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1.  Expression and clinical significance of c-Met in advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:6.
c-Met, one of current potential hot targets, has been suggested as a potential tumor marker in the development of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Our aim was to investigate the expression of c-Met in advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in four phase II trials who had tumor tissues from archival in our center and analyze the correlations between c-Met expression and clinical features.
Ninety patients with advanced ESCC who were admitted to the phase II clinical trials in the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute from March 2007 to March 2014 were finally eligible for present study and the corresponding tissues and clinical data were collected. The expression of c-Met in the tissue samples was detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC). c-Met overexpression was defined as ≥ the median value of H-score. Kaplan-Meier and Cox multivariate regression were conducted to evaluate the relationship between c-Met expression and ESCC survival.
The overexpression of c-Met is 43.3% in advanced ESCC. There was no statistical difference between c-Met expression and clinical features except sex and tumor location. Survival analysis documented that the overexpression of c-Met predicted a worse prognosis (OS: 253 d vs 422 d, P = 0.011). In the group treated with chemotherapy combined with anti-EGFR drugs, patients with lowexpression of c-Met had a better OS than those with overexpression of c-Met (OS: 577 d vs 232 d, P = 0.007).
c-Met may be an independent prognostic factor in advanced ESCC. The overexpression of c-Met may predict a worse efficacy of anti-EGFR therapy.
PMCID: PMC4307685  PMID: 25588551
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; c-Met; Chemotherapy; Overall survival
2.  Small Molecule p75NTR Ligands Reduce Pathological Phosphorylation and Misfolding of Tau, Inflammatory Changes, Cholinergic Degeneration, and Cognitive Deficits in AβPPL/S Transgenic Mice 
The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR ) is involved in degenerative mechanisms related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In addition, p75NTR levels are increased in AD and the receptor is expressed by neurons that are particularly vulnerable in the disease. Therefore, modulating p75NTR function may be a significant disease-modifying treatment approach. Prior studies indicated that the non-peptide, small molecule p75NTR ligands LM11A-31, and chemically unrelated LM11A-24, could block amyloid-β-induced deleterious signaling and neurodegeneration in vitro, and LM11A-31 was found to mitigate neuritic degeneration and behavioral deficits in a mouse model of AD. In this study, we determined whether these in vivo findings represent class effects of p75NTR ligands by examining LM11A-24 effects. In addition, the range of compound effects was further examined by evaluating tau pathology and neuroinflammation. Following oral administration, both ligands reached brain concentrations known to provide neuroprotection in vitro. Compound induction of p75NTR cleavage provided evidence for CNS target engagement. LM11A-31 and LM11A-24 reduced excessive phosphorylation of tau, and LM11A-31 also inhibited its aberrant folding. Both ligands decreased activation of microglia, while LM11A-31 attenuated reactive astrocytes. Along with decreased inflammatory responses, both ligands reduced cholinergic neurite degeneration. In addition to the amelioration of neuropathology in AD model mice, LM11A-31, but not LM11A-24, prevented impairments in water maze performance, while both ligands prevented deficits in fear conditioning. These findings support a role for p75NTR ligands in preventing fundamental tau-related pathologic mechanisms in AD, and further validate the development of these small molecules as a new class of therapeutic compounds.
PMCID: PMC4278429  PMID: 24898660
Alzheimer’s disease; LM11A-31; LM11A-24; p75 neurotrophin receptor
3.  Phase II study of weekly irinotecan and capecitabine treatment in metastatic colorectal cancer patients 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):986.
The purpose of this phase II study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of weekly irinotecan and capecitabine (wXELIRI) treatment in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, specifically the rate of severe diarrhea.
Patients with unresectable histologically confirmed metastatic colorectal cancer with measurable disease received weekly irinotecan 90 mg/m2 on day 1 and capecitabine 1200 mg/m2 twice daily on days 1–5. Patients naïve to systemic chemotherapy for metastatic disease or who had failed FOLFOX (infusional 5-fluorouracil [5-FU], leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) or XELOX (capecitabine plus oxaliplatin) as first-line treatment were eligible. The primary endpoint was the rate of grade 3/4 diarrhea. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety.
A total of 52 patients were enrolled, 30 of whom received wXELIRI as first-line treatment and 22 as second-line treatment. Grade 4 diarrhea was observed in one patient and the rate of grade 3/4 diarrhea was 7.7%. The other common grade 3/4 toxicities included leukopenia (9.6%), neutropenia (17.3%), nausea (3.8%), vomiting (3.8%), fatigue (1.9%), and hand-foot syndrome (1.9%). The median progression-free survival and overall survival for the 30 patients treated in the first-line setting was 8.5 and 16.3 months, while those for the 22 patients treated in the second-line setting was 5.0 and 10.7 months, respectively.
The wXELIRI regimen resulted in a low rate of severe diarrhea with an acceptable toxicity profile. This study provides a basis for a subsequent randomized controlled study of wXELIRI versus FOLFIRI (irinotecan, 5-FU, and folinic acid) to further explore the efficacy and safety of this regimen.
