Ronald L Hamilton

University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, United States

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Publications (172)1032.97 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The authors present the first use of the novel positron emission tomography (PET) apoptosis tracer (18)F-labeled 2-(5-fluoro-pentyl)-2-methyl-malonic acid ((18)F-ML-10) for early-therapy response assessment of a newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patient. A 71-year-old male with a newly diagnosed GBM received (18)F-ML-10 PET scans prior to therapy initiation (baseline) and after completing 3 weeks of whole-brain radiation therapy with concomitant temozolomide chemotherapy (early-therapy assessment, ETA). The baseline (18)F-ML-10 PET scan showed increased tracer uptake at the site of the GBM, with highest activity toward the central portion of the tumor. At the ETA time point, a new distribution of tracer uptake was observed compared to baseline. Normalized pixel-by-pixel subtraction of baseline from ETA was used to quantify change in tracer distribution between (18)F-ML-10 PET imaging time points. Results of this analysis showed reduction in (18)F-ML-10 uptake at the site of greatest baseline uptake, but increased uptake around the periphery of the tumor at the early-therapy time point. The changing patterns of (18)F-ML-10 uptake between baseline and ETA are suggestive for therapy-induced tumor cellular apoptosis.
    Brain and behavior. 03/2014; 4(2):312-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Psychosis occurs in 40-60% of Alzheimer's disease (AD) subjects, is heritable, and indicates a more rapidly progressive disease phenotype. Neuroimaging and postmortem evidence support an exaggerated prefrontal cortical synaptic deficit in AD with psychosis. Microtubule-associated protein tau is a key mediator of amyloid-β-induced synaptotoxicity in AD, and differential mechanisms of progressive intraneuronal phospho-tau accumulation and interneuronal spread of tau aggregates have recently been described. We hypothesized that psychosis in AD would be associated with greater intraneuronal concentration of phospho-tau and greater spread of tau aggregates in prefrontal cortex. We therefore evaluated prefrontal cortex phospho-tau in a cohort of 45 AD cases with and without psychosis. Intraneuronal phospho-tau concentration was higher in subjects with psychosis, while a measure of phospho-tau spread, volume fraction, was not. Across groups both measures were associated with lower scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination and Digit Span Backwards test. These novel findings indicate that tau phosphorylation may be accelerated in AD with psychosis, indicating a more dynamic, exaggerated pathology in AD with psychosis.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 11/2013; · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The prognosis of metastatic melanomas to the brain (MBM) is variable with prolonged survival in a subset. It is unclear whether MBM differ from extracranial metastases (EcM) and primary melanomas (PrM). METHODS: To study the biology of MBM, histopathologic analysis of tumor blocks from patients' craniotomy samples and whole-genome expression profiling (WGEP) with confirmatory immunohistochemistry were performed. RESULTS: High mononuclear infiltrate and low intratumoral hemorrhage were associated with prolonged overall survival (OS). Pathway analysis of WGEP data from 29 such craniotomy tumor blocks demonstrated that several immune-related BioCarta gene sets were associated with prolonged OS. WGEP analysis of MBM in comparison with same-patient EcM and PrM showed that MBM and EcM were similar, but both differ significantly from PrM. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that peritumoral CD3(+) and CD8(+) cells were associated with prolonged OS. CONCLUSIONS: MBMs are more similar to EcM compared with PrM. Immune infiltrate is a favorable prognostic factor for MBM. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 05/2013; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metastatic melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of cutaneous cancers. Although recent therapeutic advances have prolonged patient survival, the prognosis remains dismal. C-MER proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MERTK) is a receptor tyrosine kinase with oncogenic properties that is often overexpressed or activated in various malignancies. Using both protein immunohistochemistry and microarray analyses, we demonstrate that MERTK expression correlates with disease progression. MERTK expression was highest in metastatic melanomas, followed by primary melanomas, while the lowest expression was observed in nevi. Additionally, over half of melanoma cell lines overexpressed MERTK compared with normal human melanocytes; however, overexpression did not correlate with mutations in BRAF or RAS. Stimulation of melanoma cells with the MERTK ligand GAS6 resulted in the activation of several downstream signaling pathways including MAPK/ERK, PI3K/AKT, and JAK/STAT. MERTK inhibition via shRNA reduced MERTK-mediated downstream signaling, reduced colony formation by up to 59%, and diminished tumor volume by 60% in a human melanoma murine xenograft model. Treatment of melanoma cells with UNC1062, a novel MERTK-selective small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor, reduced activation of MERTK-mediated downstream signaling, induced apoptosis in culture, reduced colony formation in soft agar, and inhibited invasion of melanoma cells. This work establishes MERTK as a therapeutic target in melanoma and provides a rationale for the continued development of MERTK-targeted therapies.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 04/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Glioblastoma (GBM) demonstrate down-regulated expression of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Class I, thereby escaping from cytotoxic T cells and limiting the efficacy of immunotherapy. LOH of HLA Class I (6p21) and/or Beta-2 microglobulin (B2m) (15q21) regions represent irreversible down-regulation. In this study, we examined the prevalence of these LOH events and their relations with overall survival in GBM. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In a cross-sectional analysis on 60 adult GBM patients, DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens were evaluated for ten microsatellite regions of HLA Class I, B2m, HLA Class II, HLA Class III, and 6q by PCR as well as immunohistochemical evaluation of HLA Class I expression and CD8+ T cell infiltration. RESULTS: LOH in HLA Class I, B2m, HLA Class II, HLA Class III, and 6q regions were present in 41.4%, 18.2%, 9.4%, 77.8%, and 36.0% of informative cases, respectively. LOH of HLA Class I was associated with shorter overall survival (HR = 4.89, p = 0.0078). HLA Class I was down-regulated in 22 to 43% of cases based on immunohistochemistry. Cases that displayed negative staining were significantly younger. HLA Class I expression correlated with intratumoral CD8+ T cell infiltration. CONCLUSION: LOH in the HLA Class I region is frequent in adult GBMs. The association of shorter survival with LOH in this region suggest a crucial role for these genes in immunosurveillance.
    Clinical Cancer Research 02/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE To test for an association between the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ϵ4 allele and dementias with synucleinopathy. DESIGN Genetic case-control association study. SETTING Academic research. PATIENTS Autopsied subjects were classified into 5 categories: dementia with high-level Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathologic changes (NCs) but without Lewy body disease (LBD) NCs (AD group; n = 244), dementia with LBDNCs and high-level ADNCs (LBD-AD group; n = 224), dementia with LBDNCs and no or low levels of ADNCs (pure DLB [pDLB] group; n = 91), Parkinson disease dementia (PDD) with no or low levels of ADNCs (n = 81), and control group (n = 269). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE The APOE allele frequencies. RESULTS The APOE ϵ4 allele frequency was significantly higher in the AD (38.1%), LBD-AD (40.6%), pDLB (31.9%), and PDD (19.1%) groups compared with the control group (7.2%; overall χ24 = 185.25; P = 5.56 × 10-39), and it was higher in the pDLB group than the PDD group (P = .01). In an age-adjusted and sex-adjusted dominant model, ϵ4 was strongly associated with AD (odds ratio, 9.9; 95% CI, 6.4-15.3), LBD-AD (odds ratio, 12.6; 95% CI, 8.1-19.8), pDLB (odds ratio, 6.1; 95% CI, 3.5-10.5), and PDD (odds ratio, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.7-5.6). CONCLUSIONS The APOE ϵ4 allele is a strong risk factor across the LBD spectrum and occurs at an increased frequency in pDLB relative to PDD. This suggests that ϵ4 increases the likelihood of presenting with dementia in the context of a pure synucleinopathy. The elevated ϵ4 frequency in the pDLB and PDD groups, in which the overall brain neuritic plaque burden was low, indicates that apoE might contribute to neurodegeneration through mechanisms unrelated to amyloid processing.
    JAMA neurology. 02/2013; 70(2):223-8.
