Ipilimumab, an anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody, has been shown to improve overall survival in patients with metastatic melanoma. Preliminary data suggest that patients who fail BRAF inhibitor treatment experience a very rapid progression of disease. Such selectivity for more rapid disease progression may mean these patients do not receive the same benefit from subsequent treatment with ipilimumab as patients without prior BRAF inhibitor treatment. The current challenge is focused on how to identify and approach the two populations of fast and slow progressors and recent hypothesis suggest that treatment choice could be guided by baseline risk factors. However, no data have yet defined which the best sequence is and more research is needed to identify predictors of response in patients with metastatic melanoma to help guide whether a BRAF inhibitor or ipilimumab should be used first in sequential therapy.
DNA electroporation has been demonstrated in preclinical models to be a promising strategy to improve cancer immunity, especially when combined with other genetic vaccines in heterologous prime-boost protocols. We report the results of 2 multicenter phase 1 trials involving adult cancer patients (n=33) with stage II-IV disease.
Patients were vaccinated with V930 alone, a DNA vaccine containing equal amounts of plasmids expressing the extracellular and trans-membrane domains of human HER2, and a plasmid expressing CEA fused to the B subunit of Escherichia coli heat labile toxin (Study 1), or a heterologous prime-boost vaccination approach with V930 followed by V932, a dicistronic adenovirus subtype-6 viral vector vaccine coding for the same antigens (Study 2).
The use of the V930 vaccination with electroporation alone or in combination with V932 was well-tolerated without any serious adverse events. In both studies, the most common vaccine-related side effects were injection site reactions and arthralgias. No measurable cell-mediated immune response (CMI) to CEA or HER2 was detected in patients by ELISPOT; however, a significant increase of both cell-mediated immunity and antibody titer against the bacterial heat labile toxin were observed upon vaccination.
V930 vaccination alone or in combination with V932 was well tolerated without any vaccine-related serious adverse effects, and was able to induce measurable immune responses against bacterial antigen. However, the prime-boost strategy did not appear to augment any detectable CMI responses against either CEA or HER2.
Study 1 – ClinicalTrials.gov,
NCT00250419; Study 2 – ClinicalTrials.gov,
DNA vaccine; Adenoviral vaccine; Electroporation; Prime-boost; Solid tumors; Cell-mediated immune response
Protein tyrosine kinase 6 (PTK6), also known as breast tumor kinase (Brk), was a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase containing SH3, SH2, and tyrosine kinase catalytic domains. The deregulated expression of PTK6 was observed in various human cancers. However, little was known about PTK6 expression and its clinicopathological significance in human laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC).
PTK6 expression was evaluated in 7 pairs of surgically resectable laryngeal tissues by Western blotting and in 13 pairs of surgically resectable laryngeal tissues by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). Using immunohistochemistry, we performed a retrospective study of the PTK6 expression levels on 134 archival LSCC paraffin-embedded samples. Prognostic outcomes correlated with PTK6 were examined using Kaplan–Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards model.
The PTK6 expression level was lower in LSCC tissues than in the adjacent noncancerous epithelial laryngeal tissues by Western blots and RT-PCR. By immunohistochemical analysis, we observed high expression of PTK6 in 25 of 76 (32.9%) adjacent noncancerous epithelial laryngeal tissues and in 39 of 134 (29.1%) of LSCC, respectively. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that pN status and the expression level of PTK6 (P < 0.05) were independent and significant prognostic factors. In the primary LSCC category, median DFS (disease free survival) of high, medium and low PTK6 expression patients were 88.5 months ,74.5 months and 49.0 months (log-rank test, P = 0.002); median OS (overall survival) of high, medium and low PTK6 expression patients were 88.5 months ,76.3 months and 65.7 months (log-rank test, P = 0.002). Reduced cytoplasmic PTK6 expression in LSCC was significantly associated with late pN status (P =0.005, r = 0.27), advanced pTNM stages (III and IV) (P =0.027, r = 0.147), and poor differentiated LSCC (P <0.0001, r = 0.486). In adjacent paracancerous laryngeal epithelial samples, median DFS of high, medium and low PTK6 expression patients were 92.6 months ,75.6 months and 48.5 months (log-rank test, P = 0.020); median OS of high, medium and low PTK6 expression patients were 92.9 months ,78.9 months and 74.6 months (log-rank test, P = 0.042).
The present findings indicated that cytoplasmic PTK6 expression is a potential prognostic factor for survival in LSCC patients. High expression of PTK6 was associated with favorable OS and DFS in LSCC patients.
PTK6/Brk; Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; Prognosis
According to the Lauren classification, gastric adenocarcinomas are divided into diffuse and intestinal types. The causative attribution explaining the dismal prognosis of diffuse-type remains unknown.
We examined the archive of 1000 patients with gastric adenocarcinomas who received radical gastrectomy in our center and assessed the effect of the Lauren classification on survival in a multivariate approach. Moreover we compared the variation of clinical features between the diffuse-type and intestinal-type and explored the contributing factors for the prognostic difference.
