Research IndicatorsGraph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (5)
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).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: ETV3 (cancer-related)
Bellastella G, Scappaticcio L, Esposito K, et al.Metabolic syndrome and cancer: "The common soil hypothesis".
Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2018; 143:389-397 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and cancer share many modifiable risk factors including age, genetic factors, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, alcohol, smoking, endocrine disruptors exposure, circadian clock disturbances, and air pollution. MetS is closely linked to cancer, as it increases cancer risk and cancer-related mortality; moreover, cancer survivors have an increased risk of MetS. Elucidating the mechanisms linking MetS to cancer is important to prevent or delay these two conditions. Possible mechanisms explaining the relationship between MetS and cancer include hyperinsulinemia and alterations of insulin-like growth factor system, chronic subclinical inflammation, abnormalities in sex hormones metabolism and adipokines, hyperglicemia, alterations in both gene expression and hormonal profile by endocrine disruptors and air pollution, desynchronization of circadian clock. The common soil hypothesis claims that MetS may be considered a surrogate marker for dietary risk factors of cancer, and a warning sign for susceptible individuals exposed to an unhealthy diet. The common soil hypothesis and the clepsydra of foods represent a theoretical substrate to preventive intervention strategies against the pandemics of MetS and cancer: adherence to healthy dietary patterns is associated with a reduced risk of MetS, and improvement of the quality of diet is consistently associated with a reduction in cancer-related mortality.
BACKGROUND: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder determined by polygenic traits as well as environmental factors. Lower vitamin D levels have been detected in PCOS women and related to hormone and metabolic disturbances. Vitamin D acts in tissues through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). VDR gene variants have been associated with worse metabolic profile in the general population. We investigated the genotype and haplotype distribution of the Bsm-I (rs1544410), Apa-I (rs7975232), and Taq-I (rs731236) VDR gene polymorphisms in PCOS and non-hirsute women from southern Brazil. We further investigated the associations of these gene variants and their haplotypes with PCOS, vitamin D levels, and metabolic abnormalities, including the metabolic syndrome (MetS).
METHODS: A group of 191 women with PCOS (Rotterdam criteria) and 100 non-hirsute controls with regular ovulatory cycles were genotyped for all polymorphisms by real-time PCR, with allelic discrimination assays. MetS and the cutoffs for its isolated components were defined in accordance with the Joint Scientific Statement.
RESULTS: Women with PCOS were younger and had significantly higher BMI and total testosterone levels than controls (p < 0.05). The frequency of MetS in PCOS and controls was 26.5% and 4.8% respectively. The CC genotype of Apa-I entailed higher risk of MetS in PCOS (OR: 2.133; 95% CI 1.020-4.464, p = 0.042), and was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (p = 0.009), total cholesterol (p = 0.040), and LDL-cholesterol (p = 0.038) in both PCOS and control groups (two-way ANOVA). The frequencies of VDR haplotypes were similar in PCOS and control women.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggest that the Apa-I variant in VDR gene may be associated with MetS in southern Brazilian women with PCOS, and with blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL-c in women with and without PCOS.
Abou-Ouf H, Alshalalfa M, Takhar M, et al.Validation of a 10-gene molecular signature for predicting biochemical recurrence and clinical metastasis in localized prostate cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2018; 144(5):883-891 [PubMed
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PURPOSE: To validate a previously characterized 10-gene signature in prostate cancer with implication to distinguish aggressive and indolent disease within low and intermediate patients' risk groups.
METHODS: A case-control study design used to select 545 patients from the Mayo clinic tumor registry who underwent radical prostatectomy. A training set from this cohort (n = 359) was used to build a 10-gene model, based on high-dimensional discriminant analysis (HDDA10) to predict several endpoints of clinical patients' outcome. An independent set (n = 219) from the same institution was used as validation set.
RESULTS: HDDA10 showed significant performance for predicting metastasis (Mets) (AUC 0.68, p = 6.4E - 6) and biochemical recurrence (BCR) (AUC = 0.65, p = 0.003) in the validation set outperforming Gleason grade grouping (GG) for BCR (AUC 0.57, p = 0.03) and with comparable performance for Mets endpoint (GG AUC 0.66, p = 8.1E - 5). HDDA10 prognostic significance was superior to any clinical-pathological parameter within GG2 + 3 (GS7) patients achieving an AUC of 0.74 (p = 0.0037) for BCR compared to Gleason pattern 4 (AUC 0.64) (p = 0.015) and AUC for Mets of 0.68 versus AUC of 0.65 for Gleason pattern 4 (p = 0.01). HDDA10 remained significant for both BCR and Mets in multivariate analysis, suggesting that it can be used to increase accuracy in stratifying patients eligible for active surveillance.
CONCLUSION: HDDA10 is of added value to GG and other clinical-pathological parameters in predicting BCR and Mets endpoint, especially in the low to intermediate patients' risk groups. HDDA10 prognostic value should be further validated prospectively in stratifying patients specifically in low to intermediate GS (GG1-2), such as active surveillance programs.
Fujii YRQuantum Language of MicroRNA: Application for New Cancer Therapeutic Targets.
Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1733:145-157 [PubMed
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MicroRNA (miRNA) is the noncoding gene: therefore, the miRNA gene inheritably controls protein gene expression through transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Aberrant expression of miRNA genes causes various human diseases, especially cancers. Although cancer is a complex disease, cancer/miRNA implication has yet been grasped from the perspective of miRNA profile in bed side. Since miRNA is the mobile genetic element, the clinical verification of miRNA in microvesicle of blood is too much straggle to predict potential cancer/miRNA associations without bioinformatical computing. Further, experimental investigation of miRNA/cancer pathways is expensive and time-consuming. While the accumulated data (big data) of miRNA profiles has been on line as the databases in cancers, using the database algorithms for miRNA target prediction have reduced required time for conventional experiments and have cut the cost. Computational prediction of miRNA/target mRNA has shown numerous significant outcomes that are unobtainable only by experimental approaches. However, ID of miRNA in the annotation is an arbitrary number and the ID is not related with miRNA its functions. Therefore, it has not been physicochemically shown why multiple miRNAs in blood or tissues are useful for diagnosis and porgnosis of human diseases or why function of single miRNA in cancer is rendered to oncomir or tumopr suppressor. In addition, it is less cleared why environmental factors, such as temperature, radiation, therapeutic anti-cancer immune or chemical agents can alter the expression of miRNAs in the cell. The ceRNA theory would not be enough for the investigation of such subjects. Given miRNA/target prediction tools, to elucidate such issues with computer simulation we have previously introduced the quantum miRNA/miRNA interaction as a new scoring using big database. The quantum score was implicated in miRNA synergisms in cancer and participated in the miRNA/target interaction on human diseases. On the other hand, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is the dominant RNA species of the cells. It is well known that ribosomopathies, such as Diamond-Blackfan anemia, dyskeratiosis congenital, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, 5q-myelodysplastic syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, cartilage-hair hypoplasia, North American Indian childhood cirrhosis, isolated congenital asplenia, Bowen-Conradi syndrome and cancer are caused by altered expression of ribosomal proteins or rRNA genes. We have proposed the hypothesis that the interaction among miRNAs from rRNA and/or other cellular miRNAs would be involved into cancer as the ribosomopathy. Subsequently, we found rRNA-derived miRNAs (rmiRNAs) by using the sequence homology search (miPS) with miRNA database (miRBase). Further, the pathway related with cancer between rmiRNA/target protein gene was predicted by miRNA entangling target sorting (METS) algorithm. In this chapter, we describe about the usage of in silico miRNA identification program, miRNA/target prediction search through the database and quantum language of miRNA by the METS, and the ontology analysis. In particular, the METS algorithm according to the quantum value would be useful simulator to discover a new therapeutic target aganist cancer. It may also partly contribute to the elucidation of complex mechanisms and development of agents of anti-cancer.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very prevalent endocrine disease affecting reproductive women. Clinically, patients with this disorder are more vulnerable to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cardiovascular events, as well as metabolic syndrome (MetS). To date, the molecular mechanism underlying PCOS remains largely unknown. Previously, we showed that mitochondrial dysfunction caused by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation was an important cause for PCOS. In the current study, we described the clinical and biochemical features of a three-generation pedigree with maternally transmitted MetS, combined with PCOS. A total of three matrilineal relatives exhibited MetS including obesity, high triglyceride (TG) and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, and hypertension. Whereas one patient from the third generation manifestated PCOS. Mutational analysis of the whole mitochondrial genes from the affected individuals identified a set of genetic variations belonging to East Asia haplogroup B4b1c. Among these variants, the homoplasmic C3275T mutation disrupted a highly evolutionary conserved base-pairing (28A-46C) on the variable region of tRNA
BACKGROUND: Vitamin D status may influence the risk of Insulin resistance related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes (T2DM), metabolic syndrome (MetS), and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Several studies have assessed vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphism in relationship with these diseases; however, results remain inconsistent. Our study was conducted to elucidate whether VDR Gene polymorphisms could predict insulin resistance on a large scale.
METHODS: A meta-analysis using MEDLINE and EMBASE, was performed up to December 16th, 2016. Studies reporting association of vitamin D gene polymorphism with incident T2DM, MetS and PCOS outcomes were included and sub-group analysis by pigment of skin and latitude were performed.
RESULTS: A total of 28 articles based on four gene variation, and comprising 9232 participants with 5193 Insulin resistance related diseases patients were included. No significant associations of the VDR ApaI, BsmI, FokI and TaqI variant with Insulin resistance related diseases were found. However, sub-group analysis analysis showed that PCOS in TaqI (OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.03-2.09, P = 0.03) for T allele and MetS for G allele (OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.07-1.85, P = 0.01) in BsmI was significant association with VDR gene polymorphism. Simultaneously, sub-group analysis showed VDR ApaI rs7975232(G > T)variant was associated with insulin resistance related diseases in Asians (GG/GT + TT) (OR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.03-2.53; P = 0.04) and population who lived in middle latitude district (30-60°) (GG/GT + TT) (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.04-1.43; P = 0.02), VDR BsmI rs1544410 (A > G)and VDR Taq1rs731236 (T/C) variant were associated with insulin resistance related diseases in Caucasian (dark-pigmented).
CONCLUSION: The results suggested that the association between insulin resistance related diseases and VDR ApaI, BsmI, FokI variant was more obvious in dark-pigmented Caucasians and Asians but not in Caucasian with white skin.
Myoepithelial tumors (METs) of bone (BMETs) are a rare but distinct tumor entity. METs that are cytologically benign are termed myoepitheliomas; METs with malignant histologic features are called myoepithelial carcinomas. BMETs have a wide age range, may involve any part of the skeleton, and have a variable spindle cell and epithelioid morphology. Bone tumors to be considered in the differential diagnosis are discussed. Additional techniques are indispensable to correctly diagnose BMETs. By immunohistochemistry, BMETs often express cytokeratins and/or EMA together with S100, GFAP, or calponin. Half of BMETs harbor EWSR1 (or rare FUS) gene rearrangements with different gene partners.
BACKGROUND: Insulin resistance is associated with higher breast cancer (BC) penetrance in BRCA mutation carriers. Metabolic syndrome (MetS), an insulin resistance syndrome, can be reversed by adhering to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet). In a dietary intervention trial on BRCA mutation carriers, we evaluated adherence to the MedDiet, and the association with the MetS, by analyzing data from the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS).
METHODS: BRCA mutation carriers, with or without BC, aged 18 to 70 years, were eligible for the trial. After the baseline examinations, women were randomized to a dietary intervention or to a control group. Both groups completed the MEDAS at baseline and at the end of the dietary intervention.
RESULTS: A total of 163 women completed the 6 months of dietary intervention. Compared with controls, the women in the intervention group significantly reduced their consumption of red meat ( P < .01) and commercial sweets ( P < .01) and their MEDAS score rose significantly (+1.3 vs +0.55, P = .02). The number of MetS parameters decreased with increasing points of adherence to the MEDAS score ( P = .01). In the intervention group, there was a significant association with the greater reduction of MetS.
