment-naïve PDAC patients or patients given neoadjuvant chemotherapy/chemoradiotherapy only. For selicrelumab-treated tumors, 82% were T-cell enriched, compared with 37% of untreated tumors ( = 0.004) and 23% of chemotherapy/chemoradiation-treated tumors ( = 0.012). T cells in both the TME and circulation were more active and proliferative after selicrelumab. Tumor fibrosis was reduced, M2-like tumor-associated macrophages were fewer, and intratumoral dendritic cells were more mature. Inflammatory cytokines/sec CXCL10 and CCL22 increased systemically after selicrelumab.

Conclusions: This unparalleled examination of CD40 mAb therapeutic mechanisms in patients provides insights for design of subsequent clinical trials targeting CD40 in cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-1047DOI Listing
August 2021

Extracellular Domain In-Frame Deletions Are Therapeutically Targetable Genomic Alterations That Function as Oncogenic Drivers in Cholangiocarcinoma.

Cancer Discov 2021 Oct 29;11(10):2488-2505. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Dana-Farber Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

We conducted next-generation DNA sequencing on 335 biliary tract cancers and characterized the genomic landscape by anatomic site within the biliary tree. In addition to frequent fusions among patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (IHCC), we identified extracellular domain in-frame deletions (EID) in 5 of 178 (2.8%) patients with IHCC, including two patients with p.H167_N173del. Expression of this EID in NIH3T3 cells resulted in constitutive FGFR2 activation, oncogenic transformation, and sensitivity to FGFR inhibitors. Three patients with EIDs were treated with Debio 1347, an oral FGFR1/2/3 inhibitor, and all showed partial responses. One patient developed an acquired L618F kinase domain mutation at disease progression and experienced a further partial response for 17 months to an irreversible FGFR2 inhibitor, futibatinib. Together, these findings reveal EIDs as an alternative mechanism of FGFR2 activation in IHCC that predicts sensitivity to FGFR inhibitors in the clinic. SIGNIFICANCE: EIDs are transforming genomic alterations that occur predominantly in patients with IHCC. These EIDs are sensitive to FGFR inhibition , and patients with these alterations benefited from treatment with FGFR inhibitors in the clinic..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-1669DOI Listing
October 2021

Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma, Version 2.2021, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 04 1;19(4):439-457. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

27Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women in the United States. A major challenge in treatment remains patients' advanced disease at diagnosis. The NCCN Guidelines for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma provides recommendations for the diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, and follow-up for patients with pancreatic cancer. Although survival rates remain relatively unchanged, newer modalities of treatment, including targeted therapies, provide hope for improving patient outcomes. Sections of the manuscript have been updated to be concordant with the most recent update to the guidelines. This manuscript focuses on the available systemic therapy approaches, specifically the treatment options for locally advanced and metastatic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2021.0017DOI Listing
April 2021

Prediagnostic Inflammation and Pancreatic Cancer Survival.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Sep;113(9):1186-1193

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Chronic inflammation may promote initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer, but no studies have examined the association between inflammation in the period before diagnosis and pancreatic cancer survival.

Methods: We prospectively examined the association of prediagnostic plasma levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 2 with survival among 492 participants from 5 large US prospective cohort studies who developed pancreatic cancer. Using an empirical dietary inflammatory pattern (EDIP) score, we evaluated whether long-term proinflammatory diets were associated with survival among 1153 patients from 2 of the 5 cohorts. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios for death with adjustment for potential confounders. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Higher prediagnostic levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 2 were individually associated with reduced survival (Ptrend = .03, .01, and .04, respectively). Compared with patients with a combined inflammatory biomarker score of 0 (all 3 marker levels below medians), those with a score of 3 (all 3 marker levels above medians) had a hazard ratio for death of 1.57 (95% confidence interval = 1.16 to 2.12; Ptrend = .003), corresponding to median overall survival times of 8 vs 5 months. Patients consuming the most proinflammatory diets (EDIP quartile 4) in the prediagnostic period had a hazard ratio for death of 1.34 (95% confidence interval = 1.13 to 1.59; Ptrend = .01), compared with those consuming the least proinflammatory diets (EDIP quartile 1).

Conclusion: Prediagnostic levels of inflammatory biomarkers and long-term proinflammatory diets were inversely associated with pancreatic cancer survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8522350PMC
September 2021

Leukocyte Heterogeneity in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Phenotypic and Spatial Features Associated with Clinical Outcome.

