Common cancer is an age-related disease. Slow aging is associated with reduced and delayed carcinogenesis. Calorie restriction (CR), the most studied anti-aging intervention, prevents cancer by slowing down the aging process. Evidence is emerging that CR decelerates aging by deactivating MTOR (Target of Rapamycin). Rapamycin and other rapalogs suppress cellular senescence, slow down aging and postpone age-related diseases including cancer. At the same time, rapalogs are approved for certain cancer treatments. Can cancer prevention be explained by direct targeting of cancer cells? Or does rapamycin prevent cancer indirectly through slowing down the aging process? Increasing evidence points to the latter scenario.
aging; senescence; geroconversion; gerosuppression; rapamycin; diseases; mTOR
There has been increasing recognition that organic anion transporter proteins (OATPs) play an important role in the biology of various cancers. De novo expression of OATPs has been identified in breast, colon, pancreatic, gastric and prostate cancer cells, among others.1 In patients with prostate cancer, polymorphisms encoding decreased functioning OATP1B3 were associated with a longer time to progression on androgen deprivation therapy and a longer overall survival which is likely caused by reduced tumoral testosterone uptake.2-4 Because of these findings, therapeutic inhibition targeting OATP1B3 has been proposed. However, any enthusiasm for inhibiting OATP1Bs therapeutically has been tempered by reservations about potential consequences. For instance, inhibitors could interfere with several normal physiological processes mediated by OATP1B3 (i.e., bile acid reuptake, bilirubin uptake, etc) or cause potential, as-yet unknown, drug interactions by barring hepatic uptake, subsequent metabolism and elimination.
DDI; OATP; Rotor syndrome; cancer; inhibition; prostate; therapy
Advanced non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) remains almost uniformly lethal with marginal long-term survival despite efforts to target specific oncogenic addiction pathways that may drive these tumors with small molecularly targeted agents and biologics. The EML4-ALK fusion gene encodes a chimeric tyrosine kinase that activates the Ras signaling pathway, and this fusion protein is found in approximately 5% of NSCLC. Targeting EML4-ALK with Crizotinib in this subset of NSCLC has documented therapeutic efficacy, but the vast majority of patients eventually develop recurrent disease that is often refractory to further treatments. We present the clinicopathologic features of three patients with metastatic NSCLC harboring the EML4-ALK translocation that developed isolated central nervous system (CNS) metastases in the presence of good disease control elsewhere in the body. These cases suggest a differential response of NSCLC to Crizotinib in the brain in comparison to other sites of disease, and are consistent with a previous report of poor CNS penetration of Crizotinib. Results of ongoing clinical trials will clarify whether the CNS is a major sanctuary site for EML4-ALK positive NSCLC being treated with Crizotinib. While understanding molecular mechanisms of resistance is critical to overcome therapeutic resistance, understanding physiologic mechanisms of resistance through analyzing anatomic patterns of failure may be equally crucial to improve long-term survival for patients with EML4-ALK translocation positive NSCLC.
Non-small cell lung cancer; anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK); brain metastasis; stereotactic radiosurgery; Crizotinib
Well-differentiated fetal adenocarcinoma (WDFA) is a rare pulmonary malignancy. Biomarkers of tumor biology has rarely been studied in WDFA. Here, we report two WDFA patients. Both patients had blood-streaked sputum or mild hemoptysis at presentation. They underwent lobectomy and systematic mediastinal lymphadenectomy. Expression of PDGFRα on the plasma membrane was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the resected tumor specimens. Further IHC examination showed intense immunostaining of β-catenin in both patients but negative staining for TP53, CEA, CD56, EGFR, CK5/6, HER2, S-100, ER, PR, BCL2, and NSE. Both patients had no recurrence to date after more than 3 years of follow up. Herein, we reviewed this rare disease with special emphasis on the clinico-pathological features, treatment and potential role of PDGFRα.
