The Francis Crick Institute
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The evolution of non-small cell lung cancer metastases in TRACERx.

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-20, 14:23 authored by Maise Al Bakir, Ariana Huebner, Carlos Martínez-Ruiz, Kristiana Grigoriadis, Thomas BK Watkins, Oriol Pich, David A Moore, Selvaraju Veeriah, Sophia Ward, Joanne Laycock, Diana Johnson, Andrew Rowan, Maryam Razaq, Mita Akther, Cristina Naceur-Lombardelli, Paulina Prymas, Antonia Toncheva, Sonya Hessey, Michelle Dietzen, Emma Colliver, Alexander M Frankell, Abigail Bunkum, Emilia L Lim, Takahiro Karasaki, Christopher Abbosh, Crispin T Hiley, Mark S Hill, Daniel E Cook, Gareth A Wilson, Roberto Salgado, Emma Nye, Richard Kevin Stone, Dean A Fennell, Gillian Price, Keith M Kerr, Babu Naidu, Gary Middleton, Yvonne Summers, Colin R Lindsay, Fiona H Blackhall, Judith Cave, Kevin G Blyth, Arjun Nair, Asia Ahmed, Magali N Taylor, Alexander James Procter, Mary Falzon, David Lawrence, Neal Navani, Ricky M Thakrar, Sam M Janes, Dionysis Papadatos-Pastos, Martin D Forster, Siow Ming Lee, Tanya Ahmad, Sergio A Quezada, Karl S Peggs, Peter Van Loo, Caroline Dive, Allan Hackshaw, Nicolai J Birkbak, Simone Zaccaria, TRACERx Consortium, Mariam Jamal-Hanjani, Nicholas McGranahan, Charles Swanton
Metastatic disease is responsible for the majority of cancer-related deaths1. We report the longitudinal evolutionary analysis of 126 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumours from 421 prospectively recruited patients in TRACERx who developed metastatic disease, compared with a control cohort of 144 non-metastatic tumours. In 25% of cases, metastases diverged early, before the last clonal sweep in the primary tumour, and early divergence was enriched for patients who were smokers at the time of initial diagnosis. Simulations suggested that early metastatic divergence more frequently occurred at smaller tumour diameters (less than 8 mm). Single-region primary tumour sampling resulted in 83% of late divergence cases being misclassified as early, highlighting the importance of extensive primary tumour sampling. Polyclonal dissemination, which was associated with extrathoracic disease recurrence, was found in 32% of cases. Primary lymph node disease contributed to metastatic relapse in less than 20% of cases, representing a hallmark of metastatic potential rather than a route to subsequent recurrences/disease progression. Metastasis-seeding subclones exhibited subclonal expansions within primary tumours, probably reflecting positive selection. Our findings highlight the importance of selection in metastatic clone evolution within untreated primary tumours, the distinction between monoclonal versus polyclonal seeding in dictating site of recurrence, the limitations of current radiological screening approaches for early diverging tumours and the need to develop strategies to target metastasis-seeding subclones before relapse.


Crick (Grant ID: CC2088, Grant title: Kassiotis CC2088) Crick (Grant ID: CC1064, Grant title: STP Advanced Sequencing) Crick (Grant ID: CC1107, Grant title: STP Bioinformatics & Biostatistics) Crick (Grant ID: CC1061, Grant title: STP Experimental Histopathology) Crick (Grant ID: CC1062, Grant title: STP Flow Cytometry) Crick (Grant ID: CC1119, Grant title: STP Scientific Computing) Crick (Grant ID: CC2041, Grant title: Swanton CC2041) Crick (Grant ID: CC2008, Grant title: Van Loo CC2008) Novo Nordisk UK Research Foundation (Grant ID: NNF15OC0016584, Grant title: NovoNordisk Foundation 16584) European Research Council (Grant ID: 835297 - PROTEUS, Grant title: ERC 835297 - PROTEUS)