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1.  Magnetic Enrichment of Bronchial Epithelial Cells From Sputum for Lung Cancer Diagnosis 
Cancer  2008;114(4):275-283.
Sputum is an easily accessible diagnostic material for lung cancer early detection by cytologic and molecular genetic analysis of exfoliated airway epithelial cells. However, the use of sputum is limited by its cellular heterogeneity, which includes >95% macrophages and neutrophils and only about 1% bronchial epithelial cells. We propose to obtain concentrated and purified bronchial epithelial cells to improve early detection of lung cancer in sputum samples.
Sputum was collected from patients with stage I nonsmall-cell lung cancer, cancer-free smokers, and healthy nonsmokers. Magnetic-assisted cell sorting (MACS) with anti-CD14 and anti-CD16 antibody beads were used to enrich bronchial epithelial cells by depleting macrophages and neutrophils from sputum. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis for detection of FHIT deletion and cytology were evaluated in the enriched specimens.
The bronchial epithelial cells were concentrated to 40% purity from 1.1% of the starting population, yielding an average of 36-fold enrichment and at least 2.3 × 105 cells per sample. Detecting FHIT deletions for lung cancer diagnosis produced 58% sensitivity in the enriched sputum, whereas there was 42% sensitivity in the unenriched samples (P = .02). Cytologic examination of the enriched sputum resulted in 53% sensitivity, as compared with 39% sensitivity in unenriched sputum (P = .03). Furthermore, only 2 cytocentrifuge slides of the unenriched sputum were needed for the analyses, as compared with up to 10 cytocentrifuge slides required from the unprocessed specimens.
The enrichment of bronchial epithelial cells could improve the diagnostic value of sputum and the efficiency of genetic and cytologic analysis of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC4255556  PMID: 18484646
magnetic-assisted cell sorting; bronchial epithelial cells; sputum; lung cancer; diagnosis
2.  Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 Is a Tumor Stem Cell-Associated Marker in Lung Cancer 
Molecular cancer research : MCR  2009;7(3):330-338.
Tumor contains small population of cancer stem cells (CSC) that are responsible for its maintenance and relapse. Analysis of these CSCs may lead to effective prognostic and therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. We report here the identification of CSCs from human lung cancer cells using Aldefluor assay followed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis. Isolated cancer cells with relatively high aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) activity display in vitro features of CSCs, including capacities for proliferation, self-renewal, and differentiation, resistance to chemotherapy, and expressing CSC surface marker CD133. In vivo experiments show that the ALDH1-positive cells could generate tumors that recapitulate the heterogeneity of the parental cancer cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of 303 clinical specimens from three independent cohorts of lung cancer patients and controls show that expression of ALDH1 is positively correlated with the stage and grade of lung tumors and related to a poor prognosis for the patients with early-stage lung cancer. ALDH1 is therefore a lung tumor stem cell-associated marker. These findings offer an important new tool for the study of lung CSCs and provide a potential prognostic factor and therapeutic target for treatment of the patients with lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC4255559  PMID: 19276181
3.  3p22.1 and 10q22.3 Deletions Detected by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) 
Journal of Thoracic Oncology  2008;3(9):979-984.
Our objective was to study the feasibility of detecting chromosomal deletions at 3p22.1 and 10q22.3 by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and to examine their distribution in different areas of the airway in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Brush biopsies from the mainstem bronchus on the normal side contralateral to the tumor (NBB) and mainstem bronchus on the tumor side (TBB) were obtained from 122 patients who underwent surgical resection. Touch preparations from the tumor (TTP), normal lung parenchyma, and bronchi adjacent to the tumor were also obtained. Two FISH assays using probes complementary to 3p22.1 and 10q22.3 were used to detect deletions.
NBB showed a relatively low deletion rate of 3p22.1 and 10q22.3 compared with TTP (p < 0.0001). TBB showed a significantly higher rate of deletions compared with NBB but lower than TTP from the tumor (p < 0.05) for both 3p22.1 and 10q22.3. A significantly higher deletion rate was seen at TTP compared with normal lung parenchyma at both the 3p22.1 and 10 q22.3 (p < 0.0001). Correlations were seen between the deletion rates of TTP and TBB at 3p22.1 (ρ = 0.61, p < 0.0001) and between TTP and bronchi adjacent to the tumor at 10q22.3 (ρ = 0.64, p < 0.0001).
