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1.  Isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency development during chemotherapy for gastric cancer: a case report 
Isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency is an endocrinological disorder characterized by loss of adrenocorticotropic hormone and resultant adrenal insufficiency. Affected patients often present with fatigue, anorexia, and hyponatremia. Although the number of reported cases has been recently increasing, isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency combined with malignant neoplasia is very rare. Here we describe a patient with gastric cancer who developed unexpected isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency during chemotherapy.
Case presentation
A 72-year-old Japanese man was admitted to our hospital because of febrile neutropenia due to chemotherapy for gastric cancer recurrence. Although the neutropenia and fever immediately improved, he became unable to take any oral medications and was bedridden 1 week after admission. His serum sodium level abruptly decreased to 122mEq/L on the fifth day of hospitalization. We performed endocrinological studies to investigate the cause of his hyponatremia and plasma hyposmolality. His plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol levels were very low. However, his serum levels of all other anterior pituitary hormones were slightly elevated. We then performed a corticotropin-releasing hormone test, which showed that neither his plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone nor cortisol level responded to corticotropin-releasing hormone stimulation. We definitively diagnosed isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency based on these findings. Hydrocortisone replacement therapy was begun at 20mg/day, resulting in a marked improvement in his anorexia and general fatigue within a few days. His serum sodium level was also normalized immediately after the administration of hydrocortisone. He was discharged from our hospital on the 50th day of hospitalization.
The present case is the second report of a patient with concurrent isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency and gastric cancer and the first report of a patient diagnosed with isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency during the course of chemotherapy for a solid malignant neoplasm. Although the symptoms and signs described in the present report are common observations during chemotherapy, it is important to consider not only the adverse effects of antineoplastic agents, but also isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency as a differential diagnosis. Hydrocortisone replacement therapy for isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency effectively avoids the unnecessary cessation of chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3976173  PMID: 24597969
Chemotherapy; Gastric cancer; Hyponatremia; Isolated ACTH deficiency
2.  A case report of anaplastic carcinoma of the pancreas with remarkable intraductal tumor growth into the main pancreatic duct 
We herein report a case of anaplastic carcinoma of the pancreas with remarkable intraductal tumor growth into the main pancreatic duct. A 76-year-old male was referred to our hospital for treatment of a pancreatic tumor. Preoperative examinations revealed a poorly defined tumor in the main pancreatic duct in the body of the pancreas, accompanied with severe dilatation of the main pancreatic duct, which was diagnosed as an intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasm. We performed distal pancreatectomy and splenectomy. The pathological examination revealed that the tumor consisted of a mixture of anaplastic carcinoma (giant cell type) and adenocarcinoma in the pancreas. There was a papillary projecting tumor composed of anaplastic carcinoma in the dilated main pancreatic duct. The patient is now receiving chemotherapy because liver metastasis was detected 12 mo after surgery. In this case, we could observe a remarkable intraductal tumor growth into the main pancreatic duct. We also discuss the pathogenesis and characteristics of this rare tumor with specific tumor growth.
PMCID: PMC3921494  PMID: 24574758
Anaplastic carcinoma; Giant cell carcinoma; Intraductal tumor growth; Papillary projecting tumor
3.  Treatment of capecitabine-induced hand-foot syndrome using a topical retinoid: A case report 
Oncology Letters  2013;7(2):444-448.
Capecitabine is a chemotherapeutic drug used in patients with breast, colon and gastric cancer. Hand-foot syndrome (HFS) is a type of dermatitis that frequently occurs as a reaction to capecitabine. To date, no effective strategies have been found to prevent or reverse HFS. Furthermore, chemotherapy induces an elevation in the expression of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF), and this activation represents a critical mechanism for the induction of chemotherapeutic resistance. Adapalene is a third-generation synthetic retinoid. Topical retinoids are important therapeutic anti-aging agents for managing photodamaged skin, and are known to increase HB-EGF levels, which is important for skin wound healing. Accordingly, the current report focused on the topical retinoids that increase HB-EGF expression in the skin, and we hypothesized that these topical retinoids induce local chemotherapeutic resistance in the skin of patients receiving chemotherapy and consequently, decrease the cutaneous side-effects of chemotherapy. This report presents a case of the successful treatment of refractory HFS induced by capecitabine using the topical application of adapalene. Topical adapalene was applied for 3 months and significantly reduced inflammation and pain following chemotherapy. Topical retinoids may have the potential to effectively treat capecitabine-induced HFS by increasing HB-EGF expression and decreasing cutaneous side-effects. Further studies are required to establish the therapeutic efficacy of topical retinoids on HFS.
PMCID: PMC3881915  PMID: 24396465
retinoid; adapalene; hand-foot syndrome; capecitabine; heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor; chemotherapeutic resistance
4.  VEGF is a target molecule for peritoneal metastasis and malignant ascites in gastric cancer: prognostic significance of VEGF in ascites and efficacy of anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody 
OncoTargets and therapy  2013;6:1445-1451.
In gastric cancer, poor prognosis is associated with peritoneal dissemination, which often accompanies malignant ascites. We searched for a target molecule in peritoneal metastasis and investigated its clinical utility as a biomarker.
