Special Issue "Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer"

A special issue of Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Kentaro Inamura
Website
Guest Editor
Division of Pathology, The Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, 3-8-31 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8550, Japan
Interests: molecular/surgical pathology; tumor microenvironment; immune checkpoint inhibitor; lung cancer; urological (kidney, prostate, urinary bladder) cancer

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

High-throughput technologies have enabled the molecular profiling of lung cancer, allowing for refined risk assessments, as well as the development of non-invasive screening methods or therapeutic interventions for lung cancer. The objective of this Special Issue is to publish the latest findings in the molecular profiling/signatures of lung cancer aimed toward clinical implementation.

Topics of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Molecular profiling/signatures that can classify lung cancers into specific subtypes with different clinical outcomes or sensitivities to specific treatments (e.g., molecular-targeted therapy, immune checkpoint inhibitor, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and so forth). Molecular characteristics related to sensitivity to immunotherapy are of interest.
  • Molecular profiling/characterization of specific lung cancer subtypes: Adenocarcinoma with specific driver mutations may develop, progress, or metastasize via specific molecular pathways.
  • Molecular profiling/signatures that allow the determination of useful biomarkers for liquid biopsy. Liquid biopsy is an emerging and promising non-invasive screening method.
  • Molecular profiling/signatures that allow the determination of key molecules in specific pathways (e.g., downstream pathway of multiple classes of growth factor receptors).
  • Molecular profiling/signatures that allow the determination of biomarkers for specific clinicopathological characteristics (e.g., clinical outcomes).
  • Molecular profiling/signatures that allow the determination of biomarkers for acquired resistance to specific drugs (e.g., tyrosine kinase inhibitors, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and so forth).
  • Molecular profiling/signatures of the normal-looking lung tissue surrounding the lung cancer (field cancerization).

Target topics (examples are described above) are comprehensive and will give a thorough view of the increasing knowledge of molecular profiling/signatures of lung cancer.

Dr. Kentaro Inamura
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cancers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Targeted Gene Next-Generation Sequencing Panel in Patients with Advanced Lung Adenocarcinoma: Paving the Way for Clinical Implementation
Cancers 2019, 11(9), 1229; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11091229 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Identification of targetable molecular changes is essential for selecting appropriate treatment in patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma. Methods: In this study, a Sanger sequencing plus Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) sequential approach was compared with a Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based approach for the [...] Read more.
Identification of targetable molecular changes is essential for selecting appropriate treatment in patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma. Methods: In this study, a Sanger sequencing plus Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) sequential approach was compared with a Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based approach for the detection of actionable genomic mutations in an experimental cohort (EC) of 117 patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma. Its applicability was assessed in small biopsies and cytology specimens previously tested for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutational status, comparing the molecular changes identified and the impact on clinical outcomes. Subsequently, an NGS-based approach was applied and tested in an implementation cohort (IC) in clinical practice. Using Sanger and FISH, patients were classified as EGFR-mutated (n = 22, 18.8%), ALK-mutated (n = 9, 7.7%), and unclassifiable (UC) (n = 86, 73.5%). Retesting the EC with NGS led to the identification of at least one gene variant in 56 (47.9%) patients, totaling 68 variants among all samples. Still, in the EC, combining NGS plus FISH for ALK, patients were classified as 23 (19.7%) EGFR; 20 (17.1%) KRAS; five (4.3%) B-Raf proto-oncogene (BRAF); one (0.9%) Erb-B2 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase 2 (ERBB2); one (0.9%) STK11; one (0.9%) TP53, and nine (7.7%) ALK mutated. Only 57 (48.7%) remained genomically UC, reducing the UC rate by 24.8%. Fourteen (12.0%) patients presented synchronous alterations. Concordance between NGS and Sanger for EGFR status was very high (κ = 0.972; 99.1%). In the IC, a combined DNA and RNA NGS panel was used in 123 patients. Genomic variants were found in 79 (64.2%). In addition, eight (6.3%) EML4-ALK, four (3.1%), KIF5B-RET, four (3.1%) CD74-ROS1, one (0.8%) TPM3-NTRK translocations and three (2.4%) exon 14 skipping MET Proto-Oncogene (MET) mutations were detected, and 36% were treatable alterations. Conclusions: This study supports the use of NGS as the first-line test for genomic profiling of patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Expression of the Major and Pro-Oncogenic H3K9 Lysine Methyltransferase SETDB1 in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(8), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081134 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
SETDB1 is a key histone lysine methyltransferase involved in gene silencing. The SETDB1 gene is amplified in human lung cancer, where the protein plays a driver role. Here, we investigated the clinical significance of SETDB1 expression in the two major forms of human [...] Read more.
