Identifying biomarkers in body fluids may improve the noninvasive detection of colorectal cancer. Previously, we identified N-Myc downstream-regulated gene 4 (NDRG4) and GATA binding protein 5 (GATA5) methylation as promising biomarkers for colorectal cancer in stool DNA. Here, we examined the utility of NDRG4, GATA5, and two additional markers [Forkhead box protein E1 (FOXE1) and spectrin repeat containing nuclear envelope 1 (SYNE1)] promoter methylation as biomarkers in plasma DNA. Quantitative methylation-specific PCR was performed on plasma DNA from 220 patients with colorectal cancer and 684 noncancer controls, divided in a training set and a test set. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed to measure the area under the curve of GATA5, NDRG4, SYNE1, and FOXE1 methylation. Functional assays were performed in SYNE1 and FOXE1 stably transfected cell lines. The sensitivity of NDRG4, GATA5, FOXE1, and SYNE1 methylation in all stages of colorectal cancer (154 cases, 444 controls) was 27% [95% confidence interval (CI), 20%–34%), 18% (95% CI, 12%–24%), 46% (95% CI, 38%– 54%), and 47% (95% CI, 39%–55%), with a specificity of 95% (95% CI, 93%–97%), 99% (95% CI, 98%–100%), 93% (95% CI, 91%–95%), and 96% (95% CI, 94%–98%), respectively. Combining SYNE1 and FOXE1, increased the sensitivity to 56% (95% CI, 48%–64%), while the specificity decreased to 90% (95% CI, 87%–93%) in the training set and to 58% sensitivity (95% CI, 46%–70%) and 91% specificity (95% CI, 80%–100%) in a test set (66 cases, 240 controls). SYNE1 overexpression showed no major differences in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion compared with controls. Overexpression of FOXE1 significantly decreased the number of colonies in SW480 and HCT116 cell lines. Overall, our data suggest that SYNE1 and FOXE1 are promising markers for colorectal cancer detection.
Atypical hyperplasia is a high risk premalignant lesion of the breast, but its biology is poorly understood. Many believe that atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) is a direct precursor for low-grade ductal breast cancer (BC) while atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH) serves as a risk indicator. These assumptions underlie current clinical recommendations. We tested these assumptions by studying the characteristics of the breast cancers (BCs) that develop in women with ADH or ALH.
Using the Mayo Benign Breast Disease Cohort, we identified all women with ADH or ALH from 1967–2001 and followed them for later BCs, characterizing side of BC vs side of atypia; time to BC; type, histology and grade of BC, looking for patterns consistent with precursors vs risk indicators.
698 women with atypical hyperplasia were followed a mean of 12.5 years; 143 developed BC. For both ADH and ALH, there is a 2:1 ratio of ipsilateral to contralateral BCs. The ipsilateral predominance is marked in the first five years, consistent with a precursor phenotype for both ADH and ALH. For both, there is a predominance of invasive ductal cancers with 69% of moderate or high-grade. 25% are node positive.
Both ADH and ALH portend risk for DCIS and invasive BCs, predominantly ductal, with two thirds moderate or high-grade. The ipsilateral breast is at especially high risk for BC in the first five years after atypia, with risk remaining elevated in both breasts long-term. ADH and ALH behave similarly in terms of later BC endpoints.
atypia; atypical hyperplasia; breast cancer
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that most cases of lung cancers (85-90%) are directly attributable to cigarette smoking. Although much information has been gained about the effects of cigarette smoking on various signaling pathways causing lung cancer, nothing is known about the effect cigarette smoking on the TGF-β-induced tumor suppressor function in lung cancer. To address this issue, lung adenocarcinoma A549 and immortalized bronchial epithelial HPL1A cells were chronically treated with cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) and Dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO, as a control) to mimic the conditions of long-term cigarette smoking. Prolonged exposure of these cells to CSC resulted in a decrease in Smad3 and Smad4 complex formation and TGF-β-mediated transcription due to reduced expression of Smad3. Long-term CSC treatment reduced apoptosis, increased cell viability, decreased TGF-β-mediated growth inhibition, and enhanced tumorigenicity. The decrease in apoptosis is due to the up-regulation of Bcl-2, which is a downstream target of Smad3. Re-expression of Smad3 in the CSC treated cells restored TGF-β signaling, increased apoptosis and decreased cell viability and tumorigenicity. Withdrawal of CSC treatment resulted in the restoration of Smad3 expression, reduction in cell viability and increased TGF-β-mediated growth inhibition. Expression of Smad3 is lower in lung tumors of current smokers compared to that observed in never-smokers. Collectively, these data provide evidence that cigarette smoking promotes tumorigenicity partly by abrogating TGF-β-mediated growth inhibition and apoptosis by reducing expression of Smad3.
