Correlations between pathogenic variants in DNA repair genes and anticancer treatment efficacy in stage IV non-small cell lung cancer: A large real-world cohort and review of the literature

Itamar Averbuch*, Roi Tschernichovsky, Oded Icht, Daniel A. Goldstein, Raz Mutai, Elizabeth Dudnik, Ofer Rotem, Nir Peled, Aaron M. Allen, Smadar Laufer-Geva, Yael Goldberg, Alona Zer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Mutations in genes involved in DNA damage repair (DDR), a hallmark of cancer, are associated with increased cancer cell sensitivity to certain therapies. This study sought to evaluate the association of DDR pathogenic variants with treatment efficacy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: A retrospective cohort of consecutive patients with advanced NSCLC attending a tertiary medical center who underwent next-generation sequencing in 01/2015-8/2020 were clustered according to DDR gene status and compared for overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS) (patients receiving systemic therapy), local PFS (patients receiving definitive radiotherapy), and overall survival (OS) using log-rank and Cox regression analyses. Results: Of 225 patients with a clear tumor status, 42 had a pathogenic/likely pathogenic DDR variant (pDDR), and 183 had no DDR variant (wtDDR). Overall survival was similar in the two groups (24.2 vs. 23.1 months, p = 0.63). The pDDR group had a higher median local PFS after radiotherapy (median 45 months vs. 9.9 months, respectively; p = 0.044), a higher ORR (88.9% vs. 36.2%, p = 0.04), and a longer median PFS (not reached vs. 6.0 months, p = 0.01) in patients treated with immune checkpoint blockade. There was no difference in ORR, median PFS, and median OS in patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Conclusion: Our retrospective data suggest that in patients with stage 4 NSCLC, pathogenic variants in DDR pathway genes may be associated with higher efficacy of radiotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). This should be further explored prospectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1596
Number of pages8
JournalThoracic Cancer
Volume14
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DNA damage repair mutations
  • immunotherapy
  • non-small cell lung cancer
  • platinum-based chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy

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