Publications by authors named "Gian Paolo Dagrada"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Selinexor versus doxorubicin in dedifferentiated liposarcoma PDXs: evidence of greater activity and apoptotic response dependent on p53 nuclear accumulation and survivin down-regulation.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2021 Mar 1;40(1):83. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Molecular Pharmacology Unit, Department of Applied Research and Technological Development, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Via Amadeo 42, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Background: Dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS), a tumor that lacks effective treatment strategies and is associated with poor outcomes, expresses amplified MDM2 in the presence of wild-type p53. MDM2 ubiquitination of p53 facilitates its XPO1-mediated nuclear export, thus limiting p53 tumor suppressor functions. Consequently, nuclear export is a rational target in DDLPS. We directly compared the antitumor activity of the first-in class XPO1 inhibitor selinexor and doxorubicin, the standard front-line therapy in sarcomas, in DDLPS patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and primary cell lines.

Methods: Drug activity was assessed in three PDXs (and two corresponding cell lines) established from the dedifferentiated component of primary untreated retroperitoneal DDLPS with myogenic (N = 2) and rhabdomyoblastic (N = 1) differentiation from patients who underwent surgery. These models were marked by amplification of MDM2, CDK4 and HMGA2 genes.

Results: Selinexor was moderately active in the three PDXs but achieved greater tumor response compared to doxorubicin (maximum tumor volume inhibition: 46-80 % vs. 37-60 %). The PDX harboring rhabdomyoblastic dedifferentiation showed the highest sensitivity to both agents. PDX response to selinexor and doxorubicin was not associated with the extent of MDM2 and CDK4 gene amplification. Interestingly, the most chemosensitive PDX model showed the lowest extent of HMGA2 amplification. Selinexor was also more efficient than doxorubicinin in inducing an apoptotic response in PDXs and cell lines. Consistently, an increased nuclear accumulation of p53 was seen in all selinexor-treated models. In addition, a time-dependent decrease of survivin expression, with an almost complete abrogation of the cytoplasmic anti-apoptotic pool of this protein, was observed as a consequence of the decreased acetylation/activation of STAT3 and the increased ubiquitination of nuclear survivin.

Conclusions: Selinexor showed a moderate antitumor activity in three DDLPS PDXs, which was, however, consistently higher than doxorubicin across all different models regardless the extent of MDM2 amplification and the histological differentiation. The depletion of survivin protein seems to significantly contribute to the induction of apoptosis through which selinexor exerts its antitumor activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-021-01886-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923610PMC
March 2021

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans in children and adolescents: The European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group prospective trial (EpSSG NRSTS 2005).

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 10 18;67(10):e28351. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: As dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) are rare with no prospective series within paediatric sarcoma trials, the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) examined the clinical data and outcomes of DFSP enrolled in a multinational study of non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas (NRSTS).

Patients And Methods: Forty-six patients with confirmed DFSP were enrolled into the EpSSG NRSTS 2005 study. All had surgical resection and none had any further therapy at diagnosis.

Results: The median age at diagnosis was 6.9 years (range 0.4-17.5). All patients had localised disease, and the majority had small <5 cm tumours (93%), and 76% had Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study (IRS) I tumours. All patients had up front surgery, 32 requiring two operations. There were 11 patients with IRS II tumours, of which only two went on to have a local recurrence. After a median follow up of 49.0 months (range 4.2-130.9), all patients were alive at the time of this report, with 5-year event-free survival of 92.6% (CI 78.8-97.6) with a 100% overall survival.

Conclusion: This report demonstrates the ability to run prospective paediatric studies in NRSTS in multiple European countries, with reasonable numbers of DFSP patients, with few events and no deaths, and hence excellent outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28351DOI Listing
October 2020

Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) provides estimates of minute and interstitial BAP1, CDKN2A, and NF2 gene deletions in peritoneal mesothelioma.

Mod Pathol 2020 02 30;33(2):217-227. Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Department of Pathology, Laboratory of Experimental Molecular Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

