Base of tongue (BOT) is a difficult subsite to examine clinically and radiographically. Yet, anatomic delineation of the primary tumor site, its extension to adjacent sites or across midline, and endophytic vs. exophytic extent are important characteristics for staging and treatment planning. We hypothesized that ultrasound could be used to visualize and describe BOT tumors.
Transcervical ultrasound was performed using a standardized protocol in cases and controls. Cases had suspected or confirmed BOT malignancy. Controls were healthy individuals without known malignancy.
100% of BOT tumors were visualized. On ultrasound BOT tumors were hypoechoic (90.9%) with irregular margins (95.5%). Ultrasound could be used to characterize adjacent site involvement, midline extent, and endophytic extent, and visualize the lingual artery. No tumors were suspected for controls.
Ultrasonography can be used to transcervically visualize BOT tumors and provides clinically relevant characteristics that may not otherwise be appreciable.
Methylation of CpG islands in the promoter region of genes acts as a significant mechanism of epigenetic gene silencing in head and neck cancer. In the present study, we assessed the association of epigenetic alterations of a panel of 12 genes [nucleolar protein 4 (NOL4), iroquois homeobox 1 (IRX1), SLC5A8, LRRC3B, FUSSEL18, EBF3, GBX2, HMX2, SEPT9, ALX3, SOCS3 and LHX6] with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) via a candidate gene approach. After the initial screening of methylated CpG islands on the promoter regions by bisulfite sequencing using salivary rinse samples, only two genes had methylated CpG dinucleotides on their promoter regions in tumor samples and absence of methylated CpGs were found in normal salivary rinse samples after bisulfite modification and bisulfite sequencing. We then performed real-time quantitative methylation-specific PCR (QMSP) on 16 salivary rinse and 14 normal mucosal samples from healthy subjects and 33 HNSCC tumor samples for the two genes selected. After validation with QMSP, one gene, NOL4, was highly methylated (91%) in tumor samples and unmethylated in normal salivary rinses and minimally methylated in normal mucosal samples demonstrating cancer-specific methylation in HNSCC tissues. Although the IRX1 gene was observed as methylated in normal mucosal and salivary rinse samples, the methylation values of these normal samples were very low (<10%). In conclusion, we identified NOL4 as a highly specific promoter methylated gene associated with HNSCC. IRX1 may have potential as a biomarker for HNSCC and should be assessed in a larger cohort.
nucleolar protein 4; methylation; head and neck cancer; candidate gene approach
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is largely divided into two groups based on their etiology, human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive and –negative. Global DNA methylation changes are known to drive oncogene and tumor suppressor expression in primary HNSCC of both types. However, significant heterogeneity in DNA methylation within the groups results in different transcriptional profiles and clinical outcomes. We applied a meta-pathway analysis to link gene expression changes to DNA methylation in distinguishing HNSCC subtypes. This approach isolated specific epigenetic changes controlling expression in HPV− HNSCC that distinguish it from HPV+ HNSCC. Analysis of genes identified Hedgehog pathway activation specific to HPV− HNSCC. We confirmed that GLI1, the primary Hedgehog target, showed higher expression in tumors compared to normal samples with HPV− tumors having the highest GLI1 expression, suggesting that increased expression of GLI1 is a potential driver in HPV− HNSCC. Our algorithm for integration of DNA methylation and gene expression can infer biologically significant molecular pathways that may be exploited as therapeutics targets. Our results suggest that therapeutics targeting the Hedgehog pathway may be of benefit in HPV− HNSCC. Similar integrative analysis of high-throughput coupled DNA methylation and expression datasets may yield novel insights into deregulated pathways in other cancers.
Tissue imprinting can generate molecular marker maps of tumor cells at deep surgical margins. This study evaluates the feasibility of this method for detection of residual head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Paired fresh tissue and nitrocellulose membrane imprints of tumor and deep margins were collected from 17 HNSCC resections. DNA was amplified using quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) for p16, DCC, KIF1A, and EDNRB. Levels of methylation in tumors and deep margins were compared.
DNA from imprints was adequate for qMSP. Hypermethylation of target genes was present in 12/17 tumors and in 8 deep margins. Methylation level was better from margin imprints than tissue. During follow-up (median 13 months), local or regional recurrences occurred in six cases of which five had molecularly positive margins.
Tissue imprinting is feasible for molecular detection of residual tumor at deep surgical margins and may correlate with locoregional recurrence.
Tissue imprint; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; deep surgical margin; molecular diagnosis; quantitative methylation-specific PCR; Imprint; Deep margin; Surgery; Recurrence
The optimal dosage and frequency of platinum-based chemoradiotherapy (CRT) regimen for treating advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma remains unresolved. This study aims to compare the toxicity and efficacy of weekly versus more dose-intensive cisplatin-based CRTs.
We reviewed 155 stage III/IV head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients with no evidence of distant metastasis treated with one of two CRT regimens from 2000 to 2010 at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Twice-daily radiation was provided as a split course over a 45-day period. Regimen A consisted of concomitant cisplatin (30 mg/m2/1 h) weekly for 6 cycles; regimen B consisted of concomitant cisplatin (12 mg/m2/1 h) and 5-fluorouracil (600 mg/m2/20 h) on days 1 through 5 and days 29 through 33. Main outcome measures included acute toxicities (myelosuppression, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, gastrointestinal dysfunction), unplanned hospitalizations, and disease control at 12 months.
Patients on regimen A were much less likely to experience ototoxicity due to their treatment (0% vs. 9.8%, P = 0.04). They were more likely to experience thrombocytopenia acutely (46% vs. 26%, P = 0.02), but the toxicity was not limiting (grade 1–2). No significant differences exist in the incidence of other toxicities or unplanned hospitalizations. At 1 year, 97% of patients on A vs. 86% of patients on regimen B were free of disease (P = 0.11).
With concurrent radiotherapy, low-dose, single-agent, weekly cisplatin is less likely than higher-dose daily cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil provided at the beginning and end of treatment to be associated with ototoxicity. The preliminary data suggest at least equivalent efficacy, but longer follow-up is required.
To determine the feasibility and safety of neck dissection through a facelift incision.
Prospective case series.
Cadavers and live subjects underwent neck dissection using a facelift incision with and without endoscopic assistance. In the live facelift neck dissection (FLND), the preoperative surgical indications, staging, adjuvant therapy, intraoperative technical procedure, pathology reports on lymph nodes, and short-term outcomes were reviewed.
FLND was successfully performed in four cadavers and four live subjects, including selective (less than five neck levels removed) and comprehensive (levels I–V removed) neck dissections. All levels were accessible through this approach, with additional retraction required for levels I and IV. Endoscopic assistance was required in one neck dissection for adequate visualization. Short-term complications and number of excised lymph nodes were comparable to those from traditional neck dissection approaches.
Open neck dissection through a facelift incision is feasible and offers an alternate approach to traditional incisions. This can be performed without requiring robotic assistance and with endoscopic assistance only in certain cases. Endoscopic assistance can offer enhanced visualization of the surgical field and complement open direct approaches in neck dissection. Although FLND offers improved cosmetic outcomes when compared to those of traditional neck incisions, further study is required to determine its efficacy and indications.
