Clinical significance of tumor mutation burden and DNA damage repair in advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer patients

Lung Cancer

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 Jul;24(14):7664-7672. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202007_22267.


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the impact of tumor mutational burden (TMB) and DNA damage repair (DDR) gene alteration on overall survival (OS) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A DNA library of cancer cells from 67 NSCLC patients in stages III-IV was constructed for next-generation sequencing (NGS). Geneseeq422 probes were used for hybridization enrichment. The target-enriched library was sequenced on HiSeqNGS platforms, and we analyzed the relevant signaling pathways. Then, we correlated the OS of the patients with TMB and DDR mutations.

RESULTS: Many significant alterations were found, including in the EGFR, p53, KRAS, RB1, ERBB2, NF1, DNMT3A, ALK, MYC, PIK3CA, ROS1, BRAF, ARID1A, PTEN, CDKN2A, and FGF19 genes. We also identified many mutations in the genes relevant to the DDR pathway. Interestingly, we found that the TMB of patients with DDR gene mutations was dramatically higher than that in the DDR wild-type (WT). Univariable analysis showed that DNMT3A, RB1, DDR pathway-related gene mutations, and TMB were critical factors for the effects on OS. Multivariable analysis confirmed that DNMT3A and mutations in the DDR pathway-related genes were important for predicting OS.

CONCLUSIONS: Multiple mutations in the genes of the DDR pathway caused higher TMB levels, which resulted in longer OS. By contrast, OS was significantly longer in patients with non-DNMT3A mutations than in those with DNMT3A variants. DNMT3A alteration in NSCLC patients led to poor outcomes.