Organ preservation protocols are commonly used as first line therapy for advanced laryngeal cancer. Recurrence thereafter is associated with poor survival. The aim of this study is to identify genetic alterations associated with survival among patients with recurrent laryngeal cancer undergoing salvage laryngectomy. Sixty-two patients were sequenced using a targeted panel, of which twenty-two also underwent transcriptome sequencing. Alterations were grouped based on biologic pathways and survival outcomes were assessed using Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariate cox regression. Select pathways were evaluated against The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data. Patients with mutations in the Oxidation pathway had significantly worse five-year disease specific survival (1% vs. 76%, p = 0.02), while mutations in the HN-Immunity pathway were associated with improved five-year disease specific survival (100% vs. 62%, p = 0.02). Multivariate analysis showed mutations in the Oxidation pathway remained an independent predictor of disease specific survival (HR 3.2, 95% CI 1.1-9.2, p = 0.03). Transcriptome analysis of recurrent tumors demonstrated that alterations in the Oxidation pathway were associated a positive Ragnum hypoxia signature score, consistent with enhanced pathway activity. Further, TCGA analyses demonstrated the prognostic value of oxidation pathway alterations in previously untreated disease. Alterations in the Oxidation pathway are associated with survival among patients with recurrent laryngeal cancer. These prognostic genetic biomarkers may inform precision medicine protocols and identify putatively targetable pathways to improve survival in this cohort.
Keywords: HNSCC; Nrf2/Keap1; larynx; oxidation.