Project title: Carcinoid Cancer Genome Study

Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD
  • Status: Completed
  • Year(s): 2009
  • Research Type: Basic
  • Primary Tumor Site: Small intestine
  • Area of Inquiry: Mapping NET dependencies
  • Also seen in April 2018 eUpdate

General Description

The goal of this study is to find novel targets for treatment and to facilitate the development of new targeted therapies and better diagnostics for patients. This is the first genomic study of this magnitude for neuroendocrined tumors. The first goal of this project is to identify which genes are altered in carcinoid, by studying carcinoid DNA with the most powerful new methods available, and comparing these genes sequences to genes from normal tissue. The second goal is to decipher which of these genes can promote tumor growth. The long-term goal is to find new drugs that block the effects of carcinoid-causing genes and thereby kill carcinoid cells.


Dr. Meyerson and his team determined the genetic landscape of small intestine neuroendocrine tumors utilizing exome and whole genome sequencing. In particular, Meyerson’s analysis revealed somatic mutations in the CDKN1B gene among patients with small intestine neuroendocrine tumors and identified CDKN1B as a probable tumor suppressor suggesting that the mutation could lead to unregulated cell growth. This discovery could lead to new treatment strategies, including inhibitory therapies already being developed. Meyerson also found that carcinoid tumors have a very low mutation rate, which is similar to findings in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.


Francis JM, Kiezun A, Ramos AH, Serra S, Pedamallu CS, Qian ZR, Banck MS, Kanwar R, Kulkarni AA, Karpathakis A, Manzo V, Contractor T, Philips J, Nickerson E, Pho N, Hooshmand SM, Brais LK, Lawrence MS, Pugh T, McKenna A, Sivachenko A, Cibulskis K, Carter SL, Ojesina AI, Freeman S, Jones RT, Voet D, Saksena G, Auclair D, Onofrio R, Shefler E, Sougnez C, Grimsby J, Green L, Lennon N, Meyer T, Caplin M, Chung DC, Beutler AS, Ogino S, Thirlwell C, Shivdasani R, Asa SL, Harris CR, Getz G, Kulke M, Meyerson M. Somatic mutation of CDKN1B in small intestine neuroendocrine tumorsNat Genet. 2013 Dec;45(12):1483-6. doi: 10.1038/ng.2821. Epub 2013 Nov 3.    
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    eCollection 2018. Review.

  2. Mishra R, Haldar S, Placencio V, Madhav A, Rohena-Rivera K, Agarwal P, Duong F, Angara B, Tripathi M, Liu Z, Gottlieb RA, Wagner S, Posadas EM, Bhowmick NA. Stromal epigenetic alterations drive metabolic and neuroendocrine prostate cancer reprogramming. J Clin Invest. 2018 Oct 1;128(10):4472-4484. doi: 10.1172/JCI99397. Epub 2018 Jul 26.

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  4. Zhang T, Guo J, Li H, Wang J. Meta-analysis of the prognostic value of p-4EBP1 in human malignancies. Oncotarget. 2017 Dec 7;9(2):2761-2769. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.23031. eCollection 2018 Jan 5.

  5. Chu PY, Jiang SS, Shan YS, Hung WC, Chen MH, Lin HY, Chen YL, Tsai HJ, Chen LT. Mitochondrial phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-M) regulates the cell metabolism of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET) and de-sensitizes pNET to mTOR inhibitors. Oncotarget. 2017 Oct 9;8(61):103613-103625. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.21665. eCollection 2017 Nov 28.

  6. Chang TM, Shan YS, Chu PY, Jiang SS, Hung WC, Chen YL, Tu HC, Lin HY, Tsai HJ, Chen LT. The regulatory role of aberrant Phosphatase and Tensin Homologue and Liver Kinase B1 on AKT/mTOR/c-Myc axis in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Oncotarget. 2017 Sep 16;8(58):98068-98083. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.20956. eCollection 2017 Nov 17.

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  11. Chen B, Yang L, Zhang R, Gan Y, Zhang W, Liu D, Chen H, Tang H. Hyperphosphorylation of RPS6KB1, rather than overexpression, predicts worse prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer patients. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 9;12(8):e0182891. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182891. eCollection 2017. Hilal T. Current understanding and approach to well differentiated lung neuroendocrine tumors: an update on classification and management. Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2017 Mar;9(3):189-199. doi: 10.1177/1758834016678149. Epub 2016 Nov 17. Review.

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  15. Qian ZR, Li T, Ter-Minassian M, Yang J, Chan JA, Brais LK, Masugi Y, Thiaglingam A, Brooks N, Nishihara R, Bonnemarie M, Masuda A, Inamura K, Kim SA, Mima K, Sukawa Y, Dou R, Lin X, Christiani DC, Schmidlin F, Fuchs CS, Mahmood U, et al. Association Between Somatostatin Receptor Expression and Clinical Outcomes in Neuroendocrine Tumors. Pancreas. 2016 Nov;45(10):1386-1393.

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  18. Circelli L, Sciammarella C, Guadagno E, Tafuto S, del Basso de Caro M, Botti G, Pezzullo L, Aria M, Ramundo V, Tatangelo F, Losito NS, Ieranò C, D’Alterio C, Izzo F, Ciliberto G, Colao A, Faggiano A, Scala S. CXCR4/CXCL12/CXCR7 axis is functional in neuroendocrine tumors and signals on mTOR. Oncotarget. 2016 Apr 5;7(14):18865-75. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7738.

  19. Robbins HL, Hague A. The PI3K/Akt Pathway in Tumors of Endocrine Tissues. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2016 Jan 11;6:188. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2015.00188. eCollection 2015. Review. Kleist B, Poetsch M. Neuroendocrine differentiation: The mysterious fellow of colorectal cancer. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Nov 7;21(41):11740-7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i41.11740. Review.

  20. Harter PN, Jennewein L, Baumgarten P, Ilina E, Burger MC, Thiepold AL, Tichy J, Zörnig M, Senft C, Steinbach JP, Mittelbronn M, Ronellenfitsch MW. Immunohistochemical Assessment of Phosphorylated mTORC1-Pathway Proteins in Human Brain Tumors. PLoS One. 2015 May 19;10(5):e0127123. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127123. eCollection 2015.

  21. Yi YW, You K, Bae EJ, Kwak SJ, Seong YS, Bae I. Dual inhibition of EGFR and MET induces synthetic lethality in triple-negative breast cancer cells through downregulation of ribosomal protein S6. Int J Oncol. 2015 Jul;47(1):122-32. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2015.2982. Epub 2015 May 4. 

Additional Details

  • City: Boston
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Grant Duration: 3 years
  • Awards: No information


NETRF funds laboratory research to understand the development of neuroendocrine tumors and translational research to explore new concepts in treatment. Research grant descriptions and research updates from NETRF are not intended to serve as medical advice. It can take years for research discoveries to be fully validated and approved for patient care. Always consult your health care providers about your treatment options.

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