Adelheid Wöhrer

Medical University of Vienna, Wien, Vienna, Austria

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Publications (62)206.17 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting programmed cell death 1 (PD1) or its ligand (PD-L1) showed activity in several cancer types.
    Neuro-oncology. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Metastases to the central nervous system (CNS) are common in several cancer types. For most primary tumors that commonly metastasize to the CNS, molecular biomarker analyses are recommended in the clinical setting for selection of appropriate targeted therapies. Therapeutic efficacy of some of these agents has been documented in patients with brain metastases, and molecular testing of CNS metastases should be considered in the clinical setting. Here, we summarize the clinically relevant biomarker tests that should be considered in neurosurgical specimens based on the current recommendations of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) or the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for the most relevant primary tumor types: lung cancer (EGFR mutations, ALK rearrangement, BRAF mutations), breast cancer (HER2 amplification, steroid receptor overexpression), melanoma (BRAF mutations), and colorectal cancer (RAS mutations). Furthermore, we discuss emerging therapeutic targets including novel oncogenic alterations (ROS1 rearrangements, FGFR1 amplifications, CMET amplifications, and others) and molecular features of the tumor microenvironment (including immune-checkpoint molecules such as CTLA4 and PD-1/PD-L1). We also discuss the potential role of advanced biomarker tests such as next-generation sequencing and "liquid biopsies" for patients with CNS metastases.
    Acta neuropathologica. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To identify the prevalence of MRI features of Binswanger's disease (BD), specifically MRI with diffuse white matter lesions and scattered multiple lacunes (BD-MRI), and to describe neurological features and pathological outcomes of a community-based cohort study.Methods Of 697 participants (all 75 years old), 503 completed neurological examinations at baseline and were followed-up every 30 months thereafter with MRIs, the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale-Motor Section (UPDRSM). Data from participants with BD-MRI were compared with those from participants with predominant white matter lesions (WML-MRI), scattered multiple lacunes (ML-MRI), or normal MRIs.ResultsFourteen BD-MRI patients (2.8%) were detected at baseline. The mean MMSE scores in the BD-MRI, WML-MRI, ML-MRI, and normal MRIs groups were 26.4, 28.2, 28.4, and 28.5, respectively, and the mean UPDRSM scores were 9.1, 1.3, 3.1, and 1.7, respectively. At the 30-month follow-up, mortality rates in the normal MRIs, WML-MRI and ML-MRI were 4%, 9.1%, and 22.2%, respectively, and follow-up MRIs were available for 80%, 82%, and 61% of the participants, respectively. In the BD-MRI, however, five patients were deceased, and only five follow-up individual MRIs were available (33.3%). Autopsies were performed on six of eight BD-MRI brains, and these brains fulfilled the pathological criteria for BD independent of Alzheimer disease pathology. All these six individuals also showed systemic atherosclerosis and renal arterio-arteriolosclerosis.InterpretationThe BD-MRI participants had poor prognoses and showed pure BD pathology with advanced systemic vascular disease. BD-MRI appears to be a predictor of vascular neurocognitive impairment.
    Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundCMET represents an emerging therapy target for monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).Methods We investigated CMET gene amplification status by fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and CMET protein expression by immunohistochemistry in a large series of 209 NSCLC brain metastases (BM; 165 adenocarcinoma, 20 squamous cell carcinoma, 11 adenosquamous carcinomas, 11 large cell carcinomas and 2 large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas) and correlated our results to clinic-pathological parameters and molecular data from previous studies.ResultsWe found CMET gene amplification in 36/167 (21.6%) and CMET protein expression in 87/196 (44.4%) of evaluable BM. There was a strong correlation between the presence of CMET gene amplification and CMET protein expression (p<0.001, Chi square test). Furthermore, presence of CMET amplification correlated positively with presence of ALK amplifications (p=0.039, Chi square test) and high HIF1 alpha index (p=0.013, Mann Whitney U-test). Neither CMET expression nor CMET gene amplification status correlated with patient outcome parameters or known prognostic factors.ConclusionsCMET overexpression and CMET amplification are commonly found in NSCLC BM and may represent a promising therapeutic target.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Histopathology 07/2014; · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BRAF V600E mutation and homozygous deletion of CDKN2A (p16) are frequent molecular alterations in pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas (PXA). We investigated 49 PXAs for clinical, histological and immunohistochemical characteristics related to BRAF mutation status. BRAF mutation was detected by immunohistochemistry/sequencing in 38/49 (78%) tumors. All but one PXA from temporal location harbored a BRAF V600E mutation (23/24; 96%) compared to 10/19 (53%) non-temporal PXAs (p=0.0009). Histological and immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated increased reticulin deposition (76% vs. 27%; p=0.003) and a more frequent expression of CD34 in BRAF mutant PXAs (76% vs. 27%; p=0.003). We further investigated the utility of combined BRAF V600E (VE1) and p16 analysis by immunohistochemisty to delineate PXAs from relevant histological mimics like giant cell glioblastoma. In PXAs 38/49 (78%) were VE1 positive, and 30/49 (61%) had a loss of p16 expression. The combined features (VE1+ / p16 loss) were observed in 25/49 (51%) PXAs but were not observed in giant cell glioblastoma (VE1 0/28, p16 loss 14/28). Together, we demonstrate that temporal location, reticulin deposition and CD34 expression are associated with BRAF mutation in PXA. Combined VE1 positivity and p16 loss represent a frequent immunoprofile of PXA and may therefore constitute an additional diagnostic tool for its differential diagnostics.
    Brain Pathology 04/2014; 24(3):221-9. · 4.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Survival upon diagnosis of brain metastases (BM) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is highly variable and established prognostic scores do not include tissue-based parameters. Patients who underwent neurosurgical resection as first-line therapy for newly diagnosed NSCLC BM were included. Microvascular density (MVD), Ki67 tumor cell proliferation index and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha) index were determined by immunohistochemistry. NSCLC BM specimens from 230 patients (151 male, 79 female; median age 56 years; 199 nonsquamous histology) and 53/230 (23.0 %) matched primary tumor samples were available. Adjuvant whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) was given to 153/230 (66.5 %) patients after neurosurgical resection. MVD and HIF-1 alpha indices were significantly higher in BM than in matched primary tumors. In patients treated with adjuvant WBRT, low BM HIF-1 alpha expression was associated with favorable overall survival (OS), while among patients not treated with adjuvant WBRT, BM HIF-1 alpha expression did not correlate with OS. Low diagnosis-specific graded prognostic assessment score (DS-GPA), low Ki67 index, high MVD, low HIF-1 alpha index and administration of adjuvant WBRT were independently associated with favorable OS. Incorporation of tissue-based parameters into the commonly used DS-GPA allowed refined discrimination of prognostic subgroups. Ki67 index, MVD and HIF-1 alpha index have promising prognostic value in BM and should be validated in further studies.
    Strahlentherapie und Onkologie 02/2014; · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    Josef Finsterer, Madleine Melichart, Adelheid Wöhrer
