Mohammad R Akbari

Magee-Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (46)161.13 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes confer an estimated 58-80% lifetime risk of breast cancer. In general, screening is done for cancer patients if a relative has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. There are few data on the prevalence of mutations in these genes in Mexican women with breast cancer and this hampers efforts to develop screening policies in Mexico. Methods: We screened 810 unselected women with breast cancer from three cities in Mexico (Mexico City, Veracruz and Monterrey) for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, including a panel of 26 previously reported mutations. Results: Thirty-five mutations were identified in 34 women (4.3% of total) including 20 BRCA1 mutations and 15 BRCA2 mutations. Twenty-two of the 35 mutations were recurrent mutations (62.8%). Only five of the 34 mutation carriers had a first-degree relative with breast cancer (three with BRCA1 and two with BRCA2 mutations). Conclusion: These results support the rationale for a strategy of screening for recurrent mutations in all women with breast cancer in Mexico, as opposed to restricting screening to those with a sister or mother with breast or ovarian cancer. Impact: These results will impact cancer genetic testing in Mexico and the identification of at-risk individuals who will benefit from increased surveillance. Financial Support: E. Ziv was recipient of the NIH grant R01CA120120 and K24CA169004.
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic instability resulting in copy number variation is a hallmark of malignant transformation and may be identified through massive parallel sequencing. Tumor-specific cell free DNA (cfDNA) present in serum and plasma provides a real-time, easily accessible surrogate.
    Clinical chemistry. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A number of genes other than BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been associated with breast cancer predisposition and extended genetic testing panels have been proposed. It is of interest to establish the full spectrum of deleterious mutations in women with familial breast cancer.
    Clinical Genetics 10/2014; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Men with a BRCA2 mutation face an increased risk of prostate cancer. These cancers tend to have an aggressive nature and it has not yet been demonstrated that regular screening of BRCA2 carriers is associated with improved survival.Methods:We identified 4187 men who underwent a prostate cancer biopsy for an elevated PSA or an abnormal digital rectal examination between 1998 and 2010. We screened the BRCA2 gene in its entirety for mutations and we followed the men for death from prostate cancer until December 2012.Results:The 12-year prostate cancer-specific survival rate was 94.3% for men without a BRCA2 mutation and was 61.8% for men with a mutation (P<10(-4); log-rank test).Conclusions:The survival of men with screen-detected prostate cancer and a BRCA2 mutation is much poorer than expected.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 7 August 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.428
    British journal of cancer. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations among unselected breast cancer patients in the Bahamas is 23%. It is beneficial to advise relatives of mutation carriers that they are candidates for genetic testing. Women who test positive are then eligible for preventive interventions, such as oophorectomy. It is not clear how often relatives of women with a mutation in the Bahamas wish to undergo genetic testing for the family mutation. Furthermore, it is not clear how best to communicate this sensitive information to relatives in order to maximise patient compliance. We offered genetic testing to 202 first-degree relatives of 58 mutation carriers. Of 159 women who were contacted by the proband or other family member, only 14 made an appointment for genetic testing (9%). In contrast, among 32 relatives who were contacted directly by the genetic counsellor, 27 came for an appointment (84%). This study suggests that for recruitment of relatives in the Bahamas, direct contact by counsellor is preferable to using the proband as an intermediary.
