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  • 1
    Keywords: CANCER ; DIAGNOSIS ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; MUTATIONS ; CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM ; CHILDREN ; DIFFERENTIAL EXPRESSION ; NEUROENDOCRINE TUMORS ; EARLY-CHILDHOOD MEDULLOBLASTOMA ; POSTOPERATIVE CHEMOTHERAPY
    Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Neuroectodermal tumors in general demonstrate high and dense expression of the somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sst2). It controls proliferation of both normal and neoplastic cells. sst2 has thus been suggested as a therapeutic target and prognostic marker for certain malignancies. METHODS: To assess global expression patterns of sst 2 mRNA, we evaluated normal (n = 353) and tumor tissues (n = 340) derived from previously published gene expression profiling studies. These analyses demonstrated specific upregulation of sst 2 mRNA in medulloblastoma (p 〈 0.001). sst2 protein was investigated by immunohistochemistry in two independent cohorts. RESULTS: Correlation of sst2 protein expression with clinicopathological variables revealed significantly higher levels in medulloblastoma (p 〈 0.05) compared with CNS-PNET, ependymoma, or pilocytic astrocytoma. The non-SHH medulloblastoma subgroup tumors showed particularly high expression of sst2, when compared to other tumors and normal tissues. Furthermore, we detected a significant survival benefit in children with tumors exhibiting high sst2 expression (p = 0.02) in this screening set. A similar trend was observed in a validation cohort including 240 independent medulloblastoma samples. CONCLUSION: sst2 is highly expressed in medulloblastoma and deserves further evaluation in the setting of prospective trials, given its potential utility as a prognostic marker and a therapeutic target.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23677175
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  • 2
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Metastasis-associated in colon cancer 1 (MACC1) has been established as an independent prognostic indicator of metastasis formation and metastasis-free survival for patients with colon cancer and other solid tumors. However, no data are available concerning MACC1 expression in human astrocytic tumors. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most prevalent primary brain tumor of adulthood, and due to its invasive and rapid growth, patients have unfavorable prognoses. Although these tumors rarely metastasize, their invasive and migratory behavior is similar to those of metastatic cells of tumors of different origin. Thus, we hypothesized that MACC1 may be involved in progression of human gliomas. METHODS: We performed real-time measurements of proliferation and migration in MACC1-transfected GBM cell lines (U138, U251) and evaluated tumor formation in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures of mice. Semiquantitative and quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR analyses were performed for MACC1 and for its transcriptional target c-Met in human astrocytoma of World Health Organization grade II (low-grade astrocytoma) and GBM biopsies. Data were validated by MACC1 immunohistochemistry in independent matched samples of low-grade astrocytoma and GBM. RESULTS: MACC1 increases the proliferative, migratory, and tumor-formation abilities of GBM cells. The c-Met inhibitor crizotinib reduced MACC1-induced migration and tumor formation in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures of mice. Analyzing patients' biopsies, MACC1 expression increased concomitantly with increasing World Health Organization grade. Moreover, MACC1 expression levels allowed discrimination of dormant and recurrent low-grade astrocytomas and of primary and secondary GBM. Strong MACC1 expression correlated with reduced patient survival. CONCLUSIONS: MACC1 may represent a promising biomarker for prognostication and a new target for treatment of human gliomas.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24220141
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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; MUTATION ; TARGETS ; METHYLATION ; EMBRYONIC STEM-CELLS ; HYPERMETHYLATION ; GLIOBLASTOMA ; POLYCOMB ; INTRINSIC PONTINE GLIOMAS ; HISTONE H3.3
