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  • 1
    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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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; CELLS ; GROWTH ; tumor ; CELL LUNG-CANCER ; ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH-FACTOR ; PHASE-I ; THERAPY ; prognosis ; NUDE-MICE ; MIGRATION ; CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM ; INTRACRANIAL METASTASES ; brain metastases ; HUMAN BREAST-CANCER ; MELANOMA-CELLS ; FACTOR EXPRESSION ; Molecular targets ; CLINICAL-PRACTICE GUIDELINE ; Pathobiology
    Abstract: Brain metastases (BM) are common in cancer patients and are associated with high morbidity and poor prognosis, even after intensive multimodal therapy including resection, radiotherapy (stereotactic radiosurgery or whole brain radiotherapy) and chemotherapy. However, advances in the understanding of the pathobiology of BM and the development of molecular targeted agents hold promise for improved prophylaxis and therapy of BM. Here we provide a comprehensive review of the current concepts on mechanisms of the brain-metastatic cascade involving hematogenous dissemination of tumor cells, attachment to microvessel endothelial cells, extravasation into the brain, interaction with the local microenvironment, angiogenesis and intraparenchymal proliferation. Transendothelial migration depends on adhesion molecules such as integrins, selectins and chemokines. Tumor cells invade the brain by degrading extracellular matrix components using heparanase and matrix metalloproteinases. Astrocytes and microglial cells exert not only anti-, but also pro-neoplastic effects on brain-invading tumor cells. Some tumor types (e.g. melanoma) show prominent cooption of preexisting vasculature, while other tumor types (e.g. lung cancer) tend to show early angiogenesis after brain invasion. In this article we also critically summarize the data on currently studied targeted therapeutics in BM especially in the context of recent preclinical data. The most promising agents for BM patients include anti-angiogenic drugs, inhibitors of v-RAF murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) for BRAF V600E mutated melanoma and inhibitors of epithelial growth factor receptor for non-small cell lung cancer. Molecular analysis of the BRAF V600E status of melanoma BM using DNA-based methods or immunohistochemistry may soon enter the routine neuropathological practice.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22212630
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  • 4
    Keywords: CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; BREAST-CANCER ; SIGNAL TRANSDUCER ; ESOPHAGEAL CANCER ; Stat3 ; BEVACIZUMAB ; ADVANCED GASTRIC-CANCER ; TRANSCRIPTION 3 ; HER-2 STATUS
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Brain metastases (BM) of gastro-oesophageal cancer are exceedingly rare and only limited data exist on their pathobiology. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We identified tissue samples of BM of gastro-oesophageal cancer and analyzed the expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (pSTAT3), epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR), V600E point mutation of the v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog-B1 (BRAF V600E), cluster of differentiation molecule-34 (CD34), hypoxia inducible factor-1alpha (HIF 1-alpha) and Ki-67 by immunohistochemical methods. RESULTS: Our series comprised of twenty adenocarcinomas and one oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Three (14%), 7 (33%), 9 (43%), 18 (86%) and 0 BM specimens were scored positively for HER2, EGFR, pSTAT3, HIF1-alpha and BRAF V600E expression. The median Ki-67 index was 59%. The microvascular density was moderate-to-high and active intratumoral microvascular sprouting was evident in 20/21 (95%) of BMs. The HER2 and EGFR expression status were consistent between primary tumors and BM in all three assessable cases. HIF1-alpha and pSTAT3 expression were significantly higher in HER2-positive cases. CONCLUSION: Therapeutic use of agents targeting HER2, pSTAT3, EGFR and angiogenesis may be feasible for selected BM of gastro-esophageal cancer. HER2 positivity does not seem to predispose to brain colonization in gastro-esophageal cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23482783
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  • 5
    Abstract: Patients with nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (nsNSCLC; largely lung adenocarcinoma) are at high risk of developing brain metastases. Preclinical data suggested that anti-VEGF-A therapy may prevent the formation of nsNSCLC brain metastases. Whether non-brain metastases are also prevented, and whether bevacizumab shows a brain metastases-preventive activity in cancer patients is unknown. Data of one nsNSCLC (stage IIIB/IV, AVAiL) and two breast cancer bevacizumab trials (HER2 negative, AVADO; HER2 positive, AVEREL) were retrospectively analyzed regarding the frequency of the brain versus other organs being the site of first relapse. For animal studies, the outgrowth of PC14-PE6 lung adenocarcinoma cells to brain macrometastases in mice was measured by intravital imaging: under control IgG (25 mg/kg) treatment, or varying doses of bevacizumab (25 mg/kg, 2.5 mg/kg, 0.25 mg/kg). Brain metastases as site of first relapse were significantly less frequent in the bevacizumab arm of the AVAiL trial (HR = 0.36, P 〈 0.001). In AVADO and AVEREL, no significant difference was seen. In mice, bevacizumab treatment led to secondary regressions of non-brain macrometastases, but did not reduce their total incidence, and did not improve survival. In a brain-seeking nsNSCLC metastasis model, treatment with bevacizumab inhibited brain metastases formation, which resulted in improved overall survival. In summary, bevacizumab has the potential to prevent brain metastases in nsNSCLC, but no preventive activity could be detected outside the brain. These data indicate that anti-VEGF-A agents might be particularly relevant for those stage III nsNSCLC patients who are at high risk to develop future brain metastases. Mol Cancer Ther; 1-9. (c)2016 AACR.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26809491
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