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Oesophageal cancers are prominent worldwide; however, there are few targeted therapies and survival rates for these cancers remain dismal. Here we performed a comprehensive molecular analysis of 164 carcinomas of the oesophagus derived from Western and Eastern populations. Beyond known histopathological and epidemiologic distinctions, molecular features differentiated oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas from oesophageal adenocarcinomas. Oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas resembled squamous carcinomas of other organs more than they did oesophageal adenocarcinomas. Our analyses identified three molecular subclasses of oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas, but none showed evidence for an aetiological role of human papillomavirus. Squamous cell carcinomas showed frequent genomic amplifications of CCND1 and SOX2 and/or TP63, whereas ERBB2, VEGFA and GATA4 and GATA6 were more commonly amplified in adenocarcinomas. Oesophageal adenocarcinomas strongly resembled the chromosomally unstable variant of gastric adenocarcinoma, suggesting that these cancers could be considered a single disease entity. However, some molecular features, including DNA hypermethylation, occurred disproportionally in oesophageal adenocarcinomas. These data provide a framework to facilitate more rational categorization of these tumours and a foundation for new therapies.
The genetic mechanisms underlying the poor prognosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) are not well understood. Here, we report somatic mutations found in ESCC from sequencing 10 whole-genome and 57 whole-exome matched tumor-normal sample pairs. Among the identified genes, we characterized mutations in VANGL1 and showed that they accelerated cell growth in vitro. We also found that five other genes, including three coding genes (SHANK2, MYBL2, FADD) and two non-coding genes (miR-4707-5p, PCAT1), were involved in somatic copy-number alterations (SCNAs) or structural variants (SVs). A survival analysis based on the expression profiles of 321 individuals with ESCC indicated that these genes were significantly associated with poorer survival. Subsequently, we performed functional studies, which showed that miR-4707-5p and MYBL2 promoted proliferation and metastasis. Together, our results shed light on somatic mutations and genomic events that contribute to ESCC tumorigenesis and prognosis and might suggest therapeutic targets.
Copyright © 2016 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.