    Archives of Medical Science 02/2014; 10(1):200-2. · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of consciousness may be due to neurological or cardiac involvement in mitochondrial disease, and is often difficult to attribute to either cause, as in the following case. A 67-year-old man with hypertension, diabetes, elevated serum creatine kinase, glaucoma, optic atrophy, and vertigo had experienced recurrent losses of consciousness since 63 years of age. Diagnostic work-up revealed paroxysmal supraventricular arrhythmias, hyperlipidemia, steatosis hepatis, renal insufficiency, polyneuropathy, first-degree atrio-ventricular block, orthostasis, and cataract. From the age of 66 years, he developed tonic-clonic seizures. Electrocardiography loop recording showed some losses of consciousness as associated with supraventricular tachycardias and others with epileptic activity or arterial hypotension. Neurological investigations and muscle biopsy were indicative of mitochondrial disease with multisystem involvement. Losses of consciousness disappeared after catheter ablation and treatment with levetiracetam. Recurrent loss of consciousness in mitochondrial disease may not only be due to arrhythmias but also seizure activity, or autonomic neuropathy. Arrhythmias, seizures, and polyneuropathy may have a common underlying cause affecting various tissues.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 02/2014; · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Object Subtotal resection (STR) of spinal tumors can result in tumor recurrence. Currently, no clinically reliable marker is available for intraoperative visualization of spinal tumor tissue. Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) fluorescence induced by 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is capable of visualizing malignant gliomas. Fluorescence-guided resections of malignant cerebral gliomas using 5-ALA have resulted in an increased rate of complete tumor removal. Recently, the application of 5-ALA has also been described in the first cases of spinal tumors. Therefore, the aim of this observational study was to systematically investigate 5-ALA-induced fluorescence characteristics in different spinal tumor entities. Methods Three hours before the induction of anesthesia, 5-ALA was administered to patients with different intra- and extradural spinal tumors. In all patients a neurosurgical resection or biopsy of the spinal tumor was performed under conventional white-light microscopy. During each surgery, the presence of PpIX fluorescence was additionally assessed using a modified neurosurgical microscope. At the end of an assumed gross-total resection (GTR) under white-light microscopy, a final inspection of the surgical cavity of fluorescing intramedullary tumors was performed to look for any remaining fluorescing foci. Histopathological tumor diagnosis was established according to the current WHO classification. Results Fifty-two patients with 55 spinal tumors were included in this study. Resection was performed in 50 of 55 cases, whereas 5 of 55 cases underwent biopsy. Gross-total resection was achieved in 37 cases, STR in 5, and partial resection in 8 cases. Protoporphyrin IX fluorescence was visible in 30 (55%) of 55 cases, but not in 25 (45%) of 55 cases. Positive PpIX fluorescence was mainly detected in ependymomas (12 of 12), meningiomas (12 of 12), hemangiopericytomas (3 of 3), and in drop metastases of primary CNS tumors (2 of 2). In contrast, none of the neurinomas (8 of 8), carcinoma metastases (5 of 5), and primary spinal gliomas (3 of 3; 1 pilocytic astrocytoma, 1 WHO Grade II astrocytoma, 1 WHO Grade III anaplastic oligoastrocytoma) revealed PpIX fluorescence. It is notable that residual fluorescing tumor foci were detected and subsequently resected in 4 of 8 intramedullary ependymomas despite assumed GTR under white-light microscopy. Conclusions In this study, 5-ALA-PpIX fluorescence was observed in spinal tumors, especially ependymomas, meningiomas, hemangiopericytomas, and drop metastases of primary CNS tumors. In cases of intramedullary tumors, 5-ALA-induced PpIX fluorescence is a useful tool for the detection of potential residual tumor foci.
    Neurosurgical FOCUS 02/2014; 36(2):E11. · 2.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic options for patients with pretreated advanced high-grade glioma (HGG) are limited. Sorafenib, a small molecule with multiple potential beneficial actions, appears particularly promising. We reviewed the outcomes of 30 patients with recurrent or progressive HGG treated with sorafenib within a named patient program. Overall, 16 patients suffered from recurrent or progressive glioblastoma multiforme and 14 patients had grade 3 gliomas. All but four patients had previously undergone surgical debulking; all but one patient had received previous standard multimodal treatment; and 18 patients (60%) had received more than one line of chemotherapy, in median three. Progression-free survival (PFS), defined as the time from initiation of sorafenib to treatment discontinuation because of tumor progression or death, was selected as the endpoint. The use of sorafenib resulted in a median PFS of 3 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9-4.1 months] in patients with glioblastoma and of 3.1 months (95% CI 1.4-4.8 months) in patients with other HGG. The PFS-6 for the whole cohort was 23%. Sixteen patients reported adverse events, mostly moderate, with hypertension as the most frequently reported toxicity (seven patients). One patient died of cerebral bleeding (grade 5 toxicity). The overall survival after initiation of sorafenib was 6 months (95% CI 3.9-8.0 months) for patients with glioblastoma multiforme and 10 months (95% CI 3.1-16.9 months) for patients with HGG. In this retrospective analysis of heavily pretreated patients with HGG, sorafenib monotherapy was associated with tumor stabilization in a small subset of patients. The risk-benefit ratio was acceptable in the context of an apparent clinical benefit in patients with a fatal disease.
