Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNSTs) are aggressive soft tissue tumours that occur either sporadically or in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1. The malignant transformation of the benign neurofibroma to MPNST is incompletely understood at the molecular level. We have determined the gene expression signature for benign and malignant PNSTs and found that the major trend in malignant transformation from neurofibroma to MPNST consists of the loss of expression of a large number of genes, rather than widespread increase in gene expression. Relatively few genes are expressed at higher levels in MPNSTs and these include genes involved in cell proliferation and genes implicated in tumour metastasis. In addition, a gene expression signature indicating p53 inactivation is seen in the majority of MPNSTs. Subsequent microRNA profiling of benign and malignant PNSTs indicated a relative down-regulation of miR-34a in most MPNSTs compared to neurofibromas. In vitro studies using the cell lines MPNST-14 (NF1 mutant) and MPNST-724 (from a non-NF1 individual) show that exogenous expression of p53 or miR-34a promotes apoptotic cell death. In addition, exogenous expression of p53 in MPNST cells induces miR-34a and other miRNAs. Our data show that p53 inactivation and subsequent loss of expression of miR-34a may significantly contribute to the MPNST development. Collectively, our findings suggest that deregulation of miRNAs has a potential role in the malignant transformation process in peripheral nerve sheath tumours.
Follicular lymphoma (FL) can exhibit variant histologic patterns that can lead to confusion with other B-cell lymphomas and reactive conditions. Diagnostic markers such as CD10 and BCL2 may be difficult to interpret in variant FL patterns, and are often diminished or absent in the interfollicular and diffuse components. We evaluated 2 recently characterized germinal center B-cell markers, human germinal center associated lymphoma (HGAL), and LIM-only transcription factor 2 (LMO2), in 127 FL patient biopsies (94 nodal, 33 extranodal), and correlated the findings with histologic pattern, cellular composition, grade, and additional immunostains (CD20, CD3, CD21, CD10, BCL2, and BCL6). Architectural patterns included predominantly follicular (75%) and follicular and diffuse components (25%); 10 cases showed marginal zone differentiation and 3 were floral variants. Eighty-nine cases were low grade (38 grade 1; 51 grade 2) and 38 were grade 3 (29 grade 3A and 9 grade 3B). HGAL had the highest overall sensitivity of detecting FL and was superior in detecting the interfollicular and diffuse components compared with BCL2, LMO2, CD10, and BCL6. All 28 cases that lacked CD10, expressed HGAL, and the majority also expressed LMO2. Our results show that HGAL and LMO2 are sensitive markers for FL diagnosis. The addition of HGAL and LMO2 to the immunohistologic panel is beneficial in the work-up of nodal and extranodal B-cell lymphomas and the efficacy of HGAL in detecting the follicular, interfollicular and diffuse components of FL is of particular value in the setting of variant immunoarchitectural patterns.
Invasive micropapillary carcinoma (IMPC) of the urinary tract is a well-described variant of the urothelial carcinoma with aggressive clinical behavior. Recent studies have proposed that patients with IMPC on transurethral resection should be treated with radical cystectomy regardless of the pathologic stage. Despite the potentially important therapeutic implications of this diagnosis, interobserver variation in the diagnosis of IMPC has not been studied. Sixty digital images, each from hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides, representing 30 invasive urothelial carcinomas (2 images per case), were distributed to 14 genitourinary subspecialists and each pathologist was requested to classify cases as IMPC or not. These cases included "classic" IMPC (n=10) and urothelial carcinoma with retraction and variably sized nests that might potentially be regarded as IMPC (n=20). The following 13 morphologic features were recorded as positive/negative for all cases independent of the reviewers' diagnoses: columnar cells, elongate nests or processes, extensive stromal retraction, lumen formation with internal epithelial tufting, epithelial ring forms, intracytoplasmic vacuolization, multiple nests within the same lacunar space, back-to-back lacunar spaces, epithelial nest anastomosis/confluence, marked nuclear pleomorphism, peripherally oriented nuclei, randomly distributed nuclei, and tumor nest size. In addition, a mean tumor nest size was calculated for each image based on the number of nuclei spanning the width of the nests. Interobserver reproducibility was assessed and the morphologic features were correlated with the classic IMPC and nonclassic/potential IMPC groups. In addition, the relationships between morphologic features, pathologists' interpretations, and case type (classic IMPC vs. nonclassic/potential IMPC) were evaluated using unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis. Interobserver reproducibility for a diagnosis of IMPC in the 30 study cases was moderate (kappa: 0.54). Although classification as IMPC among the 10 "classic" IMPC cases was relatively uniform (93% agreement), the classification in the subset of 20 invasive urothelial carcinomas with extensive retraction and varying sized tumor nests was more variable. Multiple nests within the same lacunar space had the highest association with a diagnosis of classic IMPC. These findings suggest that more study of IMPC is needed to identify the individual pathologic features that might potentially correlate with an aggressive outcome and response to intravesical therapy.
