SciCombinator

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Concept: Carcinoma

230

Background Bronchoscopy is frequently nondiagnostic in patients with pulmonary lesions suspected to be lung cancer. This often results in additional invasive testing, although many lesions are benign. We sought to validate a bronchial-airway gene-expression classifier that could improve the diagnostic performance of bronchoscopy. Methods Current or former smokers undergoing bronchoscopy for suspected lung cancer were enrolled at 28 centers in two multicenter prospective studies (AEGIS-1 and AEGIS-2). A gene-expression classifier was measured in epithelial cells collected from the normal-appearing mainstem bronchus to assess the probability of lung cancer. Results A total of 639 patients in AEGIS-1 (298 patients) and AEGIS-2 (341 patients) met the criteria for inclusion. A total of 43% of bronchoscopic examinations were nondiagnostic for lung cancer, and invasive procedures were performed after bronchoscopy in 35% of patients with benign lesions. In AEGIS-1, the classifier had an area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.78 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73 to 0.83), a sensitivity of 88% (95% CI, 83 to 92), and a specificity of 47% (95% CI, 37 to 58). In AEGIS-2, the classifier had an AUC of 0.74 (95% CI, 0.68 to 0.80), a sensitivity of 89% (95% CI, 84 to 92), and a specificity of 47% (95% CI, 36 to 59). The combination of the classifier plus bronchoscopy had a sensitivity of 96% (95% CI, 93 to 98) in AEGIS-1 and 98% (95% CI, 96 to 99) in AEGIS-2, independent of lesion size and location. In 101 patients with an intermediate pretest probability of cancer, the negative predictive value of the classifier was 91% (95% CI, 75 to 98) among patients with a nondiagnostic bronchoscopic examination. Conclusions The gene-expression classifier improved the diagnostic performance of bronchoscopy for the detection of lung cancer. In intermediate-risk patients with a nondiagnostic bronchoscopic examination, a negative classifier score provides support for a more conservative diagnostic approach. (Funded by Allegro Diagnostics and others; AEGIS-1 and AEGIS-2 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01309087 and NCT00746759 .).

Concepts: Pulmonology, Lung, Lung cancer, Positive predictive value, Negative predictive value, Sensitivity and specificity, Carcinoma, Lesion

195

Many high-grade serous carcinomas (HGSCs) of the pelvis are thought to originate in the distal portion of the fallopian tube. Serous tubal intra-epithelial carcinoma (STIC) lesions are the putative precursor to HGSC and identifiable in ~ 50% of advanced stage cases. To better understand the molecular etiology of HGSCs, we report a multi-center integrated genomic analysis of advanced stage tumors with and without STIC lesions and normal tissues. The most significant focal DNA SCNAs were shared between cases with and without STIC lesions. The RNA sequence and the miRNA data did not identify any clear separation between cases with and without STIC lesions. HGSCs had molecular profiles more similar to normal fallopian tube epithelium than ovarian surface epithelium or peritoneum. The data suggest that the molecular features of HGSCs with and without associated STIC lesions are mostly shared, indicating a common biologic origin, likely to be the distal fallopian tube among all cases.High-grade serous carcinomas (HGSCs) are associated with precursor lesions (STICs) in the fallopian epithelium in only half of the cases. Here the authors report the molecular analysis of HGSCs with and without associated STICs and show similar profiles supporting a common origin for all HGSCs.

Concepts: Cancer, RNA, Epithelium, Anatomical pathology, Carcinoma, Adenocarcinoma, Tubal ligation, Surface epithelial-stromal tumor

170

Treatment-related death (TRD) remains a serious problem in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), despite recent improvements in supportive care. However, few studies have formally assessed time trends in the proportion of TRD over the past two decades. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and pattern of TRD over time.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Carcinoma, Small cell carcinoma, Paraneoplastic syndrome

169

Anterior gradient homolog 2 (AGR2) is a functional protein with critical roles in a diverse range of biological systems, including vertebrate tissue development, inflammatory tissue injury responses, and cancer progression. Clinical studies have shown that the AGR2 protein is overexpressed in a wide range of human cancers, including carcinomas of the esophagus, pancreas, breast, prostate, and lung, making the protein as a potential cancer biomarker. However, the general biochemical functions of AGR2 in human cells remain undefined, and the signaling mechanisms that drive AGR2 to inhibit p53 are still not clearly illustrated. Therefore, it is of great interest to develop molecular probes specifically recognizing AGR2 for its detection and for the elucidation of AGR2-associated molecular mechanism.

Concepts: DNA, Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, Molecular biology, Lung cancer, Histology, Carcinoma

168

BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer, including cancer of the ampulla of Vater and bile duct, is very aggressive and has a poor five year survival rate; improved methods of patient stratification are required. METHODS: We assessed the expression of calpain-1, calpain-2 and calpastatin in two patient cohorts using immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays. The first cohort was composed of 68 pancreatic adenocarcinomas and the second cohort was composed of 120 cancers of the bile duct and ampulla. RESULTS: In bile duct and ampullary carcinomas an association was observed between cytoplasmic calpastatin expression and patient age (P=0.036), and between nuclear calpastatin expression and increased tumour stage (P=0.026) and the presence of vascular invasion (P=0.043). In pancreatic cancer, high calpain-2 expression was significantly associated with improved overall survival (P=0.036), which remained significant in multivariate Cox-regression analysis (hazard ratio=0.342; 95% confidence interval=0.157-0.741; P=0.007). In cancers of the bile duct and ampulla, low cytoplasmic expression of calpastatin was significantly associated with poor overall survival (P=0.012), which remained significant in multivariate Cox-regression analysis (hazard ratio=0.595; 95% confidence interval=0.365-0.968; P=0.037). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that calpain-2 and calpastatin expression is important in pancreatic cancers, influencing disease progression. The findings of this study warrant a larger follow-up study.

