An experimental study to investigate the characterization of 3 chordoma cell lines.
To characterize chordoma cell lines and generate hypothesis for further chordoma studies.
Summary of Background Data
Three cultured human chordoma cell lines have been successfully generated; however, their characterization is incomplete. Complete characterization of chordoma cell lines is necessary for these reagents to be a useful preclinical model.
Three chordoma cell lines, CH 8, U-CH1, and GP 60, were cultured in different commercially available tissue culture media. They were also cultured in different environments, which included collagen substrate, various concentrations of glucose, and various levels of hypoxic conditions. The rate of cell proliferation was assessed by either MTT or numeration assay. A 3-dimensional (3D) cell culture model of these chordoma cell lines was also studied, and the expression of vimentin and cytokeratin was measured by immunofluorescence and Western blot. Additionally, the sensitivity of the 3 chordoma cell lines to 6 chemotherapeutic drugs was analyzed.
CH 8, GP 60, and U-CH1 cells proliferate more actively in Iscove Modified Dulbecco Medium or Dulbecco modified Eagle Medium and less actively in RPMI medium. All 3 chordoma cell lines universally grow better in collagen substrate and survive in hypoxic conditions, whereas glucose concentration has no significant influence on their growth properties. Chordoma cell lines grew well in 3D culture systems and formed acini-like spheroids and retained the expression of vimentin and cytokeratin. MTT analysis indicates that all 3 chordoma cell lines are sensitive to doxorubicin, yondelis, zalypsis, and cisplatin.
We characterized 3 chordoma cell lines for differential growth properties in a variety of media and response to chemotherapeutic agents.
chordoma; characteristics; 3D cell culture; chemotherapy
Satellite repeats in heterochromatin are transcribed into noncoding RNAs that have been linked to gene silencing and maintenance of chromosomal integrity. Using digital gene expression analysis, we showed that these transcripts are greatly overexpressed in mouse and human epithelial cancers. In 8 of 10 mouse pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs), pericentromeric satellites accounted for a mean 12% (range 1 to 50%) of all cellular transcripts, a mean 40-fold increase over that in normal tissue. In 15 of 15 human PDACs, alpha satellite transcripts were most abundant and HSATII transcripts were highly specific for cancer. Similar patterns were observed in cancers of the lung, kidney, ovary, colon, and prostate. Derepression of satellite transcripts correlated with overexpression of the long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon and with aberrant expression of neuroendocrine-associated genes proximal to LINE-1 insertions. The overexpression of satellite transcripts in cancer may reflect global alterations in heterochromatin silencing and could potentially be useful as a biomarker for cancer detection.
Despite progress in locoregional and systemic therapies, patient survival from lung cancer remains a challenge. Receptor tyrosine kinases are frequently implicated in lung cancer pathogenesis, and some tyrosine kinase inhibition strategies have been effective clinically. The EphB4 receptor tyrosine kinase has recently emerged as a potential target in several other cancers. We sought to systematically study the role of EphB4 in lung cancer. Here, we demonstrate that EphB4 is overexpressed 3-fold in lung tumors compared to paired normal tissues and frequently exhibits gene copy number increases in lung cancer. We also show that overexpression of EphB4 promotes cellular proliferation, colony formation, and motility, while EphB4 inhibition reduces cellular viability in vitro, halts the growth of established tumors in mouse xenograft models when used as a single-target strategy, and causes near-complete regression of established tumors when used in combination with paclitaxel. Taken together, these data suggest an important role for EphB4 as a potential novel therapeutic target in lung cancer. Clinical trials investigating the efficacy of anti-EphB4 therapies as well as combination therapy involving EphB4 inhibition may be warranted.
Chromosomal rearrangements involving the ROS1 receptor tyrosine kinase gene have recently been described in a subset of non–small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Because little is known about these tumors, we examined the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients with NSCLC with ROS1 rearrangement.
Patients and Methods
Using a ROS1 fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) assay, we screened 1,073 patients with NSCLC and correlated ROS1 rearrangement status with clinical characteristics, overall survival, and when available, ALK rearrangement status. In vitro studies assessed the responsiveness of cells with ROS1 rearrangement to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor crizotinib. The clinical response of one patient with ROS1-rearranged NSCLC to crizotinib was investigated as part of an expanded phase I cohort.
Of 1,073 tumors screened, 18 (1.7%) were ROS1 rearranged by FISH, and 31 (2.9%) were ALK rearranged. Compared with the ROS1-negative group, patients with ROS1 rearrangements were significantly younger and more likely to be never-smokers (each P < .001). All of the ROS1-positive tumors were adenocarcinomas, with a tendency toward higher grade. ROS1-positive and -negative groups showed no difference in overall survival. The HCC78 ROS1-rearranged NSCLC cell line and 293 cells transfected with CD74-ROS1 showed evidence of sensitivity to crizotinib. The patient treated with crizotinib showed tumor shrinkage, with a near complete response.
ROS1 rearrangement defines a molecular subset of NSCLC with distinct clinical characteristics that are similar to those observed in patients with ALK-rearranged NSCLC. Crizotinib shows in vitro activity and early evidence of clinical activity in ROS1-rearranged NSCLC.
Gliomas consist of multiple histologic and molecular subtypes with different clinical phenotypes and responsiveness to treatment. However, enrollment criteria for clinical trials still largely do not take into account these underlying molecular differences. We have incorporated a high-throughput tumor genotyping program based on the ABI SNaPshot platform as well as other molecular diagnostic tests into the standard evaluation of glioma patients in order to assess whether prospective molecular profiling would allow rational patient selection onto clinical trials. From 218 gliomas we prospectively collected SNaPshot genotyping data on 68 mutated loci from 15 key cancer genes along with data from clinical assays for gene amplification (EGFR, PDGFRA, MET), 1p/19q co-deletion and MGMT promoter methylation. SNaPshot mutations and focal gene amplifications were detected in 38.5 and 47.1 % of glioblastomas, respectively. Genetic alterations in EGFR, IDH1 and PIK3CA closely matched frequencies reported in recent studies. In addition, we identified events that are rare in gliomas although are known driver mutations in other cancer types, such as mutations of AKT1, BRAF and KRAS. Patients with genetic alterations that activate signaling pathways were enrolled onto genetically selective clinical trials for malignant glioma as well as for other solid cancers. High-throughput molecular profiling incorporated into the routine clinical evaluation of glioma patients may enable the rational selection of patients for targeted therapy clinical trials and thereby improve the likelihood that such trials succeed.
Tumor genotyping; Molecular profiling; Biomarker; Glioblastoma; Glioma
The use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors to target the epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR) in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer is effective but limited by the emergence of drug-resistance mutations. Molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells may provide a strategy for noninvasive serial monitoring of tumor genotypes during treatment.
We captured highly purified circulating tumor cells from the blood of patients with non–small-cell lung cancer using a microfluidic device containing microposts coated with antibodies against epithelial cells. We performed EGFR mutational analysis on DNA recovered from circulating tumor cells using allele-specific polymerase-chain-reaction amplification and compared the results with those from concurrently isolated free plasma DNA and from the original tumor-biopsy specimens.
We isolated circulating tumor cells from 27 patients with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (median number, 74 cells per milliliter). We identified the expected EGFR activating mutation in circulating tumor cells from 11 of 12 patients (92%) and in matched free plasma DNA from 4 of 12 patients (33%) (P = 0.009). We detected the T790M mutation, which confers drug resistance, in circulating tumor cells collected from patients with EGFR mutations who had received tyrosine kinase inhibitors. When T790M was detectable in pretreatment tumor-biopsy specimens, the presence of the mutation correlated with reduced progression-free survival (7.7 months vs. 16.5 months, P<0.001). Serial analysis of circulating tumor cells showed that a reduction in the number of captured cells was associated with a radiographic tumor response; an increase in the number of cells was associated with tumor progression, with the emergence of additional EGFR mutations in some cases.
Molecular analysis of circulating tumor cells from the blood of patients with lung cancer offers the possibility of monitoring changes in epithelial tumor genotypes during the course of treatment.
The results of mutational profiling of 287 patients with gastrointestinal cancer are presented, identifying for the first time IDH1 mutations in a significant subset of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
Cancers of origin in the gallbladder and bile ducts are rarely curable with current modalities of cancer treatment. Our clinical application of broad-based mutational profiling for patients diagnosed with a gastrointestinal malignancy has led to the novel discovery of mutations in the gene encoding isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) in tumors from a subset of patients with cholangiocarcinoma. A total of 287 tumors from gastrointestinal cancer patients (biliary tract, colorectal, gastroesophageal, liver, pancreatic, and small intestine carcinoma) were tested during routine clinical evaluation for 130 site-specific mutations within 15 cancer genes. Mutations were identified within a number of genes, including KRAS (35%), TP53 (22%), PIK3CA (10%), BRAF (7%), APC (6%), NRAS (3%), AKT1 (1%), CTNNB1 (1%), and PTEN (1%). Although mutations in the metabolic enzyme IDH1 were rare in the other common gastrointestinal malignancies in this series (2%), they were found in three tumors (25%) of an initial series of 12 biliary tract carcinomas. To better define IDH1 and IDH2 mutational status, an additional 75 gallbladder and bile duct cancers were examined. Combining these cohorts of biliary cancers, mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 were found only in cholangiocarcinomas of intrahepatic origin (nine of 40, 23%) and in none of the 22 extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas and none of the 25 gallbladder carcinomas. In an analysis of frozen tissue specimens, IDH1 mutation was associated with highly elevated tissue levels of the enzymatic product 2-hydroxyglutarate. Thus, IDH1 mutation is a molecular feature of cholangiocarcinomas of intrahepatic origin. These findings define a specific metabolic abnormality in this largely incurable type of gastrointestinal cancer and present a potentially new target for therapy.
