Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL), a neoplasm of abnormal B lymphocytes (Hodgkin-Reed Sternberg cells), has been described to have a typical pattern of clinical presentation and dissemination often involving functionally contiguous lymph nodes. Despite the progress made in understanding CHL pathophysiology, the factors which regulate the spread of lymphoma cells in CHL are poorly understood. Sphingosine-1-Phosphate (S1P), a bioactive sphingolipid present at high concentrations in plasma and lymphatic fluid, is known to play a critical role in regulating lymphocyte trafficking mainly through S1PR1. In this study, we explore the role of the S1P-S1PR1 axis in Hodgkin lymphoma cell migration and the expression of S1PR1 in CHL cell lines and clinical cases. We found that S1PR1 is present in the KM-H2 and SUP-HD1 Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines at the mRNA and protein level. In addition, functionally, S1P potently stimulated migration of both cell lines. S1P-induced migration was inhibited by the S1PR1 antagonist, VPC44116 and the S1PR1 functional antagonist, FTY720-P, but was potentiated by the S1PR2 specific antagonist, JTE013. We also determined that S1PR1 induced migration in the KM-H2 and SUP-HD1 cells via the heterotrimeric G protein Gi and the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. Immunohistochemical assessment of tissue from CHL samples revealed that a subset of cases (7/57; 12%) show strong, membranous staining for S1PR1 in Hodgkin-Reed Sternberg cells.
Altogether our data indicate that S1PR1 is a functional receptor on Hodgkin-Reed Sternberg cells which governs tumor cell migration and is expressed in a subset of CHL cases. Given the availability of S1PR1 antagonists, some of which are used clinically for modulation of the immune system, these results suggest that S1PR1 could be a future therapeutic target in the treatment of those cases of S1PR1-positive, refractory/recurrent CHL.
Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P); S1PR1; classical Hodgkin lymphoma; migration; dissemination; Fingolimod
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a clinically and biologically heterogeneous disease with a high proliferation rate. By integrating copy number data with transcriptional profiles and performing pathway analysis in primary DLBCLs, we identified a comprehensive set of copy number alterations (CNAs) that decreased p53 activity and perturbed cell cycle regulation. Primary tumors either had multiple complementary alterations of p53 and cell cycle components or largely lacked these lesions. DLBCLs with p53 and cell cycle pathway CNAs had decreased abundance of p53 target transcripts and increased expression of E2F target genes and the Ki67 proliferation marker. CNAs of the CDKN2A-TP53-RB-E2F axis provide a structural basis for increased proliferation in DLBCL, predict outcome with current therapy and suggest targeted treatment approaches.
We describe the anticancer activity of ganetespib, a novel non-geldanamycin heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitor, in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) models.
The activity of ganetespib was compared to that of the geldanamycin 17-AAG in biochemical assays, cell lines and xenografts, and evaluated in an ERBB2 YVMA-driven mouse lung adenocarcinoma model.
Ganetespib blocked the ability of HSP90 to bind to biotinylated geldanamycin and disrupted the association of HSP90 with its co-chaperone, p23, more potently than 17-AAG. In genomically-defined NSCLC cell lines, ganetespib caused depletion of receptor tyrosine kinases, extinguishing of downstream signaling, inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis with IC50 values ranging 2–30 nM, substantially lower than those required for 17-AAG (20– 3,500 nM). Ganetespib was also approximately 20-fold more potent in isogenic Ba/F3 pro-B cells rendered IL-3 independent by expression of EGFR and ERBB2 mutants. In mice bearing NCI-H1975 (EGFR L858R/T790M) xenografts, ganetespib was rapidly eliminated from plasma and normal tissues but was maintained in tumor with t1/2 58.3 hours, supporting once-weekly dosing experiments, in which ganetespib produced greater tumor growth inhibition than 17-AAG. However, after a single dose, re-expression of mutant EGFR occurred by 72 hours, correlating with reversal of anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects. Consecutive day dosing resulted in xenograft regressions, accompanied by more sustained pharmacodynamic effects. Ganetespib also demonstrated activity against mouse lung adenocarcinomas driven by oncogenic ERBB2 YVMA.
Ganetespib has greater potency than 17-AAG and potential efficacy against several NSCLC subsets, including those harboring EGFR or ERBB2 mutation.