Deletions of the 3p22.1 and 10q22.3 regions can be reliably detected by FISH. As one progresses from the contralateral normal bronchus to the bronchus on the side of tumor and the tumor itself, the percentage of chromosomal deletions increases in a statistically significant fashion. This suggests that, FISH analysis of bronchoscopic brushes may be useful for identifying patients at high risk for developing non-small cell lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3370669  PMID: 18758299
Lung; Cancer; Non-small cell; Screening; Fluorescent in situ hybridization; Bronchial brushes
4.  Genetically Abnormal Circulating Cells in Lung Cancer Patients: An Antigen Independent Fluorescence in-situ Hybridization Based Case-Control Study 
We performed a study to determine if a fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH)-based assay using isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with DNA probes targeting specific sites on chromosomes known to have abnormalities in Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) cases could detect circulating genetically abnormal cells (CACs).
Experimental Design
We evaluated 59 NSCLC cases with stage I through IV disease and 24 controls. PBMCs and matched tumors were hybridized with 2 two-color (3p22.1/CEP3 and 10q22.3 [SP-A]/CEP10) and 2 four-color (CEP3, CEP7, CEP17, and 9p21.3 [URO]) and (EGFR, c-MYC, 6p11-q11, and 5p15.2 [LAV]) FISH probes. Percentages of cytogenetically abnormal cells (CACs) in peripheral blood and in matched tumor specimens were quantified using an automated fluorescent scanner. Numbers of CACs were calculated based on the percentage of CACs (defined as PBMCs with genetic abnormalities) per mL of blood and expressed per microliter of blood.
Patients with NSCLC had significantly higher numbers of CACs than did controls. Mean number of CACs ranged from 7.23±1.32/μl for deletions of 10q22.3/CEP10 to 45.52±7.49/μl for deletions of 3p22.1/CEP3. Numbers of CACs with deletions of 3p22.1, 10q22.3, and 9p21.3, and gains of URO, increased significantly from early to advanced stage of disease.
We have developed a sensitive and quantitative antigen-independent FISH-based test for detecting CACs in peripheral blood of patients with NSCLC which showed a significant correlation with the presence of cancer. If this pilot study can be validated in a larger study, CACs may have a role in the management of patients with NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC2949278  PMID: 20651054
5.  Use of Fluorescence in situ Hybridization to Predict Patient Response to BCG Therapy for Bladder Cancer: Results of a Prospective Trial 
The Journal of Urology  2012;187(3):862-867.
No reliable methods currently exist to predict patient response to intravesical immunotherapy with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), given after transurethral resection for high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. We initiated a prospective clinical trial to determine whether fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) results during BCG immunotherapy can predict therapy failure.
Materials and Methods
Candidates for standard of care BCG were offered participation in a clinical trial. FISH was performed prior to BCG and at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months during BCG therapy with maintenance. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess the relationship between FISH results and tumor recurrence or progression; the Kaplan-Meier product limit method was used to estimate recurrence- and progression-free survival.
One hundred twenty-six patients participated. At a median follow-up of 24 months, 31% of patients had recurrent tumors and 14% experienced disease progression. Patients who had positive FISH results during BCG therapy were 3-5 times more likely than those who had negative FISH results to develop recurrent tumors and 5-13 times more likely to experience disease progression (p < 0.01). The timing of positive FISH results also affected outcome; for example, patients with a negative FISH result at baseline, 6 weeks, and 3 months demonstrated an 8.3% recurrence rate, compared to 48.1% in those with a positive FISH result at all three time points.
FISH results can identify patients who are at risk of tumor recurrence and progression during BCG immunotherapy. This information may be used to counsel patients about alternative treatment strategies.
