We used whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing to identify clinically actionable genomic alterations in young adults with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Molecular characterization of 17 patients with PDAC enrolled in a precision oncology program revealed gene fusions amenable to pharmacologic inhibition by small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors in all patients with KRAS wild-type (KRASWT) tumors (4 of 17). These alterations included recurrent NRG1 rearrangements predicted to drive PDAC development through aberrant ERBB receptor-mediated signaling, and pharmacologic ERBB inhibition resulted in clinical improvement and remission of liver metastases in 2 patients with NRG1-rearranged tumors that had proved resistant to standard treatment. Our findings demonstrate that systematic screening of KRASWT tumors for oncogenic fusion genes will substantially improve the therapeutic prospects for a sizeable fraction of patients with PDAC.Significance: Advanced PDAC is a malignancy with few treatment options that lacks molecular mechanism-based therapies. Our study uncovers recurrent gene rearrangements such as NRG1 fusions as disease-driving events in KRASwt tumors, thereby providing novel insights into oncogenic signaling and new therapeutic options in this entity. Cancer Discov; 8(9); 1087-95. ©2018 AACR.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1047.
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.