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1.  International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society International Multidisciplinary Classification of Lung Adenocarcinoma 
Introduction
Adenocarcinoma is the most common histologic type of lung cancer. To address advances in oncology, molecular biology, pathology, radiology, and surgery of lung adenocarcinoma, an international multidisciplinary classification was sponsored by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, American Thoracic Society, and European Respiratory Society. This new adenocarcinoma classification is needed to provide uniform terminology and diagnostic criteria, especially for bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC), the overall approach to small nonresection cancer specimens, and for multidisciplinary strategic management of tissue for molecular and immunohistochemical studies.
Methods
An international core panel of experts representing all three societies was formed with oncologists/pulmonologists, pathologists, radiologists, molecular biologists, and thoracic surgeons. A systematic review was performed under the guidance of the American Thoracic Society Documents Development and Implementation Committee. The search strategy identified 11,368 citations of which 312 articles met specified eligibility criteria and were retrieved for full text review. A series of meetings were held to discuss the development of the new classification, to develop the recommendations, and to write the current document. Recommendations for key questions were graded by strength and quality of the evidence according to the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach.
Results
The classification addresses both resection specimens, and small biopsies and cytology. The terms BAC and mixed subtype adenocarcinoma are no longer used. For resection specimens, new concepts are introduced such as adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS) and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma (MIA) for small solitary adenocarcinomas with either pure lepidic growth (AIS) or predominant lepidic growth with ≤5 mm invasion (MIA) to define patients who, if they undergo complete resection, will have 100% or near 100% disease-specific survival, respectively. AIS and MIA are usually nonmucinous but rarely may be mucinous. Invasive adenocarcinomas are classified by predominant pattern after using comprehensive histologic subtyping with lepidic (formerly most mixed subtype tumors with nonmucinous BAC), acinar, papillary, and solid patterns; micropapillary is added as a new histologic subtype. Variants include invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (formerly mucinous BAC), colloid, fetal, and enteric adenocarcinoma. This classification provides guidance for small biopsies and cytology specimens, as approximately 70% of lung cancers are diagnosed in such samples. Non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs), in patients with advanced-stage disease, are to be classified into more specific types such as adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, whenever possible for several reasons: (1) adenocarcinoma or NSCLC not otherwise specified should be tested for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations as the presence of these mutations is predictive of responsiveness to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, (2) adenocarcinoma histology is a strong predictor for improved outcome with pemetrexed therapy compared with squamous cell carcinoma, and (3) potential life-threatening hemorrhage may occur in patients with squamous cell carcinoma who receive bevacizumab. If the tumor cannot be classified based on light microscopy alone, special studies such as immunohistochemistry and/or mucin stains should be applied to classify the tumor further. Use of the term NSCLC not otherwise specified should be minimized.
Conclusions
This new classification strategy is based on a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis of lung adenocarcinoma that incorporates clinical, molecular, radiologic, and surgical issues, but it is primarily based on histology. This classification is intended to support clinical practice, and research investigation and clinical trials. As EGFR mutation is a validated predictive marker for response and progression-free survival with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in advanced lung adenocarcinoma, we recommend that patients with advanced adenocarcinomas be tested for EGFR mutation. This has implications for strategic management of tissue, particularly for small biopsies and cytology samples, to maximize high-quality tissue available for molecular studies. Potential impact for tumor, node, and metastasis staging include adjustment of the size T factor according to only the invasive component (1) pathologically in invasive tumors with lepidic areas or (2) radiologically by measuring the solid component of part-solid nodules.
doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e318206a221
PMCID: PMC4513953  PMID: 21252716
Lung; Adenocarcinoma; Classification; Histologic; Pathology; Oncology; Pulmonary; Radiology; Computed tomography; Molecular; EGFR; KRAS; EML4-ALK; Gene profiling; Gene amplification; Surgery; Limited resection; Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma; Lepidic; Acinar; Papillary; Micropapillary; Solid; Adenocarcinoma in situ; Minimally invasive adenocarcinoma; Colloid; Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma; Enteric; Fetal; Signet ring; Clear cell; Frozen section; TTF-1; p63
2.  Diagnosis of Lung Cancer in Small Biopsies and Cytology 
The new International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society lung adenocarcinoma classification provides, for the first time, standardized terminology for lung cancer diagnosis in small biopsies and cytology; this was not primarily addressed by previous World Health Organization classifications. Until recently there have been no therapeutic implications to further classification of NSCLC, so little attention has been given to the distinction of adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in small tissue samples. This situation has changed dramatically in recent years with the discovery of several therapeutic options that are available only to patients with adenocarcinoma or NSCLC, not otherwise specified, rather than squamous cell carcinoma. This includes recommendation for use of special stains as an aid to diagnosis, particularly in the setting of poorly differentiated tumors that do not show clear differentiation by routine light microscopy. A limited diagnostic workup is recommended to preserve as much tissue for molecular testing as possible. Most tumors can be classified using a single adenocarcinoma marker (eg, thyroid transcription factor 1 or mucin) and a single squamous marker (eg, p40 or p63). Carcinomas lacking clear differentiation by morphology and special stains are classified as NSCLC, not otherwise specified. Not otherwise specified carcinomas that stain with adenocarcinoma markers are classified as NSCLC, favor adenocarcinoma, and tumors that stain only with squamous markers are classified as NSCLC, favor squamous cell carcinoma. The need for every institution to develop a multidisciplinary tissue management strategy to obtain these small specimens and process them, not only for diagnosis but also for molecular testing and evaluation of markers of resistance to therapy, is emphasized.
doi:10.5858/arpa.2012-0263-RA
PMCID: PMC4509741  PMID: 22970842
3.  Chlorotoxin: A Helpful Natural Scorpion Peptide to Diagnose Glioma and Fight Tumor Invasion 
Toxins  2015;7(4):1079-1101.
Chlorotoxin is a small 36 amino-acid peptide identified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus. Initially, chlorotoxin was used as a pharmacological tool to characterize chloride channels. While studying glioma-specific chloride currents, it was soon discovered that chlorotoxin possesses targeting properties towards cancer cells including glioma, melanoma, small cell lung carcinoma, neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. The investigation of the mechanism of action of chlorotoxin has been challenging because its cell surface receptor target remains under questioning since two other receptors have been claimed besides chloride channels. Efforts on chlorotoxin-based applications focused on producing analogues helpful for glioma diagnosis, imaging and treatment. These efforts are welcome since gliomas are very aggressive brain cancers, close to impossible to cure with the current therapeutic arsenal. Among all the chlorotoxin-based strategies, the most promising one to enhance patient mean survival time appears to be the use of chlorotoxin as a targeting agent for the delivery of anti-tumor agents. Finally, the discovery of chlorotoxin has led to the screening of other scorpion venoms to identify chlorotoxin-like peptides. So far several new candidates have been identified. Only detailed research and clinical investigations will tell us if they share the same anti-tumor potential as chlorotoxin.
doi:10.3390/toxins7041079
PMCID: PMC4417956  PMID: 25826056
chlorotoxin; glioma; cancer; targeting; diagnosis; treatment; therapy; chloride channel; Annexin A2; metalloprotease
4.  Identification of novel fusion genes in lung cancer using breakpoint assembly of transcriptome sequencing data 
Genome Biology  2015;16(1):7.
Genomic translocation events frequently underlie cancer development through generation of gene fusions with oncogenic properties. Identification of such fusion transcripts by transcriptome sequencing might help to discover new potential therapeutic targets. We developed TRUP (Tumor-specimen suited RNA-seq Unified Pipeline) (https://github.com/ruping/TRUP), a computational approach that combines split-read and read-pair analysis with de novo assembly for the identification of chimeric transcripts in cancer specimens. We apply TRUP to RNA-seq data of different tumor types, and find it to be more sensitive than alternative tools in detecting chimeric transcripts, such as secondary rearrangements in EML4-ALK-positive lung tumors, or recurrent inactivating rearrangements affecting RASSF8.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0558-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0558-0
PMCID: PMC4300615  PMID: 25650807
5.  Evaluation of RECIST in chemotherapy-treated lung cancer: the Pharmacogenoscan Study 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:989.