HSP90; ERBB Receptor Tyrosine Kinases; NSCLC; Non-Geldanamycin
In Burkitt lymphoma (BL), a germinal center B-cell-derived tumor, the pro-apoptotic properties of c-MYC must be counterbalanced. Predicting that survival signals would be delivered by phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), a major survival determinant in mature B cells, we indeed found that combining constitutive c-MYC expression and PI3K activity in germinal center B cells of the mouse led to BL-like tumors, which fully phenocopy human BL with regard to histology, surface and other markers, and gene expression profile. The tumors also accumulate tertiary mutational events, some of which are recurrent in the human disease. These results and our finding of recurrent PI3K pathway activation in human BL indicate that deregulated c-MYC and PI3K activity cooperate in BL pathogenesis.
A common deleted region (CDR) in both myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) affects the long arm of chromosome 20 and has been predicted to harbor a tumor suppressor gene. Here we show that MYBL2, a gene within the 20q CDR, is expressed at sharply reduced levels in CD34+ cells from most MDS cases (65%; n = 26), whether or not they harbor 20q abnormalities. In a murine competitive reconstitution model, Mybl2 knockdown by RNAi to 20–30% of normal levels in multipotent hematopoietic progenitors resulted in clonal dominance of these ‘sub-haploinsufficient’ cells, which was reflected in all blood cell lineages. By 6 months post-transplantation, the reconstituted mice had developed a clonal myeloproliferative/myelodysplastic disorder originating from the cells with aberrantly reduced Mybl2 expression. We conclude that downregulation of MYBL2 activity below levels predicted by classical haploinsufficiency underlies the clonal expansion of hematopoietic progenitors in a large fraction of human myeloid malignancies.
Blood cells are produced within bone marrow by specialized stem cells and progenitor cells. Abnormalities in this process lead to a group of diseases known as myeloid malignancies, which include acute myeloid leukaemia—in which the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells—and myelodysplastic syndromes, which are caused by too few mature blood cells being produced.
Many individuals affected by these disorders possess a shortened form of chromosome 20 that lacks a number of genes. This deletion is only ever seen in one of their two copies of the chromosome—suggesting that at least some of these genes are essential for survival—but the identity of the gene(s) that are associated with the increased risk of myeloid malignancies is unknown.
Now, Heinrichs et al. have uncovered a key tumor suppressor among those genes frequently lost on chromosome 20. The gene, which is called MYBL2, encodes a transcription factor that helps to control the cell division cycle. Myeloid malignancy patients lacking one copy of this gene showed levels of MYBL2 expression that were less than 50% of those in healthy individuals. This suggests that additional mechanisms must be acting to reduce expression of their remaining copy of the gene. Surprisingly, MYBL2 levels were also reduced in myeloid malignancy patients who possessed two intact copies of chromosome 20, indicating that loss of a single copy represents only one mechanism to reduce MYBL2 expression, i.e., the ‘tip-of-the-iceberg’. Hence, this finding reveals a more general role for MYBL2 as it indicates that more patients are likely to be affected by altered expression of this gene.
To confirm their findings from studies in patients, Heinrichs et al. used gene silencing techniques to reduce the expression of MYBL2 in mice and showed that this induced symptoms of myeloid malignancies in the animals. Moreover, injection of modified cells from these animals into healthy mice also induced symptoms in the recipients. The modified cells are able to expand more robustly than normal cells, and this dominance induced by downregulation of the tumor suppressor increases the risk of malignancy.
In addition to revealing a new tumor suppressor gene and its contribution to myeloid malignancies, the study by Heinrichs et al. highlights the importance of gene dosage in mediating the effects of tumor suppressors.
Myelodysplastic Syndromes; MYBL2; 20q CDR; Human; Mouse
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are potent immune modulators, but their role in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) pathogenesis remains poorly understood. We performed a detailed analysis of the frequency and function of Tregs in a large cohort of HIV-1–infected individuals and HIV-1 negative controls. While HIV “elite controllers” and uninfected individuals had similar Treg numbers and frequencies, the absolute numbers of Tregs declined in blood and gut-associated lymphoid tissue in patients with chronic progressive HIV-1 infection. Despite quantitative changes in Tregs, HIV-1 infection was not associated with an impairment of ex vivo suppressive function of flow-sorted Tregs in both HIV controllers and untreated chronic progressors.
