Project description:Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCLs) are a heterogeneous group of malignancies with courses ranging from indolent to potentially lethal. We recently studied in a 157 patient cohort gene expression profiles generated by the TruSeq targeted RNA gene expression sequencing. We observed that the sequencing library quality and depth from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) skin samples were significantly lower when biopsies were obtained prior to 2009. We also observed that the fresh CTCL samples clustered together, even though they included stage I-IV disease. In this study, we compared TruSeq gene expression patterns in older (?2008) vs. more recent (?2009) FFPE samples to determine whether these clustering analyses and earlier described differentially expressed gene findings are robust when analyzed based on the year of biopsy. We also explored biases found in FFPE samples when subjected to the TruSeq analysis of gene expression. Our results showed that ?2008 and ?2009 samples clustered equally well to the full data set and, importantly, both analyses produced nearly identical trends and findings. Specifically, both analyses enriched nearly identical DEGs when comparing benign vs. (1) stage I-IV and (2) stage IV (alone) CTCL samples. Results obtained using either ?2008 or ?2009 samples were strongly correlated. Furthermore, by using subgroup analyses, we were able to identify additional novel differentially expressed genes (DEGs), which did not reach statistical significance in the prior full data set analysis. Those included CTCL-upregulated BCL11A, SELL, IRF1, SMAD1, CASP1, BIRC5, and MAX and CTCL-downregulated MDM4, SERPINB3, and THBS4 genes. With respect to sample biases, no matter if we performed subgroup analyses or full data set analysis, fresh samples tightly clustered together. While principal component analysis revealed that fresh samples were spatially closer together, indicating some preprocessing batch effect, they remained in the proximity to other normal/benign and FFPE CTCL samples and were not clustering as outliers by themselves. Notably, this did not affect the determination of DEGs when analyzing ?2009 samples (fresh and FFPE biopsies) vs. ?2009 FFPE samples alone.
Project description:Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphomas (CTCL) are rare, but potentially devastating malignancies, whose pathogenesis remains poorly elucidated. Unfortunately, currently it is not possible to predict based on the available criteria in which patients the cancer will progress and which patients will experience an indolent disease course. Furthermore, at early stages this malignancy often masquerades as psoriasis, chronic eczema or other benign inflammatory dermatoses. As a result, it takes on average 6 y to diagnose this lymphoma since its initial presentation. In this study, we performed transcription expression profiling using TruSeq targeted RNA gene expression on 181 fresh and formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) skin samples from CTCL patients and patients affected by benign inflammatory dermatoses that often mimic CTCL clinically and on histology (e.g., psoriasis, chronic eczema, etc.) We also analyzed multiple longitudinal biopsies that were obtained from the same patients over time. Our results underscore significant molecular heterogeneity with respect to gene expression between different patients and even within the same patients over time. Our study also confirmed TOX, FYB, LEF1, CCR4, ITK, EED, POU2AF, IL26, STAT5, BLK, GTSF1 and PSORS1C2 genes as being differentially expressed between CTCL and benign skin biopsies. In addition, we found that differential expression for a subset of these markers (e.g., TOX, FYB, GTSF1 and CCR4) may be useful in prognosticating this disease. This research, combined with other molecular analyses, prepares the foundation for the development of personalized molecular approach toward diagnosis and management of CTCL.
Project description:Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a heterogeneous non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that may variably involve the skin, lymph nodes, and peripheral blood. Malignant burden ranges from cutaneous patches and plaques with little evidence of blood involvement to erythroderma often in association with frank leukemia, as in Sézary syndrome. Toward a better understanding of the pathogenesis of this CD4+ T-cell malignancy, we conducted a high-resolution genomic analysis combining DNA (23 samples) and mRNA (12 samples) data of peripheral blood isolates from CTCL patients across a spectrum of stages. Strikingly, even patients with limited involvement, e.g., normal CD4 counts, contained significant copy-number alterations. Defining genomic characteristics of CTCL blood involvement included gains on 8q and 17q, and deletions on 17p and chromosome 10. A consensus analysis of 108 leukemic CTCL samples demonstrated global similarities among patients with varied blood involvement, narrowing 38 of 62 loci. Toward an annotated framework for in vitro testing, we also characterized genomic alterations in five CTCL cell lines (HH, HUT78, PNO, SeAx, and Sez4), revealing intact core features of leukemic CTCL. Together, these studies produce the most comprehensive view of the leukemic CTCL genome to date, with implications for pathogenesis, molecular classification, and potential future therapeutic developments.
Project description:PURPOSE:The heterogeneity of tumor cells presents a major challenge to cancer diagnosis and therapy. Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL) are a group of T lymphocyte malignancies that primarily affect skin. Lack of highly specific markers for malignant lymphocytes prevents early diagnosis, while only limited treatment options are available for patients with advanced stage CTCL. Droplet-based single-cell transcriptome analysis of CTCL skin biopsies opens avenues for dissecting patient-specific T lymphocyte heterogeneity, providing a basis for identifying specific markers for diagnosis and cure of CTCL. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Single-cell RNA-sequencing was performed by Droplet-based sequencing (10X Genomics), focusing on 14,056 CD3+ lymphocytes (448 cells from normal and 13,608 cells from CTCL skin samples) from skin biopsies of 5 patients with advanced-stage CTCL and 4 healthy donors. Protein expression of identified genes was validated in advanced stage CTCL skin tumors by immunohistochemistry and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. RESULTS:Our analysis revealed a large inter- and intratumor gene expression heterogeneity in the T lymphocyte subset, as well as a common gene expression signature in highly proliferating lymphocytes that was validated in multiple advanced-stage skin tumors. In addition, we established the immunologic state of reactive lymphocytes and found heterogeneity in effector and exhaustion programs across patient samples. CONCLUSIONS:Single-cell analysis of CTCL skin tumor samples reveals patient-specific landscapes of malignant and reactive lymphocytes within the local microenvironment of each tumor, giving an unprecedented view of lymphocyte heterogeneity and identifying tumor-specific molecular signatures, with important implications for diagnosis and personalized disease treatment.
Project description:CTCL follows different courses depending on the clinical stage at the time of diagnosis. Patients with early stage Mycosis Fungoides (MF) variant of CTCL may experience an indolent course over decades, whereas patients with advanced MF and Sézary Syndrome (SS) disease at diagnosis, often succumb within 5 years. Even within early stage CTCL/MF, a minority of patients will progress to more advanced stages. We recently generated RNA sequencing data on 284 CTCL-relevant genes for 157 patients and identified differentially expressed genes across stages I-IV. In this study, we aim to validate robust molecular markers linked to disease progression and survival. We performed multiple hypothesis testing-corrected analysis of variance (ANOVA) on the expression of individual genes across all CTCL samples and early stage (≤IIA) CTCL/MF patients. We used in silico immune cell-type deconvolution from gene expression data to estimate immune cell populations. Based on the analysis of all CTCL samples, we identified TOX, FYB, and CD52 as predictors of disease progression and poor survival. Among early stage (≤IIA) CTCL/MF patients, these 3 genes, along with CCR4, were valuable to predict disease progression. We validated these 4 genes in 3 independent, external Sézary Syndrome patient cohorts with RNA-Sequencing data. In silico immune cell-type deconvolution revealed that neutrophil infiltration in early stage MF conveyed a higher risk for disease progression. Also, NK cell infiltration in late stage MF/SS correlated with improved survival. TOX, FYB, CCR4 and CD52 are robust disease progression and decreased survival biomarkers in CTCL.
Project description:Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCLs) are the most frequent primary skin lymphomas. Nevertheless, diagnosis of early disease has proven difficult because of a clinical and histologic resemblance to benign inflammatory skin diseases. To address whether microRNA (miRNA) profiling can discriminate CTCL from benign inflammation, we studied miRNA expression levels in 198 patients with CTCL, peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTL), and benign skin diseases (psoriasis and dermatitis). Using microarrays, we show that the most induced (miR-326, miR-663b, and miR-711) and repressed (miR-203 and miR-205) miRNAs distinguish CTCL from benign skin diseases with > 90% accuracy in a training set of 90 samples and a test set of 58 blinded samples. These miRNAs also distinguish malignant and benign lesions in an independent set of 50 patients with PTL and skin inflammation and in experimental human xenograft mouse models of psoriasis and CTCL. Quantitative (q)RT-PCR analysis of 103 patients with CTCL and benign skin disorders validates differential expression of 4 of the 5 miRNAs and confirms previous reports on miR-155 in CTCL. A qRT-PCR-based classifier consisting of miR-155, miR-203, and miR-205 distinguishes CTCL from benign disorders with high specificity and sensitivity, and with a classification accuracy of 95%, indicating that miRNAs have a high diagnostic potential in CTCL.
Project description:Mast cells (MC) are bone marrow derived haematopoetic cells playing a crucial role not only in immune response but also in the tumor microenvironment with protumorigenic and antitumorigenic functions. The role of MC in primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL), a heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin lymphomas with initial presentation in the skin, is largely unknown.To gain more accurate information about presence, number, distribution and state of activation (degranulated vs. non-degranulated) of MC in CTCL variants and clinical stages.We established a novel computer-aided tissue analysis method on digitized skin sections. Immunohistochemistry with an anti-MC tryptase antibody was performed on 34 biopsies of different CTCL subtypes and on control skin samples. An algorithm for the automatic detection of the epidermis and of cell density based CTCL areas was developed. Cells were stratified as being within the CTCL infiltrate, in P1 (a surrounding area 0-30 ?m away from CTCL), or in P2 (30-60 ?m away from CTCL) area.We found high MC counts within CTCL infiltrates and P1 and a decreased MC number in the surrounding dermis P2. Higher MC numbers were found in MF compared to all other CTCL subgroups. Regarding different stages of MF, we found significantly higher mast cell counts in stages IA and IB than in stages IIA and IIB. Regarding MC densities, we found a higher density of MC in MF compared to all other CTCL subgroups. More MC were non-degranulated than degranulated.Here for the first time an automated method for MC analysis on tissue sections and its use in CTCL is described. Eliminating error from investigator bias, the method allows for precise cell identification and counting. Our results provide new insights on MC distribution in CTCL reappraising their role in the pathophysiology of CTCL.
Project description:Primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL) affect the skin and tend to transform and spread. CTCL involves primarily the Mycosis fungoides (MF) and more aggressive Sezary syndrome (SS). Oncogenic microRNAs (miRs) are stable epigenetic inhibitors often deregulated in the tumour and detectable as biomarkers in non-cellular fractions of peripheral blood. The tumour-specific expression of miR-155, miR-203, and miR-205 was shown to correctly diagnose CTCL. We herein asked whether these microRNAs can be used as plasma biomarkers for clinical CTCL monitoring. Patients with CTCL (n = 10) and controls with non-malignant conditions (n = 11) repeatedly donated plasma samples every ca. five months. MicroRNAs were detected in the plasma samples by specifically-primed RT-PCR followed by multivariate analyses of the miR expression dynamics. We herein established the plasma miR-classifier for detecting CTCL based on the miR-155 upregulation and miR-203/miR-205 downregulation with 100% specificity and 94% sensitivity. The 3-miR-score in the consecutive samples coincided with the clinical outcome of MF and SS patients such as the therapy response or changes in the clinical stage or tumor size. Quantitation of the selected microRNAs in plasma is a specific and straightforward approach for evaluating CTCL outcome representing, thus, a valuable tool for CTCL diagnostics and therapy response monitoring.
Project description:Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a potentially devastating malignancy. The pathogenesis of this cancer remains poorly elucidated. Previous studies focused on analysis of expression and function of known oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. However, emerging reports highlight that it is also important to analyze the expression of genes that are ectopically expressed in CTCL (e.g., embryonic stem cell genes (ESC), cancer testis (CT) genes, etc.). Currently, it is not known whether ESC genes are expressed in CTCL. In the current work, we analyze by RT-PCR the expression of 26 ESC genes, many of which are known to regulate pluripotency and promote cancer stem cell-like phenotype, in a historic cohort of 60 patients from Boston and in a panel of 11 patient-derived CTCL cell lines and compare such expression to benign inflammatory dermatoses that often clinically mimic CTCL. Our findings document that many critical ESC genes including NANOG, SOX2, OCT4 (POU5F1) and their upstream and downstream signaling members are expressed in CTCL. Similarly, polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) genes (i.e., EZH2, EED, and SUZ12) are also expressed in CTCL lesional skin. Furthermore, select ESC genes (OCT4, EED, TCF3, THAP11, CHD7, TIP60, TRIM28) are preferentially expressed in CTCL samples when compared to benign skin biopsies. Our work suggests that ESC genes are ectopically expressed together with CT genes, thymocyte development genes and B cell-specific genes and may be working in concert to promote tumorigenesis. Specifically, while ESC genes may be promoting cancer stem cell-like phenotype, CT genes may be contributing to aneuploidy and genomic instability by producing aberrant chromosomal translocations. Further analysis of ESC expression and function in this cancer will greatly enhance our fundamental understanding of CTCL and will help us identify novel therapeutic targets.