    Clinical Genetics 07/2014; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Haploinsufficiency may contribute to the development of breast cancer among women with a BRCA1 mutation. Thus, interventions that enhance BRCA1 expression may represent avenues for prevention. Studies have shown that 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) can upregulate BRCA1 expression in breast cancer cells. This has yet to be demonstrated in vivo.Methods:We conducted a study to evaluate the ability of oral DIM to upregulate BRCA1 mRNA expression in white blood cells. A total of 18 women were enroled in the study, including 13 BRCA1 mutation carriers who received 300 mg per day of Rx Balance BioResponse DIM for 4-6 weeks (intervention group) and 5 BRCA1 mutation carriers who did not take DIM (control group). BRCA1 mRNA expression was assessed at baseline and at 4-6 weeks by real-time, quantitative PCR and the relative change in BRCA1 mRNA expression (that is, 2(-ΔΔCT)) was calculated.Results:The relative change in BRCA1 mRNA expression among women in the intervention group achieved borderline significance (P paired t-test=0.05). In the intervention group, BRCA1 mRNA expression increased in 10 of the participants, decreased in 2 and remained unchanged in 1 of the participants following DIM intervention (P sign test=0.02). On average, women in the intervention group experienced a 34% increase in BRCA1 mRNA expression (range -24 to 194%). There was no significant difference in the relative change in BRCA1 mRNA expression among women in the control group (P paired t-test=0.45).Conclusions:Under the tested conditions, oral DIM was associated with an increase in BRCA1 mRNA expression in women with a BRCA1 mutation. The possibility of mitigating the effect of an inherited deleterious BRCA1 mutation by increasing the physiologic expression of the gene and normalising protein levels represents a clinically important paradigm shift in the prevention strategies available to these high-risk women. Future studies with a larger sample size and higher doses of DIM are warranted.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 15 July 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.391
    British journal of cancer. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a very rare disease in Iran and reported cases are all negative for HFE mutation. We report a family affected by severe juvenile hemochromatosis (JH) with a detailed molecular study of the family members. METHODS We studied a pedigree with siblings affected by juvenile HH and followed them for 3 years. Microsatellite and gene sequencing analysis was performed for all family members. RESULTS Two siblings (the proband and his sister, aged 26 and 30 years, respectively) were found to have clinical findings of JH. The proband's brother, who presented with hyperpigmentation, died of probable JH at the age of 24 years. Gene sequencing analysis showed that the proband has a homozygote c.265T>C (p.C89R) HJV mutation + a heterozygote c.884T>C (p.V295A) mutation of HFE. The affected proband's sister presented with the same HJV c.265T>C (p.C89R) homozygote mutation. In addition, we found the HJV c.98-6C>G polymorphic variant in both the sister and proband (homozygote). Sequencing of hepcidin (HAMP), TfR2, and FPN revealed no mutation. CONCLUSION We have shown that molecular analysis of the HH related gene is a powerful tool for reliable diagnosis of JH and, in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and noninvasive liver stiffness measurement by elastography, is adequate tool for management and follow up of HH.
    Middle East journal of digestive diseases. 04/2014; 6(2):87-92.
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that women from high-risk families who tested negative for a BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutation were four times more likely to develop breast cancer compared to women in the general population. Preventive measures and risk factors for breast cancer development in these high-risk women have not been evaluated to the same extent as BRCA1/2 positive women. Further, there is virtually no scientific evidence about best practices in their management and care. The proposed study will examine a role of genetic and non-genetic factors and develop the systems and parameters for the monitoring and surveillance necessary to help establish guidelines for the care of this high-risk population. To achieve our goals, we will assemble and follow a Canadian cohort of 1,000 cancer-free women with a strong family history breast cancer (defined as two or more relatives affected by breast cancer under the age of 50, or three or more relatives diagnosed with breast cancer at any age from one side of the family and with no BRCA1/2 mutation in the family). All eligible participants will be mailed a study package including invitation to participate, consent form, a research questionnaire to collect data regarding family history, reproductive and lifestyle factors, as well as screening and surgery. Usual dietary intake will be assessed by a diet history questionnaire. Biological samples including toenail clippings, urine and blood samples will be collected. These women will be followed every two years by questionnaire to update exposure information, screening practices, surgical and chemoprevention, and disease development. Findings from this study will serve to help establish clinical guidelines for the implementation of prevention, counseling, and treatment practices for women who face an elevated risk of breast cancer due to family history, but who do not carry a BRCA1/2 mutation.
