Marian H Harris

Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (29)332.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Importance Pediatric cancers represent a unique case with respect to cancer genomics and precision medicine, as the mutation frequency is low, and targeted therapies are less available. Consequently, it is unknown whether clinical sequencing can be of benefit.Objective To assess the feasibility of identifying actionable alterations and making individualized cancer therapy (iCat) recommendations in pediatric patients with extracranial solid tumors.Design, Setting, and Participants Clinical sequencing study at 4 academic medical centers enrolling patients between September 5, 2012, and November 19, 2013, with 1 year of clinical follow-up. Participants were 30 years or younger with high-risk, recurrent, or refractory extracranial solid tumors. The data analysis was performed October 28, 2014.Interventions Tumor profiling performed on archived clinically acquired specimens consisted of mutation detection by a Sequenom assay or targeted next-generation sequencing and copy number assessment by array comparative genomic hybridization. Results were reviewed by a multidisciplinary expert panel, and iCat recommendations were made if an actionable alteration was present, and an appropriate drug was available.Main Outcomes and Measures Feasibility was assessed using a 2-stage design based on the proportion of patients with recommendations.Results Of 100 participants (60 male; median [range] age, 13.4 [0.8-29.8] years), profiling was technically successful in 89 (89% [95% CI, 83%-95%]). Median (range) follow-up was 6.8 (2.0-23.6) months. Overall, 31 (31% [95% CI, 23%-41%]) patients received an iCat recommendation and 3 received matched therapy. The most common actionable alterations leading to an iCat recommendation were cancer-associated signaling pathway gene mutations (n = 10) and copy number alterations in MYC/MYCN (n = 6) and cell cycle genes (n = 11). Additional alterations with implications for clinical care but not resulting in iCat recommendations were identified, including mutations indicating the possible presence of a cancer predisposition syndrome and translocations suggesting a change in diagnosis. In total, 43 (43% [95% CI, 33%-53%]) participants had results with potential clinical significance.Conclusions and Relevance A multi-institution clinical genomics study in pediatric oncology is feasible and a substantial proportion of relapsed or refractory pediatric solid tumors have actionable alterations.Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01853345
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016
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    ABSTRACT: l-asparaginase is a universal component of treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and is usually administered intramuscularly. Pegylated Escherichia coli asparaginase (PEG-asparaginase) has a longer half-life and is potentially less immunogenic than the native Escherichia coli (E coli) preparation, and can be more feasibly administered intravenously. The aim of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Consortium Protocol 05-001 (DFCI 05-001) was to compare the relative toxicity and efficacy of intravenous PEG-asparaginase and intramuscular native E coli l-asparaginase in children with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · The Lancet Oncology
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    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Multivisceral transplantation represents an important treatment option for children with intestinal failure. The attendant immunosuppression can lead to a spectrum of cellular proliferations including benign and malignant smooth muscle tumors and lymphoproliferative disorders, many related to cellular dysregulation from Epstein-Barr virus infection. The purpose of this study is to investigate the rates of post-transplantation proliferative disorders among children with multivisceral transplantation and to characterize the imaging and pathological features of these disorders. We identified all consecutive children who underwent multivisceral transplant from August 2004 to October 2011 with at least 27 months of clinical and imaging follow-up. We reviewed medical records to determine the underlying causes of the multivisceral transplant, age at transplantation, onset of neoplasm development, and outcome. Two pediatric radiologists reviewed all imaging studies independently and diagnosis of disease was made by consensus interpretation. Pathological specimens were reviewed for histopathological findings of post-transplantation neoplasm in this pediatric patient population. The study population consisted of 14 consecutive pediatric patients (7 boys and 7 girls; mean age 26 months, range 4-113 months). Of these 14 children, 4 (29%) developed histologically confirmed post-transplant neoplasms at a mean time of 2.4 years after multivisceral transplantation. Types of neoplasms included post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) in three (21%) and Epstein-Barr-virus-associated smooth muscle tumor in two (14%). (One child developed both neoplasms following transplantation). Both children with smooth muscle tumor associated with Epstein-Barr virus presented with characteristic hypointense solid masses with peripheral rim enhancement on cross-sectional imaging studies. The mortality rate of children who developed post-transplant neoplasms was higher than that of those who did not develop post-transplant neoplasm (50% vs. 10%, P = 0.17), suggesting a possible risk factor for death. Post-transplant neoplasm in children with multivisceral transplantation occurs with high frequency, often presents as Epstein-Barr-virus-associated smooth muscle tumor showing characteristic peripheral rim enhancement on cross-sectional imaging studies.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Pediatric Radiology