Smad3; TGF-β signaling; cigarette smoking; lung cancer
In the present study, the ability of metformin to inhibit skin tumor promotion by 12-O- tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) was analyzed in mice maintained on either an overweight control diet or an obesity inducing diet. Rapamycin was included for comparison, and a combination of metformin and rapamycin was also evaluated. Metformin (given in the drinking water) and rapamycin (given topically) inhibited development of both papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas in overweight and obese mice in a dose-dependent manner. A low dose combination of these two compounds displayed an additive inhibitory effect on tumor development. Metformin treatment also reduced the size of papillomas. Interestingly, all treatments appeared to be at least as effective for inhibiting tumor formation in obese mice and both metformin and rapamycin were more effective at reducing tumor size in obese mice compared to overweight control mice. The effect of metformin on skin tumor development was associated with a significant reduction in TPA-induced epidermal hyperproliferation. Furthermore, treatment with metformin led to activation of epidermal AMPK and attenuated signaling through mTORC1 and p70S6K. Combinations of metformin and rapamycin were more effective at blocking epidermal mTORC1 signaling induced by TPA consistent with the greater inhibitory effect on skin tumor promotion. Collectively, the current data demonstrate that metformin given in the drinking water effectively inhibited skin tumor promotion in both overweight and obese mice and that the mechanism involves activation of epidermal AMPK and attenuated signaling downstream of mTORC1.
metformin; rapamycin; dietary energy balance; tumor promotion; mTORC1
Definition of the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer allows investigators an enhanced understanding of the natural history of the disease, thus fostering development of new prevention strategies. In addition to regulating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the transcription factor Snail exerts global effects on gene expression. Our recent studies reveal that Snail is upregulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is associated with poor prognosis, and promotes tumor progression in vivo. Herein, we demonstrate that overexpression of Snail leads to upregulation of Secreted Protein, Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC) in models of premalignancy and established disease, as well as in lung carcinoma tissues in situ. Snail overexpression leads to increased SPARC-dependent invasion in vitro, indicating that SPARC may play a role in lung cancer progression. Bioinformatic analysis implicates TGF-β, ERK1/2, and miR-29b as potential intermediaries in Snail-mediated upregulation of SPARC. Both the TGF-β1 ligand and TGF-βR2 are upregulated following Snail overexpression. Treatment of human bronchial epithelial cell (HBEC) lines with TGF-β1 and inhibition of TGF-β1 mRNA expression modulated SPARC expression. Inhibition of MEK phosphorylation downregulated SPARC. MiR-29b is downregulated in Snail overexpressing cell lines, while overexpression of miR-29b inhibited SPARC expression. In addition, miR-29b was upregulated following ERK inhibition, suggesting a Snail-dependent pathway by which Snail activation of TGF-β and ERK signaling results in downregulation of miR-29b and subsequent upregulation of SPARC. Our discovery of pathways responsible for Snail-induced SPARC expression contributes to the definition of NSCLC pathogenesis.
