RNA processing involves a variety of processes affecting gene expression, including the removal of introns through RNA splicing, as well as 3' end processing (cleavage and polyadenylation). Alternative RNA processing is fundamentally important for gene regulation, and aberrant processing is associated with the initiation and progression of cancer. Deregulated Wnt signaling, which is the initiating event in the development of most cases of human colorectal cancer (CRC), has been linked to modified RNA processing, which may contribute to Wnt-mediated colonic carcinogenesis. Crosstalk between Wnt signaling and alternative RNA splicing with relevance to CRC includes effects on the expression of Rac1b, an alternatively spliced gene associated with tumorigenesis, which exhibits alternative RNA splicing that is influenced by Wnt activity. In addition, Tcf4, a crucial component of Wnt signaling, also exhibits alternative splicing, which is likely involved in colonic tumorigenesis. Modulation of 3' end formation, including of the Wnt target gene COX-2, also can influence the neoplastic process, with implications for CRC. While many human genes are dependent on introns and splicing for normal levels of gene expression, naturally intronless genes exist with a unique metabolism that allows for intron-independent gene expression. Effects of Wnt activity on the RNA metabolism of the intronless Wnt-target gene c-jun is a likely contributor to cancer development. Further, butyrate, a breakdown product of dietary fiber and a histone deacetylase inhibitor, upregulates Wnt activity in CRC cells, and also modulates RNA processing; therefore, the interplay between Wnt activity, the modulation of this activity by butyrate, and differential RNA metabolism in colonic cells can significantly influence tumorigenesis. Determining the role played by altered RNA processing in Wnt-mediated neoplasia may lead to novel interventions aimed at restoring normal RNA metabolism for therapeutic benefit. Therefore, this minireview presents a brief overview of several aspects of RNA processing of relevance to cancer, which potentially influence, or are influenced by, Wnt signaling activity.
colon cancer; butyrate; Wnt activity; RNA processing; splicing; polyadenylation.
Background: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare, highly aggressive form of breast cancer. The mechanism of IBC carcinogenesis remains unknown. We sought to evaluate potential genetic risk factors for IBC and whether or not the IBC cell lines SUM149 and SUM190 demonstrated evidence of viral infection.
Methods: We performed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping for 2 variants of the ribonuclease (RNase) L gene that have been correlated with the risk of prostate cancer due to a possible viral etiology. We evaluated dose-response to treatment with interferon-alpha (IFN-α); and assayed for evidence of the putative human mammary tumor virus (HMTV, which has been implicated in IBC) in SUM149 cells. A bioinformatic analysis was performed to evaluate expression of RNase L in IBC and non-IBC.
Results: 2 of 2 IBC cell lines were homozygous for RNase L common missense variants 462 and 541; whereas 2 of 10 non-IBC cell lines were homozygous positive for the 462 variant (p= 0.09) and 0 of 10 non-IBC cell lines were homozygous positive for the 541 variant (p = 0.015). Our real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Southern blot analysis for sequences of HMTV revealed no evidence of the putative viral genome.
Conclusion: We discovered 2 SNPs in the RNase L gene that were homozygously present in IBC cell lines. The 462 variant was absent in non-IBC lines. Our discovery of these SNPs present in IBC cell lines suggests a possible biomarker for risk of IBC. We found no evidence of HMTV in SUM149 cells. A query of a panel of human IBC and non-IBC samples showed no difference in RNase L expression. Further studies of the RNase L 462 and 541 variants in IBC tissues are warranted to validate our in vitro findings.
inflammatory breast cancer; SUM149; HMTV; interferon-alpha; MMTV; RNase L.
