[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systems-wide profiling of breast cancer has almost always entailed RNA and DNA analysis by microarray and sequencing techniques. Marked developments in proteomic technologies now enable very deep profiling of clinical samples, with high identification and quantification accuracy. We analysed 40 oestrogen receptor positive (luminal), Her2 positive and triple negative breast tumours and reached a quantitative depth of >10,000 proteins. These proteomic profiles identified functional differences between breast cancer subtypes, related to energy metabolism, cell growth, mRNA translation and cell-cell communication. Furthermore, we derived a signature of 19 proteins, which differ between the breast cancer subtypes, through support vector machine (SVM)-based classification and feature selection. Remarkably, only three proteins of the signature were associated with gene copy number variations and eleven were also reflected on the mRNA level. These breast cancer features revealed by our work provide novel insights that may ultimately translate to development of subtype-specific therapeutics.
Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immune system plays a major role in cancer progression. In solid tumors, 5-40 % of the tumor mass consists of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and there is usually a correlation between the number of TAMs and poor prognosis, depending on the tumor type. TAMs usually resemble M2 macrophages. Unlike M1-macrophages which have pro-inflammatory and anti-cancer functions, M2-macrophages are immunosuppressive, contribute to the matrix-remodeling, and hence favor tumor growth. The role of TAMs is not fully understood in breast cancer progression.
Macrophage infiltration (CD68) and activation status (HLA-DRIIα, CD163) were evaluated in a large cohort of human primary breast tumors (562 tissue microarray samples), by immunohistochemistry and scored by automated image analysis algorithms. Survival between groups was compared using the Kaplan-Meier life-table method and a Cox multivariate proportional hazards model. Macrophage education by breast cancer cells was assessed by ex vivo differentiation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in the presence or absence of breast cancer cell conditioned media (MDA-MB231, MCF-7 or T47D cell lines) and M1 or M2 inducing cytokines (respectively IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-10). Obtained macrophages were analyzed by flow cytometry (CD14, CD16, CD64, CD86, CD200R and CD163), ELISA (IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, monocyte colony stimulating factor M-CSF) and zymography (matrix metalloproteinase 9, MMP-9).
Clinically, we found that high numbers of CD163 + M2-macrophages were strongly associated with fast proliferation, poor differentiation, estrogen receptor negativity and histological ductal type (p<0.001) in the studied cohort of human primary breast tumors. We demonstrated ex vivo that breast cancer cell-secreted factors modulate macrophage differentiation toward the M2 phenotype. Furthermore, the more aggressive mesenchymal-like cell line MDA-MB231, which secretes high levels of M-CSF, skews macrophages toward the more immunosuppressive M2c subtype.
This study demonstrates that human breast cancer cells influence macrophage differentiation and that TAM differentiation status correlates with recurrence free survival, thus further emphasizing that TAMs can similarly affect therapy efficacy and patient outcome.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Breast Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cohesin is one of the main regulators of sister chromatid separation during the metaphase/anaphase transition. It is a multiprotein complex consisting of 4 core subunits, one of those being the SA2 subunit. SA2 plays the final role in dismantling the cohesion complex from the sister chromatids and also functions in DNA double-strand break repair and gene regulation. There is increasing evidence regarding the involvement of both overexpression and underexpression of cohesin in cancer. Here, we present expression patterns of SA2 in different types of human breast tissue, and the prognostic analysis in the material from breast cancer patients with long-term follow-up. SA2 immunoexpression was evaluated in benign, precancerous, and malignant breast tissue, and was classified into low-intensity or high-intensity groups. The DNA content was determined by image cytometry on breast cancer cell imprints. Prognostic analyses were based on 445 breast cancer patients with upto 20 years’ follow-up. SA2 immunoexpression was equally high in both benign and precancerous breast tissue. Instead, 72% of the invasive breast cancers showed deficient SA2 expression. These patients were also associated with an unfavorable outcome as indicated by a 1.6-fold risk of breast cancer death (P=0.0208). The majority (75%) of the patients with low SA2 expression were alive 6.0 years after the diagnosis, whereas the majority of the patients with high SA2 expression survived 17.6 years after the diagnosis. No statistically significant association could be detected between SA2 immunoexpression and DNA aneuploidy. Our results and previous literature indicate that decreased SA2 immunoexpression is associated with malignant breast disease and a particularly unfavorable course of disease.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Annals of Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship between the uptake of [18F]fluoroerythronitroimidazole ([18F]FETNIM), blood flow ([15O]H2O) and 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) and immunohistochemically determined biomarkers was evaluated in squamous-cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC).
