Gene Summary

Gene:KDR; kinase insert domain receptor
Aliases: FLK1, CD309, VEGFR, VEGFR2
Summary:Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major growth factor for endothelial cells. This gene encodes one of the two receptors of the VEGF. This receptor, known as kinase insert domain receptor, is a type III receptor tyrosine kinase. It functions as the main mediator of VEGF-induced endothelial proliferation, survival, migration, tubular morphogenesis and sprouting. The signalling and trafficking of this receptor are regulated by multiple factors, including Rab GTPase, P2Y purine nucleotide receptor, integrin alphaVbeta3, T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase, etc.. Mutations of this gene are implicated in infantile capillary hemangiomas. [provided by RefSeq, May 2009]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2
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

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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: KDR (cancer-related)

Khan S, Mikhail S, Xiu J, Salem ME
Molecular biology of gastroesophageal cancers: opportunities and challenges.
Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2017; 15(1):75-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastroesophageal (GE) malignancies make up a significant and growing segment of newly diagnosed cancers. Approximately 80% of patients who have GE cancers die within 5 years of diagnosis, which means that effective treatments for these malignancies need to be found. Currently, targeted therapies have a minimal role in this disease group. Intensive study of the molecular biology of GE cancers is a relatively new and ongoing venture, but it has already led to a significant increase in our understanding of these malignancies. This understanding, although still limited, has the potential to enhance our ability to develop targeted therapies in conjunction with the ability to identify actionable gene mutations and perform genomic profiling to predict drug resistance. Several cell surface growth factor receptors have been found to play a prominent role in GE cancer cell signaling. This discovery has led to the approval of 2 agents within the last few years: trastuzumab, an anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) monoclonal antibody used in the first-line treatment of HER2-positive GE cancers, and ramucirumab, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) monoclonal antibody that is currently used in later lines of therapy. This review discusses the current state of molecular testing in GE cancers, along with the known molecular biology and current and investigational treatments. The development of trastuzumab and ramucirumab represents a significant advance in our ability to make use of GE tumor molecular profiles. As our understanding of the impact of molecular aberrations on drug effectiveness and disease outcomes increases, we anticipate improved therapy for patients with GE cancers.

Lin X, Khalid S, Qureshi MZ, et al.
VEGF mediated signaling in oral cancer.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2016; 62(14):64-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasingly it is being realized that oral cancer arises from genetic/epigenetic mutations, dysregulations of spatio-temporally controlled signal transduction cascades and loss of apoptosis. Epidemiological studies have provided a stronger association between tobacco use (chewed and smoked) and oral cancer. Nevertheless, alcohol has also gained attention as a significant risk factor, having a multiplicative synergistic cancer promoting effect with tobacco. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) mediated signaling has gained limelight because of its instrumental role in endothelial cell proliferation, survival, invasion, migration, chemotaxis of bone marrow (BM)-derived progenitor cells, vasodilation and vascular permeability. In this review we provide most recent updates on involvement of VEGF/VEGFR signaling axis in oral cancer. We partition this multi-component review into different sections and summarize latest advancements related to therapies against VEGF/VEGFR signaling axis and how microRNAs tactfully modulate VEGF and VEGFR in oral cancers. Data obtained through preclinical and clinical studies has revealed that therapeutic benefits associated with VEGF-targeted therapy are complicated in different cancers and involve myriad of mechanisms. A better understanding of VEGF/VEGFR mediated signaling in oral cancers and testing of novel therapeutic agents in preclinical models will prove to be helpful in effective translation of safest drugs from benchtop to the bedside.

Fraga A, Ribeiro R, Coelho A, et al.
Genetic polymorphisms in key hypoxia-regulated downstream molecules and phenotypic correlation in prostate cancer.
BMC Urol. 2017; 17(1):12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In this study we sought if, in their quest to handle hypoxia, prostate tumors express target hypoxia-associated molecules and their correlation with putative functional genetic polymorphisms.
METHODS: Representative areas of prostate carcinoma (n = 51) and of nodular prostate hyperplasia (n = 20) were analysed for hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α), carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), lysyl oxidase (LOX) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFR2) immunohistochemistry expression using a tissue microarray. DNA was isolated from peripheral blood and used to genotype functional polymorphisms at the corresponding genes (HIF1A +1772 C > T, rs11549465; CA9 + 201 A > G; rs2071676; LOX +473 G > A, rs1800449; KDR - 604 T > C, rs2071559).
RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry analyses disclosed predominance of positive CAIX and VEGFR2 expression in epithelial cells of prostate carcinomas compared to nodular prostate hyperplasia (P = 0.043 and P = 0.035, respectively). In addition, the VEGFR2 expression score in prostate epithelial cells was higher in organ-confined and extra prostatic carcinoma compared to nodular prostate hyperplasia (P = 0.031 and P = 0.004, respectively). Notably, for LOX protein the immunoreactivity score was significantly higher in organ-confined carcinomas compared to nodular prostate hyperplasia (P = 0.015). The genotype-phenotype analyses showed higher LOX staining intensity for carriers of the homozygous LOX +473 G-allele (P = 0.011). Still, carriers of the KDR-604 T-allele were more prone to have higher VEGFR2 expression in prostate epithelial cells (P < 0.006).
CONCLUSIONS: Protein expression of hypoxia markers (VEGFR2, CAIX and LOX) on prostate epithelial cells was different between malignant and benign prostate disease. Two genetic polymorphisms (LOX +473 G > A and KDR-604 T > C) were correlated with protein level, accounting for a potential gene-environment effect in the activation of hypoxia-driven pathways in prostate carcinoma. Further research in larger series is warranted to validate present findings.

