Evolution of Genomic and T-cell Repertoire Heterogeneity of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Under Dasatinib Treatment

Clinical Cancer Research 2020 August 14 [Link]

Runzhe Chen, Won-Chul Lee, Junya Fujimoto, Jun Li, Xin Hu, Reza Mehran, David Rice, Stephen G Swisher, Boris Sepesi, Hai T Tran, Chi-Wan Chow, Latasha D Little, Curtis Gumbs, Cara Haymaker, John V Heymach, Ignacio I Wistuba, J Jack Lee, P Andrew Futreal, Jianhua Zhang, Alexandre Reuben, Anne S Tsao, Jianjun Zhang


Purpose: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is considered an orphan disease with few treatment options. Despite multimodality therapy, the majority of MPMs recur and eventually become refractory to any systemic treatment. One potential mechanism underlying therapeutic resistance may be intratumor heterogeneity (ITH), making MPM challenging to eradicate. However, the ITH architecture of MPM and its clinical impact have not been well studied.

Experimental design: We delineated the immunogenomic ITH by multiregion whole-exome sequencing and T-cell receptor (TCR) sequencing of 69 longitudinal MPM specimens from nine patients with resectable MPM, who were treated with dasatinib.

Results: The median total mutation burden before dasatinib treatment was 0.65/Mb, similar with that of post-dasatinib treatment (0.62/Mb). The median proportion of mutations shared by any given pair of two tumor regions within the same tumors was 80% prior to and 83% post-dasatinib treatment indicating a relatively homogenous genomic landscape. T-cell clonality, a parameter indicating T-cell expansion and reactivity, was significantly increased in tumors after dasatinib treatment. Furthermore, on average, 82% of T-cell clones were restricted to individual tumor regions, with merely 6% of T-cell clones shared by all regions from the same tumors indicating profound TCR heterogeneity. Interestingly, patients with higher T-cell clonality and higher portion of T cells present across all tumor regions in post-dasatinib-treated tumors had significantly longer survival.

Conclusions: Despite the homogeneous genomic landscape, the TCR repertoire is extremely heterogeneous in MPM. Dasatinib may potentially induce T-cell response leading to improved survival.