Aberrant activation of Wnt signalling through hypermethylation of Wnt inhibitor genes is involved in several human malignancies, including acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). It remains unclear whether hypermethylation of Wnt inhibitors is associated with molecular gene mutations in the development of AML.
We investigated the association of the promoter hypermethylation of six Wnt inhibitors (Wif-1, SFRP1, SFRR2, SFRP4, SFRP5, and DKK1) with gene aberrations in the leukaemogenesis of 269 AML patients.
In total, 166 patients (61.7%) had hypermethylation of at least one Wnt inhibitor. The majority (68.5%) of patients with Wnt inhibitor hypermethylation had concurrent Class II gene mutations that affect transcription factors or cofactors. There was a close association of Wif-1 hypermethylation with t(15;17) (P=0.0005) and CEBPA mutation (P<0.0001), DKK1 hypermethylation with t(8;21) (P<0.0001) and ASXL1 mutation (P=0.0078), SFRP-1 hypermethylation with t(8;21) (P<0.0001), SFRP-2 hypermethylation with AML1/RUNX1 mutation (P=0.0012), and SFRP-5 hypermethylation with MLL/PTD (P=0.0505). On the other side, hypermethylation of Wnt inhibitors was always negatively associated with NPM1 mutation and FLT3/ITD.
There was distinct association between hypermethylation of individual Wnt inhibitors and specific gene aberrations, especially Class II mutations. The Wnt inhibitor hypermethylation might interact with genetic alterations in the leukaemogenesis.
Wnt pathway inhibitors; methylation; genetic alteration; acute myeloid leukaemia
The etiology of esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC) in high prevalence regions of China remains unclear.
Endoscopic biopsies were conducted among 7381 inhabitants aged from 25 to 65 of Anyang, China.
In this study, 2.57, 0.20 and 0.16% of the participants had mild, moderate and severe squamous dysplasia, respectively; 0.19 and 0.08% showed squamous carcinoma in situ and invasive ESCC. Using deep well (depth >100 meters) as water source (odds ratio=0.72, 95% confidence interval: 0.54–0.96) was negatively associated with ESCC and its precursors, whereas tobacco and alcohol use were not significantly associated with ESCC.
Water source and other factors in this region need further evaluation by longitudinal studies.
prevalence; risk factor; esophageal cancer; precursor lesion; China
We investigated common genetic variation in the entire ESR1 and EGF genes in relation to endometrial cancer risk, myometrial invasion and endometrial cancer survival. We genotyped a dense set of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in both genes and selected haplotype tagging SNPs (tagSNPs). The tagSNPs were genotyped in 713 Swedish endometrial cancer cases and 1567 population controls and the results incorporated into logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models. We found five adjacent tagSNPs covering a region of 15 kb at the 5′ end of ESR1 that decreased the endometrial cancer risk. The ESR1 variants did not, however, seem to affect myometrial invasion or endometrial cancer survival. For the EGF gene, no association emerged between common genetic variants and endometrial cancer risk or myometrial invasion, but we found a five-tagSNP region that covered 51 kb at the 5′ end of the gene where all five tagSNPs seemed to decrease the risk of dying from endometrial cancer. One of the five tagSNPs in this region was in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with the untranslated A61G (rs4444903) EGF variant, earlier shown to be associated with risk for other forms of cancer.
ESR1; EGF; polymorphism; endometrial cancer; survival
Molecular markers involved in DNA repair can help to predict survival in gastric cancer patients treated with 5-FU plus platinum chemotherapy. Excision repair cross-complementing 1 (ERCC1) and thymidylate synthase (TS) mRNA expression levels were assessed in advanced gastric cancer tumour samples using real-time quantitative PCR in 76 patients treated with a modified FOLFOX (biweekly oxaliplatin plus 5-FU and folinic acid) regimen. Median survival time in patients with low ERCC1 levels was significantly longer than in those with high levels (15.8 vs 6.2 months; P<0.0001). Patients with high TS levels had longer survival than those with low levels (12.2 vs 10.1 months; P=0.01). Forty-eight patients with low ERCC1 and high TS levels had a median survival of 16.1 months (P<0.0001). The hazard ratio for patients with high ERCC1 expression was 9.4 (P<0.0001). In patients with high mRNA levels of ERCC1, alternative chemotherapy regimens should be considered.
ERCC1; TS; advanced gastric cancer; FOLFOX
p53 codon 72 polymorphism; cervical cancer; Chinese
The bone-forming metastases of prostate cancer result from complex stromal–epithelial interactions within the tumour microenvironment. Autocrine–paracrine signalling pathways between prostate cancer epithelial cells, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts stimulate aberrant bone remodelling, and the activity of these three cell populations can be quantitatively measured using prostate-specific antigen (PSA), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) and urine N-telopeptide (uNTx), respectively. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that serial measurements of BAP and uNTx during therapy would facilitate monitoring of disease activity and predict the overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic prostate cancer receiving therapy.