The aim of this study was to assess the performance of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in identifying the copy number profiles of the three key peritoneal mesothelioma tumor suppressor genes BAP1, CDKN2A, and NF2, with particular emphasis on minute homozygous deletions, a copy number abnormality recently unveiled at the 3p21 (BAP1) chromosomal region using high-throughput methods. FISH was performed on 75 formalin-fixed-paraffin-embedded peritoneal mesotheliomas and recognized two types of monoallelic loss (monosomy, and hemizygous deletion) and two types of biallelic loss (canonical homozygous deletion with a complete loss of FISH signal and homozygous deletion with diminished signal). Diminished FISH signals revealed deletions occurring within the genomic region covered by the gene-specific probe and affected all three tumor suppressors. BAP1 homozygous deletions with diminished signal outnumbered canonical homozygous deletions (13 vs 3): conversely, canonical homozygous deletions were prevalent for CDKN2A (2 vs 14). Diminished signal homozygous deletion was the only pattern of biallelic loss observed for NF2 (2 cases). Hemizygous deletion mainly affected BAP1 (21 vs 6), while monosomy was prevalent for CDKN2A (14 vs 7) and particularly for NF2 where it accounts for all monoallelic losses. FISH/immunohistochemistry (BAP1, CDKN2A, and MTAP) correlation showed that all homozygous deletions, including those with diminished signals, resulted in a null BAP1 and CDKN2A immunophenotype but only canonical CDKN2A homozygous deletions resulted in MTAP loss of expression. BAP1 hemizygous deletion, but not monosomy, was also invariably associated with loss of protein expression whereas neither type of CDKN2A monoallelic loss correlated with p16 or MTAP immunohistochemistry. Array comparative genomic hybridization performed on a spontaneously emerging peritoneal mesothelioma cell line provided support for the interpretation of the FISH patterns and allowed us to extend the number of chromatin remodeling factors involved in mesothelioma to SETD7 and PCGF5, two previously unreported genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0371-0DOI Listing
February 2020

Pazopanib for treatment of advanced extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma: a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2019 09 19;20(9):1252-1262. Epub 2019 Jul 19.

Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital Virgen del Rocio, Seville, Spain; Institute of Biomedicine of Sevilla, Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain.

Background: Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma is a rare sarcoma with low sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Retrospective evidence suggests that antiangiogenic drugs could be a treatment option. We aimed to investigate the activity of pazopanib, an antiangiogenic drug, in patients with advanced extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma.

Methods: In this single-arm, open-label phase 2 trial, three parallel independent cohorts of different histotypes of advanced sarcomas were recruited (extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, typical solitary fibrous tumour, and malignant-dedifferentiated solitary fibrous tumour). In each cohort, patients received pazopanib. In this Article, we report the results of the cohort of patients with advanced extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma. Separate reporting of the three cohorts was prespecified in the study protocol. In this cohort, adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with a diagnosis of NR4A3-translocated, metastatic, or unresectable extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, who had Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) progression in the previous 6 months, and had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, were enrolled at 11 study sites of the Spanish, Italian, and French sarcoma groups. Patients received oral pazopanib (800 mg/day) continuously, until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, death, non-compliance, patient refusal, or investigator's decision. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving an objective response according to RECIST 1·1 in the modified intention-to-treat population (patients who provided consent and had a central molecularly confirmed diagnosis of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma). The safety analysis included all patients who received at least one dose of pazopanib. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02066285.

Findings: Between June 24, 2014, and Jan 17, 2017, 26 patients entered the study and started pazopanib. Of these, 23 met the eligibility criteria for the modified intention-to-treat analysis. Median follow-up was 27 months (IQR 18-30). 22 patients (one patient died before the primary analysis) were evaluable for the primary endpoint: four (18% [95% CI 1-36]) had a RECIST objective response. No deaths or grade 4 adverse events occurred. The most frequent grade 3 adverse events were hypertension (nine [35%] of 26 patients), increased concentration of alanine aminotransferase (six [23%]), and increased aspartate aminotransferase (five [19%]).

Interpretation: Pazopanib had clinically meaningful antitumour activity in patients with progressive and advanced extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, and could be considered a suitable option after failure to respond to first-line anthracycline-based chemotherapy in these patients.

Funding: Spanish Group for Research on Sarcomas, Italian Sarcoma Group, French Sarcoma Group, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30319-5DOI Listing
September 2019

Identification of an Actionable Mutation of KIT in a Case of Extraskeletal Myxoid Chondrosarcoma.

Int J Mol Sci 2018 Jun 23;19(7). Epub 2018 Jun 23.

Department of Specialized, Experimental and Diagnostic Medicine, Sant'Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy.

Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is an extremely rare soft tissue sarcoma, marked by a translocation involving the gene. EMC is usually indolent and moderately sensitive to anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Recently, we reported on the therapeutic activity of sunitinib in a series of EMC cases, however the molecular target of sunitinib in EMC is unknown. Moreover, there is still the need to identify alternative therapeutic strategies. To better characterize this disease, we performed whole transcriptome sequencing in five EMC cases. Peculiarly, in one sample, an in-frame deletion (c.1735_1737delGAT p.D579del) was identified in exon 11 of . The deletion was somatic and heterozygous and was validated both at DNA and mRNA level. This sample showed a marked high expression of at the mRNA level and a mild phosphorylation of the receptor. Sanger sequencing of in additional 15 Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) EMC did not show any other mutated cases. In conclusion, exon 11 mutation was detected only in one out of 20 EMC cases analyzed, indicating that alteration is not a recurrent event in these tumors and cannot explain the EMC sensitivity to sunitinib, although it is an actionable mutation in the individual case in which it has been identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073125PMC
June 2018

Identification of SRF-E2F1 fusion transcript in EWSR-negative myoepithelioma of the soft tissue.

Oncotarget 2017 Sep 17;8(36):60036-60045. Epub 2017 May 17.

"Giorgio Prodi" Cancer Research Center, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Myoepithelial neoplasms (MN) are rare and not well-circumstanced entities displaying a heterogeneous spectrum of genetic abnormalities, including EWSR1, FUS and PLAG1 rearrangements. However, in the remaining MN no other fusion gene has been described and knowledge concerning secondary acquired molecular alterations is still poor. Therefore, we screened 5 cases of MN of the soft tissue by RNA sequencing with the aim of identifying novel fusion transcripts. A novel SRF-E2F1 fusion was detected in two cases: one was negative for other fusions while the other showed also the presence of FUS-KLF17. The fusion was validated through independent techniques and, in both cases, SRF-E2F1 was detected only in a subclone of the tumoral mass. SRF-E2F1 maintained the coding frame, thus leading to the translation of a chimeric protein containing the DNA-binding domain of SRF and the trans-activation domain of E2F1. Moreover, ectopical expression of SRF-E2F1 demonstrated that the chimeric transcript is functionally active and could affect tumor growth. Occurrence in two cases and biological relevance of the two genes involved suggest that the SRF-E2F1 fusion might become a helpful diagnostic tool. Further biologic studies are needed to better assess its role in MN biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17958DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5601120PMC
September 2017

HSPA8 as a novel fusion partner of NR4A3 in extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2017 07 4;56(7):582-586. Epub 2017 May 4.

Adult Mesenchymal Tumour and Rare Cancer Medical Oncology Unit, Cancer Medicine Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori Milan, Italy.

Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is a very rare sarcoma most often arising in the soft tissue. Rare EMC of the bone have been reported. EMC exhibits distinctive clinico-pathological and genetic features; however, despite the name, it lacks any feature of cartilaginous differentiation. EMC is characterized by the rearrangement of the NR4A3, which, in most cases (about 62-75%), is fused with EWSR1 and less frequently with other partners, including TAF15 (27%), TCF12 (4%), TFG, and FUS. We herein report the identification by whole-transcriptome sequencing of HSPA8 as a novel fusion partner of NR4A3 in a case of EMC. FISH analysis confirmed the presence of a genomic HSPA8-NR4A3 translocation in the vast majority of tumor cells. Our findings expand the spectrum of NR4A3 fusion partners involved in EMC pathobiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22462DOI Listing
July 2017

Epithelioid peritoneal mesothelioma: a hybrid phenotype within a mesenchymal-epithelial/epithelial-mesenchymal transition framework.

Oncotarget 2016 11;7(46):75503-75517

Laboratory of Experimental Molecular Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

The aim of this study was to reconsider the biological characteristics of epithelioid malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (E-MpM) in the light of new concepts about epithelial mesenchymal transition and mesenchymal epithelial reverse transition (EMT/MErT) and the role of epigenetic reprogramming in this context. To this end we profiled surgical specimens and derived cells cultures by a number of complementary approaches i.e. immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, in situ hybridization, biochemistry, pluripotent stem cell arrays, treatments with cytokines, growth factors and specific inhibitors.The analyses of the surgical specimens showed that i) EZH2 is expressed throughout the spectrum of MpM, ii) that E-MpM (including the high-grade undifferentiated form) are characterised by c-MYC and miRNA 17-5p expression, and iii) that progression to sarcomatoid MpM is dictated by EMT regulators. They also showed that E-MpM expressed c-MET and are enriched in E- and P-cadherins- and VEGFR2-expressing CSCs, thus strongly supporting a role for MErT reprogramming in endowing E-MpM tumour cells with stemness and plasticity, and hence with a drug resistant phenotype. The cell culture-based experiments confirmed the stemness traits and plasticity of E-MpM, and support the view that EZH2 is a druggable target in this tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5342756PMC
November 2016

Evolution of Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans to DFSP-Derived Fibrosarcoma: An Event Marked by Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition-like Process and 22q Loss.

