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1.  EGFR mutational status in a large series of Caucasian European NSCLC patients: data from daily practice 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;109(7):1821-1828.
Background:
The prognosis of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still poor. Activating epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are important genetic alterations with dramatic therapeutical implications. Up to now, in contrast to Asian populations only limited data on the prevalence of those mutations are available from patients with Caucasian and especially European ethnicity.
Methods:
In this multicentre study, 1201 unselected NSCLC patients from Southern Germany were tested in the daily clinical routine for EGFR mutation status.
Results:
Activating EGFR mutations were found in 9.8% of all tumours. Mutations in exons 18, 19 and 21 accounted for 4.2%, 61.9% and 33.1% of all mutations, respectively. Non-smokers had a significantly higher rate of EGFR mutations than smokers or ex-smokers (24.4% vs 4.2% P<0.001). Non-lepidic-non-mucinous adenocarcinomas (G2) accounted for 45.5% of all activating EGFR mutations and 3.5% of all squamous cell carcinomas were tested positive. Thyroid transcription factor 1 protein expression was significantly associated with EGFR mutational status.
Conclusion:
These comprehensive data from clinical routine in Germany add to the knowledge of clinical and histopathological factors associated with EGFR mutational status in NSCLC.
doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.511
PMCID: PMC3790166  PMID: 24002608
epidermal growth factor receptor; EGFR mutation; non-small-cell lung cancer; tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Caucasian
2.  Alterations in p53 predict response to preoperative high dose chemotherapy in patients with gastric cancer 
Molecular Pathology  2003;56(5):286-292.
Aims: To evaluate the usefulness of molecular markers in predicting histopathological and clinical response to preoperative high dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and survival of patients with advanced gastric cancer.
Methods: In a phase II trial, 25 patients with metastatic gastric cancer received preoperative tandem HDCT consisting of etoposide, cisplatin, and mitomycin, followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation to achieve surgical resectability. Samples before and after treatment, from normal and tumour tissue, were characterised histopathologically, and both p53 and BAX expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry. Pretreatment formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded samples from normal and tumour tissue were microdissected, and the extracted DNA was preamplified using improved primer extension preamplification polymerase chain reaction. Detection of microsatellite instability (MSI) or loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was performed using markers for p53, BAX, BAT25, BAT26, D2S123, D17S250, and APC. Exons 5–9 of the p53 gene were sequenced directly on ABI 373.
Results: Four parameters were significantly associated with response to chemotherapy and prolonged overall survival: positive p53 immunostaining, positive p53 mutation status before chemotherapy, strong histological regression induced by preoperative HDCT, and surgical treatment. Patients’s sex or age, tumour location or stage, lymph node status, Lauren classification, MSI, or LOH did not influence duration of survival significantly in this high risk population.
Conclusion: Positive p53 immunostaining and p53 mutation status in pretreatment tumour biopsies might be useful molecular predictors of response and prognosis in patients with advanced gastric cancer treated by preoperative HDCT.
PMCID: PMC1187340  PMID: 14514923
gastric cancer; preoperative high dose chemotherapy; molecular parameters; histological regression; p53
3.  Microsatellite analysis in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2000;59(5):386-389.
OBJECTIVES—Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease characterised by irreversible destruction of the affected joints. As aggressive transformed-appearing synovial fibroblasts are commonly found at the site of invasion of the rheumatoid synovium into the adjacent cartilage and bone, the presence of microsatellite instability (MSI) and expression of mismatch repair enzymes as a possible mechanism in the alteration of these cells was examined.
METHODS—DNA was extracted from the synovial fibroblasts and blood of 20 patients with long term RA undergoing joint replacement, and the presence of MSI was studied at 10 microsatellite loci. In addition, immunohistochemistry was performed to evaluate the expression of the two major mismatch repair enzymes (hMLH1 and hMSH2) in rheumatoid synovium.
RESULTS—MSI could not be detected in any of the fibroblast cell populations derived from the 20 different rheumatoid synovial samples. In addition, strong expression of mismatch repair enzymes could be seen in numerous cells, including fibroblasts, throughout the synovium.
CONCLUSIONS—Applying the currently used and established markers for MSI, the data show for the first time that MSI does not appear to have an important role in alteration of rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts into an aggressive phenotype. On the other hand, strong mismatch repair enzyme synthesis in rheumatoid synovium supports the hypothesis of continuing DNA repair, presumably due to long term, inflammation induced DNA damage.


doi:10.1136/ard.59.5.386
PMCID: PMC1753134  PMID: 10784522
4.  Expression of Ret/PTC1, -2, -3, -delta3 and -4 in German papillary thyroid carcinoma. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;77(6):903-906.
Ret/PTC oncogene has been described with a frequency of 2.5-30% in papillary thyroid carcinomas. We examined the expression of ret/PTC in 99 German papillary thyroid carcinomas, including two recently described new variants of ret/PTC3 and identified eight ret/PTC-positive tumours (8%) but none with the new variants.
Images
PMCID: PMC2150093  PMID: 9528832

Results 1-5 (5)