CONCLUSION: BRCA mutation carriers in the intervention group experienced greater improvement in their MedDiet and MetS parameters.
Rashid N, Nigam A, Saxena P, et al.Association of IL-1β, IL-1Ra and FABP1 gene polymorphisms with the metabolic features of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Inflamm Res. 2017; 66(7):621-636 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a highly prevalent endocrinopathy is currently being designated as chronic low grade inflammatory state. IL-1β, IL-1Ra and FABP1 are critical mediators of inflammatory processes and are speculated to play a role in the pathogenesis of PCOS. The aim of this study was to study the association of IL-β, IL-1Ra and FABP1 gene polymorphisms with PCOS and related metabolic features.
SUBJECTS: 95 PCOS and 45 age matched healthy control subjects were enrolled in this study.
METHODS: Polymorphism in genes IL-1β, IL-1Ra and FABP1 was studied by PCR, PCR-RFLP and sequencing methods, respectively. Hormonal and lipid profiles were evaluated for all the subjects.
RESULTS: Hormonal and lipid profiles showed significant differences between PCOS and control subjects. Allele and genotype frequencies of IL-1β, IL-1Ra and FABP1 gene polymorphisms did not vary between the control and PCOS group. However, T allele of C[-511]T variant of IL-1β, allele II in intron 2 of IL-1Ra and A allele of A/G variant of FABP1 (rs2197076) showed significant association with many metabolic features associated with PCOS.
CONCLUSIONS: Polymorphism in genes encoding cytokines and proteins involved in lipid metabolism can provide insights into the genetics of the disease and may contribute to assess the associated risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome (MetS) associated with PCOS.
Background: Ependymomas account for up to 10% of childhood CNS tumors and have a high rate of tumor recurrence despite gross total resection. Recently, classification into molecular ependymoma subgroups has been established, but the mechanisms underlying the aggressiveness of certain subtypes remain widely enigmatic. The aim of this study was to dissect the clinical and biological role of telomerase reactivation, a frequent mechanism of cancer cells to evade cellular senescence, in pediatric ependymoma.
Methods: We determined telomerase enzymatic activity, hTERT mRNA expression, promoter methylation, and the rs2853669 single nucleotide polymorphism located in the hTERT promoter in a well-characterized cohort of pediatric intracranial ependymomas.
Results: In posterior fossa ependymoma group A (PF-EPN-A) tumors, telomerase activity varied and was significantly associated with dismal overall survival, whereas telomerase reactivation was present in all supratentorial RelA fusion-positive (ST-EPN-RELA) ependymomas. In silico analysis of methylation patterns showed that only these two subgroups harbor hypermethylated hTERT promoters suggesting telomerase reactivation via epigenetic mechanisms. Furthermore, chromosome 1q gain, a well-known negative prognostic factor, was strongly associated with telomerase reactivation in PF-EPN-A. Additional in silico analyses of gene expression data confirmed this finding and further showed enrichment of the E-twenty-six factor, Myc, and E2F target genes in 1q gained ependymomas. Additionally, 1q gained tumors showed elevated expression of ETV3, an E-twenty-six factor gene located on chromosome 1q.
Conclusion: Taken together we describe a subgroup-specific impact of telomerase reactivation on disease progression in pediatric ependymoma and provide preliminary evidence for the involved molecular mechanisms.
Santos BR, Lecke SB, Spritzer PMGenetic variant in vitamin D-binding protein is associated with metabolic syndrome and lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in polycystic ovary syndrome: A cross-sectional study.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(3):e0173695 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vitamin D deficiency has been related to metabolic syndrome (MetS) in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) is the main protein involved in vitamin D transport. Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the DBP gene, rs4588 and rs7041, have been associated with low circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in various populations, but not in women with PCOS. Therefore, we determined the genotype and haplotype distribution of DBP gene polymorphisms and investigated the associations between these genetic variants and their haplotypes with PCOS, MetS, and 25(OH)D levels in women with PCOS and controls from the South of Brazil. The sample included 291 women (191 with PCOS and 100 controls). All participants were genotyped for polymorphisms rs2282679, rs4588, and rs7041. Serum 25(OH)D levels were determined in a subset of 102 participants. Women with PCOS were younger and had significantly higher body mass index, blood pressure, and insulin resistance than the control group (p<0.05). The prevalence of MetS in PCOS and controls was 26.5% and 4.8% respectively. Levels of 25(OH)D were lower in PCOS women with MetS, even after adjustment for age (p = 0.033). No associations were observed between PCOS and the polymorphisms or their haplotypes. A higher frequency of genotype TT of rs7041 was found in PCOS participants with MetS (OR: 2.21, 95%CI:1.08-4.52; p = 0.027). This same genotype was associated with lower 25(OH)D levels in both PCOS and control women (OR: 4.40, 95%CI:1.62-12.00; p = 0.002). In conclusion, these findings indicate that DBP gene polymorphisms and their haplotypes are not directly associated with PCOS. In contrast, the TT genotype of SNP rs7041 was associated with MetS in PCOS women, and with lower 25(OH)D levels in both PCOS and control groups.
BACKGROUND: GPRC6A, a widely expressed G-protein coupled receptor, is proposed to be a master regulator of complex endocrine networks and metabolic processes. GPRC6A is activated by multiple ligands, including osteocalcin (Ocn), testosterone (T), basic amino acids, and various cations.
