Publications by authors named "Adrian Marino-Enriquez"

73 Publications

Re-evaluating tumors of purported specialized prostatic stromal origin reveals molecular heterogeneity, including non-recurring gene fusions characteristic of uterine and soft tissue sarcoma subtypes.

Mod Pathol 2021 May 13. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Tumors of purported specialized prostatic stromal origin comprise prostatic stromal sarcomas (PSS) and stromal tumors of uncertain malignant potential (STUMP). Prior studies have described their clinicopathologic characteristics, but the molecular features remain incompletely understood. Moreover, these neoplasms are morphologically heterogeneous and the lack of specific adjunctive markers of prostatic stromal lineage make precise definition more difficult, leading some to question whether they represent a specific tumor type. In this study, we used next-generation DNA and RNA sequencing to profile 25 primary prostatic mesenchymal neoplasms of possible specialized prostatic stromal origin, including cases originally diagnosed as PSS (11) and STUMP (14). Morphologically, the series comprised 20 cases with solid architecture (11 PSS and 9 STUMP) and 5 cases with phyllodes-like growth pattern (all STUMP). Combined DNA and RNA sequencing results demonstrated that 19/22 (86%) cases that underwent successful sequencing (either DNA or RNA) harbored pathogenic somatic variants. Except for TP53 alterations (6 cases), ATRX mutations (2 cases), and a few copy number variants (-13q, -14q, -16q and +8/8p), the findings were largely nonrecurrent. Eight gene rearrangements were found, and 4 (NAB2-STAT6, JAZF1-SUZ12, TPM3-NTRK1 and BCOR-MAML3) were useful for reclassification of the cases as specific entities. The present study shows that mesenchymal neoplasms of the prostate are morphologically and molecularly heterogeneous and include neoplasms that harbor genetic aberrations seen in specific mesenchymal tumors arising in other anatomic sites, including soft tissue and the uterus. These data suggest that tumors of purported specialized prostatic stromal origin may perhaps not represent a single diagnostic entity or specific disease group and that alternative diagnoses should be carefully considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-021-00818-6DOI Listing
May 2021

YWHAE-NUTM2 oncoprotein regulates proliferation and cyclin D1 via RAF/MAPK and Hippo pathways.

Oncogenesis 2021 May 4;10(5):37. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 20 Shattuck Street, Thorn 528, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS) is the second most common subtype of uterine mesenchymal cancer, after leiomyosarcoma, and oncogenic fusion proteins are found in many ESS. Our previous studies demonstrated transforming properties and diagnostic relevance of the fusion oncoprotein YWHAE-NUTM2 in high-grade endometrial stromal sarcoma (HG-ESS) and showed that cyclin D1 is a diagnostic biomarker in these HG-ESS. However, YWHAE-NUTM2 mechanisms of oncogenesis and roles in cyclin D1 expression have not been characterized. In the current studies, we show YWHAE-NUTM2 complexes with both BRAF/RAF1 and YAP/TAZ in HG-ESS. These interactions are functionally relevant because YWHAE-NUTM2 knockdown in HG-ESS and other models inhibits RAF/MEK/MAPK phosphorylation, cyclin D1 expression, and cell proliferation. Further, cyclin D1 knockdown in HG-ESS dephosphorylates RB1 and inhibits proliferation. In keeping with these findings, we show that MEK and CDK4/6 inhibitors have anti-proliferative effects in HG-ESS, and combinations of these inhibitors have synergistic activity. These findings establish that YWHAE-NUTM2 regulates cyclin D1 expression and cell proliferation by dysregulating RAF/MEK/MAPK and Hippo/YAP-TAZ signaling pathways. Recent studies demonstrate Hippo/YAP-TAZ pathway aberrations in many sarcomas, but this is among the first studies to demonstrate a well-defined oncogenic mechanism as the cause of Hippo pathway dysregulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41389-021-00327-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8097009PMC
May 2021

Relationships between highly recurrent tumor suppressor alterations in 489 leiomyosarcomas.

Cancer 2021 Aug 31;127(15):2666-2673. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is the most common soft tissue and uterine sarcoma, but no standard therapy is available for recurrent or metastatic LMS. TP53, p16/RB1, and PI3K/mTOR pathway dysregulations are recurrent events, and some LMS express estrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR). To characterize relationships between these pathway perturbations, the authors evaluated protein expression in soft tissue and uterine nonprimary leiomyosarcoma (np-LMS), including local recurrences and distant metastases.

Methods: TP53, RB1, p16, and PTEN expression aberrations were determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in tissue microarrays (TMAs) from 227 np-LMS and a comparison group of 262 primary leiomyosarcomas (p-LMS). Thirty-five of the np-LMS had a matched p-LMS specimen in the TMAs. Correlative studies included differentiation scoring, ER and PR IHC, and CDKN2A/p16 fluorescence in situ hybridization.

Results: Dysregulation of TP53, p16/RB1, and PTEN was demonstrated in 90%, 95%, and 41% of np-LMS, respectively. PTEN inactivation was more common in soft tissue np-LMS than uterine np-LMS (55% vs 31%; P = .0005). Moderate-strong ER expression was more common in uterine np-LMS than soft tissue np-LMS (50% vs 7%; P < .0001). Co-inactivation of TP53 and RB1 was found in 81% of np-LMS and was common in both soft tissue and uterine np-LMS (90% and 74%, respectively). RB1, p16, and PTEN aberrations were nearly always conserved in p-LMS and np-LMS from the same patients.

Conclusions: These studies show that nearly all np-LMS have TP53 and/or RB1 aberrations. Therefore, therapies targeting cell cycle and DNA damage checkpoint vulnerabilities should be prioritized for evaluations in LMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33542DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8277678PMC
August 2021

A Randomized Trial of Combined PD-L1 and CTLA-4 Inhibition with Targeted Low-Dose or Hypofractionated Radiation for Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 May 10;27(9):2470-2480. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: Prospective human data are lacking regarding safety, efficacy, and immunologic impacts of different radiation doses administered with combined PD-L1/CTLA-4 blockade.

Patients And Methods: We performed a multicenter phase II study randomly assigning patients with metastatic microsatellite stable colorectal cancer to repeated low-dose fractionated radiation (LDFRT) or hypofractionated radiation (HFRT) with PD-L1/CTLA-4 inhibition. The primary endpoint was response outside the radiation field. Correlative samples were analyzed using multiplex immunofluorescence (IF), IHC, RNA/T-cell receptor (TCR) sequencing, cytometry by time-of-flight (CyTOF), and Olink.

