[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma (MB), a primitive neuroectodermal tumor, is the most common malignant childhood brain tumor and remains incurable in about a third of patients. Currently, survivors carry a significant burden of late treatment effects. The p53 tumor suppressor protein plays a crucial role in influencing cell survival in response to cellular stress and while the p53 pathway is considered a key determinant of anti-tumor responses in many tumors, its role in cell survival in MB is much less well defined. Herein, we report that the experimental drug VMY-1-103 acts through induction of a partial DNA damage-like response as well induction of non-survival autophagy. Surprisingly, the genetic or chemical silencing of p53 significantly enhanced the cytotoxic effects of both VMY and the DNA damaging drug, doxorubicin. The inhibition of p53 in the presence of VMY revealed increased late stage apoptosis, increased DNA fragmentation and increased expression of genes involved in apoptosis, including CAPN12 and TRPM8, p63, p73, BIK, EndoG, CIDEB, P27Kip1 and P21cip1. These data provide the groundwork for additional studies on VMY as a therapeutic drug and support further investigations into the intriguing possibility that targeting p53 function may be an effective means of enhancing clinical outcomes in MB.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic characterization of medulloblastoma has improved molecular risk classification but struggles to define functional biological processes, particularly for the most aggressive subgroups. We present here a novel proteomic approach to this problem using a reference library of stable isotope labeled medulloblastoma-specific proteins as a spike-in standard for accurate quantification of the tumor proteome. Utilizing high-resolution mass spectrometry, we quantified the tumor proteome of group 3 medulloblastoma cells and demonstrate that high-risk MYC amplified tumors can be segregated based on protein expression patterns. We cross-validated the differentially expressed protein candidates using an independent transcriptomic data set and further confirmed them in a separate cohort of medulloblastoma tissue samples to identify the most robust proteogenomic differences. Interestingly, highly expressed proteins associated with MYC-amplified tumors were significantly related to glycolytic metabolic pathways via alternative splicing of pyruvate kinase (PKM) by heterogeneous ribonucleoproteins (HNRNPs). Furthermore, when maintained under hypoxic conditions, these MYC-amplified tumors demonstrated increased viability compared to non-amplified tumors within the same subgroup. Taken together, these findings highlight the power of proteomics as an integrative platform to help prioritize genetic and molecular drivers of cancer biology and behavior.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The expression of members of the Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases and their ephrin ligands is frequently dysregulated in medulloblastomas. We assessed the expression and functional role of EphB1 in medulloblastoma cell lines and engineered mouse models. mRNA and protein expression profiling showed expression of EphB1 receptor in the human medulloblastoma cell lines DAOY and UW228. EphB1 downregulation reduced cell growth and viability, decreased the expression of important cell cycle regulators, and increased the percentage of cells in G1 phase of the cell cycle. It also modulated the expression of proliferation, and cell survival markers. In addition, EphB1 knockdown in DAOY cells resulted in significant decrease in migration, which correlated with decreased β1-integrin expression and levels of phosphorylated Src. Furthermore, EphB1 knockdown enhanced cellular radiosensitization of medulloblastoma cells in culture and in a genetically engineered mouse medulloblastoma model. Using genetically engineered mouse models, we established that genetic loss of EphB1 resulted in a significant delay in tumor recurrence following irradiation compared to EphB1-expressing control tumors. Taken together, our findings establish that EphB1 plays a key role in medulloblastoma cell growth, viability, migration, and radiation sensitivity, making EphB1 a promising therapeutic target.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PTC299 is a novel, orally-bioavailable small molecule that selectively inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor receptor protein synthesis at the post-transcriptional level. Based on promising preclinical results, we conducted a pediatric phase I study to estimate the maximum tolerated dose, describe dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) and characterize the pharmacokinetic profile of PTC299 in children with recurrent CNS tumors. PTC299 was administered orally twice or three times daily, depending on the regimen. Four regimens were evaluated using the rolling 6 design, starting with 1.2 mg/kg/dose twice daily and escalating to 2 mg/kg/dose three times daily. Pharmacokinetic studies were performed during the first two courses. Twenty-seven children (14 male, median age 11.2, range 5.5-21 years) with recurrent brain tumors were treated; 21 were fully evaluable for toxicity assessment. Therapy was well-tolerated, and the only DLT was grade 3 hyponatremia. Grade three and grade four toxicities were uncommon in subsequent cycles. Median AUC0-Tlast values at the 2 mg/kg were similar to those observed in adults. The study was terminated while patients were being treated at the highest planned dose, due to hepatotoxicity encountered in the ongoing adult phase I studies. No complete or partial responses were observed. Two patients with low-grade gliomas were noted to have minor responses, and at the time of the study's closure, 5 children with low-grade gliomas had been on therapy for 8 or more courses (range 8-16). PTC299 was well-tolerated at the highest dose level tested (2 mg/kg/dose TID) in children with recurrent brain tumors and prolonged disease stabilization was seen in children with low-grade gliomas.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Neuro-Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic studies of glioma sub-types have amassed new disease specific mutations, yet these only partially explain how mutations are linked to predisposition or progression. We hypothesized that microsatellite variation could expand the understanding of glioma etiology. Furthermore, germline markers for gliomas are typically undetectable; therefore we also hypothesize that the predictability of cancer-associated microsatellite loci in germline DNA may support the current hypothesis of a glioma cell of origin.
