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1.  Treatment selection and experience in multiple sclerosis: survey of neurologists 
Background
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease with many therapeutic options. Little is known about how neurologists select particular disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for their patients.
Objective
To understand how neurologists make decisions regarding the prescription of DMTs for patients with MS, and to explore neurologists’ experiences with individual DMTs.
Methods
From December 2012 to January 2013, members of a nationwide physician market research panel were sent an online study invitation with a link to a survey website. Eligible neurologists were included if they currently practice medicine in the United States, and if they treat ≥20 patients with MS.
Results
A total of 102 neurologists (n=63 general neurologists; n=39 MS specialists; 81.4% male) completed the survey. The mean (standard deviation) number of years in practice since completing medical training was 16.4 (8.6) years. Overall, the most commonly prescribed DMTs were subcutaneous interferon (IFN) β-1a and glatiramer acetate; approximately 5.5% of patients were untreated. The most important attributes of DMT medication selection were (in order of importance) efficacy, safety, tolerability, patient preference, and convenience. The DMT with the highest neurologist-reported percentage of patients who were “Very/Extremely Satisfied” with their therapy was fingolimod (31.0%), followed by glatiramer acetate (13.9%; P=0.017). Compared with fingolimod (94.0%), significantly fewer (P<0.05) neurologists reported that “All/Most” of their patients were adherent to treatment with glatiramer acetate (78.0%), subcutaneous IFN β-1a (84.0%), and IFN β-1b (75.0%); no significant differences were observed with intramuscular IFN β-1a (92.9%; P=0.75). Patients’ calls to neurologists’ offices were most commonly related to side effects for all self-injectable DMTs, whereas calls about fingolimod primarily involved insurance coverage issues.
Conclusion
Our survey results showed that very few patients with MS did not received any DMT. Among the DMTs available at the time of the survey, neurologists reported that patients were most satisfied with, and adherent to, fingolimod, but these patients also faced more problems with insurance coverage when compared with those taking self-injectable DMTs.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S53140
PMCID: PMC3979792
multiple sclerosis; disease-modifying therapy; physician survey; treatment selection; treatment adherence; treatment satisfaction
2.  Feasibility of Image-Guided Transthoracic Core Needle Biopsy in the BATTLE Lung Trial 
Purpose
As therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients becomes more personalized, additional tissue in the form of core needle biopsies (CNBs) for biomarker analysis is increasingly required for determining appropriate treatment and for enrollment into clinical trials. We report our experience with small-caliber percutaneous transthoracic (PT) CNBs for the evaluation of multiple molecular biomarkers in BATTLE (Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination), a personalized, targeted therapy NSCLC clinical trial.
Methods
The medical records of patients who underwent PTCNB for consideration of enrollment in BATTLE, were reviewed for diagnostic yield of 11 predetermined molecular markers, and procedural complications. Univariate and multivariate analyses of factors related to patient and lesion characteristics were performed to determine possible influences on diagnostic yield.
Results
One hundred and seventy PTCNBs were performed using 20-gauge biopsy needles in 151 NSCLC patients screened for the trial. 82.9% of the biopsy specimens were found to have adequate tumor tissue for analysis of the required biomarkers. On multivariate analysis, metastatic lesions were 5.4 times more likely to yield diagnostic tissue as compared to primary tumors (p = 0.0079). Pneumothorax and chest tube insertion rates were 15.3% and 9.4%, respectively.
Conclusions
Image-guided 20-gauge PTCNB is safe and provides adequate tissue for analysis of multiple biomarkers in the majority of patients being considered for enrollment into a personalized, targeted therapy NSCLC clinical trial. Metastatic lesions are more likely to yield diagnostic tissue as compared to primary tumors.
doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e318287c91e
PMCID: PMC3879952  PMID: 23442309
research biopsy; biomarker analysis; percutaneous transthoracic biopsy
3.  The Notch Pathway Is Important in Maintaining the Cancer Stem Cell Population in Pancreatic Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91983.
Background
Pancreatic cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a small subpopulation of pancreatic cancer cells that have the capacity to initiate and propagate tumor formation. However, the mechanisms by which pancreatic CSCs are maintained are not well understood or characterized.
Methods
Expression of Notch receptors, ligands, and Notch signaling target genes was quantitated in the CSC and non-CSC populations from 8 primary human pancreatic xenografts. A gamma secretase inhibitor (GSI) that inhibits the Notch pathway and a shRNA targeting the Notch target gene Hes1 were used to assess the role of the Notch pathway in CSC population maintenance and pancreatic tumor growth.
Results
Notch pathway components were found to be upregulated in pancreatic CSCs. Inhibition of the Notch pathway using either a gamma secretase inhibitor or Hes1 shRNA in pancreatic cancer cells reduced the percentage of CSCs and tumorsphere formation. Conversely, activation of the Notch pathway with an exogenous Notch peptide ligand increased the percentage of CSCs as well as tumorsphere formation. In vivo treatment of orthotopic pancreatic tumors in NOD/SCID mice with GSI blocked tumor growth and reduced the CSC population.