SETDB1 is a key histone lysine methyltransferase involved in gene silencing. The SETDB1 gene is amplified in human lung cancer, where the protein plays a driver role. Here, we investigated the clinical significance of SETDB1 expression in the two major forms of human non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), i.e., adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), by combining a meta-analysis of transcriptomic datasets and a systematic review of the literature. A total of 1140 NSCLC patients and 952 controls were included in the association analyses. Our data revealed higher levels of SETDB1 mRNA in ADC (standardized mean difference, SMD: 0.88; 95% confidence interval, CI: 0.73–1.02; p < 0.001) and SCC (SMD: 0.40; 95% CI: 0.13–0.66; p = 0.003) compared to non-cancerous tissues. For clinicopathological analyses, 2533 ADC and 903 SCC patients were included. Interestingly, SETDB1 mRNA level was increased in NSCLC patients who were current smokers compared to non-smokers (SMD: 0.26; 95% CI: 0.08–0.44; p = 0.004), and when comparing former smokers and non-smokers (p = 0.009). Furthermore, the area under the curve (AUC) given by the summary receiver operator characteristic curve (sROC) was 0.774 (Q = 0.713). Together, our findings suggest a strong foundation for further research to evaluate SETDB1 as a diagnostic biomarker and/or its potential use as a therapeutic target in NSCLC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Somatic Alteration Burden Involving Non-Cancer Genes Predicts Prognosis in Early-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(7), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11071009 - 19 Jul 2019
Abstract
The burden of somatic mutations and neoantigens has been associated with improved survival in cancer treated with immunotherapies, especially non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, there is uncertainty about their effect on outcome in early-stage untreated cases. We posited that the burden of [...] Read more.
The burden of somatic mutations and neoantigens has been associated with improved survival in cancer treated with immunotherapies, especially non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, there is uncertainty about their effect on outcome in early-stage untreated cases. We posited that the burden of mutations in a specific set of genes may also contribute to the prognosis of early NSCLC patients. From a small cohort of 36 NSCLC cases, we were able to identify somatic mutations and copy number alterations in 865 genes that contributed to patient overall survival. Simply, the number of altered genes (NAG) among these 865 genes was associated with longer disease-free survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.153, p = 1.48 × 10−4). The gene expression signature distinguishing patients with high/low NAG was also prognostic in three independent datasets. Patients with a high NAG could be further stratified based on the presence of immunogenic mutations, revealing a further subgroup of stage I NSCLC with even better prognosis (85% with >5 years survival), and associated with cytotoxic T-cell expression. Importantly, 95% of the highly-altered genes lacked direct relation to cancer, but were implicated in pathways regulating cell proliferation, motility and immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Systematic Analysis of Gene Expression in Lung Adenocarcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma with a Case Study of FAM83A and FAM83B
Cancers 2019, 11(6), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11060886 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Introduction: In our previous study, we constructed a Lung Cancer Explorer (LCE) database housing lung cancer-specific expression data and clinical data from over 6700 patients in 56 studies. Methods: Using this dataset of the largest collection of lung cancer gene expression along with [...] Read more.
