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Cancer Lett. 2015 Jun 28;362(1):116-21. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2015.03.028. Epub 2015 Mar 23.

Novel ALK fusion partners in lung cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Tumor Growth Biology, N.N. Petrov Institute of Oncology, St.-Petersburg 197758, Russia; Department of Medical Genetics, St.-Petersburg Pediatric Medical University, St.-Petersburg 194100, Russia.
2
Department of Morphology, Russian Research Centre for Radiology and Surgical Technologies, St.-Petersburg 197758, Russia.
3
Department of Tumor Growth Biology, N.N. Petrov Institute of Oncology, St.-Petersburg 197758, Russia.
4
Department of Tumor Growth Biology, N.N. Petrov Institute of Oncology, St.-Petersburg 197758, Russia; Department of Medical Genetics, St.-Petersburg Pediatric Medical University, St.-Petersburg 194100, Russia; Department of Oncology, I.I. Mechnikov North-Western Medical University, St.-Petersburg 191015, Russia. Electronic address: evgeny@imyanitov.spb.ru.

Abstract

Detection of ALK rearrangements in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) presents a significant technical challenge due to the existence of multiple translocation partners and break-points. To improve the performance of PCR-based tests, we utilized the combination of 2 assays, i.e. the variant-specific PCR for the 5 most common ALK rearrangements and the test for unbalanced 5'/3'-end ALK expression. Overall, convincing evidence for the presence of ALK translocation was obtained for 34/400 (8.5%) cases, including 14 EML4ex13/ALKex20, 12 EML4ex6/ALKex20, 3 EML4ex18/ALKex20, 2 EML4ex20/ALKex20 variants and 3 tumors with novel translocation partners. 386 (96.5%) out of 400 EGFR mutation-negative NSCLCs were concordant for both tests, being either positive (n = 26) or negative (n = 360) for ALK translocation; 49 of these samples (6 ALK+, 43 ALK-) were further evaluated by FISH, and there were no instances of disagreement. Among the 14 (3.5%) "discordant" tumors, 5 demonstrated ALK translocation by the first but not by the second PCR assay, and 9 had unbalanced ALK expression in the absence of known ALK fusion variants. 5 samples from the latter group were subjected to FISH, and the presence of translocation was confirmed in 2 cases. Next generation sequencing analysis of these 2 samples identified novel translocation partners, DCTN1 and SQSTM1; furthermore, the DCTN1/ALK fusion was also found in another NSCLC sample with unbalanced 5'/3'-end ALK expression, indicating a recurrent nature of this translocation. We conclude that the combination of 2 different PCR tests is a viable approach for the diagnostics of ALK rearrangements. Systematic typing of ALK fusions is likely to reveal new NSCLC-specific ALK partners.

KEYWORDS:

ALK; Fusion partner; Lung cancer; PCR; Rearrangement; Translocation

PMID:
25813404
DOI:
10.1016/j.canlet.2015.03.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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