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Author: Felix Sahm (85)


Feb
2018

CD95 (Fas/APO-1), a death receptor family member, activity has been linked to tumorigenicity in multiple cancers, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). A phase II clinical trial on relapsed glioblastoma patients demonstrated that targeted inhibition of CD95 signaling via the CD95 ligand (CD95L) binding and neutralizing Fc-fusion protein APG101 (asunercept) prolonged patient survival. While CD95 signaling may be relevant for multiple aspects of tumor growth, the mechanism of action of APG101 in glioblastoma is not clear.

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Mar
2018

Infants with low-grade glioma (LGG) and diencephalic syndrome have a poor outcome. The patient described here had a desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma harboring a BRAF V600E mutation. After relapse following initial standard chemotherapy treatment, he was successfully treated with the BRAF V600E inhibitor vemurafenib at the age of 3 years 11 months and 5 years 0 months.

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Nov
2017

O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status is a predictive biomarker in glioblastoma patients. Glioblastoma without hypermethylated MGMT promoter are largely resistant to treatment with temozolomide. These patients are in particular need of new treatment approaches, which are offered by biomarker-driven clinical trials with targeted drugs based on molecular characterization of individual tumors.

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Dec
1969

Bevacizumab is approved for the treatment of patients with progressive glioblastoma on the basis of uncontrolled data. Data from a phase 2 trial suggested that the addition of bevacizumab to lomustine might improve overall survival as compared with monotherapies. We sought to determine whether the combination would result in longer overall survival than lomustine alone among patients at first progression of glioblastoma.

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Dec
2017

We report a novel case of a World Health Organization grade 3 anaplastic meningioma arising from the olfactory groove in an 83-year-old woman. Molecular and methylation profiling confirm this lesion to be an NF2 subtype, methylation class intermediate type B meningioma. As most meningiomas in this location are indolent SMO subtype lesions, our report suggests that even though rare, aggressive NF2 subtype meningiomas can also occur along the midline anterior skull base.

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Aug
2017

O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status is a predictive biomarker in glioblastoma. We investigated whether this marker furthermore defines a molecularly distinct tumor subtype with clinically different outcome.
We analyzed copy number alteration (CNV) and methylation profiles of 1095 primary and 92 progressive Isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) wildtype glioblastomas, including paired samples from 49 patients.

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Sep
2017

Carboxypeptidase E (CPE) has recently been described as a multifunctional protein that regulates proliferation, migration and survival in several tumor entities. In glioblastoma (GBM), the most malignant primary brain tumor, secreted CPE (sCPE) was shown to modulate tumor cell migration. In our current study, we aimed at clarifying the underlying molecular mechanisms regulating anti-migratory as well as novel metabolic effects of sCPE in GBM.

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Dec
1969

Mutation-specific vaccines have become increasingly important in glioma immunotherapy; however, shared neoepitopes are rare. For diffuse gliomas, a driver mutation in the gene for isocitrate dehydrogenase type-1 has been shown to produce an immunogenic epitope currently targeted in clinical trials. For highly aggressive midline gliomas, a recurrent point mutation in the histone-3 gene () causes an amino acid change from lysine to methionine at position 27 (K27M).

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Dec
1969

Cranial radiotherapy improves survival of the most common childhood cancers, including brain tumors and leukemia. Unfortunately, long-term survivors are faced with consequences of secondary neoplasia, including radiation-induced meningiomas (RIMs). We characterized 31 RIMs with exome/NF2 intronic sequencing, RNA sequencing and methylation profiling, and found NF2 gene rearrangements in 12/31 of RIMs, an observation previously unreported in sporadic meningioma (SM).

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Aug
2017

To detect and quantify lesions of the small-caliber sural nerve (SN) in symptomatic and asymptomatic transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP) by high-resolution magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) in correlation with electrophysiologic and histopathologic findings.
Twenty-five patients with TTR-FAP, 10 asymptomatic carriers of the mutated transthyretin gene (mut), and 35 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were prospectively included in this cross-sectional case-control study. All participants underwent 3T MRN with high-structural resolution (fat-saturated, T2-weighted, and double-echo sequences).

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Jul
2017

Early and progressive colonization of the healthy brain is one hallmark of diffuse gliomas, including glioblastomas. We recently discovered ultralong (>10 to hundreds of microns) membrane protrusions [tumor microtubes (TMs)] extended by glioma cells. TMs have been associated with the capacity of glioma cells to effectively invade the brain and proliferate.

