A Willer

Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

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Publications (33)164.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A reliable estimation of prognosis in patients receiving palliative care is desirable in order to facilitate clinical decision finding. For patients with advanced hematological malignancies, only few data are available to estimate prognosis of the individual's remaining life span. Here, we sought to investigate potential clinical prognostic parameters in patients with hematological malignancies admitted to a palliative care unit. Using a prospectively collected database, we analyzed clinical and laboratory parameters regarding their prognostic impact in 290 patients with malignant hematological diseases. The parameters included patient-related factors such as Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status, need for transfusions, parenteral nutrition or analgetics, and laboratory values (hemoglobin, platelet count, lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), albumin, total protein, calcium, and C-reactive protein (CRP)) as well as referral symptoms (including anemia, infection, fever, fatigue, and dyspnea). In univariate analyses, LDH (>248 U/l), albumin corrected calcium (>2.55 mmol/l), CRP (>50 mg/l), albumin (<30 g/l), platelet count (<90 × 10(9)/l), total protein (≤60 g/l), hemoglobin (<10 g/dl), opioid treatment, performance status (ECOG >2), and need for parenteral nutrition or blood transfusion significantly correlated with impaired survival. Multivariate analysis showed that low performance status, low platelet count, opioid based pain therapy, high LDH, and low albumin were associated with poor prognosis. Using these five parameters, patients were divided into three "risk groups": low risk (presence of zero to one factor), intermediate risk (two to three factors), and high risk. Median survival for the poor risk patients was 10 days, and the intermediate and low risk patients survived a median of 63 and 440 days, respectively (p < 0.0001). Several clinical and laboratory parameters were associated with a poor prognosis of patients with hematological malignancies treated on a palliative care unit. These parameters might help clinicians to estimate prognosis of remaining life span and individualize treatment and/or end-of-life care options for patients.
    Annals of Hematology 08/2013; · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: No standard chemotherapy regimen can be defined for patients with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the anus due to the low incidence of this disease and the high cure rate of localized tumors. Anal cancers universally express the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and KRAS mutations have not been reported in anal cancer thus far. We report on 7 patients with metastatic anal cancer treated with cetuximab - a chimeric antibody against EGFR - on a compassionate use basis along with the results of KRAS mutational analysis. Marked tumor shrinkage was noted in several patients using cetuximab monotherapy or cetuximab/irinotecan combination as first or subsequent treatment line (usually after failure of cisplatin-based regimens). Two out of seven patients harbored KRAS mutations. Both patients had progressive disease receiving cetuximab, while the remaining 5 patients had either a partial remission (n = 3), a minor remission (n = 1) or no change lasting > or =6 months after previous rapid tumor progression. Cetuximab-based treatment appears to be a valuable treatment option for patients with metastatic KRAS wild-type anal cancer after failure of or as an alternative to cisplatin/5-fluorouracil-based therapy.
    Oncology 11/2009; 77(5):293-9. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to evaluate the efficacy and safety data of a combination regimen using weekly irinotecan in combination with capecitabine and concurrent radiotherapy (CapIri-RT) as neoadjuvant treatment in rectal cancer in a phase-II trial. Patients with rectal cancer clinical stages T3/4 Nx or N+ were recruited to receive irinotecan (50 mg m(-2) weekly) and capecitabine (500 mg m(-2) bid days 1-38) with a concurrent RT dose of 50.4 Gy. Surgery was scheduled 4-6 weeks after the completion of chemoradiation. A total of 36 patients (median age 62 years; m/f: 27:9) including three patients with local recurrence were enclosed onto the trial. The median distance of the tumour from the anal verge was 5 cm. The main toxicity observed was (NCI-CTC grades 1/2/3/4 (n)): Anaemia 23/9/-/-; leucocytopenia 12/7/7/2, diarrhoea 13/15/4/-, nausea/vomiting 9/10/2/-, and increased activity of transaminases 3/3/1/-. One patient had a reversible episode of ventricular fibrillation during chemoradiation, most probably caused by capecitabine. The relative dose intensity was (median/mean (%)): irinotecan 95/91, capecitabine 100/92). Thirty-four patients underwent surgery (anterior resection n=25; abdomino-perineal resection n=6; Hartmann's procedure n=3). R0-resection was accomplished in all patients. Two patients died in the postoperative course from septic complications. Pathological complete remission was observed in five out of 34 resected patients (15%), and nine patients showed microfoci of residual tumour (26%). After a median follow-up of 28 months one patient had developed a local recurrence, and five patients distant metastases. Three-year overall survival for all patients with surgery (excluding three patients treated for local relapse or with primary metastatic disease) was 80%. In summary, preoperative chemoradiation with CapIri-RT exhibits promising efficacy whereas showing managable toxicity. The local recurrence and distant failure rates observed after a median 28 months are low compared with standard 5-fluorouracil based therapy.