Introduction: In our previous study, we constructed a Lung Cancer Explorer (LCE) database housing lung cancer-specific expression data and clinical data from over 6700 patients in 56 studies. Methods: Using this dataset of the largest collection of lung cancer gene expression along with our meta-analysis method, we systematically interrogated the association between gene expression and overall survival as well as the expression difference between tumor and normal (adjacent non-malignant tissue) samples in lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) and lung squamous cell carcinoma (SQCC). A case study for FAM83A and FAM83B was performed as a demonstration for hypothesis testing with our database. Results: We showed that the reproducibility of results across studies varied by histological subtype and analysis type. Genes and pathways unique or common to the two histological subtypes were identified and the results were integrated into LCE to facilitate user exploration. In our case study, we verified the findings from a previous study on FAM83A and FAM83B in non-small cell lung cancer. Conclusions: This study used gene expression data from a large cohort of patients to explore the molecular differences between lung ADC and SQCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
POLQ Overexpression Is Associated with an Increased Somatic Mutation Load and PLK4 Overexpression in Lung Adenocarcinoma
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050722 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
DNA Polymerase Theta (POLQ) is a DNA polymerase involved in error-prone translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) and error-prone repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In the present study, we examined whether abnormal POLQ expression may be involved in the pathogenesis of lung adenocarcinoma (LAC). [...] Read more.
DNA Polymerase Theta (POLQ) is a DNA polymerase involved in error-prone translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) and error-prone repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In the present study, we examined whether abnormal POLQ expression may be involved in the pathogenesis of lung adenocarcinoma (LAC). First, we found overexpression of POLQ at both the mRNA and protein levels in LAC, using data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and by immunohistochemical analysis of our LAC series. POLQ overexpression was associated with an advanced pathologic stage and an increased total number of somatic mutations in LAC. When H1299 human lung cancer cell clones overexpressing POLQ were established and examined, the clones showed resistance to a DSB-inducing chemical in the clonogenic assay and an increased frequency of mutations in the supF forward mutation assay. Further analysis revealed that POLQ overexpression was also positively correlated with Polo Like Kinase 4 (PLK4) overexpression in LAC, and that PLK4 overexpression in the POLQ-overexpressing H1299 cells induced centrosome amplification. Finally, analysis of the TCGA data revealed that POLQ overexpression was associated with an increased somatic mutation load and PLK4 overexpression in diverse human cancers; on the other hand, overexpressions of nine TLS polymerases other than POLQ were associated with an increased somatic mutation load at a much lower frequency. Thus, POLQ overexpression is associated with advanced pathologic stage, increased somatic mutation load, and PLK4 overexpression, the last inducing centrosome amplification, in LAC, suggesting that POLQ overexpression is involved in the pathogenesis of LAC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
FAM83A and FAM83B as Prognostic Biomarkers and Potential New Therapeutic Targets in NSCLC
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050652 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Although targeted therapy has improved the survival rates in the last decade, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still the most common cause of cancer-related death. The challenge of identifying new targets for further effective therapies still remains. The FAMily with sequence similarity 83 [...] Read more.
Although targeted therapy has improved the survival rates in the last decade, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still the most common cause of cancer-related death. The challenge of identifying new targets for further effective therapies still remains. The FAMily with sequence similarity 83 (FAM83) members have recently been described as novel oncogenes in numerous human cancer specimens and shown to be involved in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling. Here, gene expression of FAM83A and B was analyzed in a cohort of 362 NSCLC patients using qPCR. We further investigated relations in expression and their prognostic value. Functional assays in NSCLC cell lines were performed to evaluate FAM83A and B involvement in proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, migration, and the EGFR pathway. We observed a highly increased gene expression level of FAM83A (ø = 68-fold) and FAM83B (ø = 20-fold) which resulted in poor survival prognosis (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.002). Their expression was influenced by EGFR levels, pathway signaling, and mutation status. Both genes affected cell proliferation, and FAM83A depletion resulted in reduced migration and anchorage-independent growth. The results support the hypothesis that FAM83A and B have different functions in different histological subtypes of NSCLC and might be new therapeutic targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Pathogenesis of Gene Regulation by the miR-150 Duplex: miR-150-3p Regulates TNS4 in Lung Adenocarcinoma
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050601 - 30 Apr 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Based on our miRNA expression signatures, we focused on miR-150-5p (the guide strand) and miR-150-3p (the passenger strand) to investigate their functional significance in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). Downregulation of miR-150 duplex was confirmed in LUAD clinical specimens. In vitro assays revealed that ectopic [...] Read more.
