Molecular genomic profiling of adrenocortical cancers in clinical practice.

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BACKGROUND: At presentation, 21% to 49% of patients with adrenocortical cancer have metastases. Standard chemotherapy has a 23% response rate. We assessed whether next generation sequencing could elucidate additional treatment options in refractory adrenocortical cancer.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis using a commercial, 592-gene DNA-based panel was performed of next generation sequencing data from 94 adrenocortical cancer tumors profiled for clinical care. We compared our data to the adrenocortical cancer database of The Cancer Genome Atlas containing survival data. We evaluated mutations, indels, amplifications, tumor mutation burden, microsatellite instability, and programmed death-ligand 1 protein expression.

RESULTS: Our cohort included 54 primary neoplasms and 40 metastatic lesions. The most frequently mutated genes were TP53 (36%) and CTNNB1 (19%). Low prevalence mutations were noted in 37 genes including DNA damage repair genes in 15 samples. High tumor mutation burden was seen in 3 patients, and programmed death-ligand 1 was positive in 12. Potential targets to Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs were seen in 16% of cases.

CONCLUSION: DNA sequencing panel tests may identify therapeutic options for some patients with adrenocortical cancer. TP53 and mutations were associated with an adverse outcome. An expanded repertoire of drugs and, perhaps, more expansive multi-omic sequencing are needed to advance the treatment of adrenocortical cancer.

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