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author:("bichon, Jean")
1.  Genomic landscape of Ewing sarcoma defines an aggressive subtype with co-association of STAG2 and TP53 mutations 
Cancer discovery  2014;4(11):1342-1353.
Ewing sarcoma is a primary bone tumor initiated by EWSR1–ETS gene fusions. To identify secondary genetic lesions that contribute to tumor progression, we performed whole-genome sequencing of 112 Ewing sarcoma samples and matched germline DNA. Overall, Ewing sarcoma tumors had relatively few single-nucleotide variants, indels, structural variants and copy-number alterations. Apart from whole chromosome arm copy-number changes, the most common somatic mutations were detected in STAG2 (17%), CDKN2A (12%), TP53 (7%), EZH2, BCOR, and ZMYM3 (2.7% each). Strikingly, STAG2 mutations and CDKN2A deletions were mutually exclusive, as confirmed in Ewing sarcoma cell lines. In an expanded cohort of 299 patients with clinical data, we discovered that STAG2 and TP53 mutations are often concurrent and are associated with poor outcome. Finally, we detected subclonal STAG2 mutations in diagnostic tumors and expansion of STAG2 immuno-negative cells in relapsed tumors as compared with matched diagnostic samples.
PMCID: PMC4264969  PMID: 25223734
Ewing sarcoma; genomics; mutations; whole genome sequencing; prognostic
2.  Ch14.18 antibody produced in CHO cells in relapsed or refractory Stage 4 neuroblastoma patients 
mAbs  2013;5(5):801-809.
Purpose: This study aimed to assess the safety, pharmacokinetic and activity profiles of the human-mouse chimeric monoclonal anti-disialoganglioside GD2 antibody ch14.18 produced in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells (ch14.18/CHO).
Methods: Sixteen children with recurrent/refractory neuroblastoma (median age 7.6 y) were enrolled in this Phase 1 dose-finding study. Patients received ch14.18/CHO courses of 10, 20 or 30 mg/m2/day as an eight-hour infusion over five consecutive days. Three courses at the same dose level were allowed unless disease progressed. Clearance and biodistribution of radiolabelled ch14.18/CHO in Balb/c and A/J mice were analyzed.
Results: A total of 41 ch14.18/CHO courses were given (10 × 3 courses, 5 × 2 courses, 1 × 1 course). Side effects were similar in expectedness, frequency and magnitude to those reported for ch14.18/SP2/0. The dose level of 20 mg/m2/day was confirmed. Toxicity was reversible and no treatment-related deaths occurred. In children, the peak plasma concentration was 16.51 µg/ml ± 5.9 µg/ml and the half-life was 76.91 h ± 52.5 h. A partial response following ch14.18/CHO was observed in 2/7 patients with residual disease. In mice, the half-lives were 22.7 h ± 1.9h for ch14.18/CHO and 25.0 h ± 1.9 h for ch14.18/SP2/0. The biodistribution of 125I-ch14.18/CHO in mice with neuroblastoma was identical to 125I-ch14.18/SP2/0, indicating GD2 targeting activity in vivo.
Ch14.18 produced in CHO cells showed an unchanged toxicity profile and pharmacokinetics in neuroblastoma patients compared with ch14.18 produced in SP2/0 cells, and evidence of clinical activity was observed. In mice, analysis of pharmacokinetics and biodistribution showed comparable results between ch14.18/CHO and ch14.18/SP2/0. Based on these results, ch14.18/CHO was accepted for prospective clinical evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3851232  PMID: 23924804
neuroblastoma; immunotherapy; anti GD2; ch14.18/CHO; monoclonal antibody
3.  Clinical Characteristics and Outcome of Patients with Neuroblastoma Presenting Genomic Amplification of Loci Other than MYCN 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101990.
Somatically acquired genomic alterations with MYCN amplification (MNA) are key features of neuroblastoma (NB), the most common extra-cranial malignant tumour of childhood. Little is known about the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of NBs harbouring genomic amplification(s) distinct from MYCN.