Trial registration NCT01322152.
PMCID: PMC4300831  PMID: 25527007
Colorectal neoplasms; Irinotecan; Capecitabine; Antineoplastic agents
4.  Herbal medicine Guan Chang Fu Fang enhances 5-fluorouracil cytotoxicity and affects drug-associated genes in human colorectal carcinoma cells 
Oncology Letters  2014;9(2):701-708.
Guan Chang Fu Fang (GCFF) is a natural compound, which is extracted from three medicinal plants, Agrimonia pilosa Ledeb., Patrinia scabiosaefolia and Solanum nigrum L. GCFF has demonstrated clinical efficacy in the treatment of colon cancer. At present, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is the primary active chemotherapeutic agent used for treating colon cancer. Using median-effect and apoptosis analyses, fluorescence microscopy and western blotting, the present study analyzed the association between GCFF and 5-FU in the human colon adenocarcinoma LoVo cell line. The effect of GCFF on the expression of chemotherapeutic agent-associated genes was also investigated. The results of the synergistic analysis revealed that GCFF exhibited a significant effect upon 5-FU-associated cytotoxicity within the LoVo cell line. This effect was observed over a broad dose-inhibition range (5–95%), but was particularly significant in the lower concentrations. The flow cytometry results revealed that low doses of GCFF or 5-FU induced S-phase arrest, as did a low-dose combination of the two drugs. After 48 h, GCFF significantly suppressed the expression levels of the chemotherapeutic agent resistance-associated genes within the colon cancer cells. The western blot analysis revealed that the combined effects of 5-FU and GCFF were due to a regulation of the B-cell lymphoma-2 family of proteins. The findings of the present study suggested that GCFF, when combined with 5-FU, has the potential to be a novel, chemotherapeutic compound for the treatment of colon cancer.
PMCID: PMC4301488  PMID: 25621039
Guan Chang Fu Fang; colon cancer cell; apoptosis; synergy
5.  Expression of brain adiponectin in a murine model of transient cerebral ischemia 
Objective: Adiponectin is a hormone that is mainly secreted by fat cells. Adiponectin has anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects, and a protective effect against ischemic brain injury, but the level of expression of adiponectin in brain tissue is unknown. In the current study, a mouse model of transient cerebral ischemia was used to determine the level of expression of adiponectin in ischemic brain tissue. Methods: Sixty CD-1 mice underwent transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. The level of expression of adiponectin in mouse brain tissues 1 hour, 4 hours, 1 day, 3 days, and 7 days, after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury were determined using a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Results: The level of expression of adiponectin in mouse ischemic brain tissues increased after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury and was higher in the central area of ischemia than in the peripheral area. The level of expression of adiponectin occurred only in vascular endothelial cells. There was no significant change in the level of expression of adiponectin mRNA in brain tissue pre- and post-ischemia/reperfusion injury. Conclusion: After cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury, adiponectin accumulated in the vascular endothelial cells of ischemic brain tissues, and non-endogenous adiponectin was generated. Circulating adiponectin accumulated in ischemic brain tissues through its role in adhering to damaged vascular endothelial cells.
PMCID: PMC4276248  PMID: 25550990
Adiponectin expression; adiponectin receptors; cerebral ischemia; reperfusion injury; vascular endothelial cells
6.  Geometric and Electronic Properties of Edge-decorated Graphene Nanoribbons 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6038.
Edge-decorated graphene nanoribbons are investigated with the density functional theory; they reveal three stable geometric structures. The first type is a tubular structure formed by the covalent bonds of decorating boron or nitrogen atoms. The second one consists of curved nanoribbons created by the dipole-dipole interactions between two edges when decorated with Be, Mg, or Al atoms. The final structure is a flat nanoribbon produced due to the repulsive force between two edges; most decorated structures belong to this type. Various decorating atoms, different curvature angles, and the zigzag edge structure are reflected in the electronic properties, magnetic properties, and bonding configurations. Most of the resulting structures are conductors with relatively high free carrier densities, whereas a few are semiconductors due to the zigzag-edge-induced anti-ferromagnetism.
PMCID: PMC4133719  PMID: 25123103
7.  Clinical significance of phenotyping and karyotyping of circulating tumor cells in patients with advanced gastric cancer 
Oncotarget  2014;5(16):6594-6602.
Karyotyping and phenotyping of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in therapeutic cancer patients is of particular clinical significance in terms of both identifying chemo-resistant CTC subtypes and understanding CTC evolution.
The integrated subtraction enrichment (SET) and immunostaining-fluorescence in situ hybridization (iFISH) platform was applied to detect and characterize CTCs in patients with advanced gastric cancer (AGC). Status of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expressing and aneuploidy of chromosome 8 in CTCs enriched from the patients was examined by SET-iFISH following clinical chemotherapy or HER2-targeted therapy. CellSearch system was applied as a reference control.