Biliary tract cancer; Cholangiocarcinoma; IDH1; IDH2; 2-Hydroxyglutarate; Mutation
Amplification of the MET proto-oncogene in gastroesophageal cancer (GEC) may constitute a molecular marker for targeted therapy. We examined a GEC cohort with follow-up and reported the clinical response of four additional patients with MET-amplified tumors to the small molecule inhibitor crizotinib as part of an expanded phase I cohort study.
Patients and Methods
From 2007 to 2009, patients with GEC were genetically screened as a consecutive series of 489 tumors (stages 0, I, and II, 39%; III, 25%; IV, 36%; n = 222 esophageal, including n = 21 squamous carcinomas). MET, EGFR, and HER2 amplification status was assessed by using fluorescence in situ hybridization.
Ten (2%) of 489 patients screened harbored MET amplification; 23 (4.7%) harbored EGFR amplification; 45 (8.9%) harbored HER2 amplification; and 411 (84%) were wild type for all three genes (ie, negative). MET-amplified tumors were typically high-grade adenocarcinomas that presented at advanced stages (5%; n = 4 of 80). EGFR-amplified tumors showed the highest fraction of squamous cell carcinoma (17%; n = 4 of 23). HER2, MET, and EGFR amplification were, with one exception (MET and EGFR positive), mutually exclusive events. Survival analysis in patients with stages III and IV disease showed substantially shorter median survival in MET/EGFR-amplified groups, with a rank order for all groups by median survival (from most to least aggressive): MET (7.1 months; P < .001) less than EGFR (11.2 months; P = .16) less than HER2 (16.9 months; P = .89) when compared with the negative group (16.2 months). Two of four patients with MET-amplified tumors treated with crizotinib experienced tumor shrinkage (−30% and −16%) and experienced progression after 3.7 and 3.5 months.
MET amplification defines a small and aggressive subset of GEC with indications of transient sensitivity to the targeted MET inhibitor crizotinib (PF-02341066).
Apocrine-eccrine carcinomas are rare and associated with poor prognosis. Currently there is no uniform treatment guideline. Chemotherapeutic drugs that selectively target cancer-promoting pathways may complement conventional therapeutic approaches. However, studies on genetic alterations and EGFR and Her2 status of apocrine-eccrine carcinomas are few in number. In addition, hormonal studies have not been comprehensive and performed only on certain subsets of apocrine-eccrine carcinomas. To investigate whether apocrine-eccrine carcinomas express hormonal receptors or possess activation of oncogenic pathways that can be targeted by available chemotherapeutic agent we performed immunohistochemistry for AR, PR, ER, EGFR, and HER2 expression; fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for EGFR and ERBB2 gene amplification; and molecular analyses for recurrent mutations in 15 cancer genes including AKT-1, EGFR, PIK3CA, and TP53 on 54 cases of apocrine-eccrine carcinomas. They include 10 apocrine carcinomas, 7 eccrine carcinomas, 9 aggressive digital papillary adenocarcinomas, 10 hidradenocarcinomas, 11 porocarcinomas, 1 adenoid cystic carcinoma, 4 malignant chondroid syringomas, 1 malignant spiradenoma, and 1 malignant cylindroma. AR, ER, PR, EGFR and HER2 expression was seen in 36% (19/53), 27% (14/51), 16% (8/51), 85% (44/52) and 12% (6/52), respectively. Polysomy or trisomy of EGFR was detected by FISH in 30% (14/46). Mutations of AKT-1, PIK3CA, and TP53 were detected in 1, 3, and 7 cases, respectively (11/47, 23%). Additional investigation regarding the potential treatment of rare cases of apocrine-eccrine carcinomas with PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway inhibitors, currently in clinical testing, may be of clinical interest.
The phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We performed a single-arm, phase 1/2 study of everolimus in patients with advanced HCC.
