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1.  Enhancing Cytokine Induced Killer Cell Therapy of Multiple Myeloma 
Experimental hematology  2013;41(6):508-517.
Cytokine induced killer (CIK) cells are in clinical testing against various tumor types including multiple myeloma. Here, we show that CIK cells have activity against subcutaneous and disseminated models of human myeloma (KAS-6/1) which can be enhanced by infecting the CIK cells with an oncolytic measles virus (MV) or by pre-treating the myeloma cells with ionizing radiation (XRT). KAS-6/1 cells were killed by co-culture with CIK or MV-infected CIK (CIK/MV) cells and addition of an anti-NKG2D antibody inhibited cytolysis by 50%. Human bone marrow stromal cells can however reduce CIK and CIK/MV mediated killing of myeloma cells (RPMI 8226, JJN-3 and MM1). In vivo, CIK and CIK/MV prolonged the survival of mice with systemic myeloma, although CIK/MV showed enhanced antitumor activity compared to CIK. Irradiation of the KAS-6/1 cells induced mRNA and protein expression of NKG2D ligands, MICA and MICB, in a dose dependent manner and enhanced delivery of CIK/MV to the irradiated tumors. In both subcutaneous and disseminated myeloma models, XRT at 2 Gy resulted in superior prolongation of the survival of mice given CIK/MV therapy compared to CIK/MV with no XRT. This study demonstrates the potential of CIK against myeloma and that combination of virotherapy with radiation could be used to further enhance therapeutic outcome using CIK cells.
doi:10.1016/j.exphem.2013.01.010
PMCID: PMC3669253  PMID: 23403007
cytokine induced killer cells; virotherapy; myeloma; irradiation; NKG2D; MICA/B
2.  An Initial Investigation of Sexual Minority Youth Involvement in School-Based Extracurricular Activities 
Sexual minority youth are at risk for negative school-based experiences and poor academic outcomes. Yet, little is known about their experiences in positive school-based contexts. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1,214 sexual minority and 11,427 heterosexual participants), this study compared participation rates in, predictors of, and outcomes associated with three types of school-based extracurricular activities - sports, arts, and school clubs - by sexual orientation and gender. Findings revealed several significant sexual orientation and gender differences in participation rates in school-based sports, clubs, and arts activities. Further, findings suggested that the outcomes associated with extracurricular activity involvement do not differ by sexual orientation and gender; however, predictors of participation in these domains varied across groups.
doi:10.1111/j.1532-7795.2012.00830.x
PMCID: PMC3811967  PMID: 24187476
Extracurricular activities; sexual minority youth; school belonging; academic achievement
3.  Characteristics of Oncolytic Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Displaying Tumor-Targeting Ligands 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(24):13543-13555.
We sought proof of principle that tumor-targeting ligands can be displayed on the surface of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) by engineering its glycoprotein. Here, we successfully rescued VSVs displaying tumor vasculature-targeting ligands. By using a rational approach, we investigated various feasible insertion sites on the G protein of VSV (VSV-G) for display of tumor vasculature-targeting ligands, cyclic RGD (cRGD) and echistatin. We found seven sites on VSV-G that tolerated insertion of the 9-residue cRGD peptide, two of which could tolerate insertion of the 49-amino acid echistatin domain. All of the ligand-displaying viruses replicated as well as the parental virus. In vitro studies demonstrated that the VSV-echistatin viruses specifically bound to targeted integrins. Since the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) was recently identified as a major receptor for VSV, we investigated the entry of ligand-displaying viruses after masking LDLR. The experiment showed that the modified viruses can enter the cell independently of LDLR, whereas entry of unmodified virus is significantly blocked by a specific monoclonal antibody against LDLR. Both parental and ligand-displaying viruses displayed equal oncolytic efficacies in a syngeneic mouse myeloma model. We further demonstrated that single-chain antibody fragments against tumor-specific antigens can be inserted at the N terminus of the G protein and that corresponding replication-competent VSVs can be rescued efficiently. Overall, we demonstrated that functional tumor-targeting ligands can be displayed on replication-competent VSVs without perturbing viral growth and oncolytic efficacy. This study provides a rational foundation for the future development of fully retargeted oncolytic VSVs.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02240-13
PMCID: PMC3838279  PMID: 24089573
4.  Oral contrast enhances the resolution of in-life NIS reporter gene imaging 
Cancer gene therapy  2013;20(11):10.1038/cgt.2013.57.