Facelift; neck dissection; cosmetic; radical; modified; selective; comprehensive; approach; rhytidectomy; minimally invasive
Age is the most significant risk factor for atherosclerosis; however, the link between age and atherosclerosis is poorly understood. During both aging and atherosclerosis progression, the blood vessel wall stiffens owing to alterations in the extracellular matrix. Using in vitro and ex vivo models of vessel-wall stiffness and aging, we show that stiffening of extracellular matrix within the intima promotes endothelial cell permeability—a hallmark of atherogenesis. When cultured on hydrogels fabricated to match the elasticity of young and aging intima, endothelial monolayers exhibit increased permeability and disrupted cell-cell junctions on stiffer matrices. In parallel experiments, we showed a corresponding increase in cell-cell junction width with age in ex vivo aortas from young (10 weeks) and old (21 to 25 months) healthy mice. To investigate the mechanism by which matrix stiffening alters monolayer integrity, we found that cell contractility increases with increased matrix stiffness, mechanically destabilizing cell-cell junctions. This increase in endothelial permeability results in increased leukocyte extravasation, which is a critical step in atherosclerotic plaque formation. Mild inhibition of Rho-dependent cell contractility using Y-27632, an inhibitor of Rho-associated kinase, or siRNA restored monolayer integrity in vitro and in vivo. Our results suggest that extracellular matrix stiffening alone, which occurs during aging, can lead to endothelial monolayer disruption and atherosclerosis pathogenesis. Because previous therapeutics designed to decrease vascular stiffness have been met with limited success, our findings could be the basis for the design of therapeutics that target the Rho-dependent cellular contractile response to matrix stiffening, rather than stiffness itself, to more effectively prevent atherosclerosis progression.
Salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare relentlessly progressive malignant tumor. The molecular events associated with ACC tumorigenesis are poorly understood. Variable microRNAs (miRNA) have been correlated with tumorigenesis of several solid tumors but not in ACC. To investigate the association of miRNAs with the development and/or progression of ACC, we performed a comparative analysis of primary ACC specimens and matched normal samples and a pooled salivary gland standard and correlated the results with clinicopathologic factors and validated selected miRNAs in a separate set of 30 tumors.
MiRNA array platform was used for the identification of target miRNAs and the data was subjected to informatics and statistical interrelations. The results were also collected with the MYB-NFIB fusion status and the clinicopathologic features.
Differentially dysregulated miRNAs in ACC were characterized in comparison to normal expression. No significant differences in miRNA expression were found between the MYB-NFIB fusion positive and -negative ACCs. Of the highly dysregulated miRNA in ACC, overexpression of the miR-17 and miR-20a were significantly associated with poor outcome in the screening and validation sets.
Our study indicates that the upregulation of miR-17-92 may play a role in the biology of ACC and could be potentially targeted in future therapeutic studies.
To validate a panel of methylation-based salivary rinse biomarkers (P16, CCNA1, DCC, TIMP3, MGMT, DAPK, and MINT31) previously shown to be independently associated with poor overall survival and local recurrence in a larger, separate cohort of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
One hundred ninety-seven patients were included. All pre-treatment saliva DNA samples were evaluated for the methylation status of the gene promoters by quantitative methylation-specific PCR. The main outcome measures were overall survival, local recurrence-free survival and disease-free survival.
In univariate analyses, the detection of hypermethylation of CCNA1, MGMT, and MINT31 was significantly associated with poor overall survival; the detection of hypermethylation of TIMP3 was significantly associated with local recurrence-free survival; and the detection of hypermethylation of MINT31 was significantly associated with poor disease-free survival. In multivariate analyses, detection of hypermethylation at any single marker was not predictive of overall survival in patients with HNSCC; detection of hypermethylation of TIMP3 in salivary rinse had an independent, significant association with local recurrence-free survival (Hazard Ratio, 2.51, 95% CI, 1.10 to 5.68); and none of the studied markers was significantly associated with disease-free survival.
The detection of promoter hypermethylation of the seven genes in salivary rinse as an independent prognostic indicator of overall survival in patients with HNSCC was not validated. Detection of promoter hypermethylation of TIMP3 in pretreatment salivary rinse is independently associated with local recurrence-free survival in patients with HNSCC and may be a valuable salivary rinse biomarker for HNSCC recurrence.
Salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare cancer, accounting for only 1% of all head and neck malignancies. ACC is well known for perineural invasion and distant metastasis, but its underlying molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis are still unclear.
Here, we show that a novel oncogenic candidate, suprabasin (SBSN), plays important roles in maintaining the anchorage-independent and anchorage-dependent cell proliferation in ACC by using SBSN shRNA stably transfected ACC cell line clones. SBSN is also important in maintaining the invasive/metastatic capability in ACC by Matrigel invasion assay. More interestingly, SBSN transcription is significantly upregulated by DNA demethylation induced by 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine plus trichostatin A treatment and the DNA methylation levels of the SBSN CpG island located in the second intron were validated to be significantly hypomethylated in primary ACC samples versus normal salivary gland tissues.
