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1.  Inhibitory effects of aromatase inhibitor on estrogen receptor-alpha positive ovarian cancer in mice 
Estrogen causes proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. Although hormone therapy with an anti-estrogen agent is an optional therapy for recurrent epithelial ovarian cancers, both basic and clinical researches are insufficient. We here examine the efficacy of an aromatase inhibitor (AI) for peritonitis carcinomatosa, the late stage of ovarian cancer.
Estrogen receptor (ER)α was assayed in four ovarian cancer cell lines by the RT-PCR method. Using ovariectomized nude mice, peritonitis carcinomatosa consisting of OVCAR-3 cells with the strongest ERα expression or DISS cells with weaker ERα expression was prepared. The survival period was compared between the letrozole group (5 mg/kg/day orally; n = 10) and the control group (n = 10). In addition, the degree of angiogenesis and occurrence of apoptosis were compared using tumor tissue from the abdominal cavity. The expression of aromatase and the protein involving in ERα signaling were examined in tumors immunohistochemically.
Survival period in OVCAR-3 tumors was significantly prolonged in the letrozole group, compared with the control group (P < 0.05), whereas that in DISS tumors was not different between the both groups. The microvessel density in tumors and expression of VEGF decreased significantly in the letrozole group compared to the control group. The incidence of apoptosis did not differ significantly between these groups. No adverse event was observed accompanying the administration of letrozole. The expressions of aromatase, ERα and FOXP1 that is associated with ERα signaling were reduced in tumors by letrozole administration.
Letrozole was effective for ovarian cancers with abundant expression of ERα. Inhibition of angiogenesis and of ascites production appeared to contribute to prolongation of the survival period.
PMCID: PMC3895704  PMID: 24410765
Recurrent ovarian cancer; Letrozole; Estrogen receptor alpha; Aromatase inhibitor; Anti-angiogenesis
2.  Decreased ARID1A expression is correlated with chemoresistance in epithelial ovarian cancer 
Loss of ARID1A is related to oncogenic transformation of ovarian clear cell adenocarcinoma. The present study was conducted in epithelial ovarian cancer of all tissue types to investigate whether an increased or decreased expression level of ARID1A can be a prognostic factor for ovarian cancer or can influence the sensitivity to anticancer drugs.
The expression level of ARID1A was investigated in 111 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer who received initial treatment at the Hirosaki University Hospital between 2006 and 2011. The expression level of ARID1A was immunohistochemically graded using staining scores, which were calculated by multiplying the staining intensity of the nuclei by the stain-positive area.
The level of ARID1A was significantly lower in clear cell adenocarcinoma than in other histologic types. Among the patients with stage III, IV cancer (n=46), the level of ARID1A was significantly lower (p=0.026) in patients who did not achieve complete response (CR; n=12) than in patients who achieved CR (n=34). The level of ARID1A was relatively lower (p=0.07) in patients who relapsed after achieving CR (n=21) than in patients who did not relapse (n=13). When the staining score of 0 was defined as ARID1A-negative and other staining scores were defined as ARID1A-positive, there was significant difference in progression-free survival between ARID1A-negative (n=11) and ARID1A-positive (n=35) patients in stage III, IV disease.
The result suggests that decreased ARID1A expression is correlated with chemoresistance and may be a predictive factor for the risk of relapse of advanced cancer after achieving CR.
PMCID: PMC3893676  PMID: 24459582
ARID1A; Chemoresistance; Epithelial ovarian cancer; Relapse
3.  Redistribution of resistance and sensitivity to platinum during the observation period following treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2013;2(2):212-218.
The standard postoperative chemotherapy for epithelial ovarian cancer is a combination therapy including platinum and taxanes. The aim this study was to investigate the degree of platinum sensitivity in patients with relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer according to the treatment-free interval (TFI) and the histological tumor type. The medical records of 405 patients diagnosed with stage III/IV ovarian cancer, including 107 patients who relapsed after attaining a clinical complete response with first-line treatment, were retrospectively reviewed. The degree of platinum sensitivity was assessed by comparing the progression-free survival (PFS) following the second-line treatment. In patients with serous/endometrioid adenocarcinoma who were treated with platinum following relapse, there were significant differences in the PFS between the following groups of patients: those who relapsed within 6 months and those who relapsed between 6 and 12 months; those who relapsed between 6 and 12 months and those who relapsed between 12 and 18 months; and those who relapsed between 12 and 18 months and those who relapsed after 18 months. By contrast, in patients with clear cell/mucinous adenocarcinoma who were treated with platinum following a relapse, there were no significant differences in the PFS between patients who relapsed within 6 months and those who relapsed between 6 and 12 months, while there were significant differences in the PFS between those who relapsed between 6 and 12 months and those who relapsed after 12 months. With regard to the patients who relapsed after 12 months, the PFS of those with clear cell/mucinous adenocarcinoma was significantly shorter compared with the PFS of those with serous/endometrioid adenocarcinoma. Therefore, we considered it justified to classify patients with clear cell/mucinous adenocarcinoma who relapsed within 12 months as platinum-resistant and those who relapsed after 12 months as platinum-sensitive.
