[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Malignant Rhabdoid Tumours are caused by a biallelic inactivation of a single gene (SMARCB1) which encodes a core subunit of the hSWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. SWI/SNF regulates hundreds of downstream genes/pathways formation. Despite knowing that SMARCB1 mutation causes MRT no studies have systematically identified specific downstream pathways critical to tumourigenesis. Understanding these downstream effects is critical to identifying therapeutic targets that can improve the survival of MRT patients.
To reveal the global transcriptional changes caused by SMARCB1 deletion, we performed RNA-seq and 450k-methylation analyses in MRT human primary malignancies (n>30) and in 4 MRT cell lines in which Lentivirus was used to re-express SMARCB1 (G401, A204, CHLA-266, and STA-WT1). Moreover to understand the dynamics of chromatin binding/remodeling following SMARCB1 re-expression we performed ChIP-seq in our functional models.
We show that primary MRTs present a unique and defined expression/methylation profile which confirms that MRT broadly constitute a single tumor type, when compared with other paediatric tumours. However despite their common cause MRT can be can sub-grouped by location (i.e CNS or kidney). We observe that re-expression of SMARCB1 in MRT cell lines determines activation/inactivation of specific downstream pathways (IL-6/TGFbeta), genome-wide alterations in methylation and consequently gene expression. Loss of SMARCB1 also promotes expression of aberrant isoforms and novel transcripts and causes genome-wide changes in SWI/SNF binding.
Our transcriptome and methylome analysis in primary MRT and in our functional model allow us to study in unprecedented detail the effect of SMARCB1 loss in MRTs. Through integration of our data using systems biology methods we have provided for the first time a genome-wide catalogue of SMARCB1 tumourigenic changes in both primary and functional models. We have isolated and validated critical genes/pathways and biological mechanisms which may ultimately be targetable therapeutically and will lead to better treatments for what is currently one of the most lethal paediatric cancers known.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disease recurrence following multi-modal therapy is the single most adverse event in medulloblastoma (MB). Currently >90% of relapsing patients die, accounting for ∼10% of childhood cancer deaths. MB is heterogeneous at diagnosis, comprising four molecular subgroups with distinct clinicopathological and molecular features and outcomes. The relevance of these features at relapse is unknown, making characterisation, modelling and targeted therapy of relapse biology essential to improve outcomes. However, relapsed MBs are not routinely biopsied in clinical practice.We undertook a first comprehensive investigation of the molecular, clinical and pathological features of 29 relapsed MBs and paired tumour samples taken at diagnosis, including the assessment of features with established significance at diagnosis (e.g. chromosome 17 and TP53 pathway status, MYC family (MYC, MYCN) gene amplification, polyploidy, CTNNB1 mutation and molecular subgroup status). Molecular subgroup was concordant at diagnosis and relapse, however evidence of alteration of all other features examined was found in relapsed tumours, with the majority of changes (30/44) representing acquired high-risk events. Most notably, MYC family gene amplifications and TP53 pathway defects commonly emerged in combination at relapse following conventional multimodal treatment (P=0.02, 7/22, 32%) and predicted rapid progression to death (P=0.016).These observations suggested aberrant activation of MYC family genes synergizes with TP53 inactivation in the genesis of biologically aggressive MB. To investigate any such relationship, we examined Trp53 status in our transgenic mouse model of spontaneously-arising MYCN-driven MB (GTML; Glt1-tTA/TRE-MYCN-Luc). Somatic Trp53 mutations were found in 83% of tumors (n=10/12). Direct modelling of this interaction in GTML/Trp53KI/KI mice dramatically enhanced MB formation with 100% penetrance (43/43, median survival 47 days) in GTML/Trp53KI/KI versus 6% (3/50) in GTML; P<0.0001), faithfully mimicked clinicopathological characteristics of TP53-MYC family gene-associated relapsed human tumors, and validated the essential role of TP53 in potentiating the growth of MYCN-driven MB. Finally, therapeutic inhibition of Aurora-A kinase using MLN8237 in these tumours, and in derived neurospheres in vitro, promoted degradation of MYCN, reduced tumor growth and prolonged survival.In summary, while subgroup status remains stable, MBs display altered molecular, pathological and clinical features at relapse, and the emergence of combined TP53-MYC family gene defects is common following conventional therapy. Their association with rapid demise, coupled with their biological validation as driving and therapeutically exploitable events in a novel mouse MB model, strongly support further investigation and routine biopsy of relapse disease to drive future individualised therapeutic strategies.Citation Format: Rebecca M. Hill, Sanne Kuijper, Janet Lindsey, Ed C. Schwalbe, Karen Barker, Jessica Boult, Daniel Williamson, Zai Ahmad, Albert Hallsworth, Sarra Ryan, Evon Poon, Simon Robinson, Ruth Ruddle, Florence Raynaud, Louise Howell, Colin Kwok, Abhijit Joshi, Sarah Nicholson, Stephen Crosier, Stephen Wharton, Tom Jacques, Keith Robson, Antony Michalski, Darren Hargrave, Barry Pizer, Simon Bailey, Fredrik J. Swartling, Kevin Petrie, William A. Weiss, Louis Chesler, Steve Clifford. MYC and TP53 defects interact at medulloblastoma relapse to define rapidly progressive disease and can be targeted therapeutically. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2014 Apr 5-9; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2014;74(19 Suppl):Abstract nr LB-201. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2014-LB-201
