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1.  A combination of temsirolimus, an allosteric mTOR inhibitor, with clofarabine as a new therapeutic option for patients with acute myeloid leukemia 
Oncotarget  2012;3(12):1615-1628.
Signaling through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway and its downstream effectors, Akt and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), is aberrantly activated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, where it contributes to leukemic cell proliferation, survival, and drug-resistance. Thus, inhibiting mTOR signaling in AML blasts could enhance their sensitivity to cytotoxic agents. Preclinical data also suggest that allosteric mTOR inhibition with rapamycin impaired leukemia initiating cells (LICs) function. In this study, we assessed the therapeutic potential of a combination consisting of temsirolimus [an allosteric mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitor] with clofarabine, a nucleoside analogue with potent inhibitory effects on both ribonucleotide reductase and DNA polymerase. The drug combination (CLO-TOR) displayed synergistic cytotoxic effects against a panel of AML cell lines and primary cells from AML patients. Treatment with CLO-TOR induced a G0/G1-phase cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and autophagy. CLO-TOR was pro-apoptotic in an AML patient blast subset (CD34+/CD38−/CD123+), which is enriched in putative leukemia initiating cells (LICs). In summary, the CLO-TOR combination could represent a novel valuable treatment for AML patients, also in light of its efficacy against LICs.
PMCID: PMC3681499  PMID: 23271044
AML; PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling; apoptosis; autophagy; combination therapy; leukemia initiating cells
2.  Early Healing Events around Titanium Implant Devices with Different Surface Microtopography: A Pilot Study in an In Vivo Rabbit Model 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:349842.
In the present pilot study, the authors morphologically investigated sandblasted, acid-etched surfaces (SLA) at very early experimental times. The tested devices were titanium plate-like implants with flattened wide lateral sides and jagged narrow sides. Because of these implant shape and placement site, the device gained a firm mechanical stability but the largest portion of the implant surface lacked direct contact with host bone and faced a wide peri-implant space rich in marrow tissue, intentionally created in order to study the interfacial interaction between metal surface and biological microenvironment. The insertion of titanium devices into the proximal tibia elicited a sequence of healing events. Newly formed bone proceeded through an early distance osteogenesis, common to both surfaces, and a delayed contact osteogenesis which seemed to follow different patterns at the two surfaces. In fact, SLA devices showed a more osteoconductive behavior retaining a less dense blood clot, which might be earlier and more easily replaced, and leading to a surface-conditioning layer which promotes osteogenic cell differentiation and appositional new bone deposition at the titanium surface. This model system is expected to provide a starting point for further investigations which clarify the early cellular and biomolecular events occurring at the metal surface.
doi:10.1100/2012/349842
PMCID: PMC3322675  PMID: 22545015

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