PURPOSE Cisplatin is the main systemic treatment modality for male type II germ cell tumors (GCTs). Although generally very effective, 5%-10% of patients suffer from cisplatin-resistant disease. Identification of the driving mechanisms of resistance will enable improved risk stratification and development of alternative treatments. METHODS We developed and characterized cisplatin-resistant GCT cell line models and compared their molecular characteristics with patient samples with cisplatin resistance and/or a poor clinical outcome. Subsequently, the association between the overlapping genetic features and clinical data was assessed. Finally, we used Cox regression to determine the prognostic relevance of these features within the currently used risk classification. RESULTS Gain of chromosome 3p25.3 was detected in all cisplatin-resistant cell lines, and copy number of this region correlated with the level of resistance (R = 0.96, P = 1.5e-04). Gain of this region was detected at low frequencies in primary tumors and at higher frequencies in relapsed and/or cisplatin-resistant tumors. Chromosome 3p25.3 gain was associated with shorter progression-free survival and overall survival, with the strongest association observed in nonseminomas excluding pure teratomas. 3p25.3 gain was more frequently observed in tumors with yolk sac tumor histology and predicted adverse outcome independent of the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group risk classification and the presence of TP53/MDM2 alterations. CONCLUSION On the basis of both in vitro analyses and clinical data, we found 3p25.3 to be strongly associated with cisplatin resistance and poor clinical outcome in male type II GCTs. Using genomic profiling, 3p25.3 status could help to improve risk stratification in male patients with type II GCT. Further characterization of this locus and underlying mechanisms of resistance is warranted to guide development of novel treatment approaches for cisplatin-resistant disease.
Supported by the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology and the ´
Bergh in het Zadel Foundation.
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