Plasma Copy Number Alteration-Based Prognostic and Predictive Multi-Gene Risk Score in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Jinyong Huang, Meijun Du, Alex Soupir, Liewei Wang, Winston Tan, Krishna R. Kalari, Deepak Kilari, Jong Park, Chiang Ching Huang, Manish Kohli, Liang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Background: A plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) multi-gene copy number alteration (CNA)-based risk score was evaluated to predict clinical outcomes in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients. Methods: Plasma specimens from two independent mCRPC patient cohorts (N = 88 and N = 92 patients) were used. A treatment-naïve mCRPC cohort (prospective clinical-trial cohort) included plasma samples before treatment with abiraterone acetate/prednisone and serially at 3-months. A separate real-world hospital-registry (RWHR) mCRPC cohort included a single blood sample collected prior to mCRPC treatments in 92 mCRPC patients following ADT failure. Low pass whole genome sequencing was performed on plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and copy number alterations (CNAs) were identified for 24 candidate genes of interest. Associations of individual gene CNAs with 3 month primary resistance to therapy, progression-free survival (PFS) in the prospective trial cohort and overall survival (OS) in both cohorts was evaluated by Cox regression. A multi-gene risk score was determined for significantly associated candidate CNAs for predicting clinical outcomes. Clinical factors were included in the risk model for survival. Statistical significance for all tests was set at 0.05. Results: In the prospective trial cohort, patients responding to treatment were observed to have a significant copy number decrease in AR (p = 0.001) and COL22A1 (p = 0.037) at 3 months, while the non-responder group showed a significant CNA decrease in NKX3.1 (p = 0.027), ZBTB16 (p = 0.025) and CNA increases in PIK3CB (p = 0.006). Based on the significance level of each gene, CNAs in 11 of the 24 genes (AR, COL22A1, MYC, NCOR1, NKX3.1, NOTCH1, PIK3CA, PIK3CB, TMPRSS2, TP53, ZBTB16) were selected to develop a Cox-regression coefficient-based weighted multi-gene risk score for predicting mCRPC outcomes in both cohorts. A higher multi-gene risk score was observed to have poor OS in mCRPC patients in the prospective trial cohort (p = 0.00019) and for the RWHR cohort, (p < 0.0001). A higher risk score was also associated with poor PFS in the prospective cohort (p = 0.0043). Conclusions: A multi-gene CNAs-based risk score derived from plasma cfDNA may predict treatment response and prognosticate survival in mCRPC and warrants prospective validation of risk-based algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4714
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • algorithm
  • cell free DNA
  • predictive biomarker
  • prognosis
  • prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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