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1.  Admixture Fine-Mapping in African Americans Implicates XAF1 as a Possible Sarcoidosis Risk Gene 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92646.
Sarcoidosis is a complex, multi-organ granulomatous disease with a likely genetic component. West African ancestry confers a higher risk for sarcoidosis than European ancestry. Admixture mapping provides the most direct method to locate genes that underlie such ethnic variation in disease risk. We sought to identify genetic risk variants within four previously-identified ancestry-associated regions—6p24.3–p12.1, 17p13.3–13.1, 2p13.3–q12.1, and 6q23.3–q25.2—in a sample of 2,727 African Americans. We used logistic regression fit by generalized estimating equations and the MIX score statistic to determine which variants within ancestry-associated regions were associated with risk and responsible for the admixture signal. Fine mapping was performed by imputation, based on a previous genome-wide association study; significant variants were validated by direct genotyping. Within the 6p24.3–p12.1 locus, the most significant ancestry-adjusted SNP was rs74318745 (p = 9.4*10−11), an intronic SNP within the HLA-DRA gene that did not solely explain the admixture signal, indicating the presence of more than a single risk variant within this well-established sarcoidosis risk region. The locus on chromosome 17p13.3–13.1 revealed a novel sarcoidosis risk SNP, rs6502976 (p = 9.5*10−6), within intron 5 of the gene X-linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Associated Factor 1 (XAF1) that accounted for the majority of the admixture linkage signal. Immunohistochemical expression studies demonstrated lack of expression of XAF1 and a corresponding high level of expression of its downstream target, X-linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis (XIAP) in sarcoidosis granulomas. In conclusion, ancestry and association fine mapping revealed a novel sarcoidosis susceptibility gene, XAF1, which has not been identified by previous genome-wide association studies. Based on the known biology of the XIAP/XAF1 apoptosis pathway and the differential expression patterns of XAF1 and XIAP in sarcoidosis granulomas, we suggest that this pathway may play a role in the maintenance of sarcoidosis granulomas.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092646
PMCID: PMC3963923  PMID: 24663488
2.  Inflammation and preneoplastic lesions in benign prostate as risk factors for prostate cancer 
Benign changes ranging from atrophy and inflammation to high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) are common findings on prostate core needle biopsies. Although atrophy and inflammation may be precursors of prostate cancer, only HGPIN is currently recommended to be included in surgical pathology reports. To determine whether these benign findings increase prostate cancer risk, we conducted a case–control study nested within a historical cohort of 6692 men with a benign prostate specimen collected between 1990 and 2002. The analytic sample included 574 case–control pairs comprised of cases diagnosed with prostate cancer a minimum of 1 year after cohort entry and controls matched to cases on date and age at cohort entry, race, and type of specimen. The initial benign specimen was reviewed for presence of HGPIN, atrophy (simple, lobular, and partial) and inflammation (glandular and/or stromal). HGPIN significantly increased risk for prostate cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 2.00; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.25–3.20). Inflammation within the stromal compartment was associated with decreased risk (OR = 0.66; CI = 0.52–0.84), and diffuse stromal inflammation of severe grade had the strongest inverse association with risk (OR = 0.21; CI = 0.07–0.62). In a model adjusted for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level at cohort entry and inflammation, simple atrophy was associated with a 33% increased prostate cancer risk that was marginally significant (P = 0.03). Clinicians should consider patterns and extent of inflammation when managing high-risk patients with negative biopsy results. Identifying benign inflammatory processes that underlie high PSA levels would help to reduce the number of unnecessary repeated prostate biopsies.
doi:10.1038/modpathol.2012.51
PMCID: PMC3589982  PMID: 22460812
atrophy; cancer risk; prostate; stromal inflammation
3.  Frequency of EGFR and KRAS Mutations in Lung Adenocarcinomas in African-Americans 
Journal of Thoracic Oncology  2011;6(1):28-31.