    Anti-cancer drugs 01/2014; · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using conventional MRI methods, the differentiation of primary cerebral lymphomas (PCNSL) and other primary brain tumors, such as glioblastomas, is difficult due to overlapping imaging characteristics. This study was designed to discriminate tumor entities using normalized vascular intratumoral signal intensity values (nVITS) obtained from pulsed arterial spin labeling (PASL), combined with intratumoral susceptibility signals (ITSS) from susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI). Thirty consecutive patients with glioblastoma (n = 22) and PCNSL (n = 8), histologically classified according to the WHO brain tumor classification, were included. MRIs were acquired on a 3 T scanner, and included PASL and SWI sequences. nVITS was defined by the signal intensity ratio between the tumor and the contralateral normal brain tissue, as obtained by PASL images. ITSS was determined as intratumoral low signal intensity structures detected on SWI sequences and were divided into four different grades. Potential differences in the nVITS and ITSS between glioblastomas and PCNSLs were revealed using statistical testing. To determine sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy, as well as an optimum cut-off value for the differentiation of PCNSL and glioblastoma, a receiver operating characteristic analysis was used. We found that nVITS (p = 0.011) and ITSS (p = 0.001) values were significantly higher in glioblastoma than in PCNSL. The optimal cut-off value for nVITS was 1.41 and 1.5 for ITSS, with a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of more than 95%. These findings indicate that nVITS values have a comparable diagnostic accuracy to ITSS values in differentiating glioblastoma and PCNSL, offering a completely non-invasive and fast assessment of tumoral vascularity in a clinical setting.
    European Journal of Radiology 01/2014; · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    Christine Haberler, Adelheid Wöhrer
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    ABSTRACT: Genome-wide molecular approaches have substantially elucidated molecular alterations and pathways involved in the oncogenesis of brain tumors. In gliomas, several molecular biomarkers including IDH mutation, 1p/19q co-deletion, and MGMT promotor methylation status have been introduced into neuropathological practice. Recently, mutations of the ATRX gene have been found in various subtypes and grades of gliomas and were shown to refine the prognosis of malignant gliomas in combination with IDH and 1p/19q status. Mutations of ATRX are associated with loss of nuclear ATRX protein expression, detectable by a commercially available antibody, thus turning ATRX into a promising prognostic candidate biomarker in the routine neuropathological setting.
    Clinical neuropathology 01/2014; 33(2):108-11. · 1.34 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; · 9.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Unlike malignant primary central nervous system (CNS) tumours outcome data on non-malignant CNS tumours are scarce. For patients diagnosed from 1996 to 2002 5-year relative survival of only 85.0% has been reported. We investigated this rate in a contemporary patient cohort to update information on survival.Methods:We followed a cohort of 3983 cases within the Austrian Brain Tumour Registry. All patients were newly diagnosed from 2005 to 2010 with a histologically confirmed non-malignant CNS tumour. Vital status, cause of death, and population life tables were obtained by 31 December 2011 to calculate relative survival.Results:Overall 5-year relative survival was 96.1% (95% CI 95.1-97.1%), being significantly lower in tumours of borderline (90.2%, 87.2-92.7%) than benign behaviour (97.4%, 96.3-98.3%). Benign tumour survival ranged from 86.8 for neurofibroma to 99.7% for Schwannoma; for borderline tumours survival rates varied from 83.2 for haemangiopericytoma to 98.4% for myxopapillary ependymoma. Cause of death was directly attributed to the CNS tumour in 39.6%, followed by other cancer (20.4%) and cardiovascular disease (15.8%).Conclusion:The overall excess mortality in patients with non-malignant CNS tumours is 5.5%, indicating a significant improvement in survival over the last decade. Still, the remaining adverse impact on survival underpins the importance of systematic registration of these tumours.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 19 November 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.714
