[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 70-gene signature (MammaPrint™) has been developed to predict the risk of distant metastases in breast cancer and select those patients who may benefit from adjuvant treatment. Given the strong association between locoregional and distant recurrence, we hypothesize that the 70-gene signature will also be able to predict the risk of locoregional recurrence (LRR). 1,053 breast cancer patients primarily treated with breast-conserving treatment or mastectomy at the Netherlands Cancer Institute between 1984 and 2006 were included. Adjuvant treatment consisted of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and/or endocrine therapy as indicated by guidelines used at the time. All patients were included in various 70-gene signature validation studies. After a median follow-up of 8.96 years with 87 LRRs, patients with a high-risk 70-gene signature (n = 492) had an LRR risk of 12.6 % (95 % CI 9.7–15.8) at 10 years, compared to 6.1 % (95 % CI 4.1–8.5) for low-risk patients (n = 561; P P = 0.042). Adding the signature to the model based on clinicopathological factors improved the discrimination, albeit non-significantly [C-index through 10 years changed from 0.731 (95 % CI 0.682–0.782) to 0.741 (95 % CI 0.693–0.790)]. Calibration of the prognostic models was excellent. The 70-gene signature is an independent prognostic factor for LRR. A significantly lower local recurrence risk was seen in patients with a low-risk 70-gene signature compared to those with high-risk 70-gene signature.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 12/2014; 148(3). · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are prognostic in all stages of breast cancer. However, since they are extremely rare, little is known about the molecular nature of these cells. We report a novel strategy for the isolation and expression profiling of pure populations of CTCs derived from peripheral blood. We developed a method to isolate CTCs based on immunomagnetic capture followed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (IE/FACS). After assay validation using the BT474 cell line spiked into blood samples in vitro, RNA from CTCs isolated from the blood of five metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients was linearly amplified and subjected to gene expression profiling via cDNA microarrays. We isolated a range of 9-993 captured CTCs from five MBC patients' blood and profiled their RNA in comparison to a diverse panel of primary breast tumors (n = 55). Unsupervised hierarchical clustering revealed that CTC profiles clustered with more aggressive subtypes of primary breast tumors and were readily distinguishable from peripheral blood (PB) and normal epithelium. Differential expression analysis revealed CTCs to have downregulated apoptosis, and they were distinguishable from PB by the relative absence of immune-related signals. As expected, CTCs from MBC had significantly higher risk of recurrence scores than primary tumors (p = 0.0073). This study demonstrates that it is feasible to isolate CTCs from PB with high purity through IE/FACS and profile them via gene expression analysis. Our approach may inform the discovery of therapeutic predictors and be useful for real-time identification of emerging resistance mechanisms in MBC patients.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 11/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GWAS have identified a breast cancer susceptibility locus on 2q35. Here we report the fine mapping of this locus using data from 101,943 subjects from 50 case-control studies. We genotype 276 SNPs using the 'iCOGS' genotyping array and impute genotypes for a further 1,284 using 1000 Genomes Project data. All but two, strongly correlated SNPs (rs4442975 G/T and rs6721996 G/A) are excluded as candidate causal variants at odds against >100:1. The best functional candidate, rs4442975, is associated with oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) disease with an odds ratio (OR) in Europeans of 0.85 (95% confidence interval=0.84-0.87; P=1.7 × 10(-43)) per t-allele. This SNP flanks a transcriptional enhancer that physically interacts with the promoter of IGFBP5 (encoding insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5) and displays allele-specific gene expression, FOXA1 binding and chromatin looping. Evidence suggests that the g-allele confers increased breast cancer susceptibility through relative downregulation of IGFBP5, a gene with known roles in breast cell biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic value of the Dutch Clinical Genetic Center (CGC) referral guidelines for BRCA1/2 mutation testing in 903 early breast cancer patients, unselected for family history, diagnosed in a cancer hospital before the age of 50 years in 1974-2002; most prevalent Dutch pathogenic BRCA1/2 mutations had been analyzed on coded DNA in a research setting. Forty-nine (5.4%) of the patients were proven to be BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. We found that 78% and 69% of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers identified met the criteria for referral to the CGC based on age, family history and synchronous multiple tumors; reflected by a combined sensitivity of 75.5% and specificity of 63.2%. More than half of the BRCA1 mutation carriers, that is, 58% had a triple-negative tumor. The highest AUC was obtained by shifting the age at diagnosis threshold criterion from 40 to 35 years and by adding a 'triple-negative breast cancer' criterion with an age threshold of 45 years; the specificity increased to 71.2%, whereas the sensitivity remained the same; that is, a referral of fewer patients will lead to the identification of at least the same number of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Two-thirds of the BRCA1/2 mutation carriers identified in this research setting had been referred for counseling and testing. Our results indicate that, awaiting a possibly more extended mutation screening of all breast cancer patients, the triple-negative status of a breast cancer should be added to the CGC referral criteria.