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Nov
2017

Advances in molecular profiling and the application of advanced imaging techniques are currently refreshing diagnostic considerations in meningioma patients. Not only technical refinements but also sophisticated histopathological and molecular studies have the potential to overcome some of the challenges during meningioma management. Exact tumor delineation, assessment of tumor growth, and pathophysiological parameters were recently addressed by "advanced" MRI and PET.

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Jul
2017

Hydrocephalus is a common congenital anomaly.and() are the only known human gene loci associated with non-syndromic hydrocephalus. To investigate functions of the tight junction-associated protein Mpdz, we generated mouse models.

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Aug
2017

Skull base meningiomas are considered to be difficult for surgical treatment. We wondered whether genetic alterations recently identified in benign non-NF2-mutated World Health Organization (WHO) grade I meningiomas are related to clinical features of skull base meningiomas and whether druggable signaling pathways are activated.
We analyzed 93 skull base meningiomas (82 WHO grade I, 11 WHO grade II) for mutations of hot spots or the most relevant exons of AKT1, KLF4/TRAF7, SMO, PI3K, and the TERT promoter.

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Dec
1969

High-throughput analyses have revealed the presence of activating mutations in the AKT1 gene in a subpopulation of meningiomas. We report a female patient with multiple intracranial tumor manifestations and histologically verified meningotheliomatous meningioma in the lung. The tumor was continuously growing at multiple sites despite six surgical resections, radiotherapy, and two lines of systemic therapy.

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Aug
2017

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive brain tumor and still remains incurable. Among others, an immature subpopulation of self-renewing and therapy-resistant tumor cells-often referred to as glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs)-has been shown to contribute to disease recurrence. To target these cells personalized immunotherapy has gained a lot of interest, e.

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Mar
2017

This short review highlights significant changes and recent findings incorporated to varying extent in the WHO 2016 definition of a variety of tumours, including peripheral nerve sheath tumours, meningiomas, mesenchymal non-meningothelial tumours, melanocytic tumours, lymphomas and histiocytic tumours, germ cell tumours and non-neuroendocrine pituitary tumours. Most notable classification changes include: adding "hybrid nerve sheath tumours" to the spectrum of benign nerve sheath tumours; an updated definition of atypical meningioma (WHO grade II), including cases with brain invasion; recognizing dural solitary fibrous tumour (SFT) and haemangiopericytoma (HPC) as a single tumour entity characterized by NAB2 and STAT6 gene fusions for which the term solitary SFT/HPC was chosen; recognizing that pituitary granular cell tumour, spindle cell oncocytoma, and pituicytoma all share nuclear expression of TTF-1, possibly representing a spectrum of a single nosological entity derived from posterior pituitary glial cells. The most significant diagnostic markers which have emerged include: inactivation of NF1, CDKN2A, and PRC2 components, SUZ12 and EED in MPNST, leading to neurofibromin and H3K27me3 expression loss; GNAQ and GNA11 mutations in CNS primary melanocytic tumours; BRAFV600E mutation in histiocytic tumours (Langerhans cell histiocytosis and Erdheim-Chester disease) and papillary craniopharyngioma, which provides both a diagnostic marker in the appropriate pathological setting and a therapeutic target.

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Apr
2017

Mutations in codon 132 of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 are frequent in diffuse glioma, acute myeloid leukemia, chondrosarcoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. These mutations result in a neomorphic enzyme specificity which leads to a dramatic increase of intracellular D-2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) in tumor cells. Therefore, mutant IDH1 protein is a highly attractive target for inhibitory drugs.

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Jan
2017

The catabolism of tryptophan to immunosuppressive and neuroactive kynurenines is a key metabolic pathway regulating immune responses and neurotoxicity. The rate-limiting step is controlled by indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO). IDO is expressed in antigen presenting cells during immune reactions, hepatic TDO regulates blood homeostasis of tryptophan and neuronal TDO influences neurogenesis.

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Dec
1969

To correlate histopathologic findings from biopsy specimens with their corresponding location within enhancing areas, non-enhancing areas and necrotic areas on contrast enhanced T1-weighted MRI scans (cT1).
In 37 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma who underwent stereotactic biopsy, we obtained a correlation of 561 1mm3 biopsy specimens with their corresponding position on the intraoperative cT1 image at 1.5 Tesla.