Taken together, these results support SBSN as novel oncogene candidate in ACC, and the methylation changes could be a promising biomarker for ACC.
Purpose. To analyze the patterns and associations of adjunctive service visits by head and neck cancer patients receiving primary, concurrent chemoradiation therapy. Methods. Retrospective chart review of patients receiving adjunctive support during a uniform chemoradiation regimen for stages III-IV head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Univariate and multivariate models for each outcome were obtained from simple and multivariate linear regression analyses. Results. Fifty-two consecutive patients were assessed. Female gender, single marital status, and nonprivate insurance were factors associated with an increased number of social work visits. In a multivariate analysis, female gender and marital status were related to increased social work services. Female gender and stage IV disease were significant for increased nursing visits. In a multivariate analysis for nursing visits, living greater than 20 miles between home and hospital was a negative predictive factor. Conclusion. Treatment of advanced stage head and neck cancer with concurrent chemoradiation warrants a multidisciplinary approach. Female gender, single marital status, and stage IV disease were correlated with increased utilization of social work and nursing services. Distance over 20 miles from the center was a negative factor. This information may help guide the treatment team to allocate resources for the comprehensive care of patients.
Although promoter hypermethylation has been an accepted means of tumor suppressor gene inactivation, activation of otherwise normally repressed proto-oncogenes by promoter demethylation has been infrequently documented.
In this study we performed an integrative, whole-genome analysis for discovery of epigenetically activated proto-oncogenes in head and neck cancer tumors. We used the 47K GeneChip U133 Plus 2.0 Affymetrix expression microarray platform to obtain re-expression data from 5-aza treated normal cell line and expression data from primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) tumor tissues and normal mucosa tissues. We then investigated candidate genes by screening promoter regions for CpG islands and bisulfite sequencing followed by QUMSP and RT PCR for the best candidate genes. Finally, functional studies were performed on the top candidate gene.
From the top 178 screened candidates 96 had CpG islands in their promoter region. Seven candidate genes showed promoter region methylation in normal mucosa samples and promoter demethylation in a small cohort of primary HNSCC tissues. We then studied the demethylation of the top 3 candidate genes in an expanded cohort of 76 HNSCC tissue samples and 17 normal mucosa samples. We identified MAGEB2 as having significant promoter demethylation in primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tissues. We then found significantly higher expression of MAGEB2 in tumors in a separate cohort of 73 primary HNSCC tissues and 31 normal tissues. Finally, we found that MAGEB2 has growth promoting effects on minimally transformed oral keratinocyte cell lines but not a definite effect on HNSCC cell lines.
In conclusion, we identified MAGEB2 as activated by promoter demethylation in HNSCCand demonstrates growth promoting effects in a minimally transformed oral keratinocyte cell line. More studies are needed to evaluate MAGBE2's exact role in HNSCC.
Identify novel tumor suppressor genes in melanoma utilizing an integrative genomic approach
Data from: 1) prior reports of DNA loss and gain in malignant melanoma accompanied by CGH high-definition array data of the entire human genome, 2) Microarray expression data from melanoma derived cell lines identifying genes with significantly increased expression due to methylation using a pharmacologic demethylating strategy, and 3) publicly available RNA expression microarray data of primary tumors and benign nevi was integrated utilizing statistical tools in order to define a population of candidate tumor suppressor genes.
27 genes were identified in areas of deletion that demonstrated diminished expression in primary melanomas relative to benign nevi and were significantly increased in expression by ‘5-Aza treatment. Seven genes of these genes demonstrated methylation and deletion in a validation cohort of 14 separate primary tumors. These were: CHRDL1, SFRP1, TMEM47, LPL, RARRES1, PLCXD1, and KOX15. All of these genes demonstrated growth suppressive properties with transfection into melanoma derived cell lines.