PDGFRα; WDFA; lung cancer; surgery; well-differentiated fetal adenocarcinoma; β-catenin
The pathogenesis of sporadic colorectal cancer involves distinct pathways, with characteristic genomic alterations. The first pathway, chromosome instability (CIN), is driven by APC mutations and is typified by Kras mutations, p53 mutation/loss of heterozygosity, and deletions at chromosome 18q. The second pathway is referred to as microsatellite instability (MSI), a genetic hallmark of the accumulated mutations that occur as a consequence of derangements in the mismatch repair genes. Finally, proximal colon cancers may involve methylation of a number of genes, which is frequently referred to as the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and are associated with B-raf mutations. The ability to stratify colorectal cancers by risk would be facilitated by the identification of polymorphisms that might be utilized as biomarkers. LIN28B is an RNA binding protein that is overexpressed in colon cancers. We find that LIN28B rs314277 is associated with significant recurrence of colorectal cancer in Stage II disease, which may have translational therapeutic implications.
Colon cancer; LIN28B; SNP; prognosis; molecular pathogenesis; genetics; genomics
The state of cancer stem cells (CSC) under reversible fluctuations, which has been revealed in breast cancer cells most recently, suggests that subpopulations with distinct phenotypes and functions within cancer cells can undergo inter-conversion. To investigate the possibility in colon cancer cells, we employed CD133 as the CSC marker, and characterized CD133 expression pattern and the biological features of the CD133+ and CD133- subsets. Flow cytometry revealed that CD133 was bimodally expressed in SW620 cells among eight colon cancer cell lines. The CD133+ clonal SW620 cells displayed a differential gene expression profile, higher cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), enhanced tumorigenesis and resistance to 5-fluorouracil. The conversion in term of the CD133 phenotype of the sorted cells was observed in vitro and in vivo. The fraction of the CD133+ cells decreased from 99% to 80% in the sorted CD133+ population while rising from 5 to 10% in the sorted CD133- population during the first 20-day cultivation and then stayed almost unchanged. A fraction (about 20%) of the CD133+ clonal cells lost their CD133 marker while about 10% of the CD133- clonal cells acquired the CD133 marker. 5-Azacytidine enhanced the fraction of the CD133+ cells in both of the CD133+ and CD133- clonal cells. Our data demonstrate that CD133 expression is dynamic and reversible, and reveal the inter-conversion between the CD133+ and the CD133- SW620 cells, suggesting that the CD133 phenotype of SW620 cell population is retained by the conversion between the two cell subsets.
CD133; SW620; cancer stem cells; colon cancer; conversion
Biodegradable polymer nanoparticle drug delivery systems are characterized by targeted drug delivery, improved pharmacokinetic and biodistribution, enhanced drug stability and lowered side effects; these drug delivery systems are widely used for delivery of cytotoxic agents. The galactosylated chitosan (GC)/5-fluorouracil (5-FU) nanoparticle is a nanomaterial made by coupling GC, a polymer known to have the advantages described above, and 5-FU. The GC/5-FU nanoparticle is a sustained release system, it was showed that the peak time, half-life time, mean residence time (MRT) and area of under curve (AUC) of GC/5-FU were longer or more than those of the 5-FU group, but the maximum concentration (Cmax) was lower. The distribution of GC/5-FU in vivo revealed the greatest accumulation in the hepatic cancer tissues, and the hepatic cell was the target of the nanoparticles. Toxicology research showed that the toxicity of GC-5-FU was lower than that of 5-FU in mice. In vivo experiments showed that GC/5-FU can significantly inhibit tumor growth in an orthotropic liver cancer mouse model. GC/5-FU treatment can significantly lower the tumor weight and increase the survival time of mice when compared with 5-FU treatment alone. Flow cytometry and the TUNEL assay revealed that compared with 5-FU, GC/5-FU caused higher rates of G0-G1 arrest and apoptosis in hepatic cancer cells.
