Gene Summary

Gene:BRAF; B-Raf proto-oncogene, serine/threonine kinase
Aliases: NS7, B-raf, BRAF1, RAFB1, B-RAF1
Summary:This gene encodes a protein belonging to the raf/mil family of serine/threonine protein kinases. This protein plays a role in regulating the MAP kinase/ERKs signaling pathway, which affects cell division, differentiation, and secretion. Mutations in this gene are associated with cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, a disease characterized by heart defects, mental retardation and a distinctive facial appearance. Mutations in this gene have also been associated with various cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, colorectal cancer, malignant melanoma, thyroid carcinoma, non-small cell lung carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma of lung. A pseudogene, which is located on chromosome X, has been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:serine/threonine-protein kinase B-raf
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (28)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (5)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Microsatellite Instability
  • Survival Rate
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Membrane Proteins
  • BRAF
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Mutation
  • Tunisia
  • Chromosome 7
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Staging
  • Precancerous Conditions
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Adolescents
  • Risk Factors
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Carcinoma
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • Radiation Tolerance
  • Drug Resistance
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Melanoma
  • Stomach Cancer
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • Indoles
Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: BRAF (cancer-related)

Jauhri M, Bhatnagar A, Gupta S, et al.
Prevalence and coexistence of KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, NRAS, TP53, and APC mutations in Indian colorectal cancer patients: Next-generation sequencing-based cohort study.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(2):1010428317692265 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer incidences are on a rise in India. In this study, we have analyzed the mutation frequencies of six potential biomarkers, their coexistence, association with clinicopathological characteristics, and tumor location in Indian colorectal cancer patients. Next-generation sequencing was performed to identify mutations in the six potential biomarker genes using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of 112 colorectal cancer patients. The mutation frequency observed in KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, NRAS, TP53, and APC was 35.7%, 7.1%, 16.1%, 6.3%, 39.3%, and 29.5%, respectively. The significant associations of mutations were KRAS with age less than 60 years (p = 0.041), PIK3CA with males (p = 0.032), tumor stage I-II (p = 0.013), lack of metastasis in lymph nodes (p = 0.040), NRAS with rectum (p = 0.002), and APC with T2 stage of tumor growth (p = 0.013). No single patient harbored mutations in these six genes or any five genes simultaneously. Significance was noted in coexistence of KRAS with APC (p = 0.024) and mutual exclusion of KRAS with BRAF (p = 0.029). PIK3CA exon 9 was observed to be more frequently associated with KRAS mutations than PIK3CA exon 20 (p = 0.072). NRAS mutations were mutually exclusive with BRAF and PIK3CA mutations. As per our knowledge, this is the first next-generation sequencing-based biomarker study in Indian colorectal cancer patients. Frequent coexistence of gene mutations in pairs and triplets suggests that synergistic effect of overlapping mutations might further trigger the disease. In addition, infrequent coexistence of multiple gene mutations hints toward different signaling pathways for colorectal cancer tumorigenesis.

Galanopoulos M, Papanikolaou IS, Zografos E, et al.
Comparative Study of Mutations in Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Loci of KRAS and BRAF Genes in Patients Who Underwent Screening Colonoscopy, With and Without Premalignant Intestinal Polyps.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(2):651-657 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Our aim was to perform a comparison study of the mutation rate of V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS), and v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog-B (BRAF) genes between blood-based cell-free DNA (cfDNA), and tissue sample biopsies in individuals undergoing screening colonoscopy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: All specimens were collected from January 2015 to January 2016. A total of 92 blood samples and colonic biopsy specimens were collected from healthy individuals with no polyps undergoing screening colonoscopy (group A, n=35), patients with colorectal cancer (group B, n=27), and patients with neoplastic intestinal polyps (group C, n=30). Peripheral blood was collected from each patient and a focal tissue biopsy was conducted.
RESULTS: We only found a limited statistically significant difference (p=0.046) in the mutation analysis for codon 12 of the KRAS gene when we compared tissue biopsies from patients in group B to those from group C. In the blood samples, only the rate of mutation in codon 12 of the KRAS gene in samples of group B was significantly higher than that in group A (p=0.013).
CONCLUSION: Blood cfDNA may be a promising tool in CRC screening as it may discriminate patients with CRC compared to healthy individuals and those with colonic polyps, even though it does not appear useful in predicting the presence of colonic polyps.

Hsieh R, Nico MM, Camillo CM, et al.
Mutational Status of NRAS and BRAF Genes and Protein Expression Analysis in a Series of Primary Oral Mucosal Melanoma.
Am J Dermatopathol. 2017; 39(2):104-110 [PubMed] Related Publications
Primary oral mucosal melanoma is an extremely rare and aggressive tumor arising from melanocytes located in the mucosal epithelium of the oral cavity. Although malignant melanoma of oral mucosa shares some clinical features with its cutaneous counterpart, it has been associated with a worst prognosis; its etiopathogenesis are still only partially unraveled as there is no influence of UV radiation. It is known that the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway mediates cellular responses to growth signals and its activation is an important phenomenon in melanoma. The aim of this study was to evaluate NRAS and BRAF genes, both components of mitogen-activated protein kinase molecular pathway, and compare with their protein expression. Point mutations of NRAS (codons 12, 13, and 61) and BRAF (codon 600) were screened by pyrosequencing method, and its results were associated to the protein expression of RAS and BRAF performed by immunohistochemistry. The authors observed mutation in BRAF 600 (3/14), NRAS codons 12 and 13 (2/14), and NRAS codon 61 (2/8). One case showed positive RAS protein expression, but no mutation was observed. Twelve in 14 cases showed positive BRAF protein expression: 3 cases showed BRAF mutation; 2 cases showed NRAS codon 61 mutation; 2 cases showed NRAS codons 12 and 13 mutation but not simultaneously. Although NRAS and BRAF mutation frequency and RAS protein expression are low, BRAF protein expression was intense; probably, NRAS and BRAF mutations are independent events and alternative molecular mechanisms in the primary oral mucosal melanoma tumorigenesis.