Mol Cancer Res 2016 09 2;14(9):820-9. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Unit of Experimental Oncology 1, CRO Aviano National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy.

Unlabelled: Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a rare and indolent cutaneous sarcoma. At times, a fibrosarcomatous transformation marked by a more aggressive clinical behavior may be present. We investigated the natural history and the molecular bases of progression from classic DFSP to the fibrosarcomatous form (FS-DFSP), looking, retrospectively, at the outcome of all patients affected by primary DFSP treated at our institution from 1993 to 2012 and analyzing the molecular profile of 5 DFSPs and 5 FS-DFSPs by an integrated genomics approach (whole transcriptome sequencing, copy number analysis, FISH, qRT-PCR, IHC). The presence of fibrosarcomatous features was identified in 20 (7.6%) patients out of 263 DFSP. All cases were treated with macroscopic complete surgery. A local relapse occurred in 4 of 23 patients who received a microscopic marginal surgery (2 classic DFSP, 2 FS-DFSP), while metastasis affected 2 patients, both FS-DFSP (10% of FS-DFSP), being the first event. DFSP evolution to FS-DFSP was paralleled by a transcriptional reprogramming. The recurrent loss of chromosome 22q appeared to contribute to this phenomenon by promoting the expression of epigenetic regulators, such as EZH2. Loss of the p16/CDKN2A/INK4A locus at 9p was also observed in two FS-DFSP metastatic cases.

Implications: FS-DFSP is a rare subgroup among DFSP, with a 10% metastatic risk, that was independent from local recurrence and that was not observed in DFSP, that were all cured by wide surgery. Chromosome 22q deletion might play a role in FS-DFSP, and p16 loss may convey a poor outcome. EZH2 dysregulation was also found and represents a druggable target. Mol Cancer Res; 14(9); 820-9. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0068DOI Listing
September 2016

Efficacy and Biological Activity of Imatinib in Metastatic Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP).

Clin Cancer Res 2016 Feb 10;22(4):837-46. Epub 2015 Aug 10.

Adult Mesenchymal Tumour and Rare Cancer Medical Oncology Unit, Cancer Medicine Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: To report on imatinib mesylate (IM) in patients with metastatic dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)/fibrosarcomatous (FS)-DFSP and on the impact of the treatment on tumor biology.

Experimental Design: Ten consecutive patients treated with IM from 2007 to 2015 for a metastatic relapse from DFSP/FS-DFSP were identified. FISH analysis for COL1A1-PDGFB was performed. Two IM-treated and 4 naïve FS-DFSP were transcriptionally profiled by RNAseq on HiScanSQ platform. Differential gene expression was analyzed with edgeR (Bioconductor), followed by hierarchical clustering and Principal Component Analysis.

Results: All cases featured fibrosarcomatous in the metastasis and retained the COL1A1-PDGFB. Best RECIST response was: 8 partial response, 1 stable disease, and 1 progressive disease. Median progression-free survival was 11 months. Five patients received surgery after IM and all relapsed. IM was restored in 4 patients with a new response. After IM, the most upregulated genes included those encoding for immunoglobulins and those affecting functions and differentiation of endothelial cells. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed upregulation in genes involved in antigen processing and presentation, natural killer-mediated cytotoxicity, and drug and xenobiotics metabolism. Conversely, a significant down-regulation of kinase signaling pathways was detected.

Conclusions: All metastatic cases were fibrosarcomatous. Most patients responded to IM, but PFS was shorter than reported in published series which included both DFSP and FS-DFSP. All patients operated after IM had a relapse, suggesting that IM cannot eradicate metastatic cases and that the role of surgery is limited. Transcriptional profile of naïve and posttreatment samples pointed the contribution of immune infiltrates in sustaining the response to IM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-1243DOI Listing
February 2016

Anthracycline-based chemotherapy in extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma: a retrospective study.

Clin Sarcoma Res 2013 Dec 18;3(1):16. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Adult Mesenchymal Tumor Medical Oncology Unit, Cancer Medicine Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is a rare subgroup within soft tissue sarcomas. Its sensitivity to chemotherapy is reported to be low.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a series of 11 EMC patients treated as from 2001 within the Italian Rare Cancer Network (RCN) with anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Pathologic diagnosis was centrally reviewed in all cases and confirmed by the presence of the specific chromosomal rearrangements, involving the NR4A3 gene locus on chromosome 9.

