Katja Specht

Technische Universität München, München, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (55)301.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of our study was to evaluate the quality of histo- and cytomorphological features of PAXgene-fixed specimens and their suitability for histomorphological classification in comparison to standard formalin fixation. Fifteen colon cancer tissues were collected, divided into two mirrored samples and either formalin fixed (FFPE) or PAXgene fixed (PFPE) before paraffin embedding. HE- and PAS-stained sections were scanned and evaluated in a blinded, randomised ring trial by 20 pathologists from Europe and the USA using virtual microscopy. The pathologists evaluated histological grading, histological subtype, presence of adenoma, presence of lymphovascular invasion, quality of histomorphology and quality of nuclear features. Statistical analysis revealed that the reproducibility with regard to grading between both fixation methods was rather satisfactory (weighted kappa statistic (k w) = 0.73 (95 % confidence interval (CI), 0.41-0.94)), with a higher agreement between the reference evaluation and the PFPE samples (k w = 0.86 (95 % CI, 0.67-1.00)). Independent from preservation method, inter-observer reproducibility was not completely satisfactory (k w = 0.60). Histomorphological quality parameters were scored equal or better for PFPE than for FFPE samples. For example, overall quality and nuclear features, especially the detection of mitosis, were judged significantly better for PFPE cases. By contrast, significant retraction artefacts were observed more frequently in PFPE samples. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the PAXgene Tissue System leads to excellent preservation of histomorphology and nuclear features of colon cancer tissue and allows routine morphological diagnosis.
    Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that bone marrow oedema (BME) observed on MRI in patients with avascular necrosis (AVN) of the femoral head represents an indicator of subchondral fracture. METHODS: Thirty-seven symptomatic hips of 27 consecutive patients (53 % women, mean age 49.2) with AVN of the femoral head and associated BME on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging were included. MR findings were correlated with computed tomography (CT) of the hip and confirmed by histopathological examination of the resected femoral head. Imaging studies were analysed by two radiologists with use of the ARCO classification. RESULTS: On MR imaging a fracture line could be identified in 19/37 (51 %) cases, which were classified as ARCO stage 3 (n = 15) and stage 4 (n = 4). The remaining 18/37 (49 %) cases were classified as ARCO stage 2. However, in all 37/37 (100 %) cases a subchondral fracture was identified on CT, indicating ARCO stage 3/4 disease. The extent of subchondral fractures and the femoral head collapse was graded higher on CT as compared to MRI (P < 0.05). Histopathological analysis confirmed bone necrosis and subchondral fractures. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with AVN, BME of the femoral head represents a secondary sign of subchondral fracture and thus indicates ARCO stage 3 disease.
    European Radiology 05/2014; · 4.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intraductal papillary neoplasms of the bile duct are still poorly characterized regarding (1) their molecular alterations during the development to invasive carcinomas, (2) their subtype stratification and (3) their biological behavior. We performed a multicenter study that analyzed these issues in a large European cohort. Intraductal papillary neoplasms of the bile duct from 45 patients were graded and subtyped using mucin markers and CDX2. In addition, tumors were analyzed for common oncogenic pathways, and the findings were correlated with subtype and grade. Data were compared with those from 22 extra- and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas. Intraductal papillary neoplasms showed a development from preinvasive low- to high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia to invasive carcinoma. Molecular and immunohistochemical analysis revealed mutated KRAS, overexpression of TP53 and loss of p16 in low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia, whereas loss of SMAD4 was found in late phases of tumor development. Alterations of HER2, EGFR, β-catenin and GNAS were rare events. Among the subtypes, pancreato-biliary (36%) and intestinal (29%) were the most common, followed by gastric (18%) and oncocytic (13%) subtypes. Patients with intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct showed a slightly better overall survival than patients with cholangiocarcinoma (hazard ratio (cholangiocarcinoma versus intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct): 1.40; 95% confidence interval: 0.46-4.30; P=0.552). The development of biliary intraductal papillary neoplasms of the bile duct follows an adenoma-carcinoma sequence that correlates with the stepwise activation of common oncogenic pathways. Further large trials are needed to investigate and verify the finding of a better prognosis of intraductal papillary neoplasms compared with conventional cholangiocarcinoma.Modern Pathology advance online publication, 5 July 2013; doi:10.1038/modpathol.2013.112.
