Next-Generation Rapid Autopsies Enable Tumor Evolution Tracking and Generation of Preclinical Models
Purpose/UNASSIGNED:Patients with cancer who graciously consent for autopsy represent an invaluable resource for the study of cancer biology. To advance the study of tumor evolution, metastases, and resistance to treatment, we developed a next-generation rapid autopsy program integrated within a broader precision medicine clinical trial that interrogates pre- and postmortem tissue samples for patients of all ages and cancer types. Materials and Methods/UNASSIGNED:One hundred twenty-three (22%) of 554 patients who consented to the clinical trial also consented for rapid autopsy. This report comprises the first 15 autopsies, including patients with metastatic carcinoma (n = 10), melanoma (n = 1), and glioma (n = 4). Whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed on frozen autopsy tumor samples from multiple anatomic sites and on non-neoplastic tissue. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) was performed on a subset of frozen samples. Tissue was also used for the development of preclinical models, including tumor organoids and patient-derived xenografts. Results/UNASSIGNED:in metastatic melanoma to the lung. RNA-Seq data identified novel gene fusion candidates. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:A next-generation sequencing-based autopsy program in conjunction with a pre-mortem precision medicine pipeline for diverse tumors affords a valuable window into clonal evolution, metastasis, and alterations underlying treatment. Moreover, such an autopsy program yields robust preclinical models of disease.