7 putative tumor suppressor genes in malignant melanoma were identified utilizing a novel integrative technique.
DNA hypermethylation; epigenetics; malignant melanoma; tumor suppressor
Hypermethylation of tumor suppressor gene promoters has been found in head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSCC) and other solid tumors. We evaluated these alterations in pretreatment salivary rinses from HNSCC patients by using real-time quantitative methylation-specific PCR (Q-MSP).
Pretreatment saliva DNA samples from HNSCC patients were evaluated for patterns of hypermethylation by using Q-MSP. Target tumor suppressor gene promoter regions were selected based on a previous study describing a screening panel for HNSCC in a high-risk population subjects. The selected genes were: DAPK, DCC, MINT-31, TIMP-3, p16, MGMT, CCNA1.
We analyzed the panel in a cohort of 61 HNSCC patients. Thirty-three of the analyzed patients (54.1%) showed methylation of at least one of the selected genes in the saliva DNA. Pretreatment methylated saliva DNA was not significantly associated with tumor site (P = 0.209) nor clinical stage (P = 0.299). However, local disease control and overall survival were significantly lower in patients presenting hypermethylation in saliva rinses (P = 0.010 and P = 0.015, respectively). Multivariate analysis confirmed that this hypermethylation pattern remained as an independent prognostic factor for local recurrence (HR = 12.2; 95% CI = 1.8–80.6; P = 0.010) and overall survival (HR = 2.8; 95% CI = 1.2–6.5; P = 0.016).
We were able to confirm an elevated rate of promoter hypermethylation in HNSCC saliva of patients by using a panel of gene promoters previously described as methylated specifically in HNSCC. Detection of hypermethylation in pretreatment saliva DNA seems to be predictive of local recurrence and overall survival. This finding has potential to influence treatment and surveillance of HNSCC patients.
Testis-specific transcription factor BORIS (Brother of the Regulator of Imprinted Sites), a paralog and proposed functional antagonist of the widely expressed CTCF, is abnormally expressed in multiple tumor types and has been implicated in the epigenetic activation of cancer-testis antigens (CTAs). We have reported previously that suprabasin (SBSN), whose expression is restricted to the epidermis, is epigenetically derepressed in lung cancer. In this work, we establish that SBSN is a novel non-CTA target of BORIS epigenetic regulation. With the use of a doxycycline-inducible BORIS expressing vector, we demonstrate that relative BORIS dosage is critical for SBSN activation. At lower concentrations, BORIS induces demethylation of the SBSN CpG island and disruption and activation of chromatin around the SBSN transcription start site (TSS), resulting in a 35-fold increase in SBSN expression in the H358 human lung cancer cell line. Interestingly, increasing BORIS concentrations leads to a subsequent reduction in SBSN expression via chromatin repression. In a similar manner, increase in BORIS concentrations leads to eventual decrease of cell growth and colony formation. This is the first report demonstrating that different amount of BORIS defines its varied effects on the expression of a target gene via chromatin structure reorganization.
It is commonly agreed that there is an association of chronic inflammation with tumorigenesis. COX-2, a key regulator of inflammation-producing prostaglandins, promotes cell proliferation and growth; thus, overexpression of COX-2 is often found in tumor tissues. Therefore, a better understanding of the regulatory mechanism(s) of COX-2 could lead to novel targeted cancer therapies. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of microRNA-101 (miR-101)-regulated COX-2 expression and the therapeutic potential of exogenous miR-101 for COX-2-associated cancer. A stably expressing exogenous miR-101 prostate cancer cell line (BPH1CmiR101) was generated by using lentiviral transduction as a tool for in vitro and in vivo studies. We found that miR-101 inhibited COX-2 posttranscriptional expression by directly binding to the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) of COX-2 mRNA. The regulatory function of miR-101 was also confirmed by using antisense DNA. As a result, exogenous miR-101 is able to effectively suppress the growth of cultured prostate cancer cells and prostate tumor xenografts. The average tumor weight was significantly lower in the BPH1CmiR101 group (0.22 g) than the BPH1Cvec group (0.46 g). Expression levels of the cell growth regulators, such as cyclin proteins, PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen), EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor), were also studied. In conclusion, COX-2 is a direct target in miR-101 regulation of posttranscription. Exogenous miR-101 suppresses the proliferation and growth of prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. These data suggest that exogenous miR-101 may provide a new cancer therapy by directly inhibiting COX-2 expression.