    Modern Pathology 07/2013; · 5.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), there is no biomarker available that indicates success or failure of therapy. We hypothesized that tumor specific CKIT or PDGFRA mutant DNA fragments can be detected and quantified in plasma samples of GIST patients. We prospectively collected 291 plasma samples from 38 subjects with GIST harbouring activating mutations of CKIT or PDGFRA detected in tumor tissue, irrespective of current disease status or treatment. We used allele-specific Ligation PCR to detect mutant free circulating (fc)DNA. We were able to detect fcDNA harbouring the tumor mutation in 15 out of 38 patients. Patients with active disease displayed significantly higher amounts of mutant fcDNA compared to patients in CR. The amount of mutant fcDNA correlated with disease course. We observed repeated positive test results or an increase of mutant fcDNA in five patients with progressive disease or relapse. A decline of tumor fcDNA or conversion from positive to negative was seen in five patients responding to treatment. A negative to positive conversion was seen in two patients with relapse and one patient with progression. In two cases, we aimed to identify additional mutations, and found four additional exchanges, including mutations not known from sequentially performed tumor biopsies. Our results indicate that free circulating DNA harbouring tumor specific mutations in the plasma of patients with GIST can be used as tumor-specific biomarker. The detection of resistance mutations in plasma samples might allow earlier treatment changes and obviates the need for repeated tumor biopsies.
    Clinical Cancer Research 07/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
  • Annals of Hematology 06/2013; · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Truncated forms of HER2, previously identified in subsets of HER2-positive breast cancer, originate from proteolytic extracellular domain (ECD) cleavage or alternative translation initiation. They lack ECD but may retain intracellular domain functionality, potentially associated with unfavorable prognosis, metastasis, and decreased sensitivity to antibody-based HER2-targeted therapy. To study the distribution of truncated HER2 in breast cancer, we detected loss of membrane-bound ECD independently of its molecular origin in paraffin sections, combining multispectral unmixing of chromogenic duplex IHC for HER2 ECD and intracellular domain with advanced image analysis. HER2 C-terminal fragment 611-transfected MCF7 and 4-aminophenylmercuric acetate-treated SKBR3 cell lines were used as controls. Applying a prototype work flow to whole sections, paired surgical resection/core needle biopsy samples, and paired samples from 69 patients of a phase 2 neoadjuvant clinical trial, we observed unexpected heterogeneity of ECD loss at the single-cell level, and in different areas of individual tumors, indicating that extent and localization of HER2 ECD loss add relevant information to averaging truncated HER2 across whole sections. We show acceptable run-to-run variation (coefficient of variation, <0.15), image analysis results in moderate agreement with conventional slide assessment (Cohen's κ = 0.59), and no obvious interference with previous HER2-ECD-targeted therapy. We conclude that duplex IHC and digital image processing extend current approaches of truncated HER2 detection.
    American Journal Of Pathology 05/2013; · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Primary hepatic angiosarcoma is a very rare and aggressive malignancy of vascular origin. We describe cross-sectional imaging findings of this entity with emphasis on dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) and diffusion-weighted (DWI) MR imaging. METHODS: Seven cases of pathologically confirmed hepatic angiosarcoma were retrospectively reviewed (CT and MRI examinations were available in seven and six patients, respectively). Two radiologists evaluated lesion growth patterns, attenuation, signal intensity characteristics, contrast enhancement patterns, and apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs). RESULTS: Multifocal hepatic disease was present in six patients by means of a mixed pattern of large dominant masses and multiple small nodules; one patient had a solitary large mass. Unenhanced images depicted hemorrhagic areas and a markedly heterogeneous internal architecture within large tumors. Contrast-enhanced early phase images showed variable patterns including patchy peripheral or bizarre shaped intralesional foci of enhancement, peripheral rim enhancement, and small lesions without enhancement. On DCE images, the majority of lesions presented with varying degrees of progressive enhancement. Small nodules frequently displayed homogeneous enhancement on delayed phase images due to complete fill-in. DWI revealed a high interlesional variability of ADC values (range 0.57-2.41 × 10(-3 )mm(2)/s, mean 1.37 × 10(-3 )mm(2)/s). CONCLUSION: Cross-sectional imaging findings of hepatic angiosarcoma reflect the varied histopathological composition of the tumors. Multifocal disease, hemorrhage within large lesions, as well as progressive enhancement on DCE images are typical features of hepatic angiosarcoma. The mean ADC of lesions was found to be slightly elevated in comparison with other hepatic malignancies.
