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1.  Bioresorbable vascular scaffolds—what does the future bring? 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2016;8(8):E741-E745.
Bioresorbable vascular scaffolds (BVS) have emerged as an interesting alternative since the presence of the prosthesis in the coronary artery is transient. This technology enables to restore the normal vasomotor tone and allows positive remodeling, simultaneously reducing the trigger for persistent inflammation and facilitating further interventions by percutaneous or surgical means. Absorb BVS® is the first generation everolimus-eluting poly-L-lactide (PLLA) bioresorbable scaffold. In recent meta-analyses Absorb BVS® was definitely proved to be safe and effective device in the treatment of symptomatic coronary artery disease. This was recently confirmed by FDA advisory panel of experts who recommended approval of the device based on an analysis of its risks and rewards. Nevertheless, still there are some concerns regarding stent thrombosis, and the real vessel functionality restoration at long-term observation. Worth mentioning is the fact that apart from stable coronary disease Absorb BVS® is used successfully in a series of off-label clinical settings such as acute coronary syndromes including STEMI, in-stent restenosis, coronary bifurcations, left main stenting or chronic total occlusions. Moreover, new bioresorbable scaffolds are under development with DEsolve® and DREAM 2G®, which are the most advanced.
PMCID: PMC4999760  PMID: 27619478
Absorb; DEsolve; DREAM 2G; hybrid approach
2.  12-month intravascular ultrasound observations from BiOSS® first-in-man studies 
The aim of this study was to analyze the difference in neointima pattern assessed by intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) between two dedicated bifurcation stents, BiOSS® Expert and BiOSS® LIM at 12-month follow-up. This manuscript reports IVUS findings obtained from the analysis of patients enrolled into first-in-man registries initially assessing the BiOSS Expert® (paclitaxel) and BiOSS LIM® (sirolimus) stents. Quantitative angiographic analysis was performed pre, post-stenting, and at follow-up. IVUS examination was performed at 12 months. There were analyzed 34 cases (BiOSS Expert® 11 patients, BiOSS LIM® 23 patients). Procedural characteristics in the two groups were similar, except for rates of main vessel predilatation and FKB/POT, which were higher in BiOSS® LIM group, 54.5 % vs 73.9 % (P < 0.05) and 0 % vs 39.1 % (P < 0.05), respectively. When comparing late lumen loss (LLL) for both stents there were significantly bigger values for main vessel and main branch in the BiOSS® Expert group, but not in side branch. Intravascular ultrasound examination showed that in the BiOSS LIM® group comparing with the BiOSS Expert® group there was lower neointima burden in the whole stent (24.7 ± 7.5 % vs 19.4 ± 8.6 %, P < 0.05) as well as in main vessel (22.8 ± 5.6 % vs 16.9 ± 6.1 %, P < 0.05) and main branch (36.1 ± 6.5 % vs 27.6 ± 8.7 %, P < 0.05), but not at the level of bifurcation (15.1 ± 3.8 % vs 13.6 ± 5.4 %, P = NS). In addition, we found that final kissing balloon/proximal optimization technique (FKB/POT) was associated with significantly smaller value of LLL in main vessel (0.24 ± 0.09 mm vs 0.32 ± 0.14 mm, P < 0.05), which in IVUS analysis resulted in smaller neointima burden in main vessel (13.7 ± 3.9 % vs 18.9 ± 4.45 %, P < 0.05) as well as at the bifurcation site (12.6 ± 4.1 % vs 14.1 ± 2.4 %, P < 0.05). The obtained results suggest that neointima proliferation was the largest in main branches of both stents assessed in quantitative angiography (LLL) as well as in IVUS (neointima burden) and the neointima increase was smaller in BiOSS LIM® stents than in BiOSS Expert® stents. Moreover, the middle part of the stent seems to not to be associated with excessive neointima proliferation and more aggressive protocol of implantation with the use FKB/POT seems to decrease this process.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10554-016-0926-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5067288  PMID: 27314841
Dedicated bifurcation stent; BiOSS Expert®; BiOSS LIM®; Sirolimus-eluting stent; Paclitaxel-eluting stent; IVUS; QCA
3.  Novel sirolimus-eluting stent Prolim® with a biodegradable polymer in the all-comers population: one year clinical results with quantitative coronary angiography and optical coherence tomography analysis 
The aim of this study was to assess the safety and the efficacy of the novel sirolimus-eluting Prolim® stent with a biodegradable polymer in the all-comers population.
