Publications by authors named "Katja Beck"

11 Publications

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Molecular profiling of pediatric meningiomas shows tumor characteristics distinct from adult meningiomas.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 Sep 8. Epub 2021 Sep 8.

Department of Neuropathology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.

In contrast to adults, meningiomas are uncommon tumors in childhood and adolescence. Whether adult and pediatric meningiomas differ on a molecular level is unclear. Here we report detailed genomic analyses of 37 pediatric meningiomas by sequencing and DNA methylation profiling. Histologically, the series was dominated by meningioma subtypes with aggressive behavior, with 70% of patients suffering from WHO grade II or III meningiomas. The most frequent cytogenetic aberrations were loss of chromosomes 22 (23/37 [62%]), 1 (9/37 [24%]), 18 (7/37 [19%]), and 14 (5/37 [14%]). Tumors with NF2 alterations exhibited overall increased chromosomal instability. Unsupervised clustering of DNA methylation profiles revealed separation into three groups: designated group 1 composed of clear cell and papillary meningiomas, whereas group 2A comprised predominantly atypical meningiomas and group 2B enriched for rare high-grade subtypes (rhabdoid, chordoid). Meningiomas from NF2 patients clustered exclusively within groups 1 and 2A. When compared with a dataset of 105 adult meningiomas, the pediatric meningiomas largely grouped separately. Targeted panel DNA sequencing of 34 tumors revealed frequent NF2 alterations, while other typical alterations found in adult non-NF2 tumors were absent. These data demonstrate that pediatric meningiomas are characterized by molecular features distinct from adult tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02351-xDOI Listing
September 2021

Comprehensive Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis for Guiding Therapeutic Decisions in Patients with Rare Cancers.

Cancer Discov 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Omics IT and Data Management Core Facility, German Cancer Research Center.

The clinical relevance of comprehensive molecular analysis in rare cancers is not established. We analyzed the molecular profiles and clinical outcomes of 1,310 patients (rare cancers, 75.5%) enrolled in a prospective observational study by the German Cancer Consortium that applies whole-genome/exome and RNA sequencing to inform the care of adults with incurable cancers. Based on 472 single and six composite biomarkers, a cross-institutional molecular tumor board provided evidence-based management recommendations, including diagnostic reevaluation, genetic counseling, and experimental treatment, in 88% of cases. Recommended therapies were administered in 362 of 1,138 patients (31.8%) and resulted in significantly improved overall response and disease control rates (23.9% and 55.3%) compared to previous therapies, translating into a progression-free survival ratio >1.3 in 35.7% of patients. These data demonstrate the benefit of molecular stratification in rare cancers and represent a resource that may promote clinical trial access and drug approvals in this underserved patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-0126DOI Listing
June 2021

CATCH: A Prospective Precision Oncology Trial in Metastatic Breast Cancer.

JCO Precis Oncol 2021 22;5. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Division of Molecular Genetics, German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Purpose: CATCH (Comprehensive Assessment of clinical feaTures and biomarkers to identify patients with advanced or metastatic breast Cancer for marker driven trials in Humans) is a prospective precision oncology program that uses genomics and transcriptomics to guide therapeutic decisions in the clinical management of metastatic breast cancer. Herein, we report our single-center experience and results on the basis of the first 200 enrolled patients of an ongoing trial.

Methods: From June 2017 to March 2019, 200 patients who had either primary metastatic or progressive disease, with any number of previous treatment lines and at least one metastatic site accessible to biopsy, were enrolled. DNA and RNA from tumor tissue and corresponding blood-derived nontumor DNA were profiled using whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing. Identified actionable alterations were brought into clinical context in a multidisciplinary molecular tumor board (MTB) with the aim of prioritizing personalized treatment recommendations.

Results: Among the first 200 enrolled patients, 128 (64%) were discussed in the MTB, of which 64 (50%) were subsequently treated according to MTB recommendation. Of 53 evaluable patients, 21 (40%) achieved either stable disease (n = 13, 25%) or partial response (n = 8, 15%). Furthermore, 16 (30%) of those patients showed improvement in progression-free survival of at least 30% while on MTB-recommended treatment compared with the progression-free survival of the previous treatment line.

Conclusion: The initial phase of this study demonstrates that precision oncology on the basis of whole-genome and RNA sequencing is feasible when applied in the clinical management of patients with metastatic breast cancer and provides clinical benefit to a substantial proportion of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/PO.20.00248DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140780PMC
April 2021

Sarcoma classification by DNA methylation profiling.