Based on our miRNA expression signatures, we focused on miR-150-5p (the guide strand) and miR-150-3p (the passenger strand) to investigate their functional significance in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). Downregulation of miR-150 duplex was confirmed in LUAD clinical specimens. In vitro assays revealed that ectopic expression of miR-150-5p and miR-150-3p inhibited cancer cell malignancy. We performed genome-wide gene expression analyses and in silico database searches to identify their oncogenic targets in LUAD cells. A total of 41 and 26 genes were identified as miR-150-5p and miR-150-3p targets, respectively, and they were closely involved in LUAD pathogenesis. Among the targets, we investigated the oncogenic roles of tensin 4 (TNS4) because high expression of TNS4 was strongly related to poorer prognosis of LUAD patients (disease-free survival: p = 0.0213 and overall survival: p = 0.0003). Expression of TNS4 was directly regulated by miR-150-3p in LUAD cells. Aberrant expression of TNS4 was detected in LUAD clinical specimens and its aberrant expression increased the aggressiveness of LUAD cells. Furthermore, we identified genes downstream from TNS4 that were associated with critical regulators of genomic stability. Our approach (discovery of anti-tumor miRNAs and their target RNAs for LUAD) will contribute to the elucidation of molecular networks involved in the malignant transformation of LUAD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Identification of a Clinically Relevant Signature for Early Progression in KRAS-Driven Lung Adenocarcinoma
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050600 - 29 Apr 2019
Abstract
Inducible genetically defined mouse models of cancer uniquely facilitate the investigation of early events in cancer progression, however, there are valid concerns about the ability of such models to faithfully recapitulate human disease. We developed an inducible mouse model of progressive lung adenocarcinoma [...] Read more.
Inducible genetically defined mouse models of cancer uniquely facilitate the investigation of early events in cancer progression, however, there are valid concerns about the ability of such models to faithfully recapitulate human disease. We developed an inducible mouse model of progressive lung adenocarcinoma (LuAd) that combines sporadic activation of oncogenic KRasG12D with modest overexpression of c-MYC (KM model). Histological examination revealed a highly reproducible spontaneous transition from low-grade adenocarcinoma to locally invasive adenocarcinoma within 6 weeks of oncogene activation. Laser-capture microdissection coupled with RNA-SEQ (ribonucleic acid sequencing) was employed to determine transcriptional changes associated with tumour progression. Upregulated genes were triaged for relevance to human LuAd using datasets from Oncomine and cBioportal. Selected genes were validated by RNAi screening in human lung cancer cell lines and examined for association with lung cancer patient overall survival using KMplot.com. Depletion of progression-associated genes resulted in pronounced viability and/or cell migration defects in human lung cancer cells. Progression-associated genes moreover exhibited strong associations with overall survival, specifically in human lung adenocarcinoma, but not in squamous cell carcinoma. The KM mouse model faithfully recapitulates key molecular events in human adenocarcinoma of the lung and is a useful tool for mechanistic interrogation of KRAS-driven LuAd progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Liquid Biopsies in Lung Cancer: Four Emerging Technologies and Potential Clinical Applications
Cancers 2019, 11(3), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11030331 - 07 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background: Liquid biopsies offer a promising alternative to tissue samples, providing non-invasive diagnostic approaches or serial monitoring of disease evolution. However, certain challenges remain, and the full potential of liquid biopsies has yet to be reached. Here we report several methodological approaches to [...] Read more.
