Marina N Nikiforova

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (120)539.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Context .- Genomic sequencing for cancer is offered by commercial for-profit laboratories, independent laboratory networks, and laboratories in academic medical centers and integrated health networks. The variability among the tests has created a complex, confusing environment. Objective .- To address the complexity, the Personalized Health Care (PHC) Committee of the College of American Pathologists proposed the development of a cancer genomics resource list (CGRL). The goal of this resource was to assist the laboratory pathology and clinical oncology communities. Design .- The PHC Committee established a working group in 2012 to address this goal. The group consisted of site-specific experts in cancer genetic sequencing. The group identified current next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based cancer tests and compiled them into a usable resource. The genes were annotated by the working group. The annotation process drew on published knowledge, including public databases and the medical literature. Results .- The compiled list includes NGS panels offered by 19 laboratories or vendors, accompanied by annotations. The list has 611 different genes for which NGS-based mutation testing is offered. Surprisingly, of these 611 genes, 0 genes were listed in every panel, 43 genes were listed in 4 panels, and 54 genes were listed in 3 panels. In addition, tests for 393 genes were offered by only 1 or 2 institutions. Table 1 provides an example of gene mutations offered for breast cancer genomic testing with the annotation as it appears in the CGRL 2014. Conclusions .- The final product, referred to as the Cancer Genomics Resource List 2014, is available as supplemental digital content.
    Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine 12/2014; · 2.78 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology. 10/2014; 3(5):S6–S7.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology is a common approach to evaluating thyroid nodules, although 20% to 30% of FNAs have indeterminate cytology, which hampers the appropriate management of these patients. Follicular (or oncocytic) neoplasm/suspicious for a follicular (or oncocytic) neoplasm (FN/SFN) is a common indeterminate diagnosis with a cancer risk of approximately 15% to 30%. In this study, the authors tested whether the most complete next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel of genetic markers could significantly improve cancer diagnosis in these nodules.METHODS The evaluation of 143 consecutive FNA samples with a cytologic diagnosis of FN/SFN from patients with known surgical outcomes included 91 retrospective samples and 52 prospective samples. Analyses were performed on a proprietary sequencer using the targeted ThyroSeq v2 NGS panel, which simultaneously tests for point mutations in 13 genes and for 42 types of gene fusions that occur in thyroid cancer. The expression of 8 genes was used to assess the cellular composition of FNA samples.RESULTSIn the entire cohort, histologic analysis revealed 104 benign nodules and 39 malignant nodules. The most common point mutations involved the neuroblastoma RAS viral oncogene homolog (NRAS), followed by the Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS), the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene, and the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) gene. The identified fusions involved the thyroid adenoma associated (THADA) gene; the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARG) gene; and the neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor, type 3 (NTRK3) gene. Performance characteristics were similar in the retrospective and prospective groups. Among all FN/SFN nodules, preoperative ThyroSeq v2 performed with 90% sensitivity (95% confidence interval [CI], 80%-99%), 93% specificity (95% CI, 88%-98%), a positive predictive value of 83% (95% CI, 72%-95%), a negative predictive value of 96% (95% CI, 92%-100%), and 92% accuracy (95% CI, 88%-97%).CONCLUSIONS The current results indicate that comprehensive genotyping of thyroid nodules using a broad NGS panel provides a highly accurate diagnosis for nodules with FN/SFN cytology and should facilitate the optimal management of these patients. Cancer 2014. © 2014 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 09/2014; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The underlying molecular alterations in chronic idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease-associated intestinal adenocarcinoma