241 research outputs found

    Genes at the crossroad of primary immunodeficiencies and cancer

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    Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) are a heterogeneous group of inherited disorders affecting one or multiple components of the innate and/or adaptive immune system. Currently, over 300 underlying genetic defects have been discovered. The most common clinical findings in patients with PIDs are infections, autoimmunity, and malignancies. Despite international efforts, the cancer risk associated with PIDs, given the heterogeneous character of this group of diseases, is difficult to estimate. The diverse underlying mechanisms of cancer in PID add another layer of complexity. Treatment of cancer within a context of PID is complicated by serious toxicities and long-term effects, including second malignancies. This review will focus on the little-known crossroad between PID and cancer genes and the value thereof for directing future research on our understanding of cancer in PID and for the identification of early cancer biomarkers in PID patients

    The pitfalls and promise of liquid biopsies for diagnosing and treating solid tumors in children : a review

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    Cell-free DNA profiling using patient blood is emerging as a non-invasive complementary technique for cancer genomic characterization. Since these liquid biopsies will soon be integrated into clinical trial protocols for pediatric cancer treatment, clinicians should be informed about potential applications and advantages but also weaknesses and potential pitfalls. Small retrospective studies comparing genetic alterations detected in liquid biopsies with tumor biopsies for pediatric solid tumor types are encouraging. Molecular detection of tumor markers in cell-free DNA could be used for earlier therapy response monitoring and residual disease detection as well as enabling detection of pathognomonic and therapeutically relevant genomic alterations. Conclusion: Existing analyses of liquid biopsies from children with solid tumors increasingly suggest a potential relevance for molecular diagnostics, prognostic assessment, and therapeutic decision-making. Gaps remain in the types of tumors studied and value of detection methods applied. Here we review the current stand of liquid biopsy studies for pediatric solid tumors with a dedicated focus on cell-free DNA analysis. There is legitimate hope that integrating fully validated liquid biopsy-based innovations into the standard of care will advance patient monitoring and personalized treatment of children battling solid cancers

    Localization of the 17q breakpoint of a constitutional 1;17 translocation in a patient with neuroblastoma within a 25-kb segment located between the ACCN1 and TLK2 genes and near the distal breakpoints of two microdeletions in neurofibromatosis type I patients.

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    We have constructed a 1.4-Mb P1 artificial chromosome/bacterial artificial chromosome (PAC/BAC) contig spanning the 17q breakpoint of a constitutional translocation t(1;17)(p36.2;q11.2) in a patient with neuroblastoma. Three 17q breakpoint-overlapping cosmids were identified and sequenced. No coding sequences were found in the immediate proximity of the 17q breakpoint. The PAC/BAC contig covers the region between the proximally located ACCN1 gene and the distally located TLK2 gene and SCYA chemokine gene cluster. The observation that the 17q breakpoint region could not be detected in any of the screened yeast artificial chromosome libraries and the localization of the 17q breakpoint in the vicinity of the distal breakpoints of two microdeletions in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 suggest that this chromosomal region is genetically unstable and prone to rearrangement

    Minimally invasive classification of pediatric solid tumors using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing of cell-free DNA : a proof-of-principle study

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    In the clinical management of pediatric solid tumors, histological examination of tumor tissue obtained by a biopsy remains the gold standard to establish a conclusive pathological diagnosis. The DNA methylation pattern of a tumor is known to correlate with the histopathological diagnosis across cancer types and is showing promise in the diagnostic workup of tumor samples. This methylation pattern can be detected in the cell-free DNA. Here, we provide proof-of-concept of histopathologic classification of pediatric tumors using cell-free reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (cf-RRBS) from retrospectively collected plasma and cerebrospinal fluid samples. We determined the correct tumor type in 49 out of 60 (81.6%) samples starting from minute amounts (less than 10 ng) of cell-free DNA. We demonstrate that the majority of misclassifications were associated with sample quality and not with the extent of disease. Our approach has the potential to help tackle some of the remaining diagnostic challenges in pediatric oncology in a cost-effective and minimally invasive manner. Translational relevance: Obtaining a correct diagnosis in pediatric oncology can be challenging in some tumor types, especially in renal tumors or central nervous system tumors. Furthermore, the diagnostic odyssey can result in anxiety and discomfort for these children. By applying a novel technique, reduced representation bisulfite sequencing on cell-free DNA (cf-RRBS), we show the feasibility of obtaining the histopathological diagnosis with a minimally invasive test on either plasma or cerebrospinal fluid. Furthermore, we were able to derive the copy number profile or tumor subtype from the same assay. Given that primary tumor material might be difficult to obtain, in particular in critically ill children or depending on the tumor location, and might be limited in terms of quantity or quality, our assay could become complementary to the classical tissue biopsy in difficult cases

    Focal DNA copy number changes in neuroblastoma target MYCN regulated genes

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    Neuroblastoma is an embryonic tumor arising from immature sympathetic nervous system cells. Recurrent genomic alterations include MYCN and ALK amplification as well as recurrent patterns of gains and losses of whole or large partial chromosome segments. A recent whole genome sequencing effort yielded no frequently recurring mutations in genes other than those affecting ALK. However, the study further stresses the importance of DNA copy number alterations in this disease, in particular for genes implicated in neuritogenesis. Here we provide additional evidence for the importance of focal DNA copy number gains and losses, which are predominantly observed in MYCN amplified tumors. A focal 5 kb gain encompassing the MYCN regulated miR-17,92 cluster as sole gene was detected in a neuroblastoma cell line and further analyses of the array CGH data set demonstrated enrichment for other MYCN target genes in focal gains and amplifications. Next we applied an integrated genomics analysis to prioritize MYCN down regulated genes mediated by MYCN driven miRNAs within regions of focal heterozygous or homozygous deletion. We identified RGS5, a negative regulator of G-protein signaling implicated in vascular normalization, invasion and metastasis, targeted by a focal homozygous deletion, as a new MYCN target gene, down regulated through MYCN activated miRNAs. In addition, we expand the miR-17,92 regulatory network controlling TGFß signaling in neuroblastoma with the ring finger protein 11 encoding gene RNF11, which was previously shown to be targeted by the miR-17,92 member miR-19b. Taken together, our data indicate that focal DNA copy number imbalances in neuroblastoma (1) target genes that are implicated in MYCN signaling, possibly selected to reinforce MYCN oncogene addiction and (2) serve as a resource for identifying new molecular targets for treatment
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