Background
Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) are widely used to assess the effect of chemotherapy in patients with cancer. We hypothesised that the change in unidimensional tumour size handled as a continuous variable was more reliable than RECIST in predicting overall survival (OS).
Methods
The prospective Pharmacogenoscan study enrolled consecutive patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at any stage seen between 2005 and 2010 at six hospitals in France, given chemotherapy. After exclusion of patients without RECIST or continuous-scale tumour size data and of those with early death, 464 patients were left for the survival analyses. Cox models were built to assess relationships between RECIST 1.1 categories or change in continuous-scale tumour size and OS. The best model was defined as the model minimising the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC).
Results
OS was 14.2 months (IQR, 7.3-28.9 months). According to RECIST 1.1, 146 (31%) patients had a partial or complete response, 245 (53%) stable disease, and73 (16%) disease progression. RECIST 1.1 predicted better OS than continuous-scale tumour in early (<6 months) predicted survival analyses (p = 0.03) but the accuracy of the two response evaluation methods was similar in late (≥6 months) predicted survival analyses (p = 0.15).
Conclusion
In this large observational study, change in continuous-scale tumour size did not perform better than RECIST 1.1 in predicting survival of patients given chemotherapy to treat NSCLC.
Trial registration
NCT00222404
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-989
PMCID: PMC4364468  PMID: 25527907
Lung neoplasm; Drug response; RECIST; Survival; Cox model; Akaike information criteria
6.  Frequent mutations in chromatin-remodeling genes in pulmonary carcinoids 
Nature communications  2014;5:3518.
Pulmonary carcinoids are rare neuroendocrine tumors of the lung. The molecular alterations underlying the pathogenesis of these tumors have not been systematically studied so far. Here we perform gene copy number analysis (n=54), genome/exome (n=44) and transcriptome (n=69) sequencing of pulmonary carcinoids and observe frequent mutations in chromatin-remodeling genes. Covalent histone modifiers and subunits of the SWI/SNF complex are mutated in 40% and 22.2% of the cases respectively, with MEN1, PSIP1 and ARID1A being recurrently affected. In contrast to small-cell lung cancer and large-cell neuroendocrine tumors, TP53 and RB1 mutations are rare events, suggesting that pulmonary carcinoids are not early progenitor lesions of the highly aggressive lung neuroendocrine tumors but arise through independent cellular mechanisms. These data also suggest that inactivation of chromatin remodeling genes is sufficient to drive transformation in pulmonary carcinoids.
doi:10.1038/ncomms4518
PMCID: PMC4132974  PMID: 24670920
7.  ERCC1 Isoform Expression and DNA Repair in Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;368(12):1101-1110.
BACKGROUND
The excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) protein is a potential prognostic biomarker of the efficacy of cisplatin-based chemotherapy in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although several ongoing trials are evaluating the level of expression of ERCC1, no consensus has been reached regarding a method for evaluation.
METHODS
We used the 8F1 antibody to measure the level of expression of ERCC1 protein by means of immunohistochemical analysis in a validation set of samples obtained from 494 patients in two independent phase 3 trials (the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group JBR.10 and the Cancer and Leukemia Group B 9633 trial from the Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin Evaluation Biology project). We compared the results of repeated staining of the entire original set of samples obtained from 589 patients in the International Adjuvant Lung Cancer Trial Biology study, which had led to the initial correlation between the absence of ERCC1 expression and platinum response, with our previous results in the same tumors. We mapped the epitope recognized by 16 commercially available ERCC1 antibodies and investigated the capacity of the different ERCC1 isoforms to repair platinum-induced DNA damage.
