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Markus Eszlinger Departments of Oncology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Heritage Medical Research Building, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Halle (Saale), Halle (Saale), Germany

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Paul Stewardson Department of Medical Science and Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

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John B McIntyre Precision Oncology Hub Laboratory, Alberta Health Services, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Adrian Box Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

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Moosa Khalil Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

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Martin Hyrcza Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

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Konstantin Koro Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

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Dean Ruether Section of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

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Jiahui Wu Department of Medical Science and Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

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Ralf Paschke Departments of Medicine, Oncology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Heritage Medical Research Building, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Objective

The aim of the study was to identify patients with NTRK fusion-positive or RET fusion/mutation-positive thyroid cancers, who could benefit from neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor (NTRK) or receptor tyrosine kinase (RET) inhibitors.

Methods

Patients were identified in the Calgary prospective thyroid cancer database (N= 482). Patients were ‘pre-screened’ with clinically available MassARRAY® BRAF test, Colon Panel, Melanoma Panel, or ThyroSPEC™. Mutation-negative tumors were ‘screened’ for NTRK fusions and RET fusions/mutations with the Oncomine™ Comprehensive Assay v3 (OCAv3).

Results

A total of 86 patients were included in 1 of 2 separate analyses. Analysis A included 42 patients with radioactive iodine (RAI)-resistant distant metastases. After pre-screening, 20 BRAF and RAS mutation-negative patients underwent OCAv3 screening, resulting in the detection of 4 patients with NTRKfusions and 4 patients with RET fusions (8/20, 40% of analyzed patients). Analysis B included 44 patients, 42 with American Thyroid Association (ATA) high and intermediate risk of recurrence and 2 with medullary thyroid carcinoma. During pre-screening, 1 patient with an NTRK fusion, 1 patient with a RET fusion, and 30 patients with BRAF mutations were identified. The remaining 9 patients received OCAv3 screening, resulting in detection of 1 patient with an NTRKfusion and 1 with a RET fusion (4/11, 36% of analyzed patients).

Conclusions

Our findings indicate a higher rate of NTRK fusions and RETfusions in patients with thyroid cancer with RAI-resistant distant metastases and ATA high or intermediate risk of recurrence. This highlights the importance of early screening to enable intervention with a NTRK or RET inhibitor.

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Abdul Rehman Syed University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Aakash Gorana Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Erik Nohr Alberta Precision Laboratories, Molecular Pathology Program, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Xiaoli-Kat Yuan Precision Oncology Hub Laboratory, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Parthiv Amin MASc Department of Radiology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary Alberta, Canada

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Sana Ghaznavi Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Debbie Lamb Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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John McIntyre Precision Oncology Hub Laboratory, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Markus Eszlinger Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine, and Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Ralf Paschke Departments of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Oncology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Context

Two-thirds of metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients have radioiodine (RAI)-resistant disease, resulting in poor prognosis and high mortality. For rare NTRK and RET fusion-positive metastatic, RAI-resistant thyroid cancers, variable success of re-induction of RAI avidity during treatment with NTRK or RET inhibitors has been reported.

Case presentation and results

We report two cases with RAI-resistant lung metastases treated with larotrectinib: an 83-year-old male presenting with an ETV6::NTRK3 fusion-positive tumor with the TERT promoter mutation c.-124C>T, and a 31-year-old female presenting with a TPR::NTRK1 fusion-positive tumor (and negative for TERT promoter mutation). Post larotrectinib treatment, diagnostic I-123 whole body scan revealed unsuccessful RAI-uptake re-induction in the TERT-positive tumor, with a thyroid differentiation score (TDS) of −0.287. In contrast, the TERT-negative tumor exhibited successful I-131 reuptake with a TDS of −0.060.

Conclusion

As observed for RAI-resistance associated with concurrent TERT and BRAF mutations, the co-occurrence of TERT mutations and NTRK fusions may also contribute to re-sensitization failure.

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