The prognostic impact of epidermal growth factor receptor in patients with metastatic gastric cancer
- Background: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a potential target of anticancer therapy in gastric cancer. However, its prognostic role in metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GE) cancer has not been established yet.
Methods: EGFR status was analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in paraffin-embedded samples from 357 patients who received chemotherapy in 4 first-line trials. Automated RNA extraction from paraffin and RT-quantitative PCR were additionally used to evaluate EGFR mRNA expression in 130 patients.
Results: EGFR protein expression (any grade) and overexpression (3+) were observed in 43% and 11% of patients, respectively. EGFR positivity correlated with intestinal type histology (p = 0.05), but not with other clinicopathologic characteristics. Median follow-up was 18.2 months. Median overall survival (OS) was similar in patients with EGFR positive vs. those with EGFR negative tumors, regardless whether positivity was defined as ≥1+ (10.6 vs. 10.9 months, p = 0.463) or as 3+ (8.6 vs. 10.8 months, p = 0.377). The multivariate analysis indicated that EGFR status is not an independent prognostic factor (hazard ratio 0.85, 0.56 to 1.12, p = 0.247). There were also no significant differences in overall survival when patients were categorized according to median (p = 0.116) or quartile (p = 0.767) distribution of EGFR mRNA gene expression. Similar distributions of progression-free survival according to EGFR status were observed.
Conclusions: Unlike different cancer types where EGFR-positive disease is associated with an adverse prognostic value, EGFR positivity is not prognostic of patient outcome in metastatic gastric or GE cancer.
A certified plasmid reference material for the standardisation of BCR–ABL1 mRNA quantification by real-time quantitative PCR
Hakim El Housni
Katerina Machova Polakova
Pauline A. Merle
Josep F. Nomdedéu
Dag A. Nymoen
Elisabeth Oppliger Leibundgut
Vincent H. J. Van der Velden
Martin C. Müller
Nicholas C. P. Cross
- Serial quantification of BCR–ABL1 mRNA is an important therapeutic indicator in chronic myeloid leukaemia, but there is a substantial variation in results reported by different laboratories. To improve comparability, an internationally accepted plasmid certified reference material (CRM) was developed according to ISO Guide 34:2009. Fragments of BCR–ABL1 (e14a2 mRNA fusion), BCR and GUSB transcripts were amplified and cloned into pUC18 to yield plasmid pIRMM0099. Six different linearised plasmid solutions were produced with the following copy number concentrations, assigned by digital PCR, and expanded uncertainties: 1.08±0.13 × 106, 1.08±0.11 × 105, 1.03±0.10 × 104, 1.02±0.09 × 103, 1.04±0.10 × 102 and 10.0±1.5 copies/μl. The certification of the material for the number of specific DNA fragments per plasmid, copy number concentration of the plasmid solutions and the assessment of inter-unit heterogeneity and stability were performed according to ISO Guide 35:2006. Two suitability studies performed by 63 BCR–ABL1 testing laboratories demonstrated that this set of 6 plasmid CRMs can help to standardise a number of measured transcripts of e14a2 BCR–ABL1 and three control genes (ABL1, BCR and GUSB). The set of six plasmid CRMs is distributed worldwide by the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (Belgium) and its authorised distributors (https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/reference-materials/catalogue/; CRM code ERM-AD623a-f).
Myelodysplasia is in the niche: novel concepts and emerging therapies
Lorenz C. Hofbauer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) represent clonal disorders mainly of the elderly that are characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and an increased risk of transformation into acute myeloid leukemia. The pathogenesis of MDS is thought to evolve from accumulation and selection of specific genetic or epigenetic events. Emerging evidence indicates that MDS is not solely a hematopoietic disease but rather affects the entire bone marrow microenvironment, including bone metabolism. Many of these cells, in particular mesenchymal stem and progenitor cells (MSPCs) and osteoblasts, express a number of adhesion molecules and secreted factors that regulate blood regeneration throughout life by contributing to hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) maintenance, self-renewal and differentiation. Several endocrine factors, such as erythropoietin, parathyroid hormone and estrogens, as well as deranged iron metabolism modulate these processes. Thus, interactions between MSPC and HSPC contribute to the pathogenesis of MDS and associated pathologies. A detailed understanding of these mechanisms may help to define novel targets for diagnosis and possibly therapy. In this review, we will discuss the scientific rationale of 'osteohematology' as an emerging research field in MDS and outline clinical implications.
