Publications by authors named "Albert Cornelius"

10 Publications

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Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis of Relapsed and Refractory Childhood Solid Tumors Reveals a Diverse Molecular Landscape and Mechanisms of Immune Evasion.

Cancer Res 2021 12 5;81(23):5818-5832. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Phoenix, Arizona.

Children with treatment-refractory or relapsed (R/R) tumors face poor prognoses. As the genomic underpinnings driving R/R disease are not well defined, we describe here the genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of R/R solid tumors from 202 patients enrolled in Beat Childhood Cancer Consortium clinical trials. Tumor mutational burden (TMB) was elevated relative to untreated tumors at diagnosis, with one-third of tumors classified as having a pediatric high TMB. Prior chemotherapy exposure influenced the mutational landscape of these R/R tumors, with more than 40% of tumors demonstrating mutational signatures associated with platinum or temozolomide chemotherapy and two tumors showing treatment-associated hypermutation. Immunogenomic profiling found a heterogenous pattern of neoantigen and MHC class I expression and a general absence of immune infiltration. Transcriptional analysis and functional gene set enrichment analysis identified cross-pathology clusters associated with development, immune signaling, and cellular signaling pathways. While the landscapes of these R/R tumors reflected those of their corresponding untreated tumors at diagnosis, important exceptions were observed, suggestive of tumor evolution, treatment resistance mechanisms, and mutagenic etiologies of treatment. SIGNIFICANCE: Tumor heterogeneity, chemotherapy exposure, and tumor evolution contribute to the molecular profiles and increased mutational burden that occur in treatment-refractory and relapsed childhood solid tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-1033DOI Listing
December 2021

Rare cases of medulloblastoma with hypermutation.

Cancer Rep (Hoboken) 2021 Aug 5:e1521. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Van Andel Institute Graduate School, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Background: Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood and is considered a tumor with low mutational burden (~1 Mut/Mb). Therefore, though the medulloblastoma genomes have been extensively characterized in literature, reports on potential hypermutations and underlying mutagenic processes in medulloblastomas are limited.

Aim: In this report, we studied the landscape of mutational burden in primary and recurrent medulloblastoma. Furthermore, we wanted to understand the differences in underlying mutagenic mechanisms in medulloblastoma with low and high mutational burdens.

Methods: Fifty-three primary and recurrent medulloblastoma genomic sequence were downloaded from the European Genome Archive as BAM files. Thirty-three cases were obtained from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues from pathology diagnostic archives of Spectrum Health and Cooperative Human Tissue Network. Somatic mutations were called using Mutect2, following best practices guidelines for Genome Analysis Toolkit V4. Mutational signatures were analyzed using deconstructSigs.

Results: We identified nine medulloblastoma cases with high mutational burden (>5 Mut/Mb). Of them, five cases met the criteria of hypermutation (>10Mut/Mb), two of the five tumors had canonical mutations in the POLE proof-reading domain, where a large proportion of mutations in these tumor genomes contributed to signature 10. The hypermutated cases also demonstrated mutational signatures 14, 15, and 21, indicating the role of mis match repair deficiency in their mutagenesis. Of the four known molecular subgroups in medulloblastoma-SHH, WNT, Group 3, and Group 4-both the POLE-mutated cases belonged to the SHH subgroup. This report identifies rare cases of hypermutation in medulloblastoma driven by defects in DNA repair mechanisms.

Conclusion: Hypermutation in medulloblastoma can impact therapeutic decisions, especially at recurrence in otherwise fatal high risk SHH-medulloblastomas. A defect in DNA repair leading to SHH -medulloblastoma is yet another important mechanism that should be further investigated in the genesis of these tumors. Therefore, this report provides important scientific and clinical rationale for future research looking for incidence of hypermutation in large cohorts of medulloblastoma patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cnr2.1521DOI Listing
August 2021

Excellent outcome of young children with nodular desmoplastic medulloblastoma treated on "Head Start" III: a multi-institutional, prospective clinical trial.

Neuro Oncol 2020 12;22(12):1862-1872

Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Background: "Head Start" III, was a prospective clinical trial using intensive induction followed by myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic cell rescue (AuHCR) to either avoid or reduce the dose/volume of irradiation in young children with medulloblastoma.