Mikhailenko DS, Efremov GD, Safronova NY, et al.
Detection of Rare Mutations by Routine Analysis of KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF Oncogenes.
Bull Exp Biol Med. 2017; 162(3):375-378 [PubMed] Related Publications
Molecular genetic analysis of KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF genes was carried out in order to develop an optimal algorithm for detection of minor mutations. We analyzed 35 melanoma and 33 colorectal cancer specimens. Frequent G12D/V/A/C/S mutations were detected in KRAS. The most frequent BRAF mutation in melanoma was V600E, the percentage of rare mutations is significant for DNA diagnosis (24%). Identification of rare BRAF mutations 1790C→G (L597R), 1798_1799delinsAA (V600K), 1798_1799delinsAG (V600R), and 1799_1800delinsAA (V600E) and NRAS mutation 38G→T (G13V) was possible only by Sanger sequencing. The combination of real-time PCR and sequencing can improve analysis sensitivity and ensure concordance of the tested loci with the international recommendations.

Cicenas J, Tamosaitis L, Kvederaviciute K, et al.
KRAS, NRAS and BRAF mutations in colorectal cancer and melanoma.
Med Oncol. 2017; 34(2):26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancers are the group of diseases, which arise because of the uncontrolled behavior of some of the genes in our cells. There are possibilities of gene amplifications, overexpressions, deletions and other anomalies which might lead to the development and spread of cancer. One of the most dangerous ways to the cancers is the mutations of the genes. The mutated genes can start unstoppable proliferation of cells, their uncontrolled motility, protection from apoptosis, the DNA mutation enhancement as well as other anomalies, leading to the cancer. This review focuses on the genes, which are frequently mutated in various cancers and are known to be important in the advance and progression of colorectal cancer and melanoma, namely KRAS, NRAS and BRAF.

Martinelli E, Morgillo F, Troiani T, Ciardiello F
Cancer resistance to therapies against the EGFR-RAS-RAF pathway: The role of MEK.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2017; 53:61-69 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) mediate intracellular signals activated by a wide variety of extracellular stimuli. The activation of the RAS-RAF-MEK-MAPK cascade culminates in the regulation of gene transcription promoting cancer cell proliferation, survival, migration and angiogenesis. MEK (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-MAPKK) 1/2 is a transducer of the growth factor receptor-RAS-RAF-MAPK signalling cascade and plays a relevant role in development and progression of human cancers, such as colorectal cancer (CRC), non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Direct inhibition of MEK is a promising strategy and several inhibitors are currently under evaluation in clinical trials showing initial clinical activity in different tumours. MEK activation, by different genetic mechanisms, has been described for both intrinsic and acquired resistance to drugs targeting the EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor)-RAS-RAF pathway in CRC, NSCLC. Combination therapies with chemotherapy and/or with molecular targeted agents are warranted and biomarkers studies are needed to identify those tumours dependent on MEK signalling.

Schaefer T, Satzger I, Gutzmer R
Clinics, prognosis and new therapeutic options in patients with mucosal melanoma: A retrospective analysis of 75 patients.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(1):e5753 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mucosal melanomas represent a rare entity with different risk factors and molecular features compared to cutaneous melanomas. They arise most commonly from mucosal surfaces in the head/neck region, the female genital tract (FGT) and the anorectal region. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinics, prognosis, and treatment options of patients with mucosal melanoma, in particular with regard to different primary sites.We retrospectively analyzed 75 patients with mucosal melanomas diagnosed in the years 1993 to 2015 in our department. The primary melanomas were located in the head/neck region (n = 32), the FGT (n = 24), and the anorectal region (n = 19).The median age of the patients was 66 years. At initial diagnosis the primary melanoma was not completely resectable in 11 (15%) patients, 18 (24%) patients had regional lymph node metastases, and 7 (9%) patients distant metastases. During follow-up, 22 (29%) patients suffered from a local recurrence, in particular patients with primary melanoma in the head/neck region without postoperative radiotherapy. By multivariate analysis location of the primary melanoma in the head/neck area or anorectal region and presence of metastases at time of diagnosis represented poor prognostic factors for recurrence-free survival. In 62 tested individuals 7 KIT mutations were found, 2 BRAF mutations in 57 tested patients. Four patients received targeted therapies, 14 checkpoint inhibitors, 4 (1/1 on vemurafenib, 1/7 on ipilimumab, and 2/7 on PD-1 inhibitors) patients showed responses of more than 100 days duration.Mucosal melanomas are often locally advanced or metastatic at initial diagnosis, thus they require extensive staging procedures. The high rate of local recurrences in the head/neck region can be significantly reduced by postoperative radiotherapy. For the potential use of medical treatment a mutation analysis for KIT and BRAF genes should be performed. The use of new immunologic and targeted therapies has to be further evaluated.

