[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Desmoplastic melanoma is an uncommon variant of melanoma with sarcomatous histology, distinct clinical behavior and unknown pathogenesis –3. We performed low-coverage genome and high-coverage exome sequencing of 20 desmoplastic melanomas, followed by targeted sequencing of 293 genes in a validation cohort of 42 cases. A high mutation burden (median of 62 mutations/Mb) ranked desmoplastic melanoma among the most highly mutated cancers 4. Mutation patterns strongly implicate ultraviolet radiation as the dominant mutagen 5 , indicating a superficially located cell of origin. Newly identified alterations included recurrent promoter mutations of NFKBIE, encoding NF-B inhibitor (IB), in 4.5% of samples. Common oncogenic mutations in melanomas, in particular in BRAF (encoding p.Val600Glu) and NRAS (encoding p.Gln6Lys or p.Gln6Arg), were absent.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A debilitating complication of breast cancer is the metastatic spread of tumor cells to the leptomeninges or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Patients diagnosed with this aggressive clinical syndrome, known as leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, have very poor prognosis. Despite improvements in detecting cerebrospinal fluid tumor cells (CSFTCs), information regarding their molecular biology is extremely limited. In our recent work, we utilized a protocol previously used for circulating tumor cell isolation to purify tumor cells from the CSF. We then performed genomic characterization of CSFTCs as well as archival tumors from the same patient. Here, we describe the microarray data and quality controls associated with our study published in the Cancer Research journal in 2013 . We also provide an R script containing code for quality control of microarray data and assessment of copy number calls. The microarray data has been deposited into Gene Expression Omnibus under accession # GSE46068.
Genomics Data 12/2014; 2:60–62. DOI:10.1016/j.gdata.2014.04.003
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although leptomeningeal carcinomatosis is a well-established clinical syndrome, virtually nothing is known about the tumor cells responsible for this particularly aggressive metastatic process. To isolate cerebrospinal fluid-derived tumor cells ("CSFTCs") from 15 metastatic breast cancer patients diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, CSF samples were subjected to a two-step method involving immunomagnetic enrichment and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (IE/FACS), a technique previously used for isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood. CSFTCs were subjected to genome-wide copy number analysis by array comparative genomic hybridization. Genomic profiling was successfully performed for 13 of the 15 patients (87%). Copy number analysis in CSFTCs revealed genomic alterations commonly observed in primary breast cancer and CTCs, indicating their malignant origin. Interestingly, 12 (92%) harbored high-level gains on the 8q24 locus, which includes the MYC oncogene. Comparison of CSFTCs against corresponding archival primary tumors in six patients revealed clonal relationships with some divergence. Good concordance among serial samples attested to the reproducibility of the assay. Our approach for isolation and molecular analysis of CSFTCs yielded new insights into the molecular nature of these cells. Further genomic and functional analyses may help elucidate mechanisms by which tumor cells metastasize to the central nervous system.
Cancer Research 10/2013; 73(23). DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2051 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated genomic alterations and biomarker expression in 20 florid lobular carcinomas in situ using array-based comparative genomic hybridization and immunohistochemical analysis. The genetic characteristics of florid lobular carcinoma in situ were compared with 20 classic lobular carcinomas in situ and 21 pleomorphic lobular carcinomas in situ (which included 8 apocrine variants), from our previously published data performed on a similar array-based comparative genomic hybridization platform. All 20 florid lobular carcinoma in situ cases were E-cadherin negative, and 92% were positive for estrogen receptor. Cyclin D1 expression correlated significantly negatively with estrogen receptor expression and was higher in cases with cyclin D1 (CCND1) gene amplification. Compared with classic lobular carcinoma in situ, florid lobular carcinoma in situ displayed significantly more fraction genome alteration (mean, 0.109 versus 0.072; P=.007), fraction genome loss (mean, 0.06 versus 0.03; P=.007), numbers of breakpoints (mean, 11.55 versus 6.95; P=.002), numbers of chromosome with breakpoints (mean, 5.85 versus 3.8; P=.004), and higher numbers of amplifications (mean, 2.10 versus 0.25; P=.03). Interestingly, florid lobular carcinoma in situ had the same genetic complexity as apocrine pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ. Our study demonstrated that florid lobular carcinoma in situ shares the cytologic features, E-cadherin loss, and the lobular genetic signature of 1q gain and 16q loss found in classic lobular carcinoma in situ. However, this variant demonstrates more genomic alterations than classic lobular carcinoma in situ and shares the same genetic complexity as apocrine pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ. Our data support the conclusion that florid lobular carcinoma in situ is genetically more advanced compared with the indolent phenotype of classic lobular carcinoma in situ. This may explain the greater frequency of concurrent invasive carcinoma in florid lobular carcinoma in situ compared with classic lobular carcinoma in situ.