Methods: Following surgery, patients received 5 cycles of induction followed by myeloablative chemotherapy using carboplatin, thiotepa, and etoposide with AuHCR. Irradiation was reserved for children >6 years old at diagnosis or with residual tumor post-induction.

Results: Between 2003 and 2009, 92 children <10 years old with medulloblastoma were enrolled. Five-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) rates (±SE) were 46 ± 5% and 62 ± 5% for all patients, 61 ± 8% and 77 ± 7% for localized medulloblastoma, and 35 ± 7% and 52 ± 7% for disseminated patients. Nodular/desmoplastic (ND) medulloblastoma patients had 5-year EFS and OS (±SE) rates of 89 ± 6% and 89 ± 6% compared with 26 ± 6% and 53 ± 7% for classic and 38 ± 13% and 46 ± 14% for large-cell/anaplastic (LCA) medulloblastoma, respectively. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, histology was the only significant independent predictor of EFS after adjusting for stage, extent of resection, regimen, age, and sex (P <0.0001). Five-year irradiation-free EFS was 78 ± 8% for ND and 21 ± 5% for classic/LCA medulloblastoma patients. Myelosuppression was the most common toxicity, with 2 toxic deaths. Twenty-four survivors completed neurocognitive evaluation at a mean of 4.9 years post-diagnosis. IQ and memory scores were within average range overall, whereas processing speed and adaptive functioning were low-average.

Conclusion: We report excellent survival and preservation of mean IQ and memory for young children with ND medulloblastoma using high-dose chemotherapy, with most patients surviving without irradiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7746930PMC
December 2020

Pre-irradiation intensive induction and marrow-ablative consolidation chemotherapy in young children with newly diagnosed high-grade brainstem gliomas: report of the "head-start" I and II clinical trials.

J Neurooncol 2018 Dec 3;140(3):717-725. Epub 2018 Nov 3.

Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Background: The dismal outcome in children with high-grade brainstem gliomas (BSG) accentuates the need for effective therapeutic strategies. We investigated the role of intensive, including marrow-ablative, chemotherapy regimens in the treatment of young children with newly-diagnosed high-grade BSG.

Methods: Between 1991-and-2002, 15 eligible children less than 10 years of age with a diagnosis of high-grade BSG were treated on "Head-Start" I and II protocols (HSI and HSII). Treatment included Induction with 4-5 cycles of one of three intensive chemotherapy regimens followed by Consolidation with one cycle of marrow-ablative chemotherapy (thiotepa, carboplatin and etoposide) with autologous hematopoietic cell rescue (AHCR). Irradiation was required for children over 6 years of age or for those with residual tumor at the end of Consolidation.

Results: We had two long-term survivors who were found retrospectively to harbor low-grade glial tumors and thus were not included in the survival analysis. Of the remaining 13 patients, the 1-year event-free (EFS) and overall (OS) survival for these children were 31% (95% CI 9-55%) and 38% (95% CI 14-63%), respectively. Median EFS and OS were 6.6 (95% CI 2.7, 12.7) and 8.7 months (95% CI 6.9, 20.9), respectively. Eight patients developed progressive disease during study treatment (seven during Induction and one at the end of Consolidation). Ten children received focal irradiation, five for residual tumor (three following Induction and two following Consolidation) and five due to disease progression.

Conclusions: Children with high-grade BSG did not benefit from this intensive chemotherapy strategy administered prior to irradiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-018-03003-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536888PMC
December 2018

Molecular Guided Therapy Provides Sustained Clinical Response in Refractory Choroid Plexus Carcinoma.

Front Pharmacol 2017 25;8:652. Epub 2017 Sep 25.

Pediatric Oncology Translational Research Program, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital at Spectrum HealthGrand Rapids, MI, United States.

