Children diagnosed at age ≥ 18 months with metastatic MYCN-nonamplified neuroblastoma (NBL-NA) are at high risk for disease relapse, whereas those diagnosed at age < 18 months are nearly always cured. In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that expression of genes related to tumor-associated inflammatory cells correlates with the observed differences in survival by age at diagnosis and contributes to a prognostic signature.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in localized and metastatic neuroblastomas (n = 71) were assessed by immunohistochemistry. Expression of 44 genes representing tumor and inflammatory cells was quantified in 133 metastatic NBL-NAs to assess age-dependent expression and to develop a logistic regression model to provide low- and high-risk scores for predicting progression-free survival (PFS). Tumors from high-risk patients enrolled onto two additional studies (n = 91) served as independent validation cohorts.
Metastatic neuroblastomas had higher infiltration of TAMs than locoregional tumors, and metastatic tumors diagnosed in patients at age ≥ 18 months had higher expression of inflammation-related genes than those in patients diagnosed at age < 18 months. Expression of genes representing TAMs (CD33/CD16/IL6R/IL10/FCGR3) contributed to 25% of the accuracy of a novel 14-gene tumor classification score. PFS at 5 years for children diagnosed at age ≥ 18 months with NBL-NA with a low- versus high-risk score was 47% versus 12%, 57% versus 8%, and 50% versus 20% in three independent clinical trials, respectively.
These data suggest that interactions between tumor and inflammatory cells may contribute to the clinical metastatic neuroblastoma phenotype, improve prognostication, and reveal novel therapeutic targets.
High fitness levels play an important role in maintaining memory function and delaying the progression of structural brain changes in older people at risk of developing dementia. However, it is unclear which specific regions of the brain volume are associated with exercise capacity. We investigated whether exercise capacity, determined by a 6-min walking distance (6MWD), is associated with measures of logical and visual memory and where gray matter regions correlate with exercise capacity in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Ninety-one community-dwelling older adults with MCI completed a 6-min walking test, structural magnetic resonance imaging scanning, and memory tests. The Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised Logical Memory and Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Tests were used to assess logical and visual memory, respectively.
The logical and visual memory tests were positively correlated with the 6MWD (p < 0.01). Poor performance in the 6MWD was correlated with a reduced cerebral gray matter volume in the left middle temporal gyrus, middle occipital gyrus, and hippocampus in older adults with MCI.
These results suggest that a better 6MWD performance may be related to better memory function and the maintenance of gray matter volume in older adults with MCI.
Exercise capacity; Logical memory; Visual memory; Brain atrophy; Fitness; Walking; Cognitive impairment
The risk of falling is associated with cognitive dysfunction. Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) exhibit an accelerated reduction of brain volume, and face an increased risk of falling. The current study examined the relationship between baseline physical performance, baseline gray matter volume and falls during a 12-month follow-up period among community-dwelling older adults with MCI.
Forty-two older adults with MCI (75.6 years, 43% women) underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging and baseline physical performance assessment, including knee-extension strength, one-legged standing time, and walking speed with normal pace. ‘Fallers’ were defined as people who had one or more falls during the 12-month follow-up period.
Of the 42 participants, 26.2% (n = 11) experienced at least one fall during the 12-month follow-up period. Fallers exhibited slower walking speed and shorter one-legged standing time compared with non-fallers (both p < .01). One-legged standing time (sec) (standardized odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 0.89 [0.81, 0.98], p = .02) was associated with a significantly lower rate of falls during the 12-month follow-up after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and history of falling in the past year at baseline. Voxel-based morphometry was used to examine differences in baseline gray matter volume between fallers and non-fallers, revealing that fallers exhibited a significantly greater reduction in the bilateral middle frontal gyrus and superior frontal gyrus.
Poor balance predicts falls over 12 months, and baseline lower gray matter densities in the middle frontal gyrus and superior frontal gyrus were associated with falls in older adults with MCI. Maintaining physical function, especially balance, and brain structural changes through many sorts of prevention strategies in the early stage of cognitive decline may contribute to decreasing the risk of falls in older adults with MCI.
Ewing sarcoma family tumors (ESFT) are aggressive tumors of putative stem cell origin for which prognostic biomarkers and novel treatments are needed. In several human cancers high expression of the polycomb protein BMI-1 is associated with poor outcome. We have assessed the potential clinical significance of BMI-1 expression level in ESFT.
