[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NOTCH signaling can exert oncogenic or tumor suppressive functions and can contribute to chemotherapy resistance in cancer. In this study, we aimed to clarify the clinicopathological significance and the prognostic and predictive value of NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 expression in gastric cancer (GC).
NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 expression was determined immunohistochemically in 142 primarily resected GCs using tissue microarrays and in 84 pretherapeutic biopsies from patients treated by neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The results were correlated with survival, response to therapy, and clinico-pathological features.
Primarily resected patients with NOTCH1-negative tumors demonstrated worse survival. High NOTCH1 expression was associated with early-stage tumors and with significantly increased survival in this subgroup. Higher NOTCH2 expression was associated with early-stage and intestinal-type tumors and with better survival in the subgroup of intestinal-type tumors. In pretherapeutic biopsies, higher NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 expression was more frequent in non-responding patients, but these differences were statistically not significant.
Our findings suggested that, in particular, NOTCH1 expression indicated good prognosis in GC. The close relationship of high NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 expression with early tumor stages may indicate a tumor-suppressive role of NOTCH signaling in GC. The role of NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 in neoadjuvantly treated GC is limited.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Frontiers in Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Patients with UICC/AJCC stage II colon cancer have a high 5-year overall survival rate after surgery. Nevertheless, a significant subgroup of patients develops tumour recurrence. Currently, there are no clinically established biomarkers available to identify this patient group. We applied reverse-phase protein arrays (RPPA) for phosphatidylinositide-3-kinase pathway activation mapping to stratify patients according to their risk of tumour recurrence after surgery.
Full-length proteins were extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples of 118 patients who underwent curative resection. RPPA technology was used to analyse expression and/or phosphorylation levels of six major factors of the phosphatidylinositide-3-kinase pathway. Oncogenic mutations of KRAS and BRAF, and DNA microsatellite status, currently discussed as prognostic markers, were analysed in parallel.
Expression of phospho-AKT (HR=3.52; P=0.032), S6RP (HR=6.3; P=0.044), and phospho-4E-BP1 (HR=4.12; P=0.011) were prognostic factors for disease-free survival. None of the molecular genetic alterations were significantly associated with prognosis.
Our data indicate that activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway evidenced on the protein level might be a valuable prognostic marker to stratify patients for their risk of tumour recurrence. Beside adjuvant chemotherapy targeting of upregulated PI3K/AKT signalling may be an attractive strategy for treatment of high-risk patients.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · British Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hallmarks of Lynch syndrome (LS) include a positive family history of colorectal cancer (CRC), germline mutations in the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes, tumours with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and loss of MMR protein expression. However, in ∼10-15% of clinically suspected LS cases, MMR mutation analyses cannot explain MSI-H and abnormal immunohistochemistry (IHC) results. The highly variable phenotype of MUTYH-associated polyposis (MAP) can overlap with the LS phenotype, but is inherited recessively. We analysed the MUTYH gene in 85 'unresolved' patients with tumours showing IHC MMR-deficiency without detectable germline mutation. Biallelic p.(Tyr179Cys) MUTYH germline mutations were found in one patient (frequency 1.18%) with CRC, urothelial carcinoma and a sebaceous gland carcinoma. LS was suspected due to a positive family history of CRC and because of MSI-H and MSH2-MSH6 deficiency on IHC in the sebaceous gland carcinoma. Sequencing of this tumour revealed two somatic MSH2 mutations, thus explaining MSI-H and IHC results, and mimicking LS-like histopathology. This is the first report of two somatic MSH2 mutations leading to an MSI-H tumour lacking MSH2-MSH6 protein expression in a patient with MAP. In addition to typical transversion mutations in KRAS and APC, MAP can also induce tumourigenesis via the MSI-pathway.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 12 February 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.15.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · European journal of human genetics: EJHG
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methylentetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) plays a major role in folate metabolism and consequently could be an important factor for the efficacy of a treatment with 5-fluorouracil. Our aim was to evaluate the prognostic and predictive value of two well characterized constitutional MTHFR gene polymorphisms for primarily resected and neoadjuvantly treated esophagogastric adenocarcinomas.
