Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal
Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal

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PubMed | Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Genes, chromosomes & cancer | Year: 2016

Prostate carcinomas harboring 8q gains are associated with poor clinical outcome, but the target genes of this genomic alteration remain to be unveiled. In this study, we aimed to identify potential 8q target genes associated with clinically aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), genome-wide mRNA expression, and protein expression analyses. Using FISH, we first characterized the relative copy number of 8q (assessed with MYC flanking probes) of a series of 50 radical prostatectomy specimens, with available global gene expression data and typed for E26 transformation specific (ETS) rearrangements, and then compared the gene expression profile of PCa subsets with and without 8q24 gain using Significance Analysis of Microarrays. In the subset of tumors with ERG fusion genes (ERG+), five genes were identified as significantly overexpressed (false discovery rate [FDR], 5%) in tumors with relative 8q24 gain, namely VN1R1, ZNF417, CDON, IKZF2, and NCOA2. Of these, only NCOA2 is located in 8q (8q13.3), showing a statistically higher mRNA expression in the subgroup with relative 8q gain, both in the ERG+ subgroup and in the whole series (P = 0.000152 and P = 0.008, respectively). Combining all the cases with NCOA2 overexpression, either at the mRNA or at the protein level, we identified a group of tumors with NCOA2 copy-number increase, independently of ETS status and relative 8q24 gain. Furthermore, for the first time, we detected a structural rearrangement involving NCOA2 in PCa. These findings warrant further studies with larger series to evaluate if NCOA2 relative copy-number gain presents prognostic value independently of the well-established poor prognosis associated with MYC relative copy-number gain.

PubMed | University of Porto and Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncoscience | Year: 2017

The recurrent germline mutation

PubMed | UMAE Oncologia, Shanxi Cancer Hospital, Centro Hospitalar do Porto, University of Santiago de Chile and 12 more.
Type: | Journal: Gastroenterology | Year: 2016

Up to 10% of cases of gastric cancer are familial, but so far, only mutations in CDH1 have been associated with gastric cancer risk. To identify genetic variants that affect risk for gastric cancer, we collected blood samples from 28 patients with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) not associated with mutations in CDH1 and performed whole-exome sequence analysis. We then analyzed sequences of candidate genes in 333 independent HDGC and non-HDGC cases. We identified 11 cases with mutations in PALB2, BRCA1, or RAD51C genes, which regulate homologous DNA recombination. We found these mutations in 2 of 31 patients with HDGC (6.5%) and 9 of 331 patients with sporadic gastric cancer (2.8%). Most of these mutations had been previously associated with other types of tumors and partially co-segregated with gastric cancer in our study. Tumors that developed in patients with these mutations had a mutation signature associated with somatic homologous recombination deficiency. Our findings indicate that defects in homologous recombination increase risk for gastric cancer.

PubMed | University of Porto, Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute, INEB Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Hospital Pedro Hispano and Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Invasive bladder tumours express the cell-surface Sialyl-Tn (STn) antigen, which stems from a premature stop in protein O-glycosylation. The STn antigen favours invasion, immune escape, and possibly chemotherapy resistance, making it attractive for target therapeutics. However, the events leading to such deregulation in protein glycosylation are mostly unknown. Since hypoxia is a salient feature of advanced stage tumours, we searched into how it influences bladder cancer cells glycophenotype, with emphasis on STn expression. Therefore, three bladder cancer cell lines with distinct genetic and molecular backgrounds (T24, 5637 and HT1376) were submitted to hypoxia. To disclose HIF-1-mediated events, experiments were also conducted in the presence of Deferoxamine Mesilate (Dfx), an inhibitor of HIF-1 proteasomal degradation. In both conditions all cell lines overexpressed HIF-1 and its transcriptionally-regulated protein CA-IX. This was accompanied by increased lactate biosynthesis, denoting a shift toward anaerobic metabolism. Concomitantly, T24 and 5637 cells acquired a more motile phenotype, consistent with their more mesenchymal characteristics. Moreover, hypoxia promoted STn antigen overexpression in all cell lines and enhanced the migration and invasion of those presenting more mesenchymal characteristics, in an HIF-1-dependent manner. These effects were reversed by reoxygenation, demonstrating that oxygen affects O-glycan extension. Glycoproteomics studies highlighted that STn was mainly present in integrins and cadherins, suggesting a possible role for this glycan in adhesion, cell motility and invasion. The association between HIF-1 and STn overexpressions and tumour invasion was further confirmed in bladder cancer patient samples. In conclusion, STn overexpression may, in part, result from a HIF-1 mediated cell-survival strategy to adapt to the hypoxic challenge, favouring cell invasion. In addition, targeting STn-expressing glycoproteins may offer potential to treat tumour hypoxic niches harbouring more malignant cells.