[18F]FETNIM and [18F]FDG PET were performed on separate days on 15 untreated patients with HNSCC. Hypoxia imaging with [18F]FETNIM was coupled with measurement of tumor blood flow using [15O]H2O. Uptake of [18F]FETNIM was measured as tumor-to-plasma ratio (T/P) and fractional hypoxic volume (FHV), and that of [18F]FDG as standardized uptake value (SUV) and the metabolically active tumor volume (TV). Tumor biopsies were cut and stained for GLUT-1, Ki-67, p53, CD68, HIF-1alpha, VEGFsc-152, CD31 and apoptosis. The expression of biomarkers was correlated to PET findings and patient outcome.
None of the PET parameters depicting hypoxia and metabolism correlated with the expression of the biomarkers on a continuous scale. When PET parameters were divided into two groups according to median values, a significant association was detected between [18F]FDG SUV and p53 expression (p =0.029) using median SUV as the cut-off. There was a significant association between tumor volume and the amount of apoptotic cells (p =0.029). The intensity of VEGF stained cells was associated with [18F]FDG SUV (p =0.036). Patient outcome was associated with tumor macrophage content (p =0.050), but not with the other biomarkers. HIF-1alpha correlated with GLUT-1 (rs =0.553, p =0.040) and Ki-67 with HIF-1alpha (rs =506, p =0.065). p53 correlated inversely with GLUT-1 (rs = -618, p =0.019) and apoptosis with Ki-67 (rs = -638, p =0.014).
A high uptake of [18F]FDG expressed as SUV is linked to an aggressive HNSCC phenotype: the rate of apoptosis is low and the expressions of p53 and VEGF are high. None of the studied biomarkers correlated with perfusion and hypoxia as evaluated with [15O]H2O-PET and [18F]FETNIM-PET. Increased tumor metabolism evaluated with PET may thus signify an aggressive phenotype, which should be taken into account in the management of HNSCC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Cdc20 is an essential component of cell division and responsible for anaphase initiation regulated by securin degradation. Cdc20 function is strongly regulated by the spindle assembly checkpoint to ensure the timely separation of sister chromatids and integrity of the genome. We present the first results on Cdc20 in a large clinical breast cancer material.
The study was based on 445 breast cancer patients with up to 20 years of follow-up (mean 10.0 years). DNA content was determined by image cytometry on cell imprints, and Cdc20 and securin immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays of breast cancer tissue.
In our results, high Cdc20 and securin expression was associated with aneuploid DNA content. In prognostic analyses, high Cdc20 immunoexpression alone and in combination with high securin immunoexpression indicated aggressive course of disease and up to 6.8-fold (P<0.001) risk of breast cancer death. Particularly, high Cdc20 and securin immunoexpression identified a patient subgroup with extremely short, on average 2.4 years, breast cancer survival and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype.
We report for the first time the association of high Cdc20 and securin immunoexpression with extremely poor outcome of breast cancer patients. Our experience indicates that Cdc20 and securin are promising candidates for clinical applications in breast cancer prognostication, especially in the challenging prognostic decisions of TNBC.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · British Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell cycle regulators cdc27 and securin participate in control of the mitotic checkpoint and survey the mitotic spindle to maintain chromosomal integrity. This is achieved by their functions in metaphase-anaphase transition, DNA damage repair, enhancement of mitotic arrest and apoptosis. We report on the roles of cdc27 and securin in aneuploidy and prognosis of breast cancer. The study comprises 429 breast cancer patients with up to 22 years of follow-up. DNA content was determined by image cytometry, and immunopositivity for cdc27 and securin was based on tissue microarrays. An inverse association between cdc27 and securin expression was observed in both image cytometric and immunohistochemical analyses. Low cdc27 and high securin expression identified patients with significant difference in disease outcome. Cdc27 and securin immunoexpression identified patients at risk of early cancer death within five years from diagnosis. In multivariate analysis, the combination of cdc27 and securin immunohistochemistry was the strongest predictor of cancer death after lymph node status. We demonstrate, for the first time in human breast cancer, the prognostic value of cdc27 and securin immunohistochemistry. Cdc27 and securin appear promising biomarkers for applications in predicting disease progression, prognostication of individual patients and potential in anti-mitotic drug development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ADAM12 is a metalloprotease implicated in cancer progression. ADAM12 can activate membrane-anchored proteins, such as sonic hedgehog, Delta-like 1, and certain epidermal growth factor receptor ligands, through a process called ectodomain shedding. We screened several membrane-anchored proteins to further dissect the substrate profile of ADAM12-mediated ectodomain shedding, and found shedding of five previously unreported substrates (Kitl1, VE-cadherin, Flk-1, Tie-2, and VCAM-1), of which the latter four are specifically expressed by endothelial cells. We also observed that ADAM12 expression was increased in the tumour vasculature of infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the human breast as compared with little to no expression in normal breast-tissue vasculature, suggesting a role for ADAM12 in tumour vessels. These data prompted us to further evaluate ADAM12-mediated shedding of two endothelial cell proteins, VE-cadherin and Tie-2. Endogenous ADAM 12 expression was very low in cultured endothelial cells, but was significantly increased by cytokine stimulation. In parallel, the shed form of VE-cadherin was elevated in such cytokine-stimulated endothelial cells, and ADAM12 siRNA knockdown reduced cytokine-induced shedding of VE-cadherin. In conclusion, our data demonstrate a role for ADAM12 in ectodomain shedding of several membrane-anchored endothelial proteins. We speculate that this process may have importance in tumour neovascularization or/and tumour-cell extravasation.
Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Biochemical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The growing importance of medical imaging in everyday diagnostic practices poses challenges for medical education. While the emergence of novel imaging technologies offers new opportunities, many pedagogical questions remain. In the present study, we explore the use of a new tool, a virtual microscope, for the instruction and the collaborative learning of pathology. Fifteen pairs of medical students were asked to solve diagnostic tasks in a virtual microscopy learning environment. The students’ collaborative efforts were analysed on the basis of approximately 20 hours of video recordings. Our analyses show how students use the technology as a mediating tool to organize, manipulate and construct a shared visual field, and later, shared understanding of the problem and solutions. Organization of the visual field is done through multimodal referential practices: gestures, three dimensional manipulation of the image and paced inspection of the specimen. Furthermore, we analyse and describe how the aforementioned practices coincide with students’ medical reasoning in this particular learning context. The analysis of medical students’ diagnostic work illustrates the collaborative potential of the virtual microscopy environment and how such interactive tools render the traditional distinction between collaborating around or through computers irrelevant, as even face to face collaboration becomes enacted through technology. Finally, we argue that as technologies develop, understanding the technical side of image production, or any representation, becomes an integral part of the interpretative process. How this knowledge is communicated to the students may play a substantive role in how students learn to interpret medical images.
No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notch signaling is frequently hyperactivated in breast cancer, but how the enhanced signaling contributes to the tumor process is less well understood. In this report, we identify the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) as a novel Notch target in breast tumor cells. Enhanced Notch signaling upregulated IL-6 expression, leading to activation of autocrine and paracrine Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription signaling. IL-6 upregulation was mediated by non-canonical Notch signaling, as it could be effectuated by a cytoplasmically localized Notch intracellular domain and was independent of the DNA-binding protein CSL. Instead, Notch-mediated IL-6 upregulation was controlled by two proteins in the nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling cascade, IKKα and IKKβ (inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit alpha and beta, respectively), as well as by p53. Activation of IL-6 by Notch required IKKα/IKKβ function, but interestingly, did not engage canonical NF-κB signaling, in contrast to IL-6 activation by inflammatory agents such as lipopolysaccharide. With regard to p53 status, IL-6 expression was upregulated by Notch when p53 was mutated or lost, and restoring wild-type p53 into p53-mutated or -deficient cells abrogated the IL-6 upregulation. Furthermore, Notch-induced transcriptomes from p53 wild-type and -mutated breast tumor cell lines differed extensively, and for a subset of genes upregulated by Notch in a p53-mutant cell line, this upregulation was reduced by wild-type p53. In conclusion, we identify IL-6 as a novel non-canonical Notch target gene, and reveal roles for p53 and IKKα/IKKβ in non-canonical Notch signaling in breast cancer and in the generation of cell context-dependent diversity in the Notch signaling output.Oncogene advance online publication, 26 November 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.517.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New representational technologies, such as virtual microscopy, create new affordances for medical education. In the article, a study on the following two issues is reported: (a) How does collaborative use of virtual microscopy shape students’ engagement with and learning from virtual slides of tissue specimen? (b) How do visual and conceptual cues scaffold students’ reasoning? Fifteen pairs of medical students participated in two sessions in which the students used a virtual microscope as a diagnostic tool in the context of learning pathology. The slides provided the students with varying levels of visual and conceptual cueing. The sessions were videotaped, and the students’ reasoning while using the microscope was analysed. The students’ written answers were analysed in terms of the findings they made and the diagnoses suggested. At a general level, the results show that students engage actively in this kind of virtually-mediated environment. The visual and/or conceptual cues improve students’ performance, and guide the students’ perception and reasoning in a manner that is productive from the point of view of learning to make clinically relevant observations. Scaffolding students’ reasoning process through cues furthermore assists the students in avoiding the most obvious pitfalls such as overlooking critical areas of a specimen. Overall, visual and conceptual cues improve students’ reasoning in perceptual and cognitive terms, while still allowing space for the making of “relevant mistakes” that may further the students’ diagnostic skills.
