Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cancer, and the second-highest cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Despite extensive research to identify novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents, patients with advanced gastric cancer suffer from a poor quality of life and poor prognosis, and treatment is dependent mainly on conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. To improve the quality of life and survival of gastric cancer patients, a better understanding of the underlying molecular pathologies, and their application towards the development of novel targeted therapies, is urgently needed. Chemokines are a group of small proteins associated with cytoskeletal rearrangements, the directional migration of several cell types during development and physiology, and the host immune response via interactions with G-protein coupled receptors. There is also growing evidence to suggest that chemokines not only play a role in the immune system, but are also involved in the development and progression of tumors. In gastric cancer, CXC chemokines and chemokine receptors regulate the trafficking of cells in and out of the tumor microenvironment. CXC chemokines and their receptors can also directly influence tumorigenesis by modulating tumor transformation, survival, growth, invasion and metastasis, as well as indirectly by regulating angiogenesis, and tumor-leukocyte interactions. In this review, we will focus on the roles of CXC chemokines and their receptors in the development, progression, and metastasis of gastric tumors, and discuss their therapeutic potential for gastric cancer.
Chemokine; Chemokine receptor; Gastric neoplasm; Therapeutic target
To determine the approximate incidence and clinical features of pernicious anemia in a Korean population, we retrospectively analyzed clinical data for patients with pernicious anemia who were diagnosed between 1995 and 2010 at five hospitals in Chungnam province. Ninety-seven patients were enrolled, who accounted for 24% of patients with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. The approximate annual incidence of pernicious anemia was 0.3 per 100,000. The median age was 66 (range, 32-98) yr, and the male/female ratio was 1.25. Anemia-associated discomfort was the most common symptom (79.4%), followed by gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms (78.4% and 38.1%, respectively). Pancytopenia was found in 36 patients (37.1%), and autoimmune disorders were found in 15 patients (15.5%). Antibody to intrinsic factor was detected in 62 (77.5%) of 80 patients examined, and antibody to parietal cells was detected in 35 (43.2%) of 81 patients examined. Of the 34 patients who underwent tests for Helicobacter pylori, 7 (12.5%) were positive. The anemia-associated and gastrointestinal symptoms resolved completely in all patients after intramuscular injection of cobalamin, whereas neurological symptoms remained in some. In conclusion, pernicious anemia is less frequent in Koreans than in Western populations; however, the clinical features of this disorder in Koreans do not differ from those of Western cases.
Anemia, Pernicious; Vitamin B12; Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibody; Anti-Parietal Cell Antibody; Helicobacter Pylori
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 plays a role in the metastasis and progression of a broad range of malignant tumors; however, its influence on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not well defined. Thus, we analyzed the expression of CXCR4 and its functions in HCC cell lines in vitro.
Materials and Methods
Five HCC cell lines (HepG2, Hep3B, SK-HEP-1, NCI-H630 and PLC/PRF5) were investigated. The CXCR4 expression was analyzed by RT-PCR, Western blotting, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence staining. In addition, the effects of stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) on the migration, proliferation and survival of the cells were investigated, as well as the SDF-1-induced phosphorylation of signaling molecules.
All five cell lines had abundant CXCR4 in their cytoplasm, whereas a cell surface CXCR4 expression was only detected in a very small population of PLC/PRF5 cells. In contrast, SDF-1 bound to all the cells. SDF-1 induced the phosphorylation of AKT and ERK1/2 in the PLC/PRF5 cells and the phosphorylation of Stat3, AKT and ERK1/2 in the Hep3B cells. Nonetheless, SDF-1 did not induce migration or proliferation in any of the cells, nor did it rescue the cells from serum deprivation-induced apoptosis. Recruitment of CXCR4 from the cytoplasm to the cell surface was not elicited by dexamethasone, proinflammatory cytokines or VEGF. Hypoxia increased both the cytoplasmic and cell surface expressions of CXCR4 in only the PLC/PRF5 cells.
CXCR4 is trapped in the cytoplasm and it is not recruited to the cell surface by standard extrinsic stimuli in the majority of HCC cell lines, and the result of this is a negligible response to SDF-1.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Stromal cell-derived factor-1; CXCR4
Androgens remain a common treatment for certain type of anemia, based upon its myelostimulating effects; however, it has not been established whether androgens affect apoptosis of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs). We investigated the effects of the androgens, such as testosterone, 5β-dihydrotestosterone (5-DHT), and oxymetholone, on apoptosis of normal hematopoietic progenitor cells in vitro. Androgens did not rescue normal bone marrow (BM) CD34+ cells and colony-forming cells (CFCs), other than mature erythroid CFCs, from apoptosis induced by serum- and growth factor deprivation. Oxymetholone did not affect growth factor-mediated survival of normal CD34+ cells or its inhibition by interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). In a standard methylcellulose clonogenic assay, low concentrations of oxymetholone and 5-DHT stimulated the clonal growth of colony-forming unit (CFU)-erythroid, but did not affect growth of CFU-granulocyte/macrophage or burst-forming unit-erythroid. Oxymetholone and 5-DHT stimulated the production of stem cell factor in normal bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) via transcriptional regulation. In agreement with this, oxymetholone-treated BMSCs better supported the survival of HPCs. These data indicate that survival-enhancing or growth-stimulatory effects of androgens on hematopoietic progenitor cells are minimal and mostly restricted to mature erythroid progenitors, and its myelostimulating effects could be attributed, at least in part, to the stimulation of production of hematopoietic growth factors in BMSCs.
