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author:("delaitre, O")
1.  Segmental chromosomal alterations lead to a higher risk of relapse in infants with MYCN-non-amplified localised unresectable/disseminated neuroblastoma (a SIOPEN collaborative study) 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(12):1940-1948.
In neuroblastoma (NB), the presence of segmental chromosome alterations (SCAs) is associated with a higher risk of relapse.
In order to analyse the role of SCAs in infants with localised unresectable/disseminated NB without MYCN amplification, we have performed an array CGH analysis of tumours from infants enroled in the prospective European INES trials.
Tumour samples from 218 out of 300 enroled patients could be analysed. Segmental chromosome alterations were observed in 11%, 20% and 59% of infants enroled in trials INES99.1 (localised unresectable NB), INES99.2 (stage 4s) and INES99.3 (stage 4) (P<0.0001). Progression-free survival was poorer in patients whose tumours harboured SCA, in the whole population and in trials INES99.1 and INES99.2, in the absence of clinical symptoms (log-rank test, P=0.0001, P=0.04 and P=0.0003, respectively). In multivariate analysis, a SCA genomic profile was the strongest predictor of poorer progression-free survival.
In infants with stage 4s MYCN-non-amplified NB, a SCA genomic profile identifies patients who will require upfront treatment even in the absence of other clinical indication for therapy, whereas in infants with localised unresectable NB, a genomic profile characterised by the absence of SCA identifies patients in whom treatment reduction might be possible. These findings will be implemented in a future international trial.
PMCID: PMC3251887  PMID: 22146831
neuroblastoma; infants; genomic profile; segmental chromosome alterations; prognosis
2.  MicroRNA-206 expression levels correlate with clinical behaviour of rhabdomyosarcomas 
British Journal of Cancer  2010;102(12):1769-1777.
Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMSs) are primarily paediatric sarcomas that resemble developing skeletal muscle. Our aim was to determine the effects of microRNAs (miRNA) that have been implicated in muscle development on the clinical behaviour of RMSs.
Expression levels of miR-1, miR-206, miR-133a and miR-133b were quantified by RT–PCR in 163 primary paediatric RMSs, plus control tissues, and correlated with clinico-pathological features. Correlations with parallel gene expression profiling data for 84 samples were used to identify pathways associated with miR-206. Synthetic miR-206 was transfected into RMS cell lines and phenotypic responses assessed.
Muscle-specific miRNAs levels were lower in RMSs compared with skeletal muscle but generally higher than in other normal tissues. Low miR-206 expression correlated with poor overall survival and was an independent predictor of shorter survival in metastatic embryonal and alveolar cases without PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion genes. Low miR-206 expression also significantly correlated with high SIOP stage and the presence of metastases at diagnosis. High miR-206 expression strongly correlated with genes linked to muscle differentiation and low expression was associated with genes linked to MAPkinase and NFKappaB pathway activation. Increasing miR-206 expression in cell lines inhibited cell growth and migration and induced apoptosis that was associated with myogenic differentiation in some, but not all, cell lines.
miR-206 contributes to the clinical behaviour of RMSs and the pleiotropic effects of miR-206 supports therapeutic potential.
PMCID: PMC2883695  PMID: 20502458
rhabdomyosarcoma; microRNA; overall survival; expression profile; cell line
3.  Chromosomal CGH identifies patients with a higher risk of relapse in neuroblastoma without MYCN amplification 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;97(2):238-246.
Whereas neuroblastoma (NB) with MYCN amplification presents a poor prognosis, no single marker allows to reliably predict outcome in tumours without MYCN amplification. We report here an extensive analysis of 147 NB samples at diagnosis, without MYCN amplification, by chromosomal comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH), providing a comprehensive overview of their genomic imbalances. Comparative genomic hybridisation profiles showed gains or losses of entire chromosomes (type 1) in 71 cases, whereas partial chromosome gains or losses (type 2), including gain involving 17q were observed in 68 cases. Atypical profiles were present in eight cases. A type 1 profile was observed more frequently in localised disease (P<0.0001), and in patients of less than 12 months at diagnosis (P<0.0001). A type 2 genomic profile was associated with a higher risk of relapse in the overall population (log-rank test; P<0.0001), but also in the subgroup of patients with localised disease (log-rank test, P=0.007). In multivariate analysis, the genomic profile was the strongest independent prognostic factor. In conclusion, the genomic profile is of prognostic impact in patients without MYCN amplification, making it a help in the management of low-stage NB. Further studies using higher-resolution CGH are needed to better characterise atypical genomic alterations.