Biopsy specimens from both primary lesions and peritoneal metastasis, and if possible, malignant ascites, were obtained from 40 patients with gastric cancer. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression was analyzed by immunohistochemical staining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
VEGF expression was seen in 70% of peritoneal samples. Of the 40 patients, 35 had malignant ascites. These 35 patients were divided into two groups: 15 with ascites found beyond the pelvic cavity (large group) and 20 whose ascites were within the pelvic cavity (small group). The two groups did not significantly differ by serum VEGF levels, but ascites VEGF levels in the large group were significantly higher than in the small group (P < 0.0001). Serum VEGF and ascites VEGF levels were highly correlated in the large group (r = 0.686). A high ascites VEGF level was found to be a risk factor for survival (P = 0.045). We include a report of a patient with chemoresistant refractory gastric cancer and symptomatic ascites who obtained 8 months of palliation from systemic bevacizumab.
Anti-VEGF therapies are promising, and the ascites VEGF level is an important marker in managing patients with gastric cancer and peritoneal metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3804591  PMID: 24204159
vascular endothelial growth factor; malignant ascites; peritoneal metastasis; gastric cancer; bevacizumab
5.  Duodenal ulcer penetration into the liver at the previous left hemihepatectomy site☆ 
Duodenal ulcer penetration into the liver is a rare, but serious complication. Its frequency was thought to have decreased owing to advances in therapies for peptic ulcers. However, we encountered a case in which the duodenal ulcer had penetrated into a previous hemihepatectomy site.
A 69-year-old man with a history of left hemihepatectomy 20 months previously presented to the emergency room with sudden-onset abdominal pain and nausea. An upper gastrointestinal examination with a fiberscope revealed a giant ulcer in the duodenal bulb. In addition, a foreign body was detected at the ulcer floor and was strongly suspected of being a ligature from previous hemihepatectomy.
The presence of a gas-filled liver mass and bowel wall thickening with inflammatory changes are important imaging findings for prompt diagnosis of such a condition, but in this case, none of these were reported. Further, no definite abscess was found. Thus, the patient was treated conservatively with a proton pump inhibitor.
This case demonstrates the importance of using absorbable suture materials, adequate lavage in the postoperative peritoneal space and gastroduodenal mucosal protection postoperatively.
PMCID: PMC3860026  PMID: 24240081
Hepatectomy; Duodenal ulcer; Proton pump inhibitor; Penetration; Hepatoduodenal fistula
6.  Internal Hernia in a Liver Transplant Recipien: A Case Report 
Case Reports in Surgery  2013;2013:923647.
Biliary complications have great importance for liver transplant recipients because of affecting long-term prognosis. In rare situations, an internal hernia of the Roux-en-Y loop cause graft injury. A 42-year-old woman with a history of living donor liver transplantation 6 years ago presented with prolonged graft injury during the past 6 months. She suddenly developed ileus of the small bowel with internal hernia through the defect of the mesentery around the Roux-en-Y limb of the hepaticojejunostomy. Emergent surgery was performed to reduce the hernia and volvulus; also the mesenteric rent was closed with interrupted suture of silk. Internal hernia of the small bowel after liver transplantation is rare but causes graft injury due to associated biliary complications and rapid deterioration of patient's condition.
PMCID: PMC3789415  PMID: 24159411
7.  Low-dose paclitaxel inhibits the induction of epidermal-mesenchymal transition in the human cholangiocarcinoma CCKS-1 cell line 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(4):915-920.
Epidermal-mesenchymal transition (EMT) confers an advantage to cancer cells by improving their invasive capacity and metastatic potential. This phenomenon by which epidermal cells change into mesenchymal cells and therefore acquire a higher ability to automaticity, is considered a key process in cancer development. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a significant factor for accelerating EMT through the activation of proteins, including members of the Smad pathway. Furthermore, previous studies have shown that low-dose paclitaxel (PTX) inhibits EMT in certain cell lines, including those of cancer cells. The present study determined whether low-dose PTX was able to inhibit EMT in a human cholangiocarcinoma CCKS-1 cell line that had been treated with TGF-β1. First, the cytotoxic concentration of PTX for the CCKS-1 cells was identified to be ~5 nM by MTT assay and dead cell staining. Therefore, the concentrations of PTX were set as 1 nM, 2.5 nM and 5 nM for the subsequent experiments. In the morphological investigation, the CCKS-1 cells changed into a spindle morphology and became separated by the administration of TGF-β1. However, low-dose PTX inhibited these changes and the morphology resembled the control cells in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, immunofluorescence and immunoblotting investigations revealed that the CCKS-1 cells expressed mesenchymal markers following the administration of TGF-β1. However, low-dose PTX inhibited the expression of the mesenchymal markers and the CCKS-1 cells expressed the epithelial marker, E-cadherin. In particular, a concentration-dependent effect was observed in the immunoblotting experiments. These results show that PTX may be able to inhibit EMT in cancer cells, depending on the dose concentration.
PMCID: PMC3796399  PMID: 24137436
cholangiocarcinoma; paclitaxel; epidermal-mesenchymal transition
8.  Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy with gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil or oral S-1 improves the prognosis of patients with postoperative liver metastases from pancreatic cancer 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2013;1(5):869-874.