Concepts: Cancer, Carcinoma in situ, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Liver, Carcinoma, Pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic duct

167

Tight junction (TJ) proteins are involved in a number of cellular functions, including paracellular barrier formation, cell polarization, differentiation, and proliferation. Altered expression of TJ proteins was reported in various epithelial tumors. Here, we used tissue samples of human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), its precursor tumors, as well as sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed skin as a model system to investigate TJ protein alteration at various stages of tumorigenesis. We identified that a broader localization of zonula occludens protein (ZO)-1 and claudin-4 (Cldn-4) as well as downregulation of Cldn-1 in deeper epidermal layers is a frequent event in all the tumor entities as well as in sun-exposed skin, suggesting that these changes result from chronic UV irradiation. In contrast, SCC could be distinguished from the precursor tumors and sun-exposed skin by a frequent complete loss of occludin (Ocln). To elucidate the impact of down-regulation of Ocln, we performed Ocln siRNA experiments in human keratinocytes and uncovered that Ocln downregulation results in decreased epithelial cell-cell adhesion and reduced susceptibility to apoptosis induction by UVB or TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), cellular characteristics for tumorigenesis. Furthermore, an influence on epidermal differentiation was observed, while there was no change of E-cadherin and vimentin, markers for epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Ocln knock-down altered Ca(2+)-homeostasis which may contribute to alterations of cell-cell adhesion and differentiation. As downregulation of Ocln is also seen in SCC derived from other tissues, as well as in other carcinomas, we suggest this as a common principle in tumor pathogenesis, which may be used as a target for therapeutic intervention.

Concepts: Cancer, Epithelium, Carcinoma, Skin, Squamous cell carcinoma, Tissue, Tight junction, Occludin

138

Afatinib 40 mg/day is approved for first-line treatment of EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the case of drug-related grade ≥3 or selected prolonged grade 2 adverse events (AEs), the dose can be reduced by 10 mg decrements to a minimum of 20 mg. Here, we evaluate the influence of afatinib dose reduction on AEs, pharmacokinetics and progression-free survival (PFS) in the phase III LUX-Lung 3 and 6 (LL3/6) trials.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Cancer staging, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Carcinoma, Adenocarcinoma

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The differential diagnosis between pleural malignant mesothelioma (MM) and lung cancer is often challenging. Immunohistochemical (IHC) stains used to distinguish these malignancies include markers that are most often positive in MM and less frequently positive in carcinomas, and vice versa. However, in about 10-20% of the cases, the IHC results can be confusing and inconclusive, and novel markers are sought to increase the diagnostic accuracy. We stained 45 non-small cell lung cancer samples (32 adenocarcinomas and 13 squamous cell carcinomas) with a monoclonal antibody for BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) and also with an IHC panel we routinely use to help differentiate MM from carcinomas, which include, calretinin, Wilms Tumor 1, cytokeratin 5, podoplanin D2-40, pankeratin CAM5.2, thyroid transcription factor 1, Napsin-A, and p63. Nuclear BAP1 expression was also analyzed in 35 MM biopsies. All 45 non-small cell lung cancer biopsies stained positive for nuclear BAP1, whereas 22/35 (63%) MM biopsies lacked nuclear BAP1 staining, consistent with previous data. Lack of BAP1 nuclear staining was associated with MM (two-tailed Fisher’s Exact Test, P = 5.4 x 10-11). Focal BAP1 staining was observed in a subset of samples, suggesting polyclonality. Diagnostic accuracy of other classical IHC markers was in agreement with previous studies. Our study indicated that absence of nuclear BAP1 stain helps differentiate MM from lung carcinomas. We suggest that BAP1 staining should be added to the IHC panel that is currently used to distinguish these malignancies.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Types of cancer, Carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Mesothelioma, Asbestos

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After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the thyroid ultrasound screening program for children aged 0-18 at the time of the accident was started from October 2011. The prevalence of thyroid carcinomas in that population has appeared to be very high (84 cases per 296,253). To clarify the pathogenesis, we investigated the presence of driver mutations in these tumours. 61 classic papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs), two follicular variant PTCs, four cribriform-morular variant PTCs and one poorly-differentiated thyroid carcinoma were analysed. We detected BRAF(V600E) in 43 cases (63.2%), RET/PTC1 in six (8.8%), RET/PTC3 in one (1.5%) and ETV6/NTRK3 in four (5.9%). Among classic and follicular variant PTCs, BRAF(V600E) was significantly associated with the smaller size. The genetic pattern was completely different from post-Chernobyl PTCs, suggesting non-radiogenic etiology of these cancers. This is the first study demonstrating the oncogene profile in the thyroid cancers discovered by large mass screening, which probably reflects genetic status of all sporadic and latent tumours in the young Japanese population. It is assumed that BRAF(V600E) may not confer growth advantage on paediatric PTCs, and many of these cases grow slowly, suggesting that additional factors may be important for tumour progression in paediatric PTCs.

Concepts: Cancer, Mutation, Oncology, Chernobyl disaster, Tumor, Neoplasm, Carcinoma, Nuclear power

62

Women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), or stage 0 breast cancer, often experience a second primary breast cancer (DCIS or invasive), and some ultimately die of breast cancer.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Carcinoma in situ, Cancer staging, Estrogen, Carcinoma, Mammary ductal carcinoma