PMCID: PMC3917783  PMID: 24649335
relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer; platinum sensitivity; treatment-free interval; progression-free interval; histological type
4.  A Case of Small Cell Carcinoma of the Vagina 
Rare Tumors  2013;5(4):e58.
Primary small cell carcinoma of the vagina is quite rare, and a standard treatment has not been established yet. Herein, we report a case of an 81-year-old woman who was diagnosed with a vaginal tumor without continuity with the uterine cervix. Histopathological diagnosis indicated alveolar solid growth of nuclear chromatin-rich atypical cells with a high N/C ratio and a partially recognized rosette-like structure, suggesting a differentiated neuroendocrine system. Chromogranin A and synaptophysin were positive. Stage I vaginal small cell carcinoma localized to the vagina was diagnosed. The tumor disappeared by radiation monotherapy with external beam irradiation and endocavitary irradiation. The patient remains alive without any disease 1 year and 8 months after the treatment, suggesting the efficacy of radiotherapy in small cell carcinoma of the vagina.
PMCID: PMC3882930  PMID: 24416492
small cell carcinoma of the vagina; radiotherapy
5.  Recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer and hormone therapy 
The role of hormone therapy in the treatment of ovarian cancer is not clear. Data on the efficacy and safety of antiestrogens and aromatase inhibitors in recurrent ovarian cancer have been accumulated through phase II clinical studies. Most of these studies were conducted in platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer, and although complete response rates were not high, reported adverse events were low. If administered to patients who are positive for estrogen receptors, hormone therapy may become a viable option for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC3845958  PMID: 24303498
Recurrent ovarian cancer; Hormone therapy; Letrozole; Anastrozole; Tamoxifen; Fulvestrant
6.  Clinical Efficacy on Fracture Risk and Safety of 0.5 mg or 1 mg/month Intravenous Ibandronate Versus 2.5 mg/day Oral Risedronate in Patients with Primary Osteoporosis 
Calcified Tissue International  2013;93(2):137-146.
This randomized, double-blind study assessed the antifracture efficacy and safety of intermittent intravenous (IV) ibandronate versus oral daily risedronate in Japanese patients with primary osteoporosis. Ambulatory patients aged ≥60 years were randomized to receive 0.5 or 1 mg/month IV ibandronate plus oral daily placebo or 2.5 mg/day oral risedronate, the licensed dose in Japan, plus IV placebo. The primary end point was noninferiority of ibandronate versus risedronate for first new or worsening vertebral fracture over 3 years. A total of 1,265 patients were randomized. A total of 1,134 patients formed the per-protocol set. Both ibandronate doses were noninferior to risedronate: 0.5 mg, hazard ratio (HR) 1.09 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.77–1.54]; 1 mg, HR 0.88 (95 % CI 0.61–1.27). The rate of first new vertebral fracture over 3 years was 16.8 % (95 % CI 12.8–20.8) for 0.5 mg ibandronate, 11.6 % (95 % CI 8.2–15.0) for 1 mg ibandronate, and 13.2 % (95 % CI 9.6–16.9) for risedronate. Significant increases in bone mineral density relative to baseline were observed with all treatments after 6 months, with substantial reductions in bone turnover markers after 3 months. Greatest efficacy was obtained with 1 mg ibandronate. Analyses in women only showed similar results to the overall population. No new safety concerns were identified. This study demonstrated the noninferiority of IV ibandronate to the licensed Japanese dose of oral risedronate and suggested that 1 mg/month is an effective dose in Japanese patients with primary osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3717162  PMID: 23644930
Ibandronate; Intravenous; Osteoporosis; Risedronate; Vertebral fracture
7.  Presentation of two patients with malignant granulosa cell tumors, with a review of the literature 
Granulosa cell tumors (GCTs) of the ovary account for 2 to 5 of ovarian malignancies. We present two patients with malignant ovarian adult GCT. In one patient, a combination of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin was effective after initial surgery for malignant GCT. In the other, an aromatase inhibitor was effective for recurrent malignant GCT. We also review the literature for further management of this tumor. Because GCT of the ovary is rare, it will be necessary to elucidate the clinical phenotype and establish treatment protocols by accumulating and analyzing more patients.