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    ABSTRACT: AIMS: To determine whether testing for isolated 1p or 19q losses, or as a codeletion, has any significance in the workup of glioblastomas (GBMs). METHODS: Upfront 1p/19q testing by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and/or PCR-based loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was done in 491 gliomas that were histologically diagnosed as GBMs. Outcomes were determined and measured against 1p/19q results. RESULTS: Twenty-eight showed apparent 1p/19q codeletion by either FISH and/or PCR-based LOH, but only 1/26 showed codeletion by both tests. Over 90% of tumours with apparent codeletion by either FISH or LOH also had 10q LOH and/or EGFR amplification, features inversely related to true whole-arm 1p/19q codeletion. Furthermore, only 1/28 tumours demonstrated an R132H IDH1 mutation. Neither 1p/19q codeletion by FISH nor LOH had an impact on GBM survival. Isolated losses of 1p or 19q also had no impact on survival. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that 1.) 1p/19q testing is not useful on gliomas that are histologically GBMs; 2.) codeletion testing should be reserved only for cases with compatible morphology; 3.) EGFR, 10q, and IDH1 testing can help act as safeguards against a false-positive 1p/19q result.
    Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 01/2013; · 4.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Point mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) have been identified in many gliomas. The detection of IDH1 mutations becomes challenging on suboptimal glioma biopsies when a limited number of tumor cells is available for analysis. Coamplification at lower denaturing-polymerase chain reaction (COLD-PCR) is a PCR technique that deliberately lowers the denaturing cycle temperature to selectively favor amplification of mutant alleles, allowing for the sensitive detection of low-abundance mutations. We developed a novel COLD-PCR assay on the LightCycler platform (Roche, Applied Science, Indianapolis, IN), using post-PCR fluorescent melting curve analysis (FMCA) for the detection of mutant IDH1 with a detection limit of 1%. Thirty-five WHO grade I to IV gliomas and 9 non-neoplastic brain and spinal cord biopsies were analyzed with this technique and the results were compared with the conventional real-time PCR and the Sanger sequencing analysis. COLD-PCR/FMCA was able to detect the most common IDH1 R132H mutation and rare mutation types including R132H, R132C, R132L, R132S, and R132G mutations. Twenty-five glioma cases were positive for IDH1 mutations by COLD-PCR/FMCA, and 23 gliomas were positive by the conventional real-time PCR and Sanger sequencing. A pilocytic astrocytoma (PA I) and a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM IV) showed low-abundance IDH1 mutations detected by COLD-PCR/FMCA. The remaining 10 glioma and 9 non-neoplastic samples were negative by all the 3 methods. In summary, we report a novel COLD-PCR/FMCA method that provides rapid and sensitive detection of IDH1 mutations in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue and can be used in the clinical setting to assess the small brain biopsies.
    Diagnostic molecular pathology: the American journal of surgical pathology, part B 01/2013; · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite surgery and radiotherapy, as many as 50 % of children with ependymomas will suffer from tumor recurrences that will ultimately lead to death. Our group's initial peptide-based glioma vaccine targeting EphA2, IL-13Rα2, and Survivin, which are overexpressed in pediatric gliomas, has shown promise in its initial phase of testing. We therefore investigated whether EphA2, IL-13Rα2, Survivin, and, additionally, Wilms' Tumor 1 (WT1), are overexpressed in pediatric ependymomas to determine if a similar immunotherapy approach could be applicable. Immunohistochemistry was performed using antibodies specific for EphA2, IL-13Rα2, Survivin, and WT1 on paraffin-embedded specimens from 19 pediatric and 13 adult ependymomas. Normal brain and ependyma were used for background staining controls. Negative staining was defined as no staining or staining equaling the background intensity in normal brain tissues. In the 19 pediatric cases, 18 (95 %) demonstrated positive staining for EphA2, 16 (84 %) for IL-13Rα2, 18 (95 %) for Survivin, and only 7 (37 %) for WT1. Only 3 of 19 cases were positive for two or fewer tumor-associated antigens (TAAs); 16 of 19 cases were positive for three or more TAAs. In the 13 adult cases, all 13 demonstrated positive staining for EphA2, IL-13Rα2, and Survivin. Only 2 of 13 cases (15 %) demonstrated positive staining for WT1. All adult specimens were positive for three or more TAAs. Some ependymomas showed patchy variability in intensity. Pediatric and adult ependymomas frequently express EphA2, IL-13Rα2, and Survivin. This provides the basis for the utilization of an established multiple peptide vaccine for ependymoma in a clinical trial setting.