[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synchronous primary malignant brain tumors are rare. We present a 5-year-old boy with synchronous glioblastoma and medulloblastoma. Both tumor samples had positive p53 stain and loss of PMS2 and MLH1 stains. The child had multiple café au lait spots and a significant family history of cancer. After subtotal resection of both tumors, he received craniospinal radiation with concomitant temozolomide followed by chemotherapy, alternating cycles of cisplatin/lomustine/vincristine with temozolomide. Then, he started maintenance treatment with cis-retinoic acid (100 mg/m(2)/day for 21 days). He remained asymptomatic for 34 months despite a follow-up brain MRI consistent with glioblastoma relapse 9 months before his death. Cis-retinoic acid may have contributed to prolong survival in this child with a probable biallelic mismatch repair syndrome.
Child s Nervous System 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00381-015-2883-3 · 1.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Germline biallelic mismatch repair deficiency (bMMRD) results in a unique cancer predisposition syndrome in which the affected children are susceptible to the development of malignancies, especially brain, gastrointestinal, and lymphoid cancers. Acute myeloblastic leukemia is rarely reported in this syndrome. Here we report the decision-making challenges in a bMMRD child with acute myeloblastic leukemia. Our experience should alert physicians to include bMMRD in the differential diagnosis of a child with hyper/hypopigmented spots and leukemia. Furthermore, the presence of the above and consanguinity emphasizes the need to rule out bMMRD when an allogeneic bone marrow transplant is considered and to enable the surveillance of other family members for earlier detection of cancers in these children.
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 08/2015; DOI:10.1097/MPH.0000000000000415 · 0.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bifocal pineal and suprasellar tumors have only been described in the context of germ cell tumors in the pediatric age group. We report 2 patients with radiologic findings of bifocal pineal and suprasellar lesions, with a histologic diagnosis of supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor. The absence of diabetes insipidus and other endocrine abnormalities was noteworthy in both cases. This observation challenges previous reports on the pathognomonic value of this clinico-radiologic entity.
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 08/2015; DOI:10.1097/MPH.0000000000000402 · 0.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a devastating pediatric brain cancer with no effective therapy. Histological similarity of DIPG to supratentorial high-grade astrocytomas of adults has led to assumptions that these entities possess similar underlying molecular properties and therefore similar therapeutic responses to standard therapies. The failure of all clinical trials in the last 30 years to improve DIPG patient outcome has suggested otherwise. Recent studies employing next-generation sequencing and microarray technologies have provided a breadth of evidence highlighting the unique molecular genetics and epigenetics of this cancer, distinguishing it from both adult and pediatric cerebral high-grade astrocytomas. This review describes the most common molecular genetic and epigenetic signatures of DIPG in the context of molecular subgroups and histopathological diagnosis, including this tumor entity’s unique mutational landscape, copy number alterations and structural variants as well as epigenetic changes on the global DNA and histone levels. The increased knowledge of DIPG biology and histopathology has opened doors to new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues.
Frontiers in Oncology 06/2015; 5(147):1-9. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2015.00147
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffusely infiltrating astrocytomas include diffuse astrocytomas WHO grade II and anaplastic astrocytomas WHO grade III and are classified under astrocytic tumours according to the current WHO Classification. Although the patients generally have longer survival as compared to those with glioblastoma, the timing of inevitable malignant progression ultimately determines the prognosis. Recent advances in molecular genetics have uncovered that histopathologically diagnosed astrocytomas may consist of two genetically different groups of tumours. The majority of diffusely infiltrating astrocytomas regardless of WHO grade have concurrent mutations of IDH1 or IDH2, TP53 and ATRX. Among these astrocytomas, no other genetic markers that may distinguish grade II and grade III tumours have been identified. Those astrocytomas without IDH mutation tend to have a distinct genotype and a poor prognosis comparable to that of glioblastomas. On the other hand, diffuse astrocytomas that arise in children do not harbour IDH/TP53 mutations, but instead display mutations of BRAF or structural alterations involving MYB/MYBL1 or FGFR1. A molecular classification may thus help delineate diffusely infiltrating astrocytomas into distinct pathogenic and prognostic groups, which could aid in determining individualised therapeutic strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pediatric gliomas are the most commonly diagnosed brain cancer in children, accounting for approximately 50% of all cases. Recently, we conducted genome-analysis of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), which specifically arises in the brainstem. Through this, we identified a histone H3.3 mutation (a lysine-methionine substitution at position 27 [K27M]) in approximately 70% of cases. We then showed that H3.3K27M is a negative prognostic marker for DIPG patients independent of histology. We hypothesized a similar prognostic role for H3.3K27M in thalamic gliomas. Utilizing a newly optimized, ultra-sensitive digital droplet PCR assay, we analyzed 38 radiologically confirmed thalamic gliomas (13 low grade and 25 high grade gliomas). Median survival for patients with high grade thalamic gliomas was 1.35 years vs 8.71 years for low grade thalamic glioma patients. Three (23%) low grade and 11 (44%) high grade gliomas tested positive for the H3.3K27M mutation. 31 patients, clinically annotated for treatment, extent of resection, age and outcome were used to determine the prognostic implications of H3.3-K27M. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed significantly worse overall survival of thalamic glioma patients harbouring the H3.3-K27M mutation versus wild type samples (log rank p < 0.001) with a median survival of 1.04 vs 5.81 years for H3.3K27M vs WT thalamic gliomas, respectively. Multivariate cox analysis demonstrated H3.3K27M mutation status to be independent of WHO grade as a predictor of overall survival with a hazard ratio of 6.5 (95% confidence intervals 1.78-24.4, p = 0.005). These findings provide the first evidence that H3.3K27M status is a negative prognostic indicator for thalamic pediatric glioma. Furthermore, we have optimized a digital droplet PCR assay to assess mutation status in small samples, including formalin-fixed paraffin embedded, with high sensitivity and specificity in a clinical setting.