Carlson JA, Caldeira Xavier JC, Tarasen A, et al.
Next-Generation Sequencing Reveals Pathway Activations and New Routes to Targeted Therapies in Cutaneous Metastatic Melanoma.
Am J Dermatopathol. 2017; 39(1):1-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Comprehensive genomic profiling of clinical samples by next-generation sequencing (NGS) can identify one or more therapy targets for the treatment of metastatic melanoma (MM) with a single diagnostic test.
METHODS: NGS was performed on hybridization-captured, adaptor ligation-based libraries using DNA extracted from 4 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections cut at 10 microns from 30 MM cases. The exons of 182 cancer-related genes were fully sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 at an average sequencing depth of 1098X and evaluated for genomic alterations (GAs) including point mutations, insertions, deletions, copy number alterations, and select gene fusions/rearrangements. Clinically relevant GAs (CRGAs) were defined as those identifying commercially available targeted therapeutics or therapies in registered clinical trials.
RESULTS: The 30 American Joint Committee on Cancer Stage IV MM included 17 (57%) male and 13 (43%) female patients with a mean age of 59.5 years (range 41-83 years). All MM samples had at least 1 GA, and an average of 2.7 GA/sample (range 1-7) was identified. The mean number of GA did not differ based on age or sex; however, on average, significantly more GAs were identified in amelanotic and poorly differentiated MM. GAs were most commonly identified in BRAF (12 cases, 40%), CDKN2A (6 cases, 20%), NF1 (8 cases, 26.7%), and NRAS (6 cases, 20%). CRGAs were identified in all patients, and represented 77% of the GA (64/83) detected. The median and mean CRGAs per tumor were 2 and 2.1, respectively (range 1-7).
CONCLUSION: Comprehensive genomic profiling of MM, using a single diagnostic test, uncovers an unexpectedly high number of CRGA that would not be identified by standard of care testing. Moreover, NGS has the potential to influence therapy selection and can direct patients to enter relevant clinical trials evaluating promising targeted therapies.

Laczmanska I, Skiba P, Karpinski P, et al.
Customized Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization Analysis of 25 Phosphatase-encoding Genes in Colorectal Cancer Tissues.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2017; 14(1):69-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Molecular mechanisms of alterations in protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) genes in cancer have been previously described and include chromosomal aberrations, gene mutations, and epigenetic silencing. However, little is known about small intragenic gains and losses that may lead to either changes in expression or enzyme activity and even loss of protein function.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The aim of this study was to investigate 25 phosphatase genes using customized array comparative genomic hybridization in 16 sporadic colorectal cancer tissues.
RESULTS: The analysis revealed two unique small alterations: of 2 kb in PTPN14 intron 1 and of 1 kb in PTPRJ intron 1. We also found gains and losses of whole PTPs gene sequences covered by large chromosome aberrations.
CONCLUSION: In our preliminary studies using high-resolution custom microarray we confirmed that PTPs are frequently subjected to whole-gene rearrangements in colorectal cancer, and we revealed that non-polymorphic intragenic changes are rare.

Kim BA, Jee HG, Yi JW, et al.
Expression Profiling of a Human Thyroid Cell Line Stably Expressing the BRAFV600E Mutation.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2017; 14(1):53-67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: The BRAF(V600E) mutation acts as an initiator of cancer development in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Gene expression changes caused by the BRAF(V600E) mutation may have an important role in thyroid cancer development.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To study genomic alterations caused by the BRAF(V600E) mutation, we made human thyroid cell lines that harbor the wild-type BRAF gene (Nthy/WT) and the V600E mutant-type BRAF gene (Nthy/V600E).
RESULTS: Flow cytometry and western blotting showed stable transfection of the BRAF gene. In functional experiments, Nthy/V600E showed increased anchorage-independent growth and invasion through Matrigel, compared to Nthy/WT. Microarray analysis revealed that 2,441 genes were up-regulated in Nthy/V600E compared to Nthy/WT. Gene ontology analysis showed that the up-regulated genes were associated with cell adhesion, migration, and the ERK and MAPK cascade, and pathway analysis showed enrichment in cancer-related pathways.
CONCLUSION: Our Nthy/WT and Nthy/V600E cell line pair could be a suitable model to study the molecular characteristics of BRAF(V600E) PTC.

Rodriguez-Salas N, Dominguez G, Barderas R, et al.
Clinical relevance of colorectal cancer molecular subtypes.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2017; 109:9-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is characterized by alteration of critical pathways such TP53 inactivation, BRAF, PI3CA mutations, APC inactivation, KRAS, TGF-β, CTNNB mutations, disregulation of Epithelial to mesnechymal transition (EMT) genes, WNT signaling activation, MYC amplification, and others. Differences in these molecular events results in differences in phenotypic characteristics of CRC, that have been studied and classified by different models of molecular subtypes. It could have potential applications to prognosis, but also to therapeutical approaches of the CRC patients. We review and summarized the different molecular classifications and try to clarify their clinical and therapeutical relevance.

Gadkar K, Kirouac D, Parrott N, Ramanujan S
Quantitative systems pharmacology: a promising approach for translational pharmacology.
Drug Discov Today Technol. 2016 Sep - Dec; 21-22:57-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Biopharmaceutical companies have increasingly been exploring Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) as a potential avenue to address current challenges in drug development. In this paper, we discuss the application of QSP modeling approaches to address challenges in the translational of preclinical findings to the clinic, a high risk area of drug development. Three cases have been highlighted with QSP models utilized to inform different questions in translational pharmacology. In the first, a mechanism based asthma model is used to evaluate efficacy and inform biomarker strategy for a novel bispecific antibody. In the second case study, a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway signaling model is used to make translational predictions on clinical response and evaluate novel combination therapies. In the third case study, a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model it used to guide administration of oseltamivir in pediatric patients.