Patients with histologically confirmed measurable advanced HCC, 0–2 prior regimens, and adequate hematologic, hepatic, and renal functions received everolimus at 5 mg/day or 10 mg/day orally (6 weeks/cycle). The primary end points were determination of a safe dosage of everolimus (phase 1) and progression-free survival (PFS) at 24 weeks (phase 2).
Twenty-eight patients were enrolled and evaluable for efficacy and toxicity. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed at the 5 mg/day (n = 3) or 10 mg/day (n = 6) dosage level in phase 1. Twenty-five patients received everolimus at 10 mg/day. Grade 3–4 adverse events included lymphopenia (n = 3), aspartate transaminase (n = 3), hyponatremia (n = 2), and 1 patient each with anemia, alanine transaminase, hyperglycemia, proteinuria, rash, and hypoxia. One patient (4%) had partial response (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9%–19.6%). The median PFS and overall survival were 3.8 months (95% CI, 2.1–4.6) and 8.4 months (95% CI, 3.9–21.1), respectively. The estimated PFS rate at 24 weeks was 28.6% (95% CI, 7.9%–49.3%).
Everolimus was well tolerated in patients with advanced HCC, and 10 mg/day was defined as the phase 2 dosage. Although the study did not proceed to the second stage of phase 2, preliminary antitumor activity was observed with everolimus in patients with advanced HCC, most of whom had prior systemic treatment.
hepatocellular carcinoma; everolimus; mTOR inhibitors; angiogenesis; clinical trial
Most anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)–positive non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) are highly responsive to treatment with ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, patients with these cancers invariably relapse, typically within 1 year, because of the development of drug resistance. Herein, we report findings from a series of lung cancer patients (n = 18) with acquired resistance to the ALK TKI crizotinib. In about one-fourth of patients, we identified a diverse array of secondary mutations distributed throughout the ALK TK domain, including new resistance mutations located in the solvent-exposed region of the adenosine triphosphate–binding pocket, as well as amplification of the ALK fusion gene. Next-generation ALK inhibitors, developed to overcome crizotinib resistance, had differing potencies against specific resistance mutations. In addition to secondary ALK mutations and ALK gene amplification, we also identified aberrant activation of other kinases including marked amplification of KIT and increased autophosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor in drug-resistant tumors from patients. In a subset of patients, we found evidence of multiple resistance mechanisms developing simultaneously. These results highlight the unique features of TKI resistance in ALK-positive NSCLCs and provide the rationale for pursuing combinatorial therapeutics that are tailored to the precise resistance mechanisms identified in patients who relapse on crizotinib treatment.
Oncogenic BRAF mutations are found in several tumor types, including melanomas and colorectal cancers. Tumors with BRAF mutations have increased mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activity and heightened sensitivity to BRAF and MEK (mitogen-activated or extracellular signal–regulated protein kinase kinase) inhibitors. To identify potential mechanisms of acquired drug resistance, we generated clones resistant to the allosteric MEK inhibitor AZD6244 from two BRAF V600E mutant colorectal cancer cell lines that are highly sensitive to MEK or BRAF inhibition. These AZD6244-resistant (AR) clones, which exhibited cross-resistance to BRAF inhibitors, acquired resistance through amplification of the BRAF gene. A small percentage of treatment-naïve parental cells showed preexisting BRAF amplification. We observed similar amplification in a subset of cells in a BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer. In cell lines, BRAF amplification increased the abundance of phosphorylated MEK and impaired the ability of AZD6244 to inhibit ERK (extracellular signal–regulated kinase) phosphorylation. The ability of AZD6244 to inhibit ERK phosphorylation in AR cells was restored by treatment with a BRAF inhibitor at low concentrations that reduced the abundance of phosphorylated MEK to amounts observed in parental cells. Combined MEK and BRAF inhibition fully overcame resistance to MEK or BRAF inhibitors alone and was also more effective in parental cells compared to treatment with either inhibitor alone. These findings implicate BRAF amplification as a mechanism of resistance to both MEK and BRAF inhibitors and suggest combined MEK and BRAF inhibition as a clinical strategy to overcome, or possibly prevent, this mechanism of resistance.
Knowledge of tumor mutation status is becoming increasingly important for the treatment of cancer, as mutation-specific inhibitors are being developed for clinical use that target only sub-populations of patients with particular tumor genotypes. Melanoma provides a recent example of this paradigm. We report here development, validation, and implementation of an assay designed to simultaneously detect 43 common somatic point mutations in 6 genes (BRAF, NRAS, KIT, GNAQ, GNA11, and CTNNB1) potentially relevant to existing and emerging targeted therapies specifically in melanoma.