BMI-1 expression was assessed in 130 tumors by immunostaining and associations with clinical features and outcome determined. The molecular signatures of BMI-1-low and BMI-1-high tumors were compared using microarrays and differentially activated canonical pathways identified by gene specific enrichment analysis. Automated quantitative analysis (AQUA) of phospho-proteins was used to assess relative levels of pathway activation. Sensitivity to IGF1-R inhibition was determined using MTS (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium) assays.
BMI-1 is over-expressed by the vast majority of ESFT. However, in 20% of cases BMI-1 levels are low to undetectable. Significantly, although clinical presentation and outcome were similar between BMI-1-high and BMI-1-low tumors, whole genome expression array analysis showed marked differences in their respective gene expression profiles. Gene specific enrichment analysis identified that several cancer-associated canonical biologic pathways, including IGF1, mTOR and WNT are significantly down-regulated in BMI-1-low compared to BMI-1-high tumors. Consistent with these in vivo data, the response to IGF1-R inhibition in vitro was diminished in BMI-1-low compared to BMI-1-high ESFT cells.
ESFT that do not over-express BMI-1 represent a novel subclass with a distinct molecular profile and altered activation of and dependence on cancer-associated biologic pathways.
The primary objective of Children's Oncology Group study P9641 was to demonstrate that surgery alone would achieve 3-year overall survival (OS) ≥ 95% for patients with asymptomatic International Neuroblastoma Staging System stages 2a and 2b neuroblastoma (NBL). Secondary objectives focused on other low-risk patients with NBL and on those who required chemotherapy according to protocol-defined criteria.
Patients and Methods
Patients underwent maximally safe resection of tumor. Chemotherapy was reserved for patients with, or at risk for, symptomatic disease, with less than 50% tumor resection at diagnosis, or with unresectable progressive disease after surgery alone.
For all 915 eligible patients, 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and OS were 89% ± 1% and 97% ± 1%, respectively. For patients with asymptomatic stage 2a or 2b disease, 5-year EFS and OS were 87% ± 2% and 96% ± 1%, respectively. Among patients with stage 2b disease, EFS and OS were significantly lower for those with unfavorable histology or diploid tumors, and OS was significantly lower for those ≥ 18 months old. For patients with stage 1 and 4s NBL, 5-year OS rates were 99% ± 1% and 91% ± 1%, respectively. Patients who required chemotherapy at diagnosis achieved 5-year OS of 98% ± 1%. Of all patients observed after surgery, 11.1% experienced recurrence or progression of disease.
Excellent survival rates can be achieved in asymptomatic low-risk patients with stages 2a and 2b NBL after surgery alone. Immediate use of chemotherapy may be restricted to a minority of patients with low-risk NBL. Patients with stage 2b disease who are older or have diploid or unfavorable histology tumors fare less well. Future studies will seek to refine risk classification.
To examine the effect of multicomponent exercise program on memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and identify biomarkers associated with improvement of cognitive functions.
Subjects were 100 older adults (mean age, 75 years) with MCI. The subjects were classified to an amnestic MCI group (n = 50) with neuroimaging measures, and other MCI group (n = 50) before the randomization. Subjects in each group were randomized to either a multicomponent exercise or an education control group using a ratio of 1∶1. The exercise group exercised for 90 min/d, 2 d/wk, 40 times for 6 months. The exercise program was conducted under multitask conditions to stimulate attention and memory. The control group attended two education classes. A repeated-measures ANOVA revealed that no group × time interactions on the cognitive tests and brain atrophy in MCI patients. A sub-analysis of amnestic MCI patients for group × time interactions revealed that the exercise group exhibited significantly better Mini-Mental State Examination (p = .04) and logical memory scores (p = .04), and reducing whole brain cortical atrophy (p<.05) compared to the control group. Low total cholesterol levels before the intervention were associated with an improvement of logical memory scores (p<.05), and a higher level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor was significantly related to improved ADAS-cog scores (p<.05).
The results suggested that an exercise intervention is beneficial for improving logical memory and maintaining general cognitive function and reducing whole brain cortical atrophy in older adults with amnestic MCI. Low total cholesterol and higher brain-derived neurotrophic factor may predict improvement of cognitive functions in older adults with MCI. Further studies are required to determine the positive effects of exercise on cognitive function in older adults with MCI.
UMIN-CTR UMIN000003662 ctr.cgi?function = brows&action = brows&type = summary&recptno = R000004436&language = J.
Although much evidence supports the hypothesis that cognitive function and physical function are interrelated, it is unclear whether cognitive decline with mild cognitive impairment influences trainability of physical performance in exercise intervention. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between cognitive function at baseline and change in physical performance after exercise intervention in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.
Forty-four older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment based on the Peterson criteria (mean age 74.8 years) consented to and completed a 6-month twice weekly exercise intervention. The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test was used as a measure of physical performance. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Trail Making Test Part B, Geriatric Depression Scale, baseline muscle strength of knee extension, and attendance rate of intervention, were measured as factors for predicting trainability.
In the correlation analysis, the change in TUG showed modest correlations with attendance rate in the exercise program (r = −0.354, P = 0.027) and MMSE at baseline (r = −0.321, P = 0.034). A multiple regression analysis revealed that change in TUG was independently associated with attendance rate (β = −0.322, P = 0.026) and MMSE score (β = −0.295, P = 0.041), controlling for age and gender.
General cognitive function was associated with improvements in physical performance after exercise intervention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Further research is needed to examine the effects of exercise programs designed to address cognitive obstacles in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.
exercise; mobility; rehabilitation; Timed Up and Go test
To examine the effects of a multicomponent exercise program on the cognitive function of older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).
Design: Twelve months, randomized controlled trial; Setting: Community center in Japan; Participants: Fifty older adults (27 men) with aMCI ranging in age from 65 to 93 years (mean age, 75 years); Intervention: Subjects were randomized into either a multicomponent exercise (n = 25) or an education control group (n = 25). Subjects in the multicomponent exercise group exercised under the supervision of physiotherapists for 90 min/d, 2 d/wk, for a total of 80 times over 12 months. The exercises included aerobic exercises, muscle strength training, and postural balance retraining, and were conducted using multiple conditions to stimulate cognitive functions. Subjects in the control group attended three education classes regarding health during the 12-month period. Measurements were administered before, after the 6-month, and after the 12-month intervention period; Measurements: The performance measures included the mini-mental state examination, logical memory subtest of the Wechsler memory scale-revised, digit symbol coding test, letter and categorical verbal fluency test, and the Stroop color word test.
The mean adherence to the exercise program was 79.2%. Improvements of cognitive function following multicomponent exercise were superior at treatment end (group × time interactions for the mini-mental state examination (P = 0.04), logical memory of immediate recall (P = 0.03), and letter verbal fluency test (P = 0.02)). The logical memory of delayed recall, digit symbol coding, and Stroop color word test showed main effects of time, although there were no group × time interactions.
This study indicates that exercise improves or supports, at least partly, cognitive performance in older adults with aMCI.
Aerobic exercise; MCI; Elderly; Alzheimer’s disease; Prevention
The purpose of this study is to clarify the effects of exercise intervention on vascular risk factors in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Community-dwelling older adults who met the definition of MCI using the Petersen criteria (n = 100; mean age = 75.3 years) were randomly allocated to the exercise (n = 50) or education control group (n = 50). Participants in the exercise group exercised under the supervision of physiotherapists for 90 min/day, 2 days/week, 80 times for 12 months. Anthropometric profiles, blood markers, blood pressure, and physical fitness (the 6-min walking test) were measured. Total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and TC/HDL-C risk ratio measurements were taken from blood samples.
The exercise group showed significantly reduced TC and TC/HDL-C risk ratio after training compared with baseline levels (p < 0.001, p = 0.004). However, no significant reduction was found for the control group (p = 0.09, p = 0.09). Physical fitness also significantly improved after exercise intervention compared with the control group (p < 0.0001).
Exercise intervention was associated with positive changes in important vascular risk factors related to cognitive decline and vascular disease in older adults with MCI.
Cholesterol; Rehabilitation; Cognitive impairment; Metabolic profiles; Dementia; Vascular risk factors; Physical activity
Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is a hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome that is commonly associated with a germline mutation in the tumor suppressor gene p53. Loss of p53 results in increased expression of CD44, a cancer stem cell (CSC) marker, which is involved in the scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we report a change in the expression of a CD44 variant isoform (CD44v8-10) in an 8-year-old female LFS patient with osteosarcoma and atypical liver cancer after chemotherapy.
The patient visited a clinic with a chief complaint of chronic pain in a bruise on her right knee. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) raised the possibility of a bone malignancy. Biochemical testing also revealed significantly elevated levels of AFP, which strongly suggested the existence of a primary malignancy in the liver. MRI imaging showed the simultaneous development of osteosarcoma and liver cancer, both of which were confirmed upon biopsy. Combined therapy with surgical resection after chemotherapy was successful in this patient. Regardless of the absence of a familial history of hereditary cancer, a germline mutation in p53 was identified (a missense mutation defined as c.722 C>T, p.Ser241Phe). To better understand the cancer progression and response to treatment, immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of biopsy specimens obtained before and after chemotherapy was performed using a specific antibody against CD44v8-10.
This case demonstrates the ectopic up-regulation of CD44v8-10 in a biopsy sample obtained after cytotoxic chemotherapy, which confers high levels of oxidative stress on cancer cells. Because the alternative splicing of CD44 is tightly regulated epigenetically, it is possible that micro-environmental stress resulting from chemotherapy caused the ectopic induction of CD44v8-10 in vivo.
Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS); cancer stem cells (CSCs); CD44 variant isoforms
A recent meta-analysis on the UCHL1 S18Y variant and Parkinson’s disease (PD) showed a significant inverse association between the Y allele and PD; the individual studies included in that meta-analysis, however, have produced conflicting results. We examined the relationship between UCHL1 S18Y single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and sporadic PD in Japan.
Included were 229 cases within 6 years of onset of PD, defined according to the UK PD Society Brain Bank clinical diagnostic criteria. Controls were 357 inpatients and outpatients without neurodegenerative disease. Adjustment was made for sex, age, region of residence, smoking, and caffeine intake.
Compared with subjects with the CC or CA genotype of UCHL1 S18Y SNP, those with the AA genotype had a significantly increased risk of sporadic PD: the adjusted OR was 1.57 (95 % CI: 1.06 − 2.31). Compared with subjects with the CC or CA genotype of UCHL1 S18Y and the CC or CT genotype of SNCA SNP rs356220, those with the AA genotype of UCHL1 S18Y and the TT genotype of SNP rs356220 had a significantly increased risk of sporadic PD; the interaction, however, was not significant. Our previous investigation found significant inverse relationships between smoking and caffeine intake and PD in this population. There were no significant interactions between UCHL1 S18Y and smoking or caffeine intake affecting sporadic PD.
This study reveals that the UCHL1 S18Y variant is a risk factor for sporadic PD. We could not find evidence for interactions affecting sporadic PD between UCHL1 S18Y and SNCA SNP rs356220, smoking, or caffeine intake.
A patient with acute lymphoblastic leukemia repeatedly developed hypoglycemia during chemotherapy. Comparison of serum glucose trends between chemotherapy with and without L-asparaginase (L-Asp) demonstrated a strong association between L-Asp and hypoglycemia. Critical blood sampling during hypoglycemia indicated hyperinsulinism, suggesting that L-Asp induced hypoglycemia in the patient through inappropriate insulin secretion. Identification of hypoglycemia as an adverse effect will enable clinicians to understand and develop appropriate strategies for L-Asp use in chemotherapy regimens.
L-asparaginase; Fasting hypoglycemia; Hyperinsulinism; Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Fasting Glucose levels
Pierre-Robin sequence (PRS) is defined by micro- and/or retrognathia, glossoptosis and cleft soft palate, either caused by deformational defect or part of a malformation syndrome. Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is an autosomal dominant syndrome caused by mutations in the NF2 gene on chromosome 22q12.2. NF2 is characterized by bilateral vestibular schwannomas, spinal cord schwannomas, meningiomas and ependymomas, and juvenile cataracts. To date, NF2 and PRS have not been described together in the same patient.
We report a female with PRS (micrognathia, cleft palate), microcephaly, ocular hypertelorism, mental retardation and bilateral hearing loss, who at age 15 was also diagnosed with severe NF2 (bilateral cerebellopontine schwannomas and multiple extramedullary/intradural spine tumors). This is the first published report of an individual with both diagnosed PRS and NF2. High resolution karyotype revealed 46, XX, del(22)(q12.1q12.3), FISH confirmed a deletion encompassing NF2, and chromosomal microarray identified a 3,693 kb deletion encompassing multiple genes including NF2 and MN1 (meningioma 1).
Five additional patients with craniofacial dysmorphism and deletion in chromosome 22-adjacent-to or containing NF2 were identified in PubMed and the DECIPHER clinical chromosomal database. Their shared chromosomal deletion encompassed MN1, PITPNB and TTC28. MN1, initially cloned from a patient with meningioma, is an oncogene in murine hematopoiesis and participates as a fusion gene (TEL/MN1) in human myeloid leukemias. Interestingly, Mn1-haploinsufficient mice have abnormal skull development and secondary cleft palate. Additionally, Mn1 regulates maturation and function of calvarial osteoblasts and is an upstream regulator of Tbx22, a gene associated with murine and human cleft palate. This suggests that deletion of MN1 in the six patients we describe may be causally linked to their cleft palates and/or craniofacial abnormalities.
Thus, our report describes a NF2-adjacent chromosome 22q12.2 deletion syndrome and is the first to report association of MN1 deletion with abnormal craniofacial development and/or cleft palate in humans.
Chromosome 22q12.2; Cleft palate; MN1; NF2; Pierre-Robin sequence
Objective measurements can be used to identify people with risks of falls, but many frail elderly adults cannot complete physical performance tests. The study examined the relationship between a subjective risk rating of specific tasks (SRRST) to screen for fall risks and falls and fall-related fractures in frail elderly people.
The SRRST was investigated in 5,062 individuals aged 65 years or older who were utilized day-care services. The SRRST comprised 7 dichotomous questions to screen for fall risks during movements and behaviours such as walking, transferring, and wandering. The history of falls and fall-related fractures during the previous year was reported by participants or determined from an interview with the participant's family and care staff.
All SRRST items showed significant differences between the participants with and without falls and fall-related fractures. In multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, diseases, and behavioural variables, the SRRST score was independently associated with history of falls and fractures. Odds ratios for those in the high-risk SRRST group (≥ 5 points) compared with the no risk SRRST group (0 point) were 6.15 (p < 0.01) for a single fall, 15.04 (p < 0.01) for recurrent falls, and 5.05 (p < 0.01) for fall-related fractures. The results remained essentially unchanged in subgroup analysis accounting for locomotion status.
These results suggest that subjective ratings by care staff can be utilized to determine the risks of falls and fall-related fractures in the frail elderly, however, these preliminary results require confirmation in further prospective research.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission. Genetic polymorphisms involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission may influence susceptibility to PD.
We investigated the relationship of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), monoamine oxidase B (MAOB), dopamine receptor (DR) D2 and DRD4 polymorphisms and PD risk with special attention to the interaction with cigarette smoking among 238 patients with PD and 369 controls in a Japanese population.
Subjects with the AA genotype of MAOB rs1799836 showed a significantly increased risk of PD (odds ratio (OR) = 1.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.12 - 2.58) compared with the AG and GG genotypes combined. The AA genotype of COMT rs4680 was marginally associated with an increased risk of PD (OR = 1.86, 95% CI = 0.98 - 3.50) compared with the GG genotype. The DRD2 rs1800497 and DRD4 rs1800955 polymorphisms showed no association with PD. A COMT -smoking interaction was suggested, with the combined GA and AA genotypes of rs4680 and non-smoking conferring significantly higher risk (OR = 3.97, 95% CI = 2.13 - 7.41) than the AA genotype and a history of smoking (P for interaction = 0.061). No interactions of smoking with other polymorphisms were observed.
The COMT rs4680 and MAOB rs1799836 polymorphisms may increase susceptibility to PD risk among Japanese. Future studies involving larger control and case populations and better pesticide exposure histories will undoubtedly lead to a more thorough understanding of the role of the polymorphisms involved in the dopamine pathway in PD.
Ewing sarcoma family tumors (ESFTs) exhibit chromosomal translocations that lead to the creation of chimeric fusion oncogenes. Combinatorial diversity among chromosomal breakpoints produces varying fusions. The type 1 EWS-FLI1 transcript is created as a result of fusion between exons 7 of EWS and 6 of FLI1, and retrospective studies have reported that type 1 tumors are associated with an improved outcome. We have re-examined this association in a prospective cohort of patients with ESFT treated according to current Children's Oncology Group (COG) treatment protocols.
Frozen tumor tissue was prospectively obtained from patients diagnosed with ESFT, and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to determine translocation status. Analysis was confined to patients with localized tumors who were diagnosed after 1994 and treated according to COG protocols. Translocation status was correlated with disease characteristics, event-free survival (EFS), and overall survival (OS).
RT-PCR identified chimeric fusion oncogenes in 119 of 132 ESFTs. Eighty-nine percent of identified transcripts were EWS-FLI1, and of these, 58.8% were type 1. Five-year EFS and OS rates for patients with type 1 and non–type 1 fusions diagnosed between 2001 and 2005 were equivalent (type 1: EFS, 63% ± 7%; OS, 83% ± 6%; non–type 1: EFS, 71% ± 9%; OS, 79% ± 8%).
Current intensive treatment protocols for localized ESFT have erased the clinical disadvantage that was formerly observed in patients with non–type 1 EWS-FLI1 fusions.
The survival rate among patients with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma who receive dose-intensive chemotherapy is excellent, but the survival rate among patients who receive reduced doses of chemotherapy for shorter periods of time is not known.
We conducted a prospective, phase 3, nonrandomized trial to determine whether a 3-year estimated overall survival of more than 90% could be maintained with reductions in the duration of therapy and drug doses, using a tumor biology-based therapy assignment. Eligible patients had newly diagnosed, intermediate-risk neuroblastoma without MYCN amplification; these patients included infants (<365 days of age) who had stage 3 or 4 disease, children (≥365 days of age) who had stage 3 tumors with favorable histopathological features, and infants who had stage 4S disease with a diploid DNA index or unfavorable histopathological features. Patients who had disease with favorable histopathological features and hyperdiploidy were assigned to four cycles of chemotherapy, and those with an incomplete response or either unfavorable feature were assigned to eight cycles.
Between 1997 and 2005, a total of 479 eligible patients were enrolled in this trial (270 patients with stage 3 disease, 178 with stage 4 disease, and 31 with stage 4S disease). A total of 323 patients had tumors with favorable biologic features, and 141 had tumors with unfavorable biologic features. Ploidy, but not histopathological features, was significantly predictive of the outcome. Severe adverse events without disease progression occurred in 10 patients (2.1%), including secondary leukemia (in 3 patients), death from infection (in 3 patients), and death at surgery (in 4 patients). The 3-year estimate (±SE) of overall survival for the entire group was 96±1%, with an overall survival rate of 98±1% among patients who had tumors with favorable biologic features and 93±2% among patients who had tumors with unfavorable biologic features.
A very high rate of survival among patients with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma was achieved with a biologically based treatment assignment involving a substantially reduced duration of chemotherapy and reduced doses of chemotherapeutic agents as compared with the regimens used in earlier trials. These data provide support for further reduction in chemotherapy with more refined risk stratification. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00003093.)
The International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification (INPC) was the first to clearly define prognostic subgroups in ganglioneuroma (GN) and ganglioneuroblastoma (GNB).
Histopathology and tumor resectability of 552 GN/GNB cases from the CCG (Children’s Cancer Group) and COG (Children’s Oncology Group) neuroblastoma studies were reviewed. The results were analyzed along with clinical information and biological data of the cases.
According to the INPC, 300 tumors were classified into the Favorable Histology (FH) group and 252 were into the Unfavorable Histology (UH) group. Tumors in the FH group included 43 ganglioneuroma-maturing (GN-M), 198 ganglioneuroblastoma-intermixed (GNB-I), and 59 ganglioneuroblastoma-nodular, favorable subset (GNB-N-FS), and were often (91%) resected completely by single or multiple surgical procedures. Patients with the FH tumors had an excellent prognosis with no tumor-related deaths. The UH group included ganglioneuroblastoma-nodular, unfavorable subset (GNB-N-US) tumors. Patients with the UH tumors had a high incidence (53%) of distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis, and their prognosis significantly depended on clinical stage (5-year EFS: 80.1% for non-stage 4 patients; 16.7% for stage 4 patients): Complete primary tumor resection was not beneficial to those GNB-N-US patients, regardless of whether metastasis was present or not. MYCN amplification was detected in 4 tumors in the FH group and 6 tumors in the UH group. The majority (160/191, 84%) of GN-M and GNB-I tumors had a diploid pattern determined by flow cytometry.
Stringent application of the INPC along with clinical staging was critical for prognostic evaluation of the patients with this group of tumors.
Ganglioneuroma; Ganglioneuroblastoma; International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification; Clinical Staging; Tumor Resectability; Prognosis
Platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ) is a tyrosine kinase receptor known to affect vascular development. The zebrafish is an excellent model to study specific regulators of vascular development, yet the role of PDGF signaling has not been determined in early zebrafish embryos. Furthermore, vascular mural cells, in which PDGFRβ functions cell autonomously in other systems, have not been identified in zebrafish embryos younger than 72 hours post fertilization.
In order to investigate the role of PDGFRβ in zebrafish vascular development, we cloned the highly conserved zebrafish homolog of PDGFRβ. We found that pdgfrβ is expressed in the hypochord, a developmental structure that is immediately dorsal to the dorsal aorta and potentially regulates blood vessel development in the zebrafish. Using a PDGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, a morpholino oligonucleotide specific to PDGFRβ, and a dominant negative PDGFRβ transgenic line, we found that PDGFRβ is necessary for angiogenesis of the intersegmental vessels.
Our data provide the first evidence that PDGFRβ signaling is required for zebrafish angiogenesis. We propose a novel mechanism for zebrafish PDGFRβ signaling that regulates vascular angiogenesis in the absence of mural cells.
We assessed the long-term outcome of patients enrolled on CCG-3891, a high-risk neuroblastoma study in which patients were randomly assigned to undergo autologous purged bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) or to receive chemotherapy, and subsequent treatment with 13-cis-retinoic acid (cis-RA).
Patients and Methods
Patients received the same induction chemotherapy, with random assignment (N = 379) to consolidation with myeloablative chemotherapy, total-body irradiation, and ABMT versus three cycles of intensive chemotherapy. Patients who completed consolidation without disease progression were randomly assigned to receive no further therapy or cis-RA for 6 months.
The event-free survival (EFS) for patients randomly assigned to ABMT was significantly higher than those randomly assigned to chemotherapy; the 5-year EFS (mean ± SE) was 30% ± 4% versus 19% ± 3%, respectively (P = .04). The 5-year EFS (42% ± 5% v 31% ± 5%) from the time of second random assignment was higher for cis-RA than for no further therapy, though it was not significant. Overall survival (OS) was significantly higher for each random assignment by a test of the log(−log(.)) transformation of the survival estimates at 5 years (P < .01). The 5-year OS from the second random assignment of patients who underwent both random assignments and who were assigned to ABMT/cis-RA was 59% ± 8%; for ABMT/no cis-RA, it was 41% ± 7%; for continuing chemotherapy/cis-RA, it was 38% ± 7%; and for chemotherapy/no cis-RA, it was 36% ± 7%.
Myeloablative therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell rescue result in significantly better 5-year EFS and OS than nonmyeloablative chemotherapy; cis-RA given after consolidation independently results in significantly improved OS.
Neuroblastoma, the second most common solid tumor in children, frequently metastasizes to the bone marrow and the bone. Neuroblastoma cells present in the bone marrow stimulate the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) by bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) to activate osteoclasts. Here we have examined whether stromal-derived IL-6 also has a paracrine effect on neuroblastoma cells. An analysis of the expression of IL-6 and its receptor IL-6R in 11 neuroblastoma cell lines indicated the expression of IL-6 in 7 cell lines and of IL-6R in 9 cell lines. Treatment of IL-6R positive cells with rhIL-6 resulted in STAT-3 and Erk 1/2 activation. Culturing IL-6R positive neuroblastoma cells in the presence of BMSC or rhIL-6 increased proliferation and protected tumor cells from etoposide-induced apoptosis, whereas it had no effect on IL-6R negative tumor cells. In vivo, neuroblastoma tumors grew faster in the presence of a paracrine source of IL-6. IL-6 induced the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in neuroblastoma cells with concomitant release of prostaglandin-E2, that increased the expression of IL-6 by BMSC. Supporting a role for stromal-derived IL-6 in patients with neuroblastoma bone metastasis, we observed elevated levels of IL-6 in the serum and bone marrow of 16 patients with neuroblastoma bone metastasis, and in BMSC derived from these patients. Altogether the data indicate that stromal-derived IL-6 contributes to the formation of a bone marrow microenvironment favorable to the progression of metastatic neuroblastoma.
neuroblastoma; interleukin-6; STAT-3; cell proliferation; apoptosis; tumor microenvironment
Enterobacter sakazakii (ES) causes neonatal meningitis and necrotizing enterocolitis with case-fatality rates among infected infants ranging from 40 to 80%. Very little is known about the mechanisms by which these organisms cause disease. Here, we demonstrate that ES invades human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) with higher frequency when compared with epithelial cells and endothelial cells from different origins. The entry of ES into HBMEC requires the expression of outer membrane protein A (OmpA), as the OmpA-deletion mutant was sevenfold less invasive than the wild type ES and the bacterium does not multiply inside HBMEC. Anti-OmpA antibodies generated against the OmpA of Escherichia coli K1, which also recognize the OmpA of ES, did not prevent the invasion of ES in HBMEC. ES invasion depends on microtubule condensation in HBMEC and is independent of actin filament reorganization. Both PI3-kinase and PKC-α were activated during ES entry into HBMEC between 15 min and 30 min of infection. Concomitantly, overexpression of dominant negative forms of PI3-kinase and PKC-α significantly inhibited the invasion of ES into HBMEC. In summary, ES invasion of HBMEC is dependent on the expression of OmpA similar to that of E. coli K1; however, the epitopes involved in the interaction with HBMEC appears to be different.
