Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) is the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB). Globally, increasing evidence shows that in M. tuberculosis, transmission varies from strain to strain and that different strains exhibit a range of geographical and host specificities, pathogenicity, and drug susceptibility. Therefore rapid and accurate differentiation of the members of MTC is critical in guiding treatment and public health decisions. We carried out a study at different health units and the National Reference Laboratory in Rwanda identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex species prevalent in TB patients in Rwanda. We further characterized the isolates using spoligotyping in order to gain an insight into the strain diversity of drug resistant and susceptible isolates of M. tuberculosis in this setting.
A total of 151 isolates from culture positive sputum samples were harvested, heat killed at 80°C for two hours, and then shipped to Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda, for speciation and typing. Species identification was achieved by regions of difference (RD) analysis, while Spoligotyping was done to identify strain types.
Region of difference analysis identified all the 151 isolates as M. tuberculosis. Spoligotyping revealed predominance of the T2 family (58.3%, 88/151), with SIT 52 being the most prevalent strain (31.8%, 48/151). Among the 151 isolates, 64 (42.4%) were multidrug resistant (MDR) with 3 cases on mono-resistance. Of 94 retreatment cases, 48 (51.1%) were MDR and of 46 newly presenting cases 14 (30.4%) were MDR. There was a significant difference (p=0.01) in anti-TB drug resistance between new and retreatment cases in the sample. However, there was no significant relationship between HIV serostatus and the two major strain types SIT 52 (p =0.15and SIT 152 (p = 0.41).
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the most prevalent species of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in Rwanda, and SIT 52 (T2) the predominant strain. There is significantly more MDR in the retreatment cases but no significant difference was observed by HIV status in relation to any spoligotypes.
Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) are the most common malignancy in young men aged 18–35 years. They are clinically and histologically subdivided into seminomas and non-seminomas. Cadherins are calcium-dependent transmembrane proteins of the group of adhesion proteins. They play a role in the stabilization of cell-cell contacts, the embryonic morphogenesis, in the maintenance of cell polarity and signal transduction. N-cadherin (CDH2), the neuronal cadherin, stimulates cell-cell contacts during migration and invasion of cells and is able to suppress tumour cell growth.
Tumour tissues were acquired from 113 male patients and investigated by immunohistochemistry, as were the three TGCT cell lines NCCIT, NTERA-2 and Tcam2. A monoclonal antibody against N-cadherin was used.
Tumour-free testis and intratubular germ cell neoplasias (unclassified) (IGCNU) strongly expressed N-cadherin within the cytoplasm. In all seminomas investigated, N-cadherin expression displayed a membrane-bound location. In addition, the teratomas and yolk sac tumours investigated also differentially expressed N-cadherin. In contrast, no N-cadherin could be detected in any of the embryonal carcinomas and chorionic carcinomas examined. This expression pattern was also seen in the investigated mixed tumours consisting of seminomas, teratomas, and embryonal carcinoma.
N-cadherin expression can be used to differentiate embryonal carcinomas and chorionic carcinomas from other histological subtypes of TGCT.
N-cadherin; Seminoma; Embryonal carcinoma; Immunohistochemistry; TGCT cell lines
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous subgroup of breast cancer characterized by the lack of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expressions. This subgroup of refractory disease tends to have aggressive clinical behavior, high frequency of metastasis and lack of response to current hormonal or targeted therapies. Despite numerous studies reporting the clinicopathological features of TNBC and its association with the basal-like phenotype in the Western population, only limited data are available in the Asian population. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the clinicopathological characteristics of TNBC and its association with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6) and mast/stem cell growth factor receptor (c-KIT or CD117) expression in Malaysian women.
A total of 340 patients diagnosed with primary breast cancer between 2002 and 2006 in Malaysia were reviewed and analyzed.
The incidence of TNBC was 12.4% (42/340). Bivariate analysis revealed that TNBC was strongly associated with a younger age, higher grade tumor and p53 expression. Further immunohistochemical analysis suggested that TNBC in Malaysian women was strongly associated with EGFR, CK5/6 and c-KIT expression with high a Ki-67 proliferation index.
In conclusion, our study confirms the association of TNBC with basal-like marker expression (EGFR, CK5/6 and c-KIT) in Malaysian women, consistent with studies in other populations.
Triple-negative breast cancers; Basal-like; EGFR; CK5/6; c-Kit
Stem/progenitor cells are promising candidates to treat diseased renal parenchyma. However, implanted stem/progenitor cells are exposed to a harmful atmosphere of degenerating parenchyma. To minimize hampering effects after an implantation investigations are in progress to administer these cells within an artificial polyester interstitum supporting survival. Learning from nature the renal stem/progenitor cell niche appears as a valuable model. At this site epithelial stem/progenitor cells within the collecting duct ampulla face mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells. Both cell types do not have close contact but are separated by a wide interstitium.
