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Prevalence of mutations in common tumour types in Northern England and comparable utility of national and international Trial Finders

Lookup NU author(s): Sarah Rae, Dr Linda Hogarth, Alison Bridgewood, Lisa Brown-Schofield, Dr Saira Bashir, Professor Ruth Plummer, Professor Alastair GreystokeORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023, The Author(s).Purpose: Tumour genomic profiling is of increasing importance in early phase trials to match patients to targeted therapeutics. Mutations vary by demographic group; however, regional differences are not characterised. This was investigated by comparing mutation prevalence for common cancers presenting to Newcastle Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and utility of trial matching modalities. Methods: Detailed clinicogenomic data were obtained for patients presenting September 2017–December 2020. Prevalence of mutations in lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer was compared to TCGA GDC Data Portal. Experimental Cancer (EC) Trial Finder utility in matching trials was compared to a Molecular Tumour Board (MTB) and commercial sequencing reports. Results: Of 311 patients with advanced cancer, this consisted of lung (n = 131, 42.1%), colorectal (n = 44, 14.1%), breast (n = 36, 11.6%) and prostate (n = 18, 5.6%). More than one mutation was identified in the majority (n = 260, 84%). Significant prevalence differences compared to TCGA were identified, including a high prevalence of EGFR in lung (P = 0.001); RB1 in breast (P = 0.0002); and multiple mutations in prostate cancer. EC Trial Finder demonstrated significantly different utility than sequencing reports in identifying trials (P = 0.007). Conclusions: Regional differences in mutations may exist with advanced stage accounting for prevalence of specific mutations. A national Trial Finder shows utility in finding targeted trials whilst commercial sequencing reports may over-report ‘actionable’ mutations. Understanding local prevalence and trial availability could increase enrolment onto matched early phase trials.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rae S, Plummer E, Fitzgerald L, Hogarth L, Bridgewood A, Brown-Schofield L, Graham J, Haigh S, McAnulty C, Drew Y, Haris N, Bashir S, Plummer R, Greystoke A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

Year: 2023

Volume: 149

Pages: 16355–16363

Online publication date: 13/09/2023

Acceptance date: 28/08/2023

Date deposited: 05/10/2023

ISSN (print): 0171-5216

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1335

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH


DOI: 10.1007/s00432-023-05365-y

PubMed id: 37702806


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Funder referenceFunder name
Cancer Research UK
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust