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1.  Assessing the in Vivo Efficacy of Doxorubicin Loaded Hyaluronan Nanoparticles 
Magnetic nanoparticles are attractive platforms for biomedical applications including diagnosis and treatment of diseases. We have shown previously that hyaluronan-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (HA-SPION) enhanced the efficacy of the conjugated anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) in vitro against drug-sensitive and drug-resistant human ovarian cancer cells. In this manuscript, we report our findings on the efficacy of DOX loaded HA-SPION nanoparticles in vivo using subcutaneous and intraperitoneal SKOV-3 ovarian tumor models in nude mice. The accumulation of the nanoparticles in subcutaneous tumors following an intravenous nanoparticle administration was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging, and its distribution in the tumors was evaluated by confocal microscopy and Prussian blue staining. DOX delivered by nanoparticles accumulated at much higher levels and distributed wider in the tumor tissue than intravenously injected free DOX leading to significant reduction of tumor growth. The IVIS Spectrum for in vivo bioluminescence imaging was used to aid in therapy assessment of the DOX-loaded nanoparticles on intraperitoneal ovarian tumors formed by firefly Luciferase expressing human ovarian SKOV-3 cells. DOX-loaded HA-SPIONs significantly reduced tumor growth, delayed tumor development, and extended the survival of mice. Thus, utilizing HA-SPIONs as drug delivery vehicles constitutes a promising approach to tackle CD44 expressing ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC3912576  PMID: 24308364
CD44; Doxorubicin; drug delivery; hyaluronan; magnetic nanoparticles; ovarian cancer
2.  Prevalence and risk factors for oncogenic HPV infections in high-risk mid-adult women 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2012;39(11):848-856.
The epidemiology of high-risk (hr) HPV infections in mid-adult women with new sex partners is undefined.
We analyzed baseline data from 518 25–65 year old female online daters. Women were mailed questionnaires and kits for self-collecting vaginal specimens for PCR-based hrHPV testing. Risk factors for infection were identified using Poisson regression models to obtain prevalence ratios (PRs).
The prevalence of hrHPV infection was 35.9%. In multivariate analysis restricted to sexually active women, the likelihood of hrHPV infection was associated with abnormal Pap test history (PR=1.42, 95% CI:1.10–1.84), lifetime number of sex partners >14 (relative to 1–4; PR=2.13, 95% CI:1.13–4.02 for 15–24 partners and PR=1.91, 95% CI:1.00–3.64 for ≥25 partners), male partners with ≥1 concurrent partnership (PR=1.34, 95% CI:1.05–1.71) and male partners whom the subject met online (PR=1.39, 95% CI:1.08–1.79). Age was inversely associated with infection only in women who were sexually inactive (PR=0.67 per 5-year age difference, adjusted for Pap history and lifetime number of partners). Compared to sexually inactive women, the likelihood of infection increased with increasing risk level, (from low-risk to high-risk partners) (p<.0001 by trend test). In multivariate analysis, infection with multiple versus single hrHPV types was inversely associated with ever having been pregnant (PR=0.64, 95% CI:0.46–0.90) and recent consistent condom use (PR=0.56, 95% CI:0.32–0.97), and positively associated with genital wart history (PR=1.43, 95% CI:1.03–1.99).
Measures of both cumulative and recent sexual history were associated with prevalent hrHPV infection in this high-risk cohort of mid-adult women.
PMCID: PMC3476060  PMID: 23064533
HPV; human papilloma virus; mid-adult; prevalence; risk factors
3.  Circumcision and acquisition of HPV infection in young men 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2011;38(11):1074-1081.
The role of circumcision in male HPV acquisition is not clear.
Male university students (18–20 years of age) were recruited from 2003–2009 and followed tri-annually. Shaft/scrotum, glans, and urine samples were tested for 37 alpha HPV genotypes. Cox proportional hazards methods were used to evaluate the association between circumcision and HPV acquisition. Logistic regression was used to assess whether number of genital sites infected at incident HPV detection or site of incident detection varied by circumcision status.
In 477 men, rates of acquiring clinically-relevant HPV types (high-risk types plus types 6 and 11) did not differ significantly by circumcision status (hazard ratio [HR] for uncircumcised relative to circumcised subjects: 0.9[95%CI:0.7–1.2]). However, compared to circumcised men, uncircumcised men were 10.1 (95%CI:2.9–35.6) times more likely to have the same HPV type detected in all 3 genital specimens than in a single genital specimen and were 2.7 (95%CI:1.6–4.5) times more likely to have an HPV-positive urine or glans specimen at first detection.
While the likelihood of HPV acquisition did not differ by circumcision status, uncircumcised men were more likely than circumcised men to have infections detected at multiple genital sites, which may have implications for HPV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3210112  PMID: 21992987
HPV; human papilloma virus; circumcision; epidemiology; risk factors
Characterizing short-term detection patterns of young women’s incident alpha-genus human papillomavirus (HPV) infections may further understanding of HPV transmission.
Between 2000–2007, we followed 18–22 year old female university students with triannual HPV DNA and Papanicolau testing. Using Kaplan-Meier methods, we estimated: duration of detectable, type-specific incident infections; time to re-detection (among infections that became undetectable); and time to cervical lesion development after incident infection. We evaluated risk factors for short-term persistent versus transient infection with logistic regression.
303 incident type-specific infections were detected in 85 sexually active women. Median time to first negative test after incident infection was 9.4 (95%CI:7.8–11.2) months; 90.6% of infections became undetectable within two years. 19.4% of infections that became undetectable were re-detected within one year. Cervical lesions were common, and 60% were positive for multiple HPV types in concurrent cervical swabs. Incident HPV detection in the cervix only (versus the vulva/vagina only or both sites) was associated with short-term transience.
While most incident infections became undetectable within two years, re-detection was not uncommon. Cervical lesions were a common early manifestation of HPV infection.
It remains unclear whether potentially modifiable risk factors can be identified to reduce infection duration (and transmission likelihood).
PMCID: PMC3078690  PMID: 21173170
human papillomavirus; incidence; duration; persistence; women; epidemiology
Little is known about detection of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) types in women’s fingertips. The study objectives were to determine the presence of genital HPV types in fingertip samples and agreement between fingertip and genital samples for detecting HPV.
At tri-annual visits, genital and fingertip samples were collected from female university students and tested for 37 HPV genotypes by PCR-based assay. Type-specific concordance between paired fingertip and genital samples was evaluated using a kappa statistic for percent positive agreement (“kappa +”). Paired samples with type-specific concordant fingertip and genital results were selected for variant characterization.
A total of 357 fingertip samples were collected from 128 women. HPV prevalence in fingertip samples was 14.3%. Although percent positive agreement between fingertips and genitals for detecting type-specific HPV was low (17.8%; kappa+=0.17, 95%CI:0.10–0.25), 60.4% of type-specific HPV detected in the fingertips was detected in a concurrent genital sample. All but one of 28 paired concordant samples were positive for the same type-specific variant in the fingertip and genital sample. Re-detection of HPV types at the subsequent visit was more common in genital samples (73.3%) than in fingertip samples (14.5%) (p<.001).
Detection of genital HPV types in the fingertips was not uncommon. While impossible to distinguish between deposition of DNA from the genitals to the fingertips and true fingertip infection, the rarity of repeat detection in the fingertips suggests that deposition is more common.
Finger-genital transmission is plausible, but unlikely to be a significant source of genital HPV infection.
PMCID: PMC2901391  PMID: 20570905
human papillomavirus; fingertip; genital; women; epidemiology
6.  Risk of Female Human Papillomavirus Acquisition Associated with First Male Sex Partner 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2008;197(2):279-282.
To quantify the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) acquisition associated with a first male sex partner and to identify associated risk factors, we analyzed data from women who were enrolled before or within 3 months of first intercourse with a male partner and were censored at the report of a second partner. The 1-year cumulative incidence of first HPV infection was 28.5% (95% confidence interval, 20.6%–38.6%) and increased to almost 50% by 3 years. The risk was increased when the first male partner was sexually experienced. Our results indicate a high risk of HPV infection in young women who have had just 1 male sex partner.
PMCID: PMC2875685  PMID: 18179386
7.  Rac1 and Cdc42 are regulators of HRasV12-transformation and angiogenic factors in human fibroblasts 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:13.
The activities of Rac1 and Cdc42 are essential for HRas-induced transformation of rodent fibroblasts. What is more, expression of constitutively activated mutants of Rac1 and/or Cdc42 is sufficient for their malignant transformation. The role for these two Rho GTPases in HRas-mediated transformation of human fibroblasts has not been studied. Here we evaluated the contribution of Rac1 and Cdc42 to maintaining HRas-induced transformation of human fibroblasts, and determined the ability of constitutively activated mutants of Rac1 or Cdc42 to induce malignant transformation of a human fibroblast cell strain.
Under the control of a tetracycline regulatable promoter, dominant negative mutants of Rac1 and Cdc42 were expressed in a human HRas-transformed, tumor derived fibroblast cell line. These cells were used to determine the roles of Rac1 and/or Cdc42 proteins in maintaining HRas-induced transformed phenotypes. Similarly, constitutively active mutants were expressed in a non-transformed human fibroblast cell strain to evaluate their potential to induce malignant transformation. Affymetrix GeneChip arrays were used for transcriptome analyses, and observed expression differences were subsequently validated using protein assays.
Expression of dominant negative Rac1 and/or Cdc42 significantly altered transformed phenotypes of HRas malignantly transformed human fibroblasts. In contrast, expression of constitutively active mutants of Rac1 or Cdc42 was not sufficient to induce malignant transformation. Microarray analysis revealed that the expression of 29 genes was dependent on Rac1 and Cdc42, many of which are known to play a role in cancer. The dependence of two such genes, uPA and VEGF was further validated in both normoxic and hypoxic conditions.
The results presented here indicate that expression of both Rac1 and Cdc42 is necessary for maintaining several transformed phenotypes in oncogenic HRas transformed human cells, including their ability to form tumors in athymic mice. Our data also indicate that expression of either activated Rac1 or Cdc42 alone is not sufficient for malignant transformation of human fibroblasts, although each is required for specific transformed phenotypes. Furthermore, our study elucidates that the expression of several highly significant cancer related genes require the activities of Rac1 and/or Cdc42 which may also play a critical role in cellular transformation.
PMCID: PMC2826294  PMID: 20067638

Results 1-7 (7)