Moffitt researchers analyze genomic heterogeneity in prostate cancer tumors

Dec. 21, 2020

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have conducted studies to determine if genomic heterogeneity in tumors from grade 4/5 prostate cancer patients can be exploited to identify patient subsets that are at higher risk for lethal outcomes and that may benefit from targeted treatment strategies. Their results were published in the journal European Urology, according to a press release.

Their studies focused on transcriptomic interactions between the tumor immune content score and the Decipher score, a 22-gene classifier that provides a score predicting the probability that cancer will spread. The researchers analyzed data from 8,071 prostate cancer patient samples of any disease grade (6,071 prostatectomy and 2,000 treatment naïve) in the Decipher Genomics Resource Information Database (GRID) registry. Each patient sample was also given an immune content score (ICS) that was derived using the mean expression of 264 immune cell-specific genes.

The samples were separated into four distinct immunogenomic subsets based on their results: ICS high/Decipher high, ICS low/Decipher high, ICS high/Decipher low and ICS low/Decipher low. The researchers discovered that approximately 25 percent of all grade 4/5 patient samples were in the ICS high/Decipher high subset.

The ICS high/Decipher high patient samples were further evaluated for the association between immunogenomic subtypes and radiation response signatures. They found that tumors in the  ICS high/Decipher high subset were genomically more radiosensitive, meaning these tumors would respond well to radiation therapy. This subset also had a higher abundance of T cells and monocyte/macrophages. However, the research team says further research is needed to unravel the biologic mechanisms of this association.

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