Conclusion
The Notch signaling pathway is important in maintaining the pancreatic CSC population and is a potential therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091983
PMCID: PMC3960140  PMID: 24647545
4.  Global assessment of genetic variation influencing response to retinoid chemoprevention in head and neck cancer patients 
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients are at an increased risk of developing a second primary tumor (SPT) or recurrence following curative treatment. 13-cis-retinoic acid (13-cRA) has been tested in chemoprevention clinical trials but the results have been inconclusive. We genotyped 9,465 SNPs in 450 patients from the Retinoid Head and Neck Second Primary Trial. SNPs were analyzed for associations with SPT/recurrence in patients receiving placebo to identify prognosis markers and further analyzed for effects of 13-cRA in patients with these prognostic loci. Thirteen loci identified a majority subgroup of patients at a high risk of SPT/recurrence and in whom 13-cRA was protective. Patients carrying the common genotype of rs3118570 in the retinoid X receptor (RXRA) were at a 3.33-fold increased risk (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.67–6.67) and represented over 70% of the study population. This locus also identified individuals who received benefit from chemoprevention with a 38% reduced risk (95% CI, 0.43–0.90). Analyses of cumulative effect and potential gene-gene interactions also implicated CDC25C:rs6596428 and JAK2:rs1887427 as two other genetic loci with major roles in prognosis and 13-cRA response. Patients with all three common genotypes had a 76% reduction in SPT/recurrence (95% CI, 0.093–0.64) following 13-cRA chemoprevention. Carriers of these common genotypes constituted a substantial percentage of the study population, indicating that a pharmacogenetics approach could help select patients for 13-cRA chemoprevention. The lack of any alternatives for reducing risk in these patients highlights the need for future clinical trials to prospectively validate our findings.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0125
PMCID: PMC3955084  PMID: 21292633
HNSCC; SPT; single nucleotide polymorphisms; retinoids
5.  Phase II Trial of Erlotinib Plus Concurrent Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy for Patients With Brain Metastases From Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(7):895-902.
Purpose
Brain metastasis (BM) is a leading cause of death from non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Reasoning that activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) contributes to radiation resistance, we undertook a phase II trial of the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib with whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) in an attempt to extend survival time for patients with BM from NSCLC. Additional end points were radiologic response and safety.
Patients and Methods
Eligible patients had BM from NSCLC, regardless of EGFR status. Erlotinib was given at 150 mg orally once per day for 1 week, then concurrently with WBRT (2.5 Gy per day 5 days per week, to 35 Gy), followed by maintenance. EGFR mutation status was tested by DNA sequencing at an accredited core facility.
Results
Forty patients were enrolled and completed erlotinib plus WBRT (median age, 59 years; median diagnosis-specific graded prognostic assessment score, 1.5). The overall response rate was 86% (n = 36). No increase in neurotoxicity was detected, and no patient experienced grade ≥ 4 toxicity, but three patients required dose reduction for grade 3 rash. At a median follow-up of 28.5 months (for living patients), median survival time was 11.8 months (95% CI, 7.4 to 19.1 months). Of 17 patients with known EGFR status, median survival time was 9.3 months for those with wild-type EGFR and 19.1 months for those with EGFR mutations.
Conclusion
Erlotinib was well tolerated in combination with WBRT, with a favorable objective response rate. The higher-than-expected rate of EGFR mutations in these unselected patients raises the possibility that EGFR-mutated tumors are prone to brain dissemination.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2011.40.1174
PMCID: PMC3577951  PMID: 23341526
6.  The Transcription Factor NFAT Exhibits Signal Memory during Serial T Cell Interactions with Antigen Presenting Cells 
Immunity  2013;38(2):237-249.
Summary
Interactions with antigen-presenting cells (APCs) interrupt T cell migration through tissues and trigger signaling pathways that converge on the activation of transcriptional regulators, including NFAT, which control T cell function and differentiation. Both stable and unstable modes of cognate T cell-APC interactions have been observed in vivo, but the functional significance of unstable, serial contacts has remained unclear. Here we used multiphoton intravital microscopy in lymph nodes and tumors to show that while NFAT nuclear import was fast (t1/2 max~1min), nuclear export was slow (t1/2~20min) in T cells. During delayed export, nuclear NFAT constituted a short-term imprint of transient TCR signals and remained transcriptionally active for the T cell tolerance gene Egr2, but not for the effector gene Ifng, which required continuous TCR triggering for expression. This provides a potential mechanistic basis for the observation that a predominance of unstable APC interactions correlates with the induction of T cell tolerance.
doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2012.09.012
PMCID: PMC3582823  PMID: 23313588
Multiphoton Intravital Microscopy (MP-IVM); Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes (CTL); T Regulatory Cells (T reg); Nuclear Factor of Activated T cells (NFAT); Lymph Node (LN); Tumor Microenvironment; Signal Memory; Antigen Presenting Cells (APC); Immune Tolerance; Gene Expression; Transcriptional Regulation
7.  Computed Tomography RECIST Assessment of Histopathologic Response and Prediction of Survival in Patients with Resectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer after Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy 
Introduction
This study’s objectives were to determine whether tumor response measured by CT and evaluated using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) correlated with overall survival (OS) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgical resection.