remain largely unknown. Somatic IDH mutations are often seen in gliomas and myeloid leukemia but have also been recently reported in a subset of other neoplasms. We analyzed a series of intestinal adenocarcinomas with (n=23) and without (n=39) associated chronic idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease treated at our institution for IDH1 and IDH2 mutations and correlated the clinicopathologic findings with mutation status. Compared with intestinal adenocarcinomas not associated with inflammatory bowel disease, adenocarcinomas associated with inflammatory bowel disease more frequently demonstrated IDH mutations (13% vs. 0%, P=0.047). All IDH mutations were identified in IDH1 and resulted in substitution of arginine by cysteine at position 132 (p.R132C, c.394C>T). IDH1 mutations were frequently (66%) associated with concurrent KRAS mutations (p.G12D, c.35G>A). IDH1-mutated intestinal adenocarcinomas were seen in the setting of both Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis and were located in both the ileum and colon. Compared with IDH1-negative inflammatory bowel disease-associated adenocarcinoma, IDH1-positive adenocarcinomas more frequently demonstrated tubuloglandular histology (100% vs. 25%, P=0.032) and were more frequently associated with precursor lesions exhibiting serrated morphology (66% vs. 6%, P=0.034). IDH1 mutations were also identified in the precursor dysplastic lesions associated with IDH1-positive adenocarcinomas. In conclusion, we demonstrate that IDH1 mutations are occasionally identified in inflammatory bowel disease-associated intestinal adenocarcinoma but not in intestinal adenocarcinoma not associated with inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, IDH1-mutated intestinal adenocarcinoma is associated with a characteristic low-grade tubuloglandular histology and often harbors concurrent KRAS mutations. Identification of patients with IDH1-mutated intestinal adenocarcinoma may become clinically important as new therapies emerge that target tumors that harbor IDH mutations.
    The American journal of surgical pathology. 08/2014; 38(8):1147-1156.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Mutations in the RAS gene in the thyroid gland result in the activation of signaling pathways and are associated with a follicular growth pattern and the probability of a carcinoma outcome ranging from 74% to 87%. In the current study, the authors investigated the cytopathologic and histopathologic features of common RAS mutation subtypes.METHODS Malignant, indeterminate, and selected benign thyroid cytology cases were tested prospectively for the presence of NRAS61, HRAS61, and KRAS12/13 mutations. For each case, the Bethesda System for thyroid cytopathology diagnosis, additional cytologic descriptors, and surgical pathology outcomes were documented. The Fisher exact test and Wilcoxon 2-sample test were used for statistical comparison between the groups.RESULTSA total of 204 thyroid fine-needle aspiration cases with RAS mutations (93.6% of which were associated with indeterminate cytopathology diagnoses) and corresponding surgical pathology resection specimens were identified. The KRAS12/13 mutation was associated with a significantly lower carcinoma outcome (41.7%) when compared with HRAS61 (95.5%) and NRAS61 (86.8%) mutations (P<.0001). Furthermore, oncocytic change was observed in a significantly higher percentage of cytology and resection specimens with KRAS12/13 mutations (66.7% and 75.0%, respectively) in comparison with those with HRAS61 (4.5% and 4.5%, respectively) and NRAS61 (15.4% and 14.7%, respectively) mutations (P<.0001). RAS mutations also were identified in cases of poorly differentiated carcinoma (NRAS61), anaplastic carcinoma (HRAS61), and medullary thyroid carcinoma (HRAS61 and KRAS12/13).CONCLUSIONS Subclassification of RAS mutations in conjunction with cytopathologic evaluation improves presurgical risk stratification, provides better insight into lesional characteristics, and may influence patient management. In particular, KRAS12/13-mutated thyroid nodules were found to be different from HRAS61-mutated and NRAS61-mutated nodules with regard to cytopathologic and surgical outcome characteristics. Cancer (Cancer Cytopathol) 2014. © 2014 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer Cytopathology 08/2014; · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To test whether a clinical algorithm using routine cytological molecular testing (MT) promotes initial total thyroidectomy (TT) for clinically significant thyroid cancer (sTC) and/or correctly limits surgery to lobectomy when appropriate.
