Publications by authors named "Amber L Johns"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Return of individual research results from genomic research: A systematic review of stakeholder perspectives.

PLoS One 2021 8;16(11):e0258646. Epub 2021 Nov 8.

University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Despite the plethora of empirical studies conducted to date, debate continues about whether and to what extent results should be returned to participants of genomic research. We aimed to systematically review the empirical literature exploring stakeholders' perspectives on return of individual research results (IRR) from genomic research. We examined preferences for receiving or willingness to return IRR, and experiences with either receiving or returning them. The systematic searches were conducted across five major databases in August 2018 and repeated in April 2020, and included studies reporting findings from primary research regardless of method (quantitative, qualitative, mixed). Articles that related to the clinical setting were excluded. Our search identified 221 articles that met our search criteria. This included 118 quantitative, 69 qualitative and 34 mixed methods studies. These articles included a total number of 118,874 stakeholders with research participants (85,270/72%) and members of the general public (40,967/35%) being the largest groups represented. The articles spanned at least 22 different countries with most (144/65%) being from the USA. Most (76%) discussed clinical research projects, rather than biobanks. More than half (58%) gauged views that were hypothetical. We found overwhelming evidence of high interest in return of IRR from potential and actual genomic research participants. There is also a general willingness to provide such results by researchers and health professionals, although they tend to adopt a more cautious stance. While all results are desired to some degree, those that have the potential to change clinical management are generally prioritized by all stakeholders. Professional stakeholders appear more willing to return results that are reliable and clinically relevant than those that are less reliable and lack clinical relevance. The lack of evidence for significant enduring psychological harm and the clear benefits to some research participants suggest that researchers should be returning actionable IRRs to participants.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258646PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8575249PMC
November 2021

Significant detection of new germline pathogenic variants in Australian Pancreatic Cancer Screening Program participants.

Hered Cancer Clin Pract 2021 Aug 16;19(1):33. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Department of Gastroenterology, St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia.

Background: The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Screening Program (APCSP) offers endoscopic ultrasound surveillance for individuals at increased risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) with all participants requiring assessment by a Familial Cancer Service before or after study enrolment.

Methods: Individuals aged 40-80 years (or 10 years younger than the earliest PDAC diagnosis) were eligible for APCSP study entry if they had 1) ≥ two blood relatives with PDAC (at least one of first-degree association); 2) a clinical or genetic diagnosis of Hereditary Pancreatitis or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome irrespective of PDAC family history; or 3) a known PDAC predisposition germline pathogenic variant (BRCA2, PALB2, CDKN2A, or Lynch syndrome) with ≥one PDAC-affected first- or second-degree relative. Retrospective medical record review was conducted for APCSP participants enrolled at the participating Australian hospitals from January 2011 to December 2019. We audited the genetic investigations offered by multiple Familial Cancer Services who assessed APCSP participants according to national guidelines, local clinical protocol and/or the availability of external research-funded testing, and the subsequent findings. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed using Microsoft Excel.

Results: Of 189 kindreds (285 participants), 50 kindreds (71 participants) had a known germline pathogenic variant at enrolment (BRCA2 n = 35, PALB2 n = 6, CDKN2A n = 3, STK11 n = 3, PRSS1 n = 2, MLH1 n = 1). Forty-eight of 136 (35%) kindreds with no known germline pathogenic variant were offered mutation analysis; 89% was clinic-funded, with increasing self-funded testing since 2016. The relatively low rates of genetic testing performed reflects initial strict criteria for clinic-funded genetic testing. New germline pathogenic variants were detected in five kindreds (10.4%) after study enrolment (BRCA2 n = 3 kindreds, PALB2 n = 1, CDKN2A n = 1). Of note, only eight kindreds were reassessed by a Familial Cancer Service since enrolment, with a further 21 kindreds identified as being suitable for reassessment.

Conclusion: Germline pathogenic variants associated with PDAC were seen in 29.1% of our high-risk cohort (55/189 kindreds; 82/285 participants). Importantly, 10.4% of kindreds offered genetic testing were newly identified as having germline pathogenic variants, with majority being BRCA2. As genetic testing standards evolve rapidly in PDAC, 5-yearly reassessment of high-risk individuals by Familial Cancer Services is warranted.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13053-021-00190-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8365963PMC
August 2021

DNA methylation patterns identify subgroups of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors with clinical association.

Commun Biol 2021 02 3;4(1):155. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, 2006, Australia.

