Myofibroblast activation in colorectal cancer lymph node metastases.
ABSTRACT: Myofibroblasts have an important role in regulating the normal colorectal stem cell niche. While the activation of myofibroblasts in primary colorectal cancers has been previously described, myofibroblast activation in lymph node metastases has not been described before.Paraffin-embedded lymph node sections from patients with macrometastases, micrometastases and isolated tumour cells were stained to identify myofibroblasts and to characterise the distribution of different cell types in tumour-containing lymph nodes. The extent of myofibroblast presence was quantified and compared with the size of the metastasis and degree of proliferation and differentiation of the cancer cells.We show substantial activation of myofibroblasts in the presence of colorectal metastases in lymph nodes, which is intimately associated with glandular structures, both in micro- and macrometastases. The degree of activation is positively associated with the size of the metastases and the proportion of Ki67+ve cancer cells, and negatively associated with the degree of enterocyte differentiation as measured by CK20 expression.The substantial activation of myofibroblasts in tumour-containing lymph nodes strongly suggests that these metastatic cancer cells are still significantly dependent on their microenvironment. Further understanding of these epithelial-mesenchymal interactions could lead to the development of new therapies in metastatic disease.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are the most deadly form of breast cancer (BC) subtypes. Axillary lymph node involvement (ALNI) has been described to be prognostic in BC taken as a whole, but its prognostic value in each subtype is unclear. We explored the prognostic impact of ALNI and especially of small size axillary metastases in early TNBCs.We analysed in this multicentre study all patients treated for early TNBC in 12 French cancer centres. We explored the correlation between clinicopathological data and ALNI, with a specific focus on the dichotomisation between macrometastases and occult metastases, which is defined as the presence of isolated tumour cells or micrometastases. The prognostic value of ALNI both in terms of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) was also explored.We included 1237 TNBC patients. Five-year DFS and OS were 83.7% and 88.5%, respectively. The identified independent prognostic features for DFS were tumour size >20?mm (hazard ratio (HR)=1.86; 95% CI: 1.11-3.10, P=0.018), lymphovascular invasion (HR=1.69; 95% CI: 1.21-2.34, P=0.002) and ALNI both in case of macrometastases (HR=1.97; 95% CI: 1.38-2.81, P<0.0001) and occult metastases (HR=1.72; 95% CI: 1.1-2.71, P=0.019). DFS and OS were similar between tumours with occult metastases and macrometastases. Tumours presenting at least two pejorative features (out of ALNI, lymphovascular invasion and large tumour size) displayed a significantly poorer DFS in both the training set and validation set, independently of chemotherapy administration. Tumours with no more than one of the above-cited pejorative features had a 5-year OS of ?90% vs 70% for other cases (P<0.0001).Axillary lymph node involvement is a key prognostic feature for early TNBC when isolated tumour cells were identified in lymph nodes. This impact is independent of chemotherapy use.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Current histopathological staging procedures in colon carcinomas depend on midline division of the lymph nodes with one section of haematoxylin & eosin (H&E) staining only. By this method, tumour deposits outside this transection line may be missed and could lead to understaging of a high-risk group of stage UICC II cases, which recurs in ∼20% of cases. A new diagnostic semiautomated system, one-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA), detects cytokeratin (CK) 19 mRNA in lymph node metastases and enables the investigation of the whole lymph node. The objective of this study was to assess whether histopathological pN0 patients can be upstaged to stage UICC III by OSNA. METHODS: Lymph nodes from patients who were classified as lymph node negative after standard histopathology (single (H&E) slice) were subjected to OSNA. A result revealing a CK19 mRNA copy number >250, which makes sure to detect mainly macrometastases and not isolated tumour cells (ITC) or micrometastases only, was regarded as positive for lymph node metastases based on previous threshold investigations. RESULTS: In total, 1594 pN0 lymph nodes from 103 colon carcinomas (median number of lymph nodes per patient: 14, range: 1-46) were analysed with OSNA. Out of 103 pN0 patients, 26 had OSNA-positive lymph nodes, resulting in an upstaging rate of 25.2%. Among these were 6/37 (16.2%) stage UICC I and 20/66 (30.3%) stage UICC II patients. Overall, 38 lymph nodes were OSNA positive: 19 patients had one, 3 had two, 3 had three, and 1 patient had four OSNA-positive lymph nodes. CONCLUSIONS: OSNA resulted in an upstaging of over 25% of initially histopathologically lymph node-negative patients. OSNA is a standardised, observer-independent technique, allowing the analysis of the whole lymph node. Therefore, sampling bias due to missing investigation of certain lymph node tissue can be avoided, which may lead to a more accurate staging.