There were 805 resectable patients for the final analysis. Diffuse-type comprised of 48.7% in the gastric carcinoma in our group and showed poorer prognosis than intestinal-type (P=0.013). Multivariate analysis revealed that independent prognostic factors for gastric carcinoma patients were T stage (P<0.001), N stage (P<0.001) tumor size (P<0.001) and Lauren classification (P=0.003). For the clinical features, diffuse-type was significantly associated with younger age (p<0.001), female preponderance (p <0.001), distal location (P<0.001), advanced pT (p < 0.001), advanced pN (p < 0.001) and advanced TNM stage (p = 0.027).
Diffuse type adenocarcinoma carries a worse prognosis that may be partially explained by the tendency of this subtype to present at more advanced T and N stage. However, Lauren classification has prognostic significance that is independent of T and N stage as well as other prognostic variables based on the multivariate cox analysis.
Gastric cancer; Lauren classification; Prognostic analysis
Heart failure is one of the key causes of morbidity and mortality world-wide. The recent findings that regeneration is possible in the heart have made stem cell therapeutics the Holy Grail of modern cardiovascular medicine. The success of cardiac regenerative therapies hinges on the combination of an effective allogeneic “off the shelf” cell product with a practical delivery system. In 2007 Medistem discovered the Endometrial Regenerative Cell (ERC), a new mesenchymal-like stem cell. Medistem and subsequently independent groups have demonstrated that ERC are superior to bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), the most widely used stem cell source in development. ERC possess robust expansion capability (one donor can generate 20,000 patients doses), key growth factor production and high levels of angiogenic activity. ERC have been published in the peer reviewed literature to be significantly more effect at treating animal models of heart failure (Hida et al. Stem Cells 2008).
Current methods of delivering stem cells into the heart suffer several limitations in addition to poor delivery efficiency. Surgical methods are highly invasive, and the classical catheter based techniques are limited by need for sophisticated cardiac mapping systems and risk of myocardial perforation. Medistem together with Dr. Amit Patel Director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine at University of Utah have developed a novel minimally invasive delivery method that has been demonstrated safe and effective for delivery of stem cells (Tuma et al. J Transl Med 2012). Medistem is evaluating the combination of ERC, together with our retrograde delivery procedure in a 60 heart failure patient, double blind, placebo controlled phase II trial. To date 17 patients have been dosed and preliminary analysis by the Data Safety Monitoring Board has allowed for trial continuation.
The combined use of a novel “off the shelf” cell together with a minimally invasive 30 minute delivery method provides a potentially paradigm-shifting approach to cardiac regenerative therapy.
In this study we performed a systematic evaluation of functional miRNA-mRNA interactions associated with the invasiveness of breast cancer cells using a combination of integrated miRNA and mRNA expression profiling, bioinformatics prediction, and functional assays. Analysis of the miRNA expression identified 11 miRNAs that were differentially expressed, including 7 down-regulated (miR-200c, miR-205, miR-203, miR-141, miR-34a, miR-183, and miR-375) and 4 up-regulated miRNAs (miR-146a, miR-138, miR-125b1 and miR-100), in invasive cell lines when compared to normal and less invasive cell lines. Transfection of miR-200c, miR-205, and miR-375 mimics into MDA-MB-231 cells led to the inhibition of in vitro cell migration and invasion. The integrated analysis of miRNA and mRNA expression identified 35 known and novel target genes of miR-200c, miR-205, and mir-375, including CFL2, LAMC1, TIMP2, ZEB1, CDH11, PRKCA, PTPRJ, PTPRM, LDHB, and SEC23A. Surprisingly, the majority of these genes (27 genes) were target genes of miR-200c, suggesting that miR-200c plays a pivotal role in regulating the invasiveness of breast cancer cells. We characterized one of the target genes of miR-200c, CFL2, and demonstrated that CFL2 is overexpressed in aggressive breast cancer cell lines and can be significantly down-regulated by exogenous miR-200c. Tissue microarray analysis further revealed that CFL2 expression in primary breast cancer tissue correlated with tumor grade. The results obtained from this study may improve our understanding of the role of these candidate miRNAs and their target genes in relation to breast cancer invasiveness and ultimately lead to the identification of novel biomarkers associated with prognosis.
Breast cancer; MicroRNA target genes; Migration; Invasion
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55 in the U.S. and the developed world. This condition leads to the progressive impairment of central visual acuity. There are significant limitations in the understanding of disease progression in AMD as well as a lack of effective methods of treatment. Lately, there has been considerable enthusiasm for application of stem cell biology for both disease modeling and therapeutic application. Human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been used in cell culture assays and in vivo animal models. Recently a clinical trial was approved by FDA to investigate the safety and efficacy of the human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) transplantation in sub-retinal space of patients with dry AMD These studies suggest that stem cell research may provide both insight regarding disease development and progression, as well as direction for therapeutic innovation for the millions of patients afflicted with AMD.
Age-related macular degeneration; RPE; Stem cells
Synovial sarcoma, X breakpoint 2 interacting protein (SSX2IP), which has been identified as an acute myeloid leukemia associated antigen, is a potential target for leukemia immunotherapy. In rodents, its homologous gene, ADIP, plays an important role in the regulation of cell adhesion and migration, underlying its potential role in promoting metastasis of other cancers.
To investigate the correlation between the expression level of SSX2IP and the clinicopathologic factors of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 53 cases were studied by qPCR and statisted. To directly testing SSX2IP’s contribution to HCC in animal models, 45 nude mice were enrolled in peritoneal spreading and liver metastasis models. For the migration and invasion assays, cell culture experiments were performed using QCMTM 24-Well Colorimetric Migration Assay Kit and Cell Invasion Assay Kit (Millipore). Moreover we examined the influence of SSX2IP overexpression on the chemosensitivity of hepatocellular carcinoma cells to two most common chemotherapy drugs (5-Fu and CDDP) using Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8). The chemotherapeutic drugs sensitivity was evaluated by IC50 parameter.
Statistical analysis of clinical cases revealed that the SSX2IP high expression group had inclinations towards larger tumor size, more tumor thrombus and shorter survival period, implying a strong correlation between the expression level of SSX2IP and HCC tumorigenesis. Consistently in abdominal cavity metastasis and liver metastasis models of immune-deficient mice, SSX2IP was able to promote the metastasis of hepatoma cells. At the cytological level, SSX2IP stimulates the wound healing, metastasis and invasion of hepatoma cells, and reduces the sensitivity of hepatoma cells to 5-Fu and CDDP.
Our results showed that SSX2IP promotes the development and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma and contributes to the drug resistance of hepatoma cells, suggesting that SSX2IP is expected to become a new diagnostic and prognostic marker and a new target of the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
SSX2IP; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Metastasis; Chemotherapeutic resistance
HIV-infected patients display an increased and early incidence of osteopenia/osteoporosis. We investigated whether bone metabolism disorders in HIV-infected patients are related to immune hyperactivation and premature immune senescence.
Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA): low BMD (LBMD) was defined as T-score or z-score < −1. CD4+/CD8+ phenotype (CD38/HLA-DR, CD127, CD28/CD57), and circulating IL-7, TNF-α, RANKL, OPG were measured. The variables with p < .05 were evaluated by multivariate logistic regression.
78 patients were enrolled: 55 were LBMD. LBMD patients showed increased activated HDLADR + CD4+ and CD8+ (p = .03 and p = .002, respectively). Interestingly, no differences in senescent CD28-CD57 + CD4+/CD8+ T-cells were observed between groups. However, LBMD patients displayed a decreased CD4 + CD28- phenotype (p = .04) at the advantage of the CD28+ pool (p = .03), possibly reflecting heightened apoptosis of highly differentiated CD28-negative cells.
Activated HLADR + CD4+/CD8+ and CD28 + CD4+ cells were independently associated with impaired BMD (AOR = 1.08 for each additional HLADR + CD4+ percentage higher; CI 95%,1.01-1.15; p = .02; AOR = 1.07 for each additional HLADR + CD8+ percentage higher; CI 95%,1.01-1.11; p = .01; AOR = 1.06 for each additional CD28 + CD4+ percentage higher; CI 95%,1.0-1.13; p = .05).
Heightened T-cell activation in HIV-infected patients independently predicts BMD disorders, suggesting a critical role of immune activation in the pathogenesis of osteopenia/osteoporosis, even in patients achieving full viral suppression with HAART.
Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Bone mineral density; T-cell activation; Immune senescence
This pilot study investigated the association between heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and anti-HSP70 antibodies as well as their changes and rhythm outcome after atrial fibrillation (AF) catheter ablation.
We studied 67 patients with AF (59±11 years, 66% male, 66% lone AF) undergoing catheter ablation. Circulating HSP70 and anti-HSP70 antibody levels were quantified using commercially available assays before and 6 months after catheter ablation. Serial 7-day Holter ECGs were used to detect AF recurrences.
At baseline, HSP70 was detectable in 14 patients (21%), but there was no correlation between clinical or echocardiographic variables and the presence or the level of HSP70. In contrast, patients with paroxysmal AF (n=39) showed lower anti-HSP70 antibodies (median [IQR] of 43 [28 – 62] μg/ml) than patients with persistent AF (n=28; 53 [41 – 85] μg/ml, p=0.035). Using multivariable regression analysis, AF type was the only variable associated with anti-HSP70 antibodies (Beta=0.342, p=0.008). At 6 months, HSP70 was present in 27 patients (41%, p<0.001 vs. baseline). Similarly, there was an increase of anti-HSP70 antibodies (48 [36 – 72] vs. 57 [43 – 87] μg/ml, p<0.001). AF recurrence rates were higher in patients with HSP70 increase ≥0.025 ng/ml (32 vs. 11%, p=0.038) or anti-HSP70 increase ≥2.5 μg/ml (26 vs. 4%, p=0.033).
HSP70 and anti-HSP70 antibodies may – at least in part – be associated in the progression of AF and AF recurrence after catheter ablation.
Atrial fibrillation; Heat shock proteins; Autoantibodies; Catheter ablation; AF recurrence
Imatinib mesylate is an effective treatment for metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). However, most patients eventually develop resistance and there are few other treatment options. Immunotherapy using genetically modified or designer T cells (dTc) has gained increased attention for several malignancies in recent years. The aims of this study were to develop and test novel anti-KIT dTc engineered to target GIST cells.
Human anti-KIT dTc were created by retroviral transduction with novel chimeric immune receptors (CIR). The gene for stem cell factor (SCF), the natural ligand for KIT, was cloned into 1st generation (SCF-CD3ζ, 1st gen) and 2nd generation (SCF-CD28-CD3ζ, 2nd gen) CIR constructs. In vitro dTc proliferation and tumoricidal capacity in the presence of KIT+ tumor cells were measured. In vivo assessment of dTc anti-tumor efficacy was performed by treating immunodeficient mice harboring subcutaneous GIST xenografts with dTc tail vein infusions.
We successfully produced the 1st and 2nd gen anti-KIT CIR and transduced murine and human T cells. Average transduction efficiencies for human 1st and 2nd gen dTc were 50% and 42%. When co-cultured with KIT+ tumor cells, both 1st and 2nd gen dTc proliferated and produced IFNγ. Human anti-KIT dTc were efficient at lysing GIST in vitro compared to untransduced T cells. In mice with established GIST xenografts, treatment with either 1st or 2nd gen human anti-KIT dTc led to significant reductions in tumor growth rates.
We have constructed a novel anti-KIT CIR for production of dTc that possess specific activity against KIT+ GIST in vitro and in vivo. Further studies are warranted to evaluate the therapeutic potential and safety of anti-KIT dTc.
GIST; Adoptive cell therapy; Immunotherapy; and Designer T cells
Several peripheral proteins that might be useful for detecting the presence of ectopic pregnancy (EP) have been evaluated, but none have been proven entirely useful in the clinic. We investigated the presence and the possible changes in circulating molecules that distinguish between normal intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) and tubal ectopic pregnancy.
Non-pregnant women during the menstrual cycle, women with IUP, and women with tubal EP after informed consent. Serum levels of 17β-estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), testosterone (T), beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG), vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), placental growth factor (PIGF), and a distintegrin and metalloprotease protein 12 (ADAM12) were analyzed. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to assess the diagnostic discrimination of EP and gestational age-matched IUP.
E2, P4, PIGF, and ADAM12 levels increased and β-hCG decreased throughout IUP. E2 and VEGF-A levels were significantly different between women with tubal EP and IUP. However, using a serum β-hCG cut-off of less than 1000 mIU/mL, P4 was significantly lower in women with tubal EP compared to IUP. Although E2 was inversely correlated with VEGF-A in women in the early stages of IUP, E2 was not correlated with VEGF-A in women with EP prior to tubal surgery. There were no significant differences in either PIGF or ADAM12 alone between women with tubal EP or IUP. Although no significant correlations were seen between E2 and PIGF or P4 and ADAM12 in women in the early stages of IUP, E2 was positively correlated with PIGF and P4 was positively correlated with ADAM12 in women with EP prior to tubal surgery. Our studies defined associations but not causality.
Individual measurements of serum E2 or VEGF-A levels are strongly related to early pregnancy outcomes for women with IUP and EP, and pregnancy-associated E2 and VEGF-A levels provide diagnostic accuracy for the presence of tubal EP. This study demonstrates that correlation analysis of E2/VEGF-A and E2/PIGF serum levels may be able to distinguish a tubal EP from a normal IUP.
Steroid hormones; VEGF-A; PIGF; ADAM12; Hypoxia; Tubal ectopic pregnancy
The sixth leading class of cancer worldwide is head and neck cancer, which typically arise within the squamous epithelium of the oral mucosa. Human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is known to be difficult to treat and has only a 50% five-year survival rate. With HNSCC, novel therapeutics are needed along with a means of rapidly screening anti-cancer agents in vivo, such as mouse models.
In order to develop new animal models of cancer to test safety and efficacy of novel therapeutic agents for human HNSCC, tumors resembling clinical cases of human HNSCC were induced in the head and neck epithelium of a genetically engineered mouse model. This mouse model was generated by conditional deletion of two tumor suppressors, Transforming Growth Factor-β Receptor 1 (TGFβRI) and Phosphatase and Tensin homolog (PTEN), in the oral epithelium. We discovered that the tumors derived from these Tgfbr1/Pten double conditional knockout (2cKO) mice over-expressed IL-13Rα2, a high affinity receptor for IL-13 that can function as a tumor antigen. To demonstrate a proof-of-concept that targeted therapy against IL-13Rα2 expression would have any antitumor efficacy in this spontaneous tumor model, these mice were treated systemically with IL-13-PE, a recombinant immunotoxin consisting of IL-13 fused to the Pseudomonas exotoxin A.
Tgfbr1/Pten 2cKO mice when treated with IL-13-PE displayed significantly increased survival when compared to the untreated control mice. The untreated mice exhibited weight loss, particularly with the rapid onset of tongue tumors, but the treated mice gained weight while on IL-13-PE therapy and showed no clinical signs of toxicity due to the immunotoxin. Expression of IL-13Rα2 in tumors was significantly decreased with IL-13-PE treatment as compared to the controls and the number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) was also significantly reduced in the spleens of the IL-13-PE treated mice.
Our study demonstrates that the Tgfbr1/Pten 2cKO mouse model of human HNSCC is a useful model for assessing antitumor activity of new cancer therapeutic agents, and that IL-13-PE has therapeutic potential to treat human head and neck cancer.
IL-13 receptor; Immunotoxin; TGF-β; PTEN; HNSCC
Besides being a preferential site of early metastasis, the sentinel lymph node (SLN) is also a privileged site of T-cell priming, and may thus be an appropriate target for investigating cell types involved in antitumor immune reactions.
In this retrospective study we determined the prevalence of OX40+ activated T lymphocytes, FOXP3+ (forkhead box P3) regulatory T cells, DC-LAMP+ (dendritic cell-lysosomal associated membrane protein) mature dendritic cells (DCs) and CD123+ plasmacytoid DCs by immunohistochemistry in 100 SLNs from 60 melanoma patients. Density values of each cell type in SLNs were compared to those in non-sentinel nodes obtained from block dissections (n = 37), and analyzed with regard to associations with clinicopathological parameters and disease outcome.
Sentinel nodes showed elevated amount of all cell types studied in comparison to non-sentinel nodes. Metastatic SLNs had higher density of OX40+ lymphocytes compared to tumor-negative nodes, while no significant difference was observed in the case of the other cell types studied. In patients with positive sentinel node status, high amount of FOXP3+ cells in SLNs was associated with shorter progression-free (P = 0.0011) and overall survival (P = 0.0014), while no significant correlation was found in the case of sentinel-negative patients. The density of OX40+, CD123+ or DC-LAMP+ cells did not show significant association with the outcome of the disease.
Taken together, our results are compatible with the hypothesis of functional competence of sentinel lymph nodes based on the prevalence of the studied immune cells. The density of FOXP3+ lymphocytes showed association with progression and survival in patients with positive SLN status, while the other immune markers studied did not prove of prognostic importance. These results, together with our previous findings on the prognostic value of activated T cells and mature DCs infiltrating primary melanomas, suggest that immune activation-associated markers in the primary tumor may have a higher impact than those in SLNs on the prognosis of the patients. On the other hand, FOXP3+ cell density in SLNs, but not in the primary tumor, was found predictive of disease outcome in melanoma patients.
Melanoma; Sentinel lymph node; Activated T cell; Regulatory T cell; Dendritic cell; Immunohistochemistry
Cryoablation is one of the local therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but its safety and effect has not been studied in patients with Child class A or B and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage C HCC. Metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 (MACC1) overexpression has been associated with poor prognosis of HCC, but its predictive value to post-cryoablation outcomes remains unknown in patients with BCLC stage C HCC.
This study assessed the safety and outcomes of cryoablation measured by time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS), and predictive value of MACC1 mRNA and protein overexpression in tumorous tissue to post-cryoablation outcomes in 120 advanced HCC patients with child-pugh class A or B by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining. The potenial correlation of MACC1 and c-Met expression to tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis was also analyzed.
The cryoablation in patients with advanced unresectable HCC resulted in a median TTP and OS of 5.5 (4.2- 6.7) months and 10.5 (9.0-12.0) months, respectively and no significant complications, comparable to the historical report for RFA therapy. The MACC1 mRNA and nuclear protein expression was significantly increased in tumorous tissues in these patients than that in normal liver tissue controls. Higher expression of MACC1 mRNA and nuclear protein in tumorous tissues in these patients was associated with shorter post cryoablation median TTP and OS than that with lower MACC1 expression.
Cryoablation is a safe and effective therapeutic option for patients with advanced HCC and Child-pugh class A or B cirrhosis; and a higher intratumoral expression of MACC1 or nuclear translocation predicts poor outcomes of cryotherapy in these patients.
Cryoablation; Metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 (MACC1); Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma; Efficacy; Safety; Outcomes
Left ventricular (LV) remodeling following large transmural myocardial infarction (MI) remains a pivotal clinical issue despite the advance of medical treatment over the past few decades. Identification of new medications to improve the remodeling process and prevent progression to heart failure after MI is critical. Thyroid hormones (THs) have been shown to improve LV function and remodeling in animals post-MI and in the human setting. However, changes in underlying cellular remodeling resulting from TH treatment are not clear.
