Gene Summary

Gene:CSF1R; colony stimulating factor 1 receptor
Aliases: FMS, CSFR, FIM2, HDLS, C-FMS, CD115, CSF-1R, M-CSF-R
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is the receptor for colony stimulating factor 1, a cytokine which controls the production, differentiation, and function of macrophages. This receptor mediates most if not all of the biological effects of this cytokine. Ligand binding activates the receptor kinase through a process of oligomerization and transphosphorylation. The encoded protein is a tyrosine kinase transmembrane receptor and member of the CSF1/PDGF receptor family of tyrosine-protein kinases. Mutations in this gene have been associated with a predisposition to myeloid malignancy. The first intron of this gene contains a transcriptionally inactive ribosomal protein L7 processed pseudogene oriented in the opposite direction. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Dec 2013]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 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.

Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: CSF1R (cancer-related)

Yu MG, Zheng HY
Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Advancements in Diagnosis and Treatment.
Chin Med J (Engl). 2017 20th Jan; 130(2):211-218 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Leukemia is the most common pediatric malignancy and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Among all subtypes, a lack of consensus exists regarding the diagnosis and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Patient survival rates have remained modest for the past three decades in AML. Recently, targeted therapy has emerged as a promising treatment.
DATA SOURCES: We searched the PubMed database for recently published research papers on diagnostic development, target therapy, and other novel therapies of AML. Clinical trial information was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov. For the major purpose of this review that is to outline the latest therapeutic development of AML, we only listed the ongoing clinical trials for reference. However, the published results of complete clinical trials were also mentioned.
STUDY SELECTION: This article reviewed the latest developments related to the diagnosis and treatment of AML. In the first portion, we provided some novel insights on the molecular basis of AML, as well as provided an update on the classification of AML. In the second portion, we summarized the results of research on potential molecular therapeutic agents including monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine kinase/Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) inhibitors, epigenetic/demethylating agents, and cellular therapeutic agents. We will also highlight ongoing research and clinical trials in pediatric AML.
RESULTS: We described clonal evolution and how it changes our view on leukemogenesis, treatment responses, and disease relapse. Pediatric-specific genomic mapping was discussed with a novel diagnostic method highlighted. In the later portion of this review, we summarized the researches on potential molecular therapeutic agents including monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine kinase/FLT3 inhibitors, epigenetic/demethylating agents, and cellular therapeutic agents.
CONCLUSION: Gene sequencing techniques should set the basis for next-generation diagnostic methods of AML, and target therapy should be the focus of future clinical research in the exploration of therapeutic possibilities.

Ebrahim EK, Assem MM, Amin AI, et al.
FLT3 Internal Tandem Duplication Mutation, cMPL and CD34 Expressions Predict Low Survival in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients.
Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2016; 46(6):592-600 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To detect FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 internal tandem duplicate (FLT3 ITD) mutation, Myeloproliferative leukemia virus oncogene (cMPL) and Ephrin A 4 receptor (EphA4) expressions in Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and their correlation to patient's clinicopathological characteristics and survival.
METHODS: RNA was extracted from blood samples of 58 AML patients (39 adults and 19 children) and 20 age and sex matched controls. FLT3 ITD mutation, cMPL and EphA4 expression was studied using RT-PCR and correlated to the clinical and survival data of the patients.
RESULTS: FLT3 ITD mutation, cMPL and EphA4 expression was positive in 35.9%, 76.9% and 56.4% of adult AML patients respectively and in 15.8%, 47.4% and 36.8% of pediatric AML patients respectively. 76.9% of adult and 89.5% of pediatric patients expressed CD33. 64.1 % of adults and 42.1% of children expressed CD34. CD34 expression was significantly associated with both FLT3 ITD mutation and cMPL expression. CD34, FLT3 and cMPL negative cases have significantly higher overall survival than positive cases.
CONCLUSION: CD34 expression is significantly associated with both FLT3 ITD mutation and cMPL expression which could be used as a marker for low survival. Normal FLT3 and negative expression of CD34 and cMPL may predict a longer overall survival. Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanism that may correlate CD34 to both markers.

Knebel B, Lehr S, Janssen OE, et al.
Association between copy-number variation on metabolic phenotypes and HDL-C levels in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Mol Biol Rep. 2017; 44(1):51-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polygenic diseases with a broad phenotypic spectrum, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), present a particular challenge in terms of identifying the underlying genetic mechanisms, nevertheless genetic variants have impact on the individual phenotype. We aimed to determine if next to genetic variations like SNPs further mechanisms might play a role in the pathogenesis of PCOS. We examined the effect of copy-number variations (CNVs) on metabolic phenotypes in PCOS. The intragenic rs1244979, rs2815752 in NEGR1 gene, and rs780094 in GCKR gene were genotyped and CNVs were determined by droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) in PCOS patients (n = 153) and controls without metabolic syndrome (n = 142). The study indicated that SNPs are not associated with the pathogenesis of PCOS but affect metabolic phenotypes. The CNVs investigated show a lower variability in PCOS than in CON. Furthermore, we provided direct evidence that the copy number, but not the genotype of the CNV in the genomic regions of rs780094(GCKR) is associated with low level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in PCOS. This study supports the hypothesis that not only genetic variants, but also CNVs in metabolically relevant genes, have an effect on metabolic phenotypes in our group of PCOS patients.

Chang H, Sung JH, Moon SU, et al.
EGF Induced RET Inhibitor Resistance in CCDC6-RET Lung Cancer Cells.
Yonsei Med J. 2017; 58(1):9-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Rearrangement of the proto-oncogene rearranged during transfection (RET) has been newly identified potential driver mutation in lung adenocarcinoma. Clinically available tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) target RET kinase activity, which suggests that patients with RET fusion genes may be treatable with a kinase inhibitor. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of resistance to these agents remain largely unknown. Thus, the present study aimed to determine whether epidermal growth factor (EGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) trigger RET inhibitor resistance in LC-2/ad cells with CCDC6-RET fusion genes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The effects of EGF and HGF on the susceptibility of a CCDC6-RET lung cancer cell line to RET inhibitors (sunitinib, E7080, vandetanib, and sorafenib) were examined.
RESULTS: CCDC6-RET lung cancer cells were highly sensitive to RET inhibitors. EGF activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and triggered resistance to sunitinib, E7080, vandetanib, and sorafenib by transducing bypass survival signaling through ERK and AKT. Reversible EGFR-TKI (gefitinib) resensitized cancer cells to RET inhibitors, even in the presence of EGF. Endothelial cells, which are known to produce EGF, decreased the sensitivity of CCDC6-RET lung cancer cells to RET inhibitors, an effect that was inhibited by EGFR small interfering RNA (siRNA), anti-EGFR antibody (cetuximab), and EGFR-TKI (Iressa). HGF had relatively little effect on the sensitivity to RET inhibitors.
CONCLUSION: EGF could trigger resistance to RET inhibition in CCDC6-RET lung cancer cells, and endothelial cells may confer resistance to RET inhibitors by EGF. E7080 and other RET inhibitors may provide therapeutic benefits in the treatment of RET-positive lung cancer patients.