Methods
We measured primary tumor size on CT before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in 160 NSCLC patients who underwent surgical resection. The relationship between CT-measured response (RECIST) and histopathologic response (≤10% viable tumor) and OS were assessed by Kaplan Meier survival, univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.
Results
There was a statistically significant association between CT-measured response (RECIST) and OS (p=0.03). However, histopathologic response was a stronger predictor of OS (p=0.002), with a more pronounced separation of the survival curves when compared to CT-measured response. In multivariable Cox regression analysis, only pathologic stage and histopathologic response were significant predictors of OS. A 41% overall discordance rate was noted between CT RECIST response and histopathologic response. CT RECIST classified as non-responders a subset of patients with histopathologic response (8/30 pts, 27%) who demonstrated prolonged survival after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Conclusion
We were unable to show that CT RECIST is a reliable predictor of OS in patients with NSCLC undergoing surgical resection after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The failure of CT RECIST to predict long-term outcome may be due to the inability of CT imaging to consistently identify patients with histopathologic response. CT RECIST may have only a limited role as an efficacy endpoint after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with resectable NSCLC.
doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e3182774108
PMCID: PMC3549050  PMID: 23287849
8.  CXCR2 expression in tumor cells is a poor prognostic factor and promotes invasion and metastasis in lung adenocarcinoma 
Cancer research  2012;73(2):571-582.
CXCR2 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been studied mainly in stromal cells and is known to increase tumor inflammation and angiogenesis. Here, we examined the prognostic importance of CXCR2 in NSCLC and the role of CXCR2 and its ligands in lung cancer cells. The effect of CXCR2 expression on tumor cells was studied using stable knockdown clones derived from a murine KRAS/p53-mutant lung adenocarcinoma cell line with high metastatic potential and an orthotopic syngeneic mouse model and in vitro using a CXCR2 small molecule antagonist (SB225002). CXCR2 protein expression was analyzed in tumor cells from 262 NSCLC. Gene expression profiles for CXCR2 and its ligands (CXCR2 axis) were analyzed in 52 human NSCLC cell lines and 442 human lung adenocarcinomas. Methylation of CXCR2 axis promoters was determined in 70 human NSCLC cell lines. Invasion and metastasis were decreased in CXCR2 knockdown clones in vitro and in vivo. SB225002 decreased invasion in vitro. In lung adenocarcinomas, CXCR2 expression in tumor cells was associated with smoking and poor prognosis. CXCR2 axis gene expression profiles in human NSCLC cell lines and lung adenocarcinomas defined a cluster driven by CXCL5 and associated with smoking, poor prognosis and RAS pathway activation. Expression of CXCL5 was regulated by promoter methylation. The CXCR2 axis may be an important target in smoking-related lung adenocarcinoma.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-0263
PMCID: PMC3548940  PMID: 23204236
lung cancer; prognosis; metastasis; CXCR2; chemokine
9.  An epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) gene signature predicts resistance to EGFR and PI3K inhibitors and identifies Axl as a therapeutic target for overcoming EGFR inhibitor resistance 
Purpose
EMT has been associated with metastatic spread and EGFR inhibitor resistance. We developed and validated a robust 76-gene EMT signature using gene expression profiles from four platforms using NSCLC cell lines and patients treated in the BATTLE study.
Methods
We conducted an integrated gene expression, proteomic, and drug response analysis using cell lines and tumors from NSCLC patients. A 76-gene EMT signature was developed and validated using gene expression profiles from four microarray platforms of NSCLC cell lines and patients treated in the BATTLE (Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination) study, and potential therapeutic targets associated with EMT were identified.
Results
Compared with epithelial cells, mesenchymal cells demonstrated significantly greater resistance to EGFR and PI3K/Akt pathway inhibitors, independent of EGFR mutation status, but more sensitivity to certain chemotherapies. Mesenchymal cells also expressed increased levels of the receptor tyrosine kinase Axl and showed a trend towards greater sensitivity to the Axl inhibitor SGI-7079, while the combination of SGI-7079 with erlotinib reversed erlotinib resistance in mesenchymal lines expressing Axl and in a xenograft model of mesenchymal NSCLC. In NSCLC patients, the EMT signature predicted 8-week disease control in patients receiving erlotinib, but not other therapies.