Dang YZ, Zhang Y, Li JP, et al.
High VEGFR1/2 expression levels are predictors of poor survival in patients with cervical cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(1):e5772 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of the study to evaluate the prognostic significance of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 and 2 (VEGFR1/2) expression levels and to correlate these levels with clinicopathological parameters in patients with cervical cancer.Forty-two patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Stage IIB-IVB cervical cancer were analyzed between January 2011 and December 2012. RNA expression levels of VEGFR1/2 were assessed by branched DNA-liquidchip technology and immunohistochemistry. Associations between RNA expression levels, important clinicopathological parameters, and patient survival were statistically evaluated.Higher VEGFR1/2 expression levels were predictive of poor overall survival (P = 0.009 and P = 0.024, respectively). Patients with higher VEGFR1 expression levels were associated with poorer progression-free survival than those with lower VEGFR1 expression levels (P = 0.043). In addition, patients with higher VEGFR1 expression levels were more likely to develop distant metastases than those with lower VEGFR1 expression levels (P = 0.049). Higher VEGFR2 expression levels were associated with larger tumor size (P = 0.037).VEGFR1/2 expression levels were prognostic factors for patients with cervical cancer. Higher VEGFR1/2 expression levels were also predictive of poor overall survival.

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.

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.

Gümus M, Ozgur A, Tutar L, et al.
Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Heat Shock Protein 90 Inhibitors in Human Breast Cancer and Its Metastasis.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2016; 17(14):1231-1245 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite development of novel cancer drugs, invasive ductal breast carcinoma and its metastasis are still highly morbid. Therefore, new therapeutic approaches are being developed and Hsp90 is an important target for drug design. For this purpose, a series of benzodiazepine derivatives were designed and synthesized as novel Hsp90 inhibitor.
METHODS: Benzodiazepine derivatives anticancer activities were determined by XTT cell proliferation assay against human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). Effects of the compounds on endothelial function were monitored on human vascular endothelium (HUVEC) cell line as well. In order to determine the anti-proliferative mechanism of the compounds, in silico molecular docking studies were performed between Hsp90 ATPase domain and the benzodiazepine derivatives. Further, these compounds perturbation on Hsp90 ATPase function were tested. Fluorescence binding experiments showed that the derivatives bind Hsp90 effectively. Expression analysis of known cancer drug target genes by PCR array experiments suggest that the benzodiazepine derivatives have remarkable anticancer activity.
RESULTS: A representative Benzodiazepine derivative D5 binds Hsp90 with Kd value of 3,93 μM and with estimated free energy of binding -7.99 (kcal/mol). The compound decreases Hsp90 ATPase function and inhibit Hsp90 client protein folding activity. The compound inhibits expression of both Hsp90 isoforms and key proteins (cell cycle receptors; PLK2 and TERT, kinases; PI3KC3 and PRKCE, and growth factors; IGF1, IGF2, KDR, and PDGFRA) on oncogenic pathways.
CONCLUSION: Benzodiazepine derivatives presented here display anticancer activity. The compounds effect on both breast cancer and endothelial cell lines show their potential as drug templates to inhibit breast cancer and its metastasis.

Vesely DL
Heart Peptide Hormones: Adjunct and Primary Treatments of Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(11):5693-5700 [PubMed] Related Publications
Four heart hormones, namely atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), long-acting natriuretic peptide (LANP), vessel dilator and kaliuretic peptide reduce up to 97% of cancer cells in vitro. These four cardiac hormones eliminate up to 80% of human pancreatic adenocarcinomas, two-thirds of human breast carcinomas and up to 86% of human small-cell lung carcinomas growing in athymic mice. ANP given intravenously for 3 hours after 'curative' lung surgery as an adjunct to surgery results in a 2-year relapse-free survival of 91% compared to 75% for those treated with surgery alone. The anticancer mechanisms of action of these peptides involve binding to receptors on the cancer cells, followed by 95% inhibition of the conversion of inactive to active rat sarcoma-bound guanosine triphosphate (RAS)-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinases 1/2 (MEK 1/2) (98% inhibition)-extracellular signal-related kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) (96% inhibition) cascade in cancer cells. They are dual inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its VEGF2 receptor (up to 89%). They also inhibit MAPK9, i.e. c-JUN-N-terminal kinase 2. One of the downstream targets of VEGF is β-catenin, which these peptides inhibit by up to 88%. These four peptide hormones inhibit the Wingless-related integration site (WNT) pathway 68% and WNT secreted-Frizzled protein is reduced by up to 84%. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a final 'switch' that activates gene expression that leads to malignancy, is specifically reduced up to 88% by these peptides but they do not affect STAT1. There is crosstalk between the RAS-MEK 1/2-ERK 1/2 kinase cascade, VEGF, β-catenin, JNK, WNT, and STAT pathways and each of these pathways and their crosstalk is inhibited by these peptide hormones. They enter the nucleus of cancer cells where they inhibit the proto-oncogenes c-FOS (by up to 82%) and c-JUN (by up to 61%).
CONCLUSION: These multiple kinase inhibitors have both adjunct and primary anticancer effects.

