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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Genomic signatures for predicting survival and adjuvant chemotherapy benefit in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer

Ryan K Van Laar

Author Affiliations

ChipDX LLC, PO Box 286874, New York, NY, 10128, USA

BMC Medical Genomics 2012, 5:30  doi:10.1186/1755-8794-5-30

Published: 2 July 2012

Abstract

Background

Improved methods are needed for predicting prognosis and the benefit of delivering adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods

A novel prognostic algorithm was identified using genomic profiles from 332 stage I-III adenocarcinomas and independently validated on a separate series of 264 patients with stage I-II tumors, compiled from five previous studies. The prognostic algorithm was used to interrogate genomic data from a series of patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Those genes associated with outcome in the adjuvant treatment setting, independent to prognosis were used to train an algorithm able to classify a patient as either a responder or non-responder to ACT. The performance of this signature was independently validated on a separate series of genomic profiles from patients enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of cisplatin/vinorelbine vs. observation alone (JBR.10).

Results

NSCLC patients exhibiting the high-risk, poor-prognosis form of the 160-gene prognosis signature experienced a 2.80-times higher rate of 5-year disease specific death (log rank P < 0.0001) compared to those with the low-risk, good prognosis profile, adjusted for covariates. The prognosis signature was found to especially accurate at identifying early stage patients at risk of disease specific death within 24 months of diagnosis when compared to traditional methods of outcome prediction.

Separately, NSCLC patients with the 37-gene ACT-response signature (n = 70, 64 %), benefited significantly from cisplatin/vinorelbine (adjusted HR: 0.23, P = 0.0032). For those patients predicted to be responders, receiving this form of ACT conferred a 25 % improvement in the probability of 5-year-survival, compared to observation alone and adjusted for covariates. Conversely, in those patients predicted to be non-responders, ACT was observed to offer no significant survival benefit (adjusted HR: 0.55, P = 0.32).

The two gene signatures overlap by one gene only SPSB3, which interacts with the oncogene MET. In this study, higher levels of SPSB3 which were associated with favorable prognosis and benefit from ACT.

Conclusions

These complimentary prognostic and predictive gene signatures may assist physicians in their management and treatment of patients with early stage lung cancer.