Background: Liquid biopsies offer a promising alternative to tissue samples, providing non-invasive diagnostic approaches or serial monitoring of disease evolution. However, certain challenges remain, and the full potential of liquid biopsies has yet to be reached. Here we report several methodological approaches to interrogate liquid biopsies using circulating tumour cell (CTC) enumeration and characterisation, transcriptomics, Raman spectroscopy, and copy number instability (CNI) scores using blood samples of lung cancer (LC) patients. Methods: We choose LC; since it still is the most common cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, and therefore there is a need for development of new non-invasive diagnostic/prognostic technologies. Changes in gene expression were assessed using RNA-seq, and in CTCs using ImageStream, an imaging flow-cytometer. CNI scores, from paired tissue/ctDNA were also explored. Raman spectroscopy was used to provide chemical fingerprints of plasma samples. Results: CTCs were detected in all LC patients (n = 10). We observed a significant increase in CTC levels in LC patients (n = 10) compared to controls (n = 21). A similar CNI was noted in the tissue and plasma of 2 patients, where higher CNI scores corresponded with poorer outcome. Significant changes in Raman spectra (carotenoid concentrations) were noted in LC patients (n = 20) compared to controls (n = 10). RNA-seq revealed differential expression of 21 genes between LC cases and controls in both LC tissue and blood samples. Conclusions: Liquid biopsies can potentially provide a more comprehensive picture of the disease compared to a single tissue biopsy. CTC enumeration is feasible and sensitive for LC patients. Molecular profiling of CTCs is also possible from total blood. CNI scores and Raman spectra require further investigation. Further work is being undertaken to explore these methods of detection in a larger LC cohort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Transfer of Extracellular Vesicle-Associated-RNAs Induces Drug Resistance in ALK-Translocated Lung Adenocarcinoma
Cancers 2019, 11(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11010104 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocation is an actionable mutation in lung adenocarcinoma. Nonetheless tumour consists of heterogeneous cell subpopulations with diverse phenotypes and genotypes, and cancer cells can actively release extracellular vesicles (EVs) to modulate the phenotype of other cells in [...] Read more.
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocation is an actionable mutation in lung adenocarcinoma. Nonetheless tumour consists of heterogeneous cell subpopulations with diverse phenotypes and genotypes, and cancer cells can actively release extracellular vesicles (EVs) to modulate the phenotype of other cells in the tumour microenvironment. We hypothesized that EVs derived from a drug-resistant subpopulation of cells could induce drug resistance in recipient cells. We have established ALK-translocated lung adenocarcinoma cell lines and subclones. The subclones have been characterized and the expression of EV-RNAs determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The effects of EV transfer on drug resistance were examined in vitro. Serum EV-RNA was assayed serially in two patients prescribed ALK-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (ALK-TKI) treatment. We demonstrated that the EVs from an ALK-TKI-resistant subclone could induce drug resistance in the originally sensitive subclone. EV-RNA profiling revealed that miRNAs miR-21-5p and miR-486-3p, and lncRNAs MEG3 and XIST were differentially expressed in the EVs secreted by the resistant subclones. These circulating EV-RNA levels have been found to correlate with disease progression of EML4-ALK-translocated lung adenocarcinoma in patients prescribed ALK-TKI treatment. The results from this study suggest that EVs released by a drug-resistant subpopulation can induce drug resistance in other subpopulations and may sustain intratumoural heterogeneity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Molecular and Morphological Profiling of Lung Cancer: A Foundation for “Next-Generation” Pathologists and Oncologists
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050599 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The pathological diagnosis of lung cancer has largely been based on the morphological features observed microscopically. Recent innovations in molecular and genetic technology enable us to compare conventional histological classifications, protein expression status, and gene abnormalities. The introduction of The Cancer Genome Atlas [...] Read more.
