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Neuro-Oncology Advances, 1(4), 2021

DOI: 10.1093/noajnl/vdab177



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Landscape of driver gene events, biomarkers, and druggable targets identified by whole-genome sequencing of glioblastomas

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Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Abstract Background The survival of glioblastoma patients is poor. Median survival after diagnosis is 15 months, despite treatment involving surgical resection, radiotherapy, and/or temozolomide chemotherapy. Identification of novel targets and stratification strategies of glioblastoma patients to improve patient survival is urgently needed. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is the most comprehensive means to identify such DNA-level targets. We report a unique set of WGS samples along with comprehensive analyses of the glioblastoma genome and potential clinical impact of WGS. Methods Our cohort consisted of 42 glioblastoma tumor tissue and matched whole-blood samples, which were whole-genome sequenced as part of the CPCT-02 study. Somatic single-nucleotide variants, small insertions/deletions, multi-nucleotide variants, copy-number alterations (CNAs), and structural variants were analyzed. These aberrations were harnessed to investigate driver genes, enrichments in CNAs, mutational signatures, fusion genes, and potential targeted therapies. Results Tumor mutational burden (TMB) was similar to other WGS efforts (1–342 mutations per megabase pair). Mutational analysis in low TMB samples showed that the age-related CpG demethylation signature was dominant, while hyper- and ultramutated tumors had additional defective DNA mismatch repair signatures and showed microsatellite instability in their genomes. We detected chromothripsis in 24% of our cohort, recurrently on chromosomes 1 and 12. Recurrent noncoding regions only resulted in TERT promoter variants. Finally, we found biomarkers and potentially druggable changes in all but one of our tumor samples. Conclusions With high-quality WGS data and comprehensive methods, we identified the landscape of driver gene events and druggable targets in glioblastoma patients.