In many malformation syndromes benign and malignant tumours develop more frequently than in the general population. Malformations result from an abnormal intrinsic developmental process. It can be hypothesised that disturbed regulation of cell growth as can become evident by the presence of benign and malignant tumours, which will occur at the same site of a malformation or at other sites at which the gene involved in the malformation is functioning. The present study aimed to compare the localisation of malignant and benign tumours to the localisation of major and minor characteristics of syndromes that have either of two malformations, i.e. microtia and hypospadias. To eliminate co-occurrence of a malformation syndrome and tumours by chance we confined evaluations to syndromes which have been described in >100 individuals. We identified 11 syndromes associated with microtia and 26 syndromes associated with hypospadias, for which co-localisation of (benign and malignant) tumours with (major and minor) syndrome characteristics was determined. In both groups of syndromes tumours were found to be localised at the same body site as the major and minor characteristics of the syndromes in two-third of the tumours. There was no significant difference in co-occurrence in site between benign and malignant tumours. We conclude that in two groups of malformation syndromes which go along with a different core malformation, benign and malignant tumours co-localise with the core malformation or with other sites at which the gene involved is functioning. This adds further proof that tumours in malformation syndromes can usually be explained by abnormal functioning of the same gene that has caused the malformation syndrome.
(Brain) tumors are usually a disorder of aged individuals. If a brain tumor occurs in a child, there is a possible genetic susceptibility for this. Such genetic susceptibilities often show other signs and symptoms. Therefore, every child with a brain tumor should be carefully evaluated for the presence of a "tumor predisposition syndrome." Here, we provide an overview of the various central nervous system tumors that occur in children with syndromes and of the various syndromes that occur in children with brain tumor. Our aim is to facilitate recognition of syndromes in children with a brain tumor and early diagnosis of brain tumors in children with syndromes. Diagnosing tumor predisposition syndromes in children may have important consequences for prognosis, treatment, and screening for subsequent malignancies and nontumor manifestations. We discuss pitfalls in clinical and molecular diagnoses, and the consequences of diagnosing a hereditary disorder for family members. Our improved knowledge of cancer etiology is increasingly translated into management strategies in syndromes in general and will likely lead in the near future to personalized therapeutic approaches for tumor predisposition syndromes.
Genetic and epigenetic profiling of glioblastomas has provided a comprehensive list of altered cancer genes of which only O(6)-methylguanine-methyltransferase (MGMT) methylation is used thus far as a predictive marker in a clinical setting. We investigated the prognostic significance of genetic and epigenetic alterations in glioblastoma patients.
Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1 and IDH2) are key events in the development of glioma, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chondrosarcoma, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. They also cause D-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria and Ollier and Maffucci syndromes. IDH1/2 mutations are associated with prolonged survival in glioma and in ICC, but not in AML. The reason for this is unknown. In their wild-type forms, IDH1 and IDH2 convert isocitrate and NADP(+) to ?-ketoglutarate (?KG) and NADPH. Missense mutations in the active sites of these enzymes induce a neo-enzymatic reaction wherein NADPH reduces ?KG to D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG). The resulting D-2HG accumulation leads to hypoxia-inducible factor 1? degradation, and changes in epigenetics and extracellular matrix homeostasis. Such mutations also imply less NADPH production capacity. Each of these effects could play a role in cancer formation. Here, we provide an overview of the literature and discuss which downstream molecular effects are likely to be the drivers of the oncogenic and survival-prolonging properties of IDH1/2 mutations. We discuss interactions between mutant IDH1/2 inhibitors and conventional therapies. Understanding of the biochemical consequences of IDH1/2 mutations in oncogenesis and survival prolongation will yield valuable information for rational therapy design: it will tell us which oncogenic processes should be blocked and which "survivalogenic" effects should be retained.