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2007; 96(6):912-7. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza vaccination is recommended for individuals over 65 years of age and for all patients with chronic diseases who are at risk. Side effects which are seen in 1-10% of the vaccinated individuals are usually mild and consist of local reactions and constitutional symptoms. Since 1974, about 30 cases of vasculitis following influenza vaccination have been reported. We here describe a 70-year-old male patient with a 5-year history of myelodysplastic syndrome, who had received continuous steroid treatment since 2004 and presented with leukocytoclastic vasculitis and acute renal failure requiring hemodialysis therapy 1 week after influenza vaccination. High-dose steroid treatment was promptly initiated, but hemodialysis was needed for 9 days. Maintained steroid treatment for 2 weeks was associated with complete recovery of renal function and skin lesions. As influenza vaccination is increasingly used, physicians should be aware of the potential serious side effect of leukocytoclastic vasculitis, particularly in patients who are immunocompromised either due to an underlying disorder or as a treatment-related side effect.
    Onkologie 11/2006; 29(10):470-2. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitomycin C (MMC) in combination with infusional 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is a well-tolerated active combination therapy for advanced gastric cancer. Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Caelyx) has been combined with this regimen in a phase I study exhibiting promising activity in patients with upper gastrointestinal tumors. In the present study, we investigated activity and tolerability of this three-drug regimen in patients with gastric cancer. Patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer were recruited to receive weekly infusional 5-FU (2000 mg/m2) mixed with sodium folinic acid (FA; 500 mg/m2) in one pump (days 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 36). On days 1 and 29, Caelyx (20 mg/m2) was given as a 1-h, and MMC (7 mg/m2) was applied as bolus injection on days 8 and 36. Treatment courses were repeated on day 57. Twenty-seven patients with a median age of 66 years were recruited in a single center; 56% had histologically proven peritoneal carcinomatosis and 26 patients are evaluable for toxicity. Common Toxicity Criteria of the National Cancer Institute grade 3 toxicity was recorded in 34% of the patients (anemia 12%, leukocytopenia 8%, febrile neutropenia 4%, thrombocytopenia 12%, nausea 15%, diarrhea 8% and mucositis 4%). One patient developed hemolytic-uremic syndrome. One complete (5%) and eight partial responses (42%) were observed in 19 patients evaluable for response according to WHO criteria. Seven patients had no change (37%) and three (16%) progressive disease. Six patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis not amenable to WHO response assessment had progression-free intervals between 8 and 21 months. Median survival for all patients was 14.7 months and median time to progression was 8.4 months. We conclude that this new three-drug combination regimen yields a promising overall response rate (47%) in patients with gastric cancer despite the inclusion of a majority of elderly patients at moderate or high risk of death in this trial. Its safety and good tolerability as established in the phase I trial was confirmed.
    Anti-Cancer Drugs 05/2005; 16(4):435-40. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    Andreas Willer
    World review of nutrition and dietetics 02/2005; 94:176-88.