galactosylated chitosan; nanoparticles; 5-fluorouracil; hepatocellular cancer; pharmacokinetics; apoptosis
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway is frequently dysregulated in a variety of human malignancies. As a result, agents have been developed to selectively inhibit the tyrosine kinase function of EGFR (EGFR-TKI) for cancer therapy. However, the clinical efficacy of these drugs to date has been limited by both acquired and intrinsic resistance. Macroautophagy, a process of intracellular proteolysis, has been shown to be activated in response to EGFR targeted therapy. However, the specific role of the induction of autophagy remains controversial. Here we show that autophagy is induced in a dose-dependent manner by in vitro treatment of multiple cancer cell lines with EGFR-TKI. Additionally, we find that in cells highly resistant to EGFR-TKI, autophagy is not robustly activated and that co-treatment of these cells with rapamycin, a known inducer of autophagy, can partially restore sensitivity to EGFR-TKI. Finally, we demonstrate that, in resistant cell lines, EGFR-TKI sensitivity can be further inhibited by siRNA-mediated depletion of the critical autophagy protein ATG7. Thus, our data suggests that defective autophagy may be an EGFR-TKI resistance mechanism and that activation of autophagy may be a viable strategy to augment the cytotoxic effect of EGFR-TKIs.
EGFR; TKI; autophagy; epidermal; erlotinib; gefitinib; rapamycin
Cancer cells convert glucose preferentially to lactate even in the presence of oxygen (aerobic glycolysis–Warburg effect). New concepts in cancer treatment aim at inhibition of aerobic glycolysis. Pyruvate dehydrogenase converts pyruvate to acetylCoA thus preventing lactate formation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate compounds that could activate pyruvate dehydrogenase in cancer cells. We investigated the effects of (R)-(+)-α-lipoic acid (LPA) and dichloroacetate (DCA), possible activators of pyruvate dehydrogenase, on suppression of aerobic glycolysis and induction of cell death.
The neuroblastoma cell lines Kelly, SK-N-SH, Neuro-2a and the breast cancer cell line SkBr3 were incubated with different concentrations (0.1–30 mM) of LPA and DCA. The effects of both compounds on cell viability/proliferation (WST-1 assay), [18F]-FDG uptake, lactate production and induction of apoptosis (flow cytometric detection of caspase-3) were evaluated. Furthermore, NMRI nu/nu mice that had been inoculated s.c. with SkBr3 cells were treated daily for four weeks with LPA (i.p, 18.5 mg/kg) starting at day 7 p.i.. Tumor development was measured with a sliding calliper and monitored via [18F]-FDG-PET. Residual tumors after therapy were examined histopathologically.
These data suggests that LPA can reduce (1) cell viability/proliferation, (2) uptake of [18F]-FDG and (3) lactate production and increase apoptosis in all investigated cell lines. In contrast, DCA was almost ineffective. In the mouse xenograft model with s.c. SkBr3 cells, daily treatment with LPA retarded tumor progression. Therefore, LPA seems to be a promising compound for cancer treatment.
(R)-(+)-alpha-lipoic acid; dichloroacetate; aerobic glycolysis; Warburg effect; [18F]- FDG uptake; lactate; apoptosis
Lung adenocarcinoma is one of the most frequent causes of malignant pleural effusions (MPE). The presence of MPE bears a poor prognosis. Although epigenetic changes are commonly related to human neoplasia, scarce date is available on patients with MPE. We aimed to estimate the prognostic value of DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes from pleural fluid. Thirty patients with MPE due to lung adenocarcinoma were prospectively included. Methylation-specific (MS) PCR was used to study the methylation status of the promoter region of tumor suppressor genes p16/INK4a, MGMT, BRCA1 and RARβ in pleural fluid. Clinical data and survival were collected. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier plots and Cox regression. Hypermethylation in at least one gene was detected in 25 patients (83.3%). On multivariate analysis factors significantly associated with shorter survival were the lack of hypermethylation in any of the studied genes (hazard ratio = 9.3; p = 0.001), Charlson index ≥ 3 (hazard ratio = 9.6, p = 0.002) and no oncological treatment (hazard ratio = 11.1; p < 0.001). Analysis of aberrant promoter hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes may be useful in predicting prognosis, but further studies are needed to validate our findings.
