Addition of Germline Testing to Tumor-Only Sequencing Improves Detection of Pathogenic Germline Variants in Men With Advanced Prostate Cancer.

Guidelines recommend somatic and germline testing for men with advanced prostate cancer (PCa). Barriers to widespread implementation result in underutilization of germline testing. Somatic testing alone risks missing pathogenic germline variants (PGVs). We sought to determine whether the addition of germline testing to tumor-only sequencing improves detection of PGVs in men with advanced PCa. Secondarily, we sought to define the added value of combining somatic and germline testing to optimize detection of clinically actionable alterations.

We analyzed results of independent germline testing and tumor-only sequencing from 100 men with advanced PCa from a prospective clinical trial ( identifier: NCT03328091). The primary outcome was the proportion of PGVs not reported with tumor-only sequencing. The secondary outcome was the association of locus-specific loss of heterozygosity for PGVs in homologous recombination genes with clinical-genomic features.

In the 100 men who underwent germline testing and tumor-only sequencing, 24 PGVs were identified, 17 of which were clinically actionable, in 23 patients. Tumor-only sequencing failed to report four (17%) of the PGVs. One additional PGV (4.2%) had variant allele frequency on tumor-sequencing below the threshold for follow-up germline testing. When integrating tumor-only sequencing with germling testing results, 33% of patients harbored clinically actionable alterations. Rates of locus-specific loss of heterozygosity were higher for BRCA2 PGVs in castration-resistant PCa than PGVs in other homologous recombination genes in hormone-sensitive PCa (P = .029).

Tumor-only sequencing failed to report more than 20% of PGVs in men with advanced PCa. These findings strongly support guideline recommendations for universal germline and somatic testing in this population. Combining tumor and germline sequencing doubled the chance of detecting a clinically actionable alteration.

JCO precision oncology. 2022 Aug [Epub]

Jacob E Berchuck, Daniel Boiarsky, Rebecca Silver, Rajitha Sunkara, Heather M McClure, Harrison K Tsai, Stephanie Siegmund, Alok K Tewari, Jonathan A Nowak, Neal I Lindeman, Huma Q Rana, Atish D Choudhury, Mark M Pomerantz, Matthew L Freedman, Eliezer M Van Allen, Mary-Ellen Taplin

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA., Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA., Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.

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