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  • 1
  • 2
    Keywords: MELANOMA ; MUTATIONS ; brain metastases ; BRAF ; BRAF V600 mutation ; immunhistochemistry ; VEMURAFENIB
    Abstract: Activating mutations of the serine threonine kinase v-RAF murine sarcoma viral oncogene homologue B1 (BRAF), most commonly of the V600E type, are found in a wide range of human neoplasms including primary and secondary brain tumors. Therapeutic BRAF inhibitors have shown clinically meaningful activity, particularly in metastatic BRAF V600E mutated melanoma including patients with brain metastases. Therefore, in current neuropathological practice BRAF testing is of clinical importance in tissue samples of melanoma brain metastases in order to identify cases amenable to therapy with BRAF inhibitors. BRAF mutation testing may also add additional information for differential diagnosis of primary brain tumors in selected situations, e.g., for differentiation of anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (BRAF V600E mutation in 65%) from glioblastoma (BRAF V600E mutation in 〈 5%). The BRAF mutation status can be tested with DNA-based methods and immunohistochemistry using a V600E mutation-specific antibody. In summary, at this point BRAF V600E testing is clinically indicated in relatively few cases of the daily clinical neuropathology practice, but has important predictive implications for patients with melanoma brain metastases. Depending on the results of additional clinical studies, determination of BRAF mutation status may become clinically relevant also for primary brain tumors such as glioblastoma in the future.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22385786
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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; KINASE ; ACTIVATION ; metastases ; MELANOMA ; SIGNALING PATHWAY ; MUTATIONS ; KRAS ; RAF ; SEROUS CARCINOMAS
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Genetic analyses have identified BRAF V600E mutations in a subset of ovarian carcinomas. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of BRAF V600E aberrant protein using a novel mutation-specific antibody in epithelial ovarian tumors. METHODS: We immunohistochemically analyzed expression of V600E-mutant BRAF protein in archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens of 142 epithelial ovarian tumors [98 invasive carcinomas and 44 tumors of low malignant potential (LMP)] using monoclonal antibody VE1. BRAF mutation status was validated in all immunopositive cases and in 6 immunonegative control cases by gene sequencing. RESULTS: We found anti-BRAF V600E immunolabeling in 4 serous carcinomas and 5 serous LMP. Presence of a BRAF V600E mutation was confirmed by sequencing analysis in 6 of the 9 cases (3 LMP tumors, 3 low-grade carcinomas). In 2 partially VE1-positive tumors deriving from 1 patient (1 LMP and 1 contralateral invasive high-grade serous carcinoma), genetic analysis repeatedly resulted in BRAF wild-type, arguing for false-positive immunostaining results. One immunopositive case was repeatedly inconclusive in genetic analysis. In all 6 genetically confirmed cases, BRAF V600E mutant protein expression was homogenous throughout the tumor tissue. CONCLUSIONS: We found BRAF V600E mutations in 13% (4/31) of serous LMP and 5% (3/62) of invasive serous carcinomas. No BRAF V600E mutations were detected in nonserous epithelial ovarian tumors. For reliable assessment of the BRAF V600E status in ovarian epithelial tumor samples, an integrated approach using immunohistochemistry and genetic analysis seems advisable, as both methods lead to incorrect results in some cases.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22820660
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  • 4
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Increased incidence of brain metastases (BM) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with ALK translocations was postulated, however, ALK gene aberrations in NSCLC-BM have not been investigated so far. METHODS: We investigated ALK and EML4 gene aberrations (amplifications, translocations, inversions) by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) (n=175) and ALK and EML4 protein expression by immunohistochemistry (n=221) in NSCLC BM and corresponding primary tumors. RESULTS: ALK translocations were found in 4/151 (2.6%; 3 of them involving EML4) of BM of adenocarcinomas (AC), 1/9 (11.1%) of adenosquamous carcinomas (ASC), 0/5 of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and 0/10 of large cell carcinomas (LCC). Rearrangement of ALK without involvement of EML4 was seen in 1 AC-BM and rearrangement of EML4 without involvement of ALK in 3 AC-BM, 1 ASC-BM and 1 LCC. ALK amplifications without gene rearrangements were found in BM of 16/151 (10.6%) AC, 2/5 (40%) SCC, 0/9 ASC and one LCC. ALK translocation status was constant between BM and primary tumors in 16 evaluable cases including two cases with ALK-EML4 translocations Among these 16 cases ALK amplification was seen in two BM and none of the primary tumors. All cases with translocations but not with amplifications of ALK showed protein expression. We found no association of ALK gene status with patient age, gender or overall survival time. CONCLUSIONS: ALK translocations and amplifications are found in approximately 3% and 11% of NSCLC-BM, respectively. While ALK translocations appear to be constant between primary tumors and BM, amplifications seem to be more prevalent in BM. ALK translocation, but not ALK amplification is associated with ALK protein overexpression. Further studies are needed to determine whether NSCLC-BM patients with ALK gene aberrations may benefit from specific inhibitor therapy.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23453647