Structured Abstract
Introduction
The detection of mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene, which predict sensitivity to treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), represents a major advance in the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma. KRAS mutations confer resistance to EGFR -TKIs. The prevalence of these mutations in African-American patients has not been thoroughly investigated.
Methods
We collected formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material from resected lung adenocarcinomas from African-American patients at three institutions for DNA extraction. The frequencies of EGFR exon 19 deletions, exon 21 L858R substitutions and KRAS mutations in tumor specimens from African-American patients were compared to data in Caucasian patients (n=476).
Results
EGFR mutations were detected in 23 of the 121 specimens from African-American patients (19%, 95% CI 13–27%), while KRAS mutations were found in 21 (17%, 95% CI 12−25%). There was no significant difference between frequencies of EGFR mutations comparing African-American and Caucasian patients, 19% vs. 13% (61/476, 95% CI 10–16%) (p=0.11). KRAS mutations were more likely among Caucasians, 26% (125/476, 95% CI 23−30%) (p=0.04).
Conclusions
This is the largest study to date examining the frequency of mutations in lung adenocarcinomas in African-Americans. Although KRAS mutations were somewhat less likely, there was no difference between the frequencies of EGFR mutations in African-American patients as compared to Caucasians. These results suggest that all patients with advanced lung adenocarcinomas should undergo mutational analysis prior to initiation of therapy.
doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181fb4fe2
PMCID: PMC3337520  PMID: 21107288
EGFR mutation; KRAS; African-Americans; racial differences
4.  Reliability of KRAS mutation testing in metastatic colorectal cancer patients across five laboratories 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:196.
Background
Mutations in the KRAS gene are associated with poor response to epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors used in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. Factors influencing KRAS test results in tumor specimens include: tumor heterogeneity, sample handling, slide preparation, techniques for tumor enrichment, DNA preparation, assay design and sensitivity. We evaluated comparability and consistency of KRAS test results among five laboratories currently being used to determine KRAS mutation status of metastatic colorectal cancer specimens in a large, multi-center observational study.
Findings
Twenty formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded human colorectal cancer samples from colon resections previously tested for KRAS mutations were selected based on mutation status (6 wild type, 8 codon 12 mutations, and 6 codon 13 mutations). We found good agreement across laboratories despite differences in mutation detection methods. Eighteen of twenty samples (90%) were concordant across all five labs. Discordant results are likely not due to laboratory error, but instead to tumor heterogeneity, contamination of the tumor sample with normal tissue, or analytic factors affecting assay sensitivity.
Conclusions
Our results indicate commercial and academic laboratories provide reliable results for the common KRAS gene mutations at codons 12 and 13 when an adequate percentage of tumor cells is present in the sample.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-196
PMCID: PMC3441241  PMID: 22534075
KRAS; Colorectal cancer; EGFR; Laboratory error
5.  Loss of Let-7 Up-Regulates EZH2 in Prostate Cancer Consistent with the Acquisition of Cancer Stem Cell Signatures That Are Attenuated by BR-DIM 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33729.