Nat Commun 2021 01 21;12(1):498. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of General Pathology, Institute of Pathology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Sarcomas are malignant soft tissue and bone tumours affecting adults, adolescents and children. They represent a morphologically heterogeneous class of tumours and some entities lack defining histopathological features. Therefore, the diagnosis of sarcomas is burdened with a high inter-observer variability and misclassification rate. Here, we demonstrate classification of soft tissue and bone tumours using a machine learning classifier algorithm based on array-generated DNA methylation data. This sarcoma classifier is trained using a dataset of 1077 methylation profiles from comprehensively pre-characterized cases comprising 62 tumour methylation classes constituting a broad range of soft tissue and bone sarcoma subtypes across the entire age spectrum. The performance is validated in a cohort of 428 sarcomatous tumours, of which 322 cases were classified by the sarcoma classifier. Our results demonstrate the potential of the DNA methylation-based sarcoma classification for research and future diagnostic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20603-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819999PMC
January 2021

Detection of Structural Variants in Circulating Cell-Free DNA from Sarcoma Patients Using Next Generation Sequencing.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 3;12(12). Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research, Queen's University, Belfast BT9 7AE, UK.

Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis using next generation sequencing (NGS) is being implemented in clinical practice for treatment stratification and disease monitoring. However, using ctDNA to detect structural variants, a common occurrence in sarcoma, can be challenging. Here, we use a sarcoma-specific targeted NGS panel to identify translocations and copy number variants in a cohort of 12 tissue specimens and matched circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from soft tissue sarcoma patients, including alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma ( = 2), Ewing's Sarcoma ( = 2), synovial sarcoma ( = 2), extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma ( = 1), clear cell sarcoma ( = 1), undifferentiated round cell sarcoma ( = 1), myxoid liposarcoma ( = 1), alveolar soft part cell sarcoma ( = 1) and dedifferentiated liposarcoma ( = 1). Structural variants were detected in 11/12 (91.6%) and 6/12 (50%) of tissue and plasma samples, respectively. Structural variants were detected in cfDNA at variant allele frequencies >0.2% with an average sequencing depth of 1026×. The results from this cohort show clinical potential for using NGS in ctDNA to aid in the diagnosis and clinical monitoring of sarcomas and warrant additional studies in larger cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761870PMC
December 2020

The landscape of chromothripsis across adult cancer types.

Nat Commun 2020 05 8;11(1):2320. Epub 2020 May 8.

Group Genome Instability in Tumors, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany.

Chromothripsis is a recently identified mutational phenomenon, by which a presumably single catastrophic event generates extensive genomic rearrangements of one or a few chromosome(s). Considered as an early event in tumour development, this form of genome instability plays a prominent role in tumour onset. Chromothripsis prevalence might have been underestimated when using low-resolution methods, and pan-cancer studies based on sequencing are rare. Here we analyse chromothripsis in 28 tumour types covering all major adult cancers (634 tumours, 316 whole-genome and 318 whole-exome sequences). We show that chromothripsis affects a substantial proportion of human cancers, with a prevalence of 49% across all cases. Chromothripsis generates entity-specific genomic alterations driving tumour development, including clinically relevant druggable fusions. Chromothripsis is linked with specific telomere patterns and univocal mutational signatures in distinct tumour entities. Longitudinal analysis of chromothriptic patterns in 24 matched tumour pairs reveals insights in the clonal evolution of tumours with chromothripsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16134-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7210959PMC
May 2020

Mutational patterns and regulatory networks in epigenetic subgroups of meningioma.

Acta Neuropathol 2019 08 8;138(2):295-308. Epub 2019 May 8.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