Endometrial and endocervical adenocarcinomas may seem histologically identical and it can be difficult to determine primary site of origin based on morphology alone. As the distinction is significant and cannot always be made on the basis of clinical findings, various immunohistochemical panels have been proposed to aid in determining site of origin. Stains for vimentin, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), monoclonal carcinoembryonic antigen, p16 and ProExC, and HPV in situ hybridization (ISH), were performed on 283 tissue microarray (TMA) cores and 38 whole sections. The TMA consisted of 214 endometrial carcinomas, 33 endocervical adenocarcinomas, and 36 problematic cases. The endometrial and endocervical carcinomas represented usual endometrioid and mucinous types, and special variants (uterine serous carcinoma, uterine clear cell carcinoma, minimal deviation endocervical adenocarcinoma, cervical small cell carcinoma, adenoid basal cell carcinoma, mesonephric carcinoma). Univariate analysis showed that 6 markers (vimentin, ER, PR, p16, ProExC, and HPV ISH) performed well in distinguishing between endocervical and endometrial origin for the usual endometrioid and mucinous types. Multivariate analysis showed that vimentin, p16, and HPV ISH are the strongest predictors of site. Using a script written in R, the diagnostic accuracy of all possible combinations of markers was evaluated and it was shown that a 3 marker panel including vimentin, ER, or PR, and an HPV marker (p16, ProExC, or HPV ISH) is optimal for determining site of origin for usual endometrial and endocervical adenocarcinomas. However, these panels do not perform well with special variant carcinomas.
The tumour microenvironment (TME) plays an important role in tumour survival and growth, but little is known about the degree of preservation between different stromal response patterns found in primary tumours and their metastases. We have previously identified gene expression profiles for two distinct stromal signatures in breast carcinoma of fibroblast (aka DTF) and macrophage (aka CSF1) response and found them to be correlated with clinicopathological features, including outcome. In this study, we compare the DTF fibroblast and CSF1 macrophage stromal response patterns in primary breast and colorectal cancers to their matched lymph node metastases. In both breast and colorectal cancer, there was a significant positive correlation between the CSF1 macrophage signature in the primary tumours and the matched lymph node metastases, as assessed by immunohistochemical markers. No such correlation was observed for the DTF fibroblast signature. A similar result was seen in independent analysis of two published gene expression microarray datasets. The variations of these stromal reaction patterns from the primary to the metastasis shed light on the relationship between the neoplastic cells and the non-neoplastic cells in the TME. The preservation of the CSF1 macrophage response pattern in metastases lends support to targeting the CSF1 pathway in cancer.
PURPOSE: Macrophages play an important role in breast carcinogenesis. The pathways that mediate the macrophage contribution to breast cancer and the heterogeneity that exists within macrophages are incompletely understood. Macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) is the primary regulator of tissue macrophages. The purpose of this study was to define a novel CSF1 response signature and to evaluate its clinical and biological significance in breast cancer.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We defined the CSF1 response signature by identifying genes overexpressed in tenosynovial giant cell tumor and pigmented villonodular synovitis (tumors composed predominantly of macrophages recruited in response to the overexpression of CSF1) compared with desmoid-type fibromatosis and solitary fibrous tumor. To characterize the CSF1 response signature in breast cancer, we analyzed the expression of CSF1 response signature genes in eight published breast cancer gene expression data sets (n = 982) and did immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization for CSF1 response genes on a breast cancer tissue microarray (n = 283).
RESULTS: In both the gene microarray and tissue microarray analyses, a consistent subset (17-25%) of breast cancers shows the CSF1 response signature. The signature is associated with higher tumor grade, decreased expression of estrogen receptor, decreased expression of progesterone receptor, and increased TP53 mutations (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that the CSF1 response signature is consistently seen in a subset of breast carcinomas and correlates with biological features of the tumor. Our findings provide insight into macrophage biology and may facilitate the development of personalized therapy for patients most likely to benefit from CSF1-targeted treatments.