lung adenocarcinoma; malignant pleural effusion; DNA hypermethylation; prognosis; survival; treatment; comorbidity
It has been suggested that paclitaxel and gemcitabine modulate the immune system. This paper reports the safety and efficacy of paclitaxel plus gemcitabine followed by interleukin-2 (IL-2)and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), the PGIG chemobiotherapy, for patients with metastatic melanoma. All patients received 175 mg/m2 paclitaxel on day 1 and 800 mg/m2 gemcitabine on day two. IL-2 and GM-CSF were administered from day 4 to day 8 at a dosage of 2 MIU/m2 and 100 μg, respectively. The PGIG chemobiotherapy was repeated every 21 d. Serum cytokine levels at baseline and at the end of the second cycle were measured via flow cytometry. Twenty-seven patients with metastatic melanoma accepted PGIG chemobiotherapy from August 2009 to March 2011. There were five patients that exhibited a partial response, 14 patients that exhibited a stable response and eight that displayed progressive disease. Therefore, the response rate was 18.5%, and the disease control rate was 70.4%. The median time to progression and median survival were 4 mo and 8 mo, respectively. The one-year and two-year survival rates were 25.9% and 18.5%, respectively. Frequent side effects included chills, fever, arthralgia, rash and pruritus. Among the 13 patients who experienced a rash and pruritus and the 14 patients who did not suffer from this side effect, the response rates and disease control rates were 30.8% vs 7.1% and 77% vs 64.2%, respectively. No relationship between serum IL-6 levels, clinical response, and either skin side effect was observed. The PGIG chemobiotherapy is safe and effective for the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma, but randomized trials are necessary to validate this effect.
chemobiotherapy; metastatic melanoma; paclitaxel; pruritus; rash; gemcitabine; pilot study
Purpose: Recent modeling efforts, based on reported outcomes following salvage radiotherapy (SRT) for prostate cancer, predict the likelihood of biochemical control (tumor control probability, TCP) as a function of pre-treatment prostate specific antigen (PSA) and SRT dose. Similar instruments predict the risk of grade ≥ 3 late toxicity (normal tissue complication probability, NTCP) as a function of SRT dose. Here we explore how changes in the parameters of those models might affect the optimal SRT dose and clinical outcomes.
Materials and Methods: Baseline TCP and NTCP model parameters were established in a previous report. Pre-treatment PSA was set at 0.4 ng/mL. Model parameters were modified to explore four scenarios: (1) improving the safety of SRT, (2) increasing tumor cell radiosensitivity, (3) increasing the cure rate achievable with SRT and (4) adoption of hypofractionated SRT schedules. The “optimal” SRT dose, defined as the dose that maximized the likelihood of achieving biochemical control without causing late toxicity, was identified for each scenario.
Results: Improving the safety of SRT increased the optimal SRT dose, while radiosensitization decreased the optimal dose. Both changes were predicted to increase the probability of biochemical control and decrease late toxicity rates. Increasing the cure rate achievable with SRT (eg: improving patient selection or combining SRT with effective systemic therapy) provided the greatest gains in TCP. Adoption of a hypofractionated SRT schedule was predicted to improve both biochemical control and late toxicity.
Conclusions: Modeling exercises demonstrate the significant gains that may be achieved with improved implementation of SRT for prostate cancer. Strategies to realize the effects modeled in this report should be explored in clinical trials.
NTCP; TCP; prostate cancer; salvage radiotherapy
Cisplatin is used in treatment of several types of cancer, including epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC). In order to mimic clinical treatment and to investigate longterm effects of cisplatin in surviving cancer cells, two EOC cell lines were repeatedly treated with low doses. In the SKOV-3 cell line originating from malignant ascites, but not in A2780 cells from a primary tumor, this led to emergence of a stable population (SKOV-3-R) which in the absence of cisplatin showed increased motility, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and expression of cancer stem cell markers CD117, CD44 and ALDH1. Accordingly, the cells formed self-renewing spheres in serum-free stem cell medium. Despite upregulation of mitochondrial mass and cytochrome c, and no upregulation of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL, SKOV-3-R were multiresistant to antineoplastic drugs. Cancer stem cells, or tumor-initiating cells (TICs) are highly chemoresistant and are believed to cause relapse into disseminated and resistant EOC. Our second aim was therefore to target resistance in these TIC-like cells. Resistance could be correlated with upregulation of hexokinase-II and VDAC, which are known to form a survival-promoting mitochondrial complex. The cells were thus sensitive to 3-bromopyruvate, which dissociates hexokinase-II from this complex, and were particularly sensitive to combination treatment with cisplatin at doses down to 0.1 x IC50. 3-bromopyruvate might thus be of use in targeting the especially aggressive TIC populations.