RESULTS
We were unable to validate the predictive effect of immunostaining for ERCC1 protein. The discordance in the results of staining for ERCC1 suggested a change in the performance of the 8F1 antibody since 2006. We found that none of the 16 antibodies could distinguish among the four ERCC1 protein isoforms, whereas only one isoform produced a protein that had full capacities for nucleotide excision repair and cisplatin resistance.
CONCLUSIONS
Immunohistochemical analysis with the use of currently available ERCC1 antibodies did not specifically detect the unique functional ERCC1 isoform. As a result, its usefulness in guiding therapeutic decision making is limited. (Funded by Eli Lilly and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1214271
PMCID: PMC4054818  PMID: 23514287
8.  Frequent and Focal FGFR1 Amplification Associates With Therapeutically Tractable FGFR1 Dependency in Squamous-cell Lung Cancer 
Science translational medicine  2010;2(62):62ra93.
Lung cancer remains one of the leading causes for cancer-related death in developed countries. In lung adenocarcinomas, EGFR mutations and EML4-ALK fusions are associated with response to EGFR and ALK inhibition. By contrast, therapeutically exploitable genetic alterations have been lacking in squamous-cell lung cancer. We conducted a systematic search for alterations that are therapeutically amenable and performed high-resolution gene-copy number analyses in a set of 232 lung cancer specimens. We identified frequent and focal FGFR1 amplification in squamous-cell lung cancer (n=155), but not in other lung cancer subtypes, and confirmed its presence in an independent cohort of squamous-cell lung cancer samples employing FISH (22% of cases). Using cell-based screening with the FGFR inhibitor (PD173074) in a large (n=83) panel of lung cancer cell lines, we demonstrated that this compound inhibited growth (p=0.0002) and induced apoptosis (p=0.008) specifically in those lung cancer cells carrying amplified FGFR1. We validated the dependency on FGFR1 of FGFR1-amplified cell lines by knockdown of FGFR1 and by ectopic expression of a resistance allele of FGFR1 (FGFR1V561M), which rescued FGFR1-amplified cells from PD173074-mediated cytotoxicity. Finally we showed that inhibition of FGFR1 with a small molecule led to significant tumor shrinkage in vivo. Focal FGFR1 amplification is common in squamous-cell lung cancer and associated with tumor growth and survival, suggesting that FGFR inhibitors may be a viable therapeutic option in this cohort of patients.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3001451
PMCID: PMC3990281  PMID: 21160078
9.  A new function of the splicing factor SRSF2 in the control of E2F1-mediated cell cycle progression in neuroendocrine lung tumors 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(8):1267-1278.
The transcription factor E2F1 belongs to the E2F family and plays a crucial role during cell cycle progression and apoptosis. Ser/Arg-Rich (SR) proteins are a family of RNA-binding phosphoproteins that control both constitutive and alternative pre-mRNA splicing events. We previously identified the SR protein SRSF2 as a new transcriptional target of E2F1 and demonstrated that both proteins cooperate to induce apoptosis in non-small cell lung carcinoma. In this study, we postulated that SRSF2 is also involved in the proliferative functions of E2F1. Using IHC, we first demonstrate that SRSF2 and its phosphorylated form (P-SRSF2) are overexpressed in neuroendocrine lung tumors that are highly proliferative tumors expressing high levels of E2F1. Importantly, we show a direct correlation between cyclin E, an E2F1-target gene controlling S phase, and P-SRSF2 proteins levels (p = 0.0083), suggesting a role of SRSF2 in E2F1-mediated cellular proliferation. Accordingly, using neuroendocrine lung carcinoma cell lines, we demonstrate that SRSF2 is a cell cycle-regulated protein involved in entry and progression into S phase. We also provide evidence that SRSF2 interacts with E2F1 and stimulates its transcriptional control of cell cycle target genes such as cyclin E. Finally, we show that inhibition of AKT signaling pathway prevents SRSF2 phosphorylation and activity toward E2F1 transcriptional function. Taken together, these results identify a new role of SRSF2 in the control of cell cycle progression and reinforce the functional link between SRSF2 and E2F1 proteins.
doi:10.4161/cc.24363
PMCID: PMC3674091  PMID: 23518498
AKT; cellular proliferation; E2F1; neuroendocrine lung tumors; p45SKP2; SRSF2
10.  Abnormal Expression of the Pre-mRNA Splicing Regulators SRSF1, SRSF2, SRPK1 and SRPK2 in Non Small Cell Lung Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46539.
