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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2011 Jun;50(6):397-408. doi: 10.1002/gcc.20864. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

High-resolution array CGH identifies common mechanisms that drive embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma pathogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

Abstract

Pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma occurs as two biologically distinct histological variants, embryonal (ERMS) and alveolar (ARMS). To identify genomic changes that drive ERMS pathogenesis, we used a new array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) platform to examine a specific subset of ERMS tumors, those occurring in children with clinically defined intermediate-risk disease. The aCGH platform used has an average probe spacing ∼1 kb, and can identify genomic changes with single gene resolution. Our data suggest that these tumors share a common genomic program that includes inactivation of a master regulator of the p53 and Rb pathways, CDKN2A/B, and activation of FGFR4, Ras, and Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. The CDKN2A/B tumor suppressor is deleted in most patient samples. FGFR4, which encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, is activated in 20% of tumors, predominantly by amplification of mutant, activating FGFR4 alleles. Over 50% of patients had low-level gains of a region containing the Hh-pathway transcription factor GLI1, and a gene expression pattern consistent with Hh-pathway activation. We also identified intragenic deletions affecting NF1, a tumor suppressor and inhibitor of Ras, in 15% of tumor samples. Deletion of NF1 and the presence of activating Ras mutations (in 42% of patients) were mutually exclusive, suggesting NF1 loss is an alternative and potentially common mechanism of Ras activation in ERMS. Our data suggest that intermediate-risk ERMS is driven by a common set of genomic defects, a finding that has important implications for the application of targeted therapies to improve the treatment of children diagnosed with this disease.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:
21412928
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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