cisplatin; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; tumor-initiating cells; chemoresistance; hexokinase; 3-bromopyruvate
Patients with serosal (pleural or peritoneal) spread of malignancy have few definitive treatment options and consequently have a very poor prognosis. We have previously shown that photodynamic therapy (PDT) can be an effective treatment for these patients, but that the therapeutic index is relatively narrow. Here, we test the hypothesis that EGFR and STAT3 activation increase survival following PDT, and that inhibiting these pathways leads to increased PDT-mediated direct cellular cytotoxicity by examining BPD-PDT in OvCa and NSCLC cells. We found that BPD-mediated PDT stimulated EGFR tyrosine phosphorylation and nuclear translocation, and that EGFR inhibition by erlotinib resulted in reduction of PDT-mediated EGFR activation and nuclear translocation. Nuclear translocation and PDT-mediated activation of EGFR were also observed in response to BPD-mediated PDT in multiple cell lines, including OvCa, NSCLC and head and neck cancer cells, and was observed to occur in response to porfimer sodium-mediated PDT. In addition, we found that PDT stimulates nuclear translocation of STAT3 and STAT3/EGFR association and that inhibiting STAT3 signaling prior to PDT leads to increased PDT cytotoxicity. Finally, we found that inhibition of EGFR signaling leads to increased PDT cytotoxicity through a mechanism that involves increased apoptotic cell death. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PDT stimulates the nuclear accumulation of both EGFR and STAT3 and that targeting these survival pathways is a potentially promising strategy that could be adapted for clinical trials of PDT for patients with serosal spread of malignancy.
PDT; EGFR; STAT3; lung cancer; ovarian cancer; pleural; peritoneal
In the search for new strategies to efficiently fight colorectal cancer, efforts are being increasingly focused on targeting regulatory signaling pathways involved in cancer-specific features. As a result, several studies have recently addressed the therapeutic potential of molecularly-targeted drugs capable of inhibiting the activity of protein kinases involved in relevant signaling cascades. Here we show that simultaneous inhibition of the DFG-in and DFG-out conformations of p38α by means of type-I and type-II inhibitors is beneficial to impair more efficiently its kinase activity. Moreover, we found that SB202190 (type-I) and sorafenib (type-II) synergize at the molecular and biological level, as co-treatment with these compounds enhances tumor growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis both in colorectal cancer cell lines and animal models. These results support the need to reconsider sorafenib as a therapeutic agent against colorectal cancer and provide new insights that underline the importance to elucidate the activity of protein kinase inhibitors for the treatment of colorectal carcinoma.
BRAF; DFG-in and DFG-out; MEK/ERK; apoptosis; colorectal cancer; conformations; p38α; protein kinase; sorafenib; type-I and type-II inhibitors
Purpose: Human Immunodefiency Virus (HIV) protease inhibitors (PI) remain a crucial component of highly active therapy (HAART) and recently have been demonstrated to have potent antitumor effect on a wide variety of tumor cell lines. However, discontinuation of therapy is an important issue, which may be related to various side-effects, especially diarrhea. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of nelfinavir (NFV), an HIV PI, and of alanyl-glutamine (AQ) supplementation, on intestinal cell migration, proliferation, apoptosis and necrosis, using IEC-6 cells and on intestinal crypt depth, villus length, villus area, mitotic index and apoptosis in Swiss mice. Methods: Migration was evaluated at 12 and 24 h after injury using a wound healing assay. Cellular proliferation was measured indirectly at 24 and 48 h using tetrazolium salt WST-1. Apoptosis and necrosis were measured by flow cytometry using the Annexin V assay. Intestinal morphometry and mitotic index in vivo were assessed following a seven-day treatment with 100 mg/kg of NFV, given orally. In vivo proliferation and apoptosis were evaluated by intestinal crypt mitotic index and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Results: In vitro, AQ supplementation enhanced IEC-6 cell migration and proliferation, following challenge with NFV. In vivo, AQ increased intestinal villus length, villus area, crypt depth and cell proliferation and cell migration, following treatment with NFV. AQ did not decrease cell death induced by NFV both in vivo and in vitro. Conclusions: AQ supplementation is potentially beneficial in preventing the effects of PIs, such as NFV, in the intestinal tract.