PMCID: PMC3278506  PMID: 22245325
bladder cancer; BCG; FISH; response; prediction
6.  Early detection of lung adenocarcinoma in sputum by a panel of microRNA markers 
Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. Early detection is the key to improve the survival of lung adenocarcinoma patients. We have previously shown that microRNAs were stably present in sputum and could be applied to diagnosis of lung cancer. The aim of this study was to develop a panel of microRNAs that can be used as highly sensitive and specific sputum markers for early detection of lung adenocarcinoma. This study contained three phases: (1) marker discovery using microRNA profiling on paired normal and tumor lung tissues from 20 patients with lung adenocarcinoma; (2) marker optimization by real-time RT-qPCR on sputum of a case-control cohort consisting of 36 cancer patients and 36 health individuals; and (3) validation on an independent set of 64 lung cancer patients and 58 cancer-free subjects. From the surgical tissues, seven microRNAs with significantly altered expression were identified, of which “four” were overexpressed and “three” were underexpressed in all 20 tumors. On the sputum samples of the case-control cohort, four (miR-21, miR-486, miR-375, and miR-200b) of the seven microRNAs were selected, which in combination produced the best prediction in distinguishing lung adenocarcinoma patients from normal subjects with 80.6% sensitivity and 91.7% specificity. Validation of the marker panel in the independent populations confirmed the sensitivity and specificity that provided a significant improvement over any single one alone. The sputum markers demonstrated the potential of translation to laboratory settings for improving the early detection of lung adenocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3545471  PMID: 21351266
MicroRNA; sputum; lung adenocarcinoma; real-time RT-qPCR; diagnosis
7.  Combined Genetic Analysis of Sputum and Computed Tomography for Noninvasive Diagnosis of Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer 
CT plays an important role in diagnosis of lung cancer, however has been limited by uncertain diagnostic rate for early stage of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particularly central tumors. Genetic analysis of sputum has proven to be useful in diagnosis of NSCLC. We proposed to evaluate efficacy of combing CT and genetic analysis of sputum for noninvasive diagnosis of stage I NSCLC. Genomic copy changes of a panel of lung cancer-related genes, HYAL2, FHIT, p16, and SP-A were analyzed by a mini-chip in sputum from 33 patients with stage I NSCLC and 49 cancer-free controls. The genetic and CT diagnoses were compared with surgical-pathologic stage. CT had higher sensitivity (85%) in detection of lung cancer compared with the mini-chip (70%) (p<0.05), while there was no significant difference in specificity between the two tests (89 vs. 92%, p=0.09). Similarly, CT showed considerably higher sensitivity (93%) in identifying peripheral tumors than did the mini-chip (64%) (p<0.05), whereas there was no difference in specificity between them (98 vs. 96%, p=0.28). However, in detecting central tumors, CT had lower specificity (90%) compared with the mini-chip (98%) (P<0.05), although its sensitivity (79%) was higher than that of the mini-chip (73%) (P=0.05). Combining both tests offered higher sensitivity (91%) than did any single one (85%, 70%, all <0.05), while still keeping 92% sensitivity. In particular, this combined approach yielded higher sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for diagnosing central cancers compared with CT alone (all p<0.05). The integration of the genetic assay with CT led to improvements in noninvasive diagnosis of stage I NSCLCs, especially central tumors.
PMCID: PMC3544396  PMID: 19181417
Genetic analysis; sputum; CT; lung cancer; diagnosis
8.  AP2β nucleolar localization predicts poor survival after stage I non–small cell lung cancer resection 
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery  2011;92(3):1044-1050.
Activating enhancer-binding protein-2β (AP2β) is a transcription factor involved in apoptosis. The purpose of the current study was to assess the cellular location and level of AP2β in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and normal lung tissue and investigate whether the level and localization of AP2β expression is predictive of overall survival in patients with stage I NSCLC.
We performed immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarrays (TMAs) prepared from stage I NSCLC specimens with adjacent normal lung tissue from two independent sets of patients who underwent lung resection with curative intent at our institution. AP2β intensity was assessed in TMAs, and AP2β staining patterns were classified as either diffuseor nucleolar in the TMAs. AP2β intensity and localization were analyzed for correlation with patients' survival.
Immunohistochemical analysis of TMAs showed that the intensity of AP2β immunohistochemical staining did not correlate with overall survival. When location of AP2β was analyzed in TMAs, all of the normal lung tissue had diffuse pattern of AP2β. In the first set of NSCLC, patients with nucleolar pattern had a significantly lower 5-year survival rate than patients with diffuse pattern (67% vs. 100%; P = 0.004); this finding was confirmed in the second set (64% vs. 91%; P = 0.02). Multivariate analysis revealed that nucleolar pattern was an independent predictor of poor overall survival in both sets.
The AP2β which is located in the nucleoplasm in normal lung tissue is found in either nucleoplasm or nucleoli in NSCLC. The patients with AP2β in the nucleoli had poor survival compared to patients with AP2β in the cytoplasm.
PMCID: PMC3272351  PMID: 21871297
Lung cancer biology; survival analysis
9.  Automated detection of genetic abnormalities combined with cytology in sputum is a sensitive predictor of lung cancer 
Modern Pathology  2008;21(8):950-960.
