Annie Huang

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (68)473.5 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although telomeres are maintained in most cancers by telomerase activation, a subset of tumors utilize alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) to sustain self-renewal capacity. In order to study the prevalence and significance of ALT in childhood brain tumors we screened 517 pediatric brain tumors using the novel C-circle assay. We examined the association of ALT with alterations in genes found to segregate with specific histological phenotypes and with clinical outcome. ALT was detected almost exclusively in malignant tumors (p = 0.001). ALT was highly enriched in primitive neuroectodermal tumors (12 %), choroid plexus carcinomas (23 %) and high-grade gliomas (22 %). Furthermore, in contrast to adult gliomas, pediatric low grade gliomas which progressed to high-grade tumors did not exhibit the ALT phenotype. Somatic but not germline TP53 mutations were highly associated with ALT (p = 1.01 × 10−8). Of the other alterations examined, only ATRX point mutations and reduced expression were associated with the ALT phenotype (p = 0.0005). Interestingly, ALT attenuated the poor outcome conferred by TP53 mutations in specific pediatric brain tumors. Due to very poor prognosis, one year overall survival was quantified in malignant gliomas, while in children with choroid plexus carcinoma, five year overall survival was investigated. For children with TP53 mutant malignant gliomas, one year overall survival was 63 ± 12 and 23 ± 10 % for ALT positive and negative tumors, respectively (p = 0.03), while for children with TP53 mutant choroid plexus carcinomas, 5 years overall survival was 67 ± 19 and 27 ± 13 % for ALT positive and negative tumors, respectively (p = 0.07). These observations suggest that the presence of ALT is limited to a specific group of childhood brain cancers which harbor somatic TP53 mutations and may influence the outcome of these patients. Analysis of ALT may contribute to risk stratification and targeted therapies to improve outcome for these children.
    Acta Neuropathologica 10/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00401-014-1348-1 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rhabdoid brain tumours, also called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours, are lethal childhood cancers with characteristic genetic alterations of SMARCB1/hSNF5. Lack of biological understanding of the substantial clinical heterogeneity of these tumours restricts therapeutic advances. We integrated genomic and clinicopathological analyses of a cohort of patients with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours to find out the molecular basis for clinical heterogeneity in these tumours. We obtained 259 rhabdoid tumours from 37 international institutions and assessed transcriptional profiles in 43 primary tumours and copy number profiles in 38 primary tumours to discover molecular subgroups of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours. We used gene and pathway enrichment analyses to discover group-specific molecular markers and did immunohistochemical analyses on 125 primary tumours to evaluate clinicopathological significance of molecular subgroup and ASCL1-NOTCH signalling. Transcriptional analyses identified two atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour subgroups with differential enrichment of genetic pathways, and distinct clinicopathological and survival features. Expression of ASCL1, a regulator of NOTCH signalling, correlated with supratentorial location (p=0·004) and superior 5-year overall survival (35%, 95% CI 13-57, and 20%, 6-34, for ASCL1-positive and ASCL1-negative tumours, respectively; p=0·033) in 70 patients who received multimodal treatment. ASCL1 expression also correlated with superior 5-year overall survival (34%, 7-61, and 9%, 0-21, for ASCL1-positive and ASCL1-negative tumours, respectively; p=0·001) in 39 patients who received only chemotherapy without radiation. Cox hazard ratios for overall survival in patients with differential ASCL1 enrichment treated with chemotherapy with or without radiation were 2·02 (95% CI 1·04-3·85; p=0·038) and 3·98 (1·71-9·26; p=0·001). Integrated analyses of molecular subgroupings with clinical prognostic factors showed three distinct clinical risk groups of tumours with different therapeutic outcomes. An integration of clinical risk factors and tumour molecular groups can be used to identify patients who are likely to have improved long-term radiation-free survival and might help therapeutic stratification of patients with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours. C17 Research Network, Genome Canada, b.r.a.i.n.child, Mitchell Duckman, Tal Doron and Suri Boon foundations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    The Lancet Oncology 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(15)70114-2 · 24.