  • A. Willer, S. Saußele
    Der Klinikarzt 01/2005; 34(11):319-322.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) and establish the recommended dose for mitomycin C added every 3 weeks to the standard combination dose of capecitabine. Cohorts of at least three patients with pretreated gastrointestinal carcinoma received capecitabine 1000 mg m(-2) orally twice daily on days 1-14 plus i.v. bolus mitomycin C on day 1 at doses of 4, 6, 8 or 10 mg m(-2) (corresponding to dose levels I-IV). Cycles were repeated every 3 weeks. Two treatment cycles were considered for the evaluation of DLTs. Of the 53 patients enrolled, the majority had colorectal (n=27) or gastric (n=14) cancers. Patients had received a median of two lines of prior chemotherapy (34% with >/=3 lines and 87% with prior 5-FU-based therapy). At the recommended dose level (IV, n=30), grade 3 adverse events during cycles 1 and 2 were: anaemia (10%); leukopenia (3%); thrombocytopenia (3%); stomatitis/mucositis (3%); hand-foot syndrome (3%). Two patients experienced DLTs (mucositis, n=1; neutropenic fever, n=1), but there were no grade 4 events. The median dose intensity for capecitabine and mitomycin C was 100% during cycles 1 and 2 and only four patients required postponement of therapy. Of the 43 patients evaluable for efficacy, seven achieved partial and minor remissions (16%; 95% CI, 5-28%), and 12 patients (28%) had stable disease. The favourable safety profile and promising activity of the capecitabine/mitomycin C combination, even in heavily pretreated patients, warrant further evaluation in patients with advanced colorectal and gastric cancers.
    British Journal of Cancer 09/2004; 91(5):834-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitomycin C (MMC) in combination with infusional 5-fluorouracil (FU) plus folinic acid (FA) is an effective treatment for metastatic gastrointestinal cancer. Anthracyclines are commonly used in the treatment of upper gastrointestinal cancer. The aim of this study was to determine the maximum tolerated dose of liposomal, pegylated doxorubicin (Caelyx) in combination with infusional 5-FU/sodium FA and MMC. Escalating doses of Caelyx (15-25-30-35 mg m(-2) corresponding to dose levels I-IV) were applied on days 1 and 29, given to fixed doses of 24-h 5-FU (2000 mg m(-2)) and sodium FA (500 mg m(-2), mixed with 5-FU in one pump) weekly for 6 weeks, and MMC 7 mg m(-2) on days 8 and 36. At least three patients were treated at each dose level. A total of 25 patients are evaluable. No dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was observed on level I (n=3). On level II, DLT occurred in three out of five patients (mucositis and leucopenia). Owing to the early DLTs at this dose, we added a 20 mg m(-2) Caelyx dose level (Ia). In total, 17 patients were treated at this dose level. Among these, only two patients experienced DLT in cycle one and 37 complete cycles have been administered in association with a low toxicity profile. The median dose intensity was 100% for each drug during the first course and no treatment delay exceeding 7 days was required. The recommended dose of 4-weekly Caelyx in combination with weekly 24-h 5-FU/sodium FA and 4-weekly MMC is 20 mg m(-2). Preliminary antitumour activity has been observed in patients with pretreated pancreatic cancer and in untreated gastric cancer.
    British Journal of Cancer 06/2004; 90(10):1893-7. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • A Willer
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    ABSTRACT: The great variety of different types of human malignancies and the equally variable individual history of physical activity militate against finding any simple relationship between the risk of developing cancer and physical activity. Due to an obvious lack of prospective randomized trials, any evidence for a correlation is currently based on cohort and case control studies. Furthermore, the study results are sometimes inconsistent, and only for selected cancers, the available data are sufficient to draw any conclusions, resulting in a level of evidence of 2-3 (level of recommendation 'B'). Thus, a convincing risk reduction was found for colon cancer (40-50%) and estrogen-dependent malignancies such as breast (40-50%) and endometrial cancer (35-40%). Risk reduction is likely for some others, e. g. ovarian, lung or prostate cancer; but no definite conclusions can be drawn for hematological malignancies. Plausible explanations for reduction of the individual's cancer risk by increased physical activity are currently available for estrogen dependent cancers (breast, ovarian, endometrial) and colon cancers. The currently available data allow the recommendation of adopting a 'healthy life style' including physical activity for prevention of certain cancers.
