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Τρίτη, 28 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

SuperSonic features Aixplorer updates at ECR 2017

Ultrasound technology developer SuperSonic Imagine is showing updates to its...


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Bleeding near brain is linked to increased use of anti-clotting drugs, study finds

The risk of subdural haematoma is associated with antithrombotic drug use, particularly a vitamin K antagonist, a large Danish study has found.1Although use of antithrombotic drugs has long been...
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Non-invasive prenatal screening should be banned for sex selection, says ethics report

Testing a fetus to determine its sex should be banned, and the marketing practices of manufacturers and private companies offering the tests should be more closely monitored, a report has...
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Activity of human kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) on substrates containing sequences of basic amino acids. Is it a processing protease?

Publication date: Available online 28 February 2017
Source:Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins and Proteomics
Author(s): Roberta N. Silva, Lilian C.G. Oliveira, Carolina B. Parise, Juliana R. Oliveira, Beatrice Severino, Angela Corvino, Paola di Vaio, Piero A. Temussi, Giuseppe Caliendo, Vincenzo Santagada, Luiz Juliano, Maria A. Juliano
Human kallikrein 6 (KLK6) is highly expressed in the central nervous system and with elevated level in demyelinating disease. KLK6 has a very restricted specificity for arginine (R) and hydrolyses myelin basic protein, protein activator receptors and human ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits. Here we report a previously unreported activity of KLK6 on peptides containing clusters of basic amino acids, as in synthetic fluorogenic peptidyl-Arg-7-amino-4-carbamoylmethylcoumarin (peptidyl-ACC) peptides and FRET peptides in the format of Abz-peptidyl-Q-EDDnp (where Abz=ortho-aminobenzoic acid and Q-EDDnp = glutaminyl- N-(2,4-dinitrophenyl) ethylenediamine), in which pairs or sequences of basic amino acids (R or K) were introduced. Surprisingly, KLK6 hydrolyzed the fluorogenic peptides Bz-A-RR-ACC and Z-RR-MCA between the two R groups, resulting in non-fluorescent products. FRET peptides containing furin processing sequences of human MMP-14, nerve growth factor (NGF), Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and Neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) were cleaved by KLK6 at the same position expected by furin. Finally, KLK6 cleaved FRET peptides derived from human proenkephalin after the KR, the more frequent basic residues flanking enkephalins in human proenkephalin sequence. This result suggests the ability of KLK6 to release enkephalin from proenkephalin precursors and resembles furin a canonical processing proteolytic enzyme. Molecular models of peptides were built into the KLK6 structure and the marked preference of the cut between the two R of the examined peptides was related to the extended conformation of the substrates.



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Correction: PI3K Pathway Inhibition Achieves Potent Antitumor Activity in Melanoma Brain Metastases In Vitro and In Vivo



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Correction: Bortezomib Treatment Sensitizes Oncolytic HSV-1-Treated Tumors to NK Cell Immunotherapy



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Correction: PAK1 Is a Novel Therapeutic Target in Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor-Resistant Lung Adenocarcinoma Activated by the PI3K/AKT Signaling Regardless of EGFR Mutation



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Establishment of Patient-Derived Tumor Xenograft Models of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer for Preclinical Evaluation of Novel Therapeutics

Purpose: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancy in the United States, with high rates of recurrence and eventual resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Model systems that allow for accurate and reproducible target discovery and validation are needed to support further drug development in this disease.

Experimental Design: Clinically annotated patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models were generated from tumor cells isolated from the ascites or pleural fluid of patients undergoing clinical procedures. Models were characterized by IHC and by molecular analyses. Each PDX was luciferized to allow for reproducible in vivo assessment of intraperitoneal tumor burden by bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Plasma assays for CA125 and human LINE-1 were developed as secondary tests of in vivo disease burden.

Results: Fourteen clinically annotated and molecularly characterized luciferized ovarian PDX models were generated. Luciferized PDX models retain fidelity to both the nonluciferized PDX and the original patient tumor, as demonstrated by IHC, array CGH, and targeted and whole-exome sequencing analyses. Models demonstrated diversity in specific genetic alterations and activation of PI3K signaling pathway members. Response of luciferized PDX models to standard-of-care therapy could be reproducibly monitored by BLI or plasma markers.

Conclusions: We describe the establishment of a collection of 14 clinically annotated and molecularly characterized luciferized ovarian PDX models in which orthotopic tumor burden in the intraperitoneal space can be followed by standard and reproducible methods. This collection is well suited as a platform for proof-of-concept efficacy and biomarker studies and for validation of novel therapeutic strategies in ovarian cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1263–73. ©2016 AACR.



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Molecular Pathways: The Necrosome--A Target for Cancer Therapy

Necroptosis is a caspase-8–independent cell death that requires coactivation of receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1) and receptor-interacting protein 3 (RIP3) kinases. The necrosome is a complex consisting of RIP1, RIP3, and Fas-associated protein with death domain leading to activation of the pseudokinase mixed lineage kinase like followed by a rapid plasma membrane rupture and inflammatory response through the release of damage-associated molecular patterns and cytokines. The necrosome has been shown to be relevant in multiple tumor types, including pancreatic adenocarcinoma, melanoma, and several hematologic malignancies. Preclinical data suggest that targeting this complex can have differential impact on tumor progression and that the effect of necroptosis on oncogenesis is cell-type and context dependent. The emerging data suggest that targeting the necrosome may lead to immunogenic reprogramming in the tumor microenvironment in multiple tumors and that combining therapies targeting the necrosome with either conventional chemotherapy or immunotherapy may have beneficial effects. Thus, understanding the interplay of necroptotic cell death, transformed cells, and the immune system may enable the development of novel therapeutic approaches. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1132–6. ©2016 AACR.



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Exploring the Benefit/Risk Associated with Antiangiogenic Agents for the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Following the approval of bevacizumab, an antibody targeting VEGF-A, for advanced non-squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in 2006, intensive efforts were put into the clinical development of antiangiogenic agents for NSCLC. Currently, the other antiangiogenic agents approved for NSCLC are ramucirumab, a VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2)–targeting antibody indicated for both squamous and non-squamous NSCLC in the United States, and nintedanib, an anti–VEGFR-1/2/3, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α/β, fibroblast growth factor receptor-1/2/3 angiokinase inhibitor indicated for adenocarcinoma of the lung in the European Union. Many other antiangiogenic agents are being evaluated in phase III trials for NSCLC, including aflibercept, sunitinib, sorafenib, cediranib, and vandetanib. Although many of the same signaling pathways are targeted by these novel agents, mixed efficacy results have been observed in these trials. Moreover, safety issues have raised concerns about using antiangiogenic agents in this patient population, and fatal bleeding events have been reported. Importantly, although no biomarker has yet been validated for antiangiogenic agents in NSCLC, biomarkers that show potential include circulating levels of short VEGF-A isoforms, expression of neuropilin-1 and VEGFR-1 in tumors and plasma, genetic variants in VEGF-A and VEGFR, and tumor protein p53 mutations (with the latter having been shown to correlate with increased levels of VEGF-A transcripts). This review provides an overview of the clinical benefit and risk associated with the use of antiangiogenic agents for NSCLC, and summarizes the research to date on the identification of predictive biomarkers for antiangiogenic therapies. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1137–48. ©2016 AACR.



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Exportin-5 Functions as an Oncogene and a Potential Therapeutic Target in Colorectal Cancer

Purpose: Dysregulated expression of miRNAs has emerged as a hallmark feature in human cancers. Exportin-5 (XPO5), a karyopherin family member, is a key protein responsible for transporting precursor miRNAs from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Although XPO5 is one of the key regulators of miRNA biogenesis, its functional role and potential clinical significance in colorectal cancer remains unclear.

Experimental Design: The expression levels of XPO5 were initially assessed in three genomic datasets, followed by determination and validation of the relationship between XPO5 expression and clinicopathologic features in two independent colorectal cancer patient cohorts. A functional characterization of XPO5 in colorectal cancer was examined by targeted gene silencing in colorectal cancer cell lines and a xenograft animal model.

Results: XPO5 is upregulated, both at mRNA and protein levels, in colorectal cancers compared with normal tissues. High XPO5 expression is associated with worse clinicopathologic features and poor survival in colorectal cancer patient cohorts. The siRNA knockdown of XPO5 resulted in reduced cellular proliferation, attenuated invasion, induction of G1–S cell-cycle arrest, and downregulation of key oncogenic miRNAs in colorectal cancer cells. These findings were confirmed in a xenograft animal model, wherein silencing of XPO5 resulted in the attenuation of tumor growth.

Conclusions: XPO5 acts like an oncogene in colorectal cancer by regulating the expression of miRNAs and may be a potential therapeutic target in colorectal cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1312–22. ©2016 AACR.



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Extended Treatment with Single-Agent Ibrutinib at the 420 mg Dose Leads to Durable Responses in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma

Purpose: Ibrutinib, a first-in-class, once-daily, oral inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase, promotes apoptosis, and inhibits B-cell proliferation, adhesion, and migration. Ibrutinib has demonstrated single-agent efficacy and acceptable tolerability at doses of 420 and 840 mg in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) who were treatment-naïve (TN) or had relapsed/refractory (R/R) CLL after ≥1 prior therapy in a phase Ib/II study (PCYC-1102). Subsequently, the ibrutinib 420 mg dose was approved in CLL.

Experimental Design: We report data with 44 months of follow-up on 94 patients with TN and R/R CLL/SLL receiving ibrutinib 420 mg once-daily in PCYC-1102 and the long-term extension study PCYC-1103.

Results: Ninety-four CLL/SLL patients (27 TN, 67 R/R) were treated with ibrutinib (420 mg/day). Patients with R/R disease had received a median of four prior therapies (range, 1–12). Responses were rapid and durable and median duration of response was not reached. Best overall response was 91% [85% TN (complete response, CR 26%) and 94% R/R (9% CR)]. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was not reached in either group. The 30-month PFS rate was 96% and 76% for TN and R/R patients, respectively. Ibrutinib was well tolerated with extended follow-up; rates of grade ≥3 cytopenias and fatigue, as well as discontinuations due to toxicities decreased over time.

Conclusions: Single-agent ibrutinib at 420 mg once-daily resulted in durable responses and was well tolerated with up to 44 months follow-up in patients with TN and R/R CLL/SLL. Currently, 66% of patients continue on ibrutinib. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1149–55. ©2017 AACR.



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Plerixafor Improves Primary Tumor Response and Reduces Metastases in Cervical Cancer Treated with Radio-Chemotherapy

Purpose: There is an important need to improve the effectiveness of radio-chemotherapy (RTCT) for cervical cancer. The CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway can influence RT response by recruiting normal myeloid cells to the tumor microenvironment that in turn can exert radioprotective effects, and may promote metastases. The objective of this study was to explore the efficacy and toxicity of combining RTCT with CXCL12/CXCR4 inhibition in cervical cancer.

Experimental Design: CXCR4 expression was measured in 115 patients with cervical cancer. Two primary orthotopic cervical cancer xenografts (OCICx) with different levels of CXCR4 expression were treated with RT (30 Gy: 15 daily fractions) and weekly cisplatin (4 mg/kg), with or without the CXCR4 inhibitor Plerixafor (5 mg/kg/day). The endpoints were tumor growth delay and lymph node metastases. Acute intestinal toxicity was assessed using a crypt cell assay.

Results: There was a fivefold variation in CXCR4 mRNA expression in the patient samples, and good correlation between the expression in patients and in the xenografts. The combination of RTCT and Plerixafor produced substantial tumor growth delay and reduced lymph node metastases compared with RTCT alone in both of the xenograft models. There was a trend toward reduced acute intestinal toxicity with the addition of Plerixafor to RTCT. There were no changes in normal organ morphology to suggest increased late toxicity.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the addition of Plerixafor to standard RTCT improves primary tumor response and reduces metastases in cervical cancer with no increase in toxicity. This combination warrants further investigation in phase I/II clinical trials. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1242–9. ©2016 AACR.



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Autologous T Cells Expressing CD30 Chimeric Antigen Receptors for Relapsed or Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma: An Open-Label Phase I Trial

Purpose: Relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma is a challenge for medical oncologists because of poor overall survival. We aimed to assess the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of CD30-targeting CAR T cells in patients with progressive relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.

Experimental Design: Patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma received a conditioning chemotherapy followed by the CART-30 cell infusion. The level of CAR transgenes in peripheral blood and biopsied tumor tissues was measured periodically according to an assigned protocol by quantitative PCR (qPCR).

Results: Eighteen patients were enrolled; most of whom had a heavy treatment history or multiple tumor lesions and received a mean of 1.56 x 107 CAR-positive T cell per kg (SD, 0.25; range, 1.1–2.1) in total during infusion. CART-30 cell infusion was tolerated, with grade ≥3 toxicities occurring only in two of 18 patients. Of 18 patients, seven achieved partial remission and six achieved stable disease. An inconsistent response of lymphoma was observed: lymph nodes presented a better response than extranodal lesions and the response of lung lesions seemed to be relatively poor. Lymphocyte recovery accompanied by an increase of circulating CAR T cells (peaking between 3 and 9 days after infusion) is a probable indictor of clinical response. Analysis of biopsied tissues by qPCR and immunohistochemistry revealed the trafficking of CAR T cells into the targeted sites and reduction of the expression of CD30 in tumors.

Conclusions: CART-30 cell therapy was safe, feasible, and efficient in relapsed or refractory lymphoma and guarantees a large-scale patient recruitment. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1156–66. ©2016 AACR.



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PI3K-mTOR Pathway Inhibition Exhibits Efficacy Against High-grade Glioma in Clinically Relevant Mouse Models

Purpose: The PI3K–AKT–mTOR signaling pathway is frequently activated in glioblastoma and offers several druggable targets. However, clinical efficacy of PI3K/mTOR inhibitors in glioblastoma has not yet been demonstrated. Insufficient drug delivery may limit the efficacy of PI3K/mTOR inhibitors against glioblastoma. The presence of the efflux transporters ABCB1/Abcb1 (P-glycoprotein, MDR1) and ABCG2/Abcg2 (BCRP) at the blood–brain barrier (BBB) restricts the brain penetration of many drugs.

Experimental Design: We used in vitro drug transport assays and performed pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies in wild-type and ABC-transporter knockout mice. The efficacy of PI3K-mTOR inhibition was established using orthotopic allograft and genetically engineered spontaneous glioblastoma mouse models.

Results: The mTOR inhibitors rapamycin and AZD8055 are substrates of ABCB1, whereas the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 and the PI3K inhibitor ZSTK474 are not. Moreover, ABCG2 transports NVP-BEZ235 and AZD8055, but not ZSTK474 or rapamycin. Concordantly, Abcb1a/b–/–;Abcg2–/– mice revealed increased brain penetration of rapamycin (13-fold), AZD8055 (7.7-fold), and NVP-BEZ235 (4.5-fold), but not ZSTK474 relative to WT mice. Importantly, ABC transporters limited rapamycin brain penetration to subtherapeutic levels, while the reduction in NVP-BEZ235 brain penetration did not prevent target inhibition. NVP-BEZ235 and ZSTK474 demonstrated antitumor efficacy with improved survival against U87 orthotopic gliomas, although the effect of ZSTK474 was more pronounced. Finally, ZSTK474 prolonged overall survival in Cre-LoxP conditional transgenic Pten;p16Ink4a/p19Arf;K-Rasv12;LucR mice, mainly by delaying tumor onset.

Conclusions: PI3K/mTOR inhibitors with weak affinities for ABC transporters can achieve target inhibition in brain (tumors), but have modest single-agent efficacy and combinations with (BBB penetrable) inhibitors of other activated pathways may be required. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1286–98. ©2016 AACR.



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New Strategies in Metastatic Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer: Searching for Biomarkers to Tailor Endocrine and Other Targeted Therapies

Although major advances in our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of hormone receptor–positive (HR+) breast cancer have led to new therapies that have substantially improved patient outcomes, endocrine-resistant disease still remains a leading cause of breast cancer mortality. Comprehensive molecular profiling of breast cancers has highlighted tremendous tumor heterogeneity, and analysis of paired primary and metastatic tumors has shown the evolution that can occur during acquired resistance to systemic therapies. Novel techniques for monitoring tumor load under treatment pressure, including "liquid biopsy" techniques, such as circulating free tumor DNA (cfDNA) and circulating tumor cells, have shown promise as biomarkers to direct treatment without invasive tumor biopsies. However, more research is needed to deepen our understanding of breast cancer alterations under treatment pressure to reveal mechanisms of drug resistance and apply precision medicine in biomarker-driven clinical trials. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1126–31. ©2016 AACR.



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Multilayer OMIC Data in Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Identifies the STAT3 Pathway as a Potential Therapeutic Target in RETM918T Tumors

Purpose: Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a rare disease with few genetic drivers, and the etiology specific to each known susceptibility mutation remains unknown. Exploiting multilayer genomic data, we focused our interest on the role of aberrant DNA methylation in MTC development.

Experimental Design: We performed genome-wide DNA methylation profiling assessing more than 27,000 CpGs in the largest MTC series reported to date, comprising 48 molecularly characterized tumors. mRNA and miRNA expression data were available for 33 and 31 tumors, respectively. Two human MTC cell lines and 101 paraffin-embedded MTCs were used for validation.

Results: The most distinctive methylome was observed for RETM918T-related tumors. Integration of methylation data with mRNA and miRNA expression data identified genes negatively regulated by promoter methylation. These in silico findings were confirmed in vitro for PLCB2, DKK4, MMP20, and miR-10a, -30a, and -200c. The mutation-specific aberrant methylation of PLCB2, DKK4, and MMP20 was validated in 25 independent MTCs by bisulfite pyrosequencing. The methylome and transcriptome data underscored JAK/Stat pathway involvement in RETM918T MTCs. Immunostaining [immunohistochemistry (IHC)] for the active form of signaling effector STAT3 was performed in a series of 101 MTCs. As expected, positive IHC was associated with RETM918T-bearing tumors (P < 0.02). Pharmacologic inhibition of STAT3 activity increased the sensitivity to vandetanib of the RETM918T-positive MTC cell line, MZ-CRC-1.

Conclusions: Multilayer OMIC data analysis uncovered methylation hallmarks in genetically defined MTCs and revealed JAK/Stat signaling effector STAT3 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of RETM918T MTCs. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1334–45. ©2016 AACR.



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Phase I Study of the Anti-CD22 Antibody-Drug Conjugate Pinatuzumab Vedotin with/without Rituximab in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Purpose: Pinatuzumab vedotin is an antibody–drug conjugate with the potent antimicrotubule agent monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) conjugated to an anti-CD22 antibody via a protease-cleavable linker. This phase I study determined its recommended phase II dose (RP2D) and evaluated its safety, tolerability, and antitumor activity alone and with rituximab in relapsed/refractory (r/r) non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Experimental Design: Patients received escalating doses of pinatuzumab vedotin every 21 days. Clinical activity at the RP2D alone or with rituximab was evaluated in r/r diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and r/r indolent NHL (iNHL) patients.

Results: Seventy-five patients received single-agent pinatuzumab vedotin. The RP2D was 2.4 mg/kg, based on dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) of grade 4 neutropenia >7 days in 1 of 3 patients and grade 4 neutropenia <7 days in 2 of 3 patients treated at 3.2 mg/kg (maximum assessed dose). No DLTs occurred at 2.4 mg/kg. At the RP2D, neutropenia was the most common grade ≥3 adverse event. Peripheral neuropathy–related grade ≥2 adverse events most frequently resulted in treatment discontinuation. Rituximab cotreatment did not impact safety, tolerability, or pharmacokinetics of pinatuzumab vedotin. Unconjugated MMAE exposure was much lower than antibody-conjugated MMAE exposure, without accumulation with repeat dosing. At the RP2D, objective responses were observed in DLBCL (9/25) and iNHL (7/14) patients; 2 of 8 patients treated with pinatuzumab vedotin (RP2D) and rituximab had complete responses. CLL patients showed no objective responses.

