Nivestim™ (filgrastim) is a follow-on biologic agent licensed in the EU for the treatment of neutropenia and febrile neutropenia induced by myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Nivestim™ has been studied in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials where its efficacy and safety was found to be similar to its reference product, Neupogen®. Follow-on biologics continue to be scrutinised for safety. We present a design for two observational phase IV studies that are evaluating the safety profile of Nivestim™ for the prevention and treatment of febrile neutropenia (FN) in patients treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy in general clinical practice.
The NEXT (Tolérance de Nivestim chez les patiEnts traités par une chimiothérapie anticancéreuse cytotoXique en praTique courante) and VENICE (VErträglichkeit von NIvestim unter zytotoxischer Chemotherapie in der Behandlung malinger Erkrankungen) trials are multicentre, prospective, longitudinal, observational studies evaluating the safety profile of Nivestim™ in 'real-world’ clinical practice. Inclusion criteria include patients undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy for malignancy and receiving Nivestim as primary or secondary prophylaxis (NEXT and VENICE), or as treatment for ongoing FN (NEXT only). In accordance with European Union pharmacovigilance guidelines, the primary objective is to evaluate the safety of Nivestim™ by gathering data on adverse events in all system organ classes. Secondary objectives include obtaining information on patient characteristics, efficacy of Nivestim™ therapy (including chemotherapy dose intensity), patterns of use of Nivestim™, and physician knowledge regarding filgrastim prescription and the reasons for choosing Nivestim™. Data will be gathered at three visits: 1. At the initial inclusion visit, 2. At a 1-month follow-up visit, and 3. At the end of chemotherapy.
Recruitment for VENICE commenced in July 2011 and in November 2011 for NEXT. VENICE completed recruitment in July 2013 with 407 patients, and NEXT in September 2013 with 2123 patients. Last patient, last visit for each study will be December 2013 and March 2014 respectively.
The NEXT and VENICE studies will provide long-term safety, efficacy and practice pattern data in patients receiving Nivestim™ to support myelosuppressive chemotherapy in real world clinical practice. These data will improve our understanding of the performance of Nivestim™ in patients encountered in the general patient population.
NEXT NCT01574235, VENICE NCT01627990
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor; G-CSF; Filgrastim; Safety; Efficacy; Hospitalisation; Practice patterns; CD34; Chemotherapy; Neutropenia
Heterogeneous echogenicity of the thyroid gland has been associated with diffuse thyroid disease and benign and malignant nodules can coexist with diffuse thyroid disease. Underlying heterogeneous echogenicity might make it difficult to differentiate between benign and malignant nodules on US. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of underlying thyroid echogenicity on diagnosis of thyroid malignancies using US.
A total of 1,373 patients who underwent US-guided fine needle aspiration of 1,449 thyroid nodules from June 2009 to August 2009 were included. The diagnostic performance of US assessment for thyroid nodules was calculated and compared according to underlying thyroid echogenicity. The diagnostic performance of US assessments in the diagnosis of thyroid malignancy according to the underlying parenchymal echogenicity was compared using a logistic regression with the GEE (generalized estimating equation) method. Each US feature of malignant and benign thyroid nodules was analyzed according to underlying echogenicity to evaluate which feature affected the final diagnosis.
Among the 1,449 nodules, 325 (22.4%) were malignant and 1,124 (77.6%) were benign. Thyroid glands with heterogeneous echogenicity showed significantly lower specificity, PPV, and accuracy compared to thyroid glands with homogeneous echogenicity, 76.3% to 83.7%, 48.7% to 60.9%, and 77.6% to 84.4%, respectively (P = 0.009, 0.02 and 0.005, respectively). In benign thyroid nodules, microlobulated or irregular margins were more frequently seen in thyroid glands with heterogeneous echogenicity than in those with homogenous echogenicity (P < 0.001).
Heterogeneous echogenicity of the thyroid gland significantly lowers the specificity, PPV, and accuracy of US in the differentiation of thyroid nodules. Therefore, caution is required during evaluation of thyroid nodules detected in thyroid parenchyma showing heterogeneous echogenicity.
Ultrasonography; Thyroid gland; Diffuse thyroid disease; Thyroid malignancy; Thyroid nodule
Resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy remains a major impediment in the treatment of serous epithelial ovarian cancer. The objective of this study was to use gene expression profiling to delineate major deregulated pathways and biomarkers associated with the development of intrinsic chemotherapy resistance upon exposure to standard first-line therapy for ovarian cancer.
The study cohort comprised 28 patients divided into two groups based on their varying sensitivity to first-line chemotherapy using progression free survival (PFS) as a surrogate of response. All 28 patients had advanced stage, high-grade serous ovarian cancer, and were treated with standard platinum-based chemotherapy. Twelve patient tumours demonstrating relative resistance to platinum chemotherapy corresponding to shorter PFS (< eight months) were compared to sixteen tumours from platinum-sensitive patients (PFS > eighteen months). Whole transcriptome profiling was performed using an Affymetrix high-resolution microarray platform to permit global comparisons of gene expression profiles between tumours from the resistant group and the sensitive group.
Microarray data analysis revealed a set of 204 discriminating genes possessing expression levels which could influence differential chemotherapy response between the two groups. Robust statistical testing was then performed which eliminated a dependence on the normalization algorithm employed, producing a restricted list of differentially regulated genes, and which found IGF1 to be the most strongly differentially expressed gene. Pathway analysis, based on the list of 204 genes, revealed enrichment in genes primarily involved in the IGF1/PI3K/NF κB/ERK gene signalling networks.
This study has identified pathway specific prognostic biomarkers possibly underlying a differential chemotherapy response in patients undergoing standard platinum-based treatment of serous epithelial ovarian cancer. In addition, our results provide a pathway context for further experimental validations, and the findings are a significant step towards future therapeutic interventions.
