Publications by authors named "Synnöve Staff"

35 Publications

Descriptive study on subjective experience of genetic testing with respect to relationship, family planning and psychosocial wellbeing among women with lynch syndrome.

Hered Cancer Clin Pract 2021 Sep 14;19(1):38. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Background: Due to increased risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer, women belonging to known Lynch Syndrome (LS) families are recommended to undergo germline testing. Current practice in Finland is to offer counselling to women with pathogenic variant and advocate risk-reducing surgery (RRS) after completion of childbirth. The present study aimed to clarify the impacts of positive germline testing on family planning and reproductive decisions of these women, which are relatively unknown.

Methods: Seventy-nine carriers of germline MMR gene pathogenic variant (path_MMR) were identified from the Finnish LS Registry as having genetic testing performed before the age of 45 years and not having undergone hysterectomy or oophorectomy. These women were sent a questionnaire concerning family planning, intimate relationships and psychosocial wellbeing.

Results: Thirty-five women (44.3%) responded. Parity of path_MMR carriers (2.1) was slightly higher than parity among Finnish women in general (1.8). No significant differences were found between parity, number of induced abortions or sterilizations before and after genetic testing. Only minority of subjects reported any influence on family planning (20%) or negative impact on feminine self and body image (14%).

Conclusions: The positive germline testing does not seem to have a major negative impact on family planning, intimate relationships or feminine self and body image. According to the open comments, counselling, supportive and empathic attitude of the professionals seem to have a significant impact on this. These results are a valuable addition to the counselling of LS women at reproductive age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13053-021-00194-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8439070PMC
September 2021

Antihypertensive Drug Use and the Risk of Ovarian Cancer Death among Finnish Ovarian Cancer Patients-A Nationwide Cohort Study.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Apr 26;13(9). Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, 33520 Tampere, Finland.

Ovarian cancer (OC) has a poor prognosis. Hypertension may be a prognostic factor for OC, but it is unclear whether antihypertensive (anti-HT) drug use of modifies OC prognosis. We performed a population-based analysis assessing the effect of anti-HT drug use on OC mortality. A cohort of 12,122 women identified from the Finnish Cancer Registry with OC in 1995-2013 was combined with information on their anti-HT drug use during the same time period. Use of each anti-HT drug was analysed as a time-dependent variable. Analyses were run for five, ten and full follow-up (19-year) mortality with cardiovascular morbidity risk evaluated in competing risk analysis. No anti-HT drug group was associated with OC survival within five years after OC diagnosis. At ten years, a dose-dependent association was observed between pre-diagnostic ACE-inhibitor use and improved OC survival. With full follow-up, post-diagnostic high-intensity use associated with reduced OC death risk for multiple anti-HT drug groups. In competing risk analysis, only the post-diagnostic use of ACE-inhibitors associated with increased OC survival. Anti-HT drugs were not associated with survival benefits within five years after OC diagnosis. ACE-inhibitors may confer survival benefits in women with OC, but further confirmatory studies are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8123393PMC
April 2021

Characterization of immunoreactivity with whole-slide imaging and digital analysis in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

Tumour Biol 2020 Nov;42(11):1010428320971404

Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of gynecological cancers with 5-year survival rate of ca. 45%. The most common histologic subtype is high-grade serous carcinoma, which typically is presented with advanced stage and development of chemoresistance. Therefore, new treatment options, including immunotherapies, are needed. Understanding the features of the immune cell populations in the tumor microenvironment is essential for developing personalized treatments and finding predictive biomarkers. Digital image analysis may enhance the accuracy and reliability of immune cell infiltration assessment in the tumor microenvironment. The aim of this study was to characterize tumor microenvironment in a retrospective cohort of high-grade serous carcinoma samples with whole-slide imaging and digital image analysis. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded high-grade serous carcinoma tumor tissue samples (n = 67) were analyzed for six immunohistochemical stainings: CD4, CD8, FoxP3, granzyme B, CD68, and CD163. The stained sample slides were scanned into a digital format and assessed using QuPath 0.1.2 and ImageJ software. Staining patterns were associated with clinicopathological data. The higher numbers of intraepithelial CD8+, CD163+, and granzyme B+ immune cells were associated with survival benefit when analyzed individually, while high levels of both CD8+ and granzyme B+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were an independent prognostic factor in the Cox multivariate regression analysis (median progression-free survival; hazard ratio = 0.287, p = 0.002). Specimens taken after administration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy presented with lower FoxP3+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte density (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.013). However, none of the studied immunomarkers was associated with overall survival or clinical factors. Tumors having high amount of both intraepithelial CD8+ and granzyme B+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes showed better progression-free survival, possibly reflecting an activated immune state in the tumor microenvironment. The combined positivity of CD8 and granzyme B warrants further investigation with respect to predicting response to immune therapy. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may have an effect on the tumor microenvironment and therefore on the response to immuno-oncologic or chemotherapy treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1010428320971404DOI Listing
November 2020

Genome-Wide Transcriptomic Analysis of Intestinal Mucosa in Celiac Disease Patients on a Gluten-Free Diet and Postgluten Challenge.

Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 31;11(1):13-32. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Tampere Center for Child Health Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere University Tampere, Finland. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Gluten challenge studies are instrumental in understanding the pathophysiology of celiac disease. Our aims in this study were to reveal early gluten-induced transcriptomic changes in duodenal biopsies and to find tools for clinics.

Methods: Duodenal biopsies were collected from 15 celiac disease patients on a strict long-term gluten-free diet (GFD) prior to and post a gluten challenge (PGC) and from 6 healthy control individuals (DC). Biopsy RNA was subjected to genome-wide 3' RNA-Seq. Sequencing data was used to determine the differences between the three groups and was compared to sequencing data from the public repositories. The biopsies underwent morphometric analyses.

Results: In DC vs. GFD group comparisons, 167 differentially expressed genes were identified with 117 genes downregulated and 50 genes upregulated. In PGC vs. GFD group comparisons, 417 differentially expressed genes were identified with 195 genes downregulated and 222 genes upregulated. Celiac disease patients on a GFD were not "healthy". In particular, genes encoding proteins for transporting small molecules were expressed less. In addition to the activation of immune response genes, a gluten challenge induced hyperactive intestinal wnt-signaling and consequent immature crypt gene expression resulting in less differentiated epithelium. Biopsy gene expression in response to a gluten challenge correlated with the extent of the histological damage. Regression models using only four gene transcripts described 97.2% of the mucosal morphology and 98.0% of the inflammatory changes observed.