Here we report the DNA methylation profile of 84 sporadic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) with associated clinical and genomic information. We identified three subgroups of PanNETs, termed T1, T2 and T3, with distinct patterns of methylation. The T1 subgroup was enriched for functional tumors and ATRX, DAXX and MEN1 wild-type genotypes. The T2 subgroup contained tumors with mutations in ATRX, DAXX and MEN1 and recurrent patterns of chromosomal losses in half of the genome with no association between regions with recurrent loss and methylation levels. T2 tumors were larger and had lower methylation in the MGMT gene body, which showed positive correlation with gene expression. The T3 subgroup harboured mutations in MEN1 with recurrent loss of chromosome 11, was enriched for grade G1 tumors and showed histological parameters associated with better prognosis. Our results suggest a role for methylation in both driving tumorigenesis and potentially stratifying prognosis in PanNETs.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01469-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859232PMC
February 2021

Precision Oncology in Surgery: Patient Selection for Operable Pancreatic Cancer.

Ann Surg 2020 08;272(2):366-376

Department of Surgery, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.

Objective: We aimed to define preoperative clinical and molecular characteristics that would allow better patient selection for operative resection.

Background: Although we use molecular selection methods for systemic targeted therapies, these principles are not applied to surgical oncology. Improving patient selection is of vital importance for the operative treatment of pancreatic cancer (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma). Although surgery is the only chance of long-term survival, 80% still succumb to the disease and approximately 30% die within 1 year, often sooner than those that have unresected local disease.

Method: In 3 independent pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cohorts (total participants = 1184) the relationship between aberrant expression of prometastatic proteins S100A2 and S100A4 and survival was assessed. A preoperative nomogram based on clinical variables available before surgery and expression of these proteins was constructed and compared to traditional measures, and a postoperative nomogram.

Results: High expression of either S100A2 or S100A4 was independent poor prognostic factors in a training cohort of 518 participants. These results were validated in 2 independent patient cohorts (Glasgow, n = 198; Germany, n = 468). Aberrant biomarker expression stratified the cohorts into 3 distinct prognostic groups. A preoperative nomogram incorporating S100A2 and S100A4 expression predicted survival and nomograms derived using postoperative clinicopathological variables.

Conclusions: Of those patients with a poor preoperative nomogram score, approximately 50% of patients died within a year of resection. Nomograms have the potential to improve selection for surgery and neoadjuvant therapy, avoiding surgery in aggressive disease, and justifying more extensive resections in biologically favorable disease.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000003143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7373491PMC
August 2020

Development and validation of a targeted gene sequencing panel for application to disparate cancers.

Sci Rep 2019 11 19;9(1):17052. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia.

Next generation sequencing has revolutionised genomic studies of cancer, having facilitated the development of precision oncology treatments based on a tumour's molecular profile. We aimed to develop a targeted gene sequencing panel for application to disparate cancer types with particular focus on tumours of the head and neck, plus test for utility in liquid biopsy. The final panel designed through Roche/Nimblegen combined 451 cancer-associated genes (2.01 Mb target region). 136 patient DNA samples were collected for performance and application testing. Panel sensitivity and precision were measured using well-characterised DNA controls (n = 47), and specificity by Sanger sequencing of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Interacting Protein (AIP) gene in 89 patients. Assessment of liquid biopsy application employed a pool of synthetic circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). Library preparation and sequencing were conducted on Illumina-based platforms prior to analysis with our accredited (ISO15189) bioinformatics pipeline. We achieved a mean coverage of 395x, with sensitivity and specificity of >99% and precision of >97%. Liquid biopsy revealed detection to 1.25% variant allele frequency. Application to head and neck tumours/cancers resulted in detection of mutations aligned to published databases. In conclusion, we have developed an analytically-validated panel for application to cancers of disparate types with utility in liquid biopsy.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-52000-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6864073PMC
November 2019

Lost in translation: returning germline genetic results in genome-scale cancer research.

Genome Med 2017 04 28;9(1):41. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Sydney, Australia.

Background: The return of research results (RoR) remains a complex and well-debated issue. Despite the debate, actual data related to the experience of giving individual results back, and the impact these results may have on clinical care and health outcomes, is sorely lacking. Through the work of the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI) we: (1) delineate the pathway back to the patient where actionable research data were identified; and (2) report the clinical utilisation of individual results returned. Using this experience, we discuss barriers and opportunities associated with a comprehensive process of RoR in large-scale genomic research that may be useful for others developing their own policies.

Methods: We performed whole-genome (n = 184) and exome (n = 208) sequencing of matched tumour-normal DNA pairs from 392 patients with sporadic pancreatic cancer (PC) as part of the APGI. We identified pathogenic germline mutations in candidate genes (n = 130) with established predisposition to PC or medium-high penetrance genes with well-defined cancer associated syndromes or phenotypes. Variants from candidate genes were annotated and classified according to international guidelines. Variants were considered actionable if clinical utility was established, with regard to prevention, diagnosis, prognostication and/or therapy.

Results: A total of 48,904 germline variants were identified, with 2356 unique variants undergoing annotation and in silico classification. Twenty cases were deemed actionable and were returned via previously described RoR framework, representing an actionable finding rate of 5.1%. Overall, 1.78% of our cohort experienced clinical benefit from RoR.