PMCID: PMC3490972  PMID: 22963202
Ovarian malignant granulosa cell tumor; BEP combination therapy; Aromatase inhibitor
8.  Secular trends in age at menarche and time to establish regular menstrual cycling in Japanese women born between 1930 and 1985 
BMC Women's Health  2012;12:19.
Early life-stage exposure to estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer. The objective of this study was to investigate the age at menarche and time to onset of regular menstrual cycles for Japanese women born between 1930 and 1985.
A cross-sectional study was designed using data from the baseline survey of the Japan Nurses’ Health Study. The data from 48,104 female nurses were analyzed. To view trends in age at menarche, the distribution of age at menarche was calculated for each birth year cohort. The distribution of time to onset of regular menstrual cycles was calculated for each birth year cohort. To estimate whether high-risk group of the estrogenic dependent disorders increase with succeeding generations, we defined the women who experienced menarche at ten years old or younger and started a regular cycle within one year as early age onset of ovulatory cycles.
Average ages at menarche were as follows: 13.8 years for those born in the 1930s (n = 113), 13.3 years for the 1940s (n = 4,751), 12.8 years for the 1950s (n = 15,844), 12.3 years for the 1960s (n = 20,547), 12.2 years for the 1970s (n = 6,568), and 12.2 years for the 1980s (n = 281). The proportion of women who experienced the onset of regular menstrual cycles 1 year after menarche was 29.3% for those born in the 1930s, but decreased to 11.9% for the 1980s. On the other hand, the proportion of women who did not have regular menstrual cycles was 10.4% for those born in the 1930s, but rose to 19.8% in 1980s. The proportion of women who experienced menarche at 10 years old and started regular menstrual cycles within one year increased over time: the percentage was 0.0%, 0.4%, 0.6%, 1.1%, 1.3%, and 2.1% for the women born in 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, respectively.
The age at menarche of Japanese women born between 1930 and 1985 decreased, but the onset of regular menstrual cycling is delayed; so that the distribution of the start time of ovulatory cycles may have spread for younger generations. Those suggest that the high-risk group of estrogenic dependent diseases among Japanese women may increase in the near future.
PMCID: PMC3434095  PMID: 22800445
9.  Malignant Ovarian Tumors with Induced Expression of Carbonyl Reductase Show Spontaneous Regression 
The present study investigated tumor proliferation in a tumor model using murine ovarian cancer cells with increased carbonyl reductase (CR) expression.
CR cDNA was transfected into murine T-Ag-MOSE ovarian cancer cells by lipofection. CR-transfected cells (CR induction group) or empty vector-treated cells (control group) were injected into the backs of 8-week-old nude mice at a concentration of 0.5 × 106 per 0.2 mL. Subsequent tumor proliferation in both groups was observed for 5 weeks.
The control group showed an increase in tumor volume during the 5 weeks of observation. However, tumor volume in the CR induction group increased up to the second week but then decreased continuously until the fifth week of observation. The tumor growth curves for the two groups showed a significant difference (Mann-Whitney U test, P < 0.001). Histological and biochemical experiments were performed using tumor tissues isolated in the third week. Necrosis and inflammatory cell infiltration were noted for tumors in the CR induction group. Also, the number of apoptotic cells was significantly increased in the CR induction group compared with the control group (P < 0.001). Milk fat globule EGF factor 8, an “eat-me” signal for phagocytes such as macrophages, was expressed extensively in the tumor cytoplasm and interstitial cells of the CR induction group, and engulfment of apoptotic cells by macrophages was observed. Vascular endothelial growth factor expression in tumors was notably decreased in the CR induction group compared with the control group.
Increased necrosis due to engulfing of apoptotic cells by phagocytes attracted by increased milk fat globule EGF factor 8 was considered to be the mechanism of spontaneous tumor regression in the CR induction group.
PMCID: PMC3290113  PMID: 22408375
apoptosis; carbonyl reductase; ovarian tumor; phagocytosis

Results 1-9 (9)