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1.  CD24 expression predicts distant metastasis in extrahepatic bile duct cancer 
AIM: To evaluate the prognostic significance of CD24 expression in patients undergoing adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for extrahepatic bile duct (EHBD) cancer.
METHODS: Eighty-four patients with EHBD cancer who underwent curative resection followed by adjuvant chemoradiotherapy were enrolled in this study. Postoperative radiotherapy was delivered to the tumor bed and regional lymph nodes up to a median of 40 Gy (range: 40-56 Gy). All patients also received fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy for radiosensitization during radiotherapy. CD24 expression was assessed with immunohistochemical staining on tissue microarray. Clinicopathologic factors as well as CD24 expression were evaluated in multivariate analysis for clinical outcomes including loco-regional recurrence, distant metastasis-free and overall survival.
RESULTS: CD24 was expressed in 36 patients (42.9%). CD24 expression was associated with distant metastasis, but not with loco-regional recurrence nor with overall survival. The 5-year distant metastasis-free survival rates were 55.1% and 29.0% in patients with negative and positive expression, respectively (P = 0.0100). On multivariate analysis incorporating N stage, histologic differentiation and CD24 expression, N stage was the only significant factor predicting distant metastasis-free survival (P = 0.0089), while CD24 expression had borderline significance (P = 0.0733). In subgroup analysis, CD24 expression was significantly associated with 5-year distant metastasis-free survival in node-positive patients (38.4% with negative expression vs 0% with positive expression, P = 0.0110), but not in node-negative patients (62.0% with negative expression vs 64.0% with positive expression, P = 0.8599).
CONCLUSION: CD24 expression was a significant predictor of distant metastasis for patients undergoing curative resection followed by adjuvant chemoradiotherapy especially for node-positive EHBD cancer.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i9.1438
PMCID: PMC3602503  PMID: 23539485
CD24; Tissue microarray; Extrahepatic bile duct cancer; Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy; Distant metastasis
2.  The influence of the treatment response on the impact of resection margin status after preoperative chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:576.
Background
Circumferential resection margin (CRM) and distal resection margin (DRM) have different impact on clinical outcomes after preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) followed by surgery. Effect and adequate length of resection margin as well as impact of treatment response after preoperative CRT was evaluated.
Methods
Total of 403 patients with rectal cancer underwent preoperative CRT followed by total mesorectal excision between January 2004 and December 2010. After applying the criterion of margin less than 0.5 cm for CRM or less than 1 cm for DRM, 151 cases with locally advanced rectal cancer were included as a study cohort. All patients underwent conventionally fractionated radiation with radiation dose over 50 Gy and concurrent chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine. Postoperative chemotherapy was administered to 142 patients (94.0%). Median follow-up duration was 43.1 months.
Results
The 5-year overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) rates, and locoregional control rates (LRC) were 84.5%, 72.8%, 74.2%, and 86.3%, respectively. CRM of 1.5 mm and DRM of 7 mm were cutting points showing maximal difference in a maximally selected rank method. In univariate analysis, CRM of 1.5 mm was significantly related with worse clinical outcomes, whereas DRM of 7 mm was not. In multivariate analysis, CRM of 1.5 mm, and ypN were prognosticators for all studied endpoints. However, CRM was not a significant prognostic factor for good responders, defined as patients with near total regression or T down-staging, which was found in 16.5% and 40.5% among studied patients, respectively. In contrast, poor responders demonstrated a significant difference according to the CRM status for all studied end-points.
Conclusions
Close CRM, defined as 1.5 mm, was a significant prognosticator, but the impact was only prominent for poor responders in subgroup analysis. Postoperative treatment strategy may be individualized based on this finding. However, findings from this study need to be validated with larger cohort.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-576
PMCID: PMC3938897  PMID: 24304825
Rectal cancer; Preoperative chemoradiotherapy; Resection margin; Treatment response
3.  Clinical Implications of VEGF, TGF-β1, and IL-1β in Patients with Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer 
Purpose
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, VEGF165b, interleukin (IL)-1β, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 are known to influence tumor angiogenesis. Clinical implications of these cytokines need to be elucidated.
Materials and Methods
Using clinical data and baseline serum samples of 140 consecutive patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who received platinum-based combination chemotherapy, we investigated the association among serum cytokine levels, treatment outcomes, as well as leukocyte and platelet counts.
Results
The median age of patients was 64 years (range, 26 to 86 years). The male to female ratio was 104:36. High TGF-β1 and IL-1β levels were associated with shorter progression-free survival, and high VEGF-A and IL-1β levels were associated with shorter overall survival in the univariate analysis. VEGF165b was not related to the treatment outcomes. Leukocytosis and thrombocytosis were associated with shorter overall survival. The multivariate analysis demonstrated that VEGF-A, IL-1β, and leukocytosis were significant prognostic factors (p=0.0497, p=0.047, and p<0.001, respectively). Leukocytosis was not associated with recent pneumonia (p=0.937) and correlated with VEGF-A (p<0.001) and TGF-β1 (p=0.020) levels.