Conclusion: Returning research results within the context of large-scale genomics research is a labour-intensive, highly variable, complex operation. Results that warrant action are not infrequent, but the prevalence of those who experience a clinical difference as a result of returning individual results is currently low.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-017-0430-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5408494PMC
April 2017

Transient tissue priming via ROCK inhibition uncouples pancreatic cancer progression, sensitivity to chemotherapy, and metastasis.

Sci Transl Med 2017 04;9(384)

Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Glasgow, Scotland G61 BD, U.K.

The emerging standard of care for patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer is a combination of cytotoxic drugs gemcitabine and Abraxane, but patient response remains moderate. Pancreatic cancer development and metastasis occur in complex settings, with reciprocal feedback from microenvironmental cues influencing both disease progression and drug response. Little is known about how sequential dual targeting of tumor tissue tension and vasculature before chemotherapy can affect tumor response. We used intravital imaging to assess how transient manipulation of the tumor tissue, or "priming," using the pharmaceutical Rho kinase inhibitor Fasudil affects response to chemotherapy. Intravital Förster resonance energy transfer imaging of a cyclin-dependent kinase 1 biosensor to monitor the efficacy of cytotoxic drugs revealed that priming improves pancreatic cancer response to gemcitabine/Abraxane at both primary and secondary sites. Transient priming also sensitized cells to shear stress and impaired colonization efficiency and fibrotic niche remodeling within the liver, three important features of cancer spread. Last, we demonstrate a graded response to priming in stratified patient-derived tumors, indicating that fine-tuned tissue manipulation before chemotherapy may offer opportunities in both primary and metastatic targeting of pancreatic cancer.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aai8504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777504PMC
April 2017

Whole-genome landscape of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.

Nature 2017 03 15;543(7643):65-71. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston Road, Brisbane 4006, Australia.

The diagnosis of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PanNETs) is increasing owing to more sensitive detection methods, and this increase is creating challenges for clinical management. We performed whole-genome sequencing of 102 primary PanNETs and defined the genomic events that characterize their pathogenesis. Here we describe the mutational signatures they harbour, including a deficiency in G:C > T:A base excision repair due to inactivation of MUTYH, which encodes a DNA glycosylase. Clinically sporadic PanNETs contain a larger-than-expected proportion of germline mutations, including previously unreported mutations in the DNA repair genes MUTYH, CHEK2 and BRCA2. Together with mutations in MEN1 and VHL, these mutations occur in 17% of patients. Somatic mutations, including point mutations and gene fusions, were commonly found in genes involved in four main pathways: chromatin remodelling, DNA damage repair, activation of mTOR signalling (including previously undescribed EWSR1 gene fusions), and telomere maintenance. In addition, our gene expression analyses identified a subgroup of tumours associated with hypoxia and HIF signalling.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature21063DOI Listing
March 2017

Hypermutation In Pancreatic Cancer.

Gastroenterology 2017 01 15;152(1):68-74.e2. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Pancreatic cancer is molecularly diverse, with few effective therapies. Increased mutation burden and defective DNA repair are associated with response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in several other cancer types. We interrogated 385 pancreatic cancer genomes to define hypermutation and its causes. Mutational signatures inferring defects in DNA repair were enriched in those with the highest mutation burdens. Mismatch repair deficiency was identified in 1% of tumors harboring different mechanisms of somatic inactivation of MLH1 and MSH2. Defining mutation load in individual pancreatic cancers and the optimal assay for patient selection may inform clinical trial design for immunotherapy in pancreatic cancer.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2016.09.060DOI Listing
January 2017

Genomic analyses identify molecular subtypes of pancreatic cancer.

Nature 2016 Mar 24;531(7592):47-52. Epub 2016 Feb 24.

Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.

Integrated genomic analysis of 456 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas identified 32 recurrently mutated genes that aggregate into 10 pathways: KRAS, TGF-β, WNT, NOTCH, ROBO/SLIT signalling, G1/S transition, SWI-SNF, chromatin modification, DNA repair and RNA processing. Expression analysis defined 4 subtypes: (1) squamous; (2) pancreatic progenitor; (3) immunogenic; and (4) aberrantly differentiated endocrine exocrine (ADEX) that correlate with histopathological characteristics. Squamous tumours are enriched for TP53 and KDM6A mutations, upregulation of the TP63∆N transcriptional network, hypermethylation of pancreatic endodermal cell-fate determining genes and have a poor prognosis. Pancreatic progenitor tumours preferentially express genes involved in early pancreatic development (FOXA2/3, PDX1 and MNX1). ADEX tumours displayed upregulation of genes that regulate networks involved in KRAS activation, exocrine (NR5A2 and RBPJL), and endocrine differentiation (NEUROD1 and NKX2-2). Immunogenic tumours contained upregulated immune networks including pathways involved in acquired immune suppression. These data infer differences in the molecular evolution of pancreatic cancer subtypes and identify opportunities for therapeutic development.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature16965DOI Listing
March 2016

Ampullary Cancers Harbor ELF3 Tumor Suppressor Gene Mutations and Exhibit Frequent WNT Dysregulation.