Hepatic metastasis is a common cause of treatment failure following resection of pancreatic cancer. In this study, we report our results of hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) chemotherapy with gemcitabine (GEM) plus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or oral S-1 treatment for postoperative liver metastases from pancreatic cancer. Seven patients with postoperative liver metastases from pancreatic cancer received HAI with GEM plus 5-FU or oral S-1 between October, 2008 and September, 2010 at Kanazawa University Hospital (Kanazawa, Japan). Three out of the 7 cases exhibited a partial response (PR) according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) and stable disease (SD) was achieved in 3 out of the 7 cases (response rate, 85.7%). A decrease in serum tumor marker CA 19-9 levels was observed after 10 HAI treatment cycles in 5 out of the 7 cases. The median time to treatment failure was 8 months (range, 0–17 months). Adverse events included grade 3 leukocytopenia in 1 case and anemia in all 7 cases, although 5 out of the 7 patients were anemic prior to HAI therapy. Grade 2 thrombocytopenia was also observed in 2 cases. Non-hematological events, such as nausea, diarrhea, liver injury or neuropathy and life-threatening toxicities were not reported; however, 6 patients (85.7%) developed catheter-related complications and the HAI catheter and subcutaneous implantable port system had to be removed. These findings demonstrated that HAI may deliver high doses of chemotherapeutic agents directly into the tumor vessels, producing increased regional levels with greater efficacy and a lower incidence/severity of systemic side effects. In conclusion, HAI chemotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for liver metastases from pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3916203  PMID: 24649263
pancreatic cancer; liver metastasis; hepatic arterial infusion; gemcitabine; 5-fluorouracil; S-1
9.  Evaluation of eligibility criteria in living donor liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma by α-SMA-positive cancer-associated fibroblasts 
Oncology Reports  2013;30(4):1561-1574.
The eligibility criteria of liver transplantation (LT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) must clearly confirm the prognosis not only from pathological diagnosis but also from pre-operative imaging diagnosis. In the present study, we evaluated published eligibility criteria for LT based on both pre-operative imaging diagnosis and pathological diagnosis using living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) recipients at our hospital by α-smooth muscle actin (SMA)-positive cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in HCC. The Up-to-seven (Up-to-7), Asan and Tokyo criteria were evaluated, in both overall survival and HCC disease-free survival, to be statistically significantly beneficial criteria to define post-LDLT prognosis. Recipients only within Up-to-7 criteria based on both pre-operative imaging diagnosis and pathological diagnosis survived without HCC recurrence. Recipients with proliferation of α-SMA-positive CAFs in HCC had significantly poorer prognosis. All survival recipients without HCC recurrence, who were above the Up-to-7 criteria in pathological diagnosis, had no proliferation of α-SMA-positive CAFs. As a result of multivariate analysis, the significant independent factors defining prognosis of recipients after LDLT for HCC were Up-to-7 criteria and proliferation of α-SMA-positive CAFs. The ideal eligibility criteria for LDLT with HCC is Up-to-7 criteria and α-SMA-positive CAFs was considered to be an important factor in HCC recurrence. LDLT should be limited to recipients within Up-to-7 criteria or without proliferation of α-SMA-positive CAFs.
PMCID: PMC3810217  PMID: 23863893
living donor liver transplantation; hepatocellular carcinoma; cancer-associated fibroblast; Up-to-seven criteria; α-smooth muscle actin
10.  Intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct accompanying biliary mixed adenoneuroendocrine carcinoma 
We present the first case of an intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct (IPNB) accompanying a mixed adenoneuroendocrine carcinoma (MANEC). A 74-year-old woman presented with fever of unknown cause. Laboratory data revealed jaundice and liver injury. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed a 20 mm polypoid tumor in the dilated distal bile duct, which exhibited early enhancement and papillary growth. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed mucus production from the papilla of Vater, characterized by its protruding and dilated orifice. Endoscopic ultrasonography visualized the polypoid tumor in the distal bile duct, but no invasive region was suggested by diagnostic imaging. Therefore, the initial diagnosis was IPNB. After endoscopic nasobiliary drainage, a pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy was performed. Pathological examination of the resected bile duct revealed papillary proliferation of biliary-type cells with nuclear atypia, indicating pancreaticobiliary-type IPNB. In addition, solid portions comprised of tumor cells with characteristic salt-and-pepper nuclei were evident. Immunohistochemistry revealed expression of the neuroendocrine marker synaptophysin in this solid component, diagnosing it as a neuroendocrine tumor (NET). Furthermore, the MIB-1 proliferation index of NET was higher than that of IPNB, and microinvasion of the NET component was found, indicating neuroendocrine carcinoma (NET G3). This unique case of MANEC, comprising IPNB and NET, provides insight into the pathogenesis of biliary NET.
PMCID: PMC3662959  PMID: 23716999
Neuroendocrine tumor; Intraductal papillary neoplasm of bile duct; Intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct; Bile duct
11.  A phase I study of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with gemcitabine plus oral S-1 for resectable pancreatic cancer 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2013;1(4):768-772.
