Comprehensive Molecular Characterization of Soft Tissue Sarcoma for Prediction of Pazopanib-Based Treatment Response

Cancer Res Treat. 2022 Sep 27. doi: 10.4143/crt.2022.251. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Even though pazopanib, a multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has been approved for refractory soft tissue sarcoma (STS), little is known about the molecular determinants of the response to pazopanib. We performed integrative molecular characterization to identify potential predictors of pazopanib efficacy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We obtained fresh pre-treatment tumor tissue from 35 patients with advanced STS receiving pazopanib-based treatment. Among those, 18 (51.4%) received pazopanib monotherapy, and the remaining 17 (48.6%) received pazopanib in combination with durvalumab, PD-L1 blockade. Whole-exome and transcriptome sequencing were performed for each tumor and patient germline DNA.

RESULTS: Of the 35 patients receiving pazopanib-based treatment, 9 achieved a partial response (PR), resulting in an objective response rate (ORR) of 27.3%, and the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 6.0 months. Patients with CDK4 amplification (copy ratio tumor to normal > 2) exhibited shorter PFS (3.7 vs 7.9 months, p=2.09 x10-4) and a poorer response (ORR; 0% vs 33.3%) compared to those without a gene amplification (copy ratio ≤ 2). Moreover, non-responders demonstrated transcriptional activation of CDK4 via DNA amplification, resulting in cell cycle activation. In the durvalumab combination cohort, 7 (41.2%) of the 17 patients achieved a PR, and gene expression analysis revealed that durvalumab responders exhibited high immune/stromal cell infiltration, mainly comprising NK cells, compared to non-responders as well as increased expression of CD19, a B cell marker.

CONCLUSION: Despite the limitation of heterogeneity in the study population and treatment, we identified possible molecular predictors of pazopanib efficacy that can be employed in future clinical trials aimed at evaluating therapeutic strategies.

PMID:36164943 | DOI:10.4143/crt.2022.251


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