    Annals of surgery. 07/2014; 260(1):163-168.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Management guidelines for pancreatic IPMNs and MCNs are based on the assumption that mucinous cysts can be accurately distinguished from other pancreatic cystic lesions. Previous studies using surgical material have identified recurrent mutations in GNAS and KRAS in pancreatic mucinous neoplasms. Yet, the diagnostic utility of testing for both genes in pancreatic cyst fluid obtained by endoscopic ultrasound-fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) remains unclear. Experimental Design: GNAS and KRAS testing was performed on EUS-FNA obtained fluid from 91 pancreatic cysts: 41 IPMNs, 9 IPMNs with adenocarcinoma, 16 MCNs, 10 cystic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs), 9 serous cystadenomas (SCA), 3 retention cysts, 2 pseudocysts and 1 lymphoepithelial cyst. Results: Mutations in GNAS were detected in 16 (39%) IPMNs and 2 (22%) IPMNs with adenocarcinoma. KRAS mutations were identified in 28 (68%) IPMNs, 7 (78%) IPMNs with adenocarcinoma, and 1 (6%) MCN. Mutations in either gene were present in 34 (83%) IPMNs, 8 (89%) IPMNs with adenocarcinoma, and 1 (6%) MCN. No mutations were found in cystic PanNETs, SCAs, retention cysts, pseudocysts and a lymphoepithelial cyst. GNAS and KRAS mutations had 100% specificity (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-1.00), but 65% sensitivity (95% CI, 0.52-0.76) for mucinous differentiation. Among IPMNs, mutations in either gene had a 98% specificity (95% CI, 0.86-1.00) and 84% sensitivity (95% CI, 0.70-0.92). Conclusions: The combination of GNAS and KRAS testing was highly specific and sensitive for IPMNs; however, the lack of sensitivity for MCNs highlights the need for additional markers to improve the detection of pancreatic mucinous neoplasms.
    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Several variables are associated with the likelihood of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or 2 (IDH1/2) mutation in gliomas, though no guidelines yet exist for when testing is warranted, especially when an R132H IDH1 immunostain is negative.
    Neuro-oncology. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background: PAX8/PPARγ rearrangement is a common genetic alteration in follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) and has been reported with variable frequency in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). The diagnostic and phenotypic features of thyroid nodules positive for PAX8/PPARγ on preoperative examination are not well understood. Methods: The prevalence of PAX8/PPARγ rearrangement was detected in a series of 2015 consecutive thyroid nodules that underwent molecular analysis on cytology specimens and in 446 surgically removed papillary thyroid cancers. For all PAX8/PPARγ positive cases, cytology and surgical pathology slides were examined and the available clinical records were reviewed. Results: Twenty-two PAX8/PPARγ rearrangements were identified, including 16 detected preoperatively and 6 postoperatively. The incidence of PAX8/PPARγ in papillary thyroid cancer was 1.1%. Cytologically, most of these nodules were diagnosed as a follicular neoplasm (73%), followed by the diagnosis of atypical of undetermined significance (19%), and none of the cases was diagnosed as cytologically malignant. All nodules with PAX8/PPARγ detected preoperatively and surgical follow-up available were found to be malignant, among which the most common diagnosis was the encapsulated follicular variant of PTC. Overall, among 20 PAX8/PPARγ-positive tumors that were surgically excised, 17 (85%) were PTC and 3 (15%) were FTC. On follow-up available for 17 patients (mean 22.4 months), 16 PAX8/PPARγ-positive cancers showed no evidence of biochemical or structural recurrence, whereas one patient with FTC developed bone metastasis. Conclusions: In this series, PAX8/PPARγ rearrangement found in thyroid nodules had a 100% predictive value for differentiated thyroid cancer, and was more predictive of PTC than FTC. However, almost all PTC carrying PAX8/PPARγ were encapsulated follicular-pattern tumors, being distinguished from FTC only by nuclear features. Although most tumors carrying this mutation appear to be clinical indolent, at least on short-term follow-up, distant metastasis can develop from FTC positive for PAX8/PPARγ.