The aim of this study was to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), the dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) and the recommended dose (RD) of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) with gemcitabine (GEM) plus oral S-1 in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer. Thirteen patients with radiologically proven resectable pancreatic cancer were included in this study. S-1 was administered orally for 14 consecutive days, and GEM was administered on days 8 and 15 for two pre-operative cycles. The dose of S-1 in this study was planned with fixed doses of GEM (1,000 mg/m2): 20, 30 and 40 mg/day for levels 0, 1 and 2, respectively. Treatment was initiated at level 1 in 3 patients, while adverse events occurred in 2 patients during the second course, leading to a dose reduction to level 0 for the 8 remaining patients. Two of the 10 patients enrolled at level 0 were excluded. Of the remaining 8 patients, GEM administration was terminated due to DLT on day 15, during the first course in 3 patients, while level 0 dosage reached MTD. Surgery was performed for the remaining 11 patients included in the study. Post-operative complications included pancreatic fistulas in 5 patients and Pseudomonas aeruginosa sepsis in 1 patient. Two of the 11 patients exhibited a partial response and 9 patients stable disease. Eight of the 11 tumor specimens showed histopathological evidence of tumor cell injury. In conclusion, NAC with GEM and S-1 was not well-tolerated in this study. However, pre-operative chemotherapy may be effective against pancreatic cancer. Therefore, it is necessary to reconsider NAC regimens for pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3915328  PMID: 24649244
pancreatic cancer; gemcitabine; S-1; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; phase I
12.  The retropancreatic fusion fascia acts as a barrier against infiltration by pancreatic carcinoma 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2013;1(3):418-422.
Although pancreatic carcinoma frequently extends posteriorly beyond the pancreatic parenchyma, retroperitoneal organs such as the inferior vena cava (IVC) and the adrenal gland are rarely involved. The fusion fascia lies between the pancreas and these retroperitoneal organs. This study investigated the role of the fusion fascia in the prevention of infiltration of retroperitoneal structures by pancreatic carcinoma. This study was conducted on 140 patients who underwent pancreatic carcinoma resection at our hospital. Retropancreatic infiltration was divided into three grades as follows: Grade 0, carcinoma confined within the pancreatic parenchyma; grade 1, carcinoma infiltrating beyond the parenchyma but within the fusion fascia; and grade 2, infiltration of retroperitoneal tissues beyond the fusion fascia. Grade 0 was found in 24%, grade 1 in 73% and grade 2 in 3% of the cases. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of grade 2 between pancreatoduodenectomy (PD) and distal pancreatectomy (DP). Pancreatic carcinoma infiltrated posteriorly beyond the parenchyma in over 70% of our cases; however, grade 2 infiltration was a rare finding and tumor invasion was confined within the fusion fascia in almost all the cases. Thus, the fusion fascia may act as a barrier against retroperitoneal tissue infiltration by pancreatic carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3915679  PMID: 24649185
pancreatic carcinoma; retropancreatic infiltration; retropancreatic fusion fascia
13.  Low-dose paclitaxel modulates tumour fibrosis in gastric cancer 
International Journal of Oncology  2013;42(4):1167-1174.
Various treatments have been used for peritoneal dissemination, which is the most common mode of metastasis in gastric cancer, but sufficiently good clinical outcomes have not yet been obtained because of the presence of rich fibrous components and acquired drug resistance. Epithelialmesenchymal transition (EMT) is one of the major causes of tissue fibrosis and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) has a pivotal function in the progression of EMT. Smad proteins play an important role in the TGF-β signalling pathway. The TGF-β/Smad signalling pathway can be modulated by stabilising microtubules with paclitaxel (PTX). Here, we investigated whether paclitaxel can modulate TGF-β/Smad signalling in human peritoneal methothelial cells (HPMCs). To determine the cytostatic concentrations of antineoplastic agents in HPMCs, a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was performed using PTX, 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin. The minimum concentration that caused significant inhibition of TGF-β1-induced morphological changes in human peritoneal methothelial cells on pre-treatment with PTX was 5 nM at 48 h (cell viability: 87.1±1.5%, P<0.01). The TGF-β signalling cascade and the status of various fibrous components were evaluated by immunofluorescence staining, real-time quantitative PCR and western blotting. TGF-β signalling induced morphological changes, α-SMA expression and collagen I synthesis in HPMCs and PTX treatment suppressed these EMT-like changes. Moreover, PTX treatment markedly suppressed Smad2 phosphorylation. These data suggest that at a low-dose, PTX can significantly suppress the TGF-β/Smad signalling pathway by inhibiting Smad2 phosphorylation in the human peritoneum and that this can reduce stromal fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3622657  PMID: 23443842
gastric cancer; human peritoneal mesothelial cell; paclitaxel; epithelial-mesenchymal transitions; fibrosis
14.  Successful treatment of unresectable gallbladder cancer with low-dose paclitaxel as palliative chemotherapy after failure of gemcitabine and oral S-1: A case report 
Oncology Letters  2012;4(6):1281-1284.
A 56-year-old female with metastatic gallbladder cancer involving the liver and stenosis of the hilar bile duct was treated with gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m2) plus S-1 (60 mg/m2). After 9 cycles of therapy, CT showed evidence of stable disease; however, the serum CEA level was increased. Therefore, the chemotherapy regimen was changed to weekly low-dose paclitaxel (60 mg/m2). After 12 cycles of therapy, paclitaxel was reduced to 30 mg/m2 as the patient developed neutropenia. The patient completed 32 cycles of therapy, and the tumor was reduced in size and marked improvement in bile duct stenosis was noted without any impairment in quality of life. The patient succumbed to the disease 25 months after treatment was initiated. Thus, in this case paclitaxel was more effective than gemcitabine plus S-1. Palliative chemotherapy with paclitaxel after failure of gemcitabine and 5-FU was well-tolerated; therefore, it may be an effective treatment for biliary tract cancer (BTC). A phase I study of palliative chemotherapy with weekly low-dose paclitaxel following gemcitabine (plus cisplatin) and 5-FU is currently in progress in patients with unresectable or recurrent BTC.
PMCID: PMC3506779  PMID: 23226802
gallbladder cancer; biliary tract cancer; paclitaxel; palliative chemotherapy
15.  Cholecystomucoclasis: revaluation of safety and validity in aged populations 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:113.
We evaluated the safety and validity of cholecystomucoclasis (CM) and compared its intraoperative characteristics with those of standard cholecystectomy (SC).
We enrolled 174 patients who underwent cholecystectomy and retrospectively evaluated the outcomes of patients in the SC and CM groups.
Significant differences in age (71.1 vs. 61.9 years), American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status (ASA-PS), and serum C-reactive protein levels (CRP) (18.1 vs. 4.7 mg/dL) were observed between the CM and SC groups. Conversely, no significant differences were observed in the operation time (129 vs. 108 min), amount of blood loss (147 vs. 80 mL), intraoperative complications (0% vs. 5.7%), or duration of hospital stay (13.2 vs. 8.9 days) between the 2 groups. A high conversion rate (35.3%), postoperative complications (33%), and frequent drain insertions (94%) were observed in the CM group.
CM is a safe and valid surgical procedure and surgeons should not hesitate to transition to CM for patients who are of advanced age, in poor general condition (high ASA classification), or have high levels of serum CRP.
PMCID: PMC3462142  PMID: 22909056
Cholecystitis; Cholecystomucoclasis; Deroofing; Subtotal cholecystectomy
16.  Increased E-selectin in hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury mediates liver metastasis of pancreatic cancer 
Oncology Reports  2012;28(3):791-796.
Several recent studies have reported that selectins are produced during ischemia-reperfusion injury, and that selectin ligands play an important role in cell binding to the endothelium and in liver metastasis. Portal clamping during pancreaticoduodenectomy with vessel resection for pancreatic head cancer causes hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury, which might promote liver metastasis. We investigated the liver colonization of pancreatic cancer cells under hepatic ischemia-reperfusion and examined the involvement of E-selectin and its ligands. A human pancreatic cancer cell line (Capan-1) was injected into the spleen of mice after hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I/R group). In addition, to investigate the effect of an anti-E-selectin antibody on liver colonization in the IR group, mice received an intraperitoneal injection of the anti-E-selectin antibody following hepatic ischemia-reperfusion and tumor inoculation (IR+Ab group). Four weeks later, mice were sacrificed and the number of tumor nodules on the liver was compared to mice without hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (control group). The incidence of liver metastasis in the I/R group was significantly higher (16 of 20, 80%) than that in the control group (6 of 20, 30%) (P<0.01). Moreover, mice in the I/R group had significantly more tumor nodules compared to those in the control group (median, 9.9 vs. 2.7 nodules) (P<0.01). In the I/R+Ab group, only 2 of 5 (40%) mice developed liver metastases. RT-PCR and southern blotting of the liver extracts showed that the expression of IL-1 and E-selectin mRNA after hepatic ischemia-reperfusion was significantly higher than the basal levels. Hepatic ischemia-reperfusion increases liver metastases and E-selectin expression in pancreatic cancer. These results suggest that E-selectin produced due to hepatic ischemia-reperfusion is involved in liver metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3583556  PMID: 22766603
ischemia-reperfusion injury; E-selectin; sialyl-LewisA; liver metastasis; pancreatic cancer; portal clamping
17.  Antitumor and anti-metastatic effects of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition by celecoxib on human colorectal carcinoma xenografts in nude mouse rectum 
Oncology Reports  2012;28(3):777-784.
We examined the effects of the preferential cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor celecoxib on tumorigenesis, angiogenesis, apoptosis, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein expression and metastasis in HT-29 human colorectal carcinoma cell xenografts in nude mouse rectum. COX-2 mRNA expression was examined in the xenograft and metastatic sites. The antitumor effect of celecoxib in the xenografts was evaluated by measuring the weight of the peri-ano-rectal tumor. The anti-metastatic effect of celecoxib was assessed by quantification of lymph node and lung metastases by amplification of a cancer-related human DNA by TaqMan PCR. The effects of celecoxib on angiogenesis, apoptosis, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production and VEGF protein expression in the xenografts were evaluated by means of microvessel density (MVD) counting, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling assay, quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and western blotting, respectively. The rectal xenograft model showed lymph node and lung metastases with enhanced expression of COX-2 mRNA in each organ. Celecoxib inhibited rectal xenograft growth in a dose-dependent manner as follows: 150 ppm, 33.0% (p=0.000220); 750 ppm, 46.4% (p=0.0000292); 1500 ppm, 63.4% (p=0.0000109). Celecoxib inhibited lymph node metastasis in a dose-dependent manner as follows: 150 ppm, 86.7% (p=0.0263); 750 ppm, 90.3% (p=0.00638); 1500 ppm, 96.0% (p=0.000894). Celecoxib also inhibited lung metastasis as follows: 750 ppm, 53.3% (p=0.0107); 1500 ppm, 78.3% (p=0.00022). Celecoxib (1500 ppm) significantly inhibited PGE2 production by 68.4% (p=0.000157) and MVD counting by 48.2% (p=1.3×10−12) and induced apoptosis 2.5-fold (p=3.0×10−14) in the rectal xenograft. Celecoxib suppressed VEGF protein expression in the rectal xenograft. These studies demonstrate that celecoxib reduces the growth and metastatic potential of colorectal carcinoma in mice through COX-2 inhibition, anti-angiogenesis and apoptosis induction. The studies using HT-29 human colorectal carcinoma cell xenografts in nude mouse rectum also provide important information that supports that the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib has a high potential for use as a clinical agent for inhibition of hematological and lymphatic metastases of colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3583608  PMID: 22751903
celecoxib; lymph node metastasis; lung metastasis; angiogenesis; prostaglandin E2; apoptosis; rectal xenograft model
18.  The role of human peritoneal mesothelial cells in the fibrosis and progression of gastric cancer 
International Journal of Oncology  2012;41(2):476-482.
Peritoneal dissemination is the most frequent metastatic pattern of scirrhous gastric cancer. However, despite extensive research effort, disease outcomes have not improved sufficiently. Tumor progression and metastasis result from interactions between cancer and various cells in the stroma, including endothelial cells, immune cells and fibroblasts. Fibroblasts have been particularly well studied; they are known to change into carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and produce transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), which mediates cancer-stroma interactions. Here, we investigated whether TGF-β derived from cancer cells in the peritoneal microenvironment activates human peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs), leading to the progression and fibrosis of gastric cancer. We found that activated HPMCs (a-HPMCs) took on a spindle shape formation, decreased the expression of E-cadherin and increased that of α-SMA. Furthermore, a-HPMCs became more invasive and upregulated proliferation of human gastric cancer-derived MKN45 cells following direct cell-cell contact. Notably, MKN45 cells co-cultured with a-HPMCs also acquired anchorage-independent cell growth and decreased expression of E-cadherin in vitro. To measure the effects of the co-culture in vivo, we developed a mouse xenograft model into which different culture products were subcutaneously injected. The largest tumors were observed in mice that had been given MKN45 cells co-cultured with a-HPMCs. Furthermore, these tumors contained HPMC-derived fibrous tissue. Thus, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of HPMCs appears to drive peritoneal dissemination and tumor fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3582882  PMID: 22614335
gastric cancer; human peritoneal mesothelial cell; fibrosis; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; cell-cell interaction
19.  Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with gemcitabine for pancreatic cancer increases in situ expression of the apoptosis marker M30 and stem cell marker CD44 
Oncology Letters  2012;3(6):1186-1190.
We examined the pathological effects of preoperative neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and the expression of markers of apoptosis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cells in resected pancreatic cancer specimens from patients treated with gemcitabine as NAC. Immunohistochemical expression of the apoptosis marker M30, EMT marker Snail and stem cell marker CD44 in surgically resected pancreatic cancer specimens were compared between patients treated (NAC group n=13) and not treated (control group n=21) with gemcitabine. In the NAC group, the tumor specimens showed tumor cell injury; however, there was no significant reduction of serosal, retroperitoneal, perineural or vascular invasion, lymph node metastasis or tumor size. The expression frequencies of M30 and CD44 were significantly higher in the NAC group (61.5 and 53.8%) compared to the control group (9.5 and 14.3%); however, no significant difference in Snail expression was noted between the two groups (53.8 versus 42.9%). Gemcitabine induced apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells in vivo; however, it did not reduce the tumor burden. Moreover, the residual cancer tissues were rich in chemoresistant cancer stem cells. By contrast, marked EMT of cancer cells was observed in the specimens from the groups treated and not treated with gemcitabine.
PMCID: PMC3392576  PMID: 22783415
pancreatic cancer; gemcitabine; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; apoptosis; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; cancer stem cells
20.  Pilot study of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with gemcitabine and oral S-1 for resectable pancreatic cancer 
Results of surgery alone for pancreatic cancer are disappointing. We retrospectively evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) with gemcitabine and oral S-1 in patients with potentially resectable pancreatic cancer. A total of 34 patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, radiologically diagnosed preoperatively as having potentially resectable tumors, underwent pancreatic resection with lymphadenectomy at Kanazawa University Hospital. NAC was administered to 13 patients (NAC group). The remaining 21 patients were surgically treated without preoperative chemotherapy (control group). Surgical results were compared between these two groups, with follow-up for at least 24 months. No statistically significant differences were found in the clinicopathological background data (tumor location, age, gender, lymph node metastases, tumor stage and tumor size) between the NAC and control groups. Following preoperative chemotherapy, no patients were judged to be unable to undergo laparotomy, i.e., neither distant metastasis nor tumor progression was observed. Radiologically, all 13 NAC group patients had stable disease, whereas, histopathologically, all tumor specimens showed evidence of tumor cells. The treatment effect was judged by Evans grading to be grade IIa in 11 patients and grade IIb in 2 patients. Toxicity was evaluated in 11 patients. Grade III side effects were regarded as hematological toxicity, i.e., leucopenia (7.7%) and thrombocytopenia (15.4%). Moreover, the incidence of perioperative complications did not differ significantly between the NAC and control groups. The one- and three-year overall survival rates of the NAC group with pancreatic head cancer were 88.9 and 55.6%, respectively, superior to 88.9 and 29.6% in the control group (p=0.055). Therefore, NAC with gemcitabine and S-1 is well tolerated and potentially effective against pancreatic head cancer. A phase I study of NAC with gemcitabine and S-1 is under way in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3438612  PMID: 22969969
pancreatic cancer; gemcitabine; S-1; neoadjuvant chemotherapy
21.  Adiponectin receptor-1 expression is associated with good prognosis in gastric cancer 
Adiponectin is inversely related to BMI, positively correlates with insulin sensitivity, and has anti-atherogenic effects. In recent years, adiponectin has been well studied in the field of oncology. Adiponectin has been shown to have antiproliferative effects on gastric cancer, and adiponectin expression is inversely correlated with clinical staging of the disease. However, no studies have reported the correlation between serum adiponectin and receptor expression with disease progression.
