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The repository contains the research outputs from staff and students at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.
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Over 7000 peer reviewed articles, reviews and selected publications from 1933 onwards.
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The genomic landscape of unsuspected, incidentally detected Gleason 7 prostate cancer found on autopsyIntroduction & Objectives: Changes in our way of thinking in medicine are sometimes driven by observations in a small number of patients. For instance, when whole-genome sequencing used to track the lethal cell clone in a single patient who died of prostate cancer (PCa), surprisingly, revealed that it arose from a small, low-grade PCa focus. The genomic landscape of unsuspected, incidentally detected PCa on autopsy in men never found with the disease during their lifetime is virtually unknown. Intriguingly, while the field has anticipated that most autopsy-detected PCa are of low tumor volume and low Gleason score (GS), we and others have shown that nearly 25% of unsuspected autopsy detected PCa in Caucasian men were GS≥7. Materials & Methods: We used prostate glands prospectively collected during autopsy from Caucasian men, deceased with no known history of PCa, accrued by the University of Moscow, Russia and analyzed in Toronto, Canada. We limited the scope of our study to unifocal GS7 tumors with good DNA quantity and quality. DNA was isolated from the autopsy-detected tumors using QIAamp DNA Mini Kit (Hilden, Germany). To profile genome-wide copy number aberrations (CNAs), we used the OncoScan® FFPE Express v3 platform, optimized for highly degraded samples. BioDiscovery Nexus Express TM for OncoScan 3 was used to call CNAs using the SNP-FASST2 algorithm. We compared autopsy CNA data to intermediate-risk prostate cancer cases from the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE project), all of whom underwent radiotherapy or radical prostatectomy for localized, non-indolent GS6-7 disease. Results: Three autopsy incidentally detected tumors were analyzed (ages 63, 70, 80) and compared to 300 surgical and biopsy-specimens from CPC-GENE. Driver gene hits were common in autopsy specimens: deletions in TP53 were observed in all three, BRCA2 in two and RB1 loss in two. A TMPRSS2:ERG fusion, caused by a deletion of chr21:39988436-42859011, was observed in one sample. Two of the three autopsy samples were indistinguishable from the diagnosed tumors in the CPC-GENE set. A limitation of this study is that although the three GS 7 were found incidentally on autopsy, they were not necessarily indolent: These men could have died of something else before their PCa became diagnosed. Conclusions: To our surprise, this study has shown, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time that unsuspected PCa GS7 detected incidentally on autopsy is genomically indistinguishable from clinically detected tumors. Autopsy studies have revealed the presence of a large reservoir of PCa, including GS7, which exist in the population and do not cause clinical symptoms or death. Most GS7 tumors found on autopsy in this study, intriguingly displayed mutations usually observed in more aggressive forms of the disease. This may suggest that other factors such as epigenetics could play an important role.
Tumor heterogeneityTumor heterogeneity was traditionally considered in the genetic terms, but it has now been broadened into many more facets. These facets represent a challenge in our understanding of cancer etiology but also provide opportunity for us to understand prognosis and therapy response.
Epidemiology of anal human papillomavirus infection and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions in 29 900 men according to HIV status, sexuality, and age: a collaborative pooled analysis of 64 studiesBackground: Robust age-specific estimates of anal human papillomavirus (HPV) and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) in men can inform anal cancer prevention efforts. We aimed to evaluate the age-specific prevalence of anal HPV, HSIL, and their combination, in men, stratified by HIV status and sexuality. Methods: We did a systematic review for studies on anal HPV infection in men and a pooled analysis of individual-level data from eligible studies across four groups: HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM), HIV-negative MSM, HIV-positive men who have sex with women (MSW), and HIV-negative MSW. Studies were required to inform on type-specific HPV infection (at least HPV16), detected by use of a PCR-based test from anal swabs, HIV status, sexuality (MSM, including those who have sex with men only or also with women, or MSW), and age. Authors of eligible studies with a sample size of 200 participants or more were invited to share deidentified individual-level data on the above four variables. Authors of studies including 40 or more HIV-positive MSW or 40 or more men from Africa (irrespective of HIV status and sexuality) were also invited to share these data. Pooled estimates of anal high-risk HPV (HR-HPV, including HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, and 68), and HSIL or worse (HSIL+), were compared by use of adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) from generalised linear models. Findings: The systematic review identified 93 eligible studies, of which 64 contributed data on 29 900 men to the pooled