MPGES-1-derived PGE2 suppresses CD80 expression on tumor-associated phagocytes to inhibit anti-tumor immune responses in breast cancer
Lisa Katharina Sha
Heinfried H. Radeke
Andreas von Knethen
- Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) favors multiple aspects of tumor development and immune evasion. Therefore, microsomal prostaglandin E synthase (mPGES-1/-2), is a potential target for cancer therapy. We explored whether inhibiting mPGES-1 in human and mouse models of breast cancer affects tumor-associated immunity. A new model of breast tumor spheroid killing by human PBMCs was developed. In this model, tumor killing required CD80 expression by tumor-associated phagocytes to trigger cytotoxic T cell activation. Pharmacological mPGES-1 inhibition increased CD80 expression, whereas addition of PGE2, a prostaglandin E2 receptor 2 (EP2) agonist, or activation of signaling downstream of EP2 reduced CD80 expression. Genetic ablation of mPGES-1 resulted in markedly reduced tumor growth in PyMT mice. Macrophages of mPGES-1-/- PyMT mice indeed expressed elevated levels of CD80 compared to their wildtype counterparts. CD80 expression in tumor-spheroid infiltrating mPGES-1-/- macrophages translated into antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell activation. In conclusion, mPGES-1 inhibition elevates CD80 expression by tumor-associated phagocytes to restrict tumor growth. We propose that mPGES-1 inhibition in combination with immune cell activation might be part of a therapeutic strategy to overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.
The feasibility of ureteral tissue engineering using autologous veins: an orthotopic animal model with long term results
Robert de Petriconi
Björn G. Volkmer
Kilian M. Gust
Richard E. Hautmann
- BACKGROUND: n an earlier study we demonstrated the feasibility to create tissue engineered venous scaffolds in vitro and in vivo. In this study we investigated the use of tissue engineered constructs for ureteral replacement in a long term orthotopic minipig model. In many different projects well functional ureretal tissue was established using tissue engineering in animals with short-time follow up (12 weeks). Therefore urothelial cells were harvested from the bladder, cultured, expanded in vitro, labelled with fluorescence and seeded onto the autologous veins, which were harvested from animals during a second surgery. Three days after cell seeding the right ureter was replaced with the cell-seeded matrices in six animals, while further 6 animals received an unseeded vein for ureteral replacement. The animals were sacrificed 12, 24, and 48 weeks after implantation. Gross examination, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), H&E staining, Trichrome Masson's Staining, and immunohistochemistry with pancytokeratin AE1/AE3, smooth muscle alpha actin, and von Willebrand factor were performed in retrieved specimens.
RESULTS: The IVP and gross examination demonstrated that no animals with tissue engineered ureters and all animals of the control group presented with hydronephrosis after 12 weeks. In the 24-week group, one tissue engineered and one unseeded vein revealed hydronephrosis. After 48 weeks all tissue engineered animals and none of the control group showed hydronephrosis on the treated side. Histochemistry and immunohistochemistry revealed a multilayer of urothelial cells attached to the seeded venous grafts.
CONCLUSIONS: Venous grafts may be a potential source for ureteral reconstruction. The results of so far published ureteral tissue engineering projects reveal data up to 12 weeks after implantation. Even if the animal numbers of this study are small, there is an increasing rate of hydronephrosis revealing failure of ureteral tissue engineering with autologous matrices in time points longer than 3 months after implantation. Further investigations have to prove adequate clinical outcome and appropriate functional long-term results.
