Multiomic Characterization Reveals a Distinct Molecular Landscape in Young-Onset Pancreatic Cancer



Using a real-world database with matched genomic-transcriptomic molecular data, we sought to characterize the distinct molecular correlates underlying clinical differences between patients with young-onset pancreatic cancer (YOPC; younger than 50 years) and patients with average-onset pancreatic cancer (AOPC; 70 years and older).


We analyzed matched whole-transcriptome and DNA sequencing data from 2,430 patient samples (YOPC, n 5 292; AOPC, n 5 2,138) from the Caris Life Sciences database (Phoenix, AZ). Immune deconvolution was performed using the quanTIseq pipeline. Overall survival (OS) data were obtained from insurance claims (n 5 4,928); Kaplan-Meier estimates were calculated for age- and molecularly defined cohorts. Significance was determined as FDR-corrected P values (Q) < .05.


Patients with YOPC had higher proportions of mismatch repair–deficient/microsatellite instability-high, BRCA2-mutant, and PALB2-mutant tumors compared with patients with AOPC, but fewer SMAD4-, RNF43-, CDKN2A-, and SF3B1- mutant tumors. Notably, patients with YOPC demonstrated significantly lower incidence of KRAS mutations compared with patients with AOPC (81.3% v 90.9%; Q 5 .004). In the KRAS wild-type subset (n 5 227), YOPC tumors demonstrated fewer TP53 mutations and were more likely driven by NRG1 and MET fusions, whereas BRAF fusions were exclusively observed in patients with AOPC. Immune deconvolution revealed significant enrichment of natural killer cells, CD81 T cells, monocytes, and M2 macrophages in patients with YOPC relative to patients with AOPC, which corresponded with lower rates of HLA-DPA1 homozygosity. There was an association with improved OS in patients with YOPC compared with patients with AOPC with KRAS wild-type tumors (median, 16.2 [YOPC-KRASWT] v 10.6 [AOPC-KRASWT] months; P 5 .008) but not KRAS-mutant tumors (P 5 .084).


In this large, real-world multiomic characterization of age-stratified molecular differences in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, YOPC is associated with a distinct molecular landscape that has prognostic and therapeutic implications.

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