Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression in osteosarcoma and its relationship to prognosis have been the subject of several conflicting reports, most of them relying on immunohistochemical studies. Because the urgent need of prognostic markers and effective new treatment options for osteosarcoma patients, we evaluated the role of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 in 2 well-characterized sets of pretherapeutic osteosarcoma samples (46 paraffin-embedded and 46 fresh-frozen biopsy samples) using immunohistochemistry with 2 different antibodies [DAKO A0485 (Glostrup, Denmark) and Novocastra CB11 (Newcastle, UK)] as well as fluorescence in situ hybridization, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and SNP array analyses and correlated our findings with clinicopathological parameters. However, our study failed to detect unequivocal evidence of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 gene amplification or overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 messenger RNA or protein in any of the investigated tumors. Only in a small subset of samples, a moderate increase in messenger RNA levels (13.6%) or focal membranous immunoreactivity (8.7%; A0485) was detected but did not correlate with survival or response to chemotherapy. Cytoplasmic staining was identified more frequently (63%; CB11) but again did not show any association with clinicopathological parameters. In conclusion, our study does not support a role for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 as a prognostic marker in osteosarcoma.
The majority of oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) are preceded by visible changes in the oral mucosa, most often white patches. Although the histological finding of dysplasia in oral white patches signals increased risk of developing OSCC, this may also occur in non-dysplastic lesions. However, no reliable markers exist to predict the occurrence of OSCC in these patients. From a total of 263 patients diagnosed with oral white patches, biopsies from 45 patients were selected on the criteria that the patients had lesions histologically proven to be non-dysplastic. The lesions were analyzed with respect to their DNA content. The clinical outcome of the patients was known from the Cancer Registry of Norway, and these data were compared to the DNA content of their lesions. Among the 45 patients, five cases (11%) later developed an OSCC. Four of the cases that subsequently developed an OSCC were among the five aneuploid (abnormal) cases (P=0.001). One aneuploid lesion did not develop a carcinoma during a follow-up time of 120 months. The fifth case that subsequently developed an OSCC was diploid (normal), and developed into an OSCC after an observation time of 73 months (P=0.001). In conclusion, aberrant DNA content reliably predicts the occurrence of OSCC in patients that otherwise would be regarded as at very low risk. Normal DNA content indicates low risk.
It is not clear whether screening for breast cancer works as public health policy and whether early indicators of effect predict an ultimate reduction in mortality. The malignant potentials of 248 breast cancers detected by the screening service in Finland were compared with those of 490 control cancers diagnosed before the screening service was established. Aggressiveness was assessed by DNA flow cytometry and clinical status by cancer size and node involvement. After the first screening round, the results of DNA flow cytometry were the same in cancers diagnosed by screening and in controls; these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the biological aggressiveness of breast cancer remains constant as the cancer progresses. The proportion of patients with node-negative and small T1 cancers after the first screening was higher among the screened population than among controls, indicating earliness of diagnosis among those screened. Cancers diagnosed in the first round had a low malignant potential, as indicated by the DNA flow-cytometry and by clinical stage. Lower aggressiveness of cancers found by screening than of control cancers would indicate overdiagnosis or length-biased sampling, but not earliness of diagnosis. Screening with mammography is practised as a public-health policy in Finland. The results predict that the mortality reduction found in randomised trials can be repeated with a screening service.
Thyroid carcinoma is rare and constitutes about 1% of all malignant tumours. For some time it has been known that age, sex, histology, and tumour grade are factors of importance for prognosis. In Stockholm we have analyzed the amount of nuclear DNA in thyroid tumours for the last 10 years. In our studies and those of other nuclear DNA-analysis has given important prognostic information for differentiated thyroid tumours in addition to that provided by histopathology, and may be of value preoperatively for treatment planning. DNA-analysis is well established in our clinical work and is one of the factors considered in a prospective randomized study concerning patients with papillary carcinoma in the Stockholm-Uppsala area. Tumours with diploid nuclear DNA pattern are randomized between lobectomy and total thyroidectomy in this study.
The occurrence of abnormal nuclear DNA content in major salivary gland adenomas is not well known and its correlation with tumor recurrence has not been documented previously. From 1987 to 1991, 119 consecutive major salivary gland adenomas were operated on at Turku University Central Hospital. These tumors were analyzed by flow cytometry and 100 (84%) were found to be diploid, 12 (10%) near-diploid and 7 (6%) aneuploid with DNA indexes > 1.15. The mean proliferation rate measured as a percentage of cells in the S-phase fraction was 2.5 +/- 1.6%. The histological slides were then blindly reclassified according to current World Health Organization classification. As a result histological classification was changed in 3 tumors: malignant cells were found in 2 aneuploid tumors and 1 diploid neoplasm. Preoperative cytological fine-needle aspiration biopsy had been considered as possibly malignant in 2 of these cases. Among all case material 10 specimens were recurrent tumors; although the tendency to recur depended on the extent and adequacy of the surgery performed, multiple recurrences were associated with non-diploid tumors.