Cancer Discov 2021 Aug 16;11(8):2014-2031. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Immunotherapies targeting aspects of T cell functionality are efficacious in many solid tumors, but pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains refractory to these treatments. Deeper understanding of the PDAC immune ecosystem is needed to identify additional therapeutic targets and predictive biomarkers for therapeutic response and resistance monitoring. To address these needs, we quantitatively evaluated leukocyte contexture in 135 human PDACs at single-cell resolution by profiling density and spatial distribution of myeloid and lymphoid cells within histopathologically defined regions of surgical resections from treatment-naive and presurgically (neoadjuvant)-treated patients and biopsy specimens from metastatic PDAC. Resultant data establish an immune atlas of PDAC heterogeneity, identify leukocyte features correlating with clinical outcomes, and, through an study, provide guidance for use of PDAC tissue microarrays to optimally measure intratumoral immune heterogeneity. Atlas data have direct applicability as a reference for evaluating immune responses to investigational neoadjuvant PDAC therapeutics where pretherapy baseline specimens are not available. SIGNIFICANCE: We provide a phenotypic and spatial immune atlas of human PDAC identifying leukocyte composition at steady state and following standard neoadjuvant therapies. These data have broad utility as a resource that can inform on leukocyte responses to emerging therapies where baseline tissues were not acquired..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-0841DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8338775PMC
August 2021

Smoking Modifies Pancreatic Cancer Risk Loci on 2q21.3.

Cancer Res 2021 06 11;81(11):3134-3143. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Germline variation and smoking are independently associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We conducted genome-wide smoking interaction analysis of PDAC using genotype data from four previous genome-wide association studies in individuals of European ancestry (7,937 cases and 11,774 controls). Examination of expression quantitative trait loci data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project followed by colocalization analysis was conducted to determine whether there was support for common SNP(s) underlying the observed associations. Statistical tests were two sided and < 5 × 10 was considered statistically significant. Genome-wide significant evidence of qualitative interaction was identified on chr2q21.3 in intron 5 of the transmembrane protein 163 (TMEM163) and upstream of the cyclin T2 (CCNT2). The most significant SNP using the Empirical Bayes method, in this region that included 45 significantly associated SNPs, was rs1818613 [per allele OR in never smokers 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.82-0.93; former smokers 1.00, 95% CI, 0.91-1.07; current smokers 1.25, 95% CI 1.12-1.40, = 3.08 × 10). Examination of the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project data demonstrated an expression quantitative trait locus in this region for TMEM163 and CCNT2 in several tissue types. Colocalization analysis supported a shared SNP, rs842357, in high linkage disequilibrium with rs1818613 ( = 0. 94) driving both the observed interaction and the expression quantitative trait loci signals. Future studies are needed to confirm and understand the differential biologic mechanisms by smoking status that contribute to our PDAC findings. SIGNIFICANCE: This large genome-wide interaction study identifies a susceptibility locus on 2q21.3 that significantly modified PDAC risk by smoking status, providing insight into smoking-associated PDAC, with implications for prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-3267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8178175PMC
June 2021

Preexisting Type 2 Diabetes and Survival among Patients with Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 04 2;30(4):757-764. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Type 2 diabetes increases risk of developing colorectal cancer, but the association of preexisting diabetes with colorectal cancer survival remains unclear.

Methods: We analyzed survival by diabetes status at cancer diagnosis among 4,038 patients with colorectal cancer from two prospective U.S. cohorts. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for overall and cause-specific mortality, with adjustment for tumor characteristics and lifestyle factors.

Results: In the first 5 years after colorectal cancer diagnosis, diabetes was associated with a modest increase in overall mortality in women (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.00-1.49), but not in men (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.62-1.12; heterogeneity by sex = 0.04). Beyond 5 years, diabetes was associated with substantially increased overall mortality with no evidence of sex heterogeneity; in women and men combined, the HRs were 1.45 (95% CI, 1.09-1.93) during >5-10 years and 2.58 (95% CI, 1.91-3.50) during >10 years. Compared with those without diabetes, patients with colorectal cancer and diabetes had increased mortality from other malignancies (HR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.18-2.67) and cardiovascular disease (HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.29-2.91). Only women with diabetes for more than 10 years had increased mortality from colorectal cancer (HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01-1.76).

Conclusions: Among patients with colorectal cancer, preexisting diabetes was associated with increased risk of long-term mortality, particularly from other malignancies and cardiovascular disease.