Project description:Pericryptal myofibroblasts in the colon and rectum play an important role in regulating the normal colorectal stem cell niche and facilitating tumour progression. Myofibroblasts have previously mostly been distinguished from normal fibroblasts only by the expression of α smooth muscle actin (αSMA). We now identify AOC3, a surface monoamine oxidase, as a new marker of myofibroblasts by showing that it is the target protein of the myofibroblast reacting monoclonal antibody (mAb), PR2D3. The normal and tumour tissue distribution and the cell line reactivity of AOC3 match that expected for myofibroblasts. We have shown that the surface expression of AOC3 is sensitive to digestion by trypsin and collagenase and that anti-AOC3 antibodies can be used for FACS sorting of myofibroblasts obtained by non-enzymatic procedures. Whole genome microarray mRNA expression profiles of myofibroblasts and skin fibroblasts revealed four additional genes that are significantly expressed differentially between these two cell types; NKX2-3 and LRRC17 are expressed in myofibroblasts and SHOX2 and TBX5 in skin fibroblasts. Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβ) substantially down-regulated AOC3 expression in myofibroblasts but not in skin fibroblasts, in which it dramatically increased the expression of αSMA. A knockdown of NKX2-3 in myofibroblasts caused a decrease of myofibroblast-related gene expression and an increased expression of the fibroblast associated gene, SHOX2, suggesting that NKX2-3 is a key mediator for maintaining myofibroblast characteristics. Our results show that colorectal myofibroblasts, as defined by the expression of AOC3, NKX2-3 and other markers, are a distinctly different cell type from TGFβ activated fibroblasts. colorectal myofibroblast specific markers and expression profiles were sought by comparing four primary myofibroblast cultures to a panel of four dermal and foreskin fibroblast cell lines Four primary myofibroblast cultures established from adult human colon compared to four skin fibroblast cell lines to identify intestinal myofibroblast specific markers
Project description:The role of lymph node metastases in distant prostate cancer dissemination and lethality is ill defined. Patients with metastases restricted to lymph nodes have a better prognosis than those with distant metastatic spread, suggesting the possibility of distinct aetiologies. To explore this, we traced patterns of cancer dissemination using tumour phylogenies inferred from genome-wide copy-number profiling of 48 samples across 3 patients with lymph node metastatic disease and 3 patients with osseous metastatic disease. Our results show that metastatic cells in regional lymph nodes originate from evolutionary advanced extraprostatic tumour cells rather than less advanced central tumour cell populations. In contrast, osseous metastases do not exhibit such a constrained developmental lineage, arising from either intra or extraprostatic tumour cell populations, at early and late stages in the evolution of the primary. Collectively, this comparison suggests that lymph node metastases may not be an intermediate developmental step for distant osseous metastases, but rather represent a distinct metastatic lineage.