Asplenic individuals are compromised not only in their ability to destroy infectious agents, but are at increased risk of death from autoimmune disease, certain tumors, and ischemic heart disease. Enhanced mortality is attributed to lack of phagocytes sequestered in spleen that efficiently engulf and destroy appropriate targets, though related cells are found elsewhere. To determine whether a unique population regulates RBC-pathogen clearance and filtration of altered self, we reviewed the anatomic literature and analyzed in situ by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence the expression patterns of a little-characterized cell that dominates the splenic red pulp of man and closely related primates-the venous sinus lining or littoral cell (LC). High expression of the formin FHOD1 outlines the LC population. Though LCs are endothelial-like in distribution they express several macrophage directed proteins, the RBC antigen DARC and T-cell co-receptor CD8α/α yet they lack lineage-associated markers CD34 and CD45. Strikingly, SIRPα (CD172a) expression in human spleen concentrates on LCs, consistent with recent demonstration of a key role in RBC turnover and elimination versus release of infected or altered self. Our results indicate human LCs (SIRPα+, FHOD1+, CD8α/α+, CD34−, CD45−) comprise a highly plastic barrier cell population that emerged late in primate evolution coordinate with CD8 expression. Unique to Hominidae, LCs may be the ultimate determinant of which cells re-circulate after passage through human spleen.
Spleen; littoral cell; angioma; RBC; FHOD1; DARC; CD8α/α; SIRPα; primate
T cell Ig domain and mucin domain (TIM)-3 has previously been established as a central regulator of Th1 responses and immune tolerance. In this study, we examined its functions in allograft rejection in a murine model of vascularized cardiac transplantation. TIM-3 was constitutively expressed on dendritic cells and natural regulatory T cells (Tregs) but only detected on CD4+FoxP3− and CD8+ T cells in acutely rejecting graft recipients. A blocking anti–TIM-3 mAb accelerated allograft rejection only in the presence of host CD4+ T cells. Accelerated rejection was accompanied by increased frequencies of alloreactive IFN-γ–, IL-6–, and IL-17–producing splenocytes, enhanced CD8+ cytotoxicity against alloantigen, increased alloantibody production, and a decline in peripheral and intragraft Treg/effector T cell ratio. Enhanced IL-6 production by CD4+ T cells after TIM-3 blockade plays a central role in acceleration of rejection. Using an established alloreactivity TCR transgenic model, blockade of TIM-3 increased allospecific effector T cells, enhanced Th1 and Th17 polarization, and resulted in a decreased frequency of overall number of allospecific Tregs. The latter is due to inhibition in induction of adaptive Tregs rather than prevention of expansion of allospecific natural Tregs. In vitro, targeting TIM-3 did not inhibit nTreg-mediated suppression of Th1 alloreactive cells but increased IL-17 production by effector T cells. In summary, TIM-3 is a key regulatory molecule of alloimmunity through its ability to broadly modulate CD4+ T cell differentiation, thus recalibrating the effector and regulatory arms of the alloimmune response.
Amplification of the MYCN oncogene in childhood neuroblastoma is often accompanied by mutational activation of ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase), suggesting their pathogenic cooperation. We generated a transgenic zebrafish model of neuroblastoma in which MYCN-induced tumors arise from a subpopulation of neuroblasts that migrate into the adrenal medulla analogue following organogenesis. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN in this model triples the disease penetrance and markedly accelerates tumor onset. MYCN overexpression induces adrenal sympathetic neuroblast hyperplasia, blocks chromaffin cell differentiation, and ultimately triggers a developmentally-timed apoptotic response in the hyperplastic sympathoadrenal cells. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN provides prosurvival signals that block this apoptotic response and allow continued expansion and oncogenic transformation of hyperplastic neuroblasts, thus promoting progression to neuroblastoma.
B cells infected by Epstein-Barr-Virus (EBV), a transforming virus endemic in humans, are rapidly cleared by the immune system, but some cells harboring the virus persist for life. Under conditions of immunosuppression EBV can spread from these cells and cause life threatening pathologies. We have generated mice expressing the transforming EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), mimicking a constitutively active CD40 coreceptor, specifically in B cells. Like human EBV infected cells, LMP1+ B cells were efficiently eliminated by T cells, and breaking immune surveillance resulted in rapid, fatal lymphoproliferation and lymphomagenesis. The lymphoma cells expressed ligands for a natural killer (NK) cell receptor, NKG2D, and could be targeted by an NKG2D-Fc fusion protein. These experiments indicate a central role for LMP1 in the surveillance and transformation of EBV infected B cells in vivo, establish a pre-clinical model for B cell lymphomagenesis in immunosuppressed patients, and validate a novel therapeutic approach.