Cell Rep 2016 Feb 21;14(4):907-919. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; Department of Surgery, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW 2065, Australia.

The ampulla of Vater is a complex cellular environment from which adenocarcinomas arise to form a group of histopathologically heterogenous tumors. To evaluate the molecular features of these tumors, 98 ampullary adenocarcinomas were evaluated and compared to 44 distal bile duct and 18 duodenal adenocarcinomas. Genomic analyses revealed mutations in the WNT signaling pathway among half of the patients and in all three adenocarcinomas irrespective of their origin and histological morphology. These tumors were characterized by a high frequency of inactivating mutations of ELF3, a high rate of microsatellite instability, and common focal deletions and amplifications, suggesting common attributes in the molecular pathogenesis are at play in these tumors. The high frequency of WNT pathway activating mutation, coupled with small-molecule inhibitors of β-catenin in clinical trials, suggests future treatment decisions for these patients may be guided by genomic analysis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4982376PMC
February 2016

Precision Medicine for Advanced Pancreas Cancer: The Individualized Molecular Pancreatic Cancer Therapy (IMPaCT) Trial.

Clin Cancer Res 2015 May;21(9):2029-37

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Cancer Division, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland. Department of Surgery, Bankstown Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. South Western Sydney Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of NSW, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia. West of Scotland Pancreatic Unit, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Purpose: Personalized medicine strategies using genomic profiling are particularly pertinent for pancreas cancer. The Individualized Molecular Pancreatic Cancer Therapy (IMPaCT) trial was initially designed to exploit results from genome sequencing of pancreatic cancer under the auspices of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) in Australia. Sequencing revealed small subsets of patients with aberrations in their tumor genome that could be targeted with currently available therapies.

Experimental Design: The pilot stage of the IMPaCT trial assessed the feasibility of acquiring suitable tumor specimens for molecular analysis and returning high-quality actionable genomic data within a clinically acceptable timeframe. We screened for three molecular targets: HER2 amplification; KRAS wild-type; and mutations in DNA damage repair pathways (BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, ATM).

Results: Tumor biopsy and archived tumor samples were collected from 93 patients and 76 were screened. To date 22 candidate cases have been identified: 14 KRAS wild-type, 5 cases of HER2 amplification, 2 mutations in BRCA2, and 1 ATM mutation. Median time from consent to the return of validated results was 21.5 days. An inability to obtain a biopsy or insufficient tumor content in the available specimen were common reasons for patient exclusion from molecular analysis while deteriorating performance status prohibited a number of patients from proceeding in the study.

Conclusions: Documenting the feasibility of acquiring and screening biospecimens for actionable molecular targets in real time will aid other groups embarking on similar trials. Key elements include the need to better prescreen patients, screen more patients, and offer more attractive clinical trial options.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-0426DOI Listing
May 2015

Whole genomes redefine the mutational landscape of pancreatic cancer.

Nature 2015 Feb;518(7540):495-501

Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.

Pancreatic cancer remains one of the most lethal of malignancies and a major health burden. We performed whole-genome sequencing and copy number variation (CNV) analysis of 100 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs). Chromosomal rearrangements leading to gene disruption were prevalent, affecting genes known to be important in pancreatic cancer (TP53, SMAD4, CDKN2A, ARID1A and ROBO2) and new candidate drivers of pancreatic carcinogenesis (KDM6A and PREX2). Patterns of structural variation (variation in chromosomal structure) classified PDACs into 4 subtypes with potential clinical utility: the subtypes were termed stable, locally rearranged, scattered and unstable. A significant proportion harboured focal amplifications, many of which contained druggable oncogenes (ERBB2, MET, FGFR1, CDK6, PIK3R3 and PIK3CA), but at low individual patient prevalence. Genomic instability co-segregated with inactivation of DNA maintenance genes (BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2) and a mutational signature of DNA damage repair deficiency. Of 8 patients who received platinum therapy, 4 of 5 individuals with these measures of defective DNA maintenance responded.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4523082PMC
February 2015

βIII-tubulin: a novel mediator of chemoresistance and metastases in pancreatic cancer.

Oncotarget 2015 Feb;6(4):2235-49

Pancreatic Cancer Translational Research Group, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, Prince of Wales Clinical School, University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia), Sydney, Australia.

Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Western societies. This poor prognosis is due to chemotherapeutic drug resistance and metastatic spread. Evidence suggests that microtubule proteins namely, β-tubulins are dysregulated in tumor cells and are involved in regulating chemosensitivity. However, the role of β-tubulins in pancreatic cancer are unknown. We measured the expression of different β-tubulin isotypes in pancreatic adenocarcinoma tissue and pancreatic cancer cells. Next, we used RNAi to silence βIII-tubulin expression in pancreatic cancer cells, and measured cell growth in the absence and presence of chemotherapeutic drugs. Finally, we assessed the role of βIII-tubulin in regulating tumor growth and metastases using an orthotopic pancreatic cancer mouse model. We found that βIII-tubulin is highly expressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma tissue and pancreatic cancer cells. Further, we demonstrated that silencing βIII-tubulin expression reduced pancreatic cancer cell growth and tumorigenic potential in the absence and presence of chemotherapeutic drugs. Finally, we demonstrated that suppression of βIII-tubulin reduced tumor growth and metastases in vivo. Our novel data demonstrate that βIII-tubulin is a key player in promoting pancreatic cancer growth and survival, and silencing its expression may be a potential therapeutic strategy to increase the long-term survival of pancreatic cancer patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4385848PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2946DOI Listing
February 2015

Clinical and pathologic features of familial pancreatic cancer.

Cancer 2014 Dec 14;120(23):3669-75. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

The Kinghorn Cancer Center, Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia.

Background: Inherited predisposition to pancreatic cancer contributes significantly to its incidence and presents an opportunity for the development of early detection strategies. The genetic basis of predisposition remains unexplained in a high proportion of patients with familial PC (FPC).

Methods: Clinicopathologic features were assessed in a cohort of 766 patients who had been diagnosed with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PC). Patients were classified with FPC if they had ≥1 affected first-degree relatives; otherwise, they were classified with sporadic PC (SPC).

Results: The prevalence of FPC in this cohort was 8.9%. In FPC families with an affected parent-child pair, 71% in the subsequent generation were 12.3 years younger at diagnosis. Patients with FPC had more first-degree relatives who had an extrapancreatic malignancy (EPM) (42.6% vs 21.2; P<.0001), particularly melanoma and endometrial cancer, but not a personal history of EPM. Patients with SPC were more likely to be active smokers, have higher cumulative tobacco exposure, and have fewer multifocal precursor lesions, but these were not associated with differences in survival. Long-standing diabetes mellitus (>2 years) was associated with poor survival in both groups.

Conclusions: FPC represents 9% of PC, and the risk of malignancy in kindred does not appear to be confined to the pancreas. Patients with FPC have more precursor lesions and include fewer active smokers, but other clinicopathologic factors and outcome are similar to those in patients with SPC. Furthermore, some FPC kindreds may exhibit anticipation. A better understanding of the clinical features of PC will facilitate efforts to uncover novel susceptibility genes and the development of early detection strategies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.28863DOI Listing
December 2014

Personalising pancreas cancer treatment: When tissue is the issue.

World J Gastroenterol 2014 Jun;20(24):7849-63

Katrin M Sjoquist, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 1450, Australia.

The treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer has not moved much beyond single agent gemcitabine until recently when protocols such as FOLFIRINOX (fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan and oxaliplatin) and nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine have demonstrated some improved outcomes. Advances in technology especially in massively parallel genome sequencing has progressed our understanding of the biology of pancreatic cancer especially the candidate signalling pathways that are involved in tumourogenesis and disease course. This has allowed identification of potentially actionable mutations that may be targeted by new biological agents. The heterogeneity of pancreatic cancer makes tumour tissue collection important with the aim of being able to personalise therapies for the individual as opposed to a one size fits all approach to treatment of the condition. This paper reviews the developments in this area of translational research and the ongoing clinical studies that will attempt to move this into the everyday oncology practice.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v20.i24.7849DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4069313PMC
June 2014

Returning individual research results for genome sequences of pancreatic cancer.

Genome Med 2014 29;6(5):42. Epub 2014 May 29.

St John of God Subiaco, Perth, WA, 6008, Australia ; School of Surgery, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, 6009, Australia.

Background: Disclosure of individual results to participants in genomic research is a complex and contentious issue. There are many existing commentaries and opinion pieces on the topic, but little empirical data concerning actual cases describing how individual results have been returned. Thus, the real life risks and benefits of disclosing individual research results to participants are rarely if ever presented as part of this debate.

Methods: The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI) is an Australian contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), that involves prospective sequencing of tumor and normal genomes of study participants with pancreatic cancer in Australia. We present three examples that illustrate different facets of how research results may arise, and how they may be returned to individuals within an ethically defensible and clinically practical framework. This framework includes the necessary elements identified by others including consent, determination of the significance of results and which to return, delineation of the responsibility for communication and the clinical pathway for managing the consequences of returning results.