Kumsaen P, Fucharoen G, Sirijerachai C, et al.
FLT3-ITD Mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients in Northeast Thailand.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(9):4395-4399 [PubMed] Related Publications
The FLT3-ITD mutation is one of the most frequent genetic abnormalities in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) where it is associated with a poor prognosis. The FLT3-ITD mutation could, therefore, be a potential molecular prognostic marker important for risk-stratified treatment options. We amplified the FLT3 gene at exon 14 and 15 in 52 AML patients (aged between 2 months and 74 years) from 4 referral centers (a university hospital and 3 regional hospitals in Northeast Thailand), using a simple PCR method. FLT3-ITD mutations were found in 10 patients (19.2%), being more common in adults than in children (21.1% vs. 14.3%) and more prevalent in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (AML-M3) than AML-non M3 (4 of 10 AML-M3 vs. 6 of 42 AML- non M3 patients). Duplication sequences varied in size-between 27 and 171 nucleotides (median=63.5) and in their location. FLT3-ITD mutations with common duplication sequences accounted for a significant percentage in AML patients in northeastern Thailand. This simple PCR method is feasible for routine laboratory practice and these data could help tailor use of the national protocol for AML.

Allahyari A, Sadeghi M, Ayatollahi H, et al.
Frequency of FLT3 (ITD, D835) Gene Mutations in Acute Myelogenous Leukemia: a Report from Northeastern Iran.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(9):4319-4322 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: FLT3 is mutated in about 1/3 of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients. The aim of the present study was to report the prevalence of FLT3 mutations and comparison with prognostic factors in AML patients in the Northeastern of Iran.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study concerned 100 AML cases diagnosed based on bone marrow aspiration and peripheral blood. DNA for every AML patient was extracted and underwent PCR with FLT3-ITD primers.
RESULTS: The mean age at diagnosis was 28.5 years (range, 1-66 years), 52 patients (52%) being male. Out of 100 AML patients, 21 (21%) had FLT3 mutation, (17 with FLT3- ITD, 81%, and 4 with FLT3-D825, 19%). Of the 21, 14 (66.7%) had heterozygous mutation. There was no significant difference between age, sex and organomegaly between patients with FLT3 mutation versus FLT3 wild-type.
CONCLUSIONS: Our frequency of FLT3 is in line with earlier fidnings of approximately 20 to 30% and also the prevalence of FLT3-ITD is more than FLT3-D35 mutation. There was no significant difference between prognostic factors (age and sex) in the patients with FLT3 mutation versus FLT3 wild-type. The prevalence of FLT3 heterozygous mutations is more that homozygous mutations in AML patients.

Fleischmann M, Schnetzke U, Schrenk KG, et al.
Outcome of FLT3-ITD-positive acute myeloid leukemia: impact of allogeneic stem cell transplantation and tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2017; 143(2):337-345 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Activating mutations of the receptor tyrosine kinase FLT3 (fms-related tyrosine kinase 3) reflect the most frequent molecular aberration in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In particular, FLT3 internal tandem duplications (FLT3-ITD) are characterized by an unfavorable prognosis and allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allogeneic SCT) in first complete remission is recommended. In case of imminent or frank relapse following allogeneic SCT, treatment with FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) constitutes a promising clinical approach to induce hematologic remission without conventional chemotherapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the response to induction chemotherapy and the outcome of 76 patients with FLT3-ITD-positive AML including 50 patients who underwent allogeneic SCT. Furthermore, efficacy of TKI treatment was evaluated in 18 patients (median age 54 years, range 21-74) with relapsed or refractory FLT3-ITD-positive AML.
RESULTS: Response to induction chemotherapy in 76 FLT3-ITD-positive AML patients was characterized by a complete remission (CR) rate of 68%. In total, 50 of 76 patients (66%) underwent allogeneic SCT including 40 patients (80%) in CR. Relapse of AML was observed in 21 of 47 patients (45%) after allogeneic SCT with a median relapse-free survival (RFS) of 13 months (range 3-224) for patients with CR prior to or at day +30 after SCT. Myeloablative conditioning resulted in an improved median RFS of 29 months (4-217) as compared to a reduced intensity conditioning protocol prior to allogeneic SCT with a RFS of 8 months (1-197, P = 0.048), respectively. Median OS of FLT3-ITD-positive AML was 17 months (5-225) for patients who received an allogeneic SCT as compared to 9 months (1-184) for patients who did not undergo SCT. Response of FLT3-ITD-positive AML to sorafenib was characterized by only 3 of 18 patients achieving a bone marrow response (17%), while there was no response to second-line treatment with ponatinib.
CONCLUSION: This "real-life" data reflect the continuing challenge of FLT3-ITD-positive AML and confirm the poor outcome even after allogeneic SCT. Furthermore, efficacy of TKI treatment of relapsed or refractory FLT3-ITD AML is still limited and requires substantial improvement, e.g., by the introduction of second-generation inhibitors targeting constitutively active FLT3.

