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Castel Guelfo di Bologna, Italy

Martin N.E.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Gerke T.,Harvard University | Sinnott J.A.,Harvard University | Stack E.C.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | And 16 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Assessing the extent of PI3K pathway activity in cancer is vital to predicting sensitivity to PI3K-targeting drugs, but the best biomarker of PI3K pathway activity in archival tumor specimens is unclear. Here, PI3K pathway activation was assessed, in clinical tissue from 1,021 men with prostate cancers, using multiple pathway nodes that include PTEN, phosphorylated AKT (pAKT), phosphorylated ribosomal protein S6 (pS6), and stathmin. Based on these markers, a 9-point score of PI3K activation was created using the combined intensity of the 4-markers and analyzed its association with proliferation (Ki67), apoptosis (TUNEL), and androgen receptor (AR) status, as well as pathologic features and cancer-specific outcomes. In addition, the PI3K activation score was compared with mRNA expression profiling data for a large subset of men. Interestingly, those tumors with higher PI3K activation scores also had higher Gleason grade (P = 0.006), increased AR (r = 0.37; P < 0.001) and Ki67 (r = 0.24; P < 0.001), and decreased TUNEL (r = -0.12; P = 0.003). Although the PI3K activation score was not associated with an increased risk of lethal outcome, a significant interaction between lethal outcome, Gleason and high PI3Kscore (P = 0.03) was observed. Finally, enrichment of PI3K-specific pathways was found in the mRNA expression patterns differentiating the low and high PI3K activation scores; thus, the 4-marker IHC score of PI3K pathway activity correlates with features of PI3K activation. Implications: The relationship of this activation score to sensitivity to anti-PI3K agents remains to be tested but may provide more precision guidance when selecting patients for these therapies. © 2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

Flavin R.J.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Cook J.,National University of Ireland | Fiorentino M.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Fiorentino M.,Addarii Institute | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Pathology | Year: 2011

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare multisystem disease leading to cystic destruction of the lung parenchyma and is associated with abnormal smooth muscle proliferation affecting airways, lymphatics, and blood vessels. LAM occurs sporadically or in association with the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Recent evidence demonstrates the role of aberrant β-catenin signaling in TSC. To further understand the pathogenesis of LAM and to examine the diagnostic usefulness of β-catenin, we examined protein expression in 28 pulmonary LAM cases and 10 cases of renal angiomyolipoma resected from patients with sporadic LAM. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed for established markers of LAM cells (HMB45, estrogen receptor [ER]-α, and progesterone receptor [PR]) and β-catenin. All LAM cases were positive for β-catenin and demonstrated high specificity with overall immunoreactivity superior to HMB45, ER-α, and PR. Similar expression was demonstrated in renal angiomyolipoma. Our results indicate that β-catenin is a useful marker of LAM and may be clinically useful in the diagnostic setting. © American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Fiorentino M.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Fiorentino M.,Addarii Institute | Judson G.,Harvard University | Penney K.,Harvard University | And 18 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2010

BRCA1 functions as a tumor suppressor; recent work suggests that BRCA1 may also induce cell cycle arrest to allow for DNA repair. We hypothesized that BRCA1 expression in prostate tumor tissue may be associated with prostate cancer progression through regulation of the cell cycle. We used immunohistochemistry to evaluate BRCA1 protein expression in archival tumor samples from 393 prostate cancer cases in the Physicians' Health Study. The men were followed prospectively from diagnosis to development of metastases and mortality. Fifteen percent of tumors stained positive for BRCA1. BRCA1-positive tumors had substantially increased tumor proliferation index compared with negative tumors (47.0 Ki67-positive nuclei versus 10.3, P = 0.0016) and were more likely to develop lethal cancer compared with BRCA1-negative tumors (hazard ratio, 4.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.4-8.7). These findings strengthen the hypothesis that BRCA1 plays a role in cell cycle control and show that BRCA1 is a marker of clinical prostate cancer prognosis. ©2010 AACR.

Tyekucheva S.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Tyekucheva S.,Harvard University | Martin N.E.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Stack E.C.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Diagnostics | Year: 2015

Archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens represent a readily available but largely untapped resource for gene expression profiling-based biomarker discovery. Several technologies have been proposed to cope with the bias from RNA cross-linking and degradation associated with archival specimens to generate data comparable with RNA from fresh-frozen materials. Direct comparison studies of these RNA expression platforms remain rare. We compared two commercially available platforms for RNA expression profiling of archival FFPE specimens from clinical studies of prostate and ovarian cancer: the Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0ST Array following whole-transcriptome amplification using the NuGen WT-Ovation FFPE System V2, and the NanoString nCounter without amplification. For each assay, we profiled 7 prostate and 11 ovarian cancer specimens, with a block age of 4 to 21 years. Both platforms produced gene expression profiles with high sensitivity and reproducibility through technical repeats from FFPE materials. Sensitivity and reproducibility remained high across block age within each cohort. A strong concordance was shown for the transcript expression values for genes detected by both platforms. We showed the biological validity of specific gene signatures generated by both platforms for both cohorts. Our study supports the feasibility of gene expression profiling and large-scale signature validation on archival prostate and ovarian tumor specimens using commercial platforms. These approaches have the potential to aid precision medicine with biomarker discovery and validation. © 2015 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology.

Fiore C.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Fiore C.,Harvard University | Bailey D.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Bailey D.,Harvard University | And 19 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Pathology | Year: 2012

Background: Automated scanning devices and image analysis software provide a means to overcome the limitations of manual semiquantitative scoring of immunohistochemistry. Common drawbacks to automated imaging systems include an inability to classify tissue type and an inability to segregate cytoplasmic and nuclear staining. Methods: Immunohistochemistry for the membranous marker a-catenin, the cytoplasmic marker stathmin and the nuclear marker Ki-67 was performed on tissue microarrays (TMA) of archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue comprising 471 (α-catenin and stathmin) and 511 (Ki-67) cases of prostate adenocarcinoma. These TMA were quantitatively analysed using two commercially available automated image analysers, the Ariol SL-50 system and the Nuance system from CRi. Both systems use brightfield microscopy for automated, unbiased and standardised quantification of immunohistochemistry, while the Nuance system has spectral deconvolution capabilities. Results: Overall concordance between scores from both systems was excellent (r=0.90; 0.83e0.95). The software associated with the multispectral imager allowed accurate automated classification of tissue type into epithelial glandular structures and stroma, and a single-step segmentation of staining into cytoplasmic or nuclear compartments allowing independent evaluation of these areas. The Nuance system, however, was not able to distinguish reliably between tumour and non-tumour tissue. In addition, variance in the labour and time required for analysis between the two systems was also noted. Conclusion: Despite limitations, this study suggests some beneficial role for the use of a multispectral imaging system in automated analysis of immunohistochemistry.

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