No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Instructional Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Securin is known to participate in maintaining chromosomal integrity during the cell cycle through regulation of metaphase-anaphase transition, DNA damage repair, and apoptosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of securin in aneuploidy and prognosis in human breast cancer.
The study was based on 603 breast cancer patients with up to 20 years of follow-up. DNA content was determined by image cytometry on cell imprints, and securin immunohistochemistry was performed on tissue microarrays of breast cancer tissue. We show, for the first time in human breast cancer, that high-level securin expression predicts abnormal DNA content, with up to 9.8-fold odds for aneuploid DNA content (P = 0.0007). Securin also shows strong independent prognostic value for disease-specific survival, with a significant difference in survival time between patients with low-level and high-level securin expression.
The main result of the present study is the association of aneuploidy and securin expression. According to our results, securin immunohistochemistry is also a potential new prognosticator for treatment decisions concerning breast cancer patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notch signaling is frequently hyperactivated in breast cancer, but how the enhanced signaling contributes to the tumor process is less well understood. In this report, we identify the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) as a novel Notch target in breast tumor cells. Enhanced Notch signaling upregulated IL-6 expression, leading to activation of autocrine and paracrine Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription signaling. IL-6 upregulation was mediated by non-canonical Notch signaling, as it could be effectuated by a cytoplasmically localized Notch intracellular domain and was independent of the DNA-binding protein CSL. Instead, Notch-mediated IL-6 upregulation was controlled by two proteins in the nuclear factor (NF)-kB signaling cascade, IKKa and IKKb (inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit alpha and beta, respectively), as well as by p53. Activation of IL-6 by Notch required IKKa/IKKb function, but interestingly, did not engage canonical NF-kB signaling, in contrast to IL-6 activation by inflammatory agents such as lipopolysaccharide. With regard to p53 status, IL-6 expression was upregulated by Notch when p53 was mutated or lost, and restoring wild-type p53 into p53-mutated or -deficient cells abrogated the IL-6 upregulation. Furthermore, Notch-induced transcriptomes from p53 wild-type and -mutated breast tumor cell lines differed extensively, and for a subset of genes upregulated by Notch in a p53-mutant cell line, this upregulation was reduced by wild-type p53. In conclusion, we identify IL-6 as a novel non-canonical Notch target gene, and reveal roles for p53 and IKKa/IKKb in non-canonical Notch signaling in breast cancer and in the generation of cell context-dependent diversity in the Notch signaling output.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A switch from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis is frequently observed in cancer cells and is linked to tumor growth and invasion, but the underpinning molecular mechanisms controlling the switch are poorly understood. In this report we show that Notch signaling is a key regulator of cellular metabolism. Both hyper- and hypoactivated Notch induce a glycolytic phenotype in breast tumor cells, although by distinct mechanisms: hyperactivated Notch signaling leads to increased glycolysis through activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT serine/threonine kinase pathway, whereas hypoactivated Notch signaling attenuates mitochondrial activity and induces glycolysis in a p53-dependent manner. Despite the fact that cells with both hyper- and hypoactivated Notch signaling showed enhanced glycolysis, only cells with hyperactivated Notch promoted aggressive tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model. This phenomenon may be explained by that only Notch-hyperactivated, but not -hypoactivated, cells retained the capacity to switch back to oxidative phosphorylation. In conclusion, our data reveal a role for Notch in cellular energy homeostasis, and show that Notch signaling is required for metabolic flexibility.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of ADAM12 is low in most normal tissues but is markedly increased in numerous human cancers, including breast carcinomas. We have previously shown that overexpression of ADAM12 accelerates tumor progression in a mouse model of breast cancer (PyMT). In this study, we found that ADAM12 deficiency reduces breast tumor progression in the PyMT model. However, the catalytic activity of ADAM12 seems to be dispensable for its tumor-promoting effect. Interestingly, we show that ADAM12 endogenously expressed in tumor-associated stroma in the PyMT model does not influence tumor progression, but that ADAM12 expression by tumor cells is necessary for tumor progression in these mice. This finding is consistent with our observation that in human breast carcinoma, ADAM12 is almost exclusively located in tumor cells and, only rarely, seen in the tumor-associated stroma. We hypothesized, however, that the tumor-associated stroma may stimulate ADAM12 expression in tumor cells, on the basis of the fact that TGF-β1 stimulates ADAM12 expression and is a well-known growth factor released from tumor-associated stroma. TGF-β1 stimulation of ADAM12-negative Lewis lung tumor cells induced ADAM12 synthesis, and growth of these cells in vivo induced more than 200-fold increase in ADAM12 expression. Our observation that ADAM12 expression is significantly higher in the terminal duct lobular units (TDLU) adjacent to human breast carcinoma compared with TDLUs found in normal breast tissue supports our hypothesis that tumor-associated stroma triggers ADAM12 expression.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Molecular Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Virtual microscopy is being introduced in medical education as an approach for learning how to interpret information in microscopic specimens. It is, however, far from evident how to incorporate its use into existing teaching practice. The aim of the study was to explore the consequences of introducing virtual microscopy tasks into an undergraduate pathology course in an attempt to render the instruction more process-oriented. The research questions were: 1) How is virtual microscopy perceived by students? 2) Does work on virtual microscopy tasks contribute to improvement in performance in microscopic pathology in comparison with attending assistant-led demonstrations only?