Wang X, Guda C
Integrative exploration of genomic profiles for triple negative breast cancer identifies potential drug targets.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(30):e4321 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is high-risk due to its rapid drug resistance and recurrence, metastasis, and lack of targeted therapy. So far, no molecularly targeted therapeutic agents have been clinically approved for TNBC. It is imperative that we discover new targets for TNBC therapy.
OBJECTIVES: A large volume of cancer genomics data are emerging and advancing breast cancer research. We may integrate different types of TNBC genomic data to discover molecular targets for TNBC therapy.
DATA SOURCES: We used publicly available TNBC tumor tissue genomic data in the Cancer Genome Atlas database in this study.
METHODS: We integratively explored genomic profiles (gene expression, copy number, methylation, microRNA [miRNA], and gene mutation) in TNBC and identified hyperactivated genes that have higher expression, more copy numbers, lower methylation level, or are targets of miRNAs with lower expression in TNBC than in normal samples. We ranked the hyperactivated genes into different levels based on all the genomic evidence and performed functional analyses of the sets of genes identified. More importantly, we proposed potential molecular targets for TNBC therapy based on the hyperactivated genes.
RESULTS: Some of the genes we identified such as FGFR2, MAPK13, TP53, SRC family, MUC family, and BCL2 family have been suggested to be potential targets for TNBC treatment. Others such as CSF1R, EPHB3, TRIB1, and LAD1 could be promising new targets for TNBC treatment. By utilizing this integrative analysis of genomic profiles for TNBC, we hypothesized that some of the targeted treatment strategies for TNBC currently in development are more likely to be promising, such as poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors, while the others are more likely to be discouraging, such as angiogenesis inhibitors.
LIMITATIONS: The findings in this study need to be experimentally validated in the future.
CONCLUSION: This is a systematic study that combined 5 different types of genomic data to molecularly characterize TNBC and identify potential targets for TNBC therapy. The integrative analysis of genomic profiles for TNBC could assist in identifying potential new therapeutic targets and predicting the effectiveness of a targeted treatment strategy for TNBC therapy.

Jo SY, Park SH, Kim IS, et al.
Correlation of NPM1 Type A Mutation Burden With Clinical Status and Outcomes in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients With Mutated NPM1 Type A.
Ann Lab Med. 2016; 36(5):399-404 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nucleophosmin gene (NPM1) mutation may be a good molecular marker for assessing the clinical status and predicting the outcomes in AML patients. We evaluated the applicability of NPM1 type A mutation (NPM1-mutA) quantitation for this purpose.
METHODS: Twenty-seven AML patients with normal karyotype but bearing the mutated NPM1 were enrolled in the study, and real-time quantitative PCR of NPM1-mutA was performed on 93 bone marrow (BM) samples (27 samples at diagnosis and 56 at follow-up). The NPM1-mutA allele burdens (represented as the NPM1-mutA/Abelson gene (ABL) ratio) at diagnosis and at follow-up were compared.
RESULTS: The median NPM1-mutA/ABL ratio was 1.3287 at diagnosis and 0.092 at 28 days after chemotherapy, corresponding to a median log10 reduction of 1.7061. Significant correlations were observed between BM blast counts and NPM1-mutA quantitation results measured at diagnosis (γ=0.5885, P=0.0012) and after chemotherapy (γ=0.5106, P=0.0065). Total 16 patients achieved morphologic complete remission at 28 days after chemotherapy, and 14 (87.5%) patients showed a >3 log10 reduction of the NPM1-mutA/ABL ratio. The NPM1-mutA allele was detected in each of five patients who had relapsed, giving a median increase of 0.91-fold of the NPM1-mutA/ABL ratio at relapse over that at diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS: The NPM1-mutA quantitation results corresponded to BM assessment results with high stability at relapse, and could predict patient outcomes. Quantitation of the NPM1-mutA burden at follow-up would be useful in the management of AML patients harboring this gene mutation.

Neuendorff NR, Burmeister T, Dörken B, Westermann J
BCR-ABL-positive acute myeloid leukemia: a new entity? Analysis of clinical and molecular features.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(8):1211-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BCR-ABL-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a rare subtype of AML that is now included as a provisional entity in the 2016 revised WHO classification of myeloid malignancies. Since a clear distinction between de novo BCR-ABL+ AML and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) blast crisis is challenging in many cases, the existence of de novo BCR-ABL+ AML has been a matter of debate for a long time. However, there is increasing evidence suggesting that BCR-ABL+ AML is in fact a distinct subgroup of AML. In this study, we analyzed all published cases since 1975 as well as cases from our institution in order to present common clinical and molecular features of this rare disease. Our analysis shows that BCR-ABL predominantly occurs in AML-NOS, CBF leukemia, and AML with myelodysplasia-related changes. The most common BCR-ABL transcripts (p190 and p210) are nearly equally distributed. Based on the analysis of published data, we provide a clinical algorithm for the initial differential diagnosis of BCR-ABL+ AML. The prognosis of BCR-ABL+ AML seems to depend on the cytogenetic and/or molecular background rather than on BCR-ABL itself. A therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) such as imatinib, dasatinib, or nilotinib is reasonable, but-due to a lack of systematic clinical data-their use cannot be routinely recommended in first-line therapy. Beyond first-line treatment of AML, the use of TKI remains an individual decision, both in combination with intensive chemotherapy and/or as a bridge to allogeneic stem cell transplantation. In each single case, potential benefits have to be weighed against potential risks.