The test utilizes the SNaPshot method (multiplex PCR, multiplex primer extension, and capillary electrophoresis) and can be performed rapidly with high sensitivity (requiring 5–10% mutant allele frequency) and minimal amounts of DNA (10–20 nanograms). The assay was validated using cell lines, fresh-frozen tissue, and formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue. Clinical characteristics and the impact on clinical trial enrollment were then assessed for the first 150 melanoma patients whose tumors were genotyped in the Vanderbilt molecular diagnostics lab.
Directing this test to a single disease, 90 of 150 (60%) melanomas from sites throughout the body harbored a mutation tested, including 57, 23, 6, 3, and 2 mutations in BRAF, NRAS, GNAQ, KIT, and CTNNB1, respectively. Among BRAF V600 mutations, 79%, 12%, 5%, and 4% were V600E, V600K, V600R, and V600M, respectively. 23 of 54 (43%) patients with mutation harboring metastatic disease were subsequently enrolled in genotype-driven trials.
We present development of a simple mutational profiling screen for clinically relevant mutations in melanoma. Adoption of this genetically-informed approach to the treatment of melanoma has already had an impact on clinical trial enrollment and prioritization of therapy for patients with the disease.
ALK gene rearrangement defines a new molecular subtype of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In a recent phase 1 clinical trial, the ALK tyrosine-kinase inhibitor (TKI) crizotinib showed marked antitumour activity in patients with advanced, ALK-positive NSCLC. To assess whether crizotinib affects overall survival in these patients, we did a retrospective study comparing survival outcomes in crizotinib-treated patients in the trial and crizotinib-naive controls screened during the same time period.
We examined overall survival in patients with advanced, ALK-positive NSCLC who enrolled in the phase 1 clinical trial of crizotinib, focusing on the cohort of 82 patients who had enrolled through Feb 10, 2010. For comparators, we identified 36 ALK-positive patients from trial sites who were not given crizotinib (ALK-positive controls), 67 patients without ALK rearrangement but positive for EGFR mutation, and 253 wild-type patients lacking either ALK rearrangement or EGFR mutation. To assess differences in overall survival, we assessed subsets of clinically comparable ALK-positive and ALK-negative patients.
Among 82 ALK-positive patients who were given crizotinib, median overall survival from initiation of crizotinib has not been reached (95% CI 17 months to not reached); 1-year overall survival was 74% (95% CI 63–82), and 2-year overall survival was 54% (40–66). Overall survival did not differ based on age, sex, smoking history, or ethnic origin. Survival in 30 ALK-positive patients who were given crizotinib in the second-line or third-line setting was significantly longer than in 23 ALK-positive controls given any second-line therapy (median overall survival not reached [95% CI 14 months to not reached] vs 6 months [4–17], 1-year overall survival 70% [95% CI 50–83] vs 44% [23–64], and 2-year overall survival 55% [33–72] vs 12% [2–30]; hazard ratio 0·36, 95% CI 0·17–0·75; p=0·004). Survival in 56 crizotinib-treated, ALK-positive patients was similar to that in 63 ALK-negative, EGFR-positive patients given EGFR TKI therapy (median overall survival not reached [95% CI 17 months to not reached] vs 24 months [15–34], 1-year overall survival 71% [95% CI 58–81] vs 74% [61–83], and 2-year overall survival 57% [40–71] vs 52% [38–65]; p=0·786), whereas survival in 36 crizotinib-naive, ALK-positive controls was similar to that in 253 wild-type controls (median overall survival 20 months [95% CI 13–26] vs 15 months [13–17]; p=0·244).
In patients with advanced, ALK-positive NSCLC, crizotinib therapy is associated with improved survival compared with that of crizotinib-naive controls. ALK rearrangement is not a favourable prognostic factor in advanced NSCLC.
One of the major challenges of surgical neuropathology is the distinction of diffuse astrocytoma (World Health Organization [WHO] grade II) from astrocytosis. The most commonly used ancillary tool to solve this problem is p53 immunohistochemistry (IHC), but this is neither sensitive nor specific. Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutations are common in lower grade gliomas, with most causing a specific amino acid change (R132H) that can be detected with a monoclonal antibody. IDH2 mutations are rare, but also occur in gliomas. In addition, gains of chromosome 7 are common in gliomas. In this study we assessed the status of p53, IDH1/2 and chromosome 7 to determine the most useful panel to distinguish astrocytoma from astrocytosis. We studied biopsy specimens from 21 WHO grade II diffuse astrocytomas and 20 reactive conditions. The single most sensitive test to identify astrocytoma is fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for chromosome 7 gain (76.2%). The combination of p53 and mutant IDH1 IHC provides a higher sensitivity (71.4%) than either test alone (47.8%); this combination offers a practical initial approach for the surgical pathologist. The best overall sensitivity (95%) is achieved when FISH for chromosome 7 gain is added to the p53-mutant IDH1 IHC panel.
