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In Cancer cell international

BACKGROUND : The incidence of multiple primary malignant tumors (MPMTs) is rising due to the development of screening technologies, significant treatment advances and increased aging of the population. For patients with a prior cancer history, identifying the tumor origin of the second malignant lesion has important prognostic and therapeutic implications and still represents a difficult problem in clinical practice.

METHODS : In this study, we evaluated the performance of a 90-gene expression assay and explored its potential diagnostic utility for MPMTs across a broad spectrum of tumor types. Thirty-five MPMT patients from Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University and Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center were enrolled; 73 MPMT specimens met all quality control criteria and were analyzed by the 90-gene expression assay.

RESULTS : For each clinical specimen, the tumor type predicted by the 90-gene expression assay was compared with its pathological diagnosis, with an overall accuracy of 93.2% (68 of 73, 95% confidence interval 0.84-0.97). For histopathological subgroup analysis, the 90-gene expression assay achieved an overall accuracy of 95.0% (38 of 40; 95% CI 0.82-0.99) for well-moderately differentiated tumors and 92.0% (23 of 25; 95% CI 0.82-0.99) for poorly or undifferentiated tumors, with no statistically significant difference (p-value > 0.5). For squamous cell carcinoma specimens, the overall accuracy of gene expression assay also reached 87.5% (7 of 8; 95% CI 0.47-0.99) for identifying the tumor origins.

CONCLUSIONS : The 90-gene expression assay provides flexibility and accuracy in identifying the tumor origin of MPMTs. Future incorporation of the 90-gene expression assay in pathological diagnosis will assist oncologists in applying precise treatments, leading to improved care and outcomes for MPMT patients.

Zheng Yu, Sun Yifeng, Kuai Yue, Fu Guoxiang, An Huimin, Chen Jinyun, Chen Jinying, Zhu Jiajun, Wo Yixin, Wu Yiwang, Song Kaibin, Xu Qinghua, Wu Di, Huang Deshuang, Wang Qifeng, Pan Hongming


90-gene expression assay, Gene expression profiling, Multiple primary malignant tumors, Tissue of origin, qRT-PCR