Cancer Research 10/2014; 74(19 Supplement):Abstract LB-201. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.am2014-lb-201 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of management in children with craniopharyngiomas is to reduce the impact of the tumour as much as possible, while minimising the morbidity associated with treatment. There are a number of therapeutic options available: surgery, radiotherapy and the insertion of therapeutic agents directly into the tumour cyst. The role of intracystic therapy in the form of interferon is discussed; including when to use this therapeutic option and practical details of its use.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma comprises four distinct molecular subgroups: WNT, SHH, Group 3, and Group 4. Current medulloblastoma protocols stratify patients based on clinical features: patient age, metastatic stage, extent of resection, and histologic variant. Stark prognostic and genetic differences among the four subgroups suggest that subgroup-specific molecular biomarkers could improve patient prognostication.
Molecular biomarkers were identified from a discovery set of 673 medulloblastomas from 43 cities around the world. Combined risk stratification models were designed based on clinical and cytogenetic biomarkers identified by multivariable Cox proportional hazards analyses. Identified biomarkers were tested using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) on a nonoverlapping medulloblastoma tissue microarray (n = 453), with subsequent validation of the risk stratification models.
Subgroup information improves the predictive accuracy of a multivariable survival model compared with clinical biomarkers alone. Most previously published cytogenetic biomarkers are only prognostic within a single medulloblastoma subgroup. Profiling six FISH biomarkers (GLI2, MYC, chromosome 11 [chr11], chr14, 17p, and 17q) on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues, we can reliably and reproducibly identify very low-risk and very high-risk patients within SHH, Group 3, and Group 4 medulloblastomas.
Combining subgroup and cytogenetic biomarkers with established clinical biomarkers substantially improves patient prognostication, even in the context of heterogeneous clinical therapies. The prognostic significance of most molecular biomarkers is restricted to a specific subgroup. We have identified a small panel of cytogenetic biomarkers that reliably identifies very high-risk and very low-risk groups of patients, making it an excellent tool for selecting patients for therapy intensification and therapy de-escalation in future clinical trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma is curable in approximately 70 % of patients. Over the past decade, progress in improving survival using conventional therapies has stalled, resulting in reduced quality of life due to treatment-related side effects, which are a major concern in survivors. The vast amount of genomic and molecular data generated over the last 5-10 years encourages optimism that improved risk stratification and new molecular targets will improve outcomes. It is now clear that medulloblastoma is not a single-disease entity, but instead consists of at least four distinct molecular subgroups: WNT/Wingless, Sonic Hedgehog, Group 3, and Group 4. The Medulloblastoma Down Under 2013 meeting, which convened at Bunker Bay, Australia, brought together 50 leading clinicians and scientists. The 2-day agenda included focused sessions on pathology and molecular stratification, genomics and mouse models, high-throughput drug screening, and clinical trial design. The meeting established a global action plan to translate novel biologic insights and drug targeting into treatment regimens to improve outcomes. A consensus was reached in several key areas, with the most important being that a novel classification scheme for medulloblastoma based on the four molecular subgroups, as well as histopathologic features, should be presented for consideration in the upcoming fifth edition of the World Health Organization's classification of tumours of the central nervous system. Three other notable areas of agreement were as follows: (1) to establish a central repository of annotated mouse models that are readily accessible and freely available to the international research community; (2) to institute common eligibility criteria between the Children's Oncology Group and the International Society of Paediatric Oncology Europe and initiate joint or parallel clinical trials; (3) to share preliminary high-throughput screening data across discovery labs to hasten the development of novel therapeutics. Medulloblastoma Down Under 2013 was an effective forum for meaningful discussion, which resulted in enhancing international collaborative clinical and translational research of this rare disease. This template could be applied to other fields to devise global action plans addressing all aspects of a disease, from improved disease classification, treatment stratification, and drug targeting to superior treatment regimens to be assessed in cooperative international clinical trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