    BMC Cancer 03/2014; 14(1):221. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is an unmet clinical need for biomarkers to identify breast cancer patients at an increased risk of developing brain metastases. The objective is to identify gene signatures and biological pathways associated with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) brain metastasis. We combined laser capture microdissection and gene expression microarrays to analyze malignant epithelium from HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases with that from HER2+ nonmetastatic primary tumors. Differential gene expression was performed including Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) using publicly available breast cancer gene expression data sets. In a cohort of HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases, we identified a gene expression signature that anti-correlates with overexpression of BRCA1. Sequence analysis of the HER2+ brain metastases revealed no pathogenic mutations of BRCA1, and therefore the aforementioned signature was designated BRCA1 Deficient-Like (BD-L). Evaluation of an independent cohort of breast cancer metastases demonstrated that BD-L values are significantly higher in brain metastases as compared to other metastatic sites. Although the BD-L signature is present in all subtypes of breast cancer, it is significantly higher in BRCA1 mutant primary tumors as compared with sporadic breast tumors. Additionally, BD-L signature values are significantly higher in HER2-/ER- primary tumors as compared with HER2+/ER + and HER2-/ER + tumors. The BD-L signature correlates with breast cancer cell line pharmacologic response to a combination of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor and temozolomide, and the signature outperformed four published gene signatures of BRCA1/2 deficiency. A BD-L signature is enriched in HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases without pathogenic BRCA1 mutations. Unexpectedly, elevated BD-L values are found in a subset of primary tumors across all breast cancer subtypes. Evaluation of pharmacological sensitivity in breast cancer cell lines representing all breast cancer subtypes suggests the BD-L signature may serve as a biomarker to identify sporadic breast cancer patients who might benefit from a therapeutic combination of PARP inhibitor and temozolomide and may be indicative of a dysfunctional BRCA1-associated pathway.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 03/2014; 16(2):R25. · 5.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: In epithelial ovarian cancer, concordance between results of microsatellite instability (MSI) and immunohistochemical (IHC) testing has not been demonstrated. This study evaluated the association of MSI-high (MSI-H) status with loss of expression (LoE) of mismatch repair (MMR) proteins on IHC and assessed for potential factors affecting the strength of the association. Methods: Tumor specimens from three population-based studies of epithelial ovarian cancer were stained for MMR proteins through manual or automated methods, and results were interpreted by one of two pathologists. Tumor and germline DNA was extracted and MSI testing performed. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to predict loss of IHC expression based on MSI status after adjusting for staining method and reading pathologist. Results: Of 834 cases, 564 (67.6%) were concordant; 41 were classified as MSI-H with LoE and 523 as microsatellite stable (MSS) with no LoE. Of the 270 discordant cases, 83 were MSI-H with no LoE and 187 were MSS with LoE. Both IHC staining method and reading pathologist were strongly associated with discordant results. Conclusions: Lack of concordance in the current study may be related to inconsistencies in IHC testing methods and interpretation. Results support the need for validation studies before routine screening of ovarian tumors is implemented in clinical practice for the purpose of identifying Lynch syndrome.
    Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers 03/2014; · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three founder alleles of BRCA1 (C61G, 4153delA, 5382insC) were reported in Poland in 2000, and these three mutations have comprised the standard testing panel used throughout the country. However, since 2000, other recurrent mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been reported. To establish if the inclusion of one or more of these mutations will increase the sensitivity of the standard test panel, we studied 1164 Polish women with unselected breast cancer diagnosed at age of 50 or below. All women were genotyped for 12 recurrent mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2. We identified a mutation in 83 of 1164 patients (7.1%) including 61 women with one of the original three mutations (C61G, 4153delA, 5382insC) and 22 women with a different mutation (1.9%). Three new mutations (3819del5, 185delAG and 5370C>T) were seen in multiple families. By including these three mutations in the extended panel, the mutant frequency increased from 5.2% to 6.7% Polish women with breast cancer diagnosed at age of 50 or below should be screened with a panel of six founder mutations of BRCA1 (C61G, 4153delA, 5382insC, 3819del5, 185delAG and 5370C>T).
    Clinical Genetics 02/2014; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We compared the frequency of PPM1D mutation in the white blood cells from 1295 ovarian cancer case patients and 834 control subjects. We found a truncating mutation in 20 case patients vs 1 control subject (odds ratio [OR] = 13.07; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.75 to 97.55; P < .001). The 12-year mortality of the PPM1D-positive case patients was higher than that of the PPM1D-negative case patients (hazard ratio = 2.02; 95% CI = 1.21 to 3.39; P = .007). Three of the 20 PPM1D carrier case patients had a past history of breast cancer compared with 29 of 1129 noncarriers (OR = 6.69; 95% CI = 1.86 to 24.11; P = .007). The lifetime risks for breast or ovarian cancer among female first-degree relatives of PPM1D mutation carriers were not increased compared with that of case patients without mutations. These observations suggest PPM1D mutations in the mosaic state predispose women to breast and ovarian cancer in the absence of a family history of cancer.
    CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment 11/2013; · 14.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Germline mutations of BRCA2 and NBS1 genes cause inherited recessive chromosomal instability syndromes and predispose to prostate cancer of poor prognosis. Mutations of the BLM gene cause another chromosomal instability clinical syndrome, called Bloom syndrome. Recently, a recurrent truncating mutation of BLM (Q548X) has been associated with 6-fold increased risk of breast cancer in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, but its role in prostate cancer etiology and survival has not been investigated yet. To establish whether the Q548X allele of BLM gene is present in Poland, and whether this allele predisposes to poor prognosis prostate cancer, we genotyped 3,337 men with prostate cancer and 2,604 controls. Q548X was detected in 13 of 3,337 (0.4%) men with prostate cancer compared to 15 of 2,604 (0.6%) controls (OR=0.7; 95%CI 0.3 - 1.4). A positive family history of any cancer in a first- or second-degree relative was seen only in 4 of the 13 (30%) mutation positive families, compared to 49% (1485/3001) of the non-carrier families (p=0.3). The mean follow-up was 49months. Survival was similar among carriers of Q548X and non-carriers (HR=1.1; p =0.9). The 5-year survival for men with a BLM mutation was 83%, compared to 72% for mutation-negative cases. BLM Q548X is a common founder mutation in Poland. We found no evidence that this mutation predisposes one to prostate cancer or affect prostate cancer survival. However, based on the observed 0.6% population frequency of the Q548X allele, we estimate that one in 100,000 children should be affected by Bloom syndrome in Poland.
    Gene 10/2013; · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several SNPs have been associated with an elevated risk of prostate cancer risk. It is not established if they are useful in predicting the presence of prostate cancer at biopsy or if they can be used to define a low risk group of men. In this study, 4,548 men underwent a prostate biopsy because of an elevated PSA (>/=4 ng/ml) or an abnormal digital rectal examination (DRE). All men were genotyped for eleven selected SNPs. The effect of each SNP, alone and in combination, on prostate cancer prevalence was studied. Of 4,548 men:1,834 (40.3%) were found to have cancer. A positive association with prostate cancer was seen for five of the eleven SNPs studied (rs1800629, rs1859962, rs1447295, rs4430796, rs11228565). The cancer detection rate rose with the number of SNP risk alleles from 29% for men with no variant to 63% for men who carried seven or more risk alleles (OR=4.2; p=0.002). The SNP data did not improve the predictive power of clinical factors (age, PSA and DRE) for detecting prostate cancer (AUC: 0.726 vs 0.735; p=0.4). We were unable to define a group of men with a sufficiently low prevalence of prostate cancer that a biopsy might have been avoided. In conclusion, our data do not support the routine use of SNP polymorphisms as an adjunct test to be used on the context of prostate biopsy for Polish men with an abnormal screening test.
    International Journal of Cancer 09/2013; · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Young Black women in the United States are disproportionately afflicted with breast cancer, a proportion of which may be due to BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA) gene mutations. In a cancer registry-based sample of young Black women with breast cancer, we evaluated: (1) the prevalence of BRCA mutations detected through full gene sequencing and large rearrangements testing and (2) proportions that accessed genetic services pre-dating study enrollment. Black women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer ≤age 50 years in 2009-2012 were recruited through the Florida Cancer Registry. Participants completed genetic counseling, a study questionnaire, and consent for medical record release. Saliva specimens were collected for BRCA testing. Overall, 13 participants (9 %) had BRCA mutations detected (including 11 through full gene sequencing and two through large rearrangements testing). One of these large rearrangements, BRCA1 (delExon8), was identified in a participant who had previously tested negative on clinical comprehensive BRCAnalysis that was performed prior to undergoing a lumpectomy. Although all 144 participants met national criteria for referral for cancer genetic risk assessment, 61 (42 %) were referred for genetic counseling and/or had genetic testing preceding study enrollment, and only 20 (14 %) received genetic counseling. Our findings emphasize the importance of large rearrangements testing to increase detection of deleterious BRCA mutations in young Black women with breast cancer. The registry-based design of our study increase the generalizability of findings compared with efforts focused on clinic-based populations. Furthermore, results suggest efforts are needed to improve access to genetic counseling and testing.