    Abdominal Imaging 12/2012; · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Ovarian borderline tumors (BOTs) generally have an excellent prognosis, although recurrences and malignant transformation can occur. Our aim was to compare clinicopathologic features of BOT with clinical outcome.Methods In seventy consecutive BOTs clinicopathologic parameters, tumor cell proliferation (Ki67) and in selected cases KRAS, BRAF and p53 mutational status were analyzed with recurrence-free and overall survival as the endpoints.ResultsSixty-one (87%) patients presented with FIGO stage I, 3 stage II, and 6 stage III. Thirty-four patients had serous and 36 mucinous BOT (30 intestinal and 6 endocervical subtypes). Non-invasive peritoneal implants occurred in 9 patients, and no invasive implants were observed. Recurrence-free and overall survival rates were 91% and 99%, respectively, at a mean follow-up of 63 months.Disease recurrence occurred in 6 cases (all FIGO stage I) including 3 serous, 1 mucinous-intestinal, and 2 mucinous-endocervical subtypes. Mean time to recurrence was 27 months (range 8–68). The recurrence rate following fertility-conserving surgery was 31% (5/16) compared to 2% (1/54) after bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Neither peritoneal implants (9/70), micropapillary pattern (2/34), microinvasion (4/70), nor increased tumor cell proliferation was associated with a higher recurrence rate. The frequency of KRAS or BRAF mutations was 50% (3/6 recurrences and 3/6 controls; 4 KRAS, 2 BRAF mutations). No p53 mutations (0/12) were detected in primary or recurrent BOTs.Conclusions Histopathologic parameters were not predictive of BOT recurrence including previously suggested risk factors such as micropapillary pattern and microinvasion. However, fertility-conserving surgery and incomplete surgical staging were associated with a higher risk for recurrence.
    Gynecologic Oncology 12/2012; 127(3):516–524. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gene expression profiles provide important information about the biology of breast tumors and can be used to develop prognostic tests. However, the implementation of quantitative RNA-based testing in routine molecular pathology has not been accomplished, so far. The EndoPredict assay has recently been described as a quantitative RT-PCR-based multigene expression test to identify a subgroup of hormone-receptor-positive tumors that have an excellent prognosis with endocrine therapy only. To transfer this test from bench to bedside, it is essential to evaluate the test-performance in a multicenter setting in different molecular pathology laboratories. In this study, we have evaluated the EndoPredict (EP) assay in seven different molecular pathology laboratories in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. A set of ten formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumors was tested in the different labs, and the variance and accuracy of the EndoPredict assays were determined using predefined reference values. Extraction of a sufficient amount of RNA and generation of a valid EP score was possible for all 70 study samples (100%). The EP scores measured by the individual participants showed an excellent correlation with the reference values, respectively, as reflected by Pearson correlation coefficients ranging from 0.987 to 0.999. The Pearson correlation coefficient of all values compared to the reference value was 0.994. All laboratories determined EP scores for all samples differing not more than 1.0 score units from the pre-defined references. All samples were assigned to the correct EP risk group, resulting in a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, a concordance of 100%, and a kappa of 1.0. Taken together, the EndoPredict test could be successfully implemented in all seven participating laboratories and is feasible for reliable decentralized assessment of gene expression in luminal breast cancer.
    Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medicin 02/2012; 460(3):251-9. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy for advanced colorectal cancer leads to improved survival; however, predictors of response to systemic treatment are not available. Genomic and epigenetic alterations of the gene encoding transcription factor AP-2 epsilon (TFAP2E) are common in human cancers. The gene encoding dickkopf homolog 4 protein (DKK4) is a potential downstream target of TFAP2E and has been implicated in chemotherapy resistance. We aimed to further evaluate the role of TFAP2E and DKK4 as predictors of the response of colorectal cancer to chemotherapy. We analyzed the expression, methylation, and function of TFAP2E in colorectal-cancer cell lines in vitro and in patients with colorectal cancer. We examined an initial cohort of 74 patients, followed by four cohorts of patients (total, 220) undergoing chemotherapy or chemoradiation. TFAP2E was hypermethylated in 38 of 74 patients (51%) in the initial cohort. Hypermethylation was associated with decreased expression of TFAP2E in primary and metastatic colorectal-cancer specimens and cell lines. Colorectal-cancer cell lines overexpressing DKK4 showed increased chemoresistance to fluorouracil but not irinotecan or oxaliplatin. In the four other patient cohorts, TFAP2E hypermethylation was significantly associated with nonresponse to chemotherapy (P<0.001). Conversely, the probability of response among patients with hypomethylation was approximately six times that in the entire population (overall estimated risk ratio, 5.74; 95% confidence interval, 3.36 to 9.79). Epigenetic alterations of TFAP2E were independent of mutations in key regulatory cancer genes, microsatellite instability, and other genes that affect fluorouracil metabolism. TFAP2E hypermethylation is associated with clinical nonresponsiveness to chemotherapy in colorectal cancer. Functional assays confirm that TFAP2E-dependent resistance is mediated through DKK4. In patients who have colorectal cancer with TFAP2E hypermethylation, targeting of DKK4 may be an option to overcome TFAP2E-mediated drug resistance. (Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and others.).
    New England Journal of Medicine 01/2012; 366(1):44-53. · 54.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The accuracy of common markers for PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathway activation in preclinical and clinical cancer biomarker studies depends on phosphoepitope stability and changes of phosphorylation under ischemia. Herein, we define conditions under which phosphoepitope-specific duplex immunohistochemistry (IHC) on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissues reflects pathway activation in situ as accurately as possible, and identify activation patterns linked to mutational status, pathway dependency and tumor microenvironment in clinical tumor samples, cell culture and xenograft tissues. Systematically assessing robustness of pAKT, pERK1/2, pMEK1/2 and pmTOR detection and related markers in xenograft tissues exposed to ischemia, we show that control of preprocessing and ischemia times allows accurate interpretation of staining results. Phosphorylation patterns were then analyzed in 33 xenograft models and in 58 cases with breast cancer, including 21 paired samples of core-needle biopsies with corresponding mastectomy specimens, and 37 mastectomy samples obtained under rigorously controlled conditions minimizing ischemia time. Patterns of pAKT and pERK1/2 staining (predominant PI3K/AKT, predominant MAPK and concomitant activation) were associated with sensitivity to pathway inhibition and partially with the mutational status in cell lines and corresponding xenograft tumors. In contrast, no clear correlation between mutational status and staining patterns was observed in clinical breast cancer samples, suggesting that interaction with the human tumor microenvironment may interfere with the use of phosphoepitope-specific IHC as potential markers for pathway dependency. In contrast to core needle biopsies, surgically resected breast cancer samples showed evidence of severe signal changes comparable to those effects observed in xenograft tumors exposed to controlled ischemia.
    International Journal of Cancer 12/2011; 131(7):1621-32. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) is a rare vascular tumor with low- to intermediate-grade malignant potential. We describe cross-sectional imaging findings of pathologically confirmed EHE including preliminary observations on lesion characteristics and apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) at diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI). CT and MRI examinations in five patients were retrospectively reviewed. Two radiologists evaluated lesion growth patterns, attenuation, signal intensity characteristics, and contrast enhancement patterns. Additionally, DWI features on low and high b-value images as well as ADCs were assessed in three patients. Imaging features of EHE included multifocal hepatic disease (n = 5), predominantly subcapsular location (n = 5), coalescence of nodules (n = 5), capsular retraction (n = 3), and intralesional calcifications (n = 3). Contrast-enhanced CT and MR images showed variable degrees of peripheral rim enhancement. T2-weighted MR images, low b-value DWI and ADC maps frequently depicted a "target-sign" appearance of tumor nodules. A markedly hyperintense central area corresponding to hypocellular stroma was surrounded by a moderately hyperintense outer rim reflecting hypercellular tumor regions. The mean ADC of lesions was 1.86 × 10(-3) mm(2)/s. Cross-sectional imaging displayed typical features of EHE. The mean ADC value of lesions was found to be relatively high in comparison with other hepatic malignancies, which may be helpful in suggesting the diagnosis.