Thirteen consecutive fine-needle aspirates of breast carcinoma and five selected breast tumor cell lines were analyzed for ERBB2 and MYC mRNA expression by in situ hybridization. To compare the level of mRNA synthesis with those of gene amplification and oncoprotein synthesis, all tumors were also analyzed by Southern blot analysis, and for ERBB2 also by immunohistochemistry. Expression of ERBB2 mRNA was observed in eight tumors. MYC expression was observed in all tumors studied. Three tumor cell lines expressed both ERBB2 and MYC (SK-BR-3, HeLa, HT-29) and two only MYC (SK-LU-1, HL-60). Only one tumor showed amplification of ERBB2 and two of MYC. In all three cases there was a considerable increase in corresponding mRNA synthesis as detected by in situ hybridization. By immunohistochemistry, four cases showed either patchy areas or uniformly distributed, membrane-bound ERBB2 immunoreactivity. All except one case showed increased ERBB2 mRNA synthesis. There was a clear association between the quantity of ERBB2 mRNA and oncoprotein expression. The results show that in situ hybridization of fine-needle aspiration material is a sensitive method to detect increased expression of the ERBB2 and MYC oncogenes in breast carcinoma. Furthermore, this study indicates that in a majority of cases some other mechanism that gene amplification appears responsible for the increased gene expression. It is also possible that Southern blot analysis is not a sensitive enough method to detect gene amplifications in the heterogeneous breast tumors, which usually also contain stromal tissue. The fact that not all cases with elevated ERBB2 mRNA synthesis were immunohistochemically positive suggests that either immunohistochemistry (after fixation with 10% formalin) is a less sensitive method than in situ hybridization to detect abnormal gene expression or that there are cases in which the oncoprotein synthesis is for some reason depressed, even though there is an increase in gene transcription.
The MutY human homologue (MYH) gene encodes a member of the base excision repair pathway that is involved in repairing oxidative damage to DNA. Two germline MYH gene mutations that result in Myh proteins containing amino acid substitutions Y165C and G382D (hereafter called the Y165C and G382D mutations) are associated with adenomatous poly-posis and colorectal cancer among patients from several European poly-posis registries. We used a population-based series of 1238 colorectal cancer patients and 1255 healthy control subjects from Ontario, Canada, to examine the risk of colorectal cancer among biallelic and monoallelic germline MYH Y165C and G382D mutation carriers. The entire MYH gene coding region was screened in all MYH Y165C and G382D mutation carriers. Compared with noncarriers, biallelic and monoallelic germline MYH gene mutation carriers had an increased risk of colorectal cancer and were more likely to have first-or second-degree relatives with colorectal cancer (relative risk = 1.54, 95% confidence interval = 1.10 to 2.16). The increased risk of colorectal cancer in biallelic and monoallelic MYH gene mutation carriers was not consistently associated with the development of multiple adenomatous polyps. Loss of heterozygosity in at least one of four loci in MYH was detected in eight (47%) of 17 colorectal tumors from monoallelic MYH gene mutation carriers but in only two (20%) of 10 colorectal tumors from biallelic MYH gene mutation carriers. These two MYH gene mutations may account for a substantial fraction of hereditary colorectal cancer.
Comment In: J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Feb 16;97(4):320-1; author reply 321-215713969
To examine a possible influence of estrogen receptor variants on the genetic susceptibility to germ cell cancer we have analyzed the allelic frequencies of three polymorphisms within the estrogen receptor gene in testicular cancer (n = 454) and control populations (n = 672). There were no differences in allelic frequencies in cancer patients compared to controls. Subgroup analyses did not indicate differences in allele frequencies for any of the polymorphisms in those individuals most likely to be predisposed to testicular cancer (patients with a history of maldescent of testicles and/or infertility, patients suffering from bilateral testicular cancer, and patients with familial testicular cancer). The data do not indicate that variation in the 5' end of the estrogen receptor gene confers susceptibility to testicular cancer.
A single founder mutation in each of the BRCA genes has been identified in Iceland. The frequency of the BRCA1 G5193A and BRCA2 999del5 mutations in all ovarian cancer patients diagnosed over the period 1991-2000 was determined. Mutation status was correlated with family history, tumour morphology and age at diagnosis. Samples from 86% of cases (179 carcinomas and 74 borderline tumours) were available. In the carcinomas, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations were present in 1.2% and 6% of cases, respectively. No BRCA mutations were found in the borderline tumours. Odds Ratio (OR) of developing ovarian cancer was 20.65 for BRCA2 carriers. Family history of breast/ovarian cancer was present for 70% of BRCA2 carriers and approximately 14% for non-carriers with carcinoma. In conclusion, BRCA2 999del5 is present in 6% of ovarian cancer cases in Iceland and is associated with a 20-fold increase in the risk of the disease. The BRCA1 G5193A mutation is too rare to contribute significantly to ovarian cancer in Iceland.