PubMed | Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Genes, chromosomes & cancer | Year: 2016

Truncating activating mutations in the last exon of PPM1D have been described in patients with breast, ovarian, colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer, but recent data indicate that they may be associated with previous chemotherapy. In this study we evaluated the prevalence of PPM1D mutations in white blood cells (WBC) of 462 patients with early-onset and/or familial/hereditary prostate cancer (PrCa) by sequencing the coding region of exon 6. Two truncating mutations were found in two patients (0.4%), both treated with androgen-ablation therapy but no chemotherapy prior to blood collection. Next generation sequencing analysis showed that the truncating variants were present in 21.4% and 32.4% of the reads, indicating that they were in mosaic in WBC, something that was confirmed by its absence in a different tissue from one of these patients. Additionally, nine patients (1.95%) were found to harbor non-synonymous germline mutations, with three patients sharing the same missense variant, c.1607G>A, p.Arg536Lys. This variant was predicted to be deleterious by different in silico tools and was not found in the 293 male control subjects tested. Large cohorts and/or functional evaluation are needed to clarify the nature of the truncating mosaic mutations in PrCa patients treated with and without androgen-ablation therapy and to evaluate the contribution of the recurrent missense variant to the risk of developing PrCa. 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PubMed | Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The British journal of radiology | Year: 2016

To characterize in vivo dose distributions during pelvic intraoperative electron radiation therapy (IOERT) for rectal cancer and to assess the alterations introduced by irregular irradiation surfaces in the presence of bevelled applicators.In vivo measurements were performed with Gafchromic films during 32 IOERT procedures. 1 film per procedure was used for the first 20 procedures. The methodology was then optimized for the remaining 12 procedures by using a set of 3 films. Both the average dose and two-dimensional dose distributions for each film were determined. Phantom measurements were performed for comparison.For flat and concave surfaces, the doses measured in vivo agree with expected values. For concave surfaces with step-like irregularities, measured doses tend to be higher than expected doses. Results obtained with three films per procedure show a large variability along the irradiated surface, with important differences from expected profiles. These results are consistent with the presence of surface hotspots, such as those observed in phantoms in the presence of step-like irregularities, as well as fluid build-up.Clinical dose distributions in the IOERT of rectal cancer are often different from the references used for prescription. Further studies are necessary to assess the impact of these differences on treatment outcomes. In vivo measurements are important, but need to be accompanied by accurate imaging of positioning and irradiated surfaces.These results confirm that surface irregularities occur frequently in rectal cancer IOERT and have a measurable effect on the dose distribution.

PubMed | INESC Porto and Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Physica medica : PM : an international journal devoted to the applications of physics to medicine and biology : official journal of the Italian Association of Biomedical Physics (AIFB) | Year: 2016

To study the impact of shielding elements in the proximity of Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy (IORT) irradiation fields, and to generate graphical and quantitative information to assist radiation oncologists in the design of optimal shielding during pelvic and abdominal IORT.An IORT system was modeled with BEAMnrc and EGS++ Monte Carlo codes. The model was validated in reference conditions by gamma index analysis against an experimental data set of different beam energies, applicator diameters, and bevel angles. The reliability of the IORT model was further tested considering shielding layers inserted in the radiation beam. Further simulations were performed introducing a bone-like layer embedded in the water phantom. The dose distributions were calculated as 3D dose maps.The analysis of the resulting 2D dose maps parallel to the clinical axis shows that the bevel angle of the applicator and its position relative to the shielding have a major influence on the dose distribution. When insufficient shielding is used, a hotspot nearby the shield appears near the surface. At greater depths, lateral scatter limits the dose reduction attainable with shielding, although the presence of bone-like structures in the phantom reduces the impact of this effect.Dose distributions in shielded IORT procedures are affected by distinct contributions when considering the regions near the shielding and deeper in tissue: insufficient shielding may lead to residual dose and hotspots, and the scattering effects may enlarge the beam in depth. These effects must be carefully considered when planning an IORT treatment with shielding.

