634 RWTH Publication No: 981019        2024       
TITLE Modeling metastatic progression from cross-sectional cancer genomics data
AUTHORS Kevin Rupp, Andreas Lösch, Linda Hu, Chenxi Nie, Rudolf Schill, Maren Klever, Simon Pfahler, Lars Grasedyck, Tilo Wettig, Niko Beerenwinkel, Rainer Spang
ABSTRACT Metastasis formation is a hallmark of cancer lethality. Yet, metastases are generally unobservable during their early stages of dissemination and spread to distant organs. Genomic datasets of matched primary tumors and metastases may offer insights into the underpinnings and the dynamics of metastasis formation. We present metMHN, a cancer progression model designed to deduce the joint progression of primary tumors and metastases using cross-sectional cancer genomics data. The model elucidates the statistical dependencies among genomic events, the formation of metastasis, and the clinical emergence of both primary tumors and their metastatic counterparts. metMHN enables the chronological reconstruction of mutational sequences and facilitates estimation of the timing of metastatic seeding. In a study of nearly 5000 lung adenocarcinomas, metMHN pinpointed TP53 and EGFR as mediators of metastasis formation. Furthermore, the study revealed that post-seeding adaptation is predominantly influenced by frequent copy number alterations. All datasets and code are available on GitHub at https://github.com/cbg-ethz/metMHN.