Nelfinavir; chemotherapy; alanyl-glutamine; intestine; proliferation; migration; apoptosis; necrosis
Denosumab (Dmab) and zoledronic acid (ZOL) are antiresorptive agents, with different mechanisms of action, that are indicated for delaying the onset of skeletal-related events in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors. Clinical and preclinical data suggest that ZOL may have also anti-angiogenic activity; however, the effects of Dmab (a fully humanized antibody against the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand) on angiogenesis are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to compare the potential anti-angiogenic activity of Dmab with that of ZOL in preclinical models. Dmab (0.31 to 160 μM) had no effect on the viability of human MDA-MB-436 and CG5 breast cancer cells or human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and no effect on tubule formation or invasion of HUVECs. In contrast, ZOL (0.31 to 160 μM) decreased the viability of breast cancer and HUVECs in a time- and concentration-dependent manner and also inhibited HUVEC tubule formation and invasion. In vivo, ZOL (20 μg/mouse for three times a week for three consecutive weeks) inhibited angiogenesis in Matrigel plugs and inhibited the growth and neo-angiogenesis of CG5 xenografts in athymic nude mice. In contrast, Dmab (10 mg/Kg twice a week for 4 consecutive weeks) had no effect on Matrigel vascularization or xenograft growth in this model. These findings support the potential antiangiogenic and anticancer activity of ZOL in vitro and in vivo and further suggest that Dmab does not have antiangiogenic activity. Additional studies are needed to elucidate the potential anticancer activity of Dmab.
anticancer; angiogenesis; breast cancer; denosumab; HUVEC; RANKL; zoledronic acid
We have further defined mechanism(s) by which the drug OSU-03012 (OSU) kills brain cancer cells. OSU toxicity was enhanced by the HSP90 inhibitor 17-N-Allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17AAG) that correlated with reduced expression of ERBB1 and ERBB2. Inhibition of the extrinsic apoptosis pathway blocked the interaction between 17AAG and OSU. OSU toxicity was enhanced by the inhibitor of ERBB1/2/4, lapatinib. Knock down of ERBB1/2/4 in a cell line specific fashion promoted OSU toxicity. Combined exposure of cells to lapatinib and OSU resulted in reduced AKT and ERK1/2 activity; expression of activated forms of AKT and to a lesser extent MEK1 protected cells from the lethal effects of the drug combination. Knock down of PTEN suppressed, and expression of PTEN enhanced, the lethal interaction between OSU and lapatinib. Downstream of PTEN, inhibition of mTOR recapitulated the effects of lapatinib. Knock down of CD95, NOXA, PUMA, BIK or AIF, suppressed lapatinib and OSU toxicity. Knock down of MCL-1 enhanced, and overexpression of MCL-1 suppressed, drug combination lethality. Lapatinib and OSU interacted in vivo to suppress the growth of established tumors. Collectively our data argue that the inhibition of ERBB receptor function represents a useful way to enhance OSU lethality in brain tumor cells.
glioblastoma; medulloblastoma; lapatinib; OSU-03012; apoptosis; autophagy; ERBB1; PTEN
The tumor suppressor p53 transcriptionally regulates a number of genes that are involved in cell-cycle inhibition, apoptosis and the maintenance of genetic stability. Recent studies suggest that p53 also contributes to the regulation of cell migration and invasion. Here, we show that human chloride channel accessory-2 (CLCA2) is a target gene of the p53 family (p53, p73 and p63). CLCA2 is induced by DNA damage in a p53-dependent manner. The p53 family proteins activate the CLCA2 promoter by binding directly to the conserved consensus p53-binding site present in the CLCA2 promoter. In terms of function, ectopic expression of CLCA2 inhibited cancer cell migration. In contrast, silencing CLCA2 with siRNA stimulated cancer cell migration and invasion. We also found that inactivation of CLCA2 enhanced the expression of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), as well as its promoter activation. A small-molecule FAK inhibitor reduced the effect of CLCA2 siRNA on cell migration and invasion, suggesting that CLCA2 inhibits cancer cell migration and invasion through suppression of the FAK signaling pathway. Furthermore, there was an inverse correlation between CLCA2 and FAK expression in 251 human breast cancer tissues. These results strongly suggest that CLCA2 is involved in the p53 tumor suppressor network and has a significant effect on cell migration and invasion.
