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1.  Endothelial protein C receptor expressed by ovarian cancer cells as a possible biomarker of cancer onset 
International Journal of Oncology  2012;41(2):433-440.
Coagulation disorders often accompany cancer onset and evolution, which, if not properly managed, could have grave consequences. Endothelial protein C is an important regulator of homeostasis and acts through its high affinity binding to its transmembrane receptor (EPCR). Soluble (sEPCR) which results from the proteolytic cleavage of the membrane bound form can trap activated endothelial protein C and deprive it of its anti-coagulant function. In this study, the expression of EPCR and its soluble form (sEPCR) released into plasma as a result of proteolytic cleavage were investigated in ovarian, breast, lung and colorectal cancer biopsies, as well as in ascitic cell clusters and peritoneal fluid from ovarian cancer samples. In parallel, breast, ovarian, lung and colorectal cancer cell lines were investigated for the expression of EPCR. The integrity of the EPCR gene sequence as well gene haplotypes were ascertained in the established cancer cell lines in order to understand their eventual regulatory functions. The results from the present study indicate that in cancer patients, the levels of sEPCR are significantly higher than the normal range compared to healthy volunteers. The increase in the levels of sEPCR parallels the increase in CA125, showing a close correlation. Therefore, the detection of sEPCR in cancer and during the post-treatment period could be taken into account as an additional marker that could re-inforce the one obtained using CA125 alone as a marker of cancer cell mass.
doi:10.3892/ijo.2012.1492
PMCID: PMC3582880  PMID: 22614534
endothelial protein C receptor; ovarian cancer; DNA sequence; biomarker; CA125
2.  CXCL12 expression by healthy and malignant ovarian epithelial cells 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:97.
Background
CXCL12 has been widely reported to play a biologically relevant role in tumor growth and spread. In epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), CXCL12 enhances tumor angiogenesis and contributes to the immunosuppressive network. However, its prognostic significance remains unclear. We thus compared CXCL12 status in healthy and malignant ovaries, to assess its prognostic value.
Methods
Immunohistochemistry was used to analyze CXCL12 expression in the reproductive tracts, including the ovaries and fallopian tubes, of healthy women, in benign and borderline epithelial tumors, and in a series of 183 tumor specimens from patients with advanced primary EOC enrolled in a multicenter prospective clinical trial of paclitaxel/carboplatin/gemcitabine-based chemotherapy (GINECO study). Univariate COX model analysis was performed to assess the prognostic value of clinical and biological variables. Kaplan-Meier methods were used to generate progression-free and overall survival curves.
Results
Epithelial cells from the surface of the ovary and the fallopian tubes stained positive for CXCL12, whereas the follicles within the ovary did not. Epithelial cells in benign, borderline and malignant tumors also expressed CXCL12. In EOC specimens, CXCL12 immunoreactivity was observed mostly in epithelial tumor cells. The intensity of the signal obtained ranged from strong in 86 cases (47%) to absent in 18 cases (<10%). This uneven distribution of CXCL12 did not reflect the morphological heterogeneity of EOC. CXCL12 expression levels were not correlated with any of the clinical parameters currently used to determine EOC prognosis or with HER2 status. They also had no impact on progression-free or overall survival.
Conclusion
Our findings highlight the previously unappreciated constitutive expression of CXCL12 on healthy epithelia of the ovary surface and fallopian tubes, indicating that EOC may originate from either of these epithelia. We reveal that CXCL12 production by malignant epithelial cells precedes tumorigenesis and we confirm in a large cohort of patients with advanced EOC that CXCL12 expression level in EOC is not a valuable prognostic factor in itself.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00052468
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-97
PMCID: PMC3070683  PMID: 21410972
3.  Genomic Aberrations in Lung Adenocarcinoma in Never Smokers 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15145.
Background
Lung cancer in never smokers would rank as the seventh most common cause of cancer death worldwide.
