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Next generation sequencing of progressive colorectal liver metastases after portal vein embolization.


Portal vein embolization (PVE) can be required to stimulate liver regeneration before hepatectomy for colorectal liver metastasis (CRCLM), however PVE may also trigger CRCLM progression in patients initially exhibiting chemotherapy response. Using RNA-seq, we aimed to determine the molecular networks involved in metastatic progression in this context. A prospective study including all CRCLM patients undergoing PVE prior to hepatectomy was conducted. Paired biopsies of metastatic lesions were obtained prior to and after PVE and total RNA was isolated and used to prepare Illumina rRNA-depleted TruSeq stranded cDNA libraries for HiSeq 100 bp paired-end sequencing. Patients were classified with progression of disease (PDPVE) or stable disease (SDPVE) post-PVE using 3D-CT tumor volumetric analysis.Twenty patients were included, 13 (65.0%) in the PDPVE group (median 58.0% (18.6-234.3) increase in tumor volume) and 7 (35.0%) in the SDPVE group exhibiting continuous chemotherapy response (median -14.3% (-40.8 to -2.8) decrease in tumor volume) (p < 0.0001). Our results showed that progressive CRCLM after PVE undergo gene expression changes that indicate activation of core cancer pathways (IL-17 (p = 5.94 × 10(-03)), PI3K (p = 8.71 × 10(-03)), IL6 and IGF-1 signaling pathways), consistent with changes driven by cytokines and growth factors. Differential expression analysis in a paired model of progression (EdgeR, DeSeq) identified significantly dysregulated genes in the PDPVE group (FOS, FOSB, RAB20, IRS2).Differentially expressed genes and pathways with known links to cancer and metastasis were identified post-PVE in patients with disease progression. Highlighting these molecular changes is a crucial first step towards development of targeted therapeutic strategies that may mitigate the effects of PVE on tumor growth.