Oncology

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Afrogheh AH, Jakobiec FA, Hammon R, Grossniklaus HE, Rocco J, Lindeman NI, Sadow PM, Faquin WC. Evaluation for High-risk HPV in Squamous Cell Carcinomas and Precursor Lesions Arising in the Conjunctiva and Lacrimal Sac. Am J Surg Pathol 2016;40(4):519-28.Abstract

High-risk human papilloma virus (HR-HPV) is a well-established causative agent of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In addition, HR-HPV has occasionally been reported to be present in dysplastic and malignant lesions of the conjunctiva and lacrimal sac, although its overall incidence and etiological role in periocular SCC are controversial. Sequential surgical samples of 52 combined cases of invasive SCC (I-SCC) and SCC in situ (SCCIS) from 2 periocular sites (conjunctiva and lacrimal sac) diagnosed over a 14-year period (2000 to 2014) were selected for evaluation, and relevant patient characteristics were documented. p16 immunohistochemistry was performed as a screening test. All p16-positive cases were further evaluated for HR-HPV using DNA in situ hybridization (DNA ISH), and a subset was also analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Of 43 ocular surface squamous neoplasias (OSSNs), 30% (n=13; 8 SCCIS and 5 I-SCC cases) were positive for HR-HPV. HPV-positive OSSNs occurred in 8 men and 5 women with a mean age of 60 years (range, 39 to 94 y). HPV type-16 was detected in all conjunctival cases evaluated by PCR. All 5 conjunctival I-SCCs were nonkeratinizing (n=4) or partially keratinizing (n=1) and managed by simple excision. In contrast, HPV-negative conjunctival I-SCCs were predominantly keratinizing (11 keratinizing and 2 nonkeratinizing). Of 9 lacrimal sac I-SCCs (LSSCCs), 66.7% (n=6) were positive for HR-HPV by p16 and DNA ISH; HPV subtypes were HPV-16 (n=5) and HPV-58 (n=1). In addition, 2 p16-positive cases with negative DNA ISH results were HR-HPV positive (HPV-16 and HPV-33) when evaluated by PCR, suggesting that the rate of HR-HPV positivity among the LSSCCs may be as high as 89% (n=8). The combined group of HR-HPV-positive LSSCCs was seen in 4 men and 4 women with a mean age of 60 years (range, 34 to 71 y). Seven of the 8 HPV-positive LSSCCs (87.5%) had a nonkeratinizing or partially keratinizing histomorphology, whereas 1 case (12.5%) was predominantly keratinizing. The presence of HR-HPV in 30% of OSSNs and at least 66.7% of LSSCCs suggests the possibility of an etiologic role for HR-HPV at these sites.

Aggarwal S, Jakobiec FA, Hamrah P. Bilateral adult epibulbar xanthogranulomas suspicious for Erdheim-Chester disease. Cornea 2014;33(10):1113-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to report the clinical, imaging, and histopathological findings of bilateral, conjunctival adult-onset xanthogranulomas that raised the prospect of a mild form of Erdheim-Chester disease. METHODS: This is a case report. RESULTS: A 35-year-old white male complaining of ocular irritation, presented with bilateral, nasal and temporal, yellow, elevated conjunctival lumps first noticed 1.5 years back, which were not associated with other ocular findings. The lesions were firm, attached to the underlying episclera, and measured 1.1 × 0.9, 1.1 × 0.8, 1.2 × 0.5, and 0.5 × 0.5 cm in the temporal and nasal right and left eyes, respectively. Each mass was fleshy with vascularity at the peripheral margin. Histopathologic evaluation after excisional biopsy revealed lipidized xanthoma cells, multiple Touton giant cells, and lymphocytes. Immunohistochemical staining was positive for adipophilin (lipid), CD68, CD163 histiocytes, CD3 T cells (with CD8 cytotoxic T cells > CD4 T-helper cells), and virtually no CD20 B cells or IgG4 plasma cells. The patient later acquired similar xanthogranulomatous subcutaneous lesions on the extremities. Positron emission tomography scans showed sclerosis in the medullary cavities of the tibia and the radius of both legs and arms, and an absence of retroperitoneal lesions. A normal serum immunoelectrophoresis and the absence of a BRAF gene mutation were demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Adult-onset xanthogranuloma can present as a solitary conjunctival mass without periocular or orbital involvement. The clinical, histopathologic, and radiologic findings in this case are suggestive of Erdheim-Chester disease without displaying any life-threatening lesions to date. Histopathologic and imaging studies can help in obtaining a diagnosis. Ophthalmologists should be aware that xanthogranulomatous conditions may have potential systemic implications, and a thorough systemic evaluation is recommended for lesions that initially seemed to be isolated in nature.

