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A Multi-Factorial Genetic Model for Prognostic Assessment of High Risk Melanoma Patients Receiving Adjuvant Interferon

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      PurposeIFNa was the first cytokine to demonstrate anti-tumor activity in advanced melanoma. Despite the ability of high-dose IFNa reducing relapse and mortality by up to 33%, large majority of patients experience side effects and toxicity which outweigh the benefits. The current study attempts to identify genetic markers likely to be associated with benefit from IFN-a2b treatment and predictive for survival.Experimental designWe tested the association of variants in FOXP3 microsatellites, CTLA4 SNPs and HLA genotype in 284 melanoma patients and their association with prognosis and survival of melanoma patients who received IFNa adjuvant therapy.ResultsUnivariate survival analysis suggested that patients bearing either the DRB1*15 or HLA-Cw7 allele suffered worse OS while patients bearing either HLA-Cw6 or HLA-B44 enjoyed better OS. DRB1*15 positive patients suffered also worse RFS and conversely HLA-Cw6 positive patients had better RFS. Multivariate analysis revealed that a five-marker genotyping signature was prognostic of OS independent of disease stage. In the multivariate Cox regression model, HLA-B38 (p = 0.021), HLA-C15 (p = 0.025), HLA-C3 (p = 0.014), DRB1*15 (p = 0.005) and CT60*G/G (0.081) were significantly associated with OS with risk ratio of 0.097 (95% CI, 0.013–0.709), 0.387 (95% CI, 0.169–0.889), 0.449 (95% CI, 0.237–0.851), 1.948 (95% CI, 1.221–3.109) and 1.484 (95% IC, 0.953–2.312) respectively.ConclusionThese results suggest that gene polymorphisms relevant to a biological occurrence are more likely to be informative when studied in concert to address potential redundant or conflicting functions that may limit each gene individual contribution. The five markers identified here exemplify this concept though prospective validation in independent cohorts is needed.

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      Final version of 2009 AJCC melanoma staging and classification.

      To revise the staging system for cutaneous melanoma on the basis of data from an expanded American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Melanoma Staging Database. The melanoma staging recommendations were made on the basis of a multivariate analysis of 30,946 patients with stages I, II, and III melanoma and 7,972 patients with stage IV melanoma to revise and clarify TNM classifications and stage grouping criteria. Findings and new definitions include the following: (1) in patients with localized melanoma, tumor thickness, mitotic rate (histologically defined as mitoses/mm(2)), and ulceration were the most dominant prognostic factors. (2) Mitotic rate replaces level of invasion as a primary criterion for defining T1b melanomas. (3) Among the 3,307 patients with regional metastases, components that defined the N category were the number of metastatic nodes, tumor burden, and ulceration of the primary melanoma. (4) For staging purposes, all patients with microscopic nodal metastases, regardless of extent of tumor burden, are classified as stage III. Micrometastases detected by immunohistochemistry are specifically included. (5) On the basis of a multivariate analysis of patients with distant metastases, the two dominant components in defining the M category continue to be the site of distant metastases (nonvisceral v lung v all other visceral metastatic sites) and an elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase level. Using an evidence-based approach, revisions to the AJCC melanoma staging system have been made that reflect our improved understanding of this disease. These revisions will be formally incorporated into the seventh edition (2009) of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual and implemented by early 2010.
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        Tumor-infiltrating CD8+ lymphocytes predict clinical outcome in breast cancer.

        Breast carcinomas are often infiltrated by inflammatory cells, particularly macrophages and T lymphocytes, but the significance of these cells remains unclear. One possible role of these inflammatory cells is that they represent a cell-mediated immune response against the carcinoma. CD8(+) lymphocytes are a known crucial component of cell-mediated immunity. The purpose of this study was to explore the prognostic value of tumor-infiltrating CD8(+) cytotoxic lymphocytes in breast cancer. Tumor-infiltrating CD8(+) lymphocytes were assessed by immunohistochemical staining of tissue microarray cores from 1,334 unselected breast tumors from patients with long-term follow-up. The number of CD8(+) T cells was counted in tumor nests (intratumoral), in stroma adjacent to tumor cells, and in stroma distant to tumor cells, and their relationship with clinical outcome was determined. The total number of CD8(+) cells was positively correlated with tumor grade (r(s) = 0.20; P < .001) and inversely correlated with patient's age at diagnosis, estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-α), and progesterone receptor (PgR) expression (Mann-Whitney U test, P < .001). The total patient cohort was randomly divided into two separate training and validation sets before performing univariate survival analysis. Total number and distant stromal CD8(+) lymphocytes were associated with better patient survival (P = .041 and P < .001, respectively) in the training set. In multivariate analysis, total CD8(+) T-cell count was an independent prognostic factor in both training and validation sets. These results suggest that tumor-infiltrating CD8(+) T lymphocytes have antitumor activity as judged by their favorable effect on patients' survival and could potentially be exploited in the treatment of breast cancer.
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          Association of the T-cell regulatory gene CTLA4 with susceptibility to autoimmune disease.

          Genes and mechanisms involved in common complex diseases, such as the autoimmune disorders that affect approximately 5% of the population, remain obscure. Here we identify polymorphisms of the cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 gene (CTLA4)--which encodes a vital negative regulatory molecule of the immune system--as candidates for primary determinants of risk of the common autoimmune disorders Graves' disease, autoimmune hypothyroidism and type 1 diabetes. In humans, disease susceptibility was mapped to a non-coding 6.1 kb 3' region of CTLA4, the common allelic variation of which was correlated with lower messenger RNA levels of the soluble alternative splice form of CTLA4. In the mouse model of type 1 diabetes, susceptibility was also associated with variation in CTLA-4 gene splicing with reduced production of a splice form encoding a molecule lacking the CD80/CD86 ligand-binding domain. Genetic mapping of variants conferring a small disease risk can identify pathways in complex disorders, as exemplified by our discovery of inherited, quantitative alterations of CTLA4 contributing to autoimmune tissue destruction.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Center and Trans-NIH Center for Human Immunology, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America
            [2 ]Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America
            [3 ]University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America
            [4 ]Department of Immunology, National Tissue Typing Center, General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece
            [5 ]First Department of Medicine, University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece
            King’s College London, United Kingdom
            Author notes

            Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            Conceived and designed the experiments: EW JMK FMM HG MCP. Performed the experiments: EW AM LU. Analyzed the data: EW AM LU. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: EW AM LU JMK MSV MCP FMM HG. Wrote the paper: EW YZ.

            Role: Editor
            PLoS One
            PLoS ONE
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            24 July 2012
            : 7
            : 7

            This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

            Pages: 9
            These authors have no support or funding to report.
            Research Article
            Anatomy and Physiology
            Immune Physiology
            Computational Biology
            Population Genetics
            Genetic Polymorphism
            Evolutionary Biology
            Population Genetics
            Genetic Polymorphism
            Immune System
            Cancer Treatment
            Cytokine Therapy
            Cancers and Neoplasms
            Skin Tumors
            Malignant Melanoma



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