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  • 5
    Keywords: RECEPTOR ; CELL CARCINOMA
    Abstract: OBJECTIVES: FGFR1 amplifications are common in squamous cell carcinoma and rare in adenocarcinoma of the lung, but have not been investigated in brain metastases of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for FGFR1 and immunohistochemistry for pAKT, PI3K, HIF1a and Ki67 in 175 NSCLC brain metastases and 11 matched primary tumors. ALK gene rearrangement status was available from a previous study. We performed statistical correlations of clinical, histopathological and molecular data. RESULTS: FGFR1 amplifications were found in a total of 30/175 (17%) brain metastases: 4/21 (19%) squamous cell carcinomas, 20/130 (15.3%) adenocarcinomas, 2/12 (16.6%) adenosquamous carcinomas, 4/9 (44.4%) large cell carcinomas and 0/3 neuroendocrine large cell carcinoma. FGFR1 gene status was identical between primary tumors and brain metastases in 9/11 evaluable cases. In 2/11 cases (1 adenosquamous and 1 large cell carcinoma), FGFR1 amplifications were present only in the brain metastasis and not in the primary tumor. Furthermore, we found a significant positive correlation of ALK and FGFR1 gene amplification status in brain metastases (p〈0.001, Chi square test). Patients with high-level FGFR1 amplifications had significantly higher number of visceral metastases (p〈0.001, Chi square test). CONCLUSION: Our findings argue for an enrichment of FGFR1 amplifications in brain metastases of adenocarcinomas (where they were 5-fold more frequent than reported for primary tumors) and possibly also of other non-squamous carcinomas, but not in squamous cell carcinomas of the lung. These results may be relevant for targeted therapy and prophylaxis of NSCLC brain metastases.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24183471
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  • 6
    Keywords: SURVIVAL ; carcinoma ; ACTIVATION ; protein expression ; EGFR ; C-MET ; GENE COPY NUMBER ; ALK ; TUMOR REGISTRY
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: CMET represents an emerging therapy target for monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). METHODS: We investigated CMET gene amplification status by fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and CMET protein expression by immunohistochemistry in a large series of 209 NSCLC brain metastases (BM; 165 adenocarcinoma, 20 squamous cell carcinoma, 11 adenosquamous carcinomas, 11 large cell carcinomas and two large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas) and correlated our results to clinic-pathological parameters and molecular data from previous studies. RESULTS: We found CMET gene amplification in 36/167 (21.6%) and CMET protein expression in 87/196 (44.4%) of evaluable BM. There was a strong correlation between the presence of CMET gene amplification and CMET protein expression (P 〈 0.001, chi-square test). Furthermore, presence of CMET amplification correlated positively with presence of ALK amplifications (P = 0.039, chi-square test) and high HIF1 alpha index (P = 0.013, Mann-Whitney U-test). Neither CMET expression nor CMET gene amplification status correlated with patient outcome parameters or known prognostic factors. CONCLUSIONS: CMET overexpression and CMET amplification are commonly found in NSCLC BM and may represent a promising therapeutic target.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25039982
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  • 7
    Keywords: CELL LUNG-CANCER ; FOLLOW-UP ; brain metastases ; ADJUVANT CHEMOTHERAPY ; EGFR MUTATIONS ; TARGETED THERAPIES ; CLINICAL-PRACTICE GUIDELINES ; OPEN-LABEL ; HER2-POSITIVE BREAST-CANCER ; MUTATION-POSITIVE MELANOMA
    Abstract: Metastases to the central nervous system (CNS) are common in several cancer types. For most primary tumors that commonly metastasize to the CNS, molecular biomarker analyses are recommended in the clinical setting for selection of appropriate targeted therapies. Therapeutic efficacy of some of these agents has been documented in patients with brain metastases, and molecular testing of CNS metastases should be considered in the clinical setting. Here, we summarize the clinically relevant biomarker tests that should be considered in neurosurgical specimens based on the current recommendations of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) or the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for the most relevant primary tumor types: lung cancer (EGFR mutations, ALK rearrangement, BRAF mutations), breast cancer (HER2 amplification, steroid receptor overexpression), melanoma (BRAF mutations), and colorectal cancer (RAS mutations). Furthermore, we discuss emerging therapeutic targets including novel oncogenic alterations (ROS1 rearrangements, FGFR1 amplifications, CMET amplifications, and others) and molecular features of the tumor microenvironment (including immune-checkpoint molecules such as CTLA4 and PD-1/PD-L1). We also discuss the potential role of advanced biomarker tests such as next-generation sequencing and "liquid biopsies" for patients with CNS metastases.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25287912
