Role of Molecular Profiling of Pancreatic Cancer After Neoadjuvant Therapy: Does it Change Practice?

  • Ashley N. Krepline
  • Lindsay Bliss
  • Jennifer Geurts
  • Idayat Akinola
  • Kathleen K. Christians
  • Ben George
  • Paul S. Ritch
  • William A. Hall
  • Beth A. Erickson
  • Douglas B. Evans
  • Susan TsaiEmail author
2019 SSAT Plenary Presentation



Tumor profiling can improve the selection of oncologic therapies in patients with pancreatic cancer (PC). The impact of neoadjuvant therapy on tumor testing is unknown.


Molecular profiling using commercially available 53-, 315-, or 472-gene next generation sequencing (NGS) panels was performed on surgical specimens following neoadjuvant therapy. All specimens with 472-gene sequencing also had immunohistochemical (IHC) testing. Treatment recommendations were based on somatic variants and IHC staining.


NGS was performed on 74 patient specimens: 42 (57%) with a 472-gene panel, 28 (38%) with a 315-gene panel, 3 (4%) had 472- and 315-gene panels, and 1 (1%) patient had 53- and 472-gene panels (78 total tests). Likely pathogenic/pathogenic variants were identified in 73 (94%) of the 78 tests. Of the 73 samples with variants identified, 13 (18%) variants were associated with an actionable treatment: ATM (n = 10), BRCA1 (n = 1), PIK3CA (n = 1), and BRCA2 (n = 1). No patient had more than one actionable variant. Based on NGS results, the most commonly recommended therapy was a platinum agent (n = 12/78, 15%). Of the 46 specimens that underwent IHC analysis, overlapping chemotherapeutic treatment recommendations were identified in 40 (87%) specimens.


Using current multigene NGS panels, actionable variants were identified in 13 (18%) of 74 surgical specimens and primarily involved genes of the DNA repair pathway. Anecdotal reproducibility of test concordance was low.


Next generation sequencing Molecular profiling Targeted therapy Pancreatic cancer 


Author Contribution

Ashley N. Krepline: data collection and analysis, manuscript preparation

Lindsay Bliss: data collection and analysis

Jennifer Geurts: manuscript preparation

Idayat Akinola: data collection and analysis

Kathleen K. Christians: manuscript preparation

Ben George: manuscript preparation

Paul S. Ritch: manuscript preparation

William A. Hall: manuscript preparation

Beth A. Erickson: manuscript preparation

Douglas B. Evans: data analysis, manuscript preparation

Susan Tsai: concept, data analysis, manuscript preparation

Funding Information

This study received financial support from the Ronald Burkland Eich Fund and Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Surgery.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashley N. Krepline
    • 1
  • Lindsay Bliss
    • 1
  • Jennifer Geurts
    • 1
  • Idayat Akinola
    • 1
  • Kathleen K. Christians
    • 1
  • Ben George
    • 2
  • Paul S. Ritch
    • 2
  • William A. Hall
    • 3
  • Beth A. Erickson
    • 3
  • Douglas B. Evans
    • 1
  • Susan Tsai
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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