Conclusions: The RP2D of pinatuzumab vedotin alone and with rituximab was 2.4 mg/kg, which was well tolerated, with encouraging clinical activity in r/r NHL. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1167–76. ©2016 AACR.



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A Phase I Clinical Trial and Independent Patient-Derived Xenograft Study of Combined Targeted Treatment with Dacomitinib and Figitumumab in Advanced Solid Tumors

Purpose: This phase I, open-label, single-arm trial assessed the safety and tolerability of dacomitinib–figitumumab combination therapy in patients with advanced solid tumors.

Experimental Design: A standard 3 + 3 dose escalation/de-escalation design was utilized. Starting doses were figitumumab 20 mg/kg administered intravenously once every 3 weeks and dacomitinib 30 mg administered orally once daily. We also performed an independent study of the combination in patient-derived xenograft (avatar mouse) models of adenoid cystic carcinoma.

Results: Of the 74 patients enrolled, the most common malignancies were non–small cell lung cancer (24.3%) and colorectal cancer (14.9%). The most common treatment-related adverse events in the 71 patients who received treatment across five dose levels were diarrhea (59.2%), mucosal inflammation (47.9%), and fatigue and acneiform dermatitis (45.1% each). The most common dose-limiting toxicity was mucosal inflammation. Dosing schedules of dacomitinib 10 or 15 mg daily plus figitumumab 20 mg/kg every 3 weeks after a figitumumab loading dose were tolerated by patients over multiple cycles and considered recommended doses for further evaluation. Objective responses were seen in patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma, and salivary gland cancer. Pharmacokinetic analysis did not show any significant drug–drug interaction. In the adenoid cystic carcinoma xenograft model, figitumumab exerted significant antitumor activity, whereas dacomitinib did not. Figitumumab-sensitive tumors showed downregulation of genes in the insulin-like growth factor receptor 1 pathway.

Conclusions: Dacomitinib–figitumumab combination therapy was tolerable with significant dose reductions of both agents to less than the recommended single-agent phase II dose of each drug. Preliminary clinical activity was demonstrated in the potential target tumor adenoid cystic carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1177–85. ©2016 AACR.

See related commentary by Sundar et al., p. 1123



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BRCA1-Mutated Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Shows BRCAness, Suggesting Sensitivity to Drugs Targeting Homologous Recombination Deficiency

Purpose: As estrogen receptor–positive (ER+) breast cancer in BRCA1 mutation carriers arises at an older age with less aggressive tumor characteristics than ER-negative (ER) BRCA1-mutated breast cancer, it has been suggested that these tumors are "sporadic" and not BRCA1 driven. With the introduction of targeted treatments specific for tumors with a nonfunctioning BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, the question whether the BRCA genes are impaired in the tumor is highly relevant. Therefore, we performed genomic profiling of BRCA1-mutated ER+ tumors.

Experimental Design: Genomic profiling, BRCA1 promoter methylation assessment, and loss of heterozygosity analysis were done on 16 BRCA1-mutated ER+ tumors. Results were compared with 57 BRCA1-mutated ER tumors, 36 BRCA2-mutated ER+-associated tumors, and 182 sporadic ER+ tumors.

Results: The genomic profile of BRCA1-mutated ER+ tumors was different from BRCA1-mutated ER breast tumors, but highly similar to BRCA2-mutated ER+ tumors. In 83% of the BRCA1-mutated ER+ tumors, loss of the wild-type BRCA1 allele was observed. In addition, clinicopathologic variables in BRCA1-mutated ER+ cancer were also more similar to BRCA2-mutated ER+ and sporadic ER+ breast cancer than to BRCA1-mutated ER cancers.

Conclusions: As BRCA1-mutated ER+ tumors show a BRCAness copy number profile and LOH, it is likely that the loss of a functional BRCA1 protein plays a role in tumorigenesis in BRCA1-mutated ER+ tumors. Therefore, we hypothesize that these tumors are sensitive to drugs targeting the BRCA1 gene defect, providing new targeted treatment modalities for advanced BRCA-deficient, ER+ breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1236–41. ©2016 AACR.



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Safety and Pharmacodynamics of the PDE4 Inhibitor Roflumilast in Advanced B-cell Malignancies

Purpose: In this study, we aimed to validate our extensive preclinical data on phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) as actionable target in B-cell malignancies. Our specific objectives were to determine the safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics (PI3K/AKT activity), as well as to capture any potential antitumor activity of the PDE4 inhibitor roflumilast in combination with prednisone in patients with advanced B-cell malignancies.

Experimental Design: Single-center, exploratory phase Ib open-label, nonrandomized study. Roflumilast (500 mcg PO) was given daily for 21 days with prednisone on days 8 to 14. Additional 21-day cycles were started if patients tolerated cycle 1 and had at least stable disease.

Results: Ten patients, median age 65 years with an average of three prior therapies, were enrolled. The median number of cycles administered was 4 (range, 1–13). Treatment was well tolerated; the most common ≥grade 2 treatment-related adverse events were fatigue, anorexia (≥25%), and transient ≥ grade 2 neutropenia (30%). Treatment with roflumilast as a single agent significantly suppressed PI3K activity in the 77% of patients evaluated; on average, patients with PI3K/AKT suppression stayed in trial for 156 days (49–315) versus 91 days (28–139 days) for those without this biomarker response. Six of the nine evaluable patients (66%) had partial response or stable disease. The median number of days in trial was 105 days (range, 28–315).

Conclusions: Repurposing the PDE4 inhibitor roflumilast for treatment of B-cell malignancies is safe, suppresses the oncogenic PI3K/AKT kinases, and may be clinically active. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1186–92. ©2016 AACR.



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Survival and Proliferation of Neural Progenitor-Derived Glioblastomas Under Hypoxic Stress is Controlled by a CXCL12/CXCR4 Autocrine-Positive Feedback Mechanism

Purpose: One likely cause of treatment failure in glioblastoma is the persistence of glioma stem-like cells (GSLCs) which are highly resistant to therapies currently employed. We found that CXCL12 has highest expression in glioma cells derived from neural progenitor cells (NPC). The development and molecular signature of NPC-derived glioblastomas were analyzed and the therapeutic effect of blocking CXCL12 was tested.

Experimental Design: Tumors were induced by injecting DNA into the lateral ventricle of neonatal mice, using the Sleeping Beauty transposase method. Histology and expression of GSLC markers were analyzed during disease progression. Survival upon treatment with pharmacologic (plerixafor) or genetic inhibition of CXCR4 was analyzed. Primary neurospheres were generated and analyzed for proliferation, apoptosis, and expression of proteins regulating survival and cell-cycle progression.

Results: Tumors induced from NPCs display histologic features of human glioblastoma and express markers of GSLC. In vivo, inhibiting the CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling axis results in increased survival of tumor-bearing animals. In vitro, CXCR4 blockade induces apoptosis and inhibits cell-cycle progression, downregulates molecules regulating survival and proliferation, and also blocks the hypoxic induction of HIF-1α and CXCL12. Exogenous administration of CXCL12 rescues the drug-induced decrease in proliferation.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis operates in glioblastoma cells under hypoxic stress via an autocrine-positive feedback mechanism, which promotes survival and cell-cycle progression. Our study brings new mechanistic insight and encourages further exploration of the use of drugs blocking CXCL12 as adjuvant agents to target hypoxia-induced glioblastoma progression, prevent resistance to treatment, and recurrence of the disease. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1250–62. ©2016 AACR.



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Intratumor Heterogeneity of Homologous Recombination Deficiency in Primary Breast Cancer

Purpose: The 3-biomarker homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) assay measures the number of telomeric allelic imbalances, loss of heterozygosity, and large-scale state transitions in tumor DNA and combines these metrics into a single score that reflects DNA repair deficiency. The goal of this study is to assess the consistency of these HRD measures in different biopsies from distinct areas of the same cancer.

Experimental Design: HRD scores, BRCA mutation status, and BRCA1 promoter methylation were assessed in 99 samples from 33 surgically resected, stage I–III breast cancers; each cancer was biopsied in three distinct areas. Homologous recombination repair (HR) deficiency was defined as either high HRD score (≥42) or tumor BRCA mutation.

Results: Eighty-one biopsies from 32 cancers were analyzed. Tumor BRCA status was available for all samples, HRD scores for 70, and BRCA1 methylation values for 76 samples. The BRCA1/2 mutation and promoter methylation status and HR category showed perfect concordance across all biopsies from the same cancer. All tumors with BRCA1/2 mutations or promoter methylation had high HRD scores, as did 17% (4/24) of the BRCA1/2 wild-type and nonmethylated tumors. The HRD scores were also highly consistent between different biopsies from the same tumor with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.977, indicating that only 2.3% of the variance is attributed to within-tumor biopsy-to-biopsy variation.

Conclusions: These results indicate that within-tumor spatial heterogeneity for HRD metrics and the technical noise in the assay are small and do not influence HRD scores and HR status. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1193–9. ©2016 AACR.



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Poor diet in youth associated with increased risk for premenopausal breast cancer

Women who consumed a diet as adolescents or young adults associated with chronic inflammation had a higher risk for premenopausal breast cancer compared with those whose adolescent and early adulthood diet was not associated with chronic inflammation The...