This multicenter phase II study investigated temozolomide + irinotecan (TEMIRI) treatment in children with relapsed or refractory medulloblastoma.Methods
Patients received temozolomide 100-125 mg/m(2)/day (days 1-5) and irinotecan 10 mg/m(2)/day (days 1-5 and 8-12) every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was tumor response within the first 4 cycles confirmed ≥4 weeks and assessed by an external response review committee (ERRC). In a 2-stage Optimum Simon design, ≥6 responses in the first 15 evaluable patients were required within the first 4 cycles for continued enrollment; a total of 19 responses from the first 46 evaluable patients was considered successful.ResultsSixty-six patients were treated. Seven responses were recorded during stage 1 and 15 in the first 46 ERRC evaluated patients (2 complete responses and 13 partial responses). The objective response rate during the first 4 cycles was 32.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19.5%-48.0%). Median duration of response was 27.0 weeks (7.7-44.1 wk). In 63 patients evaluated by local investigators, the objective response rate was 33.3% (95% CI, 22.0%-46.3%), and 68.3% (95% CI, 55.3%-79.4%) experienced clinical benefit. Median survival was 16.7 months (95% CI, 13.3-19.8). The most common grade 3 treatment-related nonhematologic adverse event was diarrhea (7.6%). Grade 3/4 treatment-related hematologic adverse events included neutropenia (16.7%), thrombocytopenia (12.1%), anemia (9.1%), and lymphopenia (9%).Conclusions
The planned study primary endpoint was not met. However, its tolerability makes TEMIRI a suitable candidate chemotherapy backbone for molecularly targeted agents in future trials in this setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSEReports detailing the prognostic impact of TP53 mutations in medulloblastoma offer conflicting conclusions. We resolve this issue through the inclusion of molecular subgroup profiles.Patients And methodsWe determined subgroup affiliation, TP53 mutation status, and clinical outcome in a discovery cohort of 397 medulloblastomas. We subsequently validated our results on an independent cohort of 156 medulloblastomas.ResultsTP53 mutations are enriched in wingless (WNT; 16%) and sonic hedgehog (SHH; 21%) medulloblastomas and are virtually absent in subgroups 3 and 4 tumors (P < .001). Patients with SHH/TP53 mutant tumors are almost exclusively between ages 5 and 18 years, dramatically different from the general SHH distribution (P < .001). Children with SHH/TP53 mutant tumors harbor 56% germline TP53 mutations, which are not observed in children with WNT/TP53 mutant tumors. Five-year overall survival (OS; ± SE) was 41% ± 9% and 81% ± 5% for patients with SHH medulloblastomas with and without TP53 mutations, respectively (P < .001). Furthermore, TP53 mutations accounted for 72% of deaths in children older than 5 years with SHH medulloblastomas. In contrast, 5-year OS rates were 90% ± 9% and 97% ± 3% for patients with WNT tumors with and without TP53 mutations (P = .21). Multivariate analysis revealed that TP53 status was the most important risk factor for SHH medulloblastoma. Survival rates in the validation cohort mimicked the discovery results, revealing that poor survival of TP53 mutations is restricted to patients with SHH medulloblastomas (P = .012) and not WNT tumors. CONCLUSION
Subgroup-specific analysis reconciles prior conflicting publications and confirms that TP53 mutations are enriched among SHH medulloblastomas, in which they portend poor outcome and account for a large proportion of treatment failures in these patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular subclassification is rapidly informing the clinical management of medulloblastoma. However, the disease remains associated with poor outcomes and therapy-associated late effects, and the majority of patients are not characterized by a validated prognostic biomarker. Here, we investigated the potential of epigenetic DNA methylation for disease subclassification, particularly in formalin-fixed biopsies, and to identify biomarkers for improved therapeutic individualization. Tumor DNA methylation profiles were assessed, alongside molecular and clinical disease features, in 230 patients primarily from the SIOP-UKCCSG PNET3 clinical trial. We demonstrate by cross-validation in frozen training and formalin-fixed test sets that medulloblastoma comprises four robust DNA methylation subgroups (termed WNT, SHH, G3 and G4), highly related to their transcriptomic counterparts, and which display distinct molecular, clinical and pathological disease characteristics. WNT patients displayed