The genetic alterations that define primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) are incompletely elucidated, and the genomic evolution from diagnosis to relapse is poorly understood. We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) on 36 PCNSL patients and targeted MYD88 sequencing on a validation cohort of 27 PCNSL patients. We also performed WES and phylogenetic analysis of 3 matched newly diagnosed and relapsed tumor specimens and 1 synchronous intracranial and extracranial relapse. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for programmed death-1 ligand (PD-L1) was performed on 43 patient specimens. Combined WES and targeted sequencing identified MYD88 mutation in 67% (42 of 63) of patients, CDKN2A biallelic loss in 44% (16 of 36), and CD79b mutation in 61% (22 of 36). Copy-number analysis demonstrated frequent regions of copy loss (ie, CDKN2A), with few areas of amplification. CD79b mutations were associated with improved progression-free and overall survival. We did not identify amplification at the PD-1/PD-L1 loci. IHC for PD-L1 revealed membranous expression in 30% (13 of 43) of specimens. Phylogenetic analysis of paired primary and relapsed specimens identified MYD88 mutation and CDKN2A loss as early clonal events. PCNSL is characterized by frequent mutations within the B-cell receptor and NF-kB pathways. The lack of PD-L1 amplifications, along with membranous PD-L1 expression in 30% of our cohort, suggests that PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors may be useful in a subset of PCNSL. WES of PCNSL provides insight into the genomic landscape and evolution of this rare lymphoma subtype and potentially informs more rational treatment decisions.
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