Background: We have studied the role of KRAS mutations in relation to the prognosis in patients with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). KRAS is a well-described oncogenic driver in PDAC, with mutations identified in over 90% of cases, typically involving codon 12. The three predominant missense variants include G12D, G12V and G12R. PDAC has the highest rate of G12R mutations compared to other malignancies, comprising 15-20% of KRAS-mutated tumors. This study presents a new finding in the progression of advanced PDAC utilizing a large clinical and genomic database to further characterize the clinical features of pathogenic KRAS variants in PDAC with a focus on G12R.
Methods: PDAC samples were tested using whole transcriptome sequencing (WTS; Illumina NovaSeq) and NextGen DNA sequencing (NextSeq, 592 Genes and NovaSEQ, WES) at Caris Life Sciences (Phoenix, AZ). Transcriptomic signatures including MPAS (MAPK activation score), T-cell inflamed score and tumor micro environment (TME) characterization were calculated on WTS data. Significance was determined by X2 and Fisher-Exact and p adjusted for multiple comparisons (q) was < 0.05 (Benjamini-Hochberg). Real-world overall survival (rwOS) was obtained from insurance claims data and calculated from tissue collection to last contact; time-on-treatment (TOT) was calculated from start to finish of specific treatments; comparison was done by Kaplan-Meier test.
Results: A total of 5,555 patients with PDAC harboring either KRAS G12D (n = 2,671), G12V (n = 1,871) G12R (n = 904) or G12C (n = 109) variants were identified. The patients with KRAS G12R mutant tumors had significantly longer median real-world overall survival (mRWOS) compared to G12D (452 vs 358 days, HR 0.82, CI 0.74 – 0.9, p < 0.0001). This difference persisted regardless of treatment with FOLFIRINOX or gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel. There was no difference in outcomesbetween patients with KRAS G12R, G12V or G12C. PD-L1 expression was significantly lower in G12R than in G12C or G12D (13% vs 27% vs 19%,) while the prevalence of TMB-H and dMMR was comparable across isoforms.
Conclusions: Patients with KRAS G12R variants has improved rwOS compared to G12D irrespective of the chemotherapy regimen administered. Immune profiling suggested that the immune contexture in G12R-driven tumors are distinct from G12D as reflected by reduced PDL1 staining, decreased levels of multiple checkpoint receptors. We aim to further explore the molecular basis for these differences with a focus on PI3K and MAPK pathways. Based on this data, survivorship studies in patients with advanced PDAC should consider reporting KRAS mutational status.External Link