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 20 August 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.161.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 08/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent genomic analyses of pathologically defined tumor types identify ''within-a-tissue'' disease sub-types. However, the extent to which genomic sig-natures are shared across tissues is still unclear. We performed an integrative analysis using five genome-wide platforms and one proteomic platform on 3,527 specimens from 12 cancer types, revealing a unified classification into 11 major subtypes. Five subtypes were nearly identical to their tissue-of-origin counterparts, but several distinct cancer types were found to converge into common subtypes. Lung squamous, head and neck, and a subset of bladder cancers coalesced into one subtype typified by TP53 alterations, TP63 amplifications, and high expression of immune and proliferation pathway genes. Of note, bladder cancers split into three pan-cancer subtypes. The multiplatform classification, while correlated with tissue-of-origin, provides inde-pendent information for predicting clinical outcomes. All data sets are available for data-mining from a uni-fied resource to support further biological discov-eries and insights into novel therapeutic strategies. INTRODUCTION
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that a tag single nucleotide polymorphism (rs10235235), which maps to the CYP3A locus (7q22.1), was associated with a reduction in premenopausal urinary estrone glucuronide levels and a modest reduction in risk of breast cancer in women age <=50 years.
Breast cancer research: BCR 05/2014; 16(3):R51. · 5.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer imaging phenotype is diverse and may relate to molecular alterations driving cancer behavior. We systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed relations between breast cancer imaging features and HER2 overexpression as a marker of breast cancer aggressiveness. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for mammography, breast ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography studies through February 2013. Of 68 imaging features that could be pooled (85 papers, 23,255 cancers; random-effects meta-analysis), 11 significantly related to HER2 overexpression. Results based on ≥5 studies and robustness in subgroup analyses: presence of microcalcifications on mammography (pooled odds ratio (pOR) 3.14, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.46-4.00) or ultrasound (mass-associated pOR 2.95, 95%CI: 2.34-3.71), branching or fine linear microcalcifications (pOR 2.11, 95%CI: 1.07-4.14) or extremely dense breasts on mammography (pOR 1.37, 95%CI: 1.07-1.76), and washout (pOR 1.57, 95%CI: 1.11-2.21) or fast initial kinetics (pOR 2.60, 95%CI: 1.43-4.73) on MRI. Maximum [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was higher upon HER2 overexpression (pooled mean difference +0.76, 95%CI: 0.10-1.42). These results show that several imaging features relate to HER2 overexpression, lending credibility to the hypothesis that imaging phenotype reflects cancer behavior. This implies prognostic relevance, which is especially relevant as imaging is readily available during diagnostic work-up.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 05/2014; · 4.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer evolves by mutation, with somatic reactivation of retrotransposons being one such mutational process. Germline retrotransposition can cause processed pseudogenes, but whether this occurs somatically has not been evaluated. Here we screen sequencing data from 660 cancer samples for somatically acquired pseudogenes. We find 42 events in 17 samples, especially non-small cell lung cancer (5/27) and colorectal cancer (2/11). Genomic features mirror those of germline LINE element retrotranspositions, with frequent target-site duplications (67%), consensus TTTTAA sites at insertion points, inverted rearrangements (21%), 5 0 truncation (74%) and polyA tails (88%). Transcriptional consequences include expression of pseudogenes from UTRs or introns of target genes. In addition, a somatic pseudogene that integrated into the promoter and first exon of the tumour suppressor gene, MGA, abrogated expression from that allele. Thus, formation of processed pseudogenes represents a new class of mutation occurring during cancer development, with potentially diverse functional consequences depending on genomic context.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 10.1093/annonc/mdu026 High concordance of protein (by IHC), gene (by FISH; HER2 only), and microarray readout (by TargetPrint) of ER, PgR, and HER2: results from the EORTC 10041/BIG 03-04 MINDACT trial Background: To investigate the correlation of TargetPrint with local and central immunohistochemistry/fluorescence