In this study, “normal” germline exome sequenced DNA from the 1000 Genomes Project (n=390) were compared with exome sequences from germlines of subjects with WHO grade II and III lower-grade glioma (LGG, n=136) and WHO grade IV glioblastoma (GBM, n=252) from The Cancer Genome Atlas to identify microsatellite loci non-randomly associated with glioma. From germline data, we identified 48 GBM-specific loci, 42 Lower-grade glioma specific loci and 29 loci that distinguish GBM from LGG (p≤ 0.01). We then attempted to distinguish WHO grade II glioma (n=67) from GBM resulting in 8 informative loci. Significantly, in all glioma grades, comparisons between tumor and matched germline sequences demonstrated no significant differences in these variants (p≥ 0.01). Therefore, these microsatellite loci are considered to be components of grade-specific signatures for glioma which distinguish germline sequences of individuals with cancer from those of individuals that are “normal”. In order to better understand the significance of these loci, we identified biological processes enriched in genes with these variants. Most strikingly, six helicase genes were enriched in the GBM cohort (p≤ 1.0 ×10−3). The preservation of these glioma-specific loci could therefore serve as valuable diagnostic and therapeutic markers; especially since the heterogeneity of tumor cell populations can obscure the identification of mutations preceding a metastatic phenotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: LMD in children with recurrent medulloblastoma and other PNETs carries a poor prognosis and novel therapies are
urgently needed to improve disease control. Somatostatin receptor-2 (SSR-2)is overexpressed in medulloblastoma and other central
PNETs and can serve as a target for radionuclide tagged somatostatin analogues like 177Lu-DOTA-TATE that has shown considerable efficacy in adults with SSR-2 positive neuro-endocrine tumors. As a preliminary step
prior to testing this agent in children with LMD, we performed an efficacy study of i.t. 177Lu-DOTA-TATE in athymic rats bearing LMD from MBL. METHODS: The subarachnoid space was accessed through the animal's cervical
spine and a catheter was threaded along the dorsal aspect of spinal cord to the lumbar region and injected with 1 x 107 D341 human MBL cells and treatment initiated 3 days later. Groups of 10 animals received a single i.t. dose of 2, 3, or 5
mCi of 177Lu- DOTA-TATE or saline control. Animals were followed 300 days for survival. RESULTS: Treatment with 2 mCi resulted in an
increase in median survival of 58.3% compared with saline control (p < 0.001). Treatment with 5.0 mCi of 177Lu-DOTA-TATE increased median survival by 75.0% compared with the saline control group while a single dose of 3.0 mCi 177Lu-DOTA-TATE increased median survival compared with saline controls by 519.4%. Long-term survivors were seen in 0 of 10 animals
treated with saline, 4 of 11 treated with 3 mCi, and 3 of 12 treated with 5.0 mCi. CONCLUSION: Intrathecal 177Lu- DOTA TATE is efficacious in controlling LMD from medulloblastoma in athymic rats. A phase I trial of this agent is being
planned in children with LMD from recurrent MBL and other CNS PNETs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: There are only a few reports of brain irradiation during pregnancy. The probable effects of radiation exposure
during foetal period include mental retardation, anatomical malformations, carcinogenesis and death of embryo or foetus.We
report a method for reducing foetal dose while delivering radiotherapy for brain tumours during pregnancy. We modified the
shielding techique described by Magne et al. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A young woman underwent craniotomy and decompression in
May 2004 for left insular astrocytoma (WHO grade II) extending to temporal and frontal lobes and was referred for radiotherapy.