Detection of lung cancer by sputum cytology has low sensitivity but is noninvasive and, if improved, could be a powerful tool for early lung cancer detection. To evaluate whether the accuracy of diagnosing lung cancer by evaluating sputa for cytologic atypia and genetic abnormalities is greater than that of conventional cytology alone, automated scoring of genetic abnormalities for 3p22.1 and 10q22.3 (SP-A) by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and conventional cytology was done on sputa from 35 subjects with lung cancer, 25 high-risk smokers, and 6 healthy control subjects. Multivariate analysis was performed to select variables that most accurately predicted lung cancer. A model of probability for the presence of lung cancer was derived for each subject. Cells exfoliated from patients with lung cancer contained genetic aberrations and cytologic atypias at significantly higher levels than in those from control subjects. When combined with cytologic atypia, a model of risk for lung cancer was derived that had 74% sensitivity and 82% specificity to predict the presence of lung cancer, whereas conventional cytology achieved only 37% sensitivity and 87% specificity. For diagnosing lung cancer in sputum, a combination of molecular and cytologic variables was superior to using conventional cytology alone.
PMCID: PMC3377448  PMID: 18500269
surfactant protein A gene; 3p22.1; FISH; cytology; field cancerization effect; sputum
10.  Prospective Isolation of Clonogenic Mantle Cell Lymphoma Initiating Cells 
Stem cell research  2010;5(3):212-225.
Here, we have prospectively isolated and characterized, for the first time, clonogenic cells with self-renewal capacities from mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), a particularly deadly form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). Self-renewal and tumorigenic activities were enriched in MCL cell fractions that lacked expression of the prototypic B cell surface marker, CD19. CD45+CD19− cells represented a relatively small fraction of the total MCL tumor cells, however, they recapitulated the heterogeneity of original patient tumors upon transplantation into immunodeficient mice. As few as 100 of these cells displayed self-renewal capacities in secondary and tertiary recipient mice by in vivo limiting dilution assays. Similar to leukemic stem cells, CD45+CD19− MCL cells also displayed a quiescent status as determined by dye efflux assays. In summary, this study is the first to isolate subpopulations of MCL cells that have self-renewal and tumorigenic capacities. Identification and characterization of MCL-ICs is an important first step toward understanding how self-renewal and tumorigenicity are regulated in MCL and designing targeted therapies against MCL-ICs will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for MCL patients.
PMCID: PMC2952723  PMID: 20851072
Mantle cell lymphoma; Self-renewal; Xenografts; Cancer stem cells
11.  Fluorescence in situ hybridization for detecting urothelial carcinoma: A clinicopathological study 
Cancer cytopathology  2010;118(5):259-268.
Because urothelial carcinoma (UC) is associated with a significant high risk of recurrence and progression, patients with UC require long-term surveillance. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) has been shown to be more sensitive than cytology in the detection of UC. This study evaluated the use of FISH for detecting UC.
We used a pathology database to identify patients who had urine cytology and FISH performed at our institution between 2004 and 2006. Urinary specimens were analyzed using UroVysion FISH probes for abnormalities in centromeric chromosomes 3, 7 and 17 and locus specific 9p21. FISH results were correlated with cytologic findings and a minimal clinical follow-up of 24 months.
We identified 1006 consecutive urinary specimens from 600 patients (448 men and 152 women) who were monitored for recurrent UC (915 specimens) or evaluated for urinary symptoms (91 specimens). On FISH analysis, 669 specimens were negative for UC and 272 specimens were positive for UC. Sixty-five (6%) specimens were insufficient for FISH analysis. The sensitivity and specificity of FISH for UC were 58% and 66%, respectively, and 59% and 63% when FISH and cytology results were combined. Factors contributing to decreased FISH sensitivity included the paucity or absence of tumor cells, low-grade tumors, degenerated cells, method of specimen collection, type of specimen, and obscuring inflammatory cells or lubricant.
We found UroVysion FISH had good sensitivity and specificity for detecting UC in urinary specimens. It is important to correlate the FISH results with the cytologic findings.
