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We describe 10 cases of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that did not express immunoglobulin kappa or lambda light chains by dual-color flow cytometry. Cases were identified from 298 consecutive cases of B-cell NHL and included follicular center cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, small noncleaved cell lymphoma, and small lymphocytic lymphoma. One case did not express any immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) as well; however, isolated expression of IgG heavy chain was seen in another case. Immunoglobulin heavy chains were not part of the lymphoma panel in other cases. All 3 cases in which gene rearrangement studies were performed showed rearrangement of IgH genes, including the case that did not express surface IgH chains. Immunoglobulin kappa light chain genes were rearranged in 2 of 3 cases and were in germline configuration in the third. All 147 cases of benign lymph nodes analyzed by flow cytometry showed polyclonal expression of immunoglobulin kappa and lambda light chains. Because of the absence of surface immunoglobulin light chains, these tumors must be distinguished from precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, plasma cell tumors, and rare cases of florid follicular hyperplasia that do not express surface immunoglobulins. The absence of immunoglobulin expression on malignant B cells can result from defects at any level from gene transcription to translocation of fully assembled proteins to the cell surface.
BACKGROUND - The translocation t(X;18)(p11.2;q11.2) characterizes synovial sarcoma, fusing the SYT gene at 18q11.2 to either SSX1 or SSX2 at Xp11.2. The usual chimeric product fuses SYT codon 379 to SSX1 or SSX2 codon 111. To date only three variant fusions have been identified. A predominantly epithelioid synovial sarcoma that expressed a novel variant of the SYT-SSX1 fusion is described.
METHODS AND RESULTS - The current case was tested for the SYT-SSX fusion by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by sequencing of the PCR product. Analysis revealed a 673 bp SYT-SSX1 chimeric product characterized by a novel junction of SYT codon 379 to SSX1 codon 83 with a 6 bp insertion at the fusion junction.
CONCLUSION - As the number of reported variations of the SYT-SSX chimeric fusion increases in synovial sarcoma, the mechanics of the translocation machinery and the functional significance of these chimeric fusions will be better understood.
BACKGROUND - TA-90 is a tumor-associated antigen first identified in the urine and sera of patients with metastatic melanoma. In the early stages of disease, TA-90 is present in circulating immune complexes (ICs) that may be detected with an antigen specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In this study, the authors evaluated the efficacy of the TA-90 IC assay in detecting subclinical metastasis of early stage melanoma and predicting the survival of patients with this disease.
METHODS - Archival sera were collected preoperatively from 114 patients who underwent wide excision with or without regional lymphadenectomy in the treatment of clinical Stage I melanoma. Sera were analyzed for TA-90 IC in a blinded fashion, and results were correlated with the patient's clinical course as determined by database and chart review. Subclinical metastases were considered present at the time of surgery if the lymphadenectomy specimen was pathologically positive and/or the patient subsequently developed recurrence.
RESULTS - The TA-90 IC assay predicted subclinical metastasis in 43 of 56 patients (P < 0.0001), with 14 false-positive and 13 false-negative results. Sensitivity and specificity for the detection of occult metastasis were 77% and 76%, respectively. Positive and negative predictive values were 75% and 77%, respectively. Fifteen of 18 tumor positive regional lymph node basins (83%) and 34 of 46 recurrences (74%) were accurately predicted when considered independently (P < 0.004). Preoperative TA-90 IC status was also highly correlated with survival: 5-year overall and disease free survival rates were 63% and 46%, respectively, for the TA-90 IC positive group, compared with 88% and 82%, respectively, for the TA-90 IC negative group (P=0.0001). A multivariate analysis with standard prognostic variables identified preoperative TA-90 IC status as a strong, independent prognostic factor for both overall and disease free survival.
CONCLUSIONS - To the authors' knowledge, TA-90 is the first tumor marker that accurately predicts subclinical metastatic disease and survival for patients with early stage melanoma. For this reason, the TA-90 IC assay has the potential to improve dramatically the prognostic evaluation of patients with this disease. Its role in postoperative risk stratification and early detection of recurrence is being evaluated in a prospective study.
