[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiosarcomas are rare malignant mesenchymal tumors of endothelial differentiation. The clinical behavior is usually aggressive and the prognosis for patients with advanced disease is poor with no effective therapies. The genetic bases of these tumors have been partially revealed in recent studies reporting genetic alterations such as amplifications of MYC (primarily in radiation-associated angiosarcomas), inactivating mutations in PTPRB and R707Q hotspot mutations of PLCG1. Here, we performed a comprehensive genomic analysis of 34 angiosarcomas using a clinically-approved, hybridization-based targeted next-generation sequencing assay for 341 well-established oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Over half of the angiosarcomas (n = 18, 53%) harbored genetic alterations affecting the MAPK pathway, involving mutations in KRAS, HRAS, NRAS, BRAF, MAPK1 and NF1, or amplifications in MAPK1/CRKL, CRAF or BRAF. The most frequently detected genetic aberrations were mutations in TP53 in 12 tumors(35%) and losses of CDKN2A in9 tumors (26%). MYC amplifications were generally mutually exclusive of TP53 alterations and CDKN2A loss and were identified in 8 tumors (24%), most of which (n = 7, 88%) arose post-irradiation. Previously reported mutations in PTPRB (n = 10, 29%) and one (3%) PLCG1 R707Q mutation were also identified. Our results demonstrate that angiosarcomas are a genetically heterogeneous group of tumors, harboring a wide range of genetic alterations. The high frequency of genetic events affecting the MAPK pathway suggests that targeted therapies inhibiting MAPK signaling may be promising therapeutic avenues in patients with advanced angiosarcomas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Significance:
Intensification of mutant Ras signaling through copy-number imbalances is commonly associated with transformation. We show that NF2/merlin inactivation augments mutant RAS signaling by promoting YAP/TEAD-driven transcription of oncogenic and wild-type RAS, resulting in greater MAPK output and increased sensitivity to MEK inhibitors.
Cancer Discovery 09/2015; DOI:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-15-0330 · 19.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR2) directed therapies result in a modest survival benefit for patients with advanced esophageal and gastroesophageal (GE) junction cancer. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) may contribute to escape from VEGFR2 inhibition. We evaluated the efficacy of sorafenib, a broad spectrum tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting VEGFR2 and PDGFR as well as RET and RAF1, in patients with metastatic chemotherapy refractory esophageal and GE junction cancer.
Patients and methods:
This phase II trial of sorafenib 400 mg twice daily enrolled chemotherapy refractory patients with metastatic esophageal and GE junction cancer with primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) rate at two months. Secondary endpoints included overall survival, objective response rate and toxicity.
Among 34 patients, 8 week Kaplan-Meier estimated PFS was 61% (90%CI 45 to 73%). Median PFS is 3.6 months (95% CI 1.8 to 3.9 months), with median overall survival OS 9.7 months (95% CI 5.9 to 11.6 months). Grade 3 toxicities were uncommon and included hand foot skin reaction, rash, dehydration and fatigue. One patient (3%) with ongoing complete response and remains on trial for over 5 years. Whole exome sequencing of this tumor revealed mutations in many cancer-associated genes including ARID1A, PIK3CA, and TP53, and focal amplifications of HMGA2 and MET.
Sorafenib therapy results in disease stabilization and encouraging PFS in patients with refractory esophageal and GE junction cancer.
PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8):e0134731(8). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0134731 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Malignant transformation requires the interaction of cancer cells with their microenvironment, including infiltrating leukocytes. However, somatic mutational studies have focused on alterations in cancer cells, assuming that the microenvironment is genetically normal. Because we hypothesized that this might not be a valid assumption, we performed exome sequencing and targeted sequencing to investigate for the presence of pathogenic mutations in tumor-associated leukocytes in breast cancers. METHODS: We used targeted sequencing and exome sequencing to evaluate the presence of mutations in sorted tumor-infiltrating CD45-positive cells from primary untreated breast cancers. We used high-depth sequencing to determine the presence/ absence of the mutations we identified in breast cancer-infiltrating leukocytes in purified tumor cells and in circulating blood cells. RESULTS: Capture-based sequencing of 15 paired tumor-infiltrating leukocytes and matched germline DNA identified variants in known cancer genes in all 15 primary breast cancer patients in our cohort. We validated the presence of mutations identified by targeted sequencing in infiltrating leukocytes through orthogonal exome sequencing. Ten patients harbored alterations previously reported as somatically acquired variants, including in known leukemia genes (DNTM3A, TET2, and BCOR). One of the mutations observed in the tumor-infiltrating leukocytes was also detected in the circulating leukocytes of the same patients at a lower allele frequency than observed in the tumor-infiltrating cells. CONCLUSIONS: Here we show that somatic mutations, including mutations in known cancer genes, are present in the leukocytes infiltrating a subset of primary breast cancers. This observation allows for the possibility that the cancer cells interact with mutant infiltrating leukocytes, which has many potential clinical implications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identified the Rho GTPase Rnd1 as a candidate metastasis suppressor in basal-like and triple-negative breast cancer through bioinformatics analysis. Depletion of Rnd1 disrupted epithelial adhesion and polarity, induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and cooperated with deregulated expression of c-Myc or loss of p53 to cause neoplastic conversion. Mechanistic studies revealed that Rnd1 suppresses Ras signalling by activating the GAP domain of Plexin B1, which inhibits Rap1. Rap1 inhibition in turn led to derepression of p120 Ras-GAP, which was able to inhibit Ras. Inactivation of Rnd1 in mammary epithelial cells induced highly undifferentiated and invasive tumours in mice. Conversely, Rnd1 expression inhibited spontaneous and experimental lung colonization in mouse models of metastasis. Genomic studies indicated that gene deletion in combination with epigenetic silencing or, more rarely, point mutation inactivates RND1 in human breast cancer. These results reveal a previously unappreciated mechanism through which Rnd1 restrains activation of Ras-MAPK signalling and breast tumour initiation and progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gastrointestinal tracts of mammals are colonized by hundreds of microbial species that contribute to health, including colonization resistance against intestinal pathogens. Many antibiotics destroy intestinal microbial communities and increase susceptibility to intestinal pathogens. Among these, Clostridium difficile, a major cause of antibiotic-induced diarrhoea, greatly increases morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. Which intestinal bacteria provide resistance to C. difficile infection and their in vivo inhibitory mechanisms remain unclear. Here we correlate loss of specific bacterial taxa with development of infection, by treating mice with different antibiotics that result in distinct microbiota changes and lead to varied susceptibility to C. difficile. Mathematical modelling augmented by analyses of the microbiota of hospitalized patients identifies resistance-associated bacteria common to mice and humans. Using these platforms, we determine that Clostridium scindens, a bile acid 7α-dehydroxylating intestinal bacterium, is associated with resistance to C. difficile infection and, upon administration, enhances resistance to infection in a secondary bile acid dependent fashion. Using a workflow involving mouse models, clinical studies, metagenomic analyses, and mathematical modelling, we identify a probiotic candidate that corrects a clinically relevant microbiome deficiency. These findings have implications for the rational design of targeted antimicrobials as well as microbiome-based diagnostics and therapeutics for individuals at risk of C. difficile infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The predominant view of pluripotency regulation proposes a stable ground state with coordinated expression of key transcription factors (TFs) that prohibit differentiation. Another perspective suggests a more complexly regulated state involving competition between multiple lineage-specifying TFs that define pluripotency. These contrasting views were developed from extensive analyses of TFs in pluripotent cells in vitro. An experimentally-validated, genome-wide repertoire of the regulatory interactions that control pluripotency within the in vivo cellular contexts is yet to be developed. To address this limitation, we assembled a TF interactome of adult human male germ cell tumors (GCTs) using the Algorithm for the Accurate Reconstruction of Cellular Pathways (ARACNe) to analyze gene expression profiles of 141 tumors comprising pluripotent and differentiated subsets. The network (GCTNet) comprised 1305 TFs, and its Ingenuity Pathway analysis identified pluripotency and embryonal development as the top functional pathways. We experimentally validated GCTNet by functional (silencing) and biochemical (ChIP-seq) analysis of the core pluripotency regulatory TFs POU5F1, NANOG, and SOX2 in relation to their targets predicted by ARACNe. To define the extent of the in vivo pluripotency network in this system, we ranked all TFs in the GCTNet according to sharing of ARACNe-predicted targets with those of POU5F1 and NANOG using an Odds-Ratio analysis method. To validate this network, we silenced the top 10 TFs in the network in H9 ES cells. Silencing of each led to downregulation of pluripotency and induction of lineage; 7 of the 10 TFs were identified as pluripotency regulators for the first time. Stem Cells 2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leukemia is one of the leading journals in hematology and oncology. It is published monthly and covers all aspects of the research and treatment of leukemia and allied diseases. Studies of normal hemopoiesis are covered because of their comparative relevance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma (PLGA) is the second most frequent type of malignant tumor of the minor salivary glands. We identified PRKD1 hotspot mutations encoding p.Glu710Asp in 72.9% of PLGAs but not in other salivary gland tumors. Functional studies demonstrated that this kinase-activating alteration likely constitutes a driver of PLGA.