We prospectively enrolled all patients with stable coronary artery disease or acute coronary syndrome treated with Prolim® stent between January and December 2013 in two interventional cardiology centers in Poland. Angiographic control was planned at 12 months, in which 15 % of patients (randomly chosen) underwent optical coherence tomography imaging. The primary end-point was the cumulative rate of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and target lesion revascularization at 12 months.
There were 204 patients enrolled, in whom 238 Prolim® stents were deployed (1.17 stent per patient). The mean age was 68 ± 10 years and 32.8 % were females. The examined stent was implanted in 5.9 % in STEMI patients, in 21.6 % - in NSTE-ACS and in 72.5 % - in patients with stable coronary artery disease. The Prolim® stent was most frequently implanted in right coronary artery (38.2 %) followed by left anterior descending artery (34.0 %). The cumulative major adverse cardiovascular events rate at 12 months was 6.9 %, and the clinically-driven target lesion revascularization rate – 5.4 %. At 12 months in quantitative coronary angiography the late lumen loss was 0.21 ± 0.18 mm, and in optical coherence tomography the mean neointima burden was 24.6 ± 8.6 %.
Sirolimus-eluting Prolim® stent with a biodegradable polymer is a feasible device with a very good safety profile and long-term clinical effectiveness.
Trial registration number NCT02545985.
PMCID: PMC4647309  PMID: 26573577
Sirolimus-eluting stent; Biodegradable polymer; OCT; Prolim® stent
4.  Inhibitors of SRC kinases impair antitumor activity of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies 
mAbs  2014;6(5):1300-1313.
Clinical trials with SRC family kinases (SFKs) inhibitors used alone or in a combination with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are currently underway in the treatment of B-cell tumors. However, molecular interactions between these therapeutics have not been studied so far. A transcriptional profiling of tumor cells incubated with SFKs inhibitors revealed strong downregulation of MS4A1 gene encoding CD20 antigen. In a panel of primary and established B-cell tumors we observed that SFKs inhibitors strongly affect CD20 expression at the transcriptional level, leading to inhibition of anti-CD20 mAbs binding and increased resistance of tumor cells to complement-dependent cytotoxicity. Activation of the AKT signaling pathway significantly protected cells from dasatinib-triggered CD20 downregulation. Additionally, SFKs inhibitors suppressed antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity by direct inhibition of natural killer cells. Abrogation of antitumor activity of rituximab was also observed in vivo in a mouse model. Noteworthy, the effects of SFKs inhibitors on NK cell function are largely reversible. The results of our studies indicate that development of optimal combinations of novel treatment modalities with anti-CD20 mAbs should be preceded by detailed preclinical evaluation of their effects on target cells.
PMCID: PMC4622538  PMID: 25517315
CD20; dasatinib; SRC family kinases; rituximab; ofatumumab
5.  Comparative analysis of lumen enlargement mechanisms achieved with the bifurcation dedicated BiOSS® stent versus classical coronary stent implantations by means of provisional side branch stenting strategy: an intravascular ultrasound study 
The aim of this study was to analyze the mechanisms of lumen enlargement in bifurcation lesions, as assessed by intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), after percutaneous treatment with classic provisional “T” stenting with conventional drug-eluting stents (DES) versus bifurcation dedicated BiOSS® (Balton, Warsaw, Poland) stent. In this prospective study between Jan and Dec/11, 32 patients with single de novo coronary bifurcation lesions suitable for treatment with BiOSS stents were randomized (1:1). IVUS method included pre- and post-procedure analysis in the parent vessel. Vessel, lumen and plaque cross-sectional areas were determined at the target lesion [minimum lumen area (MLA) site], proximal limb, distal limb, and “window”—defined as the segment between the carina (flow divider) and the vessel wall at the level of the side branch inflow. All lesions were treated with provisional approach and only 1 case in BiOSS group had a stent implanted in the side branch. Angiographic and IVUS results including MLA at the target site and proximal/distal references were similar. However, mean window length—largest diameter within the window, was similar at baseline, but BiOSS measured significantly longer at postprocedure (2.21 ± 0.37 vs. 1.76 ± 0.52 mm, p = 0.01). In addition, the magnitude of changes in vessel (27 ± 24 % vs. 9 ± 10 %, p = 0.01) and plaque (2 ± 26 % vs. −2 ± 26 %, p = 0.02) areas at the window were significantly different for DES versus BiOSS groups, respectively. The contribution of vessel extension for lumen enlargement represented 54 versus 43 %, 130 versus 46 %, 98 versus 80 % and 51 versus 19 % of the result achieved at the proximal limb, window, distal limb and MLA sites for DES versus BiOSS, respectively; as for plaque re-distribution, results were 36 versus 57 %, −30 versus 54 %, 2 versus 20 %, and 49 versus 81 %, at the proximal limb, window, distal limb and MLA sites, respectively. These results suggest different mechanisms of lumen enlargement comparing conventional DES versus BiOSS dedicated bifurcation stent, which can impact side branch compromise during procedure.
