Research Papers:

Molecular inimitability amongst tumors: implications for precision cancer medicine in the age of personalized oncology

Sandip Pravin Patel _, Maria Schwaederle, Gregory A. Daniels, Paul T. Fanta, Richard B. Schwab, Kelly A. Shimabukuro, Santosh Kesari, David E. Piccioni, Lyudmila A. Bazhenova, Teresa L. Helsten, Scott M. Lippman, Barbara A. Parker and Razelle Kurzrock

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:32602-32609. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5289

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Sandip P. Patel1, Maria Schwaederle1, Gregory A. Daniels1, Paul T. Fanta1, Richard B. Schwab1, Kelly A. Shimabukuro1, Santosh Kesari1, David E. Piccioni1, Lyudmila A. Bazhenova1, Teresa L. Helsten1, Scott M. Lippman1, Barbara A. Parker1, Razelle Kurzrock1

1Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA, USA

Correspondence to:

Sandip Pravin Patel, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: personalized medicine, genomics, cancer, next-generation sequencing, clinical trials

Received: July 08, 2015     Accepted: September 04, 2015     Published: September 16, 2015


Tumor sequencing has revolutionized oncology, allowing for detailed interrogation of the molecular underpinnings of cancer at an individual level. With this additional insight, it is increasingly apparent that not only do tumors vary within a sample (tumor heterogeneity), but also that each patient’s individual tumor is a constellation of unique molecular aberrations that will require an equally unique personalized therapeutic regimen. We report here the results of 439 patients who underwent Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA)-certified next generation sequencing (NGS) across histologies. Among these patients, 98.4% had a unique molecular profile, and aside from three primary brain tumor patients with a single genetic lesion (IDH1 R132H), no two patients within a given histology were molecularly identical. Additionally, two sets of patients had identical profiles consisting of two mutations in common and no other anomalies. However, these profiles did not segregate by histology (lung adenocarcinoma-appendiceal cancer (KRAS G12D and GNAS R201C), and lung adenocarcinoma-liposarcoma (CDK4 and MDM2 amplification pairs)). These findings suggest that most advanced tumors are molecular singletons within and between histologies, and that tumors that differ in histology may still nonetheless exhibit identical molecular portraits, albeit rarely.

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