3rd Biennial Conference on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Basic and Translational Research; 05/2015
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a fatal childhood cancer. We performed a chemical screen in patient-derived DIPG cultures along with RNA-seq analyses and integrated computational modeling to identify potentially effective therapeutic strategies. The multi-histone deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat demonstrated therapeutic efficacy both in vitro and in DIPG orthotopic xenograft models. Combination testing of panobinostat and the histone demethylase inhibitor GSK-J4 revealed that the two had synergistic effects. Together, these data suggest a promising therapeutic strategy for DIPG.
Nature medicine 05/2015; 21(7). DOI:10.1038/nm.3855 · 28.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECT Choroid plexus carcinomas (CPCs) are rare brain tumors originating from the ventricular choroid plexus. They account for 2%-4% of all pediatric brain tumors and are most frequently seen in very young children. This pediatric proclivity, in combination with a marked vascularity, renders an aggressive resection a difficult and often dangerous endeavor. Blood losses of several total blood volumes in small children are not uncommon, sometimes forcing the neurosurgeon to abort the procedure, often leaving residual tumor. Great extent of tumor resection is an accepted beneficial factor for overall survival. Therefore, a second resection usually follows the administration of adjuvant chemotherapy. Second-look surgery appears to be associated with markedly decreased blood loss. Histological examination of specimens obtained at a second intervention shows decreased vascularity and fibrotic changes in tumor tissue. At the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, this empirical finding led to the strategy of neoadjuvant chemotherapy to minimize blood loss and maximize cytoreduction. The authors undertook this study to assess the potentially beneficial effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on blood loss during surgery for CPCs. METHODS In this retrospective cohort review, the demographic, clinical, and treatment parameters of 22 consecutive patients diagnosed with CPC are presented. All underwent surgical treatment at the Hospital for Sick Children from 1982 to 2013. Special attention was given to the impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on extent of resection and intraoperative blood loss. Extent of resection was calculated based on perioperative neuroimaging, and amount of blood loss was estimated based on transfusion parameters and perioperative changes in hematocrit. RESULTS Ten patients did not receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and 12 were treated with 2-5 cycles of ICE (ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide) chemotherapy in a neoadjuvant fashion. The 22 patients included in the study underwent a total of 37 tumor resection surgeries. In all of the cases in which neoadjuvant chemotherapy was used, at least a near-total resection (> 95% of tumor volume) was achieved. Patients who underwent gross-total resection had prolonged overall survival. Of the 37 resections, 18 were performed after chemotherapy. Mean blood loss in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group was 22% of total estimated blood volume as opposed to 96% in patients without preoperative chemotherapy. CONCLUSIONS In children with CPC, the administration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy decreases intraoperative blood loss and increases extent of resection with a significant positive effect on overall survival.
Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics 05/2015; DOI:10.3171/2014.12.PEDS14372 · 1.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Co-expression of ERBB2 and ERBB4, reported in 75 % of pediatric ependymomas, correlates with worse overall survival. Lapatinib, a selective ERBB1 and ERBB2 inhibitor has produced prolonged disease stabilization in patients with ependymoma in a phase I study. Bevacizumab exposure in ependymoma xenografts leads to ablation of tumor self-renewing cells, arresting growth. Thus, we conducted an open-label, phase II study of bevacizumab and lapatinib in children with recurrent ependymomas. Patients ≤21 years of age with recurrent ependymoma received lapatinib orally twice daily (900 mg/m(2)/dose to the first 10 patients, and then 700 mg/m(2)/dose) and bevacizumab 10 mg/kg intravenously on days 1 and 15 of a 28-day course. Lapatinib serum trough levels were analyzed prior to each course. Total and phosphorylated VEGFR2 expression was measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) before doses 1 and 2 of bevacizumab and 24-48 h following dose 2 of bevacizumab. Twenty-four patients with a median age of 10 years (range 2-21 years) were enrolled; 22 were eligible and 20 evaluable for response. Thirteen had anaplastic ependymoma. There were no objective responses; 4 patients had stable disease for ≥4 courses (range 4-14). Grade 3 toxicities included rash, elevated ALT, and diarrhea. Grade 4 toxicities included peri-tracheostomy hemorrhage (n = 1) and elevated creatinine phosphokinase (n = 1). The median lapatinib pre-dose trough concentration was 3.72 µM. Although the combination of bevacizumab and lapatinib was well tolerated in children with recurrent ependymoma, it proved ineffective.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 04/2015; 123(1). DOI:10.1007/s11060-015-1764-7 · 2.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECT Intravenous fluorescein sodium has been used during resection of high-grade gliomas to help the surgeon visualize tumor margins. Several studies have reported improved rates of gross-total resection (GTR) using high doses of fluorescein sodium under white light. The recent introduction of a fluorescein-specific camera that allows for high-quality intraoperative imaging and use of very low dose fluorescein has drawn new attention to this fluorophore. However, the ability of fluorescein to specifically stain glioma cells is not yet well understood. METHODS The authors designed an in vitro model to assess fluorescein uptake in normal human astrocytes and U251 malignant glioma cells. An in vivo experiment was also subsequently designed to study fluorescein uptake by intracranial U87 malignant glioma xenografts in male nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient mice. A genetically induced mouse glioma model was used to adjust for the possible confounding effect of an inflammatory response in the xenograft model. To assess the intraoperative application of this technology, the authors prospectively enrolled 12 patients who underwent fluorescein-guided resection of their high-grade gliomas using low-dose intravenous fluorescein and a microscope-integrated fluorescence module. Intraoperative fluorescent and nonfluorescent specimens at the tumor margins were randomly analyzed for histopathological correlation. RESULTS The in vitro and in vivo models suggest that fluorescein demarcation of glioma-invaded brain is the result of distribution of fluorescein into the extracellular space, most likely as a result of an abnormal blood-brain barrier. Glioblastoma tumor cell-specific uptake of fluorescein was not observed, and tumor cells appeared to mostly exclude fluorescein. For the 12 patients who underwent resection of their high-grade gliomas, the histopathological analysis of the resected specimens at the tumor margin confirmed the intraoperative fluorescent findings. Fluorescein fluorescence was highly specific (up to 90.9%) while its sensitivity was 82.2%. False negatives occurred due to lack of fluorescence in areas of diffuse, low-density cellular infiltration. Margins of contrast enhancement based on intraoperative MRI-guided StealthStation neuronavigation correlated well with fluorescent tumor margins. GTR of the contrast-enhancing area as guided by the fluorescent signal was achieved in 100% of cases based on postoperative MRI. CONCLUSIONS Fluorescein sodium does not appear to selectively accumulate in astrocytoma cells but in extracellular tumor cell-rich locations, suggesting that fluorescein is a marker for areas of compromised blood-brain barrier within high-grade astrocytoma. Fluorescein fluorescence appears to correlate intraoperatively with the areas of MR enhancement, thus representing a practical tool to help the surgeon achieve GTR of the enhancing tumor regions.
Journal of Neurosurgery 04/2015; 122(6):1-10. DOI:10.3171/2015.2.JNS132507 · 3.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Solid tumors arising from malignant transformation of glial cells are one of the leading causes of central nervous system tumor-related death in children. Recurrence in spite of rigorous surgical and chemoradiation therapies remains a major hurdle in management of these tumors. Here, we investigate the efficacy of the second-generation receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor nilotinib as a therapeutic option for the management of pediatric gliomas. We have utilized two independent pediatric high-grade glioma cell lines with either high platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) or high PDGFRβ expression in in vitro assays to investigate the specific downstream effects of nilotinib treatment. Using in vitro cell-based assays we show that nilotinib inhibits PDGF-BB-dependent activation of PDGFRα. We further show that nilotinib is able to decrease cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth via suppression of AKT and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. Our results suggest that nilotinib may be effective for management of a PDGFRα-dependent group of pediatric gliomas.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 03/2015; 122(3). DOI:10.1007/s11060-015-1744-y · 2.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma comprises four distinct molecular variants with distinct genetics, transcriptomes, and outcomes. Subgroup affiliation has been previously shown to remain stable at the time of recurrence, which likely reflects their distinct cells of origin. However, a therapeutically relevant question that remains unanswered is subgroup stability in the metastatic compartment. We assembled a cohort of 12-paired primary-metastatic tumors collected in the MAGIC consortium, and established their molecular subgroup affiliation by performing integrative gene expression and DNA methylation analysis. Frozen tissues were collected and profiled using Affymetrix gene expression arrays and Illumina methylation arrays. Class prediction and hierarchical clustering were performed using existing published datasets. Our molecular analysis, using consensus integrative genomic data, establishes the unequivocal maintenance of molecular subgroup affiliation in metastatic medulloblastoma. We further validated these findings by interrogating a non-overlapping cohort of 19 pairs of primary-metastatic tumors from the Burdenko Neurosurgical Institute using an orthogonal technique of immunohistochemical staining. This investigation represents the largest reported primary-metastatic paired cohort profiled to date and provides a unique opportunity to evaluate subgroup-specific molecular aberrations within the metastatic compartment. Our findings further support the hypothesis that medulloblastoma subgroups arise from distinct cells of origin, which are carried forward from ontogeny to oncology.