Integrated genomics point to immune vulnerabilities in pleural mesothelioma

Scientific Reports 2021 September 27 [Link]

Anca Nastase, Amit Mandal, Shir Kiong Lu, Hima Anbunathan, Deborah Morris-Rosendahl, Yu Zhi Zhang, Xiao-Ming Sun, Spyridon Gennatas, Robert C Rintoul, Matthew Edwards, Alex Bowman, Tatyana Chernova, Tim Benepal, Eric Lim, Anthony Newman Taylor, Andrew G Nicholson, Sanjay Popat, Anne E Willis, Marion MacFarlane, Mark Lathrop, Anne M Bowcock, Miriam F Moffatt, William O C M Cookson


Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive malignancy with limited effective therapies. In order to identify therapeutic targets, we integrated SNP genotyping, sequencing and transcriptomics from tumours and low-passage patient-derived cells. Previously unrecognised deletions of SUFU locus (10q24.32), observed in 21% of 118 tumours, resulted in disordered expression of transcripts from Hedgehog pathways and the T-cell synapse including VISTA. Co-deletion of Interferon Type I genes and CDKN2A was present in half of tumours and was a predictor of poor survival. We also found previously unrecognised deletions in RB1 in 26% of cases and show sub-micromolar responses to downstream PLK1, CHEK1 and Aurora Kinase inhibitors in primary mesothelioma cells. Defects in Hippo pathways that included RASSF7 amplification and NF2 or LATS1/2 mutations were present in 50% of tumours and were accompanied by micromolar responses to the YAP1 inhibitor Verteporfin. Our results suggest new therapeutic avenues in mesothelioma and indicate targets and biomarkers for immunotherapy.