PMCID: PMC2360301  PMID: 17579628
neuroblastoma; pangenomic analysis; CGH; prognosis
4.  Incidence and prognostic value of tumour cells detected by RT–PCR in peripheral blood stem cell collections from patients with Ewing tumour 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;95(10):1326-1333.
To retrospectively evaluate the incidence of tumour cell contamination of peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collections and to correlate these data with the clinical outcome after high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with stem cell rescue in patients with a high-risk Ewing tumour. Peripheral blood stem cell collections obtained from 171 patients were analysed. Tumour contamination was assessed by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR). The files of 88 patients who underwent HDCT followed by PBSC reinfusion were reviewed in detail, and their outcome compared to the PBSC RT–PCR results. Seven of 88 PBSC collections (8%) contained tumour cells as detected by RT–PCR. Peripheral blood stem cells were collected after a median of five cycles of chemotherapy. No clinical factor predictive of tumour cell contamination of PBSC harvest could be identified. Event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) of the whole study population were 45.3 % and 51.8 % at 3 years from the date of the graft, respectively. Forty-five patients relapsed with a median time of 15 months after graft, only four of whom had tumour cell contamination of the PBSC harvest. Tumour cell contamination of PBSC collection is rare and does not seem to be associated with a significantly poorer EFS or OS in this high-risk population.
PMCID: PMC2360590  PMID: 17088915
ewing tumour; PBSC; tumour cell contamination; RT–PCR; outcome
6.  INI1 mutations in meningiomas at a potential hotspot in exon 9 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(2):199-201.
Rhabdoid tumours have been shown to carry somatic mutations in the INI1 (SMARCB1/hSNF5) gene. A considerable fraction of these tumours exhibit allelic losses on chromosome 22. Allelic loss on 22q also is characteristic for meningiomas, however most of these alterations are considered to be associated with mutations of the NF2 gene. We examined a series of 126 meningiomas for alterations in the INI1 gene. Four identical somatic mutations in exon 9 were detected resulting in an exchange of Arg to His in position 377 of INI1. Our observations were reproduced both by using DNA from a new round of extraction and by employing overlapping primers. This mutational hotspot therefore appears to be an important target in the formation of a fraction of meningiomas. In addition, 4 novel polymorphisms of INI1 were characterized. Our data indicate that the INI1 is a second tumour suppressor gene on chromosome 22 that may be important for the genesis of meningiomas. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363707  PMID: 11161377
INI1; SMARCB1; hSNF5; mutation; meningioma
7.  Sensitive detection of occult Ewing's cells by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. 
British Journal of Cancer  1995;72(1):96-100.
Recently, Ewing's tumours have been shown to carry specific hybrid transcripts resulting from the fusion of the EWS gene with FLI-1 or ERG genes. Based on the sensitivity and specificity of the detection of these alterations by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technique, we have developed an assay to search for small numbers of Ewing cells in various sites from patients with Ewing's tumour. This method enables the detection of fewer than one tumour cell per million blood mononuclear cells. A total of 28 primary sites and 51 peripheral samples from 36 patients were investigated. Tumour cells could be detected in 4/18 blood samples, 4/15 bone marrow aspirates and 2/18 peripheral stem cell harvests. EWS/FLI-1 and EWS/ERG transcripts being observed in eight and two cases respectively. The type of fusion transcript detected in peripheral site(s) was identical to that observed in the primary site. At diagnosis 5/16 patients (31%) demonstrated either circulating tumour cells or/and occult bone marrow metastasis. After induction therapy, tumour cells were detected in 3/21 patients. This highly sensitive method should be a relevant tool to allow a more accurate clinical assessment of the dissemination of Ewing's tumours.