    Onkologie 07/2003; 26(3):283-9. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Both capecitabine, an oral prodrug of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and mitomycin C (MMC) have demonstrated activity as single agents in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Furthermore, a combination of MMC with infusional 5-FU can induce tumor remission even in patients pretreated with 5-FU. Capecitabine and MMC act synergistically due to an upregulation of the thymidine phosphorylase activity by MMC in a human xenograft model. We sought to exploit these preclinically observed effects in a patient with esophageal cancer who was progressive after a first-line radiochemotherapy with 5-FU and cisplatin. He was treated with a combination of MMC and capecitabine on a compassionate use basis. A rapid remission lasting for about 6 months was observed. This is the first report on a combination therapy with capecitabine and MMC. The remission observed in our patient suggests that the preclinically observed synergy has clinical impact. This combination should be further investigated in prospective clinical trials.
    Onkologie 05/2003; 26(2):161-4. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The genomic breakpoints in the t(15;17)(q22;q21), associated with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), are known to occur within three different PML breakpoint cluster regions (bcr) on chromosome 15 and within RARA intron 2 on chromosome 17; however, the precise mechanism by which this translocation arises is unclear. To clarify this mechanism, we (i). assembled the sequence of RARA intron 2, (ii). amplified and sequenced the genomic PML-RARA junction sequences from 37 APL patients, and (iii). amplified and sequenced the reverse RARA-PML genomic fusion in 29 of these cases. Three significant breakpoint microclusters within RARA intron 2 were identified, suggesting that sequence-associated or structural factors play a role in the formation of the t(15;17). There was no evidence that the location of a breakpoint in PML had any relationship to the location of the corresponding breakpoint in RARA. Although some sequence motifs previously implicated in illegitimate recombinations were found in the microcluster regions, these associations were not significant. Comparison of forward and reverse genomic junctions revealed microhomologies, deletions, and/or duplications of either gene in all but one case, in which a complex rearrangement with inversion of the PML-derived sequence was found. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the t(15;17) occurs by nonhomologous recombination of DNA after processing of the double-strand breaks by a dysfunctional DNA damage-repair mechanism.
    Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 03/2003; 36(2):175-88. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a case of IgA multiple myeloma, in which the plasma cells showed multiple azurophilic, Auer rod-like intracytoplasmic inclusions in May-Grünwald-Giemsa-stained marrow smears. Cytochemical stainings revealed a strong alpha-N-esterase activity of these inclusions, whereas the reactions for peroxidase, Sudan black, chloroacetate esterase, and PAS were negative. Immunostaining verified IgA-kappa inside the plasma cells. The inclusions, however, were negative. Amyloid and lysozyme were also not detectable. Electron microscopy showed Auer rod-like inclusions with a smooth surface in the neighborhood of a well-developed rough endoplasmic reticulum, but with no direct relation to it. The inclusions showed a fine lamellar substructure, and the periodicity of the filamentous striations was about 10 nm, comparable with the substructure of typical Auer rods. Our findings suggest that the azurophilic inclusions in multiple myeloma are Auer rod-related structures, which likewise consist of active lysosomal enzymes. In contrast to the Auer rods in acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), however, the inclusions in multiple myeloma consist of typical plasma cell enzymes.
