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Cell Cycle. 2015;14(8):1252-9. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2015.1014149.

Cyclin-dependent kinase pathway aberrations in diverse malignancies: clinical and molecular characteristics.

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a Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Division of Hematology and Oncology ; Department of Medicine; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center ; La Jolla , CA USA.


Aberrations in the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) pathways that regulate the cell cycle restriction point contribute to genomic instability and tumor proliferation, and can be targeted by recently developed CDK inhibitors. We therefore investigated the clinical correlates of CDK4/6 and CDKN2A/B abnormalities in diverse malignancies. Patients with various cancers who underwent molecular profiling by targeted next generation sequencing (Foundation Medicine; 182 or 236 cancer-related genes) were reviewed. Of 347 patients analyzed, 79 (22.8%) had aberrant CDK 4/6 or CDKN2A/B. Only TP53 mutations occurred more frequently than those in CDK elements. Aberrations were most frequent in glioblastomas (21/26 patients; 81%) and least frequent in colorectal cancers (0/26 patients). Aberrant CDK elements were independently associated with EGFR and ARID1A gene abnormalities (P < 0.0001 and p = 0.01; multivariate analysis). CDK aberrations were associated with poor overall survival (univariate analysis; HR[95% CI] = 2.09 [1.35-4.70]; p = 0.004). In multivariate analysis, PTEN and TP53 aberrations were independently associated with poorer survival (HR = 4.83 and 1.92; P < 0.0001 and p = 0.01); CDK aberrations showed a trend toward worse survival (HR = 1.67; p = 0.09). There was also a trend toward worse progression-free survival (PFS) with platinum-containing regimens in patients with abnormal CDK elements (3.5 versus 5.0 months, p = 0.13). In conclusion, aberrations in the CDK pathway were some of the most common in cancer and independently associated with EGFR and ARID1A alterations. Patients with abnormal CDK pathway genes showed a trend toward poorer survival, as well as worse PFS on platinum-containing regimens. Further investigation of the prognostic and predictive impact of CDK alterations across cancers is warranted.


CDK4/6; CDKN2A/B; cancer; cyclin-Dependent Kinase; next generation sequencing

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