Identification of tissue of origin in body fluid specimens using a gene expression microarray assay

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
Cancer Cytopathology (Impact Factor: 3.35). 02/2012; 120(1):62-70. DOI: 10.1002/cncy.20167
Source: PubMed


Body fluid specimens may be the first and only pathologic specimen for clinical evaluation in metastatic cancer cases. The challenge of identifying the tissue of origin in metastatic cancer has led to the emergence of molecular-based assays, such as the microarray-based Pathwork Tissue of Origin gene expression test. The ability to use body fluid specimens in this test would be valuable in providing diagnoses to cancer patients without clearly identifiable primary sites. In the current study, the authors evaluated the Tissue of Origin Test for use with malignant effusion specimens.
A total of 27 metastasis-positive body fluid specimens from different body sites, including pleural, ascites, pericardial, and pelvic wash fluids, were obtained from patients with known diagnoses. Nine specimens from nonmalignant body fluids were included as controls. RNA was extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue and gene expression analysis was performed with the Tissue of Origin Test.
Seventeen of 27 metastasis-positive samples were non-necrotic with ≥60% tumor and yielded sufficient RNA. Of these samples, 94.1% (16 of 17) were in agreement with the available diagnosis. Of the 9 negative control samples evaluated, 7 (77.8%) demonstrated microarray expression profiles most similar to lymphoma, which is consistent with the predominance of inflammatory cells in these specimens.
The results of the current study demonstrated that FFPE cell blocks from cytologic body fluid specimens yield adequate diagnostic material for the Pathwork test and can be used in the workup of patients with unknown primary tumors.

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Available from: Federico Alberto Monzon, Oct 09, 2014
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    • "[54] that demonstrated that FFPE samples can be used to reveal the ToO of metastatic cancer by using miRNA expression profile and suggested that this approach could provide useful indications for CUPs. It has also been documented that Pathwork test can be adequately performed on FFPE cell blocks from cytologic body fluid specimens material and can be used in the identification of ToO in case of metastases of unknown primary [55]. In all the reported works, authors argue that the availability of ToO holds promise for the increasing individualization of therapy for CUP patients [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: It is widely accepted that systemic neoplastic spread is a late event in tumour progression. However, sometimes, rapidly invasive cancers are diagnosed because of appearance of metastatic lesions in absence of a clearly detectable primary mass. This kind of disease is referred to as cancer of unknown primary (CUP) origin and accounts for 3-5% of all cancer diagnosis. There is poor consensus on the extent of diagnostic and pathologic evaluations required for these enigmatic cases which still lack effective treatment. Although technology to predict the primary tumour site of origin is improving rapidly, the key issue is concerning the biology which drives early occult metastatic spreading. This review provides the state of the art about clinical and therapeutic management of this malignant syndrome; main interest is addressed to the most recent improvements in CUP molecular biology and pathology, which will lead to successful tailored therapeutic options.
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    ABSTRACT: Accurate tumor classification is essential for cancer management as patient outcomes improve with use of site- and subtype-specific therapies. Current clinicopathologic evaluation is varied in approach, yet standardized diagnoses are critical for determining therapy. While gene expression-based cancer classifiers may potentially meet this need, imperative to determining their application to patient care is validation in rigorously designed studies. Here, we examined the performance of a 92-gene molecular classifier in a large multi-institution cohort. Case selection incorporated specimens from more than 50 subtypes, including a range of tumor grades, metastatic and primary tumors, and limited tissue samples. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumors passed pathologist-adjudicated review between three institutions. Tumor classification using a 92-gene quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was conducted on blinded tumor sections from 790 cases and compared with adjudicated diagnoses. The 92-gene assay showed overall sensitivities of 87% for tumor type [95% confidence interval (CI), 84-89] and 82% for subtype (95% CI, 79-85). Analyses of metastatic tumors, high-grade tumors, or cases with limited tissue showed no decrease in comparative performance (P = 0.16, 0.58, and 0.16). High specificity (96%-100%) was showed for ruling in a primary tumor in organs commonly harboring metastases. The assay incorrectly excluded the adjudicated diagnosis in 5% of cases. The 92-gene assay showed strong performance for accurate molecular classification of a diverse set of tumor histologies. Results support potential use of the assay as a standardized molecular adjunct to routine clinicopathologic evaluation for tumor classification and primary site diagnosis.
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