Energy Limits in Second Generation High-pitch Dual Source CT - Comparison in an Upper Abdominal Phantom
Ralf W. Bauer
Josef M. Kerl
Thomas J. Vogl
- OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to find out how much energy is applicable in second-generation dual source high-pitch computed tomography (CT) in imaging of the abdomen.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined an upper abdominal phantom using a Somatom Definition Flash CT-Scanner (Siemens, Forchheim, Germany). The study protocol consisted of a scan-series at 100 kV and 120 kV. In each scan series we started with a pitch of 3.2 and reduced it in steps of 0.2, until a pitch of 1.6 was reached. The current was adjusted to the maximum the scanner could achieve. Energy values, image noise, image quality, and radiation exposure were evaluated.
RESULTS: For a pitch of 3.2 the maximum applicable current was 142 mAs at 120 kV and in 100 kV the maximum applicable current was 114 mAs. For conventional abdominal imaging, current levels of 200 to 260 mAs are generally used. To achieve similar current levels, we had to decrease the pitch to 1.8 at 100 kV - at this pitch we could perform our imaging at 204 mAs. At a pitch of 2.2 in 120 kV we could apply a current of 206 mAs.
CONCLUSION: We conclude our study by stating that if there is a need for a higher current, we have to reduce the pitch. In a high-pitch dual source CT, we always have to remember where our main focus is, so we can adjust the pitch to the energy we need in the area of the body that has to be imaged, to find answers to the clinical question being raised.
Genome-wide analysis of rare copy number variations reveals PARK2 as a candidate gene for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Trang T. Nguyen
Maria R. Dauvermann
Franziska A. Degenhardt
Markus M. Nöthen
Heinz Erich Wichmann
Carla Marie Thérèse Tiesler
Stephen V. Faraone
Tobias J. Renner
Benno G. Schimmelmann
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder. Genetic loci have not yet been identified by genome-wide association studies. Rare copy number variations (CNVs), such as chromosomal deletions or duplications, have been implicated in ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. To identify rare (frequency ≤1%) CNVs that increase the risk of ADHD, we performed a whole-genome CNV analysis based on 489 young ADHD patients and 1285 adult population-based controls and identified one significantly associated CNV region. In tests for a global burden of large (>500 kb) rare CNVs, we observed a nonsignificant (P=0.271) 1.126-fold enriched rate of subjects carrying at least one such CNV in the group of ADHD cases. Locus-specific tests of association were used to assess if there were more rare CNVs in cases compared with controls. Detected CNVs, which were significantly enriched in the ADHD group, were validated by quantitative (q)PCR. Findings were replicated in an independent sample of 386 young patients with ADHD and 781 young population-based healthy controls. We identified rare CNVs within the parkinson protein 2 gene (PARK2) with a significantly higher prevalence in ADHD patients than in controls (P=2.8 × 10(-4) after empirical correction for genome-wide testing). In total, the PARK2 locus (chr 6: 162 659 756-162 767 019) harboured three deletions and nine duplications in the ADHD patients and two deletions and two duplications in the controls. By qPCR analysis, we validated 11 of the 12 CNVs in ADHD patients (P=1.2 × 10(-3) after empirical correction for genome-wide testing). In the replication sample, CNVs at the PARK2 locus were found in four additional ADHD patients and one additional control (P=4.3 × 10(-2)). Our results suggest that copy number variants at the PARK2 locus contribute to the genetic susceptibility of ADHD. Mutations and CNVs in PARK2 are known to be associated with Parkinson disease.
Loss of the abundant nuclear non-coding RNA MALAT1 is compatible with life and development
- The metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1, MALAT1, is a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) that has been discovered as a marker for lung cancer metastasis. It is highly abundant, its expression is strongly regulated in many tumor entities including lung adenocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma as well as physiological processes, and it is associated with many RNA binding proteins and highly conserved throughout evolution. The nuclear transcript MALAT-1 has been functionally associated with gene regulation and alternative splicing and its regulation has been shown to impact proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion.