Mahalingam M
NF1 and Neurofibromin: Emerging Players in the Genetic Landscape of Desmoplastic Melanoma.
Adv Anat Pathol. 2017; 24(1):1-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neurofibromatosis type I (NF1), a monogenic disorder with an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, is caused by alterations in the NF1 gene which codes for the protein neurofibromin. Functionally, NF1 is a tumor suppressor as it is GTPase-activating protein that negatively regulates the MAPK pathway. More recently, much attention has focused on the role of NF1 and neurofibromin in melanoma as mutations in NF1 have been found to constitute 1 of the 4 distinct genomic categories of melanoma, with the other 3 comprising BRAF, NRAS, and "triple-wild-type" subtypes. In this review, we parse the literature on NF1 and neurofibromin with a view to clarifying and gaining a better understanding of their precise role/s in melanomagenesis. We begin with a historic overview, followed by details regarding structure and function and characterization of neural crest development as a model for genetic reversion in neoplasia. Melanogenesis in NF1 sets the stage for the discussion on the roles of NF1 and neurofibromin in neural crest-derived neoplasms including melanoma with particular emphasis on NF1 and neurofibromin as markers of melanocyte dedifferentiation in desmoplastic melanoma.

Lin ZY, Chuang WL
Contrary influence of clinically applied sorafenib concentrations among hepatocellular carcinoma patients.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 86:27-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
The treatment responses of sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma are modest which may be due to different characteristics of cancer cells or insufficient therapeutic concentrations. This study was to clarify this issue. The anti-proliferative effects and differential expressions of 8 genes related to sorafenib anti-cancer mechanisms (tyrosine kinase receptor genes: KDR, PDGFRB; RAF cascade: RAF1, BRAF, MAP2K1, MAP2K2, MAPK1, MAPK3) were investigated in primary cultured hepatocellular carcinoma cells collected from 8 patients using clinically applied sorafenib concentrations (5, 10μg/mL). The anti-proliferative effects of sorafenib at either 5 or 10μg/mL, which were related to down-regulations of KDR, PDGFRB and/or genes in the RAF cascade, were achieved only in one patient (HCC38/KMUH). However, either 5 or 10μg/mL sorafenib promoted proliferation in 4 patients (HCC29/KMUH, HCC62/KMUH, HCC87/KMUH, HCC98/KMUH). Among them, the RAF cascade, PDGFRB and/or KDR were up-regulated in 3 patients but no gene was differentially expressed in the remaining one patient (HCC87/KMUH). Increase the sorafenib concentration to 10μg/mL paradoxically up-regulated and/or obliterated the previously down-regulated genes in the RAF cascade and/or KDR in 4 patients (HCC29/KMUH, HCC76/KMUH, HCC87/KMUH, HCC98/KMUH). Significant down-regulations of the RAF cascade and PDGFRB by sorafenib but without anti-proliferative effects were detected in one patient (HCC54/KMUH). In conclusion, influence of sorafenib on proliferation is not simply through the RAF cascade. The responses of KDR, PDGFRB and the RAF cascade to sorafenib among patients are diverse or even contrary. Increase the sorafenib concentration has potential to up-regulate genes favored angiogenesis and proliferation.

Sambuudash O, Kim HM, Jo H, et al.
Molecular characteristics of colorectal serrated polyps and hyperplastic polyps: A STROBE compliant article.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(49):e5592 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The serrated neoplasia pathway of colorectal carcinogenesis is characterized by BRAF mutation and aberrant DNA methylation, which have not been reported on Korean patients. The aim of this study was to investigate BRAF mutation and DNA methylation in colorectal serrated polyps and the right colon.Between 2005 and 2013, 146 colon polyps (47 tubular adenomas [TAs], 53 traditional serrated adenomas [TSAs], 17 sessile serrated adenomas/polyps [SSAs], and 29 hyperplastic polyps in the proximal colon [PHPs]) were collected from patients. Paraffin-embedded colon polyp tissue was used for DNA extraction. BRAF V600E mutation was identified through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and pyrosequencing assay. The methylation status of the long interspersed nucleotide element-1, insulin-like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP7), mutL homolog 1 (hMLH1), and CD133 genes were evaluated through disulfite conversion, PCR, and pyrosequencing assay.BRAF V600E mutation was found in 2.1% of TAs, 47.2% of TSAs, 41.2% of SSAs, and 20.7% of PHPs. TSA and SSA had higher BRAF mutation rates than did TA (P < 0.0001). TSA had higher BRAF mutation rates than did PHP (P = 0.018). IGFBP7 hypermethylation was found in 17% of TAs, 37.7% of TSAs, 88.2% of SSAs, and 37.5% of PHPs. TSA and SSA had higher hypermethylation of IGFBP7 than did TA (P = 0.021 and P < 0.0001, respectively). SSA had higher hypermethylation of IGFBP7 than did PHP (P = 0.002). hMLH1 hypermethylation was found in 2.1% of TAs, 5.7% of TSAs, 0% of SSAs, and 0% of PHPs. CD133 hypermethylation was found in 21.3% of TAs, 9.4% of TSAs, 35.3% of SSAs, and 17.4% of PHPs.BRAF mutation and methylation in TSA and SSA are different from those in PHP in Koreans. These findings suggested that PHP may have different molecular characteristics compared with other serrated polyps.