Katoh M
FGFR inhibitors: Effects on cancer cells, tumor microenvironment and whole-body homeostasis (Review).
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 38(1):3-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)2, FGF4, FGF7 and FGF20 are representative paracrine FGFs binding to heparan-sulfate proteoglycan and fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs), whereas FGF19, FGF21 and FGF23 are endocrine FGFs binding to Klotho and FGFRs. FGFR1 is relatively frequently amplified and overexpressed in breast and lung cancer, and FGFR2 in gastric cancer. BCR-FGFR1, CNTRL-FGFR1, CUX1-FGFR1, FGFR1OP-FGFR1, MYO18A-FGFR1 and ZMYM2-FGFR1 fusions in myeloproliferative neoplasms are non-receptor-type FGFR kinases, whereas FGFR1-TACC1, FGFR2-AFF3, FGFR2-BICC1, FGFR2-PPHLN1, FGFR3-BAIAP2L1 and FGFR3-TACC3 fusions in solid tumors are transmembrane-type FGFRs with C-terminal alterations. AZD4547, BGJ398 (infigratinib), Debio-1347 and dovitinib are FGFR1/2/3 inhibitors; BLU9931 is a selective FGFR4 inhibitor; FIIN-2, JNJ-42756493, LY2874455 and ponatinib are pan-FGFR inhibitors. AZD4547, dovitinib and ponatinib are multi-kinase inhibitors targeting FGFRs, colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)R2, and others. The tumor microenvironment consists of cancer cells and stromal/immune cells, such as cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), endothelial cells, M2-type tumor-associating macrophages (M2-TAMs), myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and regulatory T cells. FGFR inhibitors elicit antitumor effects directly on cancer cells, as well as indirectly through the blockade of paracrine signaling. The dual inhibition of FGF and CSF1 or VEGF signaling is expected to enhance the antitumor effects through the targeting of immune evasion and angiogenesis in the tumor microenvironment. Combination therapy using tyrosine kinase inhibitors (FGFR or CSF1R inhibitors) and immune checkpoint blockers (anti-PD-1 or anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibodies) may be a promising choice for cancer patients. The inhibition of FGF19-FGFR4 signaling is associated with a risk of liver toxicity, whereas the activation of FGF23-FGFR4 signaling is associated with a risk of heart toxicity. Endocrine FGF signaling affects the pathophysiology of cancer patients who are prescribed FGFR inhibitors. Whole-genome sequencing is necessary for the detection of promoter/enhancer alterations of FGFR genes and rare alterations of other genes causing FGFR overexpression. To sustain the health care system in an aging society, a benefit-cost analysis should be performed with a focus on disease-free survival and the total medical cost before implementing genome-based precision medicine for cancer patients.

Byun JM, Kim YJ, Yoon HJ, et al.
Cytogenetic profiles of 2806 patients with acute myeloid leukemia-a retrospective multicenter nationwide study.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(8):1223-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cytogenetic and molecular data is recognized as the most valuable prognostic factor in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our aim was to systemically analyze the cytogenetics of Korean AML patients and to compare the cytogenetic profiles of various races to identify possible geographic heterogeneity. We retrospectively reviewed medical records of 2806 AML patients diagnosed at 11 tertiary teaching hospitals in Korea between January 2007 and December 2011. The most common recurrent chromosomal abnormality was t(8;21) (8.8 %, 238/2717), but t(15;17) showed an almost same number (8.6 %,235/2717). Among de novo AML, the most frequent aberrations were t(15;17), observed in 229 (10.7 %). The most common French-American-British (FAB) classification type was M2 (32.2 %), and recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities correlated with the FAB subtypes. Among 283 secondary AML cases, myelodysplastic syndrome was the most common predisposing factor. About 67.1 % of the secondary AML cases were associated with chromosomal aberrations, and chromosome 7 abnormalities (n = 45, 15.9 %) were most common. The incidence of FLT3 internal tandem duplication mutation was relatively low at 15 %. Our study reports certain similarities and differences in comparison to previous reports. Such discrepancies call for extensive epidemiological studies to clarify the role of genetic as well as geographic heterogeneity in the pathogenesis of AML.

Rustagi N, Hampton OA, Li J, et al.
ITD assembler: an algorithm for internal tandem duplication discovery from short-read sequencing data.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2016; 17:188 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Detection of tandem duplication within coding exons, referred to as internal tandem duplication (ITD), remains challenging due to inefficiencies in alignment of ITD-containing reads to the reference genome. There is a critical need to develop efficient methods to recover these important mutational events.
RESULTS: In this paper we introduce ITD Assembler, a novel approach that rapidly evaluates all unmapped and partially mapped reads from whole exome NGS data using a De Bruijn graphs approach to select reads that harbor cycles of appropriate length, followed by assembly using overlap-layout-consensus. We tested ITD Assembler on The Cancer Genome Atlas AML dataset as a truth set. ITD Assembler identified the highest percentage of reported FLT3-ITDs when compared to other ITD detection algorithms, and discovered additional ITDs in FLT3, KIT, CEBPA, WT1 and other genes. Evidence of polymorphic ITDs in 54 genes were also found. Novel ITDs were validated by analyzing the corresponding RNA sequencing data.
CONCLUSIONS: ITD Assembler is a very sensitive tool which can detect partial, large and complex tandem duplications. This study highlights the need to more effectively look for ITD's in other cancers and Mendelian diseases.

Khaled S, Al Malki M, Marcucci G
Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Biologic, Prognostic, and Therapeutic Insights.
Oncology (Williston Park). 2016; 30(4):318-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a biologically complex and molecularly and clinically heterogeneous disease, and its incidence is increasing as the population ages. Unfortunately, currently used "one-size-fits-all" chemotherapy regimens result in cure for only a minority of patients. Although progress has been made in identifying subsets of patients who require chemotherapy alone-as compared with those who require initial chemotherapy followed by allogeneic stem cell transplantation to maximize the chance for cure-clinical and cytogenetic prognosticators are not sufficiently accurate for such a risk-adapted stratification approach. New molecular technologies have allowed for in-depth molecular analyses of AML patients. These studies have revealed novel mutations, epigenetic changes, and/or aberrant expression levels of protein-coding and noncoding genes involved in leukemogenesis. These molecular aberrations are now being increasingly used not only to select risk-adapted treatment strategies, but also to incorporate newer molecularly targeted agents into conventional chemotherapy and/or transplant treatments. The hope is that this approach will lead to a better selection of "personalized" treatments for individual patients at diagnosis, the ability to assess these treatments in real time, and the ability, if necessary, to modify these therapies utilizing molecular endpoints for guidance regarding their antileukemia activity. We review here the state of the art of diagnosis and treatment of AML and provide insights into the emerging novel biomarkers and therapeutic agents that are anticipated to be useful for the implementation of personalized medicine in AML.

