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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: BMC Cancer, 01 August 2010, Vol.10(1), p.450
    Description: Abstract Background Desmoplasia in medulloblastoma is often diagnosed in adult patients and was repeatedly associated with improved results. Today, all medulloblastoma patients receive intensive multimodal treatment including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This study was set up to investigate treatment outcome and prognostic factors after radiation therapy in patients with desmoplastic medulloblastomas. Methods Twenty patients treated for desmoplastic medulloblastoma in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Heidelberg between 1984 and 2007 were included. Data were collected retrospectively. Tumor resection was performed in all patients. All patients underwent postsurgical radiotherapy (RT). Two patients underwent whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT), and 18 patients received craniospinal irradiation (CSI). In all patients, an additional boost was delivered to the posterior fossa. The median dose to the whole brain and the craniospinal axis was 35.2 Gray (Gy), and 54.4 Gy to the posterior fossa. Fourteen patients received chemotherapy, including seven who were treated with combined radiochemotherapy and twelve who received adjuvant chemotherapy. Statistical analysis was performed using the log-rank test and the Kaplan-Meier method. Results Median follow-up was 59 months. Overall (OS), local (LPFS) and distant progression-free survival (DPFS) was 80%, 71.2%, and 83.3% at 60 months. Patients who suffered from local or distant relapses had significantly worse outcome. Five patients died from recurrent medulloblastoma. Treatment-associated toxicity was acceptable. Conclusions Multimodal approaches with surgical resection followed by chemoirradiation achieved high response rates with long OS in desmoplastic medulloblastoma patients. Staging parameters expected to predict for poor prognosis did not significantly influence outcome. However, success of any first line regimen had strong impact on disease control, and remission was achieved in no patient with relapsing disease. Multimodal concepts must be evaluated in further clinical trials.
    Keywords: Medicine
    ISSN: 1471-2407
    E-ISSN: 1471-2407
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 01 November 2011, Vol.81(3), pp.e7-e13
    Description: To investigate treatment outcome and prognostic factors after radiation therapy in patients with medulloblastomas (MB). Sixty-six patients with histologically confirmed MB were treated at the University Hospital of Heidelberg between 1985 and 2009. Forty-two patients (64%) were pediatric (≤18 years), and 24 patients (36%) were adults. Tumor resection was performed in all patients and was complete in 47%. All patients underwent postoperative craniospinal irradiation (CSI) delivering a median craniospinal dose of 35.5 Gy with additional boosts to the posterior fossa up to 54.0 Gy. Forty-seven patients received chemotherapy, including 21 in whom chemotherapy was administered before CSI. Statistical analysis was performed using the log-rank test and the Kaplan-Meier method. Median follow-up was 93 months. Overall survival (OS) and local and distant progression-free survival (LPFS and DPFS) were 73%, 62%, and 77% at 60 months. Both local and distant recurrence predisposed for significantly reduced OS. Macroscopic complete tumor resection, desmoplastic histology and early initiation of postoperative radiation therapy within 28 days were associated with improved outcome. The addition of chemotherapy did not improve survival rates. Toxicity was moderate. Complete resection of MB followed by CSI yields long survival rates in both children and adults. Delayed initiation of CSI is associated with poor outcome. Desmoplastic histology is associated with improved survival. The role of chemotherapy, especially in the adult population, must be further investigated in clinical studies.