Genomic profiles of 1100 NBs from French centres studied by array-CGH were re-examined specifically to identify regional amplifications. Patients were included if amplifications distinct from the MYCN locus were seen. A subset of NBs treated at Institut Curie and harbouring MNA as determined by array-CGH without other amplification was also studied. Clinical and histology data were retrospectively collected.
In total, 56 patients were included and categorised into 3 groups. Group 1 (n = 8) presented regional amplification(s) without MNA. Locus 12q13-14 was a recurrent amplified region (4/8 cases). This group was heterogeneous in terms of INSS stages, primary localisations and histology, with atypical clinical features. Group 2 (n = 26) had MNA as well as other regional amplifications. These patients shared clinical features of those of a group of NBs MYCN amplified (Group 3, n = 22). Overall survival for group 1 was better than that of groups 2 and 3 (5 year OS: 87.5%±11% vs 34.9%±7%, log-rank p<0.05).
NBs harbouring regional amplification(s) without MNA are rare and seem to show atypical features in clinical presentation and genomic profile. Further high resolution genetic explorations are justified in this heterogeneous group, especially when considering these alterations as predictive markers for targeted therapy.
PMCID: PMC4094484  PMID: 25013904
5.  ALK germline mutations in patients with neuroblastoma: a rare and weakly penetrant syndrome 
Neuroblastic tumours may occur in a predisposition context. Two main genes are involved: PHOX2B, observed in familial cases and frequently associated with other neurocristopathies (Ondine's and Hirschsprung's disease); and ALK, mostly in familial tumours. We have assessed the frequency of mutations of these two genes in patients with a presumable higher risk of predisposition. We sequenced both genes in 26 perinatal cases (prebirth and <1 month of age, among which 10 were multifocal), 16 multifocal postnatal (>1 month) cases, 3 pairs of affected relatives and 8 patients with multiple malignancies. The whole coding sequences of the two genes were analysed in tumour and/or constitutional DNAs. We found three ALK germline mutations, all in a context of multifocal tumours. Two mutations (T1151R and R1192P) were inherited and shared by several unaffected patients, thus illustrating an incomplete penetrance. Younger age at tumour onset did not seem to offer a relevant selection criterion for ALK analyses. Conversely, multifocal tumours might be the most to benefit from the genetic screening. Finally, no PHOX2B germline mutation was found in this series. In conclusion, ALK deleterious mutations are rare events in patients with a high probability of predisposition. Other predisposing genes remain to be discovered.
PMCID: PMC3283184  PMID: 22071890
ALK; neuroblastoma; predisposition
6.  Primary Follicular Lymphoma of the Testis in Children and Adolescents 
This study reports six cases of primary follicular lymphoma of the testis (PFLT) in children and adolescents correlated with clinical presentation, pathologic features, treatment and outcome. All six patients (ages 3 to 16 years, median 4 years) had PFLT grade 3 with disease limited to the testis, completely resected and treated with two courses of chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, doxorubicin) (COPAD). Event-free survival was 100% (follow-up: median 73 months, mean 53 months, range 6 to 96 months). In conclusion, clinical outcome in children and adolescents with PFLT is excellent with treatment including complete surgical resection and two courses of COPAD.
PMCID: PMC3251817  PMID: 22215099
lymphoma B-cell; lymphoma follicular; testis; child; adolescence
7.  Desmoid Fibromatosis in Pediatric Patients: Management Based on a Retrospective Analysis of 59 Patients and a Review of the Literature 
Sarcoma  2012;2012:475202.