Human pathology 06/2013; 44(10). DOI:10.1016/j.humpath.2013.04.004 · 2.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood is technically challenging because cells are rare and difficult to isolate. We developed a novel approach to isolate CTCs from blood via immunomagnetic enrichment followed by fluorescence activated cell sorting (IE/FACS). Isolated CTCs were subjected to genome-wide copy number analysis via array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). In clinical studies, CTCs were isolated from 181 patients with metastatic breast cancer, 102 of which were successfully profiled, including matched archival primary tumor from five patients. CTCs revealed a wide range of copy number alterations including those previously reported in breast cancer. Comparison with two published aCGH datasets of primary breast tumors revealed similar frequencies of recurrent genomic copy number aberrations. In addition, serial testing of CTCs confirmed reproducibility and indicated genomic change over time. Comparison of CTCs with matched archival primary tumors confirmed shared lineage with notable divergence. We demonstrate that it is feasible to isolate CTCs away from hematopoietic cells with high purity via IE/FACS and profile them via aCGH analysis. Our approach may be utilized to explore genomic events involved in cancer progression and to monitor therapeutic efficacy of targeted therapies in clinical trials in a relatively non-invasive manner.
Cancer Research 11/2012; 73(1). DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-3017 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CTLA-4 is a surface receptor on activated T cells that delivers an inhibitory signal, serving as an immune checkpoint. Treatment with anti-CTLA-4 Abs can induce clinical responses to different malignancies, but the nature of the induced Ag-specific recognition is largely unknown. Using microarrays spotted with >8000 human proteins, we assessed the diversity of Ab responses modulated by treatment with CTLA-4 blockade and GM-CSF. We find that advanced prostate cancer patients who clinically respond to treatment also develop enhanced Ab responses to a higher number of Ags than nonresponders. These induced Ab responses targeted Ags to which preexisting Abs are more likely to be present in the clinical responders compared with nonresponders. The majority of Ab responses are patient-specific, but immune responses against Ags shared among clinical responders are also detected. One of these shared Ags is PAK6, which is expressed in prostate cancer and to which CD4(+) T cell responses were also induced. Moreover, immunization with PAK6 can be both immunogenic and protective in mouse tumor models. These results demonstrate that immune checkpoint blockade modulates Ag-specific responses to both individualized and shared Ags, some of which can mediate anti-tumor responses.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2012; 189(7):3759-66. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1201529 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The molecules Indian hedgehog (IHH), SP7 (also known as osterix), sex-determining region Y-box 9 (SOX9), runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) and TWIST1 regulate the normal differentiation of osteo- and chondrogenic cells from precursors during skeletal development and remodeling. The aberrant function of the same molecules has been implicated in the pathogenesis of bone tumors. Preliminary studies suggest that antibodies against these molecules have practical, diagnostic or prognostic utility in tumors. However, a comprehensive analysis of the expression of these molecules in a large, diverse set of bone tumors has yet to be reported. The goals of this study were to compare the immunohistochemical profiles of IHH, SP7, SOX9, RUNX2 and TWIST1 among bone tumors and to determine the optimum panel for diagnostic utility. Tissue microarrays prepared from 206 undecalcified tumors (71 osteosarcomas, 26 osteoblastomas/osteoid osteomas, 50 giant cell tumors, 5 chondromyxoid fibromas and 54 chondroblastomas) were stained with antibodies to IHH, SP7, SOX9, RUNX2 and TWIST1. The stains were scored for intensity (0−3+) and distribution. The results were analyzed by cluster analysis. Optimum antibody panels for diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were calculated. Analysis revealed six main clusters that corresponded well to tumor types and suggested a close relationship between the stromal cells of giant cell tumor and the osteoblasts of osteosarcoma. The expression profile of chondromyxoid fibroma and chondroblastoma also suggested related differentiation. The distribution of osteoblastomas and osteoid osteomas was more heterogeneous. RUNX2, SOX9 and TWIST1 represented the most sensitive and specific immunohistochemical panel to distinguish among these diagnoses with the limitation that no result could discriminate between chondroblastoma and chondromyxoid fibroma. IHH and SP7 did not yield additional utility.