Lu JW, Wang AN, Liao HA, et al.
Cabozantinib is selectively cytotoxic in acute myeloid leukemia cells with FLT3-internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD).
Cancer Lett. 2016; 376(2):218-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cabozantinib is an oral multikinase inhibitor that exhibits anti-tumor activity in several cancers. We found that cabozantinib was significantly cytotoxic to MV4-11 and Molm-13 cells that harbored FLT3-ITD, resulting in IC50 values of 2.4 nM and 2.0 nM, respectively. However, K562, OCI-AML3 and THP-1 (leukemia cell lines lacking FLT3-ITD) were resistant to cabozantinib, showing IC50 values in the micromolar range. Cabozantinib arrested MV4-11 cell growth at the G0/G1 phase within 24 h, which was associated with decreased phosphorylation of FLT3, STAT5, AKT and ERK. Additionally, cabozantinib induced MV4-11 cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner (as indicated by annexin V staining and high levels of cleaved caspase 3 and PARP-1), down-regulated the anti-apoptotic protein survivin and up-regulated the pro-apoptotic protein Bak. Thus, cabozantinib is selectively cytotoxic to leukemia cells with FLT3-ITD, causing cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. In mouse xenograft model, cabozantinib significantly inhibited MV4-11 and Molm-13 tumor growth at a dosage of 10 mg/kg and showed longer survival rate. Clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of cabozantinib in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with FLT3-ITD are warranted.

Valiulienė G, Treigytė G, Savickienė J, et al.
Histone modifications patterns in tissues and tumours from acute promyelocytic leukemia xenograft model in response to combined epigenetic therapy.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 79:62-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Xenograft models are suitable for in vivo study of leukemia's pathogenesis and the preclinical development of anti-leukemia agents but understanding of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms linking to adult cell functions in pathological conditions during different in vivo treatments is yet unknown. In this study, for the first time epigenetic chromatin modifications were characterized in tissues and tumours from murine xenograft model generated using the human acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) NB4 cells engrafted in immunodeficient NOG mice. Xenografts were subjected to combined epigenetic treatment by histone deacetylase inhibitor Belinostat, histone methyltransferase inhibitor 3-DZNeaplanocin A and all-trans-retinoic acid based on in vitro model, where such combination inhibited NB4 cell growth and enhanced retinoic acid-induced differentiation to granulocytes. Xenotransplantation was assessed by peripheral blood cells counts, the analysis of cell surface markers (CD15, CD33, CD45) and the expression of certain genes (PML-RAR alpha, CSF3, G-CSFR, WT1). The combined treatment prolonged APL xenograft mice survival and prevented tumour formation. The analysis of the expression of histone marks such as acetylation of H4, trimethylation of H3K4, H3K9 and H3K27 in APL xenograft mice tumours and tissues demonstrated tissue-specific changes in the level of histone modifications and the APL prognostic mark, WT1 protein. In summary, the effects of epigenetic agents used in this study were positive for leukemia prevention and linked to a modulation of the chromatin epigenetic environment in adult tissues of malignant organism.

Moorman AV
New and emerging prognostic and predictive genetic biomarkers in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Haematologica. 2016; 101(4):407-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous disease at the genetic level. Chromosomal abnormalities are used as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers to provide subtype, outcome and drug response information. t(12;21)/ETV6-RUNX1 and high hyper-diploidy are good-risk prognostic biomarkers whereas KMT2A(MLL) translocations, t(17;19)/TCF3-HLF, haploidy or low hypodiploidy are high-risk biomarkers. t(9;22)/BCR-ABL1 patients require targeted treatment (imatinib/dasatinib), whereas iAMP21 patients achieve better outcomes when treated intensively. High-risk genetic biomarkers are four times more prevalent in adults compared to children. The application of genomic technologies to cases without an established abnormality (B-other) reveals copy number alterations which can be used either individually or in combination as prognostic biomarkers. Transcriptome sequencing studies have identified a network of fusion genes involving kinase genes -ABL1,ABL2,PDGFRB,CSF1R,CRLF2,JAK2 and EPOR in-vitro and in-vivo studies along with emerging clinical observations indicate that patients with a kinase-activating aberration may respond to treatment with small molecular inhibitors like imatinib/dasatinib and ruxolitinib. Further work is required to determine the true frequency of these abnormalities across the age spectrum and the optimal way to incorporate such inhibitors into protocols. In conclusion, genetic biomarkers are playing an increasingly important role in the management of patients with ALL.

Petrushev B, Boca S, Simon T, et al.
Gold nanoparticles enhance the effect of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in acute myeloid leukemia therapy.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2016; 11:641-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Every year, in Europe, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is diagnosed in thousands of adults. For most subtypes of AML, the backbone of treatment was introduced nearly 40 years ago as a combination of cytosine arabinoside with an anthracycline. This therapy is still the worldwide standard of care. Two-thirds of patients achieve complete remission, although most of them ultimately relapse. Since the FLT3 mutation is the most frequent, it serves as a key molecular target for tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that inhibit FLT3 kinase. In this study, we report the conjugation of TKIs onto spherical gold nanoparticles.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The internalization of TKI-nanocarriers was proved by the strongly scattered light from gold nanoparticles and was correlated with the results obtained by transmission electron microscopy and dark-field microscopy. The therapeutic effect of the newly designed drugs was investigated by several methods including cell counting assay as well as the MTT assay.
RESULTS: We report the newly described bioconjugates to be superior when compared with the drug alone, with data confirmed by state-of-the-art analyses of internalization, cell biology, gene analysis for FLT3-IDT gene, and Western blotting to assess degradation of the FLT3 protein.
CONCLUSION: The effective transmembrane delivery and increased efficacy validate its use as a potential therapeutic.

Saleh AM, Taha MO, Aziz MA, et al.
Novel anticancer compound [trifluoromethyl-substituted pyrazole N-nucleoside] inhibits FLT3 activity to induce differentiation in acute myeloid leukemia cells.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 375(2):199-208 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anticancer properties of chemically synthesized compounds have continuously been optimized for better efficacy and selectivity. Derivatives of heterocyclic compounds are well known to have selective antiproliferative effect against many types of cancer. In this study, we investigated the ability of an indigenously synthesized anticancer molecule, G-11 [1-(2",3",4",6"-Tetra-O-acetyl-β-D-glucopyranosyl)-4-(3'-trifluoromethylphenylhydrazono)-3-trifluoromethyl-1,4-dihydropyrazol-5-one], to cause selective cytotoxicity and induce differentiation in the acute myeloid leukemia HL-60 cells. G-11 was able to exert cytotoxic effect on hematological (Jurkat, U937, K562, HL-60, CCRF-SB) and solid tumor (MCF-7, HepG2, HeLa, Caco-2) cell lines, with IC50 values significantly lower than noncancerous cells (HEK-293, BJ and Vero) and normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells. G-11 induced differentiation of HL-60 cells to granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages by inhibiting the activation of FLT3 (CD135 tyrosine kinase). ITD-FLT3 mutation found in many acute myeloid leukemia patients could also be targeted by G-11 as exhibited by its inhibitory effect on MOLM-13 and MV4-11 cell lines. Molecular docking studies suggest the involvement of Leu616, Asp698, Cys694 and Cys828 residues in binding of G-11 to FLT3. The ability of G-11 to cause selective cytotoxicity and induce differentiation in cancer cells could be clinically relevant for therapeutic gains.