Ovarian cancer; Chemotherapy resistance; Biomarkers; Gene expression; Microarray
Replanning in intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has been reported to improve quality of life and loco-regional control in patients with nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). Determination of the criteria for replanning is, however, urgently needed. We conducted a prospective study to determine when and for what type of patients is replanning preferred through weekly repeat computed tomography (CT) imaging during the course of IMRT.
We recruited 20 patients who were diagnosed as having loco-regionally advanced, non-metastatic stage III or IVa NPC and treated with concurrent platinum-based chemoradiotherapy (CRT) using IMRT. Patients received CT simulation (sim-CT) and plain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plus diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) weekly for five consecutive weeks. The gross tumor volume (GTV) and clinical target volume (CTV) were delineated and recorded weekly based on the CT-CT fusion. The relationship between GTV/CTV reduction and clinical characteristics of the patients were assessed using Pearson correlation test.
GTV and CTV decreased during the treatment by 36.03 mL (range, 10.91–98.82 mL) and 76.79 mL (range, 33.94–125.14 mL), respectively, after 25 fractions of treatment. The percentage reductions from their initial volume were 38.4% (range, 25.3–50.7%) and 11.8% (range, 6.7–18.3%), respectively. The greatest reductions in GTV and CTV were observed at the fourth week (i.e., upon completion of 20 fractions), compared to pre-treatment sim-CT. Weight loss and CTV reduction were significantly correlated with pre-treatment body mass index (BMI ) (r = 0.58, P = 0.012, and r = 0.48, P = 0.046, respectively). However, no significant correlation was observed between CTV reduction and initial tumor volume. In addition, GTV reduction was not significantly correlated with pre-treatment tumor volume (P = 0.65), but negatively correlated with pre-treatment tumor apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values (r = −0.46, P = 0.042).
Our results indicate that the most appropriate replanning time is after 20 fractions of treatment, and pre-treatment BMI and ADC are potential predictive factors for the determination of replanning during IMRT.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Intensity-modulated radiotherapy; Replanning; Body mass index; Apparent diffusion coefficients
The chemotherapy resistance of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains a clinic challenge and is closely associated with several biomarkers including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ( Drugs 72(Suppl 1):28–36, 012.), p53 ( Med Sci Monit 11(6):HY11–HY20, 2005.) and excision repair cross complementing gene 1 (ERCC1) ( J Thorac Oncol 8(5):582–586, 2013.). Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG–PET) is the best non-invasive surrogate for tumor biology with the maximal standardized uptake values (SUVmax) being the most important paradigm. However, there are limited data correlating FDG-PET with the chemotherapy resistant tumor markers. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation of chemotherapy related tumor marker expression with FDG–PET SUVmax in NSCLC.
FDG–PET SUVmax was calculated in chemotherapy naïve patients with NSCLC (n = 62) and immunohistochemical analysis was performed for EGFR, p53 or ERCC1 on the intraoperative NSCLC tissues. Each tumor marker was assessed independently by two pathologists using common grading criteria. The SUVmax difference based on the histologic characteristics, gender, differentiation, grading and age as well as correlation analysis among these parameters were performed. Multiple stepwise regression analysis was further performed to determine the primary predictor for SUVmax and the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis was performed to detect the optimized sensitivity and specificity for SUVmax in suggesting chemotherapy resistant tumor markers.
The significant tumor type (P = 0.045), differentiation (P = 0.021), p53 (P = 0.000) or ERCC1 (P = 0.033) positivity dependent differences of SUVmax values were observed. The tumor differentiation is significantly correlated with SUVmax (R = -0.327), tumor size (R = -0.286), grading (R = -0.499), gender (R = 0.286) as well as the expression levels for p53 (R = -0.605) and ERCC1 (R = -0.644). The expression level of p53 is significantly correlated with SUVmax (R = 0.508) and grading (R = 0.321). Furthermore, multiple stepwise regression analysis revealed that p53 expression was the primary predictor for SUVmax. When the cut-off value of SUVmax was set at 5.15 in the ROC curve analysis, the sensitivity and specificity of SUVmax in suggesting p53 positive NSCLC were 79.5% and 47.8%, respectively.
The current study suggests that SUVmax of primary tumor on FDG-PET might be a simple and good non-invasive method for predicting p53-related chemotherapy resistance in NSCLC when we set the cu-off value of SUVmax at 5.15.
Non–small cell lung cancer; Tumor markers; Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG–PET)
During cancer treatment children have reduced contact with their social network of friends, and have limited participation in education, sports, and leisure activities. During and following cancer treatment, children describe school related problems, reduced physical fitness, and problems related to interaction with peers.
The RESPECT study is a nationwide population-based prospective, controlled, mixed-methods intervention study looking at children aged 6-18 years newly diagnosed with cancer in eastern Denmark (n = 120) and a matched control group in western Denmark (n = 120). RESPECT includes Danish-speaking children diagnosed with cancer and treated at pediatric oncology units in Denmark. Primary endpoints are the level of educational achievement one year after the cessation of first-line cancer therapy, and the value of VO2max one year after the cessation of first-line cancer therapy. Secondary endpoints are quality of life measured by validated questionnaires and interviews, and physical performance. RESPECT includes a multimodal intervention program, including ambassador-facilitated educational, physical, and social interventions. The educational intervention includes an educational program aimed at the child with cancer, the child’s schoolteachers and classmates, and the child’s parents. Children with cancer will each have two ambassadors assigned from their class. The ambassadors visit the child with cancer at the hospital at alternating 2-week intervals and participate in the intervention program. The physical and social intervention examines the effect of early, structured, individualized, and continuous physical activity from diagnosis throughout the treatment period. The patients are tested at diagnosis, at 3 and 6 months after diagnosis, and one year after the cessation of treatment. The study is powered to quantify the impact of the combined educational, physical, and social intervention programs.
