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Mutational landscape of goblet cell carcinoids and adenocarcinoma ex goblet cell carcinoids of the appendix is distinct from typical carcinoids and colorectal adenocarcinomas

Modern Pathologyvolume 31pages989996 (2018) | Download Citation


There is limited data on the spectrum of molecular alterations in goblet cell carcinoids and adenocarcinoma ex goblet cell carcinoids of the appendix. We used next generation sequencing to determine mutations of potential pathogenetic and therapeutic significance in this rare group of tumors. Adequate DNA was successfully extracted in 34/46 cases and the final group included 18 goblet cell carcinoids and 16 adenocarcinoma ex goblet cell carcinoids. Illumina TruSeq™ was used for sequencing exons of a custom 282 gene panel using an Illumina HiSeq 2000. All cases had a minimum coverage depth of at least 50 reads. After filtering through the Exome Sequencing Project, the number of mutations per case ranged from 0–9 (mean:3). The mutational burden in adenocarcinoma ex goblet cell carcinoids was significantly higher than goblet cell carcinoids (mean 5 vs. 3; p < 0.05) but the spectrum of alterations overlapped between the two groups. The most frequent mutations included ARID1A (4/34), ARID2 (4/34), CDH1 (4/34), RHPN2 (4/34), and MLL2 (3/34). Some mutations typically seen in conventional colorectal adenocarcinomas were also identified but with much lower frequency (APC :4/34; KRAS :2/34). MLL2 and KRAS mutations were only seen in adenocarcinoma ex goblet cell carcinoids and TP53 mutations were limited to poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma ex goblet cell carcinoids (2/34). Copy number changes could be evaluated in 15/34 cases and showed low copy number gains in CDKN1B (6/15) and NFKBIA (6/15), among others. The overlapping molecular alterations suggest that goblet cell carcinoids and adenocarcinoma ex goblet cell carcinoids are best considered two grades of differentiation of the same tumor rather than two distinct histological types. Mutations in TP53, CDH1 and MLL2 mutations were predominantly present in the adenocarcinoma ex goblet cell carcinoid group consistent with transformation to a higher grade lesion. The unique mutational profile also offers an explanation for the poor chemosensitivity in these tumors and highlights the need for developing new targeted therapies.

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  1. Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

    • Melanie Johncilla
    • , Matthew Stachler
    • , Neal Lindeman
    • , Robert D. Odze
    •  & Amitabh Srivastava
  2. Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

    • Joseph Misdraji
    • , Masato Yozu
    •  & Gregory Y. Lauwers
  3. Department of Pathology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, USA

    • Mikhail Lisovsky


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Amitabh Srivastava.

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