Cancer of unknown primary (CUP) comprises a heterogeneous collection of malignancies that are typically associated with a poor prognosis and a lack of effective treatment options. We retrospectively evaluated the clinical utility of targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) among CUP patients to assist with diagnosis and identify opportunities for molecularly guided therapy.
Patients and Methods
Patients with a CUP at Moffitt Cancer Center who underwent NGS between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2019, were eligible for study inclusion. Next-generation sequencing results were assessed to determine the frequency of clinically actionable molecular alterations, and chart reviews were performed to ascertain the number of patients receiving molecularly guided therapy.
Ninety-five CUP patients were identified for analysis. Next-generation sequencing testing identified options for molecularly guided therapy for 55% (n = 52) of patients. Among patients with molecularly guided therapy options, 33% (n = 17) were prescribed a molecularly guided therapy. The median overall survival for those receiving molecularly guided therapy was 23.6 months. Among the evaluable patients, the median duration of treatment for CUP patients (n = 7) receiving molecular-guided therapy as a first-line therapy was 39 weeks. The median duration of treatment for CUP patients (n = 8) treated with molecularly guided therapy in the second- or later-line setting was 13 weeks. Next-generation sequencing results were found to be suggestive of a likely primary tumor type for 15% (n = 14) of patients.
Next-generation sequencing results enabled the identification of treatment options in a majority of patients and assisted with the identification of a likely primary tumor type in a clinically meaningful subset of patients.