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1.  Infrared Metrics for Fixation-Free Liver Tumor Detection 
The journal of physical chemistry. B  2013;117(41):10.1021/jp4073087.
Infrared (IR) spectroscopic imaging of human liver tissue slices has been used to identify and characterize liver tumors. Liver tissue, containing a liver metastasis of breast origin (mucinous carcinoma) was surgically removed from a consenting patient and frozen without formalin fixation or dehydration procedures, so that lipids and water remain in the tissues. A set of IR metrics (ratios of various IR peaks) was determined for tumors in fixation-free liver tissues. K-means cluster analysis was used to tell tumor from nontumor. In this case, there was a large reduction in lipid content on going from nontumor to tumor tissue and a well resolved IR spectrum of nontumor liver lipid has been obtained and analyzed. These IR metrics may someday guide work on IR spectroscopic diagnostics on live patients in the operating room. This work also suggests utility for these methods beyond the identification of liver tumors, perhaps in the study of liver lipids.
PMCID: PMC3875153  PMID: 24053455
liver tumors; infrared metrics; k-means cluster analysis; human liver lipid; FTIR imaging
2.  Epigenetic Regulation of miR-17∼92 Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of progressive lung fibrosis with a high mortality rate. In organ repair and remodeling, epigenetic events are important. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and can target epigenetic molecules important in DNA methylation. The miR-17∼92 miRNA cluster is critical for lung development and lung epithelial cell homeostasis and is predicted to target fibrotic genes and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT)-1 expression.
Objectives: We investigated the miR-17∼92 cluster expression and its role in regulating DNA methylation events in IPF lung tissue.
Methods: Expression and DNA methylation patterns of miR-17∼92 were determined in human IPF lung tissue and fibroblasts and fibrotic mouse lung tissue. The relationship between the miR-17∼92 cluster and DNMT-1 expression was examined in vitro. Using a murine model of pulmonary fibrosis, we examined the therapeutic potential of the demethylating agent, 5′-aza-2′-deoxycytidine.
Measurements and Main Results: Compared with control samples, miR-17∼92 expression was reduced in lung biopsies and lung fibroblasts from patients with IPF, whereas DNMT-1 expression and methylation of the miR-17∼92 promoter was increased. Several miRNAs from the miR-17∼92 cluster targeted DNMT-1 expression resulting in a negative feedback loop. Similarly, miR-17∼92 expression was reduced in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice. Treatment with 5′-aza-2′-deoxycytidine in a murine bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis model reduced fibrotic gene and DNMT-1 expression, enhanced miR-17∼92 cluster expression, and attenuated pulmonary fibrosis.
Conclusions: This study provides insight into the pathobiology of IPF and identifies a novel epigenetic feedback loop between miR-17∼92 and DNMT-1 in lung fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3603596  PMID: 23306545
microRNA; miR-17∼92; pulmonary fibrosis; DNA methylation; DNMT-1
3.  Cellular localization of protein arginine methyltransferase-5 correlates with grade of lung tumors 
Diagnostic Pathology  2013;8:201.
Protein arginine methyltransferase-5 (PRMT5) is a chromatin-modifying enzyme capable of methylating histone and non-histone proteins, and is involved in a wide range of cellular processes that range from transcriptional regulation to organelle biosynthesis. As such, its overexpression has been linked to tumor suppressor gene silencing, enhanced tumor cell growth and survival.
Material and methods
Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western immunoblot and immunohistochemistry were used to characterize PRMT5 expression in lung cancer cell lines and human tumors. Clinicopathological findings of tissue microarray based samples from 229 patients with non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) and 133 cases with pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors (NET) were analyzed with regard to nuclear and cytoplasmic PRMT5 expression.
There was statistically significant difference in PRMT5 messenger RNA expression between tumors and nonneoplastic lung tissues. Immunoblot experiments showed abundant expression of PRMT5 and its symmetric methylation mark H4R3 in lung carcinoma but not in non-neoplastic human pulmonary alveolar and bronchial epithelial cell lines. More than two thirds of lung tumors expressed PRMT5. High levels of cytoplasmic PRMT5 were detected in 20.5% of NSCLC and in 16.5% of NET; high levels of nuclear PRMT5 were detected in 38.0% of NSCLC and 24.0% of NET. Cytoplasmic PRMT5 was associated with high grade in both NSCLC and pulmonary NET while nuclear PRMT5 was more frequent in carcinoid tumors (p < 0.05).