Choroid plexus carcinomas (CPCs) are rare, aggressive pediatric brain tumors with no established curative therapy for relapsed disease, and poor survival rates. Mutation or dysfunction correlates with poor or no survival outcome in CPCs. Here, we report the case of a 4 month-old female who presented with disseminated CPC. After initial response to tumor resection and adjuvant-chemotherapy, the tumor recurred and metastasized with no response to aggressive relapse therapy suggesting genetic predisposition. This patient was then enrolled to a Molecular Guided Therapy Clinical Trial. Genomic profiling of patient tumor and normal sample identified a germline mutation with loss of heterozygosity, somatic mutations including , and aberrant activation of biological pathways. The mutations were not targetable for therapy. However, targeting the altered biological pathways (mTOR, PDGFRB, FGF2, HDAC) guided identification of possibly beneficial treatment with a combination of sirolimus, thalidomide, sunitinib, and vorinostat. This therapy led to 92% reduction in tumor size with no serious adverse events, excellent quality of life and long term survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00652DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622196PMC
September 2017

Outcome of young children with high-grade glioma treated with irradiation-avoiding intensive chemotherapy regimens: Final report of the Head Start II and III trials.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2016 10 22;63(10):1806-13. Epub 2016 Jun 22.

Department of pediatrics, Division of Hematology, Oncology and BMT, Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Purpose: To report the final analysis of survival outcomes for children with newly diagnosed high-grade glioma (HGG) treated on the "Head Start" (HS) II and III protocols with chemotherapy and intent to avoid irradiation in children <6 years old.

Patients And Methods: Between 1997 and 2009, 32 eligible children were enrolled in HS II and III with anaplastic astrocytoma (AA, n = 19), glioblastoma multiforme (GBM, n = 11), or other HGG (n = 2). Central pathology review was completed on 78% of patients. Patients with predominantly brainstem tumors were excluded. Patients were to be treated with single induction chemotherapy regimen C, comprising four cycles of vincristine, carboplatin, and temozolomide. Following induction, patients underwent marrow-ablative chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic cell rescue. Irradiation was used for patients with residual tumor after consolidation or >6 years old or at the time of tumor progression.

Results: The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) for all HGG patients were 25 ± 8% and 36 ± 9%, respectively. The EFS at 5 years for patients with AA and GBM were 24 ± 11% and 30 ± 16%, respectively (P = 0.65). The OS at 5 years for patients with AA and GBM was 34 ± 12% and 35 ± 16%, respectively (P = 0.83). Children <36 months old experienced improved 5-year EFS and OS of 44 ± 17% and 63 ± 17%, compared with children 36-71 months old (31 ± 13% and 38 ± 14%) and children >72 months old (0% and 13 ± 12%).

Conclusions: Irradiation-avoiding treatment strategies should be evaluated further in young children with HGG given similar survival rates to older children receiving standard irradiation-containing therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.26118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5598351PMC
October 2016

Intensive induction chemotherapy followed by myeloablative chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic progenitor cell rescue for young children newly-diagnosed with central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors: the Head Start III experience.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014 Jan 11;61(1):95-101. Epub 2013 Aug 11.

Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) of the central nervous system (CNS) is a rare embryonal neoplasm of early childhood with dismal outcome and no current uniformly accepted treatment. Given its highly aggressive nature and predilection for dissemination at diagnosis, intensive multimodal therapy is required.

Materials And Methods: Nineteen children with newly diagnosed CNS AT/RT were treated on the head start (HS) III protocol. Treatment consisted of surgical resection, 5 cycles of induction chemotherapy, followed by consolidation with myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic progenitor cell rescue (AuHCR). Irradiation was given following recovery from consolidation based on patient age, disease extent at diagnosis, and treatment response to induction.

Results: Nineteen children (median age of 14 months) were treated on HS III between 2003 and 2009. Only four finished induction and three proceeded to consolidation. There are presently four survivors at 40, 42, 46, and 79 months from study enrollment. Eleven patients experienced tumor progression at a median time to progression of 4.1 months of whom 10 died with a median time from progression to death of 2.6 months. Five toxic deaths occurred, three of them while on the study. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) for the whole group was 21 ± 9% and 26 ± 10%, respectively. Five patients received irradiation at progression with only one long-term survivor.

Conclusion: A minority of children with CNS AT/RT treated on HS III may be long-term survivors without irradiation. More effective therapies are desperately needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.24648DOI Listing
January 2014

The E2F3-Oncomir-1 axis is activated in Wilms' tumor.