    Thyroid: official journal of the American Thyroid Association 05/2014; · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) pathways are upregulated in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Preclinical models indicate synergistic anti-tumor activity from dual blockade. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled window trial of erlotinib, an EGFR inhibitor; erlotinib plus sulindac, a non-selective COX inhibitor, vs. placebo. Patients with untreated, operable Stage II-IVb HNSCC were randomized 5:5:3 to erlotinib, erlotinib-sulindac, or placebo. Tumor specimens were collected before and after 7-14 days of treatment. The primary endpoint was change in Ki-67 proliferation index. We hypothesized an ordering effect in Ki-67 reduction: erlotinib-sulindac > erlotinib > placebo. We evaluated tissue microarrays by immunohistochemistry for pharmacodynamic modulation of EGFR and COX-2 signaling intermediates. From 2005-2009, 47 patients were randomized for the target 39 evaluable patients. Thirty-four tumor pairs were of sufficient quality to assess biomarker modulation. Ki-67 was significantly decreased by erlotinib or erlotinib-sulindac (omnibus comparison, two-sided Kruskal-Wallis, p=0.04). Wilcoxon pairwise contrasts confirmed greater Ki-67 effect in both erlotinib groups (erlotinib-sulindac vs. placebo p=0.043; erlobinib vs. placebo, p=0.027). There was a significant trend in ordering of Ki-67 reduction: erlotinib-sulindac > erlotinib > placebo (two-sided exact Jonckheere-Terpstra, p =0.0185). Low baseline pSrc correlated with greater Ki-67 reduction (R2 = .312, p = 0.024). Brief treatment with erlotinib significantly decreased proliferation in HNSCC, with additive effect from sulindac. Efficacy studies of dual EGFR-COX inhibition are justified. pSrc is a potential resistance biomarker for anti-EGFR therapy, and warrants investigation as a molecular target.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2014; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In their previous analysis of papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs) from an Ukrainian-American cohort that was exposed to iodine-131 ((131) I) from the Chernobyl accident, the authors identified RET/PTC rearrangements and other driver mutations in 60% of tumors. METHODS: In this study, the remaining mutation-negative tumors from that cohort were analyzed using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to identify novel chromosomal rearrangements and to characterize their relation with radiation dose. RESULTS: The ETS variant gene 6 (ETV6)-neurotrophin receptor 3 (NTRK3) rearrangement (ETV6-NTRK3) was identified by RNA-Seq in a tumor from a patient who received a high (131) I dose. Overall, the rearrangement was detected in 9 of 62 (14.5%) post-Chernobyl PTCs and in 3 of 151 (2%) sporadic PTCs (P = .019). The most common fusion type was between exon 4 of ETV6 and exon 14 of NTRK3. The prevalence of ETV6-NTRK3 rearrangement in post-Chernobyl PTCs was associated with increasing (131) I dose, albeit at borderline significance (P = .126). The group of rearrangement-positive PTCs (ETV6-NTRK3, RET/PTC, PAX8-PPARγ) was associated with significantly higher dose response compared with the group of PTCs with point mutations (BRAF, RAS; P < .001). In vitro exposure of human thyroid cells to 1 gray of (131) I and γ-radiation resulted in the formation of ETV6-NTRK3 rearrangement at a rate of 7.9 × 10(-6) cells and 3.0 × 10(-6) cells, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The authors report the occurrence of ETV6-NTRK3 rearrangements in thyroid cancer and demonstrate that this rearrangement is significantly more common in tumors associated with exposure to (131) I and has a borderline significant dose response. Moreover, ETV6-NTRK3 rearrangement can be directly induced in thyroid cells by ionizing radiation in vitro and, thus, may represent a novel mechanism of radiation-induced carcinogenesis.
