Surgery (RMH) - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 347
Colon Cryptogenesis: Asymmetric Budding
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-10-21)
The process of crypt formation and the roles of Wnt and cell-cell adhesion signaling in cryptogenesis are not well described; but are important to the understanding of both normal and cancer colon crypt biology. A quantitative 3D-microscopy and image analysis technique is used to study the frequency, morphology and molecular topography associated with crypt formation. Measurements along the colon reveal the details of crypt formation and some key underlying biochemical signals regulating normal colon biology. Our measurements revealed an asymmetrical crypt budding process, contrary to the previously reported symmetrical fission of crypts. 3D immunofluorescence analyses reveals heterogeneity in the subcellular distribution of E-cadherin and β-catenin in distinct crypt populations. This heterogeneity was also found in asymmetrical budding crypts. Singular crypt formation (i.e. no multiple new crypts forming from one parent crypt) were observed in crypts isolated from the normal colon mucosa, suggestive of a singular constraint mechanism to prevent aberrant crypt production. The technique presented improves our understanding of cryptogenesis and suggests that excess colon crypt formation occurs when Wnt signaling is perturbed (e.g. by truncation of adenomatous polyposis coli, APC protein) in most colon cancers.
Error rates in a clinical data repository: lessons from the transition to electronic data transfer - a descriptive study
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-01-01)
OBJECTIVE: Data errors are a well-documented part of clinical datasets as is their potential to confound downstream analysis. In this study, we explore the reliability of manually transcribed data across different pathology fields in a prostate cancer database and also measure error rates attributable to the source data. DESIGN: Descriptive study. SETTING: Specialist urology service at a single centre in metropolitan Victoria in Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Between 2004 and 2011, 1471 patients underwent radical prostatectomy at our institution. In a large proportion of these cases, clinicopathological variables were recorded by manual data-entry. In 2011, we obtained electronic versions of the same printed pathology reports for our cohort. The data were electronically imported in parallel to any existing manual entry record enabling direct comparison between them. OUTCOME MEASURES: Error rates of manually entered data compared with electronically imported data across clinicopathological fields. RESULTS: 421 patients had at least 10 comparable pathology fields between the electronic import and manual records and were selected for study. 320 patients had concordant data between manually entered and electronically populated fields in a median of 12 pathology fields (range 10-13), indicating an outright accuracy in manually entered pathology data in 76% of patients. Across all fields, the error rate was 2.8%, while individual field error ranges from 0.5% to 6.4%. Fields in text formats were significantly more error-prone than those with direct measurements or involving numerical figures (p<0.001). 971 cases were available for review of error within the source data, with figures of 0.1-0.9%. CONCLUSIONS: While the overall rate of error was low in manually entered data, individual pathology fields were variably prone to error. High-quality pathology data can be obtained for both prospective and retrospective parts of our data repository and the electronic checking of source pathology data for error is feasible.
Autophagy Induction Is a Tor- and Tp53-Independent Cell Survival Response in a Zebrafish Model of Disrupted Ribosome Biogenesis
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-02-01)
Ribosome biogenesis underpins cell growth and division. Disruptions in ribosome biogenesis and translation initiation are deleterious to development and underlie a spectrum of diseases known collectively as ribosomopathies. Here, we describe a novel zebrafish mutant, titania (tti(s450)), which harbours a recessive lethal mutation in pwp2h, a gene encoding a protein component of the small subunit processome. The biochemical impacts of this lesion are decreased production of mature 18S rRNA molecules, activation of Tp53, and impaired ribosome biogenesis. In tti(s450), the growth of the endodermal organs, eyes, brain, and craniofacial structures is severely arrested and autophagy is up-regulated, allowing intestinal epithelial cells to evade cell death. Inhibiting autophagy in tti(s450) larvae markedly reduces their lifespan. Somewhat surprisingly, autophagy induction in tti(s450) larvae is independent of the state of the Tor pathway and proceeds unabated in Tp53-mutant larvae. These data demonstrate that autophagy is a survival mechanism invoked in response to ribosomal stress. This response may be of relevance to therapeutic strategies aimed at killing cancer cells by targeting ribosome biogenesis. In certain contexts, these treatments may promote autophagy and contribute to cancer cells evading cell death.
