Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center

Heidelberg, Germany

Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center

Heidelberg, Germany
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Halec G.,German Cancer Research Center | Alemany L.,Lhospitalet Of Llobregat | Alemany L.,CIBER ISCIII | Lloveras B.,Lhospitalet Of Llobregat | And 19 more authors.
Journal of Pathology | Year: 2014

Eight HPV types (HPV26, 53, 66, 67, 68, 70, 73 and 82) that are phylogenetically closely related to 12 WHO-defined high-risk (HR) HPV have been rarely but consistently identified as single HPV infections in about 3% of cervical cancer (CxCa) tissues. Due to lack of biological data, these types are referred to as probable/possible (p) HR-HPV. To analyse their biological activity in direct comparison to HR-HPV types, we selected 55 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) CxCa tissues harbouring single pHR-HPV infections (2-13 cases per type) and 266 tissues harbouring single HR-HPV (7-40 cases per type) from a worldwide, retrospective, cross-sectional study. Single HPV infection was verified by two genotyping methods. Presence of type-specific spliced E6∗I mRNA transcripts and expression of cellular proteins indicative of HPV transformation were assessed in all cases. In 55 CxCa tissues with pHR-HPV, E6∗I mRNA expression was 100%; high p16INK4a, 98%; low pRb, 96%; low CyD1, 93%; and low p53, 84%. Compared to HPV16 tissues as a reference, individual frequencies of these five markers did not differ significantly, either for any of the eight pHR-HPV and the 11 other HR types individually or for the groups of pHR and HR types without HPV16. We conclude that the eight pHR-HPV types, when present as a single infection in CxCa, are biologically active and affect the same cellular pathways as any of the fully recognized carcinogenic HR-HPV types. Therefore we have provided molecular evidence of carcinogenicity for types currently classified as probably/possibly carcinogenic. Although this evidence is crucial for HPV-type carcinogenicity classification, per se it is not sufficient for inclusion of these HPV types into population-wide primary and secondary prevention programmes. Such decisions have to include careful estimation of effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses. Copyright © 2014 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Grabe N.,University of Heidelberg | Grabe N.,Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center | Lahrmann B.,University of Heidelberg | Lahrmann B.,Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center | And 6 more authors.
Cellular Oncology | Year: 2010

Background: Although cytological screening for cervical precancers has led to a reduction of cervical cancer incidence worldwide it is a subjective and variable method with low single-test sensitivity. New biomarkers like p16 that specifically highlight abnormal cervical cells can improve cytology performance. Virtual microscopy offers an ideal platform for assisted evaluation and archiving of biomarker-stained slides. Methods: We first performed a quantitative analysis of p16-stained slides digitized with the Hamamatsu NDP slide scanner. From the results an automated algorithm was created to reliably detect cells, nuclei and p16-stained cells. The algorithm's performance was evaluated on two complete slides and tiles from 52 independent slides (11,628, 4094 and 25,619 cells/clusters, respectively). Results: We achieved excellent performance to discriminate unstained cells from nuclei and biomarker-stained cells. The automated algorithm showed a high overall and positive agreement (99.0-99.7% and 70.9-83.4%, respectively) with the gold standard and had a very high sensitivity (89.1-100.0%) and specificity (98.9-100.0%) to detect biomarker-stained cells. Conclusion: We implemented a virtual microscopy system allowing highly efficient automated prescreening and archiving of biomarker-stained slides. Based on the initial results, we will evaluate the performance of our system in large epidemiologic studies against disease endpoints. © 2010 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Schrader C.H.,University of Heidelberg | Kolb M.,University of Heidelberg | Zaoui K.,University of Heidelberg | Flechtenmacher C.,University of Heidelberg | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Cancer | Year: 2015