Splicing abnormalities frequently occur in cancer. A key role as splice site choice regulator is played by the members of the SR (Ser/Arg-rich) family of proteins. We recently demonstrated that SRSF2 is involved in cisplatin-mediated apoptosis of human lung carcinoma cell lines. In this study, by using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate that the SR proteins SRSF1 and SRSF2 are overexpressed in 63% and 65% of lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) as well as in 68% and 91% of squamous cell lung carcinoma (SCC), respectively, compared to normal lung epithelial cells. In addition, we show that SRSF2 overexpression correlates with high level of phosphorylated SRSF2 in both ADC (p<0.0001) and SCC (p = 0.02), indicating that SRSF2 mostly accumulates under a phosphorylated form in lung tumors. Consistently, we further show that the SR-phosphorylating kinases SRPK1 and SRPK2 are upregulated in 92% and 94% of ADC as well as in 72% and 68% of SCC, respectively. P-SRSF2 and SRPK2 scores are correlated in ADC (p = 0.01). Using lung adenocarcinoma cell lines, we demonstrate that SRSF1 overexpression leads to a more invasive phenotype, evidenced by activation of PI3K/AKT and p42/44MAPK signaling pathways, increased growth capacity in soft agar, acquisition of mesenchymal markers such as E cadherin loss, vimentin and fibronectin gain, and increased resistance to chemotherapies. Finally, we provide evidence that high levels of SRSF1 and P-SRSF2 proteins are associated with extensive stage (III–IV) in ADC. Taken together, these results indicate that a global deregulation of pre-mRNA splicing regulators occurs during lung tumorigenesis and does not predict same outcome in both Non Small Cell Lung Carcinoma histological sub-types, likely contributing to a more aggressive phenotype in adenocarcinoma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046539
PMCID: PMC3468597  PMID: 23071587
11.  Preneoplasia of lung cancer 
As with other epithelial cancers, lung cancer develops over a period of several years or decades via a series of progressive morphological changes accompanied by molecular alterations that commence in histologically normal epithelium. However the development of lung cancer presents certain unique features that complicates this evaluation. Anatomically the respiratory tree may be divided into central and peripheral compartments having different gross and histological anatomies as well as different functions. In addition, there are three major forms of lung cancer and many minor forms. Many of these forms arise predominantly in either the central or peripheral compartments. Squamous cell and small cell carcinomas predominantly arise in the central compartment, while adenocarcinomas predominantly arise peripherally. Large cell carcinomas are not a single entity but consist of poorly differentiated forms of the other types and, possibly, some truly undifferentiated “stem cell like” tumors. The multistage origin of squamous cell carcinomas, because of their central location, can be followed more closely than the peripherally arising adenocarcinomas. Squamous cell carcinomas arise after a series of reactive, metaplastic, premalignant and preinvasive changes. However, long term observations indicate that not all tumors follow a defined histologic course, and the clinical course, especially of early lesions, is difficult to predict. Peripheral adenocarcinomas are believed to arise from precursor lesions known as atypical adenomatous hyperplasias and may have extensive in situ growth before becoming invasive. Small cell carcinomas are believed to arise from severely molecularly damaged epithelium without going through recognizable preneoplastic changes. The molecular changes that occur prior to the onset on invasive cancers are extensive. As documented in this chapter, they encompass all of the six classic Hallmarks of Cancer other than invasion and metastasis, which by definition occur beyond preneoplasia. A study of preinvasive lung cancer has yielded much valuable biologic information that impacts on clinical management.