Impact: Our findings highlight the importance of cardioprotection and cancer prevention to colorectal cancer survivors with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026573PMC
April 2021

A multilayered post-GWAS assessment on genetic susceptibility to pancreatic cancer.

Genome Med 2021 02 1;13(1):15. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

CIBERONC, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a complex disease in which both non-genetic and genetic factors interplay. To date, 40 GWAS hits have been associated with PC risk in individuals of European descent, explaining 4.1% of the phenotypic variance.

Methods: We complemented a new conventional PC GWAS (1D) with genome spatial autocorrelation analysis (2D) permitting to prioritize low frequency variants not detected by GWAS. These were further expanded via Hi-C map (3D) interactions to gain additional insight into the inherited basis of PC. In silico functional analysis of public genomic information allowed prioritization of potentially relevant candidate variants.

Results: We identified several new variants located in genes for which there is experimental evidence of their implication in the biology and function of pancreatic acinar cells. Among them is a novel independent variant in NR5A2 (rs3790840) with a meta-analysis p value = 5.91E-06 in 1D approach and a Local Moran's Index (LMI) = 7.76 in 2D approach. We also identified a multi-hit region in CASC8-a lncRNA associated with pancreatic carcinogenesis-with a lowest p value = 6.91E-05. Importantly, two new PC loci were identified both by 2D and 3D approaches: SIAH3 (LMI = 18.24), CTRB2/BCAR1 (LMI = 6.03), in addition to a chromatin interacting region in XBP1-a major regulator of the ER stress and unfolded protein responses in acinar cells-identified by 3D; all of them with a strong in silico functional support.

Conclusions: This multi-step strategy, combined with an in-depth in silico functional analysis, offers a comprehensive approach to advance the study of PC genetic susceptibility and could be applied to other diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-020-00816-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7849104PMC
February 2021

Implementing Systematic Genetic Counseling and Multigene Germline Testing for Individuals With Pancreatic Cancer.

JCO Oncol Pract 2021 02 13;17(2):e236-e247. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.

Purpose: National guidelines recommend genetic counseling and multigene germline testing (GC/MGT) for all patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). This study's aim was to assess real-world effectiveness of implementing systematic GC/MGT for all patients with PDAC at a high-volume academic institution.

Methods: An iterative process for systematizing GC/MGT was developed in which gastrointestinal oncology providers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute were recommended to refer all patients with PDAC for GC/MGT (clinician-directed referral). Workflows were subsequently changed such that patients with PDAC were automatically offered GC/MGT when scheduling their initial oncology consultation (automated referral). Clinical and germline data were collected on a consecutive cohort of patients with PDAC undergoing GC/MGT during a 25-month enrollment period (19-month clinician-directed referrals; 6-month automated referrals).

Results: One thousand two hundred fourteen patients with PDAC were seen for initial oncologic evaluation, 266 (21.9%) of whom underwent GC/MGT. Compared with baseline clinician-directed referrals, implementation of automated referrals led to a significant increase in patients with PDAC undergoing GC/MGT (16.5% 38.0%, < .001), including those undergoing multigene germline testing (MGT) ≤ 7 days of initial oncology evaluation (14.7% 60.3%, < .001), with preserved pathogenic variant detection rates (10.0% 11.2%, = 0.84). 16 of 28 (57.1%) pathogenic variant carriers had relatives who pursued cascade germline testing, and 13 of 26 (50.0%) carriers with incurable disease received targeted therapy based on MGT results.

Conclusion: Implementation of systematic GC/MGT in patients with PDAC is feasible and leads to management changes for patients with PDAC and their families. GC/MGT workflows that bypass the need for clinician referral result in superior uptake and time to testing. Further investigation is needed to identify other barriers and facilitators of universal GC/MGT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/OP.20.00678DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8257923PMC
February 2021

Molecular Characterization and Therapeutic Targeting of Colorectal Cancers Harboring Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Fusions.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 03 7;27(6):1695-1705. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Division of Gastrointestinal Cancers, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: Receptor tyrosine kinase fusions in colorectal cancers are rare, but potentially therapeutically relevant. We describe clinical, molecular, and pathologic attributes of RTK fusion-associated colorectal cancer.

Experimental Design: We identified all cases with RTK fusions in patients with colorectal cancer seen at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA) who underwent OncoPanel testing between 2013 and 2018. Clinical, histologic, and molecular features were extracted from the patient charts and molecular testing results.

