Collision tumors revealed by prospectively assessing subtype-defining molecular alterations in 904 individual prostate cancer foci

Jacqueline Fontugne, Peter Y. Cai, Hussein Alnajar, Bhavneet Bhinder, Kyung Park, Huihui Ye, Shaham Beg, Verena Sailer, Javed Siddiqui, Mirjam Blattner-Johnson, Jaclyn A. Croyle, Zohal Noorzad, Carla Calagua, Theresa Y. MacDonald, Ulrika Axcrona, Mari Bogaard, Karol Axcrona, Douglas S. Scherr, Martin G. Sanda, Bjarne JohannessenArul M. Chinnaiyan, Olivier Elemento, Rolf I. Skotheim, Mark A. Rubin, Christopher E. Barbieri, Juan Miguel Mosquera

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. Prostate cancer is multifocal with distinct molecular subtypes. The utility of genomic subtyping has been challenged due to inter- and intrafocal heterogeneity. We sought to characterize the subtype-defining molecular alterations of primary prostate cancer across all tumor foci within radical prostatectomy (RP) specimens and determine the prevalence of collision tumors. METHODS. From the Early Detection Research Network cohort, we identified 333 prospectively collected RPs from 2010 to 2014 and assessed ETS-related gene (ERG), serine peptidase inhibitor Kazal type 1 (SPINK1), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), and speckle type BTB/POZ protein (SPOP) molecular status. We utilized dual ERG/SPINK1 immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization to confirm ERG rearrangements and characterize PTEN deletion, as well as high-resolution melting curve analysis and Sanger sequencing to determine SPOP mutation status. RESULTS. Based on index focus alone, ERG, SPINK1, PTEN, and SPOP alterations were identified in 47.5%, 10.8%, 14.3%, and 5.1% of RP specimens, respectively. In 233 multifocal RPs with ERG/ SPINK1 status in all foci, 139 (59.7%) had discordant molecular alterations between foci. Collision tumors, as defined by discrepant ERG/SPINK1 status within a single focus, were identified in 29 (9.4%) RP specimens. CONCLUSION. Interfocal molecular heterogeneity was identified in about 60% of multifocal RP specimens, and collision tumors were present in about 10%. We present this phenomenon as a model for the intrafocal heterogeneity observed in previous studies and propose that future genomic studies screen for collision tumors to better characterize molecular heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA17
JournalJCI insight
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22.02.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)
  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)


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