Ahmed AH, Foster SC, Shields CL. Association of Disease Location and Treatment With Survival in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma of the Eye and Ocular Adnexal Region. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017;135(10):1062-1068.Abstract
Importance: Primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the ocular region is rare, and the utility of surgery and radiation therapy remains unresolved. Objective: To explore the clinical characteristics and determine factors associated with overall survival in primary vitreoretinal lymphoma (PVRL) and ocular adnexal (OA)-uveal DLBCL. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective analysis included 396 patients with ophthalmic DLBCL from January 1, 1973, through December 31, 2014, using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. The median follow-up was 39.0 months (interquartile range, 5.1-72.9 months). All patients diagnosed with primary DLBCL of the eye or retina (PVRL) or the eyelid, conjunctiva, choroid, ciliary body, lacrimal gland, or orbit (OA-uveal lymphoma) were included. Patients diagnosed at autopsy or with additional neoplastic disease were excluded. Main Outcomes and Measures: Patient demographic characteristics, disease location, treatment modalities, and overall survival. Results: Forty-seven patients with PVRL (24 women [51.1%] and 23 men [48.9%]) and 349 with OA-uveal DLBCL (192 women [55.0%] and 157 men [45.0%]) had a similar mean (SD) age at diagnosis (69.6 [12.3] vs 66.1 [17.7] years). No difference in the use of surgery or radiation therapy by location was found. For all PVRL and OA-uveal DLBCL, a Cox proportional hazards regression model affirmed that age older than 60 years was associated with increased risk for death (hazard ratio [HR], 2.7; 95% CI, 1.9-4.0; P < .001). Gross total resection was associated with a decreased risk for death (HR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3-0.9; P = .04), whereas radiation therapy was not. The 5-year overall survival among patients with PVRL was 41.4% (SE, 8.6%); among those with OA-uveal DLBCL, 59.1% (SE, 2.8%; Mantel-Cox test, P = .007). Median overall survival was lower in PVRL (38.0 months; 95% CI, 14.2-61.8 months) than in OA-uveal DLBCL (96.0 months; 95% CI, 67.3-124.7 months; Mantel-Cox test, P = .007). In addition, median overall survival in ophthalmic-only disease was higher (84.0 months; 95% CI, 63.2-104.8 months) than that in primary DLBCL that occurred outside the central nervous system and ophthalmic regions (46.0 months; 95% CI, 44.4-47.6 months; Mantel-Cox test, P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: The 5-year survival in PVRL vs OA-uveal DLBCL differed by 17.7%, and overall survival was greater in ophthalmic DLBCL than in DLBCL located outside the central nervous system and ophthalmic regions. Younger age (≤60 years) and gross total resection were associated with increased survival.
Al-Moujahed A, Nicolaou F, Brodowska K, Papakostas TD, Marmalidou A, Ksander BR, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. Uveal melanoma cell growth is inhibited by aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) partially through activation of AMP-dependent kinase. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(7):4175-85.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effects and mechanism of aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR), an AMP-dependent kinase (AMPK) activator, on the growth of uveal melanoma cell lines. METHODS: Four different cell lines were treated with AICAR (1-4 mM). Cell growth was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) assay. Cell cycle analysis was conducted by flow cytometry; additionally, expression of cell-cycle control proteins, cell growth transcription factors, and downstream effectors of AMPK were determined by RT-PCR and Western blot. RESULTS: Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide inhibited cell growth, induced S-phase arrest, and led to AMPK activation. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide treatment was associated with inhibition of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-BP1 phosphorylation, a marker of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway activity. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide treatment was also associated with downregulation of cyclins A and D, but had minimal effects on the phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 or levels of the macroautophagy marker LC3B. The effects of AICAR were abolished by treatment with dipyridamole, an adenosine transporter inhibitor that blocks the entry of AICAR into cells. Treatment with adenosine kinase inhibitor 5-iodotubericidin, which inhibits the conversion of AICAR to its 5'-phosphorylated ribotide 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-D-ribofuranosyl-5'-monophosphate (ZMP; the direct activator of AMPK), reversed most of the growth-inhibitory effects, indicating that some of AICAR's antiproliferative effects are mediated at least partially through AMPK activation. CONCLUSIONS: Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide inhibited uveal melanoma cell proliferation partially through activation of the AMPK pathway and downregulation of cyclins A1 and D1.
Al-Moujahed A, Brodowska K, Stryjewski TP, Efstathiou NE, Vasilikos I, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. Verteporfin inhibits growth of human glioma in vitro without light activation. Sci Rep 2017;7(1):7602.Abstract
Verteporfin (VP), a light-activated drug used in photodynamic therapy for the treatment of choroidal neovascular membranes, has also been shown to be an effective inhibitor of malignant cells. Recently, studies have demonstrated that, even without photo-activation, VP may still inhibit certain tumor cell lines, including ovarian cancer, hepatocarcinoma and retinoblastoma, through the inhibition of the YAP-TEAD complex. In this study, we examined the effects of VP without light activation on human glioma cell lines (LN229 and SNB19). Through western blot analysis, we identified that human glioma cells that were exposed to VP without light activation demonstrated a downregulation of YAP-TEAD-associated downstream signaling molecules, including c-myc, axl, CTGF, cyr61 and survivin and upregulation of the tumor growth inhibitor molecule p38 MAPK. In addition, we observed that expression of VEGFA and the pluripotent marker Oct-4 were also decreased. Verteporfin did not alter the Akt survival pathway or the mTor pathway but there was a modest increase in LC3-IIB, a marker of autophagosome biogenesis. This study suggests that verteporfin should be further explored as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma.
Avedschmidt SE, Stagner AM, Eagle RC, Harocopos GJ, Dou Y, Rao RC. The Targetable Epigenetic Tumor Protein EZH2 is Enriched in Intraocular Medulloepithelioma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(14):6242-6246.Abstract

Purpose: Intraocular medulloepithelioma (IM), the second most common primary neuroepithelial tumor of the eye, can lead to blindness in the affected eye and in rare cases, is deadly. Intraocular medulloepithelioma lacks targetable biomarkers for potential pharmacologic therapy. The purpose of this study was to identify actionable, tumor-specific proteins for potential diagnostic or therapeutic strategies. We hypothesize that the tumor-specific epigenetic enzyme EZH2 is selectively expressed in IM. Methods: We conducted a retrospective case series study of five IM from five eyes of four children and one adult. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stains of sections from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks of IM tumors were used to localize IM tumor cells in each case. Using an EZH2-specific antibody for immunohistochemistry, we semiquantitatively calculated the proportion of IM tumor cells positive for EZH2, and also assayed for EZH2 staining intensity. Results: We found that EZH2 was expressed in all IM cases but this protein was absent in nontumor ciliary body or retinal tissues. However, not all IM tumor cells expressed EZH2. Similar to retinoblastoma, moderately to poorly differentiated (primitive appearing) IM tumor cells strongly expressed EZH2; expression was weaker or absent in areas of well-formed neuroepithelial units. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify an actionable tumor-specific maker, EZH2, in IM. Our findings point to the possibility of exploring the potential of EZH2 inhibitors, already in clinical trials for other cancers, for IM.

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Bleier BS, Healy DY, Chhabra N, Freitag S. Compartmental endoscopic surgical anatomy of the medial intraconal orbital space. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2014;4(7):587-91.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Surgical management of intraconal pathology represents the next frontier in endoscopic endonasal surgery. Despite this, the medial intraconal space remains a relatively unexplored region, secondary to its variable and technically demanding anatomy. The purpose of this study is to define the neurovascular structures in this region and introduce a compartmentalized approach to enhance surgical planning. METHODS: This study was an institutional review board (IRB)-exempt endoscopic anatomic study in 10 cadaveric orbits. After dissection of the medial intraconal space, the pattern and trajectory of the oculomotor nerve and ophthalmic arterial arborizations were analyzed. The position of all vessels as well as the length of the oculomotor trunk and branches relative to the sphenoid face were calculated. RESULTS: A mean of 1.5 arterial branches were identified (n = 15; range, 1-4) at a mean of 8.8 mm from the sphenoid face (range, 4-15 mm). The majority of the arteries (n = 7) inserted adjacent to the midline of medial rectus. The oculomotor nerve inserted at the level of the sphenoid face and arborized with a large proximal trunk 5.5 ± 1.1 mm in length and multiple branches extending 13.2 ± 2.7 mm from the sphenoid face. The most anterior nerve and vascular pedicle were identified at 17.0 and 15.0 mm from the sphenoid face, respectively. CONCLUSION: The neurovascular supply to the medial rectus muscle describes a varied but predictable pattern. This data allows the compartmentalization of the medial intraconal space into 3 zones relative to the neurovascular supply. These zones inform the complexity of the dissection and provide a guideline for safe medial rectus retraction relative to the fixed landmark of the sphenoid face.

Brodowska K, Theodoropoulou S, Meyer Zu Hörste M, Paschalis EI, Takeuchi K, Scott G, Ramsey DJ, Kiernan E, Hoang M, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas ES, Vavvas DG. Effects of metformin on retinoblastoma growth in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol 2014;45(6):2311-24.Abstract
Recent studies suggest that the anti-diabetic drug metformin may reduce the risk of cancer and have anti-proliferative effects for some but not all cancers. In this study, we examined the effects of metformin on human retinoblastoma cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Two different human retinoblastoma cell lines (Y79, WERI) were treated with metformin in vitro and xenografts of Y79 cells were established in nu/nu immune-deficient mice and used to assess the effects of pharmacological levels of metformin in vivo. Metformin inhibited proliferation of the retinoblastoma cells in vitro. Similar to other studies, high concentrations of metformin (mM) blocked the cell cycle in G0‑G1, indicated by a strong decrease of G1 cyclins, especially cyclin D, cyclin-dependent kinases (4 and 6), and flow cytometry assessment of the cell cycle. This was associated with activation of AMPK, inhibition of the mTOR pathways and autophagy marker LC3B. However, metformin failed to suppress growth of xenografted tumors of Y79 human retinoblastoma cells in nu/nu mice, even when treated with a maximally tolerated dose level achieved in human patients. In conclusion, suprapharmacological levels (mM) of metformin, well above those tolerated in vivo, inhibited the proliferation of retinoblastoma cells in vitro. However, physiological levels of metformin, such as seen in the clinical setting, did not affect the growth of retinoblastoma cells in vitro or in vivo. This suggests that the potential beneficial effects of metformin seen in epidemiological studies may be limited to specific tumor types or be related to indirect effects/mechanisms not observed under acute laboratory conditions.
Brodowska K, Al-Moujahed A, Marmalidou A, Meyer Zu Horste M, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. The clinically used photosensitizer Verteporfin (VP) inhibits YAP-TEAD and human retinoblastoma cell growth in vitro without light activation. Exp Eye Res 2014;124:67-73.Abstract
Verteporfin (VP), a benzoporphyrin derivative, is clinically used in photodynamic therapy for neovascular macular degeneration. Recent studies indicate that VP may inhibit growth of hepatoma cells without photoactivation through inhibition of YAP-TEAD complex. In this study, we examined the effects of VP without light activation on human retinoblastoma cell lines. Verteporfin but not vehicle control inhibited the growth, proliferation and viability of human retinoblastoma cell lines (Y79 and WERI) in a dose-dependent manner and was associated with downregulation of YAP-TEAD associated downstream proto-oncogenes such as c-myc, Axl, and surviving. In addition VP affected signals involved in cell migration and angiogenesis such as CTGF, cyr61, and VEGF-A but was not associated with significant effect on the mTOR/autophagy pathway. Of interest the pluripotency marker Oct4 were downregulated by Verteporfin treatment. Our results indicate that the clinically used photosensitizer VP is a potent inhibitor of cell growth in retinoblastoma cells, disrupting YAP-TEAD signaling and pluripotential marker OCT4. This study highlights for the first time the role of the YAP-TEAD pathway in Retinoblastoma and suggests that VP may be a useful adjuvant therapeutic tool in treating Rb patients.
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Cao J, Brouwer NJ, Jordanova ES, Marinkovic M, van Duinen SG, de Waard NE, Ksander BR, Mulder A, Claas FHJ, Heemskerk MHM, Jager MJ. HLA Class I Antigen Expression in Conjunctival Melanoma Is Not Associated With PD-L1/PD-1 Status. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(2):1005-1015.Abstract
Purpose: Antitumor T cells need expression of HLA class I molecules but can be inhibited by ligands such as programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). We determined expression and regulation of these molecules in human conjunctival melanoma (CM) samples, cell lines, and murine xenografts. Methods: Immunofluorescence staining was performed to examine the expression of HLA-A, HLA-B/C, and β-2-microglobulin (B2M) in 23 primary CM samples. HLA class I expression was compared with clinicopathologic characteristics, the presence of tumor-infiltrating leukocytes, and PD-L1/PD-1 status. The effect of interferon γ (IFN-γ) on HLA class I expression was tested on three CM cell lines using quantitative PCR and flow cytometry. Furthermore, HLA class I expression was determined in CM cell line-derived murine xenografts. Results: One third of tumors had positive HLA-A, HLA-B/C, and B2M expression. A positive expression was especially seen in thin and epibulbar tumors but was not associated with recurrences. HLA class I expression was correlated with M2 macrophage density and tended to associate with CD8+ T-cell density but was independent of PD-L1 or PD-1 expression. IFN-γ upregulated HLA class I expression and genes involved in HLA transcription and transportation on CM cell lines. Murine xenografts showed a comparable HLA class I expression as their respective cell lines. Conclusions: Our data indicate that subsets of CM have positive HLA class I expression, and HLA class I and PD-L1/PD-1 are expressed independently. When one considers immunotherapy, one should also analyze HLA class I expression, whose downregulation can limit the efficacy of T cell-mediated therapies.
Choi CJ, Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Chodosh J, Yoon MK. Eyelid Mass in Boston Keratoprosthesis Type 2. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2016;Abstract