Results: Eighteen patients were evaluable for response. Median lines of prior therapy were four (range, 1-7). Sixteen patients demonstrated toxicity potentially related to treatment (84%), and 8 patients had grade 3-4 toxicity (42%). Best response was stable disease in 1 patient with out-of-field tumor shrinkage. Median overall survival was 3.8 months (90% confidence interval, 2.3-5.7 months). Correlative IF and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) revealed increased infiltration of CD8 and CD8/PD-1/Ki-67 T cells in the radiation field after HFRT. LDFRT increased foci of micronuclei/primary nuclear rupture in two subjects. CyTOF and RNA-seq demonstrated significant declines in multiple circulating immune populations, particularly in patients receiving HFRT. TCR sequencing revealed treatment-associated changes in T-cell repertoire in the tumor and peripheral blood.

Conclusions: We demonstrate the feasibility and safety of adding LDFRT and HFRT to PD-L1/CTLA-4 blockade. Although the best response of stable disease does not support the use of concurrent PD-L1/CTLA-4 inhibition with HFRT or LDFRT in this population, biomarkers provide support that both LDFRT and HFRT impact the local immune microenvironment and systemic immunogenicity that can help guide future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4632DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8102320PMC
May 2021

NR4A3 Immunohistochemistry Reliably Discriminates Acinic Cell Carcinoma from Mimics.

Head Neck Pathol 2021 Jun 10;15(2):425-432. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Acinic cell carcinoma (AciCC) harbors a recurrent t(4;9)(q13;q31) translocation, which leads to upregulation of Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 4 Group A Member 3 (NR4A3). Previous work on tissue microarrays suggests that NR4A3 immunohistochemistry (IHC) may be useful in the diagnosis of AciCC. Thus far, only a single study has evaluated the utility of NR4A3 immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the diagnosis of AciCC, using a tissue microarray to assess most non-AciCC tumor types. Herein we evaluate the diagnostic performance of NR4A3 IHC for AciCC in a large cohort of 157 salivary gland tumors, using whole tissue sections. The cohort consisted of 37 AciCC (6 of them (16%) with high grade transformation), 30 secretory carcinomas (SC), and 90 additional salivary gland tumors, including mucoepidermoid carcinomas (MEC), polymorphous adenocarcinomas (PAC), pleomorphic adenomas (PA), salivary duct carcinomas (SDC), and adenoid cystic carcinomas (AdCC). NR4A3 nuclear staining by IHC was considered positive if present in more than 5% of tumor cells. Overall, 92% of AciCC (34/37) expressed NR4A3 by IHC, with strong (89%) or moderate (3%) nuclear staining, yielding a sensitivity of 92%. IHC detected NR4A3 expression in all cases of recurrent/metastatic AciCC and tumors with high grade transformation. Importantly, all SC were negative for NR4A3 IHC, with no staining in 28/30 cases and weak focal staining, in < 5% of cells, in 2/30 (7%). Similarly, all MEC (20/20), SDC (20/20) and AdCC (10/10) were negative for NR4A3 by IHC, as were most PA (18/20; 15%) and PAC (18/20; 5%). Two PA and two PAC showed multifocal expression of NR4A3 in more than 5% of cells, of weak intensity in 3 cases and moderate in 1 PAC, yielding an overall specificity of 97% for NR4A3 IHC for the diagnosis of AciCC. In conclusion, NR4A3 is a highly sensitive and specific immunohistochemical marker for AciCC; moderate to strong and/or diffuse NR4A3 expression is a consistent and diagnostic feature of AciCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12105-020-01213-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8134602PMC
June 2021

Mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract with NTRK rearrangements: a clinicopathological, immunophenotypic, and molecular study of eight cases, emphasizing their distinction from gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).

Mod Pathol 2021 01 15;34(1):95-103. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Mesenchymal tumors driven by NTRK fusions are clinically and morphologically heterogeneous. With an increasing number of clinicopathological entities being associated with NTRK fusions, the diagnostic and predictive value of the identification of NTRK fusions is uncertain. Recently, mesenchymal tumors in the gastrointestinal tract with NTRK fusions were described as gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), but the nosology of such neoplasms remains controversial. We report eight mesenchymal tumors involving the gastrointestinal tract with NTRK1 or NTRK3 rearrangements. The tumors occurred in six children and two adults, five males and three females (age range 2 months-55 years; median 3.5 years), and involved the small intestine (n = 4), stomach (n = 2), rectum (n = 1), and mesentery (n = 1). Clinical outcomes were variable, ranging from relatively indolent (n = 2) to aggressive diseases (n = 2). Morphologically, the tumors were heterogeneous and could be classified in the following three groups: (1) infantile fibrosarcoma involving the gastrointestinal tract (n = 4), enriched for NTRK3 fusions; (2) low-grade CD34-positive, S100 protein-positive spindle-cell tumors, associated with NTRK1 fusions (n = 2); and (3) unclassified high-grade spindle-cell sarcomas, with NTRK1 fusions (n = 2). By immunohistochemistry, the tumors demonstrated diffuse pan-TRK expression, of variable intensity, and lacked a specific line of differentiation. Four cases expressed CD34, which was coexpressed with S100 protein in three cases. Expression of SOX10, KIT, and DOG1 was consistently absent. Molecular genetic testing identified TPM3-NTRK1 (n = 3), TPR-NTRK1, LMNA-NTRK1, and ETV6-NTRK3 (n = 2), and SPECC1L-NTRK3 in-frame gene fusions. We conclude that the evaluation of mesenchymal spindle-cell neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract without a definitive line of differentiation should include interrogation of NTRK alterations, particularly in pediatric patients. Mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract with NTRK rearrangements are clinically and morphologically heterogeneous, and few, if any, seem related to GIST.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-020-0623-zDOI Listing
January 2021

A phase II multi-strata study of lurbinectedin as a single agent or in combination with conventional chemotherapy in metastatic and/or unresectable sarcomas.