Conclusions: Our gluten challenge trial design provided an opportunity to study the transition from health to disease. The results show that even on a strict GFD, despite being deemed healthy, patients reveal patterns of ongoing disease. Here, a transcriptomic regression model estimating the extent of gluten-induced duodenal mucosal injury is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmgh.2020.07.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7593586PMC
December 2021

Expression of the miR-200 family in tumor tissue, plasma and urine of epithelial ovarian cancer patients in comparison to benign counterparts.

BMC Res Notes 2020 Jul 1;13(1):311. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, P.O.box 2000, 33521, Tampere, Finland.

Objective: Plasma, but also urine sample could represent a simple liquid biopsy for ovarian cancer biomarker detection. The miRNA-200 family has been shown to be dysregulated in ovarian cancer. The aim of this study was to isolate three members of miR-200 family from tumor tissue, plasma and urine of high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients in comparison with samples from patients with benign ovarian tumors. This is a methodological pilot study of a prospective ovarian cancer patient cohort investigating the potential of liquid biopsies and the role of miRNAs in ovarian cancer treatment.

Results: MiR-200a, miR-200b and miR-200c were isolated from samples of nine ovarian cancer patients and seven patients with benign ovarian tumor. The most significant finding is that all three miRNAs were detectable in all sample types. Tumor tissue and plasma, but not urine analysis was able to discriminate malignant and benign samples. A correlation between the miRNA-200 expression in urine and plasma was observed in malignant samples only. Plasma and urine with respect to miRNA detection show potential according to this study, but larger studies are needed to clarify the usefulness of these liquid biopsies in ovarian cancer.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02758652, May 2, 2016.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13104-020-05155-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7329467PMC
July 2020

In Vitro Vascular Network Modified to Function as Culture Platform and Angiogenic Induction Potential Test for Cancer Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Mar 6;21(5). Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland.

Drug treatments have been designed to inhibit tumor angiogenesis in hope of stopping tumor growth. However, not all tumor types respond to this type of treatment. A screening method which identifies angiogenesis inducing cancer types would help predict the efficacy of angiogenesis-inhibiting drugs for the patients. Our goal is to develop (1) a cell assay to assess the angiogenic induction potential of patient-derived tumor cells, and (2) a protocol for culturing cancer cells on a vascular platform. We optimized the media composition and seeding density of cells (hASC, HUVEC, and cancer cells) to 48-, 96-, and even 384-well plate sizes to allow vascular formation and cancer cell proliferation and subsequent analysis with high throughput. The angiogenic induction potential of patient-derived cancer cells was investigated by quantifying the formation of tubular structures and the drug response of cancer cells grown on a vascular platform was evaluated using gene expression and cell viability (WST-1) assay. Immunocytochemistry was performed with von Willebrand factor, collagen IV, CD44, cytokeratin 19 and ALDH1A1. The angiogenic induction potential test was shown to be responsive to the induction of angiogenesis by cancer cells. The responses of cancer cells were different when grown on a vascular platform or on plastic, seen in gene expression level and viability results. These two protocols are promising novel tools for aiding the selection of efficient cancer drugs for personalized medicine and as an alternative cancer cell culture platform.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051833DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7084873PMC
March 2020

Expression of Estrogen-Related Receptors in Localized Provoked Vulvodynia.

Biores Open Access 2020 21;9(1):13-21. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.

Eight percent of women suffer from vulvodynia, a chronic pain condition with unknown etiology. Inflammation and dysregulation of estrogen signaling have been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of localized provoked vulvodynia (LPV). Therefore, the aim of the study was to analyze protein expression levels of estrogen-related receptors ERRα, ERRß, ERRγ, estrogen receptor (ERα), and progesterone receptor (PRα) and CD3-positive T cells in the vulvar vestibulum obtained from women suffering from LPV in comparison to healthy, unaffected controls. Vulvar vestibulum tissue specimens were obtained from LPV patients ( = 12) who had undergone modified posterior vestibulectomy and from 15 healthy controls. Protein expression of ERRα, ERRß, ERRγ, ERα, and PRα and CD3-positive T cells was analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Expression of ERRß was significantly more pronounced in samples from LPV compared to healthy controls ( = 0.006). No significant difference in the expression patterns of ERRα, ERRγ, ERα, PRα, or CD3 cells was detected. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting ERR expression in normal vestibulum and in vestibulectomy samples from LPV patients. The higher level of ERRß expression detected by IHC may reflect dysregulation of estrogen signaling in LPV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/biores.2019.0049DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7047250PMC
February 2020

Association of cesarean scar defect with abnormal uterine bleeding: The results of a prospective study.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2020 Jan 21;244:134-140. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; BioMediTech, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.

Objective: To evaluate the relationship between cesarean scar defect and abnormal uterine bleeding at one year after cesarean section (CS).

Study Design: A prospective observational cohort study was conducted in 401 women who delivered by CS between January 2016 and January 2017. Women were screened for isthmocele with sonohysterography six months after CS and followed by electronic questionnaires at 12, 13 and 14 months after CS. The main outcome measure was the prevalence of postmenstrual spotting. Secondary outcome measures were the duration of menstrual bleeding, prevalence of postcoital bleeding, dyspareunia or dysmenorrhea, usage of painkillers, and absence from work or other activities.

Results: The response rate was 88 %. In the isthmocele group, the prevalence of postmenstrual spotting was 20.0 % compared to 8.3 % in women without isthmocele (OR 2.75 [95 % CI 1.39-5.44]; P = 0.004). Additionally, women with isthmocele reported more frequently postcoital bleeding (8.3 % vs. 2.4 %; OR 3.73 [95 % CI 1.18-11.83]; P = 0.026). The prevalence of postmenstrual spotting was even higher in the subgroup of large isthmoceles, (25.9 % vs. 9.5 %; (OR 3.34 [95 % CI 1.72-6.49]; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The prevalence of postmenstrual spotting among isthmocele patients was 20.0 %. Additionally, postmenstrual spotting was associated with the presence of isthmocele inquired at 1 year after CS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2019.11.021DOI Listing
January 2020

Histological, immunohistochemical and mRNA gene expression responses in coeliac disease patients challenged with gluten using PAXgene fixed paraffin-embedded duodenal biopsies.