Conclusion
We have developed a robust EMT signature that predicts resistance to EGFR and PI3K/Akt inhibitors, highlights different patterns of drug responsiveness for epithelial and mesenchymal cells, and identifies Axl as a potential therapeutic target for overcoming EGFR inhibitor resistance associated with the mesenchymal phenotype
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-1558
PMCID: PMC3567921  PMID: 23091115
lung cancer; EMT; EGFR inhibition; PI3K inhibition; Axl
10.  Characterizing the molecular spatial and temporal field of injury in early stage smoker non-small cell lung cancer patients after definitive surgery by expression profiling 
Gene expression alterations in response to cigarette smoke have been characterized in normal-appearing bronchial epithelium of healthy smokers and it has been suggested that adjacent histologically normal tissue display tumor-associated molecular abnormalities. We sought to delineate the spatial and temporal molecular lung field of injury in smoker early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients (n=19) who were accrued into a surveillance clinical trial for annual follow-up and bronchoscopies within one year after definitive surgery. Bronchial brushings and biopsies were obtained from six different sites in the lung at the time of inclusion in the study and at 12, 24 and 36 months after the first time point. Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST arrays were used for whole-transcript expression profiling of airways (n=391). Microarray analysis identified gene features (n=1165) that were non-uniform by site and differentially expressed between airways adjacent to tumors relative to more distant samples as well as those (n=1395) that were significantly altered with time up to three years. In addition, gene-interaction networks mediated by PI3K and ERK1/2 were modulated in adjacent compared to contralateral airways and the latter network with time. Furthermore, phosphorylated AKT and ERK1/2 immunohistochemical expression were significantly increased with time (nuclear pAKT, p=0.03; cytoplasmic pAKT, p<0.0001; pERK1/2, p=0.02) and elevated in adjacent compared to more distant airways (nuclear pAKT, p=0.04; pERK1/2, p=0.03). This study highlights spatial and temporal cancer-associated expression alterations in the molecular field of injury of early stage NSCLC patients after definitive surgery that warrant further validation in independent studies.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0290
PMCID: PMC3774536  PMID: 23087048
Early stage NSCLC; gene expression profiling; lung airway epithelium; chemoprevention
12.  Severe cholestasis due to adalimumab in a Crohn’s disease patient 
World Journal of Hepatology  2013;5(10):592-595.
Elevation of liver biochemistry has been reported with anti-tumor necrosis factor agents, but overt liver failure rarely reported. Autoimmune hepatitis has been more commonly reported with infliximab than adalimumab (ADA). Our case, however, describes the first reported case of ADA-associated severe cholestatic injury. A 39-year-old female with Crohn’s disease developed severe jaundice after initiation of ADA. All serologic tests and imaging studies were normal. Liver biopsy showed prominent pericentral canalicular cholestasis, without features of steatosis or sclerosing cholangitis, consistent with drug-induced cholestasis. The serum total bilirubin peaked at 280 μmol/L, and improvement was seen after 5 wk with eventual normalization of liver enzymes at 10 wk. Our case describes the first reported case of ADA-associated severe cholestatic liver disease and the first histopathologic examination of this adverse drug effect. Clinicians need to be aware of this potential drug-induced liver injury when prescribing this commonly used biologic medication.
doi:10.4254/wjh.v5.i10.592
PMCID: PMC3812463  PMID: 24179620
Crohn’s disease; Cholestasis; Adalimumab; Anti-tumor necrosis factor agents; Drug-induced liver injury
13.  Compliance to fingolimod and other disease modifying treatments in multiple sclerosis patients, a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:138.
Background
Adherence to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) results in the reduction of the number and severity of relapses and delays the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS). Patients with lower adherence rates experience more inpatient visits and higher MS-related medical costs. Fingolimod, the first oral DMT approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, may improve the access and compliance to MS treatment when compared to injectable DMTs.
Methods
This retrospective cohort study used pharmacy claims from Medco Health Solutions, Inc., of patients who initiated DMTs between October 2010 and February 2011. Initiation was defined as no prescription fills for the same DMT in the prior 12 months. Patients without a DMT prescription fill 12 months before the index date were considered naïve users. Compliance was measured via proportion of days covered (PDC) and medication possession ratio (MPR) for 12 months post-index. Discontinuation was defined as a ≥60-day gap of index DMT supply. Cox proportional hazard models compared time to discontinuation between cohorts.
Results
Of 1,891 MS patients (mean age: 45.7; female: 76.4%), 13.1% initiated fingolimod, 10.7% interferon beta-1b, 20.0% intramuscular interferon beta-1a, 18.8% subcutaneous interferon beta-1a, and 37.4% glatiramer acetate. Patients initiating fingolimod had highest average PDC and MPR in both experienced (fingolimod: mean PDC=0.83, 73.7% with PDC≥0.8; mean MPR=0.92, 90.5% with MPR≥0.8) and naïve DMT users (fingolimod: mean PDC=0.80, 66.7% with PDC≥0.8; mean MPR=0.90, 87.4% with MPR≥0.8). The proportion of patients discontinuing index DMT within 12 months was significantly lower for the fingolimod cohort (naïve: 31.3%; experienced: 25.7%). Adjusted results found that patients receiving self-injected DMTs discontinued significantly sooner than fingolimod users. This association was generally stronger in experienced DMT users.
