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PLoS One. 2016 Apr 22;11(4):e0154133. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154133. eCollection 2016.

Pilot Study of a Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Targeted Anticancer Therapy in Refractory Solid Tumors at a Korean Institution.

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Department of Pharmacology and Brain Korea 21 Plus Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Division of Medical Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam, Korea.
Severance Biomedical Science Institute and Brain Korea 21 Plus Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Biomedical Science, College of Life Science, CHA University, Seongnam, Korea.


We evaluated the preliminary efficacy and feasibility of a next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based targeted anticancer therapy in refractory solid tumors at a Korean institution. Thirty-six patients with advanced cancer underwent molecular profiling with NGS with the intent of clinical application of available matched targeted agents. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumors were sequenced using the Comprehensive Cancer Panel (CCP) or FoundationOne in the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified laboratory in the USA. Response evaluations were performed according to RECIST v1.1. Four specimens did not pass the DNA quality test and 32 specimens were successfully sequenced with CCP (n = 31) and FoundationOne (n = 1). Of the 32 sequenced patients, 10 (31.3%) were ≤40 years. Twelve patients (37.5%) had received ≥3 types of prior systemic therapies. Of 24 patients with actionable mutations, five were given genotype-matched drugs corresponding to actionable mutations: everolimus to PIK3CA mutation in parotid carcinosarcoma (partial response) and tracheal squamous cell carcinoma (stable disease; 21% reduction), sorafenib to PDGFRA mutation in auditory canal adenocarcinoma (partial response), sorafenib to BRAF mutation in microcytic adnexal carcinoma (progressive disease), and afatinib to ERBB2 mutation in esophageal adenocarcinoma (progressive disease). Nineteen of 24 patients with actionable mutations could not undergo targeted therapy based on genomic testing because of declining performance status (10/24, 41.7%), stable disease with previous treatment (5/24, 20.8%), and lack of access to targeted medication (4/24, 16.7%). NGS-based targeted therapy may be a good option in selected patients with refractory solid tumors. To pursue this strategy in Korea, lack of access to clinical-grade NGS assays and a limited number of genotype-matched targeted medications needs to be addressed and resolved.

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