BMC Gastroenterol 2019 Nov 15;19(1):189. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Laboratory of Cancer Biology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.

Background: There is an unmet need for novel treatments, such as drugs or vaccines, adjunctive to or replacing a burdensome life-long gluten-free diet for coeliac disease. The gold standard for successful treatment is a healed small intestinal mucosa, and therefore, the outcome measures in proof-of-concept studies should be based on evaluation of small intestine biopsies. We here evaluated morphometric, immunohistochemical and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression changes in coeliac disease patients challenged with gluten using PAXgene fixed paraffin-embedded biopsies.

Methods: Fifteen coeliac disease patients were challenged with 4 g of gluten per day for 10 weeks and 24 non-coeliac patients served as disease controls. A wide array of histological and immunohistochemical staining and mRNA-based gene expression tests (RT-qPCR and RNAseq) were carried out.

Results: Digital quantitative villous height: crypt depth ratio (VH: CrD) measurements revealed significant duodenal mucosal deterioration in all coeliac disease patients on gluten challenge. In contrast, the Marsh-Oberhuber class worsened in only 80% of coeliac patients. Measuring the intraepithelial CD3 T-lymphocyte and lamina propria CD138 plasma cell densities simultaneously proved to be a meaningful new measure of inflammation. Stainings for γδ T cells and IgA deposits, where previously frozen samples have been needed, were successful in PAXgene fixed paraffin-embedded samples. Messenger RNA extraction from the same paraffin-embedded biopsy block was successful and allowed large-scale qRT-PCR and RNAseq analyses for gene expression. Molecular morphometry, using the mRNA expression ratio of villous epithelium-specific gene APOA4 to crypt proliferation gene Ki67, showed a similar significant distinction between paired baseline and post-gluten challenge biopsies as quantitative histomorphometry.

Conclusion: Rigorous digitally measured histologic and molecular markers suitable for gluten challenge studies can be obtained from a single paraffin-embedded biopsy specimen. Molecular morphometry seems to be a promising new tool that can be used in situations where assessing duodenal mucosal health is of paramount importance. In addition, the diagnostically valuable IgA deposits were now stained in paraffin-embedded specimens making them more accessible in routine clinics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12876-019-1089-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6858741PMC
November 2019

Niraparib plus bevacizumab versus niraparib alone for platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (NSGO-AVANOVA2/ENGOT-ov24): a randomised, phase 2, superiority trial.

Lancet Oncol 2019 10 29;20(10):1409-1419. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Nordic Society of Gynaecological Oncology, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Tays Cancer Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University and University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Background: Platinum-based chemotherapy is the foundation of treatment for platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer, but has substantial toxicity. Bevacizumab and maintenance poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors both significantly improve efficacy versus standard therapy, primarily in terms of progression-free survival, and offer the potential for chemotherapy-free treatment. AVANOVA2 compared niraparib and bevacizumab versus niraparib alone as definitive treatment for platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer.

Methods: This open-label, randomised, phase 2, superiority trial in 15 university hospitals in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and the USA enrolled women aged 18 years or older with measurable or evaluable high-grade serous or endometrioid platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer. Patients had to have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, and had to have previously received platinum-containing therapy for primary disease but ≤1 prior non-platinum-containing regimen for recurrent disease. Previous treatment with bevacizumab or first-line maintenance PARP inhibitors was permitted. Eligible patients were randomly assigned 1:1 (by random permuted blocks with block sizes of two and four, no masking), stratified by homologous recombination deficiency status and chemotherapy-free interval, to receive once-daily oral niraparib 300 mg alone or with intravenous bevacizumab 15 mg/kg once every 3 weeks until disease progression. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival, assessed by the investigators in the intention-to-treat population after events in at least 62 patients. Safety was analysed in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This ongoing trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02354131.

Findings: Between May 23, 2016, and March 6, 2017, 97 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned: 48 to niraparib plus bevacizumab and 49 to single-agent niraparib. Median follow-up was 16·9 months (IQR 15·4-20·9). Niraparib plus bevacizumab significantly improved progression-free survival compared with niraparib alone (median progression-free survival 11·9 months [95% CI 8·5-16·7] vs 5·5 months [3·8-6·3], respectively; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0·35 [95% CI 0·21-0·57], p<0·0001). Grade 3 or worse adverse events occurred in 31 (65%) of 48 patients who received niraparib plus bevacizumab and 22 (45%) of 49 who received single-agent niraparib. The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events in both groups were anaemia (7 [15%] of 48 vs 9 [18%] of 49) and thrombocytopenia (5 [10%] vs 6 [12%]), and hypertension in the combination group (10 [21%] vs 0). Niraparib plus bevacizumab was associated with increased incidences of any-grade proteinuria (10 [21%] of 48 patients vs 0) and hypertension (27 [56%] of 48 vs 11 [22%] of 49) compared with niraparib alone. No treatment-related deaths occurred.

Interpretation: The efficacy observed with this chemotherapy-free combination of approved agents in women with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer warrants further evaluation. A randomised phase 3 trial investigating niraparib plus bevacizumab versus chemotherapy plus bevacizumab in platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer is planned.

Funding: Nordic Society of Gynaecological Oncology and Tesaro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30515-7DOI Listing
October 2019

Combination of Treatments With or Without Surgery in Localized Provoked Vulvodynia: Outcomes After Three Years of Follow-Up.

Biores Open Access 2019 8;8(1):25-31. Epub 2019 Mar 8.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.

Most vulvodynia patients receive combinations of several treatment modalities for their chronic painful condition. If conservative treatments fail, vestibulectomy is considered to be the ultimate treatment option for localized provoked vulvodynia (LPV). The aim of this descriptive study was to analyze relief of pain, quality of life (QoL), and complications associated with combining surgery with conservative treatments among LPV patients, both in short term and after 3 years of follow-up. The study population consisted of a retrospective patient cohort of surgically ( = 16) and only conservatively ( = 50) treated LPV patients. QoL data were assessed by a validated questionnaire (RAND-36). Data were collected by reviewing patient records and by aid of postal questionnaires. Efficacy of treatments in relief of pain was measured by numerical rating scale (NRS). Two months after surgery, the NRS scores assessed by a physician were lower in the surgery group than in patients treated only conservatively ( = 0.008). However, after a median of 36 months of follow-up, self-reported NRS scores and QoL showed no difference between the two patient cohorts. Complication rate after vestibulectomy was 18.8%. The findings suggest that combining surgery with conservative treatments may result in a more effective short-term reduction of pain. However, the effect seemed to be only temporary, as no long-term benefit was achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/biores.2018.0044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6415354PMC
March 2019

Clinicopathological and prognostic correlations of HER3 expression and its degradation regulators, NEDD4-1 and NRDP1, in primary breast cancer.

BMC Cancer 2018 Oct 26;18(1):1045. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

BioMediTech Institute and Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Arvo Ylpön katu 34, 33520, Tampere, Finland.

Background: Human epidermal growth factor receptor HER3 (ErbB3), especially in association with its relative HER2 (ErbB2), is known as a key oncogene in breast tumour biology. Nonetheless, the prognostic relevance of HER3 remains controversial. NEDD4-1 and NRDP1 are signalling molecules closely related to the degradation of HER3 via ubiquitination. NEDD4-1 and NRDP1 have been reported to contribute to HER3-mediated signalling by regulating its localization and cell membrane retention. We studied correlations between HER3, NEDD4-1, and NRDP1 protein expression and their association with tumour histopathological characteristics and clinical outcomes.

Methods: The prevalence of immunohistochemically detectable expression profiles of HER3 (n = 177), NEDD4-1 (n = 145), and NRDP1 (n = 145) proteins was studied in primary breast carcinomas on archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples. Clinicopathological correlations were determined statistically using Pearson's Chi-Square test. The Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test (Mantel-Cox), and Cox regression analysis were utilized for survival analysis.

Results: HER3 protein was expressed in breast carcinomas without association with HER2 gene amplification status. Absence or low HER3 expression correlated with clinically aggressive features, such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) phenotype, basal cell origin (cytokeratin 5/14 expression combined with ER negativity), large tumour size, and positive lymph node status. Low total HER3 expression was prognostic for shorter recurrence-free survival time in HER2-amplified breast cancer (p = 0.004, p = 0.020 in univariate and multivariate analyses, respectively). The majority (82.8%) of breast cancers demonstrated NEDD4-1 protein expression - while only a minor proportion (8.3%) of carcinomas expressed NRDP1. NEDD4-1 and NRDP1 expression were not associated with clinical outcomes in HER2-amplified breast cancer, irrespective of adjuvant trastuzumab therapy.

Conclusions: Low HER3 expression is suggested to be a valuable prognostic biomarker to predict recurrence in HER2-amplified breast cancer. Neither NEDD4-1 nor NRDP1 demonstrated relevance in prognostics or in the subclassification of HER2-amplified breast carcinomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-018-4917-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6204010PMC
October 2018

Fluoro-Chromogenic Labelling for Detection of MCM2 to Assess Proliferation Activity in HER2-amplified Breast Carcinomas.

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2020 03;28(3):175-186

BioMediTech Institute and Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere.

Minichromosome Maintenance Protein 2 (MCM2) is critical in initiating DNA replication during the cell division process. As expressed intensively in all phases of the active cell cycle, MCM2 has been proposed as a novel biomarker to determine cellular proliferation. We aimed at clarifying the prevalence and clinical significance of MCM2 in HER2-amplified breast cancer subtype. MCM2 expression was studied in 142 primary HER2-amplified breast carcinomas by applying a novel fluoro-chromogenic immunohistochemistry and tailored digital image analysis to determine labelling index (MCM2-LI). The presence of MCM2 was detected with HRP-conjugated polymer and visualized with 3, 3'-diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride, in cytokeratin (CK)-positive and Cy2-IgG-labelled breast cancer cells of epithelial origin. Stained slides were digitized by scanning sequentially under bright field (for MCM2) and fluorescence (for CK) illumination. Multilayer JPEG2000 images were analyzed with ImmunoRatio 2.5 (accessory in SlideVantage 1.2 software) utilizing its bright field and fluorescence image-blending mode to display MCM2-CK dual-positive cells. MCM2-LI was retrospectively compared with histopathologic characteristics and patients' clinical outcome. MCM2 protein-expressing cells (median MCM2-LI, 63.5%) were more frequent than those of Ki67 (median Ki67 labelling index, 33%). Significant correlations were found between high MCM2-LI, high Ki67 labelling index, negative hormone receptor (ER, PR) statuses, high grade of malignancy, and high cyclin E expression. MCM2-LI was not shown to be predictive of disease recurrence during the median follow-up of 5.3 years but was shown to be useful to distinguish aggressive-type HER2-amplified breast carcinomas with high malignancy grade and hormone receptor negativity. The fluoro-chromogenic double-labelling immunohistochemistry accompanied with digital image analysis provides an accurate carcinoma-specific determination of MCM2-LI on a single tumor section.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAI.0000000000000716DOI Listing
March 2020

Cesarean scar defect: a prospective study on risk factors.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2018 11 18;219(5):458.e1-458.e8. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; BioMediTech, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.

Background: Cesarean scar defect (isthmocele) is a known complication after cesarean delivery. It has become more common due to a rising cesarean delivery rate. Isthmocele has been associated with various gynecological and obstetric problems such as uterine rupture, cesarean scar pregnancy, and bleeding disorders.

Objective: We sought to prospectively investigate factors associated with the risk for isthmocele assessed by sonohysterography.

Study Design: A prospective observational cohort study was conducted in 401 nonpregnant women who were recruited within 3 days of cesarean delivery. Women were evaluated with sonohysterography 6 months after cesarean delivery to detect a possible isthmocele. The ultrasonographer was blinded to any clinical information. The main outcome measure was the presence of isthmocele. Type of surgery (elective vs emergency), maternal background variables, and factors related to pregnancy, labor, and postoperative recovery were analyzed in relation to isthmocele. A logistic regression model was used to assess independent risk factors from univariate analysis.

