Shirley Zhu

Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States

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Publications (19)157.29 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Gene fusions, like BCR/ABL1 in chronic myelogenous leukemia, have long been recognized in hematologic and mesenchymal malignancies. The recent finding of gene fusions in prostate and lung cancers has motivated the search for pathogenic gene fusions in other malignancies. Here, we developed a "breakpoint analysis" pipeline to discover candidate gene fusions by tell-tale transcript level or genomic DNA copy number transitions occurring within genes. Mining data from 974 diverse cancer samples, we identified 198 candidate fusions involving annotated cancer genes. From these, we validated and further characterized novel gene fusions involving ROS1 tyrosine kinase in angiosarcoma (CEP85L/ROS1), SLC1A2 glutamate transporter in colon cancer (APIP/SLC1A2), RAF1 kinase in pancreatic cancer (ATG7/RAF1) and anaplastic astrocytoma (BCL6/RAF1), EWSR1 in melanoma (EWSR1/CREM), CDK6 kinase in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (FAM133B/CDK6), and CLTC in breast cancer (CLTC/VMP1). Notably, while these fusions involved known cancer genes, all occurred with novel fusion partners and in previously unreported cancer types. Moreover, several constituted druggable targets (including kinases), with therapeutic implications for their respective malignancies. Lastly, breakpoint analysis identified new cell line models for known rearrangements, including EGFRvIII and FIP1L1/PDGFRA. Taken together, we provide a robust approach for gene fusion discovery, and our results highlight a more widespread role of fusion genes in cancer pathogenesis.
    PLoS Genetics 04/2013; 9(4):e1003464. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathway is one of the most commonly mutated pathways in invasive breast carcinoma, with PIK3CA mutations in ∼25% of invasive carcinomas, and AKT1 mutations in up to 5%. Ductal carcinoma in situ, and benign papillomas harbor similar mutations. However, activating point mutations in breast columnar cell lesions have been infrequently studied. Twenty-three breast resection specimens containing columnar cell lesions were identified; 14 with associated invasive carcinoma or carcinoma in situ. DNA extracts were prepared from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue and screened for a panel of point mutations (321 mutations in 30 genes) using a multiplex PCR panel with mass-spectroscopy readout. PIK3CA mutations were identified in 13/24 columnar cell lesions (54%) and 3/8 invasive carcinomas (37%). The mutation status of columnar cell lesions and associated carcinoma was frequently discordant. Of the 14 cases, only 5 demonstrated the same genotype in matched samples of columnar cell lesions and carcinoma (4 wild type, 1 PIK3CA H1047R). Interestingly, five patients had mutations in columnar cell lesions with wild-type carcinoma; two patients had different point mutations in columnar cell lesions and carcinoma. Only three cases had wild-type columnar cell lesion and mutated carcinoma. The 50% PIK3CA mutation prevalence in columnar cell lesions is greater than reported in most studies of invasive breast cancer. Further, columnar cell lesions and carcinoma were frequently discordant for PIK3CA/AKT1 mutation status. These findings raise interesting questions about the role of PIK3CA/AKT pathway in breast carcinogenesis, and the biologic/precursor potential of columnar cell lesions.
    Modern Pathology 03/2012; 25(7):930-7. · 5.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Soft-tissue sarcomas are a group of malignant tumours whose clinical management is complicated by morphological heterogeneity, inadequate molecular markers and limited therapeutic options. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) have been shown to play important roles in cancer, both as therapeutic targets and as prognostic biomarkers. An initial screen of gene expression data for 48 RTKs in 148 sarcomas showed that ROR2 was expressed in a subset of leiomyosarcoma (LMS), gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) and desmoid-type fibromatosis (DTF). This was further confirmed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) on 573 tissue samples from 59 sarcoma tumour types. Here we provide evidence that ROR2 expression plays a role in the invasive abilities of LMS and GIST cells in vitro. We also show that knockdown of ROR2 significantly reduces tumour mass in vivo using a xenotransplantation model of LMS. Lastly, we show that ROR2 expression, as measured by IHC, predicts poor clinical outcome in patients with LMS and GIST, although it was not independent of other clinico-pathological features in a multivariate analysis, and that ROR2 expression is maintained between primary tumours and their metastases. Together, these results show that ROR2 is a useful prognostic indicator in the clinical management of these soft-tissue sarcomas and may represent a novel therapeutic target.
