Purpose: Recent sequencing studies revealed that a subset of colorectal cancer harbors a significantly higher number of somatic mutations. These hypermutated tumors show distinct clinicopathologic features. However, the prognostic impact of the hypermutated tumors is not clearly established. Experimental Design: We analyzed tumor mutation burden (TMB) from targeted next-generation sequencing data of 40 major genes in 516 patients with colorectal cancer. TMB was defined as total number of nonsynonymous mutations per tumor. Cutoff value for TMB-high was chosen by which best discriminated relapse-free survival (RFS) using the Contal and O'Quigley method. Results: In the TCGA data, mutation count of the selected 40 genes reflected the whole exome mutation burden (Pearson correlation ¼ 0.873, P < 0.001). In our patient cohort, 8 or more mutations in the 40 genes was defined as TMB-high, which best discriminated RFS. A total of 55 patients (10.7%) had TMB-high. TMB-high tumors were more frequently found in a proximal location (63.6%) and had a higher proportion of N0 disease (30.9%) and MSI-H (49.1%) compared with TMB-low. Most importantly, TMB-high was associated with better 5-year RFS compared with TMB-low (96.3% vs. 79.8%, P ¼ 0.005). Although there was significant overlap between TMB-high and MSI-H, MSI-H status was not significantly associated with RFS. Multivariate analysis revealed TMB-high as an independent positive prognostic factor for RFS [adjusted HR, 0.16 (95% confidence interval, 0.04-0.66), P ¼ 0.011]. Conclusions: TMB-high is associated with better prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer treated with curative surgery followed by adjuvant fluoropyrimidine and oxaliplatin chemotherapy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) Research Fund (03-2014-0440) and a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant Nos.: HI14C1277 and HI13C2163).
© 2019 American Association for Cancer Research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research