Results: In all, 371 women were examined with sonohysterography resulting in a follow-up rate of 92.5%. The prevalence of isthmocele was 45.6%. Independent risk factors for isthmocele development were a history of gestational diabetes (odds ratio, 1.73; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-2.92; P = .042), previous cesarean delivery (odds ratio, 3.14; 95% confidence interval, 1.90-5.17; P < .001), and advanced maternal body mass index (odds ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.11; P = .012). Every additional unit of body mass index increased the risk of isthmocele by 6%. In the subgroup of emergency cesarean delivery, longer duration of active labor increased the risk for isthmocele (odds ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.11; P = .032). There was no statistically significant difference in prevalence between the groups of elective and emergency cesarean delivery (P = .898).

Conclusion: Based on sonohysterographic examination, maternal body mass index, gestational diabetes, and previous cesarean deliveries are associated with an increased risk for incomplete healing of the uterine incision.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2018.09.004DOI Listing
November 2018

Comparison of transvaginal ultrasound and saline contrast sonohysterography in evaluation of cesarean scar defect: a prospective cohort study.

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2018 Sep 29;97(9):1130-1136. Epub 2018 May 29.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of post-cesarean isthmocele and to measure agreement between transvaginal ultrasonography and saline contrast sonohysterography in assessment of isthmocele.

Material And Methods: A prospective observational cohort study was carried out at Tampere University Hospital, Finland. Non-pregnant women delivered by cesarean section (n = 371) were examined with transvaginal ultrasonography (TVUS) and sonohysterography (SHG) six months after cesarean section. The main outcome measure was the prevalence of isthmocele using TVUS and SHG. Secondary outcome measures were characteristics of isthmocele.

Results: In all, 371 women were included. The prevalence of isthmocele was 22.4% based on TVUS and 45.6% based on SHG. Sensitivity and specificity for TVUS was 49.1 and 100%, respectively, when compared with SHG. Therefore, half of the defects (50.9%) diagnosed with SHG remained undiagnosed with TVUS. Bland-Altman analysis showed an underestimation of 1.1 mm (range 0.00-7.90) for TVUS compared with SHG, with 95% limits of agreement from -1.9 to 4.1 mm.

Conclusions: This methodological study provides confirmatory data that TVUS and SHG are not in good agreement in the isthmocele diagnostics and the use of only TVUS may lead to an underestimation of the prevalence of isthmocele. Thus, SHG should be considered as a method of choice in diagnostics of isthmocele.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aogs.13367DOI Listing
September 2018

Paclitaxel, Carboplatin and 1,25-D3 Inhibit Proliferation of Endometrial Cancer Cells .

Anticancer Res 2017 12;37(12):6575-6581

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Background/aim: Endometrial cancer cells are known to be sensitive to carboplatin and paclitaxel. Furthermore, vitamin D (1,25-D3) has been reported to inhibit endometrial cancer cell growth both as a single agent and combined with carboplatin. However, there are no studies comparing the effect of paclitaxel and carboplatin as single agents vs. in combination in endometrial cancer cell lines. Neither has the effect of 1,25-D3 been studied with paclitaxel. The present study investigated the effect of paclitaxel, carboplatin and 1,25-D3 on the growth of endometrial cancer cells in vitro.

Materials And Methods: Two endometrial adenocarcinoma cell lines (UT-EC-1 and UT-EC-3) were cultured with different doses of paclitaxel, carboplatin and 1,25-D3. The cellular VDR (vitamin D receptor) mRNA levels were measured and the expression of estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptors by the cells was determined.

Results: In the UT-EC-1 cell line the growth inhibition was 72% with paclitaxel, 54% with carboplatin and 73% with the combination of these compounds. The corresponding numbers in UT-EC-3 were 70%, 33% and 65%, respectively. 1,25-D3 suppressed cell growth 88% with paclitaxel, 63% with carboplatin and 87% with their combination in the UT-EC-1 cell line.

Conclusion: In both cell lines, single-agent paclitaxel was as effective as the combination of the compounds and more effective than single carboplatin. 1,25-D3 may further contribute to the cytotoxic effect of these agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.12114DOI Listing
December 2017

Vulvodynia-Younger Age and Combined Therapies Associate With Significant Reduction in Self-Reported Pain.

J Low Genit Tract Dis 2017 Jul;21(3):209-214

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kanta-Häme Central Hospital, Hämeenlinna, Finland; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Objectives: Eight percent of women have vulvodynia (VD), a chronic pain disorder with unknown etiology. The aim of our study was to assess the efficacy of given VD treatments measured by numerical rating scale (NRS) for pain and patients' quality of life.

Materials And Methods: Study material consisted of a retrospective VD patient cohort (N = 70). Data were collected by postal questionnaires and review of the medical records.

Results: We report here a statistically significant reduction in NRS only with combination of therapies (median NRS before treatments 8 vs median NRS 4 after treatments, p < .001) but not with any individual therapy alone, i.e., physiotherapy, topical medications, oral pharmaceutical therapy, sexual counseling by a trained nurse, sacral neuromodulation, and laser treatment or surgery. Older age (>30) and frequent (≥6) outpatient clinic visits associated with a significantly minor reduction in NRS (p = .03 and p = .04, respectively).

Conclusions: The results of this retrospective study suggest that an effective, multimodality-based treatment is most beneficial for VD patients and VD at older age may represent a subtype more resistant to therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/LGT.0000000000000318DOI Listing
July 2017

Comparison of lifestyle, hormonal and medical factors in women with sporadic and Lynch syndrome-associated endometrial cancer: A retrospective case-case study.

Mol Clin Oncol 2017 May 6;6(5):758-764. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, 33521 Tampere, Finland.