RESPECT is the first population-based study to examine the effect of early rehabilitation for children with cancer, and to use healthy classmates as ambassadors to facilitate the normalization of social life in the hospital. For children with cancer, RESPECT contributes to expanding knowledge on rehabilitation that can also facilitate rehabilitation of other children undergoing hospitalization for long-term illness.
Clinical Trials.gov: file. NCT01772849 and NCT01772862
Cancer; Pediatric; Children; Rehabilitation; Physical activity; Quality of life; Intervention; Peers; Controlled; School reentry
Nowadays, evaluation of colorectal cancer prognosis and decision-making for treatment continues to be based primarily on TNM tumour stage. Administration of adjuvant chemotherapy is especially challenging for stage II patients that can have very different disease-related outcomes. Therefore, more reliable prognostic markers need to be developed to improve the selection of stage II patients at high risk for recurrence. Our purpose is to assess the prognostic value of preoperative serum CA 72.4 to improve the risk stratification of CRC patients.
Preoperative sera collected from 71 unselected patients between January 1994 and February 1997 was assayed for CA 72.4 and CEA levels. Patients were followed-up for at least 30 months or until relapse. Survival curves were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method and the prognostic value was determined using Log-Rank test and Cox regression analysis.
Preoperative CA 72.4 levels above 7 U/mL correlate with a worse prognosis, with associated recurrence and death percentages exceeding the displayed by CEA. In a multivariate analysis, its combination with CEA proved the most important independent factor predicting survival. Remarkably, at stage II CA 72.4 also discriminates better than CEA those patients that will relapse or die from those with a favourable prognosis; however, CEA has not a negligible effect on survival.
The most outstanding finding of the present work is the correct classification of nearly every patient with bad prognosis (relapse or death) at TNM stage II when CEA and CA 72.4 are used altogether. This could improve the decision-making involved in the treatment of stage II colon cancer. Certainly further large-scale studies must be performed to determine whether CA 72.4 can be effectively used in the clinical setting.
Colorectal cancer; Prognosis; Survival; CA 72.4; CEA
The purpose of the present study was to retrospectively evaluate whether copy number changes of the genes encoding the ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 (RRM1) and/or subunit M2B (RRM2B) predict sensitivity to gemcitabine administered in combination with docetaxel compared to single agent docetaxel in advanced breast cancer patients.
Primary tumor samples from patients randomly assigned to gemcitabine plus docetaxel or docetaxel alone were analyzed for RRM1 and RRM2B copy number changes using Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) technology with probes covering respectively RRM1 at 11p15.5 and a reference probe covering the centromere of chromosome 11 (CEN-11), and RRM2B at 8q22.3 and a reference probe covering the centromere of chromosome 8 (CEN-8). The assays were validated in a material of 60 normal breast samples. Time to progression (TTP) was the primary endpoint. Overall survival (OS) and response rate (RR) were secondary endpoints. Associations between RRM1/CEN-11 and/or RRM2B/CEN-8 ratios and time-to-event endpoints were analyzed by unadjusted and adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models. Heterogeneity of treatment effects on TTP and OS according to gene status were investigated by subgroup analyses, and the Wald test was applied. All statistical tests were two-sided.
FISH analysis for both RRM1 and RRM2B was successful in 251 patients. RRM1 and RRM2B aberrations (deletions and amplifications) were observed in 15.9% and 13.6% of patients, respectively. RRM1 aberrations were associated with a decreased OS in the time interval 1.5-7.4 years (hazard ratio = 1.72, 95% confidence interval = 1.05-2.79, P = 0.03). RRM2B aberrations alone or in combination with RRM1 aberrations had no prognostic impact in terms of TTP or OS. RR was not different by gene status. No significant differences were detected in TTP or OS within subgroups according to gene status and chemotherapy regimen.
This study demonstrated the presence of RRM1 and RRM2B copy number changes in primary breast tumor specimens. Nevertheless, we found no support of the hypothesis that aberrations of RRM1 or RRM2B, neither individually nor in combination, are associated with an altered clinical outcome following chemotherapy with gemcitabine in combination with docetaxel compared to docetaxel alone in advanced breast cancer patients.
Docetaxel; FISH; Gemcitabine; Gene aberrations; Metastatic breast cancer; Ribonucleotide reductase; RRM1; RRM2B
Systemic capillary leak syndrome is a rare disease with a high mortality rate. This syndrome is characterised by generalised edema, hypotension, hemoconcentration, and hypoproteinemia. The cause is the sudden onset of capillary hyperpermeability with extravasations of plasma from the intravascular to the extravascular compartment. We present the case of a patient who experienced two episodes of systemic capillary leak syndrome and pulmonary hypertension; the first after gemcitabine in an adjuvant setting and the second three years later after treatment with nab-paclitaxel for metastatic disease.
A 65-year-old patient underwent a pancreatectomy in January 2010 for ductal carcinoma (pT3 N0 M0, stage IIa), followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Seven days after the last cycle, she developed dyspnea associated with orthopnea and cough. A transthoracic cardiac ecocolordoppler was performed, with evidence of pulmonary hypertension (58 mmHg). Blood tests showed an increase in creatinine, pro-BNP and D-Dimer. She began high-dose diuretic therapy combined with cortisone. After a month, the patient was eupneic and the anasarca had resolved. We decided gradually to reduce the steroid and diuretic therapy. After ten days of the reduction, the patient began to re-present the same symptoms after treatment with gemcitabine. Corticosteroid therapy was restored with rapid clinical benefit and decreased pro-BNP after a week of treatment. After two years, the disease returned. As a first line treatment, it was decided to use nab-paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 weekly. After two doses, followed by approximately 14 days of treatment, the patient developed acute respiratory distress syndrome. The clinical suspicion was a relapse of capillary leak syndrome and treatment with a high-dose diuretic (furosemide 250 mg daily) was started combined with cortisone (40 mg methylprednisolone). The patient showed a progressive clinical benefit.
