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Research in to the basic, epidemiological, preventive, clinical and translational aspects of leukaemia and other hematologic malignancies

Caring research


2020 November 16

Dr. Manel Esteller, director of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, recognized among the scientists with the most impact according to Stanford University

Manel Esteller, Director of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute (IJC), ICREA Researcher and Professor of Genetics at the University of Barcelona is recognized by the prestigious Stanford  University in the United States among the 0.001% of researchers with the most impact on world level in all areas of Science.

Recent publications

David A. Wheeler,Naoko Takebe,Toshinori Hinoue,Katherine A. Hoadley, Maria F. Cardenas, Alina M. Hamilton,Peter W. Laird,Linghua Wang, Adrienne Johnson,Ninad Dewal,Vincent Miller, David Piñeyro, Manuel Castro de Moura, Esteller M, Hui Shen,Jean Claude Zenklusen,Roy Tarnuzzer, Lisa M. McShane,James V. Tricoli,Paul M. Williams,Irina Lubensky,Geraldine O’Sullivan-Coyne,Elise C. Kohn,Richard F. Little,Jeffrey White,Shakun Malik,Lyndsay Harris,Carol Weil,Alice P. Chen,Chris Karlovich, Brian Rodgers,Lalitha Shankar,Paula Jacobs,Tracy Nolan,Jianhong Hu,Donna M. Muzny, Harshavardhan Doddapaneni, Viktoriya Korchina,Julie Gastier-Foster,Jay Bowen,Kristen Leraas, Elijah F. Edmondson,James H. Doroshow,Barbara A. Conley, S. Percy Ivy, and Louis M. Staudt

Molecular Features of Cancers Exhibiting Exceptional Responses to Treatment

Cancer Cell . 2020 Nov 16;S1535-6108(20)30546-8. 16 Nov 2020, .
A small fraction of cancer patients with advanced disease survive significantly longer than patients with clinically comparable tumors. Molecular mechanisms for exceptional responses to therapy have been identified by genomic analysis of tumor biopsies from individual patients. Here, we analyzed tumor biopsies from an unbiased cohort of 111 exceptional responder patients using multiple platforms to profile genetic and epigenetic aberrations as well as the tumor microenvironment. Integrative analysis uncovered plausible mechanisms for the therapeutic response in nearly a quarter of the patients. The mechanisms were assigned to four broad categories-DNA damage response, intracellular signaling, immune engagement, and genetic alterations characteristic of favorable prognosis-with many tumors falling into multiple categories. These analyses revealed synthetic lethal relationships that may be exploited therapeutically and rare genetic lesions that favor therapeutic success, while also providing a wealth of testable hypotheses regarding oncogenic mechanisms that may influence the response to cancer therapy.
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Cuatrecasas M, Gorostiaga I, Riera C, Saperas E, Llort G, Costa I, Matias-Guiu X, Carrato C, Navarro M, Pineda M, Dueñas N, Brunet J, Marco V, Trias I, Busteros JI, Mateu G, Balaguer F, Fernández-Figueras MT,, Esteller M, Musulén E.

Complete Loss of EPCAM Immunoexpression Identifies EPCAM Deletion Carriers in MSH2-Negative Colorectal Neoplasia

Cancers (Basel) . 2020 Sep 29;12(10):E2803 29 Sep 2020, .
The use of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EPCAM) immunohistochemistry (IHC) is not included in the colorectal cancer (CRC) screening algorithm to detect Lynch syndrome (LS) patients. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate that EPCAM IHC is a useful tool to guide the LS germ-line analysis when a loss of MSH2 expression was present. We retrospectively studied MSH2 and EPCAM IHC in a large series of 190 lesions composed of malignant neoplasms (102), precursor lesions of gastrointestinal (71) and extra-gastrointestinal origin (9), and benign neoplasms (8) from different organs of 71 patients suspicious of being LS due to MSH2 alterations. LS was confirmed in 68 patients, 53 with MSH2 mutations and 15 with EPCAM 3'-end deletions. Tissue microarrays were constructed with human normal tissues and their malignant counterparts to assist in the evaluation of EPCAM staining. Among 154 MSH2-negative lesions, 17 were EPCAM-negative, including 10 CRC and 7 colorectal polyps, and 5 of them showed only isolated negative glands. All lesions showing a lack of EPCAM expression belonged to patients with EPCAM 3'-end deletions. EPCAM IHC is a useful screening tool, with 100% specificity to identify LS patients due to EPCAM 3'-end deletions in MSH2-negative CRC and MSH2-negative colorectal polyps.
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Esteve-Puig R, Climent F, Piñeyro D, Domingo-Domènech E, Davalos V, Encuentra M, Rea A, Espejo-Herrera N, Soler M, Lopez M, Ortiz-Barahona V, Tapia G, Navarro T, Cid J, Farré L, Villanueva A, Casanova I, Mangues R, Santamarina-Ojeda P, Fernández AF, Fraga MF, Piris MA, Kol N, Avrahami C, Moshitch-Moshkovitz S, Rechavi G, Sureda A, Esteller M

Epigenetic Loss of m1A RNA Demethylase ALKBH3 in Hodgkin Lymphoma Targets Collagen Conferring Poor Clinical Outcome

Blood 15 Sep 2020, .
No abstract available
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Janin, M, Esteller, M

Epigenetic Awakening of Viral Mimicry in Cancer

Cancer Discov . 2020 Sep;10(9):1258-1260 10 Sep 2020, .
In this issue, Deblois and colleagues show how taxane-resistant triple-negative breast cancer cells evade viral mimicry response as a result of metabolic alteration, DNA hypomethylation, and relocation of histone H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). This adaptation confers a therapeutic vulnerability to the inhibition of the H3K27me3 methyltransferase EZH2 in resistant cells, leading to tumor growth inhibition by viral mimicry reactivation.
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Rosselló-Tortella M, Llinàs-Arias P, Sakaguchi Y, Miyauchi K, Davalos V, Setien F, Calleja-Cervantes ME, Piñeyro D, Martínez-Gómez J, Guil S, Joshi R, Villanueva A, Suzuki T, Esteller M

Epigenetic loss of the transfer RNA-modifying enzyme TYW2 induces ribosome frameshifts in colon cancer

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Aug 25 25 Aug 2020, 117(34):20785-20793 .
Transfer RNA (tRNA) activity is tightly regulated to provide a physiological protein translation, and tRNA chemical modifications control its function in a complex with ribosomes and messenger RNAs (mRNAs). In this regard, the correct hypermodification of position G37 of phenylalanine-tRNA, adjacent to the anticodon, is critical to prevent ribosome frameshifting events. Here we report that the tRNA-yW Synthesizing Protein 2 (TYW2) undergoes promoter hypermethylation-associated transcriptional silencing in human cancer, particularly in colorectal tumors. The epigenetic loss of TYW2 induces guanosine hypomodification in phenylalanine-tRNA, an increase in -1 ribosome frameshift events, and down-regulation of transcripts by mRNA decay, such as of the key cancer gene ROBO1. Importantly, TYW2 epigenetic inactivation is linked to poor overall survival in patients with early-stage colorectal cancer, a finding that could be related to the observed acquisition of enhanced migration properties and epithelial-to-mesenchymal features in the colon cancer cells that harbor TYW2 DNA methylation-associated loss. These findings provide an illustrative example of how epigenetic changes can modify the epitranscriptome and further support a role for tRNA modifications in cancer biology
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5 March 2021 12:00 - 13:00
Online. Hans Clevers, Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research and at the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, Nederland

Organoids to model human disease