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Co-expression modules are groups of genes with highly correlated expression patterns. In cancer, differences in module activity potentially represent the heterogeneity of phenotypes important in carcinogenesis, progression, or treatment response. To find gene expression modules active in breast cancer subpopulations, we assembled 72 breast cancer-related gene expression datasets containing ∼5,700 samples altogether. Per dataset, we identified genes with bimodal expression and used mixture-model clustering to ultimately define 11 modules of genes that are consistently co-regulated across multiple datasets. Functionally, these modules reflected estrogen signaling, development/differentiation, immune signaling, histone modification, ERBB2 signaling, the extracellular matrix (ECM) and stroma, and cell proliferation. The Tcell/Bcell immune modules appeared tumor-extrinsic, with coherent expression in tumors but not cell lines; whereas most other modules, interferon and ECM included, appeared intrinsic. Only four of the eleven modules were represented in the PAM50 intrinsic subtype classifier and other well-established prognostic signatures; although the immune modules were highly correlated to previously published immune signatures. As expected, the proliferation module was highly associated with decreased recurrence-free survival (RFS). Interestingly, the immune modules appeared associated with RFS even after adjustment for receptor subtype and proliferation; and in a multivariate analysis, the combination of Tcell/Bcell immune module down-regulation and proliferation module upregulation strongly associated with decreased RFS. Immune modules are unusual in that their upregulation is associated with a good prognosis without chemotherapy and a good response to chemotherapy, suggesting the paradox of high immune patients who respond to chemotherapy but would do well without it. Other findings concern the ECM/stromal modules, which despite common themes were associated with different sites of metastasis, possibly relating to the "seed and soil" hypothesis of cancer dissemination. Overall, co-expression modules provide a high-level functional view of breast cancer that complements the "cancer hallmarks" and may form the basis for improved predictors and treatments.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e88309. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large population-based registry studies have shown that breast cancer prognosis is inherited. Here we analyse single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes implicated in human immunology and inflammation as candidates for prognostic markers of breast cancer survival involving 1,804 oestrogen receptor (ER)-negative patients treated with chemotherapy (279 events) from 14 European studies in a prior large-scale genotyping experiment, which is part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS) initiative. We carry out replication using Asian COGS samples (n=522, 53 events) and the Prospective Study of Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary breast cancer (POSH) study (n=315, 108 events). Rs4458204_A near CCL20 (2q36.3) is found to be associated with breast cancer-specific death at a genome-wide significant level (n=2,641, 440 events, combined allelic hazard ratio (HR)=1.81 (1.49-2.19); P for trend=1.90 × 10(-9)). Such survival-associated variants can represent ideal targets for tailored therapeutics, and may also enhance our current prognostic prediction capabilities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetically-targeted therapies are both promising and costly advances in the field of oncology. Several treatments for metastatic melanoma with a mutation in the BRAF gene have been approved. They extend life but are more expensive than the previous standard of care (dacarbazine). Vemurafenib, the first drug in this class, costs $13,000 per month ($207,000 for a patient with median survival). Patients failing vemurafenib are often given ipilimumab, an immunomodulator, at $150,000 per course. Assessment of cost-effectiveness is a valuable tool to help navigate the transition toward targeted cancer therapy.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e107255. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MammaPrint, a prognostic 70-gene profile for early-stage breast cancer, has been available for fresh tissue. Improvements in RNA processing have enabled microarray diagnostics for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue. Here, we describe method optimization, validation, and performance of MammaPrint using analyte from FFPE tissue. Laboratory procedures for enabling the assay to be run on FFPE tissue were determined using 157 samples, and the assay was established using 125 matched FFPE and fresh tissues. Validation of MammaPrint-FFPE, compared with MammaPrint-fresh, was performed on an independent series of matched tissue from five hospitals (n = 211). Reproducibility, repeatability, and precision of the FFPE assay (n = 87) was established for duplicate analysis of the same tumor, interlaboratory performance, 20-day repeat experiments, and repeated analyses over 12 months. FFPE sample processing had a success rate of 97%. The MammaPrint assay using FFPE analyte demonstrated an overall equivalence of 91.5% (95% confidence interval, 86.9% to 94.5%) between the 211 independent matched FFPE and fresh tumor samples. Precision was 97.3%, and repeatability was 97.8%, with highly reproducible results between replicate samples of the same tumor and between two laboratories (concordance, 96%). Thus, with 580 tumor samples, MammaPrint was successfully translated to FFPE tissue. The assay has high precision and reproducibility, and FFPE results are substantially equivalent to results derived from fresh tissue.