analysis. Among HIV-negative MSW anal HPV16 prevalence was 1·8% (91 of 5190) and HR-HPV prevalence was 6·9% (345 of 5003); among HIV-positive MSW the prevalences were 8·7% (59 of 682) and 26·9% (179 of 666); among HIV-negative MSM they were 13·7% (1455 of 10 617) and 41·2% (3798 of 9215), and among HIV-positive MSM 28·5% (3819 of 13 411) and 74·3% (8765 of 11 803). In HIV-positive MSM, HPV16 prevalence was 5·6% (two of 36) among those age 15-18 years and 28·8% (141 of 490) among those age 23-24 years (ptrend=0·0091); prevalence was 31·7% (1057 of 3337) among those age 25-34 years and 22·8% (451 of 1979) among those age 55 and older (ptrend<0·0001). HPV16 prevalence in HIV-negative MSM was 6·7% (15 of 223) among those age 15-18 and 13·9% (166 of 1192) among those age 23-24 years (ptrend=0·0076); the prevalence plateaued thereafter (ptrend=0·72). Similar age-specific patterns were observed for HR-HPV. No significant differences for HPV16 or HR-HPV were found by age for either HIV-positive or HIV-negative MSW. HSIL+ detection ranged from 7·5% (12 of 160) to 54·5% (61 of 112) in HIV-positive MSM; after adjustment for heterogeneity, HIV was a significant predictor of HSIL+ (aPR 1·54, 95% CI 1·36-1·73), HPV16-positive HSIL+ (1·66, 1·36-2·03), and HSIL+ in HPV16-positive MSM (1·19, 1·04-1·37). Among HPV16-positive MSM, HSIL+ prevalence increased with age. Interpretation: High anal HPV prevalence among young HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM highlights the benefits of gender-neutral HPV vaccination before sexual activity over catch-up vaccination. HIV-positive MSM are a priority for anal cancer screening research and initiatives targeting HPV16-positive HSIL+.
PATZ1 fusions define a novel molecularly distinct neuroepithelial tumor entity with a broad histological spectrumLarge-scale molecular profiling studies in recent years have shown that central nervous system (CNS) tumors display a much greater heterogeneity in terms of molecularly distinct entities, cellular origins and genetic drivers than anticipated from histological assessment. DNA methylation profiling has emerged as a useful tool for robust tumor classification, providing new insights into these heterogeneous molecular classes. This is particularly true for rare CNS tumors with a broad morphological spectrum, which are not possible to assign as separate entities based on histological similarity alone. Here, we describe a molecularly distinct subset of predominantly pediatric CNS neoplasms (n = 60) that harbor PATZ1 fusions. The original histological diagnoses of these tumors covered a wide spectrum of tumor types and malignancy grades. While the single most common diagnosis was glioblastoma (GBM), clinical data of the PATZ1-fused tumors showed a better prognosis than typical GBM, despite frequent relapses. RNA sequencing revealed recurrent MN1:PATZ1 or EWSR1:PATZ1 fusions related to (often extensive) copy number variations on chromosome 22, where PATZ1 and the two fusion partners are located. These fusions have individually been reported in a number of glial/glioneuronal tumors, as well as extracranial sarcomas. We show here that they are more common than previously acknowledged, and together define a biologically distinct CNS tumor type with high expression of neural development markers such as PAX2, GATA2 and IGF2. Drug screening performed on the MN1:PATZ1 fusion-bearing KS-1 brain tumor cell line revealed preliminary candidates for further study. In summary, PATZ1 fusions define a molecular class of histologically polyphenotypic neuroepithelial tumors, which show an intermediate prognosis under current treatment regimens.
Subclone eradication analysis identifies targets for enhanced cancer therapy and reveals L1 retrotransposition as a dynamic source of cancer heterogeneityTreatment-eradicated cancer subclones have been reported in leukemia and have recently been detected in solid tumors. Here we introduce Differential Subclone Eradication and Resistance Analysis (DSER), a method developed to identify molecular targets for improved therapy by direct comparison of genomic features of eradicated and resistant subclones in pre- and post-treatment samples from a patient with BRCA2-deficient metastatic prostate cancer. FANCI and EYA4 were identified as candidate DNA repair-related targets for converting subclones from resistant to eradicable, and RNAi-mediated depletion of FANCI confirmed it as a potential target. The EYA4 alteration was associated with adjacent L1 transposon insertion during cancer evolution upon treatment, raising questions surrounding the role of therapy in L1 activation. Both carboplatin and enzalutamide turned on L1 transposon machinery in LNCaP and VCaP but not in PC-3 and 22Rv1 prostate cancer cell lines. L1 activation in LNCaP and VCaP was inhibited by the antiretroviral drug azidothymidine. L1 activation was also detected post-castration in LuCaP 77 and LuCaP 105 xenograft models and post-chemotherapy in previously published time-series transcriptomic data from SCC25 head and neck cancer cells. In conclusion DSER provides an informative intermediate step toward effective precision cancer medicine and should be tested in future studies, especially those including dramatic but temporary metastatic tumor regression. L1 transposon activation may be a modifiable source of cancer genomic heterogeneity, suggesting the potential of leveraging newly discovered triggers and blockers of L1 activity to overcome therapy resistance.