Gene Summary

Gene:FTCDNL1; formiminotransferase cyclodeaminase N-terminal like
Aliases: FONG
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:formiminotransferase N-terminal subdomain-containing protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
FTCDNL1 is implicated in:
- folic acid binding
- transferase activity
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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 (7)

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).

Latest Publications: FTCDNL1 (cancer-related)

Huang YW, Tsai HC, Wang SW, et al.
Amphiregulin Promotes Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-C Expression and Lymphangiogenesis through STAT3 Activation in Human Chondrosarcoma Cells.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2019; 52(1):1-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Chondrosarcoma is the second most common primary malignancy of bone, characterized by a high metastatic potential. Increasing clinical data highlight the important role played by lymphangiogenesis in cancer metastasis. Amphiregulin (AR) has been implicated in tumor metastasis and lymphangiogenesis, but its association with vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression and lymphangiogenesis in chondrosarcoma is unclear.
METHODS: We used qPCR, ELISA and Western blotting to detect AR-induced VEGF-C expression in chondrosarcoma cells. Lymphangiogenesis was investigated by lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) migration and tube formation. An in vivo experiment examined AR expression in tumor-associated lymphangiogenesis.
RESULTS: In this study, we found that both AR and VEGF-C expression correlated with tumor stage and were significantly higher than levels found in normal cartilage. Exogenous AR promoted VEGF-C expression in chondrosarcoma cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and subsequently increased migration and tube formation of LECs. AR also increased VEGF-C expression and lymphangiogenesis through the Src/MEK/ERK/STAT3 signaling pathway. However, it is unclear as to how an EGFR ligand (AR) induces activation of the Src kinase. Knockdown of AR decreased VEGF-C expression in chondrosarcoma cells. Similarly, lymphangiogenesis was abolished in AR knockdown cells in an in vivo model of chondrosarcoma.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that AR occurs through the Src/MEK/ERK/STAT-3 pathway, activating VEGF-C expression and contributing to lymphangiogenesis in human chondrosarcoma. Thus, AR could be a therapeutic target in metastasis and lymphangiogenesis of chondrosarcoma.

Tan NJH, Sun ISY, Low SW, et al.
A rapidly fatal intracranial anaplastic hemangiopericytoma with de-novo dedifferentiation: emphasis on diagnostic recognition, molecular confirmation and discussion on treatment dilemma.
Brain Tumor Pathol. 2019; 36(1):20-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Solitary fibrous tumors/ hemangiopericytomas (SFT/HPC) are mesenchymal tumors that share a common genetic aberration and very rarely undergo dedifferentiation. We report a unique case of an intracranial anaplastic SFT/HPC with de-novo dedifferentiation, which pursued a rapidly fatal clinical course in a 41-year-old lady. The dedifferentiated component comprised a focal area of glandular formation with epithelial immunophenotype acquisition. The distinct biphasic pattern of the tumor imparted great diagnostic challenges to the pathologists. An increased awareness of SFT/HPCs with a diverse morphologic spectrum or even a biphasic histologic pattern is essential in working up such cases. We first attempted gamma knife radiosurgery in treating a recurrent dedifferentiated SFT/HPC; unfortunately it was to no avail. Although it is now known that SFT/HPC is characterized by NAB2-STAT6 gene fusion, the unavailability of targeted therapy against this molecular signature still results in a treatment dilemma.

Fong KW, Zhao JC, Song B, et al.
TRIM28 protects TRIM24 from SPOP-mediated degradation and promotes prostate cancer progression.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):5007 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TRIM24 is an effector substrate of the E3 ubiquitin ligase adaptor SPOP and becomes stabilized in prostate cancer (PCa) with SPOP mutations. However, how TRIM24 protein is regulated in the vast majority of SPOP-wildtype PCa is unknown. Here we report TRIM28 as a critical upstream regulator of TRIM24. TRIM28 protein interacts with TRIM24 to prevent its ubiquitination and degradation by SPOP. Further, TRIM28 facilitates TRIM24 occupancy on the chromatin and, like TRIM24, augments AR signaling. TRIM28 promotes PCa cell proliferation in vitro and xenograft tumor growth in vivo. Importantly, TRIM28 is upregulated in aggressive PCa and associated with elevated levels of TRIM24 and worse clinical outcome. TRIM24 and AR coactivated gene signature of SPOP-mutant PCa is similarly activated in human PCa with high TRIM28 expression. Taken together, this study provides a novel mechanism to broad TRIM24 protein stabilization and establishes TRIM28 as a promising therapeutic target.

Fong LY, Jing R, Smalley KJ, et al.
Human-like hyperplastic prostate with low ZIP1 induced solely by Zn deficiency in rats.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(47):E11091-E11100 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in men over 50 years of age, and there is a characteristic marked decrease in Zn content in the malignant prostate cells. The cause and consequences of this loss have thus far been unknown. We found that in middle-aged rats a Zn-deficient diet reduces prostatic Zn levels (