    Annals of Hematology 02/2003; 82(1):57-60. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The retinoblastoma protein (pRb), p16(INK4A), D-type cyclins, and their partners cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4 and 6 constitute a G(1) regulatory pathway commonly targeted in tumorigenesis. Several malignancies show a reciprocal correlation between genetic alterations of single members of the pRb pathway. Therefore, we determined the frequency of Rb deletions and cyclin D1 alterations by fluorescence in situ hybridization as well as 5' CpG island hypermethylation of the p16(INK4A)gene using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction in bone marrow mononuclear cells from 82 individuals with plasma cell disorders. Alterations in at least one of the components of the pathway were found in 75%. Cyclin D1 translocations or amplifications were detected in 14/82 (17.1%), Rb deletions at 13q14 in 23/82 (28%) of the cases, including three (3.6%) homozygous deletions. p16(INK4A) was hypermethylated in 33/57 (57.9%) of the samples. Further analysis revealed a highly significant correlation between cyclin D1 alterations and extramedullar or leukemic myeloma manifestations (P = 0.014; Fisher's test). Whereas Rb deletions seemed to occur alternatively to cyclin D1 alterations, no reciprocal correlation was found between p16(INK4A) hypermethylations and cyclin D1 or Rb locus aberrations. Cyclin D1 locus alterations and Rb deletions were associated with a significantly worse prognosis whereas p16(INK4A) hypermethylation had no impact on survival. We conclude that cyclin D1 and Rb aberrations seem to occur as alternative events in plasma cell malignancies and contribute to clinical course and prognosis. In contrast, although p16(INK4A) hypermethylation is frequent, inactivation of p16(INK4A) seems not to be involved in the pathogenesis of plasma cell disorders.
    Leukemia 10/2002; 16(9):1844-51. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aneuploidy is ubiquitous in cancer, and its phenotypes are inevitably dominant and abnormal. In view of these facts we recently proposed that aneuploidy is sufficient for carcinogenesis generating cancer-specific aneusomies via a chain reaction of autocatalytic aneuploidizations. According to this hypothesis a carcinogen initiates carcinogenesis via a random aneuploidy. Aneuploidy then generates transformation stage-specific aneusomies and further random aneusomies autocatalytically, because it renders chromosome segregation and repair mechanisms error-prone. The hypothesis predicts that several specific aneusomies can cause the same cancers, because several chromosomes also cooperate in normal differentiation. Here we describe experiments on the Chinese hamster (CH) that confirm this hypothesis. (i) Random aneuploidy was detected before transformation in up to 90% of CH embryo cells treated with the carcinogen nitrosomethylurea (NMU). (ii) Several specific aneusomies were found in 70-100% of the aneuploid cells from colonies transformed with NMU in vitro and from tumors generated by NMU-transformed cells in syngeneic animals. Among the aneuploid in vitro transformed cells, 79% were trisomic for chromosome 3, and 59% were monosomic for chromosome 10, compared with 8% expected for random distribution of any aneusomy among the 12 CH chromosomes. Moreover, 52% shared both trisomy 3 and monosomy 10 compared with 0.6% expected for random distribution of any two aneusomies. Among the tumor cells, 65% were trisomic for chromosome 3, 51% were trisomic for chromosome 5, and 30% shared both trisomies. Aneuploid cells without these specific aneusomies may contain minor transformation-specific aneusomies or may be untransformed. (iii) Random aneusomies and structurally altered chromosomes increased with the generations of transformed cells to the point where their origins became unidentifiable in tumors. We conclude that specific aneusomies are necessary for carcinogenesis.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2002; 99(10):6778-83. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, a polymorphic base in exon 13 of the BCR gene (exon b2 of the major breakpoint cluster region) has been identified in the eighth position before the junctional region of BCR-ABL cDNA. Cytosine replaces thymidine; the corresponding triplets are AAT (T allele) and AAC (C allele), respectively, both coding for asparagine. Therefore, this polymorphism has no implication in the primary structure of BCR and BCR-ABL proteins. However, since the alteration is located close to the fusion region it may have a significant influence on the annealing of PCR primers, probes for real time PCR, and antisense oligonucleotides. We have developed a RT-PCR-based screening method to easily identify polymorphic BCR and BCR-ABL alleles in CML patients and normal individuals in order to estimate their frequency. After amplification from cDNA, a melting curve of a specific fluorogenic probe mapping to the 3' end of BCR exon b2 and spanning the polymorphism readily discriminates between normal and polymorphic BCR and BCR-ABL alleles. This reporter probe is 3' labeled with fluorescein and placed next to 5' LC Red640-labeled anchor probes mapping to the 5' ends of BCR exon b3 or ABL exon a2 so that resonance energy transfer occurs when the probes are hybridized (LightCycler technology). T and C alleles were discriminated by a melting temperature difference of the reporter probe of 3.2 K. We have investigated cDNAs derived from leukocytes from seven cell lines and a total of 229 individuals: normal donors, n = 15; BCR-ABL negative chronic myeloproliferative disorders, n=30; BCR-ABL negative acute leukemias, n= 11; b2a2BCR-ABL positive CML, n = 93; and b3a2BCR-ABL positive CML, n= 80. The frequency of the C allele was 33.0% in BCR-ABL negative individuals, 30.6% in b2a2BCR-ABL, and 23.8% in b3a2BCR-ABL positive CML. In CML patients, 27.7% of BCR-ABL and 27.2% of BCR alleles had the C allele (NS). In total, 132 of 458 (28.8%) exons b2 of BCR or BCR-ABL alleles demonstrated this polymorphism. We conclude that a thymidine/cytosine replacement occurs frequently in BCR exon b2. Probes for real time quantitative RT-PCR should be designed not to map to the critical region in order to avoid underestimation of the number of BCR-ABL transcripts.
    Leukemia 12/2000; 14(11):2006-10. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A century ago, Boveri proposed that cancer is caused by aneuploidy, an abnormal balance of chromosomes, because aneuploidy correlates with cancer and because experimental aneuploidy generates "pathological" phenotypes. Half a century later, when cancers were found to be nonclonal for aneuploidy, but clonal for somatic gene mutations, this hypothesis was abandoned. As a result, aneuploidy is now generally viewed as a consequence, and mutated genes as a cause of cancer. However, we have recently proposed a two-stage mechanism of carcinogenesis that resolves the discrepancy between clonal mutation and nonclonal karyotypes. The proposal is as follows: in stage 1, a carcinogen "initiates" carcinogenesis by generating a preneoplastic aneuploidy; in stage 2, aneuploidy causes asymmetric mitosis because it biases balance-sensitive spindle and chromosomal proteins and alters centrosomes both numerically and structurally (in proportion to the degree of aneuploidy). Therefore, the karyotype of an initiated cell evolves autocatalytically, generating ever-new chromosome combinations, including neoplastic ones. Accordingly, the heterogeneous karyotypes of "clonal" cancers are an inevitable consequence of the karyotypic instability of aneuploid cells. The notorious long latent periods, of months to decades, from carcinogen to carcinogenesis, would reflect the low probability of evolving by chance karyotypes that compete favorably with normal cells, in principle analagous to natural evolution. Here, we have confirmed experimentally five predictions of the aneuploidy hypothesis: (1) the carcinogens dimethylbenzanthracene and cytosine arabinoside induced aneuploidy in a fraction of treated Chinese hamster embryo cells; (2) aneuploidy preceded malignant transformation; (3) transformation of carcinogen-treated cells occurred only months after carcinogen treatment, i.e., autocatalytically; (4) preneoplastic aneuploidy segregated with malignant transformation in vitro and with 14 of 14 tumors in animals; and (5) karyotypes of tumors were heterogeneous. We conclude that, with the carcinogens studied, aneuploidy precedes cancer and is necessary for carcinogenesis.
    Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics 07/2000; 119(2):83-93. · 1.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, p73, a protein with structural and functional similarities to p53, an extensively studied tumor suppressor gene, has been cloned. After being mapped to the chromosomal region 1p35-1p36, it has been postulated to act as a tumor suppressor gene, too, as this region is altered in several human malignancies. Deletions of the short arm of chromosome 1 have frequently been described in multiple myeloma (MM) whereas structural abnormalities of the 17p13 region including p53 are rare events in this disease. Since it has been proposed that especially neoplasias lacking p53 alterations might show a loss of heterozygosity at 1p35-1p36, we studied the frequency of p53 and p73 deletions in bone marrow mononuclear cells of 68 patients with MM, two patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and four patients with plasma cell leukemia. Dual-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for p53 and p73 was performed using commercially available DNA probes for 17p13.3 and the microsatellite marker D1Z2, respectively. Centromeric DNA probes served to distinguish gene deletions from whole chromosome losses. In contrast to recently published FISH results, we only detected heterozygous p53 deletions in eight out of the 74 patients, three of them showing a monosomy 17. Heterozygous deletions of the D1Z2 region at 1p36 were found in six cases with one patient having a monosomy 1. Neither homozygous deletions of either chromosomal region nor nullisomies 1 or 17 could be detected. These results argue against a major role of p73 deletions in MM. As MM patients with 1p structural abnormalities have a significantly poorer survival rate than those with normal karyotypes, the role of other putative tumor suppressor genes located at the chromosomal region 1p36 in the pathogenesis of MM has to be determined.
    Leukemia 01/2000; 13(12):2099-103. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite over loo years of cancer research, including huge investments in the last decades to find cancer-specific mutations, the genetic causes of most cancers are still unclear. Over too cancer-specific mutations have been identified (Bishop, 1995; Mitelmanet et al., 1997; Haber & Fearon, 1998), but there is as yet no functional proof that any one of these mutations or a combination of them causes cancer (Duesberg, 1995; Lijinsky, 1989). The challenge is to explain the complex and heterogenous phenotypes of cancer cells (Hansemann, 1890; Heim & Mitelman, 1995), and the very slow and inefficient mechanism of carcinogenesis (Cairns, 1978). Cancer-specific phenotypes include (i) abnormal growth rates, (ii) metabolism, (iii) morphology and composition; (iv) neoantigens not expressed in the tissue of origin; (v) dedifferentiation or anaplasia (Hansemann, 1890); (vi) progression of malignancy generating invasiveness and metastasis; (vii) abnormally high numbers of centrosomes, i.e. over 2 (Brinkley & Goepfert, 1998); and (viii) genetic or karyotypic instability, generating polymorphism of all of these properties among the cells of the same cancers (Hansemann, 1890; Winge, 1930; Hauschka, 1961; Nowell, 1976; Heppner & Miller, 1998), despite their clonal origin (Cairns, 1978; Heim & Mitelman, 1995; Nowell, 1976)
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    ABSTRACT: We report a case of acute myeloid leukemia which we have classified as acute megakaryoblastic leukemia because of intracytoplasmic expression of CD61. Light microscopy demonstrated agranular blasts which, by cytochemical staining, were negative for myeloperoxidase. Using flow cytometry, the blast cells were seen to be positive for HLA-DR, CD7, CD13, CD33, and CD34, thus revealing their myeloid origin. Immunophenotyping on fixed blood smears additionally showed positive reaction with the CD61 antibody, demonstrating the megakaryoblastic differentiation of the blasts. After permeabilization of the cell membrane, the intracytoplasmic CD61 expression was confirmed by flow cytometry. Cytogenetic analysis disclosed a del(7)(q21-22). Our findings suggest that cytoplasmic expression of CD61 may precede the cell-surface expression of this antigen and should therefore be investigated in all cases of acute leukemias with undifferentiated morphology and negative cytochemistry to set apart early FAB-M7 from FAB-M0.
    Annals of Hematology 11/1999; 78(10):472-4. · 2.87 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

724 Citations
164.05 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2006
    • Universität Heidelberg
      • • II. Medical Clinic
      • • Medical University Clinic and Polyclinic
      Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
  • 1998–2000
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
      Berkeley, MO, United States
  • 1999
    • Heidelberg University
      Tiffin, Ohio, United States