Background: A significant gap in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patient's care is the lack of molecular parameters characterizing tumours and allowing a personalized treatment.
Methods: Patient-derived xenografts (PDX) were obtained from 76 consecutive PDAC and classified according to their histology into five groups. A PDAC molecular gradient (PAMG) was constructed from PDX transcriptomes recapitulating the five histological groups along a continuous gradient. The prognostic and predictive value for PMAG was evaluated in: i/ two independent series (n = 598) of resected tumours; ii/ 60 advanced tumours obtained by diagnostic EUS-guided biopsy needle flushing and iii/ on 28 biopsies from mFOLFIRINOX treated metastatic tumours.
Findings: A unique transcriptomic signature (PAGM) was generated with significant and independent prognostic value. PAMG significantly improves the characterization of PDAC heterogeneity compared to non-overlapping classifications as validated in 4 independent series of tumours (e.g. 308 consecutive resected PDAC, uHR=0.321 95% CI [0.207-0.5] and 60 locally-advanced or metastatic PDAC, uHR=0.308 95% CI [0.113-0.836]). The PAMG signature is also associated with progression under mFOLFIRINOX treatment (Pearson correlation to tumour response: -0.67, p-value < 0.001).
Interpretation: PAMG unify all PDAC pre-existing classifications inducing a shift in the actual paradigm of binary classifications towards a better characterization in a gradient.
Funding: Project funding was provided by INCa (Grants number 2018-078 and 2018-079, BACAP BCB INCa_6294), Canceropole PACA, DGOS (labellisation SIRIC), Amidex Foundation, Fondation de France, INSERM and Ligue Contre le Cancer.
Keywords: Chemosensitivity prediction; Pancreatic cancer; Precision medicine; Prognostic; Transcriptomic signature; Translational medicine.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.