The observed findings support the role of PRMT5 in lung tumorigenesis and reflect its functional dichotomy in cellular compartments.
Virtual slide
The virtual slides for this article can be found here:
PMCID: PMC3933389  PMID: 24326178
Protein arginine methyltransferase-5; Lung carcinoma; Neuroendocrine tumors
4.  Transcription Factor ets-2 Plays an Important Role in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Ets-2 is a ubiquitous transcription factor activated after phosphorylation at threonine-72. Previous studies highlighted the importance of phosphorylated ets-2 in lung inflammation and extracellular matrix remodeling, two pathways involved in pulmonary fibrosis. We hypothesized that phosphorylated ets-2 played an important role in pulmonary fibrosis, and we sought to determine the role of ets-2 in its pathogenesis. We challenged ets-2 (A72/A72) transgenic mice (harboring a mutated form of ets-2 at phosphorylation site threonine-72) and ets-2 (wild-type/wild-type [WT/WT]) control mice with sequential intraperitoneal injections of bleomycin, followed by quantitative measurements of lung fibrosis and inflammation and primary cell in vitro assays. Concentrations of phosphorylated ets-2 were detected via the single and dual immunohistochemical staining of murine lungs and lung sections from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Ets-2 (A72/A72) mice were protected from bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, compared with ets-2 (WT/WT) mice. This protection was characterized by decreased lung pathological abnormalities and the fibrotic gene expression of Type I collagen, Type III collagen, α–smooth muscle actin, and connective tissue growth factor. Immunohistochemical staining of lung sections from bleomycin-treated ets-2 (WT/WT) mice and from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis demonstrated increased staining of phosphorylated ets-2 that colocalized with Type I collagen expression and to fibroblastic foci. Lastly, primary lung fibroblasts from ets-2 (A72/A72) mice exhibited decreased expression of Type I collagen in response to stimulation with TGF-β, compared with fibroblasts from ets-2 (WT/WT) mice. These data indicate the importance of phosphorylated ets-2 in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis through the expression of Type I collagen and (myo)fibroblast activation.
PMCID: PMC3262682  PMID: 21562315
ets-2; Type I collagen; pulmonary fibrosis; bleomycin; fibroblast
5.  Isolated cardiac metastasis from plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma of the bladder 
A 57-year-old male with a history of hypertension presented with shortness of breath, intermittent substernal chest pain, subjective fevers, and a 30-pound weight loss. He was found to have a bladder mass four months prior to presentation, for which he underwent cystoscopy and surgical removal. Pathology demonstrated high-grade superficial plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma extending into the submucosa but not the muscularis propria. Given the superficial nature of his bladder cancer, a cystectomy was deferred. He was subsequently lost to follow-up care. On arrival, physical exam was notable for tachycardia, tachypnea, and distant heart sounds. An ECG showed an incomplete right bundle branch block and sinus tachycardia. Computed tomography pulmonary angiography revealed a three-cm pericardial effusion. Transthoracic echocardiography confirmed this finding and revealed a mass in the right ventricle (RV) extending into the outflow tract and infiltrating the free wall. The RV was dilated with an estimated RV systolic pressure of 37 mmHg. Pericardiocentesis yielded nearly one liter of serosanguinous fluid with non-diagnostic cytology. Partial median sternotomy with biopsy showed pathologic findings consistent with metastatic urothelial carcinoma, plasmacytoid variant. A PET scan showed increased uptake exclusively in the heart. The oncology team discussed options with the patient including chemotherapy and palliative care. The patient decided to withhold further therapy and went home with hospice care. He died two months later.
Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men in the United States. Most patients (69%) with metastatic bladder cancer have multiple organs involved; conversely, our patient had a PET scan indicating his disease was localized to the heart. Plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma is a rare subtype of bladder cancer, and is estimated to make up less than three percent of all invasive bladder carcinomas. At the time of this publication we are aware of only three other reported instances of isolated cardiac metastasis with urothelial bladder origin; none of which were the plasmacytoid variant.
This case highlights a previously unreported presentation of plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma. Clinicians must remember that even superficial cancers can have significant metastatic potential.