Eur J Cancer 2020 02 31;126:21-32. Epub 2019 Dec 31.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Chemotherapy objective response rates (ORRs) in metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (STS) are typically 20-40% with median progression-free survival (PFS) less than 6 months. Lurbinectedin is a new anticancer agent under investigation. The primary objective of this three-arm, phase II study was to determine the disease control rate (DCR = ORR + stable disease [SD]) at 24 weeks of lurbinectedin alone or with chemotherapy in STS. Eligible patients included adults with ≤2 prior cytotoxic therapies. Study cohorts were: stratum A (StrA; anthracycline-naive), lurbinectedin/doxorubicin; stratum B (StrB; prior anthracycline), lurbinectedin/gemcitabine; stratum C (StrC; prior anthracycline/gemcitabine) lurbinectedin monotherapy. Each stratum was analysed separately by Simon two-stage design. Forty-two patients were accrued (StrA = 20, StrB = 10, StrC = 12) including leiomyosarcoma [LMS] (n = 20), synovial sarcoma [SS](n = 4), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (n = 3) and other STS histologies (n = 15). For StrA there were seven partial responses (PR) plus one stable disease (SD) at 24 weeks. For StrB, two patients met the 24-week DCR including one PR (leiomyosarcoma) and one SD (desmoplastic small round cell tumour [DSRCT]). StrB did not continue to the second stage. In StrC, no patients met the primary end-point. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was: StrA = 4.2 months (90% CI 1.4-7.8), StrB = 1.7 months (90% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-7.4), and StrC = 1.3 months (90% CI 1.1-3.0). Lurbinectedin as a single agent or with chemotherapy was well tolerated with haematologic adverse events (AE's) as the most common toxicity. There were no treatment-related deaths. The combination of lurbinectedin/doxorubicin reached the DCR end-point with seven PR and one patient with SD (ORR 35.0%, 24-week DCR 40.0%). Evidence of drug benefit was seen in leiomyosarcoma, dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLS), myxoid liposarcoma (MLS), synovial sarcoma (SS), and desmoplastic small round cell tumour (DSRCT). TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov; NCT02448537.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.10.021DOI Listing
February 2020

Coordinated targeting of CK2 and KIT in gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

Br J Cancer 2020 02 28;122(3):372-381. Epub 2019 Nov 28.

Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Silkworm Bioreactor and Biomedicine, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, China.

Background: Most gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) are driven by activating oncogenic mutations of KIT/PDGFRA, which provide a compelling therapeutic target. Our previous studies showed that CDC37, regulated by casein kinase 2 (CK2), is a crucial HSP90 cofactor for KIT oncogenic function and a promising and more selective therapeutic target in GIST.

Methods: Biologic mechanisms of CK2-mediated CDC37 regulation were assessed in GISTs by immunoblotting, immunoprecipitations, knockdown and inactivation assays. The effects of a combination of KIT and CK2 inhibition were assessed by immunoblotting, cell viability, colony growth, cell cycle analysis, apoptosis, migration and invasiveness.

Results: CK2 overexpression was demonstrated by immunoblotting in GIST cell lines and patient biopsies. Treatment with a specific CK2 inhibitor, CX4945, leads to CDC37 dephosphorylation and inhibits KIT signalling in imatinib-sensitive and in imatinib-resistant GIST cell lines. Immunoprecipitation demonstrated that CK2 inhibition blocks KIT:HSP90:CDC37 interaction in GIST cells. Coordinated inhibition of CK2 and KIT by CX4945 (or CK2 shRNA) and imatinib, respectively, leads to increased apoptosis, anti-proliferative effects and cell cycle arrest and decreased p-AKT and p-S6 expression, migration and invasiveness in all GIST cell lines compared with either intervention alone, indicating additive effects of inhibiting these two important regulators of GIST biology.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that combinatorial inhibition of CK2 and KIT warrants evaluation as a novel therapeutic strategy in GIST, especially in imatinib-resistant GIST.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-019-0657-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7000686PMC
February 2020

Phase I Study of Rapid Alternation of Sunitinib and Regorafenib for the Treatment of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Refractory Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 12 30;25(24):7287-7293. Epub 2019 Aug 30.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: Polyclonal emergence of KIT secondary mutations is a main mechanism of imatinib progression in gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Approved KIT inhibitors sunitinib and regorafenib have complementary activity against KIT resistance mutations. Preclinical evidence suggests that rapid alternation of sunitinib and regorafenib broadens the spectrum of imatinib-resistant subclones targeted.

Patients And Methods: Phase Ib study investigating continuous treatment with cycles of sunitinib (3 days) followed by regorafenib (4 days) in patients with tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)-refractory GIST. A 3+3 dosing schema was utilized to determine the recommended phase II dose (RP2D). Plasma samples were analyzed for pharmacokinetics and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) studies using targeted error correction sequencing (TEC-seq) and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR).

Results: Of the 14 patients enrolled, 2 experienced dose-limiting toxicities at dose level 2 (asymptomatic grade 3 hypophosphatemia). Sunitinib 37.5 mg/day and regorafenib 120 mg/day was the RP2D. Treatment was well-tolerated and no unexpected toxicities resulted from the combination. Stable disease was the best response in 4 patients, and median progression-free survival was 1.9 months. Combined assessment of ctDNA with TEC-seq and ddPCR detected plasma mutations in 11 of 12 patients (92%). ctDNA studies showed that KIT secondary mutations remain the main mechanism of resistance in TKI-refractory GIST, revealing effective suppression of KIT-mutant subpopulations in patients benefiting from the combination.

Conclusions: Sunitinib and regorafenib combination is feasible and tolerable. Rapid alternation of TKIs with complementary activity might be effective when combining drugs with favorable pharmacokinetics, potentially allowing active doses while minimizing adverse events. Serial monitoring with ctDNA may guide treatment in patients with GIST.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2150DOI Listing
December 2019

Cyclin D1 is a mediator of gastrointestinal stromal tumor KIT-independence.

Oncogene 2019 09 1;38(39):6615-6629. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Oncogenic KIT or PDGFRA tyrosine kinase mutations are compelling therapeutic targets in most gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), and the KIT inhibitor, imatinib, is therefore standard of care for patients with metastatic GIST. However, some GISTs lose expression of KIT oncoproteins, and therefore become KIT-independent and are consequently resistant to KIT-inhibitor drugs. We identified distinctive biologic features in KIT-independent, imatinib-resistant GISTs as a step towards identifying drug targets in these poorly understood tumors. We developed isogenic GIST lines in which the parental forms were KIT oncoprotein-dependent, whereas sublines had loss of KIT oncoprotein expression, accompanied by markedly downregulated expression of the GIST biomarker, protein kinase C-theta (PRKCQ). Biologic mechanisms unique to KIT-independent GISTs were identified by transcriptome sequencing, qRT-PCR, immunoblotting, protein interaction studies, knockdown and expression assays, and dual-luciferase assays. Transcriptome sequencing showed that cyclin D1 expression was extremely low in two of three parental KIT-dependent GIST lines, whereas cyclin D1 expression was high in each of the KIT-independent GIST sublines. Cyclin D1 inhibition in KIT-independent GISTs had anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects, associated with Rb activation and p27 upregulation. PRKCQ, but not KIT, was a negative regulator of cyclin D1 expression, whereas JUN and Hippo pathway effectors YAP and TAZ were positive regulators of cyclin D1 expression. PRKCQ, JUN, and the Hippo pathway coordinately regulate GIST cyclin D1 expression. These findings highlight the roles of PRKCQ, JUN, Hippo, and cyclin D1 as oncogenic mediators in GISTs that have converted, during TKI-therapy, to a KIT-independent state. Inhibitors of these pathways could be effective therapeutically for these now untreatable tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-019-0894-3DOI Listing
September 2019

KIT-Dependent and KIT-Independent Genomic Heterogeneity of Resistance in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors - TORC1/2 Inhibition as Salvage Strategy.