Androgens; Erythroid Progenitor Cells; Myeloid Progenitor Cells; Apoptosis
We assessed the success rate of empirical antifungal therapy with itraconazole and evaluated risk factors for predicting the failure of empirical antifungal therapy. A multicenter, prospective, observational study was performed in patients with hematological malignancies who had neutropenic fever and received empirical antifungal therapy with itraconazole at 22 centers. A total of 391 patients who had abnormal findings on chest imaging tests (31.0%) or a positive result of enzyme immunoassay for serum galactomannan (17.6%) showed a 56.5% overall success rate. Positive galactomannan tests before the initiation of the empirical antifungal therapy (P=0.026, hazard ratio [HR], 2.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-4.69) and abnormal findings on the chest imaging tests before initiation of the empirical antifungal therapy (P=0.022, HR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.11-3.71) were significantly associated with poor outcomes for the empirical antifungal therapy. Eight patients (2.0%) had premature discontinuation of itraconazole therapy due to toxicity. It is suggested that positive galactomannan tests and abnormal findings on the chest imaging tests at the time of initiation of the empirical antifungal therapy are risk factors for predicting the failure of the empirical antifungal therapy with itraconazole. (Clinical Trial Registration on National Cancer Institute website, NCT01060462)
Hematological Malignancy; Itraconazole; Empirical Antifungal Therapy; Galactomannan Test
Many Korean patients with transfusion-induced iron overload experience serious clinical sequelae, including organ damage, and require lifelong chelation therapy. However, due to a lack of compliance and/or unavailability of an appropriate chelator, most patients have not been treated effectively. Deferasirox (DFX), a once-daily oral iron chelator for both adult and pediatric patients with transfusion-induced iron overload, is now available in Korea. The effectiveness of deferasirox in reducing or maintaining body iron has been demonstrated in many studies of patients with a variety of transfusion-induced anemias such as myelodysplastic syndromes, aplastic anemia, and other chronic anemias. The recommended initial daily dose of DFX is 20 mg/kg body weight, taken on an empty stomach at least 30 min before food and serum ferritin levels should be maintained below 1000 ng/mL. To optimize the management of transfusion-induced iron overload, the Korean Society of Hematology Aplastic Anemia Working Party (KSHAAWP) reviewed the general consensus on iron overload and the Korean data on the clinical benefits of iron chelation therapy, and developed a Korean guideline for the treatment of iron overload.
Korean Guideline; Iron Overload; Deferasirox
Novel agents to treat multiple myeloma (MM) have increased complete respone (CR) rates compared with conventional chemotherapy, and the quality of the response to treatment has been correlated with survival. The purpose of our study was to show how of early response to bortezomib combined chemotherapy influences survival in patients with newly diagnosed MM who are ineligible for stem cell transplantation. We assessed patient responses to at least four cycles of bortezomib using the International Myeloma Working Group response criteria. The endpoints were comparisons of progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) between early good response group (A group) and poor response group (B group). We retrospectively analyzed data from 129 patients registered by the Korean Multiple Myeloma Working Party, a nationwide registration of MM patients. The 3 yr PFS for the A and B groups was 55.6% and 18.4%, respectively (P < 0.001). The 3 yr OS for the A and B groups was 65.3% and 52.9%, respectively (P = 0.078). The early response to at least four cycle of bortezomib before next chemotherapy may help predict PFS in patients with MM who are ineligible stem cell transplantation.
Early Response; Multiple Myeloma; Bortezomib; Survival
Metastatic tumors in the oral cavity are rare and usually affect the jaws more often than the oral soft tissues. In particular, metastases confined to the oral mucosa are extremely rare and originate mainly from the lung and breast. Only one case restricted to the oral mucosa and originating from urinary bladder carcinoma has previously been described. We report on a painful polypoid mass located in the oral mucosa with no bone involvement that was confirmed to be a metastatic oral tumor that originated from transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder and progressed rapidly.