Results: Of 285 recruited patients, we returned results to a total of 25 with no adverse events to date. These included four that were classified as medically actionable, nine as clinically significant and eight that were returned at the request of the treating clinician. Case studies presented depict instances where research results impacted on cancer susceptibility, current treatment and diagnosis, and illustrate key practical challenges of developing an effective framework.

Conclusions: We suggest that return of individual results is both feasible and ethically defensible but only within the context of a robust framework that involves a close relationship between researchers and clinicians.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gm558DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4067993PMC
June 2014

Somatic point mutation calling in low cellularity tumors.

PLoS One 2013 8;8(11):e74380. Epub 2013 Nov 8.

Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Somatic mutation calling from next-generation sequencing data remains a challenge due to the difficulties of distinguishing true somatic events from artifacts arising from PCR, sequencing errors or mis-mapping. Tumor cellularity or purity, sub-clonality and copy number changes also confound the identification of true somatic events against a background of germline variants. We have developed a heuristic strategy and software (http://www.qcmg.org/bioinformatics/qsnp/) for somatic mutation calling in samples with low tumor content and we show the superior sensitivity and precision of our approach using a previously sequenced cell line, a series of tumor/normal admixtures, and 3,253 putative somatic SNVs verified on an orthogonal platform.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0074380PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3826759PMC
March 2015

Clinical and molecular characterization of HER2 amplified-pancreatic cancer.

Genome Med 2013 31;5(8):78. Epub 2013 Aug 31.

Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia ; Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK ; West of Scotland Pancreatic Unit, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK.

Background: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal and molecularly diverse malignancies. Repurposing of therapeutics that target specific molecular mechanisms in different disease types offers potential for rapid improvements in outcome. Although HER2 amplification occurs in pancreatic cancer, it is inadequately characterized to exploit the potential of anti-HER2 therapies.

Methods: HER2 amplification was detected and further analyzed using multiple genomic sequencing approaches. Standardized reference laboratory assays defined HER2 amplification in a large cohort of patients (n = 469) with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

Results: An amplified inversion event (1 MB) was identified at the HER2 locus in a patient with PDAC. Using standardized laboratory assays, we established diagnostic criteria for HER2 amplification in PDAC, and observed a prevalence of 2%. Clinically, HER2- amplified PDAC was characterized by a lack of liver metastases, and a preponderance of lung and brain metastases. Excluding breast and gastric cancer, the incidence of HER2-amplified cancers in the USA is >22,000 per annum.

Conclusions: HER2 amplification occurs in 2% of PDAC, and has distinct features with implications for clinical practice. The molecular heterogeneity of PDAC implies that even an incidence of 2% represents an attractive target for anti-HER2 therapies, as options for PDAC are limited. Recruiting patients based on HER2 amplification, rather than organ of origin, could make trials of anti-HER2 therapies feasible in less common cancer types.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gm482DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978667PMC
May 2014

Understanding pancreatic cancer genomes.

J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Sci 2013 Aug;20(6):549-56

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, 370 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, Australia; Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, 384 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW, 2010, Australia.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in our society, with a mortality that virtually parallels its incidence, a median survival of <12 months even with maximal therapy, and a 5-year survival rate of <5 %. The diversity of clinical outcomes and the molecular heterogeneity of histopathologically similar cancer types, incomplete knowledge of the genomic aberrations that drive carcinogenesis and the lack of therapeutics that specifically target most known genomic aberrations necessitates large-scale detailed analysis of cancer genomes to identify novel potential therapeutic strategies. As part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI) used exomic sequencing and copy number analysis to define genomic aberrations that characterize a large, clinically focused, prospectively accrued cohort of patients with pancreatic cancer. The cohort consisted of early (clinical stages I and II) non-pre-treated patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma who underwent operative resection with curative intent. We devised approaches to adjust for low epithelial content in primary tumours and to define the genomic landscape of pancreatic cancer to identify novel candidate driver genes and mechanisms. We aim to develop stratified, molecular phenotype-guided therapeutic strategies using existing therapeutics that are either rescued, repurposed, in development, or are known to be effective in an undefined subgroup of PC patients. These are then tested in primary patient-derived xenografts and cell lines from the above deeply characterized cohort. In addition, we return information to treating clinicians that influences patient care and are launching a clinical trial called IMPaCT (Individualized Molecular Pancreatic Cancer Therapy). This umbrella design trial randomizes patients with metastatic disease to either standard first-line therapy with gemcitabine, or a molecular phenotype-guided approach using next-generation sequencing strategies to screen for actionable mutations defined through the ICGC effort.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00534-013-0610-6DOI Listing
August 2013

Histomolecular phenotypes and outcome in adenocarcinoma of the ampulla of vater.

J Clin Oncol 2013 Apr 25;31(10):1348-56. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW 2010 Australia.

