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author:("boubou, Cyril")
1.  Role of mesenchymal cells in the natural history of ovarian cancer: a review 
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynaecologic malignancy. Despite progresses in chemotherapy and ultra-radical surgeries, this locally metastatic disease presents a high rate of local recurrence advocating for the role of a peritoneal niche. For several years, it was believed that tumor initiation, progression and metastasis were merely due to the changes in the neoplastic cell population and the adjacent non-neoplastic tissues were regarded as bystanders. The importance of the tumor microenvironment and its cellular component emerged from studies on the histopathological sequence of changes at the interface between putative tumor cells and the surrounding non-neoplastic tissues during carcinogenesis.
In this review we aimed to describe the pro-tumoral crosstalk between ovarian cancer and mesenchymal stem cells. A PubMed search was performed for articles published pertaining to mesenchymal stem cells and specific to ovarian cancer.
Mesenchymal stem cells participate to an elaborate crosstalk through direct and paracrine interaction with ovarian cancer cells. They play a role at different stages of the disease: survival and peritoneal infiltration at early stage, proliferation in distant sites, chemoresistance and recurrence at later stage.
The dialogue between ovarian and mesenchymal stem cells induces the constitution of a pro-tumoral mesencrine niche. Understanding the dynamics of such interaction in a clinical setting might propose new therapeutic strategies.
PMCID: PMC4197295  PMID: 25303976
Mesenchymal stem cells; Ovarian cancer; Crosstalk; Phenotypic modulation; Dissemination; Chemoresistance
2.  Mesenchymal cell interaction with ovarian cancer cells induces a background dependent pro-metastatic transcriptomic profile 
The cross talk between the stroma and cancer cells plays a major role in phenotypic modulation. During peritoneal carcinomatosis ovarian cancer cells interact with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) resulting in increased metastatic ability. Understanding the transcriptomic changes underlying the phenotypic modulation will allow identification of key genes to target. However in the context of personalized medicine we must consider inter and intra tumoral heterogeneity. In this study we used a pathway-based approach to illustrate the role of cell line background in transcriptomic modification during a cross talk with MSC.
We used two ovarian cancer cell lines as a surrogate for different ovarian cancer subtypes: OVCAR3 for an epithelial and SKOV3 for a mesenchymal subtype. We co-cultured them with MSCs. Genome wide gene expression was determined after cell sorting. Ingenuity pathway analysis was used to decipher the cell specific transcriptomic changes related to different pro-metastatic traits (Adherence, migration, invasion, proliferation and chemoresistance).
We demonstrate that co-culture of ovarian cancer cells in direct cellular contact with MSCs induces broad transcriptomic changes related to enhance metastatic ability. Genes related to cellular adhesion, invasion, migration, proliferation and chemoresistance were enriched under these experimental conditions. Network analysis of differentially expressed genes clearly shows a cell type specific pattern.
The contact with the mesenchymal niche increase metastatic initiation and expansion through cancer cells’ transcriptome modification dependent of the cellular subtype. Personalized medicine strategy might benefit from network analysis revealing the subtype specific nodes to target to disrupt acquired pro-metastatic profile.
PMCID: PMC4132214  PMID: 24597747
Ovarian cancer; Mesenchymal stem cell; Transcriptome; Genomic modification; Metastasis
3.  Mesenchymal stem cells enhance ovarian cancer cell infiltration through IL6 secretion in an amniochorionic membrane based 3D model 
The early peritoneal invasion of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) by tumoral aggregates presents in ascites is a major concern. The role of the microenvironment seems to be important in this process but the lack of adequate models to study cellular interactions between cancer cells and stromal cells does not allow to uncover the molecular pathways involved. Our goal was to study the interactions between ovarian cancer cells (OCC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) using a 3D model.
We used millimetric pieces of amniochorionic membrane - referred to as amniotic membrane scaffold (AMS) - to create 3D peritoneal nodules mimicking EOC early invasion. We were able to measure the distribution and the depth of infiltration using confocal microsopy. We extracted MSC from the amniochorionic membrane using the markers CD34-, CD45-, CD73+, CD90+, CD105+ and CD29+ at the Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) analysis. We used transwell and wound healing tests to test OCC migration and invasion in vitro.
Here we show that OCC tumors were located in regions rich in MSC (70%). The tumors infiltrated deeper within AMS in regions rich in MSC (p<0.001). In vitro tests revealed that higher IL6 secretion in a context of MSC-OCC co-culture could enhance migration and invasion of OCC. After IL6 receptor antagonism, OCC infiltration was significantly decreased, mostly in regions rich in MSCs, indicating that recruitment and tridimensional invasion of OCC was dependent of IL6 secretion.
The use of tridimensional models using AMS could be a useful tool to decipher early molecular events in ovarian cancer metastasis. Cytokine inhibitors interrupting the cross-talk between OCCs and MSCs such as IL6 should be investigated as a new therapeutic approach in ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC3582577  PMID: 23369187
Ovarian cancer; IL6; Tumor infiltration; 3d model; Mesenchymal stem cell
4.  Factors Associated with Altered Long-Term Well-Being After Prophylactic Salpingo-Oophorectomy Among Women at Increased Hereditary Risk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer 
The Oncologist  2011;16(9):1250-1257.
