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Comprehensive Molecular Characterization of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma


We report a comprehensive molecular characterization of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PCCs/PGLs), a rare tumor type. Multi-platform integration revealed that PCCs/PGLs are driven by diverse alterations affecting multiple genes and pathways. Pathogenic germline mutations occurred in eight PCC/PGL susceptibility genes. We identified CSDE1 as a somatically mutated driver gene, complementing four known drivers (HRAS, RET, EPAS1, and NF1). We also discovered fusion genes in PCCs/PGLs, involving MAML3, BRAF, NGFR, and NF1. Integrated analysis classified PCCs/PGLs into four molecularly defined groups: a kinase signaling subtype, a pseudohypoxia subtype, a Wnt-altered subtype, driven by MAML3 and CSDE1, and a cortical admixture subtype. Correlates of metastatic PCCs/PGLs included the MAML3 fusion gene. This integrated molecular characterization provides a comprehensive foundation for developing PCC/PGL precision medicine.


Fishbein L, Leshchiner I, Walter V, Danilova L, Robertson AG, Johnson AR, Lichtenberg TM, Murray BA, Ghayee HK, Else T, Ling S, Jefferys SR, de Cubas AA, Wenz B, Korpershoek E, Amelio AL, Makowski L, Rathmell WK, Gimenez-Roqueplo AP, Giordano TJ, Asa SL, Tischler AS; Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network., Pacak K, Nathanson KL, Wilkerson MD. ‚ÄúComprehensive Molecular Characterization of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma‚ÄĚ Cancer Cell Feb 13;31(2):181-193 (2017).

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