Results: Eleven patients treated with anthracycline-based chemotherapy were included (M/F: 9/2 - mean age: 52 years - site of primary: lower limb/other = 9/2 - metastatic = 11 - front line/ further line = 10/1 - anthracycline as single agent/ combined with ifosfamide = 1/10). Ten patients are evaluable for response. Overall, best response according to RECIST was: partial response (PR) = 4 (40 %), stable disease (SD) = 3, progressive disease (PD) = 3 cases. Median PFS was 8 (range 2-10) months.

Conclusions: By contrast to what reported so far, anthracycline-based chemotherapy is active in a distinct proportion of EMC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2045-3329-3-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3879193PMC
December 2013

Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma: tumor response to sunitinib.

Clin Sarcoma Res 2012 Oct 11;2(1):22. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

Department of Cancer Medicine, Adult Sarcoma Medical Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori Milan, via Venezian 1, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Unlabelled:

Background: Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMCS) is a rare soft tissue sarcoma of uncertain differentiation, characterized in most cases by a translocation that results in the fusion protein EWSR1-CHN (the latter even called NR4A3 or TEC). EMCS is marked by >40% incidence of metastases in spite of its indolent behaviour. It is generally resistant to conventional chemotherapy, and, to the best of our knowledge, no data have been reported to date about the activity of tirosin-kinase inhibitor (TKI) in this tumor. We report on two consecutive patients carrying an advanced EMCS treated with sunitinib.

Methods: Since July 2011, 2 patients with progressive pretreated metastatic EMCS (Patient1: woman, 58 years, PS1; Patient2: man, 63 years, PS1) have been treated with continuous SM 37.5 mg/day, on an individual use basis. Both patients are evaluable for response. In both cases diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of the typical EWSR1-CHN translocation.

Results: Both patients are still on treatment (11 and 8 months). Patient 1 got a RECIST response after 4 months from starting sunitinib, together with a complete response by PET. An interval progression was observed after stopping sunitinib for toxicity (abscess around previous femoral fixation), but response was restored after restarting sunitinib. Patient 2 had an initial tumor disease stabilization detected by CT scan at 3 months. Sunitinib was increased to 50 mg/day, with evidence of a dimensional response 3 months later.

Conclusions: Sunitinib showed antitumor activity in 2 patients with advanced EMCS. Further studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2045-3329-2-22DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3534218PMC
October 2012

A compendium of myeloma-associated chromosomal copy number abnormalities and their prognostic value.

Blood 2010 Oct 8;116(15):e56-65. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Section of Haemato-Oncology, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.

To obtain a comprehensive genomic profile of presenting multiple myeloma cases we performed high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism mapping array analysis in 114 samples alongside 258 samples analyzed by U133 Plus 2.0 expression array (Affymetrix). We examined DNA copy number alterations and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) to define the spectrum of minimally deleted regions in which relevant genes of interest can be found. The most frequent deletions are located at 1p (30%), 6q (33%), 8p (25%), 12p (15%), 13q (59%), 14q (39%), 16q (35%), 17p (7%), 20 (12%), and 22 (18%). In addition, copy number-neutral LOH, or uniparental disomy, was also prevalent on 1q (8%), 16q (9%), and X (20%), and was associated with regions of gain and loss. Based on fluorescence in situ hybridization and expression quartile analysis, genes of prognostic importance were found to be located at 1p (FAF1, CDKN2C), 1q (ANP32E), and 17p (TP53). In addition, we identified common homozygously deleted genes that have functions relevant to myeloma biology. Taken together, these analyses indicate that the crucial pathways in myeloma pathogenesis include the nuclear factor-κB pathway, apoptosis, cell-cycle regulation, Wnt signaling, and histone modifications. This study was registered at http://isrctn.org as ISRCTN68454111.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-04-279596DOI Listing
October 2010

Timing of acquisition of deletion 13 in plasma cell dyscrasias is dependent on genetic context.

Haematologica 2009 Dec;94(12):1708-13

Leukaemia Research Fund UK Myeloma Forum Cytogenetics Group, Human Genetics Division, University of Southampton, Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory, Salisbury District Hospital, Wilts, UK.

Background: Multiple myeloma, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering multiple myeloma harbor common chromosomal abnormalities but the prevalence and relative association of aberrations in these diagnostic groups remains controversial. We investigated these aspects in a large series of patients.

Design And Methods: Chromosome 13 deletion (Delta13), deletion of TP53, ploidy status and immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) translocations were evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization in patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (n=189), smoldering multiple myeloma (n=127) and multiple myeloma (n=400).