The emergence of castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) contributes to the high mortality of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa), which in part could be attributed to the existence and the emergence of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Recent studies have shown that deregulated expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) contributes to the initiation and progression of PCa. Among several known miRNAs, let-7 family appears to play a key role in the recurrence and progression of PCa by regulating CSCs; however, the mechanism by which let-7 family contributes to PCa aggressiveness is unclear. Enhancer of Zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), a putative target of let-7 family, was demonstrated to control stem cell function. In this study, we found loss of let-7 family with corresponding over-expression of EZH2 in human PCa tissue specimens, especially in higher Gleason grade tumors. Overexpression of let-7 by transfection of let-7 precursors decreased EZH2 expression and repressed clonogenic ability and sphere-forming capacity of PCa cells, which was consistent with inhibition of EZH2 3′UTR luciferase activity. We also found that the treatment of PCa cells with BR-DIM (formulated DIM: 3,3′-diindolylmethane by Bio Response, Boulder, CO, abbreviated as BR-DIM) up-regulated let-7 and down-regulated EZH2 expression, consistent with inhibition of self-renewal and clonogenic capacity. Moreover, BR-DIM intervention in our on-going phase II clinical trial in patients prior to radical prostatectomy showed upregulation of let-7 consistent with down-regulation of EZH2 expression in PCa tissue specimens after BR-DIM intervention. These results suggest that the loss of let-7 mediated increased expression of EZH2 contributes to PCa aggressiveness, which could be attenuated by BR-DIM treatment, and thus BR-DIM is likely to have clinical impact.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033729
PMCID: PMC3307758  PMID: 22442719
6.  Epigenetic silencing of miR-34a in human prostate cancer cells and tumor tissue specimens can be reversed by BR-DIM treatment 
Androgen Receptor (AR) signaling is critically important during the development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The AR signaling is also important in the development of castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) where AR is functional even after androgen deprivation therapy (ADT); however, little is known regarding the transcriptional and functional regulation of AR in PCa. Moreover, treatment options for primary PCa for preventing the occurrence of CRPC is limited; therefore, novel strategy for direct inactivation of AR is urgently needed. In this study, we found loss of miR-34a, which targets AR, in PCa tissue specimens, especially in patients with higher Gleason grade tumors, consistent with increased expression of AR. Forced overexpression of miR-34a in PCa cell lines led to decreased expression of AR and prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as the expression of Notch-1, another important target of miR-34a. Most importantly, BR-DIM intervention in PCa patients prior to radical prostatectomy showed re-expression of miR-34a, which was consistent with decreased expression of AR, PSA and Notch-1 in PCa tissue specimens. Moreover, BR-DIM intervention led to nuclear exclusion both in PCa cell lines and in tumor tissues. PCa cells treated with BR-DIM and 5-aza-dC resulted in the demethylation of miR-34a promoter concomitant with inhibition of AR and PSA expression in LNCaP and C4-2B cells. These results suggest, for the first time, epigenetic silencing of miR -34a in PCa, which could be reversed by BR-DIM treatment and, thus BR-DIM could be useful for the inactivation of AR in the treatment of PCa.
PMCID: PMC3275434  PMID: 22347519
BR-DIM; miR-34a; androgen receptor (AR); PSA; methylation
7.  The Role of Lymph Node Metastasis in the Systemic Dissemination of Breast Cancer 
Background.
Lymphatic invasion is necessary for regional lymph node (RLN) metastasis in breast cancer (BC), while systemic metastasis requires blood vessel (BV) invasion. The site of BV invasion could be at the primary BC site or through lymphovascular anastomoses. The vague pathologic term “lymphovascular invasion” (LVI) encourages the belief that peri/intratumoral BV invasion may be common. We investigated the relative contribution of RLN metastasis to systemic metastasis by studying the relationship among LVI and RLN and/or systemic metastasis in a population-based cohort of breast cancer patients.
Methods.
Fisher’s exact test was done to assess global associations among LVI and RLN and/or systemic metastasis in a prospective database of breast cancer patients undergoing RLN biopsy. Logistic regression was used to determine multivariable contributions of LVI to metastasis when controlling for available demographic, radiologic, and pathologic variables.
Results.
Of 1668 patients evaluated 25.4% were RLN positive and 10.4% had LVI. RLN metastasis was predicted by tumor size (P < .0001), HER-2/neu overexpression (P = .0022) and the interaction between LVI positive and HER-2/neu positive tumors (< .0001). Patients with LVI/HER-2-neu positive were 3 times as likely to have positive RLNs compared with patients LVI/HER-2-neu negative. Systemic metastasis was significantly (P = .0013) associated with LVI/ RLN positive, but not with LVI positive/RLN negative patients (P = .137).
Conclusions.