an expected favorable prognosis, while outcomes for SHH, G3 and G4 were equivalent in our cohort. MXI1 and IL8 methylation were identified as novel independent high-risk biomarkers in cross-validated survival models of non-WNT patients, and were validated using non-array methods. Incorporation of MXI1 and IL8 into current survival models significantly improved the assignment of disease risk; 46 % of patients could be classified as 'favorable risk' (>90 % survival) compared to 13 % using current models, while the high-risk group was reduced from 30 to 16 %. DNA methylation profiling enables the robust subclassification of four disease subgroups in frozen and routinely collected/archival formalin-fixed biopsy material, and the incorporation of DNA methylation biomarkers can significantly improve disease-risk stratification. These findings have important implications for future risk-adapted clinical disease management.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma, the most common malignant paediatric brain tumour, is currently treated with nonspecific cytotoxic therapies including surgery, whole-brain radiation, and aggressive chemotherapy. As medulloblastoma exhibits marked intertumoural heterogeneity, with at least four distinct molecular variants, previous attempts to identify targets for therapy have been underpowered because of small samples sizes. Here we report somatic copy number aberrations (SCNAs) in 1,087 unique medulloblastomas. SCNAs are common in medulloblastoma, and are predominantly subgroup-enriched. The most common region of focal copy number gain is a tandem duplication of SNCAIP, a gene associated with Parkinson's disease, which is exquisitely restricted to Group 4α. Recurrent translocations of PVT1, including PVT1-MYC and PVT1-NDRG1, that arise through chromothripsis are restricted to Group 3. Numerous targetable SCNAs, including recurrent events targeting TGF-β signalling in Group 3, and NF-κB signalling in Group 4, suggest future avenues for rational, targeted therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Malawi, children with central nervous system (CNS) tumours are seldom able to be treated with curative intent. A study was undertaken of 29 children who underwent CNS MRI during a two year period. A combination of neoplastic and non-neoplastic diagnoses were noted, seven of which were revised on review. As a result an effective system has been set up for remote urgent review to guide prognosis and treatment. The opinion of a paediatric neuro-radiologist greatly assists in differentiating infectious and non infectious causes of CNS lesions and can enable the local team to effectively triage patients.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 07/2012; 106(9):567-9. DOI:10.1016/j.trstmh.2012.06.001 · 1.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the case of a 13-year old with a radiological diagnosis of relapsed medulloblastoma. Eighteen months after the last course of palliative chemotherapy MRI showed radiological resolution. The lesions were retrospectively assumed to be a radiation effect, highlighting the potential benefits of biopsy to confirm presumed radiological recurrence.
British Journal of Neurosurgery 12/2011; 26(4):542-4. DOI:10.3109/02688697.2011.638997 · 0.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The MYC oncogenes are the most commonly amplified loci in medulloblastoma, and have previously been proposed as biomarkers of adverse disease prognosis by us and others. Here, we report focussed and comprehensive investigations of MYCC, MYCN and MYCL in an extensive medulloblastoma cohort (n = 292), aimed to define more precisely their biological significance and optimal clinical application to direct improved disease risk-stratification and individualisation of therapy. MYCC and MYCN expression elevations were multifactorial, associated with high-risk (gene amplification, large-cell/anaplastic pathology (LCA)) and favourable-risk (WNT/SHH molecular subgroups) disease features. Highly variable cellular gene amplification patterns underlay overall MYC copy number elevations observed in tumour biopsies; we used these alternative measures together to define quantitative methodologies and thresholds for amplification detection in routinely collected tumour material. MYCC and MYCN amplification, but not gain, each had independent prognostic significance in non-infants (≥3.0-16.0 years), but MYCC conferred a greater hazard to survival than MYCN when considered across this treatment group. MYCN's weaker group-wide survival relationship may be explained by its pleiotropic behaviour between clinical disease-risk groups; MYCN predicted poor prognosis in clinical high-risk (metastatic (M+) or LCA), but not standard-risk, patients. Extending these findings, survival decreased in proportion to the total number of independently significant high-risk features present (LCA, M+ or MYCC/MYCN amplification). This cumulative-risk model defines a patient group characterised by ≥2 independent risk-factors and an extremely poor prognosis (<15% survival), which can be identified straightforwardly using the reported MYC amplification detection methodologies alongside clinical assessments, enabling targeting for novel/intensified therapies in future clinical studies.