Gender Differences in Molecular-Guided Therapy Recommendations for Metastatic Malignant Mesothelioma

Thoracic Cancer 2020 May 21 [Link]

Hossein Taghizadeh, Sabine Zöchbauer-Müller, Robert M Mader, Leonhard Müllauer, Thomas Klikovits, Thomas Bachleitner-Hofmann, Mir A Hoda, Gerald W Prager


Background: Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer and has a poor prognosis. Here, we analyzed the feasibility, molecular and gender aspects of targeted therapy recommendations for malignant mesothelioma based on the individual molecular tumor profile.

Methods: In this single-center, real-world retrospective analysis of our platform for precision medicine, we evaluated the molecular profiling of malignant mesothelioma in 14 patients, including nine men and five women. Tumor samples of the patients were examined with a 50 gene next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel, immunohistochemistry, and fluorescence in situ hybridization, to detect possible molecular aberrations which may be targeted by off-label therapy custom-tailored to the individual patient.

Results: In total, we identified 11 mutations in six of the 14 patients, including BAP1, FANCA, NF1, NF2, PD-L1, RAD52D, SETD2, SRC, and TP53. No mutation was detected in eight of the 14 patients. Targeted therapy was recommended for 11 out of the 14 patients. All recommendations were mainly based on the molecular characteristics determined by immunohistochemistry. Targeted therapy recommendations were significantly more often for men than women due to gender-specific differences in PDGFRα expression. Eventually, four patients received the targeted therapy, of whom one patient subsequently achieved stable disease.

Conclusions: Our observations suggest that a molecular-guided treatment approach is feasible for the management of advanced malignant mesothelioma. Our analysis revealed gender specific differences in PDGFRα expression that should be further evaluated in clinical trials.