ASXL1 and DNMT3A mutation in a cytogenetically normal B3 thymoma Academic Article uri icon

publication date

  • 2014


  • The molecular drivers of thymoma are poorly understood. Outside of the identification of rarely occurring epidermal growth factor receptor and v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog mutations via candidate gene sequencing, mutations in common cancer genes have yet to be observed. Only a single thymoma genome sequence has been previously reported, with no mutations in known cancer genes identified. Thus, we attempted to identify somatic driver mutations in a cytogenetically normal thymoma. A stage IVB type B3 thymoma from a 47-year-old male of Asian descent with no history of myasthenia gravis or other autoimmune condition was genomically evaluated. Exome sequencing and low-pass whole-genome sequencing was performed to identify somatic point mutations, copy number changes and structural variants. Mutations in known tumor suppressors DNMT3A (p.G728D) and ASXL1 (p.E657fs), consistent with mutations of known consequence in acute myeloid leukemia, were identified. Contrary to a previous report, this finding suggests the genetic etiology of thymomas may not be fundamentally distinct from other tumor types. Rather, these findings suggest that further sequencing of cytogenetically normal thymoma samples should reveal the specific molecular drivers of thymoma.