PMCID: PMC3514081  PMID: 23210798
Plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma; PUC; Bladder cancer; Urothelial; Isolated cardiac metastases
6.  Multimodal imaging and detection approach to 18F-FDG-directed surgery for patients with known or suspected malignancies: a comprehensive description of the specific methodology utilized in a single-institution cumulative retrospective experience 
18F-FDG PET/CT is widely utilized in the management of cancer patients. The aim of this paper was to comprehensively describe the specific methodology utilized in our single-institution cumulative retrospective experience with a multimodal imaging and detection approach to 18F-FDG-directed surgery for known/suspected malignancies.
From June 2005-June 2010, 145 patients were injected with 18F-FDG in anticipation of surgical exploration, biopsy, and possible resection of known/suspected malignancy. Each patient underwent one or more of the following: (1) same-day preoperative patient diagnostic PET/CT imaging, (2) intraoperative gamma probe assessment, (3) clinical PET/CT specimen scanning of whole surgically resected specimens (WSRS), research designated tissues (RDT), and/or sectioned research designated tissues (SRDT), (4) micro PET/CT specimen scanning of WSRS, RDT, and/or SRDT, (5) total radioactivity counting of each SRDT piece by an automatic gamma well counter, and (6) same-day postoperative patient diagnostic PET/CT imaging.
Same-day 18F-FDG injection dose was 15.1 (± 3.5, 4.6-26.1) mCi. Fifty-five same-day preoperative patient diagnostic PET/CT scans were performed. One hundred forty-two patients were taken to surgery. Three of the same-day preoperative patient diagnostic PET/CT scans led to the cancellation of the anticipated surgical procedure. One hundred forty-one cases utilized intraoperative gamma probe assessment. Sixty-two same-day postoperative patient diagnostic PET/CT scans were performed. WSRS, RDT, and SRDT were scanned by clinical PET/CT imaging and micro PET/CT imaging in 109 and 32 cases, 33 and 22 cases, and 49 and 26 cases, respectively. Time from 18F-FDG injection to same-day preoperative patient diagnostic PET/CT scan, intraoperative gamma probe assessment, and same-day postoperative patient diagnostic PET/CT scan were 73 (± 9, 53-114), 286 (± 93, 176-532), and 516 (± 134, 178-853) minutes, respectively. Time from 18F-FDG injection to scanning of WSRS, RDT, and SRDT by clinical PET/CT imaging and micro PET/CT imaging were 389 (± 148, 86-741) and 458 (± 97, 272-656) minutes, 619 (± 119, 253-846) and 661 (± 117, 433-835) minutes, and 674 (± 186, 299-1068) and 752 (± 127, 499-976) minutes, respectively.
Our multimodal imaging and detection approach to 18F-FDG-directed surgery for known/suspected malignancies is technically and logistically feasible and may allow for real-time intraoperative staging, surgical planning and execution, and determination of completeness of surgical resection.
PMCID: PMC3247132  PMID: 22112047
7.  Multimodal Imaging and Detection Strategy With 124 I-Labeled Chimeric Monoclonal Antibody cG250 for Accurate Localization and Confirmation of Extent of Disease During Laparoscopic and Open Surgical Resection of Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma 
Surgical Innovation  2013;20(1):59-69.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for approximately 85% to 90% of all primary kidney malignancies, with clear cell RCC (ccRCC) constituting approximately 70% to 85% of all RCCs. This study describes an innovative multimodal imaging and detection strategy that uses 124I-labeled chimeric monoclonal antibody G250 (124I-cG250) for accurate preoperative and intraoperative localization and confirmation of extent of disease for both laparoscopic and open surgical resection of ccRCC. Two cases presented herein highlight how this technology can potentially guide complete surgical resection and confirm complete removal of all diseased tissues. This innovative 124I-cG250 (ie, 124I-girentuximab) multimodal imaging and detection approach, which would be clinically very useful to urologic surgeons, urologic medical oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, radiologists, and pathologists who are involved in the care of ccRCC patients, holds great potential for improving the diagnostic accuracy, operative planning and approach, verification of disease resection, and monitoring for evidence of disease recurrence in ccRCC patients.
PMCID: PMC3758170  PMID: 22455975
image-guided surgery; surgical oncology; urology

Results 1-7 (7)