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Genomic stratification and liquid biopsy in a rare adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) case, with dual lung metastases


Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare malignancy with a poor prognosis and few treatment options. Molecular characterization of this cancer remains limited. We present a case of an adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) in a 37-yr-old female, with dual lung metastases identified 1 yr following commencement of adjuvant mitotane therapy. As standard therapeutic regimens are often unsuccessful in ACC, we undertook a comprehensive genomic study into this case to identify treatment options and monitor disease progress. We performed targeted and whole-genome sequencing of germline, primary tumor, and both metastatic tumors from this patient and monitored recurrence over 2 years using liquid biopsy for ctDNA and steroid hormone measurements. Sequencing revealed the primary and metastatic tumors were hyperhaploid, with extensive loss of heterozygosity but few structural rearrangements. Loss-of-function mutations were identified in MSH2, TP53, RB1, and PTEN, resulting in tumors with mismatch repair signatures and microsatellite instability. At the cellular level, tumors were populated by mitochondria-rich oncocytes. Longitudinal ctDNA mutation and hormone profiles were unable to detect micrometastatic disease, consistent with clinical indicators of disease remission. The molecular signatures in our ACC case suggested immunotherapy in the event of disease progression; however, the patient remains free of cancer. The extensive molecular analysis presented here could be applied to other rare and/or poorly stratified cancers to identify novel or repurpose existing therapeutic options, thereby broadly improving diagnoses, treatments, and prognoses.

Type Journal
ISBN 2373-2873
Authors McCabe, M. J.; Pinese, M.; Chan, C. L.; Sheriff, N.; Thompson, T. J.; Grady, J.; Wong, M.; Gauthier, M. A.; Puttick, C.; Gayevskiy, V.; Hajdu, E.; Wong, S. Q.; Barrett, W.; Earls, P.; Lukeis, R.; Cheng, Y. Y.; Lin, R. C. Y.; Thomas, D. M.; Watkins, D. N.; Dinger, M. E.; McCormack, A. I.; Cowley, M. J.
Responsible Garvan Author (missing name)
Publisher Name Cold Spring Harbor molecular case studies
Published Date 2019-04-30
Published Volume 5
Published Issue 2
Published Pages pii: a003764
Status Always Electronic
DOI 10.1101/mcs.a003764
URL link to publisher's version