The histopathological diagnosis of diffuse gliomas often lacks the precision that is needed for tailored treatment of individual patients. Assessment of the molecular aberrations will probably allow more robust and prognostically relevant classification of these tumors. Markers that have gained a lot of interest in this respect are co-deletion of complete chromosome arms 1p and 19q, (hyper)methylation of the MGMT promoter and IDH1 mutations. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic significance of complete 1p/19q co-deletion, MGMT promoter methylation and IDH1 mutations in patients suffering from diffuse gliomas. The presence of these molecular aberrations was investigated in a series of 561 diffuse astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors (low grade n=110, anaplastic n=118 and glioblastoma n=333) and correlated with age at diagnosis and overall survival. Complete 1p/19q co-deletion, MGMT promoter methylation and/or IDH1 mutation generally signified a better prognosis for patients with a diffuse glioma including glioblastoma. However, in all 10 patients with a histopathological diagnosis of glioblastoma included in this study complete 1p/19q co-deletion was not associated with improved survival. Furthermore, in glioblastoma patients >50 years of age the favorable prognostic significance of IDH1 mutation and MGMT promoter methylation was absent. In conclusion, molecular diagnostics is a powerful tool to obtain prognostically relevant information for glioma patients. However, for individual patients the molecular information should be interpreted with caution and weighed in the context of parameters such as age and histopathological diagnosis.
Growing skull fracture (GSF) is a rare complication of cranial trauma in children younger than 3 years. It is characterised by the presence of a dural defect due to which herniation of the brain tissue can develop, with cystic transformation and resulting cerebral damage.
The somatic IDH1(R132) mutation in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 gene occurs in high frequency in glioma and in lower frequency in acute myeloid leukemia and thyroid cancer but not in other types of cancer. The mutation causes reduced NADPH production capacity in glioblastoma by 40% and is associated with prolonged patient survival. NADPH is a major reducing compound in cells that is essential for detoxification and may be involved in resistance of glioblastoma to treatment. IDH has never been considered important in NADPH production. Therefore, the authors investigated NADPH-producing dehydrogenases using in silico analysis of human cancer gene expression microarray data sets and metabolic mapping of human and rodent tissues to determine the role of IDH in total NADPH production. Expression of most NADPH-producing dehydrogenase genes was not elevated in 34 cancer data sets except for IDH1 in glioma and thyroid cancer, indicating an association with the IDH1 mutation. IDH activity was the main provider of NADPH in human normal brain and glioblastoma, but its role was modest in NADPH production in rodent brain and other tissues. It is concluded that rodents are a poor model to study consequences of the IDH1(R132) mutation in glioblastoma.
Up till now, typing and grading of diffuse gliomas is based on histopathological features. However, more objective tools are needed to improve reliable assessment of their biological behavior. We evaluated 331 diffuse gliomas for copy number changes involving 1p, 19q, CDKN2A, PTEN and EGFR(vIII) by Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA®, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Specifically based on the co-occurrence of these aberrations we built a model for the timing of the different events and their exact nature (hemi- ? homozygous loss; low-level gain ? (high-copy) amplification) in the course of molecular progression. The mutation status of IDH1 and TP53 was also evaluated and shown to correlate with the level of molecular progression. The relevance of the proposed model was confirmed by analysis of 36 sets of gliomas and their 39 recurrence(s) whereas survival analysis for anaplastic gliomas confirmed the actual prognostic relevance of detecting molecular malignancy. Moreover, based on our results, molecular diagnostic analysis of 1p/19q can be further improved as different aberrations were identified, some of them being indicative for advanced molecular malignancy rather than for favorable tumor behavior. In conclusion, identification of molecular malignancy as proposed will aid in establishing a risk profile for individual patients and thereby in therapeutic decision making.
Somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 gene (IDH1) occur at high frequency in gliomas and seem to be a prognostic factor for survival in glioblastoma patients. In our set of 98 glioblastoma patients, IDH1 ( R132 ) mutations were associated with improved survival of 1 year on average, after correcting for age and other variables with Cox proportional hazards models. Patients with IDH1 mutations were on average 17 years younger than patients without mutation. Mutated IDH1 has a gain of function to produce 2-hydroxyglutarate by NADPH-dependent reduction of alpha-ketoglutarate, but it is unknown whether NADPH production in gliomas is affected by IDH1 mutations. We assessed the effect of IDH1 (R132 ) mutations on IDH-mediated NADPH production in glioblastomas in situ. Metabolic mapping and image analysis was applied to 51 glioblastoma samples of which 16 carried an IDH1 (R132 ) mutation. NADP+-dependent IDH activity was determined in comparison with activity of NAD+-dependent IDH and all other NADPH-producing dehydrogenases, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, and hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. The occurrence of IDH1 mutations correlated with approx. twofold diminished NADP+-dependent IDH activity, whereas activity of NAD+-dependent IDH and the other NADP+-dependent dehydrogenases was not affected in situ in glioblastoma. The total NADPH production capacity in glioblastoma was provided for 65% by IDH activity and the occurrence of IDH1 (R132 ) mutation reduced this capacity by 38%. It is concluded that NADPH production is hampered in glioblastoma with IDH1 (R132 ) mutation. Moreover, mutated IDH1 consumes rather than produces NADPH, thus likely lowering NADPH levels even further. The low NADPH levels may sensitize glioblastoma to irradiation and chemotherapy, thus explaining the prolonged survival of patients with mutated glioblastoma.