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Because atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor(ATRT) is a rare disease of infancy carrying a grim prognosis, focus on long-term outcome, especially neurocognitive remained very limited. With new era of multimodality therapy, an increasing proportion of patients are now long-term survivors. Retrospective review of neuropsychological (NP) status of survivors from the Canadian ATRT registry. Among 77 patients diagnosed between 1995-2012, 16(22%) were survivors. Formal NP assessments were available in eight patients. Partial information on academic achievement was available on three additional patients. There were four girls and seven boys diagnosed at a median age of 27.5 months. Seven patients underwent complete resection and three had metastatic disease. All but one received sequential high dose chemotherapy. Five patients received intrathecal chemotherapy. Three patients underwent radiation. Median age at time of formal NP assessment was 7.6 years (3.9-9.8). Full Scale Intellectual Quotient (FSIQ) ranged from less than 50-119 (mean 78). Simple expressive and receptive language appeared relatively preserved. Three recently diagnosed patients (median time assessment from diagnosis 2.6 years (1.6-4.7)) had average to high average FSIQ, academic and visual spatial skills, visual, and verbal memory. Five other patients diagnosed earlier and tested at a median time of 4.9 years (3.3-8.3) post-diagnosis had a FSIQ ranging from <50 to 71. Approximately 50% of their scores were in the impaired range. Overall this cohort appears significantly impaired at school age despite the absence of systematic radiotherapy. Larger series focusing on neurocognitive outcome are needed in the current context where treatment strategies include adjuvant radiation. Pediatr Blood Cancer © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/pbc.25441 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    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; DOI:10.1007/s11060-015-1744-y · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma comprises four molecular subgroups of which Group 3 medulloblastoma is characterized by MYC amplification and MYC overexpression. Lymphoma cells expressing high levels of MYC are susceptible to apoptosis following treatment with inhibitors of mitosis. One of the key regulatory kinases involved in multiple stages of mitosis is Aurora kinase B. We hypothesized that medulloblastoma cells that overexpress MYC would be uniquely sensitized to the apoptotic effects of Aurora B inhibition. The specific inhibition of Aurora kinase B was achieved in MYC- overexpressing medulloblastoma cells with AZD1152-HQPA. MYC overexpression sensitized medulloblastoma cells to cell death upon Aurora B inhibition. This process was found to be independent of endoreplication. Using both flank and intracranial cerebellar xenografts we demonstrate that tumors formed from MYC-overexpressing medulloblastoma cells show a response to Aurora B inhibition including growth impairment and apoptosis induction. Lastly, we show the distribution of AZD1152-HQPA within the mouse brain and the ability to inhibit intracranial tumor growth and prolong survival in mice bearing tumors formed from MYC-overexpressing medulloblastoma cells. Our results suggest the potential for therapeutic application of Aurora kinase B inhibitors in the treatment of Group 3 medulloblastoma.
    Oncotarget 02/2015; 6(5):3359-74. · 6.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To uncover the genetic events leading to transformation of pediatric low-grade glioma (PLGG) to secondary high-grade glioma (sHGG). We retrospectively identified patients with sHGG from a population-based cohort of 886 patients with PLGG with long clinical follow-up. Exome sequencing and array CGH were performed on available samples followed by detailed genetic analysis of the entire sHGG cohort. Clinical and outcome data of genetically distinct subgroups were obtained. sHGG was observed in 2.9% of PLGGs (26 of 886 patients). Patients with sHGG had a high frequency of nonsilent somatic mutations compared with patients with primary pediatric high-grade glioma (HGG; median, 25 mutations per exome; P = .0042). Alterations in chromatin modifying genes and telomere-maintenance pathways were commonly observed, whereas no sHGG harbored the BRAF-KIAA1549 fusion. The most recurrent alterations were BRAF V600E and CDKN2A deletion in 39% and 57% of sHGGs, respectively. Importantly, all BRAF V600E and 80% of CDKN2A alterations could be traced back to their PLGG counterparts. BRAF V600E distinguished sHGG from primary HGG (P = .0023), whereas BRAF and CDKN2A alterations were less commonly observed in PLGG that did not transform (P <.001 and P < .001 respectively). PLGGs with BRAF mutations had longer latency to transformation than wild-type PLGG (median, 6.65 years [range, 3.5 to 20.3 years] v 1.59 years [range, 0.32 to 15.9 years], respectively; P = .0389). Furthermore, 5-year overall survival was 75% ± 15% and 29% ± 12% for children with BRAF mutant and wild-type tumors, respectively (P = .024). BRAF V600E mutations and CDKN2A deletions constitute a clinically distinct subtype of sHGG. The prolonged course to transformation for BRAF V600E PLGGs provides an opportunity for surgical interventions, surveillance, and targeted therapies to mitigate the outcome of sHGG.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 02/2015; DOI:10.1200/JCO.2014.58.3922 · 17.