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 11/2012; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatitis is a complex, progressively destructive inflammatory disorder. Alcohol was long thought to be the primary causative agent, but genetic contributions have been of interest since the discovery that rare PRSS1, CFTR and SPINK1 variants were associated with pancreatitis risk. We now report two associations at genome-wide significance identified and replicated at PRSS1-PRSS2 (P < 1 × 10(-12)) and X-linked CLDN2 (P < 1 × 10(-21)) through a two-stage genome-wide study (stage 1: 676 cases and 4,507 controls; stage 2: 910 cases and 4,170 controls). The PRSS1 variant likely affects disease susceptibility by altering expression of the primary trypsinogen gene. The CLDN2 risk allele is associated with atypical localization of claudin-2 in pancreatic acinar cells. The homozygous (or hemizygous in males) CLDN2 genotype confers the greatest risk, and its alleles interact with alcohol consumption to amplify risk. These results could partially explain the high frequency of alcohol-related pancreatitis in men (male hemizygote frequency is 0.26, whereas female homozygote frequency is 0.07).
    Nature Genetics 11/2012; · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Mutations in the GBA gene occur in 7% of patients with Parkinson disease (PD) and are a well-established susceptibility factor for PD, which is characterized by Lewy body disease (LBD) neuropathologic changes (LBDNCs). We sought to determine whether GBA influences risk of dementia with LBDNCs, Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathologic changes (ADNCs), or both. METHODS: We screened the entire GBA coding region for mutations in controls and in subjects with dementia and LBDNCs and no or low levels of ADNCs (pure dementia with Lewy bodies [pDLB]), LBDNCs and high-level ADNCs (LBD-AD), and high-level ADNCs but without LBDNCs (AD). RESULTS: Among white subjects, pathogenic GBA mutations were identified in 6 of 79 pDLB cases (7.6%), 8 of 222 LBD-AD cases (3.6%), 2 of 243 AD cases (0.8%), and 3 of 381 controls (0.8%). Subjects with pDLB and LBD-AD were more likely to carry mutations than controls (pDLB: odds ratio [OR] = 7.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.8-31.9; p = 0.006; LBD-AD: OR = 4.6; CI = 1.2-17.6; p = 0.025), but there was no significant difference in frequencies between the AD and control groups (OR = 1.1; CI = 0.2-6.6; p = 0.92). There was a highly significant trend test across groups (χ(2)(1) = 19.3; p = 1.1 × 10(-5)), with the likelihood of carrying a GBA mutation increasing in the following direction: control/AD < LBD-AD < pDLB. CONCLUSIONS: GBA is a susceptibility gene across the LBD spectrum, but not in AD, and appears to convey a higher risk for PD and pDLB than for LBD-AD. PD and pDLB might be more similar to one another in genetic determinants and pathophysiology than either disease is to LBD-AD.
    Neurology 10/2012; · 8.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The phenotype of IBMPFD [inclusion body myopathy with Paget's disease of the bone and frontotemporal dementia (FTD)] associated with valosin-containing protein (VCP) mutation is described in three families. METHODS: Probands were identified based on a pathological diagnosis of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43-positive inclusions type IV. VCP sequencing was carried out. Clinical data on affected family members were reviewed. RESULTS: Ohio family: four subjects presented muscle weakness and wasting (one subject with both neuropathic and myopathic findings and another subject with only evidence of myopathy. The etiology of weakness could not be ascertained in the remaining two subjects). Two individuals also showed Parkinsonism (with associated FTD in one of the two). The proband's brain displayed FTLD-TDP type IV and Braak stage five Parkinson's disease (PD). A VCP R191Q mutation was found. Pennsylvania family: 11 subjects developed IBMPFD. Parkinsonism was noted in two mutation carriers, whilst another subject presented with primary progressive aphasia (PPA). A novel VCP T262A mutation was found. Indiana family: three subjects developed IBMPFD. FTD was diagnosed in two individuals and suspected in the third one who also displayed muscle weakness. A VCP R159C mutation was found. CONCLUSIONS: We identified three families with IBMPFD associated with VCP mutations. Clinical and pathological PD was documented for the first time in members of two families. A novel T262A mutation was found. One individual had PPA: an uncommon presentation of IBMPFD.