PMCID: PMC3835946  PMID: 23868287
Coronary bifurcation lesions; Dedicated bifurcation devices; Intravascular ultrasound; Percutaneous coronary intervention
6.  Statins Impair Glucose Uptake in Tumor Cells1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2012;14(4):311-323.
Statins, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, are used in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases owing to their lipid-lowering effects. Previous studies revealed that, by modulating membrane cholesterol content, statins could induce conformational changes in cluster of differentiation 20 (CD20) tetraspanin. The aim of the presented study was to investigate the influence of statins on glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1)-mediated glucose uptake in tumor cells. We observed a significant concentration- and time-dependent decrease in glucose analogs' uptake in several tumor cell lines incubated with statins. This effect was reversible with restitution of cholesterol synthesis pathway with mevalonic acid as well as with supplementation of plasma membrane with exogenous cholesterol. Statins did not change overall GLUT1 expression at either transcriptional or protein levels. An exploratory clinical trial revealed that statin treatment decreased glucose uptake in peripheral blood leukocytes and lowered 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) uptake by tumor masses in a mantle cell lymphoma patient. A bioinformatics analysis was used to predict the structure of human GLUT1 and to identify putative cholesterol-binding motifs in its juxtamembrane fragment. Altogether, the influence of statins on glucose uptake seems to be of clinical significance. By inhibiting 18F-FDG uptake, statins can negatively affect the sensitivity of positron emission tomography, a diagnostic procedure frequently used in oncology.
PMCID: PMC3349257  PMID: 22577346
7.  Proteasome inhibition potentiates antitumor effects of photodynamic therapy in mice through induction of ER stress and unfolded protein response 
Cancer research  2009;69(10):4235-4243.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an approved therapeutic procedure that exerts cytotoxic activity towards tumor cells by inducing production of reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen. PDT leads to oxidative damage of cellular macromolecules, including numerous proteins that undergo multiple modifications such as fragmentation, cross-linking and carbonylation that result in protein unfolding and aggregation. Since the major mechanism for elimination of carbonylated proteins is their degradation by proteasomes, we hypothesized that a combination of PDT with proteasome inhibitors might lead to accumulation of carbonylated proteins in endoplasmatic reticulum (ER), aggravated ER stress and potentiated cytotoxicity towards tumor cells. Indeed, we observed that Photofrin-mediated PDT leads to robust carbonylation of cellular proteins and induction of unfolded protein response (UPR). Pre-treatment of tumor cells with three different proteasome inhibitors, including bortezomib, MG132 and PSI gave increased accumulation of carbonylated and ubiquitinated proteins in PDT-treated cells. Proteasome inhibitors effectively sensitized tumor cells of murine (EMT6 and C-26) as well as human (HeLa) origin to PDT-mediated cytotoxicity. Significant retardation of tumor growth with 60-100% complete responses was observed in vivo in two different murine tumor models (EMT6 and C-26) when PDT was combined with either bortezomib or PSI. Altogether these observations indicate that combination of PDT with proteasome inhibitors leads to potentiated antitumor effects. The results of these studies are of immediate clinical application as bortezomib is a clinically approved drug that undergoes extensive clinical evaluations for the treatment of solid tumors.