    Cancer 03/2014; 120(6):799-807. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that the prognosis of disseminated mucinous appendiceal neoplasms is highly dependent upon tumor grade. Reflecting this, the 7th edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system now incorporates a three-tier grading system for prognostic staging of mucinous appendiceal tumors. However, the grading criteria are not well described. In order to address this issue, we evaluated clinicopathologic and molecular features of 219 cases from 151 patients with widely disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasia treated at our institution between 2004 and 2012. We identified histologic features that were associated with worse overall survival on univariate analysis: destructive invasion, high cytologic grade, high tumor cellularity, angiolymphatic invasion, perineural invasion, and signet ring cell component (all with P<0.0001). We used these morphologic characteristics to classify neoplasms into three grades: AJCC grade G1 lacked all adverse histologic features; AJCC grade G2 had at least one adverse histologic feature (except a signet ring cell component); and AJCC grade G3 were defined by the presence of a signet ring cell component. Patients with AJCC grade G2 and grade G3 adenocarcinomas had a significantly worse prognosis compared with AJCC grade G1 (P<0.0001 for each). A trend toward worse overall survival was identified for patients with AJCC grade G3 adenocarcinomas compared with AJCC grade G2 adenocarcinomas (P=0.07). Our multivariate analysis found that this three-tier grading system was a significant predictor of outcome (P=0.008), independent of other prognostic variables. After controlling for other prognostic variables, AJCC grade G2 was associated with a 2.7-fold increased risk of death (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2-6.2) and AJCC grade G3 was associated with a 5.1-fold increased risk of death (95% CI, 1.7-14) relative to grade G1 tumors. Our results indicate that evaluation of a limited set of adverse histologic features allows for the separation of disseminated mucinous neoplasms of appendiceal origin into three morphologically defined and prognostically relevant grades as advocated by the AJCC.Modern Pathology advance online publication, 14 March 2014; doi:10.1038/modpathol.2014.37.
    Modern Pathology 03/2014; · 5.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The distinction between low-grade and high-grade disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasms is of critical importance in assessing prognosis and guiding patient therapy. SMAD4 encodes a protein that is a central component of the TGFβ signal transduction pathway, and loss of SMAD4 expression has been associated with poor prognosis in carcinomas of the gastrointestinal tract. We reviewed the clinicopathologic and molecular features of 109 disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasms identified over an 8-year period at our institution in an attempt to: (1) correlate SMAD4 immunohistochemical expression with tumor grade; and (2) assess the prognostic significance of SMAD4 expression in predicting overall survival. Compared with tumors demonstrating preserved SMAD4 expression, tumors with loss of SMAD4 expression more frequently exhibited high cytologic grade (85% vs. 50%, P=0.035), high cellularity (100% vs. 45%, P<0.001), and destructive invasion (100% vs. 55%, P=0.001). SMAD4 expression significantly correlated with overall tumor grade (P=0.003): all 13 tumors with loss of SMAD4 expression were high grade, whereas all 42 low-grade tumors displayed preserved SMAD4 expression. A significantly higher proportion of tumors with loss of SMAD4 immunohistochemical expression demonstrated loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 18q (38%) compared with tumors with preserved SMAD4 expression (11%) (P=0.049), suggesting that loss of SMAD4 expression is due to genomic deletion in a high proportion of cases. Patients with SMAD4-negative tumors had significantly worse overall survival in comparison with patients with preserved SMAD4 expression (log rank P=0.023). However, our multivariable analysis found that SMAD4 expression was not independent of overall tumor grade in predicting overall survival. Our results indicate that loss of SMAD4 immunohistochemical expression is associated with loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 18q and is always associated with aggressive histologic features in disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasms. SMAD4 immunohistochemistry may be a useful ancillary study in select cases of disseminated appendiceal neoplasia, in which the distinction between low-grade and high-grade tumors is difficult.
    The American journal of surgical pathology 03/2014; · 4.06 Impact Factor
  • Sanja Dacic, Marina N Nikiforova
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    ABSTRACT: The rapid development of targeted therapies has tremendously changed clinical management of lung carcinoma patients and set the stage for similar developments in other tumor types. Many studies have been published in the past decade in search for the most acceptable method of assessment for predictors of response to targeted therapies in lung cancer. As a result, several guidelines for molecular testing have been published in a past couple of years. Because of accumulated evidence that targetable drugs show the best efficacy and improved progression survival rates in lung cancer patients whose tumors have a specific genotype, molecular testing for predictors of therapy response has became standard of care. Presently, testing for EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements in lung adenocarcinoma has been standardized. The landscape of targetable genomic alterations in lung carcinoma is expanding, but none of other potentially targetable biomarkers have been standardized outside of clinical trials. This review will summarize current practice of molecular testing. Future methods in molecular testing of lung carcinoma will be briefly reviewed.