Mol Cancer Ther 2019 11 15;18(11):1985-1996. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Department of Medical Oncology, Sarcoma Center, West German Cancer Center, University Duisburg-Essen, Medical School, Essen, Germany.

Sporadic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), characterized by activating mutations of or , favorably respond to KIT inhibitory treatment but eventually become resistant. The development of effective salvage treatments is complicated by the heterogeneity of secondary resistance mutations. Recently, additional mutations that independently activate KIT-downstream signaling have been found in pretreated patients-adding further complexity to the scope of resistance. We collected genotyping data for from tumor samples of pretreated GIST, providing a representative overview on the distribution and incidence of secondary mutations ( = 80). Analyzing next-generation sequencing data of 109 GIST, we found that 18% carried mutations in KIT-downstream signaling intermediates () potentially mediating resistance to KIT inhibitors. Notably, we found no apparent other driver mutations in refractory cases that were analyzed by whole exome/genome sequencing (13/109). Using CRISPR/Cas9 methods, we generated a panel of GIST cell lines harboring mutations in , and We utilized this panel to evaluate sapanisertib, a novel mTOR kinase inhibitor, as a salvage strategy. Sapanisertib had potent antiproliferative effects in all cell lines, including those with KIT-downstream mutations. Combinations with KIT or MEK inhibitors completely abrogated GIST-survival signaling and displayed synergistic effects. Our isogenic cell line panel closely approximates the genetic heterogeneity of resistance observed in heavily pretreated patients with GIST. With the clinical development of novel, broad spectrum KIT inhibitors, emergence of non-KIT-related resistance may require combination treatments with inhibitors of KIT-downstream signaling such as mTOR or MEK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-18-1224DOI Listing
November 2019

Myxoid smooth muscle neoplasia of the uterus: comprehensive analysis by next-generation sequencing and nucleic acid hybridization.

Mod Pathol 2019 11 12;32(11):1688-1697. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Diagnostics, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Uterine myxoid smooth muscle tumors, including myxoid leiomyosarcoma, are rare and their genomic profile has not been fully characterized. With the discovery of uterine sarcomas with ZC3H7B-BCOR fusion and BCOR internal tandem duplications, the differential diagnosis of myxoid smooth muscle lesions is expanding to include molecularly-defined tumors. Thus, we aimed to explore the genomic landscape of myxoid smooth muscle tumor using comprehensive tools. We performed whole exome next-generation sequencing and a pan-sarcoma RNA fusion assay in tumoral paraffin-embedded tissue from nine well-characterized uterine myxoid smooth muscle tumors (seven myxoid leiomyosarcomas and two myxoid smooth muscle tumors of unknown malignant potential). By immunohistochemistry, all tumors were strongly positive for smooth muscle markers and negative for BCOR staining; 4/6 expressed PLAG1. None of the tumors harbored known fusions including ZC3H7B-BCOR, TRPS1-PLAG1, and RAD51B-PLAG1. None harbored exon 15 BCOR internal tandem duplications; however, four tumors contained BCOR internal tandem duplications of unknown significance (mostly intronic). Mutational burden was low (median 3.8 mutations/megabase). DNA damage repair pathway gene mutations, including TP53 and BRCA2, were found. Copy number variation load, inferred from sequencing data, was variable with genomic indexes ranging from 2.2 to 74.7 (median 25.7), with higher indexes in myxoid leiomyosarcomas than myxoid smooth muscle tumors of unknown malignant potential. The absence of clear driver mutations suggests myxoid smooth muscle tumors to be genetically heterogeneous group of tumours and that other genetic (eg., undiscovered translocation) or epigenetic events drive the pathogenesis of uterine myxoid smooth muscle neoplasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0299-4DOI Listing
November 2019

Correction: Complementary activity of tyrosine kinase inhibitors against secondary kit mutations in imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

Br J Cancer 2019 Jul;121(3):281

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 20 Shattuck Street, Thorn 528, Boston, MA, USA.

The additional information of this manuscript originally stated that the authors declare no competing interests. This statement was incorrect, and should instead have stated the following:M.C.H. has the following competing interests to declare: Equity interest at Molecular MD; Consulting at Molecular MD, Blueprint Medicines, Deciphera Pharmaceuticals; Expert Testimony at Novartis; Licensed patent with royalty payments at Novartis. The remaining authors have no competing interests to declare.The authors apologise for any convenience this may have caused.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-019-0487-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6738067PMC
July 2019

Complementary activity of tyrosine kinase inhibitors against secondary kit mutations in imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

Br J Cancer 2019 03 22;120(6):612-620. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 20 Shattuck Street, Thorn 528, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Most patients with KIT-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) benefit from imatinib, but treatment resistance results from outgrowth of heterogeneous subclones with KIT secondary mutations. Once resistance emerges, targeting KIT with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) sunitinib and regorafenib provides clinical benefit, albeit of limited duration.

Methods: We systematically explored GIST resistance mechanisms to KIT-inhibitor TKIs that are either approved or under investigation in clinical trials: the studies draw upon GIST models and clinical trial correlative science. We subsequently modelled in vitro a rapid TKI alternation approach against subclonal heterogeneity.

Results: Each of the KIT-inhibitor TKIs targets effectively only a subset of KIT secondary mutations in GIST. Regorafenib and sunitinib have complementary activity in that regorafenib primarily inhibits imatinib-resistance mutations in the activation loop, whereas sunitinib inhibits imatinib-resistance mutations in the ATP-binding pocket. We find that rapid alternation of sunitinib and regorafenib suppresses growth of polyclonal imatinib-resistant GIST more effectively than either agent as monotherapy.