Results: We identified 12 driver oncogenic fusions in various RTKs. These fusions occurred exclusively in and wild-type tumors and were enriched in right-sided and mismatch repair-deficient (MMR-D) colorectal cancers. All of the MMR-D colorectal cancers with RTK fusions were found in tumors with acquired MMR-D due to promoter hypermethylation and one was associated with a sessile serrated polyp. Molecular profiles of MMR-D colorectal cancer with RTK fusions largely resembled V600E-mutated MMR-D colorectal cancer, rather than those secondary to Lynch syndrome. We describe two patients with fusion-associated microsatellite stable (MSS) colorectal cancer who derived clinical benefit from therapeutic targeting of their translocation. The first harbored an fusion and received sequential crizotinib and alectinib therapy for a total of 7.5 months until developing an L1196Q gatekeeper mutation. The second patient, whose tumor contained an fusion, continues to benefit from entrectinib after 9 months of therapy.

Conclusions: RTK fusions in colorectal cancer are a rare, but important disease subgroup that occurs in and wild-type tumors. Despite enrichment in acquired MMR-D tumors, RTK fusions also occur in MSS colorectal cancer and provide an important therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4073DOI Listing
March 2021

Imaging-Based Subtypes of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Exhibit Differential Growth and Metabolic Patterns in the Pre-Diagnostic Period: Implications for Early Detection.

Front Oncol 2020 2;10:596931. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, United States.

Background: Previously, we characterized subtypes of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) on computed-tomography (CT) scans, whereby conspicuous (high delta) PDAC tumors are more likely to have aggressive biology and poorer clinical outcomes compared to inconspicuous (low delta) tumors. Here, we hypothesized that these imaging-based subtypes would exhibit different growth-rates and distinctive metabolic effects in the period prior to PDAC diagnosis.

Materials And Methods: Retrospectively, we evaluated 55 patients who developed PDAC as a second primary cancer and underwent serial pre-diagnostic (T0) and diagnostic (T1) CT-scans. We scored the PDAC tumors into high and low delta on T1 and, serially, obtained the biaxial measurements of the pancreatic lesions (T0-T1). We used the Gompertz-function to model the growth-kinetics and estimate the tumor growth-rate constant (α) which was used for tumor binary classification, followed by cross-validation of the classifier accuracy. We used maximum-likelihood estimation to estimate initiation-time from a single cell (10 mm) to a 10 mm tumor mass. Finally, we serially quantified the subcutaneous-abdominal-fat (SAF), visceral-abdominal-fat (VAF), and muscles volumes (cm) on CT-scans, and recorded the change in blood glucose (BG) levels. T-test, likelihood-ratio, Cox proportional-hazards, and Kaplan-Meier were used for statistical analysis and p-value <0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Compared to high delta tumors, low delta tumors had significantly slower average growth-rate constants (0.024 month vs. 0.088 month, p<0.0001) and longer average initiation-times (14 years vs. 5 years, p<0.0001). α demonstrated high accuracy (area under the curve (AUC)=0.85) in classifying the tumors into high and low delta, with an optimal cut-off of 0.034 month. Leave-one-out-cross-validation showed 80% accuracy in predicting the delta-class (AUC=0.84). High delta tumors exhibited accelerated SAF, VAF, and muscle wasting (p <0.001), and BG disturbance (p<0.01) compared to low delta tumors. Patients with low delta tumors had better PDAC-specific progression-free survival (log-rank, p<0.0001), earlier stage tumors (p=0.005), and higher likelihood to receive resection after PDAC diagnosis (p=0.008), compared to those with high delta tumors.

Conclusion: Imaging-based subtypes of PDAC exhibit distinct growth, metabolic, and clinical profiles during the pre-diagnostic period. Our results suggest that heterogeneous disease biology may be an important consideration in early detection strategies for PDAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.596931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7738633PMC
December 2020

Lead-Time Trajectory of CA19-9 as an Anchor Marker for Pancreatic Cancer Early Detection.

Gastroenterology 2021 03 14;160(4):1373-1383.e6. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: There is substantial interest in liquid biopsy approaches for cancer early detection among subjects at risk, using multi-marker panels. CA19-9 is an established circulating biomarker for pancreatic cancer; however, its relevance for pancreatic cancer early detection or for monitoring subjects at risk has not been established.