MI was produced in adult female Sprague–Dawley rats by ligation of the left descending coronary artery. L-thyroxine (T4) pellet (3.3 mg, 60 days sustained release) was used to treat MI rats for 8 weeks. Isolated myocyte shape, arterioles, and collagen deposition in the non-infarcted area were measured at terminal study.
T4 treatment improved LV ±dp/dt, normalized TAU, and increased myocyte cross-sectional area without further increasing myocyte length in MI rats. T4 treatment increased the total LV tissue area by 34%, increased the non-infarcted tissue area by 41%, and increased the thickness of non-infarcted area by 36% in MI rats. However, myocyte volume accounted for only ~1/3 of the increase in myocyte mass in the non-infarct area, indicating the presence of more myocytes with treatment. T4 treatment tended to increase the total length of smaller arterioles (5 to 15 μm) proportional to LV weight increase and also decreased collagen deposition in the LV non-infarcted area. A tendency for increased metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) -1 to −4 expression was also observed in T4 treated MI rats.
These results suggest that long-term T4 treatment after MI has beneficial effects on myocyte, arteriolar, and collagen matrix remodeling in the non-infarcted area. Most importantly, results suggest improved survival of myocytes in the peri-infarct area.
Thyroid hormone; Myocardial infarction; Myocyte; Arteriole; Collagen
Experimental clinical stem cell therapy has been used for more than a decade to alleviate the adverse aftermath of acute myocardial infarction (aMI). The post-infarcted myocardial microenvironment is characterized by cardiomyocyte death, caused by ischemia and inflammation. These conditions may negatively affect administered stem cells. As postnatal cardiomyocytes have a poor proliferation rate, while induction of proliferation seems even more rare. Thus stimulation of their proliferation rate is essential after aMI. In metaplastic disease, the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been identified as potent mediators of the proliferation rate. We hypothesized that IL-6 could augment the proliferation rate of (slow-)dividing cardiomyocytes.
To mimic the behavior of therapeutic cells in the post-infarct cardiac microenvironment, human Adipose Derived Stromal Cells (ADSC) were cultured under hypoxic (2% O2) and pro-inflammatory conditions (IL-1β) for 24h. Serum-free conditioned medium from ADSC primed with hypoxia and/or IL-1β was added to rat neonatal cardiomyocytes and adult cardiomyocytes (HL-1) to assess paracrine-driven changes in cardiomyocyte proliferation rate and induction of myogenic signaling pathways.
We demonstrate that ADSC enhance the proliferation rate of rat neonatal cardiomyocytes and adult HL-1 cardiomyocytes in a paracrine fashion. ADSC under hypoxia and inflammation in vitro had increased the interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene and protein expression. Similar to conditioned medium of ADSC, treatment of rat neonatal cardiomyocytes and HL-1 with recombinant IL-6 alone also stimulated their proliferation rate. This was corroborated by a strong decrease of cardiomyocyte proliferation after addition of IL-6 neutralizing antibody to conditioned medium of ADSC. The stimulatory effect of ADSC conditioned media or IL-6 was accomplished through activation of both Janus Kinase-Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK/STAT) and Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP) kinases (MAPK) mitogenic signaling pathways.
ADSC are promising therapeutic cells for cardiac stem cell therapy. The inflammatory and hypoxic host post-MI microenvironment enhances the regenerative potential of ADSC to promote the proliferation rate of cardiomyocytes. This was achieved in paracrine manner, which warrants the development of ADSC conditioned medium as an “of-the-shelf” product for treatment of post-myocardial infarction complications.
Myocardial infarction; Hypoxia; Inflammation; ADSC; Interleukin-6; Cardiomyocyte Proliferation; STAT3; Erk1/2
The effect of the addition of fotemustine and/or interferon (IFN) to standard therapy with dacarbazine alone in patients with advanced malignant melanoma was investigated in a multicenter, randomized 2x2 factorial design trial.
A total of 260 patients were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: (A) fotemustine and dacarbazine repeated on 3-week cycle; (B) same treatment as (A) plus IFN-α2b three times per week; (C) dacarbazine alone repeated on 3-week cycle; (D) same treatment as (C) plus IFN-α2b three times per week. Two comparisons were planned to assess the efficacy of fotemustine (groups A+B vs. C+D) and IFN-α2b (groups A+C vs. B+D).
Addition of fotemustine did not significantly improve overall survival (OS) (p=0.28) or progression-free survival (PFS) (p=0.55); Hazard ratio (HR) for OS was 0.93 (95% CI 0.71-1.21). Similarly, addition of IFN-α2b did not improve OS (p=0.68) or PFS (p=0.65); HR for OS was 0.92 (95% CI 0.70-1.20). Overall response rate was not improved by the addition of either fotemustine (p=0.87) or IFN-α2b (p=0.57). The combination of all three drugs resulted in the highest occurrence of adverse events.
No significant improvement in outcomes were observed with the addition of either fotemustine or IFN-α2b to dacarbazine.
Melanoma; Fotemustine; Dacarbazine; Interferon-α
TOP2A encodes for topoisomerase IIα, a nuclear enzyme that controls DNA topological structure and cell cycle progression. This enzyme is a marker of cell proliferation in normal and neoplastic tissues; however, little information is available about its expression in prostate cancer (PCa).
Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was automated using mouse monoclonal antibody against TOP2A (clone SWT3D1; DAKO, Carpenteria, CA, USA) at dilution 1:800 and Flex Plus detection system in autostainer 48Ultra (DAKO). FISH was performed using TOP2A (17q21)/ CEP17 probe kit (Kreateck Biotechnology, San Diego, CA, USA). Biochemical and pathological data from 193 patients with PCa were retrieved for the analysis, whose significance was considered when p < 0.05. Also, fractal analysis was performed in a subset of 20 randomly selected cases.
TOP2A protein expression correlated with higher Gleason scores and higher levels of preoperative PSA (p = 0.018 and p = 0.011). Patients with higher levels of TOP2A presented shorter biochemical recurrence-free survival (BRFS) (p = 0.001). In multivariate analysis, we found that TOP2A remained an independent prognostic factor of BRFS, with a relative risk of 1.98 (p = 0.001; 95% CI, 1.338–2.93); thus, cases that expressed high levels of this enzyme had a shorter BRFS compared with TOP2A-negative or TOP2A-low cases. No alterations in TOP2A gene status nor correlation between FISH and IHC results were observed. Concerning fractal analysis, patients who expressed higher levels of TOP2A have angiolymphatic invasion and presented higher Gleason scores (p = 0.033 and p = 0.025, respectively). Also, patients with higher expression of TOP2A presented shorter BRFS (p = 0.001).
This is the first study to perform TOP2A protein and gene digital assessment and fractal analysis in association with BRFS in a large series of PCa. Also, we show that TOP2A gene copy number alterations are not observed in this type of tumor. So, higher protein expression of TOP2A is not related to gene amplification in PCa. Furthermore, TOP2A protein assessment has prognostic importance and, due to its relation with poor outcome, TOP2A IHC evaluation in the biopsy can represent an important tool for selecting the most suitable surgical and clinical approach for patients with PCa.
FISH; Immunohistochemistry; Prostate cancer; TOP2A
Translational medicine entails not only “from-bench-to-bedside” but also preventive medicine. The present article proposes a conceptual framework of translational research from scientific research to health care policy and public health policy. We highlight the importance of translational medicine to bridge between research and policy and share our experience of translating medical research to public health policy in China as well as obstacles and challenges we are facing in the translation process.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (19-22-nt) single-stranded noncoding RNA molecules whose deregulation of expression can contribute to human disease including the multistep processes of carcinogenesis in human. Circulating miRNAs are emerging biomarkers in many diseases and cancers such as type 2 diabetes, pulmonary disease, colorectal cancer, and gastric cancer among others; however, defining a plasma miRNA signature in acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) that could serve as a biomarker for diagnosis or in the follow-up has not been done yet.
TaqMan miRNA microarray was performed to identify deregulated miRNAs in the plasma of AML patients. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to validate the results. Receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was conducted to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the highly and significantly identified deregulated miRNA(s) as potential candidate biomarker(s).
The plasma expression level of let-7d, miR-150, miR-339, and miR-342 was down-regulated whilst that of let-7b, and miR-523 was up-regulated in the AML group at diagnosis compared to healthy controls. ROC curve analyses revealed an AUC (the areas under the ROC curve) of 0.835 (95% CI: 0.7119– 0.9581; P<0.0001) and 0.8125 (95% CI: 0.6796–0.9454; P=0.0005) for miR-150, and miR-342 respectively. Combined ROC analyses using these 2 miRNAs revealed an elevated AUC of 0.86 (95% CI: 0.7819–0.94; P<0.0001) indicating the additive effect in the diagnostic value of these 2 miRNAs. QRT-PCR results showed that the expression level of these two miRs in complete remission AML patients resembled that of healthy controls.
Our findings indicated that plasma miR-150 and miR-342 are novel important promising biomarkers in the diagnosis of AML. These novel and promising markers warrant validation in larger prospective studies.
AML; Micro-RNA; Plasma; Biomarker
Colorectal carcinomas spread easily to nearby tissues around the colon or rectum, and display strong potential for invasion and metastasis. CSE1L, the chromosome segregation 1-like protein, is implicated in cancer progression and is located in both the cytoplasm and nuclei of tumor cells. We investigated the prognostic significance of cytoplasmic vs. nuclear CSE1L expression in colorectal cancer.
The invasion- and metastasis-stimulating activities of CSE1L were studied by in vitro invasion and animal experiments. CSE1L expression in colorectal cancer was assayed by immunohistochemistry, with tissue microarray consisting of 128 surgically resected specimens; and scored using a semiquantitative method. The correlations between CSE1L expression and clinicopathological parameters were analyzed.