In patients treated with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel who experience a sudden onset of diffuse edema with respiratory distress, capillary leak syndrome should be suspected. Immediate treatment with corticosteroids may be life-saving.
Capillary leak syndrome; Chemotherapy; Gemcitabine; Nab-paclitaxel; Abraxane; Pulmonary hypertension
Esophageal cancer (EC) is a frequently occurring cancer with poor prognosis despite combined therapeutic strategies. Many biomarkers have been proposed as predictors of adverse events. We sought to assess the prognostic value of biomarkers in predicting the overall survival of esophageal cancer and to help guide personalized cancer treatment to give patients the best chance at remission.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published literature to summarize evidence for the discriminatory ability of prognostic biomarkers for esophageal cancer. Relevant literature was identified using the PubMed database on April 11, 2012, and conformed to the REMARK criteria. The primary endpoint was overall survival and data were synthesized with hazard ratios (HRs).
We included 109 studies, exploring 13 different biomarkers, which were subjected to quantitative meta-analysis. Promising markers that emerged for the prediction of overall survival in esophageal squamous cell cancer included VEGF (18 eligible studies, n = 1476, HR = 1.85, 95% CI, 1.55-2.21), cyclin D1 (12 eligible studies, n = 1476, HR = 1.82, 95% CI, 1.50-2.20), Ki-67 (3 eligible studies, n = 308, HR = 1.11, 95% CI, 0.70-1.78) and squamous cell carcinoma antigen (5 eligible studies, n = 700, HR = 1.28, 95% CI, 0.97-1.69); prognostic markers for esophageal adenocarcinoma included COX-2 (2 eligible studies, n = 235, HR = 3.06, 95% CI, 2.01-4.65) and HER-2 (3 eligible studies, n = 291, HR = 2.15, 95% CI, 1.39-3.33); prognostic markers for uncategorized ECs included p21 (9 eligible studies, n = 858, HR = 1.27, 95% CI, 0.75-2.16), p53 (31 eligible studies, n = 2851, HR = 1.34, 95% CI, 1.21-1.48), CRP (8 eligible studies, n = 1382, HR = 2.65, 95% CI, 1.64-4.27) and hemoglobin (5 eligible studies, n = 544, HR = 0.91, 95% CI, 0.83-1.00).
Although some modest bias cannot be excluded, this review supports the involvement of biomarkers to be associated with EC overall survival.
Esophageal cancer; Tumor biomarkers; Prognosis; Survival; Meta-analysis
In a previously published report we characterized the expression of the metastasis-associated proteins S100A4, osteopontin (OPN) and ephrin-A1 in a prospectively collected panel of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. The aim of the present follow-up study was to investigate the prognostic impact of these potential biomarkers in the same patient cohort. In addition, circulating serum levels of OPN were measured and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the -443 position of the OPN promoter were analyzed.
Associations between immunohistochemical expression of S100A4, OPN and ephrin-A1 and relapse free and overall survival were examined using univariate and multivariate analyses. Serum OPN was measured by ELISA, polymorphisms in the -443 position of the tumor OPN promoter were analyzed by PCR, and associations between OPN levels and promoter polymorphisms and clinicopathological parameters and patient outcome were investigated.
High expression of OPN in NSCLC tumors was associated with poor patient outcome, and OPN was a strong, independent prognostic factor for both relapse free and overall survival. Serum OPN levels increased according to tumor pT classification and tumor size, and patients with OPN-expressing tumors had higher serum levels than patients with OPN-negative tumors. S100A4 was a negative prognostic factor in several subgroups of adenocarcinoma patients, but not in the overall patient cohort. There was no association between ephrin-A1 expression and patient outcome.
OPN is a promising prognostic biomarker in NSCLC, and should be further explored in the selection of patients for adjuvant treatment following surgical resection.
NSCLC; Prognosis; Biomarker; Osteopontin; S100A4
Current evidence implicates aberrant microRNA expression patterns in human malignancies; measurement of microRNA expression may have diagnostic and prognostic applications. Roles for microRNAs in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) are largely unknown. HNSCC, a smoking-related cancer, is one of the most common malignancies worldwide but reliable diagnostic and prognostic markers have not been discovered so far. Some studies have evaluated the potential use of microRNA as biomarkers with clinical application in HNSCC.
MicroRNA expression profile of oral squamous cell carcinoma samples was determined by means of DNA microarrays. We also performed gain-of-function assays for two differentially expressed microRNA using two squamous cell carcinoma cell lines and normal oral keratinocytes. The effect of the over-expression of these molecules was evaluated by means of global gene expression profiling and cell proliferation assessment.
Altered microRNA expression was detected for a total of 72 microRNAs. Among these we found well studied molecules, such as the miR-17-92 cluster, comprising potent oncogenic microRNA, and miR-34, recently found to interact with p53. HOX-cluster embedded miR-196a/b and miR-10b were up- and down-regulated, respectively, in tumor samples. Since validated HOX gene targets for these microRNAs are not consistently deregulated in HNSCC, we performed gain-of-function experiments, in an attempt to outline their possible role. Our results suggest that both molecules interfere in cell proliferation through distinct processes, possibly targeting a small set of genes involved in cell cycle progression.
