Real-World Analyses of BRAF Alterations in Patients With Non-Colorectal Gastrointestinal Cancers

ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium 2024 Presentation
Authors Amit Mahipal, Zhaohui Jin, Emily A. Teslow, Ellen Jaeger, Melissa C. Stoppler, and Sakti Chakrabarti

Background: BRAF V600E mutations are present in 5-10% of patients with advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) and associated with poor prognosis. Recently, there was tumor agnostic FDA approval of dabrafenib + trametinib for BRAF V600E mutated solid tumors. However, the frequency of BRAF alterations (BRAF alt), especially non-V600E, in other gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are not well described. This study characterizes BRAF alt in CRC vs other GI cancers (non-CRC).

Methods: De-identified records from 51,560 patients diagnosed with GI cancers were retrospectively analyzed from the Tempus database. The molecular landscape including presence of pathogenic/likely pathogenic BRAF alt was evaluated by panel-based tissue DNA, RNA or ctDNA NGS sequencing (Tempus Labs, Inc.). The frequency of BRAF alt, co-mutations, MSI, TMB and MMR were compared between CRC and (non-CRC) by Chi-quared/Fisher’s Exact or Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. False-discovery rate correction was used for multiple testing.

Results: BRAF alt were identified in 8.9% of CRC and 2.2% of non-CRC cohort. BRAF alt frequency varied by tumor type with the highest observed in colon (11%), jejunum (9.6%), intrahepatic bile duct (5.3%), rectal (4.5%), and ampulla of vater (4.5%) and lower in esophageal (0.9%) and gastric (1.6%). BRAF alt CRC had higher frequency of females (57% vs 45%, p <0.001) and older age at diagnosis (67 vs 66 yrs, p=0.029) compared to non-CRC group. Race was also significantly different, with white patients being more predominant in both groups (85% CRC ,77% non-CRC). Among the BRAF alt, fusions (12% vs 2.2%, p <0.001) and amplifications (3.1% vs 0.3%, p<0.001) were higher in non-CRC vs CRC (Table 1). BRAF V600E was most common in all GI tumors, but higher in CRC vs non-CRC (75% vs 27%, q<0.001). Mutations higher in non-CRC vs CRC (q<0.009) included class II (G469A, K601E, BRAF-SND1, and BRAF amplification) and class III (D594N & N581S) BRAF alt. BRAF co-occurring mutations in CRC were TP53 (70%), APC (42%), RNF43 (30%), SMAD4 (22%), and PIK3CA (21%), and in non-CRC: TP53 (52%), CDKN2A (32%), CDKN2B (20%) SMAD4 (17%) and MTAP (16%). Among tissue samples, MSI-H (30% vs 4.%, p <0.001) and TMB-H ≥10 mut/MB (32% vs 6.7%, p <0.001) were more frequent in BRAF alt CRC vs non-CRC.

Conclusion: Meaningful differences were found between the groups in terms of demographics, frequency, and type of BRAF alt and co-occurring mutations. In particular, certain BRAF fusions were present in a higher proportion of other GI cancers and could be an important therapeutic target for this patient population.