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Acidified bile acids enhance tumor progression and telomerase activity of gastric cancer in mice dependent on c-Myc expression

Abstract

c-Myc overexpression has been implicated in several malignancies including gastric cancer. Here, we report that acidified bile acids enhance tumor progression and telomerase activity in gastric cancer via c-Myc activation both in vivo and in vitro. c-Myc mRNA and protein levels were assessed in ten primary and five local recurrent gastric cancer samples by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting analysis. The gastric cancer cell line MGC803 was exposed to bile salts (100 μmol/L glycochenodeoxycholic acid and deoxycholic acid) in an acid medium (pH 5.5) for 10 min daily for 60 weeks to develop an MGC803-resistant cell line. Control MGC803 cells were grown without acids or bile salts for 60 weeks as a control. Cell morphology, proliferation, colony formation and apoptosis of MGC803-resistant cells were analyzed after 60 weeks. To determine the involvement of c-Myc in tumor progression and telomere aging in MGC803-resistant cells, we generated xenografts in nude mice and measured xenograft volume and in vivo telomerase activity. The c-Myc and hTERT protein and mRNA levels were significantly higher in local recurrent gastric cancer samples than in primary gastric cancer samples. MGC803-resistant cells showed a marked phenotypic change under normal growth conditions with more clusters and acini, and exhibited increased cell viability and colony formation and decreased apoptosis in vitro. These phenotypic changes were found to be dependent on c-Myc activation using the c-Myc inhibitor 10058-F4. MGC803-resistant cells also showed a c-Myc-dependent increase in xenograft growth and telomerase activity in vivo. In conclusion, these observations support the hypothesis that acidified bile acids enhance tumor progression and telomerase activity in gastric cancer and that these effects are dependent on c-Myc activity. These findings suggest that acidified bile acids play an important role in the malignant progression of local recurrent gastric cancer.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

In my manuscript, we have demonstrated acidified bile acids enhanced tumor progression and telomerase activity in gastric cancer, and that these effects are dependent on c-Myc activity. These findings suggest that acidified bile acids play an important role in the malignant progression of reflux gastric cancer.



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Cetuximab Resistance in Head and Neck Cancer Is Mediated by EGFR-K521 Polymorphism

Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) exhibiting resistance to the EGFR-targeting drug cetuximab poses a challenge to their effective clinical management. Here, we report a specific mechanism of resistance in this setting based upon the presence of a single nucleotide polymorphism encoding EGFR-K521 (K-allele), which is expressed in >40% of HNSCC cases. Patients expressing the K-allele showed significantly shorter progression-free survival upon palliative treatment with cetuximab plus chemotherapy or radiation. In several EGFR-mediated cancer models, cetuximab failed to inhibit downstream signaling or to kill cells harboring a high K-allele frequency. Cetuximab affinity for EGFR-K521 was reduced slightly, but ligand-mediated EGFR activation was intact. We found a lack of glycan sialyation on EGFR-K521 that associated with reduced protein stability, suggesting a structural basis for reduced cetuximab efficacy. CetuGEX, an antibody with optimized Fc glycosylation targeting the same epitope as cetuximab, restored HNSCC sensitivity in a manner associated with antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity rather than EGFR pathway inhibition. Overall, our results highlight EGFR-K521 expression as a key mechanism of cetuximab resistance to evaluate prospectively as a predictive biomarker in HNSCC patients. Further, they offer a preclinical rationale for the use of ADCC-optimized antibodies to treat tumors harboring this EGFR isoform. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1188–99. ©2016 AACR.

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Cervical Cancer Growth Is Regulated by a c-ABL-PLK1 Signaling Axis

The nonreceptor tyrosine kinase c-ABL controls cell growth but its contributions in solid tumors are not fully understood. Here we report that the Polo-like kinase PLK1, an essential mitotic kinase regulator, is an important downstream effector of c-ABL in regulating the growth of cervical cancer. c-ABL interacted with and phosphorylated PLK1. Phosphorylation of PLK1 by c-ABL inhibited PLK1 ubiquitination and degradation and enhanced its activity, leading to cell-cycle progression and tumor growth. Both c-ABL and PLK1 were overexpressed in cervical carcinoma. Notably, PLK1 tyrosine phosphorylation correlated with patient survival in cervical cancer. In a murine xenograft model of human cervical cancer, combination treatment with c-ABL and PLK1 inhibitors yielded additive effects on tumor growth inhibition. Our findings highlight the c-ABL–PLK1 axis as a novel prognostic marker and treatment target for human cervical cancers. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1142–54. ©2016 AACR.

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The Tumor Microenvironment at a Turning Point Knowledge Gained Over the Last Decade, and Challenges and Opportunities Ahead: A White Paper from the NCI TME Network

Over the past 10 years, the Tumor Microenvironment Network (TMEN), supported by the NCI (Bethesda, MD), has promoted collaborative research with the explicit goal of fostering multi-institutional and transdisciplinary groups that are capable of addressing complex issues involving the tumor microenvironment. The main goal of the TMEN was to generate novel information about the dynamic complexity of tumor–host interactions in different organ systems with emphasis on using human tissues and supplemented by experimental models. As this initiative comes to a close, members of the TMEN took time to examine what has been accomplished by the Network and importantly to identify the challenges and opportunities ahead. This consensus document summarizes for the broader scientific community discussions that occurred at the two final meetings of the TMEN in 2015 and 2016. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1051–9. ©2017 AACR.

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Highlights from Recent Cancer Literature



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Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges in a Rapidly Moving Field

“Pancreatic Cancer: Advances in Science and Clinical Care,” a Special Conference of the American Association for Cancer Research, was held in Orlando, FL, on May 12 to 15, bringing together more than 450 basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiologic pancreatic cancer researchers as well as pancreatic cancer patients, survivors, and advocates. Pancreatic cancer remains one of the great challenges in medicine, but the accelerating pace of research and early hints of clinical successes to come were palpable throughout the meeting. Prominent meeting themes included immunology and the tumor microenvironment, heterogeneity of both the epithelial and stromal compartments, personalized medicine efforts to integrate molecular information into clinical practice, new approaches to early detection, and clinical trials using a host of novel targeted therapies. Adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the meeting, a coalition of pancreatic cancer research and support foundations participated, with several innovative initiatives announced by individual organizations. We present here a summary of meeting highlights, a series of “success factors” that will benchmark the progress of the field over the next 2 years, and three challenges to the pancreatic cancer research community as it moves toward to the goal of extending patient survival. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1060–2. ©2017 AACR.

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SRSF2 Regulates Alternative Splicing to Drive Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development

Aberrant RNA splicing is recognized to contribute to cancer pathogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms remain mainly obscure. Here, we report that the splicing factor SRSF2 is upregulated frequently in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), where this event is associated with poor prognosis in patients. RNA-seq and other molecular analyses were used to identify SRSF2-regulated alternative splicing events. SRSF2 binding within an alternative exon was associated with its inclusion in the RNA, whereas SRSF2 binding in a flanking constitutive exon was associated with exclusion of the alternative exon. Notably, cancer-associated splice variants upregulated by SRSF2 in clinical specimens of HCC were found to be crucial for pathogenesis and progression in hepatoma cells, where SRSF2 expression increased cell proliferation and tumorigenic potential by controlling expression of these variants. Our findings identify SRSF2 as a key regulator of RNA splicing dysregulation in cancer, with possible clinical implications as a candidate prognostic factor in patients with HCC. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1168–78. ©2017 AACR.

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Novel Hybrid Phenotype Revealed in Small Cell Lung Cancer by a Transcription Factor Network Model That Can Explain Tumor Heterogeneity

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a devastating disease due to its propensity for early invasion and refractory relapse after initial treatment response. Although these aggressive traits have been associated with phenotypic heterogeneity, our understanding of this association remains incomplete. To fill this knowledge gap, we inferred a set of 33 transcription factors (TF) associated with gene signatures of the known neuroendocrine/epithelial (NE) and non-neuroendocrine/mesenchymal-like (ML) SCLC phenotypes. The topology of this SCLC TF network was derived from prior knowledge and was simulated using Boolean modeling. These simulations predicted that the network settles into attractors, or TF expression patterns, that correlate with NE or ML phenotypes, suggesting that TF network dynamics underlie the emergence of heterogeneous SCLC phenotypes. However, several cell lines and patient tumor specimens failed to correlate with either the NE or ML attractors. By flow cytometry, single cells within these cell lines simultaneously expressed surface markers of both NE and ML differentiation, confirming the existence of a “hybrid” phenotype. Upon exposure to standard-of-care cytotoxic drugs or epigenetic modifiers, NE and ML cell populations converged toward the hybrid state, suggesting possible escape from treatment. Our findings indicate that SCLC phenotypic heterogeneity can be specified dynamically by attractor states of a master regulatory TF network. Thus, SCLC heterogeneity may be best understood as states within an epigenetic landscape. Understanding phenotypic transitions within this landscape may provide insights to clinical applications. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1063–74. ©2016 AACR.

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Sunitinib Stimulates Expression of VEGFC by Tumor Cells and Promotes Lymphangiogenesis in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinomas

Sunitinib is an antiangiogenic therapy given as a first-line treatment for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). While treatment improves progression-free survival, most patients relapse. We hypothesized that patient relapse can stem from the development of a lymphatic network driven by the production of the main growth factor for lymphatic endothelial cells, VEGFC. In this study, we found that sunitinib can stimulate vegfc gene transcription and increase VEGFC mRNA half-life. In addition, sunitinib activated p38 MAPK, which resulted in the upregulation/activity of HuR and inactivation of tristetraprolin, two AU-rich element–binding proteins. Sunitinib stimulated a VEGFC-dependent development of lymphatic vessels in experimental tumors. This may explain our findings of increased lymph node invasion and new metastatic sites in 30% of sunitinib-treated patients and increased lymphatic vessels found in 70% of neoadjuvant treated patients. In summary, a therapy dedicated to destroying tumor blood vessels induced the development of lymphatic vessels, which may have contributed to the treatment failure. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1212–26. ©2017 AACR.