Functional data on miRNAs in HNSCC is still scarce. Our data corroborate current literature and brings new insights into the role of microRNAs in HNSCC. We also show that miR-196a and miR-10b, not previously associated with HNSCC, may play an oncogenic role in this disease through the deregulation of cell proliferation. The study of microRNA alterations in HNSCC is an essential step to the mechanistic understanding of tumor formation and could lead to the discovery of clinically relevant biomarkers.
National organizations recommend screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) before chemotherapy but differ regarding which patients should be screened. We aimed to determine contemporary screening rates at a cancer center and the possible influence on these rates of publication of national recommendations.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of HBV screening in cancer patients registered during the period from January 2004 through April 2011. Screening was defined as HBsAg and anti-HBc tests ordered around the time of initial chemotherapy. We compared screening rates for 3 periods: January 1, 2004, through December 18, 2008 (Food and Drug Administration and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2007 recommendations); December 19, 2008, through September 30, 2010 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2009, Institute of Medicine, and American Society of Clinical Oncology recommendations); and October 1, 2010, through April 30, 2011. Logistic regression models were used to identify predictors of screening.
Of 141,877 new patients, 18,688 received chemotherapy, and 3020 (16.2%) were screened. HBV screening rates increased over the 3 time periods (14.8%, 18.2%, 19.9%; P < 0.0001), but <19% of patients with HBV risk factors were screened. Among patients with hematologic malignancies, over 66% were screened, and odds of screening nearly doubled after publication of the recommendations (P < 0.0001). Less than 4% of patients with solid tumors were screened, although odds of screening increased 70% after publication of the recommendations (P = 0.003). Other predictors of screening included younger age, planned rituximab therapy, and known risk factors for HBV infection.
Most patients with solid tumors or HBV risk factors remained unscreened, although screening rates increased after publication of national recommendations. Efforts are needed to increase awareness of the importance of HBV screening before chemotherapy to identify patients who should start antiviral prophylaxis.
Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis B virus screening; Chemotherapy; Reactivation
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) represent heterogeneous cell population suitable for cell therapies in regenerative medicine. MSCs can also substantially affect tumor biology due to their ability to be recruited to the tumor stroma and interact with malignant cells via direct contacts and paracrine signaling. The aim of our study was to characterize molecular changes dictated by adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (AT-MSCs) and the effects on drug responses in human breast cancer cells SKBR3.
The tumor cells were either directly cocultured with AT-MSCs or exposed to MSCs-conditioned medium (MSC-CM). Changes in cell biology were evaluated by kinetic live cell imaging, fluorescent microscopy, scratch wound assay, expression analysis, cytokine secretion profiling, ATP-based viability and apoptosis assays. The efficiency of cytotoxic treatment in the presence of AT-MSCs or MSCs-CM was analyzed.
The AT-MSCs altered tumor cell morphology, induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, increased mammosphere formation, cell confluence and migration of SKBR3. These features were attributed to molecular changes induced by MSCs-secreted cytokines and chemokines in breast cancer cells. AT-MSCs significantly inhibited the proliferation of SKBR3 cells in direct cocultures which was shown to be dependent on the SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling axis. MSC-CM-exposed SKBR3 or SKBR3 in direct coculture with AT-MSCs exhibited increased chemosensitivity and induction of apoptosis in response to doxorubicin and 5-fluorouracil.
Our work further highlights the multi-level nature of tumor-stromal cell interplay and demonstrates the capability of AT-MSCs and MSC-secreted factors to alter the anti-tumor drug responses.
Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells; Human breast cancer; Chemoresistance; Proliferation; Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; Cytokine profile
Gastric cancer (GC) is a threat to human health with increasing incidence and mortality worldwide. Down-regulation or absence of RAF kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP) was associated with the occurrence, differentiation, invasion, and metastasis of GC. This study aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms and biological functions of RKIP in the GC biology.
The fusion expression plasmid pcDNA3.1-RKIP-3xFLAG was transfected into SGC7901 cells, the RKIP fusion proteins were purified with anti-flag M2 magnetic beads, and the RKIP-interacting proteins were identified with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS), and were analyzed with bioinformatics tools. Western blot and co-immunoprecipitation were used to confirm the interaction complex.
A total of 72 RKIP-interacting proteins were identified by MS/MS. Those proteins play roles in enzyme metabolism, molecular chaperoning, biological oxidation, cytoskeleton organization, signal transduction, and enzymolysis. Three RKIP-interaction protein network diagrams were constructed with Michigan Molecular Interactions, functional linage network, and Predictome analysis to address the molecular pathways of the functional activity of RKIP. The MS/MS-characterized components of the existing interaction complex (RKIP, HSP90, 14-3-3ϵ, and keratin 8) were confirmed by Western blot analysis and co-immunoprecipitation.
This study is the first discovery of the interaction of RKIP with HSP90, 14-3-3, and keratin. The present data would provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of how RKIP inhibits the occurrence and development of GC.
Affinity chromatography; Co-immunoprecipitation; Fusion protein expression; Gastric cancer; RAF kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP); Tandem mass spectrometry
An imbalance between proliferation and apoptosis is one of the main features of carcinogenesis. TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) induces apoptosis upon binding to the TRAIL death receptors, TRAIL receptor 1 (TRAIL-R1) and TRAIL-R2, whereas binding to TRAIL-R3 and TRAIL-R4 might promote cell survival and proliferation. The anti-tumor activity of TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2 agonists is currently investigated in clinical trials. To gain further insight into the regulation of apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we investigated the TRAIL pathway and the regulators of apoptosis caspase-8, Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 in patients with HCC regarding patient survival.
We analyzed 157 hepatocellular carcinoma patients who underwent partial liver resection or orthotopic liver transplantation and healthy control liver tissue using immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays for the expression of TRAIL-R1 to TRAIL-R4, caspase-8, Bcl-xL and Mcl-1. Immunohistochemical data were evaluated for potential associations with clinico-pathological parameters and survival.