To analyze extracellular matrix in this particular interstitium, special contrasting for transmission electron microscopy was performed. Kidneys of neonatal rabbits were fixed in solutions containing glutaraldehyde (GA) or in combination with cupromeronic blue, ruthenium red and tannic acid.
GA revealed a basal lamina at the ampulla and a bright but inconspicuously looking interstitial space. In contrast, GA containing cupromeronic blue exhibits numerous proteoglycan braces lining from the ampulla towards the interstitial space. GA containing ruthenium red or tannic acid demonstrates clouds of extracellular matrix protruding from the basal lamina of the ampulla to the surface of mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells.
The actual data show that the interstitium between epithelial and mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells contains much more and up to date unknown extracellular matrix than earlier observed by classical GA fixation.
Kidney; Interstitium; Stem/progenitor cell niche; Epithelial-mesenchymal interface; Extracellular matrix; Cupromeronic blue; Ruthenium red; Tannic acid; Electron microscopy
HPV infection is a worldwide problem strictly linked to the development of cervical cancer. Persistence of the infection is one of the main factors responsible for the invasive progression and women diagnosed with intraepithelial squamous lesions are referred for further assessment and surgical treatments which are prone to complications. Despite this, there are several reports on the spontaneous regression of the infection.
This study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of a long term polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB)-based local treatment in improving the viral clearance, reducing the time exposure to the infection and avoiding the complications associated with the invasive treatments currently available.
100 women diagnosed with HPV infection were randomly assigned to receive six months of treatment with a PHMB-based gynecological solution (Monogin®, Lo.Li. Pharma, Rome - Italy) or to remain untreated for the same period of time.
A greater number of patients, who received the treatment were cleared of the infection at the two time points of the study (three and six months) compared to that of the control group. A significant difference in the regression rate (90% Monogin group vs 70% control group) was observed at the end of the study highlighting the time-dependent ability of PHMB to interact with the infection progression.
The topic treatment with PHMB is a preliminary safe and promising approach for patients with detected HPV infection increasing the chance of clearance and avoiding the use of invasive treatments when not strictly necessary.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01571141
HPV; Polyhexamethylene biguanide; Intraepithelial lesions; Regression rate
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a common cause of viral hepatitis with significant health complications including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Assays for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) are the most frequently used tests to detect HBV infection. Vaccination for HBV can produce transiently detectable levels of HBsAg in patients. However, the time course and duration of this effect is unclear. The objective of this retrospective study was to clarify the frequency and duration of transient HBsAg positivity following vaccination against HBV.
The electronic medical record at an academic tertiary care medical center was searched to identify all orders for HBsAg within a 17 month time period. Detailed chart review was performed to identify all patients who were administered HBV vaccine within 180 days prior to HBsAg testing and also to ascertain likely cause of weakly positive (grayzone) results.
During the 17 month study period, 11,719 HBsAg tests were ordered on 9,930 patients. There were 34 tests performed on 34 patients who received HBV vaccine 14 days or less prior to HBsAg testing. Of these 34 patients, 11 had grayzone results for HBsAg that could be attributed to recent vaccination. Ten of the 11 patients were renal dialysis patients who were receiving HBsAg testing as part of routine and ongoing monitoring. Beyond 14 days, there were no reactive or grayzone HBsAg tests that could be attributed to recent HBV vaccination. HBsAg results reached a peak COI two to three days following vaccination before decaying. Further analysis of all the grayzone results within the 17 month study period (43 results out of 11,719 tests) revealed that only 4 of 43 were the result of true HBV infection as verified by confirmatory testing.
Our study confirms that transient HBsAg positivity can occur in patients following HBV vaccination. The results suggest this positivity is unlikely to persist beyond 14 days post-vaccination. Our study also demonstrates that weakly positive HBsAg results often do not reflect actual HBV infection, underscoring the importance of confirmatory testing. This study also emphasizes that vaccination-induced HBsAg positives occur most commonly in hemodialysis patients.
False positive reactions; Hepatitis; Hepatitis B surface antigens; Public health; Renal dialysis; Vaccination
Tenascins are large glycoproteins found in the extracellular matrix of many embryonic and adult tissues. Tenascin-C is a well-studied biomarker known for its high overexpression in the stroma of most solid cancers. Tenascin-W, the least studied member of the family, is highly expressed in the stroma of colon and breast tumors and in gliomas, but not in the corresponding normal tissues. Other solid tumors have not been analyzed. The present study was undertaken to determine whether tenascin-W could serve as a cancer-specific extracellular matrix protein in a broad range of solid tumors.