    The Journal of Pathology 01/2012; 227(2):223-33. · 7.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Desmoid tumours (DTs) are soft tissue monoclonal neoplasms exhibiting a unique phenotype, consisting of aggressive local invasiveness without metastatic capacity. While DTs can infrequently occur as part of familial adenomatosis polyposis, most cases arise sporadically. Sporadic DTs harbour a high prevalence of CTNNB1 mutations and hence increased β-catenin signalling. However, β-catenin downstream transcriptional targets and other molecular deregulations operative in DT inception and progression are currently not well defined, contributing to the lack of sensitive molecular prognosticators and efficacious targeted therapeutic strategies. We compared the gene expression profiles of 14 sporadic DTs to those of five corresponding normal tissues and six solitary fibrous tumour specimens. A DT expression signature consisting of 636 up- and 119 down-regulated genes highly enriched for extracellular matrix, cell adhesion and wound healing-related proteins was generated. Furthermore, 98 (15%) of the over-expressed genes were demonstrated to contain a TCF/LEF consensus binding site in their promoters, possibly heralding direct β-catenin downstream targets relevant to DT. The protein products of three of the up-regulated DT genes: ADAM12, MMP2 and midkine, were found to be commonly expressed in a large cohort of human DT samples assembled on a tissue microarray. Interestingly, enhanced midkine expression significantly correlated with a higher propensity and decreased time for primary DT recurrence (log-rank p = 0.0025). Finally, midkine was found to enhance the migration and invasion of primary DT cell cultures. Taken together, these studies provide insights into potential DT molecular aberrations and novel β-catenin transcriptional targets. Further studies to confirm the utility of midkine as a clinical DT molecular prognosticator and a potential therapeutic target are therefore warranted. Raw gene array data can be found at: http://smd.stanford.edu/ Copyright © 2011 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    The Journal of Pathology 08/2011; 225(4):574 - 582. · 7.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gene expression microarrays are the most widely used technique for genome-wide expression profiling. However, microarrays do not perform well on formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue (FFPET). Consequently, microarrays cannot be effectively utilized to perform gene expression profiling on the vast majority of archival tumor samples. To address this limitation of gene expression microarrays, we designed a novel procedure (3'-end sequencing for expression quantification (3SEQ)) for gene expression profiling from FFPET using next-generation sequencing. We performed gene expression profiling by 3SEQ and microarray on both frozen tissue and FFPET from two soft tissue tumors (desmoid type fibromatosis (DTF) and solitary fibrous tumor (SFT)) (total n = 23 samples, which were each profiled by at least one of the four platform-tissue preparation combinations). Analysis of 3SEQ data revealed many genes differentially expressed between the tumor types (FDR<0.01) on both the frozen tissue (approximately 9.6K genes) and FFPET (approximately 8.1K genes). Analysis of microarray data from frozen tissue revealed fewer differentially expressed genes (approximately 4.64K), and analysis of microarray data on FFPET revealed very few (69) differentially expressed genes. Functional gene set analysis of 3SEQ data from both frozen tissue and FFPET identified biological pathways known to be important in DTF and SFT pathogenesis and suggested several additional candidate oncogenic pathways in these tumors. These findings demonstrate that 3SEQ is an effective technique for gene expression profiling from archival tumor samples and may facilitate significant advances in translational cancer research.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1):e8768. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNSTs) are aggressive soft tissue tumours that occur either sporadically or in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1. The malignant transformation of the benign neurofibroma to MPNST is incompletely understood at the molecular level. We have determined the gene expression signature for benign and malignant PNSTs and found that the major trend in malignant transformation from neurofibroma to MPNST consists of the loss of expression of a large number of genes, rather than widespread increase in gene expression. Relatively few genes are expressed at higher levels in MPNSTs and these include genes involved in cell proliferation and genes implicated in tumour metastasis. In addition, a gene expression signature indicating p53 inactivation is seen in the majority of MPNSTs. Subsequent microRNA profiling of benign and malignant PNSTs indicated a relative down-regulation of miR-34a in most MPNSTs compared to neurofibromas. In vitro studies using the cell lines MPNST-14 (NF1 mutant) and MPNST-724 (from a non-NF1 individual) show that exogenous expression of p53 or miR-34a promotes apoptotic cell death. In addition, exogenous expression of p53 in MPNST cells induces miR-34a and other miRNAs. Our data show that p53 inactivation and subsequent loss of expression of miR-34a may significantly contribute to the MPNST development. Collectively, our findings suggest that deregulation of miRNAs has a potential role in the malignant transformation process in peripheral nerve sheath tumours.