For many years, the medical treatment of breast cancer was reliant solely on cytotoxic chemotherapy. However, over the past twenty years, treatment has evolved to a more target-directed approach. We now employ tailored therapy based on the presence or absence of receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2). We expect this trend to continue, as agents that use novel approaches to target HER2, as well as targeting different portions of the HER signaling pathway, are in various stages of development. Notably, pertuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to a different domain of the extracellular portion of the HER2 receptor than trastuzumab, was recently approved for use, as was lapatinib, a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Patients with triple negative breast cancer, particularly those with the BRCA mutation, have more limited treatment options and carry a worse prognosis than those who are hormone receptor positive. However, recent data has shown that PARP inhibitors may have significant anti-tumor effect in those with this subtype of breast cancer. Novel agents that inhibit mTOR, PI3K, the insulin-like growth factor, heat shock protein 90, and histone deacetylase have shown promise in phase I-III trials and offer exciting new possibilities for the treatment of this often fatal disease. As we are presented with an ever increasing number of treatment options, the timing and combinations of therapeutic agents used becomes ever more complex in the age of personalized care, but we are hopeful that ultimately this will lead to improved patient outcomes.
breast cancer; chemotherapy; novel therapeutics; biologics; HER2; PARP inhibitors.
Tumor progression is often associated with chronic inflammation in the tumor microenvironment, which is mediated by numerous cytokines, chemokines and growth factors produced by cancer and stroma cells. All these mediators support tumor development and immunosuppression in autocrine and/or paracrine ways. Neutralization of chronic inflammatory conditions can lead to the restoration of anti-tumor immune responses. Among stroma cells infiltrating tumors, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) represent one of the most important players mediating immunosuppression. These cells may not only inhibit an anti-tumor immunity but also directly stimulate tumorigenesis as well as tumor growth and expansion. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of generation, migration to the tumor site and activation of MDSC is necessary for the development of new strategies of tumor immunotherapy.
myeloid-derived suppressor cells; cancer; myeloipoiesis; tumorigenesis; immunosuppression.
Accumulated evidence from our laboratory indicates that conditioned or anergized NK cells have the ability to induce resistance of healthy stem cells and transformed cancer stem cells through both secreted factors and direct cell-cell contact by inducing differentiation. Cytotoxic function of NK cells is suppressed in the tumor microenvironment by a number of distinct effectors and their secreted factors. Furthermore, decreased peripheral blood NK cell function has been documented in many cancer patients. We have previously shown that NK cells mediate significant cytotoxicity against primary oral squamous carcinoma stem cells (OSCSCs) as compared to their more differentiated oral squamous carcinoma cells (OSCCs). In addition, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) and induced human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) were all significantly more susceptible to NK cell mediated cytotoxicity than their differentiated counterparts or parental cells from which they were derived. We have also reported that inhibition of differentiation or reversion of cells to a less-differentiated phenotype by blocking NFκB or gene deletion of COX2 significantly augmented NK cell function. Furthermore, the induction of resistance of the stem cells to NK cell mediated cytotoxicity and their subsequent differentiation is amplified when either the stem cells or the NK cells were cultured in the presence of monocytes. Therefore, we propose that the two stages of NK cell maturation namely CD16+CD56dimCD69- NK cells are important for the lysis of stem cells or poorly differentiated cells whereas the CD16dim/-CD56dim/+CD69+NK cells are important for differentiation and eventual regeneration of the tissues and the resolution of inflammation, thus functionally serving as regulatory NK cells (NKreg). CD16 receptor on the NK cells were found to be the receptor with significant potential to induce NK cell anergy, however, our recent data indicated that NKp46 but not NKp30 or NKp44 were also able to induce significant anergy in NK cells, although the levels were less when compared to CD16 receptor triggering. The concept of split anergy in NK cells and generation of NKreg and its contribution to cell differentiation, tissue repair and regeneration and in tumor resistance will be discussed in this review.
apoptosis; NFκB; NK; cancer stem cells; differentiation; Regulation.
Natural killer (NK) cells are one of the first cells to recover following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), and are believed to play an important role in facilitating engraftment or preventing post-transplant infection and tumor recurrence. Recent studies have provided novel insights into the mechanisms by which NK cells mediate these highly clinically relevant immunological functions. In particular, the ability of NK cells to reduce the risk of graft versus host disease (GVHD) and increase the graft versus leukemia effect (GVL) in the setting of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-haploidentical HSCT highlights their clinical potentials. NK cells also mediate anti-viral protection, in particular against cytomegalovirus (CMV), an infection that causes significant morbidity and mortality following transplant. Another crucial function of NK cells is providing protection against bacterial infections at the mucosal barriers. NK cells achieve this by promoting anti-microbial defenses and regeneration of epithelial cells. These recent exciting findings provide a strong basis for the formulation of novel NK cell-based immunotherapies. In this review, we summarize the recent advances related to the mechanisms, functions, and future clinical prospects of NK cells that can impact post-transplant outcomes.