Methods and Findings
We performed high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization analysis of lung adenocarcinoma in sixty never smokers and identified fourteen new minimal common regions (MCR) of gain or loss, of which five contained a single gene (MOCS2, NSUN3, KHDRBS2, SNTG1 and ST18). One larger MCR of gain contained NSD1. One focal amplification and nine gains contained FUS. NSD1 and FUS are oncogenes hitherto not known to be associated with lung cancer. FISH showed that the amplicon containing FUS was joined to the next telomeric amplicon at 16p11.2. FUS was over-expressed in 10 tumors with gain of 16p11.2 compared to 30 tumors without that gain. Other cancer genes present in aberrations included ARNT, BCL9, CDK4, CDKN2B, EGFR, ERBB2, MDM2, MDM4, MET, MYC and KRAS. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering with adjustment for false-discovery rate revealed clusters differing by the level and pattern of aberrations and displaying particular tumor characteristics. One cluster was strongly associated with gain of MYC. Another cluster was characterized by extensive losses containing tumor suppressor genes of which RB1 and WRN. Tumors in that cluster frequently harbored a central scar-like fibrosis. A third cluster was associated with gains on 7p and 7q, containing ETV1 and BRAF, and displayed the highest rate of EGFR mutations. SNP array analysis validated copy-number aberrations and revealed that RB1 and WRN were altered by recurrent copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity.
Conclusions
The present study has uncovered new aberrations containing cancer genes. The oncogene FUS is a candidate gene in the 16p region that is frequently gained in never smokers. Multiple genetic pathways defined by gains of MYC, deletions of RB1 and WRN or gains on 7p and 7q are involved in lung adenocarcinoma in never smokers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015145
PMCID: PMC2997777  PMID: 21151896
4.  Finding exclusively deleted or amplified genomic areas in lung adenocarcinomas using a novel chromosomal pattern analysis 
BMC Medical Genomics  2009;2:43.
Background
Genomic copy number alteration (CNA) that are recurrent across multiple samples often harbor critical genes that can drive either the initiation or the progression of cancer disease. Up to now, most researchers investigating recurrent CNAs consider separately the marginal frequencies for copy gain or loss and select the areas of interest based on arbitrary cut-off thresholds of these frequencies. In practice, these analyses ignore the interdependencies between the propensity of being deleted or amplified for a clone. In this context, a joint analysis of the copy number changes across tumor samples may bring new insights about patterns of recurrent CNAs.
Methods
We propose to identify patterns of recurrent CNAs across tumor samples from high-resolution comparative genomic hybridization microarrays. Clustering is achieved by modeling the copy number state (loss, no-change, gain) as a multinomial distribution with probabilities parameterized through a latent class model leading to nine patterns of recurrent CNAs. This model gives us a powerful tool to identify clones with contrasting propensity of being deleted or amplified across tumor samples. We applied this model to a homogeneous series of 65 lung adenocarcinomas.
Results
Our latent class model analysis identified interesting patterns of chromosomal aberrations. Our results showed that about thirty percent of the genomic clones were classified either as "exclusively" deleted or amplified recurrent CNAs and could be considered as non random chromosomal events. Most of the known oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes associated with lung adenocarcinoma were located within these areas. We also describe genomic areas of potential interest and show that an increase of the frequency of amplification in these particular areas is significantly associated with poorer survival.
Conclusion
Analyzing jointly deletions and amplifications through our latent class model analysis allows highlighting specific genomic areas with exclusively amplified or deleted recurrent CNAs which are good candidate for harboring oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-2-43
PMCID: PMC2718000  PMID: 19594952
5.  HER2 Status in Ovarian Carcinomas: A Multicenter GINECO Study of 320 Patients 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(11):e1138.
Background
Despite a typically good response to first-line combination chemotherapy, the prognosis for patients with advanced ovarian cancer remains poor because of acquired chemoresistance. The use of targeted therapies such as trastuzumab may potentially improve outcomes for patients with ovarian cancer. HER2 overexpression/amplification has been reported in ovarian cancer, but the exact percentage of HER2-positive tumors varies widely in the literature. In this study, HER2 gene status was evaluated in a large, multicentric series of 320 patients with advanced ovarian cancer, including 243 patients enrolled in a multicenter prospective clinical trial of paclitaxel/carboplatin-based chemotherapy.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The HER2 status of primary tumors and metastases was evaluated by both immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of paraffin-embedded tissue on conventional slides. The prognostic impact of HER2 expression was analyzed. HER2 gene was overexpressed and amplified in 6.6% of analyzed tumors. Despite frequent intratumoral heterogeneity, no statistically significant difference was detected between primary tumors and corresponding metastases.
Conclusions/Significance
Our results show that the decision algorithm usually used in breast cancer (IHC as a screening test, with equivocal results confirmed by FISH) is appropriate in ovarian cancer. In contrast to previous series, HER2-positive status did not influence outcome in the present study, possibly due to the fact that patients in our study received paclitaxel/carboplatin-based chemotherapy. This raises the question of whether HER2 status and paclitaxel sensitively are linked.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001138
PMCID: PMC2042515  PMID: 17987122

Results 1-5 (5)