She was at 20 weeks gestation and not willing for therapeutic abortion. 3-Dimensional Conformal treatment was planned on CT-MRI
fusion image and was delivered by 4 fields (AP, PA Right and Left Lateral) in Linear Accelerator using 6MV photons. Total
dose was 60Gy in 30 fractions (50Gy/ 25 fractions for initial CTV followed by boost of 10Gy/5 fractions). Precautions were
taken to reduce foetal dose due to leakage radiation. AP/PA treatment was isocentric at 100cm SAD and lateral fields were
treated at extended SSD of 115cm. Collimators were rotated to 90 degrees for all fields to provide maximum shielding from
head leakage. Wedges were avoided in all fields. 5 cm thick lead shields were provided for lateral fields. RESULTS: Phantom
measurements estimated foetal dose of 0.8cGy while delivering 60Gy and measurement on lower abdominal surface using survey
meter showed total foetal dose of 0.63cGy for the entire treatment. A healthy female baby was delivered by caesarian section
in August 2004.The patient developed recurrence in July 2005 for which a revision surgery was done and she expired in November
2005. The child showed normal growth and development at last follow up in September 2013.She is now 9 years old. CONCLUSION:
Foetal dose was significantly reduced compared to published reports in literature.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Monitoring young children with optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) for visual deterioration can be difficult owing to age-related noncompliance. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) measures of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness have been proposed as a surrogate marker of vision but this technique is also limited by patient cooperation. OBJECTIVE To determine whether measures of circumpapillary RNFL thickness, acquired with handheld OCT (HH-OCT) during sedation, can differentiate between young children with and without vision loss from OPGs. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This cross-sectional analysis of a prospective observational study was conducted at a tertiary-care children's hospital. Children with an OPG (sporadic or secondary to neurofibromatosis type 1) who were cooperative for visual acuity testing, but required sedation to complete magnetic resonance imaging, underwent HH-OCT imaging of the circumpapillary RNFL while sedated. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the average and quadrant-specific RNFL thicknesses. RESULTS Thirty-three children (64 eyes) met inclusion criteria (median age, 4.8 years; range, 1.8-12.6 years). In children with vision loss (abnormal visual acuity and/or visual field), RNFL thickness was decreased in all quadrants compared with the normal-vision group (P < .001 for all comparisons). Using abnormal criteria of less than 5% and less than 1%, the area under the curve was highest for the average RNFL thickness (0.96 and 0.97, respectively) compared with specific anatomic quadrants. The highest discrimination and predictive values were demonstrated for participants with 2 or more quadrants meeting less than 5% (sensitivity = 93.3; specificity = 97.9; positive predictive value = 93.3; and negative predictive value = 97.9) and less than 1% (sensitivity = 93.3; specificity = 100; positive predictive value = 100; and negative predictive value = 98.0) criteria. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Measures of RNFL thickness acquired with HH-OCT during sedation can differentiate between young children with and without vision loss from OPGs. For young children who do not cooperate with vision testing, HH-OCT measures may be a surrogate marker of vision. Longitudinal studies are needed to delineate the temporal relationship between RNFL decline and vision loss.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Jama Ophthalmology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a highly morbid form of pediatric brainstem glioma. Here, we present the first comprehensive protein, mRNA, and methylation profiles of fresh-frozen DIPG specimens (n = 14), normal brain tissue (n = 10), and other pediatric brain tumors (n = 17). Protein profiling identified 2,305 unique proteins indicating distinct DIPG protein expression patterns compared to other pediatric brain tumors. Western blot and immunohistochemistry validated upregulation of Clusterin (CLU), Elongation Factor 2 (EF2), and Talin-1 (TLN1) in DIPGs studied. Comparisons to mRNA expression profiles generated from tumor and adjacent normal brain tissue indicated two DIPG subgroups, characterized by upregulation of Myc (N-Myc) or Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. We validated upregulation of PTCH, a membrane receptor in the Hh signaling pathway, in a subgroup of DIPG specimens. DNA methylation analysis indicated global hypomethylation of DIPG compared to adjacent normal tissue specimens, with differential methylation of 24 genes involved in Hh and Myc pathways, correlating with protein and mRNA expression patterns. Sequencing analysis showed c.83A>T mutations in the H3F3A or HIST1H3B gene in 77 % of our DIPG cohort. Supervised analysis revealed a unique methylation pattern in mutated specimens compared to the wild-type DIPG samples. This study presents the first comprehensive multidimensional protein, mRNA, and methylation profiling of pediatric brain tumor specimens, detecting the presence of two subgroups within our DIPG cohort. This multidimensional analysis of DIPG provides increased analytical power to more fully explore molecular signatures of DIPGs, with implications for evaluating potential molecular subtypes and biomarker discovery for assessing response to therapy.