doi:10.3233/CBM-2011-0166
PMCID: PMC3428013  PMID: 22112486
Lung cancer; squamous cell carcinoma; adenocarcinomas; small cell lung carcinoma; preneoplasia; carcinoma in situ; atypical adenomatous hyperplasia; tumor suppressor genes; oncogenes; apoptosis; telomerase; angiogenesis
12.  Loss-of-function alleles of P2RX7 and TLR4 fail to affect the response to chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer 
Oncoimmunology  2012;1(3):271-278.
The success of anticancer chemotherapy relies at least in part on the induction of an immune response against tumor cells. Thus, tumors growing on mice that lack the pattern recognition receptor TLR4 or the purinergic receptor P2RX7 fail to respond to chemotherapy with anthracyclins or oxaliplatin in conditions in which the same neoplasms growing on immunocompetent mice would do so. Similarly, the therapeutic efficacy (measured as progression-free survival) of adjuvant chemotherapy with anthracyclins is reduced in breast cancer patients bearing loss-of-function alleles of TLR4 or P2RX7. TLR4 loss-of-function alleles also have a negative impact on the therapeutic outcome of oxaliplatin in colorectal cancer patients. Here, we report that loss-of-function TLR4 and P2RX7 alleles do not affect overall survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, irrespective of the administration and type of chemotherapy. The intrinsic characteristics of NSCLC (which near-to-always is chemoresistant and associated with poor prognosis) and/or the type of therapy that is employed to treat this malignancy (which near-to-always is based on cisplatin) may explain why two genes that affect the immune response to dying cells fail to influence the clinical progression of NSCLC patients.
doi:10.4161/onci.18684
PMCID: PMC3382853  PMID: 22737602
IALT; calreticulin; immunogenic cell death; necrosis factor α; rs3751143; rs4986790; tumor
13.  Mutations in the DDR2 kinase gene identify a novel therapeutic target in squamous cell lung cancer 
Cancer discovery  2011;1(1):78-89.
While genomically targeted therapies have improved outcomes for patients with lung adenocarcinoma, little is known about the genomic alterations which drive squamous cell lung cancer. Sanger sequencing of the tyrosine kinome identified mutations in the DDR2 kinase gene in 3.8% of squamous cell lung cancers and cell lines. Squamous lung cancer cell lines harboring DDR2 mutations were selectively killed by knock-down of DDR2 by RNAi or by treatment with the multi-targeted kinase inhibitor dasatinib. Tumors established from a DDR2 mutant cell line were sensitive to dasatinib in xenograft models. Expression of mutated DDR2 led to cellular transformation which was blocked by dasatinib. A squamous cell lung cancer patient with a response to dasatinib and erlotinib treatment harbored a DDR2 kinase domain mutation. These data suggest that gain-of-function mutations in DDR2 are important oncogenic events and are amenable to therapy with dasatinib. As dasatinib is already approved for use, these findings could be rapidly translated into clinical trials.
doi:10.1158/2159-8274.CD-11-0005
PMCID: PMC3274752  PMID: 22328973
Squamous cell lung cancer; DDR2; dasatinib; tyrosine kinase inhibitors; lung cancer genomics
14.  MicroRNA expression and clinical outcomes in patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy after complete resection of non-small cell lung carcinoma 
Cancer research  2010;70(21):8288-8298.