PMCID: PMC2785802  PMID: 19435917
photodynamic therapy; Photofrin; proteasome; bortezomib; cancer
8.  Zinc protoporphyrin IX, a heme oxygenase-1 inhibitor, demonstrates potent antitumor effects but is unable to potentiate antitumor effects of chemotherapeutics in mice 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:197.
HO-1 participates in the degradation of heme. Its products can exert unique cytoprotective effects. Numerous tumors express high levels of HO-1 indicating that this enzyme might be a potential therapeutic target. In this study we decided to evaluate potential cytostatic/cytotoxic effects of zinc protoporphyrin IX (Zn(II)PPIX), a selective HO-1 inhibitor and to evaluate its antitumor activity in combination with chemotherapeutics.
Cytostatic/cytotoxic effects of Zn(II)PPIX were evaluated with crystal violet staining and clonogenic assay. Western blotting was used for the evaluation of protein expression. Flow cytometry was used to evaluate the influence of Zn(II)PPIX on the induction of apoptosis and generation of reactive oxygen species. Knock-down of HO-1 expression was achieved with siRNA. Antitumor effects of Zn(II)PPIX alone or in combination with chemotherapeutics were measured in transplantation tumor models.
Zn(II)PPIX induced significant accumulation of reactive oxygen species in tumor cells. This effect was partly reversed by administration of exogenous bilirubin. Moreover, Zn(II)PPIX exerted potent cytostatic/cytotoxic effects against human and murine tumor cell lines. Despite a significant time and dose-dependent decrease in cyclin D expression in Zn(II)PPIX-treated cells no accumulation of tumor cells in G1 phase of the cell cycle was observed. However, incubation of C-26 cells with Zn(II)PPIX increased the percentage of cells in sub-G1 phase of the cells cycle. Flow cytometry studies with propidium iodide and annexin V staining as well as detection of cleaved caspase 3 by Western blotting revealed that Zn(II)PPIX can induce apoptosis of tumor cells. B16F10 melanoma cells overexpressing HO-1 and transplanted into syngeneic mice were resistant to either Zn(II)PPIX or antitumor effects of cisplatin. Zn(II)PPIX was unable to potentiate antitumor effects of 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin or doxorubicin in three different tumor models, but significantly potentiated toxicity of 5-FU and cisplatin.
Inhibition of HO-1 exerts antitumor effects but should not be used to potentiate antitumor effects of cancer chemotherapeutics unless procedures of selective tumor targeting of HO-1 inhibitors are developed.
PMCID: PMC2478682  PMID: 18620555
9.  Statins Impair Antitumor Effects of Rituximab by Inducing Conformational Changes of CD20 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(3):e64.
Rituximab is used in the treatment of CD20+ B cell lymphomas and other B cell lymphoproliferative disorders. Its clinical efficacy might be further improved by combinations with other drugs such as statins that inhibit cholesterol synthesis and show promising antilymphoma effects. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of statins on rituximab-induced killing of B cell lymphomas.
Methods and Findings
Complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) was assessed by MTT and Alamar blue assays as well as trypan blue staining, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) was assessed by a 51Cr release assay. Statins were found to significantly decrease rituximab-mediated CDC and ADCC of B cell lymphoma cells. Incubation of B cell lymphoma cells with statins decreased CD20 immunostaining in flow cytometry studies but did not affect total cellular levels of CD20 as measured with RT-PCR and Western blotting. Similar effects are exerted by other cholesterol-depleting agents (methyl-β-cyclodextrin and berberine), but not filipin III, indicating that the presence of plasma membrane cholesterol and not lipid rafts is required for rituximab-mediated CDC. Immunofluorescence microscopy using double staining with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against a conformational epitope and a linear cytoplasmic epitope revealed that CD20 is present in the plasma membrane in comparable amounts in control and statin-treated cells. Atomic force microscopy and limited proteolysis indicated that statins, through cholesterol depletion, induce conformational changes in CD20 that result in impaired binding of anti-CD20 mAb. An in vivo reduction of cholesterol induced by short-term treatment of five patients with hypercholesterolemia with atorvastatin resulted in reduced anti-CD20 binding to freshly isolated B cells.
Statins were shown to interfere with both detection of CD20 and antilymphoma activity of rituximab. These studies have significant clinical implications, as impaired binding of mAbs to conformational epitopes of CD20 elicited by statins could delay diagnosis, postpone effective treatment, or impair anti-lymphoma activity of rituximab.
Jakub Golab and colleagues found that statins significantly decrease rituximab-mediated complement-dependent cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity against B cell lymphoma cells.
Editors' Summary
Lymphomas are common cancers of the lymphatic system, the tissues and organs that produce and store the white blood cells (lymphocytes) that fight infections. In healthy people, the cells in the lymph nodes (collections of lymphocytes in the armpit, groin, and neck) and other lymphatic organs divide to form new cells only when the body needs them. Lymphomas form when a T or B lymphocyte starts to divide uncontrollably. The first sign of lymphoma is often a painless swelling in the armpit, groin, or neck caused by lymphocyte overgrowth in a lymph node. Eventually, the abnormal (malignant) lymphocytes, which provide no protection against infectious diseases, spread throughout the body. Treatments for lymphoma include chemotherapy (drugs that kill rapidly dividing cells) and radiotherapy. In addition, a drug called rituximab was recently developed for the treatment of some types of B cell lymphoma. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody, a laboratory-produced protein. It binds to a protein called CD20 that is present on the surface of both normal and malignant B lymphocytes and induces cell killing through processes called “complement-dependent cytotoxity” (CDC) and “antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxity” (ADCC).
Why Was This Study Done?
Although rituximab lengthens the lives of patients with some types of B cell lymphoma, it is not a cure—the lymphoma usually recurs. Researchers are trying to increase the effectiveness of rituximab by combining it with other anticancer agents. One group of drugs that might be combined with rituximab is the “statins,” drugs that reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering the level of cholesterol (a type of fat) in the blood. In laboratory experiments, statins kill some cancer cells, in part by altering the fat composition of their outer (plasma) membrane. In addition, some population-based studies suggest that statin treatment might slightly decrease the risk of developing some kinds of cancer, including lymphoma. Statins are already undergoing clinical evaluation in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of lymphoma, but in this study, the researchers investigate the influence of statins on rituximab-induced killing of B cell lymphomas.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
When the researchers tested the ability of rituximab and statin combinations to kill B cell lymphoma cells growing in dishes, they found that statins decreased rituximab-dependent CDC and ADCC of these cells. Statin treatment, they report, did not alter the total amount of CD20 made by the lymphoma cells or the amount of CD20 in their plasma membranes, but it did reduce the binding of another anti-CDC20 monoclonal antibody to the cells. Because both this antibody and rituximab bind to a specific three-dimensional structure in CD20 (a “conformational epitope”), the researchers hypothesized that statins might alter rituximab-induced killing by affecting the shape of the CD20 molecule on the lymphoma cell surface. To test this idea, they used two techniques—atomic force microscopy and limited proteolysis. The data obtained using both approaches confirmed that statins induce shape changes in CD20. Finally, the researchers took B cells from five patients who had taken statins for a short time and showed that this treatment had reduced the amount of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody able to bind to these cells.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that statins change the shape of the CD20 molecules on the surface of normal and malignant B lymphocytes, probably by changing the amount of cholesterol in the cell membrane. This effect of statins has several clinical implications, which means that cancer specialists should check whether patients with known or suspected B cell lymphoma are taking statins to treat high cholesterol. First, the impaired binding of monoclonal antibodies to conformational epitopes of CD20 in patients being treated with statins might delay the diagnosis of B cell lymphomas (CD20 binding to lymphocytes is used during the diagnosis of lymphomas). Second, some patients with B cell lymphoma may receive an incorrect diagnosis and may not be offered rituximab. Finally, because statins impair the anti-lymphoma activity of rituximab, a possibility that needs to be investigated in clinical studies, cancer specialists should check that patients with B cell lymphoma are not taking statins before prescribing rituximab.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The MedlinePlus has an encyclopedia page on lymphoma and a list of links to other sources of information on lymphoma (in English and Spanish)
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about lymphoma and about statins and cancer prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK charity Cancerbackup provides information for patients and caregivers on different types of B-cell lymphoma and on rituximab
The US Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also provides information for patients and caregivers about lymphoma
PMCID: PMC2270297  PMID: 18366248

Results 1-9 (9)