Astrocytoma; Astrocytosis; Chromosome 7; FISH; IDH1; Immunohistochemistry; p53
Mutations at codon 641 of EZH2 are recurrent in germinal center B cell lymphomas, and the most common variants lead to altered EZH2 enzymatic activity and enhanced tri-methylation of histone H3 at lysine 27, a repressive chromatin modification. As an initial step toward screening patients for cancer genotype-directed therapy, we developed a screening assay for EZH2 codon 641 mutations amenable for testing formalin-fixed clinical specimens, based on the sensitive SNaPshot single nucleotide extension technology. We detected EZH2 mutations in 12/55 (22%) follicular lymphomas (FL), 5/35 (14%) diffuse large B cell lymphomas with a germinal center immunophenotype (GCB-DLBCL), and 2/11 (18%) high grade B cell lymphomas with concurrent rearrangements of BCL2 and MYC. No EZH2 mutations were detected in cases of Burkitt lymphoma (0/23). EZH2 mutations were frequently associated with the presence of BCL2 rearrangement (BCL2-R) in both the FL (28% of BCL-R cases versus 0% of BCL2-WT cases, p<0.05) and GCB-DLBCL groups (33% of BCL2-R cases versus 4% of BCL2-WT cases, p<0.04), and across all lymphoma types excluding BL (27% of BCL2-R cases versus 3% of BCL2-WT cases, p<0.003). We confirmed gain-of-function activity for all previously reported EZH2 codon 641 mutation variants. Our findings suggest that EZH2 mutations constitute an additional genetic “hit” in many BCL2-rearranged germinal center B cell lymphomas. Our work may be helpful in the selection of lymphoma patients for future trials of pharmacologic agents targeting EZH2 and EZH2-regulated pathways.
We previously showed that 90% (47 of 52; 95% CI, 0.79 to 0.96) of lung adenocarcinomas from East Asian never-smokers harbored well-known oncogenic mutations in just four genes: EGFR, HER2, ALK, and KRAS. Here, we sought to extend these findings to more samples and identify driver alterations in tumors negative for these mutations.
We have collected and analyzed 202 resected lung adenocarcinomas from never smokers seen at Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. Since mutations were mutually exclusive in the first 52 examined, we determined the status of EGFR, KRAS, HER2, ALK, and BRAF in stepwise fashion as previously described. Samples negative for mutations in these 5 genes were subsequently examined for known ROS1 fusions by RT-PCR and direct sequencing.
152 tumors (75.3%) harbored EGFR mutations, 12 (6%) had HER2 mutations, 10 (5%) had ALK fusions all involving EML4 as the 5′ partner, 4 (2%) had KRAS mutations, and 2 (1%) harbored ROS1 fusions. No BRAF mutation were detected.
The vast majority (176 of 202; 87.1%, 95% CI: 0.82 to 0.91) of lung adenocarcinomas from never smokers harbor mutant kinases sensitive to available TKIs. Interestingly, patients with EGFR mutant patients tend to be older than those without EGFR mutations (58.3 Vs 54.3, P = 0.016) and patient without any known oncogenic driver tend to be diagnosed at a younger age (52.3 Vs 57.9, P = 0.013). Collectively, these data indicate that the majority of never smokers with lung adenocarcinoma could benefit from treatment with a specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
Lung cancers harboring mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) respond to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, but drug resistance invariably emerges. To elucidate mechanisms of acquired drug resistance, we performed systematic genetic and histological analyses of tumor biopsies from 37 patients with drug-resistant non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) carrying EGFR mutations. All drug-resistant tumors retained their original activating EGFR mutations, and some acquired known mechanisms of resistance including the EGFR T790M mutation or MET gene amplification. Some resistant cancers showed unexpected genetic changes including EGFR amplification and mutations in the PIK3CA gene, whereas others underwent a pronounced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Surprisingly, five resistant tumors (14%) transformed from NSCLC into small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and were sensitive to standard SCLC treatments. In three patients, serial biopsies revealed that genetic mechanisms of resistance were lost in the absence of the continued selective pressure of EGFR inhibitor treatment, and such cancers were sensitive to a second round of treatment with EGFR inhibitors. Collectively, these results deepen our understanding of resistance to EGFR inhibitors and underscore the importance of repeatedly assessing cancers throughout the course of the disease.