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  • 8
    Abstract: In primary melanoma, ETV1 transcription factor was suggested to be activated mainly by gene amplification and to promote tumor growth in cooperation with BRAF (V600E) . Aim of this study was to investigate ETV1 expression in human melanoma with a focus on brain metastases. We investigated ETV1 in 68 human melanoma brain metastases using FISH for ETV1 gene (located at chromosome 7p21) and centromere chromosome 7 and immunohistochemistry for ETV1, BRAF (V600E) , and ETV1/BRAF associated proteins pMSK1, pRSK1, pp38, pMEK1/2, MAPKAP kinase 2, CIC, HIF-1alpha and Ki-67. We further studied ETV1 copy number variations in 32 melanoma cell lines from primary and metastatic lesions using array CGH. The influence of the MAP kinase pathway activity on ETV1 mRNA and protein expression under BRAF wild-type and BRAF (V600E) conditions were determined in melanoma cell lines using qRT-PCR and Western Blot. No ETV1 high grade amplifications were observed in tissue samples, but low grade ETV1 gene amplifications were found in 7 (10.3 %) melanoma brain metastases. ETV1 protein expression in tissue samples (15 %) correlated with BRAF (V600E) status (p = 0.007) and HIF-1alpha expression (p = 0.049), but not with ETV1 gene dose. Application of the BRAF(V600E)-specific inhibitor vemurafenib and the BRAF(V6ooE/V600K)-inhibitor dabrafenib revealed predominant regulation of ETV-1 mRNA and protein via MAPK-pathway. ETV1 expression is a rare event in human melanoma and seems to be rather based on hyperactivation of MAPK signals, by BRAF (V600E) mutation, than on ETV1 gene amplification. Consequently, therapeutic inhibition of BRAF and the downstream MAPK pathway also down-regulates oncogenic ETV1 expression.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25073704
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  • 9
    Abstract: Astrocytic brain tumours, including glioblastomas, are incurable neoplasms characterized by diffusely infiltrative growth. Here we show that many tumour cells in astrocytomas extend ultra-long membrane protrusions, and use these distinct tumour microtubes as routes for brain invasion, proliferation, and to interconnect over long distances. The resulting network allows multicellular communication through microtube-associated gap junctions. When damage to the network occurred, tumour microtubes were used for repair. Moreover, the microtube-connected astrocytoma cells, but not those remaining unconnected throughout tumour progression, were protected from cell death inflicted by radiotherapy. The neuronal growth-associated protein 43 was important for microtube formation and function, and drove microtube-dependent tumour cell invasion, proliferation, interconnection, and radioresistance. Oligodendroglial brain tumours were deficient in this mechanism. In summary, astrocytomas can develop functional multicellular network structures. Disconnection of astrocytoma cells by targeting their tumour microtubes emerges as a new principle to reduce the treatment resistance of this disease.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26536111
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  • 10
    Abstract: Programmed death 1 (PD-1, CD279) and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1, CD274) are involved in generating tumor-associated immunosuppression by suppression of T-cell proliferation and interleukin 2 (IL-2) production and immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting these molecules are showing compelling activity against a variety of human cancers. PD-L1 expression has shown a positive association with response to PD-1 inhibition in noncentral nervous system (CNS) tumors, e.g., melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer, and is discussed as a potential predictive biomarker for patient selection in these tumor types. This review summarizes current knowledge and potential clinical implications of PD-L1 expression in glioblastoma. At present, the following conclusions are drawn: (a) functional data support a role for PD-1/PD-L1 in tumor-associated immunosuppression in glioblastoma; (b) the incidence of PD-L1-expressing glioblastomas seems to be relatively high in comparison to other tumor types, however, the reported rates of glioblastomas with PD-L1 protein expression vary and range from 61 to 88%; (c) there is considerable variability in the methodology of PD-L1 assessment in glioblastoma across studies with heterogeneity in utilized antibodies, tissue sampling strategies, immunohistochemical staining protocols, cut-off definitions, and evaluated staining patterns; (d) there are conflicting data on the prognostic role and so far no data on the predictive role of PD-L1 gene and protein expression in glioblastoma. In summary, the ongoing clinical studies evaluating the activity of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors in glioblastoma need to be complemented with well designed and stringently executed studies to understand the influence of PD-1/PD-L1 expression on therapy response or failure and to develop robust means of PD-L1 assessment for meaningful biomarker development.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26501438
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