The pathological diagnosis of lung cancer has largely been based on the morphological features observed microscopically. Recent innovations in molecular and genetic technology enable us to compare conventional histological classifications, protein expression status, and gene abnormalities. The introduction of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project along with the widespread use of the next-generation sequencer (NGS) have facilitated access to enormous data regarding the molecular profiles of lung cancer. The World Health Organization classification of lung cancer, which was revised in 2015, is based on this progress in molecular pathology; moreover, immunohistochemistry has come to play a larger role in diagnosis. In this article, we focused on genetic and epigenetic abnormalities in non-small cell carcinoma (adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), neuroendocrine tumor (including carcinoids, small cell carcinoma, and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma), and carcinoma with rare histological subtypes. In addition, we summarize the therapeutic targeted reagents that are currently available and undergoing clinical trials. A good understanding of the morphological and molecular profiles will be necessary in routine practice when the NGS platform is widely used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
Brain Metastases from Lung Cancer: Is MET an Actionable Target?
Cancers 2019, 11(3), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11030271 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The process of metastatic dissemination begins when malignant cells start to migrate and leave the primary mass. It is now known that neoplastic progression is associated with a combination of genetic and epigenetic events. Cancer is a genetic disease and this pathogenic concept [...] Read more.
The process of metastatic dissemination begins when malignant cells start to migrate and leave the primary mass. It is now known that neoplastic progression is associated with a combination of genetic and epigenetic events. Cancer is a genetic disease and this pathogenic concept is the basis for a new classification of tumours, based precisely on the presence of definite genetic lesions to which the clones are addicted. Regarding the scatter factor receptors MET and Recepteur d’Origin Nantais (RON), it is recognised that MET is an oncogene necessary for a narrow subset of tumours (MET-addicted) while it works as an adjuvant metastogene for many others. This notion highlights that the anti-MET therapy can be effective as the first line of intervention in only a few MET-addicted cases, while it is certainly more relevant to block MET in cases of advanced neoplasia that exploit the activation of the invasive growth program to promote dissemination in other body parts. Few data are instead related to the role played by RON, a receptor homologous to MET. We have already demonstrated an implication of MET and RON genes in brain metastases from lung cancer. On this basis, the aim of this work is to recapitulate and dissect the molecular basis of metastatic brain dissemination from lung cancer. The latter is among the big killers and frequently gives rise to brain metastases, most often discovered at diagnosis. Molecular mechanisms leading to tumour spread to the brain are mostly unknown and in turn these tragic cases are still lacking effective therapies. Based on previously published data from our group, we aim to summarise and analyse the pathogenic mechanisms leading to activation of the scatter factor receptor in brain metastatic lesions of lung primaries, from the point of view of replacing the currently used empirical treatment with a more targeted approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Molecular Profiling to Predict the Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Lung Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11020201 - 10 Feb 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Immune checkpoint inhibitors radically changed the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, only one-quarter of patients benefit from these new therapies when used as monotherapy. The assessment of Program Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1) tumor expression by immunohistochemistry is used to [...] Read more.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors radically changed the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, only one-quarter of patients benefit from these new therapies when used as monotherapy. The assessment of Program Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1) tumor expression by immunohistochemistry is used to select potential responder patients, but this not an optimal marker since it does not predict the absence of anti PD-1 efficacy. Despite this shortcoming, PD-L1 remains the gold standard biomarker in many studies and the only biomarker available for clinicians. In addition to histological markers, transcriptomic and exome analyses have revealed potential biomarkers requiring further confirmation. Recently, tumor mutational burden has emerged as a good surrogate marker of outcome. In this review we will detail current knowledge on DNA and RNA related biomarkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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Other

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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Stella, G.M. et al. Brain Metastases from Lung Cancer: Is MET an Actionable Target? Cancers 2019, 11, 271
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050644 - 10 May 2019
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Profiling of Lung Cancer)
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