Liu X, Cao M, Palomares M, et al.
Metastatic breast cancer cells overexpress and secrete miR-218 to regulate type I collagen deposition by osteoblasts.
Breast Cancer Res. 2018; 20(1):127 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bone is one of the most frequent metastatic sites of advanced breast cancer. Current therapeutic agents aim to inhibit osteoclast-mediated bone resorption but only have palliative effects. During normal bone remodeling, the balance between bone resorption and osteoblast-mediated bone formation is essential for bone homeostasis. One major function of osteoblast during bone formation is to secrete type I procollagen, which will then be processed before being crosslinked and deposited into the bone matrix.
METHODS: Small RNA sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR were used to detect miRNA levels in patient blood samples and in the cell lysates as well as extracellular vesicles of parental and bone-tropic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. The effects of cancer cell-derived extracellular vesicles isolated by ultracentrifugation and carrying varying levels of miR-218 were examined in osteoblasts by quantitative real-time PCR, Western blot analysis, and P1NP bone formation marker analysis. Cancer cells overexpressing miR-218 were examined by transcriptome profiling through RNA sequencing to identify intrinsic genes and pathways influenced by miR-218.
RESULTS: We show that circulating miR-218 is associated with breast cancer bone metastasis. Cancer-secreted miR-218 directly downregulates type I collagen in osteoblasts, whereas intracellular miR-218 in breast cancer cells regulates the expression of inhibin β subunits. Increased cancer secretion of inhibin βA results in elevated Timp3 expression in osteoblasts and the subsequent repression of procollagen processing during osteoblast differentiation.
CONCLUSIONS: Here we identify a twofold function of cancer-derived miR-218, whose levels in the blood are associated with breast cancer metastasis to the bone, in the regulation of type I collagen deposition by osteoblasts. The adaptation of the bone niche mediated by miR-218 might further tilt the balance towards osteolysis, thereby facilitating other mechanisms to promote bone metastasis.

Jewett A, Kos J, Fong Y, et al.
NK cells shape pancreatic and oral tumor microenvironments; role in inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis.
Semin Cancer Biol. 2018; 53:178-188 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have recently shown that natural killer (NK) cells select and differentiate cancer stem cells (CSCs)/undifferentiated tumors via secreted and membrane bound IFN-gamma (IFN-γ) and TNF-alpha (TNF-α), preventing tumor growth and inducing remodeling of the tumor microenvironment. Since many conventional therapeutic strategies, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy remain fairly unsuccessful in treating CSCs/poorly differentiated tumors, there has been an increasing interest in NK cell-targeted immunotherapy for the treatment of aggressive tumors. In our recent studies, we used humanized-BLT (hu-BLT) mouse model with transplanted human bone marrow, liver and thymus to demonstrate the efficacy of adoptive transfer of ex vivo expanded, super-charged NK cells in selection and differentiation of stem-like tumors within the context of a fully reconstituted human immune system. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that CSCs differentiated with split-anergized NK cells prior to implantation in hu-BLT mice were not able to grow or metastasize. However, when NK cell-mediated tumor differentiation was blocked by the addition of antibodies to IFN-γ and TNF-α, tumors grew and metastasized. In this review, we present current advances in NK cell expansion and therapeutic delivery, and discuss the utility of allogeneic super-charged NK cells in treatment of cancer patients. In addition, NK suppression occurs not only at the stage of overt cancer, but also at the pre-neoplastic stage. Therefore, due to the indispensable role of NK cells in targeting CSCs/undifferentiated tumors and their role in differentiation of the tumors, NK cells should be placed high in the armamentarium of tumor immunotherapy.

Quigley DA, Dang HX, Zhao SG, et al.
Genomic Hallmarks and Structural Variation in Metastatic Prostate Cancer.
Cell. 2018; 174(3):758-769.e9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
While mutations affecting protein-coding regions have been examined across many cancers, structural variants at the genome-wide level are still poorly defined. Through integrative deep whole-genome and -transcriptome analysis of 101 castration-resistant prostate cancer metastases (109X tumor/38X normal coverage), we identified structural variants altering critical regulators of tumorigenesis and progression not detectable by exome approaches. Notably, we observed amplification of an intergenic enhancer region 624 kb upstream of the androgen receptor (AR) in 81% of patients, correlating with increased AR expression. Tandem duplication hotspots also occur near MYC, in lncRNAs associated with post-translational MYC regulation. Classes of structural variations were linked to distinct DNA repair deficiencies, suggesting their etiology, including associations of CDK12 mutation with tandem duplications, TP53 inactivation with inverted rearrangements and chromothripsis, and BRCA2 inactivation with deletions. Together, these observations provide a comprehensive view of how structural variations affect critical regulators in metastatic prostate cancer.

Tang YA, Chen YF, Bao Y, et al.
Hypoxic tumor microenvironment activates GLI2 via HIF-1α and TGF-β2 to promote chemoresistance in colorectal cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(26):E5990-E5999 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Colorectal cancer patients often relapse after chemotherapy, owing to the survival of stem or progenitor cells referred to as cancer stem cells (CSCs). Although tumor stromal factors are known to contribute to chemoresistance, it remains not fully understood how CSCs in the hypoxic tumor microenvironment escape the chemotherapy. Here, we report that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1α) and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs)-secreted TGF-β2 converge to activate the expression of hedgehog transcription factor GLI2 in CSCs, resulting in increased stemness/dedifferentiation and intrinsic resistance to chemotherapy. Genetic or small-molecule inhibitor-based ablation of HIF-1α/TGF-β2-mediated GLI2 signaling effectively reversed the chemoresistance caused by the tumor microenvironment. Importantly, high expression levels of HIF-1α/TGF-β2/GLI2 correlated robustly with the patient relapse following chemotherapy, highlighting a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for chemoresistance in colorectal cancer. Our study thus uncovers a molecular mechanism by which hypoxic colorectal tumor microenvironment promotes cancer cell stemness and resistance to chemotherapy and suggests a potentially targeted treatment approach to mitigating chemoresistance.

McDermott DF, Huseni MA, Atkins MB, et al.
Clinical activity and molecular correlates of response to atezolizumab alone or in combination with bevacizumab versus sunitinib in renal cell carcinoma.
Nat Med. 2018; 24(6):749-757 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe results from IMmotion150, a randomized phase 2 study of atezolizumab (anti-PD-L1) alone or combined with bevacizumab (anti-VEGF) versus sunitinib in 305 patients with treatment-naive metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Co-primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) in intent-to-treat and PD-L1+ populations. Intent-to-treat PFS hazard ratios for atezolizumab + bevacizumab or atezolizumab monotherapy versus sunitinib were 1.0 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.69-1.45) and 1.19 (95% CI, 0.82-1.71), respectively; PD-L1+ PFS hazard ratios were 0.64 (95% CI, 0.38-1.08) and 1.03 (95% CI, 0.63-1.67), respectively. Exploratory biomarker analyses indicated that tumor mutation and neoantigen burden were not associated with PFS. Angiogenesis, T-effector/IFN-γ response, and myeloid inflammatory gene expression signatures were strongly and differentially associated with PFS within and across the treatments. These molecular profiles suggest that prediction of outcomes with anti-VEGF and immunotherapy may be possible and offer mechanistic insights into how blocking VEGF may overcome resistance to immune checkpoint blockade.

O'Leary MP, Choi AH, Kim SI, et al.
Novel oncolytic chimeric orthopoxvirus causes regression of pancreatic cancer xenografts and exhibits abscopal effect at a single low dose.
J Transl Med. 2018; 16(1):110 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has been increasing by 0.5% per year in the United States. PDAC portends a dismal prognosis and novel therapies are needed. This study describes the generation and characterization of a novel oncolytic chimeric orthopoxvirus for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: After chimerization and high-throughput screening, CF33 was chosen from 100 new chimeric orthopoxvirus isolates for its ability to kill pancreatic cancer cells. In vitro cytotoxicity was assayed in six pancreatic cancer cell lines. In vivo efficacy and toxicity were evaluated in PANC-1 and MIA PaCa-2 xenograft models.
RESULTS: CF33 caused rapid killing of six pancreatic cancer cells lines in vitro, releasing damage-associated molecular patterns, and regression of PANC-1 injected and non-injected distant xenografts in vivo after a single low intratumoral dose of 10
CONCLUSION: The low dose of CF33 required to treat pancreatic cancer in this preclinical study may ease the manufacturing and dosing challenges currently facing oncolytic viral therapy.

Yan W, Wu X, Zhou W, et al.
Cancer-cell-secreted exosomal miR-105 promotes tumour growth through the MYC-dependent metabolic reprogramming of stromal cells.
Nat Cell Biol. 2018; 20(5):597-609 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer and other cells residing in the same niche engage various modes of interactions to synchronize and buffer the negative effects of environmental changes. Extracellular microRNAs (miRNAs) have recently been implicated in the intercellular crosstalk. Here we show a mechanistic model involving breast-cancer-secreted, extracellular-vesicle-encapsulated miR-105, which is induced by the oncoprotein MYC in cancer cells and, in turn, activates MYC signalling in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) to induce a metabolic program. This results in the capacity of CAFs to display different metabolic features in response to changes in the metabolic environment. When nutrients are sufficient, miR-105-reprogrammed CAFs enhance glucose and glutamine metabolism to fuel adjacent cancer cells. When nutrient levels are low and metabolic by-products accumulate, these CAFs detoxify metabolic wastes, including lactic acid and ammonium, by converting them into energy-rich metabolites. Thus, the miR-105-mediated metabolic reprogramming of stromal cells contributes to sustained tumour growth by conditioning the shared metabolic environment.

Thorsson V, Gibbs DL, Brown SD, et al.
The Immune Landscape of Cancer.
Immunity. 2018; 48(4):812-830.e14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We performed an extensive immunogenomic analysis of more than 10,000 tumors comprising 33 diverse cancer types by utilizing data compiled by TCGA. Across cancer types, we identified six immune subtypes-wound healing, IFN-γ dominant, inflammatory, lymphocyte depleted, immunologically quiet, and TGF-β dominant-characterized by differences in macrophage or lymphocyte signatures, Th1:Th2 cell ratio, extent of intratumoral heterogeneity, aneuploidy, extent of neoantigen load, overall cell proliferation, expression of immunomodulatory genes, and prognosis. Specific driver mutations correlated with lower (CTNNB1, NRAS, or IDH1) or higher (BRAF, TP53, or CASP8) leukocyte levels across all cancers. Multiple control modalities of the intracellular and extracellular networks (transcription, microRNAs, copy number, and epigenetic processes) were involved in tumor-immune cell interactions, both across and within immune subtypes. Our immunogenomics pipeline to characterize these heterogeneous tumors and the resulting data are intended to serve as a resource for future targeted studies to further advance the field.