Boston keratoprosthesis type 2 is used to treat severe corneal blindness secondary to cicatricial or autoimmune ocular surface disease. This case report describes an atypical eyelid mass in a 41-year-old woman with Stevens-Johnson syndrome who underwent placement of Boston keratoprosthesis type 2 in the left eye. The postoperative course was complicated by methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus keratitis and endophthalmitis requiring replacement of the keratoprosthesis. Three months thereafter, the patient presented with a progressively enlarging upper eyelid mass adjacent to the keratoprosthesis optic causing distortion of the eyelid. Excisional biopsy revealed an elongated cystic mass abutting the superior aspect of the optic. Pathologic examination was consistent with a conjunctival cyst with lipogranulomatous reaction. Removal of eyelid margins and conjunctiva, and placement of a full-thickness blepharotomy are standard steps in placement of Boston keratoprosthesis type 2, which can lead to conjunctival cysts and lipogranulomas that present as eyelid masses.

Choi CJ, Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Lee NG. Limbal Mantle Cell Lymphoma of the Conjunctiva. Ophthalmology 2016;123(2):377.
Choi CJ, Stagner AM, Jakobiec FA, Lee NG. Nonlimbal Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Conjunctiva. Ophthalmology 2016;123(2):254.
Choi CJ, Jakobiec FA, Zakka FR, Sanchez AV, Lee NG. Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia in a Patient With Hepatitis C. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017;135(10):1121-1123.
Choung H, Freitag SK, Wolkow N. Superonasal Cystic Orbital Mass. JAMA Ophthalmol 2018;136(10):1203-1204.
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Damico FM, Takahashi BS, Acquesta FB. Transscleral delivery of Nd: YLF laser at 1,047 nm causes vascular occlusion in experimental pigmented choroidal melanoma. Retina 2014;34(4):792-800.Abstract
PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to determine the scleral attenuation of focused neodymium: yttrium-lanthanum-fluoride laser at 1,047 nm applied transsclerally and whether transscleral delivery can close the vascular supply at the base of experimental choroidal melanoma in rabbits. METHODS: Fifty-two New Zealand albino rabbits were included. Scleral laser attenuation was measured across fresh sclera. B16F10 melanomas were established in the subchoroidal space of 49 rabbits. Twenty-one animals were killed immediately after transscleral treatment, 14 were followed for 2 weeks to 4 weeks, and 14 were followed without treatment. Ophthalmoscopy, fundus photographs, and fluorescein angiography were performed before treatment, immediately after, and weekly during the follow-up. Eyes were examined by light microscopy. RESULTS: Sclera attenuated laser energy by 31% ± 7%. Immediately after treatment, angiography showed diffuse hypofluorescence in 71% (15 of 21 rabbits). Light microscopy showed vascular occlusion extending at least two thirds of the tumor thickness from the base. Seven of the 14 tumors followed for 15 days ± 8 days were eradicated. There was no correlation between tumor height and eradication. CONCLUSION: Rabbit sclera attenuated 31% ± 7% of laser energy. A single transscleral treatment causes tumor vascular closure at the base and may serve as an adjuvant therapy to ensure destruction of deep and intrascleral tumor cells.
Daniels AB, Lee J-E, MacConaill LE, Palescandolo E, van Hummelen P, Adams SM, Deangelis MM, Hahn WC, Gragoudas ES, Harbour WJ, Garraway LA, Kim IK. High throughput mass spectrometry-based mutation profiling of primary uveal melanoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53(11):6991-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: We assessed for mutations in a large number of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in primary uveal melanomas using a high-throughput profiling system. METHODS: DNA was extracted and purified from 134 tissue samples from fresh-frozen tissues (n = 87) or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues (n = 47) from 124 large uveal melanomas that underwent primary treatment by enucleation. DNA was subjected to whole genome amplification and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry-based mutation profiling (>1000 mutations tested across 120 oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes) using the OncoMap3 platform. All candidate mutations, as well as commonly occurring mutations in GNAQ and GNA11, were validated using homogeneous mass extension (hME) technology. RESULTS: Of 123 samples, 97 (79%, representing 89 unique tumors) were amplified successfully, passed all quality control steps, and were assayed with the OncoMap platform. A total of 58 mutation calls was made for 49 different mutations across 26 different genes in 34/98 (35%) samples. Of 91 tumors that underwent hME validation, 83 (91%) harbored mutations in the GNAQ (47%) or GNA11 (44%) genes, while hME validation revealed two tumors with mutations in EGFR. These additional mutations occurred in tumors that also had mutations in GNAQ or GNA11. CONCLUSIONS: The vast majority of primary large uveal melanomas harbor mutually-exclusive mutations in GNAQ or GNA11, but very rarely have the oncogenic mutations that are reported commonly in other cancers. When present, these other mutations were found in conjunction with GNAQ/GNA11 mutations, suggesting that these other mutations likely are not the primary drivers of oncogenesis in uveal melanoma.
Davies EC, Jakobiec FA, Stagner AM, Iwamoto MA. A Rapidly Enlarging Recurrent Eyebrow Pilomatrixoma in a Nonagenarian. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2014;Abstract

A rapidly growing, large (horizontal diameter of 3.1 cm) eyebrow lesion in a nonagenarian patient was found on pathologic examination to demonstrate an admixture of islands of anucleated, washed out eosinophilic "ghost" cells with surrounding nucleated, small germinal basaloid cells. Further analysis disclosed adipophilin granular positivity in the necrotic zones, negative nuclear staining for androgen receptor and strong nuclear positivity for Ki67 in the basaloid cells (proliferation index of 50%). These findings are consistent with a highly mitotically active pilomatrixoma. The lesion recurred after initial resection but returned the same histopathologic features as the primary. Several clinical features were notably atypical for pilomatrixoma-specifically, the age of the patient, rapid lesion growth and recurrence, and clinical appearance and large size of the mass. The immunohistochemical findings can help to distinguish this tumor from other skin neoplasms, especially sebaceous carcinoma in an older individual.