Conclusions
Fingolimod initiators were more compliant, less likely to discontinue treatment, and discontinued later than patients who initiated self-injected DMT.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-138
PMCID: PMC3851325  PMID: 24093542
Multiple sclerosis; Compliance; Patient adherence; Medication persistence; Discontinuation; Fingolimod
14.  Ginkgo biloba does not improve cognitive function in MS 
Neurology  2012;79(12):1278-1284.
Objective:
To determine whether Ginkgo biloba extract (ginkgo) improves cognitive function in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Methods:
Persons with MS from the Seattle and Portland VA clinics and adjacent communities who scored 1 SD or more below the mean on one of 4 neuropsychological tests (Stroop Test, California Verbal Learning Test II [CVLT-II], Controlled Oral Word Association Test [COWAT], and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task [PASAT]) were randomly assigned to receive either one 120-mg tablet of ginkgo (EGb-761; Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co, Germany) or one placebo tablet twice a day for 12 weeks. As the primary outcome, we compared the performance of the 2 groups on the 4 tests at exit after adjusting for baseline performance.
Results:
Fifty-nine subjects received placebo and 61 received ginkgo; 1 participant receiving placebo and 3 receiving ginkgo were lost to follow-up. Two serious adverse events (AEs) (myocardial infarction and severe depression) believed to be unrelated to the treatment occurred in the ginkgo group; otherwise, there were no significant differences in AEs. The differences (ginkgo − placebo) at exit in the z scores for the cognitive tests were as follows: PASAT −0.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] −0.5 to 0.1); Stroop Test −0.5 (95% CI −0.9 to −0.1); COWAT 0.0 (95% CI −0.2 to 0.3); and CVLT-II 0.0 (95% CI −0.3 to 0.3); none was statistically significant.
Conclusions:
Treatment with ginkgo 120 mg twice a day did not improve cognitive performance in persons with MS.
Classification of evidence:
This study provides Class I evidence that treatment with ginkgo 120 mg twice a day for 12 weeks does not improve cognitive performance in people with MS.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31826aac60
PMCID: PMC3440446  PMID: 22955125
15.  RAS/ERK inhibition rescues fate-specification defects of Nf1-deficient neural progenitors and brain abnormalities 
Cell  2012;150(4):816-830.
SUMMARY
Germline mutations in the RAS/ERK signaling pathway underlie several related developmental disorders collectively termed neuro-cardio-facial-cutaneous (NCFC) syndromes. Patients with these disorders manifest varying degrees of cognitive impairment, but the developmental basis of their brain abnormalities remains largely unknown. Among NCFC syndromes, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an exception, as it is caused by loss-of-function heterozygous mutations. Here, we show that bi-allelic Nf1 inactivation promotes Erk-dependent, ectopic Olig2 expression specifically in transit-amplifying progenitors, leading to increased gliogenesis at the expense of neurogenesis in neonatal and adult subventricular zone (SVZ). Nf1-deficient brains exhibit enlarged corpus callosum - a structural brain defect recently linked to severe learning deficits in NF1 patients. Strikingly, these NF1-associated developmental defects are rescued by transient treatment with an MEK/ERK pathway inhibitor during neonatal stages. These studies reveal a critical role for Nf1 in maintaining postnatal SVZ-derived neurogenesis, and identify a potential therapeutic window for treating NF1-associated brain abnormalities.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.06.034
PMCID: PMC3427010  PMID: 22901811
Neurofibromatosis type 1; NF1; tumor suppressor gene; neural stem cells; glial cells; subventricular zone (SVZ)
16.  EGFR and K-Ras Mutations and Resistance of Lung Cancer to IGF-1R Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors 
Cancer  2012;118(16):3993-4003.
Background
Most patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have responded poorly to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). We investigated the involvement of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling in primary resistance to EGFR TKIs and the molecular determinants of resistance to IGF-1R TKIs.
Methods
Phosphorylated IGF-1R/insulin receptor (pIGF-1R/IR) was immunohistochemically evaluated in a NSCLC tissue microarray. We analyzed the antitumor effects of an IGF-1R TKI (PQIP or OSI-906), either alone or in combination with a small-molecular inhibitor (PD98059 or U0126) or with siRNA targeting K-Ras or MAPK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase (MEK), in vitro and in vivo in NSCLC cells with variable histologic features and EGFR or K-Ras mutations.