Wood LW, Cox NI, Phelps CA, et al.
Thyroid Transcription Factor 1 Reprograms Angiogenic Activities of Secretome.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:19857 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Through both gain- and loss-of-TTF-1 expression strategies, we show that TTF-1 positively regulates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and that the VEGF promoter element contains multiple TTF-1-responsive sequences. The major signaling receptor for VEGF, i.e VEGFR2, also appears to be under a direct and positive regulation of TTF-1. The TTF-1-dependent upregulation of VEGF was moderately sensitive to rapamycin, implicating a partial involvement of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). However, hypoxia did not further increase the secreted VEGF level of the TTF-1(+) lung cancer cells. The TTF-1-induced VEGF upregulation occurs in both compartments (exosomes and exosome-depleted media (EDM)) of the conditioned media. Surprisingly, the EDM of TTF-1(+) lung cancer cells (designated EDM-TTF-1(+)) displayed an anti-angiogenic activity in the endothelial cell tube formation assay. Mechanistic studies suggest that the increased granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) level in the EDM-TTF-1(+) conferred the antiangiogenic activities. In human lung cancer, the expression of TTF-1 and GM-CSF exhibits a statistically significant and positive correlation. In summary, this study provides evidence that TTF-1 may reprogram lung cancer secreted proteome into an antiangiogenic state, offering a novel basis to account for the long-standing observation of favorable prognosis associated with TTF-1(+) lung adenocarcinomas.

Hua X, Hyland PL, Huang J, et al.
MEGSA: A Powerful and Flexible Framework for Analyzing Mutual Exclusivity of Tumor Mutations.
Am J Hum Genet. 2016; 98(3):442-55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The central challenges in tumor sequencing studies is to identify driver genes and pathways, investigate their functional relationships, and nominate drug targets. The efficiency of these analyses, particularly for infrequently mutated genes, is compromised when subjects carry different combinations of driver mutations. Mutual exclusivity analysis helps address these challenges. To identify mutually exclusive gene sets (MEGS), we developed a powerful and flexible analytic framework based on a likelihood ratio test and a model selection procedure. Extensive simulations demonstrated that our method outperformed existing methods for both statistical power and the capability of identifying the exact MEGS, particularly for highly imbalanced MEGS. Our method can be used for de novo discovery, for pathway-guided searches, or for expanding established small MEGS. We applied our method to the whole-exome sequencing data for 13 cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We identified multiple previously unreported non-pairwise MEGS in multiple cancer types. For acute myeloid leukemia, we identified a MEGS with five genes (FLT3, IDH2, NRAS, KIT, and TP53) and a MEGS (NPM1, TP53, and RUNX1) whose mutation status was strongly associated with survival (p = 6.7 × 10(-4)). For breast cancer, we identified a significant MEGS consisting of TP53 and four infrequently mutated genes (ARID1A, AKT1, MED23, and TBL1XR1), providing support for their role as cancer drivers.

Huang K, Yang M, Pan Z, et al.
Leukemogenic potency of the novel FLT3-N676K mutant.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(5):783-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
The novel FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3)-N676K point mutation within the FLT3 kinase domain-1 was recently identified in 6 % of de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with inv(16). Because FLT3-N676K was encountered almost exclusively in inv(16) AML, we investigated the transforming potential of FLT3-N676K, the cooperation between FLT3-N676K and core binding factor ß-smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (CBFß-SMMHC) (encoded by the inv(16) chimeric gene CBFB-MYH11) in inducing acute leukemia, and tested the sensitivity of FLT3-N676K-positive leukemic cells to FLT3 inhibitors. Retroviral expression of FLT3-N676K in myeloid 32D cells induced AML in syngeneic C3H/HeJ mice (n = 11/13, median latency 58 days), with a transforming activity similar to FLT3-internal tandem duplication (ITD) (n = 8/8), FLT3-TKD D835Y (n = 8/9), and FLT3-ITD-N676K (n = 9/9) mutations. Three out of 14 (21.4 %) C57BL/6J mice transplanted with FLT3-N676K-transduced primary hematopoietic progenitor cells developed acute leukemia (latency of 68, 77, and 273 days), while no hematological malignancy was observed in the control groups including FLT3-ITD. Moreover, co-expression of FLT3-N676K/CBFß-SMMHC did not promote acute leukemia in three independent experiments (n = 16). In comparison with FLT3-ITD, FLT3-N676K induced much higher activation of FLT3 and tended to trigger stronger phosphorylation of MAPK and AKT. Importantly, leukemic cells carrying the FLT3-N676K mutant in the absence of an ITD mutation were highly sensitive to FLT3 inhibitors AC220 and crenolanib, and crenolanib even retained activity against the AC220-resistant FLT3-ITD-N676K mutant. Taken together, the FLT3-N676K mutant is potent to transform murine hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells in vivo. This is the first report of acute leukemia induced by an activating FLT3 mutation in C57BL/6J mice. Moreover, further experiments investigating molecular mechanisms for leukemogenesis induced by FLT3-N676K mutation and clinical evaluation of FLT3 inhibitors in FLT3-N676K-positive AML seem warranted.

Galletti G, Scielzo C, Barbaglio F, et al.
Targeting Macrophages Sensitizes Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia to Apoptosis and Inhibits Disease Progression.
Cell Rep. 2016; 14(7):1748-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of monocytes/macrophages in the development and progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is poorly understood. Transcriptomic analyses show that monocytes/macrophages and leukemic cells cross talk during CLL progression. Macrophage depletion impairs CLL engraftment, drastically reduces leukemic growth, and favorably impacts mouse survival. Targeting of macrophages by either CSF1R signaling blockade or clodrolip-mediated cell killing has marked inhibitory effects on established leukemia also. Macrophage killing induces leukemic cell death mainly via the TNF pathway and reprograms the tumor microenvironment toward an antitumoral phenotype. CSF1R inhibition reduces leukemic cell load, especially in the bone marrow, and increases circulating CD20(+) leukemic cells. Accordingly, co-targeting TAMs and CD20-expressing leukemic cells provides a survival benefit in the mice. These results establish the important role of macrophages in CLL and suggest therapeutic strategies based on interfering with leukemia-macrophage interactions.