569 patients from two centers were analyzed (gastric cancer: 218, carcinoma of the esophagogastric junction (AEG II, III): 208 and esophagus (AEG I): 143). 369 patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery, 200 patients were resected without preoperative treatment. The MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms were determined in DNA from peripheral blood lymphozytes. Associations with prognosis, response and clinicopathological factors were analyzed retrospectively within a prospective database (chi-square, log-rank, cox regression).
Only the MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms had prognostic relevance in neoadjuvantly treated patients but it was not a predictor for response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The AC genotype of the MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms was significantly associated with worse outcome (p = 0.02, HR 1.47 (1.06-2.04). If neoadjuvantly treated patients were analyzed based on their tumor localization, the AC genotype of the MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms was a significant negative prognostic factor in patients with gastric cancer according to UICC 6th edition (gastric cancer including AEG type II, III: HR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3-2.0, p = 0.001) and 7th edition (gastric cancer without AEG II, III: HR 2.8, 95% CI 1.5-5.7, p = 0.003), not for AEG I. For both definitions of gastric cancer the AC genotype was confirmed as an independent negative prognostic factor in cox regression analysis. In primarily resected patients neither the MTHFR A1298C nor the MTHFR C677T polymorphisms had prognostic impact.
The MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms was an independent prognostic factor in patients with neoadjuvantly treated gastric adenocarcinomas (according to both UICC 6th or 7th definitions for gastric cancer) but not in AEG I nor in primarily resected patients, which confirms the impact of this enzyme on chemotherapy associated outcome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatic CDH1 mutations are found in sporadic diffuse type gastric and lobular breast carcinomas. Germline mutations of the CDH1 gene are the molecular genetic cause of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. CDH1 in this context acts as a classical tumor suppressor gene and lobular breast carcinomas are observed in association with CDH1 germline mutations in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer families. Although some families with a preponderance or even single occurrence of breast carcinomas and a CDH1 germline mutation have been described, the incidence of CDH1 germline mutations in breast cancer families without the presentation of diffuse type gastric cancer is low.
This chapter summarizes the current knowledge about CDH1 germline mutations and the occurrence of breast carcinomas in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer families with an emphasis on pathology, type of CDH1 mutations as well as on the clinical management and patient’s surveillance regarding breast carcinomas of individuals carrying a CDH1 germline mutation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:: The aim of this study was to independently validate a genomic signature developed both to assess recurrence risk in stage II patients and to assist in treatment decisions. BACKGROUND:: Adjuvant therapy is recommended for high-risk patients with stage II colon cancer, but better tools to assess the patients' prognosis accurately are still required. METHODS:: Previously, an 18-gene signature had been developed and validated on an independent cohort, using full genome microarrays. In this study, the gene signature was translated and validated as a robust diagnostic test (ColoPrint), using customized 8-pack arrays. In addition, clinical validation of the diagnostic ColoPrint assay was performed on 135 patients who underwent curative resection (R0) for colon cancer stage II in Munich. Fresh-frozen tissue, microsatellite instability status, clinical parameters, and follow-up data for all patients were available. The diagnostic ColoPrint readout was determined blindly from the clinical data. RESULTS:: ColoPrint identified most stage II patients (73.3%) as at low risk. The 5-year distant-metastasis free survival was 94.9% for low-risk patients and 80.6% for high-risk patients. In multivariable analysis, ColoPrint was the only significant parameter to predict the development of distant metastasis with a hazard ratio of 4.28 (95% confidence interval, 1.36-13.50; P = 0.013). Clinical risk parameters from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommendation did not add power to the ColoPrint classification. Technical validation of ColoPrint confirmed stability and reproducibility of the diagnostic platform. CONCLUSIONS:: ColoPrint is able to predict the development of distant metastasis of patients with stage II colon cancer and facilitates the identification of patients who may be safely managed without chemotherapy.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Annals of surgery