CLCA2; p53 family; cell invasion; cell migration; FAK
Human oncogene DEK has been shown to be upregulated in a number of neoplasms. The purpose of this study was to investigate DEK expression level in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), analyze the correlation between DEK expression and CLL prognostic markers, and characterize the role of DEK in the response to either chemotherapeutic drugs or nongenotoxic activators of the p53 pathway. DEK mRNA was evaluated by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and primary CLL samples were treated in vitro with either fludarabine or Nutlin-3 to explore the interaction of p53 status and DEK mRNA expression. The median expression levels of DEK mRNA were 6.792 × 10−2 (1.438 × 10−2−3.201 × 10−1) in 65 patients with CLL. A marked increase of DEK mRNA expression was observed in the CLL patients with unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV) gene (p = 0.025), CD38-positive (p = 0.047), del(17p13) (p = 0.006). Both fludarabine and Nutlin-3 significantly downregulated DEK in the primary CLL cells which were with normal function of p53, or without deletion or mutation of p53 (p = 0.042, p = 0.038; p = 0.021, p = 0.017; p = 0.037, p = 0.017). However, the downregulation of DEK was not observed in the primary CLL cells which were with dysfunction of p53, or with deletion or mutation of p53 (p = 0.834, p = 0.477; p = 0.111, p = 0.378; p = 0.263, p = 0.378). These data show that DEK might be applied for the assessment of prognosis in patients with CLL, and fludarabine and Nutlin-3 regulate DEK expression depended on p53 status.
chronic leukemia lymphoma; DEK; p53; fludarabine; Nutlin-3
Patents are issued essentially by all countries on inventions that are deemed novel, non-obvious, clearly described and of significant utility or industrial application. The only exceptions to patenting an invention are abstract ideas, laws of nature and natural phenomena, although the exceptions vary depending on countries where moral, public order or human rights considerations are also taken into account. Although patent laws are updated over decades, the rapid progress of science creates situations that the patent laws on the book cannot address, leading to contentious legal issues. This is often true for life saving drugs, particularly drugs for cancers or HIV/AIDS, which are expensive and beyond the reach of poor people because of the proprietary positions of these patented drugs. Another contentious issue is the patent eligibility of human genes and mutations that are often thought of nature's contribution to human health and propagation and should be beyond the reach of patentability. In this review, we address some of these current legal issues and their implications for the development of diagnostic methods, therapeutic interventions and even prevention for cancer, a scourge of mankind.
anticancer drugs; breast/ovarian cancer; cancer diagnosis; human genes/mutations; legal conflicts; patents
Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) is triggered by constitutively activated BCR-ABL and SRC family tyrosine kinases.They account for the activations of multiple growth-signaling pathways, including Raf/MEK/ERK, Akt/mTOR and STAT5 pathways. The BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib is the standard treatment for Ph+ leukemia and plays efficacious role in CML. However, imatinib has few inhibitory effects on SRC tyrosine kinase with response rate of Ph+ ALL lower and relapse more frequent and quicker compared with CML. Previous studies showed that oridonin inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in many tumor cells. However, the anticancer activity and mechanism of oridonin in Ph+ ALL is unknown. To investigate the anticancer activity of oridonin, we examined its role in constitutively activated Akt/mTOR, Raf/MEK/ERK, STAT5 and SRC pathway, mRNA level of bcr/abl gene, cell viability and apoptosis in Ph+ ALL SUP-B15 cells. Furthermore, we detected synergetic effect of oridonin plus imatinib. Our results showed that oridonin inhibiting activations of LYN (one of SRC family kinases) and ABL and their downstream Akt/mTOR, Raf/MEK/ERK and STAT5 pathways, downregulated Bcl-2 but upregulated Bax protein and then induced apoptosis in Ph+ ALL cells. Oridonin plus imatinib exerted synergetic effects by overcoming imatinib defect of upregulating Akt/mTOR and LYN signaling. Additionally, we examined the effect of oridonin on the signaling pathways in the primary specimens from Ph+ ALL patients. Our data showed that oridonin remarkably suppressed activations of Akt/mTOR, Raf/MEK and STAT5 pathway in these primary specimens and oridonin with imatinib exerted synergetic suppressive effects on mTOR, STAT5 and LYN signaling in one imatinib resistant patient specimen. Additional evaluation of oridonin as a potential therapeutic agent for Ph+ ALL seems warranted.
Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia; oridonin; imatinib; anti-leukemia effect; LYN; Akt/mTOR; RAF/MEK/ERK; STAT5
Purpose: Characterize the parameters of reporting tumor-graft experiments for oncologic drug development.
Experimental Design: Using Institute of Scientific Information impact factors, we identified the most-cited medical and oncology journals with tumor-graft experiments in murine models. For each article, the characteristics of the experimental design, outcome measurements, and statistical analysis were examined.
Results: We examined 145 articles describing tumor-graft experiments from October through December 2008. The articles spanned a range of disease types, animal models, treatments and delivery methods. One hundred (69%) articles were missing information needed to replicate the experiments. Outcome measurements included: tumor size (83%), biological changes (57%), and survival or cure-rate outcomes (28%). Thirty-three percent did not specify how tumor size was measured and 30% were missing the formula for evaluating volume. Only 14% utilized appropriate statistical methods. Ninety-one percent of studies were reported as positive and 7% reported with mixed positive-negative results; only 2% of studies were reported negative or inconclusive. Twenty-two articles from 2012 showed improvement in the utilization of statistical methods (35% optimal, p = 0.05) but had a similar fraction with experimental design issues (82%; p = 0.32) limiting reproducibility and 91% had positive results.
Conclusions: Tumor-graft studies are reported without a set standard, often without the methodological information necessary to reproduce the experiments. The high percentage of positive trials suggests possible publication bias. Considering the widespread use of such experiments for oncologic drug development, scientists and publishers should develop experimental and publication guidelines for such experiments to ensure continued improvements in reporting.
drug development; drug testing; tumor grafts; tumor models; xenografts
Orally administered small molecule receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKIs) are increasingly common treatments for cancer, both alone and in combination with chemotherapy. However, their side effect profiles and the underlying mechanisms of such are not yet fully elucidated. Management of their most common dose limiting side effect, diarrhea, has been hampered by a lack of suitable animal models. We aimed to develop a clinically relevant rat model of RTKI-induced diarrhea that could be utilized for investigating supportive care interventions and pharmacokinetics. Albino Wistar rats were treated daily for 4 weeks with various concentrations of lapatinib to determine the optimal dose for development of diarrhea. This was then followed by an experiment with addition of paclitaxel once weekly for 4 weeks to observe effects of combination drug treatment on diarrhea. Data regarding animal tolerance to the treatment, organ weights, circulating lapatinib concentration and histopathology were collected weekly. Lapatinib caused diarrhea in rats that was dose-dependent. Diarrhea occurred without causing significant intestinal histopathology. Follow up experiments are currently underway to determine the exact pathogenesis and mechanisms of lapatinib-induced diarrhea and potential protective strategies.
lapatinib; diarrhea; intestine; rat model
CD44 is a cell surface antigen expressed on acute myeloid leukemia cells and is used as a marker to isolate leukemia stem cells. CD44 ligation with the antibody A3D8 has been found to induce apoptosis in human acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells via activation of caspase-8. The mechanism of A3D8-induced caspase-8 activation was studied in APL NB4 cells. A3D8 induces lipid raft clustering which causes Fas aggregation as determined with a confocal microscope. A3D8-induced apoptosis is abrogated by the lipid raft disrupting agent methyl-β-cyclodextrin and the caspase-8 inhibitor Z-IETD-fmk. Western blot analysis reveals that A3D8 binds to the standard form of CD44 (CD44s). HL-60 cells without detectable CD44s protein are not responsive to A3D8-induced apoptosis. SKNO-1 cells containing higher level of CD44s protein are more sensitive to A3D8-induced apoptosis than NB4 cells. These results indicate that A3D8 induces apoptosis in leukemia cells through caspase-8 activation by binding to CD44s protein and inducing lipid raft clustering.
antibody; apoptosis; CD44; lipid rafts; myeloid leukemia