Results
pIGF-1R/IR expression in NSCLC specimens was associated with a history of tobacco smoking, squamous cell carcinoma histology, mutant (mut) K-Ras, and wild-type (wt) EGFR, all of which have been strongly associated with poor response to EGFR TKIs. IGF-1R TKIs exhibited significant antitumor activity in NSCLC cells with wt EGFR and wt K-Ras but not in those with mutations in these genes. Introduction of mut K-Ras attenuated the effects of IGF-1R TKIs on NSCLC cells expressing wt K-Ras. Conversely, inactivation of MEK restored sensitivity to IGF-TKIs in cells carrying mut K-Ras.
Conclusions
The mutation status of both EGFR and K-Ras could be predictive markers of response to IGF-1R TKIs. Also, MEK antagonism can abrogate primary resistance of NSCLC cells to IGF-1R TKIs.
doi:10.1002/cncr.26656
PMCID: PMC3674414  PMID: 22359227
EGFR; K-Ras; IGF-1R; lung cancer; TKI
17.  Personalizing Lung Cancer Prevention Through a Reverse Migration Strategy 
Topics in current chemistry  2013;329:221-240.
Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the United States and worldwide. Tobacco use is the one of the primary causes of lung cancer and smoking cessation is an important step towards prevention, but patients who have quit smoking remain at risk for lung cancer. Finding pharmacologic agents to prevent lung cancer could potentially save many lives. Unfortunately, despite extensive research, there are no known effective chemoprevention agents for lung cancer. Clinical trials in the past, using agents without a clear target in an unselected population, have shown pharmacologic interventions to be ineffective or even harmful. We propose a new approach to drug development in the chemoprevention setting: reverse migration, that is, drawing on our experience in the treatment of advanced cancer to bring agents, biomarkers, and study designs into the prevention setting. By identifying molecular drivers of lung neoplasia and using matched targeted agents, we hope to personalize therapy to each individual to develop more effective, tolerable chemo-prevention. Also, advances in risk modeling, using not only clinical characteristics but also biomarkers, may help us to select patients better for chemoprevention efforts, thus sparing patients at low risk for cancer the potential toxicities of treatment. Our institution has experience with biomarker-driven clinical trials, as in the recently reported Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination (BATTLE) trial, and we now propose to bring this trial design into the prevention setting.
doi:10.1007/128_2012_338
PMCID: PMC3737590  PMID: 22752582
Chemoprevention; Lung cancer; Targeted therapies
18.  New Strategies in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Lung: Identification of Tumor Drivers to Personalize Therapy 
Treatment for non–small cell lung cancer has been improving, with personalized treatment increasingly becoming a reality in the clinic. Unfortunately, these advances have largely been confined to the treatment of adenocarcinomas. Treatment options for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung have lagged behind, partly because of a lack of understanding of the oncogenes driving SCC. Cytotoxic chemotherapy continues to be the only treatment option for many of our patients, and no genetic tests are clinically useful for patients with SCC. Recent advances in basic science have identified mutations and alterations in protein expression frequently found in SCCs, and clinical trials are ongoing to target these changes.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2055
PMCID: PMC3737591  PMID: 22461458
19.  A multiplicity of Anti-invasive Effects of the Farnesyl Transferase Inhibitor in Human Head and Neck Cancer 
Metastasis is a critical event in the progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and closely correlates with clinical outcome. We previously showed that the farnesyl transferase inhibitor SCH66336 has antitumor activities in HNSCC by inducing insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) secretion, which in turn inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis. In this study, we found that SCH66336 at a sublethal dose for HNSCC inhibited the migration and invasion of HNSCC cells. The inhibitory effect of SCH66336 was associated with the blockade of the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) pathway via suppressing IGF-1R itself and Akt expression. Consistent with previous work, induction of IGFBP-3 by SCH66336 also contributed in part to the anti-invasive effect. SCH66336 treatment also reduced the expression and activity of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2), both important regulators of tumor metastasis. The effect of SCH66336 on uPA activity was inhibited partly by knockdown of IGFBP-3 using siRNA. The inhibitory effect of SCH66336 on migration or invasion was attenuated partly or completely by knockdown of IGFBP-3, Akt, or IGF-1R expression, respectively. Our results demonstrate that the IGF-1R pathway plays a major role in the proliferation, migration, and invasion of HNSCC cells, suggesting that therapeutic obstruction of the IGF-1R pathway would be a useful approach to treating patients with HNSCC.
doi:10.1002/ijc.26373
PMCID: PMC3374925  PMID: 22113431
Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3; insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor; farnesyl transferase inhibitor; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; invasion; SCH66336
20.  Addition of a carbohydrate-binding module enhances cellulase penetration into cellulose substrates 
Introduction
Cellulases are of great interest for application in biomass degradation, yet the molecular details of the mode of action of glycoside hydrolases during degradation of insoluble cellulose remain elusive. To further improve these enzymes for application at industrial conditions, it is critical to gain a better understanding of not only the details of the degradation process, but also the function of accessory modules.
Method
We fused a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) from family 2a to two thermophilic endoglucanases. We then applied neutron reflectometry to determine the mechanism of the resulting enhancements.