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Feb
2017

Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is the most frequent pediatric brain tumor. Activation of the MAPK pathway is well established as the oncogenic driver of the disease. It is most frequently caused by KIAA1549:BRAF fusions, and leads to oncogene induced senescence (OIS).

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Dec
2016

The outcome of patients with anaplastic gliomas varies considerably depending on single molecular markers, such as mutations of the isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) genes, as well as molecular classifications based on epigenetic or genetic profiles. Remarkably, 98% of the RNA within a cell is not translated into proteins. Of those, especially microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown not only to have a major influence on physiologic processes but also to be deregulated and prognostic in malignancies.

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Dec
1969

Several studies have analyzed a correlation between the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) derived from diffusion-weighted MRI and the tumor cellularity of corresponding histopathological specimens in brain tumors with inconclusive findings. Here, we compared a large dataset of ADC and cellularity values of stereotactic biopsies of glioblastoma patients using a new postprocessing approach including trajectory analysis and automatic nuclei counting.
Thirty-seven patients with newly diagnosed glioblastomas were enrolled in this study.

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Aug
2016

Influencing cancer metabolism by lifestyle changes is an attractive strategy as - if effective - exercise-induced problems may be less severe than those induced by classical anti-cancer therapies. Pursuing this idea, clinical trials evaluated the benefit of e.g.

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Dec
2016

Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have an increased risk of acute leukemia compared to a markedly decreased incidence of solid tumors. Medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood, is particularly rare in the DS population, with only one published case. As demonstrated in a mouse model, DS is associated with cerebellar hypoplasia and a decreased number of cerebellar granule neuron progenitor cells (CGNPs) in the external granule cell layer (EGL).

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Mar
2016

It is poorly understood how progressive brain swelling in experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) evolves in space and over time, and whether mechanisms of inflammation or microvascular sequestration/obstruction dominate the underlying pathophysiology. We therefore monitored in the Plasmodium berghei ANKA-C57BL/6 murine ECM model, disease manifestation and progression clinically, assessed by the Rapid-Murine-Coma-and-Behavioral-Scale (RMCBS), and by high-resolution in vivo MRI, including sensitive assessment of early blood-brain-barrier-disruption (BBBD), brain edema and microvascular pathology. For histological correlation HE and immunohistochemical staining for microglia and neuroblasts were obtained.

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Feb
2016

New Brain Tumor Entities Emerge from Molecular Classification of CNS-PNETs.

Cell 2016 Feb;164(5):1060-1072
Dominik Sturm, Brent A Orr, Umut H Toprak, Volker Hovestadt, David T W Jones, David Capper, Martin Sill, Ivo Buchhalter, Paul A Northcott, Irina Leis, Marina Ryzhova, Christian Koelsche, Elke Pfaff, Sariah J Allen, Gnanaprakash Balasubramanian, Barbara C Worst, Kristian W Pajtler, Sebastian Brabetz, Pascal D Johann, Felix Sahm, Jüri Reimand, Alan Mackay, Diana M Carvalho, Marc Remke, Joanna J Phillips, Arie Perry, Cynthia Cowdrey, Rachid Drissi, Maryam Fouladi, Felice Giangaspero, Maria Łastowska, Wiesława Grajkowska, Wolfram Scheurlen, Torsten Pietsch, Christian Hagel, Johannes Gojo, Daniela Lötsch, Walter Berger, Irene Slavc, Christine Haberler, Anne Jouvet, Stefan Holm, Silvia Hofer, Marco Prinz, Catherine Keohane, Iris Fried, Christian Mawrin, David Scheie, Bret C Mobley, Matthew J Schniederjan, Mariarita Santi, Anna M Buccoliero, Sonika Dahiya, Christof M Kramm, André O von Bueren, Katja von Hoff, Stefan Rutkowski, Christel Herold-Mende, Michael C Frühwald, Till Milde, Martin Hasselblatt, Pieter Wesseling, Jochen Rößler, Ulrich Schüller, Martin Ebinger, Jens Schittenhelm, Stephan Frank, Rainer Grobholz, Istvan Vajtai, Volkmar Hans, Reinhard Schneppenheim, Karel Zitterbart, V Peter Collins, Eleonora Aronica, Pascale Varlet, Stephanie Puget, Christelle Dufour, Jacques Grill, Dominique Figarella-Branger, Marietta Wolter, Martin U Schuhmann, Tarek Shalaby, Michael Grotzer, Timothy van Meter, Camelia-Maria Monoranu, Jörg Felsberg, Guido Reifenberger, Matija Snuderl, Lynn Ann Forrester, Jan Koster, Rogier Versteeg, Richard Volckmann, Peter van Sluis, Stephan Wolf, Tom Mikkelsen, Amar Gajjar, Kenneth Aldape, Andrew S Moore, Michael D Taylor, Chris Jones, Nada Jabado, Matthias A Karajannis, Roland Eils, Matthias Schlesner, Peter Lichter, Andreas von Deimling, Stefan M Pfister, David W Ellison, Andrey Korshunov, Marcel Kool
Primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the central nervous system (CNS-PNETs) are highly aggressive, poorly differentiated embryonal tumors occurring predominantly in young children but also affecting adolescents and adults. Herein, we demonstrate that a significant proportion of institutionally diagnosed CNS-PNETs display molecular profiles indistinguishable from those of various other well-defined CNS tumor entities, facilitating diagnosis and appropriate therapy for patients with these tumors. From the remaining fraction of CNS-PNETs, we identify four new CNS tumor entities, each associated with a recurrent genetic alteration and distinct histopathological and clinical features.

