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    ADORA2A (adenosine A2a receptor) and ADORA2B propagate immunoregulatory signals, including restricting both innate and adaptive immunity, though recent data also suggest a tumor suppressor effect in certain settings. We evaluated the RNA expression from 514 tumors in a clinical-grade laboratory; 489 patients with advanced/metastatic disease had clinical outcome correlates. Transcript expression was standardized to internal housekeeping genes and ranked (0-100 scale) relative to 735 specimens from 35 different cancer types. Transcript abundance rank values were defined as "low/moderate" (0-74) or "high" (75-100) percentile RNA expression ranks. Overall, 20.8% of tumors had high ADORA2A (≥75 percentile RNA rank). The greatest proportion of high ADORA2A expressors was found in neuroendocrine and breast cancers and sarcomas, whereas the lowest was found in colorectal and ovarian cancers, albeit with patient-to-patient variability. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, there was a significant positive correlation between high ADORA2A RNA expression and a high expression of the immune checkpoint-related molecules PD-1 (p = 0.015), VISTA (p ≤ 0.001), CD38 (p = 0.031), and CD39 (p ≤ 0.001). In 217 immunotherapy-treated patients, high ADORA2A did not correlate significantly with progression-free (p = 0.51) or overall survival (OS) (p = 0.09) from the initiation of the checkpoint blockade. However, high versus not-high ADORA2A transcript expression correlated with longer OS from the time of advanced/metastatic disease (N = 489 patients; (HR 0.69 (95% CI 0.51-0.95) (p = 0.02)). Therefore, high ADORA2A transcript levels may be a favorable prognostic factor, unrelated to immunotherapy. Importantly, ascertaining co-expression patterns of ADORA2A with PD-1 and VISTA in individual tumors as a basis for the precision co-targeting of ADORA2A and these other checkpoint-related molecules warrants investigation in clinical trials.


    Aditya Shreenivas, Daisuke Nishizaki, Suzanna Lee, Sarabjot Pabla, Mary Nesline, Jeffrey M Conroy, Paul DePietro, Shumei Kato, Razelle Kurzrock. Clinical and Biologic Correlates of ADORA2A Transcriptomic Expression in Cancer. International journal of molecular sciences. 2024 Apr 26;25(9)

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    PMID: 38731962

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