Modern Pathology 07/2012; 25(11). DOI:10.1038/modpathol.2012.110 · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progression of primary prostate cancer to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is associated with numerous genetic and epigenetic alterations that are thought to promote survival at metastatic sites. In this study, we investigated gene copy number and CpG methylation status in CRPC to gain insight into specific pathophysiologic pathways that are active in this advanced form of prostate cancer. Our analysis defined and validated 495 genes exhibiting significant differences in CRPC in gene copy number, including gains in androgen receptor (AR) and losses of PTEN and retinoblastoma 1 (RB1). Significant copy number differences existed between tumors with or without AR gene amplification, including a common loss of AR repressors in AR-unamplified tumors. Simultaneous gene methylation and allelic deletion occurred frequently in RB1 and HSD17B2, the latter of which is involved in testosterone metabolism. Lastly, genomic DNA from most CRPC was hypermethylated compared with benign prostate tissue. Our findings establish a comprehensive methylation signature that couples epigenomic and structural analyses, thereby offering insights into the genomic alterations in CRPC that are associated with a circumvention of hormonal therapy. Genes identified in this integrated genomic study point to new drug targets in CRPC, an incurable disease state which remains the chief therapeutic challenge.
Cancer Research 12/2011; 72(3):616-25. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2079 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Problems in management of oral cancers or precancers include identification of patients at risk for metastasis, tumor recurrence, and second primary tumors or risk for progression of precancers (dysplasia) to cancer. Thus, the objective of this study was to clarify the role of genomic aberrations in oral cancer progression and metastasis.
The spectrum of copy number alterations in oral dysplasia and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) was determined by array comparative genomic hybridization. Associations with clinical characteristics were studied and results confirmed in an independent cohort.
The presence of one or more of the chromosomal aberrations +3q24-qter, -8pter-p23.1, +8q12-q24.2, and +20 distinguishes a major subgroup (70%-80% of lesions, termed 3q8pq20 subtype) from the remainder (20%-30% of lesions, non-3q8pq20). The 3q8pq20 subtype is associated with chromosomal instability and differential methylation in the most chromosomally unstable tumors. The two subtypes differ significantly in clinical outcome with risk for cervical (neck) lymph node metastasis almost exclusively associated with the 3q8pq20 subtype in two independent oral SCC cohorts.
Two subtypes of oral lesions indicative of at least two pathways for oral cancer development were distinguished that differ in chromosomal instability and risk for metastasis, suggesting that +3q,-8p, +8q, and +20 constitute a biomarker with clinical utility for identifying patients at risk for metastasis. Moreover, although increased numbers of genomic alterations can be harbingers of progression to cancer, dysplastic lesions lacking copy number changes cannot be considered benign as they are potential precursors to non-3q8pq20 locally invasive, yet not metastatic oral SCC.
Clinical Cancer Research 11/2011; 17(22):7024-34. DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1944 · 8.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies suggest that micronutrients may modify the risk or delay progression of prostate cancer; however, the molecular mechanisms involved are poorly understood. We examined the effects of lycopene and fish oil on prostate gene expression in a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial.