This study determined whether expression levels of a panel of biologically relevant microRNAs can be used as prognostic or predictive biomarkers in patients who participated in the International Adjuvant Lung Cancer Trial (IALT), the largest randomized study conducted to date of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with radically resected non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Expression of miR-21, miR-29b, miR-34a/b/c, miR-155 and let-7a was determined by quantitative real-time PCR in paraffin embedded formalin fixed tumor specimens from 639 IALT patients. Prognostic and predictive value of microRNA expression for survival were studied using a Cox model, which included every factor used in the stratified randomization, clinicopathological prognostic factors and other factors statistically related to microRNA expression. Investigation of the expression pattern of microRNAs in situ was performed. We also analyzed association of TP53 mutation status and miR-34a/b/c expression, EGFR and KRAS mutation status and miR-21 and Let-7a expression, respectively. Finally, association of p16 and miR-29b expression was assessed. Overall, no significant association was found between any of the tested microRNAs and survival, with the exception of miR-21 where a deleterious prognostic effect of lowered expression was suggested. Otherwise, no single or combinatorial microRNA expression profile predicted response to adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Together, our results indicate that the miRNA expression patterns examined were neither predictive nor prognostic in a large patient cohort of radically resected NSCLC randomized to receive adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy versus follow-up only.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1348
PMCID: PMC2970724  PMID: 20978195
non–small cell lung cancer; adjuvant chemotherapy; randomized trial; biomarker; drug resistance; microRNA
15.  Benchmarking of Mutation Diagnostics in Clinical Lung Cancer Specimens 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19601.
Treatment of EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer patients with the tyrosine kinase inhibitors erlotinib or gefitinib results in high response rates and prolonged progression-free survival. Despite the development of sensitive mutation detection approaches, a thorough validation of these in a clinical setting has so far been lacking. We performed, in a clinical setting, a systematic validation of dideoxy ‘Sanger’ sequencing and pyrosequencing against massively parallel sequencing as one of the most sensitive mutation detection technologies available. Mutational annotation of clinical lung tumor samples revealed that of all patients with a confirmed response to EGFR inhibition, only massively parallel sequencing detected all relevant mutations. By contrast, dideoxy sequencing missed four responders and pyrosequencing missed two responders, indicating a dramatic lack of sensitivity of dideoxy sequencing, which is widely applied for this purpose. Furthermore, precise quantification of mutant alleles revealed a low correlation (r2 = 0.27) of histopathological estimates of tumor content and frequency of mutant alleles, thereby questioning the use of histopathology for stratification of specimens for individual analytical procedures. Our results suggest that enhanced analytical sensitivity is critically required to correctly identify patients responding to EGFR inhibition. More broadly, our results emphasize the need for thorough evaluation of all mutation detection approaches against massively parallel sequencing as a prerequisite for any clinical implementation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019601
PMCID: PMC3088700  PMID: 21573178
16.  Clinically Relevant Characterization of Lung Adenocarcinoma Subtypes Based on Cellular Pathways: An International Validation Study 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11712.
Lung adenocarcinoma (AD) represents a predominant type of lung cancer demonstrating significant morphologic and molecular heterogeneity. We sought to understand this heterogeneity by utilizing gene expression analyses of 432 AD samples and examining associations between 27 known cancer-related pathways and the AD subtype, clinical characteristics and patient survival. Unsupervised clustering of AD and gene expression enrichment analysis reveals that cell proliferation is the most important pathway separating tumors into subgroups. Further, AD with increased cell proliferation demonstrate significantly poorer outcome and an increased solid AD subtype component. Additionally, we find that tumors with any solid component have decreased survival as compared to tumors without a solid component. These results lead to the potential to use a relatively simple pathological examination of a tumor in order to determine its aggressiveness and the patient's prognosis. Additional results suggest the ability to use a similar approach to determine a patient's sensitivity to targeted treatment. We then demonstrated the consistency of these findings using two independent AD cohorts from Asia (N = 87) and Europe (N = 89) using the identical analytic procedures.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011712