We analyzed the expression of tenascin-W and tenascin-C by immunoblotting and by immunohistochemistry on multiple frozen tissue microarrays of carcinomas of the pancreas, kidney and lung as well as melanomas and compared them to healthy tissues.
From all healthy adult organs tested, only liver and spleen showed detectable levels of tenascin-W, suggesting that tenascin-W is absent from most human adult organs under normal, non-pathological conditions. In contrast, tenascin-W was detectable in the majority of melanomas and their metastases, as well as in pancreas, kidney, and lung carcinomas. Comparing lung tumor samples and matching control tissues for each patient revealed a clear overexpression of tenascin-W in tumor tissues. Although the number of samples examined is too small to draw statistically significant conclusions, there seems to be a tendency for increased tenascin-W expression in higher grade tumors. Interestingly, in most tumor types, tenascin-W is also expressed in close proximity to blood vessels, as shown by CD31 co-staining of the samples.
The present study extends the tumor biomarker potential of tenascin-W to a broad range of solid tumors and shows its accessibility from the blood stream for potential therapeutic strategies.
Lysine-specific demethylase1 (LSD1) is a nuclear protein which belongs to the aminooxidase-enzymes playing an important role in controlling gene expression. It has also been found highly expressed in several human malignancies including breast carcinoma. Our aim was to detect LSD1 expression also in pre-invasive neoplasias of the breast. In the current study we therefore analysed LSD1 protein expression in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in comparison to invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC).
Using immunohistochemistry we systematically analysed LSD1 expression in low grade DCIS (n = 27), intermediate grade DCIS (n = 30), high grade DCIS (n = 31) and in invasive ductal breast cancer (n = 32). SPSS version 18.0 was used for statistical analysis.
LSD1 was differentially expressed in DCIS and invasive ductal breast cancer. Interestingly, LSD1 was significantly overexpressed in high grade DCIS versus low grade DCIS. Differences in LSD1 expression levels were also statistically significant between low/intermediate DCIS and invasive ductal breast carcinoma.
LSD1 is also expressed in pre-invasive neoplasias of the breast. Additionally, there is a gradual increase of LSD1 expression within tumour progression from pre-invasive DCIS to invasive ductal breast carcinoma. Therefore upregulation of LSD1 may be an early tumour promoting event.
LSD1; DCIS; IDC
The development of serum immunoassays for the measurement of immunoglobulin free light chains has led to a paradigm shift in the diagnosis, assessment and monitoring of patients with plasma cell dyscrasias. The impact of these immunoassays which employ polyclonal antibodies was most notable for those patients who were previously classified as non-secretory multiple myeloma. Recently new monoclonal antibody based assays have become available. The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic sensitivity of these new assays with those already in clinical practice.
Sera from 30 patients who present with severe acute kidney injury and multiple myeloma were identified for analysis. A head to head comparison of the two commercially available free light chains assays was then undertaken to determine if their diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were comparable.
In this first assessment of the utility of these new assays, we found that one of 17 patients with a lambda monoclonal free light chain resulting in acute kidney injury were not identified and a further 12% of patients were wrongly classified as having levels below those associated with disease specific acute kidney injury.
These results suggest that caution should be applied to the use of new free light chain assays in the assessment of patients with a monoclonal gammopathy.
Acute kidney injury; Multiple myeloma; Free light chain; Cast nephropathy; Serum immunoassays
Blood platelet levels are being evaluated as predictive and prognostic indicators of the severity of malaria infections in humans. However, there are few studies on platelets and Plasmodium falciparum malaria during pregnancy.
A case–control study was conducted at Gadarif Hospital in Eastern Sudan, an area characterized by unstable malaria transmission. The aim of the study was to investigate thrombocytopenia in pregnant women with P. falciparum malaria (cases) and healthy pregnant women (controls).
The median (interquartile) platelet counts were significantly lower in patients with malaria (N = 60) than in the controls (N = 60), 61, 000 (43,000–85,000) vs. 249,000 (204,000–300,000)/μL, respectively, p < 0.001. However, there was no significant difference in the platelet counts in patients with severe P. falciparum malaria (N = 12) compared with those patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria (N = 48), 68, 000 (33,000-88,000)/μL vs. 61, 000 (45,000–85,000)/μL, respectively, p = 0.8. While none of the control group had thrombocytopenia (platelet count <75, 000/μL), it was found that 6/12 (50%) and 27/48 (56.2%) (p <0.001) of the patients with severe malaria and uncomplicated malaria had thrombocytopenia, respectively. Pregnant women with P. falciparum malaria, compared with the pregnant healthy control group, were at higher risk (OR = 10.1, 95% CI = 4.1–25.18; p < 0.001) of thrombocytopenia. Two patients experienced bleeding, and there was one maternal death due to cerebral malaria where the patient’s platelet count was only 28,000/μL.