LVI predicted RLN metastasis. LVI also significantly predicted systemic metastasis, but only when the RLN was also positive. Since RLN requires lymphatic invasion, these data support the hypothesis that primary breast cancers often invade lymphatics to gain access to the systemic circulation.
doi:10.1007/s13193-011-0063-9
PMCID: PMC3372967  PMID: 22695980
8.  Genomic and biological characterization of exon 4 KRAS mutations in human cancer 
Cancer research  2010;70(14):5901-5911.
Mutations in RAS proteins occur widely in human cancer. Prompted by confirmation of KRAS mutation as a predictive biomarker of response to EGFR targeted therapies, limited clinical testing for RAS pathway mutations has recently been adopted. We performed a multiplatform genomic analysis to characterize, in a non-biased manner, the biologic, biochemical and prognostic significance of Ras pathway alterations in colorectal tumors and other solid tumor malignancies. Mutations in coding exon 4 of KRAS were found to occur commonly and to predict for a more favorable clinical outcome in patients with colorectal cancer. Exon 4 KRAS mutations, all of which were identified at amino acid residues K117 and A146, were associated with lower levels of GTP-bound RAS in isogenic models. These same mutations were also often accompanied by conversion to homozygosity and increased gene copy number, in both human tumors and tumor cell lines. Models harboring exon 4 KRAS mutations exhibited MEK-dependence and resistance to EGFR-targeted agents. Our findings suggest that RAS mutation is not a binary variable in tumors, and that the diversity in mutant alleles and variability in gene copy number may also contribute to the heterogeneity of clinical outcomes observed in cancer patients. These results also provide a rationale for broader KRAS testing beyond the most common hotspot alleles in exons 2 and 3.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-0192
PMCID: PMC2943514  PMID: 20570890
9.  DNA methylation in thyroid tumorigenesis 
Cancers  2011;3(2):1732-1743.
Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer with 1,690 deaths each year. There are four main types of which the papillary and follicular types together account for >90% followed by medullary cancers with 3% to 5% and anaplastic carcinomas making up <3%. Epigenetic events of DNA hypermethylation are emerging as promising molecular targets for cancer detection. Our immediate and long term goal is to identify DNA methylation markers for early detection of thyroid cancer. This pilot study comprised of 21 patients to include 11 papillary thyroid cancers (PTC), 2 follicular thyroid cancers (FTC), 5 normal thyroid cases, and 3 hyperthyroid cases. Aberrant promoter methylation was examined in 24 tumor suppressor genes using the methylation specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA) assay and in the NIS gene using methylation-specific PCR (MSP). The frequently methylated genes were CASP8 (17/21), RASSF1 (16/21) and NIS (9/21). In the normal samples, CASP8, RASSF1 and NIS were methylated in 5/5, 4/5 and 1/5 respectively. In the hyperthyroid samples, CASP8, RASSF1 and NIS were methylated in 3/3, 2/3 and 1/3 respectively. In the thyroid cancers, CASP8, RASSF1, and NIS were methylated in 9/13, 10/13, and 7/13 respectively. CASP8, RASSF1 and NIS were also methylated in concurrently present normal thyroid tissue in 3/11, 4/11 and 3/11 matched thyroid cancer cases (matched for presence of both normal thyroid tissue and thyroid cancer), respectively. Our data suggests that aberrant methylation of CASP8, RASSF1, and NIS maybe an early change in thyroid tumorigenesis regardless of cell type.
doi:10.3390/cancers3021732
PMCID: PMC3129708  PMID: 21738852
Papillary thyroid cancer; Follicular thyroid cancer; hypermethylation; NIS; CASP8; RASSF1
10.  DNA Methylation in Thyroid Tumorigenesis 
Cancers  2011;3(2):1732-1743.
Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer with 1,690 deaths each year. There are four main types of which the papillary and follicular types together account for >90% followed by medullary cancers with 3% to 5% and anaplastic carcinomas making up <3%. Epigenetic events of DNA hypermethylation are emerging as promising molecular targets for cancer detection. Our immediate and long term goal is to identify DNA methylation markers for early detection of thyroid cancer. This pilot study comprised of 21 patients to include 11 papillary thyroid cancers (PTC), 2 follicular thyroid cancers (FTC), 5 normal thyroid cases, and 3 hyperthyroid cases. Aberrant promoter methylation was examined in 24 tumor suppressor genes using the methylation specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA) assay and in the NIS gene using methylation-specific PCR (MSP). The frequently methylated genes were CASP8 (17/21), RASSF1 (16/21) and NIS (9/21). In the normal samples, CASP8, RASSF1 and NIS were methylated in 5/5, 4/5 and 1/5 respectively. In the hyperthyroid samples, CASP8, RASSF1 and NIS were methylated in 3/3, 2/3 and 1/3 respectively. In the thyroid cancers, CASP8, RASSF1, and NIS were methylated in 9/13, 10/13, and 7/13 respectively. CASP8, RASSF1 and NIS were also methylated in concurrently present normal thyroid tissue in 3/11, 4/11 and 3/11 matched thyroid cancer cases (matched for presence of both normal thyroid tissue and thyroid cancer), respectively. Our data suggests that aberrant methylation of CASP8, RASSF1, and NIS maybe an early change in thyroid tumorigenesis regardless of cell type.
doi:10.3390/cancers3021732
PMCID: PMC3129708  PMID: 21738852
papillary thyroid cancer; follicular thyroid cancer; hypermethylation; NIS; CASP8; RASSF1
11.  Heterogeneity of Breast Cancer Metastases: Comparison of Therapeutic Target Expression and Promoter Methylation Between Primary Tumors and Their Multifocal Metastases 
Purpose
A comprehensive comparison of biomarker expression between patients' primary breast carcinoma (PBC) and their metastatic breast carcinomas (MBC) has not been done.
Experimental Design
We did rapid autopsies (postmortem intervals, 1-4 hours) on 10 consenting patients who died of MBC. We constructed single-patient tissue microarrays from the patients' archived PBC and multiple different MBCs harvested at autopsy, which were immunohistochemically labeled for multiple biomarkers. Methylation of multiple gene promoters was assessed quantitatively on dissected PBC and MBC samples.
Results
Extensive heterogeneity was observed between PBC and their paired MBC, as well as among multiple MBC from the same patient. Estrogen and progesterone receptors tended to be uniformly down-regulated in metastases. E-cadherin was down-regulated in a subset of the MBC of one case. Variable overexpression in MBC compared with the PBC was observed for cyclooxygenase-2 (five cases), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR; four cases), MET (four cases), and mesothelin (four cases). No case strongly overexpressed HER-2/neu by immunohistochemistry, but eight cases showed variable protein expression ranging from negative to equivocal (2+) in different MBC. In one case, variable low-level HER-2/neu gene amplification was found. EGFR and METoverexpression were restricted to the four basal-type cancers. EGFR protein overexpression did not correlate with EGFR gene amplification. Multigene promoter hypermethylation of RASSF1a, HIN1, cyclin D2, Twist, estrogen receptor α, APC1, and RARβ was overall very similar in the PBC and all MBCs in all cases.
Conclusions
Therapeutic targets identified in the PBC or even some MBC may not reflect targets present in all metastatic sites.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-4082
PMCID: PMC2965068  PMID: 18381931
12.  Mutational Profile Of Advanced Primary and Metastatic Radioactive Iodine-Refractory Thyroid Cancers Reveals Distinct Pathogenetic Roles for BRAF, PIK3CA and AKT1 
Cancer research  2009;69(11):4885-4893.