NIS reporter gene imaging is an excellent technology for noninvasive cell fate determination in living animals unless the NIS-transduced cells reside in perigastric organs such as spleen, liver, diaphragm, omentum, pancreas, perigastric lymph nodes or perigastric tumor deposits. Here we report that orally administered barium sulfate enhances CT definition of the stomach, masks background gamma ray emissions from the stomach, and enhances signal detection from radiotracer uptake in NIS-transduced organs.
doi:10.1038/cgt.2013.57
PMCID: PMC3867790  PMID: 24030210
5.  Meningeal myeloma deposits adversely impact the therapeutic index of an oncolytic VSV 
Cancer gene therapy  2013;20(11):10.1038/cgt.2013.63.
Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) is neuropathogenic in rodents but can be attenuated 50-fold by engineering the mouse interferon-beta (IFN-β) gene into its genome. Intravenously administered VSVs encoding IFN-β have potent activity against subcutaneous tumors in the 5TGM1 mouse myeloma model, without attendant neurotoxicity. However, when 5TGM1 tumor cells were seeded intravenously, virus-treated mice with advanced myeloma developed clinical signs suggestive of meningoencephalitis. Co-administration of a known active antimyeloma agent did not prolong survival, further suggesting that deaths were due to viral toxicity, not tumor burden. Histological analysis revealed that systemically administered 5TGM1 cells seed to the CNS forming meningeal tumor deposits and that VSV infects and destroys these tumors. Death is presumably a consequence of meningeal damage and/or direct transmission of virus to adjacent neural tissue. In light of these studies, extreme caution is warranted in clinical testing of attenuated VSVs, particularly in patients with CNS tumor deposits.
doi:10.1038/cgt.2013.63
PMCID: PMC3855306  PMID: 24176894
6.  A novel report of cIg-FISH and cytogenetics in POEMS syndrome 
American journal of hematology  2008;83(11):840-841.
POEMS syndrome is a plasma cell proliferative disorder whose pathogenesis is poorly understood. We provide the first report of cytoplasmic immunoglobulin/FISH testing (cIg-FISH) in POEMS syndrome using established myeloma markers. We reviewed all 37 POEMS cases seen at our institution in which cIg-FISH testing had been obtained. Monosomy 13 was seen in 14 of the 37 (38%) cIg-FISH samples. One patient had trisomy 3 and 7. Three patients had IgH translocation t(11;14)(q13;q32). No abnormalities were seen at 17p13(p53). The monosomy 13 is in line with other plasma cell disorders while the low prevalence of hyperdiploidy and abnormalities at 14q32 is unique.
doi:10.1002/ajh.21285
PMCID: PMC3956589  PMID: 18839437
7.  Monitoring the initial delivery of an oncolytic measles virus encoding the human sodium iodide symporter to solid tumors using contrast-enhanced computed tomography 
The journal of gene medicine  2012;14(0):590-597.
Background
We aimed to determine the feasibility of monitoring viral delivery and initial distribution to solid tumors using iodinated contrast agent and micro-computed tomography (CT).
Methods
Human BxPC-3 pancreatic tumor xenografts were established in nude mice. An oncolytic measles virus with an additional transcriptional unit encoding the sodium iodide symporter (NIS), as a reporter for viral infection, was mixed with a 1:10 dilution of Omnipaque 300 (GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI, USA) contrast agent and injected directly into tumors. Mice were imaged with micro-CT immediately before and after injection to determine the location of contrast agent/virus mixture. Mice were imaged again on day 3 after injection with micro-single-photon emission CT/CT to determine the location of NIS-mediated 99mTcO4 transport.