During a one-week period, an experimental group completed three sets of virtual microscopy homework assignments in addition to attending demonstrations. A control group attended the demonstrations only. Performance in microscopic pathology was measured by a pre-test and a post-test. Student perceptions of regular instruction and virtual microscopy were collected one month later by administering the Inventory of Intrinsic Motivation and open-ended questions.
The students voiced an appreciation for virtual microscopy for the purposes of the course and for self-study. As for learning gains, the results indicated that learning was speeded up in a subgroup of students consisting of conscientious high achievers.
The enriched instruction model may be suited as such for elective courses following the basic course. However, the instructional model needs further development to be suited for basic courses.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Diagnostic Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Syndecan proteoglycans may be key regulators of tumor invasion and metastasis because this four-member family of transmembrane receptors regulates cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. Their expression can also serve as prognostic markers. In breast carcinomas, syndecan-1 overexpression correlates with poor prognosis and aggressive phenotype. Syndecan-4 is expressed in most breast carcinoma cell lines, but its role in malignancy is unclear. A possible relationship between syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 expression and established prognostic factors in breast carcinomas was examined. Duplicate samples of 114 benign and malignant breast disease cases were stained for the two syndecans. Clinicopathological information was available for all cases. Syndecan-1 was detected in 72.8% of cases, with significant association between its expression and histological tumor type (p<0.05) and high grade tumors (p<0.05). Syndecan-4 was expressed in 66.7% of cases; expression correlated significantly with positive estrogen (p<0.01) and progesterone (p<0.01) receptor status. Independent expression of the two syndecans was noted from an analysis of single and double positive cases. There was a statistical relationship between syndecan-1 presence in high-grade tumors and absence of syndecan-4, whereas syndecan-4 presence in cases positive for estrogen and progesterone receptor associated with syndecan-1 absence. These syndecans may, therefore, have distinct roles in regulating breast carcinoma cell behavior.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES There has been long-standing controversy regarding aptitude testing and selection for medical education. Visual perception is considered particularly important for detecting signs of disease as part of diagnostic procedures in, for example, microscopic pathology, radiology and dermatology and as a component of perceptual motor skills in medical procedures such as surgery. In 1968 the Perceptual Ability Test (PAT) was introduced in dental education. The aim of the present pilot study was to explore possible predictors of performance in diagnostic classification based on microscopic observation in the context of an undergraduate pathology course. METHODS A pre- and post-test of diagnostic classification performance, test of visual perceptual skill (Test of Visual Perceptual Skills, 3rd edition [TVPS-3]) and a self-report instrument of personality (Big Five Personality Inventory) were administered. In addition, data on academic performance (performance in histology and cell biology, a compulsory course taken the previous year, in addition to performance on the microscopy examination and final examination) were collected. RESULTS The results indicated that one personality factor (Conscientiousness) and one element of visual perceptual ability (spatial relationship awareness) predicted performance on the pre-test. The only factor to predict performance on the post-test was performance on the pre-test. Similarly, the microscopy examination score was predicted by the pre-test score, in addition to the histology and cell biology grade. The course examination score was predicted by two personality factors (Conscientiousness and lack of Openness) and the histology and cell biology grade. CONCLUSIONS Visual spatial ability may be related to performance in the initial phase of training in microscopic pathology. However, from a practical point of view, medical students are able to learn basic microscopic pathology using worked-out examples, independently of measures of personality or visual perceptual ability. This finding should reassure students about their abilities to improve with training independently of their scores on tests on basic abilities and personality.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · Medical Education