Clonal hematopoiesis (CH), as evidenced by recurrent somatic mutations in leukemia-associated genes, commonly occurs among aging human hematopoietic stem cells. We analyzed deep-coverage, targeted, next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of paired tumor and blood samples from 8,810 individuals to assess the frequency and clinical relevance of CH in patients with non-hematologic malignancies. We identified CH in 25% of cancer patients, with 4.5% harboring presumptive leukemia driver mutations (CH-PD). CH was associated with increased age, prior radiation therapy, and tobacco use. PPM1D and TP53 mutations were associated with prior exposure to chemotherapy. CH and CH-PD led to an increased incidence of subsequent hematologic cancers, and CH-PD was associated with shorter patient survival. These data suggest that CH occurs in an age-dependent manner and that specific perturbations can enhance fitness of clonal hematopoietic stem cells, which can impact outcome through progression to hematologic malignancies and through cell-non-autonomous effects on solid tumor biology.
Keywords: biological sciences; cancer; cancer genomics; diseases; genetics; health sciences; hematological cancer; hematological diseases; mutation.
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