Conclusion
Serum VEGF-A, TGF-1β, and IL-1β levels, in addition to leukocyte and platelet counts, are shown to be associated with clinical outcomes. Leukocyte and platelet counts are correlated with serum VEGF-A and TGF-β1 levels.
doi:10.4143/crt.2013.45.4.325
PMCID: PMC3893330  PMID: 24454005
Vascular endothelial growth factor; Interleukin-1beta; Transforming growth factor beta1; Leukocytes; Blood platelets; Non-small cell lung carcinoma
4.  Expression of Immunohistochemical Markers before and after Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Carcinoma, and Their Use as Predictors of Response 
Journal of Breast Cancer  2013;16(4):395-403.
Purpose
For patients with breast carcinoma, immunohistochemical markers are important factors in determining the breast cancer subtype and for establishing a therapeutic plan, including the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). However, it is not clear whether the expression of certain markers changes after NACT.
Methods
We assessed estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), Ki-67, p53, and Bcl-2 expression in specimens from 345 breast cancer cases before and after NACT. We analyzed the association between response to NACT and the expression of the markers in pre-NACT specimens. We also compared the expression between pre- and post-NACT specimens.
Results
ER and PR expression was negatively associated with pathological complete response (pCR). HER2 was associated with pCR in all cases, but the association was lost when the cases were subdivided according to hormone receptor status. The pre-NACT tumor size of cases with pCR after NACT was smaller than that of cases with residual disease. HER2-enriched and triple-negative breast cancers were more likely to achieve pCR than luminal A type cancers. PR expression and the Ki-67 index decreased after NACT. A decrease in the Ki-67 index was also demonstrated in hormone receptor positive and HER2-enriched subtypes, but no similar tendency was observed in the triple-negative subtype.
Conclusion
A patient with breast cancer scheduled for NACT should be assessed for the breast cancer subtype, as this will influence the treatment plans for the patient. The expression of PR and Ki-67 after NACT should be interpreted carefully because NACT tends to reduce the expression of these molecules.
doi:10.4048/jbc.2013.16.4.395
PMCID: PMC3893341  PMID: 24454461
Breast neoplasms; Drug therapy; Immunohistochemistry; Ki-67 antigen; Progesterone receptors
5.  Open-label, Randomized Comparison of the Efficacy of Intravenous Dolasetron Mesylate and Ondansetron in the Prevention of Acute and Delayed Cisplatin-induced Emesis in Cancer Patients 
Purpose
The aim of this study is to compare the antiemetic efficacy and tolerability of intravenous dolasetron mesylate and ondansetron in the prevention of acute and delayed emesis.
Material and Methods
From April 2002 through October 2002, a total of 112 patients receiving cisplatin- based combination chemotherapy were randomized to receive a single i.v. dose of dolasetron 100 mg or ondansetron 8 mg, 30 minutes before the initiation of chemotherapy. In the ondansetron group, two additional doses of ondansetron 8 mg were given at intervals of 2 to 4 hours. To prevent delayed emesis, dolasetron 200 mg p.o. daily or ondansetron 8 mg p.o. bid was administered from the 2nd days to a maximum of 5 days. The primary end point was the proportion of patients that experienced no emetic episodes and required no rescue medication (complete response, CR) during the 24 hours (acute period) and during Day 2 to Day 5±2 days (delayed period), after chemotherapy. The secondary end points included the incidence and severity of emesis.
Results
105 patients were evaluable for efficacy. CR rates during the acute period were 36.0% for a single dose of dolasetron 100 mg, and 43.6% for three doses of ondansetron 8 mg. CR rates during the delayed period were 8.0% and 10.9%, respectively. There was no significant difference in the efficacy between the two groups. Adverse effects were mostly mild to moderate and not related to study medication.
Conclusions
A single i.v. dose of dolasetron 100 mg is as effective as three i.v. doses of ondansetron 8 mg in preventing acute and delayed emesis after cisplatin-based chemotherapy, with a comparable safety profile.
doi:10.4143/crt.2004.36.6.372
PMCID: PMC2843880  PMID: 20368831
Dolasetron mesylate; 5-HT3 receptor antagonist; Antiemetics; Nausea; Vomiting; Ondansetron
6.  Phosphoproteomic analysis identifies activated MET-axis PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK in lapatinib-resistant cancer cell line 
Lapatinib, a dual inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) tyrosine kinases, has shown promising results as a growth inhibitor of HER2-positive cancer cells in vitro. However, similar to other EGFR-targeting drugs, acquired resistance to lapatinib by HER2-positive cancer cells remains a major clinical challenge. To elucidate resistance mechanisms to EGFR/HER2-targeting agents, we performed a systematic quantitative comparison of the phosphoproteome of lapatinib-resistant (LR) human gastric cancer cells (SNU216-LR) versus parental cells (SNU216) using a titanium dioxide (TiO2) phosphopeptide enrichment method and analysis with a Q-Exactive hybrid quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometer. Biological network analysis of differentially expressed phosphoproteins revealed apparent constitutive activation of the MET-axis phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/α-serine/threonine-protein kinase (AKT) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways in SNU216-LR. Inhibition of the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways in SNU216-LR also leads to cell cycle arrest, confirming the biological network analysis. Lapatinib sensitivity was restored when cells were treated with several molecular targeting agents in combination with lapatinib. Thus, by integrating phosphoproteomic data, protein networks and effects of signaling pathway modulation on cell proliferation, we found that SNU216-LR maintains constitutive activation of the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK pathways in a MET-dependent manner. These findings suggest that pathway activation is a key compensatory intracellular phospho-signaling event that may govern gastric cancer cell resistance to drug treatment.