P. falciparum malaria is associated with thrombocytopenia in pregnant women in this setting. More research is needed.
An ameloblastoma is a benign odontogenic neoplasm with aggressive behaviour and high recurrence rates. The increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) has been reported in ameloblastomas. In the present study, we hypothesised that epigenetic alterations may regulate MMP expression in ameloblastomas.
We investigated the methylation status of the genes MMP-2 and MMP-9 in addition to mRNA transcription and protein expression in ameloblastomas. Methylation analysis was performed by both methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP-PCR) and restriction enzyme digestion to evaluate the methylation profile of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in 12 ameloblastoma samples and 12 healthy gingiva fragments, which were included as controls. Furthermore, we investigated the transcription levels of the genes by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). Zymography was performed to verify protein expression in ameloblastomas.
The ameloblastomas showed a high frequency of unmethylated MMP-2 and MMP-9, whereas the healthy gingival samples presented a sharp prevalence of methylated MMPs. Higher expression levels of MMP-9 were found in ameloblastomas compared to healthy gingiva. However, no significant differences in the MMP-2 mRNA expression between groups was found. All ameloblastomas showed positive expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins.
Our findings suggest that expression of MMP-9 is increased in ameloblastomas and is possibly modulated by unmethylation of the gene.
Ameloblastoma; Odontogenic tumours; Matrix metalloproteinases; MMP-2; MMP-9; Methylation; Epigenetic
Cervical cancer is necessarily caused by human papillomaviruses, which encode three oncogenes manifesting their functions by interfering with a number of cellular proteins and pathways: the E5, E6, and E7 proteins. We have earlier found in our microarray studies that the E5 oncogene crucially affects the expression of cellular genes involved in adhesion and motility of epithelial cells.
In order to biologically validate our previous experimental findings we performed immunohistochemical staining of a representative set of tissue samples from different grades of high-risk human papillomavirus associated cervical disease as well as normal squamous and columnar cervical epithelium. Three-dimensional collagen raft cultures established from E5-expressing and control epithelial cells were also examined. The expression of p16, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) -7, MMP-16, cytokeratin (CK) 8/18, laminin, E-cadherin and beta-catenin was studied.
In agreement with our previous microarray studies, we found intense staining for E-cadherin and beta-catenin in adherens junctions even in high-grade cervical lesions. Staining for MMP-16 was increased in severe disease as well. No significant change in staining for MMP-7 and cytokeratin 8/18 along with the grade of cervical squamous epithelial disease was observed.
Here we have confirmed, using tissue material from human papillomavirus associated lesions, some of the cellular gene expression modifications that we earlier reported in an experimental system studying specifically the E5 oncogene of papillomaviruses. These findings were partially surprising in the context of cervical carcinogenesis and emphasize that the complexity of carcinogenesis is not yet fully understood. Microarray approaches provide a wide overwiev of gene expression in experimental settings, which may yield biologically valid biomarkers for disease diagnostics, prognosis, and follow-up.
Cadherin; Catenin; CIN; Cytokeratin; E5; HPV; Microarray; MMP
Screening and determining the immune status of individuals for hepatitis B is
usually done by detecting hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis
B surface antigen-specific antibodies (HBsAb). In some countries with the
highest viral burden, performing these assays is currently impractical. This
paper explores the use of filter paper as a blood specimen transport
Samples, chosen from routine clinical laboratory pool, were applied and dried
onto filter paper. Eluates, from the paper samples, were analyzed as routine
clinical specimens on ADVIA Centaur 5634® immunoassay analyzers using
the standard HBsAg and HBsAb kits. Dried blood samples were subjected to a
range of environmental conditions in order to assess stability.
After drying and elution the assays showed linearity and precision comparable
to clinical assays performed on fresh serum. Elutions at various times
during a 149 day incubation period showed very little variability in the
Index numbers. All analytes were temperature stable except for a decrease in
the HBsAg signal at 42°C.
Filter paper is an acceptable storage and transport medium for serum to be
used in the detection of hepatitis B markers if atmospheric variability can
be controlled. HBsAg, HBsAb and HBcAb are all stable for at least five
months under storage conditions below room temperature. Drying specimens,
particularly serum, on filter paper at remote locations, offers a reasonable
solution to the problem of hepatitis surveillance in underdeveloped regions,
although some attempt at temperature control might be desirable.
