Novel Targetable FGFR2 and FGFR3 Alterations in Glioblastoma Associate With Aggressive Phenotype and Distinct Gene Expression Programs

Acta Neuropathologica Communications Manuscript
Authors Maria-Magdalena Georgescu, Mohammad Zahidul Islam, Yan Li, James Traylor & Anil Nanda

Prognostic molecular subgrouping of glioblastoma is an ongoing effort and the current classification includes IDH-wild-type and IDH-mutant entities, the latter showing significantly better prognosis. We performed a comparative integrated analysis of the FGFR glioblastoma subgroup consisting of 5 cases from a prospective 101-patient-cohort. FGFR alterations included FGFR2-TACC2 and FGFR2 amplifications arising in a multifocal IDH-mutant glioblastoma with unexpected 2.5-month patient survival, novel FGFR3 carboxy-terminal duplication and FGFR3-TLN1 fusion, and two previously described FGFR3-TACC3 fusions. The FGFR2 tumors showed additional mutations in SERPINE1/PAI-1 and MMP16, as part of extensive extracellular matrix remodeling programs. Whole transcriptomic analysis revealed common proliferation but distinct morphogenetic gene expression programs that correlated with tumor histology. The kinase program revealed EPHA3LTK and ALK receptor tyrosine kinase overexpression in individual FGFR tumors. Paradoxically, all FGFR-fused glioblastomas shared strong PI3K and MAPK pathway suppression effected by SPRYDUSP and AKAP12 inhibitors, whereas the FGFR2-TACC2 tumor elicited also EGFR suppression by ERRFI1 upregulation. This integrated analysis outlined the proliferation and morphogenetic expression programs in FGFR glioblastoma, and identified four novel, clinically targetable FGFR2 and FGFR3 alterations that confer aggressive phenotype and trigger canonical pathway feedback inhibition, with important therapeutic implications.