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1.  Molecular testing in lung cancer in the era of precision medicine 
The clinical expectations how pathologists should submit lung cancer diagnosis have changed dramatically. Until mid 90-ties a clear separation between small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) was mostly sufficient. With the invention of antiangiogenic treatment a differentiation between squamous and non-squamous NSCLC was requested. When epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation was detected in patients with pulmonary adenocarcinomas and subsequent specific treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) was invented, sub-classification of NSCLC and molecular analysis of the tumor tissue for mutations was asked for. Pathologists no longer submit just a diagnosis, but instead are involved in a multidisciplinary team for lung cancer patient management. After EGFR several other driver genes such as echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4-AL-Kinase 1 (EML4-ALK1), c-ros oncogene 1, receptor tyrosine kinase (ROS1), discoidin domain receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (DDR2), fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) were discovered, and more to come. Due to new developments in bronchology (EUS, EBUS) the amount of tissue submitted for diagnosis and molecular analysis is decreasing, however, the genes to be analyzed are increasing. Many of these driver gene aberrations are inversions or translocations and thus require FISH analysis. Each of these analyses requires a certain amount of tumor cells or one to two tissue sections from an already limited amount of tissues or cells. In this respect new genetic test systems have been introduced such as next generation sequencing, which enables not only to detect multiple mutations in different genes, but also amplifications and fusion genes. As soon as these methods have been validated for routine molecular analysis this will enable the analysis of multiple genetic changes simultaneously. In this review we will focus on genetic aberrations in NSCLC, resistance to new target therapies, and also to methodological requirements for a meaningful evaluation of lung cancer tissue and cells.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2014.10.01
PMCID: PMC4367739  PMID: 25806314
Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC); molecular pathology; target (driver) genes; tissue based assessment
2.  Minimal requirements for the molecular testing of lung cancer 
From the aspect of the contemporary pathologic diagnostics of lung cancer, it is a key issue of the tissue obtained since small biopsies and cytology still play a major role. In the non-small cell lung cancer era, cytology considered equal to biopsy. However, in recent years it is unable to provide quality diagnosis and must be replaced by biopsy. Various molecular techniques can handle various different tissue samples which must be considered during molecular pathology diagnosis. Besides, tumor cell-normal cell ratio in the obtained tissue as well as the absolute tumor cell number have great significance whose information must be provided in the primary lung cancer diagnosis. Last but not least, for continuous sustainable molecular diagnostics of lung cancer rational algorythms, affordable technology and appropriate reimbursement are equally necessary.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2014.10.02
PMCID: PMC4367742  PMID: 25806315
Lung cancer; molecular testing; requirements
3.  Hypoxia increases membrane metallo-endopeptidase expression in a novel lung cancer ex vivo model – role of tumor stroma cells 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:40.
Background
Hypoxia-induced genes are potential targets in cancer therapy. Responses to hypoxia have been extensively studied in vitro, however, they may differ in vivo due to the specific tumor microenvironment. In this study gene expression profiles were obtained from fresh human lung cancer tissue fragments cultured ex vivo under different oxygen concentrations in order to study responses to hypoxia in a model that mimics human lung cancer in vivo.
Methods
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) fragments from altogether 70 patients were maintained ex vivo in normoxia or hypoxia in short-term culture. Viability, apoptosis rates and tissue hypoxia were assessed. Gene expression profiles were studied using Affymetrix GeneChip 1.0 ST microarrays.
Results
Apoptosis rates were comparable in normoxia and hypoxia despite different oxygenation levels, suggesting adaptation of tumor cells to hypoxia. Gene expression profiles in hypoxic compared to normoxic fragments largely overlapped with published hypoxia-signatures. While most of these genes were up-regulated by hypoxia also in NSCLC cell lines, membrane metallo-endopeptidase (MME, neprilysin, CD10) expression was not increased in hypoxia in NSCLC cell lines, but in carcinoma-associated fibroblasts isolated from non-small cell lung cancers. High MME expression was significantly associated with poor overall survival in 342 NSCLC patients in a meta-analysis of published microarray datasets.
Conclusions
The novel ex vivo model allowed for the first time to analyze hypoxia-regulated gene expression in preserved human lung cancer tissue. Gene expression profiles in human hypoxic lung cancer tissue overlapped with hypoxia-signatures from cancer cell lines, however, the elastase MME was identified as a novel hypoxia-induced gene in lung cancer. Due to the lack of hypoxia effects on MME expression in NSCLC cell lines in contrast to carcinoma-associated fibroblasts, a direct up-regulation of stroma fibroblast MME expression under hypoxia might contribute to enhanced aggressiveness of hypoxic cancers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-40
PMCID: PMC3905926  PMID: 24460801
Hypoxia; Tumor; Expression array; Prognosis
4.  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

Results 1-4 (4)