Activating mutations in members of the RAS oncogene family (KRAS, HRAS and NRAS) have been found in a variety of human malignancies, suggesting a dominant role in carcinogenesis. In colon cancers, KRAS mutations are common and clearly contribute to malignant progression. The frequency of NRAS mutations and their relationship to clinical, pathologic, and molecular features remains uncertain. We developed and validated a Pyroseqencing assay to detect NRAS mutations at codons 12, 13 and 61. Utilizing a collection of 225 colorectal cancers from two prospective cohort studies, we examined the relationship between NRAS mutations, clinical outcome, and other molecular features, including mutation of KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA, microsatellite instability (MSI), and the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP). Finally, we examined whether NRAS mutation was associated with patient survival or prognosis. NRAS mutations were detected in 5 (2.2%) of the 225 colorectal cancers and tended to occur in left-sided cancers arising in women, but did not appear to be associated with any of the molecular features that were examined.
NRAS; colon cancer; clinical outcome; sequencing; signal transduction
Rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are present in the blood of patients with metastatic epithelial cancers but have been difficult to measure routinely. We report a quantitative automated imaging system for analysis of prostate CTCs, taking advantage of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a unique prostate tumor–associated marker. The specificity of PSA staining enabled optimization of criteria for baseline image intensity, morphometric measurements, and integration of multiple signals in a three-dimensional microfluidic device. In a pilot analysis, we detected CTCs in prostate cancer patients with localized disease, before surgical tumor removal in 8 of 19 (42%) patients (range, 38 to 222 CTCs per milliliter). For 6 of the 8 patients with preoperative CTCs, a precipitous postoperative decline (<24 hours) suggests a short half-life for CTCs in the blood circulation. Other patients had persistent CTCs for up to 3 months after prostate removal, suggesting early but transient disseminated tumor deposits. In patients with metastatic prostate cancer, CTCs were detected in 23 of 36 (64%) cases (range, 14 to 5000 CTCs per milliliter). In previously untreated patients followed longitudinally, the numbers of CTCs declined after the initiation of effective therapy. The prostate cancer–specific TMPRSS2-ERG fusion was detectable in RNA extracted from CTCs from 9 of 20 (45%) patients with metastatic disease, and dual staining of captured CTCs for PSA and the cell division marker Ki67 indicated a broad range for the proportion of proliferating cells among CTCs. This method for analysis of CTCs will facilitate the application of noninvasive tumor sampling to direct targeted therapies in advanced prostate cancer and warrants the initiation of long-term clinical studies to test the importance of CTCs in invasive localized disease.
The molecular events in chordoma pathogenesis have not been fully delineated,
particularly with respect to copy number changes. Understanding copy number
alterations in chordoma may reveal critical disease mechanisms that could be
exploited for tumor classification and therapy. We report the copy number
analysis of 21 sporadic chordomas using array comparative genomic hybridization
(CGH). Recurrent copy changes were further evaluated with immunohistochemistry,
methylation specific PCR, and quantitative real-time PCR. Similar to previous
findings, large copy number losses, involving chromosomes 1p, 3, 4, 9, 10, 13,
14, and 18, were more common than copy number gains. Loss of
CDKN2A with or without loss of CDKN2B on
9p21.3 was observed in 16/20 (80%) unique cases of which six (30%)
showed homozygous deletions ranging from 76 kilobases to 4.7 megabases. One copy
loss of the 10q23.31 region which encodes PTEN was found in
16/20 (80%) cases. Loss of CDKN2A and PTEN expression in the majority of
cases was not attributed to promoter methylation. Our sporadic chordoma cases
did not show hotspot point mutations in some common cancer gene targets.
Moreover, most of these sporadic tumors are not associated with
T (brachyury) duplication or amplification. Deficiency of
CDKN2A and PTEN expression, although shared across many other different types of
tumors, likely represents a key aspect of chordoma pathogenesis. Sporadic
chordomas may rely on mechanisms other than copy number gain if they indeed
exploit T/brachyury for proliferation.
Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) of the pancreas are a unique entity with malignant potential. Histologically, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) arising in IPMN (intraductal papillary mucinous carcinoma [IPMC]) appears similar to sporadic PDAC; biologically, however, IPMC seems to have a less aggressive clinical course. Little is known about the genetic signature of IPMC. In this study, we describe a novel xenograft model and cell culture created to biologically and genetically characterize these tumors.
Xenograft mice and cell lines were created from IPMC. Global genomic changes were evaluated by cytogenetic analysis and array comparative genomic hybridization. Specific mutations and sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway activity were examined and xenografts evaluated for sensitivity to anti-Shh therapy.
Cytogenetic analysis showed a tetraploid karyotype with multiple aberrations. KRAS and p53 mutations and overexpression of the Shh pathway were identified. Array comparative genomic hybridization revealed multiple chromosomal aberrations comparable with previously published data in IPMNs. Murine xenograft tumors were sensitive to anti-Shh treatment.