The classification and nomenclature of appendiceal mucinous neoplasms are controversial. To determine the outcome for patients with appendiceal mucinous neoplasms and further evaluate whether they can be stratified into groups that provide prognostic information, the clinicopathologic features of 116 patients (66 with clinical follow-up) with appendiceal mucinous neoplasms were studied. From a wide variety of histopathologic features assessed, the important predictors that emerged on univariate statistical analysis were presence of extra-appendiceal neoplastic epithelium (P=0.01), high-grade cytology (P<0.0001), architectural complexity (P<0.001), and invasion (P<0.001). Stratification using a combination of these predictors resulted in a 4-tiered classification scheme. All 16 patients with mucinous neoplasms confined to the appendix and lacking high-grade cytology, architectural complexity, and invasion were alive with no recurrences at median 59 months follow-up (=mucinous adenoma). One of 14 patients with low-grade cytology and acellular peritoneal mucin deposits developed recurrent tumor within the peritoneum at 45 months with no patient deaths to date (median, 48-mo follow-up) (=low-grade mucinous neoplasm with low risk of recurrence). None of the 2 patients with acellular peritoneal mucinous deposits outside of the right lower quadrant developed recurrence at 163 and 206 months. Twenty-seven patients with low-grade mucinous neoplasms with extra-appendiceal neoplastic epithelium had 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year overall survival rates of 96%, 91%, 79%, and 46%, respectively, at median 53 months follow-up (=low-grade mucinous neoplasm with high risk of recurrence). Three of the 4 patients with extra-appendiceal epithelium limited to the right lower quadrant developed full-blown peritoneal disease at 6, 41, and 99 months follow-up and 1 patient eventually died of disease. Nine patients with appendiceal neoplasms with invasion or high-grade cytology and follow-up showed 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year overall survival rates of 86%, 57%, and 28% (=mucinous adenocarcinoma). At 10 years, all patients with mucinous adenocarcinoma were either dead or lost to follow-up. Appendiceal mucinous neoplasms can be stratified into 4 distinct risk groups on the basis of a careful histopathologic assessment of cytoarchitectural features and extent of disease at presentation.
c-Maf, a leucine zipper-containing transcription factor, is involved in the t(14;16)(q32;q23) translocation found in 5% of myelomas. A causal role for c-Maf in myeloma pathogenesis has been proposed, but data on c-Maf protein expression are lacking. We therefore studied the expression of c-Maf protein by immunohistochemical analysis in myelomas and in a wide variety of hematopoietic tissue. c-Maf protein was detected in a small minority (4.3%) of myelomas, including a t(14;16)(q32;q22-23)/IgH-Maf+ case, suggesting that c-Maf protein is not expressed in the absence of c-Maf rearrangement. In contrast, c-Maf was strongly expressed in hairy cell leukemia (4/4) and in a significant proportion of T-cell (24/42 [57%]) and NK/T-cell (49/97 [51%]) lymphomas, which is in keeping with prior gene expression profiling and transgenic mouse studies. Up-regulation of c-Maf protein occurs in a small subset of myelomas, in hairy cell leukemia, and in T- and NK-cell neoplasms. Its detection may be of particular value in the differential diagnosis of small cell lymphomas.
Previously, we showed that the presence of high numbers of macrophages correlates with poor prognosis in nongynecological leiomyosarcoma (LMS). In gynecological LMS, a similar trend was noted but did not reach statistical significance. Colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF1) is a major chemoattractant for macrophages. Here we show that in a subset of LMS cases, CSF1 is expressed by the malignant cells. Previously, we found that CSF1 is translocated and highly expressed in tenosynovial giant cell tumors (TGCTs), and this observation allowed us to identify genes that showed a coordinate expression with CSF1. Here, we evaluated the expression of CSF1 and TGCT-associated proteins in 149 cases of LMS. The coordinate expression of CSF1 and three TGCT-associated proteins (CD163, FCGR3a, and CTSL1) identified cases with poor prognosis in both gynecological LMS (P = 0.00006) and nongynecological LMS (P = 0.03). In gynecological LMS, the coordinate expression of these four markers was the only independent prognosticator in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 4.2; 95% CI, 1.12 to 16; P = 0.03). Our findings indicate that CSF1 may play an important role in the clinical behavior of LMS that may open a window for new therapeutic reagents.
