Parsons MT, Buchanan DD, Thompson B, et al.. Correlation of tumour BRAF mutations and MLH1 methylation with germline mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutation status: a literature review assessing utility of tumour features for MMR variant classification
Colorectal cancer (CRC) that demonstrates microsatellite instability (MSI) is caused by either germline mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutations, or 'sporadic' somatic tumour MLH1 promoter methylation. MLH1 promoter methylation is reportedly correlated with tumour BRAF V600E mutation status. No systematic review has been undertaken to assess the value of BRAF V600E mutation and MLH1 promoter methylation tumour markers as negative predictors of germline MMR mutation status. A literature review of CRC cohorts tested for MMR mutations, and tumour BRAF V600E mutation and/or MLH1 promoter methylation was conducted using PubMed. Studies were assessed for tumour features, stratified by tumour MMR status based on immunohistochemistry or MSI where possible. Pooled frequencies and 95% CIs were calculated using a random effects model. BRAF V600E results for 4562 tumours from 35 studies, and MLH1 promoter methylation results for 2975 tumours from 43 studies, were assessed. In 550 MMR mutation carriers, the BRAF V600E mutation frequency was 1.40% (95% CI 0.06% to 3%). In MMR mutation-negative cases, the BRAF V600E mutation frequency was 5.00% (95% CI 4% to 7%) in 1623 microsatellite stable (MSS) cases and 63.50% (95% CI 47% to 79%) in 332 cases demonstrating MLH1 methylation or MLH1 expression loss. MLH1 promoter methylation of the 'A region' was reported more frequently than the 'C region' in MSS CRCs (17% vs 0.06%, p<0.0001) and in MLH1 mutation carriers (42% vs 6%, p<0.0001), but not in MMR mutation-negative MSI-H CRCs (40% vs 47%, p=0.12). Methylation of the 'C region' was a predictor of MMR mutation-negative status in MSI-H CRC cases (47% vs 6% in MLH1 mutation carriers, p<0.0001). This review demonstrates that tumour BRAF V600E mutation, and MLH1 promoter 'C region' methylation specifically, are strong predictors of negative MMR mutation status. It is important to incorporate these features in multifactorial models aimed at predicting MMR mutation status.
"Our study focuses on the 20% of the non-hereditary colon cancers with somatic MLH1 promoter methylation that are associated with a favorable prognosis and a suggested poor response to 5-fluorouracil-based regimens [11-18]. A prescreening procedure that identifies tumors with a high likelihood of MMR deficiency could be clinically valuable for institutions that have not implemented universal assessment of MMR status. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of mismatch-repair (MMR) defective colon cancer is clinically relevant for diagnostic, prognostic and potentially also for treatment predictive purposes. Preselection of tumors for MMR analysis can be obtained with predictive models, which need to demonstrate ease of application and favorable reproducibility.
We validated the MMR index for the identification of prognostically favorable MMR deficient colon cancers and compared performance to 5 other prediction models. In total, 474 colon cancers diagnosed >= age 50 were evaluated with correlation between clinicopathologic variables and immunohistochemical MMR protein expression.
Female sex, age >=60 years, proximal tumor location, expanding growth pattern, lack of dirty necrosis, mucinous differentiation and presence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes significantly correlated with MMR deficiency. Presence of at least 4 of the MMR index factors identified MMR deficient tumors with 93% sensitivity and 76% specificity and showed favorable reproducibility with a kappa value of 0.88. The MMR index also performed favorably when compared to 5 other predictive models.
The MMR index is easy to apply and efficiently identifies MMR defective colon cancers with high sensitivity and specificity. The model shows stable performance with low inter-observer variability and favorable performance when compared to other MMR predictive models.
"As not all LS patients fulfill the Amsterdam II criteria or revised Bethesda guidelines, not all of them are detected in the routine clinical setting (47, 48). BRAF is usually present as wild-type in LS patients, and only 1.4% of the LS patients carry a BRAF V600E mutation (49). In sporadic colorectal cancer the BRAF V600E mutation rate ranges from 5 to 15% (4), and in the MSI-H group of consecutive primary colorectal cancers the BRAF V600E mutation rate reached 78% (16). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Different genetic aberrations of BRAF have been reported in various malignancies. BRAF is member of the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway and constitutive activity of this pathway can lead to increased cellular growth, invasion, and metastasis. The most common activating BRAF mutation in colorectal cancer is the V600E mutation, which is present in 5-15% of all tumors, and up to 80% of tumors with high microsatellite instability (MSI) harbor this mutation. BRAF mutation is associated with proximal location, higher age, female gender, MSI-H, high grade, and mucinous histology, and is a marker of poor prognosis in colorectal cancer. The role of BRAF mutation as a predictive marker in respect of EGFR targeted treatments is controversial. BRAF V600 selective inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of V600 mutation positive metastatic melanoma, but the response rates in colorectal cancer are poor. This might be due to innate resistance mechanisms of colorectal cancers against the treatment solely targeting BRAF. To overcome resistance the combination of treatments, simultaneous inhibition of BRAF and MEK or PI3K/mTOR, might emerge as a successful therapeutic concept.
Frontiers in Oncology 11/2013; 3:281. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2013.00281
"Since BRAF mutations and CIMP co-occurred in eight samples, as expected from other studies [8,14,15], there was a high level of overlap between CIMP- and BRAF mutation-specific methylation changes (Figure 1A). Comparable levels of overlap were found, focusing on promoter regions only (data not shown). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Cancer-specific hypermethylation of (promoter) CpG islands is common during the tumorigenesis of colon cancer. Although associations between certain genetic aberrations, such as BRAF mutation and microsatellite instability, and the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), have been found, the mechanisms by which these associations are established are still unclear. We studied genome-wide DNA methylation differences between colorectal tumors carrying a BRAF mutation and BRAF wildtype tumors.
Using differential methylation hybridization on oligonucleotide microarrays representing 32,171 CpG-rich regions, we identified 1,770 regions with differential methylation between colorectal tumor and paired normal colon. Next, we compared the tumor/normal methylation ratios between different groups of patients. Related to CIMP, we identified 749 differentially methylated regions, of which 86% had a higher tumor/normal methylation ratio in the CIMP-positive group. We identified 758 regions with a BRAF mutation-specific methylation change, of which 96% had a higher tumor/normal methylation ratio in the BRAF mutant group. Among the genes affected by BRAF mutation-specific methylation changes, we found enrichment of several cancer-related pathways, including the PI3 kinase and Wnt signaling pathways. To focus on genes that are silenced in a tumor-specific rather than a lineage-specific manner, we used information on the epigenetic silencing mark H3K27me3 in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Among the genes showing BRAF mutation-specific promoter methylation but no H3K27me3 mark in ES cells were forkhead box (FOX) transcription factors associated with the PI3 kinase pathway, as well as MLH1 and SMO. Repression of FOXD3 gene expression in tumors could be related to its promoter hypermethylation.
We identified new BRAF mutation-specific methylation changes in colorectal cancer. Epigenetic downregulation of these targets may contribute to mutationally active BRAF-driven tumorigenesis, explaining its association with aberrant DNA methylation.
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