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The advent of integrated genomics has fundamentally changed our understanding of medulloblastoma. Although survival differences exist among the 4 principal subgroups, this has yet to be elucidated in a North American cohort of irradiated patients. Ninety-two consecutive patients between the ages of 3 and 17 treated with surgery, craniospinal irradiation, and chemotherapy were identified at the Hospital for Sick Children. Molecular subgrouping was performed using nanoString. Two treatment periods were identified: prior to 2006 as per the protocols of the Children's Oncology Group, and after 2006 per the St Jude Medulloblastoma 03 protocol. Five-year progression-free survival (PFS) over the entire cohort was 0.801 (95% CI: 0.692-0.875) with no significant difference between treatment protocols. Strikingly, we found that Group 4 patients had excellent 5-year PFS of 0.959 (95% CI: 0.744-0.994) for average risk and 0.887 (95% CI: 0.727-0.956) across all Group 4 patients. Group 3 patients had 5-year PFS of 0.733 (95% CI: 0.436-0.891). Sonic hedgehog patients did poorly across both treatment protocols, with 5-year PFS of 0.613 (95% CI: 0.333-0.804), likely owing to a high proportion of TP53 mutated patients in this age group. In a cohort of irradiated patients over 3 years of age, PFS for Group 4 patients was significantly improved compared with initial reports. The impact of subgroup affiliation in these children needs to be assessed in large prospectively treated cooperative protocols to determine if more than just WNT patients can be safely selected for de-escalation of therapy. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
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    ABSTRACT: To uncover the genetic events leading to transformation of pediatric low-grade glioma (PLGG) to secondary high-grade glioma (sHGG). We retrospectively identified patients with sHGG from a population-based cohort of 886 patients with PLGG with long clinical follow-up. Exome sequencing and array CGH were performed on available samples followed by detailed genetic analysis of the entire sHGG cohort. Clinical and outcome data of genetically distinct subgroups were obtained. sHGG was observed in 2.9% of PLGGs (26 of 886 patients). Patients with sHGG had a high frequency of nonsilent somatic mutations compared with patients with primary pediatric high-grade glioma (HGG; median, 25 mutations per exome; P = .0042). Alterations in chromatin-modifying genes and telomere-maintenance pathways were commonly observed, whereas no sHGG harbored the BRAF-KIAA1549 fusion. The most recurrent alterations were BRAF V600E and CDKN2A deletion in 39% and 57% of sHGGs, respectively. Importantly, all BRAF V600E and 80% of CDKN2A alterations could be traced back to their PLGG counterparts. BRAF V600E distinguished sHGG from primary HGG (P = .0023), whereas BRAF and CDKN2A alterations were less commonly observed in PLGG that did not transform (P < .001 and P < .001 respectively). PLGGs with BRAF mutations had longer latency to transformation than wild-type PLGG (median, 6.65 years [range, 3.5 to 20.3 years] v 1.59 years [range, 0.32 to 15.9 years], respectively; P = .0389). Furthermore, 5-year overall survival was 75% ± 15% and 29% ± 12% for children with BRAF mutant and wild-type tumors, respectively (P = .024). BRAF V600E mutations and CDKN2A deletions constitute a clinically distinct subtype of sHGG. The prolonged course to transformation for BRAF V600E PLGGs provides an opportunity for surgical interventions, surveillance, and targeted therapies to mitigate the outcome of sHGG. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
    SNO 2014; 09/2014
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    Patrick Sin-Chan, Annie Huang
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant brain tumors, which are the leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in children, span a wide spectrum of diseases with distinct clinical phenotypes but may share remarkably similar morphologic features. Until recently, few molecular markers of childhood brain tumors have been identified, which has limited therapeutic advances. Recent global genomic studies have enabled robust molecular classification of childhood brain tumors and the identification and consolidation of rare, seemingly disparate clinical entities. It is now increasingly evident that deregulation of epigenetic processes contributes substantially to heterogeneity in tumor phenotypes and comprise significant drivers of cancer initiation and progression. Specifically, DNA hypermethylation and silencing of critical tumor suppressor genes by DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) has emerged as an important and fundamental mechanism in brain tumor pathogenesis. These observations have been underscored by the recent discovery of TTYH1-C19MC gene fusions in an aggressive pediatric embryonal brain tumor, which results in deregulation and increased expression of a neural-specific DNMT3B isoform in C19MC-associated brain tumors. Our observations that pharmacological inhibitors of DNMTs and histone deacetylases significantly inhibit growth of cells derived from C19MC-associated tumors indicate targeting of epigenomic modifiers as a novel therapeutic approach for these highly treatment-resistant tumors.
    Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 08/2014; DOI:10.1517/14728222.2014.938052 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric low grade gliomas (PLGG) have heterogeneous progression pattern throughout childhood. Data are lacking regarding the impact of puberty and pubertal hormones on tumor progression and survival.
    ISPNO 2014, Singapore; 07/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Germ-line RB-1 mutations predispose to pineoblastoma (PinB), but other predisposing genetic factors are not well established. We recently identified a germ-line DICER1 mutation in a child with a PinB. This was accompanied by loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of the wild-type allele within the tumour. We set out to establish the prevalence of DICER1 mutations in an opportunistically ascertained series of PinBs. Twenty-one PinB cases were studied: Eighteen cases had not undergone previous testing for DICER1 mutations; three patients were known carriers of germ-line DICER1 mutations. The eighteen PinBs were sequenced by Sanger and/or Fluidigm-based next-generation sequencing to identify DICER1 mutations in blood gDNA and/or tumour gDNA. Testing for somatic DICER1 mutations was also conducted on one case with a known germ-line DICER1 mutation. From the eighteen PinBs, we identified four deleterious DICER1 mutations, three of which were germ line in origin, and one for which a germ line versus somatic origin could not be determined; in all four, the second allele was also inactivated leading to complete loss of DICER1 protein. No somatic DICER1 RNase IIIb mutations were identified. One PinB arising in a germ-line DICER1 mutation carrier was found to have LOH. This study suggests that germ-line DICER1 mutations make a clinically significant contribution to PinB, establishing DICER1 as an important susceptibility gene for PinB and demonstrates PinB to be a manifestation of a germ-line DICER1 mutation. The means by which the second allele is inactivated may differ from other DICER1-related tumours.
    Acta Neuropathologica 07/2014; 128(4). DOI:10.1007/s00401-014-1318-7 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma and central nervous system (CNS)-primitive neuro-ectodermal tumors (PNETs) are a diverse group of entities which encompasses different pathological and clinical pictures. Initially divided based on histology and location, molecular insight is leading to new definitions and a change in the borders delineating these diseases, such that they become more divergent. Current treatment approaches consist of surgical resection, radiotherapy and intensive chemotherapy, dependent on age. Stratification is one risk factor shown to be prognostic and is divided into high- and average-risks. Outcomes with modern treatment regimens are good, particularly in average-risk medulloblastoma patients, but the cost of cure is high, with high rates of neurocognitive, endocrine and social dysfunction. The changing biological landscape, however, may allow for clearer prediction of tumor behavior, to better identify "good" and "bad" players within these groups. Discovery of subgroups with changes in dependent molecular pathways will also lead to the development of new specific targeted therapies. Presenting exciting opportunities, these advances may transform the treatment for some patients, revolutionizing therapy in the future. Several challenges, however, are yet to be faced and caution is needed not to abandon previously defined prognostic factors on the strength of thus far retrospective evidence. We are witnessing a new era of trials with biological stratification involving multiple subgroups and treatment arms, based on specific tumor-related targets. This review discusses the changing face of medulloblastoma and CNS-PNETs and how we move molecular advances into clinical trials that benefit patients.