Data available on lifestyle-associated hormonal and medical factors among endometrial cancer (EC)-affected women who carry the Lynch Syndrome (LS) mutation is limited. The aim of the present retrospective case study was to compare the reproductive and medical history, as well as lifestyle-associated factors, among patients with LS and sporadic EC. The study population consisted of 50 verified germline mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutation carriers diagnosed with EC, and 110 sporadic EC patients. Data were collected using postal questionnaires. Apart from the mean age at the time of the EC diagnosis (LS, 48.7 years compared with sporadic patients, 55.2 years; P<0.0001), the characteristics of sporadic and LS EC patients were similar with regard to body mass index (BMI) at age 18, 40 or at the time of the survey, and smoking and alcohol consumption. LS women reported a significantly lower rate of spontaneous abortion (P=0.043) and also more frequent use of contraceptives (P=0.004). The prevalence of co-morbidities, including diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension, was similar between the LS and the sporadic groups. A trend for a higher prevalence of endometriosis among mutation carriers was detected (16.0 vs. 8.1%, P=0.137). As anticipated, the prevalence of gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract and ovarian cancer was higher among the LS women (P<0.0001, P=0.006 and P=0.056, respectively). Co-morbidity and lifestyle-associated factors appeared to be comparable among patients with LS and sporadic EC. The reported difference in the use of contraceptives warrants further investigation. Future studies are also required to address the possible association between LS and endometriosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mco.2017.1211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5431469PMC
May 2017

L1 Cell Adhesion Molecule as a Predictor of Disease-Specific Survival and Patterns of Relapse in Endometrial Cancer.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2016 10;26(8):1465-71

Departments of *Pathology, and †Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; ‡Laboratory of Cancer Biology, Institute of Biomedical Technology (BioMediTech), University of Tampere; and §Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Objective: The aim was to study the association of L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) expression with the outcome of patients with endometrial cancer, especially with regard to conventional risk variables, and to compare the patterns of relapse in L1CAM-positive and -negative cancers.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of 805 women. The Kaplan-Meier method and univariate and multivariate Cox regression models were applied for survival analyses. Missing data were replaced using multiple imputation. The median follow-up time was 51 months (range, 1-98).

Results: One hundred twenty-one (15.0%) cases were L1CAM positive. L1CAM positivity was associated with high stage (I vs II-IV) (odds ratio [OR], 2.3), lymph node involvement (OR, 2.9), poor differentiation (OR, 6.1), non-endometrioid histology (OR, 9.9), lymphovascular space invasion (OR, 2.8), cervical stromal invasion (OR, 1.8), positive peritoneal cytology (OR, 4.1), and age older than 65 years (OR, 2.8). The frequencies of deep myometrial invasion (50% or deeper), tumor size 2 cm or greater, and body mass index 30 kg/m or greater were not significantly different between L1CAM-positive and -negative cases. L1CAM predicted poor disease-specific survival in endometrioid (P < 0.0001) but not in non-endometrioid carcinomas (P = 0.934). The negative impact of L1CAM on outcome was confirmed in a Cox multivariate disease-specific survival analysis. Univariate survival analyses in the different ESMO-ESGO-ESTRO endometrial cancer risk groups showed an association between L1CAM positivity and poor outcome in intermediate (hazard ratio, 12) and high-risk advanced metastatic (hazard ratio, 2.0) groups. Extra-abdominal relapses were more frequent in L1CAM-positive (13.2%) than L1CAM-negative (1.9%) stage I endometrioid carcinomas (P < 0.0001), whereas other site-specific relapses in local cancers were L1CAM independent.

Conclusions: L1CAM is associated with the occurrence of poor prognostic variables and predicts advanced disease in endometrial cancer. L1CAM predicts extra-abdominal relapses and poor survival in endometrioid endometrial cancer, but seems not to be a prognostic factor in non-endometrioid carcinomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/IGC.0000000000000801DOI Listing
October 2016

Comparison of Antibodies for Immunohistochemistry-based Detection of HER3 in Breast Cancer.

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2018 Mar;26(3):212-219

BioMediTech, University of Tampere, Tampere.

Background: Growth factor receptor HER3 (ErbB3) lacks standardized immunohistochemistry (IHC)-based methods for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. We compared 4 different anti-HER3 antibodies to explain the differences found in the staining results reported in the literature.

Materials And Methods: Four commercial HER3 antibodies were tested on FFPE samples including mouse monoclonal antibody clones, DAK-H3-IC and RTJ1, rabbit monoclonal antibody clone SP71, and rabbit polyclonal antibody (SAB4500793). Membranous and cytoplasmic staining patterns were analyzed and scored as 0, 1+, or 2+ according to the intensity of the staining and completeness of membranous and cytoplasmic staining. A large collection of HER2-amplified breast cancers (n=177) was stained with the best performing HER3 antibody. The breast cancer cell line, MDA-453, and human prostate tissue were used as positive controls. IHC results were confirmed by analysis of flow cytometry performed on breast cancer cell lines. Staining results of FFPE samples were compared with samples fixed with an epitope-sensitive fixative (PAXgene).

Results: Clear circumferential cell membrane staining was found only with the HER3 antibody clone DAK-H3-IC. Other antibodies (RTJ1, SP71, and polyclonal) yielded uncertain and nonreproducible staining results. In addition to cell membrane staining, DAK-H3-IC was also localized to the cytoplasm, but no nuclear staining was observed. In HER2-amplified breast cancers, 80% of samples were classified as 1+ or 2+ according to the HER3 staining on the cell membrane. The results from FFPE cell line samples were comparable to those obtained from unfixed cells in flow cytometry. IHC conducted on FFPE samples and on PAXgene-fixed samples showed equivalent results.

Conclusions: We conclude that IHC with the monoclonal antibody, DAK-H3-IC, on FFPE samples is a reliable staining method for use in translational research. Assessment of membranous HER3 expression may be clinically relevant in selecting patients who may most benefit from pertuzumab or other novel anti-HER3 therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAI.0000000000000406DOI Listing
March 2018

Endometrial cancer risk factors among Lynch syndrome women: a retrospective cohort study.

Br J Cancer 2016 07 23;115(3):375-81. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Background: Lynch syndrome (LS) is associated with a significant lifetime risk of endometrial cancer (EC). There are limited data on factors modifying the EC risk in LS patients.

Methods: The study cohort included 136 LS mutation-positive women. Exposure data were collected by postal questionnaires. Cox regression model was used to estimate the associations between lifestyle, hormonal, reproductive and medical factors and the risk of EC.