    Keywords: Medulloblastoma ; Radiochemotherapy ; Craniospinal Irradiation ; Prognostic Factors ; Medicine
    ISSN: 0360-3016
    E-ISSN: 1879-355X
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  • 3
    In: Nature, 2014, Vol.510(7506), p.537
    Description: Epigenetic alterations, that is, disruption of DNA methylation and chromatin architecture, are now acknowledged as a universal feature of tumorigenesis. Medulloblastoma, a clinically challenging, malignant childhood brain tumour, is no exception. Despite much progress from recent genomics studies, with recurrent changes identified in each of the four distinct tumour subgroups (WNT-pathway-activated, SHH-pathway-activated, and the less-well-characterized Group 3 and Group 4), many cases still lack an obvious genetic driver. Here we present whole-genome bisulphite-sequencing data from thirty-four human and five murine tumours plus eight human and three murine normal controls, augmented with matched whole-genome, RNA and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing data. This comprehensive data set allowed us to decipher several features underlying the interplay between the genome, epigenome and transcriptome, and its effects on medulloblastoma pathophysiology. Most notable were highly prevalent regions of hypomethylation correlating with increased gene expression, extending tens of kilobases downstream of transcription start sites. Focal regions of low methylation linked to transcription-factor-binding sites shed light on differential transcriptional networks between subgroups, whereas increased methylation due to re-normalization of repressed chromatin in DNA methylation valleys was positively correlated with gene expression. Large, partially methylated domains affecting up to one-third of the genome showed increased mutation rates and gene silencing in a subgroup-specific fashion. Epigenetic alterations also affected novel medulloblastoma candidate genes (for example, LIN28B), resulting in alternative promoter usage and/or differential messenger RNA/microRNA expression. Analysis of mouse medulloblastoma and precursor-cell methylation demonstrated a somatic origin for many alterations. Our data provide insights into the epigenetic regulation of transcription and genome organization in medulloblastoma pathogenesis, which are probably also of importance in a wider developmental and disease context.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic ; Gene Silencing ; DNA Methylation -- Genetics ; Medulloblastoma -- Genetics ; Sequence Analysis, DNA -- Methods;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 4
    In: PLoS ONE, 2016, Vol.11(6)
    Description: Background Everolimus, a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, has demonstrated efficacy in treating subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) and other manifestations of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). However, long-term use of mTOR inhibitors might be necessary. This analysis explored long-term efficacy and safety of everolimus from the conclusion of the EXIST-1 study (NCT00789828). Methods and Findings EXIST-1 was an international, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial examining everolimus in patients with new or growing TSC-related SEGA. After a double-blind core phase, all remaining patients could receive everolimus in a long-term, open-label extension. Everolimus was initiated at a dose (4.5 mg/m 2 /day) titrated to a target blood trough of 5–15 ng/mL. SEGA response rate (primary end point) was defined as the proportion of patients achieving confirmed ≥50% reduction in the sum volume of target SEGA lesions from baseline in the absence of worsening nontarget SEGA lesions, new target SEGA lesions, and new or worsening hydrocephalus. Of 111 patients (median age, 9.5 years) who received ≥1 dose of everolimus (median duration, 47.1 months), 57.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 47.9–67.0) achieved SEGA response. Of 41 patients with target renal angiomyolipomas at baseline, 30 (73.2%) achieved renal angiomyolipoma response. In 105 patients with ≥1 skin lesion at baseline, skin lesion response rate was 58.1%. Incidence of adverse events (AEs) was comparable with that of previous reports, and occurrence of emergent AEs generally decreased over time. The most common AEs (≥30% incidence) suspected to be treatment-related were stomatitis (43.2%) and mouth ulceration (32.4%). Conclusions Everolimus use led to sustained reduction in tumor volume, and new responses were observed for SEGA and renal angiomyolipoma from the blinded core phase of the study. These findings support the hypothesis that everolimus can safely reverse multisystem manifestations of TSC in a significant proportion of patients. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00789828
    Keywords: Research Article ; Medicine And Health Sciences ; Medicine And Health Sciences ; Medicine And Health Sciences ; Medicine And Health Sciences ; Medicine And Health Sciences ; Medicine And Health Sciences ; Medicine And Health Sciences ; Research And Analysis Methods ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Medicine And Health Sciences
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: The Lancet, 12 January 2013, Vol.381(9861), pp.125-132