NSCLC; Snail; SPARC; invasion; parallel progression
We previously reported the chemopreventive potential of kava against 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)- and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP)-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice during the initiation and post-initiation stages. In this study, we investigated the tumorigenesis-stage specificity of kava, the potential active compounds, and the underlying mechanisms in NNK-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice. In the first experiment, NNK-treated mice were given diets containing kava at a dose of 5 mg/g of diet during different periods. Kava treatments covering the initiation stage reduced the multiplicity of lung adenomas by ~ 99%. A minimum effective dose is yet to be defined because kava at two lower dosages (2.5 and 1.25 mg/g of diet) were equally effective as 5 mg/g of diet in complete inhibiting lung adenoma formation. Daily gavage of kava (one before, during, and after NNK treatment) completely blocked lung adenoma formation as well. Kavalactone-enriched Fraction B fully recapitulated kava’s chemopreventive efficacy while kavalactone-free Fractions A and C were much less effective. Mechanistically, kava and Fraction B reduced NNK-induced DNA damage in lung tissues with a unique and preferential reduction in O6-methylguanine (O6-mG), the highly tumorigenic DNA damage by NNK, correlating and predictive of efficacy on blocking lung adenoma formation. Taken together, these results demonstrate the outstanding efficacy of kava in preventing NNK-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice with high selectivity for the initiation stage in association with the reduction of O6-mG adduct in DNA. They also establish the knowledge basis for the identification of the active compound(s) in kava.
kava; chemoprevention; lung; tumorigenesis; NNK; DNA damage; A/J mouse
Cancer prevention (chemoprevention) by using naturally occurring dietary agents has gained immense interest due to the broad safety window of these compounds. However, many of these compounds are hydrophobic and poorly soluble in water. They frequently display low bioavailability, poor systemic delivery, and low efficacy. To circumvent this problem, we explored a novel approach towards chemoprevention using nanotechnology to deliver luteolin, a natural compound present in green vegetables. We formulated water soluble polymer-encapsulated Nano-Luteolin from hydrophobic luteolin, and studied its anticancer activity against lung cancer and head and neck cancer. In vitro studies demonstrated that, like luteolin, Nano-Luteolin inhibited the growth of lung cancer cells (H292 cell line) and squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN) cells (Tu212 cell line). In Tu212 cells, the IC50 value of Nano-Luteolin was 4.13μM, and that of luteolin was 6.96μM. In H292 cells, the IC50 of luteolin was 15.56μM, and Nano-Luteolin was 14.96μM. In vivo studies using a tumor xenograft mouse model demonstrated that Nano-Luteolin has a significant inhibitory effect on the tumor growth of SCCHN in comparison to luteolin. Our results suggest that nanoparticle delivery of naturally occurring dietary agents like luteolin has many advantages and may have potential application in chemoprevention in clinical settings.
Cancer; chemoprevention; luteolin; nanotechnology; nanomedicine
In 2007, International Agency for Cancer Research presented compelling evidence that linked smokeless tobacco use to the development of human oral cancer. While these findings imply vigorous local carcinogen metabolism, little is known regarding levels and distribution of Phase I, II and drug egress enzymes in human oral mucosa. In the study presented here, we integrated clinical data, imaging and histopathologic analyses of an oral squamous cell carcinoma that arose at the site of smokeless tobacco quid placement in a patient. Immunoblot and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses were employed to identify tumor and normal human oral mucosal smokeless tobacco-associated metabolic activation and detoxification enzymes. Human oral epithelium contains every known Phase I enzyme associated with nitrosamine oxidative bioactivation with ~2 fold inter-donor differences in protein levels. Previous studies have confirmed ~3.5 fold inter-donor variations in intraepithelial Phase II enzymes. Unlike the superficially located enzymes in non-replicating esophageal surface epithelium, IHC studies confirmed oral mucosal nitrosamine metabolizing enzymes reside in the basilar and suprabasilar region which notably is the site of ongoing keratinocyte DNA replication. Clearly, variations in product composition, nitrosamine metabolism and exposure duration will modulate clinical outcomes. The data presented here form a coherent picture consistent with the abundant experimental data that links tobacco-specific nitrosamines to human oral cancer.