doi:10.1038/emm.2013.115
PMCID: PMC3849569  PMID: 24263233
drug resistance; HER2-positive gastric cancer; lapatinib; phosphoproteins; Q-Exactive; therapeutic targets
7.  Targeted Sequencing of Cancer-Related Genes in Colorectal Cancer Using Next-Generation Sequencing 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64271.
Recent advance in sequencing technology has enabled comprehensive profiling of genetic alterations in cancer. We have established a targeted sequencing platform using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology for clinical use, which can provide mutation and copy number variation data. NGS was performed with paired-end library enriched with exons of 183 cancer-related genes. Normal and tumor tissue pairs of 60 colorectal adenocarcinomas were used to test feasibility. Somatic mutation and copy number alteration were analyzed. A total of 526 somatic non-synonymous sequence variations were found in 113 genes. Among these, 278 single nucleotide variations were 232 different somatic point mutations. 216 SNV were 79 known single nucleotide polymorphisms in the dbSNP. 32 indels were 28 different indel mutations. Median number of mutated gene per tumor was 4 (range 0–23). Copy number gain (>X2 fold) was found in 65 genes in 40 patients, whereas copy number loss (
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064271
PMCID: PMC3660257  PMID: 23700467
Journal of Breast Cancer  2013;16(1):66-71.
Purpose
Exemestane has shown good efficacy and tolerability in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer. However, clinical outcomes in Korean patients have not yet been reported.
Methods
Data on 112 postmenopausal women with metastatic breast cancer were obtained retrospectively. Clinicopathological characteristics and treatment history were extracted from medical records. All patients received 25 mg exemestane daily until objective disease progression. Progression-free survival (PFS) was the primary endpoint, and secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR), and clinical benefit rate (CBR=complete response+partial response+stable disease for 6 months).
Results
The median age of the subjects was 55 years (range, 28-76 years). Exemestane treatment resulted in a median PFS of 5.7 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.4-7.0 months) and median OS of 21.9 months (95% CI, 13.6-30.3 months). ORR was 6.4% and CBR was 46.4% for the 110 patients with evaluable lesions. Symptomatic visceral disease was independently associated with shorter PFS (hazard ratio, 3.611; 95% CI, 1.904-6.848; p<0.001), compared with bone-dominant disease in a multivariate analysis of PFS after adjusting for age, hormone receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, Ki-67 status, dominant metastasis site, and sensitivity to nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor (AI) treatment. Sensitivity to previous nonsteroidal AI treatment was not associated with PFS, suggesting no cross-resistance between exemestane and nonsteroidal AIs.
Conclusion
Exemestane was effective in postmenopausal Korean women with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer who failed previous nonsteroidal AI treatment.
doi:10.4048/jbc.2013.16.1.66
PMCID: PMC3625772  PMID: 23593084
Aromatase inhibitors; Breast neoplasms; Exemestane; Neoplasm metastasis
Journal of Breast Cancer  2012;15(4):427-433.
Purpose
The effects of body mass index on pathologic complete response and survival have not been reported in Korean patients with breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the predictive or prognostic value of obesity in breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Methods
A total of 438 stage II or III breast cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy were enrolled and analyzed retrospectively.
Results
In the study, 319 patients (72.8%) were normal weight, 100 patients (22.8%) were overweight, and 19 patients (4.3%) were obese. Baseline clinicopathologic characteristics were not different among the groups, except for age. There were no differences in pathologic complete response rate between the groups (9.7% in normal weight, 10.0% in overweight, 5.3% in obese; p=0.804). Neither overweight nor obese patients showed a significant difference in relapse-free survival compared to normal weight patients (p=0.523 and p=0.931, respectively). Also, no significant difference in overall survival (p=0.520 and p=0.864, respectively) was observed.
Conclusion
Obesity or higher body mass index was not significantly associated with pathologic complete response and survival in Korean patients with breast cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Our results suggest that the prognostic impact of body mass index is different from that of Western patients.
doi:10.4048/jbc.2012.15.4.427
PMCID: PMC3542851  PMID: 23346172
Breast neoplasms; Neoadjuvant therapy; Obesity; Prognosis
BMC Cancer  2012;12:322.