International multicentre study examining selection criteria for active surveillance in men undergoing radical prostatectomy
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2012-10-23)
BACKGROUND: The controversies concerning possible overtreatment of prostate cancer, highlighted by debate over PSA screening, have highlighted active surveillance (AS) as an alternative management option for appropriate men. Regional differences in the underlying prevalence of PSA testing may alter the pre-test probability for high-risk disease, which can potentially interfere with the performance of selection criteria for AS. In a multicentre study from three different countries, we examine men who were initially suitable for AS according to the Toronto and Prostate Cancer Research International: Active Surveillance (PRIAS) criteria, that underwent radical prostatectomy (RP) in regards to:1.the proportion of pathological reclassification(Gleason score ≥7, ≥pT3 disease),2.predictors of high-risk disease,3.create a predictive model to assist with selection of men suitable for AS. METHODS: From three centres in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, data on men who underwent RP were retrospectively reviewed (n=2329). Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of high-risk disease. A nomogram was generated by logistic regression analysis, and performance characterised by receiver operating characteristic curves. RESULTS: For men suitable for AS according to the Toronto (n=800) and PRIAS (410) criteria, the rates for upgrading were 50.6, 42.7%, and upstaging 17.6, 12.4%, respectively. Significant predictors of high-risk disease were:•Toronto criteria: increasing age, cT2 disease, centre of diagnosis and number of positive cores.•PRIAS criteria: increasing PSA and cT2 disease.Cambridge had a high pT3a rate (26 vs 12%). To assist selection of men in the United Kingdom for AS, from the Cambridge data, we generated a nomogram predicting high-risk features in patients who meet the Toronto criteria (AUC of 0.72). CONCLUSION: The proportion of pathological reclassification in our cohort was higher than previously reported. Care must be used when applying the AS criteria generated from one population to another. With more stringent selection criteria, there is less reclassification but also fewer men who may benefit from AS.
Genetic partitioning of interleukin-6 signalling in mice dissociates Stat3 from Smad3-mediated lung fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal disease that is unresponsive to current therapies and characterized by excessive collagen deposition and subsequent fibrosis. While inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-6, are elevated in IPF, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this disease are incompletely understood, although the development of fibrosis is believed to depend on canonical transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signalling. We examined bleomycin-induced inflammation and fibrosis in mice carrying a mutation in the shared IL-6 family receptor gp130. Using genetic complementation, we directly correlate the extent of IL-6-mediated, excessive Stat3 activity with inflammatory infiltrates in the lung and the severity of fibrosis in corresponding gp130(757F) mice. The extent of fibrosis was attenuated in B lymphocyte-deficient gp130(757F);µMT(-/-) compound mutant mice, but fibrosis still occurred in their Smad3(-/-) counterparts consistent with the capacity of excessive Stat3 activity to induce collagen 1α1 gene transcription independently of canonical TGF-β/Smad3 signalling. These findings are of therapeutic relevance, since we confirmed abundant STAT3 activation in fibrotic lungs from IPF patients and showed that genetic reduction of Stat3 protected mice from bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis.
Short-term single treatment of chemotherapy results in the enrichment of ovarian cancer stem cell-like cells leading to an increased tumor burden
Over 80% of women diagnosed with advanced-stage ovarian cancer die as a result of disease recurrence due to failure of chemotherapy treatment. In this study, using two distinct ovarian cancer cell lines (epithelial OVCA 433 and mesenchymal HEY) we demonstrate enrichment in a population of cells with high expression of CSC markers at the protein and mRNA levels in response to cisplatin, paclitaxel and the combination of both. We also demonstrate a significant enhancement in the sphere forming abilities of ovarian cancer cells in response to chemotherapy drugs. The results of these in vitro findings are supported by in vivo mouse xenograft models in which intraperitoneal transplantation of cisplatin or paclitaxel-treated residual HEY cells generated significantly higher tumor burden compared to control untreated cells. Both the treated and untreated cells infiltrated the organs of the abdominal cavity. In addition, immunohistochemical studies on mouse tumors injected with cisplatin or paclitaxel treated residual cells displayed higher staining for the proliferative antigen Ki67, oncogeneic CA125, epithelial E-cadherin as well as cancer stem cell markers such as Oct4 and CD117, compared to mice injected with control untreated cells. These results suggest that a short-term single treatment of chemotherapy leaves residual cells that are enriched in CSC-like traits, resulting in an increased metastatic potential. The novel findings in this study are important in understanding the early molecular mechanisms by which chemoresistance and subsequent relapse may be triggered after the first line of chemotherapy treatment.
Different APC genotypes in proximal and distal sporadic colorectal cancers suggest distinct WNT/beta-catenin signalling thresholds for tumourigenesis
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-09-26)
Biallelic protein-truncating mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene are prevalent in sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). Mutations may not be fully inactivating, instead producing WNT/β-catenin signalling levels 'just-right' for tumourigenesis. However, the spectrum of optimal APC genotypes accounting for both hits, and the influence of clinicopathological features on genotype selection remain undefined. We analysed 630 sporadic CRCs for APC mutations and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) using sequencing and single-nucleotide polymorphism microarrays, respectively. Truncating APC mutations and/or LOH were detected in 75% of CRCs. Most truncating mutations occurred within a mutation cluster region (MCR; codons 1282-1581) leaving 1-3 intact 20 amino-acid repeats (20AARs) and abolishing all Ser-Ala-Met-Pro (SAMP) repeats. Cancers commonly had one MCR mutation plus either LOH or another mutation 5' to the MCR. LOH was associated with mutations leaving 1 intact 20AAR. MCR mutations leaving 1 vs 2-3 intact 20AARs were associated with 5' mutations disrupting or leaving intact the armadillo-repeat domain, respectively. Cancers with three hits had an over-representation of mutations upstream of codon 184, in the alternatively spliced region of exon 9, and 3' to the MCR. Microsatellite unstable cancers showed hyper-mutation at MCR mono- and di-nucleotide repeats, leaving 2-3 intact 20AARs. Proximal and distal cancers exhibited different preferred APC genotypes, leaving a total of 2 or 3 and 0 to 2 intact 20AARs, respectively. In conclusion, APC genotypes in sporadic CRCs demonstrate 'fine-tuned' interdependence of hits by type and location, consistent with selection for particular residual levels of WNT/β-catenin signalling, with different 'optimal' thresholds for proximal and distal cancers.