Chekhonin IV, Gurina OI, Cherepanov SA, et al.
Pulsed Dendritic Cells for the Therapy of Experimental Glioma.
Bull Exp Biol Med. 2016; 161(6):792-796 [PubMed] Related Publications
We obtained the morphologically, cytofluorometrically, and functionally mature dendritic cells from rats that were pulsed with antigens of the C6 glioma tissue extract. The concentrations of angiogenesis antigens (VEGF, VEGFR-1, and VEGFR-2) and periglioma zone proteins (GFAP, connexin 43, and BSAT1) in the pulsing extract were measured by ELISA. Our results drove us to a conclusion that despite mature phenotype of pulsed dendritic cell, the antigenic composition of glioma tissue extracts should be modified.

Al-Shareef H, Hiraoka SI, Tanaka N, et al.
Use of NRP1, a novel biomarker, along with VEGF-C, VEGFR-3, CCR7 and SEMA3E, to predict lymph node metastasis in squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(5):2444-2454 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lymph node (LN) metastasis has been suggested as a major prognostic factor for oral cancer. Knockdown of the growth factors and receptors involved in these metastatic mechanisms could significantly reduce LN metastasis and improve the survival of oral cancer patients after treatment. The present study, therefore, aimed to evaluate the expression levels of the following growth factors and receptors in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the tongue: the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)‑C and VEGF‑D, which bind to the cell surface tyrosine kinase receptor VEGF receptor‑3 (VEGFR‑3); C‑C motif chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7); neuropilin (NRP)1 and NRP2; and semaphorin 3E (SEMA3E). Furthermore, we assessed microvessel density (MVD) and lymphatic vessel density (LVD) to demonstrate the correlation between these factors and regional LN metastasis, with respect to the clinicopathological features. Finally, we analyzed the correlation between these proteins and overall or disease‑free survival, in order to demonstrate their prognostic value. Univariate analysis revealed a significant association between LN metastasis and the expression levels of VEGF‑C, VEGFR‑3, CCR7, NRP1, and SEMA3E, as well as LVD, in SCC cells. In contrast, multivariate analysis identified associations between LN metastasis and NRP1 expression, as well as between LN metastasis and LVD; however, no correlation was found between LN metastasis and the expression levels of the other proteins. The expression levels of VEGF‑C, VEGFR‑3, NRP1, and SEMA3E, as well as LVD, were correlated with disease‑free survival time. These results indicate that LN metastasis is associated with poor survival in SCC. This study suggests that NRP1 expression and LVD are independent factors that are likely to predict the risk of LN metastasis in SCC of the tongue, whereas the expression of VEGF‑C, VEGFR‑3, CCR7, and SEMA3E are non‑independent predictive factors.

Tingting Q, Jiao W, Qingfeng W, et al.
CHIP involves in non-small cell lung cancer prognosis through VEGF pathway.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 83:271-276 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: CHIP (c-terminal Hsp70-interacting protein) is an E3 ligase playing vital roles in various cancers. The VEGF pathway has become an important therapeutic target in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, little is known about the role of CHIP and the relationship between CHIP and VEGF-VEGFR2 (VEGF receptor 2) pathway in NSCLC. In this study we aimed to investigate the clinical function of CHIP in NSCLC and explore the relevant regulatory mechanism.
METHODS: QRT-PCR was performed to detect CHIP expression in NSCLC tissues. The association of CHIP expression and clinical parameters was analyzed using the Chi-square test. Kaplan- Meier and Cox analyses were performed to identify the role of CHIP in the prognosis of NSCLC patients. ELISA test was used to detect the VEGF secretion of NSCLC cells and western blot were used to detected the protein expression of VEGFR2 in NSCLC cells.
RESULTS: and the results revealed that CHIP expression was decreased in NSCLC tissues and significantly correlated with clinical stages, lymph node metastasis and distant metastasis (P<0.05). Moreover, Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses showed that patients with negative expression of CHIP had a shorter survival time and CHIP could be an independent prognostic biomarker. In addition, ELISA tests showed that CHIP negatively regulated the secretion level of VEGF. Furthermore, western blot assay indicated that the VEGFR2 protein level was reduced after CHIP over-expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our findings demonstrate for the first time that CHIP may serve as a promising prognostic biomarker for NSCLC patients and it may be involved in NSCLC angiogenesis through regulating VEGF secretion and expression of VEGFR2.

Calvo E, Schmidinger M, Heng DY, et al.
Improvement in survival end points of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma through sequential targeted therapy.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2016; 50:109-117 [PubMed] Related Publications
Survival of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has improved since the advent of targeted therapy. Approved agents include the multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) sunitinib, sorafenib, axitinib, pazopanib, cabozantinib, and lenvatinib (approved in combination with everolimus), the anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody bevacizumab, the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors everolimus and temsirolimus, and the programmed death-1 (PD-1) targeted immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab. The identification of predictive and prognostic factors of survival is increasing, and both clinical predictive factors and pathology-related prognostic factors are being evaluated. Serum-based biomarkers and certain histologic subtypes of RCC, as well as clinical factors such as dose intensity and the development of some class effect adverse events, have been identified as predictors of survival. Expression levels of microRNAs, expression of chemokine receptor 4, hypermethylation of certain genes, VEGF polymorphisms, and elevation of plasma fibrinogen or d-dimer have been shown to be prognostic indicators of survival. In the future, prognosis and treatment of patients with mRCC might be based on genomic classification, especially of the 4 most commonly mutated genes in RCC (VHL, PBRM1, BAP1, and SETD2). Median overall survival has improved for patients treated with a first-line targeted agent compared with survival of patients treated with first-line interferon-α, and results of clinical trials have shown a survival benefit of sequential treatment with targeted agents. Prognosis of patients with mRCC will likely improve with optimization and individualization of current sequential treatment with targeted agents.