Background
To evaluate efficacy in patients with brain metastasis (BM) on entry into the lapatinib expanded access program (LEAP).
Methods
LEAP is a worldwide, single-arm, open-label study. HER2-positive, locally-advanced or metastatic breast cancer patients with progression after an anthracycline, taxane, and trastuzumab were eligible. Patients received capecitabine 2000 mg/m2 daily in two divided doses, days 1–14, every 21 days and lapatinib 1250 mg once daily.
Results
Among 186 patients enrolled in 6 Korean centers, 58 had BM. Progression-free survival (PFS) was 18.7 weeks in patients with BM and 19.4 weeks without BM (P = 0.88). In patients with BM, brain response was synchronized with systemic responses (P = 0.0001). Overall survival (OS) was 48.9 weeks in patients with BM and 64.6 weeks without BM (P = 0.23). Multivariable analysis found hormone receptor positivity (P = 0.003) and clinical benefit rate (CBR) of combined systemic and brain disease (P < 0.0001) significantly associated with prolonged brain PFS, and CBR of combined systemic and brain disease (P = 0.03) and longer trastuzumab use (P = 0.047) associated with prolonged OS in patients with BM; prior capecitabine did not affect PFS or OS in patients with BM.
Conclusion
Lapatinib plus capecitabine is equally effective in patients with or without BM.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00338247)
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-322
PMCID: PMC3480888  PMID: 22839200
Brain Metastasis; HER2-positive Metastatic Breast Cancer; Lapatinib and Capecitabine Therapy; LEAP
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e39943.
Background
Lapatinib plus capecitabine is an effective treatment option for trastuzumab-refractory HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. We have investigated the correlation between quantitative measures of HER2, p95HER2, and HER3 and treatment outcomes using lapatinib and capecitabine.
Methods
Total HER2 (H2T), p95HER2 (p95), and total HER3 (H3T) expression were quantified in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples using the VeraTag assays. Patients received lapatinib and capecitabine treatment following trastuzumab failure according to the Lapatinib Expanded Access Program. The association between the protein expression levels and clinical outcomes was analyzed.
Results
A total of 52 patients were evaluable. H2T level was significantly higher in responders (median 93.49 in partial response, 47.66 in stable disease, and 17.27 in progressive disease; p = 0.020). Longer time-to-progression (TTP) was observed in patients with high H2T [p = 0.018, median 5.2 months in high (>14.95) vs. 1.8 in low (<14.95)] and high H3T [p = 0.017, median 5.0 months in high (>0.605) vs. 2.2 in low (<0.605)]. Patients having both high H2T and high H3T had significantly longer TTP [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.38 (95% CI 0.20–0.73), p = 0.004] and overall survival [adjusted HR 0.46 (95% CI 0.24–0.89), p = 0.020]. No significant association between p95 and response or survival was observed.
Conclusions
These data suggest a correlation between high HER2 and high HER3 expression and treatment outcome, while no significant difference was observed between clinical outcome and p95 expression level in this cohort of HER2-positive, trastuzumab-refractory metastatic breast cancer patients treated with lapatinib and capecitabine.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039943
PMCID: PMC3407213  PMID: 22848366
Breast Cancer Research : BCR  2012;14(4):R102.
Introduction
Anti-estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce mammographic breast density (MD). We hypothesized that a short-term change in breast density may be a surrogate biomarker predicting response to adjuvant endocrine therapy (ET) in breast cancer.
Methods
We analyzed data for 1,065 estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer patients who underwent surgery between 2003 and 2006 and received at least 2 years of ET, including tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. MD was measured using Cumulus software 4.0 and expressed as a percentage. MD reduction (MDR) was defined as the absolute difference in MD of mammograms taken preoperatively and 8-20 months after the start of ET.
Results
At a median follow-up of 68.8 months, the overall breast cancer recurrence rate was 7.5% (80/1065). Mean MDR was 5.9% (range, -17.2% to 36.9%). Logistic regression analysis showed that age < 50 years, high preoperative MD, and long interval between start of ET to follow-up mammogram were significantly associated with larger MDR (p < 0.05). In a survival analysis, tumor size, lymph node positivity, high Ki-67 (≥ 10%), and low MDR were independent factors significantly associated with recurrence-free survival (p < 0.05). Compared with the group showing the greatest MDR (≥ 10%), the hazard ratios for MDRs of 5-10%, 0-5%, and < 0% were 1.33, 1.92, and 2.26, respectively.
Conclusions
MD change during short-term use of adjuvant ET was a significant predictor of long-term recurrence in women with ER-positive breast cancer. Effective treatment strategies are urgently needed in patients with low MDR despite about 1 year of ET.
doi:10.1186/bcr3221
PMCID: PMC3680951  PMID: 22770227
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37414.