Phenotyping of CTCs in HER2 positive AGC patients demonstrated that HER2+ CTCs could be effectively eliminated in response to HER2-targeted therapy. Karyotyping of CTCs indicated that distinct CTCs with different ploidies of chromosomes 8 in AGC patients correlated to either sensitivity or resistance of paclitaxel or cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Examination of the copy number of chromosome 8 in CTCs provides a potential approach for predicting chemotherapeutic efficacy and monitoring chemo-resistance.
Phenotyping and karyotyping of the enriched CTCs upon ploidy of chromosome 8 or HER2 expression is of clinical potential for monitoring chemo-resistance and evaluating therapeutic efficacy for AGC patients.
PMCID: PMC4196148  PMID: 25026283
gastric cancer; circulating tumor cells; EpCAM-independent enrichment; HER2; aneuploidy
8.  S-1 monotherapy as second line chemotherapy in advanced gastric cancer patients previously treated with cisplatin/infusional fluorouracil 
The treatment choice of advanced gastric carcinoma after failure from first-line therapy is quite limited. To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of S-1 monotherapy in patients with advanced gastric cancer after failure of first line cisplatin and fluorouracil combination (CF). S-1 monotherapy as a second line treatment was given to the patients who had failed to CF combination in SC-101 study. The efficacy and toxicity of S-1 monotherapy were evaluated exploratory. The results indicated that forty-one patients received S-1 as a second line therapy after disease progression. The overall response rate and disease control rate were 14.6% and 41.5%, respectively. The median progression free survival (PFS) was 5.1 months (ange: 2.9~6.2 month). The median overall survival time was 6.4 months. The survival rates at 6 month and 1 year were 56% and 7.3%, respectively. Grade 3/4 adverse events were uncommonly occurred, including anemia (2.4%), neutropenia (2.4%), thrombocytopenia (4.9%) and rash (2.4%). There were no unexpected or life-threatening toxicities. Only one patient experienced dose reduction due to grade 3 rash. In conclusion, S-1 monotherapy provided a mild response rate and overall survival, and a favorable toxicity profile in the second line setting after the first line failure to cisplatin and fluorouracil combination.
PMCID: PMC4129044  PMID: 25120809
S-1 monotherapy; chemotherapy; cisplatin/infusional fluorouracil; gastric cancer
9.  S-1 monotherapy as second line chemotherapy in advanced gastric cancer patients previously treated with cisplatin/infusional fluorouracil 
The treatment choice of advanced gastric carcinoma after failure from first-line therapy is quite limited. To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of S-1 monotherapy in patients with advanced gastric cancer after failure of first line cisplatin and fluorouracil combination (CF). S-1 monotherapy as a second line treatment was given to the patients who had failed to CF combination in SC-101 study. The efficacy and toxicity of S-1 monotherapy were evaluated exploratory. The results indicated that forty-one patients received S-1 as a second line therapy after disease progression. The overall response rate and disease control rate were 14.6% and 41.5%, respectively. The median progression free survival (PFS) was 5.1 months (range: 2.9~6.2 month). The median overall survival time was 6.4 months. The survival rates at 6 month and 1 year were 56% and 7.3%, respectively. Grade 3/4 adverse events were uncommonly occurred, including anemia (2.4%), neutropenia (2.4%), thrombocytopenia (4.9%) and rash (2.4%). There were no unexpected or life-threatening toxicities. Only one patient experienced dose reduction due to grade 3 rash. In conclusion, S-1 monotherapy provided a mild response rate and overall survival, and a favorable toxicity profile in the second line setting after the first line failure to cisplatin and fluorouracil combination.
PMCID: PMC4097265  PMID: 25031751
S-1 monotherapy; chemotherapy; cisplatin/infusional fluorouracil; gastric cancer
10.  Polymorphisms and Plasma Level of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta 1 and Risk for Preeclampsia: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97230.
Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia (PE), but the results are inconsistent among studies. This article aims to compile an overview of the studies about the associations of TGF-β 1 polymorphism and plasma level with PE risk and to provide recommendations for future research.
Methods and Results
The databases PubMed, Embase and Web of Science were searched up to December 2013. Five studies investigating the associations of four polymorphisms with the risks of PE were involved. A meta-analysis was conducted for the 869T>C polymorphism and PE risk. The results show that genotype TT of 869T>C polymorphism is a protective factor of PE (pooled odds ratio = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.95). Eight case-control studies reported the plasma level of TGF-β 1. The substantial heterogeneity among studies may be attributed to the differences in the blood sample processing and the TGF-β 1 analysis kits. The results suggest that plasma TGF-β 1 level in the second trimester was significantly lower in the PE group than in the normal pregnancy group, but was significantly higher in the PE group during the third trimester.