PMCID: PMC2908611  PMID: 20661423
17.  SOX2 Is an Oncogene Activated by Recurrent 3q26.3 Amplifications in Human Lung Squamous Cell Carcinomas 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(1):e8960.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung is a frequent and aggressive cancer type. Gene amplifications, a known activating mechanism of oncogenes, target the 3q26-qter region as one of the most frequently gained/amplified genomic sites in SCC of various types. Here, we used array comparative genomic hybridization to delineate the consensus region of 3q26.3 amplifications in lung SCC. Recurrent amplifications occur in 20% of lung SCC (136 tumors in total) and map to a core region of 2 Mb (Megabases) that encompasses SOX2, a transcription factor gene. Intense SOX2 immunostaining is frequent in nuclei of lung SCC, indicating potential active transcriptional regulation by SOX2. Analyses of the transcriptome of lung SCC, SOX2-overexpressing lung epithelial cells and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) reveal that SOX2 contributes to activate ESC-like phenotypes and provide clues pertaining to the deregulated genes involved in the malignant phenotype. In cell culture experiments, overexpression of SOX2 stimulates cellular migration and anchorage-independent growth while SOX2 knockdown impairs cell growth. Finally, SOX2 over-expression in non-tumorigenic human lung bronchial epithelial cells is tumorigenic in immunocompromised mice. These results indicate that the SOX2 transcription factor, a major regulator of stem cell function, is also an oncogene and a driver gene for the recurrent 3q26.33 amplifications in lung SCC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008960
PMCID: PMC2813300  PMID: 20126410
18.  A transcriptomic analysis of human centromeric and pericentric sequences in normal and tumor cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;37(19):6340-6354.
Although there is now evidence that the expression of centromeric (CT) and pericentric (PCT) sequences are key players in major genomic functions, their transcriptional status in human cells is still poorly known. The main reason for this lack of data is the complexity and high level of polymorphism of these repeated sequences, which hampers straightforward analyses by available transcriptomic approaches. Here a transcriptomic macro-array dedicated to the analysis of CT and PCT expression is developed and validated in heat-shocked (HS) HeLa cells. For the first time, the expression status of CT and PCT sequences is analyzed in a series of normal and cancer human cells and tissues demonstrating that they are repressed in all normal tissues except in the testis, where PCT transcripts are found. Moreover, PCT sequences are specifically expressed in HS cells in a Heat-Shock Factor 1 (HSF1)-dependent fashion, and we show here that another independent pathway, involving DNA hypo-methylation, can also trigger their expression. Interestingly, CT and PCT were found illegitimately expressed in somatic cancer samples, whereas PCT were repressed in testis cancer, suggesting that the expression of CT and PCT sequences may represent a good indicator of epigenetic deregulations occurring in response to environmental changes or in cell transformation.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkp639
PMCID: PMC2770647  PMID: 19720732
19.  p14ARF Activates a Tip60-Dependent and p53-Independent ATM/ATR/CHK Pathway in Response to Genotoxic Stress 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(11):4339-4350.
p14ARF is a tumor suppressor that controls a well-described p53/Mdm2-dependent checkpoint in response to oncogenic signals. Here, new insights into the tumor-suppressive function of p14ARF are provided. We previously showed that p14ARF can induce a p53-independent G2 cell cycle arrest. In this study, we demonstrate that the activation of ATM/ATR/CHK signaling pathways contributes to this G2 checkpoint and highlight the interrelated roles of p14ARF and the Tip60 protein in the initiation of this DNA damage-signaling cascade. We show that Tip60 is a new direct p14ARF binding partner and that its expression is upregulated and required for ATM/CHK2 activation in response to p14ARF. Strikingly, both p14ARF and Tip60 products accumulate following a cell treatment with alkylating agents and are absolutely required for ATM/CHK2 activation in this setting. Moreover, and consistent with p14ARF being a determinant of CHK2 phosphorylation in lung carcinogenesis, a strong correlation between p14ARF and phospho-CHK2 (Thr68) protein expression is observed in human lung tumors (P < 0.00006). Overall, these data point to a novel regulatory pathway that mediates the p53-independent negative-cell-growth control of p14ARF. Inactivation of this pathway is likely to contribute to lung carcinogenesis.
doi:10.1128/MCB.02240-05
PMCID: PMC1489086  PMID: 16705183

Results 1-19 (19)