The N-end rule pathway is a proteolytic system in which its recognition components (N-recognins) recognize destabilizing N-terminal residues of short-lived proteins as an essential element of specific degrons, called N-degrons. The RING E3 ligases UBR2 and UBR1 are major N-recognins that share size (200 kDa), conserved domains and substrate specificities to N-degrons. Despite the known function of the N-end rule pathway in degradation of cytosolic proteins, the major phenotype of UBR2-deficient male mice is infertility caused by arrest of spermatocytes at meiotic prophase I. UBR2-deficient spermatocytes are impaired in transcriptional silencing of sex chromosome-linked genes and ubiquitylation of histone H2A. In this study we show that the recruitment of UBR2 to meiotic chromosomes spatiotemporally correlates to the induction of chromatin-associated ubiquitylation, which is significantly impaired in UBR2-deficient spermatocytes. UBR2 functions as a scaffold E3 that promotes HR6B/UbcH2-dependent ubiquitylation of H2A and H2B but not H3 and H4, through a mechanism distinct from typical polyubiquitylation. The E3 activity of UBR2 in histone ubiquitylation is allosterically activated by dipeptides bearing destabilizing N-terminal residues. Insufficient monoubiquitylation and polyubiquitylation on UBR2-deficient meiotic chromosomes correlate to defects in double strand break (DSB) repair and other meiotic processes, resulting in pachytene arrest at stage IV and apoptosis. Some of these functions of UBR2 are observed in somatic cells, in which UBR2 is a chromatin-binding protein involved in chromatin-associated ubiquitylation upon DNA damage. UBR2-deficient somatic cells show an array of chromosomal abnormalities, including hyperproliferation, chromosome instability, and hypersensitivity to DNA damage-inducing reagents. UBR2-deficient mice enriched in C57 background die upon birth with defects in lung expansion and neural development. Thus, UBR2, known as the recognition component of a major cellular proteolytic system, is associated with chromatin and controls chromatin dynamics and gene expression in both germ cells and somatic cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037414
PMCID: PMC3355131  PMID: 22616001
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33322.
Background
Identification of predictive biomarkers is essential for the successful development of targeted therapy. Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) has been examined as a potential therapeutic target for various cancers. However, recent clinical trials showed that anti-IGF1R antibody and chemotherapy are not effective for treating lung cancer.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In order to define biomarkers for predicting successful IGF1R targeted therapy, we evaluated the anti-proliferation effect of figitumumab (CP-751,871), a humanized anti-IGF1R antibody, against nine gastric and eight hepatocellular cancer cell lines. Out of 17 cancer cell lines, figitumumab effectively inhibited the growth of three cell lines (SNU719, HepG2, and SNU368), decreased p-AKT and p-STAT3 levels, and induced G 1 arrest in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, these cells showed co-overexpression and altered mobility of the IGF1R and insulin receptor (IR). Immunoprecipitaion (IP) assays and ELISA confirmed the presence of IGF1R/IR heterodimeric receptors in figitumumab-sensitive cells. Treatment with figitumumab led to the dissociation of IGF1-dependent heterodimeric receptors and inhibited tumor growth with decreased levels of heterodimeric receptors in a mouse xenograft model. We next found that both IGF1R and IR were N-linked glyosylated in figitumumab-sensitive cells. In particular, mass spectrometry showed that IGF1R had N-linked glycans at N913 in three figitumumab-sensitive cell lines. We observed that an absence of N-linked glycosylation at N913 led to a lack of membranous localization of IGF1R and figitumumab insensitivity.
Conclusion and Significance
The data suggest that the level of N-linked glycosylated IGF1R/IR heterodimeric receptor is highly associated with sensitivity to anti-IGF1R antibody in cancer cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033322
PMCID: PMC3306383  PMID: 22438913
International Journal of Oncology  2011;40(4):1259-1266.
Aberrations of Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling are frequently observed in many types of cancer, promoting its emergence as a promising target for cancer treatment. PI3K can become activated by various pathways, one of which includes RAS. RAS can not only directly activate the PI3K/AKT pathway via binding to p110 of PI3K, but also regulates mTOR via ERK or RSK independently of the PI3K/AKT pathway. Thus, actively mutated RAS can constitutively activate PI3K signaling. Additionally, in RAS tumorigenic transformation, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) has been known also to be required. In this study, we examined the efficacy of NVP-BKM120, a pan-class I PI3K inhibitor in human gastric cancer cells and hypothesized that the combined inhibition of PI3K and STAT3 would be synergistic in KRAS mutant gastric cancer cells. NVP-BKM120 demonstrated anti-proliferative activity in 11 human gastric cancer cell lines by decreasing mTOR downstream signaling. But NVP-BKM120 treatment increased p-AKT by subsequent abrogation of feedback inhibition by stabilizing insulin receptor substrate-1. In KRAS mutant gastric cancer cells, either p-ERK or p-STAT3 was also increased upon treatment of NVP-BKM120. The synergistic efficacy study demonstrated that dual PI3K and STAT3 blockade showed a synergism in cells harboring mutated KRAS by inducing apoptosis. The synergistic effect was not seen in KRAS wild-type cells. Together, these findings suggest for the first time that the dual inhibition of PI3K and STAT3 signaling may be an effective therapeutic strategy for KRAS mutant gastric cancer patients.
doi:10.3892/ijo.2011.1290
PMCID: PMC3584651  PMID: 22159814
BKM120; phosphoinositide 3-kinase; STAT3; KRAS; gastric cancer
BMC Medical Genomics  2011;4:82.