The current results support that the TGF-β 1 869 T>C polymorphism was associated with the risk of PE. However, the number of eligible studies is small and more studies are needed to clarify whether this association can be detected on larger sample sizes and different populations. Owing to the heterogeneity between studies, no conclusion on the association between plasma TGF-β 1 level and PE risk can be drawn from this review. Further studies about the TGF-β 1 levels at different stages of pregnancy and the development of TGF-β 1 assay methodology are required to reveal the role of TGF-β 1 in the pathological development of PE.
PMCID: PMC4019528  PMID: 24823830
11.  Retrospective analysis of adjuvant chemotherapy for curatively resected gastric cancer 
AIM: To determine the efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy for gastric cancer in clinical practice, a retrospective analysis was conducted in a high-volume Chinese cancer center.
METHODS: Between November 1995 and June 2007, a total of 423 gastric or esophagogastric adenocarcinoma patients who did (Arm A, n = 300) or did not (Arm S, n = 123) receive radical gastrectomy followed by postoperative chemotherapy were enrolled in this retrospective analysis. In Arm A, monotherapy(fluoropyrimidines, n = 25), doublet (platinum/fluoropyrimidines, n = 164), or triplet regimens [docetaxel/cisplatin/5FU (DCF), or modified DCF, epirubicin/cisplatin/5FU (ECF) or modified ECF, etoposide/cisplatin/FU, n = 111] were administered. Disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared between the two arms. A subgroup analysis was carried out in Arm A. A multivariate analysis of prognostic factors was conducted.
RESULTS: Stage I, II and III cancers accounted for 9.7%, 35.7% and 54.6% of the cases, respectively, according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system, 7th edition. Only 178 (42.1%) patients had more than 15 lymph nodes harvested. Hazard ratio estimates for Arm A compared with Arm S were 0.47 (P < 0.001) for OS and 0.59 (P < 0.001) for DFS. The 5-year OS rate was 52% in Arm A vs 36% in Arm S (P = 0.01); the adverse events in Arm A were mild and easily controlled. Ultimately, 73 patients (26.5%) who received doublet or triplet regimens switched to monotherapy with fluoropyrimidines. The OS and DFS did not differ between monotherapy and the combination regimens, however, both were statistically improved in the subgroup of patients who were switched to monotherapy with fluoropyrimidines after doublet or triplet regimens as well as patients who received ≥ 8 cycles of chemotherapy.
CONCLUSION: In clinical practice, platinum/fluoropyrimidines with adequate treatment duration is recommended for stage II/III gastric cancer patients accordingto the 7th edition of the AJCC staging system after curative gastrectomyeven with limited lymphadenectomy.
PMCID: PMC3964407  PMID: 24696615
Adjuvant chemotherapy; Gastric cancer; Lymphadenectomy; Fluoropyrimidine; Platinum
12.  Achieving a Quantitative Understanding of Antiretroviral Drug Efficacy 
PMCID: PMC3963156  PMID: 20925507
antiretroviral therapy; dose-response curve; slope; IIP; inhibitory quotient
13.  New Approaches for Quantitating the Inhibition of HIV-1 Replication by Antiviral Drugs in vitro and in vivo 
Purpose of review
With highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), HIV-1 infection has become a manageable lifelong disease. Developing optimal treatment regimens requires understanding how to best measure anti-HIV activity in vitro and how drug dose response curves generated in vitro correlate with in vivo efficacy.
Recent findings
Several recent studies have indicated that conventional multi-round infectivity assays are inferior to single cycle assays at both low and high levels of inhibition. Multi-round infectivity assays can fail to detect subtle but clinically significant anti-HIV activity. The discoveries of the anti-HIV activity of the hepatitis B drug entecavir and the herpes simplex drug acyclovir were facilitated by single round infectivity assays. Recent studies using a single round infectivity assay have shown that a previously neglected parameter, the dose response curve slope, is an extremely important determinant of antiviral activity. Some antiretroviral drugs have steep slopes that result in extraordinary levels of antiviral activity. The instantaneous inhibitory potential (IIP), the log reduction in infectivity in a single round assay at clinical drug concentrations, has been proposed as a novel index for comparing antiviral activity.
Among in vitro measures of antiviral activity, single round infection assays have the advantage of measure instantaneous inhibition by a drug. Re-evaluating the antiviral activity of approved HIV-1 drugs has shown that the slope parameter is an important factor in drug activity. Determining the IIP by using a single round infectivity assay may provide important insights that can predict the in vivo efficacy of anti-HIV-1 drugs.
PMCID: PMC3939826  PMID: 19841584
HIV-1; highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART); slope; Instantaneous Inhibitory Potential (IIP); phenotypic assay; single round infectivity assay
14.  Change of Body Weight and Macrophage Inhibitory Cytokine-1 during Chemotherapy in Advanced Gastric Cancer: What Is Their Clinical Significance? 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88553.
Weight loss in advanced gastric cancer (GC) has been widely acknowledged to be a predictor for poor survival. However, very few studies have investigated the weight loss that occurs during chemotherapy. Therefore, we focused on weight loss during chemotherapy in patients with advanced GC and investigated the concentrations of macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1), which has been recognized as a probable etiological factor in anorexia and weight loss.