Results
A 1:10 dilution of Omnipaque had no effect on viral infectivity or cell viability in vitro and was more than adequate for CT imaging of the intratumoral injectate distribution. The volume of tumor coverage with initial CT contrast agent and the 3-day postinfection measurement of virally infected tumor volume were significantly correlated. Additionally, regions of the tumor that did not receive contrast agent from the initial injection were largely devoid of viral infection at early time points.
Conclusions
Contrast-enhanced viral delivery enables a rapid and accurate prediction of the initial viral distribution within a solid tumor. This technique should enable real-time monitoring of viral propagation from initially infected tumor regions to adjacent tumor regions.
doi:10.1002/jgm.2670
PMCID: PMC3930067  PMID: 23015290
iodinated contrast agent; Omnipaque; oncolytic measles; pancreatic cancer; sodium-iodide symporter; SPECT/CT
8.  Measles virus for cancer therapy 
Measles virus offers an ideal platform from which to build a new generation of safe, effective oncolytic viruses. Occasional "spontaneous" tumor regressions have occurred during natural measles infections, but common tumors do not express SLAM, the wild-type MV receptor, and are therefore not susceptible to the virus. Serendipitously, attenuated vaccine strains of measles virus have adapted to use CD46, a regulator of complement activation that is expressed in higher abundance on human tumor cells than on their non transformed counterparts. For this reason, attenuated measles viruses are potent and selective oncolytic agents showing impressive antitumor activity in mouse xenograft models. The viruses can be engineered to enhance their tumor specificity, increase their antitumor potency and facilitate noninvasive in vivo monitoring of their spread. A major impediment to the successful deployment of oncolytic measles viruses as anticancer agents is the high prevalence of pre-existing anti measles immunity, which impedes bloodstream delivery and curtails intratumoral virus spread. It is hoped that these problems can be addressed by delivering the virus inside measles-infected cell carriers and/or by concomitant administration of immunosuppressive drugs. From a safety perspective, population immunity provides an excellent defense against measles spread from patient to carers and, in fifty years of human experience, reversion of attenuated measles to a wild type pathogenic phenotype has not been observed. Clinical trials testing oncolytic measles viruses as an experimental cancer therapy are currently underway.
PMCID: PMC3926122  PMID: 19203112
9.  A Colorimetric Method for Monitoring Tryptic Digestion Prior to Shotgun Proteomics 
Tryptic digestion is an important preanalytical step in shotgun proteomics because inadequate or excessive digestion can result in a failed or incomplete experiment. Unfortunately, this step is not routinely monitored before mass spectrometry because methods available for protein digestion monitoring either are time/sample consuming or require expensive equipment. To determine if a colorimetric method (ProDM Kit) can be used to identify the extent of tryptic digestion that yields the best proteomics outcome, plasma and serum digested for 8 h and 24 h were screened with ProDM, Bioanalyzer, and LC/MS/MS, and the effect of digestion on the number of proteins identified and sequence coverage was compared. About 6% and 16% less proteins were identified when >50% of proteins were digested in plasma and serum, respectively, compared to when ~46% of proteins were digested. Average sequence coverage for albumin, haptoglobin, and serotransferrin after 2 h, 8 h, and 24 h digestion was 52%, 45%, and 45% for serum and 54%, 47%, and 42% for plasma, respectively. This paper reiterates the importance of optimizing the tryptic digestion step and demonstrates the extent to which ProDM can be used to monitor and standardize protein digestion to achieve better proteomics outcomes.
doi:10.1155/2014/125482
PMCID: PMC3941143  PMID: 24678421
10.  Lenalidomide, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone (CRd) for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: Results from a phase 2 trial 
American journal of hematology  2011;86(8):640-645.