    The Journal of Pathology 10/2009; 220(1):58-70. · 7.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, we showed that the presence of high numbers of macrophages correlates with poor prognosis in nongynecological leiomyosarcoma (LMS). In gynecological LMS, a similar trend was noted but did not reach statistical significance. Colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF1) is a major chemoattractant for macrophages. Here we show that in a subset of LMS cases, CSF1 is expressed by the malignant cells. Previously, we found that CSF1 is translocated and highly expressed in tenosynovial giant cell tumors (TGCTs), and this observation allowed us to identify genes that showed a coordinate expression with CSF1. Here, we evaluated the expression of CSF1 and TGCT-associated proteins in 149 cases of LMS. The coordinate expression of CSF1 and three TGCT-associated proteins (CD163, FCGR3a, and CTSL1) identified cases with poor prognosis in both gynecological LMS (P = 0.00006) and nongynecological LMS (P = 0.03). In gynecological LMS, the coordinate expression of these four markers was the only independent prognosticator in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 4.2; 95% CI, 1.12 to 16; P = 0.03). Our findings indicate that CSF1 may play an important role in the clinical behavior of LMS that may open a window for new therapeutic reagents.
    American Journal Of Pathology 06/2009; 174(6):2347-56. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages play an important role in breast carcinogenesis. The pathways that mediate the macrophage contribution to breast cancer and the heterogeneity that exists within macrophages are incompletely understood. Macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) is the primary regulator of tissue macrophages. The purpose of this study was to define a novel CSF1 response signature and to evaluate its clinical and biological significance in breast cancer. We defined the CSF1 response signature by identifying genes overexpressed in tenosynovial giant cell tumor and pigmented villonodular synovitis (tumors composed predominantly of macrophages recruited in response to the overexpression of CSF1) compared with desmoid-type fibromatosis and solitary fibrous tumor. To characterize the CSF1 response signature in breast cancer, we analyzed the expression of CSF1 response signature genes in eight published breast cancer gene expression data sets (n = 982) and did immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization for CSF1 response genes on a breast cancer tissue microarray (n = 283). In both the gene microarray and tissue microarray analyses, a consistent subset (17-25%) of breast cancers shows the CSF1 response signature. The signature is associated with higher tumor grade, decreased expression of estrogen receptor, decreased expression of progesterone receptor, and increased TP53 mutations (P < 0.001). Our data show that the CSF1 response signature is consistently seen in a subset of breast carcinomas and correlates with biological features of the tumor. Our findings provide insight into macrophage biology and may facilitate the development of personalized therapy for patients most likely to benefit from CSF1-targeted treatments.
    Clinical Cancer Research 02/2009; 15(3):778-87. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pathologic classification of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) into embryonal or alveolar subtype is an important prognostic factor guiding the therapeutic protocol chosen for an individual patient. Unfortunately, this classification is not always straightforward, and the diagnostic criteria are controversial in a subset of cases. Ancillary studies are used to aid in the classification, but their potential use as independent prognostic factors is rarely studied. The aim of this study is to identify immunohistochemical markers of potential prognostic significance in pediatric RMS and to correlate their expression with PAX-3/FKHR and PAX-7/FKHR fusion status. A single tissue microarray containing 71 paraffin-embedded pediatric RMSs was immunostained with antibodies against p53, bcl-2, Ki-67, CD44, myogenin, and MyoD1. The tissue microarray and whole paraffin blocks were studied for PAX-3/FKHR and PAX-7/FKHR gene fusions by fluorescence in situ hybridization and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Clinical follow-up data were available for each patient. Immunohistochemical staining results and translocation status were correlated with recurrence-free interval (RFI) and overall survival (OS) using the Kaplan-Meier method, the log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazard regression. The minimum clinical follow-up interval was 24 months (median follow-up=57 mo). On univariable analysis, immunohistochemical expression of myogenin, bcl-2, and identification of a gene fusion were associated with decreased 5-year RFI and 10-year OS (myogenin RFI P=0.0028, OS P=0.0021; bcl-2 RFI P=0.037, OS P=0.032; gene fusion RFI P=0.0001, OS P=0.0058). After adjustment for Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study-TNM stage, tumor site, age, tumor histology, and translocation status by multivariable analysis, only myogenin retained an independent association with RFI (P=0.034) and OS (P=0.0069). In this retrospective analysis, diffuse immunohistochemical reactivity for myogenin in RMS correlates with decreased RFI and OS, independent of histologic subtype, translocation status, tumor site, or stage.