We analyzed 384 patients with inoperable locally advanced or metastatic GC receiving first-line chemotherapy. Patients were assigned to one of two groups on the basis of their weight change during chemotherapy: >3% weight loss and ≤3% weight loss. Serum MIC-1 and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations were also assessed in these patients.
The >3% weight loss group had shorter overall survival (OS; 12.0 months vs. 17.5 months, P = 0.000) than the ≤3% weight loss group, and the survival rates improved if the weight loss was reversed during chemotherapy. Although the MIC-1 concentrations were not correlated with weight loss before (P = 0.156) or during chemotherapy (P = 0.164), it correlated significantly with the CRP concentration (P = 0.001). Furthermore, elevated MIC-1 concentrations before chemotherapy (P = 0.017) and increased MIC-1 concentrations during chemotherapy (P = 0.001) were both found to be predictors of poor OS.
Changes in the body weight during chemotherapy could influence the prognosis in patients with advanced GC, and the MIC-1 might be a potential predictive and prognostic biomarker in those patients.
PMCID: PMC3938426  PMID: 24586342
15.  A comparative study between Embosphere® and conventional transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for treatment of unresectable liver metastasis from GIST 
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a standard treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and/or some unresectable liver metastasis tumors. Hypervascular liver metastatic lesions such as metastasis from gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) are an indication for transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Embosphere®-TAE (Embo-TAE) in comparison with conventional TACE (cTACE) for the treatment of liver metastasis from GIST.
A total of 45 patients who underwent TACE between Aug 2008 and Feb 2013 were enrolled. Patients with GIST who underwent TAE with Embosphere® (n=19) were compared with controls who received cTACE (n=26). The primary end points were treatment response and treatment-related adverse events. The secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
The treatment response of Embo-TAE group was significantly higher than that of the cTACE group (P<0.001). The PFS was significantly better in the Embosphere®-group than in the cTACE group (56.6 and 42.1 weeks, respectively; P=0.003). However, there was no statistically significant difference in liver toxicity between the two groups (P>0.05). The median OS in the Embo-TAE group was longer than that in the cTACE group (74.0 weeks, 95% CI: 68.2-79.8 vs. 61.7 weeks, 95% CI: 56.2-67.2 weeks) (unadjusted P=0.045). The use of Embo-TAE significantly reduced the risk of death in patients with GIST with liver metastases according to the Cox proportional hazards regression model [hazard ratio (HR): 0.149; 95% CI: 0.064-0.475].
TAE with Embosphere® showed better treatment response and delayed tumor progression compared with cTACE. There was no significant difference in treatment-related hepatic toxicities. Embo-TAE thus appears to be a feasible and promising approach in the treatment of liver metastasis from GIST.
PMCID: PMC3937743  PMID: 24653635
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE); gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST); embolization
16.  The Multicenter, Phase II Prospective Study of Paclitaxel Plus Capecitabine as First-Line Chemotherapy in Advanced Gastric Carcinoma 
The Oncologist  2014;19(2):173-174.
The efficacy and toxicity of paclitaxel plus capecitabine (PX) as first-line treatment in advanced gastric cancer (AGC) was evaluated.
Patients with previously untreated AGC were included. PX was given every 3 weeks until a maximum of six cycles or progression. Capecitabine monotherapy was continued for patients without disease progression. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival, and secondary endpoints were objective response rate, overall survival (OS), and safety.
Overall, 194 patients were treated per protocol and one patient was excluded because of allergy to paclitaxel. Response was evaluated in 175 patients, with an objective response rate of 34.8%. After a median follow-up of 33.2 months, disease progression was observed in 141 patients, 137 died, and 16 were lost to follow-up, with progression-free survival of 188 days and OS of 354 days. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, no factor remained an independent predictor of OS. Forty-five patients who received capecitabine monotherapy after PX had longer OS (531 days). Adverse events were mild (Fig. 1), and the most common grade 3–4 toxicities were leucopenia and neutropenia.
PX as a first-line treatment has promising efficacy in AGC. Based on these data, a phase III study has been launched for further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3926790  PMID: 24457378
17.  Prognostic Significance of MET Amplification and Expression in Gastric Cancer: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84502.
Background and Aims
MET, the hepatocyte growth factor receptor, is a receptor tyrosine kinase overexpressed and activated in a subset of gastric cancer. Several studies investigated the relationship between MET amplification and expression with the clinical outcome in patients with gastric cancer, but yielded conflicting results. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the influence of MET amplification and expression on prognosis in gastric cancer.
MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for studies that explored the association between MET amplification and expression with survival in patients with gastric cancer up to 1 April, 2013. Data of individual hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for meta-analyses were extracted from the publications and combined in pooled HRs.
