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1.  A genome-wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for Wilms tumor 
Nature genetics  2012;44(6):681-684.
Wilms tumor is the most common renal malignancy of childhood. To identify common variants that confer susceptibility to Wilms tumor we conducted a genome-wide association study in 757 cases and 1,879 controls. We evaluated ten SNPs in regions significant at P<5×10−5 in two independent replication series from the UK (769 cases and 2,814 controls) and the US (719 cases and 1,037 controls). We identified clear significant associations at two loci, 2p24 (rs3755132, P=1.03×10−14 and rs807624, P=1.32×10−14) and 11q14 (rs790356, P=4.25 ×10−15). Both regions contain genes that are plausibly related to Wilms tumorigenesis. We also identified candidate signals at 5q14, 22q12 and Xp22.
PMCID: PMC3400150  PMID: 22544364
2.  Stratification of Wilms tumor by genetic and epigenetic analysis 
Oncotarget  2012;3(3):327-335.
Somatic defects at five loci, WT1, CTNNB1, WTX, TP53 and the imprinted 11p15 region, are implicated in Wilms tumor, the commonest childhood kidney cancer. In this study we analysed all five loci in 120 Wilms tumors. We identified epigenetic 11p15 abnormalities in 69% of tumors, 37% were H19 epimutations and 32% were paternal uniparental disomy (pUPD). We identified mutations of WTX in 32%, CTNNB1 in 15%, WT1 in 12% and TP53 in 5% of tumors. We identified several significant associations: between 11p15 and WTX (P=0.007), between WT1 and CTNNB1 (P<0.001), between WT1 and pUPD 11p15 (P=0.01), and a strong negative association between WT1 and H19 epimutation (P<0.001). We next used these data to stratify Wilms tumor into three molecular Groups, based on the status at 11p15 and WT1. Group 1 tumors (63%) were defined as 11p15-mutant and WT1-normal; a third also had WTX mutations. Group 2 tumors (13%) were WT1-mutant. They either had 11p15 pUPD or were 11p15-normal. Almost all had CTNNB1 mutations but none had H19 epimutation. Group 3 tumors (25%) were defined as 11p15-normal and WT1-normal and were typically normal at all five loci (P<0.001). We also identified a novel clinical association between H19 epimutation and bilateral disease (P<0.001). These data provide new insights into the pattern, order, interactions and clinical associations of molecular events in Wilms tumor.
PMCID: PMC3359888  PMID: 22470196
Wilms tumor; WT1; WTX; CTNNB1; TP53; 11p15; somatic genetic mutation; epigenetic
3.  Outcome Prediction of Children with Neuroblastoma using a Multigene Expression Signature, a Retrospective SIOPEN/COG/GPOH Study 
The lancet oncology  2009;10(7):663-671.
More accurate prognostic assessment of patients with neuroblastoma is required to improve the choice of risk-related therapy. The aim of this study is to develop and validate a gene expression signature for improved outcome prediction.
Fifty-nine genes were carefully selected based on an innovative data-mining strategy and profiled in the largest neuroblastoma patient series (n=579) to date using RT-qPCR starting from only 20 ng of RNA. A multigene expression signature was built using 30 training samples, tested on 313 test samples and subsequently validated in a blind study on an independent set of 236 additional tumours.
The signature accurately classifies patients with respect to overall and progression-free survival (p<0·0001). The signature has a performance, sensitivity, and specificity of 85·4% (95%CI: 77·7–93·2), 84·4% (95%CI: 66·5–94·1), and 86·5% (95%CI: 81·1–90·6), respectively to predict patient outcome. Multivariate analysis indicates that the signature is a significant independent predictor after controlling for currently used riskfactors. Patients with high molecular risk have a higher risk to die from disease and for relapse/progression than patients with low molecular risk (odds ratio of 19·32 (95%CI: 6·50–57·43) and 3·96 (95%CI: 1·97–7·97) for OS and PFS, respectively). Patients with increased risk for adverse outcome can also be identified within the current treatment groups demonstrating the potential of this signature for improved clinical management. These results were confirmed in the validation study in which the signature was also independently statistically significant in a model adjusted for MYCN status, age, INSS stage, ploidy, INPC grade of differentiation, and MKI. The high patient/gene ratio (579/59) underlies the observed statistical power and robustness.
A 59-gene expression signature predicts outcome of neuroblastoma patients with high accuracy. The signature is an independent risk predictor, identifying patients with increased risk in the current clinical risk groups. The applied method and signature is suitable for routine lab testing and ready for evaluation in prospective studies.
The Belgian Foundation Against Cancer, found of public interest (project SCIE2006-25), the Children Cancer Fund Ghent, the Belgian Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, the Belgian Kid’s Fund and the Fondation Nuovo-Soldati (JV), the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (KDP, JH), the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (grant number: G•0198•08), the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders, Strategisch basisonderzoek (IWT-SBO 60848), the Fondation Fournier Majoie pour l’Innovation, the Instituto Carlos III,RD 06/0020/0102 Spain, the Italian Neuroblastoma Foundation, the European Community under the FP6 (project: STREP: EET-pipeline, number: 037260), and the Belgian program of Interuniversity Poles of Attraction, initiated by the Belgian State, Prime Minister's Office, Science Policy Programming.
PMCID: PMC3045079  PMID: 19515614
4.  Primary multifocal osseous Hodgkin's lymphoma 
Hodgkin's disease (HD) most commonly presents with progressive painless enlargement of peripheral lymph nodes, especially around the cervical region. A few children have systemic symptoms and weight loss. At the time of diagnosis, osseous involvement is uncommon
Case presentation
A case is described of Primary Multifocal Osseous Hodgkin's Lymphoma in a seven-year-old boy. He presented with a painful swelling in the sternum, and further investigations revealed deposits in his L1 vertebra, the left sacro-iliac joint and the right acetabulum.
The clinical, radiological and histological features of this disease can mimic other medical conditions, including Tuberculosis, making the diagnosis difficult and often leading to delays in treatment. This is a very rare condition and we believe this to be the youngest reported case in the literature.
PMCID: PMC2311296  PMID: 18346271

Results 1-4 (4)