Results: Overall, Delta13 (25%, 34% and 47%), 16q23 deletions (6%, 8% and 21%) and 17p13 deletions (3%, 1% and 10%) were less frequent in patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering multiple myeloma than in those with multiple myeloma. When distinct genetic groups were considered, no differences in the prevalence of Delta13 were found with t(4;14)(p16;q32) and t(14;16)(q32;q23) among the three diagnostic groups; in contrast Delta13 was rarer in t(11;14)(q13;q32) in patients with monoclonal gammopathy (1/28) and smoldering myeloma (2/13) than in those with multiple myeloma (40%). Similar results were seen for the few t(6;14)(p21;q32) cases: 0/3 patients with monoclonal gammopathy or smoldering myeloma had the Delta13, whereas 4/6 (67%) patients with multiple myeloma and this translocation also had the deletion. In multiple myeloma patients with both an IgH translocation and Delta13, the proportions of cells affected by the two abnormalities were similar, as was the case for t(4;14) and t(14;16) monoclonal gammopathy patients positive for Delta13. In contrast, in monoclonal gammopathy patients with t(14;20)(q32;q11), the translocation was present in almost all cells, while the Delta13 was present in only a sub-population.

Conclusions: These results indicate that the presence and time of occurrence of Delta13 depends on the presence of specific concurrent abnormalities. The observation that Delta13 was extremely rare in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering multiple myeloma with translocations directly involving cyclin D genes (CCND1 and CCND3) suggest a possible role of Delta13 in the progression of the disease specifically in these genetic sub-groups. (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: ISRCTN 68454111; UKCRN ID 1176).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2009.011064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2791926PMC
December 2009

Loss of 1p and rearrangement of MYC are associated with progression of smouldering myeloma to myeloma: sequential analysis of a single case.

Haematologica 2009 Jul 19;94(7):1024-8. Epub 2009 May 19.

Leukaemia Research Fund UK Myeloma Forum Cytogenetics Group, Human Genetics Division, University of Southampton, Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wilts, UK.

We report serial genetic studies on a young female patient initially diagnosed with asymptomatic smouldering myeloma who progressed to symptomatic myeloma 4.5 years after presentation. An unbalanced translocation, der(14)t(4;14)(p16;q32), was initially found in all plasma cells plus deletions of other chromosomal regions as detected by array-based comparative genomic hybridization. Deletion of chromosome 13 was observed in a minor population of plasma cells (<20%) for the first two years, increasing to 100% of plasma cells by the time of multiple myeloma diagnosis. Loss of 1p and a rearrangement of MYC were first observed in a small population of plasma cells one year prior to the clinical diagnosis of multiple myeloma, but these subclones increased rapidly in size to become the major population suggesting that they were directly involved in the transformation process. This case report provides a unique insight into the mechanisms of disease progression from smouldering multiple myeloma to multiple myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2008.004440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704316PMC
July 2009

Frequent upregulation of MYC in plasma cell leukemia.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2009 Jul;48(7):624-36

Leukaemia Research Fund UK Myeloma Forum Cytogenetics Group, Human Genetics Division, University of Southampton, Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wilts, UK.

Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is a rare form of monoclonal gammopathy, which can originate de novo or evolve from multiple myeloma (MM) as a terminal leukemic phase. Previous cytogenetic studies of PCL have reported the presence of complex karyotypes with involvement of multiple unidentified chromosomal regions. We report here the analysis of 12 PCL (10 primary and two secondary) by metaphase and FISH analysis combined with oligonucleotide array data (244 k, Agilent). Interphase-FISH results were compared with those from a series of 861 newly diagnosed patients with MM. Cytogenetic analysis was successful on 11 patients, all of whom showed clonal chromosomal abnormalities. Compared with MM, t(11;14)(q13;q32) (42% versus 15%; P = 0.027) and t(14;16)(q32;q23) (25% versus 4%; P = 0.010) were more frequent in PCL, although neither the specific partner chromosome involved in the IgH translocation nor the ploidy status predicted for survival. Chromosomes 1, 8, 13, and 16 showed the highest number of copy number alterations with 8q24 being the chromosomal region most frequently involved. In eight of 12 patients we found abnormalities (translocations, one amplification, small deletions, and duplications) that directly targeted or were very close to MYC. Only four of these changes were detected by routine FISH analysis using commercial probes with the others exclusively detected by arrays. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that these different abnormalities were associated with increased levels of MYC mRNA. We conclude that MYC dysregulation by complex mechanisms is one of the major molecular events in the oncogenesis of PCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.20670DOI Listing
July 2009

TRK-A, HER-2/neu, and KIT Expression/Activation Profiles in Salivary Gland Carcinoma.