Amann VC, Ramelyte E, Thurneysen S, et al.
Developments in targeted therapy in melanoma.
Eur J Surg Oncol. 2017; 43(3):581-593 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanomas are disease entities driven in part by the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. The TCGA network recently defined four genetic subtypes based on the most prevalent significantly mutated genes, including mutant BRAF, mutant RAS (N/H/K), mutant NF1, and Triple wild-type melanoma (harboring none of the aforementioned mutations, but instead includes KIT, GNA and GNAQ mutations). The successful development of kinase inhibitors marked a milestone in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Combination treatment with a BRAF- and MEK-inhibitor is the current standard of care for inoperable stage IIIC/IV BRAF-mutated melanoma. Recent data demonstrate excellent long-term outcome, especially in patients with normal baseline LDH levels, and confirm that there is a subset of BRAF inhibitor-naive patients who experience durable responses without progression on combination treatment. In the future, adding a third compound based on individual genetic alterations might further improve the outcome of targeted therapy.

Aldiab A, Al Khayal KA, Al Obaid OA, et al.
Clinicopathological Features and Predictive Factors for Colorectal Cancer Outcome in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Oncology. 2017; 92(2):75-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most frequent cancer and a leading cause of cancer death in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). To date, no nationwide screening programs have been adopted. This prospective, longitudinal study investigated factors influencing the outcome of CRC in Saudi patients.
METHODS: Patients completed a CRC awareness questionnaire. Colonoscopy, CT/MRI, histopathology of tumor biopsies, and KRAS and BRAF testing were performed. Patients were treated according to their stage. All patients were followed until the end of the study and 3- and 5-year survival was assessed.
RESULTS: Sixty percent of study patients with sporadic CRC presented with significantly advanced disease (stages III and IV) with or without metastases at entry. Patients showed low levels of awareness of the risk factors and signs of CRC. Patients presented at a median age of 50 years. Family history of CRC and ulcerative colitis were positive in 11 and 6% of patients, respectively. Stage III/IV tumors with distant metastases at enrollment, right-sided tumors, mucinous tumors, lymphovascular invasion, and KRAS (51%) or BRAF (28%) mutations predicted poor prognosis and survival.
CONCLUSION: CRC in KSA is usually diagnosed at advanced stages with metastases and KRAS/BRAF, and is associated with poor prognosis and short survival. Nationwide awareness campaigns and screening programs for CRC are critical for prevention, early detection and adequate management of CRC.

Robinson LC, Santagata S, Hankinson TC
Potential evolution of neurosurgical treatment paradigms for craniopharyngioma based on genomic and transcriptomic characteristics.
Neurosurg Focus. 2016; 41(6):E3 [PubMed] Related Publications
The recent genomic and transcriptomic characterization of human craniopharyngiomas has provided important insights into the pathogenesis of these tumors and supports that these tumor types are distinct entities. Critically, the insights provided by these data offer the potential for the introduction of novel therapies and surgical treatment paradigms for these tumors, which are associated with high morbidity rates and morbid conditions. Mutations in the CTNNB1 gene are primary drivers of adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma (ACP) and lead to the accumulation of β-catenin protein in a subset of the nuclei within the neoplastic epithelium of these tumors. Dysregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and of sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling in ACP suggest that paracrine oncogenic mechanisms may underlie ACP growth and implicate these signaling pathways as potential targets for therapeutic intervention using directed therapies. Recent work shows that ACP cells have primary cilia, further supporting the potential importance of SHH signaling in the pathogenesis of these tumors. While further preclinical data are needed, directed therapies could defer, or replace, the need for radiation therapy and/or allow for less aggressive surgical interventions. Furthermore, the prospect for reliable control of cystic disease without the need for surgery now exists. Studies of papillary craniopharyngioma (PCP) are more clinically advanced than those for ACP. The vast majority of PCPs harbor the BRAF(v600e) mutation. There are now 2 reports of patients with PCP that had dramatic therapeutic responses to targeted agents. Ongoing clinical and research studies promise to not only advance our understanding of these challenging tumors but to offer new approaches for patient management.

Martinez-Gutierrez JC, D'Andrea MR, Cahill DP, et al.
Diagnosis and management of craniopharyngiomas in the era of genomics and targeted therapy.
Neurosurg Focus. 2016; 41(6):E2 [PubMed] Related Publications
Craniopharyngiomas are rare intracranial neoplasms that pose clinical challenges due to their location adjacent to vital structures. The authors have previously shown high mutation rates of BRAF V600E in papillary craniopharyngioma and of CTNNB1 in adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma. These activating driver mutations are potential therapeutic targets, and the authors have recently reported a significant response to BRAF/MEK inhibition in a patient with multiply recurrent PCP. As these targetable mutations warrant prospective research, the authors will be conducting a national National Cancer Institute-sponsored multicenter clinical trial to investigate BRAF/MEK inhibition in the treatment of craniopharyngioma. In this new era of genomic discovery, the treatment paradigm of craniopharyngioma is likely to change.

Wang D, Wang D, Wang N, et al.
Long Non-Coding RNA BANCR Promotes Endometrial Cancer Cell Proliferation and Invasion by Regulating MMP2 and MMP1 via ERK/MAPK Signaling Pathway.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016; 40(3-4):644-656 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Microarray screening had found BRAF-activated non-coding RNA (BANCR) was significantly upregulated in type 1 endometrial cancer (EC). This study aimed to assess the potential role of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) BANCR in the pathogenesis and progression of type 1 EC.
METHODS: Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to confirm the expression of BANCR in type 1 EC tissue, and analyze its clinical significance. In vitro, RNA interference (siRNA) was used to investigate the biological role of BANCR in type 1 EC.
RESULTS: qRT-PCR revealed that the expression of lncRNA BANCR was higher in type 1 EC (P<0.01). BANCR expression was significantly correlated with FIGO stage, pathological grade, myometrial invasion, and lymph node metastasis. The expression of BANCR was significantly correlated with that of MMP2/MMP1. In vitro, knockdown of BANCR significantly suppressed proliferation, migration, and invasion of Ishikawa and HEC-1A cells, and significantly inhibited the ERK/MAPK signaling pathway that decreased MMP2 and MMP1 expression.
CONCLUSION: BANCR is highly expressed in type 1 EC tissue and promotes EC-cell proliferation, migration, and invasion by activating ERK/MAPK signaling pathway that regulates MMP2/MMP1 expression. BANCR is expected to become a prognostic marker and therapeutic target in type 1 EC.

Sartore-Bianchi A, Siena S, Tonini G, et al.
Overcoming dynamic molecular heterogeneity in metastatic colorectal cancer: Multikinase inhibition with regorafenib and the case of rechallenge with anti-EGFR.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2016; 51:54-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
In metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), fluorouracil-based combination therapy with oxaliplatin or irinotecan is the mainstay of first-line treatment. Patient survival has been significantly improved with the introduction of monoclonal antibodies against VEGF (bevacizumab), VEGFR2 (ramucirumab) or EGFR (cetuximab or panitumumab) in first- and second-line therapies. However, all patients treated with chemotherapy and targeted therapies will eventually relapse, and recently the emergence of alterations in EGFR, RAS, BRAF, ERB-B2, MET and possibly in other genes has been shown to jeopardize response to EGFR blockade. In chemorefractory patients, multikinase inhibition with regorafenib has proved to be effective and rechallenge with chemotherapy or anti-EGFR agents is empirically pursued. This review will critically discuss how the evolving knowledge of mechanisms of resistance driven by intratumoural dynamic molecular heterogeneity can impact on rational choice of treatments in this setting.

Jasek K, Buzalkova V, Minarik G, et al.
Detection of mutations in the BRAF gene in patients with KIT and PDGFRA wild-type gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Virchows Arch. 2017; 470(1):29-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are characterized by mutations in exons 9, 11, 13, and 17 of KIT or exons 12, 14, and 18 of PDGFRA gene. However, approximately 10 to 15 % of GISTs lack the mutations in KIT and PDGFRA, and these are referred to as wild-type GISTs which are less sensitive to tyrosine-kinase inhibitors. The aim of this study was to detect BRAF mutations in patients with wild-type GISTs. We applied a sensitive allele-specific PCR, which was optimized using the V600E mutation-harboring cell line RKO, followed by verification of the results by dideoxy sequencing. We selected 149 GIST patients without detectable mutations in KIT and PDGFRA genes from the Slovak national GIST register and analyzed biopsy specimens for the presence of BRAF mutations in exon 15. We identified nine patients with the V600E mutation. The BRAF-driven GISTs were primary gastric (n = 3), small intestinal (n = 3), colon (n = 1), and of uncertain origin (n = 1). We also included a liver metastasis of a patient with a simultaneous KIT exon 11-mutated intra-abdominal metastasis. We conclude that genome analysis of wild-type GISTs for mutations should include the BRAF gene, as its mutation status contributes to understanding of pathogenesis and might be important for decisions on therapy.

Gelsomino F, Barbolini M, Spallanzani A, et al.
The evolving role of microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer: A review.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2016; 51:19-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Microsatellite instability (MSI) is a molecular marker of a deficient mismatch repair (MMR) system and occurs in approximately 15% of colorectal cancers (CRCs), more frequently in early than late-stage of disease. While in sporadic cases (about two-thirds of MSI-H CRCs) MMR deficiency is caused by an epigenetic inactivation of MLH1 gene, the remainder are associated with Lynch syndrome, that is linked to a germ-line mutation of one of the MMR genes (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2). MSI-H colorectal cancers have distinct clinical and pathological features such as proximal location, early-stage (predominantly stage II), poor differentiation, mucinous histology and association with BRAF mutations. In early-stage CRC, MSI can select a group of tumors with a better prognosis, while in metastatic disease it seems to confer a negative prognosis. Although with conflicting results, a large amount of preclinical and clinical evidence suggests a possible resistance to 5-FU in these tumors. The higher mutational load in MSI-H CRC can elicit an endogenous immune anti-tumor response, counterbalanced by the expression of immune inhibitory signals, such as PD-1 or PD-L1, that resist tumor elimination. Based on these considerations, MSI-H CRCs seem to be particularly responsive to immunotherapy, such as anti-PD-1, opening a new era in the treatment landscape for patients with metastatic CRC.