Background
Epigenetic alteration of gene expression is a common event in human cancer. DNA methylation is a well-known epigenetic process, but verifying the exact nature of epigenetic changes associated with cancer remains difficult.
Methods
We profiled the methylome of human gastric cancer tissue at 50-bp resolution using a methylated DNA enrichment technique (methylated CpG island recovery assay) in combination with a genome analyzer and a new normalization algorithm.
Results
We were able to gain a comprehensive view of promoters with various CpG densities, including CpG Islands (CGIs), transcript bodies, and various repeat classes. We found that gastric cancer was associated with hypermethylation of 5' CGIs and the 5'-end of coding exons as well as hypomethylation of repeat elements, such as short interspersed nuclear elements and the composite element SVA. Hypermethylation of 5' CGIs was significantly correlated with downregulation of associated genes, such as those in the HOX and histone gene families. We also discovered long-range epigenetic silencing (LRES) regions in gastric cancer tissue and identified several hypermethylated genes (MDM2, DYRK2, and LYZ) within these regions. The methylation status of CGIs and gene annotation elements in metastatic lymph nodes was intermediate between normal and cancerous tissue, indicating that methylation of specific genes is gradually increased in cancerous tissue.
Conclusions
Our findings will provide valuable data for future analysis of CpG methylation patterns, useful markers for the diagnosis of stomach cancer, as well as a new analysis method for clinical epigenomics investigations.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-4-82
PMCID: PMC3273443  PMID: 22133303
BMC Cancer  2011;11:452.
Background
This study was aimed 1) to investigate the predictive value of FDG PET/CT (fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography) for histopathologic response and 2) to explore the results of FDG PET/CT by molecular phenotypes of breast cancer patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Methods
Seventy-eight stage II or III breast cancer patients who received neoadjuvant docetaxel/doxorubicin chemotherapy were enrolled in this study. FDG PET/CTs were acquired before chemotherapy and after the first cycle of chemotherapy for evaluating early metabolic response.
Results
The mean pre- and post-chemotherapy standard uptake value (SUV) were 7.5 and 3.9, respectively. The early metabolic response provided by FDG PET/CT after one cycle of neoadjuvant chemotherapy was correlated with the histopathologic response after completion of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (P = 0.002). Sensitivity and negative predictive value were 85.7% and 95.1%, respectively. The estrogen receptor negative phenotype had a higher pre-chemotherapy SUV (8.6 vs. 6.4, P = 0.047) and percent change in SUV (48% vs. 30%, P = 0.038). In triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), the pre-chemotherapy SUV was higher than in non-TNBC (9.8 vs. 6.4, P = 0.008).
Conclusions
The early metabolic response using FDG PET/CT could have a predictive value for the assessment of histopathologic non-response of stage II/III breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Our findings suggest that the initial SUV and the decline in SUV differed based on the molecular phenotype.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01396655
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-452
PMCID: PMC3224348  PMID: 22011459
FDG PET; breast cancer; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; molecular phenotype
Numerous studies have attempted to identify gene expression profiles which can be utilized to predict responses to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), but their findings are not clinically applicable at present. In the present study, we sought to determine DNA copy number alterations (CNAs) in breast cancer tissues which are associated with the response to NAC. Frozen tumor tissues from 63 breast cancer patients were obtained using core needle biopsy prior to NAC (3 cycles of docetaxel plus adriamycin) and were microdissected. Array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) with 4,045 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) probes was performed to identify the CNAs. Changes in tumor size in response to NAC were measured via magnetic resonance imaging. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was conducted to verify array CGH results and for independent validation studies. CNAs at eight chromosomal loci encompassing 24 clones were correlated with changes in tumor size after NAC (p<0.05; t-test). Two CNAs were selected, 17p12 deletion and 17q21.32-33 gain, which were significantly associated with a smaller reduction in tumor size following NAC, via prioritization of the regions containing the candidate genes. In an independent validation set of samples from 39 patients, FISH assay further showed that the 17p12 deletion was markedly associated with smaller changes in tumor size (p=0.006), while the 17q21.32-33 gain was not significant (p=0.309). In conclusion, we successfully identified a 17p12 deletion in breast cancer tissue which can be applied in predicting tumor resistance to NAC.
doi:10.3892/etm.2011.299
PMCID: PMC3440692  PMID: 22977578
breast neoplasms; comparative genomic hybridization; copy number; microarray; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; predictive marker
BMC Cancer  2011;11:188.