Huang X, He D, Ming J, et al.
High-density lipoprotein of patients with breast cancer complicated with type 2 diabetes mellitus promotes cancer cells adhesion to vascular endothelium via ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 upregulation.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016; 155(3):441-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adhesion of disseminating tumor cells to vascular endothelium is a pivotal starting point in the metastasis cascade. We have shown previously that diabetic high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has the capability of promoting breast cancer metastasis, and this report summarizes our more recent work studying the role of abnormal HDL in facilitating the adhesion of the circulating tumor cells to the endothelium. This is an initiating step in breast cancer metastasis, and this work assesses the role of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in this process. MDA-MB-231, MCF 7, and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with normal HDL from healthy controls (N-HDL), HDL from breast cancer patients (B-HDL), or HDL from breast cancer patients complicated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (BD-HDL), and the cell adhesion abilities were determined. ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression as well as the protein kinase C (PKC) activity were evaluated. The effect of PKC inhibitor and PKC siRNA on adhesion was also studied. The immunohistochemical staining of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E-selectin from breast cancer patients and breast cancer patients complicated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were examined. Our results indicate that BD-HDL promoted an increase in breast cancer cell adhesion to HUVECs and stimulated higher ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression on the cells surface of both breast cancer and HUVEC cells, along with the activation of PKC. Increased tumor cell (TC)-HUVEC adhesion, as well as ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression induced by BD-HDL, could be inhibited by staurosporine and PKC siRNA. In addition, a Db/db type 2 diabetes mouse model has more TC-Vascular Endothelium adhesion compared to a normal model. However, BD patients have a lower expression of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E-selectin in their tumor tissues. BD-HDL facilitates the adhesion of tumor cells to vascular endothelium by upregulating the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, thereby promoting the initial progression of breast cancer metastasis. This work indicates a prospective utilization of HDL-based strategies in the treatment of breast cancer patients with type 2 diabetes.

Noronha EP, Andrade FG, Zampier C, et al.
Immunophenotyping with CD135 and CD117 predicts the FLT3, IL-7R and TLX3 gene mutations in childhood T-cell acute leukemia.
Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2016; 57:74-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
With the combination of immunophenotyping and molecular tests, it is still a challenge to identify the characteristics of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) associated with distinct outcomes. This study tests the possible correlation of cellular expression of CD135 and CD117 with somatic gene mutations in T-ALL. One hundred sixty-two samples were tested, including 143 at diagnosis, 15 from T-lymphoblastic lymphoma at relapse, and four relapse samples from sequential follow-up of T-ALL. CD135 and CD117 monoclonal antibodies were included in the T-ALL panel of flow cytometry. The percentage of cells positivity and the median fluorescence intensity were correlated with gene mutational status. STIL-TAL1, TLX3, FLT3 and IL7R mutations were tested using standard techniques. STIL-TAL1 was found in 24.8%, TLX3 in 12%, IL7R in 10% and FLT3-ITD in 5% of cases. FLT3 and IL7R mutations were mutually exclusive, as were FLT3-ITD and STIL-TAL1. Associations of CD135(high) (p<0.01), CD117(intermediate/high) (p=0.02) and FLT3-ITD, CD117(low) with IL7R(mutated) (p<0.01) and CD135(high) with TLX3(pos) were observed. We conclude that the addition of CD135 and CD117 to the diagnosis can predict molecular aberrations in T-ALL settings, mainly segregating patients with FLT3-ITD, who would benefit from treatment with inhibitors of tyrosine.

Chougule RA, Kazi JU, Rönnstrand L
FYN expression potentiates FLT3-ITD induced STAT5 signaling in acute myeloid leukemia.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(9):9964-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
FYN is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase belonging to the SRC family of kinases, which are frequently over-expressed in human cancers, and play key roles in cancer biology. SRC has long been recognized as an important oncogene, but little attention has been given to its other family members. In this report, we have studied the role of FYN in FLT3 signaling in respect to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We observed that FYN displays a strong association with wild-type FLT3 as well as oncogenic FLT3-ITD and is dependent on the kinase activity of FLT3 and the SH2 domain of FYN. We identified multiple FYN binding sites in FLT3, which partially overlapped with SRC binding sites. To understand the role of FYN in FLT3 signaling, we generated FYN overexpressing cells. We observed that expression of FYN resulted in slightly enhanced phosphorylation of AKT, ERK1/2 and p38 in response to ligand stimulation. Furthermore, FYN expression led to a slight increase in FLT3-ITD-dependent cell proliferation, but potent enhancement of STAT5 phosphorylation as well as colony formation. We also observed that FYN expression is deregulated in AML patient samples and that higher expression of FYN, in combination with FLT3-ITD mutation, resulted in enrichment of the STAT5 signaling pathway and correlated with poor prognosis in AML. Taken together our data suggest that FYN cooperates with oncogenic FLT3-ITD in cellular transformation by selective activation of the STAT5 pathway. Therefore, inhibition of FYN, in combination with FLT3 inhibition, will most likely be beneficial for this group of AML patients.

