Dynamics of Genome Alterations in Crohn's Disease-Associated Colorectal Carcinogenesis

Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Oct 15;24(20):4997-5011. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-0630. Epub 2018 Jul 2.


Purpose: Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, that is, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (CD), face an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Evidence, mainly from ulcerative colitis, suggests that TP53 mutations represent an initial step in the progression from inflamed colonic epithelium to CRC. However, the pathways involved in the evolution of CRC in patients with CD are poorly characterized.Experimental Design: Here, we analyzed 73 tissue samples from 28 patients with CD-CRC, including precursor lesions, by targeted next-generation sequencing of 563 cancer-related genes and array-based comparative genomic hybridization. The results were compared with 24 sporadic CRCs with similar histomorphology (i.e., mucinous adenocarcinomas), and to The Cancer Genome Atlas data (TCGA).Results: CD-CRCs showed somatic copy-number alterations (SCNAs) similar to sporadic CRCs with one notable exception: the gain of 5p was significantly more prevalent in CD-CRCs. CD-CRCs had a distinct mutation signature: TP53 (76% in CD-CRCs vs. 33% in sporadic mucinous CRCs), KRAS (24% vs. 50%), APC (17% vs. 75%), and SMAD3 (3% vs. 29%). TP53 mutations and SCNAs were early and frequent events in CD progression, while APC, KRAS, and SMAD2/4 mutations occurred later. In four patients with CD-CRC, at least one mutation and/or SCNAs were already present in non-dysplastic colonic mucosa, indicating occult tumor evolution.Conclusions: Molecular profiling of CD-CRCs and precursor lesions revealed an inflammation-associated landscape of genome alterations: 5p gains and TP53 mutations occurred early in tumor development. Detection of these aberrations in precursor lesions may help predicting disease progression and distinguishes CD-associated from sporadic colorectal neoplasia. Clin Cancer Res; 24(20); 4997-5011. ©2018 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / genetics*
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genomics* / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers