Project description:INTRODUCTION: The role of the cellular microenvironment in breast tumorigenesis has become an important research area. However, little is known about gene expression in histologically normal tissue adjacent to breast tumor, if this is influenced by the tumor, and how this compares with non-tumor-bearing breast tissue. METHODS: To address this, we have generated gene expression profiles of morphologically normal epithelial and stromal tissue, isolated using laser capture microdissection, from patients with breast cancer or undergoing breast reduction mammoplasty (n = 44). RESULTS: Based on this data, we determined that morphologically normal epithelium and stroma exhibited distinct expression profiles, but molecular signatures that distinguished breast reduction tissue from tumor-adjacent normal tissue were absent. Stroma isolated from morphologically normal ducts adjacent to tumor tissue contained two distinct expression profiles that correlated with stromal cellularity, and shared similarities with soft tissue tumors with favorable outcome. Adjacent normal epithelium and stroma from breast cancer patients showed no significant association between expression profiles and standard clinical characteristics, but did cluster ER/PR/HER2-negative breast cancers with basal-like subtype expression profiles with poor prognosis. CONCLUSION: Our data reveal that morphologically normal tissue adjacent to breast carcinomas has not undergone significant gene expression changes when compared to breast reduction tissue, and provide an important gene expression dataset for comparative studies of tumor expression profiles.
Project description:Overall survival of early-stage breast cancer patients is similar for those who undergo breast-conserving therapy (BCT) and mastectomy; however, 10% to 15% of women undergoing BCT suffer ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence. The risk of recurrence may vary with breast cancer subtype. Understanding the gene expression of the cancer-adjacent tissue and the stromal response to specific tumor subtypes is important for developing clinical strategies to reduce recurrence risk.We utilized two independent datasets to study gene expression data in cancer-adjacent tissue from invasive breast cancer patients. Complementary in vitro cocultures were used to study cell-cell communication between fibroblasts and specific breast cancer subtypes.Our results suggest that intrinsic tumor subtypes are reflected in histologically normal cancer-adjacent tissue. Gene expression of cancer-adjacent tissues shows that triple-negative (Claudin-low or basal-like) tumors exhibit increased expression of genes involved in inflammation and immune response. Although such changes could reflect distinct immune populations present in the microenvironment, altered immune response gene expression was also observed in cocultures in the absence of immune cell infiltrates, emphasizing that these inflammatory mediators are secreted by breast-specific cells. In addition, although triple-negative breast cancers are associated with upregulated immune response genes, luminal breast cancers are more commonly associated with estrogen-response pathways in adjacent tissues.Specific characteristics of breast cancers are reflected in the surrounding histologically normal tissue. This commonality between tumor and cancer-adjacent tissue may underlie second primaries and local recurrences.Biomarkers derived from cancer-adjacent tissue may be helpful in defining personalized surgical strategies or in predicting recurrence risk.
Project description:Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic silencers involved in maintaining cellular identity, and their deregulation can result in cancer. Expression of Mel-18 and Bmi-1 has been studied in tumor tissue, but not in adjacent non-cancerous breast epithelium. Our study compares the expression of the two genes in normal breast epithelium of cancer patients and relates it to the level of expression in the corresponding tumors as well as in breast epithelium of healthy women.A total of 79 tumors, of which 71 malignant tumors of the breast, 6 fibroadenomas, and 2 DCIS were studied and compared to the reduction mammoplastic specimens of 11 healthy women. In addition there was available adjacent cancer free tissue for 23 of the malignant tumors. The tissue samples were stored in RNAlater, RNA was isolated to create expression microarray profile. These two genes were then studied more closely first on mRNA transcription level by microarrays (Agilent 44 K) and quantitative RT-PCR (TaqMan) and then on protein expression level using immunohistochemistry.Bmi-1 mRNA is significantly up-regulated in adjacent normal breast tissue in breast cancer patients compared to normal breast tissue from noncancerous patients. Conversely, mRNA transcription level of Mel-18 is lower in normal breast from patients operated for breast cancer compared to breast tissue from mammoplasty. When protein expression of these two genes was evaluated, we observed that most of the epithelial cells were positive for Bmi-1 in both groups of tissue samples, although the expression intensity was stronger in normal tissue from cancer patients compared to mammoplasty tissue samples. Protein expression of Mel-18 showed inversely stronger intensity in tissue samples from mammoplasty compared to normal breast tissue from patients operated for breast cancer.Bmi-1 mRNA level is consistently increased and Mel-18 mRNA level is consistently decreased in adjacent normal breast tissue of cancer patients as compared to normal breast tissue in women having had reduction mammoplasties. Bmi-1/Mel-18 ratio can be potentially used as a tool for stratifying women at risk of developing malignancy.