SCOPE OF REVIEW: We review the controversy surrounding GPRC6A functions. In mice, GPRC6A is proposed to integrate metabolic functions through the coordinated secretion of hormones, including insulin, GLP-1, T, and IL-6, and direct effects of this receptor to control glucose and fat metabolism in the liver, skeletal muscle, and fat. Loss-of-GPRC6A results in metabolic syndrome (MetS), and activation of GPRC6A stimulates proliferation of β-cells, increases peripheral insulin sensitivity, and protects against high fat diet (HFD) induced metabolic abnormalities in most mouse models. Bone, cardiovascular, immune, and skin functions of GPRC6A have also been identified in mice. Expression of GPRC6A is increased in prostate cancer (PCa) cells, and inhibition of GPRC6A attenuates PCa progression in mouse models. The function of GPRC6A in humans, however, is not clear. During evolution, a unique polymorphism of GPRC6A emerged mainly in humans of Asian and European decent that has been proposed to alter membrane trafficking and function. In contrast, the ancestral allele found in all other species is retained in 1%, 15%, and 40% of people of Asian, European and African descent, respectively, suggesting GPRC6A gene variants may contribute to the racial disparities in the risk of developing MetS and PCa.
MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: If the regulatory functions of GPRC6A identified in mice translate to humans, and polymorphisms in GPRC6A are found to predict racial disparities in human diseases, GPRC6A may be a new gene target to predict, prevent, and treat MetS, PCa, and other disorders impacted by GPRC6A.
In the age of personalized medicine stratifying tumors into molecularly defined subtypes associated with distinctive clinical behaviors and predictable responses to therapies holds tremendous value. Towards this end, we developed a custom microfluidics-based bladder cancer gene expression panel for characterization of archival clinical samples. In silico analysis indicated that the content of our panel was capable of accurately segregating bladder cancers from several public datasets into the clinically relevant basal and luminal subtypes. On a technical level, our bladder cancer panel yielded robust and reproducible results when analyzing formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. We applied our panel in the analysis of a novel set of 204 FFPE samples that included non-muscle invasive bladder cancers (NMIBCs), muscle invasive disease (MIBCs), and bladder cancer metastases (METs). We found NMIBCs to be mostly luminal-like, MIBCs to include both luminal- and basal-like types, and METs to be predominantly of a basal-like transcriptional profile. Mutational analysis confirmed the expected enrichment of FGFR3 mutations in luminal samples, and, consistently, FGFR3 IHC showed high protein expression levels of the receptor in these tumors. Our bladder cancer panel enables basal/luminal characterization of FFPE tissues and with further development could be used for stratification of bladder cancer samples in the clinic.
Ożegowska K, Bogacz A, Bartkowiak-Wieczorek J, et al.Is there an association between the development of metabolic syndrome in PCOS patients and the C677T MTHFR gene polymorphism?
Ginekol Pol. 2016; 87(4):246-53 [PubMed
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INTRODUCTION: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. PCOS is characterized by anovulation, polycystic ovaries, hyperandrogenism leading to infertility, dermatological and psychological problems, as well as the risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The exact cause of PCOS remains unclear. Various biochemical and genetic markers have been implicated in predisposition to PCOS, but no single variant has been associated with the syndrome. Some authors connect hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) with MetS and its components. The MTHFR gene C677T polymorphism is a common genetic abnormality leading to hyperhomocysteinemia.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to confirm the existence of a possible correlation between metabolic disturbances in PCOS and the MTHFR C677T polymorphism.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 98 patients diagnosed with PCOS according to the Rotterdam criteria and 101 age-matched healthy controls were included in the study. Genotyping of MTHFR C677T was performed by the real time PCR method.
RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were observed between those two groups with regard to body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), fasting insulin, total cholesterol (TC), and triglycerides (TG). No significant differences in the prevalence of the genotypes of the MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism were found between the PCOS group and controls. Despite the lack of significant differences, we observed a tendency for a higher prevalence of the TT genotype in the PCOS group (p = 0.06). No statistically significant differences were observed between the PCOS group and the control group in terms of the presence of the MetS components and the predisposition to develop MetS.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study did not confirm an association between the MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism and the development of MetS in PCOS. Further studies with larger sample size might be useful to determine this association.
Mets S, Tryon R, Veach PM, Zierhut HAGenetic Counselors' Experiences Regarding Communication of Reproductive Risks with Autosomal Recessive Conditions found on Cancer Panels.
J Genet Couns. 2016; 25(2):359-72 [PubMed
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The development of hereditary cancer genetic testing panels has altered genetic counseling practice. Mutations within certain genes on cancer panels pose not only a cancer risk, but also a reproductive risk for autosomal recessive conditions such as Fanconi anemia, constitutional mismatch repair deficiency syndrome, and ataxia telangiectasia. This study aimed to determine if genetic counselors discuss reproductive risks for autosomal recessive conditions associated with genes included on cancer panels, and if so, under what circumstances these risks are discussed. An on-line survey was emailed through the NSGC list-serv. The survey assessed 189 cancer genetic counselors' experiences discussing reproductive risks with patients at risk to carry a mutation or variant of uncertain significance (VUS) in a gene associated with both an autosomal dominant cancer risk and an autosomal recessive syndrome. Over half (n = 82, 55 %) reported having discussed reproductive risks; the remainder (n = 66, 45 %) had not. Genetic counselors who reported discussing reproductive risks primarily did so when patients had a positive result and were of reproductive age. Reasons for not discussing these risks included when a patient had completed childbearing or when a VUS was identified. Most counselors discussed reproductive risk after obtaining results and not during the informed consent process. There is inconsistency as to if and when the discussion of reproductive risks is taking place. The wide variation in responses suggests a need to develop professional guidelines for when and how discussions of reproductive risk for autosomal recessive conditions identified through cancer panels should occur with patients.
Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular tumor in children. Current management includes broad-based treatments such as chemotherapy, enucleation, laser therapy, or cryotherapy. However, therapies that target specific pathways important for retinoblastoma progression could provide valuable alternatives for treatment. MicroRNAs are short, noncoding RNA transcripts that can regulate the expression of target genes, and their aberrant expression often facilitates disease. The identification of post-transcriptional events that occur after the initiating genetic lesions could further define the rapidly aggressive growth displayed by retinoblastoma tumors. In this study, we used two phenotypically different retinoblastoma cell lines to elucidate the roles of miRNA-31 and miRNA-200a in tumor proliferation. Our approach confirmed that miRNAs-31 and -200a expression is significantly reduced in human retinoblastomas. Moreover, overexpression of these two miRNAs restricts the expansion of a highly proliferative cell line (Y79), but does not restrict the growth rate of a less aggressive cell line (Weri1). Gene expression profiling of miRNA-31 and/or miRNA-200a-overexpressing cells identified differentially expressed mRNAs associated with the divergent response of the two cell lines. This work has the potential to enhance the development of targeted therapeutic approaches for retinoblastoma and improve the efficacy of treatment.