We investigated the feasibility of detecting aberrant DNA methylation of some novel and known genes in the serum of lung cancer patients.
To determine the analytical sensitivity, we examined the tumor and the matched serum DNA for aberrant methylation of fifteen gene promoters from 10 patients with primary lung tumors by using Quantitative methylation specific PCR. We then tested this 15 gene set to identify the more useful DNA methylation changes in the serum of a limited number of lung cancer patients and controls. In an independent set, we tested the six most promising genes (APC, CDH1, MGMT, DCC, RASSF1A and AIM) for further elucidation of the diagnostic application of this panel of markers.
Promoter hypermethylation of at least one of the genes studied was detected in all 10 lung primary tumors. In majority of cases, aberrant methylation in serum DNA was accompanied by methylation in the matched tumor samples. In the independent set, using a single gene that had 100% specificity (DCC), 35.5% (95% CI 25%, 47%) of the 76 lung cancer patients were correctly identified. For patients without methylated DCC, addition of a logistic regression score that was based on the five remaining genes improved sensitivity from 35.5% to 75% (95% CI: 64%, 84%) but decreased the specificity from 100% to 73% (95% CI:54%, 88%).
This approach needs to be evaluated in a larger test set to determine the role of this gene set in early detection and surveillance of lung cancer.
DNA methylation/epigenetics; serum; lung cancer
Salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy that is poorly understood. In order to look for relevant oncogene candidates under the control of promoter methylation, an integrated, genome-wide screen was performed.
Global demethylation of normal salivary gland cell strains using 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-Aza dC) and Trichostatin A (TSA), followed by expression array analysis was performed. ACC-specific expression profiling was generated using expression microarray analysis of primary ACC and normal samples. Next, the two profiles were integrated to identify a subset of genes for further validation of promoter demethylation in ACC versus normal. Finally, promising candidates were further validated for mRNA, protein, and promoter methylation levels in larger ACC cohorts. Functional validation was then performed in cancer cell lines.
We found 159 genes that were significantly re-expressed after 5-Aza dC/TSA treatment and overexpressed in ACC. After initial validation, eight candidates showed hypomethylation in ACC: AQP1, CECR1, C1QR1, CTAG2, P53AIP1, TDRD12, BEX1, and DYNLT3. Aquaporin 1 (AQP1) showed the most significant hypomethylation and was further validated. AQP1 hypomethylation in ACC was confirmed with two independent cohorts. Of note, there was significant overexpression of AQP1 in both mRNA and protein in the paraffin-embedded ACC cohort. Furthermore, AQP1 was up-regulated in 5-Aza dC/TSA treated SACC83. Lastly, AQP1 promoted cell proliferation and colony formation in SACC83.
Our integrated, genome-wide screening method proved to be an effective strategy for detecting novel oncogenes in ACC. AQP1 is a promising oncogene candidate for ACC and is transcriptionally regulated by promoter hypomethylation.
Aim of this study was to determine if BORIS (Brother of the Regulator Of Imprinted Sites) is a regulator of MAGEA2, 3 and 4 genes in lung cancer.
Changes in expression of MAGEA genes upon BORIS induction/knockdown were studied. Recruitment of BORIS and changes in histone modifications at their promoters upon BORIS induction were analyzed. Luciferase assays were used to study their activation by BORIS. Changes in methylation at these promoters upon BORIS induction were evaluated.