    Journal of community genetics 08/2013;
  • 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting; 05/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The HOXB13 pGly84Glu mutation has recently been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer but the association of other cancer sites with this allele has not been assessed. Data has suggested that HOXB13 expression levels are decreased in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines indicating this gene may be involved in colorectal tumourigenesis. Methods: To evaluate a potential association of this mutation with CRC, we genotyped the mutation in 2695 CRC cases and 4593 controls from population-based registries in Canada and Australia. Results: The HOXB13 pGly84Glu mutation was more common in CRC cases than controls (0.48% vs. 0.17%, P=0.02) indicating a significant association between the HOXB13 variant and CRC risk (OR=2.8; 95%CI: 1.2-6.8). This association was attenuated but remained significant with the inclusion of previously published and publicly available genotype data. Pedigree analysis of cases and controls revealed that 7/21 HOXB13 mutation carriers had a family history of prostate cancer. Discussion: This report is the first to suggest a risk of CRC associated with mutations in the HOXB13 gene. These findings require further validation but may be of importance in the screening and genetic counseling of families known to carry the HOXB13 pGly84Glu mutation.
    Cancer epidemiology. 03/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: We sought to identify the full range of founder mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 in the Bahamas and to estimate the proportion of all BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations that are accounted for by founder mutations. METHODS: We studied 214 Bahamian women with invasive breast cancer, unselected for age or family history. A founder mutation had previously been identified in 49 patients. We conducted full sequencing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and MLPA for 156 patients. RESULTS: A novel founder mutation in BRCA2 (exon 17 818delA) was seen in four different patients and five other unique mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, including a large deletion (exon 8-9) in BRCA1. In total, a mutation was seen in 58 of the 214 patients (27%); 92% of carriers carried one of the seven founder mutations. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 27% of unselected cases of breast cancer in the Bahamian population are attributable to a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2, a prevalence which far exceeds that of any other country. The majority of women who carry a mutation in the Bahamas, carry one of the seven founder mutations, making it possible to offer genetic testing to all women at risk for breast cancer in the Bahamas.
    Clinical Genetics 03/2013; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The G84E mutation in the HOXB13 gene has been associated with a high lifetime risk of prostate cancer in North America (about 20-fold). The geographical and ethnic extent of this recurrent allele has not yet been determined. METHODS: We assayed for the presence of the G84E mutation in 3,515 prostate cancer patients and 2,604 controls from Poland and estimated the odds ratio for prostate cancer associated with the allele. RESULTS: The G84E mutation was detected in 3 of 2,604 (0.1%) individuals from the general population in Poland and in 20 of 3,515 (0.6%) men with prostate cancer (Odds ratio [OR] = 5.0; 95% CI: 1.5-16.7; P = 0.008). The allele was present in 4 of 416 (1.0%) men with familial prostate cancer (OR = 8.4, 95% CI: 1.9-37.7; P = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: The G84E mutation predisposes to prostate cancer in Poland, but accounts for only a small proportion of cases. We expect that the G84E founder mutation might be present in other Slavic populations. Prostate © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    The Prostate 01/2013; · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Early detection of squamous dysplasia and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is of great importance. Adopting computer aided algorithms in predicting cancer risk using its risk factors can serve in limiting the clinical screenings to people with higher risks. In the present study, we show that the application of an advanced classification method, the Minimum Classification Error, could considerably enhance the classification performance in comparison to the logistic regression model and the variable structure fuzzy neural network, as the latest successful methods. The results yield the accuracy of 89.65% for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and 88.42% for squamous dysplasia risk prediction.
    Computers in biology and medicine 01/2013; · 1.27 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

447 Citations
161.13 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • Magee-Womens Hospital
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2006–2014
    • University of Toronto
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology
      • • Institute of Medical Sciences
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2013
    • Poznan University of Medical Sciences
      Posen, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland
    • Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin
      • Department of Pathology
      Stettin, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland
  • 2004–2013
    • Shariati Hospital
      Teheran, Tehrān, Iran
  • 2006–2009
    • Tehran University of Medical Sciences
      • Digestive Disease Research Institute (DDRI)
      Tehrān, Ostan-e Tehran, Iran
  • 2008
    • Cuban National Institute of Oncology
      La Habana, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
    • Ferdowsi University Of Mashhad
      • Department of Animal Sciences
      Mashad, Razavi Khorasan, Iran