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Acta Neuropathologica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tumor suppressor gene HIC1 (Hypermethylated In Cancer 1) is located in 17p13.3 a region frequently hypermethylated or deleted in tumors and in a contiguous-gene syndrome, the Miller-Dieker syndrome which includes classical lissencephaly (smooth brain) and severe developmental defects. HIC1 encodes a transcriptional repressor involved in the regulation of growth control, DNA damage response and cell migration properties. We previously demonstrated that the membrane-associated G-protein-coupled receptors CXCR7, ADRB2 and the tyrosine kinase receptor EphA2 are direct target genes of HIC1. Here we show that ectopic expression of HIC1 in U2OS and MDA-MB-231 cell lines decreases expression of the ApoER2 and VLDLR genes, encoding two canonical tyrosine kinase receptors for Reelin. Conversely, knock-down of endogenous HIC1 in BJ-Tert normal human fibroblasts through RNA interference results in the up-regulation of these two Reelin receptors. Finally, through chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) in BJ-Tert fibroblasts, we demonstrate that HIC1 is a direct transcriptional repressor of ApoER2 and VLDLR. These data provide evidence that HIC1 is a new regulator of the Reelin pathway which is essential for the proper migration of neuronal precursors during the normal development of the cerebral cortex, of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum and of mammary epithelial cells. Deregulation of this pathway through HIC1 inactivation or deletion may contribute to its role in tumor promotion. Moreover, HIC1, through the direct transcriptional repression of ATOH1 and the Reelin receptors ApoER2 and VLDLR, could play an essential role in normal cerebellar development.
Preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because definitive resection or radiotherapy for pediatric low-grade gliomas (LGGs) may be associated with severe and permanent adverse effects, medical management has taken a significant role. Bevacizumab-based therapy has demonstrated encouraging responses; however, longer-term toxicity, response durability and alternative dosing regimens have not been evaluated.
This was a retrospective review of children with multiply recurrent, progressive LGGs treated with bevacizumab-based therapy and followed for at least 12 months after treatment completion. Toxicity was uniformly graded and imaging was centrally reviewed.
All fourteen patients had failed at least two prior treatment regimens; six had dissemination. Patients received initial bevacizumab-based therapy at a median age of 5.3 years (range, 1–12 years). Median treatment duration was 12 months (range, 1–24 months). 12 patients had an objective response; 2 had stable disease. Median time to maximum response was 9 weeks (range, 7–17 weeks). No patients progressed on therapy, although 13/14 progressed after stopping bevacizumab at a median of 5 months. Four patients were re-treated with bevacizumab and all again responded or stabilized. Alternative dosing strategies were effective, including bevacizumab monotherapy and prolonging the dosing interval to 3 weeks. High-grade bevacizumab-related toxicities consisted of grade 3 proteinuria (n = 2), primary inflammatory arthritis (n = 1), and somnolence (n = 1). Toxicities resolved within 6 months of treatment cessation except one case of hypertension.
Bevacizumab-based therapy is successful at inducing rapid LGG response. Patients progressing off-therapy may be successfully re-treated with bevacizumab. Nearly all tumors progress once treatment is discontinued. Toxicities are not insignificant but usually reversible. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013; 60: 776–782.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Pediatric Blood & Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
The tumor suppressor gene HIC1 (Hypermethylated in Cancer 1), which encodes a transcriptional repressor with multiple partners and multiple targets, is epigenetically silenced but not mutated in tumors. HIC1 has broad biological roles during normal development and is implicated in many canonical processes of cancer such as control of cell growth, cell survival upon genotoxic stress, cell migration, and motility.