Eighty-four men with low risk prostate cancer were stratified based on self-reported dietary consumption of fish and tomatoes and then randomly assigned to a 3-month intervention of lycopene (n = 29) or fish oil (n = 27) supplementation or placebo (n = 28). Gene expression in morphologically normal prostate tissue was studied at baseline and at 3 months via cDNA microarray analysis. Differential gene expression and pathway analyses were performed to identify genes and pathways modulated by these micronutrients.
Global gene expression analysis revealed no significant individual genes that were associated with high intake of fish or tomato at baseline or after 3 months of supplementation with lycopene or fish oil. However, exploratory pathway analyses of rank-ordered genes (based on p-values not corrected for multiple comparisons) revealed the modulation of androgen and estrogen metabolism in men who routinely consumed more fish (p = 0.029) and tomato (p = 0.008) compared to men who ate less. In addition, modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism (p = 0.01) was observed after 3 months of fish oil supplementation compared with the placebo group; and modulation of nuclear factor (erythroid derived-2) factor 2 or Nrf2-mediated oxidative stress response for either supplement versus placebo (fish oil: p = 0.01, lycopene: p = 0.001).
We did not detect significant individual genes associated with dietary intake and supplementation of lycopene and fish oil. However, exploratory analyses revealed candidate in vivo pathways that may be modulated by these micronutrients.
PLoS ONE 09/2011; 6(9):e24004. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0024004 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A clinically distinct subgroup of pure ductal carcinoma in situ presents as an extensive, high-grade lesion, which nevertheless lacks invasion. We sought to evaluate differences between those ductal carcinomas in situ presenting as large versus small lesions while controlling for high-grade, to determine whether there exist phenotypic and genetic differences between the 2 groups. Fifty-two cases of pure high-grade ductal carcinomas in situ were collected retrospectively, consisting of 27 large (>40 mm) and 25 small (<15 mm) cases. The 2 groups were compared based on genomic copy number assessed by array-based comparative genomic hybridization and by phenotype determined by immunohistochemistry for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, Ki-67, p53, cyclin D1, p16, cyclooxygenase 2, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, and CD68. Large lesions presented at a younger age, with lower incidence of comedonecrosis and periductal macrophage response. Larger lesions also had significantly lower estrogen receptor expression, lower cyclin D1 expression, and lower Ki-67 index. The subset of 9 large palpable tumors had significantly lower p16/cyclooxygenase 2 expression and lower Ki-67 index compared to nonpalpable tumors. Genomically, larger lesions had fewer break points, fewer amplifications, and decreased copy number gains involving chromosome 8q and chromosome 20q when compared to the small lesions. Among pure high-grade tumors, small and large groups show specific genomic and phenotypic differences. Interestingly, larger tumors showed some molecular features associated with better prognosis. A more thorough evaluation of these differences could help identify the likelihood of recurrence or progression for in situ lesions.
Human pathology 04/2011; 42(10):1467-75. DOI:10.1016/j.humpath.2011.01.002 · 2.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melanoma is comprised of biologically distinct subtypes. The defining clinical, histomorphologic, and molecular features are not fully established. This study sought to validate the association between genetic and histomorphologic features previously described and to determine their reproducibility and association with important clinical variables. Detailed clinical and histomorphologic features of 365 primary cutaneous melanomas were assessed by 11 pathologists and correlated with mutation status of BRAF and NRAS. There was substantial agreement in the quantitative assessment of histomorphologic features showing similar or better interobserver reproducibility than the established World Health Organization classification scheme. We confirmed that melanomas with BRAF mutations showed characteristic morphologic features (P < 0.0001) and metastasized more frequently to regional lymph nodes (P = 0.046). Importantly, melanomas without mutations were a heterogeneous group, with a subset having very similar clinical and morphological features as those with BRAF mutation raising the possibility that they are biologically related. Our study confirms an association between histomorphologic features, mutation status, and pattern of metastasis, providing criteria for a refined melanoma classification aimed at defining biologically homogeneous disease subgroups.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Uveal melanoma is the most common intraocular cancer. There are no effective therapies for metastatic disease. Mutations in GNAQ, the gene encoding an alpha subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins, are found in 40% of uveal melanomas.
