Publications by authors named "Anna-Christina Strobl"

6 Publications

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Drivers underpinning the malignant transformation of giant cell tumour of bone.

J Pathol 2020 Dec 6;252(4):433-440. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Pathology (research), University College London Cancer Institute, London, UK.

The rare benign giant cell tumour of bone (GCTB) is defined by an almost unique mutation in the H3.3 family of histone genes H3-3A or H3-3B; however, the same mutation is occasionally found in primary malignant bone tumours which share many features with the benign variant. Moreover, lung metastases can occur despite the absence of malignant histological features in either the primary or metastatic lesions. Herein we investigated the genetic events of 17 GCTBs including benign and malignant variants and the methylation profiles of 122 bone tumour samples including GCTBs. Benign GCTBs possessed few somatic alterations and no other known drivers besides the H3.3 mutation, whereas all malignant tumours harboured at least one additional driver mutation and exhibited genomic features resembling osteosarcomas, including high mutational burden, additional driver event(s), and a high degree of aneuploidy. The H3.3 mutation was found to predate the development of aneuploidy. In contrast to osteosarcomas, malignant H3.3-mutated tumours were enriched for a variety of alterations involving TERT, other than amplification, suggesting telomere dysfunction in the transformation of benign to malignant GCTB. DNA sequencing of the benign metastasising GCTB revealed no additional driver alterations; polyclonal seeding in the lung was identified, implying that the metastatic lesions represent an embolic event. Unsupervised clustering of DNA methylation profiles revealed that malignant H3.3-mutated tumours are distinct from their benign counterpart, and other bone tumours. Differential methylation analysis identified CCND1, encoding cyclin D1, as a plausible cancer driver gene in these tumours because hypermethylation of the CCND1 promoter was specific for GCTBs. We report here the genomic and methylation patterns underlying the rare clinical phenomena of benign metastasising and malignant transformation of GCTB and show how the combination of genomic and epigenomic findings could potentially distinguish benign from malignant GCTBs, thereby predicting aggressive behaviour in challenging diagnostic cases. © 2020 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. on behalf of The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5537DOI Listing
December 2020

H3K27me3 expression and methylation status in histological variants of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours.

J Pathol 2020 10 1;252(2):151-164. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Research Department of Pathology, University College London, London, UK.

Diagnosing MPNST can be challenging, but genetic alterations recently identified in polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) core component genes, EED and SUZ12, resulting in global loss of the histone 3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) epigenetic mark, represent drivers of malignancy and a valuable diagnostic tool. However, the reported loss of H3K27me3 expression ranges from 35% to 84%. We show that advances in molecular pathology now allow many MPNST mimics to be classified confidently. We confirm that MPNSTs harbouring mutations in PRC2 core components are associated with loss of H3K27me3 expression; whole-genome doubling was detected in 68%, and SSTR2 was amplified in 32% of MPNSTs. We demonstrate that loss of H3K27me3 expression occurs overall in 38% of MPNSTs, but is lost in 76% of histologically classical cases, whereas loss was detected in only 23% cases with heterologous elements and 14% where the diagnosis could not be provided on morphology alone. H3K27me3 loss is rarely seen in other high-grade sarcomas and was not found to be associated with an inferior outcome in MPNST. We show that DNA methylation profiling distinguishes MPNST from its histological mimics, was unrelated to anatomical site, and formed two main clusters, MeGroups 4 and 5. MeGroup 4 represents classical MPNSTs lacking H3K27me3 expression in the majority of cases, whereas MeGroup 5 comprises MPNSTs exhibiting non-classical histology and expressing H3K27me3 and cluster with undifferentiated sarcomas. The two MeGroups are distinguished by differentially methylated PRC2-associated genes, the majority of which are hypermethylated in the promoter regions in MeGroup 4, indicating that the PRC2 target genes are not expressed in these tumours. The methylation profiles of MPNSTs with retention of H3K27me3 in MeGroups 4 and 5 are independent of mutations in PRC2 core components and the driver(s) in these groups remain to be identified. Our results open new avenues of investigation. © 2020 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. on behalf of The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5507DOI Listing
October 2020

Sarcoma and the 100,000 Genomes Project: our experience and changes to practice.

J Pathol Clin Res 2020 10 23;6(4):297-307. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Research Department of Pathology, University College London Cancer Institute, London, UK.