    European Journal of Neurology 08/2012; · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 60% of the patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) can have cortical or brainstem Lewy bodies (LB), and extrapyramidal signs (EPS) have been found to be associated with LB in AD patients. However, the relationship between EPS and brain volumes has not been studied in the LB variant of AD using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between patterns of brain atrophy and clinical EPS in patients with pathologically confirmed AD. We compared gray matter structure using voxel-based morphometry in 29 Definite AD cases, 16 (55%) of whom also had LBs identified with α-synuclein immunohistochemistry. Multivariate models analyzed brain volume at a voxel level accounting for subject group, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), EPS, total brain volume, and the time from MRI scan to death. There was no significant difference in gray matter volume in the Definite AD patients as a function of LB. There was a significant association between gray matter volumes and the MMSE in AD patients, both with and without LBs. There was a significant correlation between gray matter volume and EPS only in the group of AD patients with LBs, and not in those with pure AD. These findings suggest that that the etiology of EPS in patients with the LB variant of AD is associated with neuronal loss in the nigrostriatal tracts. By contrast, the source of the EPS in AD alone appears to be less well localized.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 08/2012; · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Previous data suggest heterogeneity in laminar distribution of the pathology in the molecular disorder frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein of 43kDa (TDP-43) proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP). To study this heterogeneity, we quantified the changes in density across the cortical laminae of neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI), glial inclusions (GI), neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NII), dystrophic neurites (DN), surviving neurons, abnormally enlarged neurons (EN), and vacuoles in regions of the frontal and temporal lobe. Methods: Changes in density of histological features across cortical gyri were studied in ten sporadic cases of FTLD-TDP using quantitative methods and polynomial curve-fitting. Results: Our data suggest that laminar neuropathology in sporadic FTLD-TDP is highly variable. Most commonly, NCI, DN, and vacuolation were abundant in the upper laminae and GI, NII, EN, and glial cell nuclei in the lower laminae. TDP-43-immunoreactive inclusions affected more of the cortical profile in longer duration cases, their distribution varied with disease subtype, but was unrelated to Braak tangle score. Different TDP-43-immunoreactive inclusions were not spatially correlated. Conclusions: Laminar distribution of pathological features in ten sporadic cases of FTLD-TDL is heterogeneous and may be accounted for, in part, by disease subtype and disease duration. In addition, the feed-forward and feed-back cortico-cortical connections may be compromised in FTLD-TDP. © 2012 The Authors. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology © 2012 British Neuropathological Society.
    Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 07/2012; · 4.84 Impact Factor
  • David M Atkinson, Ronald L Hamilton
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    ABSTRACT: A 52 year-old male with a history of Cushing's Disease at age 18 and bilateral adrenalectomy at age 23 presented with visual changes. An MRI scan showed a pituitary macroadenoma (Nelson's syndrome). Other than the development of diabetes mellitus at age 32, his disease was stable until presentation. Serum studies show markedly elevated ACTH levels, but he had no hyperpigmentation. The tumor was removed by endoscopic surgery. Microscopic examination showed a pituitary adenoma with strong immunostaining for ACTH. In addition, the tumor cells showed Crooke's hyaline change and stained strongly for cytokeratin (Crooke's Cell Adenoma). Normal pituitary was not present. Crooke's cell adenomas are extremely rare and have not been previously reported in Nelson's Syndrome.