The combination of lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone is an effective treatment for multiple myeloma (MM). Addition of alkylating agents to lenalidomide or thalidomide results in increased response rates and deeper responses. We designed this trial to study the combination of cyclophosphamide, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (CRd) as initial therapy for MM. Fifty-three patients with previously untreated symptomatic MM was enrolled. Patients received 4-week treatment cycles consisting of lenalidomide (25 mg daily for 3 weeks), dexamethasone (40 mg weekly), and cyclophosphamide (300 mg/m2 weekly for 3 weeks). A partial response or better was seen in 85% of patients including 47% with a very good partial response or better. The toxicities were manageable with over 80% of planned doses delivered; six patients went off study for toxicity. The median progression free survival (PFS) for the entire group was 28 months (95% CI: 22.7–32.6) and the overall survival (OS) at 2 years was 87% (95% CI: 78–96). Importantly, 14 patients with high-risk MM had similar PFS and OS as the standard-risk patients (n = 39). CRd is an effective and well-tolerated regimen for upfront therapy of MM with high response rates and excellent 2-year OS, and is suitable for long-term therapy. Am. J. Hematol. 86:640–645, 2011.
doi:10.1002/ajh.22053
PMCID: PMC3901994  PMID: 21630308
11.  ONCOLYTIC VIROTHERAPY 
Nature biotechnology  2012;30(7):10.1038/nbt.2287.
Oncolytic virotherapy is an emerging treatment modality which uses replication competent viruses to destroy cancers. Advances in the past two years include preclinical proof of feasibility for a single-shot virotherapy cure, identification of drugs that accelerate intratumoral virus propagation, new strategies to maximize the immunotherapeutic potential of oncolytic virotherapy, and clinical confirmation of a critical viremic thereshold for vascular delivery and intratumoral virus replication. The primary clinical milestone was completion of accrual in a phase III trial of intratumoral herpes simplex virus therapy using talimogene laherparepvec for metastatic melanoma. Challenges for the field are to select ‘winners’ from a burgeoning number of oncolytic platforms and engineered derivatives, to transiently suppress but then unleash the power of the immune system to maximize both virus spread and anticancer immunity, to develop more meaningful preclinical virotherapy models and to manufacture viruses with orders of magnitude higher yields compared to established vaccine manufacturing processes.
doi:10.1038/nbt.2287
PMCID: PMC3888062  PMID: 22781695
12.  Engineering Oncolytic Measles Virus to Circumvent the Intracellular Innate Immune Response 
The innate antiviral responses of tumor cells are often impaired but may still be sufficient to impede the intratumoral spread of an oncolytic virus. Here, we establish that the oncolytic measles virus (MV-eGFP) induces interferon (IFN) production in human myeloma and ovarian cancer cells. In addition, MV gene expression and virus progeny production were inhibited by IFN treatment of these tumor cells. The P gene of wild-type measles virus encodes P/V/C proteins known to antagonize IFN induction and/or response. We therefore engineered MV-eGFP for IFN evasion and more efficient intratumoral spread by arming it with the P gene from wild-type IC-B strain MV, thus generating MV-eGFP-Pwt. The chimeric virus exhibited reduced IFN sensitivity and diminished capacity to induce IFN in BJAB lymphoma, ARH-77 myeloma cells, and activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Interestingly, unlike the wild-type MV, MV-eGFP-Pwt was unable to shut down IFN induction completely. In immunocompromised mice bearing human myeloma xenografts, intravenously administered MV-eGFP-Pwt showed significantly enhanced oncolytic potency compared to MV-eGFP. These results indicate that oncolytic viruses are subject to control by the innate immune defenses of human tumor cells and may therefore be more effective if their natural ability to combat innate immunity is maintained.
doi:10.1038/sj.mt.6300076
PMCID: PMC3833616  PMID: 17245355
13.  A new paradigm in viral resistance 
Cell Research  2012;22(11):1515-1517.
doi:10.1038/cr.2012.139
PMCID: PMC3494385  PMID: 23033124
14.  PEGylation of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Extends Virus Persistence in Blood Circulation of Passively Immunized Mice 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(7):3752-3759.