Although the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has improved significantly, more than half of all patients develop disease that is refractory to intensive chemotherapy1,2. Functional genomics approaches offer a means to discover specific molecules mediating aberrant growth and survival of cancer cells3–8. Thus, using a loss-of-function RNA interference genomic screen, we identified aberrant expression of the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) as a critical factor in AML pathogenesis. We found HGF expression leading to autocrine activation of its receptor tyrosine kinase, MET, in nearly half of the AML cell lines and clinical samples studied. Genetic depletion of HGF or MET potently inhibited the growth and survival of HGF-expressing AML cells. However, leukemic cells treated with the specific MET kinase inhibitor crizotinib developed resistance due to compensatory upregulation of HGF expression, leading to restoration of MET signaling. In cases of AML where MET is coactivated with other tyrosine kinases, such as fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1)9, concomitant inhibition of FGFR1 and MET blocked compensatory HGF upregulation, resulting in sustained logarithmic cell kill both in vitro and in xenograft models in vivo. Our results demonstrate widespread dependence of AML cells on autocrine activation of MET, as well as the importance of compensatory upregulation of HGF expression in maintaining leukemogenic signaling by this receptor. We anticipate that these findings will lead to the design of additional strategies to block adaptive cellular responses that drive compensatory ligand expression as an essential component of the targeted inhibition of oncogenic receptors in human cancers.
A human polyomavirus was recently discovered in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) specimens. The Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) genome undergoes clonal integration into the host cell chromosomes of MCC tumors and expresses small T antigen and truncated large T antigen. Previous studies have consistently reported that MCPyV can be detected in approximately 80% of all MCC tumors. We sought to increase the sensitivity of detection of MCPyV in MCC by developing antibodies capable of detecting large T antigen by immunohistochemistry. In addition, we expanded the repertoire of quantitative PCR primers specific for MCPyV to improve the detection of viral DNA in MCC. Here we report that a novel monoclonal antibody detected MCPyV large T antigen expression in 56 of 58 (97%) unique MCC tumors. PCR analysis specifically detected viral DNA in all 60 unique MCC tumors tested. We also detected inactivating point substitution mutations of TP53 in the two MCC specimens that lacked large T antigen expression and in only 1 of 56 tumors positive for large T antigen. These results indicate that MCPyV is present in MCC tumors more frequently than previously reported and that mutations in TP53 tend to occur in MCC tumors that fail to express MCPyV large T antigen.
The PDL1: PD1 costimulatory pathway plays an important role in the inhibition of alloimmune responses as well as in the induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance. It has recently been demonstrated that PDL1 can also bind B7.1 to inhibit T cell responses in vitro. Using the bm12 into B6 heart transplant model, we investigated the functional significance of this interaction in alloimmune responses in vivo. PD1 blockade unlike PDL1 blockade failed to accelerate bm12 allograft rejection suggesting a role for an additional binding partner for PDL1 other than PD1 in transplant rejection. PDL1 blockade was able to accelerate allograft rejection in B7.2-deficient recipients but not B7.1-deficient recipients, indicating that PDL1 interaction with B7.1 was important in inhibiting rejection. Administration of the novel 2H11 anti-PDL1 mAb, which only blocks PDL1: B7.1 interaction, aggravated chronic injury of bm12 allografts in B6 recipients. Aggravated chronic injury was associated with an increased frequency of alloreactive IFN-γ-, IL-4-, and IL-6-producing splenocytes and a decreased percentage of regulatory T cells in the recipients. Using an in vitro cell culture assay, blockade of the interaction of PDL1 on dendritic cells with B7.1 on T cells increased IFN-γ production from alloreactive CD4+ T cells, whereas blockade of dendritic cell B7.1 interaction with T cell PDL1 did not. These data indicate that PDL1 interaction with B7.1 plays an important role in the inhibition of alloimmune responses in vivo and suggests a dominant direction for PDL1 and B7.1 interaction.
