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Clinically Apparent and Occult Metastasized Seminoma: Almost Indistinguishable on the Transcriptional Level


Müller-Myhsok,  Bertram
Dept. Translational Research in Psychiatry, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Ruf, C. G., Port, M., Schmelz, H.-U., Wagner, W., Mueller, F., Senf, S., et al. (2014). Clinically Apparent and Occult Metastasized Seminoma: Almost Indistinguishable on the Transcriptional Level. PLOS ONE, 9(5): e95009. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095009.

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to examine the biological differences between seminomas with occult and clinically apparent metastases at the time of diagnosis of the primary tumor to gain insight into the biology of these tumors and facilitate the identification of novel predictors of seminoma metastasis. Materials and Methods: Total RNA including small RNAs was isolated from testicular tumors of patients with pure seminoma presenting with lymphogenic metastasis (n = 5, clinical stage IIb/c) and occult metastasis (n = 5, clinical stage I). The regulation of biological processes was examined (1) throughout the mRNA transcriptome (whole genome microarrays, 8660 K Array, Agilent with 4 samples/group) and (2) the miRNA transcriptome employing small RNA next generation sequencing (SOLID, Life Technologies with 5 samples/group). Protein coding genes (mRNAs) and small RNAs showing a significant (>= 2-fold) difference between the groups were identified. Finally (3), we examined 95 candidate miRNAs in 36 apparent metastasized and another 5 occult metastasized seminoma using logistic regression analysis. Results: Among 19,596 genes, on average 12,894 mRNAs appeared expressed (65.8%, SD+/-2.4; range, 62.0-69.3%) and 16.99x10(6)/13.94x10(6) small RNA reads were identified for apparent/occult metastasized seminoma. These reads on average convert into 9,901/9,675 small RNAs including 422/404 mature microRNAs. None of these mRNAs/small RNAs met our selection criteria for candidate genes. From 95 candidate miRNAs 44 appeared expressed, with 3 of them showing weak but significant (p = 0.05) differences among both groups. Conclusions: Occult and apparent metastasized seminomas are biologically almost indistinguishable and probably represent no separate tumor entities. These findings may simplify future research on seminoma metastasis.