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Tim-3 Expression on Tumor-Infiltrating PD-1+CD8+ T Cells Correlates with Poor Clinical Outcome in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Inhibitory receptors expressed by T cells mediate tolerance to tumor antigens, with coexpression of these receptors exacerbating this dysfunctional state. Using the VectraR automated multiparametric immunofluorescence technique, we quantified intratumoral CD8+ T cells coexpressing the inhibitory receptors PD-1 and Tim-3 from patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). A second validation cohort measured the same parameters by cytometry. The percentage of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells coexpressing PD-1 and Tim-3 correlated with an aggressive phenotype and a larger tumor size at diagnosis. Coexpression of PD-1 and Tim-3 above the median conferred a higher risk of relapse and a poorer 36-month overall survival. Notably, other CD8+T-cell subsets did not exert a similar effect on overall survival. Moreover, only the PD-1+Tim-3+ subset of CD8+ T cells exhibited impaired function after stimulation. Our findings establish intratumoral Tim-3+PD1+CD8+ T cells as critical mediators of an aggressive phenotype in RCC. Use of the Vectra tool may be useful to identify similarly critical prognostic and predictive biomarkers in other tumor types and their response to immunotherapy. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1075–82. ©2016 AACR.

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Anti-Folate Receptor-{alpha} IgE but not IgG Recruits Macrophages to Attack Tumors via TNF{alpha}/MCP-1 Signaling

IgE antibodies are key mediators of antiparasitic immune responses, but their potential for cancer treatment via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) has been little studied. Recently, tumor antigen–specific IgEs were reported to restrict cancer cell growth by engaging high-affinity Fc receptors on monocytes and macrophages; however, the underlying therapeutic mechanisms were undefined and in vivo proof of concept was limited. Here, an immunocompetent rat model was designed to recapitulate the human IgE-Fcε receptor system for cancer studies. We also generated rat IgE and IgG mAbs specific for the folate receptor (FRα), which is expressed widely on human ovarian tumors, along with a syngeneic rat tumor model expressing human FRα. Compared with IgG, anti-FRα IgE reduced lung metastases. This effect was associated with increased intratumoral infiltration by TNFα+ and CD80+ macrophages plus elevated TNFα and the macrophage chemoattractant MCP-1 in lung bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Increased levels of TNFα and MCP-1 correlated with IgE-mediated tumor cytotoxicity by human monocytes and with longer patient survival in clinical specimens of ovarian cancer. Monocytes responded to IgE but not IgG exposure by upregulating TNFα, which in turn induced MCP-1 production by monocytes and tumor cells to promote a monocyte chemotactic response. Conversely, blocking TNFα receptor signaling abrogated induction of MCP-1, implicating it in the antitumor effects of IgE. Overall, these findings show how antitumor IgE reprograms monocytes and macrophages in the tumor microenvironment, encouraging the clinical use of IgE antibody technology to attack cancer beyond the present exclusive reliance on IgG. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1127–41. ©2017 AACR.

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ROR{gamma}t+ Innate Lymphoid Cells Promote Lymph Node Metastasis of Breast Cancers

Cancer cells tend to metastasize first to tumor-draining lymph nodes, but the mechanisms mediating cancer cell invasion into the lymphatic vasculature remain little understood. Here, we show that in the human breast tumor microenvironment (TME), the presence of increased numbers of RORγt+ group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3) correlates with an increased likelihood of lymph node metastasis. In a preclinical mouse model of breast cancer, CCL21-mediated recruitment of ILC3 to tumors stimulated the production of the CXCL13 by TME stromal cells, which in turn promoted ILC3–stromal interactions and production of the cancer cell motile factor RANKL. Depleting ILC3 or neutralizing CCL21, CXCL13, or RANKL was sufficient to decrease lymph node metastasis. Our findings establish a role for RORγt+ILC3 in promoting lymphatic metastasis by modulating the local chemokine milieu of cancer cells in the TME. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1083–96. ©2017 AACR.

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Long Noncoding RNA MALAT1 Promotes Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development by SRSF1 Upregulation and mTOR Activation

Several long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) are abrogated in cancer but their precise contributions to oncogenesis are still emerging. Here we report that the lncRNA MALAT1 is upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma and acts as a proto-oncogene through Wnt pathway activation and induction of the oncogenic splicing factor SRSF1. Induction of SRSF1 by MALAT1 modulates SRSF1 splicing targets, enhancing the production of antiapoptotic splicing isoforms and activating the mTOR pathway by modulating the alternative splicing of S6K1. Inhibition of SRSF1 expression or mTOR activity abolishes the oncogenic properties of MALAT1, suggesting that SRSF1 induction and mTOR activation are essential for MALAT1-induced transformation. Our results reveal a mechanism by which lncRNA MALAT1 acts as a proto-oncogene in hepatocellular carcinoma, modulating oncogenic alternative splicing through SRSF1 upregulation. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1155–67. ©2016 AACR.

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CXCL-8/IL8 Produced by Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas Recruits Neutrophils Expressing a Proliferation-Inducing Ligand APRIL

Tumor-infiltrating neutrophils have been implicated in malignant development and progression, but mechanisms are ill defined. Neutrophils produce a proliferation-inducing ligand APRIL/TNFSF13, a factor that promotes development of tumors from diverse origins, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). High APRIL expression in DLBCL correlates with reduced patient survival, but the pathway(s) dictating APRIL expression are not known. Here, we show that all blood neutrophils constitutively secrete APRIL, and inflammation-associated stimuli, such as TNF, further upregulate APRIL. In a significant fraction of DLBCL patients, tumor cells constitutively produced the ELC-CXC chemokine CXCL-8 (IL8), enabling them to recruit APRIL-producing blood neutrophils. CXCL-8 production in DLBCL was unrelated to the cell of origin, as APRIL-producing neutrophils infiltrated CXCL-8+ DLBCL from both germinal center (GC) and non-GC subtypes. Rather, CXCL-8 production implied events affecting DNA methylation and acetylation. Overall, our results showed that chemokine-mediated recruitment of neutrophils secreting the tumor-promoting factor APRIL mediates DLBCL progression. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1097–107. ©2016 AACR.

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An Adolescent and Early Adulthood Dietary Pattern Associated with Inflammation and the Incidence of Breast Cancer

Adolescence is a highly susceptible period for mammary carcinogenesis, but few prospective studies have examined the role of adolescent diet in breast cancer risk. Reduced rank regression has previously been used to identify a dietary pattern associated with markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein, IL6, and TNFα receptor 2). We investigated whether an adolescent and early adulthood inflammatory dietary pattern was associated with breast cancer among 45,204 women in the Nurses' Health Study II using reduced rank regression. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire in 1998 about their high school diet (HS-FFQ) and a FFQ in 1991 when they were ages 27–44 years. Among women who completed the HS-FFQ, 1,477 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed during 22 years of follow-up. An adolescent and early adulthood dietary pattern characterized by inflammation was associated with an increased incidence of premenopausal but not postmenopausal breast cancer. Women in the fifth quintile of the inflammatory pattern score had multivariable adjusted HRs for premenopausal breast cancer of 1.35 for adolescent diet [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.06–1.73; Ptrend = 0.002] and 1.41 for early adulthood diet (95% CI, 1.11–1.78; Ptrend = 0.006) compared with women in the first quintile. The corresponding RRs for postmenopausal breast cancer were 0.84 (95% CI, 0.60–1.17) for adolescent and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.54–1.06) for adult intake. Overall, our findings support the notion that an adolescent and early adulthood diet characterized by high intake of sugar-sweetened and diet soft drinks, refined grains, red and processed meat, and margarine, and low intake of green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and coffee may increase the incidence of premenopausal breast cancer. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1179–87. ©2017 AACR.

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Dual Roles for Regulatory T-cell Depletion and Costimulatory Signaling in Agonistic GITR Targeting for Tumor Immunotherapy

Agonistic monoclonal antibodies (mAb) targeting the T-cell receptor coregulatory molecule GITR exert potent therapeutic activities in preclinical tumor models. Although anti-GITR mAb are thought to act by depleting and destabilizing the intratumoral T regulatory cell (Treg) population, the precise mechanism of action is obscure. Here, we addressed this issue using a Treg fate-mapping approach, which revealed that Treg loss was primarily due to cell depletion, with minimal evidence of Treg conversion to a non–Foxp3-expressing population. Further characterization of persisting Tregs following anti-GITR mAb treatment showed that a highly activated subpopulation of CD44hiICOShi intratumoral Tregs were preferentially targeted for elimination, with the remaining Tregs exhibiting a less suppressive phenotype. With these changes in the Treg population, intratumoral CD8+ T cells acquired a more functional phenotype characterized by downregulation of the exhaustion markers PD-1 and LAG-3. This reversal of CD8+ T-cell exhaustion was dependent on both agonistic GITR signaling and Treg depletion, as neither mechanism by itself could fully rescue the exhaustion phenotype. Tests of anti-human GITR antibody MK-4166 in a humanized mouse model of cancer mimicked many of the effects of anti-mouse GITR mAb in syngeneic tumor models, decreasing both Treg numbers and immune suppressor phenotype while enhancing effector responsiveness. Overall, our results show how anti-GITR mAb shifts Treg populations to enable immune attack on tumors, with clinical implications for molecular markers to modify emerging treatments. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1108–18. ©2016 AACR.

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Superior Efficacy and Selectivity of Novel Small-Molecule Kinase Inhibitors of T790M-Mutant EGFR in Preclinical Models of Lung Cancer

The clinical utility of approved EGFR small-molecule kinase inhibitors is plagued both by toxicity against wild-type EGFR and by metastatic progression in the central nervous system, a disease sanctuary site. Here, we report the discovery and preclinical efficacy of GNS-1486 and GNS-1481, two novel small-molecule EGFR kinase inhibitors that are selective for T790M-mutant isoforms of EGFR. Both agents were effective in multiple mouse xenograft models of human lung adenocarcinoma (T790M-positive or -negative), exhibiting less activity against wild-type EGFR than existing approved EGFR kinase inhibitors (including osimertinib). In addition, GNS-1486 showed superior potency against intracranial metastasis of EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma. Our results offer a preclinical proof of concept for new EGFR kinase inhibitors with the potential to improve therapeutic index and efficacy against brain metastases in patients. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1200–11. ©2017 AACR.