Hepatitis B; Dried blood spot; Surface antigen; Surface antibody
Prognostic markers in curable STS may have the potential to guide therapy after surgical resection. The purpose of this study was to clarify the prognostic impact of the presence of cells and growth factors belonging to the innate immune system in soft tissue sarcomas (STS). The significance of macrophages (CD68), their growth factor macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), its receptor colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R), natural killer cells (CD57) and the general immunomodulating molecule (TGF-beta) are all controversial in STS. Herein, these markers are evaluated and compared to the cell proliferation marker Ki67.
Tissue microarrays from 249 patients with non-gastrointestinal (non-GIST) STS were constructed from duplicate cores of viable and representative neoplastic tumor areas and duplicate cores of peritumoral capsule. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate the expression of CD68, M-CSF, CSF-1R, CD57, TGF-beta and Ki67 in tumor and peritumoral capsule.
In univariate analyses increased expression of M-CSF (P = 0.034), Ki67 (P < 0.001) and TGF-beta (P = 0.003) in tumor correlated with shorter disease-specific survival (DSS). Increased expression of CD68 in tumor correlated significantly with malignancy grade (P = 0.016), but not DSS (P = 0.270). Increased expression of Ki67 in peritumoral capsule tended to correlate with a shorter DSS (P = 0.057). In multivariate analyses, co-expression of M-CSF and TGF-beta (P = 0.022) in tumor and high expression of Ki67 (P = 0.019) in peritumoral capsule were independent negative prognostic factors for DSS.
Increased co-expression of M-CSF and TGF-beta in tumor in patients with STS, and increased expression of Ki67 in peritumoral capsule were independent negative prognostic factors for DSS.
Soft tissue sarcomas; STS; Malignancy grade; DSS; Macrophages; NK cells; CD57; Ki67; TGF-beta; TMA
Early detection holds the key to an effective control of cancers in general and of oral cancers in particular. However, screening procedures for oral cancer are not straightforward due to procedural requirements as well as feasibility issues, especially in resource-limited countries.
We conducted a cross-sectional study to compare the performance of chemiluminescence, toluidine blue and histopathology for detection of high-risk precancerous oral lesions. We evaluated 99 lesions from 55 patients who underwent chemiluminescence and toluidine blue tests along with biopsy and histopathological examination. We studied inter-as well as intra-rater agreement in the histopathological evaluation and then using latent class modeling, we estimated the operating characteristics of these tests in the absence of a reference standard test.
There was a weak inter-rater agreement (kappa < 0.15) as well as a weak intra-rater reproducibility (Pearson's r = 0.28, intra-class correlation rho = 0.03) in the histopathological evaluation of potentially high-risk precancerous lesions. When compared to histopathology, chemiluminescence and toluidine blue retention had a sensitivity of 1.00 and 0.59, respectively and a specificity of 0.01 and 0.79, respectively. However, latent class analysis indicated a low sensitivity (0.37) and high specificity (0.90) of histopathological evaluation. Toluidine blue had a near perfect high sensitivity and specificity for detection of high-risk lesions.
In our study, there was variability in the histopathological evaluation of oral precancerous lesions. Our results indicate that toluidine blue retention test may be better suited than chemiluminescence to detect high-risk oral precancerous lesions in a high-prevalence and low-resource setting like India.
Oral cancer; Leukoplakia; Screening; light-based methods
The purpose of this study was to clarify the prognostic significance of peritumoral lymphocyte infiltration in the capsule of soft tissue sarcomas (STS). Multiple observations in preclinical and clinical studies have shown that the immune system has a role in controlling tumor growth and progression. Prognostic markers in potentially curable STS should guide therapy after surgical resection. The immune status at the time of resection may be important, but the prognostic significance of peritumoral lymphocytes is unknown.
Tissue microarrays from 80 patients with STS were constructed from duplicate cores of tissue from the tumor and the peritumoral capsule. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate the CD3+, CD4+, CD8+ and CD20+ lymphocytes in the tumor and the peritumoral capsule.
In univariate analyses, increasing numbers of CD20+ (P = 0.032) peritumoral lymphocytes were associated with a reduced disease free survival (DSS). In multivariate analyses, a high number of CD20+ peritumoral lymphocytes (P = 0.030) in the capsule was an independent negative prognostic factor for DSS. There were no such associations of lymphocyte infiltration in the tumor.
A high density of CD20+ peritumoral lymphocytes is an independent negative prognostic indicator for patients with STS. Further research is needed to determine whether CD20 cells in the peritumoral capsule of STS may promote tumor invasion in the surrounding tissue and increase the metastatic potential.