Here, we have developed a human and a mouse knockout system to study the loss-of-function phenotypes of this important ncRNA. In human tumor cells, MALAT1 expression was abrogated using Zinc Finger Nucleases. Unexpectedly, the quantitative loss of MALAT1 did neither affect proliferation nor cell cycle progression nor nuclear architecture in human lung or liver cancer cells. Moreover, genetic loss of Malat1 in a knockout mouse model did not give rise to any obvious phenotype or histological abnormalities in Malat1-null compared with wild-type animals. Thus, loss of the abundant nuclear long ncRNA MALAT1 is compatible with cell viability and normal development.
IL-17A influences essential functions of the monocyte/macrophage lineage and is involved in advanced murine and human atherosclerosis
Kristina M. Little
Thomas J. Dengler
Hugo A. Katus
Christian A. Gleissner
- Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease. Lesion progression is primarily mediated by cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. IL-17A is a proinflammatory cytokine, which modulates immune cell trafficking and is involved inflammation in (auto)immune and infectious diseases. But the role of IL-17A still remains controversial. In the current study, we investigated effects of IL-17A on advanced murine and human atherosclerosis, the common disease phenotype in clinical care. The 26-wk-old apolipoprotein E–deficient mice were fed a standard chow diet and treated either with IL-17A mAb (n = 15) or irrelevant Ig (n = 10) for 16 wk. Furthermore, essential mechanisms of IL-17A in atherogenesis were studied in vitro. Inhibition of IL-17A markedly prevented atherosclerotic lesion progression (p = 0.001) by reducing inflammatory burden and cellular infiltration (p = 0.01) and improved lesion stability (p = 0.01). In vitro experiments showed that IL-17A plays a role in chemoattractance, monocyte adhesion, and sensitization of APCs toward pathogen-derived TLR4 ligands. Also, IL-17A induced a unique transcriptome pattern in monocyte-derived macrophages distinct from known macrophage types. Stimulation of human carotid plaque tissue ex vivo with IL-17A induced a proinflammatory milieu and upregulation of molecules expressed by the IL-17A–induced macrophage subtype. In this study, we show that functional blockade of IL-17A prevents atherosclerotic lesion progression and induces plaque stabilization in advanced lesions in apolipoprotein E–deficient mice. The underlying mechanisms involve reduced inflammation and distinct effects of IL-17A on monocyte/macrophage lineage. In addition, translational experiments underline the relevance for the human system.
Risk stratification for sudden cardiac death: current status and challenges for the future
Hein J. .J. Wellens
Peter J. Schwartz
Fred W. Lindemans
Alfred E. Buxton
Jeffrey J. Goldberger
Stefan H. Hohnloser
Heikki V. Heikki V.Huikuri
Maria Teresa La Rovere
Robert J. Myerburg
Maarten L. Simoons
Adriaan A. Voors
Arthur A. Wilde
- Sudden cardiac death (SCD) remains a daunting problem. It is a major public health issue for several reasons: from its prevalence (20% of total mortality in the industrialized world) to the devastating psycho-social impact on society and on the families of victims often still in their prime, and it represents a challenge for medicine, and especially for cardiology. This text summarizes the discussions and opinions of a group of investigators with a long-standing interest in this field. We addressed the occurrence of SCD in individuals apparently healthy, in patients with heart disease and mild or severe cardiac dysfunction, and in those with genetically based arrhythmic diseases. Recognizing the need for more accurate registries of the global and regional distribution of SCD in these different categories, we focused on the assessment of risk for SCD in these four groups, looking at the significance of alterations in cardiac function, of signs of electrical instability identified by ECG abnormalities or by autonomic tests, and of the progressive impact of genetic screening. Special attention was given to the identification of areas of research more or less likely to provide useful information, and thereby more or less suitable for the investment of time and of research funds.