CSE1L overexpression was associated with increased invasiveness and metastasis of cancer cells. Non-neoplastic colorectal glands showed minimal CSE1L staining, whereas most colorectal carcinomas (99.2%, 127/128) were significantly positive for CSE1L staining. Cytoplasmic CSE1L was associated with cancer stage (P=0.003) and depth of tumor penetration (P=0.007). Cytoplasmic CSE1L expression also correlated with lymph node metastasis of the disease in Cox regression analysis
CSE1L regulates the invasiveness and metastasis of cancer cells, and immunohistochemical analysis of cytoplasmic CSE1L in colorectal tumors may provide a useful aid to prognosis.
Colorectal cancer; CSE1L; Cytoplasm; Invasion; Metastasis; Nucleus
The early peritoneal invasion of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) by tumoral aggregates presents in ascites is a major concern. The role of the microenvironment seems to be important in this process but the lack of adequate models to study cellular interactions between cancer cells and stromal cells does not allow to uncover the molecular pathways involved. Our goal was to study the interactions between ovarian cancer cells (OCC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) using a 3D model.
We used millimetric pieces of amniochorionic membrane - referred to as amniotic membrane scaffold (AMS) - to create 3D peritoneal nodules mimicking EOC early invasion. We were able to measure the distribution and the depth of infiltration using confocal microsopy. We extracted MSC from the amniochorionic membrane using the markers CD34-, CD45-, CD73+, CD90+, CD105+ and CD29+ at the Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) analysis. We used transwell and wound healing tests to test OCC migration and invasion in vitro.
Here we show that OCC tumors were located in regions rich in MSC (70%). The tumors infiltrated deeper within AMS in regions rich in MSC (p<0.001). In vitro tests revealed that higher IL6 secretion in a context of MSC-OCC co-culture could enhance migration and invasion of OCC. After IL6 receptor antagonism, OCC infiltration was significantly decreased, mostly in regions rich in MSCs, indicating that recruitment and tridimensional invasion of OCC was dependent of IL6 secretion.
The use of tridimensional models using AMS could be a useful tool to decipher early molecular events in ovarian cancer metastasis. Cytokine inhibitors interrupting the cross-talk between OCCs and MSCs such as IL6 should be investigated as a new therapeutic approach in ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer; IL6; Tumor infiltration; 3d model; Mesenchymal stem cell
Linker for activation of T cells (LAT), a transmembrane adaptor protein, plays a role in T cell and mast cell function, while it remains unclear how histone modifications mediate LAT expression in allergic asthma. The present study aimed at understanding alterations of lymphocyte LAT in patients with asthma and potential mechanisms by which histone modulation may be involved in.
The expression of LAT mRNA was checked by Quantitative real-time PCR and histone hypoacetylation on LAT promoter was detected by Chromatin Immunoprecipitation.
Our results demonstrated that the expression of LAT mRNA in peripheral blood T cells from patients with asthma decreased, as compared to healthy controls. Peripheral blood T cells were treated with pCMV-myc-LAT, pCMV-myc or LAT-siRNA plasmid. Over-expression of LAT mRNA and decrease of Th2 cytokine production were noted, which could be prevented by the inhibition of LAT. The further investigation of the role of histone was performed in an asthma model induced by allergen. Histone hypoacetylation on LAT promoter could inhibit LAT expression and enhanced Th2 differentiation, while trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, promoted LAT expression and inhibited Th2 cytokine production.
Our results indicate that histone hypoacetylation may regulate LAT expression on T cells and modify Th2 polarization in allergic asthma.
Linker for activation of T cells; Histone; Deacetylase; Acetylation; Methylation; Th2 cells; Allergic asthma
Kidneys derived from brain dead donors have lower graft survival and higher graft-function loss compared to their living donor counterpart. Heat Shock Proteins (HSP) are a large family of stress proteins involved in maintaining cell homeostasis. We studied the role of stress-inducible genes Heme Oxygenase-1 (HO-1), HSP27, HSP40, and HSP70 in the kidney following a 4 hour period of brain death.
Brain death was induced in rats (n=6) by inflating a balloon catheter in the epidural space. Kidneys were analysed for HSPs using RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry.
RT-PCR data showed a significant increase in gene expression for HO-1 and HSP70 in kidneys of brain dead rats. Western blotting revealed a massive increase in HO-1 protein in brain dead rat kidneys. Immunohistochemistry confirmed these findings, showing extensive HO-1 protein expression in the renal cortical tubules of brain dead rats. HSP70 protein was predominantly increased in renal distal tubules of brain dead rats treated for hypotension.
Renal stress caused by brain death induces expression of the cytoprotective genes HO-1 and HSP70, but not of HSP27 and HSP40. The upregulation of these cytoprotective genes indicate that renal damage occurs during brain death, and could be part of a protective or recuperative mechanism induced by brain death-associated stress.
Kidney; Protective genes; Rat; Organ donation; HSP; HSP70; HSP40; HSP27