Transl Oncol 2008 Sep;1(3):121-8

Experimental Molecular Pathology Unit, Department of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Salivary duct carcinomas (SDCs) and adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACCs) are the most aggressive and the most frequent carcinomas of the salivary glands, respectively. Little is known about them in terms of molecular/biochemical characterization and conventional treatments are ineffective. On cryopreserved material, we analyzed the expression/activation status of TRK-A, HER-2/neu, and KIT receptors by means of immunoprecipitation and Western blot analysis experiments, and the presence of their cognate ligands by means of Western blot analysis and/or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in 9 SDCs, 12 ACCs, and 8 normal glands. The amplification status of HER-2/neu was also investigated by means of fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis on fixed material. The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)-deregulated profile of the SDCs was characterized by the overexpression of activated TRK-A in the presence of its ligand, and the overexpression of HER-2/neu sustained by gene amplification. The RTK signature of the ACCs was represented by the overexpression of activated KIT and TRK-A and their cognate ligands, and the overexpression of activated HER-2/neu, in the absence of gene amplification, possibly sustained by epidermal growth factor receptor heterodimerization. In conclusion, SDCs and ACCs, although sharing TRK-A autocrine loop activation, have different pathologically activated RTK-deregulated profiles that may be potential targets for pharmacological RTK inhibitors.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533140PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1593/tlo.08127DOI Listing
September 2008

Gene mapping and expression analysis of 16q loss of heterozygosity identifies WWOX and CYLD as being important in determining clinical outcome in multiple myeloma.

Blood 2007 Nov 3;110(9):3291-300. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

Section of Haemato-Oncology, Institute of Cancer Research, 15 Cotswold Road, Sutton, Surrey, UK.

We performed fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for 16q23 abnormalities in 861 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma and identified deletion of 16q [del(16q)] in 19.5%. In 467 cases in which demographic and survival data were available, del(16q) was associated with a worse overall survival (OS). It was an independent prognostic marker and conferred additional adverse survival impact in cases with the known poor-risk cytogenetic factors t(4;14) and del(17p). Gene expression profiling and gene mapping using 500K single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mapping arrays revealed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) involving 3 regions: the whole of 16q, a region centered on 16q12 (the location of CYLD), and a region centered on 16q23 (the location of the WW domain-containing oxidoreductase gene WWOX). CYLD is a negative regulator of the NF-kappaB pathway, and cases with low expression of CYLD were used to define a "low-CYLD signature." Cases with 16q LOH or t(14;16) had significantly reduced WWOX expression. WWOX, the site of the translocation breakpoint in t(14;16) cases, is a known tumor suppressor gene involved in apoptosis, and we were able to generate a "low-WWOX signature" defined by WWOX expression. These 2 genes and their corresponding pathways provide an important insight into the potential mechanisms by which 16q LOH confers poor prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2007-02-075069DOI Listing
November 2007

Molecular and biochemical analyses of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) B, PDGFRA, and KIT receptors in chordomas.

Clin Cancer Res 2006 Dec;12(23):6920-8

Experimental Molecular Pathology, Department of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: We have previously shown the presence of an activated platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor (PDGFR) B and its ligand PDGFB in a limited number of patients with clinical and radiological responses to imatinib mesylate treatment. This article describes the results of comprehensive molecular/biochemical analyses of the three receptors targeted by the drug (PDGFRB, PDGFRA, and KIT) in a series of 31 chordoma patients.

Experimental Design: The presence and activation status of PDGFRB, PDGFRA, and KIT receptors were investigated by means of immunoprecipitation and Western blot analyses complemented by immunohistochemistry, their expression level was analyzed by means of real-time PCR, and the occurrence of activating point mutations was investigated by means of cDNA sequencing. The PDGFB, PDGFA, and stem cell factor cognate ligands were investigated by reverse transcription-PCR, and gene status was assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization.

Results: The results show that PDGFRB was highly expressed and phosphorylated, whereas PDGFRA and KIT were less expressed but phosphorylated and thus activated. These findings, together with the absence of gain-of-function mutations and the presence of the cognate ligands, strongly support the hypothesis that the activation mechanism is the autocrine/paracrine loop. No role seems to be played by gene amplification.

Conclusions: In the light of our findings, the clinical benefit observed in chordoma patients treated with imatinib seems to be attributable to the switching off of all three receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-1584DOI Listing
December 2006

9p21 locus analysis in high-risk gastrointestinal stromal tumors characterized for c-kit and platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha gene alterations.