    Brain Pathology 07/2012; 22(4):575-8. · 4.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BRAF rearrangements and BRAF V600E point mutations are recurring events in pediatric low-grade gliomas. However, their clinical significance, including possible interactions between these markers and other glioma biomarkers, is unclear. In this study a retrospective cohort of 198 pediatric low-grade gliomas (including 40 treated with adjuvant therapy) was analyzed for BRAF rearrangements, BRAF V600E, p16/CDKN2A deletion, p53 expression, and MIB1 proliferation index. In tumors with BRAF rearrangement, homozygous p16 deletion correlated with shorter progression-free survival (P = .04). A high MIB1 proliferation index trended toward worse response to adjuvant radiotherapy compared to BRAF-rearranged, p16-intact tumors (P = .08). On multivariate analysis, the 2 most consistently powerful independent adverse prognostic markers were midline location (P = .0001) and p16 deletion (P = .03). Tumors with BRAF V600E had a strong trend toward an increased risk for progression (hazard ratio = 2.48, P = .07), whereas those with BRAF rearrangement had a milder trend toward reduced risk (hazard ratio = .54, P = .15). These data suggest that p16 deletion adversely impacts the outcomes of BRAF-driven gliomas, that high proliferation index may be a better marker of progression risk than BRAF, that BRAF rearrangement and BRAF V600E might not necessarily produce comparable outcomes, and that none of these markers is stronger than tumor location in determining prognosis in pediatric low-grade gliomas.
    Neuro-Oncology 04/2012; 14(6):777-89. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor in adults and often has amplification of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene. The value of EGFR as a prognostic marker in GBMs is unclear; some studies have shown an adverse correlation, whereas others have indicated a neutral or even favorable association with longer survival. Furthermore, EGFR-amplified GBMs are usually regarded as a single subgroup of tumors, although the range of EGFR copy number varies greatly. In this study, 532 GBMs were analyzed for EGFR amplification via fluorescence in situ hybridization at the time of initial diagnosis. Although there was no difference in survival by EGFR amplification (P = 0.33), stratification by the amount of EGFR amplification showed that, surprisingly, median survival was 39% longer in the high-amplifier group (EGFR:chromosome 7 ratio >20) compared to nonamplified GBMs (P = 0.03) and was 43% longer compared to GBMs with low to moderate EGFR amplification (EGFR:chromosome 7 ratio = 2 to 20; P = 0.0007). Stratifying by postsurgical treatment regimens, this difference was seen only when temozolomide (TMZ) was used; tumors without amplification and with high EGFR amplification both responded better to TMZ than those with low to moderate amplification (P = 0.01), whereas GBMs that had not been treated with adjuvant therapy nor with adjuvant therapy lacking TMZ showed no survival differences (P = 0.63 and 0.91, respectively). These results suggest that GBMs with EGFR amplification are a heterogenous group of tumors and that behavior might differ according to the degree of amplification, although not in a straightforward dose-response manner.
    The American journal of surgical pathology 03/2012; 36(8):1186-93. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psychosis in Alzheimer disease differentiates a subgroup with more rapid decline, is heritable, and aggregates within families, suggesting a distinct neurobiology. Evidence indicates that greater impairments of cerebral cortical synapses, particularly in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, may contribute to the pathogenesis of psychosis in Alzheimer disease (AD) phenotype. Soluble β-amyloid induces loss of dendritic spine synapses through impairment of long-term potentiation. In contrast, the Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) kalirin is an essential mediator of spine maintenance and growth in cerebral cortex. We therefore hypothesized that psychosis in AD would be associated with increased soluble β-amyloid and reduced expression of kalirin in the cortex. We tested this hypothesis in postmortem cortical gray matter extracts from 52 AD subjects with and without psychosis. In subjects with psychosis, the β-amyloid(1-42)/β-amyloid(1-40) ratio was increased, due primarily to reduced soluble β-amyloid(1-40), and kalirin-7, -9, and -12 were reduced. These findings suggest that increased cortical β-amyloid(1-42)/β-amyloid(1-40) ratio and decreased kalirin expression may both contribute to the pathogenesis of psychosis in AD.