Mutations in the gene encoding the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 gene (IDH1) occur at a high frequency (up to 80%) in many different subtypes of glioma. In this study, we have screened for IDH1 mutations in a cohort of 496 gliomas. IDH1 mutations were most frequently observed in low grade gliomas with c.395G>A (p.R132H) representing >90% of all IDH1 mutations. Interestingly, non-p.R132H mutations segregate in distinct histological and molecular subtypes of glioma. Histologically, they occur sporadically in classic oligodendrogliomas and at significantly higher frequency in other grade II and III gliomas. Genetically, non-p.R132H mutations occur in tumors with TP53 mutation, are virtually absent in tumors with loss of heterozygosity on 1p and 19q and accumulate in distinct (gene-expression profiling based) intrinsic molecular subtypes. The IDH1 mutation type does not affect patient survival. Our results were validated on an independent sample cohort, indicating that the IDH1 mutation spectrum may aid glioma subtype classification. Functional differences between p.R132H and non-p.R132H mutated IDH1 may explain the segregation in distinct glioma subtypes.
Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors with heterogeneous morphology and variable prognosis. Treatment decisions in patients rely mainly on histologic classification and clinical parameters. However, differences between histologic subclasses and grades are subtle, and classifying gliomas is subject to a large interobserver variability. To improve current classification standards, we have performed gene expression profiling on a large cohort of glioma samples of all histologic subtypes and grades. We identified seven distinct molecular subgroups that correlate with survival. These include two favorable prognostic subgroups (median survival, >4.7 years), two with intermediate prognosis (median survival, 1-4 years), two with poor prognosis (median survival, <1 year), and one control group. The intrinsic molecular subtypes of glioma are different from histologic subgroups and correlate better to patient survival. The prognostic value of molecular subgroups was validated on five independent sample cohorts (The Cancer Genome Atlas, Repository for Molecular Brain Neoplasia Data, GSE12907, GSE4271, and Li and colleagues). The power of intrinsic subtyping is shown by its ability to identify a subset of prognostically favorable tumors within an external data set that contains only histologically confirmed glioblastomas (GBM). Specific genetic changes (epidermal growth factor receptor amplification, IDH1 mutation, and 1p/19q loss of heterozygosity) segregate in distinct molecular subgroups. We identified a subgroup with molecular features associated with secondary GBM, suggesting that different genetic changes drive gene expression profiles. Finally, we assessed response to treatment in molecular subgroups. Our data provide compelling evidence that expression profiling is a more accurate and objective method to classify gliomas than histologic classification. Molecular classification therefore may aid diagnosis and can guide clinical decision making.
Plexins are transmembrane high-affinity receptors for semaphorins, regulating cell guidance, motility, and invasion. Functional evidences implicate semaphorin signals in cancer progression and metastasis. Yet, it is largely unknown whether plexin genes are genetically altered in human tumors. We performed a comprehensive gene copy analysis and mutational profiling of all nine members of the plexin gene family (plexinome), in melanomas and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs), which are characterized by high metastatic potential and poor prognosis. Gene copy analysis detected amplification of PLXNA4 in melanomas, whereas copy number losses of multiple plexin genes were seen in PDACs. Somatic mutations were detected in PLXNA4, PLXNB3, and PLXNC1; providing the first evidence that these plexins are mutated in human cancer. Functional assays in cellular models revealed that some of these missense mutations result in loss of plexin function. For instance, c.1613G>A, p.R538H mutation in the extracellular domain of PLXNB3 prevented binding of the ligand Sema5A. Moreover, although PLXNA4 signaling can inhibit tumor cell migration, the mutated c.5206C>T, p.H1736Y allele had lost this activity. Our study is the first systematic analysis of the "plexinome" in human tumors, and indicates that multiple mutated plexins may be involved in cancer progression.