Cancer Res 2008 Jun;68(11):4034-8

Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA.

Oncomir-1 is an oncogenic cluster of microRNAs (miRNA) located on chromosome 13. Previous in vitro studies showed that it is transcriptionally regulated by the transcription factor E2F3. In this report, we combine expression profiling of both mRNA and miRNAs in Wilms' tumor (WT) samples to provide the first evidence that the E2F3-Oncomir-1 axis, previously identified in cell culture, is deregulated in primary human tumors. Analysis of RNA expression signatures showed that an E2F3 gene signature was activated in all WT samples analyzed, in contrast to other kidney tumors. This finding was validated by immunohistochemistry on the protein level. Expression of E2F3 was lowest in early-stage tumors and highest in metastatic tissue. Expression profiling of miRNAs in WT showed that expression of each measured member of the Oncomir-1 family was highest in WT relative to other kidney tumor subtypes. Quantitative PCR confirmed that these miRNAs were overexpressed in WT relative to normal kidney tissue. These results suggest that the E2F3-Oncomir-1 axis is activated in WT. Our study also shows the utility of integrated genomics combining gene signature analysis with miRNA expression profiling to identify protein-miRNA interactions that are perturbed in disease states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-0592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2442735PMC
June 2008

Outcome of children less than three years old at diagnosis with non-metastatic medulloblastoma treated with chemotherapy on the "Head Start" I and II protocols.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2008 Jun;50(6):1169-75

Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Purpose: To determine the survival of infants and young children with non-metastatic medulloblastoma using intensive myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic progenitor cell rescue (AuHCR).

Methods: Twenty-one children less than 3 years old at diagnosis with non-metastatic medulloblastoma were enrolled on two identical serial studies, "Head Start" I and "Head Start" II. After surgery, patients received five cycles of induction chemotherapy consisting of vincristine, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide and etoposide. Following induction, all patients underwent myeloablative chemotherapy using carboplatin, thiotepa and etoposide with AuHCR. Irradiation was used only at relapse.

Results: The 5-year event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) rates (+/-SE) for all patients, patients with gross total resection, and patients with residual tumor were 52 +/- 11% and 70 +/- 10%, 64 +/- 13% and 79 +/- 11%, and 29 +/- 17% and 57 +/- 19%, respectively. The 5-year EFS and OS ( +/- SE) for patients with desmoplastic and classical medulloblastoma were 67 +/- 16% and 78 +/- 14%, and 42 +/- 14 and 67 +/- 14%, respectively. There were four treatment related deaths. The majority of survivors (71%) avoided irradiation completely. Mean intellectual functioning and quality of life (QoL) for children surviving without irradiation was within average range for a majority of survivors tested.

Conclusion: This strategy of brief intensive chemotherapy for young children with non-metastatic medulloblastoma eliminated the need for craniospinal irradiation 52% of the patients, and may preserve QoL and intellectual functioning. The excellent survival rates are somewhat dampened by high toxic mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.21525DOI Listing
June 2008

From tissue phenotype to proteotype: sensitive protein identification in microdissected tumor tissue.

Int J Oncol 2006 Jan;28(1):103-10

Surgical Neurology Branch, NINDS/NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Correlation of disease phenotype with protein profile (proteotype) is a significant challenge for biomedical research. The main obstacles have been the need to insure sufficient quantities of pure protein sample, the reproducibility of protein display, and rapid and accurate protein identification. We present a modified approach that combines enhanced detection sensitivity with tissue microdissection from frozen primary renal cancer tissues of different histological subtypes, followed by 2D gel analysis and protein identification with MALDI mass spectrometry. We obtained reliable and highly consistent results in phenotypically similar tumors of each individual subtype by performing strict morphological control of the analyzed tumor cells without physical or chemical alteration of the frozen tissue samples. By application of non-oxidizing silver staining, proteins were resolved and identified with high levels of specificity and sensitivity. This new combination of techniques allows not only for sensitive identification of specific protein patterns that correspond to a histological tumor phenotype, but also for identification of specific disease-associated protein targets.
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January 2006
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