Breast Carcinomas arising at a Young Age: A Unique Biology or a Surrogate for Aggressive Intrinsic Subtypes.
ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is no longer viewed as a homogenous disease, but rather a compilation of several distinct subtypes as defined by microarray or other large scale genomic analyses. Based on prior reports, we hypothesized that younger women’s breast tumors would be enriched for more aggressive subtypes (i.e. Basal-like) and higher grade, and that age-specific gene expression differences may be highly dependent on subtype classification and/or grade. Using two independent datasets, our current analysis shows that breast tumors arising in women aged = 45 years are enriched for the Basal-like subtype (and higher grade) while those aged = 65 years are enriched for Luminal tumors. Moreover, when evaluating gene expression differences between age-defined groups, sizable gene lists were identified which diminished to few, if any, age-specific genes when statistically correcting for significant clinical factors (i.e. subtype, grade, etc). Keywords: reference x sample 344 breast tumor samples hybridized with Stratagene common reference and profiled on Agilent microarrays.
Project description:Purpose: The biological subtypes of breast cancer designated as Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2+/ER-, and Basal-like are clinically important for prognosis and planning treatment strategies. Recognizing that there is a continuum in both the spectrum of breast cancer disease and the risk of survival, we sought to develop a clinical test for the biological subtypes using a supervised risk classier.Methods: Microarray and real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) data from 189 samples, procured as fresh-frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues, were used to statistically select prototypical samples and genes for the biological subtypes of breast cancer. Predictions for biological subtype and risk of recurrence were determined for different stages of disease, treatments, and across analytical platforms. Results: The biological subtype predictions on a large combined microarray test set showed prognostic significance across all patients (1244 subjects; p<0.0001), on node negative patients with no adjuvant systemic therapy (738 subjects; p<0.0001), and on patients treated with endocrine therapy (404 subjects; p=0.001). Analysis of a neoadjuvant chemotherapy study revealed a high pathologic complete response (pCR) rate in HER2+/ER- and Basal-like patients. The subtype and risk predications were also highly significant when using the qRT-PCR assay from archived FFPE breast cancers. Conclusion: Our risk predictor based on distance to biological subtype centroids provides a continuous risk score that applies to all stages of breast cancer given current therapies. The assay can be performed using archived breast tissues and a real-time qRT-PCR assay, thus facilitating application to retrospective cohorts and clinical samples. Keywords: reference x sample Comparison of reference samples against treatment
Project description:Introduction: In breast cancers, the basal-like subtype has high levels of genomic instability relative to other breast cancer subtypes with many basal-like-specific regions of aberration. There is evidence that this genomic instability extends to smaller scale genomic aberrations as well, as shown by a previously described micro-event in the PTEN gene in the Basal-like SUM149 breast cancer cell line. Methods: We sought to identify if small regions of genomic change exist by using a high density, gene centric Comparative Genomic Hybridizations (CGH) array on both cell lines and primary tumors. A custom Agilent tiling array for CGH (244,000 probes, 200bp tiling resolution) was created to identify small regions of genomic change and was focused on previously identified basal-like-specific, and general cancer genes. Tumor genomic DNA from 94 patients and 2 breast cancer cell lines was labeled and hybridized to these arrays. Aberrations were called using SWITCHdna and the smallest 25% of SWITCHdna-defined genomic segments being called micro-aberrations (<64 contiguous probes, ~ <15kb). Results: Our data showed that primary tumor breast cancer genomes frequently contained areas of small-scale copy number gains and losses, termed micro-aberrations, which are undetectable using lower-density genome-wide platforms. The basal-like subtype exhibited the highest incidence of these events. These micro-aberrations sometimes altered expression of the involved gene as suggested by data from microarray and mRNA-seq studies. We confirmed the presence of the PTEN micro-amplification in SUM149 and by mRNA-seq showed that this resulted in loss of expression of all exons downstream of this event. Micro-aberrations disproportionately affected the 5’ regions of the affected genes, including the promoter region, and a high frequency of micro-aberrations was associated with poor survival outcomes. Conclusion: Using a high probe density, gene-centric aCGH microarray, we present evidence of small-scale genomic aberrations that contribute to gene inactivation, and thus, genomic instability and tumor formation through a mechanism not detected using conventional copy number analyses. reference x sample