Natural killer cells; immunological functions; stem cell; post-transplant
The complexity of the tumor immunoenvironment is underscored by the emergence and discovery of different subsets of immune effectors and regulatory cells. Tumor-induced polarization of immune cell differentiation and function makes this unique environment even more intricate and variable. Dendritic cells (DCs) represent a special group of cells that display different phenotype and activity at the tumor site and exhibit differential pro-tumorigenic and anti-tumorigenic functions. DCs play a key role in inducing and maintaining the antitumor immunity, but in the tumor environment their antigen-presenting function may be lost or inefficient. DCs might be also polarized into immunosuppressive/tolerogenic regulatory DCs, which limit activity of effector T cells and support tumor growth and progression. Although various factors and signaling pathways have been described to be responsible for abnormal functioning of DCs in cancer, there are still no feasible therapeutic modalities available for preventing or reversing DC malfunction in tumor-bearing hosts. Thus, better understanding of DC immunobiology in cancer is pivotal for designing novel or improved therapeutic approaches that will allow proper functioning of DCs in patients with cancer.
dendritic cells; regulatory dendritic cells; immunosuppression; tumor microenvironment; tumor escape.
Cystatins comprise a large superfamily of related proteins with diverse biological activities. They were initially characterised as inhibitors of lysosomal cysteine proteases, however, in recent years some alternative functions for cystatins have been proposed. Cystatins possessing inhibitory function are members of three families, family I (stefins), family II (cystatins) and family III (kininogens). Stefin A is often linked to neoplastic changes in epithelium while another family I cystatin, stefin B is supposed to have a specific role in neuredegenerative diseases. Cystatin C, a typical type II cystatin, is expressed in a variety of human tissues and cells. On the other hand, expression of other type II cystatins is more specific. Cystatin F is an endo/lysosome targeted protease inhibitor, selectively expressed in immune cells, suggesting its role in processes related to immune response. Our recent work points on its role in regulation of dendritic cell maturation and in natural killer cells functional inactivation that may enhance tumor survival. Cystatin E/M expression is mainly restricted to the epithelia of the skin which emphasizes its prominent role in cutaneous biology. Here, we review the current knowledge on type I (stefins A and B) and type II cystatins (cystatins C, F and E/M) in pathologies, with particular emphasis on their suppressive vs. promotional function in the tumorigenesis and metastasis. We proposed that an imbalance between cathepsins and cystatins may attenuate immune cell functions and facilitate tumor cell invasion.
cystatin; stefin; cathepsin; inhibitor; protease; proteolytic activity; immune cells; tumor; disease.
Tissue regeneration is a critical component of organ maintenance. The ability of lymphocytes to kill pathogen-infected cells has been well-studied. However, the necessity for lymphocytes to participate in reconstruction of destroyed tissues has not been explored until recently. Interleukin (IL)-22, a newly defined cytokine exclusively produced by subsets of lymphocytes, provides the strongest proof yet for the tissue regenerative potentials of the immune system. IL-22 plays an obligatory role in epithelial homeostasis in the gut, liver and lung. The receptor for IL-22 (IL-22R1 and IL-10R2) is predominantly expressed by epithelial cells. While the pro-inflammatory effect is questioned, the pro-constructive potential of IL-22 is well established. It is evident from the response to IL-22, that epithelial cells not only produce anti-microbial peptides but also actively proliferate. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and retinoic acid-related orphan receptor (RORγt) transcription factor are required for IL-22 generation from Lymphoid Tissue inducer cells LTi, Th22 and NK-like cells. However, IL-22 production from conventional NK cells is independent of AhR and RORγt. In this review, we present a case for a paradigm shift in how we define the function of the immune system. This would include tissue regeneration as a legitimate immune function.