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IL6 Signaling in Peripheral Blood T Cells Predicts Clinical Outcome in Breast Cancer

IL6 is a pleiotropic cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties, which acts directly on cancer cells to promote their survival and proliferation. Elevated serum IL6 levels negatively correlate with survival of cancer patients, which is generally attributed to the direct effects of IL6 on cancer cells. How IL6 modulates the host immune response in cancer patients is unclear. Here, we show the IL6 signaling response in peripheral blood T cells is impaired in breast cancer patients and is associated with blunted Th17 differentiation. The mechanism identified involved downregulation of gp130 and IL6Rα in breast cancer patients and was independent of plasma IL6 levels. Importantly, defective IL6 signaling in peripheral blood T cells at diagnosis correlated with worse relapse-free survival. These results indicate that intact IL6 signaling in T cells is important for controlling cancer progression. Furthermore, they highlight a potential for IL6 signaling response in peripheral blood T cells at diagnosis as a predictive biomarker for clinical outcome of breast cancer patients. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1119–26. ©2016 AACR.

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Gastric Cancer Cell Proliferation and Survival Is Enabled by a Cyclophilin B/STAT3/miR-520d-5p Signaling Feedback Loop

Molecular links between inflammation and cancer remain obscure despite their great pathogenic significance. The JAK2/STAT3 pathway activated by IL6 and other proinflammatory cytokines has garnered attention as a pivotal link in cancer pathogenesis, but the basis for its activation in cancer cells is not understood. Here we report that an IL6-triggered feedback loop involving STAT3-mediated suppression of miR-520d-5p and upregulation of its downstream target cyclophilin B (CypB) regulate the growth and survival of gastric cancer cells. In clinical specimens of gastric cancer, we documented increased expression of CypB and activation of STAT3. Mechanistic investigations identified miR-520d-5p as a regulator of CypB mRNA levels. This signaling axis regulated gastric cancer growth by modulating phosphorylation of STAT3. Furthermore, miR-520d-5p was identified as a direct STAT3 target and IL6-mediated inhibition of miR-520d-5p relied upon STAT3 activity. Our findings define a positive feedback loop that drives gastric carcinogenesis as influenced by H. pylori infections that involve proinflammatory IL6 stimulation. Cancer Res; 77(5); 1227–40. ©2016 AACR.

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LIN28B Activation by PRL-3 Promotes Leukemogenesis and a Stem Cell-like Transcriptional Program in AML

PRL-3 (PTP4A3), a metastasis-associated phosphatase, is also upregulated in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is associated with poor prognosis, but the underlying molecular mechanism is unknown. Here, constitutive expression of PRL-3 in human AML cells sustains leukemogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, PRL-3 phosphatase activity dependently upregulates LIN28B, a stem cell reprogramming factor, which in turn represses the let-7 mRNA family, inducing a stem cell–like transcriptional program. Notably, elevated levels of LIN28B protein independently associate with worse survival in AML patients. Thus, these results establish a novel signaling axis involving PRL-3/LIN28B/let-7, which confers stem cell–like properties to leukemia cells that is important for leukemogenesis.

Implications: The current study offers a rationale for targeting PRL-3 as a therapeutic approach for a subset of AML patients with poor prognosis. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 294–303. ©2016 AACR.



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Nuclear Import of JAK1 Is Mediated by a Classical NLS and Is Required for Survival of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma

JAKs are non-receptor tyrosine kinases that are generally found in association with cytokine receptors. In the canonical pathway, roles of JAKs have well been established in activating STATs in response to cytokine stimulation to modulate gene transcription. In contrast, a noncanonical role of JAK2 has recently been discovered, in which JAK2 in the nucleus imparts the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription through phosphorylation of tyrosine 41 on the histone protein H3. Recent work further demonstrated that this noncanonical mechanism is conserved with JAK1, which is activated by the autocrine cytokines IL6 and IL10 in activated B-cell–like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (ABC DLBCL), a cancer type that is particularly difficult to treat and has poor prognosis. However, how JAK1 gains access to the nucleus to enable epigenetic regulation remains undefined. Here, we investigated this question and revealed that JAK1 has a classical nuclear localization signal toward the N-terminal region, which can be recognized by multiple importin α isoforms. Moreover, the nuclear import of JAK1 is independent of its kinase activity but is required for the optimal expansion of ABC DLBCL cells in vitro.

Implications: This study demonstrates that the nuclear import of JAK1 is essential for the optimal fitness of ABC DLBCL cells, and targeting JAK1 nuclear localization is a potential therapeutic strategy for ABC DLBCL. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 348–57. ©2016 AACR.



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Let-7 Status Is Crucial for PARP1 Expression in HER2-Overexpressing Breast Tumors

HER2+ breast tumors have been shown to express elevated levels of PARP1 protein. Yet, the mechanism by which PARP1 is upregulated in HER2+ breast cancer is unknown. Here, knockdown of HER2 (ERBB2) in HER2+ breast cancer cells resulted in a reduction in PARP1 protein. Conversely, ectopic overexpression of HER2 in a non-HER2–overexpressing cell line resulted in increased PARP1 protein levels. Alterations in HER2 expression had no significant effect on PARP1 transcript levels. Instead, HER2 mRNA status was inversely correlated with let-7a miRNA levels in breast cancer cells. Ectopic expression of let-7a miRNA resulted in downregulation of PARP1 protein, whereas expression of the let-7a anti-miRNA increased PARP1 protein. Furthermore, luciferase assays demonstrate that let-7a regulates PARP1 via its 3'UTR. Importantly, let-7a was significantly lower in human HER2+ breast tumors compared with HER2 breast tumors and inversely correlated with PARP1 protein levels. Finally, HER2+ breast cancer cells exhibited similar cytotoxicity to ectopic let-7a expression as the PARP inhibitor veliparib (ABT-888). Collectively, these results reveal that increased PARP1 expression in HER2+ breast cancers is regulated by the let-7a miRNA, and that let-7a is a potential strategy to suppress PARP1 activity.

Implications: This study reports the novel findings that HER2 increases PARP1 protein via suppression of the let-7a miRNA, which regulates the PARP1 3'-UTR. Moreover, HER2 status correlates with high PARP1 and low let-7a in breast cancer clinical specimens. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 340–7. ©2016 AACR.



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Retraction: Nek6 Mediates Human Cancer Cell Transformation and Is a Potential Cancer Therapeutic Target



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Predictive Outcomes for HER2-enriched Cancer Using Growth and Metastasis Signatures Driven By SPARC

Understanding the mechanism of metastatic dissemination is crucial for the rational design of novel therapeutics. The secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is a matricellular glycoprotein which has been extensively associated with human breast cancer aggressiveness although the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Here, shRNA-mediated SPARC knockdown greatly reduced primary tumor growth and completely abolished lung colonization of murine 4T1 and LM3 breast malignant cells implanted in syngeneic BALB/c mice. A comprehensive study including global transcriptomic analysis followed by biological validations confirmed that SPARC induces primary tumor growth by enhancing cell cycle and by promoting a COX-2–mediated expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). The role of SPARC in metastasis involved a COX-2–independent enhancement of cell disengagement from the primary tumor and adherence to the lungs that fostered metastasis implantation. Interestingly, SPARC-driven gene expression signatures obtained from these murine models predicted the clinical outcome of patients with HER2-enriched breast cancer subtypes. In total, the results reveal that SPARC and its downstream effectors are attractive targets for antimetastatic therapies in breast cancer.

Implications: These findings shed light on the prometastatic role of SPARC, a key protein expressed by breast cancer cells and surrounding stroma, with important consequences for disease outcome. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 304–16. ©2016 AACR.



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Dual PI3K/mTOR Inhibition in Colorectal Cancers with APC and PIK3CA Mutations

Therapeutic targeting of the PI3K pathway is an active area of research in multiple cancer types, including breast and endometrial cancers. This pathway is commonly altered in cancer and plays an integral role in numerous vital cellular functions. Mutations in the PIK3CA gene, resulting in a constitutively active form of PI3K, often occur in colorectal cancer, though the population of patients who would benefit from targeting this pathway has yet to be identified. In human colorectal cancers, PIK3CA mutations most commonly occur concomitantly with loss of adenomatous polyposis coli (APC). Here, treatment strategies are investigated that target the PI3K pathway in colon cancers with mutations in APC and PIK3CA. Colorectal cancer spheroids with Apc and Pik3ca mutations were generated and characterized confirming that these cultures represent the tumors from which they were derived. Pan and alpha isomer–specific PI3K inhibitors did not induce a significant treatment response, whereas the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors BEZ235 and LY3023414 induced a dramatic treatment response through decreased cellular proliferation and increased differentiation. The significant treatment responses were confirmed in mice with Apc and Pik3ca-mutant colon cancers as measured using endoscopy with a reduction in median lumen occlusion of 53% with BEZ235 and a 24% reduction with LY3023414 compared with an increase of 53% in controls (P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). This response was also confirmed with 18F-FDG microPET/CT imaging.

Implications: Spheroid models and transgenic mice suggest that dual PI3K/mTOR inhibition is a potential treatment strategy for APC and PIK3CA-mutant colorectal cancers. Thus, further clinical studies of dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors are warranted in colorectal cancers with these mutations. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 317–27. ©2016 AACR.



