Background: The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of alterations in BRAF and other RAS/RAF genes, as well as other targetable pathways in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). Patients and Methods: Pathology specimens were available for 2 cohorts: (1) patients with MPNST at Swedish Cancer Institute (n=17) from 2004 through 2016, and (2) patients with MPNST evaluated for >300 genomic alterations at Foundation Medicine from 2014 through 2016 (n=186; including 2 Swedish patients with BRAF-mutated MPNST). Results: Of 201 MPNSTs, 13 (6.5%) demonstrated BRAF alterations. In the Foundation Medicine cohort, 10 of 84 tumors (11.9%) with no NF1 alterations had BRAF mutations (5 were V600E, 5 other), as did 3 of 102 (2.9%) tumors with NF1 alterations (1 V600E, 2 other). In the Foundation Medicine cohort, 47% of patients had an alteration in at least one other gene in the RAS/RAF pathway (not including NF1 or BRAF); 46% had alterations in the PI3 pathway, with 70% having alterations in at least 1 of the 2 pathways; 57% had a CDKN2A alteration (80% in BRAF-mutated and 71% in NF1-altered patients); and 70% had an alteration in DNA repair genes. MPNST, both NF1 wild-type and NF1-mutated, often harbor alterations in the RAS/RAF pathway as well as changes related to DNA repair and CDKN2A/B. V600E and other mutations occur in BRAF, suggesting the need for second-generation activating BRAF inhibitors. The concurrence of BRAF and/or NF1 alterations with CDKN2A/B mutations, in particular, may be significant in the transformation of neurologic tumors from benign to malignant. Conclusions: All MPNSTs would benefit from a comprehensive genomic analysis. Treatments targeted to RAS/RAF, DNA repair, and CDKN2A/B pathways should be used and/or developed to treat this uncommon tumor.
Author contributions:Study concept and design: Kaplan, Ali, Millis. Development and methodology: Kaplan, Millis, Rostad. Data analysis and interpretation: Millis. Manuscript preparation: All authors. Critical revision: All authors.
Correspondence: Henry G. Kaplan, MD, Swedish Cancer Institute, 1221 Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98104. Email: Hank.firstname.lastname@example.org