Interleukin (IL)-22; immune function; tissue regeneration
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a complex tissue that contains tumor cells and the surrounding stroma, which is populated by different types of mesenchymal cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM). Collectively, they are referred to as the tumor microenvironment (TME). Recent studies have shown that TME has a more profound influence on the growth and metastasis of HNSCC than was previously appreciated. Because carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are frequently observed in the stroma of the tumor, this review focuses on the potential role of tumor-CAFs interactions in progression of HNSCC. Tumor-CAFs crosstalk enhances the production of growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and inflammatory mediators, which eventually facilitates tumor growth. In fact, factors and cells that do not support tumor growth are usually down regulated or mitigated in TME. Therefore TME may determine the fate of the tumors at the site of invasion and metastasis. For tumor cells that survive at these sites, stromal activation may serve to establish a supportive tumor stroma, fostering the outgrowth of the metastatic cells. The concept of tumor-stromal interactions and microenvironmental niche has profound consequences in tumor growth and metastasis and therefore, it's understanding will open up new strategies for the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of HNSCC.
Head and neck cancer; Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs); Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs); Cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2); CXCR4; CCL12.
It is a commonly held belief that infiltration of immune cells into tumor tissues and direct physical contact between tumor cells and infiltrated immune cells is associated with physical destructions of the tumor cells, reduction of the tumor burden, and improved clinical prognosis. An increasing number of studies, however, have suggested that aberrant infiltration of immune cells into tumor or normal tissues may promote tumor progression, invasion, and metastasis. Neither the primary reason for these contradictory observations, nor the mechanism for the reported diverse impact of tumor-infiltrating immune cells has been elucidated, making it difficult to judge the clinical implications of infiltration of immune cells within tumor tissues. This mini-review presents several existing hypotheses and models that favor the promoting impact of tumor-infiltrating immune cells on tumor invasion and metastasis, and also analyzes their strength and weakness.
immune cell; tumor progression; invasion; metastasis
Hitting the evasive tumor cells proves challenging in targeted cancer therapies. A general and unconventional anticancer approach namely small molecule sequential dual-targeting theragnostic strategy (SMSDTTS) has recently been introduced with the aims to target and debulk the tumor mass, wipe out the residual tumor cells, and meanwhile enable cancer detectability. This dual targeting approach works in two steps for systemic delivery of two naturally derived drugs. First, an anti-tubulin vascular disrupting agent, e.g., combretastatin A4 phosphate (CA4P), is injected to selectively cut off tumor blood supply and to cause massive necrosis, which nevertheless always leaves peripheral tumor residues. Secondly, a necrosis-avid radiopharmaceutical, namely 131I-hypericin (131I-Hyp), is administered the next day, which accumulates in intratumoral necrosis and irradiates the residual cancer cells with beta particles. Theoretically, this complementary targeted approach may biologically and radioactively ablate solid tumors and reduce the risk of local recurrence, remote metastases, and thus cancer mortality. Meanwhile, the emitted gamma rays facilitate radio-scintigraphy to detect tumors and follow up the therapy, hence a simultaneous theragnostic approach. SMSDTTS has now shown promise from multicenter animal experiments and may demonstrate unique anticancer efficacy in upcoming preliminary clinical trials. In this short review article, information about the two involved agents, the rationale of SMSDTTS, its preclinical antitumor efficacy, multifocal targetability, simultaneous theragnostic property, and toxicities of the dose regimens are summarized. Meanwhile, possible drawbacks, practical challenges and future improvement with SMSDTTS are discussed, which hopefully may help to push forward this strategy from preclinical experiments towards possible clinical applications.
small molecule sequential dual-targeting theragnostic strategy; SMSDTTS; vascular disrupting agent; combretastatin A4 phosphate; necrosis avid contrast agent; hypericin.
Even with the technological advances of dose-escalated IMRT with the addition of the latest image guidance technologies, local failures still occur. The combination of MRI-based imaging techniques can yield quantitative information that reflects on the biological properties of prostatic tissues. These techniques provide unique information that can be used for tumor detection in the treated gland. With the advent of these improved imaging modalities, it has become possible to more effectively image local recurrences within the prostate gland. With better imaging, these focal recurrences can be differentially targeted with salvage brachytherapy minimizing rectal and bladder toxicity. Here we report a novel use of MRI-directed focal brachytherapy after local recurrence. This technique offers a unique opportunity to safely and successfully treat recurrent prostate cancer, previously treated with definitive radiation therapy. The use of multi-parametric MRI-directed focal salvage permanent interstitial brachytherapy for locally recurrent adenocarcinoma of the prostate is a promising strategy to avoid more aggressive and expensive treatments that are associated with increased morbidity, potentially improving survival at potentially lower costs.