We are developing oncolytic vesicular stomatitis viruses (VSVs) for systemic treatment of multiple myeloma, an incurable malignancy of antibody-secreting plasma cells that are specifically localized in the bone marrow. One of the presumed advantages for using VSV as an oncolytic virus is that human infections are rare and preexisting anti-VSV immunity is typically lacking in cancer patients, which is very important for clinical success. However, our studies show that nonimmune human and mouse serum can neutralize clinical-grade VSV, reducing the titer by up to 4 log units in 60 min. In addition, we show that neutralizing anti-VSV antibodies negate the antitumor efficacy of VSV, a concern for repeat VSV administration. We have investigated the potential use of covalent modification of VSV with polyethylene glycol (PEG) or a function-spacer-lipid (FSL)–PEG construct to inhibit serum neutralization and to limit hepatosplenic sequestration of systemically delivered VSV. We report that in mice passively immunized with neutralizing anti-VSV antibodies, PEGylation of VSV improved the persistence of VSV in the blood circulation, maintaining a more than 1-log-unit increase in VSV genome copies for up to 1 h compared to the genome copy numbers for the non-PEGylated virus, which was mostly cleared within 10 min after intravenous injection. We are currently investigating if this increase in PEGylated VSV circulating half-life can translate to increased virus delivery and better efficacy in mouse models of multiple myeloma.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02832-12
PMCID: PMC3624195  PMID: 23325695
15.  Mathematical Model for Radial Expansion and Conflation of Intratumoral Infectious Centers Predicts Curative Oncolytic Virotherapy Parameters 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73759.
Simple, inductive mathematical models of oncolytic virotherapy are needed to guide protocol design and improve treatment outcomes. Analysis of plasmacytomas regressing after a single intravenous dose of oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus in myeloma animal models revealed that intratumoral virus spread was spatially constrained, occurring almost exclusively through radial expansion of randomly distributed infectious centers. From these experimental observations we developed a simple model to calculate the probability of survival for any cell within a treated tumor. The model predicted that small changes to the density of initially infected cells or to the average maximum radius of infected centers would have a major impact on treatment outcome, and this was confirmed experimentally. The new model provides a useful and flexible tool for virotherapy protocol optimization.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073759
PMCID: PMC3770695  PMID: 24040057
16.  Validation of tablet-based evaluation of color fundus images 
Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.)  2012;32(8):1629-1635.
Purpose
To compare diabetic retinopathy (DR) referral recommendations made by viewing fundus images using a tablet computer to recommendations made using a standard desktop display.
Methods
A tablet computer (iPad) and a desktop PC with a high-definition color display were compared. For each platform, two retinal specialists independently rated 1200 color fundus images from patients at risk for DR using an annotation program, Truthseeker. The specialists determined whether each image had referable DR, and also how urgently each patient should be referred for medical examination. Graders viewed and rated the randomly presented images independently and were masked to their ratings on the alternative platform. Tablet- and desktop display-based referral ratings were compared using cross-platform, intra-observer kappa as the primary outcome measure. Additionally, inter-observer kappa, sensitivity, specificity, and area under ROC (AUC) were determined.
Results
A high level of cross-platform, intra-observer agreement was found for the DR referral ratings between the platforms (κ=0.778), and for the two graders, (κ=0.812). Inter-observer agreement was similar for the two platforms (κ=0.544 and κ=0.625 for tablet and desktop, respectively). The tablet-based ratings achieved a sensitivity of 0.848, a specificity of 0.987, and an AUC of 0.950 compared to desktop display-based ratings.
Conclusions
In this pilot study, tablet-based rating of color fundus images for subjects at risk for DR was consistent with desktop display-based rating. These results indicate that tablet computers can be reliably used for clinical evaluation of fundus images for DR.
doi:10.1097/IAE.0b013e3182483361
PMCID: PMC3396716  PMID: 22495326
Diabetic retinopathy; Fundus images; iPad; Tablet computers
17.  Neuroattenuation of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus through Picornaviral Internal Ribosome Entry Sites 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(6):3217-3228.
Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is potent and a highly promising agent for the treatment of cancer. However, translation of VSV oncolytic virotherapy into the clinic is being hindered by its inherent neurotoxicity. It has been demonstrated that selected picornaviral internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements possess restricted activity in neuronal tissues. We therefore sought to determine whether the picornavirus IRES could be engineered into VSV to attenuate its neuropathogenicity. We have used IRES elements from human rhinovirus type 2 (HRV2) and foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) to control the translation of the matrix gene (M), which plays a major role in VSV virulence. In vitro studies revealed slowed growth kinetics of IRES-controlled VSVs in most of the cell lines tested. However, in vivo studies explicitly demonstrated that IRES elements of HRV2 and FMDV severely attenuated the neurovirulence of VSV without perturbing its oncolytic potency.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02984-12
PMCID: PMC3592162  PMID: 23283963
18.  Induction of antiviral genes by the tumor microenvironment confers resistance to virotherapy 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2375.
Oncolytic viruses obliterate tumor cells in tissue culture but not against the same tumors in vivo. We report that macrophages can induce a powerfully protective antiviral state in ovarian and breast tumors, rendering them resistant to oncolytic virotherapy. These tumors have activated JAK/STAT pathways and expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) is upregulated. Gene expression profiling (GEP) of human primary ovarian and breast tumors confirmed constitutive activation of ISGs. The tumors were heavily infiltrated with CD68+ macrophages. Exposure of OV-susceptible tumor cell lines to conditioned media from RAW264.7 or primary macrophages activated antiviral ISGs, JAK/STAT signaling and an antiviral state. Anti-IFN antibodies and shRNA knockdown studies show that this effect is mediated by an extremely low concentration of macrophage-derived IFNβ. JAK inhibitors reversed the macrophage-induced antiviral state. This study points to a new role for tumor-associated macrophages in the induction of a constitutive antiviral state that shields tumors from viral attack.
doi:10.1038/srep02375
PMCID: PMC3736178  PMID: 23921465
19.  Measles virus causes immunogenic cell death in human melanoma 
Gene therapy  2011;20(1):7-15.
Oncolytic viruses (OV) are promising treatments for cancer, with several currently undergoing testing in randomised clinical trials. Measles virus (MV) has not yet been tested in models of human melanoma. This study demonstrates the efficacy of MV against human melanoma. It is increasingly recognised that an essential component of therapy with OV is the recruitment of host anti-tumour immune responses, both innate and adaptive. MV-mediated melanoma cell death is an inflammatory process, causing the release of inflammatory cytokines including type-1 interferons and the potent danger signal HMGB1. Here, using human in vitro models, we demonstrate that MV enhances innate antitumour activity, and that MV-mediated melanoma cell death is capable of stimulating a melanoma-specific adaptive immune response.
doi:10.1038/gt.2011.205
PMCID: PMC3378495  PMID: 22170342
Oncolytic; measles; melanoma; immunotherapy; HMGB1; interferon
20.  Gene Transfer of Mutant Mouse Cholinesterase Provides High Lifetime Expression and Reduced Cocaine Responses with No Evident Toxicity 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67446.
