Int J Cancer 2018 01 30;142(1):66-80. Epub 2017 Sep 30.
Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Hellenic Foundation for Cancer Research/Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Genomic patterns of nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) have as yet been studied in Southeast Asian (SEA) patients. Here, we investigated genomic patterns of locally advanced NPC Southeast European (SEE) patients treated with chemoradiotherapy. We examined 126 tumors (89% EBV positive) from Greek and Romanian NPC patients with massively parallel sequencing. Paired tumor-cell-rich (TC) and infiltrating-lymphocyte-rich (TILs) samples were available in 19 and paired tumor-germline samples in 68 cases. Top mutated genes were BRCA1 (54% of all tumors); BRCA2 (29%); TP53 (22%); KRAS (18%). Based on the presence and number of mutations and mutated genes, NPC were classified as stable (no mutations, n = 27); unstable (>7 genes with multiple mutations, all BRCA1 positive, n = 21); and of intermediate stability (1-7 singly mutated genes, n = 78). BRCA1 p.Q563* was present in 59 tumors (48%), more frequently from Romanian patients (p < 0.001). No pathogenic germline mutations were identified. NPC exhibited APOBEC3A/B and nucleotide-excision-repair-related mutational signatures. As compared to TC, TILs demonstrated few shared and a higher number of low frequency private mutations (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis models for progression-free survival, EBV positivity was a favorable prognosticator in stable tumors; BRCA1 mutations were unfavorable only in tumors of intermediate stability. In conclusion, other than described for SEA NPC, somatic BRCA1 mutations were common in SEE NPC; these were shared between TC and TILs, and appeared to affect patient outcome according to tumor genomic stability status. Along with the identified mutational signatures, these novel data may be helpful for designing new treatments for locally advanced NPC.