• Novel cell enrichment technique for robust genetic analysis of archival classical Hodgkin lymphoma tissues.

Novel cell enrichment technique for robust genetic analysis of archival classical Hodgkin lymphoma tissues.

Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology (2018-08-09)
Darius Juskevicius, David Jucker, Tanja Dietsche, Valeria Perrina, Alex Rufle, Christian Ruiz, Stefan Dirnhofer, Alexandar Tzankov

Approximately 15% of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) die after relapse or progressive disease. Comprehensive genetic characterization is required to better understand its molecular pathology and improve management. However, genetic information on cHL is hard to obtain mainly due to rare malignant Hodgkin- and Reed-Sternberg cells (HRSC), whose overall frequencies in the affected tissues ranges from 0.1 to 10%. Therefore, enrichment of neoplastic cells is necessary for the majority of genetic investigations. We have developed a new high-throughput method for marker-based enrichment of archival formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue-derived HRSC nuclei by fluorescence-assisted flow sorting (FACS) and successfully applied it on ten cHL cases. Genomic DNA extracted from sorted nuclei was used for targeted high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of 68 genes that are frequently affected in lymphomas. Chromosomal copy number aberrations were investigated by the Agilent SurePrint 180k microarray. Our method enabled HRSC nuclei enrichment to 40-90% in sorted populations. This level of enrichment was sufficient for reliable identification of tumor-specific mutations and copy number aberrations. Genetic analysis revealed that components of JAK-STAT signaling pathway were affected in all investigated tumors by frequent mutations of SOCS1 and STAT6 as well as copy number gains of JAK2. Involvement of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway compounds was evident from recurrent gains of the locus containing the REL gene and mutations in TNFAIP3 and CARD11. Finally, genetic alterations of PD-L1 and B2M suggested immune evasion as mechanisms of oncogenesis in some patients. In this work, we present a new method for HRSC enrichment from FFPE tissue blocks by FACS and demonstrate the feasibility of a wide-scale genetic analysis by cutting-edge molecular methods. Our work opens the door to a large resource of archived clinical cHL samples and lays foundation to more complex studies aimed to answer important biological and clinical questions that are critical to improve cHL management.

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GenomePlex® Complete Whole Genome Amplification (WGA) Kit, Optimized kit with enzyme for amplifying a variety of DNA including FFPE tissue