smokeless tobacco; nitrosamines; oral squamous cell carcinoma; nitrosamine metabolism
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a lethal malignancy with an unknown etiology and no prevention strategy. Aspirin inhibits several pathways mediated by nuclear factor (NF)-κB, cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, or their targets that are important in MM pathogenesis. We conducted prospective analyses in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study cohorts to examine whether regular aspirin use influences MM risk. We used biennially updated data to characterize aspirin use from baseline through a cancer diagnosis, death, or 2008. We applied a four-year lag in exposure classification to diminish the influence of preclinical MM on aspirin use habits. We obtained hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from multivariable proportional hazard models to assess the association of aspirin use with MM risk. We tested for trend across increasing quantity and duration of use. During 2,395,458 person-years, we confirmed 328 incident MM diagnoses, including 265 with prospective information on typical aspirin dose and frequency. Participants with a cumulative average of ≥5 adult strength (325-mg) tablets/week had a 39% lower MM risk than non-users (HR, 95% CI: 0.61, 0.39–0.94; tablets/week, P-trend=0.06). Persons with ≥11 years of continuous regular aspirin use also had a lower MM risk (HR, 95% CI: 0.63, 0.41–0.95; duration, P-trend=0.17). The associations appeared stronger in men than in women, possibly reflecting gender differences in aspirin use patterns. This prospective study of aspirin use and MM supports an etiologic role for aspirin-inhibited (i.e., NF-κB- or COX-2-mediated) pathways. The utility of aspirin for MM chemoprevention warrants further evaluation.
multiple myeloma; aspirin; epidemiology; prospective; risk factors
All cancers are believed to arise by dynamic, stochastic somatic genomic evolution with genome instability, generation of diversity and selection of genomic alterations that underlie multi-stage progression to cancer. Advanced esophageal adenocarcinomas (EAs) have high levels of somatic copy number alterations. Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a risk factor for developing EA, and somatic chromosomal alterations (SCAs) are known to occur in BE. The vast majority (~95%) of individuals with BE do not progress to EA during their lifetimes, but a small subset develop EA, many of which arise rapidly even in carefully monitored patients without visible endoscopic abnormalities at the index endoscopy. Using a well-designed, longitudinal case-cohort study, we characterized SCA as assessed by SNP arrays over space and time in 79 “progressors” with BE as they approach the diagnosis of cancer and 169 “nonprogressors” with BE who did not progress to EA over 20,425 person-months of follow-up. The genomes of nonprogressors typically had small localized deletions involving fragile sites and 9p loss/copy neutral LOH that generate little genetic diversity and remained relatively stable over prolonged follow-up. As progressors approach the diagnosis of cancer, their genomes developed chromosome instability with initial gains and losses, genomic diversity, and selection of SCAs followed by catastrophic genome doublings. Our results support a model of differential disease dynamics in which nonprogressor genomes largely remain stable over prolonged periods whereas progressor genomes evolve significantly increased SCA and diversity within four years of EA diagnosis, suggesting a window of opportunity for early detection.
Somatic genomic evolution; Barrett’s esophagus; overdiagnosis; genome doubling in cancer; temporal and spatial neoplastic evolution
Little is known about the cognitive factors associated with adherence to anti-estrogen therapy. Our objective was to investigate the association between domain-specific cognitive function and adherence among women in a clinical prevention trial of oral anti-estrogen therapies. We performed a secondary analysis of Co-STAR, an ancillary study of the STAR breast cancer prevention trial in which postmenopausal women at increased breast cancer risk were randomized to tamoxifen or raloxifene. Co-STAR enrolled non-demented participants ≥65 years old to compare treatment effects on cognition. The cognitive battery assessed global cognitive function (Modified Mini-Mental State Exam), and specific cognitive domains of verbal knowledge, verbal fluency, figural memory, verbal memory, attention and working memory, spatial ability, and fine motor speed. Adherence was defined by a ratio of actual time taking therapy per protocol ≥80% of expected time. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between cognitive test scores and adherence to therapy. The mean age of the 1,331 Co-STAR participants was 67.2±4.3 years. Mean 3MS score was 95.1 (4.7) and 14% were non-adherent. In adjusted analyses, the odds of non-adherence were lower for those with better scores on verbal memory [OR (95% CI): 0.75 (0.62, 0.92)]. Larger relative deficits in verbal memory compared to verbal fluency were also associated with non-adherence [1.28 (1.08, 1.51)]. Among non-demented older women, subtle differences in memory performance were associated with medication adherence. Differential performance across cognitive domains may help identify persons at greater risk for poor adherence.