    Abstract: Two recurrent mutations, K27M and G34R/V, within histone variant H3.3 were recently identified in approximately 50% of pHGGs. Both mutations define clinically and biologically distinct subgroups of pHGGs. Here, we provide further insight about the dominant-negative effect of K27M mutant H3.3, leading to a global reduction of the repressive histone mark H3K27me3. We demonstrate that this is caused by aberrant recruitment of the PRC2 complex to K27M mutant H3.3 and enzymatic inhibition of the H3K27me3-establishing methyltransferase EZH2. By performing chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next-generation sequencing and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing in primary pHGGs, we show that reduced H3K27me3 levels and DNA hypomethylation act in concert to activate gene expression in K27M mutant pHGGs.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24183680
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  • 4
  • 5
    Abstract: Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (DNET) is a benign brain tumor associated with intractable drug-resistant epilepsy. In order to identify underlying genetic alterations and molecular mechanisms, we examined three family members affected by multinodular DNETs as well as 100 sporadic tumors from 96 patients, which had been referred to us as DNETs. We performed whole-exome sequencing on 46 tumors and targeted sequencing for hotspot FGFR1 mutations and BRAF p.V600E was used on the remaining samples. FISH, copy number variation assays and Sanger sequencing were used to validate the findings. By whole-exome sequencing of the familial cases, we identified a novel germline FGFR1 mutation, p.R661P. Somatic activating FGFR1 mutations (p.N546K or p.K656E) were observed in the tumor samples and further evidence for functional relevance was obtained by in silico modeling. The FGFR1 p.K656E mutation was confirmed to be in cis with the germline p.R661P variant. In 43 sporadic cases, in which the diagnosis of DNET could be confirmed on central blinded neuropathology review, FGFR1 alterations were also frequent and mainly comprised intragenic tyrosine kinase FGFR1 duplication and multiple mutants in cis (25/43; 58.1 %) while BRAF p.V600E alterations were absent (0/43). In contrast, in 53 cases, in which the diagnosis of DNET was not confirmed, FGFR1 alterations were less common (10/53; 19 %; p 〈 0.0001) and hotspot BRAF p.V600E (12/53; 22.6 %) (p 〈 0.001) prevailed. We observed overexpression of phospho-ERK in FGFR1 p.R661P and p.N546K mutant expressing HEK293 cells as well as FGFR1 mutated tumor samples, supporting enhanced MAP kinase pathway activation under these conditions. In conclusion, constitutional and somatic FGFR1 alterations and MAP kinase pathway activation are key events in the pathogenesis of DNET. These findings point the way towards existing targeted therapies.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26920151
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  • 6
    Abstract: Glioblastoma is the most aggressive primary brain tumor in adults. Although the rapid recurrence of glioblastomas after treatment is a major clinical challenge, the relationships between tumor growth and intracerebral spread remain poorly understood. We have identified the cofilin phosphatase chronophin (gene name: pyridoxal phosphatase, PDXP) as a glial tumor modifier. Monoallelic PDXP loss was frequent in four independent human astrocytic tumor cohorts and increased with tumor grade. We found that aberrant PDXP promoter methylation can be a mechanism leading to further chronophin downregulation in glioblastomas, which correlated with shorter glioblastoma patient survival. Moreover, we observed an inverse association between chronophin protein expression and cofilin phosphorylation levels in glioma tissue samples. Chronophin-deficient glioblastoma cells showed elevated cofilin phosphorylation, an increase in polymerized actin, a higher directionality of cell migration, and elevated in vitro invasiveness. Tumor growth of chronophin-depleted glioblastoma cells xenografted into the immunodeficient mouse brain was strongly impaired. Our study suggests a mechanism whereby the genetic and epigenetic alterations of PDXP resulting in altered chronophin expression may regulate the interplay between glioma cell proliferation and invasion.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26549022
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  • 7
    Abstract: Accurate pathological diagnosis is crucial for optimal management of patients with cancer. For the approximately 100 known tumour types of the central nervous system, standardization of the diagnostic process has been shown to be particularly challenging-with substantial inter-observer variability in the histopathological diagnosis of many tumour types. Here we present a comprehensive approach for the DNA methylation-based classification of central nervous system tumours across all entities and age groups, and demonstrate its application in a routine diagnostic setting. We show that the availability of this method may have a substantial impact on diagnostic precision compared to standard methods, resulting in a change of diagnosis in up to 12% of prospective cases. For broader accessibility, we have designed a free online classifier tool, the use of which does not require any additional onsite data processing. Our results provide a blueprint for the generation of machine-learning-based tumour classifiers across other cancer entities, with the potential to fundamentally transform tumour pathology.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29539639