Purpose: Individuals with adenocarcinoma of the ampulla of Vater demonstrate a broad range of outcomes, presumably because these cancers may arise from any one of the three epithelia that converge at that location. This variability poses challenges for clinical decision making and the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

Patients And Methods: We assessed the potential clinical utility of histomolecular phenotypes defined using a combination of histopathology and protein expression (CDX2 and MUC1) in 208 patients from three independent cohorts who underwent surgical resection for adenocarcinoma of the ampulla of Vater.

Results: Histologic subtype and CDX2 and MUC1 expression were significant prognostic variables. Patients with a histomolecular pancreaticobiliary phenotype (CDX2 negative, MUC1 positive) segregated into a poor prognostic group in the training (hazard ratio [HR], 3.34; 95% CI, 1.69 to 6.62; P < .001) and both validation cohorts (HR, 5.65; 95% CI, 2.77 to 11.5; P < .001 and HR, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.25 to 7.17; P = .0119) compared with histomolecular nonpancreaticobiliary carcinomas. Further stratification by lymph node (LN) status defined three clinically relevant subgroups: one, patients with histomolecular nonpancreaticobiliary (intestinal) carcinoma without LN metastases who had an excellent prognosis; two, those with histomolecular pancreaticobiliary carcinoma with LN metastases who had a poor outcome; and three, the remainder of patients (nonpancreaticobiliary, LN positive or pancreaticobiliary, LN negative) who had an intermediate outcome.

Conclusion: Histopathologic and molecular criteria combine to define clinically relevant histomolecular phenotypes of adenocarcinoma of the ampulla of Vater and potentially represent distinct diseases with significant implications for current therapeutic strategies, the ability to interpret past clinical trials, and future trial design.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2012.46.8868DOI Listing
April 2013

Pancreatic cancer genomes reveal aberrations in axon guidance pathway genes.

Nature 2012 Nov 24;491(7424):399-405. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, 370 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales 2010, Australia.

Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal malignancy with few effective therapies. We performed exome sequencing and copy number analysis to define genomic aberrations in a prospectively accrued clinical cohort (n = 142) of early (stage I and II) sporadic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Detailed analysis of 99 informative tumours identified substantial heterogeneity with 2,016 non-silent mutations and 1,628 copy-number variations. We define 16 significantly mutated genes, reaffirming known mutations (KRAS, TP53, CDKN2A, SMAD4, MLL3, TGFBR2, ARID1A and SF3B1), and uncover novel mutated genes including additional genes involved in chromatin modification (EPC1 and ARID2), DNA damage repair (ATM) and other mechanisms (ZIM2, MAP2K4, NALCN, SLC16A4 and MAGEA6). Integrative analysis with in vitro functional data and animal models provided supportive evidence for potential roles for these genetic aberrations in carcinogenesis. Pathway-based analysis of recurrently mutated genes recapitulated clustering in core signalling pathways in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and identified new mutated genes in each pathway. We also identified frequent and diverse somatic aberrations in genes described traditionally as embryonic regulators of axon guidance, particularly SLIT/ROBO signalling, which was also evident in murine Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated somatic mutagenesis models of pancreatic cancer, providing further supportive evidence for the potential involvement of axon guidance genes in pancreatic carcinogenesis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530898PMC
November 2012

qpure: A tool to estimate tumor cellularity from genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism profiles.

PLoS One 2012 25;7(9):e45835. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Tumour cellularity, the relative proportion of tumour and normal cells in a sample, affects the sensitivity of mutation detection, copy number analysis, cancer gene expression and methylation profiling. Tumour cellularity is traditionally estimated by pathological review of sectioned specimens; however this method is both subjective and prone to error due to heterogeneity within lesions and cellularity differences between the sample viewed during pathological review and tissue used for research purposes. In this paper we describe a statistical model to estimate tumour cellularity from SNP array profiles of paired tumour and normal samples using shifts in SNP allele frequency at regions of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the tumour. We also provide qpure, a software implementation of the method. Our experiments showed that there is a medium correlation 0.42 ([Formula: see text]-value=0.0001) between tumor cellularity estimated by qpure and pathology review. Interestingly there is a high correlation 0.87 ([Formula: see text]-value [Formula: see text] 2.2e-16) between cellularity estimates by qpure and deep Ion Torrent sequencing of known somatic KRAS mutations; and a weaker correlation 0.32 ([Formula: see text]-value=0.004) between IonTorrent sequencing and pathology review. This suggests that qpure may be a more accurate predictor of tumour cellularity than pathology review. qpure can be downloaded from https://sourceforge.net/projects/qpure/.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0045835PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3457972PMC
May 2013

Clinical and immunohistochemical features of 34 solid pseudopapillary tumors of the pancreas.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2011 Feb;26(2):267-74

Department of Gastroenterology, Bankstown Hospital, New South Wales, Australia.