Factors associated with long-term altered well-being after prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, namely, lower quality of life, altered sexual functioning, greater anxiety, and more endocrine symptoms, were identified.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Describe factors associated with decreased well-being after PBSO in order to prospectively identify patients at risk.Provide pre-operative counseling and information to patients at risk of decreased well-being after PBSO.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at
Prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (PBSO) might alter several components of well-being, such as sexual functioning and endocrine symptoms, in women at high risk for hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer, compared with the general population. We searched for factors associated with altered long-term well-being in this population (lower quality of life [QOL], altered sexual functioning, greater anxiety, more endocrine symptoms).
All high-risk women who had undergone PBSO during the past 15 years in a single cancer center were contacted by mail. Upon acceptance, they were sent five questionnaires: (a) general social questions, (b) the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30, (c) Sexual Activity Questionnaire, (d) Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Endocrine Symptom, and (5) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Logistic analyses were used to identify factors associated with altered results. Because of multiple testing, only p-values ≤ .01 were considered significant.
One hundred twelve of 175 women (64%) returned the completed questionnaires at a mean duration (standard deviation) of 6.0 (5.1) years after PBSO. QOL was positively influenced by two baseline factors: a high educational level and occupying an executive position. However, younger age at PBSO was associated with lower social functioning and greater anxiety. At the time of the study, practicing a sport and the avoidance of weight gain (≥10%) were highly related to QOL, sexual pleasure, endocrine symptoms, and anxiety in the univariate analysis and predictive of better QOL and lower anxiety in the multivariate analysis.
Younger women and women with a low educational level and no occupation appear to be at higher risk for altered long-term well-being. After surgery, practicing a sport and stable weight may help maintain overall well-being.
PMCID: PMC3228172  PMID: 21765195
Quality of life; BRCA; Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer; Prophylactic oophorectomy; Menopause; Sexual function
5.  Mesenchymal Cell Interaction with Ovarian Cancer Cells Triggers Pro-Metastatic Properties 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e38340.
Tumor microenvironement is an important actor of ovarian cancer progression but the relations between mesenchymal cells and ovarian cancer cells remain unclear. The objective of this study was to determine the ovarian cancer cells' biological modifications induced by mesenchymal cells. To address this issue, we used two different ovarian cancer cell lines (NIH:OVCAR3 and SKOV3) and co-cultured them with mesenchymal cells. Upon co-culture the different cell populations were sorted to study their transcriptome and biological properties. Transcriptomic analysis revealed three biological-function gene clusters were enriched upon contact with mesenchymal cells. These were related to the increase of metastatic abilities (adhesion, migration and invasion), proliferation and chemoresistance in vitro. Therefore, contact with the mesenchymal cell niche could increase metastatic initiation and expansion through modification of cancer cells. Taken together these findings suggest that pathways involved in hetero-cellular interaction may be targeted to disrupt the acquired pro-metastatic profile.
PMCID: PMC3364218  PMID: 22666502
6.  Prognostic Factors and Morbidities After Completion Surgery in Patients Undergoing Initial Chemoradiation Therapy for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer 
The Oncologist  2010;15(4):405-415.
The study evaluates the prognostic factors and morbidities of patients undergoing completion surgery for locally advanced-stage cervical cancer after initial chemoradiation therapy.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Rate the prognostic factors for overall survival in patients undergoing completion surgery after initial chemoradiation therapy (CRT) for locally advanced cervical cancer.In cervical cancer patients undergoing completion surgery, consider using laparoscopy to decrease the morbidity of the surgery.In cervical cancer patients undergoing completion surgery, use PET-CT imaging to improve detection of para-aortic involvement.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic factors and morbidities of patients undergoing completion surgery for locally advanced-stage cervical cancer after initial chemoradiation therapy (CRT).
Patients and Methods.
Patients fulfilling the following inclusion criteria were studied: stage IB2–IVA cervical carcinoma, tumor initially confined to the pelvic cavity on conventional imaging, pelvic external radiation therapy with delivery of 45 Gy to the pelvic cavity and concomitant chemotherapy (cisplatin, 40 mg/m2 per week) followed by uterovaginal brachytherapy, and completion surgery after the end of radiation therapy including at least a hysterectomy.
One-hundred fifty patients treated in 1998–2007 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Prognostic factors for overall survival in the multivariate analysis were the presence and level of nodal spread (positive pelvic nodes alone: hazard ratio [HR], 2.03; positive para-aortic nodes: HR, 5.46; p < .001) and the presence and size of residual disease (RD) in the cervix (p = .02). Thirty-seven (25%) patients had 55 postoperative complications. The risk for complications was higher with a radical hysterectomy (p = .04) and the presence of cervical RD (p = .01).