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Functional Activation of Mutant p53 by Platinum Analogues in Cisplatin-Resistant Cells Is Dependent on Phosphorylation

Dysfunctionality of the p53 tumor suppressor is a major cause of therapeutic drug resistance in cancer. Recently, we reported that mutant, but otherwise functional, p53v172F was inactivated in cisplatin-resistant 2780CP/Cl-16 and 2780CP/Cl-24 human ovarian tumor cells by increased recruitment of the inhibitor MDM4. The current study demonstrates that, unlike cisplatin, platinum analogues oxaliplatin and DACH-diacetato-dichloro-Pt(IV) (DAP) strongly stabilize and activate p53v172F in resistant cells, as indicated by prolonged p53 half-life and transactivation of targets p21 (CDKN1A) and MDM2. This increase in MDM2 reduced MDM4 levels in cell lysates as well as the p53 immunocomplex and prevented reversion of p53 to the inactive p53-MDM2-MDM4–bound state. Phosphorylation of p53 at Ser15 was demonstrated by all three drugs in sensitive A2780 and corresponding resistant 2780CP/Cl-16 and 2780CP/Cl-24 cell lines. However, cisplatin induced Ser20 phosphorylation in A2780 cells only, but not in resistant cells; in contrast, both DAP and oxaliplatin induced this phosphorylation in all three cell lines. The inference that Ser20 phosphorylation is more important for p53 activation was confirmed by ectopic expression of a phosphomimetic (S20D) mutant p53 that displayed reduced binding, relative to wild-type p53, to both MDM2 and MDM4 in p53-knockout A2780 cells. In consonance, temporal studies demonstrated drug-induced Ser15 phosphorylation coincided with p53 stabilization, whereas Ser20 phosphorylation coincided with p53 transactivation.

Implications: Cisplatin fails to activate the pathway involved in phosphorylating mutant p53v172F at Ser20 in resistant cells, but this phosphorylation is restored by oxaliplatin and DAP that reactivates p53 function and circumvents cisplatin resistance. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 328–39. ©2016 AACR.



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Autophagy Inhibition Enhances Sunitinib Efficacy in Clear Cell Ovarian Carcinoma

Clear cell ovarian carcinoma (CCOC) is an aggressive form of epithelial ovarian cancer that exhibits low response rates to systemic therapy and poor patient outcomes. Multiple studies in CCOC have revealed expression profiles consistent with increased hypoxia, and our previous data suggest that hypoxia is correlated with increased autophagy in CCOC. Hypoxia-induced autophagy is a key factor promoting tumor cell survival and resistance to therapy. Recent clinical trials with the molecular-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor sunitinib have demonstrated limited activity. Here, it was evaluated whether the hypoxia–autophagy axis could be modulated to overcome resistance to sunitinib. Importantly, a significant increase in autophagic activity was found with a concomitant loss in cell viability in CCOC cells treated with sunitinib. Pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy with the lysosomotropic analog Lys05 inhibited autophagy and enhanced sunitinib-mediated suppression of cell viability. These results were confirmed by siRNA targeting the autophagy-related gene Atg5. In CCOC tumor xenografts, Lys05 potentiated the antitumor activity of sunitinib compared with either treatment alone. These data reveal that CCOC tumors have an autophagic dependency and are an ideal tumor histotype for autophagy inhibition as a strategy to overcome resistance to RTK inhibitors like sunitinib.

Implications: This study shows that autophagy inhibition enhances sunitinib-mediated cell death in a preclinical model of CCOC. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 250–8. ©2017 AACR.



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DNA Polymerase Beta Germline Variant Confers Cellular Response to Cisplatin Therapy

Resistance to cancer chemotherapies leads to deadly consequences, yet current research focuses only on the roles of somatically acquired mutations in this resistance. The mutational status of the germline is also likely to play a role in the way cells respond to chemotherapy. The carrier status for the POLB rs3136797 germline mutation encoding P242R DNA polymerase beta (Pol β) is associated with poor prognosis for lung cancer, specifically in response to treatment with cisplatin. Here, it is revealed that the P242R mutation is sufficient to promote resistance to cisplatin in human cells and in mouse xenografts. Mechanistically, P242R Pol β acts as a translesion polymerase and prefers to insert the correct nucleotide opposite cisplatin intrastrand cross-links, leading to the activation of the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway, removal of crosslinks, and resistance to cisplatin. In contrast, wild-type (WT) Pol β preferentially inserts the incorrect nucleotide initiating mismatch repair and cell death. Importantly, in a mouse xenograft model, tumors derived from lung cancer cells expressing WT Pol β displayed a slower rate of growth when treated with cisplatin, whereas tumors expressing P242R Pol β had no response to cisplatin. Pol β is critical for mediating crosstalk in response to cisplatin. The current data strongly suggest that the status of Pol β influences cellular responses to crosslinking agents and that Pol β is a promising biomarker to predict responses to specific chemotherapies. Finally, these results highlight that the genetic status of the germline is a critical factor in the response to cancer treatment.

Implications: Pol β has prognostic biomarker potential in the treatment of cancer with cisplatin and perhaps other intrastrand crosslinking agents. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 269–80. ©2017 AACR.



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Key Survival Factor, Mcl-1, Correlates with Sensitivity to Combined Bcl-2/Bcl-xL Blockade

An estimated 40,000 deaths will be attributed to breast cancer in 2016, underscoring the need for improved therapies. Evading cell death is a major hallmark of cancer, driving tumor progression and therapeutic resistance. To evade apoptosis, cancers use antiapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins to bind to and neutralize apoptotic activators, such as Bim. Investigation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family members in clinical breast cancer datasets revealed greater expression and more frequent gene amplification of MCL1 as compared with BCL2 or BCL2L1 (Bcl-xL) across three major molecular breast cancer subtypes, Luminal (A and B), HER2-enriched, and Basal-like. While Mcl-1 protein expression was elevated in estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive and ERα-negative tumors as compared with normal breast, Mcl-1 staining was higher in ERα+ tumors. Targeted Mcl-1 blockade using RNAi increased caspase-mediated cell death in ERα+ breast cancer cells, resulting in sustained growth inhibition. In contrast, combined blockade of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL only transiently induced apoptosis, as cells rapidly acclimated through Mcl-1 upregulation and enhanced Mcl-1 activity, as measured in situ using Mcl-1/Bim proximity ligation assays. Importantly, MCL1 gene expression levels correlated inversely with sensitivity to pharmacologic Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition in luminal breast cancer cells, whereas no relationship was seen between the gene expression of BCL2 or BCL2L1 and sensitivity to Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition. These results demonstrate that breast cancers rapidly deploy Mcl-1 to promote cell survival, particularly when challenged with blockade of other Bcl-2 family members, warranting the continued development of Mcl-1–selective inhibitors for targeted tumor cell killing.

Implications: Mcl-1 levels predict breast cancer response to inhibitors targeting other Bcl-2 family members, and demonstrate the key role played by Mcl-1 in resistance to this drug class. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 259–68. ©2016 AACR.



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Pathology-Driven Comprehensive Proteomic Profiling of the Prostate Cancer Tumor Microenvironment

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Gleason grading is an important predictor of prostate cancer outcomes and is influential in determining patient treatment options. Clinical decisions based on a Gleason score of 7 are difficult as the prognosis for individuals diagnosed with Gleason 4+3 cancer is much worse than for those diagnosed with Gleason 3+4 cancer. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) is a highly precise method to isolate specific cell populations or discrete microregions from tissues. This report undertook a detailed molecular characterization of the tumor microenvironment in prostate cancer to define the proteome in the epithelial and stromal regions from tumor foci of Gleason grades 3 and 4. Tissue regions of interest were isolated from several Gleason 3+3 and Gleason 4+4 tumors using telepathology to leverage specialized pathology expertise to support LCM. Over 2,000 proteins were identified following liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis of all regions of interest. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences in protein expression (>100 proteins) between Gleason 3 and Gleason 4 regions—in both stromal and epithelial compartments. A subset of these proteins has had prior strong association with prostate cancer, thereby providing evidence for the authenticity of the approach. Finally, validation of these proteins by immunohistochemistry has been obtained using an independent cohort of prostate cancer tumor specimens.

Implications: This unbiased strategy provides a strong foundation for the development of biomarker protein panels with significant diagnostic and prognostic potential. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 281–93. ©2017 AACR.



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Stromal Senescence By Prolonged CDK4/6 Inhibition Potentiates Tumor Growth

Senescent cells within the tumor microenvironment (TME) adopt a proinflammatory, senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) that promotes cancer initiation, progression, and therapeutic resistance. Here, exposure to palbociclib (PD-0332991), a CDK4/6 inhibitor, induces senescence and a robust SASP in normal fibroblasts. Senescence caused by prolonged CDK4/6 inhibition is DNA damage–independent and associated with Mdm2 downregulation, whereas the SASP elicited by these cells is largely reliant upon NF-B activation. Based upon these observations, it was hypothesized that the exposure of nontransformed stromal cells to PD-0332991 would promote tumor growth. Ongoing clinical trials of CDK4/6 inhibitors in melanoma prompted a validation of this hypothesis using a suite of genetically defined melanoma cells (i.e., Ras mutant, Braf mutant, and Ras/Braf wild-type). When cultured in the presence of CDK4/6i-induced senescent fibroblasts, melanoma cell lines exhibited genotype-dependent proliferative responses. However, in vivo, PD-0332991–treated fibroblasts enhanced the growth of all melanoma lines tested and promoted the recruitment of Gr-1–positive immune cells. These data indicate that prolonged CDK4/6 inhibitor treatment causes normal fibroblasts to enter senescence and adopt a robust SASP. Such senescent cells suppress the antitumor immune response and promote melanoma growth in immunocompetent, in vivo models.

Implications: The ability of prolonged CDK4/6 inhibitor treatment to induce cellular senescence and a robust SASP in primary cells may hinder therapeutic efficacy and promote long-term, gerontogenic consequences that should be considered in clinical trials aiming to treat melanoma and other cancer types. Mol Cancer Res; 15(3); 237–49. ©2016 AACR.



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Highlights of This Issue



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Ovarian teratoma

Ovarian teratoma: Also called a dermoid cyst of the ovary, this is a bizarre tumor, usually benign, in the ovary that typically contains a diversity of tissues including hair, teeth, bone, thyroid, etc.