The Journal of molecular diagnostics: JMD 12/2013; · 3.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 10q26 locus in the second intron of FGFR2 is the locus most strongly associated with estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer in genome-wide association studies. We conducted fine-scale mapping in case-control studies genotyped with a custom chip (iCOGS), comprising 41 studies (n = 89,050) of European ancestry, 9 Asian ancestry studies (n = 13,983), and 2 African ancestry studies (n = 2,028) from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. We identified three statistically independent risk signals within the locus. Within risk signals 1 and 3, genetic analysis identified five and two variants, respectively, highly correlated with the most strongly associated SNPs. By using a combination of genetic fine mapping, data on DNase hypersensitivity, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays to study protein-DNA binding, we identified rs35054928, rs2981578, and rs45631563 as putative functional SNPs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that FOXA1 preferentially bound to the risk-associated allele (C) of rs2981578 and was able to recruit ERα to this site in an allele-specific manner, whereas E2F1 preferentially bound the risk variant of rs35054928. The risk alleles were preferentially found in open chromatin and bound by Ser5 phosphorylated RNA polymerase II, suggesting that the risk alleles are associated with changes in transcription. Chromatin conformation capture demonstrated that the risk region was able to interact with the promoter of FGFR2, the likely target gene of this risk region. A role for FOXA1 in mediating breast cancer susceptibility at this locus is consistent with the finding that the FGFR2 risk locus primarily predisposes to estrogen-receptor-positive disease.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 11/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The analytical performance of multigene signatures depends on many parameters, including precision, repeatability, reproducibility and intratumor heterogeneity. Indicators such as sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value are typically used to define the clinical performance of a diagnostic test. Aim: Here we study these performance characteristics of the MammaPrint® (Agendia NV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) 70-gene signature using the US FDA-recommended guidelines, as well as predetermined acceptance criteria. Results: The clinical and analytical performance characteristics show that MammaPrint is a robust, reproducible, precise test, with a maximum variation of 5% in multiple samplings of the same tissue. Conclusion: MammaPrint is a reliable indicator of distant metastasis in early- stage breast cancer patients of all ages and is well suited for personalized medical care.
Personalized Medicine 11/2013; 10(8):801. · 1.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A handful of tumor-derived cell lines form the mainstay of cancer therapeutic development, yielding drugs with an impact typically measured as months to disease progression. To develop more effective breast cancer therapeutics and more readily understand their clinical impact, we constructed a functional metabolic portrait of 46 independently derived breast cell lines. Our analysis of glutamine uptake and dependence identified a subset of triple-negative samples that are glutamine auxotrophs. Ambient glutamine indirectly supports environmental cystine acquisition via the xCT antiporter, which is expressed on one-third of triple-negative tumors in vivo. xCT inhibition with the clinically approved anti-inflammatory sulfasalazine decreases tumor growth, revealing a therapeutic target in breast tumors of poorest prognosis and a lead compound for rapid, effective drug development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: All cancers are caused by somatic mutations; however, understanding of the biological processes generating these mutations is limited. The catalogue of somatic mutations from a cancer genome bears the signatures of the mutational processes that have been operative. Here we analysed 4,938,362 mutations from 7,042 cancers and extracted more than 20 distinct mutational signatures. Some are present in many cancer types, notably a signature attributed to the APOBEC family of cytidine deaminases, whereas others are confined to a single cancer class. Certain signatures are associated with age of the patient at cancer diagnosis, known mutagenic exposures or defects in DNA maintenance, but many are of cryptic origin. In addition to these genome-wide mutational signatures, hypermutation localized to small genomic regions, ‘kataegis’, is found in many cancer types. The results reveal the diversity of mutational processes underlying the development of cancer, with potential implications for understanding of cancer aetiology, prevention and therapy.