PMCID: PMC2993817  PMID: 20665656
Urothelial carcinoma; fluorescence in situ hybridization; chromosomal abnormalities; urine; cytology; multitarget FISH; bladder neoplasms; UroVysion
12.  Plasma microRNAs as potential biomarkers for non-small-cell lung cancer 
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer-related death. Developing minimally invasive techniques that can diagnose NSCLC, particularly at an early stage, may improve its outcome. Using microarray platforms, we previously identified 12 microRNAs (miRNAs) the aberrant expressions of which in primary lung tumors are associated with early-stage NSCLC. Here, we extend our previous research by investigating whether the miRNAs could be used as potential plasma biomarkers for NSCLC. We initially validated expressions of the miRNAs in paired lung tumor tissues and plasma specimens from 28 stage I NSCLC patients by real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR, and then evaluated diagnostic value of the plasma miRNAs in a cohort of 58 NSCLC patients and 29 healthy individuals. The altered miRNA expressions were reproducibly confirmed in the tumor tissues. The miRNAs were stably present and reliably measurable in plasma. Of the 12 miRNAs, five displayed significant concordance of the expression levels in plasma and the corresponding tumor tissues (all r>0.850, all P<0.05). A logistic regression model with the best prediction was defined on the basis of the four genes (miRNA-21, -126, -210, and 486-5p), yielding 86.22% sensitivity and 96.55% specificity in distinguishing NSCLC patients from the healthy controls. Furthermore, the panel of miRNAs produced 73.33% sensitivity and 96.55% specificity in identifying stage I NSCLC patients. In addition, the genes have higher sensitivity (91.67%) in diagnosis of lung adenocarcinomas compared with squamous cell carcinomas (82.35%) (P<0.05). Altered expressions of the miRNAs in plasma would provide potential blood-based biomarkers for NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC3130190  PMID: 21116241
diagnosis; lung cancer; microRNA; plasma; qRT-PCR.
13.  Quantitation of Aurora Kinase A Gene Copy Number in Urine Sediments and Bladder Cancer Detection 
Chromosome missegregation and the resulting aneuploidy is a common change in neoplasia. The Aurora kinase A (AURKA) gene, which encodes a key regulator of mitosis, is frequently amplified and/or overexpressed in cancer cells, and the level of AURKA amplification is associated with the level of aneuploidy. We examined whether AURKA gene amplification is a biomarker for the detection of bladder cancer.
The effect of ectopic expression of Aurora kinase A (AURKA) using an adenoviral vector in simian virus 40–immortalized urothelial cells (SV-HUC) on centrosome multiplication and chromosome copy number was measured in vitro by immunofluorescence and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), respectively. The FISH test was also used to examine AURKA gene copy number in exfoliated cells in voided urine samples from 23 patients with bladder cancer and 7 healthy control subjects (training set), generating a model for bladder cancer detection that was subsequently validated in an independent set of voided urine samples from 100 bladder cancer patients and 148 control subjects (92 healthy individuals and 56 patients with benign urologic disorders). An AURKA gene score (the proportion of cells with three or more AURKA signals) was used to produce receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and to calculate the specificity and sensitivity of the AURKA FISH test. Differences between mean AURKA scores in different pathogenetic groups of bladder cancer stratified according to histological grade and stage were tested by unpaired Mann–Whitney t tests or one-way Wilcoxon tests. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Forced overexpression of AURKA in urothelial cells induced amplification of centrosomes, chromosome missegregation, and aneuploidy, and natural overexpression was detectable in in situ lesions from patients with bladder cancer. The FISH test for the AURKA gene copy number performed on the validation set yielded a specificity of 96.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 92.3% to 98.5%) and sensitivity of 87% (95% CI = 79.0% to 92.2%) and an area under the ROC curve of 0.939 (95% CI = 0.906 to 0.971; P < .001).
Overexpression of AURKA can cause aneuploidy in urothelial cells, and the AURKA gene copy number is a promising biomarker for detection of bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC2720731  PMID: 18812553
14.  Genomic Profiles in Stage I Primary Non Small Cell Lung Cancer Using Comparative Genomic Hybridization Analysis of cDNA Microarrays1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2004;6(5):623-635.
To investigate the genomic aberrations that are involved in lung tumorigenesis and therefore may be developed as biomarkers for lung cancer diagnosis, we characterized the genomic copy number changes associated with individual genes in 14 tumors from patients with primary non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Six squamous cell carcinomas (SQCAs) and eight adenocarcinomas (ADCAs) were examined by high-resolution comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis of cDNA microarray. The SQCAs and ADCAs shared common frequency distributions of recurrent genomic gains of 63 genes and losses of 72 genes. Cluster analysis using 57 genes defined the genomic differences between these two major histologic types of NSCLC. Genomic aberrations from a set of 18 genes showed distinct difference of primary ADCAs from their paired normal lung tissues. The genomic copy number of four genes was validated by fluorescence in situ hybridization of 32 primary NSCLC tumors, including those used for cDNA microarray CGH analysis; a strong correlation with cDNA microarray CGH data emerged. The identified genomic aberrations may be involved in the initiation and progression of lung tumorigenesis and, most importantly, may be developed as new biomarkers for the early detection and classification of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC1531667  PMID: 15548372
Genomic copy number changes; primary non small cell lung cancer; comparative genomic hybridization; cDNA microarray

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