Background
Because of the late clinical presentation of biliary tract cancer (BTC), only 10% of patients are eligible for curative surgery. Even among those patients who have undergone curative surgery, most patients develop recurrent cancer. This study is to determine the clinical role of 18F-FDG PET/CT during post-operative surveillance of suspected recurrent BTC based on symptoms, laboratory findings and contrast-enhanced CT (ceCT) findings.
Methods
We consecutively enrolled 50 patients with BTC who underwent curative surgery. An 18F-FDG PET/CT was obtained for assessment of recurrence based on clinical suspicion during post-operative surveillance. The final confirmation of recurrence was determined pathologically or clinically. When a pathologic confirmation was impossible or inconclusive, a clinical confirmation was used by radiologic correlation with subsequent follow-up ceCT at a minimum of 3-month intervals. Diagnostic efficacy was evaluated by comparing the results of ceCT and 18F-FDG PET/CT with the final diagnosis.
Results
Among the 50 patients, 34(68%) were confirmed to have a recurrence. PET/CT showed higher sensitivity (88% vs. 76%, p = 0.16) and accuracy (82% vs. 66%, p = 0.11) for recurrence compared to ceCT, even though the difference was not significant. The positive (86% vs. 74%, p = 0.72) and negative predictive values for recurrence (73% vs. 47%, p = 0.55) were not significantly different between PET/CT and ceCT. However, an additional PET/CT on ceCT significantly improved the sensitivity than did a ceCT alone (94% [32/34] for PET/CT on ceCT vs. 76% [26/34] for ceCT alone, p = 0.03) without increasing the specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value.
Conclusions
18F-FDG PET/CT alone is not more sensitive or specific than ceCT in the detection of recurrent BTC after curative surgery. These results do not reach statistical significance, probably due to the low number of patients. However, an additional 18F-FDG PET/CT on ceCT significantly improves the sensitivity of detecting recurrences.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-188
PMCID: PMC3120804  PMID: 21599995
18F-FDG PET/CT; biliary tract cancer; surveillance; recurrence
BMC Gastroenterology  2011;11:56.
Background
Gastric hepatoid adenocarcinoma (HAC) is a special type of gastric cancer that morphologically mimics hepatocellular carcinoma. In this study, we performed an evaluation of clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment outcome, and prognosis in patients with gastric HAC.
Methods
We consecutively enrolled patients with pathologically proven gastric HAC at Seoul National University Hospital between January 1996 and December 2008 and conducted a retrospective review. Among 15,253 patients with gastric cancer, 26 patients (0.17%) were diagnosed as gastric HAC.
Results
Among 26 patients, 22 were male and the median age was 63. Stage at diagnosis was stage IB in 3 patients, stage II in 6 patients, stage III in 7 patients, and stage IV in 10 patients. Eight patients out of 18 patients with stage IB, II, III, and IV relapsed after curative surgery. Relapse-free survival for these patients was 16.67 months. The most common metastatic site was intraabdominal lymph nodes (n = 9), followed by the liver (n = 8). Thirteen patients received palliative chemotherapy. The most commonly used regimen was a combination of fluoropyrimidine and platinum. Partial response was observed in one patient and stable disease in 5 patients. Median overall survival and progression free survival of these patients were 8.03 (95% CI: 6.59-9.47) and 3.47 months (95% CI: 0.65-6.29), respectively.
Conclusions
Gastric HAC is a very rare but unique type of stomach cancer. Early detection of this type of cancer is of critical importance to patient prognosis. Additional studies to reveal the biology of this tumor are warranted.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-11-56
PMCID: PMC3136411  PMID: 21592404
Gastric hepatoid adenocarcinoma; treatment outcome; prognosis; clinicopathologic
Introduction
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) has a poorer survival, despite a higher response rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The purpose of this study was to identify the predictive or prognostic value of Ki-67 among patients with TNBC treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and the role of Ki-67 in further classification of TNBC.
Methods
A total of 105 TNBC patients who received neoadjuvant docetaxel/doxorubicin chemotherapy were included in the present study. Pathologic complete response (pCR) rate, relapse-free survival (RFS), and overall survival (OS) were compared according to the level of Ki-67.
Results
pCR was observed in 13.3% of patients. TNBC with high Ki-67 expression (≥10%) showed a higher pCR rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy than TNBC with low Ki-67 expression. None of the low Ki-67 group achieved pCR (18.2% in the high Ki-67 group vs. 0.0% in the low Ki-67 group, P = 0.019). However, a high Ki-67 expression was significantly associated with poor RFS and OS in TNBC, despite a higher pCR rate (P = 0.005, P = 0.019, respectively). In multivariate analysis, high Ki-67 was an independent prognostic factor for RFS in TNBC (hazard ratio = 7.82, P = 0.002). The high Ki-67 group showed a similar pattern of recurrence with overall TNBC, whereas the low Ki-67 group demonstrated a relatively constant hazard rate for relapse.
