Clinicopathological characterisation of MTAP alterations in gastrointestinal cancers

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Background: Methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) is an essential metabolic enzyme in the purine and methionine salvage pathway. In cancer, MTAP gene copy number loss (MTAP loss) confers a selective dependency on the related protein arginine methyltransferase 5. The impact of MTAP alterations in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers remains unknown although hypothetically druggable. Here, we aim to investigate the prevalence, clinicopathological features and prognosis of MTAP loss GI cancers. Methods: Cases with MTAP alterations were retrieved from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and a real-world cohort of GI cancers profiled by next-generation sequencing. If MTAP alterations other than loss were found, immunohistochemistry was performed. Finally, we set a case-control study to assess MTAP loss prognostic impact. Results: Findings across the TCGA dataset (N=1363 patients) and our cohort (N=508) were consistent. Gene loss was the most common MTAP alteration (9.4%), mostly co-occurring with CDKN2A/B loss (97.7%). Biliopancreatic and gastro-oesophageal cancers had the highest prevalence of MTAP loss (20.5% and 12.7%, respectively), being mostly microsatellite stable (99.2%). In colorectal cancer, MTAP loss was rare (1.1%), while most MTAP alterations were mutations (5/7, 71.4%); among the latter, only MTAP-CDKN2B truncation led to protein loss, thus potentially actionable. MTAP loss did not confer worse prognosis. Conclusions: MTAP alterations are found in 5%-10% of GI cancers, most frequently biliopancreatic and gastro-oesophageal. MTAP loss is the most common alteration, identified almost exclusively in MSS, CDKN2A/B loss, upper-GI cancers. Other MTAP alterations were found in colorectal cancer, but unlikely to cause protein loss and drug susceptibility.




Mauri, G., Patelli, G., Roazzi, L., Valtorta, E., Amatu, A., Marrapese, G., … Siena, S. (2024). Clinicopathological characterisation of MTAP alterations in gastrointestinal cancers. Journal of Clinical Pathology.

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