Results: Increased EC risk was associated with type II diabetes and hypercholesterolaemia in univariable (HR 3.21, (95% CI 1.34-7.78), P=0.009 and HR 2.08, (95% CI 1.11-3.90), P=0.02; respectively) and with diabetes and duration of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in multivariable analysis (HR 4.18 (95% CI 1.52-11.52), P=0.006 and HR 1.07 (95% CI 1.02-1.13), P=0.010; respectively).

Conclusions: Prevention of diabetes and avoiding long-duration HRT are potential targets for reduction of EC risk in women with LS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2016.193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973157PMC
July 2016

Cyclin E amplification, over-expression, and relapse-free survival in HER-2-positive primary breast cancer.

Tumour Biol 2016 Jul 26;37(7):9813-23. Epub 2016 Jan 26.

Laboratory of Cancer Biology, BioMediTech, University of Tampere, FI-33014, Tampere, Finland.

Cyclin E is a well-characterized cell cycle regulator and an amplified oncogene in breast cancer. Over-expression of cyclin E has generally been associated with poor survival. Recent studies have shown an interaction between HER-2 (ERBB2) and cyclin E, but the exact mechanism is unknown. Interestingly, cyclin E over-expression has been associated with trastuzumab resistance. We studied cyclin E over-expression, CCNE1 amplification, and relapse-free survival in HER-2-positive primary breast cancers treated with and without trastuzumab therapy. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples from 202 HER-2-positive breast carcinomas were studied. Expression levels of cyclin E and proliferation marker Ki-67 were determined using immunohistochemistry. Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) with a gene-specific bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) probe was used to analyze presence of CCNE1 amplification. Majority of HER-2-positive breast carcinomas exhibited nuclear staining for cyclin E protein. Cyclin E was highly expressed (≥50 % cells) in 37 % of cases. Incidence of CCNE1 amplification (≥6 gene copies/cell or clusters) was 8 %. Cyclin E amplification and over-expression were strongly associated with each other, grade, hormone receptors, and Ki-67. Neither high cyclin E expression nor CCNE1 amplification was associated with relapse-free survival (RFS) irrespective of short-term (9-week regimen) adjuvant trastuzumab therapy. These results confirm cyclin E and HER-2 gene co-amplification in a fraction of HER-2-positive breast cancers. Cyclin E is frequently over-expressed but appears to have limited value as a prognostic or predictive factor in HER-2-positive breast cancer regardless of trastuzumab therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13277-016-4870-zDOI Listing
July 2016

Microarray analysis of differentially expressed genes in ovarian and fallopian tube epithelium from risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomies.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2015 May 23;54(5):276-87. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes confer an increased lifetime risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer risk can be decreased by risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO). Studies on RRSO material have altered the paradigm of serous ovarian cancer pathogenesis. The purpose of this study was to identify candidate genes possibly involved in the pathogenesis of serous ovarian cancer by carrying out a microarray analysis of differentially expressed genes in BRCA1/2- mutation positive ovarian and fallopian tube epithelium derived from RRSO surgery. Freshly frozen ovarian and fallopian tube samples from nine BRCA1/2 mutation carriers scheduled for RRSO were prospectively collected together with five mutation-negative control patients undergoing salpingo-oophorectomy for benign indications. Microarray analysis of genome-wide gene expression was performed on ovarian and fallopian tube samples from the BRCA1/2 and control patients. The validation of microarray data was performed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in selected cases of RRSO samples and also in high grade serous carcinoma samples collected from patients with a BRCA phenotype. From 22,733 genes, 454 transcripts were identified that were differentially expressed in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers when compared with controls, pooling all ovarian and fallopian tube samples together. Of these, 299 genes were statistically significantly downregulated and 155 genes upregulated. Differentially expressed genes in BRCA1/2 samples reported here might be involved in serous ovarian carcinogenesis and provide interesting targets for further studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22241DOI Listing
May 2015

Epigenetic analysis of sporadic and Lynch-associated ovarian cancers reveals histology-specific patterns of DNA methylation.

Epigenetics 2014 Dec;9(12):1577-87

a Department of Medical Genetics; Biomedicum Helsinki ; University of Helsinki ; Helsinki , Finland.

Diagnosis and treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer is challenging due to the poor understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease. Our aim was to investigate epigenetic mechanisms in ovarian tumorigenesis and, especially, whether tumors with different histological subtypes or hereditary background (Lynch syndrome) exhibit differential susceptibility to epigenetic inactivation of growth regulatory genes. Gene candidates for epigenetic regulation were identified from the literature and by expression profiling of ovarian and endometrial cancer cell lines treated with demethylating agents. Thirteen genes were chosen for methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assays on 104 (85 sporadic and 19 Lynch syndrome-associated) ovarian carcinomas. Increased methylation (i.e., hypermethylation) of variable degree was characteristic of ovarian carcinomas relative to the corresponding normal tissues, and hypermethylation was consistently more prominent in non-serous than serous tumors for individual genes and gene sets investigated. Lynch syndrome-associated clear cell carcinomas showed the highest frequencies of hypermethylation. Among endometrioid ovarian carcinomas, lower levels of promoter methylation of RSK4, SPARC, and HOXA9 were significantly associated with higher tumor grade; thus, the methylation patterns showed a shift to the direction of high-grade serous tumors. In conclusion, we provide evidence of a frequent epigenetic inactivation of RSK4, SPARC, PROM1, HOXA10, HOXA9, WT1-AS, SFRP2, SFRP5, OPCML, and MIR34B in the development of non-serous ovarian carcinomas of Lynch and sporadic origin, as compared to serous tumors. Our findings shed light on the role of epigenetic mechanisms in ovarian tumorigenesis and identify potential targets for translational applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/15592294.2014.983374DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622692PMC
December 2014

Secondary infertility after B-Lynch suture: indication for hysteroscopy as a first-line diagnostic procedure?

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2014 Jul 5;93(7):721-3. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aogs.12426DOI Listing
July 2014

Quantitative analysis of γ-H2AX and p53 nuclear expression levels in ovarian and fallopian tube epithelium from risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomies in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.

