Next generation sequencing identifies 'interactome' signatures in relapsed and refractory metastatic colorectal cancer

Benny Johnson, Laurence Cooke, Daruka Mahadevan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: In the management of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), KRAS, NRAS and BRAF mutational status individualizes therapeutic options and identify a cohort of patients (pts) with an aggressive clinical course. We hypothesized that relapsed and refractory mCRC pts develop unique mutational signatures that may guide therapy, predict for a response and highlight key signaling pathways important for clinical decision making. Methods: Relapsed and refractory mCRC pts (N=32) were molecularly profiled utilizing commercially available next generation sequencing (NGS) platforms. Web-based bioinformatics tools (Reactome/Enrichr) were utilized to elucidate mutational profile linked pathways-networks that have the potential to guide therapy. Results: Pts had progressed on fluoropyrimidines, oxaliplatin, irinotecan, bevacizumab, cetuximab and/or panitumumab. Most common histology was adenocarcinoma (colon N=29; rectal N=3). Of the mutations TP53 was the most common, followed by APC, KRAS, PIK3CA, BRAF, SMAD4, SPTA1, FAT1, PDGFRA, ATM, ROS1, ALK, CDKN2A, FBXW7, TGFBR2, NOTCH1 and HER3. Pts had on average had ≥5 unique mutations. The most frequent activated signaling pathways were: HER2, fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), p38 through BRAF-MEK cascade via RIT and RIN, ARMS-mediated activation of MAPK cascade, and VEGFR2. Conclusions: Dominant driver oncogene mutations do not always equate to oncogenic dependence, hence understanding pathogenic 'interactome(s)' in individual pts is key to both clinically relevant targets and in choosing the next best therapy. Mutational signatures derived from corresponding 'pathway-networks' represent a meaningful tool to (I) evaluate functional investigation in the laboratory; (II) predict response to drug therapy; and (III) guide rational drug combinations in relapsed and refractory mCRC pts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • BRAF
  • Interactome
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC)
  • Mutational signatures
  • Next generation sequencing (NGS)
  • RAS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Oncology


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