Fourteen studies involving 2,258 patients with gastric cancer were included. It was suggested that MET overexpression had an unfavorable impact on survival of patients with gastric cancer, with HRs (95% CIs) of 2.57 (95% CI: 1.97–3.35) overall, 2.82 (95% CI: 1.86–4.27) among studies using amplification for measure scale of MET and 2.42 (95% CI: 1.66–3.54) for expression. The magnitude of association was reduced whereas remained statistically significant in high quality studies or in larger sample size studies and corresponding HRs were 2.18(1.76, 2.70) and 2.35(1.93, 2.87), respectively, without significant heterogeneity.
The findings from present study indicated that higher MET gene amplification and expression in gastric cancer was an indicator of poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3885582  PMID: 24416238
18.  2-(1-Benzo­thio­phen-2-yl)-4H-1,3,4-oxa­diazin-5(6H)-one 
In the title compound, C11H8N2O2S, the oxadiazinone ring is nearly planar [maximum deviation = 0.016 (4) Å], and is approximately coplanar with the benzo­thio­phene ring system [dihedral angle = 3.1 (5)°]. In the crystal, mol­ecules are linked by N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, forming chains running along the b-axis direction.
PMCID: PMC3914084  PMID: 24526987
19.  Synergistic inhibitory effect of wogonin and low-dose paclitaxel on gastric cancer cells and tumor xenografts 
To investigate the synergistic inhibitory effects of wogonin (WOG) and chemotherapeutic drugs on growth of gastric cancer cells and tumor xenografts.
The IC50 values of WOG, cisplatin (CDDP) and paclitaxel (PTX) in four gastric cancer cell lines were determined by MTS assay. Hoechst staining and the median effect method of Chou-Talalay were used to assess the apoptosis of cells and the interaction of two drugs, respectively. BGC-823-derived xenografts in nude mice were established to investigate the effects of WOG combined with chemotherapeutic drugs in vivo.
WOG, CDDP and PTX inhibited the growth of BGC-823, MGC-803, MKN-45 and HGC-27 gastric cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. WOG combined with CDDP or PTX synergistically inhibited the growth of all gastric cancer cell lines in vitro. In BGC-823, MGC-803, HGC-27 and MKN-45 cell lines, synergisms between WOG and PTX were shown when the fraction affected (Fa) values were <0.45, <0.90, <0.85 and <0.60. While WOG and CDDP had a synergistic inhibitory effect when the Fa values were >0, >0, >0.65 and >0.10. From the results of in vivo experiments using tumor xenografts, WOG and low-dose PTX showed better efficacy than either drug alone. The inhibitory percentages of tumor weight were 61.58%, 20.29%, and 22.28% for the combination, WOG-alone, and low-dose PTX-alone groups, respectively. Notably, WOG combined with CDDP displayed very high toxicity.
A synergistic inhibitory effect on growth was observed when WOG was combined with low-dose PTX in gastric cancer cells and tumor xenografts. These findings provide evidence for the design of a clinical trial to test the combination of WOG with low-dose PTX in human gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC3828446  PMID: 24255573
Wogonin (WOG); paclitaxel (PTX); gastric cancer; synergistic effect
20.  Hippocampal and Amygdalar Volumes in Psychotic and Nonpsychotic Unipolar Depression 
The American journal of psychiatry  2008;165(7):872-880.
The limbic system is thought to underlie dysfunctional affective and cognitive processes in individuals with depression. Neuroanatomical studies of subjects with depression have often examined hippocampal and amygdalar structures, since they are two key structures of the limbic system. Research has often but not always found reduced hippocampal volume in patients with major depression. The purpose of the present study was to examine differences in hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in patients with depression subtypes relative to healthy comparison subjects.
Participants were 1) patients with major depression with psychosis, 2) patients with major depression without psychosis, and 3) healthy comparison subjects. To examine hippocampal and amygdalar volumes, all participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The authors further examined the effects of clinical and chronicity data on these two brain structures.
After age, gender, and total brain volume were controlled, depressed patients with psychosis had a significantly smaller mean amygdala volume relative to depressed patients without psychosis and healthy comparison subjects. There were no differences between depressed patients without psychosis and healthy comparison subjects. Correlational analyses suggested that age of depression onset was strongly associated with amygdala volume. No group differences in hippocampal volume were found.
There were no differences between depressed patients and healthy comparison subjects in hippocampal volume. However, psychotic but not nonpsychotic depression was associated with reduced amygdala volume. Reduced amygdala volume was not associated with severity of depression or severity of psychosis but was associated with age at onset of depression. Smaller amygdala volume may be a risk factor for later development of psychotic depression. In addition, chronicity of depression and depression subtype might be two important factors associated with hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in depression.