Characterization of IPMC cell lines and xenografts reveals similarities to previously published data on IPMN. In comparison to PDAC, moreover, these data reveal shared aberrations and distinct genomic changes. Thus, these xenograft model and cell lines may be useful for future preclinical investigations.
intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms; pancreas; xenograft; cell line; genetic characterization
Oncogenic fusion genes consisting of EML4 and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) are present in a subgroup of non–small-cell lung cancers, representing 2 to 7% of such tumors. We explored the therapeutic efficacy of inhibiting ALK in such tumors in an early-phase clinical trial of crizotinib (PF-02341066), an orally available small-molecule inhibitor of the ALK tyrosine kinase.
After screening tumor samples from approximately 1500 patients with non–small-cell lung cancer for the presence of ALK rearrangements, we identified 82 patients with advanced ALK-positive disease who were eligible for the clinical trial. Most of the patients had received previous treatment. These patients were enrolled in an expanded cohort study instituted after phase 1 dose escalation had established a recommended crizotinib dose of 250 mg twice daily in 28-day cycles. Patients were assessed for adverse events and response to therapy.
Patients with ALK rearrangements tended to be younger than those without the rearrangements, and most of the patients had little or no exposure to tobacco and had adenocarcinomas. At a mean treatment duration of 6.4 months, the overall response rate was 57% (47 of 82 patients, with 46 confirmed partial responses and 1 confirmed complete response); 27 patients (33%) had stable disease. A total of 63 of 82 patients (77%) were continuing to receive crizotinib at the time of data cutoff, and the estimated probability of 6-month progression-free survival was 72%, with no median for the study reached. The drug resulted in grade 1 or 2 (mild) gastrointestinal side effects.
The inhibition of ALK in lung tumors with the ALK rearrangement resulted in tumor shrinkage or stable disease in most patients.
Background & Aims
Colorectal cancers (CRCs) displaying DNA microsatellite instability (MSI) are associated with a favorable natural history, but the molecular basis for this observation has not been defined. We sought to determine whether the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is impaired in MSI-positive CRCs that characteristically have a mutant transforming growth factor-β receptor type II (TGFBR2) gene.
The induction of EMT by TGF-β1 was analyzed by phase contrast microscopy, immunofluorescence, qRT-PCR, immunoblotting, and cellular migration and invasion assays. Expression of EMT markers was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR in a series of human colorectal tumors.
TGF-β1 induced changes in cellular morphology, gene expression, motility, and invasion consistent with EMT in microsatellite stable (MSS) colon cancer cells whereas cells with MSI and mutant TGFBR2 were unresponsive to TGF-β1. These effects did not require Smad4 but depended upon the recruitment of ERK. Tumor cells with MSI but wildtype TGFBR2 underwent EMT in response to TGF-β1, indicating that TGFBR2 genotype is a key determinant of the EMT response in tumors with MSI. In human colorectal tumors, expression of EMT markers was significantly associated with adverse clinicopathologic features and the absence of MSI.
These findings define a unique genotype-phenotype relationship between TGFBR2 and EMT that may contribute to the improved prognosis consistently observed in colon cancers with MSI.
epithelial to mesenchymal transition; microsatellite instability; colorectal cancer; transforming growth factor-β receptor type II
Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA) is low-grade glial neoplasm principally affecting children and young adults. Approximately 40% of PXA are reported to recur within 10 years of primary resection. Upon recurrence, patients receive radiation therapy and conventional chemotherapeutics designed for high-grade gliomas. Genetic changes that can be targeted by selective therapeutics have not been extensively evaluated in PXA and ancillary diagnostic tests to help discriminate PXA from other pleomorphic and often more aggressive astrocytic malignancies are limited. In this study, we apply the SNaPshot multiplexed targeted sequencing platform in the analysis of brain tumors to interrogate 60 genetic loci that are frequently mutated in 15 cancer genes. In our analysis we detect BRAF V600E mutations in 12 of 20 (60%) WHO grade II PXA, in 1 of 6 (17%) PXA with anaplasia and in 1 glioblastoma arising in a PXA. Phospho-ERK was detected in all tumors independent of the BRAF mutation status. BRAF duplication was not detected in any of the PXA cases. BRAF V600E mutations were identified in only 2 of 71 (2.8%) glioblastoma (GBM) analyzed, including 1 of 9 (11.1%) giant cell GBM (gcGBM). The finding that BRAF V600E mutations are common in the majority of PXA has important therapeutic implications and may help in differentiating less aggressive PXAs from lethal gcGBMs and GBMs.