Gene transfer of a human cocaine hydrolase (hCocH) derived from butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) by 5 mutations (A199S/F227A/S287G/A328W/Y332G) has shown promise in animal studies for treatment of cocaine addiction. To predict the physiological fate and immunogenicity of this enzyme in humans, a comparable enzyme was created and tested in a conspecific host. Thus, similar mutations (A199S/S227A/S287G/A328W/Y332G) were introduced into mouse BChE to obtain a mouse CocH (mCocH). The cDNA was incorporated into viral vectors based on: a) serotype-5 helper-dependent adenovirus (hdAD) with ApoE promoter, and b) serotype-8 adeno-associated virus with CMV promoter (AAV-CMV) or multiple promoter and enhancer elements (AAV-VIP). Experiments on substrate kinetics of purified mCocH expressed in HEK293T cells showed 30-fold higher activity (U/mg) with 3H-cocaine and 25% lower activity with butyrylthiocholine, compared with wild type BChE. In mice given modest doses of AAV-CMV-mCocH vector (0.7 or 3×1011 particles) plasma hydrolase activity rose 10-fold above control for over one year with no observed immune response. Under the same conditions, transduction of the human counterpart continued less than 2 months and antibodies to hCocH were readily detected. The advanced AAV-VIP-mCocH vector generated a dose-dependent rise in plasma cocaine hydrolase activity from 20-fold (1010 particles) to 20,000 fold (1013 particles), while the hdAD vector (1.7×1012 particles) yielded a 300,000-fold increase. Neither vector caused adverse reactions such as motor weakness, elevated liver enzymes, or disturbance in spontaneous activity. Furthermore, treatment with high dose hdAD-ApoE-mCocH vector (1.7×1012 particles) prevented locomotor abnormalities, other behavioral signs, and release of hepatic alanine amino transferase after a cocaine dose fatal to most control mice (120 mg/kg). This outcome suggests that viral gene transfer can yield clinically effective cocaine hydrolase expression for lengthy periods without immune reactions or cholinergic dysfunction, while blocking toxicity from drug overdose.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067446
PMCID: PMC3696080  PMID: 23840704
21.  Oncolytic measles virus retargeting by ligand display 
Despite significant advances in recent years, treatment of metastatic malignancies remains a significant challenge. There is an urgent need for development of novel therapeutic approaches. Virotherapy approaches have considerable potential and among them measles virus (MV) vaccine strains have emerged as one of the most promising oncolytic platforms. Retargeted MV strains deriving from the Edmonston vaccine lineage (MV-Edm) have shown comparable antitumor efficacy to unmodified strains against receptor expressing tumor cells with improved therapeutic index. Here we describe the construction, rescue, amplification and titration of fully retargeted MV-Edm derivatives displaying tumor specific receptor binding ligands on the viral surface in combination with CD46 and SLAM entry H ablating mutations.
doi:10.1007/978-1-61779-340-0_11
PMCID: PMC3691680  PMID: 21948475
oncolytic measles virus; measles retargeting; virotherapy; measles engineering
22.  Discordance between serum cardiac biomarker and immunoglobulin-free light-chain response in patients with immunoglobulin light-chain amyloidosis treated with immune modulatory drugs 
American journal of hematology  2010;85(10):757-759.
We evaluated the capability of soluble cardiac biomarkers to predict tolerability and outcomes of IMiD-containing treatments among 106 patients treated on clinical trials. Baseline elevations in troponin T (TnT) and N-terminal brain naturietic protein (NT-proBNP) predicted for an inability to tolerate IMiD-based regimens. The best predictors for early attrition during cycle 1 were TnT ≥ 0.07 μg/L and NT-proBNP ≥ 11,939 ng/L. NT-proBNP-response under-performed TnT-response as a predictor for overall survival (OS), but both predicted for early protocol attrition. Despite hematologic response, IMiD-treated patients were at higher risk for NT-proBNP rises and early drug discontinuation than a control population but not for early death. These observations prompt two questions: (1) does IMiD-based therapy lead to increased fluid retention and/or cardiac toxicity and (2) is an NT-proBNP-driven cardiac response system valid in IMiD-treated amyloidosis patients? Recognition of potential drug-induced cardiac toxicity is important so that increased cardiac surveillance and drug dose-adjustment or discontinuation may be implemented.
doi:10.1002/ajh.21822
PMCID: PMC3691013  PMID: 20872958
23.  Proteomics of rat prostate lobes treated with 2-N-hydroxylamino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine, 5α-dihydrotestosterone, individually and in combination 
International journal of oncology  2009;35(3):559-567.