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  • 8
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Medulloblastoma is associated with rare hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes; however, consensus medulloblastoma predisposition genes have not been defined and screening guidelines for genetic counselling and testing for paediatric patients are not available. We aimed to assess and define these genes to provide evidence for future screening guidelines. METHODS: In this international, multicentre study, we analysed patients with medulloblastoma from retrospective cohorts (International Cancer Genome Consortium [ICGC] PedBrain, Medulloblastoma Advanced Genomics International Consortium [MAGIC], and the CEFALO series) and from prospective cohorts from four clinical studies (SJMB03, SJMB12, SJYC07, and I-HIT-MED). Whole-genome sequences and exome sequences from blood and tumour samples were analysed for rare damaging germline mutations in cancer predisposition genes. DNA methylation profiling was done to determine consensus molecular subgroups: WNT (MBWNT), SHH (MBSHH), group 3 (MBGroup3), and group 4 (MBGroup4). Medulloblastoma predisposition genes were predicted on the basis of rare variant burden tests against controls without a cancer diagnosis from the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC). Previously defined somatic mutational signatures were used to further classify medulloblastoma genomes into two groups, a clock-like group (signatures 1 and 5) and a homologous recombination repair deficiency-like group (signatures 3 and 8), and chromothripsis was investigated using previously established criteria. Progression-free survival and overall survival were modelled for patients with a genetic predisposition to medulloblastoma. FINDINGS: We included a total of 1022 patients with medulloblastoma from the retrospective cohorts (n=673) and the four prospective studies (n=349), from whom blood samples (n=1022) and tumour samples (n=800) were analysed for germline mutations in 110 cancer predisposition genes. In our rare variant burden analysis, we compared these against 53 105 sequenced controls from ExAC and identified APC, BRCA2, PALB2, PTCH1, SUFU, and TP53 as consensus medulloblastoma predisposition genes according to our rare variant burden analysis and estimated that germline mutations accounted for 6% of medulloblastoma diagnoses in the retrospective cohort. The prevalence of genetic predispositions differed between molecular subgroups in the retrospective cohort and was highest for patients in the MBSHH subgroup (20% in the retrospective cohort). These estimates were replicated in the prospective clinical cohort (germline mutations accounted for 5% of medulloblastoma diagnoses, with the highest prevalence [14%] in the MBSHH subgroup). Patients with germline APC mutations developed MBWNT and accounted for most (five [71%] of seven) cases of MBWNT that had no somatic CTNNB1 exon 3 mutations. Patients with germline mutations in SUFU and PTCH1 mostly developed infant MBSHH. Germline TP53 mutations presented only in childhood patients in the MBSHH subgroup and explained more than half (eight [57%] of 14) of all chromothripsis events in this subgroup. Germline mutations in PALB2 and BRCA2 were observed across the MBSHH, MBGroup3, and MBGroup4 molecular subgroups and were associated with mutational signatures typical of homologous recombination repair deficiency. In patients with a genetic predisposition to medulloblastoma, 5-year progression-free survival was 52% (95% CI 40-69) and 5-year overall survival was 65% (95% CI 52-81); these survival estimates differed significantly across patients with germline mutations in different medulloblastoma predisposition genes. INTERPRETATION: Genetic counselling and testing should be used as a standard-of-care procedure in patients with MBWNT and MBSHH because these patients have the highest prevalence of damaging germline mutations in known cancer predisposition genes. We propose criteria for routine genetic screening for patients with medulloblastoma based on clinical and mole
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29753700
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