High-resolution array CGH identifies common mechanisms that drive embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma pathogenesis
ABSTRACT Pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma occurs as two biologically distinct histological variants, embryonal (ERMS) and alveolar (ARMS). To identify genomic changes that drive ERMS pathogenesis, we used a new array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) platform to examine a specific subset of ERMS tumors, those occurring in children with clinically defined intermediate-risk disease. The aCGH platform used has an average probe spacing ∼1 kb, and can identify genomic changes with single gene resolution. Our data suggest that these tumors share a common genomic program that includes inactivation of a master regulator of the p53 and Rb pathways, CDKN2A/B, and activation of FGFR4, Ras, and Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. The CDKN2A/B tumor suppressor is deleted in most patient samples. FGFR4, which encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, is activated in 20% of tumors, predominantly by amplification of mutant, activating FGFR4 alleles. Over 50% of patients had low-level gains of a region containing the Hh-pathway transcription factor GLI1, and a gene expression pattern consistent with Hh-pathway activation. We also identified intragenic deletions affecting NF1, a tumor suppressor and inhibitor of Ras, in 15% of tumor samples. Deletion of NF1 and the presence of activating Ras mutations (in 42% of patients) were mutually exclusive, suggesting NF1 loss is an alternative and potentially common mechanism of Ras activation in ERMS. Our data suggest that intermediate-risk ERMS is driven by a common set of genomic defects, a finding that has important implications for the application of targeted therapies to improve the treatment of children diagnosed with this disease.
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ABSTRACT: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children. It is believed to arise from skeletal muscle progenitors, preserving the expression of genes critical for embryonic myogenic development such as MYOD1 and myogenin. RMS is classified as embryonal, which is more common in younger children, or alveolar, which is more prevalent in elder children and adults. Despite aggressive management including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, the outcome for children with metastatic RMS is dismal, and the prognosis has remained unchanged for decades. Apoptosis is a highly regulated process critical for embryonic development and tissue and organ homeostasis. Like other types of cancers, RMS develops by evading intrinsic apoptosis via mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene. However, the ability to induce apoptosis via the death receptor-dependent extrinsic pathway remains largely intact in tumors with p53 mutations. This paper focuses on activating extrinsic apoptosis as a therapeutic strategy for RMS by targeting the death receptor DR5 with a recombinant TRAIL ligand or agonistic antibodies directed against DR5.04/2012; 2012:395952. DOI:10.5402/2012/395952
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ABSTRACT: Research into basic developmental biology has frequently yielded insights into cancer biology. This is particularly true for the Hedgehog (HH) pathway. Activating mutations in the HH pathway cause a subset of sporadic and familial, skin (basal cell carcinoma) and brain (medulloblastoma) tumours. Furthermore, the growth of many human tumours is supported by HH pathway activity in stromal cells. Naturally occurring and synthetic inhibitors of HH signalling show great promise in animal models and in early clinical studies. However, it remains unclear how many cancers will ultimately benefit from these new, molecularly targeted therapies.Nature Reviews Cancer 05/2011; 11(7):493-501. DOI:10.1038/nrc3079 · 29.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS) are rare heterogeneous pediatric tumors that are treated by surgery, chemotherapy and irradiation. New therapeutic approaches are needed, especially in the advanced stages to target the pro-oncogenic signals. Exploring the molecular interactions of the regulatory signals and their roles in the developmental aspects of different subtypes of RMS is essential to identify potential targets and develop new therapeutic drugs. Areas covered: Insights into different drug discovery approaches are discussed with specific emphasis on gene expression profiling, fusion protein, role of small interfering RNA (siRNA)- and microRNA (miRNA)-based discovery approaches, targeting cancer stem cells, and in vitro and in vivo model systems. Targeting some overexpressed signals along with the possibilities of combination therapy of validated drug targets is discussed. Additionally, methods to overcome the limitations of discovery-based research are briefly discussed. Expert opinion: Due to drug resistance, ineffective therapy in advanced stages and relapse, there is a demand to explore new drug targets and discovery approaches. Implementing miRNA-based profiling would reveal the extent of miR-based regulation, various biomarkers and potential targets in RMS. A suitable combination of innovative techniques and the use of model systems might assist the identification and validation of novel targets and drug discovery methods. Combining specific drugs along with type-specific target inhibition of overexpressed mRNAs through siRNA approaches would enable the development of personalized therapy.Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery 10/2011; 6(10):1103-25. DOI:10.1517/17460441.2011.611498 · 3.47 Impact Factor