Whereas TRAIL-R1 was downregulated in HCC in comparison to normal liver tissue, TRAIL-R2 and –R4 were upregulated in HCC, especially in G2 and G3 tumors. TRAIL-R1 downregulation and upregulation of TRAIL-R2 and TRAIL-R4 correlated with tumor dedifferentiation (G2/G3). TRAIL-R3, Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 showed no differential expression in tumor tissue compared to normal tissue. The expression levels of TRAIL receptors did not correlate with patient survival after partial hepatectomy. Interestingly, in tumor tissue, but not in normal hepatocytes, caspase-8 showed a strong nuclear staining. Low cytosolic and high nuclear staining intensity of caspase-8 significantly correlated with impaired survival after partial hepatectomy, which, for cytosolic caspase-8, was independent from tumor grade.
Assessment of TRAIL-receptor expression patterns may have therapeutic implications for the use of TRAIL receptor agonists in HCC therapy. Tumor-specific nuclear localisation of caspase-8 in HCC suggests an apoptosis-independent function of caspase-8 and correlates with patient survival.
HCC; Apoptosis; TRAIL receptors; Nuclear caspase-8
In contrast to sessile serrated adenomas and traditional serrated adenomas which are associated with a significant cancer risk, the role of hyperplastic polyps (HP) in colorectal carcinogenesis as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying their development remain controversial and still need to be clarified. Several reports suggest that a subset of HP may represent precursor lesions of some colorectal cancers. However, biomarkers are needed to identify the subset of HP that may have a malignant potential. The hormone precursor, progastrin (PG) has been involved in colon carcinogenesis and is known to activate pro-oncogenic pathways such as the ERK or the STAT3 pathway. We therefore analyzed PG expression and the activation of these signaling factors in HP.
We retrospectively analyzed PG expression as well as the phosphorylation of ERK and STAT3 by immunohistochemistry in HP from 48 patients.
Mean percentages of epithelial cells positive for PG or phospho-ERK were respectively, 31% and 33% in HP and were significantly higher in these lesions compared to normal colon (3%, p = 0.0021 and 7%, p = 0.0008, respectively). We found a significant correlation between PG and phospho-ERK expression in HP with ERK activation significantly stronger in lesions with high progastrin expression (p = 0.015). In contrast, STAT3 was not significantly activated in HP compared to normal colon and we did not observe a significant correlation with PG expression.
HP overexpressing PG that have the highest activation of the ERK pathway might reflect less latent lesions that might have a malignant potential.
Hyperplastic polyps; Colorectal; Progastrin; ERK; STAT3; Pro-oncogenic pathways
The objective of this work was to assess the overall survival, cause-specific survival and biochemical failure-free survival of a contemporary cohort of patients with localized prostate cancer (PCa) treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or radical prostatectomy (RP).
We did a retrospective cohort study of our institution’s registry of patients undergoing either IMRT or RP between January 1999 and March 2010, and assessed Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), age at diagnosis, Gleason score, and digital rectal examination. Two groups were separated according to RP or IMRT treatment and these groups were in turn divided into risk groups according to the D’Amico classification. Overall survival (OS), cause-specific survival (CSS), mortality from other causes (MOC), and biochemical disease-free survival (BDFS) were assessed.
Twelve-hundred patients were included: 993 in the RP group and 207 in the IMRT group.
The IMRT group had older age, PSA at diagnosis and a significantly higher percentage of cancer on the needle biopsy (p <0.001). Of the 207 patients who underwent IMRT, 54% presented comorbidities. Median follow-up was 91.7 months for the RP group and 76 months for the IMRT group. The OS at 5 and 7 was 96.2, and 93.7 for the RP group respectively and 88.4, and 83.1 for the IMRT group respectively (p <0.001). There were no significant differences in the CSS in relation to treatment received among the low- and high-risk groups, while in the intermediate-risk group, patients who underwent to RP had a higher CSS than patients who underwent IMRT (99.6% vs 94.1%, p = 0.003). The IMRT group had a significantly better BDFS than the RP group (86.4% vs. 74.3%, respectively, p = 0.016).
Patients treated with RP were significantly younger and had a better prognosis than patients treated using IMRT, and according to our results, RP had better outcomes in terms of OS while IMRT had greater MOC. Treatment modality did not affect the CSS.
Radical prostatectomy; Prostate cancer; Intensity-modulated radiotherapy
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether early changes in 3′-deoxy-3′-3H-fluorothymidine (3H-FLT) uptake can reflect the antiproliferative effect of gefitinib in a human tumor xenograft, in comparison with the histopathological markers, Ki-67 and phosphorylated EGFR (phospho-EGFR).
An EGFR-dependent human tumor xenograft model (A431) was established in female BALB/c athymic mice, which were divided into three groups: one control group and two treatment groups. Mice in the treatment groups were orally administered a partial regression dose (100 mg/kg/day) or the maximum tolerated dose of gefitinib (200 mg/kg/day), once daily for 2 days. Mice in the control group were administered the vehicle (0.1% Tween 80). Tumor size was measured before and 3 days after the start of treatment. Biodistribution of 3H-FLT and 18F-FDG (%ID/g/kg) was examined 3 days after the start of the treatment. Tumor cell proliferative activity with Ki-67 was determined. Immunohistochemical staining of EGFR and measurement of phospho-EGFR were also performed.