    British Journal of Cancer 11/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) are recently defined highly aggressive embryonal central nervous system tumors with a poor prognosis and no definitive guidelines for treatment. We report on the importance of an initial correct diagnosis and disease-specific therapy on outcome in 22 consecutive patients and propose a new treatment strategy. From 1992 to 2012, nine patients initially diagnosed correctly as ATRT (cohort A, median age 24 months) were treated according to an intensive multimodal regimen (MUV-ATRT) consisting of three 9-week courses of a dose-dense regimen including doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, ifosfamide, cisplatin, etoposide, and methotrexate augmented with intrathecal therapy, followed by high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and completed with local radiotherapy. Thirteen patients were treated differently (cohort B, median age 30 months) most of whom according to protocols in use for their respective diagnoses. As of July 2013, 5-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) for all 22 consecutive patients was 56.3 ± 11.3% and 52.9 ± 11.0%, respectively. For MUV-ATRT regimen-treated patients (cohort A) 5-year OS was 100% and EFS was 88.9 ± 10.5%. For patients treated differently (cohort B) 5-year OS and EFS were 28.8 ± 13.1%. All nine MUV-ATRT regimen-treated patients are alive for a median of 76 months (range: 16–197), eight in first complete remission. Our results compare favorably to previously published data. The drug combination and sequence used in the proposed MUV-ATRT regimen appear to be efficacious in preventing early relapses also in young children with M1–M3 stage disease allowing postponement of radiotherapy until after HDCT.
    Cancer Medicine 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: FGFR1 amplifications are common in squamous cell carcinoma and rare in adenocarcinoma of the lung, but have not been investigated in brain metastases of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We performed fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for FGFR1 and immunohistochemistry for pAKT, PI3K, HIF1a and Ki67 in 175 NSCLC brain metastases and 11 matched primary tumors. ALK gene rearrangement status was available from a previous study. We performed statistical correlations of clinical, histopathological and molecular data. FGFR1 amplifications were found in a total of 30/175 (17%) brain metastases: 4/21 (19%) squamous cell carcinomas, 20/130 (15.3%) adenocarcinomas, 2/12 (16.6%) adenosquamous carcinomas, 4/9 (44.4%) large cell carcinomas and 0/3 neuroendocrine large cell carcinoma. FGFR1 gene status was identical between primary tumors and brain metastases in 9/11 evaluable cases. In 2/11 cases (1 adenosquamous and 1 large cell carcinoma), FGFR1 amplifications were present only in the brain metastasis and not in the primary tumor. Furthermore, we found a significant positive correlation of ALK and FGFR1 gene amplification status in brain metastases (p<0.001, Chi square test). Patients with high-level FGFR1 amplifications had significantly higher number of visceral metastases (p<0.001, Chi square test). Our findings argue for an enrichment of FGFR1 amplifications in brain metastases of adenocarcinomas (where they were 5-fold more frequent than reported for primary tumors) and possibly also of other non-squamous carcinomas, but not in squamous cell carcinomas of the lung. These results may be relevant for targeted therapy and prophylaxis of NSCLC brain metastases.
    Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 10/2013; · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurodegenerative diseases are characterised by neuronal loss and cerebral deposition of proteins with altered physicochemical properties. The major proteins are amyloid-β (Aβ), tau, α-synuclein, and TDP-43. Although neuropathological studies on elderly individuals have emphasised the importance of mixed pathologies, there have been few observations on the full spectrum of proteinopathies in the ageing brain. During a community-based study we performed comprehensive mapping of neurodegeneration-related proteins and vascular pathology in the brains of 233 individuals (age at death 77-87; 73 examined clinically in detail). While all brains (from individuals with and without dementia) showed some degree of neurofibrillary degeneration, Aβ deposits were observed only in 160 (68.7 %). Further pathologies included α-synucleinopathies (24.9 %), non-Alzheimer tauopathies (23.2 %; including novel forms), TDP-43 proteinopathy (13.3 %), vascular lesions (48.9 %), and others (15.1 %; inflammation, metabolic encephalopathy, and tumours). TDP-43 proteinopathy correlated with hippocampal sclerosis (p < 0.001) and Alzheimer-related pathology (CERAD score and Braak and Braak stages, p = 0.001). The presence of one specific variable (cerebral amyloid angiopathy, Aβ parenchymal deposits, TDP-43 proteinopathy, α-synucleinopathy, vascular lesions, non-Alzheimer type tauopathy) did not increase the probability of the co-occurrence of others (p = 0.24). The number of observed pathologies correlated with AD-neuropathologic change (p < 0.0001). In addition to AD-neuropathologic change, tauopathies associated well with dementia, while TDP-43 pathology and α-synucleinopathy showed strong effects but lost significance when evaluated together with AD-neuropathologic change. Non-AD neurodegenerative pathologies and their combinations have been underestimated, but are frequent in reality as demonstrated here. This should be considered in diagnostic evaluation of biomarkers, and for better clinical stratification of patients.