Rat intestinal epithelial cells (RIE-1) permanently transfected with the prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase 2 (also referred to as cyclooxygenase-2; COX-2) gene exhibit decreased cyclin D1 levels, decreased cdk4-associated kinase activity, and delayed G1 cell cycle progression, which represents a phenotype similar to that which follows transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) treatment. In the current study, we have found that addition of TGF-beta 1 to the parental RIE-1 cells (designated RIE-P) caused a rapid induction of COX-2 mRNA and protein. COX-2 protein levels progressively increased and reached peak levels 6 h after TGF-beta 1 addition. Cyclin D1 was decreased by 74% at 6 h and was undetectable 24 h after addition of TGF-beta 1. In RIE cells transfected with the COX-2 antisense expression vector (RIE-AS cells), TGF-beta 1 induction of COX-2 protein was reduced greater than 90%. Addition of TGF-beta 1 did not reduce the abundant cyclin D1 protein expression in the RIE-AS cells, unlike the effect in RIE-P cells. TGF-beta 1 treatment reduced peak [3H]thymidine incorporation by 60% and delayed G1/S-phase transition by at least 4 h in the RIE-P cells. In contrast, S-phase entry occurred at 16 h in RIE-AS cells and was not altered by TGF-beta 1 treatment. Restoration of cyclin D1 expression by transfection of the cyclin D1 cDNA under transcriptional control of the cytomegalovirus promoter/enhancer in the COX-2-overexpressing (RIE-S) cells decreased the time required for S-phase entry by at least 4 h and increased the peak level of [3H]thymidine incorporation. Taken together, the results demonstrate that TGF-beta 1 strongly induces COX-2 at both the mRNA and protein levels and suggest that this induction of COX-2 is involved in the down-regulation of cyclin D1 and inhibition of cell growth caused by TGF-beta 1 in rat intestinal epithelial cells.
PURPOSE - To determine the frequency with which elevated plasma transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF beta 1) concentrations occur in lung cancer patients, to determine the kinetics of TGF beta 1 expression during and after radiotherapy and to correlate plasma TGF beta 1 levels with disease status after treatment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Plasma samples were obtained before, during and after radiotherapy in 54 patients with lung cancer and 20 normal controls. Plasma TGF beta 1 levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS - Baseline TGF beta 1 levels in lung cancer patients and normal controls were 13.0 +/- 2.5 and 4.4 +/- 0.3 ng/ml, respectively. Elevated TGF beta 1 were found in 50% (27/54) of lung cancer patients. During radiation therapy plasma TGF beta 1 levels declined, however, by the completion of treatment the mean TGF beta 1 level had not normalized in patients with lung cancer. The TGF beta 1 level at last follow-up correlated with disease status in those patients with an increased pretreatment plasma level. Three of four patients with no evidence of cancer had normal follow-up TGF beta 1 levels, compared to 2/16 patients with residual or recurrent tumor (P = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS - Elevated plasma TGF beta 1 levels occur frequently in patients with lung cancer. In those patients with an elevated plasma TGF beta 1 level at diagnosis, monitoring this level may be useful in detecting both disease persistence and recurrence after therapy.
Inactivation of the p53 tumour-suppressor gene is common in a wide variety of human neoplasms. In the majority of cases, single point mutations in the protein-encoding sequence of p53 lead to positive immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the p53 protein, and are accompanied by loss of the wild-type allele. Recently, the WAF1/Cip1 gene was identified as one of the genes induced by wild-type p53, and increased expression of p21WAF1/Cip1 has been found to reflect the status of the p53 tumour-suppressor pathway. We investigated the inactivation of p53 in a relatively small, but well-characterised, group of 46 colorectal carcinomas that were previously studied for allelic alterations, ras oncogene mutations and DNA aneuploidy. Alterations in p53 were identified by IHC, loss of 17p and DNA sequence analysis of exons 5-8, whereas p21WAF1/Cip1 protein expression was determined by IHC. p53 mutations were identified in 19 of the 46 tumours (41%), whereas positive IHC for p53 was found in 21 of the 46 tumours (46%). Positive IHC for p21WAF1/Cip1 was detected in 16 of 42 cases (38%). We found no relationship between p21WAF1/Cip1 staining and p53 protein expression or p53 mutational status. Inactivating mutations in the p53 gene correlated with LOH at 17p but not with LOH at 5q or 18q, Dukes' stage, tumour grade or DNA ploidy. There was a higher survival rate independent of Dukes' stage in the group with no alterations in p53 compared with those with evidence of dysfunction of p53, but the difference was not statistically significant. We conclude that inactivation of p53 and altered expression of p21WAF1/Cip1 are common in colorectal carcinoma but do not correlate with each other or with the clinical or pathological parameters investigated.