Conclusions: Our data highlight that heterogeneity of KIT secondary mutations is the main mechanism of tumour progression to KIT inhibitors in imatinib-resistant GIST patients. Therapeutic combinations of TKIs with complementary activity against resistant mutations may be useful to suppress growth of polyclonal imatinib-resistance in GIST.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-019-0389-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6462042PMC
March 2019

A Comparison of Outcomes and Prognostic Features for Radiation-Associated Angiosarcoma of the Breast and Other Radiation-Associated Sarcomas.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 06 29;104(2):425-435. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

Purpose: Radiation-associated sarcomas (RAS) are considered to have a poor prognosis. Although the incidence is anticipated to rise, contemporary data regarding predictors of outcomes are few. We performed a retrospective analysis to identify RAS prognostic factors and subset analyses for radiation-associated angiosarcoma arising after treatment for breast cancer (RAAB) and other RAS subtypes (other-RAS).

Methods And Materials: Patients with localized RAS evaluated at an institutional multidisciplinary sarcoma clinic were identified. Clinical and histologic review was performed, and outcomes were assessed to identify prognostic features. A subset of cases underwent molecular analysis by next-generation sequencing.

Results: Among 176 patients, histologic subtypes of RAS included angiosarcoma (41%), undifferentiated/unclassified sarcoma (40%), leiomyosarcoma (8%), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (6%), and osteosarcoma (2%). Sixty-seven patients (38%) had RAAB, and 109 (62%) had other-RAS. RAAB had significantly shorter latency from time of initial radiation compared with other-RAS (8 vs. 15 years; P < .001). Treatment approaches included surgery (91%), chemotherapy (44%), and radiation therapy (27%). Median follow-up was 3.2 years; 3-year overall survival (OS) was 74%. On multivariate analysis, positive margins (P < .0001), deep tumor location (intrathoracic/intra-abdominal, P = .002), and high grade (P < .0001) were associated with worse OS. In particular, 3-year OS with negative versus positive margins was 90% versus 66%. Patients with RAAB versus other-RAS showed a trend for higher 3-year OS (84% vs 68%; P = .09), significantly higher 3-year metastasis-free survival (82% vs 67%; P = .001), but similar 3-year local recurrence-free survival (54% vs 61%; P = .28). Next-generation sequencing identified overall low tumor mutational burden, recurrent MYC amplification in RAAB, and few clinically actionable mutations.

Conclusions: Margin negative excision, superficial tumor location, and low tumor grade are determinants of improved OS for RAS, suggesting that complete surgical excision, when possible, is an optimal component of treatment. RAAB is a clinicopathologically distinct type of RAS with shorter latency from initial RT, different recurrence patterns, and when aggressively managed has potentially better outcomes compared with other-RAS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.01.082DOI Listing
June 2019

Expression of PAX3 Distinguishes Biphenotypic Sinonasal Sarcoma From Histologic Mimics.

Am J Surg Pathol 2018 10;42(10):1275-1285

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma (BSNS) is a distinctive, anatomically restricted, low-grade spindle cell sarcoma that shows considerable histologic overlap with other cellular spindle cell neoplasms. This tumor type shows both myogenic and neural differentiation, which can be demonstrated by immunohistochemistry; however, the available diagnostic markers are relatively nonspecific. BSNS is characterized by PAX3 rearrangements, with MAML3 as the most common fusion partner. Our aim was to determine whether immunohistochemistry using a monoclonal PAX3 antibody could distinguish BSNS from potential histologic mimics, as well as to evaluate a widely available polyclonal PAX8 antibody, which is known to cross-react with other paired box transcription factor family members. Immunohistochemistry for PAX3 and PAX8 was performed on whole sections of 15 BSNS (10 with confirmed PAX3 rearrangement) and 10 cases each of the following histologic mimics: malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, monophasic synovial sarcoma, spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), solitary fibrous tumor, sinonasal hemangiopericytoma, and cellular schwannoma, as well as alveolar RMS (which harbors PAX3 or PAX7 gene rearrangements). BSNS showed consistent expression of PAX3 (15/15), all multifocal-to-diffuse and most with moderate-to-strong intensity of staining. One single case of spindle cell RMS showed PAX3 expression (1/10), and all other histologic mimics were completely PAX3-negative. In contrast, nuclear staining for PAX8 was present in all 15 BSNS, 7/10 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, 3/10 cellular schwannomas, 2/10 sinonasal hemangiopericytomas, 1/10 synovial sarcoma, 1 spindle cell RMS, and 1 solitary fibrous tumor. All cases of alveolar RMS were positive for PAX8, and most were also positive for PAX3 (8/10). Immunohistochemical expression of PAX3 is highly sensitive (100%) and specific (98%) for BSNS. A polyclonal PAX8 antibody also stains BSNS (likely due to cross-reactivity with PAX3) but has much lower specificity (75%), with frequent expression in numerous mimics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000001092DOI Listing
October 2018

Lipomas of the Oral Cavity: Utility of MDM2 and CDK4 in Avoiding Overdiagnosis as Atypical Lipomatous Tumor.

Head Neck Pathol 2019 Jun 10;13(2):169-176. Epub 2018 May 10.

Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

Traumatized lipomas with degenerative change may demonstrate histopathologic features that mimic atypical lipomatous tumor (ALT). Previously reported series of ALT involving the oral cavity preceded routine use of MDM2 and CDK4 immunohistochemistry. Our aim is to evaluate MDM2 and CDK4 immunohistochemical expression in adipocytic tumors arising in this site, in conjunction with the histiocytic marker PU.1, to determine whether MDM2 and CDK4 impacts classification. 17 cases originally diagnosed as ALT were retrieved and immunohistochemical studies for MDM2, CDK4 and PU.1 were performed. FISH analysis for MDM2 amplification was performed in select cases. For this study group, the male:female ratio was 9:8 and the median age was 62 (range 41-88). All 17 cases presented as well- or predominantly well-circumscribed proliferations of variably sized, mature adipocytes exhibiting uni- or multi-vacuolation with occasional scalloped nuclei and mild nuclear atypia. Variable amounts of fibrous stroma with focal myxoid change and bland spindle cells were identified in 14/17 cases. Lipoblasts or atypical hyperchromatic stromal cells were not identified in any cases. 14 of 17 cases were negative for MDM2 and CDK4 in tumor cells and 11 of these 14 showed weak nuclear positivity for MDM2 in histiocytes. 3 of 17 cases showed weak, multifocal immunohistochemical expression of MDM2 and CDK4. PU.1 highlighted histiocytes in all 17 cases. FISH analysis for MDM2 amplification was negative in all 3 cases with weak MDM2/CDK4 expression. All cases were reclassified as lipoma with degenerative changes. ALT, in all likelihood, is less common than previously thought in this anatomic location and best diagnosed with ancillary studies. MDM2 expression in histiocytes is best interpreted in conjunction with CDK4 immunohistochemistry and confirmatory FISH for MDM2 amplification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12105-018-0928-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513928PMC
June 2019

BCOR Internal Tandem Duplication in High-grade Uterine Sarcomas.