Al-Obaide MA, Alobydi H, Abdelsalam AG, et al.Multifaceted roles of 5'-regulatory region of the cancer associated gene B4GALT1 and its comparison with the gene family.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(4):1393-404 [PubMed
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β1,4-Galactosylransferases are a family of enzymes encoded by seven B4GALT genes and are involved in the development of anticancer drug resistance and metastasis. Among these genes, the B4GALT1 shows significant variations in the transcript origination sites in different cell types/tissues and encodes an interesting dually partitioning β-1, 4-galactosyltransferase protein. We identified at 5'-end of B4GALT1 a 1.454 kb sequence forming a transcription regulatory region, referred to by us as the TR1-PE1, had all characteristics of a bidirectional promoter directing the transcription of B4GALT1 in a divergent manner along with its long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) antisense counterpart B4GALT1-AS1. The TR1-PE1 showed unique dinucleotide base-stacking energy values specific to transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs), INR and BRE, and harbored CpG Island (CGI) that showed GC skew with potential for R-loop formation at the transcription starting sites (TSSs). The 5'-regulatory axis of B4GALT1 also included five more novel TFBSs for CTCF, GLI1, TCF7L2, GATA3 and SOX5, in addition to unique (TG)18 repeats in conjunction with 22 nucleotide TG-associated sequence (TGAS). The five lncRNA B4GALT1-AS1 transcripts showed significant complementarity with B4GALT1 mRNA. In contrast, the rest of B4GALT genes showed fewer lncRNAs, and all lacked the (TG)18 and TGAS. Our results are strongly supported by the FANTOM5 study which showed tissue-specific variations in transcript origination sites for this gene. We suggest that the unique expression patterns for the B4GALT1 in normal and malignant tissues are controlled by a differential usage of 5'-B4GALT1 regulatory units along with a post-transcriptional regulation by the antisense RNA, which in turn govern the cell-matrix interactions, neoplastic progression, anticancer drug sensitivity, and could be utilized in personalized therapy.
Jeon YJ, Kim JW, Park HM, et al.Interplay between 3'-UTR polymorphisms in the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene and metabolic syndrome in determining the risk of colorectal cancer in Koreans.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:881 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Polymorphisms in angiogenesis-related genes and metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors play important roles in cancer development. Moreover, recent studies have reported associations between a number of 3'-UTR polymorphisms and a variety of cancers. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of three VEGF 3'-UTR polymorphisms (1451C > T [rs3025040], 1612G > A [rs10434], and 1725G > A [rs3025053]) and MetS with colorectal cancer (CRC) susceptibility in Koreans.
METHODS: A total of 850 participants (450 CRC patients and 400 controls) were enrolled in the study. The genotyping of VEGF polymorphisms was performed by TaqMan allelic discrimination assays. Cancer risks of genetic variations and gene-environment interactions were assessed by adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of multivariate logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS: VEGF 1451C > T was significantly associated with rectal cancer risk (Dominant model; AOR =1.58; 95% CI = 1.09 - 2.28; p = 0.015) whereas VEGF 1725G > A correlated with MetS risk (Dominant model; AOR =1.61; 95% CI =1.06 - 2.46; p = 0.026). Of the gene-environment combined effects, the interaction of VEGF 1451C > T and MetS contributed to increased rectal cancer risk (AOR = 3.15; 95% CI = 1.74 - 5.70; p < .001) whereas the combination of VEGF 1725G > A and MetS was involved with elevated colon cancer risk (AOR = 2.68; 95% CI = 1.30 - 1.55; p =0.008).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results implicate that VEGF 1451C > T and 1725G > A may predispose to CRC susceptibility and the genetic contributions may be varied with the presence of MetS.
MYCN is a transcription factor that plays key roles in both normal development and cancer. In neuroblastoma, MYCN acts as a major oncogenic driver through pleiotropic effects regulated by multiple protein encoding genes as well as microRNAs (miRNAs). MYCN activity is tightly controlled at the level of transcription and protein stability through various mechanisms. Like most genes, MYCN is further controlled by miRNAs, but the full complement of all miRNAs implicated in this process has not been determined through an unbiased approach. To elucidate the role of miRNAs in regulation of MYCN, we thus explored the MYCN-miRNA interactome to establish miRNAs controlling MYCN expression levels. We combined results from an unbiased and genome-wide high-throughput miRNA target reporter screen with miRNA and mRNA expression data from patients and a murine neuroblastoma progression model. We identified 29 miRNAs targeting MYCN, of which 12 miRNAs are inversely correlated with MYCN expression or activity in neuroblastoma tumor tissue. The majority of MYCN-targeting miRNAs in neuroblastoma showed a decrease in expression during murine MYCN-driven neuroblastoma tumor development. Therefore, we provide evidence that MYCN-targeting miRNAs are preferentially downregulated in MYCN-driven neuroblastoma, suggesting that MYCN negatively controls the expression of these miRNAs, to safeguard its expression.
The MYB oncogene is a leucine zipper transcription factor essential for normal and malignant hematopoiesis. In T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), elevated MYB levels can arise directly through T-cell receptor-mediated MYB translocations, genomic MYB duplications or enhanced TAL1 complex binding at the MYB locus or indirectly through the TAL1/miR-223/FBXW7 regulatory axis. In this study, we used an unbiased MYB 3'untranslated region-microRNA (miRNA) library screen and identified 33 putative MYB-targeting miRNAs. Subsequently, transcriptome data from two independent T-ALL cohorts and different subsets of normal T-cells were used to select miRNAs with relevance in the context of normal and malignant T-cell transformation. Hereby, miR-193b-3p was identified as a novel bona fide tumor-suppressor miRNA that targets MYB during malignant T-cell transformation thereby offering an entry point for efficient MYB targeting-oriented therapies for human T-ALL.
