Biology of Bone Sarcomas and New Therapeutic Developments.
ABSTRACT: Bone sarcomas are tumours belonging to the family of mesenchymal tumours and constitute a highly heterogeneous tumour group. The three main bone sarcomas are osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and chondrosarcoma each subdivided in diverse histological entities. They are clinically characterised by a relatively high morbidity and mortality, especially in children and adolescents. Although these tumours are histologically, molecularly and genetically heterogeneous, they share a common involvement of the local microenvironment in their pathogenesis. This review gives a brief overview of their specificities and summarises the main therapeutic advances in the field of bone sarcoma.
Project description:Genomic and functional study of existing and emerging sarcoma targets, such as fusion proteins, chromosomal aberrations, reduced tumor suppressor activity, and oncogenic drivers, is broadening our understanding of sarcomagenesis. Among these mechanisms, the tumor suppressor p53 (TP53) plays significant roles in the suppression of bone and soft tissue sarcoma progression. Although mutations in TP53 were thought to be relatively low in sarcomas, modern techniques including whole-genome sequencing have recently illuminated unappreciated alterations in TP53 in osteosarcoma. In addition, oncogenic gain-of-function activities of missense mutant p53 (mutp53) have been reported in sarcomas. Moreover, new targeting strategies for TP53 have been discovered: restoration of wild-type p53 (wtp53) activity through inhibition of TP53 negative regulators, reactivation of the wtp53 activity from mutp53, depletion of mutp53, and targeting of vulnerabilities in cells with TP53 deletions or mutations. These discoveries enable development of novel therapeutic strategies for therapy-resistant sarcomas. We have outlined nine bone and soft tissue sarcomas for which TP53 plays a crucial tumor suppressive role. These include osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), leiomyosarcoma (LMS), synovial sarcoma, liposarcoma (LPS), angiosarcoma, and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS).
Project description:Bone sarcomas are rare cancers which often present with metastatic disease and are still associated with poor survival rates. Studies in the last decade have identified that exosomes, a type of extracellular vesicle released by cells, play an important role in tumour progression and dissemination. Through the transfer of their cargo (RNAs, proteins, and lipids) across cells, they are involved in cellular cross-talk and can induce changes in cellular behaviour. Exosomes have been shown to be important in metastasis organotropism, induction of angiogenesis and vascular permeability, the education of cells towards a pro-metastatic phenotype or the interaction between stromal and tumour cells. Due to the importance exosomes have in disease progression and the high incidence of metastasis in bone sarcomas, recent studies have evaluated the implications of these extracellular vesicles in bone sarcomas. In this review, we discuss the studies that evaluate the role of exosomes in osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, and preliminary data on chondrosarcoma.
Project description:Undifferentiated solid tumors with small blue round cell histology and expression of CD99 mostly resemble Ewing sarcoma. However, they also may include other tumors such as mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, or small cell osteosarcoma. Definitive classification usually requires detection of entity-specific mutations. While this approach identifies the majority of Ewing sarcomas, a subset of lesions remains unclassified and, therefore, has been termed "Ewing-like sarcomas" or small blue round cell tumors not otherwise specified. We developed an approach for further characterization of small blue round cell tumors not otherwise specified using an array-based DNA-methylation profiling approach. Data were analyzed by unsupervised clustering and t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding analysis and compared with a reference methylation data set of 460 well-characterized prototypical sarcomas encompassing 18 subtypes. Verification was performed by additional FISH analyses, RNA sequencing from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded material or immunohistochemical marker analyses. In a cohort of more than 1,000 tumors assumed to represent Ewing sarcomas, 30 failed to exhibit the typical EWS translocation. These tumors were subjected to methylation profiling and could be assigned to Ewing sarcoma in 14 (47%), to small blue round cell tumors with CIC alteration in 6 (20%), to small blue round cell tumors with BCOR alteration in 4 (13%), to synovial sarcoma and to malignant rhabdoid tumor in 2 cases each. One single case each was allotted to mesenchymal chondrosarcoma and adamantinoma. 12/14 tumors classified as Ewing sarcoma could be verified by demonstrating either a canonical EWS translocation evading initial testing, by identifying rare breakpoints or fusion partners. The methylation-based assignment of the remaining small blue round cell tumors not otherwise specified also could be verified by entity-specific molecular alterations in 13/16 cases. In conclusion, array-based DNA-methylation analysis of undifferentiated tumors with small blue round cell histology is a powerful tool for precisely classifying this diagnostically challenging tumor group.
Project description:Bone sarcomas are a collection of sporadic malignancies of mesenchymal origin. The most common subtypes include osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and chordoma. Despite the use of aggressive treatment protocols consisting of extensive surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, outcomes have not significantly improved over the past few decades for osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma patients. In addition, chondrosarcoma and chordoma are resistant to both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. There is, therefore, an urgent need to elucidate which novel new therapies may affect bone sarcomas. Emerging checkpoint inhibitors have generated considerable attention for their clinical success in a variety of human cancers, which has led to works assessing their potential in bone sarcoma management. Here, we review the recent advances of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 and anti-CTLA-4 blockade as well as other promising new immune checkpoint targets for their use in bone sarcoma therapy.
Project description:Bone sarcomas include a very large number of tumour subtypes, which originate form bone and more particularly from mesenchymal stem cell lineage. Osteosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma and chondrosarcoma, the three main bone sarcoma entities develop in a favourable microenvironment composed by bone cells, blood vessels, immune cells, based on the 'seed and soil theory'. Current therapy associates surgery and chemotherapy, however, bone sarcomas remain diseases with high morbidity and mortality especially in children and adolescents. In the past decade, various new therapeutic approaches emerged and target the tumour niche or/and directly the tumour cells by acting on signalling/metabolic pathways involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis or drug resistance. The present review gives a brief overview from basic to clinical assessment of the main targeted therapies of bone sarcoma cells.
Project description:The molecular genetic changes that have been described in sarcomas over the past era have aided our understanding of their pathogenesis. The majority of sarcomas carry nonspecific genetic changes within a background of a complex karyotype. These constitute the challenges in sarcoma research for unraveling a putative multistep genetic model, such as for chondrosarcoma, and finding targets for therapeutic strategies. Approximately 15-20% of mesenchymal tumors carry a specific translocation within a relatively simple karyotype. The resulting fusion products act either as transcription factors upregulating genes responsible for tumor growth, as for instance in Ewing sarcoma, or translocate a highly active promoter in front of an oncogene driving tumor formation, as for instance in aneurysmal bone cyst. In addition, a small subset of mesenchymal tumors have specific somatic mutations driving oncogenesis. The specific genetic changes unraveled so far had great impact on the classification of bone and soft tissue tumors. In addition, these changes can assist the pathologist in the differential diagnosis of some of these entities, especially within the groups of small blue round cell tumors and spindle cell tumors, if performed in specialized centers. While a putative association between certain fusion products and outcome is still under debate, the role of predicting response of targeted therapy has been well established for KIT and PDGFRA mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Project description:Primary malignant bone tumours, osteosarcomas, and Ewing sarcomas are rare diseases which occur mainly in adolescents and young adults. With the current therapies, some patients remain very difficult to treat, such as tumour with poor histological response to preoperative CT (or large initial tumour volume for Ewing sarcomas not operated), patients with multiple metastases at or those who relapsed. In order to develop new therapies against these rare tumours, we need to unveil the key driving factors and molecular abnormalities behind the malignant characteristics and to broaden our understanding of the phenomena sustaining the metastatic phenotype and treatment resistance in these tumours. In this paper, starting with the biology of these tumours, we will discuss potential therapeutic targets aimed at increasing local tumour control, limiting metastatic spread, and finally improving patient survival.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Radiotherapy decreases cancer mortality, but is associated with an increased incidence of second primary cancers, including osteosarcomas, especially after exposure in childhood. It remains uncertain whether radiation is related to other histologic types of bone sarcomas such as chondrosarcomas that are more common in adulthood. METHODS:Using data from 1973 to 2008 Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results registries, we evaluated long-term risk of bone cancer in 1,284,537 adult 5-year cancer survivors. We used standardized incidence ratios (SIR) to compare second bone sarcoma rates to the general population for each histologic type. We also used multivariate Poisson regression to estimate the relative risk (RR) associated with radiotherapy for the most common subtypes, osteosarcoma and chondrosarcoma. RESULTS:By the end of 2008, 159 second bone sarcomas were reported. Compared with the general population, the risk of developing any bone sarcoma was increased by 25% in patients with no history of radiotherapy [Observed (O) = 89, SIR = 1.25 (1.00-1.54)] and by 257% in patients with a history of radiotherapy [O = 70, SIR = 3.57 (2.78-4.50)]. For each histologic subtype, SIRs were higher among patients who had previously received radiotherapy than among those who had not. The RR for radiotherapy for osteosarcoma (n = 63) was 5.08 (3.05-8.59) and for chondrosarcoma (n = 69) was 1.54 (0.88-2.59), and these risks were even greater for second sarcomas that arose in the radiotherapy field used to treat the first cancer [osteosarcoma, RR = 10.35 (4.96-23.66); chondrosarcoma RR = 8.21 (2.09-39.89)]. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings provide the first evidence of a likely association between radiation exposure and chondrosarcoma. IMPACT:These results further our understanding of radiotherapy-related cancer risks and will potentially direct practices in long-term surveillance of cancer survivors.
Project description:Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog signaling pathway has been linked to the formation of numerous cancer types, including the myogenic soft tissue sarcoma, embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (eRMS). Here, we report PCG2, a novel mouse model in which human GLI2A, a constitutive activator of Hedgehog signaling, induced undifferentiated sarcomas that were phenotypically divergent from eRMS. Rather, sarcomas arising in PCG2 mice featured some characteristics that were reminiscent of Ewing sarcoma. Even though it is widely understood that Ewing sarcoma formation is driven by EWS-ETS gene fusions, a genetically defined mouse model is not well-established. While EWS-ETS gene fusions were not present in PCG2 sarcomas, precluding their designation as Ewing sarcoma, we did find that GLI2A induced expression of known EWS-ETS gene targets essential to Ewing pathogenesis, most notably, Nkx2.2. Moreover, we found that naïve mesenchymal progenitors originate tumors in PCG2 mice. Altogether, our work provides a novel genetic mouse model, which directly connects oncogenic Hedgehog activity to the etiology of undifferentiated soft tissue sarcomas for the first time. IMPLICATIONS: The finding that activation of Gli2 transcription factor is sufficient to induce Ewing-like sarcomas provides a direct transformative role of the Hedgehog signaling pathway in undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma.
Project description:The pediatric bone sarcomas osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma represent a tremendous challenge for the clinician. Though less common than acute lymphoblastic leukemia or brain tumors, these aggressive cancers account for a disproportionate amount of the cancer morbidity and mortality in children, and have seen few advances in survival in the past decade, despite many large, complicated, and expensive trials of various chemotherapy combinations. To improve the outcomes of children with bone sarcomas, a better understanding of the biology of these cancers is needed, together with informed use of targeted therapies that exploit the unique biology of each disease. Here we summarize the current state of knowledge regarding the contribution of receptor tyrosine kinases, intracellular signaling pathways, bone biology and physiology, the immune system, and the tumor microenvironment in promoting and maintaining the malignant phenotype. These observations are coupled with a review of the therapies that target each of these mechanisms, focusing on recent or ongoing clinical trials if such information is available. It is our hope that, by better understanding the biology of osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, rational combination therapies can be designed and systematically tested, leading to improved outcomes for a group of children who desperately need them.