    Acta Neuropathologica 07/2013; · 9.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ErbB receptor family has been implicated in brain metastases (BM) formation in various cancer types and specific targeted therapies are available. We investigated the overexpression of EGFR, HER2 and HER3 in BM of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients to get a better insight on pathobiology of BM and potential drugable targets. We performed immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR, HER2 and HER3 on tissue microarrays of 131 NSCLC-BM. Fifty-one of 131 (38.9%) specimens were considered as positive for EGFR overexpression, 12/131 (9.2%) for HER2 and 27/131 (20.6%) for HER3 respectively. Sixty-nine of 131 (52.7%) of the cases showed overexpression of at least one marker. Four of 131 (3.1%) were positive for all three markers. Strong correlation was observed between HER2 and HER3 overexpression (p = 0.009; Chi-square test after Bonferroni-Holmes correction). No statistically significant correlation of EGFR, HER2 or HER3 overexpression with clinico-pathological parameters including overall survival times was observed. We observed overexpression of ErbB receptor family members, which represent established therapeutic targets in various primary tumours, in approximately half of NSCLC-BM. Further studies should investigate the role of the ErbB pathway in development of and as a therapeutic target in BM of NSCLC patients.
    Apmis 06/2013; · 2.07 Impact Factor
  • Clinical neuropathology 06/2013; · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Increased incidence of brain metastases (BM) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with ALK translocations was postulated, however, ALK gene aberrations in NSCLC-BM have not been investigated so far. METHODS: We investigated ALK and EML4 gene aberrations (amplifications, translocations, inversions) by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) (n=175) and ALK and EML4 protein expression by immunohistochemistry (n=221) in NSCLC BM and corresponding primary tumors. RESULTS: ALK translocations were found in 4/151 (2.6%; 3 of them involving EML4) of BM of adenocarcinomas (AC), 1/9 (11.1%) of adenosquamous carcinomas (ASC), 0/5 of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and 0/10 of large cell carcinomas (LCC). Rearrangement of ALK without involvement of EML4 was seen in 1 AC-BM and rearrangement of EML4 without involvement of ALK in 3 AC-BM, 1 ASC-BM and 1 LCC. ALK amplifications without gene rearrangements were found in BM of 16/151 (10.6%) AC, 2/5 (40%) SCC, 0/9 ASC and one LCC. ALK translocation status was constant between BM and primary tumors in 16 evaluable cases including two cases with ALK-EML4 translocations Among these 16 cases ALK amplification was seen in two BM and none of the primary tumors. All cases with translocations but not with amplifications of ALK showed protein expression. We found no association of ALK gene status with patient age, gender or overall survival time. CONCLUSIONS: ALK translocations and amplifications are found in approximately 3% and 11% of NSCLC-BM, respectively. While ALK translocations appear to be constant between primary tumors and BM, amplifications seem to be more prevalent in BM. ALK translocation, but not ALK amplification is associated with ALK protein overexpression. Further studies are needed to determine whether NSCLC-BM patients with ALK gene aberrations may benefit from specific inhibitor therapy.
    Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 02/2013; · 3.14 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

499 Citations
206.17 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2014
    • Medical University of Vienna
      • • Universitätsklinik für Radiodiagnostik
      • • Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2012
    • Universität Heidelberg
      • Institute of Pathology (Mannheim)
      Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany