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1.  Prognostic and predictive value of tumor vascular endothelial growth factor gene amplification in metastatic breast cancer treated with paclitaxel with and without bevacizumab; results from ECOG 2100 trial 
Clinically validated biomarkers for anti-angiogenesis agents are not available. We have previously reported associations between candidate VEGFA SNPs and overall survival (OS) in E2100. The associations between tumor VEGFA amplification and outcome are evaluated here.
Patients and Methods
E2100 was a phase III trial comparing paclitaxel with or without bevacizumab for patients with metastatic breast cancer. Fluorescence in situ hybridization to assess gene amplification status for VEGFA was performed on paraffin embedded tumors from 363 patients in E2100. Evaluation for association between amplification status and outcomes was performed.
ER+ or PR+ tumors were less likely to have VEGFA amplification compared with ER/PR-tumors (p=0.020). VEGFA amplification was associated with worse OS (20.2 vs. 25.3 months; p=0.013) in univariate analysis with a trend for worse OS in multivariate analysis (p=0.08). There was a significant interaction between VEGFA amplification, hormone-receptor status, and study arm. Patients with VEGFA amplification and triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) or HER2 amplification had inferior OS (p=0.047); amplification did not affect OS for those who were ER+ or PR+ and HER2-. Those who received bevacizumab with VEGFA amplification had inferior PFS (p=0.010) and OS (p=0.042); no association was seen in the control arm. Test for interaction between study arm and VEGFA amplification with OS was not significant.
VEGFA amplification in univariate analysis was associated with poor outcomes; this was particularly prominent in HER2+ or TNBCs. Additional studies are necessary to confirm the trend for poor OS seen on multivariate analysis for patients treated with bevacizumab.
PMCID: PMC3594423  PMID: 23340303
Breast cancer; VEGF amplification; bevacizumab
2.  An explorative analysis of ERCC1-19q13 copy number aberrations in a chemonaive stage III colorectal cancer cohort 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:489.
Platinum-based chemotherapy has long been used in the treatment of a variety of cancers and functions by inducing DNA damage. ERCC1 and ERCC4 are involved in the removal of this damage and have previously been implicated in resistance to platinum compounds. The aim of the current investigation is to determine the presence, frequency and prognostic impact of ERCC1 or ERCC4 gene copy number alterations in colorectal cancer (CRC).
Fluorescent in situ hybridization probes directed at ERCC1 and ERCC4 with relevant reference probes were constructed. Probes were tested in a CRC cell line panel and in tumor sections from 152 stage III CRC chemonaive patients. Relationships between biomarker status and clinical endpoints (overall survival, time to recurrence, and local recurrence in rectal cancer) were analyzed by survival statistics.
ERCC1-19q13 copy number alterations were observed in a single cell line metaphase (HT29). In patient material, ERCC1-19q13 copy number gains (ERCC1-19q13/CEN-2 ≥ 1.5) were detected in 27.0% of specimens, whereas ERCC1-19q13 deletions (ERCC1-19q13/CEN-2 < 0.8) were only detected in 1.3%. ERCC1-19q13 gain was significantly associated with longer survival (multivariate analysis, HR: 0.45, 95% CI: 0.20-1.00, p = 0.049) in patients with colon tumors, but not rectal tumors. No ERCC4 aberrations were detected and scoring was discontinued after 50 patients.
ERCC1-19q13 copy number gains occur frequently in stage III CRC and influences survival in patients with colon tumors. Future studies will investigate the effect of ERCC1-19q13 aberrations in a platinum-treated patient population with the aim of developing a predictive biomarker profile for oxaliplatin sensitivity in CRC.
PMCID: PMC4015772  PMID: 24144331
ERCC1; ERCC4; XPF; Colorectal cancer; FISH; Prognosis
3.  Mechanisms of Topoisomerase I (TOP1) Gene Copy Number Increase in a Stage III Colorectal Cancer Patient Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60613.
Topoisomerase I (Top1) is the target of Top1 inhibitor chemotherapy. The TOP1 gene, located at 20q12-q13.1, is frequently detected at elevated copy numbers in colorectal cancer (CRC). The present study explores the mechanism, frequency and prognostic impact of TOP1 gene aberrations in stage III CRC and how these can be detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).
Nine CRC cell line metaphase spreads were analyzed by FISH with a TOP1 probe in combination with a reference probe covering either the centromeric region of chromosome 20 (CEN-20) or chromosome 2 (CEN-2). Tissue sections from 154 chemonaive stage III CRC patients, previously studied with TOP1/CEN-20, were analyzed with TOP1/CEN-2. Relationships between biomarker status and overall survival (OS), time to recurrence (TTR) in CRC and time to local recurrence (LR; rectal cancer only) were determined.
TOP1 aberrations were observed in four cell line metaphases. In all cell lines CEN-2 was found to reflect chromosomal ploidy levels and therefore the TOP1/CEN-2 probe combination was selected to identify TOP1 gene gains (TOP1/CEN-2≥1.5). One hundred and three patients (68.2%) had TOP1 gain, of which 15 patients (14.6%) harbored an amplification (TOP1/CEN-20≥2.0). TOP1 gene gain did not have any association with clinical endpoints, whereas TOP1 amplification showed a non-significant trend towards longer TTR (multivariate HR: 0.50, p = 0.08). Once amplified cases were segregated from other cases of gene gain, non-amplified gene increases (TOP1/CEN-2≥1.5 and TOP1/CEN-20<2.0) showed a trend towards shorter TTR (univariate HR: 1.57, p = 0.07).
TOP1 gene copy number increase occurs frequently in stage III CRC in a mechanism that often includes CEN-20. Using CEN-2 as a measurement for tumor ploidy levels, we were able to discriminate between different mechanisms of gene gain, which appeared to differ in prognostic impact. TOP1 FISH guidelines have been updated.
PMCID: PMC3618421  PMID: 23577133
4.  MSH2 and CXCR4 involvement in malignant VIPoma 
Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide secreting tumors(VIPomas) are rare endocrine tumors of the pancreas with an estimated incidence of 0.1 per million per year. The molecular mechanisms that mediate development of VIPomas are poorly investigated and require definition.
A genome- and gene expression analysis of specimens of a primary pancreatic VIPoma with hepatic metastases was performed. The primary tumor, the metastases, the corresponding healthy tissue of the liver, and the pancreas were compared with each other using oligonucleotide microarrays and loss of heterozygosity (LOH).
The results revealed multiple LOH events and several differentially expressed genes. Our finding of LOH and downregulation was conspicuous in the microarray analysis for the mismatch repair gene MSH2 in the primary pancreatic VIPoma tumor, the hepatic metastasis but not in the corresponding healthy tissue. Further a strong overexpression of the chemokine CXCR4 was detected in the hepatic metastases compared to its pancreatic primary. With a review of the literature we describe the molecular insights of metastatic development in VIPoma.
In VIPoma, defects in the mismatch repair system especially in MSH2 may contribute to carcinogenesis, and increased CXCR4 may be associated with liver metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3544679  PMID: 23231927
VIPoma; MSH2; CXCR4; Microarrays; LOH
5.  Dual color chromogenic in situ hybridization for determination of HER2 status in breast cancer: a large comparative study to current state of the art fluorescence in situ hybridization 
Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) is fast becoming a well established technique for easy and sensitive determination of HER2 gene status in breast cancer. However, for the chromogenic method to achieve status as a safe and reliable technique, the method needs to be validated against already known and validated FISH techniques.
Here it is reported from a comparative study where HER2 gene status obtained by HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit was compared to HER2 gene status obtained by the FDA approved HER2 FISH pharmDx™ Kit and the PathVysion HER-2 DNA probe Kit. The study included 365 formalin fixed and paraffin-embedded invasive breast cancer tissue specimens collected consecutively at a US reference laboratory.
The data obtained revealed an overall HER2 status concordance of approximately 98% for comparisons of HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit to both HER2 FISH pharmDx™ Kit and PathVysion HER-2 DNA Probe Kit.
The concordance between results obtained using the recently FDA approved HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit with previously FDA approved FISH techniques for HER2 gene status determination indicate that the HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit is a reliable chromogenic alternative to fluorescence-based methods.
PMCID: PMC3305592  PMID: 22333181
6.  Anticipating the consequences of action: An fMRI study of intention-based task preparation 
Psychophysiology  2010;47(6):1019-1027.
A key component of task preparation may be to anticipate the consequences of task-appropriate actions. This task switching study examined whether such type of “intentional” preparatory control relies on the presentation of explicit action effects. Preparatory BOLD activation in a condition with task-specific motion effect feedback was compared to identical task conditions with accuracy feedback only. Switch-related activation was found selectively in the effect feedback condition in the middle mid-frontal gyrus and in the anterior intraparietal sulcus. Consistent with research on attentional control, the posterior superior parietal lobule exhibited switch-related preparatory activation irrespective of feedback type. To conclude, preparatory control can occur via complementary attentional and intentional neural mechanisms depending on whether meaningful task-specific action effects lead to the formation of explicit effect representations.
PMCID: PMC3268076  PMID: 20477978
Action selection; Action effects; Attention; Cognitive control; Task switching
7.  Concise route to defined stereoisomers of the hydroxy acid of the chondramides 
Tetrahedron  2008;64(27):6263-6269.
The use of Kobayashi vinylogous aldol reaction in the reaction with acetaldehyde led to anti-aldol product 11. After reductive removal of the chiral auxiliary, the primary alcohol was converted to the allyliodide 14. This compound could be engaged in an Evans alkylation reaction, leading eventually to hydroxy acid 19. Inclusion of a Mitsunobu inversion reaction on the sequence starting with ent-11 led to hydroxy ester 30, featuring a 6,7-syn-configuration. These hydroxy acids should help to elucidate the correct stereostructure of the chondramide depsipeptides.
PMCID: PMC3228260  PMID: 22140278
8.  FISH analysis of PTEN in endometrial carcinoma. comparison with SNP arrays and MLPA 
Histopathology  2014;65(3):371-388.
To check the usefulness of a standardized protocol of PTEN FISH in 31 endometrial carcinomas (ECs) in comparison with SNP array (SNPA), multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), and immunohistochemistry.
Methods and results
Fluorescence in-situ hybridization analysis showed two PTEN copies in 17 cases, three copies in nine cases, hemizygous deletion in two cases, and diverse cell populations with different PTEN copy number in three cases. A good correlation was seen between FISH and SNPA, particularly in cases with three copies. FISH identified two cases with entire deletion of chromosome 10, but did not identify a focal deletion of PTEN. Five cases with PTEN deletion and duplication of the second allele by SNPA were interpreted as normal by FISH. Concordance between FISH and MLPA was seen in 15 cases with two copies, and in two cases with PTEN deletion. Six cases were interpreted as amplified by MLPA, but showed polyploidy by FISH. FISH was superior to SNPA and MLPA in assessing the tumours with diverse cell populations with different PTEN copies.
The results show good concordance between FISH, SNPA and MLPA. SNPA was superior in tumours with deletion of one copy and duplication of the second allele. FISH was superior in assessing tumour heterogeneity.
PMCID: PMC4282383  PMID: 25353038
deletions; fluorescence in-situ hybridization; polysomy; preanalytical variables; protocol; PTEN

Results 1-8 (8)