We evaluated the prognostic significance of p185c-erbB-2 expression and ras gene mutations in all patients diagnosed with a pulmonary adenocarcinoma between 1982 and 1985 at the University of Iowa. p185c-erbB-2 expression was detected in 15 cases (34%). A ras gene mutation was found in 16 cases (36%) and all were in codon-12 of K-ras. No N-ras mutations were identified. Both p185c-erbB-2 expression and a K-ras mutation were found only in codon-12 and present in six cases (14%). By univariate analysis p185c-erbB-2 expression was associated with shortened survival (P = 0.02) while the presence of a K-ras mutation was not (P = 0.16). Multivariate analysis by the Cox proportional hazards model, controlling for patient age and tumor stage, also continued to identify p185c-erbB-2 expression as an independent unfavorable prognostic factor (P = 0.01). In this model a K-ras mutation also approached significance as a poor prognostic indicator (P = 0.06). The impact of both p185c-erbB-2 expression and a K-ras mutation on survival was additive and highly significant (P = 0.004). This additive nature suggests that together these two markers identify a high-risk population of lung adenocarcinoma patients that may benefit from aggressive therapy.
Previous reports of the association between the debrisoquine metabolic polymorphism and lung cancer risk have been conflicting. We examined the hypothesis that the genetically determined ability to metabolize debrisoquine identifies individuals at increased risk for lung cancer in a study designed to address some of the methodological criticisms of previous studies. A case-control study of 335 incident Caucasian lung cancer patients and 373 controls matched for age, race, sex, and hospital, was conducted at the National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda, MD) and at the Laval Hospital (Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada). Debrisoquine metabolic phenotype was determined by debrisoquine administration and analysis of debrisoquine and 4-hydroxydebrisoquine in the subsequent 8-h urine collected. Stratified and logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the association between extensive or intermediate debrisoquine metabolism and lung cancer risk. We found no increased risk among extensive or intermediate metabolizers (odds ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.3-1.2). The lack of an association was not confounded by control diagnoses, medications used within 1 month of debrisoquine administration, smoking, stage, or histology of lung cancer. No relationship was found among either heavy smokers or light and nonsmokers. Our results do not support the role of debrisoquine metabolism as a marker for lung cancer risk. While the concept that polymorphisms of metabolism may account for differential susceptibility to lung cancer is sound, debrisoquine metabolic phenotype was not associated with lung cancer risk in these data.
The duration of survival in early-stage lung cancer (stages I and II) varies between reports in the literature. Several reasons account for this: patient population heterogeneity, inconsistent staging, anatomic variability, dissimilar tumor morphology, and unpredictable tumor biology. This report addresses some of the issues in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer that relate to variability between estimates of survival in end stage reporting. We review several large series since the introduction of the International Staging System in 1986 and other selected, contemporary reports that address end results in patients with pathologic stage I or stage II lung cancer. Overall survival for patients with pathologic stage I disease is 64.6% (range, 55% to 72%) and 41.2% for patients with stage II disease (range, 29% to 51%). Reducing morphologic differences by placing patients in groups based on the TNM subset and refinement in categorization by matching TNM subsets based on histology and other factors can improve considerably homogeneity and enhance prognostic predictability. The development of more accurate measures for predicting prognosis may serve to clarify the roles of primary and adjuvant treatment, particularly in those patients with early-stage disease associated with poor prognostic factors in whom the potential for long-term survival is reduced.