Novel Genomic Variants and Pathways Associated With Baseline Serum Thymidine Kinase 1 Levels in HR-Positive HER2-Negative MBC Patients Commencing Palbociclib and Letrozole

SABCS Annual Meeting 2020 Presentation
Authors Ciara C O Sullivan, Krishna R Kalari, Vera J Suman, Peter T Vedell, Ann Moyer, Abraham D Eyman Casey, Jason Sinnwell, Xiaojia Tang, Kevin Thompson, Alvaro Moreno-Aspitia, Donald W Northfelt, Minetta C Liu, Tufia C Haddad, Saranya Chumsri, Prema Peethambaram, Kathryn J Ruddy, Karthik V Giridhar, Roberto A Leon-Ferre, Adrian Nordmark, Mattias Bergqvist, Brendan P McMenomy, Richard M Weinshilboum, Liewei Wang, and Matthew P Goetz

Background: Cyclin dependent 4/6 kinase inhibitors (CDK4/6i) and endocrine therapy (ET) have improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival in hormone-receptor (HR)-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC), but progression of disease is inevitable. Serum thymidine kinase-1 (TK1) is a secreted marker of proliferation that is prognostic in patients (pts) with HR-positive, HER2-negative MBC and may be predictive of ET and CDK 4/6i response. PROMISE (NCT0281902) is a prospective study enrolling women with HR-positive MBC starting palbociclib (Pb) + letrozole (L) (1st line) or Pb + fulvestrant (2nd line). We undertook a comprehensive “omic” assessment of blood, tumor, urine and the fecal microbiome in order to identify novel genomic variants and pathways associated with an early decline in TK1 (measured after 2 months) and PFS. Additionally, patient derived xenografts/organoids were generated at baseline and progression to test new therapeutic approaches to overcome resistance to CDK4/6i and ET. We report the initial association between the baseline genomic landscape and baseline TK1 levels.

Methods: FFPE tumor biopsies were obtained for DNA/RNA sequencing (TempusTM) and blood samples for TK1 (Divitum® assay, Biovica) were collected pretreatment (pre-Pb) and after 2 cycles of Pb + ET (post-Pb2). Both whole-exome (exome capture) sequencing (WES) and RNA-Seq used the Integrated DNA Technologies xGen Exome Research Panel v1.0 capture kit. TK1+ disease was defined as > 200 Du/L and TK1- disease as below limit of detection up to 200 Du/L. We tested the association between genomic and transcriptomic characteristics with baseline TK1 data in pretreatment samples where both WES and RNA-seq and TK1 was available. The data were analyzed using bioinformatics pipelines for somatic and germline mutations and copy number alterations. The current analysis focuses on baseline 1st-line pre-Pb omics data in conjunction with baseline TK1 levels. The database was locked for analysis on 5/29/2020.

Results: Thirty-three pts (median age: 59 yrs.) were evaluable, with paired samples for TK1 in 32. Six pts had TK1+ disease pre-Pb and post-Pb2. Twenty-two pts had TK1- disease pre-Pb and post-Pb2. Four pts had a decrease in TK1 after 2 cycles of treatment that altered the classification from TK1+ to TK1-. Both baseline RNA seq and serum TK1 (n=16) were available for 4 TK1+ and 12 TK1- pts. In this group, 476 genes were differentially regulated (398 upregulated; 78 downregulated). Pathway analysis demonstrated enrichment in complement and coagulation cascade pathway, PPAR signaling pathway, and metabolism-related pathways related to up-regulation of CYP and UGT gene families. Further testing for the association of WES data with baseline TK1+ (n=8) and TK1- (n=16) disease demonstrated somatic copy number variations on chromosomes 6, 11, 12 and 15. CDK4 copy number gains were observed in 3/8 TK1+ pts and 0/16 TK1- pts. We also observed that somatic mutations (LOH, copy number and/or SNV/INDELs) were more prevalent in the TK1+ compared to the TK1- pre-Pb group in several cancer-associated genes (FAS [p=0.06] PTENPIK3CB, NAB2, SOX9 and FAT1 [p=0.08], TP53, and MAP2K4 [p=0.22]). Conversely, we also noted that 6/7 pts with GATA3 mutations had TK1- disease (p=0.23).

Conclusions: Using a comprehensive “omics” approach, our data suggest that a secreted biomarker of proliferation (TK1) obtained prior to initiating CDK4/6i and ET for the first line treatment of HR+ MBC is associated with established and novel genes and pathways associated with prognosis of pts receiving ET and CDK 4/6i. Analysis of on-treatment (after 2 cycles) tumor RNA seq and its association with change in TK1 as well as data from the 2nd-line cohort will be presented at the meeting.