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1.  Identification of a Comprehensive Spectrum of Genetic Factors for Hereditary Breast Cancer in a Chinese Population by Next-Generation Sequencing 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0125571.
The genetic etiology of hereditary breast cancer has not been fully elucidated. Although germline mutations of high-penetrance genes such as BRCA1/2 are implicated in development of hereditary breast cancers, at least half of all breast cancer families are not linked to these genes. To identify a comprehensive spectrum of genetic factors for hereditary breast cancer in a Chinese population, we performed an analysis of germline mutations in 2,165 coding exons of 152 genes associated with hereditary cancer using next-generation sequencing (NGS) in 99 breast cancer patients from families of cancer patients regardless of cancer types. Forty-two deleterious germline mutations were identified in 21 genes of 34 patients, including 18 (18.2%) BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, 3 (3%) TP53 mutations, 5 (5.1%) DNA mismatch repair gene mutations, 1 (1%) CDH1 mutation, 6 (6.1%) Fanconi anemia pathway gene mutations, and 9 (9.1%) mutations in other genes. Of seven patients who carried mutations in more than one gene, 4 were BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, and their average onset age was much younger than patients with only BRCA1/2 mutations. Almost all identified high-penetrance gene mutations in those families fulfill the typical phenotypes of hereditary cancer syndromes listed in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, except two TP53 and three mismatch repair gene mutations. Furthermore, functional studies of MSH3 germline mutations confirmed the association between MSH3 mutation and tumorigenesis, and segregation analysis suggested antagonism between BRCA1 and MSH3. We also identified a lot of low-penetrance gene mutations. Although the clinical significance of those newly identified low-penetrance gene mutations has not been fully appreciated yet, these new findings do provide valuable epidemiological information for the future studies. Together, these findings highlight the importance of genetic testing based on NCCN guidelines and a multi-gene analysis using NGS may be a supplement to traditional genetic counseling.
PMCID: PMC4415911  PMID: 25927356
2.  Primary squamous cell carcinoma of the breast with unusual basal-HER2 phenotype 
Objectives: To report three cases of primary squamous cell carcinoma of the breast with an unusual “basal-HER2” phenotype. Methods: Clinical data were analyzed. Morphological features were observed. Immunohistochemical study for ER, PR, HER2, Ki-67, CK 5/6, CK10/13, CK14, EGFR, P63 and FISH detection of HER2 gene amplification were performed. Results: Three patients were all female with 26, 57 and 66 years old. The tumors were 3 cm, 4 cm and 5 cm in size respectively. Morphologically, all three tumors were pure squamous cell carcinoma and entirely composed metaplastic squamous cells. Two tumors were moderately differentiated and one was poorly differentiated. All three patients were positive for P63 or CK10/13. All three tumors exhibited basal-HER2 phenotype: negative for ER and PR, positive for HER2 protein and HER2 gene amplification, and positive for at least two basal markers. Conclusions: SCC with basal-HER2 phenotype is an extremely rare subset of breast carcinoma. Since it may have worse prognosis than typical basal-like SCC, recognization of this unusual SCC in routine work may have obvious clinical significance.
PMCID: PMC4152088  PMID: 25197398
Squmous cell carcinoma; basal-HER2 phenotype; breast cancer
3.  Clinicopathological Characteristics and Her-2/neu Status in Chinese Patients with Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma 
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology  2010;2011:575327.
Objective. To analyze clinico-pathological features of Chinese patients with UPSC, and investigate roles of Her-2/neu protein expression and gene amplification in UPSC prognosis. Methods. Thirty-six patients with UPSC treated in Cancer Hospital of Fudan University from 1996 to 2006 were analysed retrospectively. Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were performed to evaluate Her-2/neu gene amplification and protein expression respectively. Results. The median age was 63 years, and 61% (22/36) were late stages (stage III/IV). The 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year overall survival (OS) was 73.1%, 51.9% and 43.9%, respectively. Advanced stages (P = .0006) and deep myometrial invasion (P = .0138) were significantly associtated with a shorter OS. In 36 cases, 27.8% (10/36) showed 2+ staining and 8.3% (3/36) showed 3+ by IHC. Amplification of the Her-2/neu gene was observed in 11.1% (4/36) cases. The 5-year overall survival rate in Her-2/neu IHC 2 + ∼3+ and 0 ~ 1+ cases was 12.9% and 68.6% respectively. Her-2/neu protein expression 2 + ∼3+ was significantly associated with advanced surgical stage and worse overall survival (P = .03 and P = .0023, resp.). Conclusion. Chinese patients with UPSC showed characteristics of deep myometrial invasion, advanced stages and poor overall survival. Her-2/neu protein overexpression is associated with advanced stage and poor survival outcome.
PMCID: PMC3102014  PMID: 21647234
4.  14-3-3ζ Overexpression Defines High Risk for Breast Cancer Recurrence and Promotes Cancer Cell Survival 
Cancer research  2009;69(8):3425-3432.
The ubiquitously expressed 14-3-3 proteins are involved in numerous important cellular functions. The loss of 14-3-3σ is a common event in breast cancer; however, the role of other 14-3-3s in breast cancer is unclear. Recently, we found that 14-3-3ζ overexpression occurs in early stage breast diseases and contributes to transformation of human mammary epithelial cells. Here, we show that 14-3-3ζ overexpression also persisted in invasive ductal carcinoma and contributed to the further progression of breast cancer. To examine the clinical impact of 14-3-3ζ overexpression in advanced stage breast cancer, we performed immunohistochemical analysis of 14-3-3ζ expression in primary breast carcinomas. 14-3-3ζ overexpression occurred in 42% of breast tumors and was determined to be an independent prognostic factor for reduced disease-free survival. 14-3-3ζ overexpression combined with ErbB2 overexpression and positive lymph node status identified a subgroup of patients at high risk for developing distant metastasis. To investigate whether 14-3-3ζ overexpression causally promotes breast cancer progression, we overexpressed 14-3-3ζ by stable transfection or reduced 14-3-3ζ expression by siRNA in cancer cell lines. Increased 14-3-3ζ expression enhanced anchorage independent growth and inhibited stress-induced apoptosis, whereas downregulation of 14-3-3ζ reduced anchorage independent growth and sensitized cells to stress-induced apoptosis via the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Transient blockade of 14-3-3ζ expression by siRNA in cancer cells effectively reduced the onset and growth of tumor xenografts in vivo. Therefore, 14-3-3ζ overexpression is a novel molecular marker for disease recurrence in breast cancer patients and may serve as an effective therapeutic target in patients whose tumors overexpress 14-3-3ζ.
PMCID: PMC2671640  PMID: 19318578
14-3-3ζ; breast cancer; apoptosis resistance; disease recurrence; prognostic marker

Results 1-4 (4)