Cancer classification using the Immunoscore: a worldwide task force
Prediction of clinical outcome in cancer is usually achieved by histopathological evaluation of tissue samples obtained during surgical resection of the primary tumor. Traditional tumor staging (AJCC/UICC-TNM classification) summarizes data on tumor burden (T), presence of cancer cells in draining and regional lymph nodes (N) and evidence for metastases (M). However, it is now recognized that clinical outcome can significantly vary among patients within the same stage. The current classification provides limited prognostic information, and does not predict response to therapy. Recent literature has alluded to the importance of the host immune system in controlling tumor progression. Thus, evidence supports the notion to include immunological biomarkers, implemented as a tool for the prediction of prognosis and response to therapy. Accumulating data, collected from large cohorts of human cancers, has demonstrated the impact of immune-classification, which has a prognostic value that may add to the significance of the AJCC/UICC TNM-classification. It is therefore imperative to begin to incorporate the 'Immunoscore' into traditional classification, thus providing an essential prognostic and potentially predictive tool. Introduction of this parameter as a biomarker to classify cancers, as part of routine diagnostic and prognostic assessment of tumors, will facilitate clinical decision-making including rational stratification of patient treatment. Equally, the inherent complexity of quantitative immunohistochemistry, in conjunction with protocol variation across laboratories, analysis of different immune cell types, inconsistent region selection criteria, and variable ways to quantify immune infiltration, all underline the urgent requirement to reach assay harmonization. In an effort to promote the Immunoscore in routine clinical settings, an international task force was initiated. This review represents a follow-up of the announcement of this initiative, and of the J Transl Med. editorial from January 2012. Immunophenotyping of tumors may provide crucial novel prognostic information. The results of this international validation may result in the implementation of the Immunoscore as a new component for the classification of cancer, designated TNM-I (TNM-Immune).
Analysis of colorectal cancers in British Bangladeshi identifies early onset, frequent mucinous histotype and a high prevalence of RBFOX1 deletion
BACKGROUND: Prevalence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the British Bangladeshi population (BAN) is low compared to British Caucasians (CAU). Genetic background may influence mutations and disease features. METHODS: We characterized the clinicopathological features of BAN CRCs and interrogated their genomes using mutation profiling and high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays and compared findings to CAU CRCs. RESULTS: Age of onset of BAN CRC was significantly lower than for CAU patients (p=3.0 x 10-5) and this difference was not due to Lynch syndrome or the polyposis syndromes. KRAS mutations in BAN microsatellite stable (MSS) CRCs were comparatively rare (5.4%) compared to CAU MSS CRCs (25%; p=0.04), which correlates with the high percentage of mucinous histotype observed (31%) in the BAN samples. No BRAF mutations was seen in our BAN MSS CRCs (CAU CRCs, 12%; p=0.08). Array data revealed similar patterns of gains (chromosome 7 and 8q), losses (8p, 17p and 18q) and LOH (4q, 17p and 18q) in BAN and CAU CRCs. A small deletion on chromosome 16p13.2 involving the alternative splicing factor RBFOX1 only was found in significantly more BAN (50%) than CAU CRCs (15%) cases (p=0.04). Focal deletions targeting the 5' end of the gene were also identified. Novel RBFOX1 mutations were found in CRC cell lines and tumours; mRNA and protein expression was reduced in tumours. CONCLUSIONS: KRAS mutations were rare in BAN MSS CRC and a mucinous histotype common. Loss of RBFOX1 may explain the anomalous splicing activity associated with CRC.
Mediator Subunit 12 Is Required for Neutrophil Development in Zebrafish
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2011-08-25)
Hematopoiesis requires the spatiotemporal organization of regulatory factors to successfully orchestrate diverse lineage specificity from stem and progenitor cells. Med12 is a regulatory component of the large Mediator complex that enables contact between the general RNA polymerase II transcriptional machinery and enhancer bound regulatory factors. We have identified a new zebrafish med12 allele, syr, with a single missense mutation causing a valine to aspartic acid change at position 1046. Syr shows defects in hematopoiesis, which predominantly affect the myeloid lineage. Syr has identified a hematopoietic cell-specific requirement for Med12, suggesting a new role for this transcriptional regulator.