    The American journal of surgical pathology 09/2008; 32(10):1513-22. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages are migratory cells that are frequently recruited to the site of tumors. Their presence is associated with poor clinical outcome in a variety of epithelial malignancies. The aim of this study is to examine the prognostic significance of tumor-associated macrophages in sarcomas. Global gene expression profiling data of a series of soft tissue tumors were analyzed for macrophage-associated gene expression. Immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays containing leiomyosarcoma cases with known clinical outcome was used to verify the presence of macrophages and to examine the relationship between tumor-associated macrophages and clinical outcome. Gene expression profiling revealed high-level expression of several macrophage-associated genes such as CD163 and CD68 in a subset of leiomyosarcomas, indicating the presence of variable numbers of tumor-infiltrating macrophages. This was confirmed by CD68 and CD163 immunostaining of a tissue microarray containing 149 primary leiomyosarcomas. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that high density of tumor-infiltrating macrophages as identified by CD163 or CD68 staining is associated with a significantly worse disease-specific survival in nongynecologic leiomyosarcomas, whereas leiomyosarcomas arising from the gynecologic tract showed no significant association between macrophage infiltration and survival. The presence of tumor necrosis did not correlate significantly with outcome. An increased density of CD163- or CD68-positive tumor-infiltrating macrophages is associated with poor outcome in nongynecologic leiomyosarcomas. This may help the clinical management of patients with leiomyosarcomas.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2008; 14(5):1423-30. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tenosynovial giant-cell tumor (TGCT) and pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) are related conditions with features of both reactive inflammatory disorders and clonal neoplastic proliferations. Chromosomal translocations involving chromosome 1p13 have been reported in both TGCT and PVNS. We confirm that translocations involving 1p13 are present in a majority of cases of TGCT and PVNS and show that CSF1 is the gene at the chromosome 1p13 breakpoint. In some cases of both TGCT and PVNS, CSF1 is fused to COL6A3 (2q35). The CSF1 translocations result in overexpression of CSF1. In cases of TGCT and PVNS carrying this translocation, it is present in a minority of the intratumoral cells, leading to CSF1 expression only in these cells, whereas the majority of cells express CSF1R but not CSF1, suggesting a tumor-landscaping effect with aberrant CSF1 expression in the neoplastic cells, leading to the abnormal accumulation of nonneoplastic cells that form a tumorous mass.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2006; 103(3):690-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is a soft tissue tumour that occurs primarily in the extremities and is characterized by a balanced translocation most commonly involving t(9;22) (q22;q12). The morphological spectrum of EMC is broad and thus a diagnosis based on histology alone can be difficult. Currently, no systemic therapy exists that improves survival in patients with EMC. In the present study, gene expression profiling has been performed to discover new diagnostic markers and potential therapeutic targets for this tumour type. Global gene expression profiling of ten EMCs and 26 other sarcomas using 42,000 spot cDNA microarrays revealed that the cases of EMC were closely related to each other and distinct from the other tumours profiled. Significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) identified 86 genes that distinguished EMC from the other sarcomas with 0.25% likelihood of false significance. NMB, DKK1, DNER, CLCN3, and DEF6 were the top five genes in this analysis. In situ hybridization for NMB gene expression on tissue microarrays (TMAs) containing a total of 1164 specimens representing 62 different sarcoma types and 15 different carcinoma types showed that NMB was highly expressed in 17 of 22 EMC cases and very rarely expressed in other tumours and thus could function as a novel diagnostic marker. High levels of expression of PPARG and the gene encoding its interacting protein, PPARGC1A, in most EMCs suggest activation of lipid metabolism pathways in this tumour. Small molecule inhibitors for PPARG exist and PPARG could be a potential therapeutic target for EMC.
    The Journal of Pathology 09/2005; 206(4):433-44. · 7.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many soft tissue tumors recapitulate features of normal connective tissue. We hypothesize that different types of fibroblastic tumors are representative of different populations of fibroblastic cells or different activation states of these cells. We examined two tumors with fibroblastic features, solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) and desmoid-type fibromatosis (DTF), by DNA microarray analysis and found that they have very different expression profiles, including significant differences in their patterns of expression of extracellular matrix genes and growth factors. Using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization on a tissue microarray, we found that genes specific for these two tumors have mutually specific expression in the stroma of nonneoplastic tissues. We defined a set of 786 gene spots whose pattern of expression distinguishes SFT from DTF. In an analysis of DNA microarray gene expression data from 295 previously published breast carcinomas, we found that expression of this gene set defined two groups of breast carcinomas with significant differences in overall survival. One of the groups had a favorable outcome and was defined by the expression of DTF genes. The other group of tumors had a poor prognosis and showed variable expression of genes enriched for SFT type. Our findings suggest that the host stromal response varies significantly among carcinomas and that gene expression patterns characteristic of soft tissue tumors can be used to discover new markers for normal connective tissue cells.