Background. Only limited data are available concerning desmoid tumor in children. Methods. Fifty-nine children and adolescents with desmoid tumor treated in 2 French cancer centers with a very long followup were retrospectively reviewed. Results. Median age was 6 years (range, 0–15). Tumors mainly involved the limbs (42%). Five cases occurred in a context of genetic disorder. Surgery was first-line treatment in 80% of cases. Resection was microscopically complete in 3 patients (pts), with a microscopic residue in 19 pts and a macroscopic residue in 35 cases. Various adjuvant therapies were used. Overall response to all systemic therapies was 33%. Thirty-eight patients developed one or more recurrences or progressions. After a median followup of 8.5 years, 34 patients were alive in complete remission (CR), including 16 first CR. Seven patients died, 6 from refractory disease and 1 from colorectal carcinoma in a genetic context. Ten-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival were 31% and 88%, respectively. In univariate analysis, age less than 10 years and head-neck site were favorable prognostic factors for PFS. Conclusions. When surgery is required, surgical margins must be negative. Low-dose chemotherapy can be proposed as adjuvant therapy. Prospective trials must be developed to evaluate long-term response and side effects.
PMCID: PMC3420075  PMID: 22924016
8.  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
9.  Inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone as markers of gonadal function after hematopoietic cell transplantation during childhood 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:20.
It is difficult to predict the reproductive capacity of children given hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) before pubertal age because the plasma concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are not informative and no spermogram can be done.
We classified the gonadal function of 38 boys and 34 girls given HCT during childhood who had reached pubertal age according to their pubertal development and FSH and LH and compared this to their plasma inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH).
Ten (26%) boys had normal testicular function, 16 (42%) had isolated tubular failure and 12 (32%) also had Leydig cell failure. All 16 boys given melphalan had tubular failure. AMH were normal in 25 patients and decreased in 6, all of whom had increased FSH and low inhibin B.
Seven (21%) girls had normal ovarian function, 11 (32%) had partial and 16 (47%) complete ovarian failure. 7/8 girls given busulfan had increased FSH and LH and 7/8 had low inhibin B. AMH indicated that ovarian function was impaired in all girls.
FSH and inhibin B were negatively correlated in boys (P < 0.0001) and girls (P = 0.0006). Neither the age at HCT nor the interval between HCT and evaluation influenced gonadal function.
The concordance between FSH and inhibin B suggests that inhibin B may help in counselling at pubertal age. In boys, AMH were difficult to use as they normally decrease when testosterone increases at puberty. In girls, low AMH suggest that there is major loss of primordial follicles.
PMCID: PMC3058047  PMID: 21352536
10.  Birth-related characteristics, congenital malformation, maternal reproductive history and neuroblastoma: the ESCALE study (SFCE) 
Since neuroblastoma (NB) occurs very early in children’s lives, it has been hypothesized that pre- and perinatal factors may play a role in its etiology. This study investigated the role of birth characteristics, congenital malformation and maternal reproductive history in neuroblastoma. The data used were generated by the national population-based case-control study, ESCALE, conducted in France in 2003–2004. The mothers of 191 neuroblastoma cases and 1681 controls, frequency-matched by age and gender, were interviewed by telephone, using a standardized questionnaire, on several factors including pregnancy, medical history, lifestyle, childhood medical conditions and exposures. A positive association between congenital malformation and all neuroblastoma cases was observed (Odds ratio (OR) = 2.2, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.1–4.5). Congenital malformations were highly associated to neuroblastoma in children aged less than 1 year (OR = 16.8, 95% CI: 3.1–90), while no association was observed in children aged 1 year or more (OR = 1.0, 95% CI: 0.3–2.9). A negative association with a maternal history of spontaneous abortions was also found (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4–0.9). The results strongly support the hypothesis that congenital anomalies may be associated with neuroblastoma, particularly in infant (less than 1 year of age).
PMCID: PMC2758601  PMID: 18076072
Adolescent; Adult; Birth Order; Birth Weight; Case-Control Studies; Child; Child, Preschool; Congenital Abnormalities; diagnosis; Female; France; epidemiology; Gestational Age; Humans; Infant; Male; Maternal Age; Neuroblastoma; diagnosis; Pregnancy; Questionnaires; Reproductive History; Socioeconomic Factors; child; neuroblastoma; congenital anomalies; epidemiology; risk factors.

Results 1-10 (10)