The potential problems associated with the use of formalin in histology, such as health hazards, degradation of RNA and cross-linking of proteins are well recognized. We describe the utilization of a formalin-free fixation and processing system for tissue detection of two important biopredictors in breast cancer – estrogen receptor and HER2 – at the RNA and protein levels.
Parallel sections of 62 cases of breast cancer were fixed in an alcohol-based molecular fixative and in formalin. Molecular fixative samples were processed by a novel formalin-free microwave-assisted processing system that preserves DNA, RNA and proteins. Formalin-fixed samples were processed using the conventional method. Estrogen receptor was assessed by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR. HER2 was assessed by immunohistochemistry, FISH, CISH and real-time PCR.
The immunohistochemical reaction for estrogen receptor was similar in molecular- and formalin-fixed samples (Spearman Rank R = 0.83, p < 0.05). Also HER2 result was similar to that of formalin-fixed counterparts after elimination of antigen retrieval step (Spearman Rank R = 0.84, p < 0.05). The result of HER2 amplification by FISH and CISH was identical in the molecular fixative and formalin-fixed samples; although a shorter digestion step was required when using the former fixative. Real-time PCR for both estrogen receptor and HER2 were successful in all of the molecular fixative specimens.
The formalin-free tissue fixation and processing system is a practical platform for evaluation of biomolecular markers in breast cancer and it allows reliable DNA and RNA and protein studies.
LAT1/4F2hc heterodimeric complex is a major route for the transport of large neutral essential amino acids through the plasma membrane. Although it has been shown that LAT1/4F2hc is highly expressed in a variety of human tumors including gliomas, and LAT1 over-expression is associated with glioma grade and poor prognosis of glioma patients, the precise tissue location of LAT1/4F2hc in gliomas and the precise role of LAT1/4F2hc in glioma biological features remain unclear.
In the current study, the expressions of LAT1, 4F2hc, CD34 and Ki-67 were investigated by immunohistochemistry in 62 cases of human brain glioma; LAT1/4F2hc expression level, Ki-67 labeling index (Ki-67 LI) and microvessel density (MVD) were measured semi-quantitatively; and the correlation of LAT1/4F2hc expression with histopathological features, Ki-67 LI and MVD in gliomas was further analyzed.
The results showed that both LAT1 and 4F2hc were expressed in all examined specimens. LAT1 but 4F2hc expression levels significantly correlated with the pathological grade and both expression levels significantly correlated with Ki-67 LI of gliomas. We also demonstrated that both LAT1 and 4F2hc immunoreactivity were observed in tumor cells as well as vascular endothelia; furthermore, the LAT1 expression level was markedly associated with glioma MVD as well.
LAT1/4F2hc over-expression is closely correlates with the malignant phenotype and proliferation of gliomas, and LAT1 was associates with glioma angiogenesis. LAT1/4F2hc, especially LAT1, may become a novel potential molecular target for glioma biological therapy.
Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) is fast becoming a well established technique for easy and sensitive determination of HER2 gene status in breast cancer. However, for the chromogenic method to achieve status as a safe and reliable technique, the method needs to be validated against already known and validated FISH techniques.
Here it is reported from a comparative study where HER2 gene status obtained by HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit was compared to HER2 gene status obtained by the FDA approved HER2 FISH pharmDx™ Kit and the PathVysion HER-2 DNA probe Kit. The study included 365 formalin fixed and paraffin-embedded invasive breast cancer tissue specimens collected consecutively at a US reference laboratory.
The data obtained revealed an overall HER2 status concordance of approximately 98% for comparisons of HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit to both HER2 FISH pharmDx™ Kit and PathVysion HER-2 DNA Probe Kit.
The concordance between results obtained using the recently FDA approved HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit with previously FDA approved FISH techniques for HER2 gene status determination indicate that the HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit is a reliable chromogenic alternative to fluorescence-based methods.
Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing-1 (CTHRC1) and Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 3 (NFE2L3) may be useful biomarker candidates for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) since they have shown an increase messenger RNA transcripts (mRNA) expression level in adenomas and colorectal tumours when compared to normal tissues.
To evaluate CTHRC1 and NFE2L3 as cancer biomarkers, it was generated and characterised several novel specific polyclonal antibodies (PAb), monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and soluble Fab fragments (sFabs) against recombinant CTHRC1 and NFE2L3 proteins, which were obtained from different sources, including a human antibody library and immunised animals. The antibodies and Fab fragments were tested for recognition of native CTHRC1 and NFE2L3 proteins by immunoblotting analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in colorectal cell lines derived from tumour and cancer tissues.