A dermoid cyst develops from a totipotential germ cell (a primary oocyte) that is retained within the egg sac (ovary). Being totipotential, that cell can give rise to all orders of cells necessary to form mature tissues and often recognizable structures such as hair, bone and sebaceous (oily) material, neural tissue and teeth.

Dermoid cysts may occur at any age but the prime age of detection is in the childbearing years. The average age is 30. Up to 15% of women with ovarian teratomas have them in both ovaries. Dermoid cysts can range in size from a centimeter (less than a half inch) up to 45 cm (about 17 inches) in diameter.

These cysts can cause the ovary to twist (torsion) and imperil its blood supply. The larger the dermoid cyst, the greater the risk of rupture with spillage of the greasy contents which can create problems with adhesions, pain etc. Although the large majority (about 98%) of these tumors are benign, the remaining fraction (about 2%) becomes cancerous (malignant).

Removal of the dermoid cyst is usually the treatment of choice. This can be done by laparotomy (open surgery) or laparoscopy (with a scope). Torsion (twisting) of the ovary by the cyst is an emergency and calls for urgent surgery.



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Enzymatic extraction and characterization of polysaccharide from Tuber aestivum

Publication date: Available online 28 February 2017
Source:Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre
Author(s): Devshri Bhotmange, Janne H. Wallenius, Rekha S. Singhal, Salem S. Shamekh
Tuber aestivum is one of the important edible mycorrhizal truffle having unique flavor and texture. It is known to contain approximately 5.23% of polysaccharide. The present work was focused on extraction and characterization of the polysaccharide from fruiting body of T. aestivum. The polysaccharide was extracted using complex enzymes viz. papain, trypsin and pectinase. Taguchi orthogonal array experimental design and response surface methodology were employed to optimize the factors involved in the extraction process. The optimal factors for the extraction of polysaccharide from T. aestivum were 1.0% trypsin, 2.0% pectinase, 1.0% papain, temperature 50°C, pH 6.0 and extraction time 90min. Under these optimum conditions the polysaccharide extraction yield was found to be 46.93% of total polysaccharide. Polysaccharide so obtained was characterized for its structure, chemical composition, thermal analysis and bioactivity. The monosaccharides present in the extracted polysaccharides were glucose (>90%), rhamnose, galactose and mannose. The polysaccharide extracted from T. aestivum possessed the significant in vitro antioxidant capability.

Graphical abstract

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Label-free data standardization for clinical metabolomics

In metabolomics, thousands of substances can be detected in a single assay. This capacity motivates the development of metabolomics testing, which is currently a very promising option for improving laboratory ...

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[Report] This Winter Is Challenging Energy Security in France

A series of nuclear power station shutdowns and low hydro reservoirs in France are highlighting energy security concerns this winter.

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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IL-6 rs1800795 polymorphism is associated with septic shock-related death in patients who underwent major surgery: a preliminary retrospective study

Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection, being the primary cause of death from infection, especially if not recognized and treated promptly. The aim o...

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Impact of random safety analyses on structure, process and outcome indicators: multicentre study

To assess the impact of a real-time random safety tool on structure, process and outcome indicators.

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Differential role of pannexin-1/ATP/P2X7 axis in IL-1{beta} release by human monocytes [Research]

IL-1β release is integral to the innate immune system. The release of mature IL-1β depends on 2 regulated events: the de novo induction of pro-IL-1β, generally via NF-B-dependent transduction pathways; and the assembly and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. This latter step is reliant on active caspase-1, pannexin-1, and P2X7 receptor activation. Pathogen-associated molecular patterns in gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria activate IL-1β release from immune cells via TLR2 and TLR4 receptors, respectively. We found that pro-IL-1β and mature IL-1β release from human monocytes is stimulated by the TLR2 agonists Pam3CSK4 or FSL-1 as well as the TLR4 agonist LPS in the absence of additional ATP. TLR2 agonists required pannexin-1 and P2X7 receptor activation to stimulate IL-1β release. In contrast, IL-1β release stimulated by the TLR4 agonist LPS is independent of both pannexin-1 and P2X7 activation. In the absence of exogenous ATP, P2X7 activation requires endogenous ATP release, which occurs in some cells via pannexin-1. In line with this, we found that LPS-stimulated human monocytes released relatively low levels of ATP, whereas cells stimulated with TLR2 agonists released high levels of ATP. These findings suggest that in human monocytes, both TLR2 and TLR4 signaling induce pro-IL-1β expression, but the mechanism by which they activate caspase-1 diverges at the level of the pannexin-1/ATP/P2X7 axis.—Parzych, K., Zetterqvist, A. V., Wright, W. R., Kirkby, N. S., Mitchell, J. A., Paul-Clark, M. J. Differential role of pannexin-1/ATP/P2X7 axis in IL-1β release by human monocytes.



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Human leucine zipper protein promotes hepatic steatosis via induction of apolipoprotein A-IV [Research]

The molecular mechanism of stress-induced hepatic steatosis is not well known. Human leucine zipper protein (LZIP) regulates the expression of genes involved in inflammation, cell migration, and stress response. The aim of this study was to determine the regulatory role of LZIP in stress-induced hepatic steatosis. We used a microarray analysis to identify LZIP-induced genes involved in hepatic lipid metabolism. LZIP increased the expression of apolipoprotein A-IV (APOA4) mRNA. In the presence of stress inducer, APOA4 promoter analysis was performed and LZIP-induced lipid accumulation was monitored in mouse primary cells and human tissues. Under Golgi stress conditions, LZIP underwent proteolytic cleavage and was phosphorylated by AKT to protect against proteasome degradation. The stabilized N-terminal LZIP was translocated to the nucleus, where it directly bound to the APOA4 promoter, leading to APOA4 induction. LZIP-induced APOA4 expression resulted in increased absorption of surrounding free fatty acids. LZIP also promoted hepatic steatosis in mouse liver. Both LZIP and APOA4 were highly expressed in human steatosis samples. Our findings indicate that LZIP is a novel modulator of APOA4 expression and hepatic lipid metabolism. LZIP might be a therapeutic target for developing treatment strategies for hepatic steatosis and related metabolic diseases.—Kang, M., Kim, J., An, H.-T., Ko, J. Human leucine zipper protein promotes hepatic steatosis via induction of apolipoprotein A-IV.



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Cost Effectiveness of Genotype-Guided Warfarin Dosing in Patients with Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement Under the Fee-for-Service System

Abstract

Background

Although studies assessing the cost effectiveness of genotype-guided warfarin dosing for the management of atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism have been reported, no publications have addressed genotype-guided warfarin therapy in mechanical heart valve replacement (MHVR) patients or genotype-guided warfarin therapy under the fee-for-service (FFS) insurance system.

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost effectiveness of genotype-guided warfarin dosing in patients with MHVR under the FFS system from the Korea healthcare sector perspective.

Methods

A decision-analytic Markov model was developed to evaluate the cost effectiveness of genotype-guided warfarin dosing compared with standard dosing. Estimates of clinical adverse event rates and health state utilities were derived from the published literature. The outcome measure was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to explore the range of plausible results.

Results

In a base-case analysis, genotype-guided warfarin dosing was associated with marginally higher QALYs than standard warfarin dosing (6.088 vs. 6.083, respectively), at a slightly higher cost (US$6.8) (year 2016 values). The ICER was US$1356.2 per QALY gained. In probabilistic sensitivity analysis, there was an 82.7% probability that genotype-guided dosing was dominant compared with standard dosing, and a 99.8% probability that it was cost effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of US$50,000 per QALY gained.

Conclusion

Compared with only standard warfarin therapy, genotype-guided warfarin dosing was cost effective in MHVR patients under the FFS insurance system.



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Development of Novel ImmunoPET Tracers to Image Human PD-1 Checkpoint Expression on Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes in a Humanized Mouse Model

Abstract

Purpose

It is well known that cancers exploit immune checkpoints (programmed death 1 receptor (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1)) to evade anti-tumor immune responses. Although immune checkpoint (IC) blockade is a promising approach, not all patients respond. Hence, imaging of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is of high specific interest, as they are known to express PD-1 during activation and subsequent exhaustion in the tumor microenvironment and are thought to be potentially predictive of therapeutic responses to IC blockade.

Procedures

We developed immune-tracers for positron emission tomography (PET) to image hPD-1 status of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMCs) adoptively transferred to NOD-scid IL-2Rγnull (NSG) mice (hNSG) bearing A375 human skin melanoma tumors. The anti-PD-1 human antibody (IgG; keytruda) was labeled with either Zr-89 or Cu-64 radiometals to image PD-1-expressing human TILs in vivo.

Results

[89Zr] Keytruda (groups = 2; NSG-ctl (control) and hNSG-nblk (non-blocking), n = 3–5, 3.2 ± 0.4 MBq/15–16 μg/200 μl) and [64Cu] Keytruda (groups = 3; NSG-ctl, NSG-blk (blocking), and hNSG-nblk; n = 4, 7.4 ± 0.4 MBq /20-25 μg/200 μl) were administered in mice. PET-CT scans were performed over 1–144 h ([89Zr] Keytruda) and 1–48 h ([64Cu] Keytruda) on mice. hNSG mice exhibited a high tracer uptake in the spleen, lymphoid organs and tumors. At 24 h, human TILs homing into melanoma of hNSG-nblk mice exhibited high signal (mean %ID/g ± SD) of 3.8 ± 0.4 ([89Zr] Keytruda), and 6.4 ± 0.7 ([64Cu] Keytruda), which was 1.5- and 3-fold higher uptake compared to NSG-ctl mice (p = 0.01), respectively. Biodistribution measurements of hNSG-nblk mice performed at 144 h ([89Zr] Keytruda) and 48 h ([64Cu] Keytruda) p.i. revealed tumor to muscle ratios as high as 45- and 12-fold, respectively.

Conclusions

Our immunoPET study clearly demonstrates specific imaging of human PD-1-expressing TILs within the tumor and lymphoid tissues. This suggests these anti-human-PD-1 tracers could be clinically translatable to monitor cancer treatment response to IC blockade therapy.



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