Sharma M, Tuaine J, McLaren B, et al.
Chemotherapy Agents Alter Plasma Lipids in Breast Cancer Patients and Show Differential Effects on Lipid Metabolism Genes in Liver Cells.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(1):e0148049 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cardiovascular complications have emerged as a major concern for cancer patients. Many chemotherapy agents are cardiotoxic and some appear to also alter lipid profiles, although the mechanism for this is unknown. We studied plasma lipid levels in 12 breast cancer patients throughout their chemotherapy. Patients received either four cycles of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by weekly paclitaxel or three cycles of epirubicin, cyclophosphamide and 5'-fluorouracil followed by three cycles of docetaxel. Patients demonstrated a significant reduction (0.32 mmol/L) in high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1) levels (0.18 g/L) and an elevation in apolipoprotein B (apoB) levels (0.15 g/L) after treatment. Investigation of the individual chemotherapy agents for their effect on genes involved in lipoprotein metabolism in liver cells showed that doxorubicin decreased ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) via a downregulation of the peroxisomal proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and liver X receptor α (LXRα) transcription factors. In contrast, ABCA1 levels were not affected by cyclophosphamide or paclitaxel. Likewise, apoA1 levels were reduced by doxorubicin and remained unaffected by cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel. Doxorubicin and paclitaxel both increased apoB protein levels and paclitaxel also decreased low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) protein levels. These findings correlate with the observed reduction in HDL-C and apoA1 and increase in apoB levels seen in these patients. The unfavourable lipid profiles produced by some chemotherapy agents may be detrimental in the longer term to cancer patients, especially those already at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This knowledge may be useful in tailoring effective follow-up care plans for cancer survivors.

Wang YX, Zhang TJ, Yang DQ, et al.
Reduced miR-215 expression predicts poor prognosis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2016; 46(4):350-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Abnormal expression of microRNA-215 has been identified in a variety of solid cancers. However, little is known about the expression pattern of microRNA-215 in acute myeloid leukemia. This study was to investigate the status of microRNA-215 expression and further analyze its clinical significance in acute myeloid leukemia.
METHODS: Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay was performed to evaluate the expression level of microRNA-215 in 113 patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Besides, the relationship between microRNA-215 levels and clinical and pathological factors was explored.
RESULTS: Compared with the healthy individuals, microRNA-215 expression in acute myeloid leukemia patients was significantly down-regulated (P= 0.001). MicroRNA-215 low-expressed patients had higher white blood cells than microRNA-215 high-expressed patients (P= 0.014). The incidence of FLT3/ITD mutation in the patients with low microRNA-215 expression was significantly higher than those with high microRNA-215 expression (P= 0.025). MicroRNA-215 low-expressed patients had significantly shorter overall survival than microRNA-215 high-expressed patients in both non-M3 acute myeloid leukemia patients and cytogenetically normal patients (P= 0.017 and P= 0.044, respectively). Meanwhile, multivariate analysis confirmed the adverse prognostic value of microRNA-215 expression in acute myeloid leukemia patients with non-M3 subtypes.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that reduced microRNA-215 expression is a common event and is associated with poor clinical outcome in acute myeloid leukemia.

Au CH, Wa A, Ho DN, et al.
Clinical evaluation of panel testing by next-generation sequencing (NGS) for gene mutations in myeloid neoplasms.
Diagn Pathol. 2016; 11:11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Genomic techniques in recent years have allowed the identification of many mutated genes important in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Together with cytogenetic aberrations, these gene mutations are powerful prognostic markers in AML and can be used to guide patient management, for example selection of optimal post-remission therapy. The mutated genes also hold promise as therapeutic targets themselves. We evaluated the applicability of a gene panel for the detection of AML mutations in a diagnostic molecular pathology laboratory.
METHODS: Fifty patient samples comprising 46 AML and 4 other myeloid neoplasms were accrued for the study. They consisted of 19 males and 31 females at a median age of 60 years (range: 18-88 years). A total of 54 genes (full coding exons of 15 genes and exonic hotspots of 39 genes) were targeted by 568 amplicons that ranged from 225 to 275 bp. The combined coverage was 141 kb in sequence length. Amplicon libraries were prepared by TruSight myeloid sequencing panel (Illumina, CA) and paired-end sequencing runs were performed on a MiSeq (Illumina) genome sequencer. Sequences obtained were analyzed by in-house bioinformatics pipeline, namely BWA-MEM, Samtools, GATK, Pindel, Ensembl Variant Effect Predictor and a novel algorithm ITDseek.
RESULTS: The mean count of sequencing reads obtained per sample was 3.81 million and the mean sequencing depth was over 3000X. Seventy-seven mutations in 24 genes were detected in 37 of 50 samples (74 %). On average, 2 mutations (range 1-5) were detected per positive sample. TP53 gene mutations were found in 3 out of 4 patients with complex and unfavorable cytogenetics. Comparing NGS results with that of conventional molecular testing showed a concordance rate of 95.5 %. After further resolution and application of a novel bioinformatics algorithm ITDseek to aid the detection of FLT3 internal tandem duplication (ITD), the concordance rate was revised to 98.2 %.
CONCLUSIONS: Gene panel testing by NGS approach was applicable for sensitive and accurate detection of actionable AML gene mutations in the clinical laboratory to individualize patient management. A novel algorithm ITDseek was presented that improved the detection of FLT3-ITD of varying length, position and at low allelic burden.

Keino D, Kinoshita A, Tomizawa D, et al.
Residual disease detected by multidimensional flow cytometry shows prognostic significance in childhood acute myeloid leukemia with intermediate cytogenetics and negative FLT3-ITD: a report from the Tokyo Children's Cancer Study Group.
Int J Hematol. 2016; 103(4):416-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Residual disease (RD) after induction chemotherapy may predict clinical outcome in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In the present study, we investigated the prognostic significance of RD detected by multidimensional flow cytometry (MDF) among 34 children treated for AML in a clinical trial (JPLSG AML-05) in Japan. Bone marrow samples were analyzed at the points of the end of the first induction course (BMA-1) and second induction course (BMA-2) by MDF. RD was evaluated by detecting the immature cells showing abnormal antigen expression pattern; CD34(+), CD15(+), CD7(+). Thirteen (39.4 %) of 34 patients at BMA-1 and 8 (27.6 %) of 34 at BMA-2 had RD levels ≥0.1 %. There was no significant difference in 3y-EFS and 3y-OS between patients with RD levels ≥0.1 % and those with RD levels <0.1 % (53.8 versus 70.0 %, P = 0.30 and 50.0 versus 66.7 %, P = 0.27, respectively). However, IR cytogenetics and negative FLT3-ITD patients with RD levels ≥0.1 % exhibited significantly lower 3y-EFS and 3y-OS than those with RD levels <0.1 % (33.3 versus 83.3 %, P = 0.02 and 20.0 versus 76.9 %, P = 0.005, respectively). Our study suggests that RD shows prognostic relevance in pediatric patients with IR cytogenetics and negative FLT3-ITD AML.

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