Chen H, Li C, Peng X, et al.
A Pan-Cancer Analysis of Enhancer Expression in Nearly 9000 Patient Samples.
Cell. 2018; 173(2):386-399.e12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of enhancers, a key class of non-coding regulatory DNA elements, in cancer development has increasingly been appreciated. Here, we present the detection and characterization of a large number of expressed enhancers in a genome-wide analysis of 8928 tumor samples across 33 cancer types using TCGA RNA-seq data. Compared with matched normal tissues, global enhancer activation was observed in most cancers. Across cancer types, global enhancer activity was positively associated with aneuploidy, but not mutation load, suggesting a hypothesis centered on "chromatin-state" to explain their interplay. Integrating eQTL, mRNA co-expression, and Hi-C data analysis, we developed a computational method to infer causal enhancer-gene interactions, revealing enhancers of clinically actionable genes. Having identified an enhancer ∼140 kb downstream of PD-L1, a major immunotherapy target, we validated it experimentally. This study provides a systematic view of enhancer activity in diverse tumor contexts and suggests the clinical implications of enhancers.

Bailey MH, Tokheim C, Porta-Pardo E, et al.
Comprehensive Characterization of Cancer Driver Genes and Mutations.
Cell. 2018; 173(2):371-385.e18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Identifying molecular cancer drivers is critical for precision oncology. Multiple advanced algorithms to identify drivers now exist, but systematic attempts to combine and optimize them on large datasets are few. We report a PanCancer and PanSoftware analysis spanning 9,423 tumor exomes (comprising all 33 of The Cancer Genome Atlas projects) and using 26 computational tools to catalog driver genes and mutations. We identify 299 driver genes with implications regarding their anatomical sites and cancer/cell types. Sequence- and structure-based analyses identified >3,400 putative missense driver mutations supported by multiple lines of evidence. Experimental validation confirmed 60%-85% of predicted mutations as likely drivers. We found that >300 MSI tumors are associated with high PD-1/PD-L1, and 57% of tumors analyzed harbor putative clinically actionable events. Our study represents the most comprehensive discovery of cancer genes and mutations to date and will serve as a blueprint for future biological and clinical endeavors.

Huang KL, Mashl RJ, Wu Y, et al.
Pathogenic Germline Variants in 10,389 Adult Cancers.
Cell. 2018; 173(2):355-370.e14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We conducted the largest investigation of predisposition variants in cancer to date, discovering 853 pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in 8% of 10,389 cases from 33 cancer types. Twenty-one genes showed single or cross-cancer associations, including novel associations of SDHA in melanoma and PALB2 in stomach adenocarcinoma. The 659 predisposition variants and 18 additional large deletions in tumor suppressors, including ATM, BRCA1, and NF1, showed low gene expression and frequent (43%) loss of heterozygosity or biallelic two-hit events. We also discovered 33 such variants in oncogenes, including missenses in MET, RET, and PTPN11 associated with high gene expression. We nominated 47 additional predisposition variants from prioritized VUSs supported by multiple evidences involving case-control frequency, loss of heterozygosity, expression effect, and co-localization with mutations and modified residues. Our integrative approach links rare predisposition variants to functional consequences, informing future guidelines of variant classification and germline genetic testing in cancer.

Sanchez-Vega F, Mina M, Armenia J, et al.
Oncogenic Signaling Pathways in The Cancer Genome Atlas.
Cell. 2018; 173(2):321-337.e10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genetic alterations in signaling pathways that control cell-cycle progression, apoptosis, and cell growth are common hallmarks of cancer, but the extent, mechanisms, and co-occurrence of alterations in these pathways differ between individual tumors and tumor types. Using mutations, copy-number changes, mRNA expression, gene fusions and DNA methylation in 9,125 tumors profiled by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we analyzed the mechanisms and patterns of somatic alterations in ten canonical pathways: cell cycle, Hippo, Myc, Notch, Nrf2, PI-3-Kinase/Akt, RTK-RAS, TGFβ signaling, p53 and β-catenin/Wnt. We charted the detailed landscape of pathway alterations in 33 cancer types, stratified into 64 subtypes, and identified patterns of co-occurrence and mutual exclusivity. Eighty-nine percent of tumors had at least one driver alteration in these pathways, and 57% percent of tumors had at least one alteration potentially targetable by currently available drugs. Thirty percent of tumors had multiple targetable alterations, indicating opportunities for combination therapy.

Ding L, Bailey MH, Porta-Pardo E, et al.
Perspective on Oncogenic Processes at the End of the Beginning of Cancer Genomics.
Cell. 2018; 173(2):305-320.e10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has catalyzed systematic characterization of diverse genomic alterations underlying human cancers. At this historic junction marking the completion of genomic characterization of over 11,000 tumors from 33 cancer types, we present our current understanding of the molecular processes governing oncogenesis. We illustrate our insights into cancer through synthesis of the findings of the TCGA PanCancer Atlas project on three facets of oncogenesis: (1) somatic driver mutations, germline pathogenic variants, and their interactions in the tumor; (2) the influence of the tumor genome and epigenome on transcriptome and proteome; and (3) the relationship between tumor and the microenvironment, including implications for drugs targeting driver events and immunotherapies. These results will anchor future characterization of rare and common tumor types, primary and relapsed tumors, and cancers across ancestry groups and will guide the deployment of clinical genomic sequencing.