Project description:Retrospective and observational analyses suggest that occult lymph-node metastases are an important prognostic factor for disease recurrence or survival among patients with breast cancer. Prospective data on clinical outcomes from randomized trials according to sentinel-node involvement have been lacking.We randomly assigned women with breast cancer to sentinel-lymph-node biopsy plus axillary dissection or sentinel-lymph-node biopsy alone. Paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of sentinel lymph nodes obtained from patients with pathologically negative sentinel lymph nodes were centrally evaluated for occult metastases deeper in the blocks. Both routine staining and immunohistochemical staining for cytokeratin were used at two widely spaced additional tissue levels. Treating physicians were unaware of the findings, which were not used for clinical treatment decisions. The initial evaluation at participating sites was designed to detect all macrometastases larger than 2 mm in the greatest dimension.Occult metastases were detected in 15.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 14.7 to 17.1) of 3887 patients. Log-rank tests indicated a significant difference between patients in whom occult metastases were detected and those in whom no occult metastases were detected with respect to overall survival (P=0.03), disease-free survival (P=0.02), and distant-disease-free interval (P=0.04). The corresponding adjusted hazard ratios for death, any outcome event, and distant disease were 1.40 (95% CI, 1.05 to 1.86), 1.31 (95% CI, 1.07 to 1.60), and 1.30 (95% CI, 1.02 to 1.66), respectively. Five-year Kaplan-Meier estimates of overall survival among patients in whom occult metastases were detected and those without detectable metastases were 94.6% and 95.8%, respectively.Occult metastases were an independent prognostic variable in patients with sentinel nodes that were negative on initial examination; however, the magnitude of the difference in outcome at 5 years was small (1.2 percentage points). These data do not indicate a clinical benefit of additional evaluation, including immunohistochemical analysis, of initially negative sentinel nodes in patients with breast cancer. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00003830.).
Project description:The number of harvested lymph nodes when performing sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy remains controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the maximum number of nodes to be harvested for histopathological analysis. We also wanted to determine if the level of radioactivity within a SLN or its size were indicators for the likelihood of nodal metastases. The SLNs from 34 neck dissection specimens from patients with T1/T2 N0 oral and oropharyngeal carcinomas were included. Altogether 76 SLNs were measured for radioactivity and lymph node dimensions and volume. Tumour was identified in 16 of 76 nodes (positive nodes), and the remaining 60 nodes were free from tumour (negative nodes). In 9 of 16 cases, metastases were in the hottest node. Two patients had more than one positive SLN: the first and fourth hottest in one and the second and fourth hottest nodes in another contained tumour. However, all patients would have been staged accurately if only the hottest three sentinel nodes had been retrieved. Lymph nodes that contained tumour had a greater maximum diameter than non-metastatic SLNs. To stage the neck accurately, only the three hottest lymph nodes required sampling.
Project description:The optimal pathological assessment of sentinel nodes (SLNs) in breast cancer is a matter of debate. Currently, multilevel histological evaluation and immunohistochemistry (IHC) are recommended, but alternative RT-PCR procedures have been developed. To assess the reliability of these different procedures, we devised a step-sectioning protocol at 100 micron-intervals of 74 SLNs using methacarn fixation. mRNA was extracted from sections collected from levels 4 to 5. Mammaglobin, CEA and CK19 were used for RT-PCR. mRNA extraction was successful in 69 SLNs. Of these, 7 showed macrometastases (>2mm), 2 showed micrometastases (<2 mm) and 7 showed isolated tumour cells (ITC) by IHC. RT-PCR was positive for the three markers in 6 of 7 macrometastases and in 1 of 2 micrometastases. In the 2 RT-PCR negative cases, metastases were detected only on sections distant from those analysed by RT-PCR. CEA and/or CK19 were positive by RT-PCR in 3 of 7 ITC and in 23 morphologically negative SLNs. In conclusion, the main goal of our study was to show that the use of alternate sections of the same sample for different procedures is the key reason for the discrepancies between molecular and morphological analyses of SLN. We believe that only prospective studies with quantitative mRNA analysis of specific metastatic markers on the whole lymph node can elucidate the utility of molecular assessments of SLN.
Project description:The established relationship between lymph node metastasis and prognosis in colorectal cancer suggests that recurrence in 25% of patients with lymph nodes free of tumor cells by histopathology (pN0) reflects the presence of occult metastases. Guanylyl cyclase 2C (GUCY2C) is a marker expressed by colorectal tumors that could reveal occult metastases in lymph nodes and better estimate recurrence risk.To examine the association of occult lymph node metastases detected by quantifying GUCY2C messenger RNA, using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, with recurrence and survival in patients with colorectal cancer.Prospective study of 257 patients with pN0 colorectal cancer enrolled between March 2002 and June 2007 at 9 US and Canadian centers (7 academic medical centers and 2 community hospitals) provided 2570 fresh lymph nodes measuring 5 mm or larger for histopathology and GUCY2C messenger RNA analysis. Patients were followed up for a median of 24 months (range, 2-63 months) for disease recurrence or death.Time to recurrence (primary outcome) and disease-free survival (secondary outcome) relative to expression of GUCY2C in lymph nodes.Thirty-two patients (12.5%) had lymph nodes negative for GUCY2C (pN0 [mol-]), and all but 2 remained free of disease during follow-up (recurrence rate, 6.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8%-20.8%). Conversely, 225 patients (87.5%) had lymph nodes positive for GUCY2C (pN0 [mol+]), and 47 developed recurrent disease (20.9%; 95% CI, 15.8%-26.8%) (P = .006). Multivariate analyses revealed that GUCY2C in lymph nodes was an independent marker of prognosis. Patients who were pN0 (mol+) exhibited earlier time to recurrence (adjusted hazard ratio, 4.66; 95% CI, 1.11-19.57; P = .04) and reduced disease-free survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.27; 95% CI, 1.15-9.29; P = .03).Expression of GUCY2C in histologically negative lymph nodes appears to be independently associated with time to recurrence and disease-free survival in patients with pN0 colorectal cancer.
Project description:In the tumor microenvironment, TGF-? induces transdifferentiation of quiescent pericytes and related stromal cells into myofibroblasts that promote tumor growth and metastasis. The mechanisms governing myofibroblastic activation remain poorly understood, and its role in the tumor microenvironment has not been explored. Here, we demonstrate that IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) binds to TGF-? receptor II (T?RII) and suppresses T?RII-mediated signaling in pericytes to prevent myofibroblastic differentiation in the tumor microenvironment. We found that TGF-?1 recruited IQGAP1 to T?RII in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the resident liver pericytes. Iqgap1 knockdown inhibited the targeting of the E3 ubiquitin ligase SMAD ubiquitination regulatory factor 1 (SMURF1) to the plasma membrane and T?RII ubiquitination and degradation. Thus, Iqgap1 knockdown stabilized T?RII and potentiated TGF-?1 transdifferentiation of pericytes into myofibroblasts in vitro. Iqgap1 deficiency in HSCs promoted myofibroblast activation, tumor implantation, and metastatic growth in mice via upregulation of paracrine signaling molecules. Additionally, we found that IQGAP1 expression was downregulated in myofibroblasts associated with human colorectal liver metastases. Taken together, our studies demonstrate that IQGAP1 in the tumor microenvironment suppresses T?RII and TGF-? dependent myofibroblastic differentiation to constrain tumor growth.
Project description:The spread of cancer cells from primary tumors to regional lymph nodes is often associated with reduced survival. One prevailing model to explain this association posits that fatal, distant metastases are seeded by lymph node metastases. This view provides a mechanistic basis for the TNM staging system and is the rationale for surgical resection of tumor-draining lymph nodes. Here we examine the evolutionary relationship between primary tumor, lymph node, and distant metastases in human colorectal cancer. Studying 213 archival biopsy samples from 17 patients, we used somatic variants in hypermutable DNA regions to reconstruct high-confidence phylogenetic trees. We found that in 65% of cases, lymphatic and distant metastases arose from independent subclones in the primary tumor, whereas in 35% of cases they shared common subclonal origin. Therefore, two different lineage relationships between lymphatic and distant metastases exist in colorectal cancer.