Background And Aim: Clinicopathological data regarding pancreatic solid pseudopapillary tumors (SPT) in a multiethnic country are limited. The aim of the present study was to characterize pancreatic SPT in Australia.

Methods: Clinicopathological features, treatment, immunohistochemical findings and outcome data of 34 patients (79% Caucasian, 12% Asian, 6% South Pacific Islander and 3% African) with pancreatic SPT were reviewed.

Results: The most presenting complaint was abdominal pain. Median diameter of tumors was 60 mm (range: 20-220); predominantly located in the pancreatic tail (tail : body : head = 23:3:8). All tumors were resected and patients underwent surgery, including a liver resection for metastasis, all patients were alive after a median follow up of 70 months (IQR: 48-178). Two patients underwent repeated surgery for local recurrences with liver metastases after 8 and 18 months, which were successfully managed by surgical resection. Completeness of excision, perineural spread, vascular space invasion, mitotic rate and cellular atypia did not predict recurrence. In all cases, there was aberrant nuclear staining of beta-catenin and a loss of membranous expression of E-cadherin with aberrant nuclear localization of the cytoplasmic domain. Most pancreatic SPT were also strongly positive for CD10 (96%), progesterone receptor (79%), cytokeratin (28%), synapthophysin (26%) and chromogranin (15%).

Conclusions: Pancreatic SPT occur in all races and are uniformly indolent. Given complete resection of a pancreatic SPT is usually curative and recurrences can be treated with re-operation, correct diagnosis is important.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1746.2010.06466.xDOI Listing
February 2011

International network of cancer genome projects.

Nature 2010 Apr;464(7291):993-8

The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) was launched to coordinate large-scale cancer genome studies in tumours from 50 different cancer types and/or subtypes that are of clinical and societal importance across the globe. Systematic studies of more than 25,000 cancer genomes at the genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic levels will reveal the repertoire of oncogenic mutations, uncover traces of the mutagenic influences, define clinically relevant subtypes for prognosis and therapeutic management, and enable the development of new cancer therapies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature08987DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2902243PMC
April 2010

Margin clearance and outcome in resected pancreatic cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2009 Jun 27;27(17):2855-62. Epub 2009 Apr 27.

Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, New South Wales 2010, Australia.

Purpose: Current adjuvant therapies for pancreatic cancer (PC) are inconsistently used and only modestly effective. Because a high proportion of patients who undergo resection for PC likely harbor occult metastatic disease, any adjuvant trials assessing therapies such as radiotherapy directed at locoregional disease are significantly underpowered. Stratification based on the probability (and volume) of residual locoregional disease could play an important role in the design of future clinical trials assessing adjuvant radiotherapy.

Patients And Methods: We assessed the relationships between margin involvement, the proximity to operative resection margins and outcome in a cohort of 365 patients who underwent operative resection for PC.

Results: Microscopic involvement of a resection margin by tumor was associated with a poor prognosis. Stratifying the minimum clearance of resection margins by 0.5-mm increments demonstrated that although median survival was no different to clear margins based on these definitions, it was not until the resection margin was clear by more than 1.5 mm that optimal long-term survival was achieved.

Conclusion: These data demonstrate that a margin clearance of more than 1.5 mm is important for long-term survival in a subgroup of patients. More aggressive therapeutic approaches that target locoregional disease such as radiotherapy may be beneficial in patients with close surgical margins. Stratification of patients for entry onto future clinical trials based on this criterion may identify those patients who benefit from adjuvant radiotherapy.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2008.20.5104DOI Listing
June 2009

Synoptic reporting improves histopathological assessment of pancreatic resection specimens.

Pathology 2009 Feb;41(2):161-7

Department of Anatomical Pathology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Pacific Highway, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.

Aim: We examined whether introduction of a standardised pancreatic cancer minimum data set improved the reporting of key pathological features across multiple institutions.

Methods: From seven different pathology departments that are members of the New South Wales Pancreatic Cancer Network, 109 free text reports and 68 synoptic reports were compared.

Results: AJCC stage could not be inferred from 44% of free text reports, whereas stage was reported in all 68 synoptic reports. In the free text reports 28 different names were used to designate margins. All margins were reported in only 12 (11%) of the free text reports compared with 64 (94%) of the synoptic reports (p = 0.0011). The presence or absence of lymphovascular or perineural invasion was reported in 72 (66%) and 92 (84%) of free text reports, respectively. In contrast, lymphovascular space and perineural invasion were reported in all synoptic reports (p = 0.0011 and p = 0.0058).

Conclusion: We conclude that synoptic reporting of pancreatic resections without any other intervention increases the information contained within histopathology reports. Therefore, the introduction of minimal data set synoptic reports is a simple and feasible mechanism to immediately improve reporting for pancreatectomy specimens.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00313020802337329DOI Listing
February 2009
-->