Results
Catalytic activity of the chimeric enzymes was enhanced up to three fold on insoluble cellulose substrates as compared to wild type. Importantly, we demonstrate that the wild type enzymes affect primarily the surface properties of an amorphous cellulose film, while the chimeras containing a CBM alter the bulk properties of the amorphous film.
Conclusion
Our findings suggest that the CBM improves the efficiency of these cellulases by enabling digestion within the bulk of the film.
doi:10.1186/1754-6834-6-93
PMCID: PMC3716932  PMID: 23819686
Cellulases; Endoglucanases; Carbohydrate-Binding modules; Cellulose model films; Neutron reflectometry
21.  Genetic variants in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/MTOR pathway predict head and neck cancer patient second primary tumor/recurrence risk and response to retinoid chemoprevention 
Clinical Cancer Research  2012;18(13):3705-3713.
Purpose
The development of second primary tumors (SPT) or recurrence alters prognosis for curatively-treated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. 13-cis-retnoic acid (13-cRA) has been tested as a chemoprevention agent in clinical trials with mixed results. Therefore, we investigated if genetic variants in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/MTOR pathway could serve as biomarkers to identify which patients are at high risk of an SPT/recurrence while also predicting response to 13-cRA chemoprevention.
Experimental Design
A total of 137 pathway SNPs were genotyped in 440 patients from the Retinoid Head and Neck Second Primary Trial and assessed for SPT/recurrence risk and response to 13-cRA. Risk models were created based on epidemiology, clinical, and genetic data.
Results
Twenty-two genetic loci were associated with increased SPT/recurrence risk with six also being associated with a significant benefit following chemoprevention. Combined analysis of these high-risk/high-benefit loci identified a significant (P = 1.54×10−4) dose-response relationship for SPT/recurrence risk, with patients carrying 4–5 high-risk genotypes having a 3.76-fold (95%CI:1.87–7.57) increase in risk in the placebo group (n=215). Patients carrying 4–5 high-risk loci showed the most benefit from 13-cRA chemoprevention with a 73% reduction in SPT/recurrence (95%CI:0.13–0.58) compared to those with the same number of high-risk genotypes who were randomized to receive placebo. Incorporation of these loci into a risk model significantly improved the discriminatory ability over models with epidemiology, clinical, and previously identified genetic variables.
Conclusions
These results demonstrate that loci within this important pathway could identify individuals with a high-risk/high-benefit profile and are a step towards personalized chemoprevention for HNSCC patients.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-3271
PMCID: PMC3404728  PMID: 22577058
22.  FcRγ Controls the Fas-Dependent Regulatory Function of Lymphoproliferative Double Negative T Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65253.
Patients with autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) and lymphoproliferation (LPR) mice are deficient in Fas, and accumulate large numbers of αβ-TCR+, CD4−, CD8− double negative (DN) T cells. The function of these DN T cells remains largely unknown. The common γ subunit of the activating Fc receptors, FcRγ, plays an important role in mediating innate immune responses. We have shown previously that a significant proportion of DN T cells express FcRγ, and that this molecule is required for TCR transgenic DN T cells to suppress allogeneic immune responses. Whether FcRγ plays a critical role in LPR DN T cell-mediated suppression of immune responses to auto and allo-antigens is not known. Here, we demonstrated that FcRγ+, but not FcRγ− LPR DN T cells could suppress Fas+ CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation in vitro and attenuated CD4+ T cell-mediated graft-versus host disease. Although FcRγ expression did not allow LPR DN T cells to inhibit the expansion of Fas-deficient cells within the LPR context, adoptive transfer of FcRγ+, but not FcRγ−, DN T cells inhibited lymphoproliferation in generalized lymphoproliferative disease (GLD) mice. Furthermore, FcRγ acted in a cell-intrinsic fashion to limit DN T cell accumulation by increasing the rate of apoptosis in proliferated cells. These results indicate that FcRγ can confer Fas-dependent regulatory properties on LPR DN T cells, and suggest that FcRγ may be a novel marker for functional DN Tregs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065253
PMCID: PMC3675138  PMID: 23762329
23.  Antitumor activity of a novel STAT3 inhibitor and redox modulator in non-small cell lung cancer cells☆ 
Biochemical pharmacology  2012;83(10):1456-1464.