Both, antibodies and a Fab fragment showed high specificity since they recognised only their corresponding recombinant antigens, but not a panel of different unrelated- and related proteins.
In Western blot analysis of CTHRC1, a monoclonal antibody designated CH21D7 was able to detect a band of the apparent molecular weight of a full-length CTHRC1 in the human colon adenocarcinoma cell line HT29. This result was confirmed by a double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) with the monoclonal antibodies CH21D7 and CH24G2, detecting CTHRC1 in HT29 and in the colon adenocarcinoma cell line SW620.
Similar experiments were performed with PAb, MAbs, and sFab against NFE2L3. The immunoblot analysis showed that the monoclonal antibody 41HF8 recognised NFE2L3 in HT29, and leukocytes. These results were verified by DAS-ELISA assay using the pairs PAb/sFab E5 and MAb 41HF8/sFab E5.
Furthermore, an immunoassay for simultaneous detection of the two cancer biomarkers was developed using a Dissociation-Enhanced Lanthanide Fluorescent Immunoassay technology (DELFIA).
In conclusion, the antibodies obtained in this study are specific for CTHRC1 and NFE2L3 since they do not cross-react with unrelated- and related proteins and are useful for specific measurement of native CTHRC1 and NFE2L3 proteins. The antibodies and immunoassays may be useful for the analysis of CTHRC1 and NFE2L3 in clinical samples and for screening of therapeutic compounds in CRC.
Colorectal cancer; CRC; Cancer; Cancer biomarker; Biomarker; Triple Helix Repeat Containing-1; Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 3; CTHRC1; NFE2L3; Double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; DAS-ELISA; DELFIA assay
Patients ingesting ethylene glycol, isopropanol, methanol, and propylene glycol ('toxic alcohols') often present with non-specific signs and symptoms. Definitive diagnosis of toxic alcohols has traditionally been by gas chromatography (GC), a technique not commonly performed on-site in hospital clinical laboratories. The objectives of this retrospective study were: 1) to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the osmolal gap in screening for toxic alcohol ingestion and 2) to determine the common reasons other than toxic alcohol ingestion for elevated osmolal gaps.
Electronic medical records from an academic tertiary care medical center were searched to identify all patients in the time period from January 1, 1996 to September 1, 2010 who had serum/plasma ethanol, glucose, sodium, blood urea nitrogen, and osmolality measured simultaneously, and also all patients who had GC analysis for toxic alcohols. Detailed chart review was performed on all patients with osmolal gap of 9 or greater.
In the study period, 20,669 patients had determination of serum/plasma ethanol and osmolal gap upon presentation to the hospitals. There were 341 patients with an osmolal gap greater than 14 (including correction for estimated contribution of ethanol) on initial presentation to the medical center. Seventy-seven patients tested positive by GC for one or more toxic alcohols; all had elevated anion gap or osmolal gap or both. Other than toxic alcohols, the most common causes for an elevated osmolal gap were recent heavy ethanol consumption with suspected alcoholic ketoacidosis, renal failure, shock, and recent administration of mannitol. Only 9 patients with osmolal gap greater than 50 and no patients with osmolal gap greater than 100 were found to be negative for toxic alcohols.
Our study concurs with other investigations that show that osmolal gap can be a useful diagnostic test in conjunction with clinical history and physical examination.
Ethylene glycol; isopropanol; methanol; propylene glycol; retrospective studies; sensitivity and specificity
Histopathology is the standard method for cancer diagnosis and grading to assess aggressiveness in clinical biopsies. Molecular biomarkers have also been described that are associated with cancer aggressiveness, however, the portion of tissue analyzed is often processed in a manner that is destructive to the tissue. We present here a new method for performing analysis of small molecule biomarkers and histology in exactly the same biopsy tissue.
Prostate needle biopsies were taken from surgical prostatectomy specimens and first fixed, each in a separate vial, in 2.5 ml of 80% methanol:water. The biopsies were fixed for 24 hrs at room temperature and then removed and post-processed using a non-formalin-based fixative (UMFIX), embedded, and analyzed by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. The retained alcohol pre-fixative was analyzed for small molecule biomarkers by mass spectrometry.
H&E analysis was successful following the pre-fixation in 80% methanol. The presence or absence of tumor could be readily determined for all 96 biopsies analyzed. A subset of biopsy sections was analyzed by IHC, and cancerous and non-cancerous regions could be readily visualized by PIN4 staining. To demonstrate the suitability for analysis of small molecule biomarkers, 28 of the alcohol extracts were analyzed using a mass spectrometry-based metabolomics platform. All extracts tested yielded successful metabolite profiles. 260 named biochemical compounds were detected in the alcohol extracts. A comparison of the relative levels of compounds in cancer containing vs. non-cancer containing biopsies showed differences for 83 of the compounds. A comparison of the results with prior published reports showed good agreement between the current method and prior reported biomarker discovery methods that involve tissue destructive methods.