    07/2014; 6:56. DOI:10.12703/P6-56
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    ABSTRACT: Childhood CNS-PNETs comprise a heterogeneous spectrum of diseases with poorly defined biology. The embryonic stem cell enriched C19MC OncomiR cluster is frequently amplified in one sub-group of CNS-PNETs (group 1 CNS-PNETs) with distinctly aggressive clinic-pathologic features. However, the specific oncogenic role of C19MC in group 1 CNS-PNETs, and mechanisms by which C19MC effects cellular transformation remains unknown. In this study we used exome and RNA-sequencing of C19MC associated tumors, and functional studies of the C19MC OncomiRs in human neural stem cell to define oncogenic partners and downstream effectors of the C19MC locus.
    Neuro-Oncology; 07/2014
  • ISPNO 2014, SINGAPORE; 06/2014
  • ISPNO 2014, SINGAPORE; 06/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Amplification of the C19MC oncogenic miRNA cluster and high LIN28 expression has been linked to a distinctly aggressive group of cerebral CNS-PNETs (group 1 CNS-PNETs) arising in young children. In this study, we sought to evaluate the diagnostic specificity of C19MC and LIN28, and the clinical and biological spectra of C19MC amplified and/or LIN28+ CNS-PNETs. We interrogated 450 pediatric brain tumors using FISH and IHC analyses and demonstrate that C19MC alteration is restricted to a sub-group of CNS-PNETs with high LIN28 expression; however, LIN28 immunopositivity was not exclusive to CNS-PNETs but was also detected in a proportion of other malignant pediatric brain tumors including rhabdoid brain tumors and malignant gliomas. C19MC amplified/LIN28+ group 1 CNS-PNETs arose predominantly in children <4 years old; a majority arose in the cerebrum but 24 % (13/54) of tumors had extra-cerebral origins. Notably, group 1 CNS-PNETs encompassed several histologic classes including embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR), medulloepithelioma, ependymoblastoma and CNS-PNETs with variable differentiation. Strikingly, gene expression and methylation profiling analyses revealed a common molecular signature enriched for primitive neural features, high LIN28/LIN28B and DNMT3B expression for all group 1 CNS-PNETs regardless of location or tumor histology. Our collective findings suggest that current known histologic categories of CNS-PNETs which include ETANTRs, medulloepitheliomas, ependymoblastomas in various CNS locations, comprise a common molecular and diagnostic entity and identify inhibitors of the LIN28/let7/PI3K/mTOR axis and DNMT3B as promising therapeutics for this distinct histogenetic entity.
    Acta Neuropathologica 05/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00401-014-1291-1 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a fatal brain cancer that arises in the brainstem of children, with no effective treatment and near 100% fatality. The failure of most therapies can be attributed to the delicate location of these tumors and to the selection of therapies on the basis of assumptions that DIPGs are molecularly similar to adult disease. Recent studies have unraveled the unique genetic makeup of this brain cancer, with nearly 80% found to harbor a p.Lys27Met histone H3.3 or p.Lys27Met histone H3.1 alteration. However, DIPGs are still thought of as one disease, with limited understanding of the genetic drivers of these tumors. To understand what drives DIPGs, we integrated whole-genome sequencing with methylation, expression and copy number profiling, discovering that DIPGs comprise three molecularly distinct subgroups (H3-K27M, silent and MYCN) and uncovering a new recurrent activating mutation affecting the activin receptor gene ACVR1 in 20% of DIPGs. Mutations in ACVR1 were constitutively activating, leading to SMAD phosphorylation and increased expression of the downstream activin signaling targets ID1 and ID2. Our results highlight distinct molecular subgroups and novel therapeutic targets for this incurable pediatric cancer.