We sequenced exon 5 of GNAQ and GNA11, a paralogue of GNAQ, in 713 melanocytic neoplasms of different types (186 uveal melanomas, 139 blue nevi, 106 other nevi, and 282 other melanomas). We sequenced exon 4 of GNAQ and GNA11 in 453 of these samples and in all coding exons of GNAQ and GNA11 in 97 uveal melanomas and 45 blue nevi.
We found somatic mutations in exon 5 (affecting Q209) and in exon 4 (affecting R183) in both GNA11 and GNAQ, in a mutually exclusive pattern. Mutations affecting Q209 in GNA11 were present in 7% of blue nevi, 32% of primary uveal melanomas, and 57% of uveal melanoma metastases. In contrast, we observed Q209 mutations in GNAQ in 55% of blue nevi, 45% of uveal melanomas, and 22% of uveal melanoma metastases. Mutations affecting R183 in either GNAQ or GNA11 were less prevalent (2% of blue nevi and 6% of uveal melanomas) than the Q209 mutations. Mutations in GNA11 induced spontaneously metastasizing tumors in a mouse model and activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.
Of the uveal melanomas we analyzed, 83% had somatic mutations in GNAQ or GNA11. Constitutive activation of the pathway involving these two genes appears to be a major contributor to the development of uveal melanoma. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).
New England Journal of Medicine 11/2010; 363(23):2191-9. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1000584 · 55.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies have suggested that somatic events in tumors can depend on an individual's constitutional genotype. We used squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the skin, which arise in high multiplicity in organ transplant recipients, as a model to compare the pattern of somatic alterations within and across individuals. Specifically, we performed array comparative genomic hybridization on 104 tumors from 25 unrelated individuals who each had three or more independently arisen SCCs and compared the profiles occurring within patients to profiles of tumors across a larger set of 135 patients. In general, chromosomal aberrations in SCCs were more similar within than across individuals (two-sided exact-test p-value<1x10(-7)), consistent with the notion that the genetic background was affecting the pattern of somatic changes. To further test this possibility, we performed allele-specific imbalance studies using microsatellite markers mapping to 14 frequently aberrant regions of multiple independent tumors from 65 patients. We identified nine loci which show evidence of preferential allelic imbalance. One of these loci, 8q24, corresponded to a region in which multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms have been associated with increased cancer risk in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We tested three implicated variants and identified one, rs13281615, with evidence of allele-specific imbalance (p-value=0.012). The finding of an independently identified cancer susceptibility allele with allele-specific imbalance in a genomic region affected by recurrent DNA copy number changes suggest that it may also harbor risk alleles for SCC. Together these data provide strong evidence that the genetic background is a key driver of somatic events in cancer, opening an opportunity to expand this approach to identify cancer risk alleles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The three main treatment options for primary prostate cancer are surgery, radiation, and active surveillance. Surgical and radiation intervention for prostate cancer can be associated with significant morbidity. Therefore, accurate stratification predictive of outcome for prostate cancer patients is essential for appropriate treatment decisions. Nomograms that use clinical and pathologic variables are often used for risk prediction. Favorable outcomes exist even among men classified by nomograms as being at high risk of recurrence.
Previously, we identified a set of DNA-based biomarkers termed Genomic Evaluators of Metastatic Prostate Cancer (GEMCaP) and have shown that they can predict risk of recurrence with 80% accuracy. Here, we examined the risk prediction ability of GEMCaP in a high-risk cohort and compared it to a Kattan nomogram.
We determined that the GEMCaP genotype alone is comparable with the nomogram, and that for a subset of cases with negative lymph nodes improves upon it.
Thus, GEMCaP shows promise for predicting unfavorable outcomes for negative lymph node high-risk cases, where the nomogram falls short, and suggests that addition of GEMCaP to nomograms may be warranted.
Clinical Cancer Research 12/2009; 16(1):195-202. DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-0948 · 8.72 Impact Factor