urinary bladder neoplasm; neoplasm metastasis; mouth neoplasm
Lymph node metastasis is considered to be a significant prognostic factor for early gastric cancer (EGC). However, no real consensus exists on which patient and/or tumor characteristics are associated with lymph node metastasis. We investigated whether stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1α expression correlates with lymph node metastasis in patients with EGC by immunohistochemically examining the expression of SDF-1α in 138 archival tissue specimens of EGC. Of these specimens, 59 (42.8%) and 79 (57.2%) were grouped into SDF-1α-positive and SDF-1α-negative groups, respectively. No significant differences existed with respect to age, gender, tumor location, proportion of tumors >20 mm in size, macroscopic type, depth of invasion or histology between the SDF-1α-positive and -negative groups. However, the SDF-1α-positive group was significantly correlated with lymphovascular invasion and lymph node metastasis. Results of the univariate analyses indicated that lymphovascular invasion, undifferentiated histology and SDF-1α positivity were statistically significant risk factors affecting lymph node metastasis in patients with EGC. Multivariate analyses showed that lymphovascular invasion [hazard ratio (HR), 8.595; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.694–43.595; P=0.009], undifferentiated histology (HR, 2.965; 95% CI, 1.037–8.471; P=0.043) and SDF-1α positivity (HR, 2.108; 95% CI, 1.316–10.135; P=0.013) were independent risk factors predicting lymph node metastasis in EGC. In conclusion, these results suggest that SDF-1α expression in tumor cells is a predictive marker of lymph node metastasis in EGC.
SDF-1α; early gastric cancer; lymph node metastasis
Chemokine stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1α and its receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) have been shown to impact cancer progression. Accumulating evidence suggests that CXCR4 and SDF-1α expression is useful for evaluating the risk of gastric cancer progression. Thus, combined analysis of SDF-1α and CXCR4 should have high prognostic potential as a molecular marker for gastric cancer. We investigated the expression of SDF-1α and CXCR4 using immunohistochemistry in relation to prognosis, clinicopathological features and clinical outcomes in 221 cases of primary gastric cancer. Patients were categorized into three groups according to CXCR4 and SDF-1α expression: high CXCR4/high SDF-1α, low CXCR4/low SDF-1α, and high CXCR4/low SDF-1α – low CXCR4/high SDF-1α. No significant differences were noted in age, gender, histology, tumor location, lymphovascular invasion or proportion of tumor size >5 cm among the three groups. However, high CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression in tumor cells was significantly associated with depth of invasion of the tumor, lymph node involvement, and higher tumor stage compared to tumors with low CXCR4/low SDF-1α expression or high CXCR4/low SDF-1α – low CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression. Furthermore, patients with high CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression had the worst patient prognosis, whereas patients who had low CXCR4/low SDF-1α expression showed the most favorable prognosis. In conclusion, CXCR4 and SDF-1α are useful prognostic factors in gastric cancer, and the combination of high CXCR4 protein expression with high SDF-1α expression suggests a dismal prognosis.
stromal cell-derived factor-1α; CXC chemokine receptor 4; gastric cancer; prognosis
Solid pseudopapillary tumor of the pancreas (SPTP) is a rare primary pancreatic tumor of an unknown etiology that is usually diagnosed in adolescent girls and young women. Most SPTPs are considered to be benign and only rarely metastasize. We report here on a 27-year old woman with recurrent SPTP with involvement of both the spleen and left kidney at the time of the initial diagnosis, and with aggressive behavior. In July 1995, she was admitted with abdominal discomfort and mass. She underwent exploratory laparotomy with distal pancrea tectomy, left nephrectomy and splenectomy, and was diagnosed with SPTP with invasion to both the spleen and left kidney. In June 2001, she again presented with abdominal pain and was diagnosed as having recurrence of the tumor. She underwent mass excision and omentectomy. Then she was lost to follow-up. In November 2005, she presented once again with an abdominal mass and was diagnosed with recurred SPTP, which formed a huge intraperitoneal mass with peritoneal seeding and the tumor showed multiple metastases in the liver. She is currently being treated conservatively.
Solid pseudopapillary tumor; Pancreas; Neoplasm metastasis
Stromal cell–derived factor-1 (SDF-1) provides a potent chemotactic stimulus for CD34+ hematopoietic cells. We cultured mobilized peripheral blood (PB) and umbilical cord blood (CB) for up to 5 weeks and examined the migratory activity of cobblestone area–forming cells (CAFCs) and long-term culture–initiating cells (LTC-ICs) in a transwell assay. In this system, SDF-1 or MS-5 marrow stromal cells placed in the lower chamber induced transmembrane and transendothelial migration by 2- and 5-week-old CAFCs and LTC-ICs in 3 hours. Transmigration was blocked by preincubation of input CD34+ cells with antibody to CXCR4. Transendothelial migration of CB CAFCs and LTC-ICs was higher than that of PB. We expanded CD34+ cells from CB in serum-free medium with thrombopoietin, flk-2 ligand, and c-kit ligand, with or without IL-3 and found that CAFCs cultured in the absence of IL-3 had a chemotactic response equivalent to noncultured cells, even after 5 weeks. However, addition of IL-3 to the culture reduced this response by 20–50%. These data indicate that SDF-1 induces chemotaxis of primitive hematopoietic cells signaling through CXCR4 and that the chemoattraction could be downmodulated by culture ex vivo.