Spatiotemporal genomic profiling of intestinal metaplasia reveals clonal dynamics of gastric cancer progression

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Intestinal metaplasia (IM) is a pre-malignant condition of the gastric mucosa associated with increased gastric cancer (GC) risk. Analyzing 1,256 gastric samples (1,152 IMs) across 692 subjects from a prospective 10-year study ,we identify 26 IM driver genes in diverse pathways including chromatin regulation (ARID1A) and intestinal homeostasis (SOX9). Single-cell and spatial profiles highlight changes in tissue ecology and IM lineage heterogeneity, including an intestinal stem-cell dominant cellular compartment linked to early malignancy. Expanded transcriptome profiling reveals expression-based molecular subtypes of IM associated with incomplete histology, antral/intestinal cell types, ARID1A mutations, inflammation, and microbial communities normally associated with the healthy oral tract. We demonstrate that combined clinical-genomic models outperform clinical-only models in predicting IMs likely to transform to GC. By highlighting strategies for accurately identifying IM patients at high GC risk and a role for microbial dysbiosis in IM progression, our results raise opportunities for GC precision prevention and interception.

Journal details

Journal Cancer Cell
Volume 41
Issue number 12
Pages 2019-2037.e8
Available online
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