Chordoid meningioma, World Health Organization grade II, is an uncommon variant of meningioma with a propensity for aggressive behavior and increased likelihood of recurrence. As such, recognition of this entity is important in cases that show similar morphologic overlap with other chondroid/myxoid neoplasms that can arise within or near the central nervous system. A formal comparison of the immunohistochemical features of chordoid meningioma versus tumors with significant histologic overlap has not been previously reported. In this study, immunohistochemical staining was performed with antibodies against D2-40, S100, pankeratin, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), brachyury, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in 4 cases of chordoid glioma, 6 skeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas, 10 chordoid meningiomas, 16 extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, 18 chordomas, 22 low-grade chondrosarcomas, and 27 enchondromas. Staining extent and intensity were evaluated semiquantitatively and mean values for each parameter were calculated. Immunostaining with D2-40 showed positivity in 100% of skeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas, 96% of enchondromas, 95% of low-grade chondrosarcomas, 80% of chordoid meningiomas, and 75% of chordoid gliomas. Staining with S100 demonstrated diffuse, strong positivity in all (100%) chordoid gliomas, skeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas, low-grade chondrosarcomas, and enchondromas, 94% of chordomas, and 81% of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas, with focal, moderate staining in 40% of chordoid meningiomas. Pankeratin highlighted 100% of chordoid gliomas and chordomas, 38% of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas, and 20% of chordoid meningiomas. EMA staining was positive in 100% of chordoid gliomas, 94% of chordomas, 90% of chordoid meningiomas, and 25% of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas. Brachyury was positive only in the chordomas (100%), whereas GFAP was positive only in the chordoid gliomas (100%). EMA was the most effective antibody for differentiating chordoid meningioma from skeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, low-grade chondrosarcoma, and enchondroma, whereas D2-40 was the most effective antibody for differentiating chordoid meningioma from extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma and chordoma. Our findings demonstrate that in conjunction with clinical and radiographic findings, immunohistochemical evaluation with a panel of D2-40, EMA, brachyury, and GFAP is most useful in distinguishing chordoid meningioma from chordoid glioma, skeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, chordoma, low-grade chondrosarcoma, and enchondroma. A lack of strong, diffuse S100 reactivity may also be useful in excluding chordoid meningioma. Among the neoplasms evaluated, brachyury and GFAP proved to be both sensitive and specific markers for chordoma and chordoid glioma, respectively. Of note, this study is the first to characterize the D2-40 immunoprofile in extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, results that could be of utility in differential diagnostic assessment.
Studies suggest that primary extranodal follicular lymphoma (FL) is not infrequent but it remains poorly characterized with variable histologic, molecular, and clinical outcome findings. We compared 27 extranodal FL to 44 nodal FL using morphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular genetic techniques and evaluated the clinical outcome of these 2 similarly staged groups. Eight cases of primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma were also studied. In comparison to nodal FL, a greater number of extranodal FL contained a diffuse growth pattern (P=0.004) and lacked CD10 expression (P=0.014). Fifty-four percent of extranodal and 42% of nodal FL cases showed evidence of t(14;18), with minor breakpoints (icr, 3'BCL2, 5'mcr) more commonly found in extranodal cases (P=0.003). Outcome data showed no significant differences in overall survival (P=0.565) and progression-free survival (P=0.627) among extranodal, nodal, and primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma cases. Analysis of all cases by t(14;18) status indicate that the translocation-negative group is characterized by a diffuse growth pattern (P=0.043) and lower BCL2 expression (P=0.018). The t(14;18)-positive group showed significantly better overall survival (P=0.019) and disease-specific survival (P=0.006) in comparison with the t(14;18)-negative group. In low stage FL, the status of t(14;18) seems to be more predictive of outcome than origin from an extranodal versus nodal site.