    Description: Tuberous sclerosis complex is a genetic disorder leading to constitutive activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and growth of benign tumours in several organs. In the brain, growth of subependymal giant cell astrocytomas can cause life-threatening symptoms—eg, hydrocephalus, requiring surgery. In an open-label, phase 1/2 study, the mTOR inhibitor everolimus substantially and significantly reduced the volume of subependymal giant cell astrocytomas. We assessed the efficacy and safety of everolimus in patients with subependymal giant cell astrocytomas associated with tuberous sclerosis complex. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, patients (aged 0–65 years) in 24 centres in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russian Federation, and the USA were randomly assigned, with an interactive internet-response system, in a 2:1 ratio to oral everolimus 4·5 mg/m per day (titrated to achieve blood trough concentrations of 5–15 ng/mL) or placebo. Eligible patients had a definite diagnosis of tuberous sclerosis complex and at least one lesion with a diameter of 1 cm or greater, and either serial growth of a subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, a new lesion of 1 cm or greater, or new or worsening hydrocephalus. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with confirmed response—ie, reduction in target volume of 50% or greater relative to baseline in subependymal giant cell astrocytomas. Analysis was by intention to treat. This study is registered with , number . 117 patients were randomly assigned to everolimus (n=78) or placebo (n=39). 27 (35%) patients in the everolimus group had at least 50% reduction in the volume of subependymal giant cell astrocytomas versus none in the placebo group (difference 35%, 95% CI 15–52; one-sided exact Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test, p〈0·0001). Adverse events were mostly grade 1 or 2; no patients discontinued treatment because of adverse events. The most common adverse events were mouth ulceration (25 [32%] in the everolimus group two [5%] in the placebo group), stomatitis (24 [31%] eight [21%]), convulsion (18 [23%] ten [26%]), and pyrexia (17 [22%] six [15%]). These results support the use of everolimus for subependymal giant cell astrocytomas associated with tuberous sclerosis. Additionally, everolimus might represent a disease-modifying treatment for other aspects of tuberous sclerosis. Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
    Keywords: Medicine
    ISSN: 0140-6736
    E-ISSN: 1474-547X
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 15 July 2011, Vol.17(14), pp.4650-60
    Description: Oncogenic BRAF/Ras or NF1 loss can potentially trigger oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) through activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Somatic genetic abnormalities affecting this pathway occur in the majority of pilocytic astrocytomas (PA), the most prevalent brain neoplasm in children. We investigated whether OIS is induced in PA. We tested expression of established senescence markers in three independent cohorts of sporadic PA. We also assessed for OIS in vitro, using forced expression of wild-type and V600E-mutant BRAF in two astrocytic cell lines: human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)-immortalized astrocytes and fetal astrocytes. Our results indicate that PAs are senescent as evidenced by marked senescence-associated acidic β-galactosidase activity, low KI-67 index, and induction of p16(INK4a) but not p53 in the majority of 52 PA samples (46 of 52; 88.5%). Overexpression of a number of senescence-associated genes [CDKN2A (p16), CDKN1A (p21), CEBPB, GADD45A, and IGFBP7] was shown at the mRNA level in two independent PA tumor series. In vitro, sustained activation of wild-type or mutant BRAF induced OIS in both astrocytic cell lines. Loss of p16(INK4a) in immortalized astrocytes abrogated OIS, indicative of the role of this pathway in mediating this phenomenon in astrocytes. OIS is a mechanism of tumor suppression that restricts the progression of benign tumors. We show that it is triggered in PAs through p16(INK4a) pathway induction following aberrant MAPK activation. OIS may account for the slow growth pattern in PA, the lack of progression to higher-grade astrocytomas, and the high overall survival of affected patients.
    Keywords: Astrocytoma -- Genetics ; Brain Neoplasms -- Genetics ; MAP Kinase Signaling System -- Genetics ; Oncogene Proteins -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 1078-0432
    E-ISSN: 15573265
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden), July 2015, Vol.54(7), pp.1049-55
    Description: Curative treatment of pediatric cancer not only focuses on long-term survival, but also on reducing treatment-related side effects. Advantages of particle therapy are mainly due to their physical ability of significantly reducing integral dose. Between January 2009 and December 2012, we treated 83 pediatric patients (aged 21 and younger) at the Heidelberg Ion Therapy Center at University Hospital of Heidelberg (HIT). In total 56 patients (67%) received proton irradiation, while 25 (30%) patients were treated with carbon ions (C12). Two patients received both treatments (3%). Treatment toxicity was analyzed retrospectively and documented according to the CTCAE/RTOG classification. In a second step, treatment toxicity from ion therapy was analyzed in comparison to treatment toxicity during photon irradiation of a comparable historical group of 19 pediatric patients. In all patients, particle therapy was tolerated well (median follow-up time 3.7 months), children (20 patients) with at least two follow-up visits showed a median follow-up time of 10.2 months. During the first two months patients mainly suffered from radiogenic skin reaction (63%), mucositis (30%), headache and dizziness (35%) as well as nausea and vomiting (13%). Severe toxicity reaction (grade II-IV) was only seen in patients who had intensive simultaneous chemotherapy or who had undergone several operations in the irradiated area before radiotherapy (18%). Treatment toxicity during ion therapy was comparable to treatment toxicity from photon irradiation of a historical group. In comparison to conventional therapy, patients with particle therapy do not suffer from increased acute treatment-related toxicity during the first months. More experience with particle therapy will be needed during the next years to help to thoroughly evaluate the high potential of ion therapy.