In this study, we evaluated expression levels of 2 adiponectin receptors--AdipoR1 and AdipoR2--and attempted to correlate their expression with prognosis in gastric cancer patients. AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 expression in gastric cancer cell lines (MKN45, TMK-1, NUGC3, and NUGC4) was evaluated by western blotting analysis, and the antiproliferative potential of adiponectin was examined in vitro. Serum adiponectin levels were evaluated in 100 gastric cancer patients, and the expression of AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 was assessed by immunohistochemical staining.
MKN45 and NUGC3 expressed higher levels of AdipoR1 compared to NUGC4, even though there was no significance in AdipoR2 expression. The antiproliferative effect of adiponectin was confirmed in MKN45 and NUGC3 at 10 μg/ml. No significant associations were observed between serum adiponectin levels and clinicopathological characteristics, but lymphatic metastasis and peritoneal dissemination were significantly higher in the negative AdipoR1 immunostaining group (24/32, p = 0.013 and 9/32, p = 0.042, respectively) compared to the positive AdipoR1 group (lymphatic metastasis, 33/68; peritoneal dissemination, 8/68). On the other hand, AdipoR2 expression was only associated with histopathological type (p = 0.001). In survival analysis, the AdipoR1 positive staining group had significantly longer survival rates than the negative staining group (p = 0.01). However, multivariate analysis indicated that AdipoR1 was not an independent prognostic factor on patient's survival on gastric cancer.
In gastric cancer, adiponectin has the possibility to be involved in cell growth suppression via AdipoR1. The presence of AdipoR1 could be a novel anticancer therapeutic target in gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC3223499  PMID: 22078265
Adiponectin; AdipoR1; AdipoR2; gastric cancer; survival
22.  Inflammation-Related Carcinogenesis and Prevention in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Using Rat Duodenoesophageal Reflux Models 
Cancers  2011;3(3):3206-3224.
Development from chronic inflammation to Barrett's adenocarcinoma is known as one of the inflammation-related carcinogenesis routes. Gastroesophageal reflux disease induces regurgitant esophagitis, and esophageal mucosa is usually regenerated by squamous epithelium, but sometimes and somewhere replaced with metaplastic columnar epithelium. Specialized columnar epithelium, so-called Barrett's epithelium (BE), is a risk factor for dysplasia and adenocarcinoma in esophagus. Several experiments using rodent model inducing duodenogastroesophageal reflux or duodenoesophageal reflux revealed that columnar epithelium, first emerging at the proliferative zone, progresses to dysplasia and finally adenocarcinoma, and exogenous carcinogen is not necessary for cancer development. It is demonstrated that duodenal juice rather than gastric juice is essential to develop esophageal adenocarcinoma in not only rodent experiments, but also clinical studies. Antireflux surgery and chemoprevention by proton pump inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, green tea, retinoic acid and thioproline showed preventive effects on the development of Barrett's adenocarcinoma in rodent models, but it remains controversial whether antireflux surgery could regress BE and prevent esophageal cancer in clinical observation. The Chemoprevention for Barrett's Esophagus Trial (CBET), a phase IIb, multicenter, randomized, double-masked study using celecoxib in patients with Barrett's dysplasia failed to prove to prevent progression of dysplasia to cancer. The AspECT (Aspirin Esomeprazole Chemoprevention Trial), a large multicenter phase III randomized trial to evaluate the effects of esomeprazole and/or aspirin on the rate of progression to high-grade dysplasia or adenocarcinoma in patients with BE is now ongoing.