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNA) are 20 approximately 25 nucleotide non-coding RNAs that inhibit the translation of targeted mRNA, and they have been implicated in the development of human malignancies. High grade serous ovarian carcinomas, the most common and lethal subtype of ovarian cancer, can occur sporadically or in the setting of BRCA1/2 syndromes. Little is known regarding the miRNA expression profiles of high grade serous carcinoma in relation to BRCA1/2 status, and compared to normal tubal epithelium, the putative tissue of origin for high grade serous carcinomas.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Global miRNA expression profiling was performed on a series of 33 high grade serous carcinomas, characterized with respect to BRCA1/2 status (mutation, epigenetic silencing with loss of expression or normal), and with clinical follow-up, together with 2 low grade serous carcinomas, 2 serous borderline tumors, and 3 normal fallopian tube samples, using miRNA microarrays (328 human miRNA). Unsupervised hierarchical clustering based on miRNA expression profiles showed no clear separation between the groups of carcinomas with different BRCA1/2 status. There were relatively few miRNAs that were differentially expressed between the genotypic subgroups. Comparison of 33 high grade serous carcinomas to 3 normal fallopian tube samples identified several dysregulated miRNAs (false discovery rate <5%), including miR-422b and miR-34c. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis performed on selected miRNAs confirmed the pattern of differential expression shown by microarray analysis. Prognostically, lower level miR-422b and miR-34c in high grade serous carcinomas were both associated with decreased disease-specific survival by Kaplan-Meier analysis (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: High grade serous ovarian carcinomas with and without BRCA1/2 abnormalities demonstrate very similar miRNA expression profiles. High grade serous carcinomas as a group exhibit significant miRNA dysregulation in comparison to tubal epithelium and the levels of miR-34c and miR-422b appear to be prognostically important.
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, and the influence of stromal gene and protein expression patterns on the biological and clinical heterogeneity of the disease is poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that evaluation of the gene expression patterns of two soft-tissue tumors (desmoid-type fibromatosis (DTF) and solitary fibrous tumor) could be used to identify distinct stromal reaction patterns in breast carcinoma. In the current study, we examined four additional data sets obtained from four different institutions and containing gene expression data from a total of 561 breast cancer patients. We identified a core set of 66 DTF-associated genes that were consistently coordinately expressed in a subset of 25-35% of breast cancers. Breast carcinomas defined by high levels of coordinated expression of DTF core genes tend to be lower grade, express estrogen receptor, and show significantly longer survival across the four data sets. Using multiple tissue microarrays of archival breast cancer specimens obtained from a total of 745 patients, we demonstrated that a subset of breast cancers show coordinate expression of DTF core proteins by stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment. We evaluated the protein expression of a single DTF core protein (SPARC) on a tissue microarray with clinical outcome data and demonstrated that breast cancers with strong stromal protein expression of SPARC show a trend for increased survival. Our data demonstrate that the DTF core gene set is a robust descriptor of a distinct stromal response that is associated with improved clinical outcome in breast cancer patients.
The aims of this study were to use computerized morphometry in order to differentiate between the degree of dysplasia and to predict progression to invasive adenocarcinoma in Barrett's esophagus (BE). Biopsies from 97 patients with BE graded by a consensus forum of expert gastrointestinal pathologists were available for morphometrical analysis. The study group included 36 biopsies negative for dysplasia (ND), none of which progressed to carcinoma; 16 indefinite for dysplasia (IND) and 21 low-grade dysplasia (LGD), of which three progressed in each group and 24 high-grade dysplasia (HGD), of which 15 progressed to invasive carcinoma. Computerized morphometry was used for measuring indices of size, shape, texture, symmetry and architectural distribution of the epithelial nuclei. Low-grade dysplasia was best differentiated from the ND group by nuclear pseudostratification (P=0.036), pleomorphism (P<0.01), and chromatin texture (margination, P<0.01) and from the HGD group by nuclear area (P<0.01), pleomorphism (P<0.01), chromatin texture (margination, P<0.01), symmetry (P<0.01), and orientation (P=0.027). These results were validated on a new set of cases (n=55) using a neural network model, resulting in an accuracy of 89% for differentiating between the ND and LGD groups and 86% for differentiating between the LGD and HGD groups. Within the HGD group, univariate significant predictors of the progression interval to carcinoma were: indices of nuclear texture (heterogeneity: P=0.0019, s.d.-OD: P=0.005) and orientation: P=0.022. Nuclear texture (heterogeneity) was the only independent predictor of progression (P=0.004, hazard=11.54) by Cox's multivariate test. This study proposes that computerized morphometry is a valid tool for determining the grade of dysplasia in BE. Moreover, histomorphometric quantification of nuclear texture is a powerful tool for predicting progression to invasive adenocarcinoma in patients with HGD.