    PLoS Biology 07/2005; 3(6):e187. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular pathogenesis of ovarian serous tumors of low malignant potential (S-LMP) is not well understood, although the collective data suggest that they arise through molecular mechanisms distinct from those leading to conventional serous carcinomas (S-Ca). To further examine the molecular differences between these two diseases, we studied the gene expression pattern of ovarian S-LMP and S-Ca using high-density spotted cDNA and tissue microarrays. Total RNA from 23 ovarian S-LMP and S-Ca was analyzed on 43,200 spot cDNA microarrays and the differential expression of proteins encoded by differentially expressed genes was validated using tissue microarrays. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis of filtered data showed a complete separation between S-LMP and S-Ca, based predominantly on a small set of genes expressed at higher levels in S-LMP than in S-Ca. Many genes previously identified as up-regulated in ovarian carcinoma relative to normal ovarian tissue were expressed at even higher levels in S-LMP. These genes included mucin-1, mesothelin, HE4, PAX 8, and apolipoprotein J/clusterin. Immunohistochemical staining of tissue microarrays confirmed higher expression of selected proteins encoded by these genes in the S-LMP. Few genes were expressed at a higher level in S-Ca; these included E2F1, topoisomerase IIalpha, and cyclin E, with higher levels of cyclin E protein confirmed by immunohistochemistry. S-LMP and S-Ca are distinguished at the molecular level by a relatively small gene set, suggesting the pathogenesis of S-LMP as well as S-Ca may involve molecular pathways that escape detection by global gene expression profiling. In order to obtain biologically and clinically relevant information about the mechanisms involved in ovarian carcinogenesis, future studies based on molecular profiles of ovarian cancer should include analyses of low malignant potential tumors. Inclusion of such tumors is also critical to the evaluation of the efficacy of potential new diagnostic and/or therapeutic biomarkers.
    Gynecologic Oncology 04/2005; 96(3):684-94. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most GISTs require oncogenic activation of the KIT or PDGFRA receptor tyrosine kinase proteins, and the genomic mechanisms of oncogene activation are heterogeneous. Notably, the kinase mutation type correlates with both tumor biology and imatinib response. For example, GISTs with KIT exon 11 mutations are typically gastric and have excellent imatinib response, whereas those with KIT exon 9 mutations generally arise in the small bowel and are less responsive to imatinib. To identify genes that might contribute to these biological differences, we carried out gene expression profiling of 26 GISTs with known KIT and PDGFRA mutational status. Expression differences were then evaluated further by RNA in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering grouped tumors with similar mutations together, but the distinction between the different groups was not absolute. Differentially expressed genes included ezrin, p70S6K, and PKCs, which are known to have key roles in KIT or PDGFRA signaling, and which might therefore contribute to the distinctive clinicopathological features in GISTs with different mutation types. These gene products could serve as highly selective therapeutic targets in GISTs containing the KIT or PDGFRA mutational types with which they are associated.
    Oncogene 11/2004; 23(47):7780-90. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently characterized gene expression patterns in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) using cDNA microarrays, and found that the gene FLJ10261 (DOG1, discovered on GIST-1), encoding a hypothetical protein, was specifically expressed in GISTs. The immunoreactivity of a rabbit antiserum to synthetic DOG1 peptides was assessed on two soft tissue tumor microarrays. The tissue microarrays included 587 soft tissue tumors, with 149 GISTs, including 127 GIST cases for which the KIT and PDGFRA mutation status was known. Immunoreactivity for DOG1 was found in 136 of 139 (97.8%) of scorable GISTs. All seven GIST cases with a PDGFRA mutation were DOG1-positive, while most of these failed to react for KIT. The immunohistochemical findings were confirmed with in situ hybridization probes for DOG1, KIT, and PDGFRA. Other neoplasms in the differential diagnosis of GIST, including desmoid fibromatosis (0 of 17) and Schwannoma (0 of 3), were immunonegative for DOG1. Only 4 of 438 non-GIST cases were immunoreactive for DOG1. DOG1, a protein of unknown function, is expressed strongly on the cell surface of GISTs and is rarely expressed in other soft tissue tumors. Reactivity for DOG1 may aid in the diagnosis of GISTs, including PDGFRA mutants that fail to express KIT antigen, and lead to appropriate treatment with imatinib mesylate, an inhibitor of the KIT tyrosine kinase.