The HIC1 literature herein discussed includes its discovery as a candidate tumor suppressor gene hypermethylated or deleted in many human tumors, animal models establishing it as tumor suppressor gene, its role as a sequence-specific transcriptional repressor recruiting several chromatin regulatory complexes, its cognate target genes, and its functional roles in normal tissues. Finally, this review discusses how its loss of function contributes to the early steps in tumorigenesis.
Given HIC1's ability to direct repressive complexes to sequence-specific binding sites associated with its target genes, its loss results in specific changes in the transcriptional program of the cell. An understanding of this program through identification of HIC1's target genes and their involvement in feedback loops and cell process regulation will yield the ability to leverage this knowledge for therapeutic translation.
No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular hemangioma is a subtype of hemangioma that is associated with cellular immaturity and the potential for recurrence. Intracranial location of these lesions is extremely rare, and definitive treatment often requires radical neurosurgical resection. The authors report a case of a 12-year-old boy with a subtemporal cellular hemangioma. He underwent gross-total resection of the tumor, but within 1.5 months the tumor recurred, necessitating a second resection. Because of its proximity to vascular structures, only subtotal resection was possible. Repeat MRI 1 month after the second surgery showed significant tumor recurrence. Given the tumor's demonstrated capacity for recurrence and its proximity to the vein of Labbé and sigmoid sinus, further resection was not indicated. In an effort to limit radiation therapy for this young patient, treatment with bevacizumab and temozolomide was chosen and achieved a complete response that has proven durable for 36 months after cessation of therapy. This is the first report of the successful use of chemotherapy to treat an intracranial hemangioma, a rare condition with limited therapeutic options.
Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biologically accurate mouse models of human cancer have become important tools for the study of human disease. The anatomical location of various target organs, such as brain, pancreas, and prostate, makes determination of disease status difficult. Imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging, can greatly enhance diagnosis, and longitudinal imaging of tumor progression is an important source of experimental data. Even in models where the tumors arise in areas that permit visual determination of tumorigenesis, longitudinal anatomical and functional imaging can enhance the scope of studies by facilitating the assessment of biological alterations, (such as changes in angiogenesis, metabolism, cellular invasion) as well as tissue perfusion and diffusion. One of the challenges in preclinical imaging is the development of infrastructural platforms required for integrating in vivo imaging and therapeutic response data with ex vivo pathological and molecular data using a more systems-based multiscale modeling approach. Further challenges exist in integrating these data for computational modeling to better understand the pathobiology of cancer and to better affect its cure. We review the current applications of preclinical imaging and discuss the implications of applying functional imaging to visualize cancer progression and treatment. Finally, we provide new data from an ongoing preclinical drug study demonstrating how multiscale modeling can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of cancer biology and therapy.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · American Journal Of Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of new small molecule-based therapeutic drugs requires accurate quantification of drug bioavailability, biological activity and treatment efficacy. Rapidly measuring these endpoints is often hampered by the lack of efficient assay platforms with high sensitivity and specificity. Using an in vivo model system, we report a simple and sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay to quantify the bioavailability of a recently developed novel cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor VMY-1-103, a purvalanol B-based analog whose biological activity is enhanced via dansylation. We developed a rapid organic phase extraction technique and validated wide and functional VMY-1-103 distribution in various mouse tissues, consistent with its enhanced potency previously observed in a variety of human cancer cell lines. More importantly, in vivo MRI and single voxel proton MR-Spectroscopy further established that VMY-1-103 inhibited disease progression and affected key metabolites in a mouse model of hedgehog-driven medulloblastoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of the cell secretome have greatly increased in recent years owing to improvements in proteomic platforms, mass spectrometry instrumentation and to the increased interaction between analytical chemists, biologists and clinicians. Several secretome studies have been implemented in different areas of research, leading to the generation of a valuable secretome catalogs. Secreted proteins continue to be an important source of biomarkers and therapeutic target discovery and are equally valuable in the field of microbiology. Several discoveries have been achieved in vitro using cell culture systems, ex vivo using human tissue specimens and in vivo using animal models. In this review, some of the most recent advances in secretome studies and the fields that have benefited the most from this evolving technology are highlighted.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Expert Review of Proteomics