PMCID: PMC3733673  PMID: 18450931
21.  Serum β-Catenin Levels Associated with the Ratio of RANKL/OPG in Patients with Postmenopausal Osteoporosis 
Objective. To demonstrate the role of Wnt/β-catenin canonical pathway in postmenopausal osteoporosis by evaluating serum β-catenin levels in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis and analyzing their possible relationship with serum OPG, RANKL, the ratio of RANKL/OPG, sclerostin, and bone turnover markers. Methods. 480 patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis and 170 healthy postmenopausal women were enrolled in the study. Serum β-catenin, OPG, RANKL, and sclerostin levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Bone status was assessed by measuring bone mineral density and bone turnover markers. Estradiol levels were also detected. Results. Serum β-catenin levels were lower in postmenopausal osteoporotic women compared to nonosteoporotic postmenopausal women (26.26 ± 14.81 versus 39.33 ± 5.47 pg/mL, P < 0.001). Serum β-catenin was positively correlated with osteoprotegerin (r = 0.232, P < 0.001) and negatively correlated with the ratio of RANKL/OPG, body mass index, and sclerostin (r = −0.128, P = 0.005; r = −0.117, P = 0.010; r = −0.400, P < 0.001, resp.) in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Conclusion. The results indicate that lower serum β-catenin and concomitantly higher ratio of RANKL/OPG may be involved in the pathogenesis of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Functional communication between RANKL/RANK/OPG system and Wnt pathways plays an important role in postmenopausal osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3654357  PMID: 23710175
22.  Effects of Olig2-Overexpressing Neural Stem Cells and Myelin Basic Protein-Activated T Cells on Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury 
Neurotherapeutics  2011;9(2):422-445.
Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is a major focus of current research for treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI). However, it is very important to promote the survival and differentiation of NSCs into myelinating oligodendrocytes (OLs). In this study, myelin basic protein-activated T (MBP-T) cells were passively immunized to improve the SCI microenvironment. Olig2-overexpressing NSCs were infected with a lentivirus carrying the enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene to generate Olig2-GFP-NSCs that were transplanted into the injured site to differentiate into OLs. Transferred MBP-T cells infiltrated the injured spinal cord, produced neurotrophic factors, and induced the differentiation of resident microglia and/or infiltrating blood monocytes into an “alternatively activated” anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotype by producing interleukin-13. As a result, the survival of transplanted NSCs increased fivefold in MBP-T cell-transferred rats compared with that of the vehicle-treated control. In addition, the differentiation of MBP-positive OLs increased 12-fold in Olig2-GFP-NSC-transplanted rats compared with that of GFP-NSC-transplanted controls. In the MBP-T cell and Olig2-GFP-NSC combined group, the number of OL-remyelinated axons significantly increased compared with those of all other groups. However, a significant decrease in spinal cord lesion volume and an increase in spared myelin and behavioral recovery were observed in Olig2-NSC- and NSC-transplanted MBP-T cell groups. Collectively, these results suggest that MBP-T cell adoptive immunotherapy combined with NSC transplantation has a synergistic effect on histological and behavioral improvement after traumatic SCI. Although Olig2 overexpression enhances OL differentiation and myelination, the effect on functional recovery may be surpassed by MBP-T cells.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13311-011-0090-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3337015  PMID: 22173726
Spinal cord injury; Passive immunization; Olig2; Neural stem cells; Transplantation
23.  Hepatic histopathology and postoperative outcome after preoperative chemotherapy for Chinese patients with colorectal liver metastases 
AIM: To assess the effects of preoperative treatment on the hepatic histology of non-tumoral liver and the postoperative outcome.
METHODS: One hundred and six patients underwent hepatic resection for colorectal metastases between 1999 and 2009. The surgical specimens were reviewed with established criteria for diagnosis and grading of pathological hepatic injury. The impact of preoperative therapy on liver injury and postoperative outcome was analyzed.