High expression levels of EGFR and Ki-67 were observed in the A431 tumor. After the treatment with 100 and 200 mg/kg gefitinib, the uptake levels of 3H-FLT in the tumor were significantly reduced to 67% and 61% of the control value, respectively (0.39 ± 0.09, 0.36 ± 0.06, 0.59 ± 0.11%ID/g/kg for 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg, and control groups, respectively; p < 0.01 vs. control), but those of 18F-FDG were not. After the treatment with 100 and 200 mg/kg gefitinib, the expression levels of Ki-67 in the tumor were markedly decreased (4.6 ± 2.4%, 6.2 ± 1.8%, and 10.4 ± 5.7% for 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg, and control groups, respectively, p < 0.01 vs. control). The expression levels of the phospho-EGFR protein also significantly decreased (29% and 21% of the control value for 100, and 200 mg/kg, respectively p < 0.01 vs. control). There was no statistically significant difference in tumor size between pre- and post-treatments in each group.
In our animal model, 3H-FLT uptake levels significantly decreased after the treatment with two different doses of gefitinib before a significant change in tumor size was observed. These results were confirmed by the immunohistochemical staining of Ki-67 and phospho-EGFR protein immunoassay. Thus, it was indicated that early changes in 3H-FLT uptake may reflect the antiproliferative effect of gefitinib in a mouse model of a human epidermoid cancer.
3H-FLT; Gefitinib; Molecular-targeted therapy; A431; Athymic nude mice
Recent studies have demonstrated that synthetic dsRNAs may produce therapeutic effects in a target-independent manner through stimulation of the toll-like receptor-3 (TLR3)/interferon pathway; as a result, angiogenesis and proliferation of tumor cells are inhibited. Thus, this pathway may become a potential target of dsRNA in tumor suppression. In this study, we evaluated the role of synthetic dsRNA as a TLR3 synergist and by combining with sorafenib in anti-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in vitro and in vivo.
Four dsRNAs were designed and synthesized. One of them that was capable of activating TLR3 most effectively in human HCC cell line (HepG2.2.15) was selected as a TLR3 synergist (called BM-06). Subsequently, the expression of proteins relating to TLR3 signaling pathway, such as NF-κB, caspase 8 survivin, bcl-2 and PCNA affected by BM-06, sorafenib alone or in combination, was compared. The migration, proliferation and apoptosis of HepG2.2.15 cells were evaluated in presence of BM-06, sorafenib alone or in combination of both. The similar treatments were also applied in an SD rat primary HCC model.
qRT-PCR data showed that the expression of TLR3 and NF-κB in HepG2.2.15 cells was enhanced. BM-06 was selected as a TLR3 synergist capable of activating the TLR3/interferon pathway most effective among 4 synthetic dsRNAs. The migration and proliferation were significantly inhibited in treated HepG2.2.15 cells with BM-06 or Sorafenib alone as compared with PBS-sham control (P < 0.01). However, the role of combination BM-06 with Sorafenib was the most prominent. Tumor cell apoptotic rate was increased by BM-06 or combination when compared to PBS or poly(I:C) (P < 0.05). Similarly, in orthotopic HCC SD rats, the effect of the combination was superior to either agent alone on the inhibition of tumor growth and induction of HCC cell apoptosis (P < 0.05).
dsRNA alone was capable of inhibiting the proliferation of HepG2.2.15 cells and tumor growth of orthotopic HCC SD rats, but the effect of combination of dsRNA with sorafenib was more prominent. These findings implicate the potential role of combined use of a dsRNA, a TLR3 synergist, and sorafenib in inhibition of HCC.
dsRNA; TLR3; NF-κB; sorafenib; HCC
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and comprehensively studied malignancies. Hypoxic conditions during formation of CRC may support the development of more aggressive cancers. Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), a major player in cancerous tissue adaptation to hypoxia, is negatively regulated by the family of prolyl hydroxylase enzymes (PHD1, PHD2, PHD3) and asparaginyl hydroxylase, called factor inhibiting HIF (FIH).
PHD1, PHD2, PHD3 and FIH gene expression was evaluated using quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting in primary colonic adenocarcinoma and adjacent histopathologically unchanged colonic mucosa from patients who underwent radical surgical resection of the colon (n = 90), and the same methods were used for assessment of PHD3 gene expression in HCT116 and DLD-1 CRC cell lines. DNA methylation levels of the CpG island in the promoter regulatory region of PHD1, PHD2, PHD3 and FIH were assessed using bisulfite DNA sequencing and high resolution melting analysis (HRM) for patients and HRM analysis for CRC cell lines.
We found significantly lower levels of PHD1, PHD2 and PHD3 transcripts (p = 0.00026; p < 0.00001; p < 0.00001) and proteins (p = 0.004164; p = 0.0071; p < 0.00001) in primary cancerous than in histopathologically unchanged tissues. Despite this, we did not observe statistically significant differences in FIH transcript levels between cancerous and histopathologically unchanged colorectal tissue, but we found a significantly increased level of FIH protein in CRC (p = 0.0169). The reduced PHD3 expression was correlated with significantly increased DNA methylation in the CpG island of the PHD3 promoter regulatory region (p < 0.0001). We did not observe DNA methylation in the CpG island of the PHD1, PHD2 or FIH promoter in cancerous and histopathologically unchanged colorectal tissue. We also showed that 5-Aza-2’-deoxycytidine induced DNA demethylation leading to increased PHD3 transcript and protein level in HCT116 cells.
We demonstrated that reduced PHD3 expression in cancerous tissue was accompanied by methylation of the CpG rich region located within the first exon and intron of the PHD3 gene. The diminished expression of PHD1 and PHD2 and elevated level of FIH protein in cancerous tissue compared to histopathologically unchanged colonic mucosa was not associated with DNA methylation within the CpG islands of the PHD1, PHD2 and FIH genes.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death in China. This study investigated the effects of Annexin A7 (ANXA7) on the inhibition of HCC lymph node metastasis in a mouse model.