Palaska I, Gagari E, Theoharides TC
The effects of P. gingivalis and E. coli LPS on the expression of proinflammatory mediators in human mast cells and their relevance to periodontal disease.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2016 Jul-Sep; 30(3):655-664 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mast cells (MCs) are tissue-resident immune cells that participate in a variety of allergic and inflammatory conditions, including periodontal disease, through the release of cytokines, chemokines and proteolytic enzymes. Porhyromonas gingivalis (P. g) is widely recognized as a major pathogen in the development and progression of periodontitis. Here we compared the differential effects of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from P. g and E. coli on the expression and production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1) by human MCs. Human LAD2 MCs were stimulated with LPS from either P. g or E. coli (1-1000 ng/ml). MCs were also stimulated with SP (2μM) serving as the positive control or media alone as the negative control. After 24 h, the cells and supernatant fluids were collected and analyzed for β-Hexosaminidase (β-hex) spectrophotometrically, TNF, VEGF and MCP-1 release by ELISA and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for mediator gene expression, respectively. To assess the functional role of tolllike receptors (TRL) in mediator release, MCs were pre-incubated with either anti-TLR2 or anti- TLR4 (2 μg/ml) polyclonal antibody for 1 h before stimulation with LPS. When MCs were stimulated with SP (2 μM), there was a statistically significant β-hex release as well as release of TNF, VEGF and MCP-1. Stimulation of MCs with either type of LPS did not induce degranulation based on the lack of β-hex release. However, both types of LPS stimulated expression and release of TNF, VEGF and MCP-1. Although, P. g LPS induced significant release of TNF, VEGF and MCP-1, the effect was not concentration-dependent. There was no statistically significant difference between the effects of P. g and E. coli LPS. P. g LPS stimulated TNF through TLR-2 while E. coli utilized TRL-4 instead. In contrast, VEGF release by P. g LPS required both TRL-2 and TRL-4 while E. coli LPS required TLR-4. Release of MCP-1 was independent of TLR-2 or TLR-4. P. g LPS activates human MCs to generate and release TNF, VEGF and MCP-1 through different TLRs than E. coli LPS. MCs may, therefore, be involved in the inflammatory processes responsible for periodontal disease.

Zhu G, Huang Q, Zheng W, et al.
LPS Upregulated VEGFR-3 Expression Promote Migration and Invasion in Colorectal Cancer via a Mechanism of Increased NF-κB Binding to the Promoter of VEGFR-3.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016; 39(5):1665-1678 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Lipopolysaccharide(LPS) could promote the progression of colorectal cancer, but the specific regulatory mechanisms are largely unknown. So, this study aim to clarify the mechanisms that LPS upregulated VEGFR-3, which promotes colorectal cancer cells migration and invasion with a mechanism of increased NF-κB bind to the promoter of VEGFR-3.
METHODS: The present study examined the VEGFR-3 expression in colorectal cancer tissues and analyzed the relationship between the VEGFR-3 expression with clinical parameters. PCR, Western blot, CCK-8, colone formation assay, and Transwell assay detected that LPS promoted the migration and invasion and the role of VEGFR-3 in the process of colorectal carcinoma in vitro. Used the methods of promoter analysis, EMSA assay and ChIP assay to explore the mechanisms LPS increased the expression of VEGFR-3.
RESULTS: VEGFR-3 was significantly high expression in the colorectal cancer tissues. And the high expression was associated with the TNM stage and lymph node metastasis of colorectal cancer. LPS could promote the migration and invasion, which could be blocked by the neutralizing antibody IgG of VEGFR-3. And found that -159 nt to +65 nt was the crucial region of VEGFR-3 promoter. And detected that the NF-κB was important transcription factor for the VEGFR-3 promoter. And LPS could increase NF-κB binding to VEGFR-3 promoter and upregulated the expression of VEGFR-3 to exert biological functions.
CONCLUSION: We have elucidated the relationship between LPS and the VEGFR-3 expression and revealed that VEGFR-3 play very important role in the process of LPS promoting the migration and invasion of colorectal cancer cells. Further illuminated the mechanism that LPS upregulated VEGFR-3 expression via increased NF-κB bind to the promoter of VEGFR-3.

Majeed W, Iftikhar A, Khaliq T, et al.
Gastric Carcinoma: Recent Trends in Diagnostic Biomarkers and Molecular Targeted Therapies.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(7):3053-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is generally associated with poor survival rates and accounts for a remarkable proportion of global cancer mortality. The prevalence of gastric carcinoma varies in different regions of world and across teh various ethnic groups. On the basis of pathological assessment, gastric cancer can be categorized as intestinal and diffuse carcinomas. The etiology is diverse, including chemical carcinogen exposure, and high salt intake Helicobacter pylori also plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of certain gastric carcinomas. The development of gastric cancer involves various alterations in mRNAs, genes (GOLPH3, MTA2) and proteins (Coronins). miRNAs, Hsamir135b, MiR21, miR106b, miR17, miR18a, MiR21, miR106b, miR17, miR18a and MiRNA375, miRNA1955p are the latest diagnostic biomarkers which can facilitate the early diagnosis of gastric carcinomas. Recent development in the treatment strategies for gastric carcinoma include the introduction of monoclonal antibodies, TKI inhibitors, inhibitors of PDGFR β, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, AntiEGFR and antiHER2 agents which can be applied along with conventional therapies.

