Diffuse pleural mesotheliomas with genomic near-haploidization: a newly recognized subset with distinct clinical, histologic, and molecular features

Clinical Cancer Research 2024 April 7 [Link]

Soo-Ryum Yang, Gowtham Jayakumaran, Jamal Benhamida, Christopher A Febres Aldana, Rachel Fanaroff, Jason Chang, Erika Gedvilaite, Liliana B Villafania, Jennifer L Sauter, Michael Offin, Marjorie G Zauderer, Marc Ladanyi


Purpose: Diffuse pleural mesotheliomas (DPMs) with genomic near-haploidization (GNH) represent a novel subtype first recognized by the TCGA project; however, its clinicopathologic and molecular features remain poorly defined.

Experimental design: We analyzed clinical genomic profiling data from 290 patients with DPM using the MSK-IMPACT assay. Allele-specific copy number analysis was performed using the FACETS algorithm.

Results: 210 patients were evaluable for LOH analysis using FACETS. In this cohort, GNH was detected in 10 cases (4.8%). Compared to non-GNH tumors, GNH DPMs were associated with younger age and less frequent self-reported history of occupational asbestos exposure. Histologically, GNH DPMs were enriched in biphasic subtype (80% vs. 14.5%) and showed abundant tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Genomic analysis revealed a higher frequency of TP53 alterations, while SETDB1 mutations were present in nearly all and only in this subset. The clinicopathologic and molecular findings were further validated in a separate cohort. Despite the younger age, patients with GNH DPMs had a shorter overall survival (10.9 vs. 25.4 months, p=0.004); the poor prognostic impact of GNH remained significant after controlling for biphasic histology. Out of three patients with GNH DPMs who received immune checkpoint blockade (ICB), two achieved a clinician assessed partial response.

Conclusions: GNH defines an aggressive subtype of mainly biphasic DPMs in younger patients with recurrent alterations in SETDB1 and TP53. The enrichment in biphasic histology and TILs, together with our preliminary ICB response data and anecdotal clinical trial data, suggests that further evaluation of immunotherapy may be warranted in this subset.