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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric acquired aplastic anemia (AA) is a bone marrow disorder that is difficult to distinguish from inherited bone marrow failure syndrome and hypocellular refractory cytopenia of childhood (RCC). Historically, patients with hypocellular RCC have been given the diagnosis of AA. To assess the clinical and histologic distinction between RCC and AA, we performed a retrospective analysis of 149 patients previously diagnosed with AA between 1976-2010. We evaluated event free survival (EFS), overall survival (OS), response rates to immunosuppressive therapy, treatment-related toxicities and clonal evolution. The 5-year EFS and OS were 50.8%±5.5% and 73.1%±4.7%, respectively. Patients with very severe AA had worse OS compared to patients with severe and moderately severe AA. Seventy-two patients had diagnostic pathology specimens available for review. Three pediatric hematopathologists reviewed and reclassified these specimens as AA, RCC or Other based on 2008 WHO Criteria. The concordance between pathologists in the diagnosis of AA or RCC was modest. RCC was associated with a trend towards improved OS and EFS and was not prognostic of immunosuppression therapy treatment failure. There was a low rate of clonal evolution exclusively associated with moderately severe AA. Our findings indicate that a diagnosis of RCC is difficult to establish with certainty and does not predict outcomes, calling into question the reproducibility and clinical significance of the RCC classification and warranting further studies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · American Journal of Hematology
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    ABSTRACT: Down syndrome confers a 20-fold increased risk of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), and polysomy 21 is the most frequent somatic aneuploidy among all B-ALLs. Yet the mechanistic links between chromosome 21 triplication and B-ALL remain undefined. Here we show that germline triplication of only 31 genes orthologous to human chromosome 21q22 confers mouse progenitor B cell self renewal in vitro, maturation defects in vivo and B-ALL with either the BCR-ABL fusion protein or CRLF2 with activated JAK2. Chromosome 21q22 triplication suppresses histone H3 Lys27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) in progenitor B cells and B-ALLs, and 'bivalent' genes with both H3K27me3 and H3K4me3 at their promoters in wild-type progenitor B cells are preferentially overexpressed in triplicated cells. Human B-ALLs with polysomy 21 are distinguished by their overexpression of genes marked with H3K27me3 in multiple cell types. Overexpression of HMGN1, a nucleosome remodeling protein encoded on chromosome 21q22 (refs. 3,4,5), suppresses H3K27me3 and promotes both B cell proliferation in vitro and B-ALL in vivo.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Nature Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Relapsed paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) has high rates of treatment failure. Epigenetic regulators have been proposed as modulators of chemoresistance, here, we sequence genes encoding epigenetic regulators in matched diagnosis-remission-relapse ALL samples. We find significant enrichment of mutations in epigenetic regulators at relapse with recurrent somatic mutations in SETD2, CREBBP, MSH6, KDM6A and MLL2, mutations in signalling factors are not enriched. Somatic alterations in SETD2, including frameshift and nonsense mutations, are present at 12% in a large de novo ALL patient cohort. We conclude that the enrichment of mutations in epigenetic regulators at relapse is consistent with a role in mediating therapy resistance.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Although prognosis has improved for children with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), 20-30% of patients undergo induction failure (IF) or relapse. Leukemia-initiating cells (L-ICs) are hypothesized to be resistant to chemotherapy and to mediate relapse. We and others have shown that Notch1 directly regulates c-Myc, a known regulator of quiescence in stem and progenitor populations, leading us to examine whether c-Myc inhibition results in efficient targeting of T-ALL-initiating cells. We demonstrate that c-Myc suppression by shRNA or pharmacological approaches prevents leukemia initiation in mice by eliminating L-IC activity. Consistent with its anti-L-IC activity in mice, treatment with the BET bromodomain BRD4 inhibitor JQ1 reduces C-MYC expression and inhibits the growth of relapsed and induction failure (IF) pediatric T-ALL samples in vitro. These findings demonstrate a critical role for c-Myc in L-IC maintenance and provide evidence that MYC inhibition may be an effective therapy for relapsed/IF T-ALL patients.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: The somatic genomic alterations in pediatric cancers to some extent overlap with those seen in adult cancers, but the exact distribution throughout the genome and the types and frequency of alterations differ. The ultimate goal of genomic research in children, as with adults, is translation to the clinic to achieve more accurate diagnosis, more precise risk stratification, and more effective, less toxic therapy. The genomic features of pediatric malignancies and pediatric-specific issues in clinical investigation may make translating genomic discoveries to the clinic more difficult. However, through large-scale molecular profiling of pediatric tumors, continued coordinated efforts to evaluate novel therapies in the pediatric population, thoughtful phase II and III trial design, and continued drug development, genomically based therapies will become more common in the pediatric oncology clinic in the future.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Clinical Oncology