Frequent somatic mutations have recently been identified in the ras-like domain of the heterotrimeric G protein alpha-subunit (GNAQ) in blue naevi 83%, malignant blue naevi (50%) and ocular melanoma of the uvea (46%). The mutations exclusively affect codon 209 and result in GNAQ constitutive activation which, in turn, acts as a dominant oncogene.
A recent systematic analysis of 18.191 well annotated coding sequences (RefSeq) in breast and colorectal cancers has led to the identification of somatic mutations in 1.718 genes (Wood et al., 2007). Based on statistical parameters 280 of these have been denominated candidate cancer (CAN) genes. This analysis has provided an interesting snapshot of the landscape of tumor genomes by showing that they contain a few frequently mutated genes (denominated mountains). On the contrary, the large majority of CAN genes are altered at low frequency (designated hills). Whether hill type CAN genes are tumor specific is largely unknown. To address this question we evaluated the mutational profiles of 27 hill CAN genes in glioblastoma, melanoma and pancreatic carcinoma by sequencing the exons previously found mutated by Wood and colleagues. Only 4 of the breast/colorectal hill type CAN genes (SMAD4, MYO18B, NAV3 and MMP2) were also mutated in melanoma and pancreatic carcinoma, while none was altered in glioblastoma. These results suggest that hill type CAN genes are not frequently shared by different tumor types and that their mutation patterns are tissue specific. Tumor-specific genome wide mutational profiling will be required to identify hill type CAN genes that characterize the genomic landscapes of each cancer lineage.
Oncogenic activation of the PI3K signalling pathway plays a pivotal role in the development of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). A central node in PI3K downstream signalling is controlled by the serine-threonine kinase AKT1. A somatic mutation affecting residue E17 of the AKT1 gene has recently been identified in breast and colon cancer. The E17K change results in constitutive AKT1 activation, induces leukaemia in mice, and accordingly, may be therapeutically exploited to target the PI3K pathway. Assessing whether AKT1 is activated by somatic mutations in GBM is relevant to establish its role in this aggressive disease.
Systematic sequence profiling of the Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) genome has recently led to the identification of somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene. Interestingly, only the evolutionarily conserved residue R132 located in the substrate binding site of IDH1 was found mutated in GBM. At present, the occurrence and the relevance of p.R132 (IDH1(R132)) variants in tumors other than GBMs is largely unknown. We searched for mutations at position R132 of the IDH1 gene in a panel of 672 tumor samples. These included high-grade glioma, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), melanoma, bladder, breast, colorectal, lung, ovarian, pancreas, prostate, and thyroid carcinoma specimens. In addition, we assessed a panel of 84 cell lines from different tumor lineages. Somatic mutations affecting the IDH1(R132) residue were detected in 20% (23 of 113) high-grade glioma samples. In addition to the previously reported p.R132H and p.R132S alleles, we identified three novel somatic mutations (p.R132C, p.R132G, and p.R132L) affecting residue IDH1(R132) in GBM. Strikingly, no IDH1 mutations were detected in the other tumor types. These data indicate that cancer mutations affecting IDH1(R132) are tissue-specific, and suggest that it plays a unique role in the development of high-grade gliomas.
The authors report a case of a gunshot wound to the brain in a 2.5-year-old girl. To treat the uncontrollably elevated intracranial pressure, the patient underwent bilateral decompressive craniectomy and experimental open-wound treatment. She recovered to a good functional level.
Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive primary brain tumor. Despite maximum treatment, patients only have a median survival time of 15 months, because of the tumors resistance to current therapeutic approaches. Thus far, methylation of the O (6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter has been the only confirmed molecular predictive factor in glioblastoma. Novel "genome-wide" techniques have identified additional important molecular alterations as mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and its prognostic importance. This review summarizes findings and techniques of genetic, epigenetic, transcriptional, and proteomic studies of glioblastoma. It provides the clinician with an up-to-date overview of current identified molecular alterations that should ultimately lead to new therapeutic targets and more individualized treatment approaches in glioblastoma.
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