    Abdominal Imaging 08/2011; 36(4):415-24. · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression in osteosarcoma and its relationship to prognosis have been the subject of several conflicting reports, most of them relying on immunohistochemical studies. Because the urgent need of prognostic markers and effective new treatment options for osteosarcoma patients, we evaluated the role of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 in 2 well-characterized sets of pretherapeutic osteosarcoma samples (46 paraffin-embedded and 46 fresh-frozen biopsy samples) using immunohistochemistry with 2 different antibodies [DAKO A0485 (Glostrup, Denmark) and Novocastra CB11 (Newcastle, UK)] as well as fluorescence in situ hybridization, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and SNP array analyses and correlated our findings with clinicopathological parameters. However, our study failed to detect unequivocal evidence of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 gene amplification or overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 messenger RNA or protein in any of the investigated tumors. Only in a small subset of samples, a moderate increase in messenger RNA levels (13.6%) or focal membranous immunoreactivity (8.7%; A0485) was detected but did not correlate with survival or response to chemotherapy. Cytoplasmic staining was identified more frequently (63%; CB11) but again did not show any association with clinicopathological parameters. In conclusion, our study does not support a role for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 as a prognostic marker in osteosarcoma.
    Human pathology 02/2011; 42(6):859-66. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether pretherapeutic protein expression levels of the excision repair cross-complementing (ERCC1) enzyme, thymidylate synthetase (TS), multidrug-resistance protein 1 (MRP-1) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) are associated with tumour response to cisplatin and fluorouracil (5-FU)-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy in oesophageal adenocarcinomas. The expression levels of ERCC1, TS, MDR-1 and P-gp were determined immunohistochemically in pretherapeutic tumour biopsies from 40 oesophageal adenocarcinoma patients and were correlated with histopathological tumour regression and with patient survival. Protein expression was compared to mRNA data, which was previously published for ERCC1, TS and MRP-1 and newly determined for the purpose of this study for MDR-1/P-gp. High-TS and -MRP-1 protein expression was correlated with tumour non-response to chemotherapy (P = 0.001 and P = 0.036, respectively). For ERCC-1 and P-gp, no association between pretherapeutic protein expression and response was found. There was no correlation between mRNA levels and protein expression for all investigated markers. Survival analysis revealed a trend towards increased survival for low-ERCC-1 expression (P = 0.079). The pattern of pretherapeutic expression of TS and MRP-1 is related to chemotherapy response in oesophageal adenocarcinoma patients. Immunohistochemical assessment of these markers may be helpful for response prediction.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 10/2010; 102(5):503-8. · 2.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpression and activation are hallmarks of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Although EGFR-targeted therapies are used, the prognosis of NSCLC remains poor. ADAM17 induces activation of the EGFR through ligand cleavage. However, we show that inhibition or knockdown of ADAM17 markedly reduces tumorigenesis and survival to a large part independently from EGFR ligand shedding in NSCLC cells. These findings strongly indicate additional oncogenic mechanisms regulated by ADAM17. We identified Notch1 signaling as an ADAM17-controlled pathway and a critical regulator of anchorage-independent growth by using both Notch1 shRNA and ectopic expression of the active intracellular Notch1 fragment. Strikingly, Notch1 knockdown led to a strong reduction of EGFR expression in all analyzed cell lines. Proliferation, survival, and colony formation of Notch1-deficient cells were insensitive to EGF stimulation. Moreover, targeting Notch1 or ADAM17 resulted in substantial cell death, whereas EGFR inhibition predominantly induced cell cycle arrest. Immunohistochemical analysis of primary human tissue revealed a significant correlation between ADAM17, Notch1 signaling, and high EGFR expression levels. In conclusion, this article describes a novel molecular circuitry in NSCLC, incorporating ADAM17 as a regulator of EGFR expression through the activation of Notch1. Due to their central role in tumorigenesis and survival of NSCLC cells, both ADAM17 and Notch1 constitute promising targets for the treatment of NSCLC.