Background: Dysregulated expression of Kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) is a common feature for many human malignancies and numerous studies evaluated KLK6 as a promising biomarker for early diagnosis or unfavorable prognosis. However, the expression of KLK6 in carcinomas derived from mucosal epithelia, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and its mode of action has not been addressed so far. Methods: Stable clones of human mucosal tumor cell lines were generated with shRNA-mediated silencing or ectopic overexpression to characterize the impact of KLK6 on tumor relevant processes in vitro. Tissue microarrays with primary HNSCC samples from a retrospective patient cohort (n=162) were stained by immunohistochemistry and the correlation between KLK6 staining and survival was addressed by univariate Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox proportional hazard model analysis. Results: KLK6 expression was detected in head and neck tumor cell lines (FaDu, Cal27 and SCC25), but not in HeLa cervix carcinoma cells. Silencing in FaDu cells and ectopic expression in HeLa cells unraveled an inhibitory function of KLK6 on tumor cell proliferation and mobility. FaDu clones with silenced KLK6 expression displayed molecular features resembling epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, nuclear β-catenin accumulation and higher resistance against irradiation. Low KLK6 protein expression in primary tumors from oropharyngeal and laryngeal SCC patients was significantly correlated with poor progression-free (p=0.001) and overall survival (p<0.0005), and served as an independent risk factor for unfavorable clinical outcome. Conclusions: In summary, detection of low KLK6 expression in primary tumors represents a promising tool to stratify HNSCC patients with high risk for treatment failure. These patients might benefit from restoration of KLK6 expression or pharmacological targeting of signaling pathways implicated in EMT. © 2015 Schrader et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


Halama N.,University of Heidelberg | Halama N.,Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center | Michel S.,Institute of Pathology | Kloor M.,Institute of Pathology | And 16 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Analysis of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in primary human colorectal cancer (CRC) by in situ immunohistochemical staining supports the hypothesis that the adaptive immune response influences the course of human CRC. Specifically, high densities of TILs in the primary tumor are associated with good prognosis independent of other prognostic markers. However, the prognostic role of TILs in metastatic CRC lesions is unknown, as is their role in response or resistance to conventional chemotherapy. We analyzed the association of TIL densities at the invasive margin of CRC liver metastases with response to chemotherapy and progression-free survival in a set of 101 large section samples. High-resolution automated microscopy on complete tissue sections was used to objectively generate cell densities for CD3, CD8, granzyme B, or FOXP3 positive immune cells. A predictive scoring system using TIL densities was developed in a training set and tested successfully in an independent validation set. TIL densities at the invasive margin of liver metastases allowed the prediction of response to chemotherapy with a sensitivity of 79% and specificity of 100%. The association of high density values with longer progression-free survival under chemotherapy was statistically significant. Overall, these findings extend the impact of the local immune response on the clinical course from the primary tumor also to metastatic lesions. Because detailed quantification of TILs in metastatic lesions revealed a strong association with chemotherapy efficacy and prognosis, we suggest that the developed scoring system may be used as a predictive tool for response to chemotherapy in metastatic CRC. ©2011 AACR.


Hildenbrand M.,German Cancer Research Center | Rhiemeier V.,German Cancer Research Center | Hartenstein B.,German Cancer Research Center | Lahrmann B.,University of Heidelberg | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2010

Recently, we identified an AP-1-dependent target gene in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-treated mouse back skin, which encodes a retroviral-like aspartic proteinase (Taps/Asprv1). Taps expression was detected almost exclusively in stratified epithelia of mouse embryos and adult tissues, and enhanced protein levels were present in several non-neoplastic human skin disorders, implicating a crucial role for differentiation and homeostasis of multilayered epithelia. Here, we generated a mouse model in which Taps transgene expression is under the control of the human ubiquitin C promoter (UBC-Taps). Although no obvious phenotype was observed in normal skin development and homeostasis, these mice showed a significant delay in cutaneous wound closure compared with control animals. Shortly after re-epithelialization, we found an increase in keratinocytes in the stratum granulosum, which express Filaggrin, a late differentiation marker. A hypergranulosum-like phenotype with increased numbers of Filaggrin-positive keratinocytes was also observed in UBC-Taps mice after administration of TPA. In summary, these data show that aberrant Taps expression causes impaired skin regeneration and skin remodeling after cutaneous injury and chemically induced hyperplasia. © 2010 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.