RESULTS: Fifty-three patients (50%) received surgery alone, whereas 42 patients (39.6%) received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 11 (10.4%) patients received preoperative hepatic artery infusion (HAI). Chemotherapy included oxaliplatin-based regimens (31.1%) and irinotecan-based regimens (8.5%). On histopathological analysis, 16 patients (15.1%) had steatosis, 31 (29.2%) had sinusoidal dilation and 20 patients (18.9%) had steatohepatitis. Preoperative oxaliplatin was associated with sinusoidal dilation compared with surgery alone (42.4% vs 20.8%, P = 0.03); however, the perioperative complication rate was not significantly different between the oxaliplatin group and surgery group (27.3% vs 13.2%, P = 0.1). HAI was associated with more steatosis, sinusoidal dilation and steatohepatitis than the surgery group, with higher perioperative morbidity (36.4% vs 13.2%, P = 0.06) and mortality (9.1% vs 0% P = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: Preoperative oxaliplatin was associated with sinusoidal dilation compared with surgery alone. However, the preoperative oxaliplatin had no significant impact on perioperative outcomes. HAI can cause pathological changes and tends to increase perioperative morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3615301  PMID: 23556058
Drug liver injury; Preoperative chemotherapy; Hepatic artery infusion; Sinusoidal dilation
24.  Fifteen-Year Effects of Helicobacter pylori, Garlic, and Vitamin Treatments on Gastric Cancer Incidence and Mortality 
In the Shandong Intervention Trial, 2 weeks of antibiotic treatment for Helicobacter pylori reduced the prevalence of precancerous gastric lesions, whereas 7.3 years of oral supplementation with garlic extract and oil (garlic treatment) or vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium (vitamin treatment) did not. Here we report 14.7-year follow-up for gastric cancer incidence and cause-specific mortality among 3365 randomly assigned subjects in this masked factorial placebo-controlled trial. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of gastric cancer incidence, and the Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the relative hazard of cause-specific mortality. All statistical tests were two-sided. Gastric cancer was diagnosed in 3.0% of subjects who received H pylori treatment and in 4.6% of those who received placebo (odds ratio = 0.61, 95% confidence interval = 0.38 to 0.96, P = .032). Gastric cancer deaths occurred among 1.5% of subjects assigned H pylori treatment and among 2.1% of those assigned placebo (hazard ratio [HR] of death = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.36 to 1.28). Garlic and vitamin treatments were associated with non-statistically significant reductions in gastric cancer incidence and mortality. Vitamin treatment was associated with statistically significantly fewer deaths from gastric or esophageal cancer, a secondary endpoint (HR = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.30 to 0.87; P = .014).
PMCID: PMC3309129  PMID: 22271764
25.  UGT1A1 predicts outcome in colorectal cancer treated with irinotecan and fluorouracil 
AIM: To evaluate effects of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase1A1 (UGT1A1) and thymidylate synthetase (TS) gene polymorphisms on irinotecan in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
METHODS: Two irinotecan- and fluorouracil-based regimens, FOLFIRI and IFL, were selected as second-line therapy for 138 Chinese mCRC patients. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples before treatment. UGT1A1 and TS gene polymorphisms were determined by direct sequencing and restriction fragment length polymorphism, respectively. Gene polymorphisms of UGT1A1*28, UGT1A1*6 and promoter enhancer region of TS were analyzed. The relationship between genetic polymorphisms and clinical outcome, that is, response, toxicity and survival were assessed. Pharmacokinetic analyses were performed in a subgroup patients based on different UGT1A1 genotypes. Plasma concentration of irinotecan and its active metabolite SN-38 and inactive metabolite SN-38G were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Differences in irinotecan and its metabolites between UGT1A1 gene variants were compared.
RESULTS: One hundred and eight patients received the FOLFIRI regimen, 29 the IFL regimen, and one irinotecan monotherapy. One hundred and thirty patients were eligible for toxicity and 111 for efficacy evaluation. One hundred and thirty-six patients were tested for UGT1A1*28 and *6 genotypes and 125 for promoter enhancer region of TS. Patients showed a higher frequency of wild-type UGT1A1*28 (TA6/6) compared with a Caucasian population (69.9% vs 45.2%). No significant difference was found between response rates and UGT1A1 genotype, although wild-type showed lower response rates compared with other variants (17.9% vs 24.2% for UGT1A1*28, 15.7% vs 26.8% for UGT1A1*6). When TS was considered, the subgroup with homozygous UGT1A1*28 (TA7/7) and non-3RG genotypes showed the highest response rate (33.3%), while wild-type UGT1A1*28 (TA6/6) with non-3RG only had a 13.6% response rate, but no significant difference was found. Logistic regression showed treatment duration was closely linked to clinical response. In toxicity comparison, UGT1A1*28 TA6/6 was associated with lower incidence of grade 2-4 diarrhea (27.8% vs 100%), and significantly reduced the risk of grade 4 neutropenia compared with TA7/7 (7.8% vs 37.5%). Wild-type UGT1A1*6 (G/G) tended to have a lower incidence of grade 3/4 diarrhea vs homozygous mutant (A/A) genotype (13.0% vs 40.0%). Taking UGT1A1 and TS genotypes together, lower incidence of grade 2-4 diarrhea was found in patients with non-3RG TS genotypes, when TA6/6 was compared with TA7/7 (35.3% vs 100.0%). No significant association with time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS) was observed with either UGT1A1 or TS gene polymorphisms, although slightly longer TTP and OS were found with UGT1A1*28 (TA6/6). Irinotecan PK was investigated in 34 patients, which showed high area under concentration curve (AUC) of irinotecan and SN-38, but low AUC ratio (SN-38G / SN-38) in those patients with UGT1A1*28 TA7/7.
CONCLUSION: A distinct distribution pattern of UGT1A1 genotypes in Chinese patients might contribute to relatively low toxicity associated with irinotecan and 5-fluorouracil in mCRC patients.
PMCID: PMC3516223  PMID: 23236239
Irinotecan; Fluorouracil; UDP-glucuronosyltransferase1A1; Thymidylate synthetase; Polymorphisms; Pharmacokinetics; Treatment outcome; Toxicity; Metastatic colorectal cancer

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