In this series, the presence and size of RD and histologic nodal involvement were the strongest prognostic factors. Such results suggest that the survival of patients treated using CRT for locally advanced cervical cancer could potentially be enhanced by improving the rate of complete response in the irradiated area (cervix or pelvic nodes) and by initially detecting patients with para-aortic spread so that treatment could be adapted in such patients. The morbidity of completion surgery is high in this context.
PMCID: PMC3227965  PMID: 20332143
Chemoradiation therapy; Completion surgery; Locally advanced cervical cancer; Morbidities; Nodal involvement; Prognostic factors; Residual disease; Survival
7.  Early stage (IA-IB) primary carcinoma of the fallopian tube: case-control comparison to adenocarcinoma of the ovary 
Early stage primary carcinoma of the fallopian tube (PCFT) is an uncommon condition when strict criteria are applied. The aim of this study was to compare the outcome stage IA-IB PCFT to a matched group of ovarian cancer (OC).
Between 1990 and 2008, 32 patients with stage IA-IB of PCFT were recorded in the database of three French Institutions. A control group of patients with OC was constituted.
Eleven eligible PCFT cases and 29 OC controls fulfilled the stringent inclusion criteria. Median follow-up was 70.2 months. Five-year overall survival was 83.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 27.3 to 97.5) for PCFT and 88.0% (95% CI, 66.9 to 96.0) for OC (p=0.93). In the subgroup of patients with grade 2-3, the outcome was similar in PCFT compared to OC patients (p=0.75). Five-year relapse-free survival was respectively 62.5% (95% CI, 22.9 to 86.1) and 85.0% (95% CI, 64.6 to 94.2) in the PCFT and OC groups (p=0.07). In the subgroup of patients (grade 2-3), there was no difference between PCFT and OC (p=0.65).
The findings did not reveal any difference in prognosis between early stage of PCFT and OC when grade is taken into account. Management of PCFT should mirror that of ovarian carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3097339  PMID: 21607090
Fallopian tube carcinoma; Ovarian cancer; Early stage; Case-control study
8.  Identification of glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper as a key regulator of tumor cell proliferation in epithelial ovarian cancer 
Molecular Cancer  2009;8:83.
Little is known about the molecules that contribute to tumor progression of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), currently a leading cause of mortality from gynecological malignancies. Glucocorticoid-Induced Leucine Zipper (GILZ), an intracellular protein widely expressed in immune tissues, has been reported in epithelial tissues and controls some of key signaling pathways involved in tumorigenesis. However, there has been no report on GILZ in EOC up to now. The objectives of the current study were to examine the expression of GILZ in EOC and its effect on tumor cell proliferation.
GILZ expression was measured by immunohistochemical staining in tissue sections from 3 normal ovaries, 7 benign EOC and 50 invasive EOC. GILZ was not detected on the surface epithelium of normal ovaries and benign tumors. In contrast, it was expressed in the cytoplasm of tumor cells in 80% EOC specimens. GILZ immunostaining scores correlated positively to the proliferation marker Ki-67 (Spearman test in univariate analysis, P < 0.00001, r = 0.56). They were also higher in tumor cells containing large amounts of phosphorylated protein kinase B (p-AKT) (unpaired t test, P < 0.0001). To assess the effect of GILZ on proliferation and AKT activation, we used the BG-1 cell line derived from ovarian tumor cells as a cellular model. GILZ expression was either enhanced by stable transfection or decreased by the use of small interfering (si) RNA targeting GILZ. We found that GILZ increased cell proliferation, phospho-AKT cellular content and AKT kinase activity. Further, GILZ upregulated cyclin D1 and phosphorylated retinoblastoma (p-Rb), downregulated cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21, and promoted the entry into S phase of cell cycle.
The present study is the first to identify GILZ as a molecule produced by ovarian cancer cells that promotes cell cycle progression and proliferation. Our findings clearly indicate that GILZ activates AKT, a crucial signaling molecule in tumorigenesis. GILZ thus appears as a potential key molecule in EOC.
PMCID: PMC2763858  PMID: 19814803
9.  Efficacy of Selective Arterial Embolisation for the Treatment of Life-Threatening Post-Partum Haemorrhage in a Large Population 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(11):e3819.
The objective of this study was to assess efficacy and determine the optimal indication of selective arterial embolisation (SAE) in patients with life-threatening post-partum haemorrhage (PPH).
Methodology/Principal Findings
One hundred and two patients with PPH underwent SAE and were included from January 1998 to January 2002 in our university care center. Embolisation was considered effective when no other surgical procedure was required. Univariate and multivariate statistical analysis were performed. SAE was effective for 73 patients (71.5%), while 29 required surgical procedures. SAE was effective in 88.6% of women with uterine atony that was associated with positive outcome (OR 4.13, 1.35–12.60), whereas caesarean deliveries (OR 0.16, 0.04–0.5) and haemodynamic shock (OR 0.21, 0.07–0.60) were associated with high failure rates, 47.6% and 39.1%, respectively.
Success rate for SAE observed in a large population is lower than previously reported. It is most likely to succeed for uterine atony but not recommended in case of haemodynamic shock or after caesarean section.
PMCID: PMC2583949  PMID: 19043573

Results 1-9 (9)