Age- and sex-specific genomic profiles in non-small cell lung cancer

William Mostertz, Marvaretta Stevenson, Chaitanya Acharya, Isaac Chan, Kelli Walters, Wisut Lamlertthon, William Barry, Jeffrey Crawford, Joseph Nevins, Anil Potti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Context: Gene expression profiling may be useful in examining differences underlying age- and sex-specific outcomes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Objective: To describe clinically relevant differences in the underlying biology of NSCLC based on patient age and sex. Design, Setting, and Patients: Retrospective analysis of 787 patients with predominantly early stage NSCLC performed at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, from July 2008 to June 2009. Lung tumor samples with corresponding microarray and clinical data were used. All patients were divided into subgroups based on age (<70 vs ≥70 years old) or sex. Gene expression signatures representing oncogenic pathway activation and tumor biology/microenvironment status were applied to these samples to obtain patterns of activation/deregulation. Main Outcome Measures: Patterns of oncogenic and molecular signaling pathway activation that are reproducible and correlate with 5-year recurrence-free patient survival. Results: Low- and high-risk patient clusters/cohorts were identified with the longest and shortest 5-year recurrence-free survival, respectively, within the age and sex NSCLC subgroups. These cohorts of NSCLC demonstrate similar patterns of pathway activation. In patients younger than 70 years, high-risk patients, with the shortest recurrencefree survival, demonstrated increased activation of the Src (25% vs 6%; P<.001) and tumor necrosis factor (76% vs 42%; P<.001) pathways compared with low-risk patients. High-risk patients aged 70 years or older demonstrated increased activation of the wound healing (40% vs 24%; P=.02) and invasiveness (64% vs 20%; P<.001) pathways compared with low-risk patients. In women, high-risk patients demonstrated increased activation of the invasiveness (99% vs 2%; P<.001) and STAT3 (72% vs 35%; P<.001) pathways while high-risk men demonstrated increased activation of the STAT3 (87% vs 18%; P<.001), tumor necrosis factor (90% vs 46%; P<.001), EGFR (13% vs 2%; P=.003), and wound healing (50% vs 22%; P<.001) pathways. Multivariate analyses confirmed the independent clinical relevance of the pathwaybased subphenotypes in women (hazard ratio [HR], 2.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.34-3.03; P<.001) and patients younger than 70 years (HR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.24-2.71; P=.003). All observations were reproducible in split sample analyses. Conclusions: Among a cohort of patients with NSCLC, subgroups defined by oncogenic pathway activation profiles were associated with recurrence-free survival. These findings require validation in independent patient data sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-543
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 10 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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