Project description:The ability to predict metastatic potential is of clinical and biological importance. Numerous metastasis/relapse predictors exist for breast cancer patients; however, what is less well established is whether predicting metastasis to specific organs sites is feasible. In this study we sought to determine: 1) the degree to which gene signatures vary across tumors and their metastases, 2) if genomic intrinsic subtypes associate with particular organs of relapse, and 3) if other genomic signatures can predict spread to specific organs. Using a gene expression microarray data set of >1000 breast tumors and metastases, we observed that >90% of 298 gene signatures were similarly expressed between matched pairs of breast tumors and metastases; those most altered were reflective of cell types including fibroblasts and immune cells. Significant associations were identified between tumor subtypes and organ of first relapse. Among these, HER2-enriched tumors were significantly associated with liver, and Basal-like and Claudin-low tumors with brain and lung. Correspondingly, previously published brain and lung metastasis signatures, along with embryonic stem cell and tumor initiating cell signatures, were also associated with Basal-like and Claudin-low subtypes. These signatures strongly correlated with low Differentiation Scores (DS) and, to a lesser extent, high proliferation. Interestingly, within Basal-like and Claudin-low tumors, low DS further predicted for brain and lung metastases. In total, intrinsic subtype and DS provide clinically useful information that identifies the distant organ sites that should be most closely monitored for signs of disease recurrence. 414 samples profiled on Agilent microarrays.
Project description:The basal-like breast cancer subtype portends a poor clinical prognosis, and a defining feature of this subtype is the high expression of genes in the “proliferation signature”. B-Myb, a member of the MYB protein family of transcription factors, is highly expressed in the proliferation signature and is amplified and overexpressed in a variety of tumor types, including breast. In this report we demonstrated that B-Myb is highly expressed in basal-like breast cancer relative to the other subtypes, and B-Myb expression alone is prognostic. We also identified an association between a nonsynonymous B-Myb germline variant (S427G, rs2070235) and an increased risk of having a basal-like breast cancer among patients with breast cancer. The expression of B-Myb, or the S427G variant, was manipulated in vitro and we observed that in hTERT-immortalized normal Human Mammary Epithelial Cells, but not basal-like tumor-derived lines, cells ectopically expressing B-Myb showed increased sensitivity to DNA topoisomerase II inhibitors, but not other chemotherapeutics; in addition, microarray analyses of B-Myb overexpressing cells identified many G2/M targets as being preferentially induced. These results again suggest that B-Myb is involved in G2/M cell cycle control and that dysregulation of B-Myb may contribute to an increased sensitivity to a specific class of chemotherapeutic agents in vitro, and potentially in vivo. These data provide insight into the influence of B-Myb in human breast cancer, which is of potential clinical importance for determining disease risk and for guiding treatment. Experiment Overall Design: Reference VS. Samples
Project description:Purpose: Previous studies of breast tissue gene expression have demonstrated that the extratumoral microenvironment has substantial variability across individuals, some of which can be attributed to epidemiologic factors. To evaluate how mammographic density (MD) and breast tissue composition relate to extratumoral microenvironment gene expression, we used data on 121 breast cancer patients from the population-based Polish Women’s Breast Cancer Study.Design: Breast cancer cases were classified based on a previously reported, biologically-defined extratumoral gene expression signature with two subtypes: an Active subtype, which is associated with high expression of genes related to fibrosis and wound response, and an Inactive subtype, which has high expression of cellular adhesion genes. MD of the contralateral breast was assessed using pre-treatment mammograms and a quantitative, reliable computer-assisted thresholding method. Breast tissue composition was evaluated based on digital image analysis of tissue sections. Results:The Inactive extratumoral subtype was associated with significantly higher percentage mammographic density (PD) and dense area (DA) in univariate analysis (PD: p=0.001; DA: p=0.049) and in multivariable analyses adjusted for age and body mass index (PD: p=0.004; DA: p=0.049). Inactive/higher MD tissue was characterized by a significantly higher percentage of stroma and a significantly lower percentage of adipose tissue, with no significant change in epithelial content. Analysis of published gene expression signatures suggested that Inactive/higher MD tissue expressed increased estrogen response and decreased TGF-ß signaling. Conclusions:By linking novel molecular phenotypes with MD, our results indicate that MD reflects broad transcriptional changes, including changes in both epithelia- and stroma-derived signaling. reference x sample
Project description:The claudin-low subtype is a recently identified rare molecular subtype of human breast cancer that expresses low levels of tight and adherens junction genes and shows high expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) genes. These tumors are enriched in gene expression signatures derived from human tumor initiating cells (TIC) and human mammary stem cells. Through cross-species analysis, we discovered mouse mammary tumors that have similar gene expression characteristics as human claudin-low tumors and were also enriched for the human TIC signature. Such claudin-low tumors were similarly rare, but came from a number of distinct mouse models including the p53 null transplant model. Here we present a molecular characterization of fifty p53 null mammary tumors as compared to other mouse models and human breast tumor subtypes. Similar to human tumors, the murine p53 null tumors fell into multiple molecular subtypes including two basal-like, a luminal, a claudin-low, and a subtype unique to this model. The claudin-low tumors also showed high gene expression of EMT inducers, low expression of the miR-200 family, and low to absent expression of both claudin 3 and E-cadherin. These murine subtypes also contained distinct genomic DNA copy number changes some of which are similarly altered in their cognate human subtype counterpart. Finally, limiting dilution transplantation revealed that p53 null claudin-low tumors are highly enriched for TICs as compared to the more common adenocarcinomas arising in the same model, thus providing a novel preclinical mouse model to investigate the therapeutic response of TICs. 107 Agilent CGH and expression microarrays
Project description:Breast cancer subtypes identified in genomic studies have different underlying genetic defects. Mutations in the tumor suppressor p53 occur more frequently in estrogen receptor (ER) negative, basal-like and HER2-amplified tumors than in luminal, ER positive tumors. Thus, because p53 mutation status is tightly linked to other characteristics of prognostic importance, it is difficult to identify p53's independent prognostic effects. The relation between p53 status and subtype can be better studied by combining data from primary tumors with data from isogenic cell line pairs (with and without p53 function). In this study, the p53-dependent gene expression signatures of four cell lines (MCF-7, ZR-75-1, and two immortalized human mammary epithelial cell lines) were identified by comparing p53-RNAi transduced cell lines to their parent cell lines. Cell lines were treated with vehicle only or doxorubicin to identify p53 responses in both non-induced and induced states. Each cell line displayed unique patterns of gene expression, but cell type specific trends were evident. A common gene expression signature associated with p53 loss across all four cell lines was identified. This signature showed overlap with the signature of p53 loss in primary breast tumors and predicted relapse-free survival and overall survival in independent test data sets. Experiment Overall Design: We analyzed 48 arrays performed using 48 polyA RNA samples. RNAs were collected from cell lines treated with an IC50 dose of doxorubicin hydrochloride or with a feeding control. Each cell line had its own reference which represented the second sample on the dual channel array. These untreated RNAs were prepared by pooling four harvests of that cell line at 60-80% confluence and 48h after feeding
Project description:Introduction: Tumor initiating cells (TICs) are being extensively studied for their role in tumor etiology, maintenance and resistance to treatment. The isolation of TICs has been limited by the scarcity of this population in the tissue of origin and because the molecular signatures that characterize these cells are not well understood. Herein, we describe the generation of TIC-like cell lines by ectopic expression of the OCT4 transcription factor (TF) in primary breast cell preparations. Methods: OCT4 cDNA was over-expressed in four different primary human mammary epithelial (HMEC) breast cell preparations from reduction mammoplasty donors. OCT4-transduced breast cells (OTBCs) generated colonies (frequency ~0.01%) in self-renewal conditions (feeder cultures in human embryonic stem cell media). Differentiation assays, immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry were performed to investigate the cell of origin of OTBCs. Serial dilutions of OTBCs were injected in nude mice to address their tumorigenic capabilities. Gene expression microarrays were performed in OTBCs, and the role of downstream targets of OCT4 in maintaining self-renewal was investigated by knock-down experiments. Results: OTBCs overcame senescence, overexpressed telomerase, and down-regulated p16INK4A. In differentiation conditions, OTBCs generated populations of both myoepithelial and luminal cells at low frequency, suggesting that the cell of origin of some OTBCs was a bi-potent stem cell. Injection of OTBCs in nude mice generated poorly differentiated breast carcinomas with colonization capabilities. Gene expression microarrays of OTBC lines revealed a gene signature that was over-represented in the claudin-low molecular subtype of breast cancer. Lastly, siRNA-mediated knockdown of OCT4 or downstream embryonic targets of OCT4, such as NANOG and ZIC1, suppressed the ability of OTBCs to self-renew. Conclusions: Transduction of OCT4 in normal breast preparations lead to the generation of cell lines possessing tumor initiating and colonization capabilities. These cells developed high-grade, poorly differentiated breast carcinomas in nude mice. Genome-wide analysis of OTBCs outlined an embryonic TF circuitry that could be operative in TICs, resulting in up-regulation of oncogenes and loss of tumor suppressive functions. These OTBCs represent a patient-specific model system for the discovery of novel oncogenic targets in claudin-low tumors. 12 cell lines
Project description:HER2 (ERBB2) gene amplification and PIK3CA mutations often co-occur in breast cancer, and aberrant activation of the PI3K pathway has been implicated in resistance to HER2-directed therapies. We have created a mouse model of HER2-overexpressing (HER2+), PIK3CAH1047R-mutant breast cancer. Mice expressing both human HER2 and mutant PIK3CA in their mammary glands developed tumors with a significantly shorter latency compared to mice expressing either oncogene alone. By microarray analysis, HER2-driven tumors clustered with the luminal subtype, whereas HER2+PIK3CA and PIK3CA-driven tumors were associated with the claudin-low breast cancer subtype. In accordance, PIK3CA and HER2+PIK3CA tumors expressed elevated levels of EMT and stem cell markers, and cells from HER2+PIK3CA tumors more efficiently formed mammospheres, providing further evidence that activated PIK3CA may enrich for cancer stem cells. Finally, HER2+PIK3CA tumors are resistant to the HER2 antibody trastuzumab; resistance is partially reversed by the addition of a PI3K inhibitor. Taken together, these studies suggest that the co-expression of HER2 and PI3KH1047R in the mouse mammary gland accelerates the formation of aggressive, trastuzumab-resistant tumors. referenceXsample
Project description:Background: Human breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease consisting of multiple molecular subtypes. Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) are useful resources for studying breast cancers in vivo under genetically controlled and immune competent conditions. Identifying murine models with conserved human tumor features will facilitate etiology determinations, highlight the effects of mutations on pathway activation, and improve preclinical drug validation. Results: Transcriptomic profiles of 27 murine models of mammary carcinoma and normal mammary tissue were determined using gene expression microarrays. Hierarchical clustering analysis identified 17 distinct murine subtypes (classes). Across species analyses using three independent human breast cancer datasets identified eight murine classes that represent specific human breast cancer subtypes. Multiple models were associated with human basal-like tumors including TgC3(1)-Tag, TgWap-Myc, and Trp53-/-. Interestingly, the TgWAPCre-Etv6 model mimicked the HER2-enriched subtype, a group of human tumors without a murine counterpart in previous comparative studies. Gene signature analysis identified hundreds of commonly expressed pathways between linked mouse and human subtypes, highlighting potentially common genetic drivers of tumorigenesis and candidate pathways for therapeutic intervention. Conclusion: This study consolidates murine models of breast carcinoma into the largest comprehensive transcriptomic dataset to date to identify human-mouse disease subtype counterparts. This approach illustrates the value of comparisons between species to identify murine models that faithfully mimic the human condition and indicates that multiple GEMMs are needed to represent the diversity of human breast cancers. These trans-species associations should guide model selection during preclinical study design to ensure appropriate representatives of the human disease subtypes are used. Keywords: breast cancer, comparative genomics, genetically engineered mouse models, and molecular pathway signatures reference x sample