Project description:Recurrence rates after breast-conserving therapy may depend on genomic characteristics of cancer-adjacent, benign-appearing tissue. Studies have not evaluated recurrence in association with multiple genomic characteristics of cancer-adjacent breast tissue. To estimate the prevalence of DNA defects and RNA expression subtypes in cancer-adjacent, benign-appearing breast tissue at least 2?cm from the tumor margin, cancer-adjacent, pathologically well-characterized, benign-appearing breast tissue specimens from The Cancer Genome Atlas project were analyzed for DNA sequence, copy-number variation, DNA methylation, messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence, and mRNA/microRNA expression. Additional samples were also analyzed by at least one of these genomic data types and associations between genomic characteristics of normal tissue and overall survival were assessed. Approximately 40% of cancer-adjacent, benign-appearing tissues harbored genomic defects in DNA copy number, sequence, methylation, or in RNA sequence, although these defects did not significantly predict 10-year overall survival. Two mRNA/microRNA expression phenotypes were observed, including an active mRNA subtype that was identified in 40% of samples. Controlling for tumor characteristics and the presence of genomic defects, this active subtype was associated with significantly worse 10-year survival among estrogen receptor (ER)-positive cases. This multi-platform analysis of breast cancer-adjacent samples produced genomic findings consistent with current surgical margin guidelines, and provides evidence that extratumoral RNA expression patterns in cancer-adjacent tissue predict overall survival among patients with ER-positive disease.
Project description:We hypothesized that cells present in normal tissue that bear cancer stem cell markers may represent a cancer cell of origin or a microenvironment primed for tumor development, and that their presence may correlate with the clinically defined subtypes of breast cancer that show increased tumorigenicity and stem cell features. methods: Normal tissues sampled at least 5 cm from primary tumors (normal adjacent tissue) were obtained from 61 chemotherapy-naive patients with breast cancer treated with mastectomy. Samples were stained simultaneously with immunofluorescence for CD44/CD49f/CD133/2 stem cell markers. We assessed the association between CD44+CD49f+CD133/2+ staining in normal adjacent tissue and breast cancer receptor subtype (defined by the expression of the estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR), or human epidermal growth factor-2 (Her2) receptors). We also examined the correlation between CD44+CD49f+CD133/2+ immunofluorescence and each of two previously published gene signatures, one derived from stem-cell enriched tissue and one from BRCA mutated tissue expected to have defective DNA repair.Patients with triple negative breast cancer (ER–/PR–/HER2–) expressed CD44+CD49f+CD133/2+ in 9 of 9 normal adjacent tissue samples compared with 7 of 52 ER+ and/or Her2+ tumors (P < 0.001). Further, expression of CD44+CD49f+CD133/2+ by normal adjacent tissue correlated positively with a stem cell-derived tumorigenic signature (P <0.001) and inversely with a defective DNA-repair signature (P <0.001).Normal cells bearing cancer stem cell markers are associated with the triple negative receptor subtype of breast cancer. This study suggests stem cell staining and gene expression signatures from normal breast tissues represent novel tissue-based risk biomarkers for triple negative breast cancer. Validation of these results in additional studies of normal tissue from cancer-free women could lay the foundation for future targeted triple negative breast cancer prevention strategies.
Project description:The development and progression of invasive breast cancer is characterized by alterations to the genome and epigenome. However, the relationship between breast tumor characteristics, disease subtypes, and patient outcomes with the cumulative burden of these molecular alterations are not well characterized. We determined the average departure of tumor DNA methylation from adjacent normal breast DNA methylation using Illumina 450K methylation data from 700 invasive breast tumors and 90 adjacent normal breast tissues in The Cancer Genome Atlas. From this we generated a novel summary measure of altered DNA methylation, the DNA methylation dysregulation index (MDI), and examined the relation of MDI with tumor characteristics and summary measures that quantify cumulative burden of genetic mutation and copy number alterations. Our analysis revealed that MDI was significantly associated with tumor stage (P = 0.017). Across invasive breast tumor subtypes we observed significant differences in genome-wide DNA MDIs (P = 4.9E-09) and in a fraction of the genome with copy number alterations (FGA) (P = 4.6E-03). Results from a linear regression adjusted for subject age, tumor stage, and estimated tumor purity indicated a positive significant association of MDI with both MCB and FGA (P = 0.036 and P < 2.2E-16). A recursively partitioned mixture model of all 3 somatic alteration burden measures resulted in classes of tumors whose epigenetic and genetic burden profile were associated with the PAM50 subtype and mutations in TP53, PIK3CA, and CDH1. Together, our work presents a novel framework for characterizing the epigenetic burden and adds to the understanding of the aggregate impact of epigenetic and genetic alterations in breast cancer.
Project description:In breast tumors, it is well established that intratumoral angiogenesis is crucial for malignant progression, but little is known about the vascular characteristics of extratumoral, cancer-adjacent breast. Genome-wide transcriptional data suggest that extratumoral microenvironments may influence breast cancer phenotypes; thus, histologic features of cancer-adjacent tissue may also have clinical implications. To this end, we developed a digital algorithm to quantitate vascular density in approximately 300 histologically benign tissue specimens from breast cancer patients enrolled in the UNC Normal Breast Study (NBS). Specimens were stained for CD31, and vascular content was compared to demographic variables, tissue composition metrics, and tumor molecular features. We observed that the vascular density of cancer-adjacent breast was significantly higher in older and obese women, and was strongly associated with breast adipose tissue content. Consistent with observations that older and heavier women experience higher frequencies of ER+ disease, higher extratumoral vessel density was also significantly associated with positive prognostic tumor features such as lower stage, negative nodal status, and smaller size (<2 cm). These results reveal biological relationships between extratumoral vascular content and body size, breast tissue composition, and tumor characteristics, and suggest biological plausibility for the relationship between weight gain (and corresponding breast tissue changes) and breast cancer progression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Breast carcinogenesis is a multistep process involving genetic and epigenetic changes. Tumor tissues are frequently characterized by gene-specific hypermethylation and global DNA hypomethylation. Aberrant DNA methylation levels have, however, not only been found in tumors, but also in tumor-surrounding tissue appearing histologically normal. This phenomenon is called field cancerization. Knowledge of the existence of a cancer field and its spread are of clinical relevance. If the tissue showing pre-neoplastic lesions is not removed by surgery, it may develop into invasive carcinoma. METHODS:We investigated the prevalence of gene-specific and global DNA methylation changes in tumor-adjacent and tumor-distant tissues in comparison to tumor tissues from the same breast cancer patients (n = 18) and normal breast tissues from healthy women (n = 4). Methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) analysis was applied to determine methylation levels in the promoters of APC, BRCA1, CDKN2A (p16), ESR1, HER2/neu and PTEN, in CDKN2A exon 2 and in LINE-1, as indicator for the global DNA methylation extent. The methylation status of the ESR2 promoter was determined by pyrosequencing. RESULTS:Tumor-adjacent and tumor-distant tissues frequently showed pre-neoplastic gene-specific and global DNA methylation changes. The APC promoter (p = 0.003) and exon 2 of CDKN2A (p < 0.001) were significantly higher methylated in tumors than in normal breast tissues from healthy women. For both regions, significant differences were also found between tumor and tumor-adjacent tissues (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively) and tumor and tumor-distant tissues (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively) from breast cancer patients. In addition, tumor-adjacent (p = 0.002) and tumor-distant tissues (p = 0.005) showed significantly higher methylation levels of CDKN2A exon 2 than normal breast tissues serving as control. Significant correlations were found between the proliferative activity and the methylation status of CDKN2A exon 2 in tumor (r = -0.485, p = 0.041) and tumor-distant tissues (r = -0.498, p = 0.036). CONCLUSIONS:From our results we can conclude that methylation changes in CDKN2A exon 2 are associated with breast carcinogenesis. Further investigations are, however, necessary to confirm that hypermethylation of CDKN2A exon 2 is associated with tumor proliferative activity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radon and its decay-products as Group-1-human-carcinogens, and with the current knowledge they are linked specifically to lung cancer. Biokinetic models predict that radon could deliver a carcinogenic dose to breast tissue. Our previous work suggested that low-dose radon was associated with estrogen-receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer risk. However, there is limited research to examine the role of radon in breast cancer biology at the tissue level. We aim to understand molecular pathways linking radon exposure with breast cancer biology using transcriptome-wide-gene-expression from breast tumor and normal-adjacent tissues. METHODS:Our study included 943 women diagnosed with breast cancer from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and NHSII. We estimated cumulative radon concentration for each participant up-to the year of breast cancer diagnosis by linking residential addresses with a radon exposure model. Transcriptome-wide-gene-expression was measured with the Affymetrix-Glue-Human-Transcriptome-Array-3.0 and Human-Transcriptome-Array-2.0. We performed covariate-adjusted linear-regression for individual genes and further employed pathway-analysis. All analyses were conducted separately for tumor and normal-adjacent samples and by ER-status. RESULTS:No individual gene was associated with cumulative radon exposure in ER-positive tumor, ER-negative tumor, or ER-negative normal-adjacent tissues at FDR?<?5%. In ER-positive normal-adjacent samples, PLCH2-reached transcriptome-wide-significance (FDR?<?5%). Gene-set-enrichment-analyses identified 2-upregulated pathways (MAPK signaling and phosphocholine biosynthesis) enriched at FDR?<?25% in ER-negative tumors and normal-adjacent tissues, and both pathways have been previously reported to play key roles in ionizing radiation induced tumorigenesis in experimental settings. CONCLUSION:Our findings provide insights into the molecular pathways of radon exposure that may influence breast cancer etiology.
Project description:IGFBP5 is an important regulatory protein in breast cancer progression. We tried to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between breast tumor tissues with IGFBP5 overexpression and their adjacent normal tissues. In this study, thirty-eight breast cancer and adjacent normal breast tissue samples were used to determine IGFBP5 expression by qPCR. cDNA microarrays were applied to the highest IGFBP5 overexpressed tumor samples compared to their adjacent normal breast tissue. Microarray analysis revealed that a total of 186 genes were differentially expressed in breast cancer compared with normal breast tissues. Of the 186 genes, 169 genes were downregulated and 17 genes were upregulated in the tumor samples. KEGG pathway analyses showed that protein digestion and absorption, focal adhesion, salivary secretion, drug metabolism-cytochrome P450, and phenylalanine metabolism pathways are involved. Among these DEGs, the prominent top two genes (MMP11 and COL1A1) which potentially correlated with IGFBP5 were selected for validation using real time RT-qPCR. Only COL1A1 expression showed a consistent upregulation with IGFBP5 expression and COL1A1 and MMP11 were significantly positively correlated. We concluded that the discovery of coordinately expressed genes related with IGFBP5 might contribute to understanding of the molecular mechanism of the function of IGFBP5 in breast cancer. Further functional studies on DEGs and association with IGFBP5 may identify novel biomarkers for clinical applications in breast cancer.