    American Journal Of Pathology 08/2004; 165(1):107-13. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Distinguishing between Spitz nevus and melanoma presents a challenging task for clinicians and pathologists. Most of these lesions are submitted entirely in formalin for histologic analysis by conventional hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections, and fresh-frozen material for ancillary studies is rarely collected. Molecular techniques, such as comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), can detect chromosomal alterations in tumor DNA that differ between these 2 lesions. This study investigated the ability of high-resolution array-based CGH to serve as a diagnostic test in distinguishing Spitz nevus and melanoma using DNA isolated from formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded samples. Two of 3 Spitz nevi exhibited no significant chromosomal alterations, while the third showed gain of the short arm of chromosome 11p. The latter finding has previously been described as characteristic of a subset of Spitz nevi. The 2 melanomas showed multiple copy number alterations characteristic of melanoma such as 1q amplification and chromosome 9 deletion. This study has shown the utility of array-based CGH as a potential molecular test in distinguishing Spitz nevus from melanoma. The assay is capable of using archival paraffin-embedded, formalin-fixed material; is technically easier to perform as compared with conventional CGH; is more sensitive than conventional CGH in being able to detect focal alterations; and can detect copy number alterations even with relatively small amounts of lesional tissue as is typical of many skin tumors.
    Diagnostic Molecular Pathology 04/2004; 13(1):22-5. · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is an aggressive spindle cell neoplasm. It is associated with the chromosomal translocation, t(17:22), which fuses the COL1A1 and PDGFbeta genes. We determined the characteristic gene expression profile of DFSP and characterized DNA copy number changes in DFSP by array-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH). Fresh frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples of DFSP were analyzed by array CGH (four cases) and DNA microarray analysis of global gene expression (nine cases). The nine DFSPs were readily distinguished from 27 other diverse soft tissue tumors based on their gene expression patterns. Genes characteristically expressed in the DFSPs included PDGF beta and its receptor, PDGFRB, APOD, MEOX1, PLA2R, and PRKCA. Array CGH of DNA extracted either from frozen tumor samples or from paraffin blocks yielded equivalent results. Large areas of chromosomes 17q and 22q, bounded by COL1A1 and PDGF beta, respectively, were amplified in DFSP. Expression of genes in the amplified regions was significantly elevated. Our data shows that: 1) DFSP has a distinctive gene expression profile; 2) array CGH can be applied successfully to frozen or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples; 3) a characteristic amplification of sequences from chromosomes 17q and 22q, demarcated by the COL1A1 and PDGF beta genes, respectively, was associated with elevated expression of the amplified genes.
    American Journal Of Pathology 01/2004; 163(6):2383-95. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Soft-tissue tumours are derived from mesenchymal cells such as fibroblasts, muscle cells, or adipocytes, but for many such tumours the histogenesis is controversial. We aimed to start molecular characterisation of these rare neoplasms and to do a genome-wide search for new diagnostic markers. We analysed gene-expression patterns of 41 soft-tissue tumours with spotted cDNA microarrays. After removal of errors introduced by use of different microarray batches, the expression patterns of 5520 genes that were well defined were used to separate tumours into discrete groups by hierarchical clustering and singular value decomposition. Synovial sarcomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumours, neural tumours, and a subset of the leiomyosarcomas, showed strikingly distinct gene-expression patterns. Other tumour categories--malignant fibrous histiocytoma, liposarcoma, and the remaining leiomyosarcomas--shared molecular profiles that were not predicted by histological features or immunohistochemistry. Strong expression of known genes, such as KIT in gastrointestinal stromal tumours, was noted within gene sets that distinguished the different sarcomas. However, many uncharacterised genes also contributed to the distinction between tumour types. These results suggest a new method for classification of soft-tissue tumours, which could improve on the method based on histological findings. Large numbers of uncharacterised genes contributed to distinctions between the tumours, and some of these could be useful markers for diagnosis, have prognostic significance, or prove possible targets for treatment.
    The Lancet 05/2002; 359(9314):1301-7. · 39.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
157.29 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • Oregon Health and Science University
      Portland, Oregon, United States
  • 2004–2012
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Pathology
      Palo Alto, California, United States
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Maryland, United States
  • 2002–2010
    • Stanford Medicine
      • Department of Pathology
      Stanford, CA, United States
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2009
    • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
      Minneapolis, MN, United States