    Nature Genetics 04/2014; 46(5). DOI:10.1038/ng.2936 · 29.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ependymomas are common childhood brain tumours that occur throughout the nervous system, but are most common in the paediatric hindbrain. Current standard therapy comprises surgery and radiation, but not cytotoxic chemotherapy as it does not further increase survival. Whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing of 47 hindbrain ependymomas reveals an extremely low mutation rate, and zero significant recurrent somatic single nucleotide variants. Although devoid of recurrent single nucleotide variants and focal copy number aberrations, poor-prognosis hindbrain ependymomas exhibit a CpG island methylator phenotype. Transcriptional silencing driven by CpG methylation converges exclusively on targets of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 which represses expression of differentiation genes through trimethylation of H3K27. CpG island methylator phenotype-positive hindbrain ependymomas are responsive to clinical drugs that target either DNA or H3K27 methylation both in vitro and in vivo. We conclude that epigenetic modifiers are the first rational therapeutic candidates for this deadly malignancy, which is epigenetically deregulated but genetically bland.
    Nature 02/2014; DOI:10.1038/nature13108 · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET) is a malignant brain tumor with poor prognosis. New model systems that replicate sPNET's molecular subtype(s) and maintain cancer stem cell (CSC) pool are needed.MethodsA fresh surgical specimen of a pediatric sPNET was directly injected into the right cerebrum of Rag2/SCID mice. The xenograft tumors were serially sub-transplanted in mouse brains, characterized histopathologically, and subclassified into molecular subtype through qRT-PCR and immunohistochemical analysis. CSCs were identified through flow cytometric profiling of putative CSC markers (CD133, CD15, CD24, CD44, and CD117), functional examination of neurosphere forming efficiency in vitro, and tumor formation capacity in vivo. To establish a neurosphere line, neurospheres were propagated in serum-free medium.ResultsFormation of intracerebral xenograft tumors was confirmed in 4 of the 5 mice injected with the patient tumor. These xenograft tumors were sub-transplanted in vivo 5 times. They replicated the histopathological features of the original patient tumor and expressed the molecular markers (TWIST1 and FOXJ1) of group 3 sPNET. CD133(+) and CD15(+) cells were found to have strong neurosphere-forming efficiency in vitro and potent tumor-forming capacity (with as few as 100 cells) in vivo. A neurosphere line BXD-2664PNET-NS was established that preserved stem cell features and expressed group 3 markers.Conclusion We have established a group 3 sPNET xenograft mouse model (IC-2664PNET) with matching neurosphere line (BXD-2664PNET-NS) and identified CD133(+) and CD15(+) cells as the major CSC subpopulations. This novel model system should facilitate biological studies and preclinical drug screenings for childhood sPNET.
    Neuro-Oncology 01/2014; DOI:10.1093/neuonc/not244 · 5.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three histological variants are known within the family of embryonal rosette-forming neuroepithelial brain tumors. These include embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR), ependymoblastoma (EBL), and medulloepithelioma (MEPL). In this study, we performed a comprehensive clinical, pathological, and molecular analysis of 97 cases of these rare brain neoplasms, including genome-wide DNA methylation and copy number profiling of 41 tumors. We identified uniform molecular signatures in all tumors irrespective of histological patterns, indicating that ETANTR, EBL, and MEPL comprise a single biological entity. As such, future WHO classification schemes should consider lumping these variants into a single diagnostic category, such as embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes (ETMR). We recommend combined LIN28A immunohistochemistry and FISH analysis of the 19q13.42 locus for molecular diagnosis of this tumor category. Recognition of this distinct pediatric brain tumor entity based on the fact that the three histological variants are molecularly and clinically uniform will help to distinguish ETMR from other embryonal CNS tumors and to better understand the biology of these highly aggressive and therapy-resistant pediatric CNS malignancies, possibly leading to alternate treatment strategies.
    Acta Neuropathologica 12/2013; 128(2). DOI:10.1007/s00401-013-1228-0 · 9.78 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

816 Citations
473.50 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2014
    • University of Toronto
      • • Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
      • • Hospital for Sick Children
      • • Department of Medical Biophysics
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • SickKids
      • Division of Hematology/Oncology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2013
    • BC Children's Hospital
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2010
    • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
      Memphis, Tennessee, United States
  • 2009
    • McMaster University
      • Division of Hematology/Oncology
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada