5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Profiles Are Prognostic of Outcome in Neuroblastoma and Reveal Transcriptional Networks That Correlate With Tumor Phenotype.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:Whole-genome profiles of the epigenetic modification 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) are robust diagnostic biomarkers in adult patients with cancer. We investigated if 5-hmC profiles would serve as novel prognostic markers in neuroblastoma, a clinically heterogeneous pediatric cancer. Because this DNA modification facilitates active gene expression, we hypothesized that 5-hmC profiles would identify transcriptomic networks driving the clinical behavior of neuroblastoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS:Nano-hmC-Seal sequencing was performed on DNA from Discovery (n = 51), Validation (n = 38), and Children's Oncology Group (n = 20) cohorts of neuroblastoma tumors. RNA was isolated from 48 tumors for RNA sequencing. Genes with differential 5-hmC or expression between clusters were identified using DESeq2. A 5-hmC model predicting outcome in high-risk patients was established using linear discriminant analysis. RESULTS:Comparison of low- versus high-risk tumors in the Discovery cohort revealed 577 genes with differential 5-hmC. Hierarchical clustering of tumors from the Discovery and Validation cohorts using these genes identified two main clusters highly associated with established prognostic markers, clinical risk group, and outcome. Genes with increased 5-hmC and expression in the favorable cluster were enriched for pathways of neuronal differentiation and KRAS activation, whereas genes involved in inflammation and the PRC2 complex were identified in the unfavorable cluster. The linear discriminant analysis model trained on high-risk Discovery cohort tumors was prognostic of outcome when applied to high-risk tumors from the Validation and Children's Oncology Group cohorts (hazard ratio, 3.8). CONCLUSION:5-hmC profiles may be optimal DNA-based biomarkers in neuroblastoma. Analysis of transcriptional networks regulated by these epigenomic modifications may lead to a deeper understanding of drivers of neuroblastoma phenotype.
Project description:PURPOSE:5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is an epigenetic marker of open chromatin and active gene expression. We profiled 5-hmC with Nano-hmC-Seal technology using 10 ng of plasma-derived cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in blood samples from patients with neuroblastoma to determine its utility as a biomarker. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:For the Discovery cohort, 100 5-hmC profiles were generated from 34 well children and 32 patients (27 high-risk, 2 intermediate-risk, and 3 low-risk) at various time points during the course of their disease. An independent Validation cohort encompassed 5-hmC cfDNA profiles (n = 29) generated from 21 patients (20 high-risk and 1 intermediate-risk). Metastatic burden was classified as high, moderate, low, or none per Curie metaiodobenzylguanidine scores and percentage of tumor cells in bone marrow. Genes with differential 5-hmC levels between samples according to metastatic burden were identified using DESeq2. RESULTS:Hierarchical clustering using 5-hmC levels of 347 genes identified from the Discovery cohort defined four clusters of samples that were confirmed in the Validation cohort and corresponded to high, high-moderate, moderate, and low/no metastatic burden. Samples from patients with increased metastatic burden had increased 5-hmC deposition on genes in neuronal stem cell maintenance and epigenetic regulatory pathways. Further, 5-hmC cfDNA profiles generated with 1,242 neuronal pathway genes were associated with subsequent relapse in the cluster of patients with predominantly low or no metastatic burden (sensitivity 65%, specificity 75.6%). CONCLUSIONS:cfDNA 5-hmC profiles in children with neuroblastoma correlate with metastatic burden and warrants development as a biomarker of treatment response and outcome.
Project description:Neuroblastoma, a pediatric tumor of the sympathetic nervous system, is predominantly driven by copy number aberrations, which predict survival outcome in global neuroblastoma cohorts and in low-risk cases. For high-risk patients there is still a need for better prognostic biomarkers. Via an international collaboration, we collected copy number profiles of 556 high-risk neuroblastomas generated on different array platforms. This manuscript describes the composition of the dataset, the methods used to process the data, including segmentation and aberration calling, and data validation. t-SNE analysis shows that samples cluster according to MYCN status, and shows a difference between array platforms. 97.3% of samples are characterized by the presence of segmental aberrations, in regions frequently affected in neuroblastoma. Focal aberrations affect genes known to be involved in neuroblastoma, such as ALK and LIN28B. To conclude, we compiled a unique large copy number dataset of high-risk neuroblastoma tumors, available via R2 and a Shiny web application. The availability of patient survival data allows to further investigate the prognostic value of copy number aberrations.
Project description:Accurate outcome prediction in neuroblastoma, which is necessary to enable the optimal choice of risk-related therapy, remains a challenge. To improve neuroblastoma patient stratification, this study aimed to identify prognostic tumor DNA methylation biomarkers.To identify genes silenced by promoter methylation, we first applied two independent genome-wide methylation screening methodologies to eight neuroblastoma cell lines. Specifically, we used re-expression profiling upon 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC) treatment and massively parallel sequencing after capturing with a methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD-seq). Putative methylation markers were selected from DAC-upregulated genes through a literature search and an upfront methylation-specific PCR on 20 primary neuroblastoma tumors, as well as through MBD- seq in combination with publicly available neuroblastoma tumor gene expression data. This yielded 43 candidate biomarkers that were subsequently tested by high-throughput methylation-specific PCR on an independent cohort of 89 primary neuroblastoma tumors that had been selected for risk classification and survival. Based on this analysis, methylation of KRT19, FAS, PRPH, CNR1, QPCT, HIST1H3C, ACSS3 and GRB10 was found to be associated with at least one of the classical risk factors, namely age, stage or MYCN status. Importantly, HIST1H3C and GNAS methylation was associated with overall and/or event-free survival.This study combines two genome-wide methylation discovery methodologies and is the most extensive validation study in neuroblastoma performed thus far. We identified several novel prognostic DNA methylation markers and provide a basis for the development of a DNA methylation-based prognostic classifier in neuroblastoma.
Project description:The prognosis of children with metastatic stage 4 neuroblastoma (NB) has remained poor in the past decade. Using microarray analyses of 342 primary tumors, we here developed and validated an easy to use gene expression-based risk score including 18 genes, which can robustly predict the outcome of stage 4 patients. This classifier was a significant predictor of overall survival in two independent validation cohorts (cohort 1 (n=214): P=6.3x10-5; cohort 2 (n=27): P=3.1x10-2). The prognostic value of the risk score was validated by multivariate analysis including the established markers age and MYCN status (P=0.027). In the pooled validation cohorts (n=241), integration of the risk score with the age and/or MYCN status identified subgroups with significantly differing overall survival (ranging from 35% to 100%). Together, the 18-gene risk score classifier can identify patients with stage 4 NB with favorable outcome and may therefore improve risk assessment and treatment stratification of NB patients with disseminated disease. We analyzed expression profiling arrays of 27 Tumor samples from stage 4 neuroblastoma patients.
Project description:The prognosis of children with metastatic stage 4 neuroblastoma (NB) has remained poor in the past decade. Using microarray analyses of 342 primary tumors, we here developed and validated an easy to use gene expression-based risk score including 18 genes, which can robustly predict the outcome of stage 4 patients. This classifier was a significant predictor of overall survival in two independent validation cohorts (cohort 1 (n=214): P=6.3x10-5; cohort 2 (n=27): P=3.1x10-2). The prognostic value of the risk score was validated by multivariate analysis including the established markers age and MYCN status (P=0.027). In the pooled validation cohorts (n=241), integration of the risk score with the age and/or MYCN status identified subgroups with significantly differing overall survival (ranging from 35% to 100%). Together, the 18-gene risk score classifier can identify patients with stage 4 NB with favorable outcome and may therefore improve risk assessment and treatment stratification of NB patients with disseminated disease. Overall design: We analyzed expression profiling arrays of 27 Tumor samples from stage 4 neuroblastoma patients.
Project description:Revised risk estimation and treatment stratification of low- and intermediate-risk neuroblastoma patients by integrating clinical and molecular prognostic markers. To optimize neuroblastoma treatment stratification, we aimed at developing a novel risk estimation system by integrating gene expression-based classification and established prognostic markers. Gene expression profiles were generated from 709 neuroblastoma specimens using customized 4x44K microarrays. Classification models were built using 75 tumors with contrasting courses of disease. Validation was performed in an independent test set (n=634) by Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox regression analyses. Combination of gene expression-based classification and established prognostic markers improves risk estimation of LR/IR neuroblastoma patients. We propose to implement our revised treatment stratification system in a prospective clinical trial.
Project description:Previous studies suggested that cancer cells possess traits reminiscent of the biological mechanisms ascribed to normal embryonic stem cells (ESCs) regulated by MYC and Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). Several poorly differentiated adult tumors showed preferentially high expression levels in targets of MYC, coincident with low expression levels in targets of PRC2. This paper will reveal this ESC-like cancer signature in high-risk neuroblastoma (HR-NB), the most common extracranial solid tumor in children.We systematically assembled genomic variants, gene expression changes, priori knowledge of gene functions, and clinical outcomes to identify prognostic multigene signatures. First, we assigned a new, individualized prognostic index using the relative expressions between the poor- and good-outcome signature genes. We then characterized HR-NB aggressiveness beyond these prognostic multigene signatures through the imbalanced effects of MYC and PRC2 signaling. We further analyzed Retinoic acid (RA)-induced HR-NB cells to model tumor cell differentiation. Finally, we performed in vitro validation on ZFHX3, a cell differentiation marker silenced by PRC2, and compared cell morphology changes before and after blocking PRC2 in HR-NB cells.A significant concurrence existed between exons with verified variants and genes showing MYCN-dependent expression in HR-NB. From these biomarker candidates, we identified two novel prognostic gene-set pairs with multi-scale oncogenic defects. Intriguingly, MYC targets over-represented an unfavorable component of the identified prognostic signatures while PRC2 targets over-represented a favorable component. The cell cycle arrest and neuronal differentiation marker ZFHX3 was identified as one of PRC2-silenced tumor suppressor candidates. Blocking PRC2 reduced tumor cell growth and increased the mRNA expression levels of ZFHX3 in an early treatment stage. This hypothesis-driven systems bioinformatics work offered novel insights into the PRC2-mediated tumor cell growth and differentiation in neuroblastoma, which may exert oncogenic effects together with MYC regulation.Our results propose a prognostic effect of imbalanced MYC and PRC2 moderations in pediatric HR-NB for the first time. This study demonstrates an incorporation of genomic landscapes and transcriptomic profiles into the hypothesis-driven precision prognosis and biomarker discovery. The application of this approach to neuroblastoma, as well as other cancer more broadly, could contribute to reduced relapse and mortality rates in the long term.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Ion channels play a critical role in a wide variety of biological processes, including the development of human cancer. However, the overall impact of ion channels on tumorigenicity in breast cancer remains controversial. METHODS: We conduct microarray meta-analysis on 280 ion channel genes. We identify candidate ion channels that are implicated in breast cancer based on gene expression profiling. We test the relationship between the expression of ion channel genes and p53 mutation status, ER status, and histological tumor grade in the discovery cohort. A molecular signature consisting of ion channel genes (IC30) is identified by Spearman's rank correlation test conducted between tumor grade and gene expression. A risk scoring system is developed based on IC30. We test the prognostic power of IC30 in the discovery and seven validation cohorts by both Cox proportional hazard regression and log-rank test. RESULTS: 22, 24, and 30 ion channel genes are found to be differentially expressed with a change in p53 mutation status, ER status, and tumor histological grade in the discovery cohort. We assign the 30 tumor grade associated ion channel genes as the IC30 gene signature. We find that IC30 risk score predicts clinical outcome (P < 0.05) in the discovery cohort and 6 out of 7 validation cohorts. Multivariate and univariate tests conducted in two validation cohorts indicate that IC30 is a robust prognostic biomarker, which is independent of standard clinical and pathological prognostic factors including patient age, lymph node status, tumor size, tumor grade, estrogen and progesterone receptor status, and p53 mutation status. CONCLUSIONS: We identified a molecular gene signature IC30, which represents a promising diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in breast cancer. Our results indicate that information regarding the expression of ion channels in tumor pathology could provide new targets for therapy in human cancers.
Project description:Objective: The stratification of neuroblastoma (NBL) prognosis remains difficult. RNA-based signatures might be able to predict prognosis, but independent cross-platform validation is still rare. Methods: RNA-Seq-based profiles from NBL patients were acquired and then analyzed. The RNA-Seq prognostic index (RPI) and the clinically adjusted RPI (RCPI) were successively established in the training cohort (TARGET-NBL) and then verified in the validation cohort (GSE62564). Survival prediction was assessed using a time-dependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and area under the ROC curve (AUC). Functional enrichment analysis of the genes was conducted using bioinformatics methods. Results: In the training cohort, 10 gene pairs were eventually integrated into the RPI. In both cohorts, the high-risk group had poor overall survival (OS) (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively) and favorable event-free survival (EFS) (P = 0.00032 and P = 0.06, respectively). ROC curve analysis also showed that the RPI predicted OS (60 month AUC values of 0.718 and 0.593, respectively) and EFS (60 month AUC values of 0.627 and 0.852, respectively) well in both the training and validation cohorts. Clinicopathological indicators associated with prognosis in the univariate and multivariate regression analyses were identified and added to the RPI to form the RCPI. The RCPI was also used to divide populations into different risk groups, and the high-risk group had poor OS (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively) and EFS (P < 0.05 and P < 0.05, respectively). Finally, the RCPI had higher accuracy than the RPI for the prediction of OS (60 month AUC values of 0.730 and 0.852, respectively) and EFS (60 month AUC values of 0.663 and 0.763, respectively) in both the training and validation cohorts. Moreover, these differentially expressed genes may be involved in certain NBL-related events. Conclusions: The RCPI could reliably categorize NBL patients based on different risks of death.
Project description:Genomic aberrations of neuroblastoma occurring in late childhood and adolescence are still understudied. Publicly available DNA copy number profiles of 556 tumors (discovery set) and of 208 tumors obtained by array-CGH assay (validation set) were used to test if 19p loss is significantly over-represented in children and adolescents with neuroblastoma. The 19p loss occurrence was separately tested within different age groups in the discovery and validation set and the resulting P values were combined by meta-analysis and corrected by Bonferroni's method. In both sets, 19p loss was associated with older age at diagnosis. Particularly, the lowest age group significantly associated with 19p loss (discovery set: 20%; validation set: 35%) was 6 years. The 19p loss correlated with inferior overall survival in patients over 6 years of age. Relevant tumor suppressor genes (KEAP1, DNM2, SMARCA4, SLC44A2 and CDKN2D) and microRNAs (miR-181c, miR-27a, and mirR-199a-1) are located in the genomic region involved in 19p loss. Downregulation of DNM2, SLC44A2 and CDKN2D was associated with poor patient outcome and older age. Among the recurrent NB chromosomal aberrations, only 1q gain was enriched in patients older than 6, and its presence was mutually exclusive with respect to 19p loss. Our data demonstrate that 19p loss is a genomic biomarker of NB diagnosed in older children that can predict clinical outcome.