Prostate cancer; Salvage therapy; Brachytherapy Multi-parametric MRI.
Objective. The high temperature requirement factor A3 (HtrA3) is a serine protease homologous to bacterial HtrA. Four human HtrAs have been identified. HtrA1 and HtrA3 share a high degree of domain organization and are downregulated in a number of cancers, suggesting a widespread loss of these proteases in cancer. This study examined how extensively the HtrA (HtrA1-3) proteins are downregulated in commonly used cancer cell lines and primary ovarian tumors.
Methods. RT-PCR was applied to various cancer cell lines (n=17) derived from the ovary, endometrium, testes, breast, prostate, and colon, and different subtypes of primary ovarian tumors [granulosa cell tumors (n=19), mucinous cystadenocarcinomas (n=6), serous cystadenocarcinomas (n=8)] and normal ovary (n = 9). HtrA3 protein was localized by immunohistochemistry.
Results. HtrA3 was extensively downregulated in the cancer cell lines examined including the granulosa cell tumor-derived cell lines. In primary ovarian tumors, the HtrA3 was significantly lower in serous cystadenocarcinoma and granulosa cell tumors. In contrast, HtrA1 and HtrA2 were expressed in all samples with no significant differences between the control and tumors. In normal postmenopausal ovary, HtrA3 protein was localized to lutenizing stromal cells and corpus albicans. In serous cystadenocarcinoma, HtrA3 protein was absent in the papillae but detected in the mesenchymal cyst wall.
Conclusion. HtrA3 is more extensively downregulated than HtrA1-2 in cancer cell lines. HtrA3, but not HtrA1 or HtrA2, was decreased in primary ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma and granulosa cell tumors. This study provides evidence that HtrA3 may be the most relevant HtrA associated with ovarian malignancy.
HtrA3; ovarian cancer; protease; GCT; Serous cystadenocarcinoma.
The ability to define malignancy in its earliest stages of development is an essential part of any program aimed at attempting to cure the malignant condition. In terms of colon cancer various approaches have been employed to define the transformation of colonocytes as they progress to the fully malignant phenotype. Approaches ranging from nanocytology to mass spectroscopy have been utilized with limited success.
Our group at Precision Biologics has been able to define three distinct immunogenic proteins, most oncofetal in origin, which are expressed to various degrees in colon cancer and are essentially absent from normal colon tissue. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been developed against these tumor associated antigens (TAA), which is NPC-1, 31.1 and 16C3. Each, have shown significant ADCC in the presence of the tumor cells grown in culture. Studies were performed to clarify at what stage in the development of the colon cancer do such TAA proteins begin to be expressed. Utilizing Immunohistochemistry (IHC) with the mAbs targeting the TAA's, we have been able to demonstrate that such antigens appear in the cytoplasm as early as 6 or more months prior to the phenotypic appearance of malignancy utilizing H&E staining.
Kits containing these colon Ca monoclonals from our lab, as well as positive and negative controls have been produced for use in the operating room to examine colonocytes at the margin of resection following colectomy; this in order to assure that transforming cells are not incorporated into an anastomosis. We have also been able to demonstrate that premalignant cells as well as those cells present in a fully malignant lesion do shed their antigens into the lumen of the bowel. As such, we have been able to show that a simple “office” stool ELISA can predict with a high degree of accuracy whether a premalignant polypoid lesion, a fully malignant adenocarcinoma or a totally normal colon free of any neoplastic process is present and thus decide on the need for or not, of performing colonoscopy.