Patients with poorly differentiated (PDTC), anaplastic (ATC) and radioactive iodine-refractory (RAIR) differentiated thyroid cancers have a high mortality, particularly if positive on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). To obtain comprehensive genetic information on advanced thyroid cancers, we designed an assay panel for mass spectrometry genotyping encompassing the most significant oncogenes in this disease: 111 mutations in RET, BRAF, NRAS, HRAS, KRAS, PIK3CA, AKT1 and other related genes were surveyed in 31 cell lines, 52 primary tumors (34 PDTCs and 18 ATCs) and 55 RAIR, FDG-PET positive recurrences and metastases (nodal and distant) from 42 patients. RAS mutations were more prevalent than BRAF (44 vs 12%; p=0.002) in primary PDTC, whereas BRAF was more common than RAS (39 vs 13%, p=0.04) in PET-positive metastatic PDTC. BRAF mutations were highly prevalent in ATC (44%) and in metastatic tumors from RAIR PTC patients (95%). Among patients with multiple metastases, 9/10 showed between-sample concordance for BRAF or RAS mutations. By contrast, 5/6 patients were discordant for mutations of PIK3CA or AKT1. AKT1_G49A was found in 10 specimens, exclusively in metastases. This is the first documentation of AKT1 mutation in thyroid cancer. Thus, RAIR FDG-PET-positive metastases are enriched for BRAF mutations. If BRAF is mutated in the primary, it is likely that the metastases will harbor the defect. By contrast, absence of PIK3CA/AKT1 mutations in one specimen may not reflect the status at other sites since these mutations arise during progression, an important consideration for therapies directed at PI3K effectors.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-0727
PMCID: PMC2690720  PMID: 19487299
Mass spectrometry genotyping; Thyroid Cancer; PIK3CA; AKT1; BRAF
13.  An integrated genomic analysis of lung cancer reveals loss of DUSP4 in EGFR-mutant tumors 
Oncogene  2009;28(31):2773-2783.
To address the biological heterogeneity of lung cancer, we studied 199 lung adenocarcinomas by integrating genome-wide data on copy number alterations and gene expression with full annotation for major known somatic mutations in this cancer. This revealed non-random patterns of copy number alterations significantly linked to EGFR and KRAS mutation status and to distinct clinical outcomes, and led to the discovery of a striking association of EGFR mutations with under-expression of DUSP4, a gene within a broad region of frequent single-copy loss on 8p. DUSP4 is involved in negative feedback control of EGFR signaling and we provide functional validation for its role as a growth suppressor in EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma. DUSP4 loss also associates with p16/CDKN2A deletion and defines a distinct clinical subset of lung cancer patients. Another novel observation is that of reciprocal relationship between EGFR and LKB1 mutations. These results highlight the power of integrated genomics to identify candidate driver genes within recurrent broad regions of copy number alteration and to delineate distinct oncogenetic pathways in genetically complex common epithelial cancers.
doi:10.1038/onc.2009.135
PMCID: PMC2722688  PMID: 19525976
14.  Genetic predictors of MEK-dependence in non-small cell lung cancer 
Cancer research  2008;68(22):9375-9383.
Hyperactivated ERK signaling is common in human cancer and is often the result of activating mutations in BRAF, RAS and upstream receptor tyrosine kinases. In order to characterize the MEK/ERK dependence of lung cancers harboring BRAF kinase domain mutations, we screened a large panel of human lung cancer cell lines (n= 87) and tumors (n=916) for BRAF mutations. We found that NSCLC cells with both V600E and non-V600E BRAF mutations were selectively sensitive to MEK inhibition, compared to those harboring mutations in EGFR, KRAS, or ALK and ROS kinase fusions. Supporting its classification as a “driver” mutation in the cells in which it is expressed, MEK inhibition in V600EBRAF NSCLC cells led to substantial induction of apoptosis, comparable to that seen with EGFR kinase inhibition in EGFR-mutant NSCLC models. Despite high basal ERK phosphorylation, EGFR-mutant cells were uniformly resistant to MEK inhibition. Conversely, BRAF-mutant cell lines were resistant to EGFR inhibition. These data, together with the non-overlapping pattern of EGFR and BRAF mutations in human lung cancer, suggest that these lesions define distinct clinical entities whose treatment should be guided by prospective real-time genotyping. To facilitate such an effort, we developed a mass spectrometry-based genotyping method for the detection of hot-spot mutations in BRAF, KRAS, and EGFR. Using this assay, we confirmed that BRAF mutations can be identified in a minority of NSCLC tumors, and that patients whose tumors harbor BRAF mutations have a distinct clinical profile compared to those whose tumors harbor kinase domain mutations in EGFR.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-2223
PMCID: PMC2649746  PMID: 19010912
BRAF; non-small cell lung cancer; MEK inhibitor; PD0325901; EGFR mutation; gefitinib; erlotinib
15.  Frequency and Distinctive Spectrum of KRAS Mutations in Never Smokers with Lung Adenocarcinoma 
Purpose:
KRAS mutations are found in ~ 25% of lung adenocarcinomas in Western countries and, as a group, have been strongly associated with cigarette smoking. These mutations are predictive of poor prognosis in resected disease as well as resistance to treatment with erlotinib or gefitinib.