    Cancer Research 07/2010; 70(13):5368-78. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical laboratory testing for HER2 status in breast cancer tissues is critically important for therapeutic decision making. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a powerful tool for investigating proteins through the direct and morphology-driven analysis of tissue sections. We hypothesized that MALDI-IMS may determine HER2 status directly from breast cancer tissues. Breast cancer tissues (n = 48) predefined for HER2 status were subjected to MALDI-IMS, and protein profiles were obtained through direct analysis of tissue sections. Protein identification was performed by tissue microextraction and fractionation followed by top-down tandem mass spectrometry. A discovery and an independent validation set were used to predict HER2 status by applying proteomic classification algorithms. We found that specific protein/peptide expression changes strongly correlated with the HER2 overexpression. Among these, we identified m/z 8404 as cysteine-rich intestinal protein 1. The proteomic signature was able to accurately define HER2-positive from HER2-negative tissues, achieving high values for sensitivity of 83%, for specificity of 92%, and an overall accuracy of 89%. Our results underscore the potential of MALDI-IMS proteomic algorithms for morphology-driven tissue diagnostics such as HER2 testing and show that MALDI-IMS can reveal biologically significant molecular details from tissues which are not limited to traditional high-abundance proteins.
    Journal of Proteome Research 02/2010; 9(4):1854-63. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify pretherapeutic predictive biomarkers in tumor biopsies of patients with locally advanced esophageal adenocarcinomas treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, we used an explorative proteomic approach to correlate pretherapeutic protein expression profiles with tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Thirty-four patients with locally advanced esophageal adenocarcinomas who received neoadjuvant platin/5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy before surgical resection were enrolled in this study. Response to chemotherapy was determined (a) by the amount of decline of [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose tumor uptake 2 weeks after the start of chemotherapy measured by positron emission tomography and (b) by histopathologic evaluation of tumor regression after surgical resection. Explorative quantitative and qualitative protein expression analysis was done through a quantitative differential protein expression analysis that used dual-isotope radioactive labeling of protein extracts. Selected identified biomarkers were validated by immunohistochemistry and quantitative real time reverse transcription-PCR. Proteomic analysis revealed four cellular stress response-associated proteins [heat-shock protein (HSP) 27, HSP60, glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 94, GRP78] and a number of cytoskeletal proteins whose pretherapeutic abundance was significantly different (P < 0.001) between responders and nonresponders. Immunohistochemistry and gene expression analysis confirmed these data, showing a significant association between low HSP27 expression and nonresponse to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (P = 0.049 and P = 0.032, respectively). Albeit preliminary, our encouraging data suggest that protein expression profiling may distinguish cancers with a different response to chemotherapy. Our results suggest that response to chemotherapy may be related to a different activation of stress response and inflammatory biology in general. Moreover, the potential of HSPs and GRPs as biomarkers of chemotherapy response warrants further validation.