Enterobacter sakazakii; Outer membrane protein A; Endothelial cells; Protein kinase C-α; 1-Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; Microtubules
Angioid streaks (AS) are hereditary eye conditions caused by breaks in the elastic layer of Bruch’s membrane. Patients with AS are also frequently affected with pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). The locus of PXE has been reported to exist in chromosome 16p13.1, and the ABCC6 gene in this locus has been identified as the causal gene of PXE. In this study we investigated the association of the ABCC6 gene and AS. Elucidation of the causal gene of AS will be useful for gene diagnosis in the future. Many mutations in patients with PXE are found in exons 24 and 27 of the ABCC6 gene in previous reports. Therefore, we examined exons 24 and 27 of the ABCC6 gene using the single-strand conformation polymorphism technique. There was no mutation or polymorphism in exon 24. The base substitution of G3803A was identified in exon 27, with a change in the amino acid from CGG to CAG (R1268Q). The genotype frequencies in patients with AS were G/G 52% (23/44), G/A 32% (14/44) and A/A 16% (14/44). In control subjects, the genotype frequencies were G/G 69% (107/154), G/A 29% (44/154) and A/A 2% (3/154). Highly significant differences were observed in both genotype and allele frequencies of R1268Q between patients with AS and control subjects (p<0.001, p<0.002; chi-square test). In conclusion, the missense mutation R1268Q in the ABCC6 gene is not a specific marker of PXE, but is associated with the disease state of AS.
ABCC6 gene; angioid streaks; choroidal neovascularization; missense mutation; pseudoxanthoma elasticum
Escherichia coli is a major cause of neonatal bacterial sepsis and meningitis. We recently identified a gene, traJ, which contributes to the ability of E. coli K1 to penetrate the blood-brain barrier in the neonatal rat. Because very little is known regarding the most critical step in disease progression, translocation to the gut and dissemination to the lymphoid tissues after a natural route of infection, we assessed the ability of a traJ mutant to cause systemic disease in the neonatal rat. Our studies determined that the traJ mutant is significantly less virulent than the wild type in the neonatal rat due to a decreased ability to disseminate from the mesenteric lymph nodes to the deeper tissues of the liver and spleen and to the blood during the early stages of systemic disease. Histopathologic studies determined that although significantly less or no mutant bacteria were recovered from the spleen and livers of infected neonatal rats, the inflammatory response was considerably greater than that in wild-type-colonized tissues. In vitro studies revealed that macrophages internalize the traJ mutant less frequently than they do the wild type and by a morphologically distinct process. Furthermore, we determined that tissue macrophages and dendritic cells within the liver and spleen are the major cellular targets of E. coli K1 and that TraJ significantly contributes to the predominantly intracellular nature of E. coli K1 within these professional phagocytes exclusively during the early stages of systemic disease. These data indicate that, contrary to earlier indications, E. coli K1 resides within professional phagocytes, and this is essential for the efficient progression of systemic disease.
A unique feature of Citrobacter koseri is the extremely high propensity to initiate brain abscesses during neonatal meningitis. Previous clinical reports and studies on infant rats have documented many Citrobacter-filled macrophages within the ventricles and brain abscesses. It has been hypothesized that intracellular survival and replication within macrophages may be a mechanism by which C. koseri subverts the host response and elicits chronic infection, resulting in brain abscess formation. In this study, we showed that C. koseri causes meningitis and brain abscesses in the neonatal rat model, and we utilized histology and magnetic resonance imaging technology to visualize brain abscess formation. Histology and electron microscopy (EM) revealed that macrophages (and not fibroblasts, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, or neurons) were the primary target for long-term C. koseri infection. To better understand C. koseri pathogenesis, we have characterized the interactions of C. koseri with human macrophages. We found that C. koseri survives and replicates within macrophages in vitro and that uptake of C. koseri increases in the presence of human pooled serum in a dose-dependent manner. EM studies lend support to the hypothesis that C. koseri uses morphologically different methods of uptake to enter macrophages. FcγRI blocking experiments show that this receptor primarily facilitates the entry of opsonized C. koseri into macrophages. Further, confocal fluorescence microscopy demonstrates that C. koseri survives phagolysosomal fusion and that more than 90% of intracellular C. koseri organisms are colocalized within phagolysosomes. The ability of C. koseri to survive phagolysosome fusion and replicate within macrophages may contribute to the establishment of chronic central nervous system infection including brain abscesses.