Sun Q, Peng C, Cong B, et al.
Involvement of syk and VEGF-C in invasion of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2016 Apr-Jun; 12(2):640-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Lung cancer has become one of the most dangerous malignant tumors in the world nowadays, whose pathogenesis is complex involving multi-genes and multi-elements. This study aims to investigate the values of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) in lymphangiogenesis and metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The pcDNA3.1-VEGF-C and pLNCX-syk were constructed and transfected into A549 cells. After cells with stable expression were sorted, the level of VEGF-C was tested by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry and the mRNA of syk was tested by RT-PCR. The cell invasion assay was investigated by transwell chamber in vitro. Restriction enzyme digestion and gel electrophoresis demonstrated successful construction of the pcDNA3.1-VEGF-C.
RESULTS: RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed higher expression of VEGF-C in VEGFC-construct-transfected A549 cells than that in controls (P < 0.05). Successful construction of the pLNCX-syk was demonstrated by restriction enzyme electrophoresis and sequencing. RT-PCR revealed Syk expression higher in syk-construct-transfected cells than in controls (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate a potential link between the upregulation of Syk and VEGF-C expression and lung adenocarcinoma.

Ciccarese C, Brunelli M, Montironi R, et al.
The prospect of precision therapy for renal cell carcinoma.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2016; 49:37-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
The therapeutic landscape of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has greatly expanded in the last decade. From being a malignancy orphan of effective therapies, kidney cancer has become today a tumor with several treatment options. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a metabolic disease, being characterized by the dysregulation of metabolic pathways involved in oxygen sensing (VHL/HIF pathway alterations and the subsequent up-regulation of HIF-responsive genes such as VEGF, PDGF, EGF, and glucose transporters GLUT1 and GLUT4, which justify the RCC reliance on aerobic glycolysis), energy sensing (fumarate hydratase-deficient, succinate dehydrogenase-deficient RCC, mutations of HGF/MET pathway resulting in the metabolic Warburg shift marked by RCC increased dependence on aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate shunt, augmented lipogenesis, and reduced AMPK and Krebs cycle activity) and/or nutrient sensing cascade (deregulation of AMPK-TSC1/2-mTOR and PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathways). In this complex scenario it is important to find prognostic and predictive factors that can help in decision making in the treatment of mRCC.

Ratnasari N, Nurdjanah S, Sadewa AH, Hakimi M
The role of vascular endothelial growth factor -634 G/C and its soluble receptor on chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Arab J Gastroenterol. 2016; 17(2):61-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS: The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene -634 G/C (rs2010963) influences the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). There have been no studies on the role of VEGF SNP -634 G/C in chronic liver disease (CLD). The aim of the present study was to analyse the correlation between VEGF SNP -634 and the clinical severity of CLD and HCC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A cross sectional study was conducted on 182 subjects (46 HCC, 39 liver cirrhotic/LC, 38 chronic hepatitis/CH; and 57 healthy subjects). The study was conducted from 2010 to 2014 at the Dr. Sardjito Hospital Yogyakarta, Indonesia. All subjects submitted blood serum for DNA sequencing examination using primer. The clinical data of CLD and HCC were assessed, and sVEGFR-2 was examined in 149 subjects. All data were analysed using STATA programme 11.0.
RESULTS: Significant differences were observed in genotypic frequency (GG/GC/CC) between HCC, LC, CH and healthy subjects (p=0.004), but though no significant differences were observed between the G>G and C>G genotypic frequencies (p=0.337). The frequency of genotype GG was significantly higher than genotype GC or CC in HCC and was associated with declining of clinical conditions (p<0.05). No significant difference in the distribution genotypes was observed with respect to the level of sVEGFR-2 in the serum. However, we observed a significant correlation between sVEGFR-2 and clinical characteristics in LC and CH (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Genotype GG of the VEGF SNP -634 is the dominant genotype in severe CLD and HCC. sVEGFR-2 correlates with the disease severity but is not directly associated with the SNP -634 genotype.

Dillon JL, Mockus SM, Ananda G, et al.
Somatic gene mutation analysis of triple negative breast cancers.
Breast. 2016; 29:202-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to analyze triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) using an expanded next generation sequencing (NGS) assay, assess the clinical relevance using a recently described database, and correlate tumor morphology with detected genetic alterations.
METHODS: DNA was isolated from twenty primary TNBCs and genes of interest were enriched and sequenced with hybrid capture, followed by variant detection and functional and clinical annotation. The JAX-CTP™ assay detects actionable variants in the form of single nucleotide variations, small insertions and deletions (≤50 bp), and copy number variants in 358 genes in specimens containing a neoplastic cell content of ≥50%. The JAX-CKB is a comprehensive database that curates tumor phenotype, genetic variant and protein effect, therapeutic relevance, and available treatment options.
RESULTS: 18/20 (90%) of TNBCs contained at least one somatic mutation detected by the JAX-CTP™. MYC amplification was the most common alteration, present in 75% of tumors. TP53, AURKA, and KDR mutations were each present in 30% (6/20) of cases. Related recruiting clinical trials, extracted from JAX-CKB, included 166 for breast cancer, of which 17 were specific to only the TNBC subtype. All 17 trials were testing at least one therapy that targets a mutation identified in this sample set. The majority (89%) of tumors with basal-like histologic features had MYC amplification.
CONCLUSIONS: The expanded gene panel identified a variety of clinically actionable gene alterations in TNBCs. The identification of such variants increases the possibility for new therapeutic interventions and clinical trial eligibility for TNBC patients.