Colon monoclonal antibodies; Immunohistochemistry; transforming colonocytes; Stool ELISA.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States (U.S.), with estimates of 143,460 new cases and 51,690 deaths for the year 2012. Numerous organizations have published guidelines for CRC screening; however, these numerical estimates of incidence and disease-specific mortality have remained stable from years prior. Technological, genetic profiling, molecular and surgical advances in our modern era should allow us to improve risk stratification of patients with CRC and identify those who may benefit from preventive measures, early aggressive treatment, alternative treatment strategies, and/or frequent surveillance for the early detection of disease recurrence. To better negotiate future economic constraints and enhance patient outcomes, ultimately, we propose to apply the principals of personalized and precise cancer care to risk-stratify patients for CRC screening (Precision Risk Stratification-Based Screening, PRSBS). We believe that genetic, molecular, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities impact oncological outcomes in general, those related to CRC, in particular. This document highlights evidence-based screening recommendations and risk stratification methods in response to our CRC working group private-public consensus meeting held in March 2012. Our aim was to address how we could improve CRC risk stratification-based screening, and to provide a vision for the future to achieving superior survival rates for patients diagnosed with CRC.
cancer screening; risk identification; colon; rectal; colorectal cancer; evidence-based medicine; consensus
Metastatic disease is the principle cause of death from colorectal cancer. In that context, the most significant indicator of overall survival and therapeutic response to adjuvant chemotherapy is the presence of metastatic tumor cells in regional lymph nodes. Although histopathologic analysis of lymph nodes is central to all colorectal cancer staging paradigms, its prognostic and predictive value is limited. Indeed, about 30% of patients with histopathology-negative lymph nodes (pN0) die from metastatic disease, reflected by microscopic lymph node metastases that are overlooked by standard techniques. These unrecognized tumor cells are especially important when considering racial disparities in outcomes in colorectal cancer patients, where blacks with lymph node-negative disease have the largest discrepancies in outcomes, with more than 40% excess mortality compared to Caucasian patients. However, the significance of tumor cells in regional lymph nodes remains uncertain, and approximately 50% of colorectal cancer patients with nodal metastases detected by histopathology remain free of recurrent disease. Accurate identification of occult metastases in regional lymph nodes, and defining their value as prognostic markers of recurrence risk and predictive markers of response to adjuvant chemotherapy remains one challenge in the management of colorectal cancer patients. Guanylyl cyclase C (GUCY2C), a receptor which is expressed primarily in intestinal cells normally, but is universally over-expressed by colorectal cancer cells, has been validated to detect prognostically significant occult metastases using quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR). Biomarker validation was achieved through a prospective, multicenter, blinded clinical trial. In that trial, occult tumor burden estimated across all regional lymph nodes by GUCY2C RT-qPCR predicted clinical outcomes, identifying node-negative patients with a low (near zero) risk, and those with >80% risk, of developing disease recurrence. Moreover, there was disproportionately higher occult tumor burden in black, compared to white, patients which contributes to racial disparities in outcomes in colorectal cancer. The diagnostic paradigm quantifying occult tumor burden using GUCY2C qRT-PCR is positioned to reduce racial disparities in colorectal cancer mortality.
Colorectal cancer; Early detection; Molecular stage; Cancer biomarkers; Guanylyl cyclase C
CT colonography (CTC) is a validated colorectal cancer test that provides an additional minimally-invasive screening option which is likely to be preferred by some patients. Important examination prerequisites include adequate colonic cleansing and distention. Tagging of residual material aids in the differentiation of true polyps from stool. Low radiation dose technique should be employed routinely for screening studies. Readers must be skilled in the use of both 2D and 3D interpretation methods.
CT colonography; colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Early identification and treatment of pre-cancerous colorectal lesions, or node-negative CRC are highly effective interventions that substantially reduce disease-specific mortality. Colonoscopy remains a highly effective primary screening tool based on its excellent diagnostic accuracy, and its ability to remove pre-cancerous lesions. However, the nature of the procedure limits compliance with colonoscopy intended for population-based CRC screening. A significant advance in the screening and care of these patients could be realized by blood-based biomarkers, which could accurately identify patients at-risk for CRC development whom might benefit from early and/or more frequent surveillance for disease. We reviewed and herein discuss the potential for serum based DNA methylation biomarkers for screening and early detection of CRC.