DNA methylation patterns delineate clinically relevant subgroups of meningioma. We previously established the six meningioma methylation classes (MC) benign 1-3, intermediate A and B, and malignant. Here, we set out to identify subgroup-specific mutational patterns and gene regulation. Whole genome sequencing was performed on 62 samples across all MCs and WHO grades from 62 patients with matched blood control, including 40 sporadic meningiomas and 22 meningiomas arising after radiation (Mrad). RNA sequencing was added for 18 of these cases and chromatin-immunoprecipitation for histone H3 lysine 27 acetylation (H3K27ac) followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) for 16 samples. Besides the known mutations in meningioma, structural variants were found as the mechanism of NF2 inactivation in a small subset (5%) of sporadic meningiomas, similar to previous reports for Mrad. Aberrations of DMD were found to be enriched in MCs with NF2 mutations, and DMD was among the most differentially upregulated genes in NF2 mutant compared to NF2 wild-type cases. The mutational signature AC3, which has been associated with defects in homologous recombination repair (HRR), was detected in both sporadic meningioma and Mrad, but widely distributed across the genome in sporadic cases and enriched near genomic breakpoints in Mrad. Compared to the other MCs, the number of single nucleotide variants matching the AC3 pattern was significantly higher in the malignant MC, which also exhibited higher genomic instability, determined by the numbers of both large segments affected by copy number alterations and breakpoints between large segments. ChIP-seq analysis for H3K27ac revealed a specific activation of genes regulated by the transcription factor FOXM1 in the malignant MC. This analysis also revealed a super enhancer near the HOXD gene cluster in this MC, which, together with general upregulation of HOX genes in the malignant MC, indicates a role of HOX genes in meningioma aggressiveness. This data elucidates the biological mechanisms rendering different epigenetic subgroups of meningiomas, and suggests leveraging HRR as a novel therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-019-02008-wDOI Listing
August 2019

Comprehensive Analysis of Chromatin States in Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Identifies Diverging Roles for SWI/SNF and Polycomb in Gene Regulation.

Cancer Cell 2019 01 27;35(1):95-110.e8. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Hopp-Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg (KiTZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Division of Pediatric Neurooncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Biallelic inactivation of SMARCB1, encoding a member of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, is the hallmark genetic aberration of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRT). Here, we report how loss of SMARCB1 affects the epigenome in these tumors. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) on primary tumors for a series of active and repressive histone marks, we identified the chromatin states differentially represented in ATRTs compared with other brain tumors and non-neoplastic brain. Re-expression of SMARCB1 in ATRT cell lines enabled confirmation of our genome-wide findings for the chromatin states. Additional generation of ChIP-seq data for SWI/SNF and Polycomb group proteins and the transcriptional repressor protein REST determined differential dependencies of SWI/SNF and Polycomb complexes in regulation of diverse gene sets in ATRTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2018.11.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341227PMC
January 2019

Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumors Are Comprised of Three Epigenetic Subgroups with Distinct Enhancer Landscapes.

Cancer Cell 2016 Mar 25;29(3):379-393. Epub 2016 Feb 25.

Department of Neuropathology, University Hospital Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Clinical Cooperation Unit Neuropathology, German Cancer Research Center, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) is one of the most common brain tumors in infants. Although the prognosis of ATRT patients is poor, some patients respond favorably to current treatments, suggesting molecular inter-tumor heterogeneity. To investigate this further, we genetically and epigenetically analyzed 192 ATRTs. Three distinct molecular subgroups of ATRTs, associated with differences in demographics, tumor location, and type of SMARCB1 alterations, were identified. Whole-genome DNA and RNA sequencing found no recurrent mutations in addition to SMARCB1 that would explain the differences between subgroups. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing and H3K27Ac chromatin-immunoprecipitation sequencing of primary tumors, however, revealed clear differences, leading to the identification of subgroup-specific regulatory networks and potential therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2016.02.001DOI Listing
March 2016

Phosphorylation of Nup98 by multiple kinases is crucial for NPC disassembly during mitotic entry.

Cell 2011 Feb;144(4):539-50

Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Disassembly of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) is a decisive event during mitotic entry in cells undergoing open mitosis, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying NPC disassembly are unknown. Using chemical inhibition and depletion experiments we show that NPC disassembly is a phosphorylation-driven process, dependent on CDK1 activity and supported by members of the NIMA-related kinase (Nek) family. We identify phosphorylation of the GLFG-repeat nucleoporin Nup98 as an important step in mitotic NPC disassembly. Mitotic hyperphosphorylation of Nup98 is accomplished by multiple kinases, including CDK1 and Neks. Nuclei carrying a phosphodeficient mutant of Nup98 undergo nuclear envelope breakdown slowly, such that both the dissociation of Nup98 from NPCs and the permeabilization of the nuclear envelope are delayed. Together, our data provide evidence for a phosphorylation-dependent mechanism underlying disintegration of NPCs during prophase. Moreover, we identify mitotic phosphorylation of Nup98 as a rate-limiting step in mitotic NPC disassembly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2011.01.012DOI Listing
February 2011
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