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Nature Chemical Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer cells engage in a metabolic program to enhance biosynthesis and support cell proliferation. The regulatory properties of pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) influence altered glucose metabolism in cancer. The interaction of PKM2 with phosphotyrosine-containing proteins inhibits enzyme activity and increases the availability of glycolytic metabolites to support cell proliferation. This suggests that high pyruvate kinase activity may suppress tumor growth. We show that expression of PKM1, the pyruvate kinase isoform with high constitutive activity, or exposure to published small-molecule PKM2 activators inhibits the growth of xenograft tumors. Structural studies reveal that small-molecule activators bind PKM2 at the subunit interaction interface, a site that is distinct from that of the endogenous activator fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP). However, unlike FBP, binding of activators to PKM2 promotes a constitutively active enzyme state that is resistant to inhibition by tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins. These data support the notion that small-molecule activation of PKM2 can interfere with anabolic metabolism.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Nature Chemical Biology
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    ABSTRACT: We report a 3-year-old boy who initially presented with abdominal pain and was subsequently found to have an esophageal perforation. The child did not respond to conservative management, and subsequent lymphadenopathy led to a lymph node biopsy demonstrating an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)+ anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Esophageal perforation and thickening is most commonly seen in children with a history of esophageal intervention or foreign body/caustic ingestion. Esophageal involvement in children with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has not, to our knowledge, been reported in the literature. This case illustrates an unusual presentation of pediatric NHL.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Pediatric Radiology
  • Marian H. Harris · Janina A. Longtine
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    ABSTRACT: A 51-year-old female came to the dermatology clinic with a 20 year history of a rash on her trunk and inner arms that had previously been diagnosed as chronic dermatitis. Physical exam revealed that approximately 10% of her body surface was involved by red to brown scaly patches. No lymphadenopathy or hepatosplenomegaly was present. A biopsy of the involved skin was obtained. Complete blood count and peripheral blood flow cytometry were within normal limits.
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2010
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    Marina Bousquet · Marian H Harris · Beiyan Zhou · Harvey F Lodish
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNA miR-125b has been implicated in several kinds of leukemia. The chromosomal translocation t(2;11)(p21;q23) found in patients with myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia leads to an overexpression of miR-125b of up to 90-fold normal. Moreover, miR-125b is also up-regulated in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia carrying the t(11;14)(q24;q32) translocation. To decipher the presumed oncogenic mechanism of miR-125b, we used transplantation experiments in mice. All mice transplanted with fetal liver cells ectopically expressing miR-125b showed an increase in white blood cell count, in particular in neutrophils and monocytes, associated with a macrocytic anemia. Among these mice, half died of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or a myeloproliferative neoplasm, suggesting an important role for miR-125b in early hematopoiesis. Furthermore, coexpression of miR-125b and the BCR-ABL fusion gene in transplanted cells accelerated the development of leukemia in mice, compared with control mice expressing only BCR-ABL, suggesting that miR-125b confers a proliferative advantage to the leukemic cells. Thus, we show that overexpression of miR-125b is sufficient both to shorten the latency of BCR-ABL-induced leukemia and to independently induce leukemia in a mouse model.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by biallelic SBDS gene mutations. Here we examined SBDS protein levels in human bone marrow. SBDS protein expression was high in neutrophil progenitors, megakaryocytes, plasma cells, and osteoblasts. In contrast, SBDS protein levels were low in all hematopoietic cell lineages from patients harboring the common SBDS mutations. We conclude that SBDS protein levels vary widely between specific marrow lineages. Uniformly low SBDS protein expression levels distinguish the majority of SDS patients from controls or other marrow failure syndromes.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Pediatric Blood & Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: Microcephaly affects approximately 1% of the population and is associated with mental retardation, motor defects and, in some cases, seizures. We analyzed the mechanisms underlying brain size determination in a mouse model of human microcephaly. The Hertwig's anemia (an) mutant shows peripheral blood cytopenias, spontaneous aneuploidy and a predisposition to hematopoietic tumors. We found that the an mutation is a genomic inversion of exon 4 of Cdk5rap2, resulting in an in-frame deletion of exon 4 from the mRNA. The finding that CDK5RAP2 human mutations cause microcephaly prompted further analysis of Cdk5rap2(an/an) mice and we demonstrated that these mice exhibit microcephaly comparable to that of the human disease, resulting from striking neurogenic defects that include proliferative and survival defects in neuronal progenitors. Cdk5rap2(an/an) neuronal precursors exit the cell cycle prematurely and many undergo apoptosis. These defects are associated with impaired mitotic progression coupled with abnormal mitotic spindle pole number and mitotic orientation. Our findings suggest that the reduction in brain size observed in humans with mutations in CDK5RAP2 is associated with impaired centrosomal function and with changes in mitotic spindle orientation during progenitor proliferation.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · Development