Alteration of BORIS expression by knockdown/induction directly correlated with expression of MAGEA genes. BORIS was enriched at their promoters in H1299 cells, which show high expression of these cancer testis antigens (CTAs), compared to NHBE cells which show low expression of the target CTAs. BORIS induction in A549 cells resulted in increased amounts of BORIS and activating histone modifications at their promoters along with a corresponding increase in their expression. Similarly, BORIS binding at these promoters in H1299 correlates with enrichment of activating modifications while absence of BORIS binding in NHBE is associated with enrichment of repressive marks. BORIS induction of MAGEA3 was associated with promoter demethylation, but no methylation changes were noted with activation of MAGEA2 and MAGEA4.
These data suggest that BORIS positively regulates these CTAs by binding and inducing a shift to a more open chromatin conformation with promoter demethylation for MAGEA3 or independent of promoter demethylation in case of MAGEA2 and A4 and may be a key effector involved in their derepression in lung cancer.
BORIS; MAGEA; promoter binding; transcriptional activation; methylation
Objective. We reviewed a cohort of patients with previously untreated locoregional advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) who received a uniform chemoradiotherapy regimen. Methods. Retrospective review was performed of 105 patients with stage III or IV HNSCC treated at Greater Baltimore Medical Center from 2000 to 2007. Radiation included 125 cGy twice daily for a total 70 Gy to the primary site. Chemotherapy consisted of cisplatin (12 mg/m2/h) daily for five days and 5-fluorouracil (600 mg/m2/20 h) daily for five days, given with weeks one and six of radiation. All but seven patients with N2 or greater disease received planned neck dissection after chemoradiotherapy. Primary outcomes were overall survival (OS), locoregional control (LRC), and disease-free survival (DFS). Results. Median followup of surviving patients was 57.6 months. Five-year OS was 60%, LRC was 68%, and DFS was 56%. Predictors of increased mortality included age ≥55, female gender, hypopharyngeal primary, and T3/T4 stage. Twelve patients developed locoregional recurrences, and 16 patients developed distant metastases. Eighteen second primary malignancies were diagnosed in 17 patients. Conclusions. The CRT regimen resulted in favorable outcomes. However, locoregional and distant recurrences cause significant mortality and highlight the need for more effective therapies to prevent and manage these events.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a causative factor for tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) and patients with HPV positive (HPV+) TSCC have a better clinical outcome than those with HPV negative (HPV−) TSCC. However, since not all patients with HPV+TSCC respond to treatment, additional biomarkers are needed together with HPV status to better predict response to therapy and to individualize treatment. For this purpose, we examined whether the number of tumor infiltrating cytotoxic and regulatory T-cells in TSCC correlated to HPV status and to clinical outcome.
Formalin fixed paraffin embedded TSCC, previously analysed for HPV DNA, derived from 83 patients, were divided into four groups depending on the HPV status of the tumor and clinical outcome. Tumors were stained by immunohistochemistry and evaluated for the number of infiltrating cytotoxic (CD8+) and regulatory (Foxp3+) T-cells.
A high CD8+ T-cell infiltration was significantly positively correlated to a good clinical outcome in both patients with HPV+ and HPV- TSCC patients. Similarly, a high CD8+/Foxp3+ TIL ratio was correlated to a 3-year disease free survival. Furthermore, HPV+TSCC had in comparison to HPV−TSCC, higher numbers of infiltrating CD8+ and Foxp3+ T-cells.
In conclusion, a positive correlation between a high number of infiltrating CD8+ cells and clinical outcome indicates that CD8+ cells may contribute to a beneficial clinical outcome in TSCC patients, and may potentially serve as a biomarker. Likewise, the CD8+/Foxp3+cell ratio can potentially be used for the same purpose.
The transcription factor MYB was recently proposed to be a promising oncogene candidate in salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC). However, the up-regulation of MYB in ACC could not be explained solely by deletion of its 3′ end. It is widely accepted that the promoter methylation status can regulate the transcription of genes, especially in human cancers. Therefore, it is important to know whether MYB promoter demethylation could explain the over-expression of MYB in ACC. By using the Methprimer program, we identified nine CpG islands in the promoter of MYB. All of these CpG islands were located within the −864 to +2,082 nt region relative to the transcription start site of MYB. We then used bisulfite genomic sequencing to evaluate the methylation levels of the CpG islands of MYB in 18 primary ACC tumors, 13 normal salivary gland tissues and nine cancer cell lines. Using cell lines, we also determined the relative MYB expression levels and correlated these with the methylation levels. With bisulfite genomic sequencing, we found no detectable methylation in the CpG islands of MYB in either ACC or normal salivary gland tissues. There was a variable degree of MYB expression in the cell lines tested, but none of these cell lines demonstrated promoter methylation. Promoter hypomethylation does not appear to explain the differential expression of MYB in ACC. An alternative mechanism needs to be proposed for the transcriptional control of MYB in ACC.