Experimental Design:
We determined the frequency and type of KRAS codon 12 and 13 mutations and characterized their association with cigarette smoking history in patients with lung adenocarcinomas.
Results:
KRAS mutational analysis was performed on 482 lung adenocarcinomas, 81 (17%) of which were obtained from patients who had never smoked cigarettes. KRAS mutations were found in 15% (12/81; 95% CI 8%-24%) of tumors from never smokers. Similarly, 22% (69/316; 95% CI 17%-27%) of tumors from former smokers, and 25% (21/85; 95% CI 16%-35%) of tumors from current smokers had KRAS mutations. The frequency of KRAS mutation was not associated with age, gender, or smoking history. The number of pack years of cigarette smoking did not predict an increased likelihood of KRAS mutations. Never smokers were significantly more likely than former or current smokers to have a transition mutation (G→A) rather than the transversion mutations known to be smoking related (G→T or G→C; p<0.0001).
Conclusions:
Based upon our data, KRAS mutations are not rare among never smokers with lung adenocarcinoma and such patients have a distinct KRAS mutation profile. The etiologic and biological heterogeneity of KRAS mutant lung adenocarcinomas is worthy of further study.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-0646
PMCID: PMC2754127  PMID: 18794081
16.  Novel MEK1 Mutation Identified by Mutational Analysis of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling Pathway Genes in Lung Adenocarcinoma 
Cancer research  2008;68(14):5524-5528.
Genetic lesions affecting a number of kinases and other elements within the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway have been implicated in the pathogenesis of human non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We performed mutational profiling of a large cohort of lung adenocarcinomas to uncover other potential somatic mutations in genes of this pathway that could contribute to lung tumorigenesis. We have identified in 2 of 207 primary lung tumors a somatic activating mutation in exon 2 of MEK1 (i.e., mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1 or MAP2K1) that substitutes asparagine for lysine at amino acid 57 (K57N) in the nonkinase portion of the kinase. Neither of these two tumors harbored known mutations in other genes encoding components of the EGFR signaling pathway (i.e., EGFR, HER2, KRAS, PIK3CA, and BRAF). Expression of mutant, but not wild-type, MEK1 leads to constitutive activity of extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK)-1/2 in human 293T cells and to growth factor–independent proliferation of murine Ba/F3 cells. A selective MEK inhibitor, AZD6244, inhibits mutant-induced ERK activity in 293T cells and growth of mutant-bearing Ba/F3 cells. We also screened 85 NSCLC cell lines for MEK1 exon 2 mutations; one line (NCI-H1437) harbors a Q56P substitution, a known transformation-competent allele of MEK1 originally identified in rat fibroblasts, and is sensitive to treatment with AZD6244. MEK1 mutants have not previously been reported in lung cancer and may provide a target for effective therapy in a small subset of patients with lung adenocarcinoma.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-0099
PMCID: PMC2586155  PMID: 18632602

Results 1-16 (16)