Assessment of copy number in protooncogenes are predictive of poor survival in advanced gastric cancer

Meihui Li, Younghoon Kim, Tae Shin Kim, Nam Yun Cho, Jeong Mo Bae, Woo Ho Kim, Gyeong Hoon Kang

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The copy number (CN) gain of protooncogenes is a frequent finding in gastric carcinoma (GC), but its prognostic implication remains elusive. The study aimed to characterize the clinicopathological features, including prognosis, of GCs with copy number gains in multiple protooncogenes. Three hundred thirty-three patients with advanced GC were analyzed for their gene ratios in EGFR, GATA6, IGF2, and SETDB1 using droplet dPCR (ddPCR) for an accurate assessment of CN changes in target genes. The number of GC patients with 3 or more genes with CN gain was 16 (4.8%). Compared with the GCs with 2 or less genes with CN gain, the GCs with 3 or more CN gains displayed more frequent venous invasion, a lower density of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, and lower methylation levels of L1 or SAT-alpha. Microsatellite instability-high tumors or Epstein–Barr virus-positive tumors were not found in the GCs with 3 or more genes with CN gain. Patients of this groups also showed the worst clinical outcomes for both overall survival and recurrence-free survival, which was persistent in the multivariate survival analyses. Our findings suggest that the ddPCR-based detection of multiple CN gain of protooncogenes might help to identify a subset of patients with poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12117
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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