Costimulation; Transplantation; MHC; Knockout mice
TET-family enzymes convert 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) in DNA. Here we show that Tet1 and Tet2 are Oct4-regulated enzymes that together sustain 5hmC in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, and are induced concomitantly with 5hmC during reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells. ES cells depleted of Tet1 by RNAi show diminished expression of the Nodal antagonist Lefty1, and display hyperactive Nodal signalling and skewed differentiation into the endoderm-mesoderm lineage in embryoid bodies in vitro. In Fgf4- and heparin-supplemented culture conditions, Tet1-depleted ES cells activate the trophoblast stem cell lineage determinant Elf5 and can colonize the placenta in mid-gestation embryo chimeras. Consistent with these findings, Tet1-depleted ES cells form aggressive hemorrhagic teratomas with increased endoderm, reduced neuroectoderm and ectopic appearance of trophoblastic giant cells. Thus 5hmC is a novel epigenetic modification associated with the pluripotent state, and Tet1 functions to regulate the lineage differentiation potential of ES cells.
Homologous recombination (HR)-defective cells, such as those lacking BRCA1/2, are hypersensitive to poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibition. However, BRCA-deficient tumors represent only a small fraction of adult cancers, potentially restricting the therapeutic utility of PARP inhibitor monotherapy. We previously showed that cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk)1 phosphorylates BRCA1, an event essential for efficient BRCA1 focus formation. Here, we show that cdk1 depletion or inhibition compromises the cellular capacity to repair DNA by HR. Combined cdk1 and PARP inhibition in BRCA wild-type cancer cells results in reduced colony formation, delayed human tumor xenograft growth and tumor regression with prolonged survival in a mouse lung adenocarcinoma model. Cdk1 inhibition did not sensitize non-transformed cells or tissues to PARP inhibition. Because reduced cdk1 activity impairs BRCA1 function and HR repair, cdk1 inhibition represents a plausible strategy for expanding the utility of PARP inhibitors to the BRCA-proficient cancer population.
In the central nervous system of patients with multiple sclerosis, B cell aggregates populate the meninges, raising the central question as to whether these structures relate to the B cell infiltrates found in parenchymal lesions or instead, represent a separate central nervous system immune compartment. We characterized the repertoires derived from meningeal B cell aggregates and the corresponding parenchymal infiltrates from brain tissue derived primarily from patients with progressive multiple sclerosis. The majority of expanded antigen-experienced B cell clones derived from meningeal aggregates were also present in the parenchyma. We extended this investigation to include 20 grey matter specimens containing meninges, 26 inflammatory plaques, 19 areas of normal appearing white matter and cerebral spinal fluid. Analysis of 1833 B cell receptor heavy chain variable region sequences demonstrated that antigen-experienced clones were consistently shared among these distinct compartments. This study establishes a relationship between extraparenchymal lymphoid tissue and parenchymal infiltrates and defines the arrangement of B cell clones that populate the central nervous system of patients with multiple sclerosis.
multiple sclerosis; B cells; clonal expansion; antigen experience; central nervous system
The ALK kinase inhibitor crizotinib (PF-02341066) is clinically effective in patients with ALK-translocated cancers, but its efficacy will ultimately be limited by acquired drug resistance. Here we report the identification of a secondary mutation in ALK, F1174L, as one cause of crizotinib resistance in a patient with an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) harbouring a RANBP2-ALK translocation who progressed while crizotinib therapy. When present in cis with an ALK translocation, this mutation (also detected in neuroblastomas) causes an increase in ALK phosphorylation, cell growth and downstream signaling. Furthermore, the F1174L mutation inhibits crizotinib mediated downregulation of ALK signaling and blocks apoptosis in RANBP2-ALK Ba/F3 cells. A chemically distinct ALK inhibitor, TAE684, or the HSP90 inhibitor 17-AAG are both effective in models harbouring the F1174L ALK mutation. Our findings highlight the importance of studying drug resistance mechanisms in order to develop effective clinical treatments for patients with ALK-translocated cancers.
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor; Anaplastic lymphoma kinase; kinase inhibitor; drug resistance
Genetic rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) kinase occur in 3% to 13% of non–small cell lung cancer patients and rarely coexist with KRAS or EGFR mutations. To evaluate potential treatment strategies for lung cancers driven by an activated EML4-ALK chimeric oncogene, we generated a genetically engineered mouse model that phenocopies the human disease where this rearranged gene arises. In this model, the ALK kinase inhibitor TAE684 produced greater tumor regression and improved overall survival compared with carboplatin and paclitaxel, representing clinical standard of care. 18F-FDG-PET-CT scans revealed almost complete inhibition of tumor metabolic activity within 24 hours of TAE684 exposure. In contrast, combined inhibition of the PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK1/2 pathways did not result in significant tumor regression. We identified EML4-ALK in complex with multiple cellular chaperones including HSP90. In support of a functional reliance, treatment with geldanamycin-based HSP90 inhibitors resulted in rapid degradation of EML4-ALK in vitro and substantial, albeit transient, tumor regression in vivo. Taken together, our findings define a murine model that offers a reliable platform for the preclinical comparison of combinatorial treatment approaches for lung cancer characterized by ALK rearrangement.