Liu Y, Sethi NS, Hinoue T, et al.
Comparative Molecular Analysis of Gastrointestinal Adenocarcinomas.
Cancer Cell. 2018; 33(4):721-735.e8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We analyzed 921 adenocarcinomas of the esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum to examine shared and distinguishing molecular characteristics of gastrointestinal tract adenocarcinomas (GIACs). Hypermutated tumors were distinct regardless of cancer type and comprised those enriched for insertions/deletions, representing microsatellite instability cases with epigenetic silencing of MLH1 in the context of CpG island methylator phenotype, plus tumors with elevated single-nucleotide variants associated with mutations in POLE. Tumors with chromosomal instability were diverse, with gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas harboring fragmented genomes associated with genomic doubling and distinct mutational signatures. We identified a group of tumors in the colon and rectum lacking hypermutation and aneuploidy termed genome stable and enriched in DNA hypermethylation and mutations in KRAS, SOX9, and PCBP1.

Wang Z, Yang B, Zhang M, et al.
lncRNA Epigenetic Landscape Analysis Identifies EPIC1 as an Oncogenic lncRNA that Interacts with MYC and Promotes Cell-Cycle Progression in Cancer.
Cancer Cell. 2018; 33(4):706-720.e9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We characterized the epigenetic landscape of genes encoding long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) across 6,475 tumors and 455 cancer cell lines. In stark contrast to the CpG island hypermethylation phenotype in cancer, we observed a recurrent hypomethylation of 1,006 lncRNA genes in cancer, including EPIC1 (epigenetically-induced lncRNA1). Overexpression of EPIC1 is associated with poor prognosis in luminal B breast cancer patients and enhances tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, EPIC1 promotes cell-cycle progression by interacting with MYC through EPIC1's 129-283 nt region. EPIC1 knockdown reduces the occupancy of MYC to its target genes (e.g., CDKN1A, CCNA2, CDC20, and CDC45). MYC depletion abolishes EPIC1's regulation of MYC target and luminal breast cancer tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo.

Berger AC, Korkut A, Kanchi RS, et al.
A Comprehensive Pan-Cancer Molecular Study of Gynecologic and Breast Cancers.
Cancer Cell. 2018; 33(4):690-705.e9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We analyzed molecular data on 2,579 tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) of four gynecological types plus breast. Our aims were to identify shared and unique molecular features, clinically significant subtypes, and potential therapeutic targets. We found 61 somatic copy-number alterations (SCNAs) and 46 significantly mutated genes (SMGs). Eleven SCNAs and 11 SMGs had not been identified in previous TCGA studies of the individual tumor types. We found functionally significant estrogen receptor-regulated long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and gene/lncRNA interaction networks. Pathway analysis identified subtypes with high leukocyte infiltration, raising potential implications for immunotherapy. Using 16 key molecular features, we identified five prognostic subtypes and developed a decision tree that classified patients into the subtypes based on just six features that are assessable in clinical laboratories.

Taylor AM, Shih J, Ha G, et al.
Genomic and Functional Approaches to Understanding Cancer Aneuploidy.
Cancer Cell. 2018; 33(4):676-689.e3 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aneuploidy, whole chromosome or chromosome arm imbalance, is a near-universal characteristic of human cancers. In 10,522 cancer genomes from The Cancer Genome Atlas, aneuploidy was correlated with TP53 mutation, somatic mutation rate, and expression of proliferation genes. Aneuploidy was anti-correlated with expression of immune signaling genes, due to decreased leukocyte infiltrates in high-aneuploidy samples. Chromosome arm-level alterations show cancer-specific patterns, including loss of chromosome arm 3p in squamous cancers. We applied genome engineering to delete 3p in lung cells, causing decreased proliferation rescued in part by chromosome 3 duplication. This study defines genomic and phenotypic correlates of cancer aneuploidy and provides an experimental approach to study chromosome arm aneuploidy.

Chaurasiya S, Chen NG, Fong Y
Oncolytic viruses and immunity.
Curr Opin Immunol. 2018; 51:83-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Initially, direct oncolysis was thought to be the sole mechanism through which oncolytic viruses (OVs) exert their anti-tumor effect, and the immune system was perceived as the major obstacle in oncolytic virotherapy. Over the last decade, there has been a lot of debate on whether the immune system is a friend or foe of OVs. However, we are now at a stage where the initial thinking has been reversed as a result of compelling evidence that the immune system plays a critical role in the success of oncolytic virotherapy. In this review we discuss the importance of the involvement of innate and adaptive immunity for therapeutic efficacy of OVs, and the rational combination of OVs with other immunotherapies for further enhancement of overall therapeutic outcome.

Joo JE, Dowty JG, Milne RL, et al.
Heritable DNA methylation marks associated with susceptibility to breast cancer.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):867 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mendelian-like inheritance of germline DNA methylation in cancer susceptibility genes has been previously reported. We aimed to scan the genome for heritable methylation marks associated with breast cancer susceptibility by studying 25 Australian multiple-case breast cancer families. Here we report genome-wide DNA methylation measured in 210 peripheral blood DNA samples provided by family members using the Infinium HumanMethylation450. We develop and apply a new statistical method to identify heritable methylation marks based on complex segregation analysis. We estimate carrier probabilities for the 1000 most heritable methylation marks based on family structure, and we use Cox proportional hazards survival analysis to identify 24 methylation marks with corresponding carrier probabilities significantly associated with breast cancer. We replicate an association with breast cancer risk for four of the 24 marks using an independent nested case-control study. Here, we report a novel approach for identifying heritable DNA methylation marks associated with breast cancer risk.

Zhao L, Fong AHW, Liu N, Cho WCS
Molecular subtyping of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and a microRNA-based prognostic model for distant metastasis.
J Biomed Sci. 2018; 25(1):16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a highly invasive and metastatic cancer, with diverse molecular characteristics and clinical outcomes. This study aims to dissect the molecular heterogeneity of NPC, followed by the construction of a microRNA (miRNA)-based prognostic model for prediction of distant metastasis.
METHODS: We retrieved two NPC datasets: GSE32960 and GSE70970 as training and validation cohorts, respectively. Consensus clustering was employed for cluster discovery, and support vector machine was used to build a classifier. Finally, Cox regression analysis was applied to constructing a prognostic model for predicting risk of distant metastasis.
RESULTS: Three NPC subtypes (immunogenic, classical and mesenchymal) were identified that are molecularly distinct and clinically relevant, of which mesenchymal subtype (~ 36%) is associated with poor prognosis, characterized by suppressing tumor suppressor miRNAs and the activation of epithelial--mesenchymal transition. Out of the 25 most differentially expressed miRNAs in mesenchymal subtype, miR-142, miR-26a, miR-141 and let-7i have significant prognostic power (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: We proposed for the first time that NPC can be stratified into three subtypes. Using a panel of 4 miRNAs, we established a prognostic model that can robustly stratify NPC patients into high- and low- risk groups of distant metastasis.

Sim EH, Yang IA, Wood-Baker R, et al.
Gefitinib for advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018; 1:CD006847 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of gefitinib for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is evolving. We undertook a systematic review to evaluate the available evidence from all randomised trials.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the effectiveness and safety of gefitinib as first-line, second-line or maintenance treatment for advanced NSCLC.
SEARCH METHODS: We performed searches in CENTRAL, MEDLINE and Embase from inception to 17 February 2017. We handsearched relevant conference proceedings, clinical trial registries and references lists of retrieved articles.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included trials assessing gefitinib, alone or in combination with other treatment, compared to placebo or other treatments in the first- or successive-line treatment of patients with NSCLC, excluding compassionate use.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used the standard Cochrane methodology. Two authors independently assessed the search results to select those with sound methodological quality. We carried out all analyses on an intention-to-treat basis. We recorded the following outcome data: overall survival, progression-free survival, toxicity, tumour response and quality of life. We also collected data for the following subgroups: Asian ethnicity and positive epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation.
MAIN RESULTS: We included 35 eligible randomised controlled trials (RCTs), which examined 12,089 patients.General populationGefitinib did not statistically improve overall survival when compared with placebo or chemotherapy in either first- or second-line settings. Second-line gefitinib prolonged time to treatment failure (TTF) (hazard ratio (HR) 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.75 to 0.90, P < 0.0001) when compared with placebo. Maintenance gefitinib improved progression-free survival (HR 0.70, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.91, P = 0.007) after first-line therapy.Studies in patients of Asian ethnicity or that conducted subgroup analysesSecond-line gefitinib prolonged overall survival over placebo (HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.91, P = 0.01). In the first-line setting, progression-free survival was improved with gefitinib over chemotherapy alone (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.98, P = 0.04, moderate quality of evidence). Gefitinib given in combination with a chemotherapy regimen improved progression-free survival versus either gefitinib alone or chemotherapy alone (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.96, P = 0.03; HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.77, P < 0.00001, respectively). In the second-line setting, progression-free survival was superior in patients given gefitinib over placebo or chemotherapy (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.91, P = 0.009; HR 0.71, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.88, P = 0.002; moderate quality of evidence, respectively). Combining gefitinib with chemotherapy in the second-line setting was superior to gefitinib alone (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.97, P = 0.04). As maintenance therapy, gefitinib improved progression-free survival when compared with placebo (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.54, P < 0.00001).Patients with EGFR mutation-positive tumoursStudies in patients with EGFR mutation-positive tumours showed an improvement in progression-free survival in favour of gefitinib over first-line and second-line chemotherapy (HR 0.47, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.61, P < 0.00001; HR 0.24, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.47, P < 0.0001, respectively). Gefitinib as maintenance therapy following chemotherapy improved overall and progression-free survival (HR 0.39, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.98, P = 0.05; HR 0.17, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.41, P < 0.0001, respectively) in one phase III study when compared to placebo.Toxicities from gefitinib included skin rash, diarrhoea and liver transaminase derangements. Toxicities from chemotherapy included anaemia, neutropenia and neurotoxicity.In terms of quality of life, gefitinib improved Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung (FACT-L) (standardised mean difference (SMD) 10.50, 95% CI 9.55 to 11.45, P < 0.000001), lung cancer subscale (SMD 3.63, 95% CI 3.08 to 4.19, P < 0.00001) and Trial Outcome Index (SMD 9.87, 95% CI 1.26 to 18.48, P < 0.00001) scores when compared with chemotherapy.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review shows that gefitinib, when compared with standard first- or second-line chemotherapy or maintenance therapy, probably has a beneficial effect on progression-free survival and quality of life in selected patient populations, particularly those with tumours bearing sensitising EGFR mutations.Patients with EGFR mutations lived longer when given maintenance gefitinib than those given placebo.One study conducted subgroup analysis and showed that gefitinib improved overall survival over placebo in the second-line setting in patients of Asian ethnicity. All other studies did not detect any benefit on overall survival. The data analysed in this review were very heterogenous. We were limited in the amount of data that could be pooled, largely due to variations in study design. The risk of bias in most studies was moderate, with some studies not adequately addressing potential selection, attrition and reporting bias. This heterogeneity may have an impact on the applicability of the resultsCombining gefitinib with chemotherapy appears to be superior in improving progression-free survival to either gefitinib or chemotherapy alone, however further data and phase III studies in these settings are required.Gefitinib has a favourable toxicity profile when compared with current chemotherapy regimens. Although there is no improvement in overall survival, gefitinib compares favourably with cytotoxic chemotherapy in patients with EGFR mutations with a prolongation of progression-free survival and a lesser side effect profile.

Choi AH, O'Leary MP, Chaurasiya S, et al.
Novel chimeric parapoxvirus CF189 as an oncolytic immunotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer.
Surgery. 2018; 163(2):336-342 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer with high recurrence rate and poor prognosis. Here we describe a novel, genetically engineered parapoxvirus that efficiently kills triple-negative breast cancer.
METHODS: A novel chimeric parapoxvirus (CF189) was generated via homologous recombination and identified through high-throughput screening. Cytotoxicity was assayed in vitro in 4 triple-negative breast cancer cell lines. Viral replication was examined through standard plaque assay. Orthotopic triple-negative breast cancer xenografts were generated by MDA-MB-468 implantation into the 2nd and 4th mammary fat pads of athymic nude mice and treated with the virus.
RESULTS: Chimeric parapoxvirus (CF189) demonstrated dose-dependent cytotoxicity at low multiplicity of infection, with > 80% cell death 6 days after treatment. Significant reductions in tumor size were observed 2 weeks after intratumoral injection at doses as low as 10
CONCLUSION: Chimeric parapoxvirus (CF189) demonstrated efficient cytotoxicity in vitro and potent antitumor effect in vivo at doses as low as 10

Lin DH, Biswas A, Choolani M, et al.
Induction of Immunogenic Cell Death in Lymphoma Cells by Wharton's Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conditioned Medium.
Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2017; 13(6):801-816 [PubMed] Related Publications
Strategies that induce immunogenic cell death (ICD) or downregulate CD47 or PD-L1 expression have resulted in successful therapeutic options for tumor eradication. Several groups have reported the tumoricidal effects of human umbilical cord Wharton's jelly stem cells (hWJSCs) or its conditioned medium (hWJSC-CM) on certain cancers but the mechanisms have not been elucidated. Since hWJSCs possess immunomodulatory properties, we investigated whether one of the tumoricidal mechanisms was via ICD. We first concentrated hWJSC-CM into a 3 kDa concentrate and then exposed various concentrations of this concentrate to human lymphoma cells to find out which concentration had the greatest tumoricidal effect. We observed that a 500 µg/ml concentration of the concentrate had the greatest inhibitory effect. Thereafter, lymphoma cells were exposed to 500 µg/ml of the hWJSC-CM-3 kDa concentrate and then subjected to analysis for morphology, viability, apoptosis, mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum stress, danger associated molecular patterns (DAMP), extracellular HMGB1, CD47 and PD-L1 markers and dendritic cell phenotype. Extensive nuclear chromatin and mitochondrial changes with significantly decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis were observed in the treated lymphoma cells compared to controls. There were also significant increases in the release of DAMPs, extracellular HMGB1 and dendritic cell activation and maturation, with concomitant decreases in CD47 and PD-L1 expression in the treated cells compared to controls. In other ongoing studies we observed increased expression of specific tumor-suppressor molecules (miRNA-146a and miRNA-126, MCP-1, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-12) in hWJSC-CM suggesting that one or more of these molecules may be the modulators of the ICD.

Coleman RL, Oza AM, Lorusso D, et al.
Rucaparib maintenance treatment for recurrent ovarian carcinoma after response to platinum therapy (ARIEL3): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial.
Lancet. 2017; 390(10106):1949-1961 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Rucaparib, a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor, has anticancer activity in recurrent ovarian carcinoma harbouring a BRCA mutation or high percentage of genome-wide loss of heterozygosity. In this trial we assessed rucaparib versus placebo after response to second-line or later platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with high-grade, recurrent, platinum-sensitive ovarian carcinoma.
METHODS: In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we recruited patients from 87 hospitals and cancer centres across 11 countries. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, had a platinum-sensitive, high-grade serous or endometrioid ovarian, primary peritoneal, or fallopian tube carcinoma, had received at least two previous platinum-based chemotherapy regimens, had achieved complete or partial response to their last platinum-based regimen, had a cancer antigen 125 concentration of less than the upper limit of normal, had a performance status of 0-1, and had adequate organ function. Patients were ineligible if they had symptomatic or untreated central nervous system metastases, had received anticancer therapy 14 days or fewer before starting the study, or had received previous treatment with a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. We randomly allocated patients 2:1 to receive oral rucaparib 600 mg twice daily or placebo in 28 day cycles using a computer-generated sequence (block size of six, stratified by homologous recombination repair gene mutation status, progression-free interval after the penultimate platinum-based regimen, and best response to the most recent platinum-based regimen). Patients, investigators, site staff, assessors, and the funder were masked to assignments. The primary outcome was investigator-assessed progression-free survival evaluated with use of an ordered step-down procedure for three nested cohorts: patients with BRCA mutations (carcinoma associated with deleterious germline or somatic BRCA mutations), patients with homologous recombination deficiencies (BRCA mutant or BRCA wild-type and high loss of heterozygosity), and the intention-to-treat population, assessed at screening and every 12 weeks thereafter. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01968213; enrolment is complete.
FINDINGS: Between April 7, 2014, and July 19, 2016, we randomly allocated 564 patients: 375 (66%) to rucaparib and 189 (34%) to placebo. Median progression-free survival in patients with a BRCA-mutant carcinoma was 16·6 months (95% CI 13·4-22·9; 130 [35%] patients) in the rucaparib group versus 5·4 months (3·4-6·7; 66 [35%] patients) in the placebo group (hazard ratio 0·23 [95% CI 0·16-0·34]; p<0·0001). In patients with a homologous recombination deficient carcinoma (236 [63%] vs 118 [62%]), it was 13·6 months (10·9-16·2) versus 5·4 months (5·1-5·6; 0·32 [0·24-0·42]; p<0·0001). In the intention-to-treat population, it was 10·8 months (8·3-11·4) versus 5·4 months (5·3-5·5; 0·36 [0·30-0·45]; p<0·0001). Treatment-emergent adverse events of grade 3 or higher in the safety population (372 [99%] patients in the rucaparib group vs 189 [100%] in the placebo group) were reported in 209 (56%) patients in the rucaparib group versus 28 (15%) in the placebo group, the most common of which were anaemia or decreased haemoglobin concentration (70 [19%] vs one [1%]) and increased alanine or aspartate aminotransferase concentration (39 [10%] vs none).
INTERPRETATION: Across all primary analysis groups, rucaparib significantly improved progression-free survival in patients with platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer who had achieved a response to platinum-based chemotherapy. ARIEL3 provides further evidence that use of a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor in the maintenance treatment setting versus placebo could be considered a new standard of care for women with platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer following a complete or partial response to second-line or later platinum-based chemotherapy.
FUNDING: Clovis Oncology.

Chan FC, Mottok A, Gerrie AS, et al.
Prognostic Model to Predict Post-Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation Outcomes in Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma.
J Clin Oncol. 2017; 35(32):3722-3733 [PubMed] Related Publications
Purpose Our aim was to capture the biology of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) at the time of relapse and discover novel and robust biomarkers that predict outcomes after autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT). Materials and Methods We performed digital gene expression profiling on a cohort of 245 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor specimens from 174 patients with cHL, including 71 with biopsies taken at both primary diagnosis and relapse, to investigate temporal gene expression differences and associations with post-ASCT outcomes. Relapse biopsies from a training cohort of 65 patients were used to build a gene expression-based prognostic model of post-ASCT outcomes (RHL30), and two independent cohorts were used for validation. Results Gene expression profiling revealed that 24% of patients exhibited poorly correlated expression patterns between their biopsies taken at initial diagnosis and relapse, indicating biologic divergence. Comparative analysis of the prognostic power of gene expression measurements in primary versus relapse specimens demonstrated that the biology captured at the time of relapse contained superior properties for post-ASCT outcome prediction. We developed RHL30, using relapse specimens, which identified a subset of high-risk patients with inferior post-ASCT outcomes in two independent external validation cohorts. The prognostic power of RHL30 was independent of reported clinical prognostic markers (both at initial diagnosis and at relapse) and microenvironmental components as assessed by immunohistochemistry. Conclusion We have developed and validated a novel clinically applicable prognostic assay that at the time of first relapse identifies patients with unfavorable post-ASCT outcomes. Moving forward, it will be critical to evaluate the clinical use of RHL30 in the context of positron emission tomography-guided response assessment and the evolving cHL treatment landscape.

Cheng WT, Rosario R, Muthukaruppan A, et al.
MicroRNA profiling of ovarian granulosa cell tumours reveals novel diagnostic and prognostic markers.
Clin Epigenetics. 2017; 9:72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to explore the clinical utility of microRNAs (miRNAs) as improved markers of ovarian granulosa cell tumours (GCTs) for cancer diagnosis and prognosis prediction. Current histopathological and genetic markers, such as the presence of a
METHODS: The miRNA expression profiles of five formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) adult-GCTs and five juvenile-GCTs were assessed using Affymetrix miRNA 3.0 Arrays and compared for differential expression. Ten miRNAs were assessed in an additional 33 FFPE tumours and four normal granulosa cell samples by quantitative RT-PCR, and their expression correlated to clinical information.
RESULTS: MicroRNA array found 37 miRNAs as differentially expressed between the two GCT subtypes (
CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to report on global miRNA expression profiles of human ovarian GCTs using FFPE tumour samples. We have validated six miRNAs as novel markers for subtype classification in GCTs with low levels of miR-138-5p correlating with early tumour stage. Low miR-184 abundance was correlated with tumour recurrence in early stage adult-GCT patients as a candidate predictive biomarker. Further studies are now needed to confirm the clinical utility of these miRNAs as diagnostic and recurrence markers, and understand their possible roles in the pathogenesis of GCTs.

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