    Clinical Cancer Research 12/2008; 14(24):8279-87. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-fluorouracile (CMF)-based chemotherapy for adjuvant treatment of breast cancer reduces the risk of relapse. In this exploratory study, we tested the feasibility of identifying molecular markers of recurrence in CMF-treated patients. Using Affymetrix U133A GeneChips, RNA samples from 19 patients with primary breast cancer who had been uniformly treated with adjuvant CMF chemotherapy were analyzed. Two supervised class prediction approaches were used to identify gene markers that can best discriminate between patients who would experience relapse and patients who would remain disease-free. An additional independent validation set of 51 patients and 21 genes were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR. Applying different algorithms to evaluate our microarray data, we identified two gene expression signatures of 21 and 12 genes containing eight overlapping genes, that predict recurrence in 19 cases with high accuracy (94%). Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that six genes from the combined signatures (CXCL9, ITSN2, GNAI2, H2AFX, INDO, and MGC10986) were significantly differentially expressed in the recurrence versus the non-recurrence group of the 19 cases and the independent breast cancer patient cohort (n = 51) treated with CMF. High expression levels of CXCL9, ITSN2, and GNAI2 were associated with prolonged disease-free survival (DFS) (P = 0.029, 0.018 and 0.032, respectively). When patients were stratified by combined CXCL9/ITSN2 or CXCL9/FLJ22028 tumor levels, they exhibited significantly different disease-free survival curves (P = 0.0073 and P = 0.005, respectively). Finally, the CXCL9/ITSN2 and CXCL9/FLJ22028 ratio was an independent prognostic factor (P = 0.034 and P = 0.003, respectively) for DFS by multivariate Cox analysis in the 70-patient cohort. Our data highlight the feasibility of a prognostic assay that is applicable to therapeutic decision-making for breast cancer. Whether the biomarker profile is chemotherapy-specific or whether it is a more general indicator of bad prognosis of breast cancer patients remains to be explored.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 11/2008; 118(1):45-56. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of thymidilate synthetase (TS), thymidilate phosphorylase (TP), dihydropyrimidin dehydrogenase (DPD), Her-2/neu, and cyclin D1 as predictors of therapy response, survival, and recurrence in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) following radiochemotherapy. Twenty-six patients with histologically proven intrathoracic, locally advanced ESCC (cT3, cN0/+, cM0) underwent preoperative, combined simultaneous radiochemotherapy followed by R0-transthoracic esophagectomy. Because R0 resection is the strongest known independent prognostic factor in this tumor entity, only R0-resected patients were included in this study. Pre-therapeutically taken, formalin-fixed, and paraffin-embedded tumor biopsies were used for laser-assisted microdissection of tumor cells and RNA extraction and subjected to real-time (TaqMan) quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (Q-RT-PCR). No significant correlation between clinical or histopathological parameters and the relative gene expression of TS, TP, DPD, or Her-2/neu was observed. However, patients with relative cyclin D1 levels below the median gene expression did not reach median survival compared to the 19.9 months seen in patients with relative cyclin D1 gene expression above the median (P = 0.02). Patients with low cyclin D1 levels experienced significantly less frequent recurrence of the tumor (20% versus 63%; P = 0.006), and there was a significant difference in the recurrence-free interval (P = 0.003). Despite the small number of investigated patients, our data seem to show that high levels of cyclin D1 measured by real-time Q-RT-PCR before neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy correlate significantly with patient survival, tumor recurrence, and recurrence-free-interval. Cyclin D1 might be useful in identifying patients at high risk of poor prognosis and suffering from recurrence after neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy treatment and R0 resection. Further investigations with a larger cohort are warranted.
    International Journal of Colorectal Disease 09/2008; 24(1):69-77. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple myeloma (MM) frequently shows overexpression of cyclin D1, either due to a t(11;14)(q13;q32) translocation, or in association with polysomy 11. The predominant expression of a cyclin D1 mRNA isoform lacking the 3'-untranslated region (Delta3'UTR) is associated with higher total cyclin D1 mRNA levels, increased proliferation and poor prognosis in mantle cell lymphoma, and can be caused by genetic alterations of the 3'UTR region. The role of this cyclin D1 isoform in MM is unknown. We therefore quantified levels of total and Delta3'UTR cyclin D1 mRNA by real-time RT-PCR in cytogenetically characterized cyclin D1+MM primary cases, and cyclin D1+cell lines. Both long and Delta3'UTR cyclin D1 transcripts were expressed in 35/41 MM cases, but none of the samples showed complete loss of the long transcript or genomic alterations of the 3'UTR. Predominance of the Delta3'UTR mRNA was associated with higher cyclin D1 levels in cases with t(11;14), but did not correlate with the proliferation rate, suggesting a different role of this isoform in MM.
    Leukemia Research 02/2008; 32(1):79-88. · 2.76 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
301.39 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2014
    • Technische Universität München
      • • Klinik für Orthopädie
      • • Clinic and Polyclinic for Surgery
      • • Institut für Allgemeine Pathologie und Pathologische Anatomie
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2008
    • University of Tuebingen
      Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2005
    • Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
      • Institute of Pathology
      Freiburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 2002
    • Helmholtz Zentrum München
      München, Bavaria, Germany
    • Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
      • Department of Molecular Biology
      München, Bavaria, Germany