NSC-743380 is a novel STAT3 inhibitor that suppresses the growth of several NCI-60 cancer cell lines derived from different tissues and induces regression of xenograft tumors in vivo at various doses. To evaluate the antitumor activity of NSC-743380 in lung cancer cells, we analyzed the susceptibility of 50 NSCLC cell lines to this compound using cell viability assay. About 32% (16 of 50) of these cell lines were highly susceptible to this compound, with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of <1 µM. In mechanistic studies, the increased numbers of apoptotic cells as well as increased PARP cleavage showed that cytotoxic effects correlate with apoptosis induction. Treatment with NSC-743380 inhibited transcription factor STAT3 activation and induced ROS production in sensitive human lung cancer cell lines but not in resistant cells. Blocking ROS generation with the antioxidant NDGA dramatically abolished NSC-743380-induced growth suppression and apoptosis, but had minimal effect on NSC-743380-induced STAT3 inhibition, suggesting that STAT3 inhibition is not caused by ROS production. Interestingly, knockdown of STAT3 with use of shSTAT3 induced ROS generation and suppressed tumor cell growth. Moreover, scavenging ROS induced by STAT3 inhibition also diminished antitumor activity of STAT3 inhibition. In vivo administration of NSC-743380 suppressed tumor growth and p-STAT3 in lung tumors. Our results indicate that NSC-743380 is a potent anticancer agent for lung cancer and that its apoptotic effects in lung cancer cells are mediated by induction of ROS through STAT3 inhibition.
doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2012.02.010
PMCID: PMC3391570  PMID: 22387047
Drug development; Lung Cancer; STAT3; Reactive oxygen species
24.  Prognostic impact of Insulin Receptor Expression on Survival of Patients with Nonf-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Cancer  2011;118(9):2454-2465.
Background
The purpose of this study was to characterize insulin receptor (IR) and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) expression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods
A total of 459 patients who underwent curative resection of NSCLC were studied (median follow-up duration, 4.01 years). Expression of the IR and IGF-1R protein in tumor specimens was assessed immunohistochemically using tissue microarrays.
Results
The cytoplasmic IR score was higher in patients with adenocarcinoma (ADC) than in those with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) whereas cytoplasmic IGF-1R score was higher in patients with SCC than those with ADC. Neither IR nor IGF-1R expression was associated with sex, smoking history, or clinical stage. Patients with positive IR or IGF-1R expression levels had poor recurrence-free (RFS) (3.8 vs. 3.3 years; 3.8 vs. 2.0 years, respectively), but similar overall survival (OS). Patients with high expression levels of IR and IGF-1R had shorter RFS and OS compared to those with low levels of IR and/or IGF-1R expression. Finally, a multivariate analysis revealed the impact of IR, but not of IGF-1R, as an independent predictive marker of NSCLC survival: hazard ratio (HR) for OS, 1.005 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.001 – 1.010], HR for RFS, 1.005 (95% CI, 1.001 – 1.009), when IR score was tested as a continuous variable.
Conclusions
Overexpression of IR predicts a poor survival among patients with NSCLC, especially those with SCC. These results might serve as future guidance to the clinical trials involving IR or IGR-1R targeting agents.
doi:10.1002/cncr.26492
PMCID: PMC3298843  PMID: 21952750
Carcinoma; Non-Small-Cell Lung; Receptor; Insulin; Receptor; IGF Type 1; Prognosis; Survival
25.  G-Protein Coupled Receptor Family C, Group 5, Member A (GPRC5A) Expression Is Decreased in the Adjacent Field and Normal Bronchial Epithelia of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer 
Introduction
Understanding oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes expression patterns is essential for characterizing lung cancer pathogenesis. We have previously demonstrated that mGprc5a/hGPRC5A is a lung-specific tumor suppressor evidenced by inflammation-mediated tumorigenesis in Gprc5a-knockout mice. The implication of GPRC5A in human lung cancer pathogenesis, including that associated with inflammatory chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a risk factor for the malignancy, remains elusive.
Methods
We sought to examine GPRC5A immunohistochemical expression in histologically normal bronchial epithelia (NBE) from lung disease-free never- and ever-smokers (n = 13 and n = 18, respectively), from COPD patients with (n = 26) and without cancer (n = 24) and in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) (n = 474). Quantitative assessment of GPRC5A transcript expression in airways (n = 6), adjacent NBEs (n = 29) and corresponding tumors (n = 6) from 6 NSCLC patients was also performed.
Results
GPRC5A immunohistochemical expression was significantly lower in tumors compared to uninvolved NBE (p < 0.0001) and was positively associated with adenocarcinoma histology (p < 0.001). GPRC5A airway expression was highest in lung disease-free NBE, decreased and intermediate in NBE of cancer-free COPD patients (p = 0.004) and further attenuated and lowest in epithelia of COPD patients with adenocarcinoma and SCC (p < 0.0001). Furthermore, GPRC5A mRNA was significantly decreased in NSCLCs and corresponding NBE compared to uninvolved normal lung (p = 0.03).
Conclusions
Our findings highlight decreased GPRC5A expression in the field cancerization of NSCLC, including that associated with lung inflammation. Assessment of the use of GPRC5A expression as a risk factor for NSCLC development in COPD patients is warranted.
doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e31826bb1ff
PMCID: PMC3622592  PMID: 23154545
Field cancerization; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Non–small-cell lung cancer; g-protein coupled receptor family C; group 5; member A; gene expression

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