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Year of Publication
1.  Correction: Automated Universal BRAF State Detection within the Activation Segment in Skin Metastases by Pyrosequencing-Based Assay U-BRAFV600 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):10.1371/annotation/b31c5248-91ad-4668-930a-24543b19d6e7.
doi:10.1371/annotation/b31c5248-91ad-4668-930a-24543b19d6e7
PMCID: PMC3692735
2.  Automated Universal BRAF State Detection within the Activation Segment in Skin Metastases by Pyrosequencing-Based Assay U-BRAFV600 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59221.
Malignant melanoma is a highly-aggressive type of malignancy with considerable metastatic potential and frequent resistance to cytotoxic agents. BRAF mutant protein was recently recognized as therapeutic target in metastatic melanoma. We present a newly-developed U-BRAFV600 approach – a universal pyrosequencing-based assay for mutation detection within activation segment in exon 15 of human braf. We identified 5 different BRAF mutations in a single assay analyzing 75 different formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples of cutaneous melanoma metastases from 29 patients. We found BRAF mutations in 21 of 29 metastases. All mutant variants were quantitatively detectable by the newly-developed U-BRAFV600 assay. These results were confirmed by ultra-deep-sequencing validation (∼60,000-fold coverage). In contrast to all other BRAF state detection methods, the U-BRAFV600 assay is capable of automated quantitative identification of at least 36 previously-published BRAF mutations. Under the precaution of a minimum of 3% mutated cells in front of a background of wild type cells, U-BRAFV600 assay design completely excludes false wild-type results. The corresponding algorithm for classification of BRAF-mutated variants is provided. The single-reaction assay and data analysis automation makes our approach suitable for the assessment of large clinical sample sizes. Therefore, we suggest U-BRAFV600 assay as a most powerful sequencing-based diagnostic tool to automatically identify BRAF state as a prerequisite to targeted therapy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059221
PMCID: PMC3608589  PMID: 23555633
3.  Decentral gene expression analysis for ER+/Her2− breast cancer: results of a proficiency testing program for the EndoPredict assay 
Virchows Archiv  2012;460(3):251-259.
Gene expression profiles provide important information about the biology of breast tumors and can be used to develop prognostic tests. However, the implementation of quantitative RNA-based testing in routine molecular pathology has not been accomplished, so far. The EndoPredict assay has recently been described as a quantitative RT-PCR-based multigene expression test to identify a subgroup of hormone–receptor-positive tumors that have an excellent prognosis with endocrine therapy only. To transfer this test from bench to bedside, it is essential to evaluate the test–performance in a multicenter setting in different molecular pathology laboratories. In this study, we have evaluated the EndoPredict (EP) assay in seven different molecular pathology laboratories in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. A set of ten formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumors was tested in the different labs, and the variance and accuracy of the EndoPredict assays were determined using predefined reference values. Extraction of a sufficient amount of RNA and generation of a valid EP score was possible for all 70 study samples (100%). The EP scores measured by the individual participants showed an excellent correlation with the reference values, respectively, as reflected by Pearson correlation coefficients ranging from 0.987 to 0.999. The Pearson correlation coefficient of all values compared to the reference value was 0.994. All laboratories determined EP scores for all samples differing not more than 1.0 score units from the pre-defined references. All samples were assigned to the correct EP risk group, resulting in a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, a concordance of 100%, and a kappa of 1.0. Taken together, the EndoPredict test could be successfully implemented in all seven participating laboratories and is feasible for reliable decentralized assessment of gene expression in luminal breast cancer.
doi:10.1007/s00428-012-1204-4
PMCID: PMC3306560  PMID: 22371223
Breast cancer; Prognosis; mRNA; Quality control
4.  Pitfalls in mutational testing and reporting of common KIT and PDGFRA mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:106.
Background
Mutation analysis of KIT and PDGFRA genes in gastrointestinal stromal tumors is gaining increasing importance for prognosis of GISTs and for prediction of treatment response. Several groups have identified specific mutational subtypes in KIT exon 11 associated with an increased risk of metastatic disease whereas GISTs with PDGFRA mutations often behave less aggressive. Furthermore, in advanced GIST disease with proven KIT exon 9 mutation the doubled daily dose of 800 mg imatinib increases the progression free survival and is now recommended both in the European and the American Guidelines. In Germany, there are still no general rules how to perform mutational analysis.
Methods
When comparing results from six different molecular laboratories we recognized the need of standardisation. Six German university laboratories with experience in mutation analysis in GISTs joined together to develop recommendations for the mutation analysis of the most common and clinically relevant hot spots, i. e. KIT exons 9 and 11 and PDGFRA exon 18. We performed a three-phased interlaboratory trial to identify pitfalls in performing molecular analysis in GISTs.
Results
We developed a design for a continuous external laboratory trial. In 2009 this external trial was conducted by 19 laboratories via the initiative for quality assurance in pathology (QuiP) of the German Society of Pathology and the Professional Association of German Pathologists.
Conclusions
By performing a three-phased internal interlaboratory trial and conducting an external trial in Germany we were able to identify potential pitfalls when performing KIT and PDGFRA mutational analysis in gastrointestinal stromal tumors. We developed standard operation procedures which are provided with the manuscript to allow other laboratories to prevent these pitfalls.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-106
PMCID: PMC2910708  PMID: 20598160
5.  Elevated expression of c-kit in small venous malformations of blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome 
Rare Tumors  2010;2(2):e36.
The blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome (BRBNS, syn. bean syndrome) is a rare disease characterized by multiple cutaneous and gastrointestinal venous malformations associated with severe bleeding. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown and no targeted therapeutic approach exists to date. Here we report the case of a 19-year-old male patient with severe BRBNS in whom we analyzed the expression of tyrosine kinases frequently involved in tumor development by immunohistochemistry (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2, stem cell growth factor receptor (c-kit), platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β, and stem cell tyrosine kinase-1). A prominent expression of c-kit was detectable in smaller blood vessels, which also showed a moderate expression of the proliferation marker MIB1. Surprisingly, other growth factor receptors stained negatively. We therefore conclude that pharmacological inhibition of the c-kit signaling pathway in cavernous hemangiomas by selective kinase inhibitors may offer options in the treatment of BRBNS patients.
doi:10.4081/rt.2010.e36
PMCID: PMC2994504  PMID: 21139838
hemangiomas; kinase inhibitors; therapy; tyrosine kinases

Results 1-5 (5)