The largest whole genome sequencing (WGS) endeavour involving cancer and rare diseases was initiated in the UK in 2015 and ran for 5 years. Despite its rarity, sarcoma ranked third overall among the number of patients' samples sent for sequencing. Herein, we recount the lessons learned by a specialist sarcoma centre that recruited close to 1000 patients to the project, so that we and others may learn from our experience. WGS data was generated from 597 patients, but samples from the remaining approximately 400 patients were not sequenced. This was largely accounted for by unsuitability due to extensive necrosis, secondary to neoadjuvant radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or being placed in formalin. The number of informative genomes produced was reduced further by a PCR amplification step. We showed that this loss of genomic data could be mitigated by sequencing whole genomes from needle core biopsies. Storage of resection specimens at 4 °C for up to 96 h overcame the challenge of freezing tissue out of hours including weekends. Removing access to formalin increased compliance to these storage arrangements. With over 70 different sarcoma subtypes described, WGS was a useful tool for refining diagnoses and identifying novel alterations. Genomes from 350 of the cohort of 597 patients were analysed in this study. Overall, diagnoses were modified for 3% of patients following review of the WGS findings. Continued refinement of the variant-calling bioinformatic pipelines is required as not all alterations were identified when validated against histology and standard of care diagnostic tests. Further research is necessary to evaluate the impact of germline mutations in patients with sarcoma, and sarcomas with evidence of hypermutation. Despite 50% of the WGS exhibiting domain 1 alterations, the number of patients with sarcoma who were eligible for clinical trials remains small, highlighting the need to revaluate clinical trial design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cjp2.174DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7578291PMC
October 2020

Synovial chondromatosis and soft tissue chondroma: extraosseous cartilaginous tumor defined by FN1 gene rearrangement.

Mod Pathol 2019 12 4;32(12):1762-1771. Epub 2019 Jul 4.

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 4LP, UK.

A fusion between fibronectin 1 (FN1) and activin receptor 2A (ACVR2A) has been reported previously in isolated cases of the synovial chondromatosis. To analyze further and validate the findings, we performed FISH and demonstrated recurrent FN1-ACVR2A rearrangements in synovial chondromatosis (57%), and chondrosarcoma secondary to synovial chondromatosis (75%), showing that FN1 and/or AVCR2A gene rearrangements do not distinguish between benign and malignant synovial chondromatosis. RNA sequencing revealed the presence of the FN1-ACVR2A fusion in several cases that were negative by FISH suggesting that the true prevalence of this fusion is potentially higher than 57%. In soft tissue chondromas, FN1 alterations were detected by FISH in 50% of cases but no ACVR2A alterations were identified. RNA sequencing identified a fusion involving FN1 and fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) in the case of soft tissue chondroma and FISH confirmed recurrent involvement of both FGFR1 and FGFR2. These fusions were present in a subset of soft tissue chondromas characterized by grungy calcification, a feature reminiscent of phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor. However, unlike the latter, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) mRNA expression was not elevated in soft tissue chondromas harboring the FN1-FGFR1 fusion. The mutual exclusivity of ACVR2A rearrangements observed in synovial chondromatosis and FGFR1/2 in soft tissue chondromas suggests these represent separate entities. There have been no reports of malignant soft tissue chondromas, therefore differentiating these lesions will potentially alter clinical management by allowing soft tissue chondromas to be managed more conservatively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0315-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6882679PMC
December 2019

Activating mutations in the MAP-kinase pathway define non-ossifying fibroma of bone.

J Pathol 2019 05 24;248(1):116-122. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Gerhard-Domagk-Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany.

Non-ossifying fibroma (NOF), which occasionally results in pathologic fracture, is considered the most common benign and self-limiting lesion of the growing skeleton. By DNA sequencing we have identified hotspot KRAS, FGFR1 and NF1 mutations in 48 of 59 patients (81.4%) with NOF, at allele frequencies ranging from 0.04 to 0.61. Our findings define NOF as a genetically driven neoplasm caused in most cases by activated MAP-kinase signalling. Interestingly, this driving force either diminishes over time or at least is not sufficient to prevent autonomous regression and resolution. Beyond its contribution to a better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of NOF, this study adds another benign lesion to the spectrum of KRAS- and MAP-kinase signalling-driven tumours. Copyright © 2018 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5216DOI Listing
May 2019

Recurrent rearrangements of FOS and FOSB define osteoblastoma.

Nat Commun 2018 06 1;9(1):2150. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SA, UK.

The transcription factor FOS has long been implicated in the pathogenesis of bone tumours, following the discovery that the viral homologue, v-fos, caused osteosarcoma in laboratory mice. However, mutations of FOS have not been found in human bone-forming tumours. Here, we report recurrent rearrangement of FOS and its paralogue, FOSB, in the most common benign tumours of bone, osteoblastoma and osteoid osteoma. Combining whole-genome DNA and RNA sequences, we find rearrangement of FOS in five tumours and of FOSB in one tumour. Extending our findings into a cohort of 55 cases, using FISH and immunohistochemistry, provide evidence of ubiquitous mutation of FOS or FOSB in osteoblastoma and osteoid osteoma. Overall, our findings reveal a human bone tumour defined by mutations of FOS and FOSB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04530-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5984627PMC
June 2018