Methods: CA19-9 levels were assessed in blinded sera from 175 subjects collected up to 5 years before diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and from 875 matched controls from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. For comparison of performance, CA19-9 was assayed in blinded independent sets of samples collected at diagnosis from 129 subjects with resectable pancreatic cancer and 275 controls (100 healthy subjects; 50 with chronic pancreatitis; and 125 with noncancerous pancreatic cysts). The complementary value of 2 additional protein markers, TIMP1 and LRG1, was determined.

Results: In the PLCO cohort, levels of CA19-9 increased exponentially starting at 2 years before diagnosis with sensitivities reaching 60% at 99% specificity within 0 to 6 months before diagnosis for all cases and 50% at 99% specificity for cases diagnosed with early-stage disease. Performance was comparable for distinguishing newly diagnosed cases with resectable pancreatic cancer from healthy controls (64% sensitivity at 99% specificity). Comparison of resectable pancreatic cancer cases to subjects with chronic pancreatitis yielded 46% sensitivity at 99% specificity and for subjects with noncancerous cysts, 30% sensitivity at 99% specificity. For prediagnostic cases below cutoff value for CA19-9, the combination with LRG1 and TIMP1 yielded an increment of 13.2% in sensitivity at 99% specificity (P = .031) in identifying cases diagnosed within 1 year of blood collection.

Conclusion: CA19-9 can serve as an anchor marker for pancreatic cancer early detection applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.11.052DOI Listing
March 2021

Synthetic Lethal Interaction between the ESCRT Paralog Enzymes VPS4A and VPS4B in Cancers Harboring Loss of Chromosome 18q or 16q.

Cell Rep 2020 12;33(11):108493

Cancer Program, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address:

Few therapies target the loss of tumor suppressor genes in cancer. We examine CRISPR-SpCas9 and RNA-interference loss-of-function screens to identify new therapeutic targets associated with genomic loss of tumor suppressor genes. The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) ATPases VPS4A and VPS4B score as strong synthetic lethal dependencies. VPS4A is essential in cancers harboring loss of VPS4B adjacent to SMAD4 on chromosome 18q and VPS4B is required in tumors with co-deletion of VPS4A and CDH1 (E-cadherin) on chromosome 16q. We demonstrate that more than 30% of cancers selectively require VPS4A or VPS4B. VPS4A suppression in VPS4B-deficient cells selectively leads to ESCRT-III filament accumulation, cytokinesis defects, nuclear deformation, G2/M arrest, apoptosis, and potent tumor regression. CRISPR-SpCas9 screening and integrative genomic analysis reveal other ESCRT members, regulators of abscission, and interferon signaling as modifiers of VPS4A dependency. We describe a compendium of synthetic lethal vulnerabilities and nominate VPS4A and VPS4B as high-priority therapeutic targets for cancers with 18q or 16q loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8374858PMC
December 2020

Composition, Spatial Characteristics, and Prognostic Significance of Myeloid Cell Infiltration in Pancreatic Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 02 1;27(4):1069-1081. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: Although abundant myeloid cell populations in the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) microenvironment have been postulated to suppress antitumor immunity, the composition of these populations, their spatial locations, and how they relate to patient outcomes are poorly understood.

Experimental Design: To generate spatially resolved tumor and immune cell data at single-cell resolution, we developed two quantitative multiplex immunofluorescence assays to interrogate myeloid cells (CD15, CD14, ARG1, CD33, HLA-DR) and macrophages [CD68, CD163, CD86, IFN regulatory factor 5, MRC1 (CD206)] in the PDAC tumor microenvironment. Spatial point pattern analyses were conducted to assess the degree of colocalization between tumor cells and immune cells. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess associations with patient outcomes.

Results: In a multi-institutional cohort of 305 primary PDAC resection specimens, myeloid cells were abundant, enriched within stromal regions, highly heterogeneous across tumors, and differed by somatic genotype. High densities of CD15ARG1 immunosuppressive granulocytic cells and M2-polarized macrophages were associated with worse patient survival. Moreover, beyond cell density, closer proximity of M2-polarized macrophages to tumor cells was strongly associated with disease-free survival, revealing the clinical significance and biologic importance of immune cell localization within tumor areas.

Conclusions: A diverse set of myeloid cells are present within the PDAC tumor microenvironment and are distributed heterogeneously across patient tumors. Not only the densities but also the spatial locations of myeloid immune cells are associated with patient outcomes, highlighting the potential role of spatially resolved myeloid cell subtypes as quantitative biomarkers for PDAC prognosis and therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-3141DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8345232PMC
February 2021

Population-Scale CT-based Body Composition Analysis of a Large Outpatient Population Using Deep Learning to Derive Age-, Sex-, and Race-specific Reference Curves.