PubMed | Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center, German Cancer Research Center and University of Heidelberg
Type: | Journal: Molecular cancer | Year: 2015

Dysregulated expression of Kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) is a common feature for many human malignancies and numerous studies evaluated KLK6 as a promising biomarker for early diagnosis or unfavorable prognosis. However, the expression of KLK6 in carcinomas derived from mucosal epithelia, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and its mode of action has not been addressed so far.Stable clones of human mucosal tumor cell lines were generated with shRNA-mediated silencing or ectopic overexpression to characterize the impact of KLK6 on tumor relevant processes in vitro. Tissue microarrays with primary HNSCC samples from a retrospective patient cohort (n=162) were stained by immunohistochemistry and the correlation between KLK6 staining and survival was addressed by univariate Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox proportional hazard model analysis.KLK6 expression was detected in head and neck tumor cell lines (FaDu, Cal27 and SCC25), but not in HeLa cervix carcinoma cells. Silencing in FaDu cells and ectopic expression in HeLa cells unraveled an inhibitory function of KLK6 on tumor cell proliferation and mobility. FaDu clones with silenced KLK6 expression displayed molecular features resembling epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, nuclear -catenin accumulation and higher resistance against irradiation. Low KLK6 protein expression in primary tumors from oropharyngeal and laryngeal SCC patients was significantly correlated with poor progression-free (p=0.001) and overall survival (p<0.0005), and served as an independent risk factor for unfavorable clinical outcome.In summary, detection of low KLK6 expression in primary tumors represents a promising tool to stratify HNSCC patients with high risk for treatment failure. These patients might benefit from restoration of KLK6 expression or pharmacological targeting of signaling pathways implicated in EMT.


PubMed | Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center, German Cancer Research Center, University of Heidelberg and Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular oncology | Year: 2015

Recurrent gain on chromosome 3q26 encompassing the gene locus for the transcription factor SOX2 is a frequent event in human squamous cell carcinoma, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Numerous studies demonstrated that SOX2 expression and function is related to distinct aspects of tumor cell pathophysiology. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood, and the correlation between SOX2 expression and clinical outcome revealed conflicting data. Transcriptional profiling after silencing of SOX2 expression in a HNSCC cell line identified a set of up-regulated genes related to cell motility (e.g. VIM, FN1, CDH2). The inverse regulation of SOX2 and aforementioned genes was validated in 18 independent HNSCC cell lines from different anatomical sites. The inhibition of cell migration and invasion by SOX2 was confirmed by constant or conditional gene silencing and accelerated motility of HNSCC cells after SOX2 silencing was partially reverted by down-regulation of vimentin. In a retrospective study, SOX2 expression was determined by immunohistochemical staining on tissue microarrays containing primary tumor specimens of two independent HNSCC patient cohorts. Low SOX2 expression was found in 19.3% and 44.9% of primary tumor specimens, respectively. Univariate analysis demonstrated a statistically significant correlation between low SOX2 protein levels and reduced progression-free survival (Cohort I 51 vs. 16 months; Cohort II 33 vs. 12 months) and overall survival (Cohort I 150 vs. 37 months; Cohort II 33 vs. 16 months). Multivariate Cox proportional hazard model analysis confirmed that low SOX2 expression serves as an independent prognostic marker for HNSCC patients. We conclude that SOX2 inhibits tumor cell motility in HNSCC cells and that low SOX2 expression serves as a prognosticator to identify HNSCC patients at high risk for treatment failure.


PubMed | Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center, Charité - Medical University of Berlin, Semmelweis University and University of Heidelberg
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

The peritoneum plays an essential role in preventing abdominal frictions and adhesions and can be utilized as a dialysis membrane. Its physiological ultrastructure, however, has not yet been studied systematically. 106 standardized peritoneal and 69 omental specimens were obtained from 107 patients (0.1-60 years) undergoing surgery for disease not affecting the peritoneum for automated quantitative histomorphometry and immunohistochemistry. The mesothelial cell layer morphology and protein expression pattern is similar across all age groups. Infants below one year have a thinner submesothelium; inflammation, profibrotic activity and mesothelial cell translocation is largely absent in all age groups. Peritoneal blood capillaries, lymphatics and nerve fibers locate in three distinct submesothelial layers. Blood vessel density and endothelial surface area follow a U-shaped curve with highest values in infants below one year and lowest values in children aged 7-12 years. Lymphatic vessel density is much lower, and again highest in infants. Omental blood capillary density correlates with parietal peritoneal findings, whereas only few lymphatic vessels are present. The healthy peritoneum exhibits major thus far unknown particularities, pertaining to functionally relevant structures, and subject to substantial changes with age. The reference ranges established here provide a framework for future histomorphometric analyses and peritoneal transport modeling approaches.