Radionuclide bone scan, PSA, BAP, and uNTx data were retrospectively analysed from three clinical trials in patients with metastatic prostate cancer conducted at our institution. Qualitative changes in bone scans and quantitative changes in PSA, BAP, and uNTx concentrations during therapy were correlated with OS.
Baseline levels of BAP, but not PSA, were prognostic for OS in both androgen-dependent and castrate-resistant disease. A reduction in PSA, BAP, uNTx, or BAP/uNTx on therapy was predictive of improved OS in both patient groups. Conversely, an increase in PSA, or BAP on therapy was predictive of worse OS in both patient groups. Baseline number of lesions and response on bone scan during therapy were neither prognostic nor predictive of OS in either patient group.
These observations support the concept that serial measurements of bone turnover metabolites during therapy function as clinically informative predictive biomarkers in patients with advanced prostate cancer and skeletal metastases. PSA measurements and bone scans remain essential to monitor the overall disease activity and determine the anatomic distribution of skeletal metastases.
prostate cancer; bone; predictive biomarkers; metastases
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells are resistant to anticancer drugs. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a key mediator of chemoresistance. We have reported that disulfiram (DS), an aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) inhibitor, targets breast CSC-like cells. In this study, the effect of DS and combination of DS and gemcitabine (dFdC) on GBM cells and GBM stem-like cells was investigated.
1-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-3,5-diphenylformazan (MTT), combination index (CI)-isobologram, western blot, luciferase reporter gene assay, electrophoretic mobility-shift assay and ALDH analysis were used in this study.
Disulfiram is cytotoxic in GBM cell lines in a copper (Cu)-dependent manner. Disulfiram/copper enhances the cytotoxicity of dFdC. Combination index-isobologram analysis indicates a synergistic effect between DS/Cu and dFdC. Disulfiram/copper induces reactive oxygen species (ROS), activates JNK and p38 pathways and inhibits nuclear factor-kappa B activity in GBM cell lines. Disulfiram/copper may trigger intrinsic apoptotic pathway via modulation of the Bcl2 family. Disulfiram/copper abolishes stem-like cell population in GBM cell lines.
Our findings indicate that the cytotoxicity of DS/Cu and the enhancing effect of DS/Cu on the cytotoxicity of dFdC in GBM stem-like cells may be caused by induction of ROS and inhibition of both ALDH and the NFkB pathway. Both DS and dFdC can traverse the blood–brain barrier. Further study may lead them into GBM chemotherapy.
disulfiram; copper; reactive oxygen species; NFκB; GBM stem-like cells; gemcitabine
The Notch signalling pathway has been implicated in tumour initiation, progression, angiogenesis and development of resistance to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) targeting, providing a rationale for the combination of RO4929097, a γ-secretase inhibitor, and cediranib, a VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
Patients received escalating doses of RO4929097 (on a 3 days-on and 4 days-off schedule) in combination with cediranib (once daily). Cycle 1 was 42 days long with RO4929097 given alone for the first 3 weeks followed by the co-administration of both RO4929097 and cediranib starting from day 22. Cycle 2 and onwards were 21 days long. Soluble markers of angiogenesis were measured in plasma samples. Archival tumour specimens were assessed for expression of three different components of Notch signalling pathway and genotyping.
In total, 20 patients were treated in three dose levels (DLs). The recommended phase II dose was defined as 20 mg for RO4929097 on 3 days-on and 4 days-off schedule and 30 mg daily for cediranib. The most frequent treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were diarrhoea, hypertension, fatigue and nausea. Eleven patients had a best response of stable disease and one patient achieved partial response. We did not detect any correlation between tested biomarkers of angiogenesis or the Notch pathway and treatment effect. There was no correlation between mutational status and time to treatment failure.
RO4929097 in combination with cediranib is generally well tolerated at the DLs tested. Preliminary evidence of antitumour efficacy with prolonged disease stabilisation in some patients with progressive malignancies warrants further clinical investigation of this treatment strategy.
RO4929097; cediranib; phase I; combination study
Activation of Akt and increased expression of integrin β3 are the two most important changes that have been linked to the attainment of metastatic potential by prostate cancer cells. However, a direct link between Akt activity and inside-out activation of integrin β3 in mediating prostate cancer cell metastatic properties is not established.
Using functional and biochemical approaches, we examined the role of Akt1 in the affinity modulation of integrin β3 in prostate cancer cells.
Although expression of murine TRAMP and human PC3 cells with constitutively active Akt1 (CA-Akt1) enhanced their affinity for integrin αvβ3 specific ligands and motility on various extracellular matrix proteins, the reverse was observed with the expression of dominant-negative Akt1 (DN-Akt1). Although enhanced motility and transendothelial migration of CA-Akt1-expressing cells were blunted by co-expression with DN-integrin β3 or upon pre-treatment with integrin β3-blocking antibodies (LM 609), impaired motility and transendothelial migration of DN-Akt1-expressing cells were rescued by pre-treatment of prostate cancer cells with integrin β3-activating antibodies, AP7.4.