Radiology 2021 02 24;298(2):319-329. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

From the Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass (K.M., C.P. Bay, N.M., W.C.W., M.H.R.); MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science, Boston, Mass (C.P. Bridge, K.P.A.); Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass (A.B., L.K.B., B.M.W.); and Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass (F.J.F., F.M.T.).

Background Although CT-based body composition (BC) metrics may inform disease risk and outcomes, obtaining these metrics has been too resource intensive for large-scale use. Thus, population-wide distributions of BC remain uncertain. Purpose To demonstrate the validity of fully automated, deep learning BC analysis from abdominal CT examinations, to define demographically adjusted BC reference curves, and to illustrate the advantage of use of these curves compared with standard methods, along with their biologic significance in predicting survival. Materials and Methods After external validation and equivalency testing with manual segmentation, a fully automated deep learning BC analysis pipeline was applied to a cross-sectional population cohort that included any outpatient without a cardiovascular disease or cancer who underwent abdominal CT examination at one of three hospitals in 2012. Demographically adjusted population reference curves were generated for each BC area. The scores derived from these curves were compared with sex-specific thresholds for sarcopenia by using χ tests and used to predict 2-year survival in multivariable Cox proportional hazards models that included weight and body mass index (BMI). Results External validation showed excellent correlation ( = 0.99) and equivalency ( < .001) of the fully automated deep learning BC analysis method with manual segmentation. With use of the fully automated BC data from 12 128 outpatients (mean age, 52 years; 6936 [57%] women), age-, race-, and sex-normalized BC reference curves were generated. All BC areas varied significantly with these variables ( < .001 except for subcutaneous fat area vs age [ = .003]). Sex-specific thresholds for sarcopenia demonstrated that age and race bias were not present if scores derived from the reference curves were used ( < .001). Skeletal muscle area scores were significantly predictive of 2-year survival ( = .04) in combined models that included BMI. Conclusion Fully automated body composition (BC) metrics vary significantly by age, race, and sex. The scores derived from reference curves for BC parameters better capture the demographic distribution of BC compared with standard methods and can help predict survival. © RSNA, 2020 See also the editorial by Summers in this issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2020201640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8128280PMC
February 2021

Bead-Based Extracellular Vesicle Analysis Using Flow Cytometry.

Adv Biosyst 2020 12 25;4(12):e2000203. Epub 2020 Oct 25.

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent promising circulating biomarkers for cancers, but their high-throughput analyses in clinical settings prove challenging due to lack of simple, fast, and robust EV assays. Here, a bead-based EV assay detected by flow cytometry is described, which integrates EV capture using microbeads with EV protein analyses by flow cytometry. The assay is fast (<4 h for 48 samples), robust, and compatible with conventional flow cytometry instruments for high-throughput EV analysis. With the method, a panel of pancreatic cancer biomarkers in EVs from plasma samples of pancreatic cancer patients is successfully analyzed. The assay is readily translatable to other biomarkers or cancer types and can be run with standard materials on conventional flow cytometers, making it highly flexible and adaptable to diverse research and clinical needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adbi.202000203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718389PMC
December 2020

Mendelian Randomization Analysis of n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels and Pancreatic Cancer Risk.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 12 23;29(12):2735-2739. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Whether circulating polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels are associated with pancreatic cancer risk is uncertain. Mendelian randomization (MR) represents a study design using genetic instruments to better characterize the relationship between exposure and outcome.

Methods: We utilized data from genome-wide association studies within the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium and Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium, involving approximately 9,269 cases and 12,530 controls of European descent, to evaluate associations between pancreatic cancer risk and genetically predicted plasma n-6 PUFA levels. Conventional MR analyses were performed using individual-level and summary-level data.

Results: Using genetic instruments, we did not find evidence of associations between genetically predicted plasma n-6 PUFA levels and pancreatic cancer risk [estimates per one SD increase in each PUFA-specific weighted genetic score using summary statistics: linoleic acid odds ratio (OR) = 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.98-1.02; arachidonic acid OR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.99-1.01; and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.87-1.02]. The OR estimates remained virtually unchanged after adjustment for covariates, using individual-level data or summary statistics, or stratification by age and sex.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that variations of genetically determined plasma n-6 PUFA levels are not associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

Impact: These results suggest that modifying n-6 PUFA levels through food sources or supplementation may not influence risk of pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0651DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710600PMC
December 2020
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