Zhang K, Yu M, Hao F, et al.
Knockdown of S100A4 blocks growth and metastasis of anaplastic thyroid cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
Cancer Biomark. 2016; 17(3):281-291 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a locally aggressive type of thyroid tumor with high rate of distant metastases. It is often incurable because it does not respond to radioiodine, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy. With conventional treatment, the median survival is about 6 months; therefore, new treatment options are needed. S100A4 is a calcium-binding protein related to the metastatic potential of carcinoma. Previous study has found S100A4 was overexpressed in human papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) tissues, and overexpression of S100A4 is associated with thyroid tumour invasion and metastasis. In the present study, we first examined S100A4 protein expression in 14 ATC tissues, 20 PTC tissues and 14 normal thyroid tissue by immunohistochemistry analysis. We then knocked down of S100A4 expression by RNA interference (S100A4 siRNA) and investigated its effects on growth and metastasis in two human ATC cell lines 8505C (BRAFV600E) and Cal-62 (BRAFwt) in vitro and in vivo. S100A4 and BRAFV600E protein expression was evaluated by western blot assay and immunohistochemistry analysis. Using immunohistochemistry, we found that high levels of S100A4 were detected in ATC specimens and PTC specimens. No S100A4 staining was observed in normal thyroid tissues. S100A4 siRNA significantly decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis, and inhibited the invasive potential of the two cells in vitro. In addition, S100A4 siRNA could effectively inhibit BRAFV600E expression in the 8505C cells, and treatment with 100 ng/ml human recombinant BRAF V600E in S100A4 siRNA/8505C cells could partly restore its proliferative and invasive ability. Results of implantation in vivo showed S100A4 shRNA could significantly inhibit abdominal cavity metastasis and tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, knockdown of S100A4 has significant role on invasion, metastasis and growth inhibition in the 8505C cells than that of in the Cal-62 cells. These results support the hypothesis that S100A4 contributes significantly to growth and metastasis, and that down-regulation of S100A4 expression decreases the metastatic potential of ATC cells. Furthermore, down-regulation of S100A4 expression is more marked in BRAFV600E cells than that of in the BRAFwt cells.

Sideris M, Moorhead J, Diaz-Cano S, et al.
KRAS Mutant Status, p16 and β-catenin Expression May Predict Local Recurrence in Patients Who Underwent Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEMS) for Stage I Rectal Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(10):5315-5324 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS) is emerging as an alternative treatment for rectal cancer Stage I. There remains a risk of local recurrence. The Aim of the study was to study the effect of biomarkers in local recurrence for Stage I rectal cancer following TEMS plus or minus radiotherapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a case control study where we compared 10 early rectal cancers that had recurred, against 19 cases with no recurrence, total 29 patients (age=28.25-86.87, mean age=67.92 years, SD=14.91, Male, N=18, Female, N=11). All patients underwent TEMS for radiological Stage I rectal cancer (yT1N0M0 or yT2N0M0) established with combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and endorectal ultrasound. We prospectively collected all data on tumour histology, morphological features, as well as follow-up parameters. Molecular analysis was performed to identify their status on BRAF, KRAS, p16 O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) and β-catenin.
RESULTS: Out of 29 specimens analyzed, 19 were KRAS wild type (65.9%) and 10 mutant (34.5%). Recurrence of the tumour was noted in 10 cases (34.5%) from which 60% were pT1 (N=6) and 40% pT2 (N=4). There was a statistically significant association between KRAS mutant status and local recurrence (N=6, p=0.037). P16 expression greater than 5% (mean=10.8%, min=0, max=95) is linked with earlier recurrence within 11.70 months (N=7, p=0.004). Membranous β-catenin expression (N=12, 48%) was also related with KRAS mutant status (p=0.006) but not with survival (p>0.05). BRAF gene was found to be wild type in all cases tested (N=23).
CONCLUSION: KRAS/p16/β-catenin could be used as a combined biomarker for prediction of local recurrence and stratification of the risk for further surgery.

Cremolini C, Pietrantonio F
How the lab is changing our view of colorectal cancer.
Tumori. 2016; 102(6):541-547 [PubMed] Related Publications
In metastatic colorectal cancer, the optimization of upfront treatment and the continuum of care based on patients' exposure to multiple treatment lines have reached a plateau of efficacy. Therefore, a paradigm shift is ongoing towards precision medicine and personalized treatments based on the specific molecular features of the disease. In this perspective, the improved knowledge of disease biology coming from the lab has prompted a rapid translation from bench to bedside of newer targeted strategies. Here, we focus on the most promising biomarkers already included or close to adoption in daily clinical practice. In particular, evidence about the potential roles of BRAF mutation, HER2 amplification, MGMT methylation, microsatellite instability, and ALK, ROS and NTRK1-3 rearrangements as positive predictors of benefit from biological agents is reviewed and discussed.

Liu J, Keisling MP, Samkari A, et al.
Malignant glioma with primitive neuroectodermal tumor-like component (MG-PNET): novel microarray findings in a pediatric patient.
Clin Neuropathol. 2016 Nov/Dec; 35(6):353-367 [PubMed] Related Publications
Central nervous system (CNS) tumors exhibiting dual features of malignant glioma (MG) and primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) are rare and diagnostically challenging. Previous studies have shown that MG-PNET carry MYCN or MYC gene amplifications within the PNET component concomitant with glioma-associated alterations, most commonly 10q loss, in both components [9]. Here we confirm and extend the profile of molecular genetic findings in a MG-PNET involving the left frontal lobe of a 12-year-old male. Histologically, the PNET-like component showed morphological features akin to anaplastic medulloblastoma highlighted by widespread immunoreactivity for βIII-tubulin (TUBB3) and nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein, and to a lesser degree, Neu-N, synaptophysin, and CD99, whereas the gliomatous component was demarcated by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) labeling. Immunohistochemical labeling with an anti-H3K27M mutant-specific antibody was not detectable in either gliomatous and/or PNET-like areas. Interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) study on touch preparations from frozen tumor and formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded histological sections showed amplification of MYC in both PNET-like and gliomatous areas. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarray analysis revealed that the tumor carried gains of multiple chromosomes and chromosome arms, losses of multiple chromosomes and chromosome arms, gains of multiple chromosomal segments (not limited to amplification of chromosomal segments 4q12 including PDGFRA, and 8q24.21 including MYC), and a hitherto unreported chromothripsis-like abnormality on chromosome 8. No mutations were identified for IDH1, IDH2, or BRAF genes by sequence analysis. The molecular genetic findings support the presence of a CNS-PNET as an integral part of the tumor coupled with overlapping genetic alterations found in both adult and pediatric high-grade gliomas/glioblastoma. Collectively, microarray data point to a complex underpinning of genetic alterations associated with the MG-PNET tumor phenotype.

Fondello C, Agnetti L, Villaverde MS, et al.
The combination of bleomycin with suicide or interferon-β gene transfer is able to efficiently eliminate human melanoma tumor initiating cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 83:290-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
We explored the potential of a chemogene therapy combination to eradicate melanoma tumor initiating cells, key producers of recurrence and metastatic spread. Three new human melanoma cell lines, two obtained from lymph nodes and one from spleen metastasis were established and characterized. They were cultured as monolayers and spheroids and, in both spatial configurations they displayed sensitivity to single treatments with bleomycin (BLM) or human interferon-β (hIFNβ) gene or herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir suicide gene (SG) lipofection. However, the combination of bleomycin with SG or hIFNβ gene transfer displayed greater antitumor efficacy. The three cell lines exhibited a proliferative behavior consistent with melan A and gp100 melanoma antigens expression, and BRAF V600E mutation. BLM and both genetic treatments increased the fraction of more differentiated and treatment-sensitive cells. Simultaneously, they significantly decreased the sub-population of tumor initiating cells. There was a significant correlation between the cytotoxicity of treatments with BLM and gene transfer and the fraction of cells exhibiting (i) high proliferation index, and (ii) high intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species. Conversely, the fraction of cells surviving to our treatments closely paralleled their (i) colony and (ii) melanosphere forming capacity. A very significant finding was that the combination of BLM with SG or hIFNβ gene almost abrogated the clonogenic capacity of the surviving cells. Altogether, the results presented here suggest that the combined chemo-gene treatments are able to eradicate tumor initiating cells, encouraging further studies aimed to apply this strategy in the clinic.

Xu Y, Zhu C, Qian W, Zheng M
Comprehensive study of mutational and clinicopathologic characteristics of adenocarcinoma with lepidic pattern in surgical resected lung adenocarcinoma.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2017; 143(1):181-186 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although many studies have explored clinicopathologic characteristics and prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma, a few literatures reported the mutational status of lung adenocarcinomas with lepidic pattern and whether there is difference between adenocarcinomas with pure lepidic component and lepidic predominant adenocarcinomas remain unknown.
METHODS: One hundred and thirty-three patients including 92 adenocarcinomas with pure lepidic component and 41 lepidic predominant adenocarcinomas were subjected to the study. All the clinicopathologic data, the follow-up information and the status of gene mutations including EGFR, KRAS, HER2, BRAF, AKT1, ALK, RET and ROS1 were investigated.
RESULTS: Of the 133 lung adenocarcinomas with lepidic pattern, 87.22 % (116/133) were detected harboring mutations in our tested genes, among which 90.52 % (105/116) harbored EGFR mutation. There are three KRAS mutations and two BRAF mutations in our cohort, and we revealed two ALK fusion and one RET fusion. No ROS1 fusion was discovered. There was no significant difference in gene mutations between adenocarcinomas with pure lepidic component and lepidic predominant adenocarcinomas except EGFR mutation (p = 0.039). Lepidic predominant adenocarcinomas seemed to have more EGFR mutation. The post-recurrence survival was significantly prolonged in patients who received TKIs.
CONCLUSIONS: Adenocarcinoma with lepidic pattern is a low-grade lung tumor with favorable prognosis and displays frequent EGFR mutation. Compared with lepidic predominant adenocarcinomas, lung adenocarcinomas with pure lepidic component have a better prognosis. On the basis of these results, we also suggested the application of EGFR-TKIs therapy for EGFR mutation-positive patients after recurrence could achieve prolonged survival.

Nasirden A, Saito T, Fukumura Y, et al.
In Japanese patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma, TERT promoter mutation is associated with poor prognosis, in contrast to BRAF (V600E) mutation.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(6):687-696 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prognostic value of BRAF (V600E) and TERT promoter mutation in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is controversial. We examined alterations in BRAF (V600E) and TERT promoter by PCR-direct sequencing in PTC of 144 Japanese patients. Alternative lengthening of telomeres was examined as another mechanism of telomere maintenance by immunohistochemical staining for ATRX and DAXX. Of the clinicopathological characteristics, regional lymph node metastasis, extra-thyroid extension, multifocality/intrathyroidal spread, and advanced stage (III/V) were associated with shorter disease-free survival rate (DFSR). TERT promoter mutation was found in eight patients (6 %), and this was significantly associated with total thyroidectomy, multifocality/intrathyroidal spread, lymph node metastasis and advanced stage. The BRAF (V600E) mutation was found in 53 patients (38.2 %) but was not associated with any clinicopathological factors. TERT mutations were not correlated with BRAF (V600E) mutation status. TERT mutation-positive tumors (TERT+) showed lower DFSR than BRAF (V600E) -mutation-positive tumors (BRAF (V600E) +), and TERT+/BRAF (V600E) + tumors showed lower DFSR than BRAF (V600E) + tumors. No cases showed loss of ATRX/DAXX expression by immunohistochemistry. TERT promoter mutations showed a lower prevalence in our series and appeared to be associated with aggressive behavior. In PTCs, telomerase activation by TERT promoter mutation might be more important than alternative lengthening of telomeres.

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