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia arises from the leukemic transformation of developing thymocytes and results from cooperative genetic lesions. Inactivation of the PHF6 gene is frequently observed in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, suggesting an important tumor suppressive role for PHF6 in the pathobiology of this leukemia. Although the precise function of PHF6 is still unknown, this gene is most likely involved in chromatin regulation, a strongly emerging theme in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In this context, our previous description of a cooperative microRNA regulatory network controlling several well-known T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia tumor suppressor genes, including PHF6, is of great importance. Given the high frequency of PHF6 lesions in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the integration of PHF6 in this microRNA regulatory network, we aimed to identify novel oncogenic microRNAs in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia which suppress PHF6. To this end, we performed an unbiased PHF6 3'UTR-microRNA library screen and combined the results with microRNA profiling data of samples from patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and normal thymocyte subsets. We selected miR-128-3p as a candidate PHF6-targeting, oncogenic microRNA and demonstrated regulation of PHF6 expression upon modulation of this microRNA in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell lines. In vivo evidence of an oncogenic role of this microRNA in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia was obtained through accelerated leukemia onset in a NOTCH1-induced T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia mouse model upon miR-128-3p over-expression. We conclude that miR-128-3p is a strong novel candidate oncogenic microRNA in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia which targets the PHF6 tumor suppressor gene.
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been associated with diabetes and obesity, but a possible connection with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its potential interaction with hepatitis and cirrhosis are open to discussion. Our previous investigations have shown that GGPPS1 plays a critical role during hyperinsulinism. In this report, the expression and distribution of GGPPS1 in liver cancer, and its clinical significance were investigated.
METHODS: 70 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were included in this study. Three different types of tissues from each HCC patient were assembled immediately after surgical resection: tumor-free tissue >5 cm far from tumor edge (TF), adjacent nonmalignant tissue within 2 cm (AT), and tissue from the tumor (TT). Normal liver tissues from 10 liver transplant donors served as healthy control (HC) while 10 patients with liver cirrhosis as cirrhosis control (CC). The expression and distribution of GGPPS1 were detected by immunohistochemistry, western blots, or real-time PCR. The relationship between the expression of GGPPS1 and clinic pathologic index were analyzed.
RESULTS: We found that GGPPS1 was intensified mainly in the cytoplasm of liver tumor cells. Both the expression of GGPPS1 mRNA and protein were upregulated in TT comparing to AT or TF. Meanwhile, HCC patients with cirrhosis had relative higher expression of GGPPS1. In addition, many pathologic characters show close correlation with GGPPS1, such as tumor stage, vessel invasion, and early recurrence.
CONCLUSION: GGPPS1 may play a critical role during the development of HCC from cirrhosis and is of clinical significance for predicting biological character of HCC.
Agwa E, Ma PCOverview of various techniques/platforms with critical evaluation of each.
Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2013; 14(4):623-33 [PubMed
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OPINION STATEMENT: Patients with cancer of unknown primary are common and can present in a variety of ways with different histological features. Despite best clinical effort in pretreatment diagnostic workup, many patients classified as having cancer of unknown primary (CUP) often are still left with no definitive diagnosis of the primary organ or tissue of origin to account for the metastatic disease. Whereas advances in immunohistochemical techniques have improved the diagnostic yield to some extent, the challenges remain substantial for most patients with CUP in whom initial therapy is typically chosen empirically. In recent years, development of molecular gene profiling of tumor offers new possibilities to better characterize, diagnose, and classify the tissue of origin of various metastatic CUP to better inform optimal therapy. The premise behind the development of improved diagnostic tools to better diagnose the organ or tissue of origin for metastatic disease of unknown primary is that an organ/tissue-specific tailored therapy of choice would favorably impact the treatment outcome. There are now three commercially available molecular profiling platforms for the purpose of diagnosing the tissue of origin in the otherwise CUP patients: 1) bioTheranostics: Cancer TYPE ID® (qRT-PCR for mRNA); 2) Pathworks®: Tissue of origin test (microarray for mRNA expression); and 3) Rosetta Genomics-Prometheus: miRview™ mets (ProOnc Tumor SourceDxT) (qRT-PCR for microRNA). Whereas these are new technologic platforms that offer new promise for better diagnostics and perhaps better therapeutic strategies in cancer therapy, each of the platforms has its own strengths and limitations due to their test of choice and assay source materials and technical platform itself. However, a fundamental question that needs be further addressed regarding the utility of these novel molecular profiling assays is whether they represent more superior approaches than genomic profiling assays using rapidly emerging cancer genomics next-generation sequencing (NSG) platforms. Because cancer is nowadays understood as genomic disease, the genomic alterations (e.g., mutations, copy number variations, chromosomal translocations, splicing variants) may offer more important insights into the cancer pathogenesis. More importantly, these genomic information may be more relevant in guiding personalized/precision cancer therapy than merely empiric chemotherapy based on tissue/organ-of-origin information. Ideally, further comparative studies and demonstration of utilities would be needed and eagerly anticipated to determine which diagnostic approach ultimately could impact the clinical outcome of patients with CUP.