    Advances in anatomic pathology 03/2014; 21(2):94-9. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: There is increasing emphasis on the subclassification of non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs) and molecular features to guide treatment. Histologic studies have suggested some morphologic features predominating in tumors. Our aim was to determine if mutated cases had distinct cytomorphology. Methods: A retrospective study was designed to retrieve all cytopathology cases of NSCLC that had mutation studies for EGFR or KRAS or fluorescence in situ hybridization studies for ALK between 2007 and 2012. All slides from available mutation-positive cases were reviewed, and cytomorphologic features were correlated to mutation status. Results: Of the cases with molecular testing, 62 (39%) of 160 were positive for mutation, including 39 (31%) positive for KRAS, 20 (14%) for EGFR, and 4 (3%) for ALK (one case positive for both EGFR and ALK). More of ALK+ and KRAS+ cases had a diagnosis of NSCLC-favor adenocarcinoma or NSCLC not otherwise specified than did EGFR+ cases (25; 51% vs 5%). Eosinophilic granular cytoplasm was seen in more ALK and KRAS cases than in EGFR cases (100; 32% vs 6%). Conclusions: Cytologic features of ALK+ and KRAS+ tumors included more nuclear pleomorphism, necrosis, and a less vacuolated cytoplasm than did EGFR+ tumors, which may explain the less definitive subclassification in ALK+ and KRAS+ tumors.
    American Journal of Clinical Pathology 03/2014; 141(3):420-8. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid cancer is a common endocrine malignancy that encompasses well-differentiated as well as dedifferentiated cancer types. The latter tumors have high mortality and lack effective therapies. Using a paired-end RNA-sequencing approach, we report the discovery of rearrangements involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene in thyroid cancer. The most common of these involves a fusion between ALK and the striatin (STRN) gene, which is the result of a complex rearrangement involving the short arm of chromosome 2. STRN-ALK leads to constitutive activation of ALK kinase via dimerization mediated by the coiled-coil domain of STRN and to a kinase-dependent, thyroid-stimulating hormone-independent proliferation of thyroid cells. Moreover, expression of STRN-ALK transforms cells in vitro and induces tumor formation in nude mice. The kinase activity of STRN-ALK and the ALK-induced cell growth can be blocked by the ALK inhibitors crizotinib and TAE684. In addition to well-differentiated papillary cancer, STRN-ALK was found with a higher prevalence in poorly differentiated and anaplastic thyroid cancers, and it did not overlap with other known driver mutations in these tumors. Our data demonstrate that STRN-ALK fusion occurs in a subset of patients with highly aggressive types of thyroid cancer and provide initial evidence suggesting that it may represent a therapeutic target for these patients.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Appendiceal serrated polyps often morphologically resemble their colorectal counterparts and most pathologists employ colorectal diagnostic terminology when evaluating appendiceal serrated lesions. We analyzed 132 appendiceal lesions for mutations in the RAS/RAF/MAPK pathway in an attempt to (1) determine the frequency of these mutations in appendiceal serrated lesions and (2) correlate the histopathologic features with molecular alterations. The study group of appendiceal serrated lesions (n = 46) was divided into a non-dysplastic group (28/46, subclassified as 7 hyperplastic polyps and 21 sessile serrated adenoma/polyps (SSA/P) using colorectal diagnostic terminology) and dysplastic group (18/46, subclassified as 9 SSA/Ps with cytological dysplasia, 7 traditional serrated adenomas, and 2 adenomas with prominent serrations). Appendiceal non-serrated dysplastic lesions (n = 86) comprised the control group. Of the 123 lesions analyzed, KRAS mutations were identified in 64 (52%) appendiceal lesions. No significant difference in the presence of KRAS mutations were identified between serrated non-dysplastic lesions (13/25, 52%), serrated dysplastic lesions (7/14, 50%) and the control group of non-serrated dysplastic lesions (44/84, 52%) (P = 1.0). Importantly, KRAS mutations were identified in lesions that were histologically identical to colorectal hyperplastic polyps (2/6, 33%), SSA/Ps (11/19, 58%), and SSA/Ps with cytological dysplasia (4/7, 57%). Of the 126 lesions tested, BRAF V600E mutations were identified in only 5 (4%) appendiceal lesions. Our results indicate that serrated lesions of the appendix often harbor KRAS mutations rather than BRAF mutations and suggest that the serrated pathway in the appendix is likely different than in the colon and rectum.
