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Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Dec 15;17(24):7563-73. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1707. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Genomic and molecular characterization of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor identifies the IGF1R pathway as a primary target for treatment.

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Departments of Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor, Pathology, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital and Institute, Tianjin, China.



Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) is a rare sarcoma that lacks effective therapeutic strategies. We gain insight into the most recurrent genetically altered pathways with the purpose of scanning possible therapeutic targets.


We conducted a microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization profiling of two cohorts of primary MPNST tissue samples including 25 patients treated at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and 26 patients from Tianjin Cancer Hospital. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and cell biology detection and validation were carried out on human MPNST tissues and cell lines.


Genomic characterization of 51 MPNST tissue samples identified several frequently amplified regions harboring 2,599 genes and regions of deletion including 4,901 genes. At the pathway level, we identified a significant enrichment of copy number-altering events in the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) pathway, including frequent amplifications of the IGF1R gene itself. To validate the IGF1R pathway as a potential target in MPNSTs, we first confirmed that high IGF1R protein correlated with worse tumor-free survival in an independent set of samples using IHC. Two MPNST cell lines (ST88-14 and STS26T) were used to determine the effect of attenuating IGF1R. Inhibition of IGF1R in ST88-14 cells using siRNAs or an IGF1R inhibitor, MK-0646, led to significant decreases in cell proliferation, invasion, and migration accompanied by attenuation of the PI3K/AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways.


These integrated genomic and molecular studies provide evidence that the IGF1R pathway is a potential therapeutic target for patients with MPNST.

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