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Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England)

Gene expression profiling of peripheral blood cells: new insights into Ewing sarcoma biology and clinical applications.


PMID 25008066

Abstract

Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a group of highly aggressive small round cell tumors of bone or soft tissue with high metastatic potential and low cure rate. ES tumors are associated with a rapid osteolysis and necrosis. The currently accepted clinical prognostic parameters do not accurately predict survival of high-risk patients. Moreover, neither the subtype of EWS-FLI1/ERG in the tumor, nor the detection of fusion transcripts in the peripheral blood (PB) samples, has prognostic value in ES patients. We evaluated the prevalence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in 34 adult ES patients. Since CTCs were confirmed in only small subset of patients, we further explored the expression profiles of PB leukocytes using a panel of genes associated with immune system status and increased tumor invasiveness. Moreover, we analyzed the alterations of the routine blood tests in the examined cohort of patients and correlated our findings with the clinical outcome. A uniform decrease in ZAP70 expression in PB cells among all ES patients, as compared to healthy individuals, was observed. Monocytosis and the abnormal expression of CDH2 and CDT2 genes in the PB cells significantly correlated with poor prognosis in ES patients. Our study supports the previously proposed hypothesis of systemic nature of ES. Based on the PB cell expression profiles, we propose a mechanism by which immune system may be involved in intensification of osteoclastogenesis and disease progression in ES patients. Moreover, we demonstrate the prognostic value of molecular PB testing at the time of routine histopathological diagnosis.