adenoid cystic carcinoma; MYB; DNA methylation
To examine the role of MAGEA2 in the tumorigenesis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Primary tissue microarray data and quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that MAGEA2 is differentially over-expressed in HNSCC. Functional analyses were then performed using MAGEA2 transfections and small-interfering RNA knockdowns with subsequent anchorage-dependent growth studies and cell cycle analyses. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to evaluate expression changes in p53 downstream targets after transfection of MAGEA2 into normal upper aerodigestive cell lines.
MAGEA2 is differentially overexpressed in HNSCC. In addition, MAGEA2 promotes growth in normal oral keratinocytes, whereas knockdown of MAGEA2 in HNSCC cells decreases growth. Using the HCT116 p53 wt and null cell line system, transfection of MAGEA2 induced growth in the p53 wt cell line while providing no growth advantage in the p53 mutant cells. Subsequently, transfection of MAGEA2 induced a decrease in messenger RNA expression of the p53 downstream targets CDKN1A and BAX and decreased G1 arrest in cells allowed to remain confluent for longer than 48 hours.
These data suggest that MAGEA2 is differentially expressed in HNSCC and functions, in part, through the p53 pathway by increasing cellular proliferation and abrogating cell cycle arrest. This improved understanding of MAGEA2 function and expression patterns will potentially allow for the improved ability to use MAGEA2 for detection, surveillance, and targeted therapeutics.
Salivary rinses have been recently proposed as a valuable resource for the development of epigenetic biomarkers for detection and monitoring of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Both salivary rinses collected with and without an exfoliating brush from patients with HNSCC are used in detection of promoter hypermethylation, yet their correlation of promoter hypermethylation has not been evaluated. This study was to evaluate the concordance of promoter hypermethylation between salivary rinses collected with and without an exfoliating brush from patients with HNSCC.
57 paired salivary rinses collected with or without an exfoliating brush from identical HNSCC patients were evaluated for promoter hypermethylation status using Quantitative Methylation-Specific PCR. Target tumor suppressor gene promoter regions were selected based on our previous studies describing a panel for HNSCC screening and surveillance, including P16, CCNA1, DCC, TIMP3, MGMT, DAPK and MINT31.
In salivary rinses collected with and without brush, frequent methylation was detected in P16 (8.8% vs. 5.2%), CCNA1 (26.3% vs. 22.8%), DCC (33.3% vs. 29.8%), TIMP3 (31.6% vs. 36.8%), MGMT (29.8% vs. 38.6%), DAPK (14.0% vs. 19.2%), and MINT31 (10.5% vs. 8.8%). Spearman's rank correlation coefficient showed a positive correlation between salivary rinses collected with and without brush for P16 (ρ = 0.79), CCNA1 (ρ = 0.61), DCC (ρ = 0.58), TIMP3 (ρ = 0.10), MGMT (ρ = 0.70), DAPK (ρ = 0.51) and MINT31 (ρ = 0.72) (P<0.01). The percent agreement of promoter methylation between salivary rinses with brush and without brush were 96.5% for P16, 82.5% for CCNA1, 78.9% for DCC, 59.7% for TIMP3, 84.2% for MGMT, 84.2% for DAPK, and 94.7% for MINT31.
Our study demonstrated strong correlations of gene promoter hypermethylation between salivary rinses collected with and without an exfoliating brush. Salivary rinse collection without using an exfoliating brush may offer a cost effective, rapid, non-invasive, and reliable means for development of epigenetic salivary rinse biomarkers.