Pierscianek D, Wolf S, Keyvani K, et al.
Study of angiogenic signaling pathways in hemangioblastoma.
Neuropathology. 2017; 37(1):3-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hemangioblastoma (HB) is mainly located in the brain and the spinal cord. The tumor is composed of two major components, namely neoplastic stromal cells and abundant microvessels. Thus, hyper-vascularization is the hallmark of this tumor. Despite the identification of germline and/or epigenetic mutations of Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) gene as an important pathogenic mechanism of HB, little is known about the molecular signaling involved in this highly vascularized tumor. The present study investigated the key players of multiple angiogenic signaling pathways including VEGF/VEGFR2, EphB4/EphrinB2, SDF1α/CXCR4 and Notch/Dll4 pathways in surgical specimens of 22 HB. The expression of key angiogenic factors was detected by RT(2) -PCR and Western blot. Immunofluorescent staining revealed the cellular localization of these proteins. We demonstrated a massive upregulation of mRNA levels of VEGF and VEGFR2, CXCR4 and SDF1α, EphB4 and EphrinB2, as well as the main components of Dll4-Notch signaling in HB. An increase in the protein expression of VEGF, CXCR4 and the core-components of Dll4-Notch signaling was associated with an activation of Akt and Erk1/2 and accompanied by an elevated expression of PCNA. Immuofluorescent staining revealed the expression of VEGF and CXCR4 in endothelial cells as well as in tumor cells. Dll4 protein was predominantly found in tumor cells, whereas EphB4 immunoreactivity was exclusively detected in endothelial cells. We conclude that multiple key angiogenic pathways were activated in HB, which may synergistically contribute to the abundant vascularization in this tumor. Identification of these aberrant pathways provides potential targets for a possible future application of anti-angiogenic therapy for this tumor, particularly when a total surgical resection becomes difficult due to the localization or multiplicity of the tumor.

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.

Jin G, Yang Y, Liu H, et al.
Genome-wide analysis of the effect of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma on human umbilical vein endothelial cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(1):155-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
A large volume of data indicates that controlling tumor-associated angiogenesis is a promising therapy against cancer. However, angiogenesis is a complex process, little is known about the differential gene expression in the process of normal endothelial cell differentiation toward tumor vascular endothelial cells induced by tumor microenvironment. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of tumor microenvironment simulated by the supernatant of esophageal squamous cancer cells (KYSE70) on normal endothelial cells (HUVECs) at the whole genome level. The gene expression profile was studied through gene ontology and signal pathway analysis. Compared with the normal HUVECs, a total of 3769 differentially expressed genes in induced HUVECs were detected, including 1609 upregulated genes and 2160 downregulated genes. Moreover, the microarray data analysis showed that 11 significant biological processes and 10 significant signaling pathways changed most, which are associated with angiogenesis and cell differentiation. According to the different expression levels in the microarrays and their functions, four differentially expressed genes involved in tumor angiogenesis and cell differentiation (IL6, VEGFA, S1PR1, TYMP) were selected and analyzed by qRT-PCR. The qRT-PCR results were consistent with the microarray data. Furthermore, we simulated the tumor microenvironment by human esophageal carcinoma tissue homogenate to investigate its effect on HUVECs, the qRT-PCR results indicated that the above genes were highly expressed in HUVECs after induction by esophageal carcinoma tissue homogenate. In conclusion, tumor microenvironment impact on normal endothelial cells differentiated toward tumor vascular endothelial cells, and the selected genes, which are associated with tumor angiogenesis, would be anti-angiogenesis targets against esophageal carcinoma.

Wang L, Ding Y, Wei L, et al.
Recurrent Olfactory Neuroblastoma Treated With Cetuximab and Sunitinib: A Case Report.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(18):e3536 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Olfactory neuroblastoma (ONB) is a rare cancer originating in the olfactory epithelium of the nasal vault. The recurrence rate of ONB is high, as the standard treatment of surgery followed by radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy is usually unsuccessful. The use of targeted therapy based on individual genomic variations after cancer relapse has not been reported. Here, we present the case of a 44-year-old man who was diagnosed with recurrent ONB and treated with a regimen developed using whole exome sequencing. Potential targets were first identified and then matched to appropriate drugs. Gene mutations in the genes encoding EGFR, FGFR2, KDR, and RET were discovered in the patient's tumor tissue by whole exome sequencing and the patient was treated with a combination of the targeted drugs cetuximab and sunitinib. Five days after treatment, enhancement magnetic resonance imaging showed a 65% reduction in tumor size, and the Visual analog scale headache scores went down to 2/10 from 10/10. Repeat imaging at 1 month showed a complete response.This study represents the first demonstration of an effective personalized treatment of ONB by targeted drugs, and sheds light on how precision medicine can be used to treat recurrent ONB that fails to respond to routine tumor resection, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy.