Cancer 2005 Jul;104(1):159-69

Unit of Experimental Molecular Pathology, Department of Pathology, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are noncomplex sarcomas that often are due to c-kit-activating and platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha gene (PDGFRalpha)-activating mutations and perturbations of their related signaling pathways. Molecular and cytogenetic findings have indicated correlations between tumor progression and high-risk GISTs with c-kit mutations, the overexpression of genes such as ezrin, and losses at 9p. In particular, it was reported recently that malignant GISTs showed alterations in the p16INK4a gene located at the 9p21 locus.

Methods: To assess the involvement of p14ARF and p15INK4b in addition to p16INK4a in GISTs, the authors undertook a molecular and cytogenetic study of the 9p21 locus. A series of 22 pre-Gleevec era, cryopreserved, high-risk GISTs that were characterized well in terms of KIT and PDGFRalpha receptors were investigated for mRNA expression, homozygous deletions, mutations, and promoter methylation of locus 9p21, in some instances complemented by fluorescent in situ hybridization studies.

Results: The results indicated the loss of p16INK4a mRNA expression in 41% of the GISTs, mainly due to the homozygous deletion of both the p16INK4a gene and the p14ARF gene (24%). No mutations were found, and promoter methylation (detected by means of methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction analysis in 27% of tumors) was restricted mainly to the p15INK4b gene (20%). It is noteworthy that, in all of the methylated GISTs, the epigenetic promoter alteration was coupled with mRNA expression.

Conclusions: Alterations in the 9p21 locus were found cumulatively in 54% of the tumors in the current series and were represented mainly by the loss of tumor suppressor gene expression. The p16INK4a deletion, which always was coupled with p14ARF gene loss, seemed to be the most common 9p21 inactivation mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.21113DOI Listing
July 2005

Molecular cytogenetic characterization of proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2004 Nov;41(3):283-90

Unit of Molecular Cytogenetics, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milano, Italy.

Proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma is a recently described soft-tissue tumor that is distinguished from conventional-type epithelioid sarcoma by a far more aggressive clinical course, frequent location in the proximal anatomic regions, and variable rhabdoid morphology. Because of their rarity and peculiar morphology, proximal-type epithelioid sarcomas frequently pose serious diagnostic dilemmas, being easily misdiagnosed as a variety of other malignant neoplasms. To date, the information available on the genetic alterations associated with this tumor entity has been confined to single conventional cytogenetic reports. In this article, we present the results of a conventional and molecular cytogenetic analysis of six proximal-type epithelioid sarcomas. Spectral karyotyping analysis of these cases deciphered the characteristics of several marker chromosomes and complex translocations, leading to the recognition of recurrent rearrangements. The most frequently involved chromosome arm was 22q, and the identification of two cases with a similar translocation, t(10;22), suggests a role for one or more genes on chromosome 22 in the pathogenesis of this tumor and provides an opportunity for finely mapping the translocation-associated breakpoints. Chromosome arm 8q gain was also a frequent event and correlated with gain of MYC gene copy number, as demonstrated by fluorescence in situ hybridization. A review of both cases reported in the literature and those presented in this study reinforced the involvement of chromosomes 8 and 22 and also indicated frequent rearrangements of chromosomes 7, 14, 18, and 20.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.20086DOI Listing
November 2004

HER-2/neu assessment in primary chemotherapy treated breast carcinoma: no evidence of gene profile changing.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2003 Jul;80(2):207-14

Experimental Pathology Unit, Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

HER-2/neu protein expression and gene amplification were analyzed in a series of 85 consecutive breast carcinoma patients entered into an adriamicin/taxol primary chemotherapy trial followed by surgery, 45 of whom underwent pre-treatment fine needle aspirate (FNA). Dual color FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization) assay revealed high-level HER-2/neu gene amplification in the immunocytochemistry (ICC) indicated 3+ cases and no, low or moderate amplification in the ICC 2+ group, consistent with previous findings in untreated patients series. Results obtained with the ICC assay CB 11 showed higher overall concordance with FISH than did the Herceptest ICC assay, but CB 11 was less accurate than Herceptest in terms of selecting patients suitable for Herceptin treatment, which is currently restricted to ICC 3+/FISH amplified patients. The only ICC 3+ low-level amplified case (non-amplified according the two more stringent criteria applied) was found with the CB 11 assay. Comparison between pre-treatment smears and post-treatment sections by FISH revealed no significant changes in the HER-2/neu gene profile. In the clinical setting these findings point to the usefulness of HER-2/neu assessment in chemotherapy-treated patients, when pre-treatment material is unavailable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1024579206250DOI Listing
July 2003