    Keywords: Heavy Ion Radiotherapy -- Adverse Effects ; Neoplasms -- Radiotherapy ; Proton Therapy -- Adverse Effects
    ISSN: 0284186X
    E-ISSN: 1651-226X
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Human Genetics, 2016, Vol.135(5), pp.469-475
    Description: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common monogenic disorder whereby affected individuals are predisposed to developing CNS tumors, including optic pathway gliomas (OPGs, occurring in ~15 to 20 % of cases). So far, no definite genotype–phenotype correlation determining NF1 patients at risk for tumor formation has been described, although enrichment for mutations in the 5′ region of the NF1 gene in OPG patients has been suggested. We used whole exome sequencing, targeted sequencing, and copy number analysis to screen 77 unrelated NF1 patients with ( n  = 41) or without ( n  = 36; age ≥10 years) optic pathway glioma for germline NF1 alterations. We identified germline NF1 mutations in 69 of 77 patients (90 %), but no genotype–phenotype correlation was observed. Our data using a larger patient cohort did not confirm the previously reported clustering of mutations in the 5′ region of the NF1 gene in patients with OPG. Thus, NF1 mutation location should not currently be used as a clinical criterion to assess the risk of developing OPGs.
    Keywords: Phenotype Correlation ; Exome Sequencing ; Optic Pathway Glioma ; Exome Enrichment ; Somatic Copy Number Alteration
    ISSN: 0340-6717
    E-ISSN: 1432-1203
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  • 9
    In: Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 2010, Vol.32(6), pp.511-514
    Description: Spinal glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is rare in children. New therapeutic options should be explored given the poor outcomes reported. We describe the case of an infant with spinal GBM whose condition worsened despite radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Immunohistochemical analysis of the tumor sample showed activation of the Raf-MEK-ERK pathway. Targeted pharmacologic therapy with sorafenib plus valproic acid led to decrease in the size of the tumor and improvement of symptoms. We conclude that regulation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway using sorafenib plus valproic acid warrants further investigation for the management of childhood GBM.
    Keywords: Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols -- Therapeutic Use ; Glioblastoma -- Drug Therapy ; Neoplasm Recurrence, Local -- Drug Therapy ; Spinal Cord Neoplasms -- Drug Therapy;
    ISSN: 1077-4114
    E-ISSN: 15363678
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  • 10
    In: Nature, 2018
    Description: Accurate pathological diagnosis is crucial for optimal management of patients with cancer. For the approximately 100 known tumour types of the central nervous system, standardization of the diagnostic process has been shown to be particularly challenging-with substantial inter-observer variability in the histopathological diagnosis of many tumour types. Here we present a comprehensive approach for the DNA methylation-based classification of central nervous system tumours across all entities and age groups, and demonstrate its application in a routine diagnostic setting. We show that the availability of this method may have a substantial impact on diagnostic precision compared to standard methods, resulting in a change of diagnosis in up to 12% of prospective cases. For broader accessibility, we have designed a free online classifier tool, the use of which does not require any additional onsite data processing. Our results provide a blueprint for the generation of machine-learning-based tumour classifiers across other cancer entities, with the potential to fundamentally transform tumour pathology.
    Keywords: DNA Methylation ; Central Nervous System Neoplasms -- Diagnosis;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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