Nel I, Gauler TC, Bublitz K, et al.
Circulating Tumor Cell Composition in Renal Cell Carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153018 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Due to their minimal-invasive yet potentially current character circulating tumor cells (CTC) might be useful as a "liquid biopsy" in solid tumors. However, successful application in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has been very limited so far. High plasticity and heterogeneity of CTC morphology challenges currently available enrichment and detection techniques with EpCAM as the usual surface marker being underrepresented in mRCC. We recently described a method that enables us to identify and characterize non-hematopoietic cells in the peripheral blood stream with varying characteristics and define CTC subgroups that distinctly associate to clinical parameters. With this pilot study we wanted to scrutinize feasibility of this approach and its potential usage in clinical studies.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Peripheral blood was drawn from 14 consecutive mRCC patients at the West German Cancer Center and CTC profiles were analyzed by Multi-Parameter Immunofluorescence Microscopy (MPIM). Additionally angiogenesis-related genes were measured by quantitative RT-PCR analysis.
RESULTS: We detected CTC with epithelial, mesenchymal, stem cell-like or mixed-cell characteristics at different time-points during anti-angiogenic therapy. The presence and quantity of N-cadherin-positive or CD133-positive CTC was associated with inferior PFS. There was an inverse correlation between high expression of HIF1A, VEGFA, VEGFR and FGFR and the presence of N-cadherin-positive and CD133-positive CTC.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with mRCC exhibit distinct CTC profiles that may implicate differences in therapeutic outcome. Prospective evaluation of phenotypic and genetic CTC profiling as prognostic and predictive biomarker in mRCC is warranted.

Schäfer N, Gielen GH, Kebir S, et al.
Phase I trial of dovitinib (TKI258) in recurrent glioblastoma.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(7):1581-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Dovitinib (TKI258) is an oral multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor of FGFR, VEGFR, PDGFR β, and c-Kit. Since dovitinib is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and targets brain tumor-relevant pathways, we conducted a phase I trial to demonstrate its safety in recurrent glioblastoma (GBM).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with first or second GBM recurrence started treatment with the maximal tolerated dose (MTD) previously established in systemic cancer patients (500 mg/d, 5 days on/2 days off). A modified 3 + 3 design in three cohorts (500, 400, 300 mg) was used.
RESULTS: Twelve patients were enrolled. Seventy-two adverse events (AEs) occurred and 16.7 % of AEs were classified as ≥CTC grade 3 toxicity, mainly including hepatotoxicity and hematotoxicity. Only one out of six patients of the 300-mg cohort showed grade 3 toxicity. The PFS-6 rate was 16.7 %, and it was not associated with detection of the FGFR-TACC gene fusion in the tumor.
CONCLUSION: Dovitinib is safe in patients with recurrent GBM and showed efficacy in only some patients unselected for target expression. The recommended phase II dose of 300 mg would be substantially lower than the recently established MTD in systemic cancer patients. Further personalized trials are recommended.

Ma H, Pan JS, Jin LX, et al.
MicroRNA-17~92 inhibits colorectal cancer progression by targeting angiogenesis.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 376(2):293-302 [PubMed] Related Publications
The miR-17~92 microRNA (miRNA) cluster host gene is upregulated in a broad spectrum of human cancers including colorectal cancer (CRC). Previous studies have shown that miR-17~92 promotes tumorigenesis and cancer angiogenesis in some tumor models. However, its role in the initiation and progression of CRC remains unknown. In this study, we found that transgenic mice overexpressing miR-17~92 specifically in epithelial cells of the small and large intestines exhibited decreased tumor size and tumor angiogenesis in azoxymethane and dextran sulfate sodium salt (AOM-DSS)-induced CRC model as compared to their littermates control. Further study showed that miR-17~92 inhibited the progression of CRC via suppressing tumor angiogenesis through targeting multiple tumor angiogenesis-inducing genes, TGFBR2, HIF1α, and VEGFA in vivo and in vitro. Collectively, we demonstrated that miR-17~92 suppressed tumor progression by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis in a genetically engineered mouse model, indicating the presence of cellular context-dependent pro- and anti-cancer effects of miR-17~92.

Jing Z, Xu H, Chen X, et al.
The Proton-Sensing G-Protein Coupled Receptor GPR4 Promotes Angiogenesis in Head and Neck Cancer.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0152789 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) is an aggressive disease with poor survival and is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. Gastroesophageal reflux is a common event in SCCHN patients. GPR4 is a proton-sensing G-protein coupled receptor, which can be activated by acidosis. The objective of this study was to explore the role of GPR4 in acid exposure and tumor angiogenesis in SCCHN. In this study, we confirmed that overexpressing GPR4 in SCCHN cells could increase the expression and secretion of IL6, IL8 and VEGFA at pH 5.9. This effect could be inhibited by SB203580 (a p38 inhibitor). Western blot analysis indicated that phosphorylation of p38 increased in GPR4 infected cells at pH 5.9, which could be inhibited by SB203580. In tube formation assay, HMEC-1 cells were incubated with conditioned medium (CM, pH 5.9, 6.5, 7.4) derived from control and GPR4 infected SCCHN cells. Tube length was significantly increased in HMEC-1 cells incubated with CM from GPR4 infected cells compared with control cells at pH5.9, which indicated the pro-angiogenic effect of GPR4 in acidic pH. The neutralizing antibodies of IL6, IL8 and VEGFA could inhibit tube formation of HMEC-1 cells. In vivo, the effect of GPR4 on angiogenesis was investigated with the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. Control and GPR4 infected SCCHN cells were seeded onto the upper CAM surface (n = 5 in each group) and 5 μL DMEM/F12 (pH 5.9, 6.5, 7.4) was added to the surface of the cell every 24 h. Four days later, the upper CAM were harvested and the ratio of the vascular area to the CAM area was quantified using Image-Pro Plus 6.0 software. GPR4 infected cells could recruit more vascular than control cells at pH5.9. In conclusion, we suggested that GPR4 induces angiogenesis via GPR4-induced p38-mediated IL6, IL8 and VEGFA secretion at acidic extracellular pH in SCCHN.