adherence; cancer; cognition; elderly; tamoxifen; women
We previously reported that a 4-6 week low-fat fish oil (LFFO) diet did not affect serum IGF-1 levels (primary outcome) but resulted in lower omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios in prostate tissue and lower prostate cancer proliferation (Ki67) as compared to a Western diet (WD). In this post-hoc analysis, the effect of the LFFO intervention on serum pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, LTB4 and 15(S)-HETE, and the cell cycle progression (CCP) score were investigated. Serum fatty acids and eicosanoids were measured by gas chromatography and ELISA. CCP score was determined by RT-PCR. Associations between serum eicosanoids, Ki67, and CCP score were evaluated using partial correlation analyses. BLT1 (LTB4 receptor) expression was determined in prostate cancer cell lines and prostatectomy specimens. Serum omega-6 fatty acids and 15(S)-HETE levels were significantly reduced, and serum omega-3 levels were increased in the LFFO group relative to the WD group, whereas there was no change in LTB4 levels. The CCP score was significantly lower in the LFFO compared to the WD group. The 15(S)-HETE change correlated with tissue Ki67 (R=0.48; p<0.01) but not with CCP score. The LTB4 change correlated with the CCP score (r=0.4; p=0.02) but not with Ki67. The LTB4 receptor BLT1 was detected in prostate cancer cell lines and human prostate cancer specimens. In conclusion, a LFFO diet resulted in decreased 15(S)-HETE levels and lower CCP score relative to a WD. Further studies are warranted to determine whether the LFFO diet anti-proliferative effects are mediated through the LTB4/BLT1 and 15(S)-HETE pathways.
Mitogen-activated and stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1) is a nuclear serine/threonine protein kinase that acts downstream of both ERKs and p38 MAP kinases in response to stress or mitogenic extracellular stimuli. Increasing evidence has shown that MSK1 is closely associated with malignant transformation and cancer development. MSK1 should be an effective target for cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy. However, very few MSK1 inhibitors, especially natural compounds, have been reported. We used virtual screening of a natural products database and the active conformation of the C-terminal kinase domain of MSK1 (PDB id 3KN) as the receptor structure to identify chrysin and its derivative, compound 69407, as inhibitors of MSK1. Compared with chrysin, compound 69407 more strongly inhibited proliferation and TPA-induced neoplastic transformation of JB6 P+ cells with lower cytotoxicity. Western blot data demonstrated that compound 69407 suppressed phosphorylation of the MSK1 downstream effector histone H3 in intact cells. Knocking down the expression of MSK1 effectively reduced the sensitivity of JB6 P+ cells to compound 69407. Moreover, topical treatment with compound 69407 prior to TPA application significantly reduced papilloma development in terms of number and size in a two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis model. The reduction in papilloma development was accompanied by the inhibition of histone H3 phosphorylation at Ser10 in tumors extracted from mouse skin. The results indicated that compound 69407 exerts inhibitory effects on skin tumorigenesis by directly binding with MSK1 and attenuates the MSK1/histone H3 signaling pathway, which makes it an ideal chemopreventive agent against skin cancer.
neoplastic transformation; MSK inhibitor; natural compound; chemoprevention; skin carcinogenesis
Mutation of a single copy of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene results in familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), which confers an extremely high risk for colon cancer. ApcMin/+ mice exhibit multiple intestinal neoplasia (MIN) that causes anemia and death from bleeding by 6 months. Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitors were shown to improve ApcMin/+ mouse survival when administered by oral gavage or added directly to the chow, but these mice still died from neoplasia well short of a natural life span. The National Institute of Aging Intervention Testing Program showed that enterically targeted rapamycin (eRapa) extended life span for wild type genetically heterogeneous mice in part by inhibiting age-associated cancer. We hypothesized that eRapa would be effective in preventing neoplasia and extend survival of ApcMin/+ mice. We show that eRapa improved survival for ApcMin/+ mice in a dose-dependent manner. Remarkably, and in contrast to previous reports, most of the ApcMin/+ mice fed 42 ppm eRapa lived beyond the median life span reported for wild type syngeneic mice. Furthermore, chronic eRapa did not cause detrimental immune effects in mouse models of cancer, infection or autoimmunity; thus, assuaging concerns that chronic rapamycin treatment suppresses immunity. Our studies suggest that a novel formulation (enteric targeting) of a well-known and widely used drug (rapamycin) can dramatically improve its efficacy in targeted settings. eRapa or other mTORC1 inhibitors could serve as effective cancer preventatives for people with FAP without suppressing the immune system, thus reducing the dependency on surgery as standard therapy.