Although the BRAF V600E base substitution is an approved target for the BRAF inhibitors in melanoma, BRAF gene fusions have not been investigated as anticancer drug targets. In our study, a wide variety of tumors underwent comprehensive genomic profiling for hundreds of known cancer genes using the FoundationOne™ or FoundationOne Heme™ comprehensive genomic profiling assays. BRAF fusions involving the intact in-frame BRAF kinase domain were observed in 55 (0.3%) of 20,573 tumors, across 12 distinct tumor types, including 20 novel BRAF fusions. These comprised 29 unique 5' fusion partners, of which 31% (9) were known and 69% (20) were novel. BRAF fusions included 3% (14/531) of melanomas; 2% (15/701) of gliomas; 1.0% (3/294) of thyroid cancers; 0.3% (3/1,062) pancreatic carcinomas; 0.2% (8/4,013) nonsmall-cell lung cancers and 0.2% (4/2,154) of colorectal cancers, and were enriched in pilocytic (30%) vs. nonpilocytic gliomas (1%; p < 0.0001), Spitzoid (75%) vs. nonSpitzoid melanomas (1%; p = 0.0001), acinar (67%) vs. nonacinar pancreatic cancers (<1%; p < 0.0001) and papillary (3%) vs. nonpapillary thyroid cancers (0%; p < 0.03). Clinical responses to trametinib and sorafenib are presented. In conclusion, BRAF fusions are rare driver alterations in a wide variety of malignant neoplasms, but enriched in Spitzoid melanoma, pilocytic astrocytomas, pancreatic acinar and papillary thyroid cancers.
Keywords: BRAF fusions; NGS; Sptizoid melanoma; cancer; comprehensive genomic profiling; pancreatic acinar carcinoma; pilocytic astrocytoma; solid tumors; targeted therapy.
© 2015 The Authors. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of UICC.