Duminuco R, Noble JW, Goody J, Sharma M, Ksander BR, Roskelley CD, Cox ME, Mills J. Integrin-linked kinase regulates senescence in an Rb-dependent manner in cancer cell lines. Cell Cycle 2015;14(18):2924-37.Abstract

Anti-integrin-linked kinase (ILK) therapies result in aberrant mitosis including altered mitotic spindle organization, centrosome declustering and mitotic arrest. In contrast to cells that expressed the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein Rb, we have shown that in retinoblastoma cell lines that do not express Rb, anti-ILK therapies induced aberrant mitosis that led to the accumulation of temporarily viable multinucleated cells. The present work was undertaken to: 1) determine the ultimate fate of cells that had survived anti-ILK therapies and 2) determine whether or not Rb expression altered the outcome of these cells. Our data indicate that ILK, a chemotherapy drug target is expressed in both well-differentiated, Rb-negative and relatively undifferentiated, Rb-positive retinoblastoma tissue. We show that small molecule targeting of ILK in Rb-positive and Rb-deficient cancer cells results in increased centrosomal declustering, aberrant mitotic spindle formation and multinucleation. However, anti-ILK therapies in vitro have different outcomes in retinoblastoma and glioblastoma cell lines that depend on Rb expression. TUNEL labeling and propidium iodide FACS analysis indicate that Rb-positive cells exposed to anti-ILK therapies are more susceptible to apoptosis and senescence than their Rb-deficient counterparts wherein aberrant mitosis induced by anti-ILK therapies exhibit mitotic arrest instead. These studies are the first to show a role for ILK in chemotherapy-induced senescence in Rb-positive cancer lines. Taken together these results indicate that the oncosuppressive outcomes for anti-ILK therapies in vitro, depend on the expression of the tumor suppressor Rb, a known G1 checkpoint and senescence regulator.

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van der Ent W, Burrello C, Teunisse AFAS, Ksander BR, Van der Velden PA, Jager MJ, Jochemsen AG, Snaar-Jagalska EB. Modelling of human uveal melanoma in Zebrafish xenograft embryos. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;Abstract

PURPOSE. Uveal melanoma (UM) is fatal in up to 50% of patients because of liver metastases, that are refractory to therapies currently available. While murine xenograft models for human uveal melanoma are available, they have limited utility for screening large compound libraries in drug discovery studies. Therefore, new robust preclinical models are needed that can efficiently evaluate drug efficacy for treatment of this malignancy. METHODS. UM cell lines generated from primary tumors (92.1, Mel270) and metastases (OMM2.3, OMM2.5, OMM1) were injected into the yolk of two-day-old zebrafish embryos. After six days, proliferation and active migration was quantified via automated confocal image analysis. To determine the suitability of this xenotransplantation model for drug testing, drugs with three different activities (Dasatinib, Quisinostat and MLN-4924) were added to the water of uveal melanoma-engrafted embryos. RESULTS. All tested UM cell lines proliferated and migrated in the embryos; significant differences could be discerned between cell lines: cells derived from metastases showed more migration and proliferation than cells derived from the primary tumors, and provided preclinical models for drug testing. Addition of the Src-inhibitor Dasatinib in the water of engrafted embryos reduced proliferation and migration of high Src-expressing 92.1 cells, but did not affect low Src-expressing metastatic OMM2.3 cells. Two experimental anticancer drugs, Quisinostat (a histone deacetylase inhibitor) and MLN-4924 (neddylation pathway inhibitor), blocked migration and proliferation of 92.1 and OMM2.3. CONCLUSIONS. We established a zebrafish xenograft model of human uveal melanoma with demonstrated applicability for screening large libraries of compounds in drug discovery studies.

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