Am J Surg Pathol 2018 03;42(3):335-341

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Endometrial stromal sarcomas (ESSs) are mesenchymal uterine tumors characterized by recurrent genetic events, most commonly chromosomal rearrangements, that create oncogenic gene fusions. High-grade endometrial stromal sarcomas (HG-ESSs), as defined in the 2014 World Health Organization Classification, typically contain oncogenic YWHAE-NUTM2 fusions; however, although not well characterized, there are tumors morphologically overlapping with HG-ESS that do not contain the YWHAE-NUTM2 fusions. These fusions are also found in certain pediatric primitive sarcomas, including clear cell sarcoma of the kidney and soft tissue undifferentiated round cell sarcoma of infancy. A subset of these same pediatric sarcomas lack YWHAE-NUTM2 fusions and instead have internal tandem duplications (ITDs) involving exon 15 of BCOR (BCOR ITD). We investigated the presence of BCOR ITD by targeted sequencing in a series of 31 uterine sarcomas, comprising 5 low-grade ESS, 13 uterine sarcomas diagnosed as HG-ESS, and 13 undifferentiated uterine sarcomas. BCOR ITD were present in 1 uterine sarcoma diagnosed as HG-ESS and 2 undifferentiated sarcomas with uniform nuclear features, all of which lacked any of the recurrent chromosome translocations known to occur in ESS. These 3 high-grade sarcomas with BCOR ITD affected young patients (average age, 24) and morphologically were composed of nonpleomorphic spindle cells admixed with epithelioid and round cell areas. Focal myxoid stroma was present in 2 cases. Mitotic activity was brisk, necrosis was present, and there was lymphovascular involvement in all cases. The 3 uterine sarcomas with BCOR ITD exhibited diffuse cyclin D1 immunohistochemical expression and there was diffuse BCOR expression in the 2 cases tested. Long-term follow-up in 2 patients revealed 1 to be tumor-free after 22 years and the other to die of disease after 8 years. In conclusion, BCOR ITD is an oncogenic alternative to YWHAE-NUTM2 fusion in high-grade uterine sarcomas with uniform nuclear features. We propose that neoplasms with the morphology described and BCOR ITD be regarded as a unique subtype of high-grade uterine sarcoma, possibly within the family of endometrial stromal neoplasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000000993DOI Listing
March 2018

What is New in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor?

Adv Anat Pathol 2017 Sep;24(5):259-267

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

The classification "gastrointestinal stromal tumor" (GIST) became commonplace in the 1990s and since that time various advances have characterized the GIST lineage of origin, tyrosine kinase mutations, and mechanisms of response and resistance to targeted therapies. In addition to tyrosine kinase mutations and their constitutive activation of downstream signaling pathways, GISTs acquire a sequence of chromosomal aberrations. These include deletions of chromosomes 14q, 22q, 1p, and 15q, which harbor putative tumor suppressor genes required for stepwise progression from microscopic, preclinical forms of GIST (microGIST) to clinically relevant tumors with malignant potential. Recent advances extend our understanding of GIST biology beyond that of the oncogenic KIT/PDGFRA tyrosine kinases and beyond mechanisms of KIT/PDGFRA-inhibitor treatment response and resistance. These advances have characterized ETV1 as an essential interstitial cell of Cajal-GIST transcription factor in oncogenic KIT signaling pathways, and have characterized the biologically distinct subgroup of succinate dehydrogenase deficient GIST, which are particularly common in young adults. Also, recent discoveries of MAX and dystrophin genomic inactivation have expanded our understanding of GIST development and progression, showing that MAX inactivation is an early event fostering cell cycle activity, whereas dystrophin inactivation promotes invasion and metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAP.0000000000000158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608028PMC
September 2017

MAX inactivation is an early event in GIST development that regulates p16 and cell proliferation.

Nat Commun 2017 03 8;8:14674. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 20 Shattuck Street, Thorn 528, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

KIT, PDGFRA, NF1 and SDH mutations are alternate initiating events, fostering hyperplasia in gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs), and additional genetic alterations are required for progression to malignancy. The most frequent secondary alteration, demonstrated in ∼70% of GISTs, is chromosome 14q deletion. Here we report hemizygous or homozygous inactivating mutations of the chromosome 14q MAX gene in 16 of 76 GISTs (21%). We find MAX mutations in 17% and 50% of sporadic and NF1-syndromic GISTs, respectively, and we find loss of MAX protein expression in 48% and 90% of sporadic and NF1-syndromic GISTs, respectively, and in three of eight micro-GISTs, which are early GISTs. MAX genomic inactivation is associated with p16 silencing in the absence of p16 coding sequence deletion and MAX induction restores p16 expression and inhibits GIST proliferation. Hence, MAX inactivation is a common event in GIST progression, fostering cell cycle activity in early GISTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14674DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5344969PMC
March 2017

Genomic Characterization of Low- and High-Grade Pancreatic Mucinous Cystic Neoplasms Reveals Recurrent KRAS Alterations in "High-Risk" Lesions.

Pancreas 2017 May/Jun;46(5):665-671

From the *Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital; †Harvard Medical School; and ‡Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Objectives: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma arises from the following 3 distinct precursor lesions: pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm, and mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN). Genetic abnormalities in the first 2 precursor lesions have been well characterized, but there are limited data on progression pathways in MCNs. This study aimed to characterize genomic differences between MCNs with low-grade (LG) and high-grade (HG) dysplasia or carcinoma.

Methods: Neoplastic epithelium from surgical resections of 25 MCNs, 16 with LG dysplasia and 9 with HG dysplasia or invasive carcinoma, was analyzed by targeted massively parallel sequencing.

Results: KRAS mutations were most frequent, present in 9 HG (100%) and 3 LG (19%) tumors, 2 of the latter also having discrete areas of HG tumor with the same mutation. TP53 mutations and CDKN2A loss were identified in 5 HG tumors (56%) each but not in LG tumors.

Conclusions: The low frequency of KRAS alterations in cysts without a HG component suggests that a subset of MCNs may have a low risk for malignant progression. Novel single-nucleotide variants that occur at a lower rate may help identify this group and provide a substrate for new diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPA.0000000000000805DOI Listing
March 2018

Atypical Spindle Cell Lipomatous Tumor: Clinicopathologic Characterization of 232 Cases Demonstrating a Morphologic Spectrum.