Kawakami M, Ishikawa R, Amano Y, et al.Detection of novel paraja ring finger 2-fer tyrosine kinase mRNA chimeras is associated with poor postoperative prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(11):1447-54 [PubMed
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Previously, we reported that the overexpression of fer tyrosine kinase (FER), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, is correlated with poor postoperative prognosis and cancer-cell survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the present study, we further analyzed FER-overexpressed NSCLC cases and identified various patterns of chimeric mRNAs, composed of paraja ring finger 2 (PJA2) and FER. We detected no genomic rearrangements between PJA2 and FER and attributed these chimeric mRNAs to alterations at the transcriptome level: i.e., trans-splicing. Several chimeric patterns were detected concurrently in each patient, and the pattern sets varied among patients, although the pattern in which PJA2 exon 1 was fused to FER exon 3 (designated as Pe1-Fe3 mRNA) was detected constantly. Therefore, in a wide screening for PJA2-FER mRNAs in NSCLC, we focused on this chimeric pattern as a representative chimera. In analyses of 167 NSCLC samples, Pe1-Fe3 mRNA was identified in about 10% of the patients, and the presence of chimeric mRNA was significantly correlated with a high expression level of parental FER mRNA. Furthermore, we found that the detection of Pe1-Fe3 mRNA was correlated with poor postoperative survival periods in NSCLC, consistent with a previous finding in which FER overexpression was correlated with poor postoperative prognosis in NSCLC. This report is the first to suggest a correlation between chimeric mRNA and the expression level of parental mRNA. Furthermore, our findings may be clinically beneficial, suggesting that PJA2-FER mRNAs might serve as a novel prognostic biomarker in NSCLC.
Zhang Y, Kent JW, Olivier M, et al.A comprehensive analysis of adiponectin QTLs using SNP association, SNP cis-effects on peripheral blood gene expression and gene expression correlation identified novel metabolic syndrome (MetS) genes with potential role in carcinogenesis and systemic inflammation.
BMC Med Genomics. 2013; 6:14 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is an aberration associated with increased risk for cancer and inflammation. Adiponectin, an adipocyte-produced abundant protein hormone, has countering effect on the diabetogenic and atherogenic components of MetS. Plasma levels of adiponectin are negatively correlated with onset of cancer and cancer patient mortality. We previously performed microsatellite linkage analyses using adiponectin as a surrogate marker and revealed two QTLs on chr5 (5p14) and chr14 (14q13).
METHODS: Using individuals from 85 extended families that contributed to the linkage and who were measured for 42 clinical and biologic MetS phenotypes, we tested QTL-based SNP associations, peripheral white blood cell (PWBC) gene expression, and the effects of cis-acting SNPs on gene expression to discover genomic elements that could affect the pathophysiology and complications of MetS.
RESULTS: Adiponectin levels were found to be highly intercorrelated phenotypically with the majority of MetS traits. QTL-specific haplotype-tagging SNPs associated with MetS phenotypes were annotated to 14 genes whose function could influence MetS biology as well as oncogenesis or inflammation. These were mechanistically categorized into four groups: cell-cell adhesion and mobility, signal transduction, transcription and protein sorting. Four genes were highly prioritized: cadherin 18 (CDH18), myosin X (MYO10), anchor protein 6 of AMPK (AKAP6), and neuronal PAS domain protein 3 (NPAS3). PWBC expression was detectable only for the following genes with multi-organ or with multi-function properties: NPAS3, MARCH6, MYO10 and FBXL7. Strong evidence of cis-effects on the expression of MYO10 in PWBC was found with SNPs clustered near the gene's transcription start site. MYO10 expression in PWBC was marginally correlated with body composition (p = 0.065) and adipokine levels in the periphery (p = 0.064). Variants of genes AKAP6, NPAS3, MARCH6 and FBXL7 have been previously reported to be associated with insulin resistance, inflammatory markers or adiposity studies using genome-wide approaches whereas associations of CDH18 and MYO10 with MetS traits have not been reported before.
CONCLUSIONS: Adiponectin QTLs-based SNP association and mRNA expression identified genes that could mediate the association between MetS and cancer or inflammation.
Crisi G, Orsingher L, Filice SLipid and macromolecules quantitation in differentiating glioblastoma from solitary metastasis: a short-echo time single-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy study at 3 T.
J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2013 Mar-Apr; 37(2):265-71 [PubMed
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OBJECTIVE: The differentiation between solitary metastasis (MET) and glioblastoma (GBM) is difficult using only magnetic resonance imaging techniques. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) lipid signal indicates cellular necrosis both in GBMs and METs. The purpose of this prospective study was to determine whether a class of lipids and/or macromolecules (MMs), able to efficiently discriminate between these two types of lesions, exists.
METHODS: Forty-one patients with solitary brain tumor (23 GBMs and 18 METs) underwent magnetic resonance imaging and single-voxel MRS. Short-echo time point resolved spectroscopy sequence acquisition with water suppression technique was used. Spectra were analyzed using LCModel. Absolute quantification was performed with "water-scaling" procedure. The analysis was focused on sums of lipid and macromolecular (LM) components at 0.9 and 1.3 ppm.
RESULTS: The LM13 absolute concentration was statistically different (P < 0.0001) between GBMs and METs. With a cutoff of 81 mM in LM13 absolute concentration, METs and GBMs can be distinguished with a 78% of specificity and an 81% of sensitivity. The presence of the MM12 peak, related to the fucose II complex, in tumors harboring a K-ras gene mutation has been investigated.
CONCLUSIONS: We exploited the performance of a clinically easily implementable method, such as short-echo time single-voxel MRS, for the differentiation between brain metastasis and primary brain tumors. The study showed that MRS absolute lipid and macromolecular signals could be helpful in differentiating GBM from metastasis. LM13 class was found to be a discriminant parameter with an accuracy of 85%. Detection of the MM12-fucose peak may also have a role in understanding molecular biology of brain metastasis and should be further investigated to address specific metabolic phenotypes.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease at the molecular, pathologic and clinical levels. To stratify TNBCs, we determined microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles, as well as expression profiles of a cancer-focused mRNA panel, in tumor, adjacent non-tumor (normal) and lymph node metastatic lesion (mets) tissues, from 173 women with TNBCs; we linked specific miRNA signatures to patient survival and used miRNA/mRNA anti-correlations to identify clinically and genetically different TNBC subclasses. We also assessed miRNA signatures as potential regulators of TNBC subclass-specific gene expression networks defined by expression of canonical signal pathways.Tissue specific miRNAs and mRNAs were identified for normal vs tumor vs mets comparisons. miRNA signatures correlated with prognosis were identified and predicted anti-correlated targets within the mRNA profile were defined. Two miRNA signatures (miR-16, 155, 125b, 374a and miR-16, 125b, 374a, 374b, 421, 655, 497) predictive of overall survival (P = 0.05) and distant-disease free survival (P = 0.009), respectively, were identified for patients 50 yrs of age or younger. By multivariate analysis the risk signatures were independent predictors for overall survival and distant-disease free survival. mRNA expression profiling, using the cancer-focused mRNA panel, resulted in clustering of TNBCs into 4 molecular subclasses with different expression signatures anti-correlated with the prognostic miRNAs. Our findings suggest that miRNAs play a key role in triple negative breast cancer through their ability to regulate fundamental pathways such as: cellular growth and proliferation, cellular movement and migration, Extra Cellular Matrix degradation. The results define miRNA expression signatures that characterize and contribute to the phenotypic diversity of TNBC and its metastasis.
Mesquita B, Lopes P, Rodrigues A, et al.Frequent copy number gains at 1q21 and 1q32 are associated with overexpression of the ETS transcription factors ETV3 and ELF3 in breast cancer irrespective of molecular subtypes.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 138(1):37-45 [PubMed
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Several ETS transcription factors are involved in the pathogenesis of human cancers by different mechanisms. As gene copy number gain/amplification is an alternative mechanism of oncogenic activation and 1q gain is the most common copy number change in breast carcinoma, we investigated how that genomic change impacts in the expression of the three 1q ETS family members ETV3, ELK4, and ELF3. We have first evaluated 141 breast carcinomas for genome-wide copy number changes by chromosomal CGH and showed that 1q21 and 1q32 were the two chromosome bands with most frequent genomic copy number gains. Second, we confirmed by FISH with locus-specific BAC clones that cases showing 1q gain/amplification by CGH showed copy number increase of the ETS genes ETV3 (located in 1q21~23), ELF3, and ELK4 (both in 1q32). Third, gene expression levels of the three 1q ETS genes, as well as their potential targets MYC and CRISP3, were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. We here show for the first time that the most common genomic copy number gains in breast cancer, 1q21 and 1q32, are associated with overexpression of the ETS transcription factors ETV3 and ELF3 (but not ELK4) at these loci irrespective of molecular subtypes. Among the three 1q ETS genes, ELF3 has a relevant role in breast carcinogenesis and is also the most likely target of the 1q copy number increase. The basal-like molecular subtype presented the worst prognosis regarding disease-specific survival, but no additional prognostic value was found for 1q copy number status or ELF3 expression. In addition, we show that there is a correlation between the expression of the oncogene MYC, irrespectively of copy number gain at its loci in 8q24, and the expression of both the transcriptional repressor ETV3 and the androgen respondent ELK4.
Martin J, Bryar P, Mets M, et al.Differentially expressed miRNAs in retinoblastoma.
Gene. 2013; 512(2):294-9 [PubMed
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA transcripts that have the ability to regulate the expression of target genes, and have been shown to influence the development of various tumors. The purpose of our study is to identify aberrantly expressed miRNAs in retinoblastoma for the discovery of potential therapeutic targets for this disease, and to gain a greater understanding of the mechanisms driving retinoblastoma progression. We report 41 differentially expressed miRNAs (p<0.05) in 12 retinoblastomas as compared to three normal human retinae. Of these miRNAs, many are newly identified as being differentially expressed in retinoblastoma. Further, we report the validations of five of the most downregulated miRNAs in primary human retinoblastomas (p<0.05), human retinoblastoma cell lines, and mouse retinoblastoma cell lines. This serves as the largest and most comprehensive retinoblastoma miRNA analysis to date with corresponding clinical and pathological characteristics. This is an essential step in the discovery of miRNAs associated with retinoblastoma progression, and in the identification of potential therapeutic targets for this disease.
Rekhi B, Sable M, Jambhekar NAHistopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular spectrum of myoepithelial tumours of soft tissues.
Virchows Arch. 2012; 461(6):687-97 [PubMed
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Primary soft tissue myoepithelial tumours (METs) are rare. Recent studies have shown EWSR1 rearrangement in certain METs. We present clinicopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular features of 14 primary soft tissue METs. Fourteen tumours, five benign and nine malignant, occurred in 12 men and two women, with an age range of 18-60 years (mean, 39.2); in upper extremities, four (29 %); chest wall, three (21 %); paraspinal region, three (21 %); pelvis, two (14 %) and lower extremities, two (14 %). Tumour size varied from 2 to 21.6 cm (mean, 8.7). Microscopically, most tumours were at least focally circumscribed. Morphological heterogeneity was noted, commonest patterns being cord-like and diffuse arrangement of polygonal cells in a myxoid stroma. By immunohistochemistry, tumours were positive for epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) (10/12, 83 %), cytokeratin (CK)/MNF116 (3/12, 25 %), p63 (7/10, 70 %), CD10 (4/6, 67 %), calponin (6/6, 100 %), S-100P (11/13, 85 %), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (6/12, 50 %), smooth muscle actin (SMA) (3/9, 33 %), INI1/SMARCB1 (6/10, 60 %), brachyury (0/11), CD34 (0/5) and vimentin (4/4, 100 %), implying 93 % positivity for at least one epithelial marker. EWSR1 gene rearrangement was detected in 3/6 (50 %) METs (one benign and two malignant) and in an eccrine porocarcinoma which was included for reasons of comparison. Outcome details were available for six patients all surgically treated; three tumours (two malignant and one benign) resected with unknown marginal status recurred; two patients died and a single patient with myoepithelial carcinoma, who underwent a wide excision, is disease-free. This study illustrates the wide morphological spectrum of soft tissue METs, including benign and malignant subtypes. EMA and S-100P are optimal markers that should be supplemented with broad spectrum keratins, such as AE1/AE3, along with p63, GFAP and calponin in case of need but the results must be correlated with morphological features. Brachyury is useful in separating parachordoma/myoepithelioma from chordoma. EWSR1 rearrangement mostly occurs in METs that are deep-seated, irrespective of benign or malignant behaviour. Most malignant METs are INI1 negative.