Deep molecular tracking over the 12-yr development of endometrial cancer from hyperplasia in a single patient

Katherine Reid, Olga Camacho-Vanegas, Deep Pandya, Sandra Catalina Camacho, Rui Fang Qiao, Tamara Kalir, Maria M. Padron-Rhenals, Ann Marie Beddoe, Peter Dottino, John A. Martignetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the progressive histologic steps leading to endometrial cancer (EndoCA), the most common female reproductive tract malignancy, from endometrial hyperplasia are well-established, the molecular changes accompanying this malignant transformation in a single patient have never been described. We had the unique opportunity to investigate the paired histologic and molecular features associated with the 12-yr development of EndoCA in a postmenopausal female who could not undergo hysterectomy and instead underwent progesterone treatment. Using a specially designed 58-gene next-generation sequencing panel, we analyzed a total of 10 sequential biopsy samples collected over this time frame. A total of eight pathogenic/likely pathogenic mutations in seven genes, APC, ARID1A, CTNNB1, CDKN2A, KRAS, PTEN, and TP53, were identified. A PTEN nonsense mutation p.W111 was present in all samples analyzed except histologically normal endometrium. Apart from this PTEN mutation, the only other recurrent mutation was KRAS G12D, which was present in six biopsy samplings, including histologically normal tissue obtained at the patient’s first visit but not detectable in the cancer. The PTEN p.W111 mutant allele fractions were lowest in benign, inactive endometrial glands (0.7%), highest in adenocarcinoma (36.9%), and, notably, were always markedly reduced following progesterone treatment. To our knowledge, this report provides the first molecular characterization of EndoCA development in a single patient. A single PTEN mutation was present throughout the 12 years of cancer development. Importantly, and with potential significance toward medical and nonsurgical management of EndoCA, progesterone treatments were consistently noted to markedly decrease PTEN mutant allele fractions to precancerous levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera006311
JournalCold Spring Harbor molecular case studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


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