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1.  Comparative benefits of Nab-paclitaxel over gemcitabine or polysorbate-based docetaxel in experimental pancreatic cancer 
Carcinogenesis  2013;34(10):2361-2369.
Gemcitabine has limited clinical benefits in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The solvent-based traditional taxanes docetaxel and paclitaxel have not shown clinical results superior to gemcitabine. Nab-paclitaxel, a water-soluble albumin-bound paclitaxel, may carry superior distribution properties into the tumor microenvironment and has shown efficacy in multiple tumor types. We evaluated nab-paclitaxel effects compared with gemcitabine or docetaxel. For pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells AsPC-1, BxPC-3, MIA PaCa-2 and Panc-1, gemcitabine IC50 ranged from 494nM to 23.9 μM; docetaxel IC50 range was from 5 to 34nM; nab-paclitaxel IC50 range was from 243nM to 4.9 μM. Addition of IC25 dose of docetaxel or nab-paclitaxel decreased gemcitabine IC50. Net tumor growth inhibition after gemcitabine, docetaxel or nab-paclitaxel was 67, 31 and 72%, which corresponded with intratumoral proliferative and apoptotic indices. Tumor stromal density was decreased by nab-paclitaxel and to a lesser extent by docetaxel as measured through reduction in α-smooth muscle actin, S100A4 and collagen 1 expression. Animal survival was prolonged after nab-paclitaxel treatment (41 days, P < 0.002) compared with gemcitabine (32 days, P = 0.005), docetaxel (32 days, P = 0.005) and controls (20 days). Survival in nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine and docetaxel/gemcitabine sequential treatment groups was not superior to nab-paclitaxel alone. Low-dose combination of gemcitabine with nab-paclitaxel or docetaxel was more effective compared with controls or gemcitabine alone but not superior to regular dose nab-paclitaxel alone. Combination treatment of gemcitabine+nab-paclitaxel or gemcitabine+docetaxel increased gemcitabine concentration in plasma and tumor. The superior antitumor activity of nab-paclitaxel provides a strong rationale for considering nab-paclitaxel as first-line monotherapy in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgt227
PMCID: PMC4023322  PMID: 23803690
2.  Enhancing sorafenib-mediated sensitization to gemcitabine in experimental pancreatic cancer through EMAP II 
Background
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive human malignancies and tends to be relatively resistant to conventional therapies. Activated Ras oncogene mutations are found in up to 90% of PDAC, leading to activation of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway. Sorafenib is a multikinase inhibitor of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway and of tumor angiogenesis. Endothelial monocyte activating polypeptide II (EMAP) enhances gemcitabine effects in PDAC. Antitumor activity of sorafenib was evaluated in combination with gemcitabine (Gem) and the antiangiogenic agent EMAP in experimental PDAC.
Methods
Cell proliferation and protein expression were analyzed by WST-1 assay and Western blotting. Animal survival studies were performed in murine PDAC xenografts.
Results
Sorafenib decreased phospho-MEK, phospho-ERK1/2, phospho-p70S6K and phospho-4EBP-1 expression in PDAC cells. Sorafenib inhibited in vitro proliferation of all four PDAC cell lines tested. Additive effects on cell proliferation inhibition were observed in the gemcitabine-sorafenib combination in PDAC cells, and in combinations of sorafenib or EMAP with gemcitabine in endothelial (HUVEC) and fibroblast (WI-38) cells. Sorafenib, alone or in combination with gemcitabine and EMAP, induced apoptosis in HUVECs and WI-38 cells as observed via increased expression of cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) and caspase-3 proteins. Compared to controls (median survival: 22 days), animal survival increased after Gem therapy (29 days) but not in sorafenib (23 days) or EMAP therapy alone (25 days). Further increases in survival occurred in combination therapy groups Gem+sorafenib (30 days, p=0.004), Gem+EMAP (33 days, p=0.002), and Gem+sorafenib+EMAP (36 days, p=0.004), but not after the sorafenib+EMAP combination (24 days).
Conclusions
These findings demonstrate that the addition of a polymechanistic antiangiogenic agent such as EMAP can enhance the combination treatment effects of sorafenib and cytotoxic PDAC therapy.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-32-12
PMCID: PMC3618297  PMID: 23497499
3.  Superior Antitumor Activity of Nanoparticle Albumin-Bound Paclitaxel in Experimental Gastric Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e58037.
Gastric cancer is the second common cause of cancer related death worldwide and lacks highly effective treatment for advanced disease. Nab-paclitaxel is a novel microtubule-inhibitory cytotoxic agent that has not been tested in gastric cancer as of yet. In this study, human gastric cancer cell lines AGS, NCI-N87 and SNU16 were studied. Nab-paclitaxel inhibited cell proliferation with an IC50 of 5 nM in SNU16, 23 nM in AGS and 49 nM in NCI-N87 cells after 72-hour treatment, which was lower than that of oxaliplatin (1.05 μM to 1.51 μM) and epirubicin (0.12 μM to 0.25 μM). Nab-paclitaxel treatment increased expression of the mitotic-spindle associated phospho-stathmin irrespective of the baseline total or phosphorylated stathmin level, and induced mitotic cell death as confirmed through increased expression of cleaved-PARP and caspase-3. After a two-week nab-paclitaxel, oxaliplatin or epirubicin treatment, the average in vivo local tumor growth inhibition rate was 77, 17.2 and 21.4 percent, respectively (p = 0.002). Effects of therapy on tumoral proliferative and apoptotic indices corresponded with tumor growth inhibition data, while expression of phospho-stathmin also increased in tissues. There was an increase in median animal survival after nab-paclitaxel treatment (93 days) compared to controls (31 days, p = 0.0007), oxaliplatin (40 days, p = 0.0007) or to docetaxel therapy (81 days, p = 0.0416). The strong antitumor activity of nab-paclitaxel in experimental gastric cancer supports such microtubule-inhibitory strategy for clinical application. Nab-paclitaxel benefits were observed independent from phosphorylated stathmin expression at baseline, putting into question the consideration of nab-paclitaxel use in gastric cancer based on this putative biomarker.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058037
PMCID: PMC3584019  PMID: 23460921
4.  Laparoscopic and open postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection in patients with advanced testicular cancer – a single center analysis 
BMC Urology  2012;12:15.