Conclusions
TNBC with high Ki-67 was associated with a more aggressive clinical feature despite a higher pCR rate. High proliferation index Ki-67 can be used for further classification of TNBC into two subtypes with different responses and prognosis.
doi:10.1186/bcr2834
PMCID: PMC3219180  PMID: 21366896
BMC Cancer  2010;10:557.
Background
Whether a systemic adjuvant treatment is needed is an area of controversy in patients with node-negative early breast cancer with tumor size of ≤1 cm, including T1mic.
Methods
We performed a retrospective analysis of clinical and pathology data of all consecutive patients with node-negative T1mic, T1a, and T1b invasive ductal carcinoma who received surgery between Jan 2000 and Dec 2006. The recurrence free survival (RFS) and risk factors for recurrence were identified.
Results
Out of 3889 patients diagnosed with breast cancer, 375 patients were enrolled (T1mic:120, T1a:93, T1b:162). Median age at diagnosis was 49. After a median follow up of 60.8 months, 12 patients developed recurrences (T1mic:4 (3.3%), T1a:2 (2.2%), T1b:6 (3.7%)), with a five-year cumulative RFS rate of 97.2%. Distant recurrence was identified in three patients. Age younger than 35 years (HR 4.91; 95% CI 1.014-23.763, p = 0.048) and triple negative disease (HR 4.93; 95% CI 1.312-18.519, p = 0.018) were significantly associated with a higher rate of recurrence. HER2 overexpression, Ki-67, and p53 status did not affect RFS.
Conclusions
Prognosis of node-negative breast cancer with T1mic, T1a and T1b is excellent, but patients under 35 years of age or with triple negative disease have a relatively high risk of recurrence.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-557
PMCID: PMC2966467  PMID: 20946688
BMC Cancer  2010;10:448.
Background
Studies about the biology, treatment pattern, and treatment outcome of metastatic/recurrent neuroendocrine tumor (NET) have been few.
Methods
We enrolled patients with metastatic/recurrent NET diagnosed between January 1996 and July 2007 and retrospectively analyzed.
Results
A total of 103 patients were evaluated. Twenty-six patients (25.2%) had pancreatic NET, 27 (26.2%) had gastrointestinal NET, 2 (1.9%) had lung NET, 28 (27.2%) had NET from other sites, and 20 (19.4%) had NET from unknown origin. The liver was the most common metastatic site (68.9%). Thirty-four patients had grade 1 disease, 1 (1.0%) had grade 2 disease, 15 (14.6%) had grade 3 disease, 9 (8.7%) had large cell disease, and 7 (6.8%) had small cell disease.
Sixty-six patients received systemic treatment (interferon, somatostatin analogues or chemotherapy), 64 patients received local treatment (TACE, radiofrequency ablation, metastasectomy, etc.). Thirty-six patients received both systemic and local treatments.
Median overall survival (OS) was 29.0 months (95% confidence interval, 25.0-33.0) in the103 patients. OS was significantly influenced by grade (p = .001). OS was 43.0, 23.0, and 29.0 months in patients who received local treatment only, systemic treatment only, and both treatments, respectively (p = .245). The median time-to-progression (TTP) was 6.0 months. Overall response rate was 34.0% and disease-control rate was 64.2%. TTP was influenced by the presence of liver metastasis (p = .011).
Conclusions
OS of metastatic/recurrent NET was different according to tumor grade. TTP was different according to metastasis site. Therefore, development of optimal treatment strategy based on the characteristics of NET is warranted.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-448
PMCID: PMC2936327  PMID: 20731845
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(2):235-239.
Prognostic value of p53 and bcl-2 expression on treatment outcome in breast cancer patients has been extensively evaluated, but the results were inconclusive. We evaluated the prognostic significance of these molecular markers in patients treated with breast conserving surgery and radiotherapy. One hundred patients whose immunostaining of p53 and bcl-2 expression was available among 125 patients who underwent radiotherapy after breast conserving surgery and axillary lymph node dissection were enrolled into this study. Eighty-seven patients also received adjuvant chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy. Conventional clinicopathologic variables and treatment-related factors were also considered. The 5-yr loco-regional relapse-free and distant metastasis-free survival rates were 91.7% and 90.9%, respectively. On univariate analysis, age, T stage and the absence of bcl-2 & estrogen receptor (ER) expression were associated with loco-regional relapse-free survival. When incorporating these variables into Cox proportional hazard model, only bcl-2(-)/ER(-) phenotype was an adverse prognostic factor (P=0.018). As for the distant metastasis-free survival, age, T stage, and p53 expression were significant on univariate analysis. However, p53 expression was the only prognosticator on multivariate analysis (P=0.009). A bcl-2(-)/ER(-) phenotype and p53 expression are useful molecular markers predicting loco-regional relapse-free and distant metastasis-free survival, respectively, in patients treated with breast conserving surgery and radiotherapy.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2010.25.2.235
PMCID: PMC2811290  PMID: 20119576
Breast Neoplasms; bcl-2; p53

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