Colorectal cancer; Biomarker: Early detection; Screening; Serum; DNA methylation.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Many, if not most, cases arise from premalignant lesions (adenomas) which may be identified and removed prior to becoming frankly malignant. For over a decade, colonoscopy has been the preferred modality for both CRC screening and prevention in the US. Early reports suggested that colonoscopic screening imparted a 90% risk reduction for colorectal cancer. Subsequent studies showed that estimate to be overly optimistic. While still an outstanding CRC screening and detection tool, colonoscopy has several important limitations. Some of these limitations relate to the mechanics of the procedure such as the risk of colonic perforation, bleeding, adverse consequences of sedation, and the inability to detect all colonic polyps. Other limitations reflect issues with patient perception regarding colonoscopy which, at least in part, drive patient non-adherence to recommended testing. This review examines the literature to address several important issues. First, we analyze the effect of colonoscopy on CRC incidence and mortality. Second, we consider the patient-based, periprocedural, and intraprocedural factors which may limit colonoscopy as a screening modality. Third, we explore new techniques and technologies which may enhance the efficacy of colonoscopy for adenoma detection. Finally, we discuss the short and long-term future of colonoscopy for CRC screening and the factors which may affect this future.
Colonoscopy; colon cancer; screening; adenocarcinoma
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major burden to healthcare systems worldwide accounting for approximately one million of new cancer cases worldwide. Even though, CRC mortality has decreased over the last 20 years, it remains the third most common cause of cancer-related mortality, accounting for approximately 600,000 deaths in 2008 worldwide. A multitude of risk factors have been linked to CRC, including hereditary factors, environmental factors and inflammatory syndromes affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Recently, various pathogens were added to the growing list of risk factors for a number of common epithelial cancers, but despite the multitude of correlative studies, only suggestions remain about the possible relationship between selected viruses and bacteria of interest and the CRC risk. United States military service members are exposed to various risk factors impacting the incidence of cancer development. These exposures are often different from that of many sectors of the civilian population. Thereby, cancer risk identification, screening and early detection are imperative for both the military health care beneficiaries and the population as a whole. In this review, we will focus on several pathogens and their potential roles in development of CRC, highlighting the clinical trials evaluating this correlation and provide our personal opinion about the importance of risk reduction, health promotion and disease prevention for military health care beneficiaries.
infection; bacteria; virus; infectious agent; colon cancer; colorectal cancer; cancer risk.
Over 50% of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) will progress and/or develop metastases. Biomarkers capable of predicting progression, risk stratification and therapeutic benefit are needed. Cancer stem cells are thought to be responsible for tumor initiation, dissemination and treatment failure. Therefore, we hypothesized that CRC stem cell markers (CRCSC) can identify a group of patients whom are at increased risk for recurrence or progression of disease. If proven correct, these CRCSC biomarkers may herald a paradigm shift in the treatment of this deadly disease. This manuscript reviews current CRC evidence based screening modalities, patient stratification, and summarizes the current state of biomarkers and discusses the novel concept of putative CRCSC's as prognostic biomarkers.
Colorectal cancer; Cancer stem cells; Biomarkers.
The process of neoplastic transformation of the colon involves a progression through hyperproliferative epithelium through the aberrant crypt foci→small adenoma→large adenoma→invasive cancer→metastatic disease. These are orchestrated by sequential genetic and epigenetic events which provide the underpinnings of cellular alterations such as early induction in proliferation/suppression of apoptosis, along with the late stage increase in invasiveness. Colorectal cancer (CRC) averages 49-111 mutations per tumor encompassing 10-15 critical signaling pathways. Accumulating such a high number of mutations requires a fertile mutational field, which is the hallmark of colon carcinogenesis.
While genetic susceptibility to colorectal cancer is well-known, at least half of the risk is believed to be due to exogeneous factors (e.g., obesity, diet, exercise). Understanding these risk factors represents a promising mode of tailoring screening modality and intensity. However, previous attempts using these factors (i.e., NCI risk calculator) have only been modestly successful with an area under receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve (AUC) of just 0.61. One of the most important concepts is that risk is the interaction between these genetic and environmental components and is driven by the variety of polymorphisms. Thus, predicting risk is difficult given the complexity. On the other hand, the colonic mucosa represents the end product of the complex interplay between these multiple factors. The power of field carcinogenesis is that it reflects this interplay between genetics and environment.
Field effect; light scattering; colon cancer; LEBS; PWS; spectroscopy.