Background
The open approach represents the gold standard for postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (O-PCLND) in patients with residual testicular cancer. We analyzed laparoscopic postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (L-PCLND) and O-PCLND at our institution.
Methods
Patients underwent either L-PCLND (n = 43) or O-PCLND (n = 24). Categorical and continuous variables were compared using the Fisher exact test and Mann–Whitney U test respectively. Overall survival was evaluated with the log-rank test.
Results
Primary histology was embryonal cell carcinomas (18 patients), pure seminoma (2 cases) and mixed NSGCTs (47 patients). According to the IGCCCG patients were categorized into “good”, “intermediate” and “poor prognosis” disease in 55.2%, 14.9% and 20.8%, respectively. Median operative time for L-PCLND was 212 min and 232 min for O-PCLND (p = 0.256). Median postoperative duration of drainage and hospital stay was shorter after L-PCLND (0.0 vs. 3.5 days; p < 0.001 and 6.0 vs. 11.5 days; p = 0.002). Intraoperative complications occurred in 21.7% (L-PCLND) and 38.0% (O-PCLND) of cases with 19.5% and 28.5% of Clavien Grade III complications for L-PCLND and O-PCLND, respectively (p = 0.224). Significant blood loss (>500 ml) was almost equally distributed (8.6% vs. 14.2%: p = 0.076). No significant differences were observed for injuries of major vessels and postoperative complications (p = 0.758; p = 0.370). Tumor recurrence occurred in 8.6% following L-PCLND and in 14.2% following O-PCLND with a mean disease-free survival of 76.6 and 89.2 months, respectively. Overall survival was 83.3 and 95.0 months for L-PCNLD and O-PCLND, respectively (p = 0.447).
Conclusions
L-PCLND represents a safe surgical option for well selected patients at an experienced center.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-12-15
PMCID: PMC3431976  PMID: 22651395
Advanced testicular cancer; Postchemotherapy; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Laparoscopy; Metastasis
5.  Intrinsic resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors is associated with poor clinical outcome in metastatic renal cell carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:295.
Background
Data on sequential therapy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) and intrinsic resistance to receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (rTKI) treatment remains vague.
Methods
We retrospectively studied treatment characteristics and outcome of mRCC patients refractory to first rTKI therapy.
Results
Thirty-five mRCC patients (male, 18; female, 11) with primary resistance to first rTKI therapy (sunitinib, n = 28; sorafenib, n = 7) and a median treatment interval of 2.4 months (1 - 4.6) were identified. In 22 patients, progressive disease (PD) was determined by a new metastatic lesion. Of these, 16 patients received subsequent therapy with 12 patients remaining refractory and 4 patients achieving disease stabilization. In 13 patients continuous growth of existing metastatic lesions determined PD. Of these, 9 received sequential therapy with 6 achieving disease stabilization. Altogether, 25 patients were treated sequentially (rTKI: n = 15; mTOR-inhibitor: n = 10) and achieved a median PFS of 3.2 months (range, 1-16.6). Fifteen patients failed to respond to either line of therapy. Disease control was not associated with type of subsequent therapy. Median OS was 14.9 months (CI: 5.5-24.4).
Conclusion
Intrinsic resistance to rTKI is associated with a low chance of response to sequential therapy and a poor prognosis in mRCC patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-295
PMCID: PMC3154177  PMID: 21756335
6.  Down-regulation of the pro-apoptotic XIAP associated factor-1 (XAF1) during progression of clear-cell renal cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:276.
Background
Decreased expression of the interferon-stimulated, putative tumour suppressor gene XAF1 has been shown to play a role during the onset, progression and treatment failure in various malignancies. However, little is yet known about its potential implication in the tumour biology of clear-cell renal cell cancer (ccRCC).
Methods
This study assessed the expression of XAF1 protein in tumour tissue obtained from 291 ccRCC patients and 68 normal renal tissue samples, utilizing immunohistochemistry on a tissue-micro-array. XAF1 expression was correlated to clinico-pathological tumour features and prognosis.
Results
Nuclear XAF1 expression was commonly detected in normal renal- (94.1%) and ccRCC (91.8%) samples, without significant differences of expression levels. Low XAF1 expression in ccRCC tissue, however, was associated with progression of tumour stage (p = 0.040) and grade (p < 0.001). Low XAF1 tumour levels were also prognostic of significantly shortened overall survival times in univariate analysis (p = 0.018), but did not provide independent prognostic information.
Conclusion
These data suggest down-regulation of XAF1 expression to be implicated in ccRCC progression and implies that its re-induction may provide a therapeutic approach. Although the prognostic value of XAF1 in ccRCC appears to be limited, its predictive value remains to be determined, especially in patients with metastatic disease undergoing novel combination therapies of targeted agents with Interferon-alpha.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-276
PMCID: PMC3087333  PMID: 19664236

Results 1-6 (6)