[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Standardized and reproducible pre-clinical models that recapitulate the dynamics of prostate cancer (PCa) are urgently needed. We established a bank of transplantable patient-derived PCa xenografts that capture the biological and molecular heterogeneity currently confounding prognostication and therapy development. Xenografts preserved the histopathology, genome architecture, and global gene expression of donor tumours. Moreover, their aggressiveness matched patient observations, and their response to androgen withdrawal correlated with tumor subtype. The panel includes the first xenografts generated from needle biopsy tissue obtained at diagnosis. This advance was exploited to generate independent xenografts from different sites of a primary site: enabling functional dissection of tumor heterogeneity. Prolonged exposure of adenocarcinoma xenografts to androgen withdrawal led to castration-resistant PCa, including the first-in-field model of complete transdifferentiation into lethal neuroendocrine PCa. Further analysis of this model supports the hypothesis that neuroendocrine PCa can evolve directly from adenocarcinoma via an adaptive response, and yielded a set of genes potentially involved in neuroendocrine transdifferentiation. We predict that these next-generation models will be transformative for advancing mechanistic understanding of disease progression, response to therapy and personalized oncology.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current paradigm of cancer care relies on predictive nomograms which integrate detailed histopathology with clinical data. However, when predictions fail, the consequences for patients are often catastrophic, especially in prostate cancer where nomograms influence the decision to therapeutically intervene. We hypothesized that the high dimensional data afforded by massively parallel sequencing (MPS) is not only capable of providing biological insights, but may aid molecular pathology of prostate tumours. We assembled a cohort of six patients with high-risk disease, and performed deep RNA and shallow DNA sequencing in primary tumours and matched metastases where available. Our analysis identified copy number abnormalities, accurately profiled gene expression levels, and detected both differential splicing and expressed fusion genes. We revealed occult and potentially dormant metastases, unambiguously supporting the patients' clinical history, and implicated the REST transcriptional complex in the development of neuroendocrine prostate cancer, validating this finding in a large independent cohort. We massively expand on the number of novel fusion genes described in prostate cancer; provide fresh evidence for the growing link between fusion gene aetiology and gene expression profiles; and show the utility of fusion genes for molecular pathology. Finally, we identified chromothripsis in a patient with chronic prostatitis. Our results provide a strong foundation for further development of MPS-based molecular pathology.
The Journal of Pathology 05/2012; 227(3):286-97. · 7.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and neuroendocrine carcinoma of the prostate are invariably fatal diseases for which only palliative therapies exist. As part of a prostate tumor sequencing program, a patient tumor was analyzed using Illumina genome sequencing and a matched renal capsule tumor xenograft was generated. Both tumor and xenograft had a homozygous 9p21 deletion spanning the MTAP, CDKN2, and ARF genes. It is rare for this deletion to occur in primary prostate tumors, yet approximately 10% express decreased levels of methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) mRNA. Decreased MTAP expression is a prognosticator for poor outcome. Moreover, it seems that this deletion is more common in CRPC than in primary prostate cancer. We show for the first time that treatment with methylthioadenosine and high dose 6-thioguanine causes marked inhibition of a patient-derived neuroendocrine xenograft growth while protecting the host from 6-thioguanine toxicity. This therapeutic approach can be applied to other MTAP-deficient human cancers as deletion or hypermethylation of the MTAP gene occurs in a broad spectrum of tumors at high frequency. The combination of genome sequencing and patient-derived xenografts can identify candidate therapeutic agents and evaluate them for personalized oncology.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 03/2012; 11(3):775-83. · 5.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Next-generation sequencing is making sequence-based molecular pathology and personalized oncology viable. We selected an individual initially diagnosed with conventional but aggressive prostate adenocarcinoma and sequenced the genome and transcriptome from primary and metastatic tissues collected prior to hormone therapy. The histology-pathology and copy number profiles were remarkably homogeneous, yet it was possible to propose the quadrant of the prostate tumour that likely seeded the metastatic diaspora. Despite a homogeneous cell type, our transcriptome analysis revealed signatures of both luminal and neuroendocrine cell types. Remarkably, the repertoire of expressed but apparently private gene fusions, including C15orf21:MYC, recapitulated this biology. We hypothesize that the amplification and over-expression of the stem cell gene MSI2 may have contributed to the stable hybrid cellular identity. This hybrid luminal-neuroendocrine tumour appears to represent a novel and highly aggressive case of prostate cancer with unique biological features and, conceivably, a propensity for rapid progression to castrate-resistance. Overall, this work highlights the importance of integrated analyses of genome, exome and transcriptome sequences for basic tumour biology, sequence-based molecular pathology and personalized oncology.
The Journal of Pathology 01/2012; 227(1):53-61. · 7.59 Impact Factor