PubMed | University of Lausanne, German Cancer Research Center, Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center and University of Heidelberg
Type: | Journal: Molecular cancer | Year: 2015

An inverse correlation between expression of the aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 subfamily A2 (ALDH1A2) and gene promoter methylation has been identified as a common feature of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Moreover, low ALDH1A2 expression was associated with an unfavorable prognosis of OPSCC patients, however the causal link between reduced ALDH1A2 function and treatment failure has not been addressed so far.Serial sections from tissue microarrays of patients with primary OPSCC (n = 101) were stained by immunohistochemistry for key regulators of retinoic acid (RA) signaling, including ALDH1A2. Survival with respect to these regulators was investigated by univariate Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariate Cox regression proportional hazard models. The impact of ALDH1A2-RAR signaling on tumor-relevant processes was addressed in established tumor cell lines and in an orthotopic mouse xenograft model.Immunohistochemical analysis showed an improved prognosis of ALDH1A2(high) OPSCC only in the presence of CRABP2, an intracellular RA transporter. Moreover, an ALDH1A2(high)CRABP2(high) staining pattern served as an independent predictor for progression-free (HR: 0.395, p = 0.007) and overall survival (HR: 0.303, p = 0.002), suggesting a critical impact of RA metabolism and signaling on clinical outcome. Functionally, ALDH1A2 expression and activity in tumor cell lines were related to RA levels. While administration of retinoids inhibited clonogenic growth and proliferation, the pharmacological inhibition of ALDH1A2-RAR signaling resulted in loss of cell-cell adhesion and a mesenchymal-like phenotype. Xenograft tumors derived from FaDu cells with stable silencing of ALDH1A2 and primary tumors from OPSCC patients with low ALDH1A2 expression exhibited a mesenchymal-like phenotype characterized by vimentin expression.This study has unraveled a critical role of ALDH1A2-RAR signaling in the pathogenesis of head and neck cancer and our data implicate that patients with ALDH1A2(low) tumors might benefit from adjuvant treatment with retinoids.


PubMed | German Cancer Research Center, Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center, University Hospital Charite and University of Heidelberg
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Lynch syndrome is caused by germline mutations of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes, most frequently MLH1 and MSH2. Recently, MMR-deficient crypt foci (MMR-DCF) have been identified as a novel lesion which occurs at high frequency in the intestinal mucosa from Lynch syndrome mutation carriers, but very rarely progress to cancer. To shed light on molecular alterations and clinical associations of MMR-DCF, we systematically searched the intestinal mucosa from Lynch syndrome patients for MMR-DCF by immunohistochemistry. The identified lesions were characterised for alterations in microsatellite-bearing genes with proven or suspected role in malignant transformation. We demonstrate that the prevalence of MMR-DCF (mean 0.84 MMR-DCF per 1 cm2 mucosa in the colorectum of Lynch syndrome patients) was significantly associated with patients age, but not with patients gender. No MMR-DCF were detectable in the mucosa of patients with sporadic MSI-H colorectal cancer (n = 12). Microsatellite instability of at least one tested marker was detected in 89% of the MMR-DCF examined, indicating an immediate onset of microsatellite instability after MMR gene inactivation. Coding microsatellite mutations were most frequent in the genes HT001 (ASTE1) with 33%, followed by AIM2 (17%) and BAX (10%). Though MMR deficiency alone appears to be insufficient for malignant transformation, it leads to measurable microsatellite instability even in single MMR-deficient crypts. Our data indicate for the first time that the frequency of MMR-DCF increases with patients age. Similar patterns of coding microsatellite instability in MMR-DCF and MMR-deficient cancers suggest that certain combinations of coding microsatellite mutations, including mutations of the HT001, AIM2 and BAX gene, may contribute to the progression of MMR-deficient lesions into MMR-deficient cancers.

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