To investigate a new clinically relevant immunoregulatory strategy based on treatment with murine Thymoglobulin mATG Genzyme and CTLA4-Ig in NOD mice to prevent allo- and autoimmune activation using a stringent model of islet transplantation and diabetes reversal.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Using allogeneic islet transplantation models as well as NOD mice with recent onset type 1 diabetes, we addressed the therapeutic efficacy and immunomodulatory mechanisms associated with a new immunoregulatory protocol based on prolonged low-dose mATG plus CTLA4-Ig.
BALB/c islets transplanted into hyperglycemic NOD mice under prolonged mATG+CTLA4-Ig treatment showed a pronounced delay in allograft rejection compared with untreated mice (mean survival time: 54 vs. 8 days, P < 0.0001). Immunologic analysis of mice receiving transplants revealed a complete abrogation of autoimmune responses and severe downregulation of alloimmunity in response to treatment. The striking effect on autoimmunity was confirmed by 100% diabetes reversal in newly hyperglycemic NOD mice and 100% indefinite survival of syngeneic islet transplantation (NOD.SCID into NOD mice).
The capacity to regulate alloimmunity and to abrogate the autoimmune response in NOD mice in different settings confirmed that prolonged mATG+CTLA4-Ig treatment is a clinically relevant strategy to translate to humans with type 1 diabetes.
The fusion between echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) has recently been identified in a subset of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). EML4-ALK is most often detected in never smokers with lung cancer and has unique pathologic features. EML4-ALK is oncogenic both in vitro and in vivo and ALK kinase inhibitors are quite effective in pre-clinical model systems. More recently ALK inhibitors have entered clinical development and remarkably clinical efficacy has been observed in NSCLC patients harbouring EML4-ALK translocations. This review will focus on the biology, clinical characteristics, diagnosis and treatment of EML4-ALK NSCLC.
Non-small cell lung carcinoma; translocation; kinase inhibitor; clinical trial
Collagen XXIII is a transmembrane collagen previously shown to be upregulated in metastatic prostate cancer. This study’s purpose was to determine the protein expression of collagen XXIII in tumor tissues from a variety of cancers and to assess collagen XXIII’s utility as a biomarker for non small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
A multi-cancer tissue microarray (TMA) was used for immunohistochemical examination of collagen XXIII protein expression in a variety of cancers. Subsequently, collagen XXIII expression was analyzed in three separate cohorts using TMAs with representative tumor and control lung tissues from NSCLC patients. In addition, NSCLC patient urine samples were analyzed for the presence of collagen XXIII via Western blot.
Collagen XXIII was present in tissue samples from a variety of cancers. Within lung cancer tissues, collagen XXIII staining was enriched in NSCLC subtypes. Collagen XXIII was present in 294 of 333 (88%) lung adenocarcinomas and 97 of 133 (73%) squamous cell carcinomas (SqCC). In urine, collagen XXIII was present in 23 of 29 (79%) NSCLC patient samples but only in 15 of 54 (28%) control samples. High collagen XXIII staining intensity correlated with shorter recurrence-free survival in NSCLC patients.
We demonstrate the capability of collagen XXIII as a tissue and urinary biomarker for NSCLC, where positivity in tissue or urine significantly correlates with presence of NSCLC and high staining intensity is a significant recurrence predictor.
Inclusion of collagen XXIII in a tissue or urine-based cancer biomarker panel could inform NSCLC patient treatment decisions.
tissue microarray; fluid biomarker; cancer surveillance and screening
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is a distinctive mesenchymal neoplasm characterized by a spindle-cell proliferation with an inflammatory infiltrate. Approximately half of IMTs carry rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) locus on chromosome 2p23, causing aberrant ALK expression. We report a sustained partial response to the ALK inhibitor crizotinib (PF-02341066, Pfizer) in a patient with ALK-translocated IMT, as compared with no observed activity in another patient without the ALK translocation. These results support the dependence of ALK-rearranged tumors on ALK-mediated signaling and suggest a therapeutic strategy for genomically identified patients with the aggressive form of this soft-tissue tumor.