Am J Surg Pathol 2017 Feb;41(2):234-244

*Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA †Department and Graduate Institute of Pathology, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.

The classification of atypical adipocytic neoplasms with spindle cell features remains challenging. To better define this category of low-grade lipomatous neoplasms, we present herein the clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical characteristics of a large series of 232 atypical spindle cell lipomatous tumors. The lesions affected 140 males and 92 females, at an average age of 54 years (range, 6 to 87 y), clinically presenting as a persistent or enlarging mass with a median size of 5 cm. The anatomic distribution of the tumors was wide, predominating in the limbs and limb girdles (147 cases, 63%), mainly in the hands and feet (17% and 11%, respectively), with equal distribution between subcutaneous and deeper locations. Microscopic examination revealed a spectrum of histologic appearances. All cases consisted of a poorly marginated proliferation of mildly atypical spindle cells set in a fibrous or myxoid stroma, with a variably prominent admixed adipocytic component showing variation in adipocyte size and scattered nuclear atypia, frequently with univacuolated or multivacuolated lipoblasts. Tumor cellularity and the relative proportion of the different components were very variable. Tumor margins were often ill defined with invasion into surrounding tissues. Two tumors showed morphologic features reminiscent of dedifferentiation. By immunohistochemistry, the neoplastic spindle cells expressed CD34 (64%), S100 protein (40%) and, less frequently, desmin (23%). Expression of Rb was lost in 57% of cases examined. MDM2 and CDK4 were never coexpressed and FISH for MDM2 amplification was consistently negative, highlighting critical biological differences from atypical lipomatous tumor/dedifferentiated liposarcoma. The morphologic differential diagnosis of atypical spindle cell lipomatous tumor is broad, and includes spindle cell lipoma, diffuse neurofibroma, mammary-type myofibroblastoma, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, fat-forming solitary fibrous tumor, and morphologically low-grade malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor. Most patients underwent surgical excision of the primary mass. With a median follow-up of 4 years (range, 1 mo to 20 y), 87% of patients (63/72) were alive with no evidence of recurrence or metastatic disease. Local recurrence of the tumor was observed in 12% of patients (9 out of 72, multiple in 3 of them) at intervals between 6 months and 17 years after resection of the primary tumor. None of the patients developed tumor metastasis or died of disease. Identification of the neoplastic adipocytic component admixed with spindle cells, and recognition of the range of histologic appearances are key for the diagnosis of atypical spindle cell lipomatous tumor. Whereas the risk of metastatic dissemination is minimal, there is a non-negligible risk for local recurrence (13%) which warrants surgical resection with clear margins whenever feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000000770DOI Listing
February 2017

ALK oncoproteins in atypical inflammatory myofibroblastic tumours: novel RRBP1-ALK fusions in epithelioid inflammatory myofibroblastic sarcoma.

J Pathol 2017 Feb 15;241(3):316-323. Epub 2016 Dec 15.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, the United States.

ALK oncogenic activation mechanisms were characterized in four conventional spindle-cell inflammatory myofibroblastic tumours (IMT) and five atypical IMT, each of which had ALK genomic perturbations. Constitutively activated ALK oncoproteins were purified by ALK immunoprecipitation and electrophoresis, and were characterized by mass spectrometry. The four conventional IMT had TPM3/4-ALK fusions (two cases) or DCTN1-ALK fusions (two cases), whereas two atypical spindle-cell IMT had TFG-ALK and TPM3-ALK fusion in one case each, and three epithelioid inflammatory myofibroblastic sarcomas had RANBP2-ALK fusions in two cases, and a novel RRBP1-ALK fusion in one case. The epithelioid inflammatory myofibroblastic sarcoma with RRBP1-ALK fusion had cytoplasmic ALK expression with perinuclear accentuation, different from the nuclear membranous ALK localization in epithelioid inflammatory myofibroblastic sarcomas with RANBP2-ALK fusions. Evaluation of three additional uncharacterized epithelioid inflammatory myofibroblastic sarcomas with ALK cytoplasmic/perinuclear- accentuation expression demonstrated RRBP1-ALK fusion in two cases. These studies show that atypical spindle-cell IMT can utilize the same ALK fusion mechanisms described previously in conventional IMT, whereas in clinically aggressive epithelioid inflammatory myofibroblastic sarcoma we identify a novel recurrent ALK oncogenic mechanism, resulting from fusion with the RRBP1 gene. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.4836DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5337428PMC
February 2017

Inhibition of Bcl-2 family members sensitizes mesenchymal chondrosarcoma to conventional chemotherapy: report on a novel mesenchymal chondrosarcoma cell line.

Lab Invest 2016 10 12;96(10):1128-37. Epub 2016 Sep 12.

Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Mesenchymal chondrosarcomas are rare and highly aggressive sarcomas occurring in bone and soft tissue, with poor overall survival. Bcl-2 expression was previously shown to be upregulated in mesenchymal chondrosarcomas. We here report on a newly derived mesenchymal chondrosarcoma cell line, MCS170, in which we investigated treatment with the BH3 mimetic ABT-737 alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapy as a possible new therapeutic strategy. The presence of the characteristic HEY1-NCOA2 fusion was confirmed in the MCS170 cell line using FISH, RT-PCR, and sequencing. The MCS170 cell line was treated with ABT-737 alone or in combination with doxorubicin or cisplatin. Cell viability and proliferation was determined using WST-1 viability assays and the xCELLigence system. Expression of Bcl-2 family members was studied using immunohistochemistry. Apoptosis was determined using the caspase-glo 3/7 assay and western blot for PARP cleavage. The MCS170 cell line was sensitive to doxorubicin treatment with an IC50 of 0.09 μM after 72 h, but more resistant to cisplatin treatment with an IC50 of 4.5 μM after 72 h. Cells showed little sensitivity toward ABT-737 with an IC50 of 1.8 μM after 72 h. Combination treatments demonstrated ABT-737 synergism with cisplatin as well as doxorubicin as shown by induction of apoptosis and reduction in cell proliferation. Restoration of the apoptotic machinery by inhibition of Bcl-2 family members sensitizes MCS170 mesenchymal chondrosarcoma cells to conventional chemotherapy. This indicates that combining the inhibition of Bcl-2 family members with conventional chemotherapy can be a possible therapeutic strategy for patients with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/labinvest.2016.91DOI Listing
October 2016

Molecular Pathogenesis and Diagnostic, Prognostic and Predictive Molecular Markers in Sarcoma.

