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1.  Arsenic trioxide induces apoptosis of human gastrointestinal cancer cells 
AIM: To investigate the changes in apoptosis in gastrointestinal cancer cells from patients with gastrointestinal cancers treated with arsenic trioxide (As2O3); and to study the possible molecular mechanisms of such changes by detecting the expression levels of p53 and Bcl-2.
METHODS: Twenty patients with gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma based on endoscopic and biopsy findings (ten patients with gastric cancer and ten patients with colorectal cancer) who received treatment in our hospital between August 2007 and December 2008 were included in this study. None of the patients had received anti-tumour agents prior to As2O3 treatment. As2O3 was administered intravenously at a dose of 0.01 g/d diluted with 5% glucose in normal saline for 2-3 h for 3 consecutive days before surgery. Morphological changes associated with apoptosis of gastrointestinal cancer cells were observed by light microscopy. Changes in the apoptotic index induced by As2O3 were investigated using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling method. Expression levels of p53 and Bcl-2 proteins in gastrointestinal cancer tissues were determined by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: The apoptotic index of human gastrointestinal cancer cells was higher in cells from patients treated with As2O3 than in those not treated (P < 0.05). p53 protein expression in gastrointestinal tissues was unchanged by As2O3 (P > 0.05). However, Bcl-2 protein expression in gastrointestinal tissues was down-regulated by As2O3 (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that As2O3 treatment in patients with gastrointestinal cancers can induce apoptosis in gastrointestinal cancer cells and down-regulate Bcl-2 protein expression.
PMCID: PMC4017065  PMID: 24833880
Gastrointestinal cancer; Arsenic trioxide; Apoptosis; p53; Bcl-2
2.  Expression of the Androgen Receptor and its Correlation with Molecular Subtypes in 980 Chinese Breast Cancer Patients 
Recent studies have shown that androgen displays an inhibitory effect on breast cancer cell lines that express androgen receptor (AR) but not estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR). We have previously reported that approximately 1/3 of ER negative high grade invasive ductal carcinomas express AR. Thus, AR can serve as a potential therapeutic target for this group of patients.
Here we investigated AR expression patterns in 980 consecutive breast carcinomas.
We found that (1) AR was expressed more frequently (77%) than ER (61%) and PR (60%) in breast carcinomas; (2) AR expression was associated with ER and PR expression (P < 0.0001), small tumor size (P = 0.0324) and lower Ki-67 expression (P = 0.0013); (3) AR expression was found in 65% of ER negative tumors; (4) AR expression was associated with PR and Ki-67 in ER negative tumors, but not in ER positive tumors; (5) AR expression was higher in ER positive subtypes (Luminal A, Luminal B and Luminal HER2 subtypes, 80%–86%) and lower in ER negative subtypes [HER2, triple negative (TN), and TN EFGR positive subtypes; 52%–66%], with over 50% of TN tumors expressing AR.
More breast carcinomas express AR than ER and PR, including significant numbers of ER negative and TN tumors, for which AR could serve as a potential therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC3256731  PMID: 22259247
androgen receptor; breast cancer; estrogen receptor; HER2; Ki-67; molecular classification; progesterone receptor

Results 1-2 (2)