Mitochondrial DNA as a clonal tumor cell marker: gliomatosis cerebri.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was a clonal analysis of gliomatosis cerebri (GC), a rare disease characterized by diffuse, extensively infiltrating glial tumors of the central nervous system. Two females of the series were not informative in assays for X-chromosomal inactivation, and a polycytosine tract of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was tested as a clonal marker. Following fluorescent PCR, a fraction of human individuals shows several electrophoretic bands in normal tissues, some of which can be lost in corresponding glial tumors. Two male patients of our series fulfilled this prerequisite and were thus informative. In patient 1, four tumor samples from the left temporal and occipital cortex, histologically corresponding to WHO grades III and IV, showed an identical loss of bands, which was not observed in tumor-free brain and in tumors from the left cerebellum, from fornix and corpus callosum, and from the right occipital cortex, corresponding to WHO grades III and IV. Since this patient exhibited a TP53 mutation in exon 7, we sequenced this exon in all tissue samples of this individual. The mutation was found selectively in the tumor samples with a loss of mtDNA bands. In patient 2, all tumors (histologically corresponding to WHO grade II) from putamen, thalamus, midbrain and right parietal cortex exhibited an identical loss of bands in the mtDNA analysis. Taken together, these results support that even distant tumors in a patient with GC can share a common clonal origin. They demonstrate the extraordinary mobility and infiltrative power of these tumor cells.
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ABSTRACT: Cancer begins with multiple cumulative epigenetic and genetic alterations that sequencially transform a cell, or a group of cells in a particular organ. The early genetic events might lead to clonal expansion of pre-neoplastic daughter cells in a particular tumor field. Subsequent genomic changes in some of these cells drive them towards the malignant phenotype. These transformed cells are diagnosed histopathologically as cancers owing to changes in cell morphology. Conceivably, a population of daughter cells with early genetic changes (without histopathology) remain in the organ, demonstrating the concept of field cancerization. With present technological advancement, including laser capture microdisection and high-throughput genomic technologies, carefully designed studies using appropriate control tissue will enable identification of important molecular signatures in these genetically transformed but histologically normal cells. Such tumor-specific biomarkers should have excellent clinical utility. This review examines the concept of field cancerization in several cancers and its possible utility in four areas of oncology; risk assessment, early cancer detection, monitoring of tumor progression and definition of tumor margins.Cancer Cell International 02/2007; 7:2. · 1.97 Impact Factor