The Molecular Preservation by Extraction and Fixation (mPREF) method allows for the analysis of small molecule biomarkers from exactly the same tissue that is processed for histopathology.
Thyroid adenoma associated (THADA) has been identified as the target gene affected by chromosome 2p21 translocations in thyroid adenomas, but the role of THADA in the thyroid is still elusive. The aim of this study was to quantify THADA gene expression in normal tissues and in thyroid hyper- and neoplasias, using real-time PCR.
For the analysis THADA and 18S rRNA gene expression assays were performed on 34 normal tissue samples, including thyroid, salivary gland, heart, endometrium, myometrium, lung, blood, and adipose tissue as well as on 85 thyroid hyper- and neoplasias, including three adenomas with a 2p21 translocation. In addition, NIS (sodium-iodide symporter) gene expression was measured on 34 of the pathological thyroid samples.
Results illustrated that THADA expression in normal thyroid tissue was significantly higher (p < 0.0001, exact Wilcoxon test) than in the other tissues. Significant differences were also found between non-malignant pathological thyroid samples (goiters and adenomas) and malignant tumors (p < 0.001, Wilcoxon test, t approximation), anaplastic carcinomas (ATCs) and all other samples and also between ATCs and all other malignant tumors (p < 0.05, Wilcoxon test, t approximation). Furthermore, in thyroid tumors THADA mRNA expression was found to be inversely correlated with HMGA2 mRNA. HMGA2 expression was recently identified as a marker revealing malignant transformation of thyroid follicular tumors. A correlation between THADA and NIS has also been found in thyroid normal tissue and malignant tumors.
The results suggest THADA being a marker of dedifferentiation of thyroid tissue.
Stress as a cause of illness has been firmly established. In public health and stress research a retrospective biomarker of extended stress would be an indispensible aid. The objective of this pilot study was to investigate whether concentrations of cortisol in hair correlate with perceived stress, experiences of serious life events, and perceived health in young adults.
Hair samples were cut from the posterior vertex area of (n = 99) university students who also answered a questionnaire covering experiences of serious life events, perceived Stress Scale and perceived health during the last three months. Cortisol was measured using a competitive radioimmunoassay in methanol extracts of hair samples frozen in liquid nitrogen and mechanically pulverised.
Mean cortisol levels were significantly related to serious life events (p = 0.045), weakly negatively correlated to perceived stress (p = 0.025, r = -0.061) but nor affected by sex, coloured/permed hair, intake of pharmaceuticals or self-reported health. In a multiple regression model, only the indicator of serious life events had an independent (p = 0.041) explanation of increased levels of cortisol in hair. Out of four outliers with extremely high cortisol levels two could be contacted, both reported serious psychological problems.
These findings suggest that measurement of cortisol in hair could serve as a retrospective biomarker of increased cortisol production reflecting exposure to major life stressors and possibly extended psychological illness with important implications for research, clinical practice and public health. Experience of serious life events seems to be more important in raising cortisol levels in hair than perceived stress.
Biomarker; Coping; Cortisol; Hair; Serious life events; Stress
Circulating cell free DNA in serum as well as serum-autoantibodies and the serum proteome have great potential to contribute to early cancer diagnostics via non invasive blood tests. However, most DNA preparation protocols destroy the protein fraction and therefore do not allow subsequent protein analyses. In this study a novel approach based on methyl binding domain protein (MBD) is described to overcome the technical difficulties of combining DNA and protein analysis out of one single serum sample.
Serum or plasma samples from 98 control individuals and 54 breast cancer patients were evaluated upon silica membrane- or MBD affinity-based DNA isolation via qPCR targeting potential DNA methylation markers as well as by protein-microarrays for tumor-autoantibody testing.
In control individuals, an average DNA level of 22.8 ± 25.7 ng/ml was detected applying the silica membrane based protocol and 8.5 ± 7.5 ng/ml using the MBD-approach, both values strongly dependent on the serum sample preparation methods used. In contrast to malignant and benign tumor serum samples, cell free DNA concentrations were significantly elevated in sera of metastasizing breast cancer patients. Technical evaluation revealed that serum upon MBD-based DNA isolation is suitable for protein-array analyses when data are consistent to untreated serum samples.
MBD affinity purification allows DNA isolations under native conditions retaining the protein function, thus for example enabling combined analyses of DNA methylation and autoantigene-profiles from the same serum sample and thereby improving minimal invasive diagnostics.