Int J Gynecol Pathol 2014 May;33(3):309-16

Laboratory of Cancer Biology (S.S., J.I.), Institute of Biomedical Technology, BioMediTech Medical School (J.M.), University of Tampere Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (S.S., J.M.) Fimlab Laboratories (T.T.) Genetics Outpatient Clinic and Department of Dermatology (S.-L.S.), Tampere University Hospital, Tampere Department of Surgery (J.-P.M.), Jyväskylä Central Hospital, Jyväskylä School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland (J.-P.M.), Kuopio, Finland.

Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes confer an increased lifetime risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Increased lifetime ovarian cancer risk among BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers can be substantially decreased by risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO), which also provides material for molecular research on early pathogenesis of serous ovarian cancer. RRSO studies have suggested fallopian tube as a primary site of serous high-grade ovarian cancer. In this study, the nuclear expression levels of γ-H2AX and p53 using immunohistochemical (IHC) study was quantitatively assessed in ovarian and fallopian tube epithelium derived from RRSOs in 29 BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and in 1 patient with a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer but showing an unknown BRCA status. Both p53 and γ-H2AX nuclear staining levels were significantly higher in BRCA1/2 mutation-positive fallopian tube epithelium compared with the control fallopian tube epithelium (P<0.006 and P=0.011, respectively). Nuclear expression levels of p53 and γ-H2AX were similar between the BRCA1/2 mutation-positive ovarian epithelium and controls. Both γ-H2AX and p53 showed significantly higher nuclear expression levels in BRCA1/2 mutation-positive fallopian tube epithelium compared with BRCA1/2 mutation-positive ovarian epithelium (P<0.0001 and P<0.0001, respectively). BRCA1/2 mutation-positive fallopian tube epithelium showed a positive correlation between the γ-H2AX and p53 nuclear expression levels (Pearson r=0.508, P=0.003). Our results of quantitative nuclear p53 and γ-H2AX expression levels in ovarian and fallopian tube epithelium derived from RRSO in high-risk patients support the previously suggested role of fallopian tube epithelium serving as a possible site of initial serous ovarian carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PGP.0b013e31829c673bDOI Listing
May 2014

Endoglin, VEGF, and its receptors in predicting metastases in endometrial carcinoma.

Tumour Biol 2014 May 14;35(5):4651-7. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 2000, FI-33521, Tampere, Finland,

Preoperative evaluation of the risk for metastases in endometrial carcinoma is challenging. The growth of new vessels, angiogenesis, is important for tumor growth and purported to be involved in the metastatic process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the significance of preoperative serum levels and immunohistochemical expression of angiogenic markers in predicting a metastasized disease. Preoperative sera from 98 consecutive women presenting with endometrial carcinoma were collected. Serum concentrations of VEGF, sFLT1, and CD105 were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Immunohistochemistry was used to assess the expression of CD105, VEGF, FLT1, and KDR. The results were correlated to the presence of metastases, presence of deep (≥50%) myometrial invasion, and the histological grade of the tumor. Tumors with other than endometrioid histology were excluded. Of the 80 evaluable patients, 11 had a metastasized disease. The serum concentration of VEGF was higher in the group with metastases than in the group without metastases (median [range], 743 pg/mL [546-1,183 pg/mL] vs. 383 pg/mL [31-1,524 pg/mL], p < 0.001, respectively). In the multivariable analysis, the concentration of VEGF was the sole independent, albeit weak predictive factor for the presence of metastases (odds ratio, 1.004, 95% confidence interval, 1.002-1.007; p = 0.001). The immunohistochemical expression of the markers was not associated with any of the clinicopathological features of the tumors. The results of the present study suggest that preoperative serum VEGF concentration correlates with the presence of metastases in endometrioid endometrial carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13277-014-1609-6DOI Listing
May 2014

Preservation of nucleic acids and tissue morphology in paraffin-embedded clinical samples: comparison of five molecular fixatives.

J Clin Pathol 2013 Sep 8;66(9):807-10. Epub 2013 Jun 8.

Laboratory of Cancer Biology, Institute of Biomedical Technology, BioMediTech, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.

Formalin fixation preserves tissue morphology at the expense of macromolecule integrity. Freshly frozen samples are the golden standard for DNA and RNA analyses but require laborious deep-freezing and frozen sectioning for morphological studies. Alternative tissue stabilisation methods are therefore needed. We analysed the preservation of nucleic acids, immunohistochemical staining properties and tissue morphology in paraffin-embedded clinical tissue samples fixed with Z7, RCL2, PAXgene, Allprotect and RNAlater. Formalin-fixed and deep-frozen samples were used as controls. Immunohistochemical analyses showed good preservation of antigenicity in all except Allprotect and RNAlater-fixed samples. RNA quality, based on RNA integrity number value by Bioanalyzer, was comparable with freshly frozen samples only in PAXgene-fixed samples. According to quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses, RNA from PAXgene samples yielded results similar to freshly frozen samples. No difference between fixatives was seen in DNA analyses (PCR and real-time PCR). In conclusion, PAXgene seems to be superior to other molecular fixatives and formaldehyde.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2012-201283DOI Listing
September 2013

Mutations in BRIP1 confer high risk of ovarian cancer.

Nat Genet 2011 Oct 2;43(11):1104-7. Epub 2011 Oct 2.

deCODE genetics, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other gynecologic malignancy in developed countries. Sixteen million sequence variants, identified through whole-genome sequencing of 457 Icelanders, were imputed to 41,675 Icelanders genotyped using SNP chips, as well as to their relatives. Sequence variants were tested for association with ovarian cancer (N of affected individuals = 656). We discovered a rare (0.41% allelic frequency) frameshift mutation, c.2040_2041insTT, in the BRIP1 (FANCJ) gene that confers an increase in ovarian cancer risk (odds ratio (OR) = 8.13, P = 2.8 × 10(-14)). The mutation was also associated with increased risk of cancer in general and reduced lifespan by 3.6 years. In a Spanish population, another frameshift mutation in BRIP1, c.1702_1703del, was seen in 2 out of 144 subjects with ovarian cancer and 1 out of 1,780 control subjects (P = 0.016). This allele was also associated with breast cancer (seen in 6/927 cases; P = 0.0079). Ovarian tumors from heterozygous carriers of the Icelandic mutation show loss of the wild-type allele, indicating that BRIP1 behaves like a classical tumor suppressor gene in ovarian cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.955DOI Listing
October 2011
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