    Neurobiology of aging 03/2012; 33(12):2807-16. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits are detectable in the brain in vivo using positron emission tomography (PET) and [C-11]-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([C-11]PiB); however, the sensitivity of this technique is not well understood. In this study, we examined Aβ pathology in an individual who had clinical diagnoses of probable dementia with Lewy bodies and possible Alzheimer's disease (AD) but with no detectable [C-11]PiB PET retention ([C-11]PiB(-)) when imaged 17 months prior to death. Brain samples were processed in parallel with region-matched samples from an individual with a clinical diagnosis of probable AD and a positive [C-11]PiB PET scan ([C-11]PiB(+)) when imaged 10 months prior to death. In the [C-11]PiB(-) case, Aβ plaques were sparse, occupying less than 2% cortical area, and were weakly labeled with 6-CN-PiB, a highly fluorescent derivative of PiB. In contrast, Aβ plaques occupied up to 12% cortical area in the [C-11]PiB(+) case, and were intensely labeled with 6-CN-PIB. The [C-11]PiB(-) case had low levels of [H-3]PiB binding (< 100 pmol/g) and Aβ1-42 (< 500 pmol/g) concentration except in the frontal cortex where Aβ1-42 values (788 pmol/g) approached cortical values in the [C-11]PiB(+) case (800-1, 700 pmol/g). In several cortical regions of the [C-11]PiB(-) case, Aβ1-40 levels were within the range of cortical Aβ1-40 values in the [C-11]PiB(+) case. Antemortem [C-11]PiB DVR values correlated well with region-matched postmortem measures of Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-40 in the [C-11]PiB(+), and with Aβ1-42 only in the [C-11]PiB(-) case. The low ratios of [H-3]PiB binding levels to Aβ concentrations and 6-CN-PiB to Aβ plaque loads in the [C-11]PiB(-) case indicate that Aβ pathology in the brain may be associated with low or undetectable levels of [C-11]PiB retention. Studies in greater numbers of [C-11]PiB PET autopsy cases are needed to define the Aβ concentration and [H-3]PiB binding levels required to produce a positive [C-11]PiB PET signal.
    Acta Neuropathologica 03/2012; 123(3):433-47. · 9.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma, the most common primary malignant cancer of the brain, is characterized by rapid tumor growth and infiltration of tumor cells throughout the brain. These traits cause glioblastomas to be highly resistant to current therapies with a resultant poor prognosis. Although aberrant oncogenic signaling driven by signature genetic alterations, such as EGF receptor (EGFR) gene amplification and mutation, plays a major role in glioblastoma pathogenesis, the responsible downstream mechanisms remain less clear. Here, we report that EGFRvIII (also known as ΔEGFR and de2-7EGFR), a constitutively active EGFR mutant that is frequently co-overexpressed with EGFR in human glioblastoma, promotes tumorigenesis through Src family kinase (SFK)-dependent phosphorylation of Dock180, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rac1. EGFRvIII induces phosphorylation of Dock180 at tyrosine residue 722 (Dock180(Y722)) and stimulates Rac1-signaling, glioblastoma cell survival and migration. Consistent with this being causal, siRNA knockdown of Dock180 or expression of a Dock180(Y722F) mutant inhibits each of these EGFRvIII-stimulated activities. The SFKs, Src, Fyn, and Lyn, induce phosphorylation of Dock180(Y722) and inhibition of these SFKs by pharmacological inhibitors or shRNA depletion markedly attenuates EGFRvIII-induced phosphorylation of Dock180(Y722), Rac1 activity, and glioblastoma cell migration. Finally, phosphorylated Dock180(Y722) is coexpressed with EGFRvIII and phosphorylated Src(Y418) in clinical specimens, and such coexpression correlates with an extremely poor survival in glioblastoma patients. These results suggest that targeting the SFK-p-Dock180(Y722)-Rac1 signaling pathway may offer a novel therapeutic strategy for glioblastomas with EGFRvIII overexpression.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2012; 109(8):3018-23. · 9.74 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
1,032.97 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2012
    • University of Kentucky
      • Department of Plant Pathology
      Lexington, KY, United States
  • 1994–2012
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Division of Pediatric Pathology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
      • • Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Neurological Surgery
      • • Center for Alzheimer Disease Research
      Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 2011
    • Kyorin University
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 1998–2008
    • Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2007
    • Saint Francis Hospital and Health Centers
      Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      Seattle, WA, United States
  • 2003
    • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
      Memphis, Tennessee, United States
  • 2001
    • Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1994–2001
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Department of Neurosciences
      San Diego, CA, United States