Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is associated with an extremely poor prognosis. This study assessed the genetic diversity among patients with PDA and compared their mutational profiles before and after treatment.
Tumors and matched blood samples were obtained from 22 PDA patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy. The somatic mutations were analyzed with comprehensive cancer gene panel (CCP). In addition, the biopsy samples obtained at diagnosis and the surgically resected samples after treatment were compared for seven patients. The CCP provided formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sample-compatible multiplexed target selection for 409 genes implicated in cancer.
Assessments of the MLH1, MLH3, MSH2, and PMS2 genes showed that the four patients with the highest relative burdens of mutations harbored somatic mutations in at least three of these genes. Genes in the histone-lysine N-methyltransferase 2 (KMT2) family, such as KMT2D, KMT2A, and KMT2C, were frequently mutated in tumor samples. Survival was worse in patients with ARID1A gene mutations than those without ARID1A gene mutations. Mutation patterns were compared between tissue samples before and after neoadjuvant treatment in seven patients who underwent surgical resection. The allelic fraction of mutations in KRAS codon 12 was lower in the surgically resected samples than in the endoscopic ultrasonography-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy samples of six patients. The number of mutant alleles of the histone lysine methyltransferase gene WHSC1 also decreased after treatment.
These results indicate that tumor tissue from PDA patients is genetically diverse and suggest that ARID1A mutations may be a potential prognostic marker for PDA.