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alterations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) can be observed in a significant subset of esophageal adenocarcinomas (EACs), and targeted therapy against EGFR may become an interesting approach for the treatment of these tumors. Mutations of KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase catalytic subunit (PIK3CA) and deregulation of PTEN expression influence the responsiveness against anti-EGFR therapy in colorectal carcinomas. We investigated the prevalence of these events in a collection of 117 primary resected EACs, correlated the findings with EGFR expression and amplification, and determined their clinicopathologic impact. KRAS mutations were detected in 4 (3%) of 117 tumors (3× G12D and 1 G12V mutation). One tumor had a PIK3CA E545K mutation. Neither NRAS nor BRAF mutations were detected. Sixteen (14%) of 117 cases were negative for PTEN expression, determined by immunohistochemistry. Loss of PTEN was observed predominantly in advanced tumor stages (P = .004). There was no association between PTEN and EGFR status. Loss of PTEN was associated with shorter overall and disease-free survival (P < .001 each) and also an independent prognostic factor in multivariate analysis (P = .015). EGFR status had no prognostic impact in this case collection. In summary, loss of PTEN can be detected in a significant subset of EAC and is associated with an aggressive phenotype. Therefore, PTEN may be useful as a prognostic biomarker. In contrast, mutations of RAS/RAF/PIK3CA appear only very rarely, if at all, in EAC. A possible predictive role of PTEN in anti-EGFR treatment warrants further investigations, whereas determination of RAS/RAF/PIK3CA mutations may only have a minor impact in this context.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cell (CSC) based gene expression signatures are associated with prognosis in various tumour types and CSCs are suggested to be particularly drug resistant. The aim of our study was first, to determine the prognostic significance of CSC-related gene expression in residual tumour cells of neoadjuvant-treated gastric cancer (GC) patients. Second, we wished to examine, whether expression alterations between pre- and post-therapeutic tumour samples exist, consistent with an enrichment of drug resistant tumour cells. The expression of 44 genes was analysed in 63 formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tumour specimens with partial tumour regression (10-50% residual tumour) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy by quantitative real time PCR low-density arrays. A signature of combined GSK3B(high), β-catenin (CTNNB1)(high) and NOTCH2(low) expression was strongly correlated with better patient survival (p<0.001). A prognostic relevance of these genes was also found analysing publically available gene expression data. The expression of 9 genes was compared between pre-therapeutic biopsies and post-therapeutic resected specimens. A significant post-therapeutic increase in NOTCH2, LGR5 and POU5F1 expression was found in tumours with different tumour regression grades. No significant alterations were observed for GSK3B and CTNNB1. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated a chemotherapy-associated increase in the intensity of NOTCH2 staining, but not in the percentage of NOTCH2. Taken together, the GSK3B, CTNNB1 and NOTCH2 expression signature is a novel, promising prognostic parameter for GC. The results of the differential expression analysis indicate a prominent role for NOTCH2 and chemotherapy resistance in GC, which seems to be related to an effect of the drugs on NOTCH2 expression rather than to an enrichment of NOTCH2 expressing tumour cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multivariate Cox regression analysis. Gene expression of GSK3B, CTNNB1, DNMT1 and the standard prognostic variables in GC, ypT, ypN, ypM and resection category were included in the model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Information on experimental details on quantitative real time PCR, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, the analysis of public microarray data and multivariate Cox regression based risk scores.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Western blot and immunohistochemistry with the anti-NOTCH2 antibody. A) The antibody directed against the NOTCH2 intracellular domain specifically detects the full length NOTCH2 protein above the 250 kDa marker as well as the cleaved forms NOTCH Extracellular Truncated (NEXT) and NOTCH Intracellular Domain (NICD) at approximately 110 kDa. B) A weak cytoplasmic immunohistochemical staining in the pre-therapeutic biopsy sample and C) a strong cytoplasmic staining in the corresponding post-therapeutic tumour with TRG2 is shown. Scale bars indicate 50 µm.