Patients with mixed lineage leukemia (MLL)–rearranged B-lymphoblastic leukemias (B-ALL) have an unfavorable prognosis and require intensified treatment. Multiple MLL fusion partners have been identified, complicating the diagnostic evaluation of MLL rearrangements. We analyzed molecular markers of MLL rearrangement for use in rapid diagnostic assays and found the immunomodulatory protein, Galectin-1 (Gal-1), to be selectively expressed in MLL-rearranged B-ALL.
Transcriptional profiling of ALL subtypes revealed selective overexpression of Gal-1 in MLL-rearranged ALLs. For this reason, we analyzed Gal-1 protein expression in MLL-germline and MLL-rearranged adult and infant pediatric B-ALLs and cell lines by immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and intracellular flow cytometry of viable tumor cell suspensions. Because deregulated gene expression in MLL-rearranged leukemias may be related to the altered histone methyltransferase activity of the MLL fusion protein complex, we also analyzed histone H3 lysine 79 (H3K79) dimethylation in the LGALS1 promoter region using chromatin immunoprecipitation.
Gal-1 transcripts were significantly more abundant in MLL-rearranged B-ALLs. All 32 primary MLL-rearranged B-ALLs exhibited abundant Gal-1 immunostaining, regardless of the translocation partner, whereas only 2 of 81 germline-MLL B-ALLs expressed Gal-1. In addition, Gal-1 was selectively detected in newly diagnosed MLL-rearranged B-ALLs by intracellular flow cytometry. The LGALS1 promoter H3K79 was significantly hypermethylated in MLL-rearranged B-ALLs compared with MLL-germline B-ALLs and normal pre-B cells.
In B-ALL, Gal-1 is a highly sensitive and specific biomarker of MLL rearrangement that is likely induced by a MLL-dependent epigenetic modification.
Approximately 5% of lung adenocarcinomas harbor an EML4-ALK gene fusion and define a unique tumor group that may be responsive to targeted therapy. However ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas are difficult to detect by either standard fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) or immunohistochemical (IHC) assays. In the present study we used novel antibodies to compare ALK protein expression in genetically defined lung cancers and anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL).
We analyzed 174 tumors with one standard, and two novel monoclonal antibodies recognizing the ALK protein. Immunostained tissue sections were assessed for the level of tumor-specific ALK expression by objective quantitative image analysis and independently by three pathologists.
ALK protein is invariably and exclusively expressed in ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas but at much lower levels than in the prototypic ALK-rearranged tumor, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and as a result, often not detected by conventional IHC. We further validate a novel IHC that shows excellent sensitivity and specificity (100% and 99%, respectively) for the detection of ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas in biopsy specimens with excellent interobserver agreement between pathologists (kappa statistic, 0.94).
Low levels of ALK protein expression is a characteristic feature of ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas. However a novel, highly sensitive IHC assay reliably detects lung adenocarcinomas with ALK rearrangements and obviates the need for FISH analysis for the majority of cases and therefore could be routinely applicable in clinical practice to detect lung cancers that may be responsive to ALK inhibitors.
Lung adenocarcinoma; ALK; immunohistochemistry
Environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) has been associated with the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
We conducted a case-control study nested within the Physicians’ Health Study, a prospective cohort established in 1982. We measured concentrations of PCBs and p,p′-DDE in baseline blood samples from 205 men later diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 409 age- and race-matched controls. Lipid-adjusted organochlorine concentrations were categorized into quintiles based on the distribution among controls. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each quintile relative to the lowest quintile. We also evaluated these associations for major histologic subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was positively associated with the sum of 51 PCB congeners assayed (ΣPCB); the group of immunotoxic congeners; the individual congeners 118, 138, 153, and 180; and the sum of these four congeners. The simple OR for the highest quintile of lipid-adjusted ΣPCB versus the lowest was 1.9 (95% CI = 1.1-3.2; test for trend P = 0.001), with similar trends for individual congeners and groups defined as above. Adjustment for height, body mass index, alcohol intake, smoking, and fish intake did not substantially change the effect estimates. No association was observed for p,p′-DDE. There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity in effects by histologic subtype of lymphoma; however, this analysis was underpowered.
These results support the hypothesis of a positive association between PCB exposure and development of NHL in men.