Surg Pathol Clin 2016 Sep;9(3):457-73

Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, Leiden 2333 ZA, The Netherlands.

Sarcomas are infrequent mesenchymal neoplasms characterized by notable morphological and molecular heterogeneity. Molecular studies in sarcoma provide refinements to morphologic classification, and contribute diagnostic information (frequently), prognostic stratification (rarely) and predict therapeutic response (occasionally). Herein, we summarize the major molecular mechanisms underlying sarcoma pathogenesis and present clinically useful diagnostic, prognostic and predictive molecular markers for sarcoma. Five major molecular alterations are discussed, illustrated with representative sarcoma types, including 1. the presence of chimeric transcription factors, in vascular tumors; 2. abnormal kinase signaling, in gastrointestinal stromal tumor; 3. epigenetic deregulation, in chondrosarcoma, chondroblastoma, and other tumors; 4. deregulated cell survival and proliferation, due to focal copy number alterations, in dedifferentiated liposarcoma; 5. extreme genomic instability, in conventional osteosarcoma as a representative example of sarcomas with highly complex karyotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.path.2016.04.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4988391PMC
September 2016

Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins (IAPs) are commonly dysregulated in GIST and can be pharmacologically targeted to enhance the pro-apoptotic activity of imatinib.

Oncotarget 2016 Jul;7(27):41390-41403

Sarcoma Center, Department of Medical Oncology, West German Cancer Center, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) exhibit a strong oncogenic dependency on KIT and KIT inhibitors confer long lasting disease stabilization in the majority of patients. Nonetheless, KIT inhibition alone does not cure GIST as a subset of GIST cells evade apoptosis and eventually develop resistance. Inhibitors of Apoptosis Proteins (IAPs) may confer resistance to drug-induced apoptosis. We observed that the mRNA and protein of IAPs XIAP (BIRC4) and survivin (BIRC5) were highly expressed in primary GIST tumors and cell line models. Amplification of the respective gene loci (BIRC2, BIRC3, BIRC4, BIRC5) was detected in 47% of GIST studied by SNP arrays. Whole exome analyses revealed a mutation of SMAC(DIABLO) in a heavily pretreated patient. Both, survivin (rank 62-92/11.194 tested proteins) and XIAP (rank 106-557/11.194) were found to be essential proteins for survival in a synthetic lethality screen. Expression of XIAP and survivin decreased upon KIT inhibition and may play a role in KIT-regulated pro-survival signaling. SMAC-mimetic treatment with LCL161 and TL32711 reduced cIAP1 and XIAP expression. Survivin inhibitor YM155 lead to transcriptional repression of BIRC5/survivin (YM155) and induced apoptosis. Combinational treatment with KIT inhibitors (imatinib, regorafenib) enhanced the proapoptotic effect. These findings support the combination of KIT inhibition with IAP antagonists in GIST.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5173067PMC
July 2016

Inhibition of Bcl-2 family members sensitises soft tissue leiomyosarcomas to chemotherapy.

Br J Cancer 2016 05 3;114(11):1219-26. Epub 2016 May 3.

Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, Leiden 2333 ZA, The Netherlands.

Background: Leiomyosarcoma is an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma with a 5-year survival rate of 15 to 60%. Treatment options for inoperable or metastatic patients are limited owing to frequent resistance of tumours to chemotherapy and radiation. In this study, we hypothesised that antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins might contribute to leiomyosarcoma chemoresistance and therefore inhibition of Bcl-2 family proteins might sensitise leiomyosarcomas to conventional chemotherapy.

Methods: Expression of the Bcl-2 family proteins Bcl-xL, Bcl-w and Bcl-2 was investigated using immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray containing 43 leiomyosarcomas. Furthermore, we investigated whether ABT-737, a potent BH3 mimetic, sensitises leiomyosarcoma cells to doxorubicin treatment in vitro.

Results: Seventy-seven per cent, 84% and 42% of leiomyosarcomas demonstrated high expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Bcl-w, respectively. Single-agent treatment with ABT-737 resulted in a minor reduction of cell viability. However, combination treatment of ABT-737 and doxorubicin revealed synergism in all four cell lines, by inducing apoptosis.

Conclusions: In conclusion, Bcl-2 family proteins contribute to soft tissue leiomyosarcoma chemoresistance. Antiapoptotic proteins are highly expressed in leiomyosarcoma of soft tissue, and inhibition of these proteins using a BH3 mimetic increases leiomyosarcoma sensitivity to doxorubicin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2016.117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4891502PMC
May 2016

ALK-rearranged renal cell carcinomas in children.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2016 May 23;55(5):442-51. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.

Knowledge of the clinicopathological and molecular spectrum of pediatric renal cell carcinomas (RCC) remains limited, and approximately 16%-24% of these neoplasms cannot be classified into specific subtypes. In this review of 168 pediatric RCC prospectively registered on Children's Oncology Group AREN03B2 protocol, six RCC (3.5%) that demonstrated a unique epithelioid morphology and a peculiar immunophenotypic profile that includes expression of ALK, TFE3, and retention of INI1 was identified. Further investigation revealed ALK rearrangements in all cases, manifested molecularly by fusion transcripts of either VCL-ALK (3 patients all with sickle cell trait which had been previously reported) or TPM3-ALK (3 patients, none with sickle cell trait). Based on the shared unique morphologic, immunophenotypic, and genetic features, it was proposed that these neoplasms belonged to a distinct subgroup of RCC frequently occurring in pediatric patients, which they have termed as ALK-rearranged RCC. Importantly, additional therapeutic options may be available for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22346DOI Listing
May 2016

Alternate PAX3-FOXO1 oncogenic fusion in biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2016 Jan 10;55(1):25-9. Epub 2015 Sep 10.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma (SNS) is a low grade spindle cell sarcoma that affects middle-aged adults, in which the PAX3-MAML3 chimeric transcription factor induces an aberrant dual myogenic and neuroectodermal phenotype. We report an alternate PAX3-FOXO1 oncogenic fusion in SNS, confirming the crucial role of PAX3 in SNS oncogenesis. The presence of PAX3-FOXO1 in SNS and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma suggests that these two entities are genetically similar lesions arising from distinct progenitor cell pools. This finding has important implications for the molecular diagnosis of SNS and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, and underscores the critical contribution of the cell of origin to the phenotype induced by oncogenic transcription factor reprogramming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22295DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4919599PMC
January 2016
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