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    ABSTRACT: Extranodal natural killer (NK) cell/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, is a rare aggressive neoplasm, most commonly presenting as a destructive lesion in the nasal cavity and nasopharynx in middle-aged to older adults. About one third of cases present in an extranasal location, commonly involving skin and gastrointestinal tract, and usually occur in the absence of superficial lymphadenopathy. Diagnosis of this malignancy can be missed given its rarity and heterogeneous presentation. We describe a patient with an extranodal NK cell/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, who was initially diagnosed and treated for a presumed Mycobacterium marinum infection, after biopsies were unrevealing. However, after more serious complications developed, repeat biopsy was performed. An atypical lymphocytic infiltrate was noted, with cells being positive for NK cell/T-cell markers CD2, CD7, and CD3 (subset), as well as for cytotoxic lymphocyte markers perforin, T-cell intracellular antigen, and CD56. In situ hybridization for Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA was also positive. This case demonstrates an important diagnostic pitfall of confusing cutaneous involvement by an aggressive NK cell/T-cell lymphoma with an antibiotic-resistant infection. Repeat biopsies and close clinicopathologic correlation are essential for establishment of correct diagnosis.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2009 · The American Journal of dermatopathology
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    ABSTRACT: Many tumour cells have elevated rates of glucose uptake but reduced rates of oxidative phosphorylation. This persistence of high lactate production by tumours in the presence of oxygen, known as aerobic glycolysis, was first noted by Otto Warburg more than 75 yr ago. How tumour cells establish this altered metabolic phenotype and whether it is essential for tumorigenesis is as yet unknown. Here we show that a single switch in a splice isoform of the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase is necessary for the shift in cellular metabolism to aerobic glycolysis and that this promotes tumorigenesis. Tumour cells have been shown to express exclusively the embryonic M2 isoform of pyruvate kinase. Here we use short hairpin RNA to knockdown pyruvate kinase M2 expression in human cancer cell lines and replace it with pyruvate kinase M1. Switching pyruvate kinase expression to the M1 (adult) isoform leads to reversal of the Warburg effect, as judged by reduced lactate production and increased oxygen consumption, and this correlates with a reduced ability to form tumours in nude mouse xenografts. These results demonstrate that M2 expression is necessary for aerobic glycolysis and that this metabolic phenotype provides a selective growth advantage for tumour cells in vivo.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs are abundant in animal genomes and have been predicted to have important roles in a broad range of gene expression programmes. Despite this prominence, there is a dearth of functional knowledge regarding individual mammalian microRNAs. Using a loss-of-function allele in mice, we report here that the myeloid-specific microRNA-223 (miR-223) negatively regulates progenitor proliferation and granulocyte differentiation and activation. miR-223 (also called Mirn223) mutant mice have an expanded granulocytic compartment resulting from a cell-autonomous increase in the number of granulocyte progenitors. We show that Mef2c, a transcription factor that promotes myeloid progenitor proliferation, is a target of miR-223, and that genetic ablation of Mef2c suppresses progenitor expansion and corrects the neutrophilic phenotype in miR-223 null mice. In addition, granulocytes lacking miR-223 are hypermature, hypersensitive to activating stimuli and display increased fungicidal activity. As a consequence of this neutrophil hyperactivity, miR-223 mutant mice spontaneously develop inflammatory lung pathology and exhibit exaggerated tissue destruction after endotoxin challenge. Our data support a model in which miR-223 acts as a fine-tuner of granulocyte production and the inflammatory response.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2008 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: In animals, cells are dependent on extracellular signals to prevent apoptosis. However, using growth factor-dependent cells from Bax/Bak-deficient mice, we demonstrate that apoptosis is not essential to limit cell autonomous survival. Following growth factor withdrawal, Bax-/-Bak-/- cells activate autophagy, undergo progressive atrophy, and ultimately succumb to death. These effects result from loss of the ability to take up sufficient nutrients to maintain cellular bioenergetics. Despite abundant extracellular nutrients, growth factor-deprived cells maintain ATP production from catabolism of intracellular substrates through autophagy. Autophagy is essential for maintaining cell survival following growth factor withdrawal and can sustain viability for several weeks. During this time, cells respond to growth factor readdition by rapid restoration of the ability to take up and metabolize glucose and by subsequent recovery of their original size and proliferative potential. Thus, growth factor signal transduction is required to direct the utilization of sufficient exogenous nutrients to maintain cell viability.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · Cell

Publication Stats

5k Citations
332.81 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008-2015
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2010-2014
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2009
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2004
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2000-2004
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Cancer Biology - CBIO
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1999
    • University of Chicago
      • Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research
      Chicago, Illinois, United States