PubMed | Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: | Journal: Future oncology (London, England) | Year: 2017

A systematic review of literature was conducted to identify all published reports regarding the expression of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) proteins/transcripts and EBV latency patterns in EBV-associated gastric carcinomas (EBVaGC).The literature search retrieved 247 papers, of which 25 papers matched the inclusion criteria. The analysis reveals that the most frequently expressed EBV latent proteins are EBNA1 (98.1%) and LMP2A (53.8%), while LMP1 and LMP2B are present in only 10% of cases. Lytic proteins, such as BARF0 and BARF1, and other lytic transcripts are present in almost half of cases.EBVaGC seems to display a unique transcription/latency pattern that does not fit the standard EBV latency patterns and therefore should be further studied to better understand EBVaGC carcinogenesis.

PubMed | University of Porto, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto, University of Oslo and Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: | Journal: Cancer letters | Year: 2016

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that mediate post-transcriptional gene silencing, fine tuning gene expression. In an initial screen, miRNAs were found to be globally down-regulated in prostate cancer (PCa) cell lines and primary tumors. Exposure of PCa cell lines to a demethylating agent, 5-Aza-CdR resulted in an increase in the expression levels of miRNAs in general. Using stringent filtering criteria miR-130a was identified as the most promising candidate and selected for validation analyses in our patient series. Down-regulation of miR-130a was associated with promoter hypermethylation. MiR-130a methylation levels discriminated PCa from non-malignant tissues (AUC=0.956), and urine samples revealed high specificity for non-invasive detection of patients with PCa (AUC=0.89). Additionally, repressive histone marks were also found in the promoter of miR-130a. Over-expression of miR-130a in PCa cells reduced cell viability and invasion capability, and increased apoptosis. Putative targets of miR-130a were assessed by microarray expression profiling and DEPD1C and SEC23B were selected for validation. Silencing of both genes resembled the effect of over-expressing miR-130a in PCa cells. Our data indicate that miR-130a is an epigenetically regulated miRNA involved in regulation of key molecular and phenotypic features of prostate carcinogenesis, acting as a tumor suppressor miRNA.

PubMed | University of Porto, University of Oxford, University of Oslo and Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto IPO Porto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Translational oncology | Year: 2016

Overtreatment is a major concern in men diagnosed with prostate cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the combined prognostic role of three frequent molecular alterations in prostate cancer, namely relative 8q gain, ERG overexpression, and loss of PTEN expression, in a series of 136 patients with prostate cancer treated with prostatectomy and with a long follow-up. Fluorescent in situ hybridization was used to detect the relative copy number of 8q and immunohistochemistry was used for quantitative assessment of ERG and PTEN expression. During a median follow-up period of 117.8 months, 66 (49%) patients had disease recurrence. Relative 8q gain, ERG overexpression, and loss of PTEN expression were observed in 18%, 56%, and 33% of the cases, respectively. No association with patient recurrence-free survival was found for relative 8q gain or ERG overexpression on their own, whereas loss of PTEN expression was associated with worse recurrence-free survival (P=.006). Interestingly, in the subgroup of patients with normal PTEN expression, we found that the combined relative 8q gain/ERG overexpression is associated with high risk of recurrence (P=.008), suggesting that alternative mechanisms exist for progression into clinically aggressive disease. Additionally, in intermediate-risk patients with normal PTEN expression in their tumors, the combination of 8q gain/ERG overexpression was associated with a poor recurrence-free survival (P<.001), thus indicating independent prognostic value. This study shows that the combined analysis of 8q, ERG and PTEN contributes to an improved clinical outcome stratification of prostate cancer patients treated with radical prostatectomy.

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