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Mar
2016

Meningiomas are frequent central nervous system tumors. Although most meningiomas are benign (WHO grade I) and curable by surgery, WHO grade II and III tumors remain therapeutically challenging due to frequent recurrence. Interestingly, relapse also occurs in some WHO grade I meningiomas.

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Jun
2016

The vast majority of peripheral nerve sheath tumors derive from the Schwann cell lineage and comprise diverse histological entities ranging from benign schwannomas and neurofibromas to high-grade malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST), each with several variants. There is increasing evidence for methylation profiling being able to delineate biologically relevant tumor groups even within the same cellular lineage. Therefore, we used DNA methylation arrays for methylome- and chromosomal profile-based characterization of 171 peripheral nerve sheath tumors.

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May
2016

Intraocular medulloepithelioma (IO-MEPL) is an uncommon embryonal neuroepithelial neoplasm of the eye. Little is known about the cytogenetics, molecular biology, and pathogenesis of this tumor. In the present study we investigated the mutational landscape of 19 IO-MEPL using targeted next-generation sequencing.

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Dec
2015

Malignant gliomas and other types of tumors generate a local immunosuppressive microenvironment, which prohibits an effective anti-tumor immune response and promotes tumor growth. Along with others, we have recently demonstrated that catabolism of the essential amino acid tryptophan via tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) is an important mechanism mediating tumor-associated immunosuppression particularly in gliomas. The pathways regulating TDO in tumors, however, are poorly understood.

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Jun
2016

With the number of prognostic and predictive genetic markers in neuro-oncology steadily growing, the need for comprehensive molecular analysis of neuropathology samples has vastly increased. We therefore developed a customized enrichment/hybrid-capture-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) gene panel comprising the entire coding and selected intronic and promoter regions of 130 genes recurrently altered in brain tumors, allowing for the detection of single nucleotide variations, fusions, and copy number aberrations. Optimization of probe design, library generation and sequencing conditions on 150 samples resulted in a 5-workday routine workflow from the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sample to neuropathological report.

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May
2016

The World Health Organization (WHO) classification and grading system attempts to predict the clinical course of meningiomas based on morphological parameters. However, because of high interobserver variation of some criteria, more reliable prognostic markers are required. Here, we assessed the TERT promoter for mutations in the hotspot regions C228T and C250T in meningioma samples from 252 patients.

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Apr
2016

Intravenous administration of thrombolytic agents is considered to be contraindicated in patients with intracranial neoplasms. However, only a single case of thrombolysis-related intracranial tumour haemorrhage has been reported to our knowledge and several studies have suggested that systemic thrombolysis can be safely carried out in these patients. Here we report a patient who developed haemorrhage into a previously unknown intracranial tumour following intravenous thrombolysis for acute myocardial ST-elevation infarction.

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Nov
2015

The recent identification of IDH mutations in gliomas and several other cancers suggests that this pathway is involved in oncogenesis; however effector functions are complex and yet incompletely understood. To study the regulatory effects of IDH on hypoxia-inducible-factor 1-alpha (HIF1A), a driving force in hypoxia-initiated angiogenesis, we analyzed mRNA expression profiles of 288 glioma patients and show decreased expression of HIF1A targets on a single-gene and pathway level, strong inhibition of upstream regulators such as HIF1A and downstream biological functions such as angio- and vasculogenesis in IDH mutant tumors. Genotype/imaging phenotype correlation analysis with relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) MRI - a robust and non-invasive estimate of tumor angiogenesis - in 73 treatment-naive patients with low-grade and anaplastic gliomas showed that a one-unit increase in rCBV corresponded to a two-third decrease in the odds for an IDH mutation and correctly predicted IDH mutation status in 88% of patients.