PMCID: PMC2034130  PMID: 7599072
8.  Variability of EWS chimaeric transcripts in Ewing tumours: a comparison of clinical and molecular data. 
British Journal of Cancer  1994;70(5):908-913.
Ewing tumours (ET), including Ewing's sarcoma and peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumour, are well characterised at the molecular level by a unique chromosomal rearrangement which fuses the EWS gene to one of two closely related ETS proto-oncogenes, FLI-1 or ERG. Expression of the resulting chimaeric transcripts can be readily detected by reversed transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This approach led to the identification of a number of different exon combinations at the junction site of coding sequences. The physiological consequences of the observed variability in the hinge region of EWS chimaeric proteins are not known. We have analysed tumour-derived material from 30 ET patients with well-documented clinical course (18 with localised and 12 with metastatic disease at diagnosis) for the presence of EWS/FLI-1 or EWS/ERG RNA. Karyotypes were obtained in 21 out of 27 cases and analysed by routine cytogenetics. A chromosome 22 rearrangement was demonstrated in 18 cases (67%). In contrast, RT-PCR revealed the presence of chimaeric transcripts in 28 tumours (93%), with fusions of EWS exon 7 to FLI-1 exons 6 (19/28), 5 (4/28) and 7 (1/28). In addition, EWS/FLI-1 exon combinations 10/5 and 9/4 were observed in one case each. In the last tumour, the presence of at least four additional splicing variants corresponding to fusion of EWS exon 7 to FLI-1 exons 4, 6, 8 and 9 was demonstrated. Two tumours expressed EWS/ERG fusion transcripts involving EWS exon 7 and ERG exon 6. In this study, EWS/FLI-1 exon combinations 7/6 (type I) predominated over 7/5 (type II) in localised ET (14 versus 1) and were more abundant in tumours affecting the long bones (9 versus 0), whereas in central axis tumours and metastatic disease there was only little difference in the frequency of the two types. So far, no correlations between different chimaeric EWS transcripts and any other clinical parameters have been identified.
PMCID: PMC2033557  PMID: 7524604
9.  DNA-binding and transcriptional activation properties of the EWS-FLI-1 fusion protein resulting from the t(11;22) translocation in Ewing sarcoma. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1994;14(5):3230-3241.
The 5' half of the EWS gene has recently been described to be fused to the 3' regions of genes encoding the DNA-binding domain of several transcriptional regulators, including ATF1, FLI-1, and ERG, in several human tumors. The most frequent occurrence of this situation results from the t(11;22)(q24;q12) chromosome translocation specific for Ewing sarcoma (ES) and related tumors which joins EWS sequences to the 3' half of FLI-1, which encodes a member of the Ets family of transcriptional regulators. We show here that this chimeric gene encodes an EWS-FLI-1 nuclear protein which binds DNA with the same sequence specificity as the wild-type parental FLI-1 protein. We further show that EWS-FLI-1 is an efficient sequence-specific transcriptional activator of model promoters containing FLI-1 (Ets)-binding sites, a property which is strictly dependent on the presence of its EWS domain. Comparison of the properties of the N-terminal activation domain of FLI-1 to those of the EWS domain of the fusion protein indicates that EWS-FLI-1 has altered transcriptional activation properties compared with FLI-1. These results suggest that EWS-FLI-1 contributes to the transformed phenotype of ES tumor cells by inducing the deregulated and/or unscheduled activation of genes normally responsive to FLI-1 or to other close members of the Ets family. ES and related tumors are characterized by an elevated level of c-myc expression. We show that EWS-FLI-1 is a transactivator of the c-myc promoter, suggesting that upregulation of c-myc expression is under control of EWS-FLI-1.
PMCID: PMC358690  PMID: 8164678

Results 1-15 (15)