Purpose: To better understand the molecular mechanisms that underlay the development and progression of nonseminomatous germ cell tumor of testis (NSGCTT) as well as malignant transformation of teratoma and primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET). Experimental Design: We studied the gene expression profiles of 17 retroperitoneal NSGCTTs (10 yolk sac tumors, 3 embryonal carcinomas, 4 teratomas) and 2 PNETs obtained from patients with two clinical outcomes. Tissue samples were obtained from the Indiana University. One group of NSGCTT and PNET patients developed metastases within 2 years (early-relapse) of initial successful treatment, and the other group developed metastases after 2 years (late-relapse). Gene expression in these groups of patients was quantified using cDNA microarrays and real-time relative quantitative PCR. Results: We demonstrate that the gene expression profiles of these tumors correlate with histological type. In addition, we identify type-specific genes that may serve as novel diagnostic markers. We also identify a gene set that can distinguish between early-relapse and late-relapse yolk sac tumors. The expression differences of these genes may underlie the differences in clinical outcome and drug response of these tumors. Conclusion: This is the first study that used gene expression profiling to examine the molecular characteristics of the NSGCTTs and drug response in early- and late-relapse tumors. These results suggest that two molecularly distinct forms of NSGCTTs exist and that the integration of expression profile data with clinical parameters could enhance the diagnosis and prognosis of NSGCTTs. More importantly, the identified genes provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of aggressive NSGCTTs and suggest intervention strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research