The stable knockup and knockdown of Annexin A7-expressing HCC cells using Annexin A7 cDNA and shRNA vectors, respectively, were injected into a mouse footpad to establish primary and metastatic tumors in mice. On the 14th, 21st, and 28th days after HCC cells inoculation, the mice were sacrificed for inspection of primary and secondary tumors and immunohistochemistry of Annexin A7 expression.
The lymph node metastasis rate of the FANXA7-control group was 77%, and the lymph node metastasis rate of the FANXA7-down group was 100% (p < 0.05). In contrast, the lymph node metastasis rate of the PANXA7-up group was 0% and that of the PANXA7-control group was 36% (p < 0.05). Furthermore, immunohistochemistry experiments revealed that the subcellular localization of Annexin A7 protein in both primary and lymph node-metastasized tumors was mainly in the cytosol. In addition, the expression of the 47 kDa and 51 kDa isoforms of Annexin A7 protein changed during tumor progression.
This study indicated that Annexin A7 expression was able to inhibit HCC lymph node metastasis, whereas knockdown of Annexin A7 expression significantly induced HCC metastasis to local lymph nodes.
Annexin A7; Lymph node metastasis; HCC; Gene transfection; Animal experiment
There is growing evidence indicating the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) plays a critical role in the progression of human colorectal carcinomas. IGF-1R is an attractive drug target for the treatment of colon cancer. Picropodophyllin (PPP), of the cyclolignan family, has recently been identified as an IGF-1R inhibitor. The aim of this study is to determine the therapeutic response and mechanism after colorectal carcinoma treatment with PPP.
Seven colorectal carcinoma cell lines were treated with PPP. Following treatment, cells were analyzed for growth by a cell viability assay, sub-G1 apoptosis by flow cytometry, caspase cleavage and activation of AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) by western blot analysis. To examine the in vivo therapeutic efficacy of PPP, mice implanted with human colorectal carcinoma xenografts underwent PPP treatment.
PPP treatment blocked the phosphorylation of IGF-1R, AKT and ERK and inhibited the growth of TP53 wild-type but not mutated colorectal carcinoma cell lines. The treatment of PPP also induced apoptosis in TP53 wild-type cells as evident by the presence of sub-G1 cells and the cleavage of caspase-9, caspase-3, DNA fragmentation factor-45 (DFF45), poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP). The loss of BAD phosphorylation in the PPP-treated TP53 wild type cells further suggested that the treatment induced apoptosis through the BAD-mediated mitochondrial pathway. In contrast, PPP treatment failed to induce the phosphorylation of AKT and ERK and caspase cleavage in TP53 mutated colorectal carcinoma cell lines. Finally, PPP treatment suppressed the growth of xenografts derived from TP53 wild type but not mutated colorectal carcinoma cells.
We report the association of TP53 mutations with the resistance of treatment of colorectal carcinoma cells in culture and in a xenograft mouse model with the IGF-1R inhibitor PPP. TP53 mutations often occur in colorectal carcinomas and could be used as a biomarker to predict the resistance of colorectal carcinomas to the treatment by this IGF-1R inhibitor.
Apoptosis; Colorectal carcinoma; ERK; IGF-1R; IGF-1R inhibitor; TP53
Given their frequency of occurrence in the United States, cancer and heart disease often coexist. For patients requiring open-heart surgery, this raises concern that the use of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) may cause a transient immunosuppression with the potential to promote the spread and growth of coexisting cancer cells. This study examined the association of cardiopulmonary bypass with cancer progression in a large population-based setting using linked data from several state-wide registries.
A retrospective cohort study of cancer risk, stage, and mortality in 43,347 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery with and without CPB in New Jersey between 1998–2004 was conducted. A competing risk analogue of the Cox proportional hazards model with propensity score adjustment and regression on the cause-specific hazard was used to compute relative risk ratios (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for patients undergoing CABG surgery with and without CPB.
An increased risk for overall cancer incidence (17%) and cancer-specific mortality (16% overall, 12% case fatality) was observed; yet these results did not reach statistical significance. Of 11 tumor-specific analyses, an increased risk of skin melanoma (1.66 [95% CI, 1.08-2.55: p=0.02]) and lung cancer (1.36 [95% CI, 1.02-1.81: p=0.03]) was observed for patients with pump versus off-pump open-heart surgery. No association was found with cancer stage.
These results suggest that there may be a relationship between CPB and cancer progression. However, if real, the effect is likely modest at most. Further research may still be warranted with particular focus on skin melanoma and lung cancer which had the strongest association with CPB.
Cardiopulmonary bypass; Cancer progression; Population-based cohort study
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a neurotrophin and has been suggested to induce heme oxygenase-1 (HO1) expression. Although the role of HO1 in tumorigenesis remains controversial, recent evidence suggests NGF and HO1 as tumor-progressing factors. However, the correlative role of NGF and HO1 and their prognostic impact in breast carcinoma is unknown.
We investigated the expression and prognostic significance of the expression of NGF and HO1 in 145 cases of breast carcinoma.
Immunohistochemical expression of NGF and HO1 was observed in 31% and 49% of breast carcinoma, respectively. The expression of NGF and HO1 significantly associated with each other, and both have a significant association with histologic grade, HER2 expression, and latent distant metastasis. The expression of NGF and HO1 predicted shorter overall survival of breast carcinoma by univariate and multivariate analysis. NGF expression was an independent prognostic indicator for relapse-free survival by multivariate analysis. The combined expression pattern of NGF and HO1 was also an independent prognostic indicator of overall survival and relapse-free survival. The patients with tumors expressing NGF had the shortest survival and the patients with tumor, which did not express NGF or HO1 showed the longest survival time.
This study has demonstrated that individual expression of NGF or HO1, and the combined NGF/HO1 expression pattern could be prognostic indicators for breast carcinoma patients.
Nerve growth factor; Heme oxygenase-1; Carcinoma; Breast