Zhang N, Liu H, Yue G, et al.
Molecular Heterogeneity of Ewing Sarcoma as Detected by Ion Torrent Sequencing.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153546 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (ES) is the second most common malignant bone and soft tissue tumor in children and adolescents. Despite advances in comprehensive treatment, patients with ES metastases still suffer poor outcomes, thus, emphasizing the need for detailed genetic profiles of ES patients to identify suitable molecular biomarkers for improved prognosis and development of effective and targeted therapies. In this study, the next generation sequencing Ion AmpliSeq™ Cancer Hotspot Panel v2 was used to identify cancer-related gene mutations in the tissue samples from 20 ES patients. This platform targeted 207 amplicons of 2800 loci in 50 cancer-related genes. Among the 20 tissue specimens, 62 nonsynonymous hotspot mutations were identified in 26 cancer-related genes, revealing the molecular heterogeneity of ES. Among these, five novel mutations in cancer-related genes (KDR, STK11, MLH1, KRAS, and PTPN11) were detected in ES, and these mutations were confirmed with traditional Sanger sequencing. ES patients with KDR, STK11, and MLH1 mutations had higher Ki-67 proliferation indices than the ES patients lacking such mutations. Notably, more than half of the ES patients harbored one or two possible 'druggable' mutations that have been previously linked to a clinical cancer treatment option. Our results provided the foundation to not only elucidate possible mechanisms involved in ES pathogenesis but also indicated the utility of Ion Torrent sequencing as a sensitive and cost-effective tool to screen key oncogenes and tumor suppressors in order to develop personalized therapy for ES patients.

Meazza C, Belfiore A, Busico A, et al.
AKT1 and BRAF mutations in pediatric aggressive fibromatosis.
Cancer Med. 2016; 5(6):1204-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aside from the CTNNB1 and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutations, the genetic profile of pediatric aggressive fibromatosis (AF) has remained poorly characterized. The aim of this study was to shed more light on the mutational spectrum of pediatric AF, comparing it with its adult counterpart, with a view to identifying biomarkers for use as prognostic factors or new potential therapeutic targets. CTNNB1, APC, AKT1, BRAF TP53, and RET Sanger sequencing and next-generation sequencing (NGS) with the 50-gene Ion AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel v2 were performed on formalin-fixed samples from 28 pediatric and 33 adult AFs. The prognostic value of CTNNB1, AKT1, and BRAF mutations in pediatric AF patients was investigated. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) curves were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method and statistical comparisons were drawn using the log-rank test. In addition to the CTNNB1 mutation (64%), pediatric AF showed AKT1 (31%), BRAF (19%), and TP53 (9%) mutations, whereas only the CTNNB1 mutation was found in adult AF. The polymorphism Q472H VEGFR was identified in both pediatric (56%) and adult (40%) AF. Our results indicate that the mutational spectrum of pediatric AF is more complex than that of adult AF, with multiple gene mutations involving not only CTNNB1 but also AKT1 and BRAF. This intriguing finding may have clinical implications and warrants further investigations.

Pelosi G, Pellegrinelli A, Fabbri A, et al.
Deciphering intra-tumor heterogeneity of lung adenocarcinoma confirms that dominant, branching, and private gene mutations occur within individual tumor nodules.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 468(6):651-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
While pulmonary adenocarcinoma (ADC) is morphologically heterogeneous, little is known about intra-tumor gene mutation heterogeneity (ITH). We therefore subjected 20 ADC nodules, 5 mutated for EGFR and 5 for KRAS, 5 with an ALK translocation, and 5 wild type (WT) for these alterations, to unsupervised next-generation sequencing of tumor regions from diverse architectural patterns. When 2 or more different gene mutations were found in a single tumor, this fulfilled the criteria for ITH. In the 84 studied tumor regions with diverse architecture, 71 gene mutations and 34 WT profiles were found. ITH was observed in 9/15 (60 %) ADC, 3 with an EGFR, 3 with a KRAS, and 3 with an ALK aberration, as reflected in 5, 6, and 9 additional mutations, respectively, detected in these tumors. EGFR mutations were observed in 21/22 and KRAS mutations in 18/22 tumor regions, suggesting that they appear early and have a driver role (dominant or trunk mutations). Branching mutations (in EZH2, PIK3CA, TP53, and EGFR exon 18) occurred in two or more regions, while private mutations (in ABL1, ALK, BRAF, HER2, KDR, LKB1, PTEN, MET, SMAD4, SMARCB1, and SRC) were confined to unique tumor samples of individual lesions, suggesting that they occurred later on during tumor progression. Patients with a tumor showing branching mutations ran a worse clinical course, independent of confounding factors. We conclude that in ADC, ITH exists in a pattern suggesting spatial and temporal hierarchy with dominant, branching, and private mutations. This is consistent with diverse intra-tumor clonal evolution, which has potential implications for patient prognosis or development of secondary therapy resistance.

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