PMCID: PMC3759194  PMID: 24212953
inflammation-metaplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence; Barrett's esophagus; duodenogastroesophageal reflux; chemoprevention for esophageal adenocarcinoma; antireflux surgery; proton pump inhibitors; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors; thioproline
23.  Pilot study of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy with gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil for patients with postoperative liver metastases from pancreatic cancer 
Hepatic metastasis is a common cause of treatment failure after curative resection of pancreatic cancer. We report a pilot study of hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) chemotherapy with gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) for postoperative liver metastases from pancreatic cancer. Five patients who had undergone curative resection of liver metastases from pancreatic cancer received HAI of gemcitabine and 5-FU between October 2008 and September 2010 at Kanazawa University Hospital. Gemcitabine at a dose of 800 mg was infused over 30 min via a bedside pump. After gemcitabine administration, 250 mg of 5-FU was infused continuously over 24 h on days 1–5, comprising one cycle of therapy. These treatment cycles were continued biweekly. In the evaluation according to RECIST criteria, a partial response was obtained in 2 of the 5 cases, with stable disease being achieved in the remaining 3 cases (response rate, 100%). In 4 of the 5 cases, a decrease in serum tumor marker CA19-9 was observed after 10 HAI treatment cycles. The median time to treatment failure was 10 months (range 3–17). As to adverse events, leukocytopenia was grade 3 in 1 of 4 affected cases and all 5 were anemic, although 4 of the 5 cases had anemia prior to HAI therapy. Grade 2 thrombocytopenia was observed in 2 cases. No nonhematologic events, such as nausea, diarrhea, liver injury and neuropathy, occurred. There were no life-threatening toxicities, but 4 cases (80%) developed catheter complications, and the HAI catheter and subcutaneous implantable port system had to be removed. HAI delivers high doses of chemotherapeutic agents directly into tumor vessels, producing increased regional levels with greater efficacy and a lower incidence/severity of systemic side effects. In conclusion, HAI chemotherapy is useful and safe for the treatment of malignancies confined to the liver.
PMCID: PMC3440666  PMID: 22977495
pancreatic cancer; liver metastasis; hepatic arterial infusion; chemotherapy; gemcitabine; 5-fluorouracil
24.  Effects of valproic acid on the cell cycle and apoptosis through acetylation of histone and tubulin in a scirrhous gastric cancer cell line 
Management of peritoneal dissemination is the most critical problem in gastric cancer. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effects of valproic acid (VPA) on a highly peritoneal-seeding cell line of human scirrhous gastric cancer, OCUM-2MD3, and to explore the mechanism and the potential of VPA.
The effects of VPA on the growth of OCUM-2MD3 cells were assessed by MTT assay. In addition, paclitaxel (PTX) was combined with VPA to evaluate their synergistic effects. HDAC1 and HDAC2 expression were evaluated by western blotting in OCUM-2MD3 cells and other gastric cancer cell lines (TMK-1, MKN-28). The acetylation status of histone H3 and α-tubulin after exposure to VPA were analyzed by western blotting. The activities of cell cycle regulatory proteins and apoptosis-modulating proteins were also examined by western blotting. The effects of VPA in vivo were evaluated in a xenograft model, and apoptotic activity was assessed by TUNEL assay.
OCUM-2MD3 cells showed high levels of HDAC1 and HDAC2 expression compared with TMK-1 and MKN-28. The concentration of VPA required for significant inhibition of cell viability (P < 0.05) was 5 mM at 24 h and 0.5 mM at 48 h and 72 h. The inhibition of VPA with PTX showed dose-dependent and combinatorial effects. VPA increased acetyl-histone H3, acetyl-α-tubulin, and p21WAF1 levels accompanied by upregulation of p27, caspase 3, and caspase 9, and downregulation of bcl-2, cyclin D1, and survivin. In the xenograft model experiment, the mean tumor volume of the VPA-treated group was significantly reduced by 36.4%, compared with that of the control group at 4 weeks after treatment (P < 0.01). The apoptotic index was significantly higher in the VPA-treated group (42.3% ± 3.5%) than in the control group (7.7% ± 2.5%) (P < 0.001).
VPA induced dynamic modulation of histone H3 and α-tubulin acetylation in relation with the anticancer effect and the enhancement of PTX in the OCUM-2MD3 cell line. Therefore, VPA in combination with PTX is expected to be a promising therapy for peritoneal dissemination of scirrhous gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC2994814  PMID: 21080974
25.  Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy for post-operative liver metastases from pancreatic cancer in a patient with leukocytopenia: A case report 
Here, we present a case of post-operative liver metastases from pancreatic head cancer in a patient with leukocytopenia, who was safely treated by hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) chemotherapy consisting of gemcitabine and 5-FU. The patient was a 61-year-old woman who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic head cancer, but was found to be an unsuitable candidate for adjuvant systemic chemotherapy due to the presence of leukocytopenia. Five months after surgery, a follow-up CT revealed two liver metastases. Intravenous systemic chemotherapy was also contraindicated due to the leukocytopenia. In the apparent absence of recurrence, excepting the liver metastases, we decided to administer HAI chemotherapy, which had already been administered following the curative surgery. HAI chemotherapy has been shown to be associated with a lower incidence of systemic side effects. Gemcitabine at a dose of 400 mg was administered via a bedside pump and infused over 30 min. After gemcitabine infusion, 250 mg of 5-FU was infused continuously over 24 h from days 1 to 5. This comprised 1 cycle of therapy. The treatment cycles were continued biweekly. After 10 cycles without severe side effects, it was found that though the size of the metastatic tumors was not reduced, tumor vascularity was. However, after the 13th treatment cycle, local recurrence and lymph node metastases were detected. By this time, the patient had recovered from the leukocytopenia, and could thus be administered systemic chemotherapy. In conclusion, HAI chemotherapy is useful and safe for the treatment of malignancies confined to the liver, even in cases where the patient is in a reduced physical condition.
PMCID: PMC3445989  PMID: 22993630
pancreatic cancer; liver metastases; hepatic arterial infusion; chemotherapy; gemcitabine; leukocytopenia

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