    Human pathology 02/2014; 45(2):227-35. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of conventional and oncocytic poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas is difficult. The aim of this study was to characterize their largely unknown miRNA expression profile and to compare it to well differentiated thyroid tumors as well as to identify miRNAs which could potentially serve as diagnostic and prognostic markers. A total of 14 poorly differentiated, 12 oncocytic poorly differentiated, 72 well differentiated thyroid carcinomas and 8 normal thyroid specimens were studied for expression of 768 miRNAs using Human Microarray Assays (Applied Biosystems). miRNA expression was different between poorly differentiated and oncocytic poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas demonstrating individual clusters on the clustering analysis. Both tumor types showed upregulation of miR-125a-5p, -15a-3p, -182, -183-3p, -222, -222-5p and downregulation of miR-130b, -139-5p, -150, -193a-5p, -219-5p, -23b, -451, -455-3p and of miR-886-3p. In addition, the oPD demonstrated upregulation of miR-221 and miR-885-5p. The difference was also observed between miRNA expression in poorly differentiated and well differentiated tumors. The CHAID algorithm allowed to separate poorly differentiated from well differentiated thyroid carcinomas with a 73-79% accuracy using miR-23b and miR-150 as a separator. Kaplan-Meier and multivariate analysis were significantly associated with tumor relapses (miR-23b) and with tumor specific death (miR-150). miRNA expression is different in conventional and oncocytic poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas in comparison to well differentiated thyroid cancers and can be used for discrimination between these tumor types. The newly identified deregulated miRNAs (miR-150, miR-23b) bear the potential to be used in a clinical setting delivering prognostic and diagnostic information.
    Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 01/2014; · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We analyzed a series of 55 disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasms treated at our institution for GNAS and KRAS mutations in an attempt to correlate mutation status with clinicopathologic findings and patient survival. GNAS mutations (p.R201H, c.602G > A and p.R201C, c.602C > T) were identified in 17/55 (31%) of disseminated mucinous neoplasms and were found in 8/23 (35%) low-grade mucinous neoplasms, 7/19 (37%) high-grade mucinous adenocarcinomas lacking a signet ring cell component, and 2/13 (15%) high-grade mucinous adenocarcinomas with a signet ring cell component. All seven mucinous adenocarcinomas composed of pure (>95%) signet ring cells harbored wild-type GNAS. There was no significant association between GNAS mutations and gender and age (both with p > 0.05) or between GNAS mutations and individual adverse histologic features including cytologic grade, destructive invasion, tumor cellularity, angiolymphatic invasion, perineural invasion, and signet ring cells (all with p > 0.05). KRAS mutations were identified in 22/55 (40%) disseminated mucinous neoplasms. GNAS-mutated disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasms more frequently harbored concurrent KRAS mutations compared with GNAS-wild-type tumors (65% vs. 29%, p = 0.018). GNAS mutations were not significantly associated with overall survival (both with p > 0.05). Only overall tumor grade was an independent predictor of overall survival in the multivariable analysis (p = 0.01). Our results indicate that GNAS mutations are frequently identified in both low-grade and high-grade disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasms indicating that GNAS mutation status cannot be used to distinguish between low-grade from high-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasms.
    Human pathology 01/2014; · 3.03 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
539.86 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2014
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Division of Pediatric Pathology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2013
    • Stanford University
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2012
    • Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2010–2011
    • University of Kentucky
      • Department of Plant Pathology
      Lexington, KY, United States
  • 2009
    • Houston Methodist Hospital
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 1999–2009
    • University of Cincinnati
      • • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      • • Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
      Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • 2007
    • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
      • Division of Pathology
      Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 1998
    • The Ohio State University
      • Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
      Columbus, OH, United States
  • 1996
    • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
      • Cedars Sinai Medical Center
      Los Angeles, CA, United States