Epidemiological and preclinical studies suggest that environmental factors, hormonal responses and lifestyle, including diet and physical inactivity, are likely contributors to the initiation and progression of prostate cancer in humans. Although the effects of the food derived carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) and/or testosterone (T) in the development of prostate cancer in the rat have been reported, the extent to which such compounds impact cancer related proteins is not clear. Knowledge of cancer-related proteins impacted by PhIP and/or T is pre-requisite to developing novel strategies to early-detect prostate cancer. Male F344 rats were sacrificed, the prostate tissue isolated and separated into dorsolateral, ventral, and anterior lobes. The lobes were cultured and treated with 10−3 M NHPhIP and/or 10−7 M DT for 24 h. NHPhIP is the genotoxic form of PhIP and DT is the more proliferative form of T. We used 2D-DIGE and LC/MS/MS technologies to study the proteome of the prostate lobes to determine if the compounds will trigger detectable changes in expression of cancer-related proteins. Analysis of the signals from 2D-DIGE revealed that about 10% of proteins were differentially expressed in the NHPhIP and/or DT treatments compared to controls. Eight candidate protein spots detected by 2D-DIGE in at least two out of three lobes showed ≥2-fold difference between treated and control samples. Five out of the eight spots contained single proteins; including, phospholipase C (PLP-Cα), Rab7, SAR1a, ribosomal protein S7 (RPS7), and nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK). A survey of the literature shows that NDPK expression is altered in human cancers, including prostate cancer. Thus, we validated the altered expression of NDPK by Western blot analysis. The concordance between 2D-DIGE and Western blot analysis was 80%. The results of this study demonstrate, for the first time, that the combination of 2D-DIGE and LC/MS/MS is a powerful tool for identification of proteins in the prostate tissue that are altered by environmental carcinogens and/or hormones.
PMCID: PMC3679651  PMID: 19639176
prostate cancer; proteomic analysis; protein expression; androgen; heterocyclic aromatic amines; environmental carcinogens; hormones
24.  Suicide and Suicide Risk in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations: Review and Recommendations 
Journal of homosexuality  2011;58(1):10-51.
Despite strong indications of elevated risk of suicidal behavior in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, limited attention has been given to research, interventions or suicide prevention programs targeting these populations. This article is a culmination of a three-year effort by an expert panel to address the need for better understanding of suicidal behavior and suicide risk in sexual minority populations, and stimulate the development of needed prevention strategies, interventions and policy changes. This article summarizes existing research findings, and makes recommendations for addressing knowledge gaps and applying current knowledge to relevant areas of suicide prevention practice.
doi:10.1080/00918369.2011.534038
PMCID: PMC3662085  PMID: 21213174
LGBT; risk factors; suicide; suicide attempts; suicide prevention
25.  Retargeting Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Using Measles Virus Envelope Glycoproteins 
Human Gene Therapy  2011;23(5):484-491.
Abstract
Oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has potent antitumor activity, but infects a broad range of cell types. Here, we used the measles virus (MV) hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) envelope glycoproteins to redirect VSV entry and infection specifically to tumor-associated receptors. Replication-defective VSV, deleted of its glycoprotein gene (VSVΔG), was pseudotyped with MV-F and MV-H displaying single-chain antibodies (scFv) specific for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), folate receptor (FR), or prostate membrane-specific antigen (PSMA). Viral titers were ∼105 PFU/ml, but could be concentrated to 107 PFU/ml. Immunoblotting confirmed incorporation of the MV-H-scFv and MV-F into functional VSV virions. Although VSV-G was able to infect all tumor cell lines tested, the retargeted VSV infected only cells that expressed the targeted receptor. In vivo specificities of the EGFR-, FR-, and PSMA-retargeted VSV were assessed by intratumoral injection into human tumor xenografts. Analysis of green fluorescent protein reporter gene expression indicated that VSV infection was restricted to receptor-positive tumors. In summary, we have demonstrated for the first time that VSV can be efficiently retargeted to different cellular receptors using the measles display technology, yielding retargeted VSV vectors that are highly specific for tumors that express the relevant receptor.
Ayala-Breton and colleagues use the measles virus (MV) hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) envelope glycoproteins to redirect vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) entry and infection specifically to tumor-associated receptors such as epidermal growth factor receptor, folate receptor, and prostate membrane-specific antigen. In vivo expression of the all retargeted VSV was restricted to receptor-positive human tumor xenografts.
doi:10.1089/hum.2011.146
PMCID: PMC3360499  PMID: 22171635

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