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Dec
2015

Astrocytic brain tumours, including glioblastomas, are incurable neoplasms characterized by diffusely infiltrative growth. Here we show that many tumour cells in astrocytomas extend ultra-long membrane protrusions, and use these distinct tumour microtubes as routes for brain invasion, proliferation, and to interconnect over long distances. The resulting network allows multicellular communication through microtube-associated gap junctions.

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Jul
2016

The "pediatric targeted therapy" (PTT) program aims to identify the presence and activity of druggable targets and evaluate the clinical benefit of a personalized treatment approach in relapsed or progressive tumors on an individual basis. 10 markers (HDAC2, HR23B, p-AKT, p-ERK, p-S6, p-EGFR, PDGFR-alpha/beta, p53 and BRAFV600E) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Pediatric patients with tumors independent of the histological diagnosis, with relapse or progression after treatment according to standard protocols were included.

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Apr
2016

Nuclear α-thalassemia/mental retardation X-linked (ATRX) loss and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) are linked in distinct malignancies. We therefore aimed to determine the nuclear ATRX expression correlated with ALT in a comprehensive series of sarcomas.
A total of 573 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sarcomas comprising 28 entities were investigated for nuclear ATRX expression by immunohistochemistry.

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Sep
2015

IDH wild type (IDHwt) anaplastic astrocytomas WHO grade III (AA III) are associated with poor outcome. To address the possibilities of molecular subsets among astrocytoma or of diagnostic reclassification, we analyzed a series of 160 adult IDHwt tumors comprising 120 AA III and 40 diffuse astrocytomas WHO grade II (A II) for molecular hallmark alterations and established methylation and copy number profiles. Based on molecular profiles and hallmark alterations the tumors could be grouped into four major sets.

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Jun
2015

The WHO 2007 classification of tumors of the CNS distinguishes between diffuse astrocytoma WHO grade II (A II(WHO2007)) and anaplastic astrocytoma WHO grade III (AA III(WHO2007)). Patients with A II(WHO2007) are significantly younger and survive significantly longer than those with AA III(WHO2007). So far, classification and grading relies on morphological grounds only and does not yet take into account IDH status, a molecular marker of prognostic relevance.

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May
2015

Liquid biopsies come of age offering unexploited potential to monitor and react to tumor evolution. We developed a cost-effective assay to non-invasively determine the immune status of glioblastoma (GBM) patients. Employing newly developed printed peptide microarrays we assessed the B-cell response against tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) in 214 patients.

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Dec
1969

To explore the correlation between Nuclear Overhauser Enhancement (NOE)-mediated signals and tumor cellularity in glioblastoma utilizing the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and cell density from histologic specimens. NOE is one type of chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) that originates from mobile macromolecules such as proteins and might be associated with tumor cellularity via altered protein synthesis in proliferating cells.
For 15 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, NOE-mediated CEST-contrast was acquired at 7 Tesla (asymmetric magnetization transfer ratio (MTRasym) at 3.

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Oct
2015

Loss of the tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is a prerequisite for tumor cell-specific expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2 in glioblastoma defining a subgroup prone to develop evasive resistance towards antiangiogenic treatments. Immunohistochemical analysis of human tumor tissues showed VEGFR-2 expression in glioma cells in 19% of specimens examined, mainly in the infiltration zone. Glioma cell VEGFR-2 positivity was restricted to PTEN-deficient tumor specimens.

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Feb
2015

For a targeted cancer vaccine to be effective, the antigen of interest needs to be naturally processed and presented on MHC by the target cell or an antigen-presenting cell (APC) in the tumor stroma. The presence of these characteristics is often assumed based on animal models, evaluation of antigen-overexpressing APCs in vitro, or assays of material-consuming immune precipitation from fresh solid tissue. Here, we evaluated the use of an alternative approach that uses the proximity ligation assay (PLA) to identify the presentation of an MHC class II-restricted antigen in paraffin-embedded tissue sections from patients with brain tumors.

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