Our data is the first to demonstrate a link between Akt1 activity and affinity modulation of integrin β3 in the regulation of prostate cancer cell motility, transendothelial migration and chemotaxis to metastatic stimuli.
prostate cancer; chemotaxis; invasion; bone matrix; Akt1; integrin αvβ3
To evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics (PKs), and pharmacodynamics of aflibercept, and to identify the recommended phase II dose (RP2D) of aflibercept in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin.
Aflibercept was administered at escalating doses of 2, 4, or 6 mg kg−1 in combination with fixed doses of pemetrexed (500 mg m−2) plus cisplatin (75 mg m−2) every 3 weeks. Blood samples were collected for PK analyses. Serum antiaflibercept antibodies were quantified to assess their impact on systemic aflibercept concentrations.
Eighteen patients were enrolled. One patient dosed at 4 mg kg−1 experienced grade 3 hypophosphatemia (dose-limiting toxicity; DLT), which prompted a cohort expansion. No further DLTs were observed in the 4 mg kg−1 cohort or the 6 mg kg−1 dose cohort. Most common adverse events (AEs) of all grades included (%): fatigue (89), anaemia (89), nausea (83), hyponatremia (78), and neutropenia (72). Grade ⩾3 AEs consistent with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy included (%): hypertension (22), pulmonary embolism (11), and deep vein thrombosis (6). Five patients (28%) experienced mild neurocognitive disturbance. No episodes of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS) were noted.
The results of this phase I study allowed further evaluation of the combination of aflibercept with pemetrexed and cisplatin in a phase II study. The RP2D of aflibercept was 6 mg kg−1, to be administered intravenously every 3 weeks in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin.
aflibercept; phase I; cisplatin; pemetrexed; angiogenesis; pharmacokinetic
This study examined the risk of third cancer of non-breast origin (TNBC) among women with bilateral breast cancer (BBC; either synchronous or metachronous), focussing on the relation with breast cancer treatment.
Risk was assessed, among 8752 Dutch women diagnosed with BBC between 1989 and 2008, using standardised incidence ratios (SIR) and Cox regression analyses to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of TNBC for different treatment modalities.
Significant increased SIRs were observed for all TNBCs combined, haematological malignancies, stomach, colorectal, non-melanoma skin, lung, head and neck, endometrial, and ovarian cancer. A 10-fold increased risk was found for ovarian cancer among women younger than 50 years (SIR=10.0, 95% confidence interval (CI)=5.3–17.4). Radiotherapy was associated with increased risks of all TNBCs combined (HR=1.3; 95%CI=1.1–1.6, respectively). Endocrine therapy was associated with increased risks of all TNBCs combined (HR=1.2; 95%CI=1.0–1.5), haematological malignancies (HR=2.0; 95%CI=1.1–3.9), and head and neck cancer (HR=3.3; 95%CI=1.1–10.4). After chemotherapy decreased risks were found for all TNBCs combined (HR=0.63; 95%CI=0.5–0.87).
Increased risk of TNBC could be influenced by genetic factors (ovarian cancer) or an effect of treatment (radiotherapy and endocrine therapy). More insight in the TNBC risk should further optimise and individualise treatment and surveillance protocols in (young) women with BBC.
bilateral breast cancer; third primary cancer; risk; radiotherapy; chemotherapy; endocrine therapy
An intravenous formulated extract of the venom of the wild toad Bufo bufo gargarizans Cantor or Bufo melanostictus Schneider, huachansu, is currently used in China for the treatment of lung, liver, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. We performed a randomised, single-blinded, phase II clinical study of huachansu plus gemcitabine versus placebo plus gemcitabine in patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinomas.
Patients with tissue-proven locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic adenocarinoma were randomly assigned to receive either gemcitabine 1000 mg m−2 on days 1, 8, and 15 with huachansu 20 ml m−2 daily for 21 days (arm A) or placebo (arm B); treatment cycles were 28 days in length. Primary end point was 4-month progression-free overall survival (PFS); secondary end points were objective radiographical response rate (ORR), time to progression (TTP), and toxicity.
A total of 80 subjects were enrolled; 76 patients were evaluable (received at least 1 week therapy). Median overall survival was 160 days for arm A and 156 days for arm B (P=0.339); ORR was 9 and 3% in arms A and B, respectively (P=0.332), median TTP was 98 and 115 days, respectively (P=0.825); the median 4-month PFS was 99 and 98 days, respectively (P=0.679).
Huachansu when combined with gemcitabine did not improve the outcome of patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic cancer.
huachansu; gemcitabine; pancreatic cancer; traditional Chinese medicine
The Pax8 transcription factor genes have a role in cell differentiation and cell growth, and silencing of Pax8 in cell cultures results in cell death. The aims of this study were to determine the expression and correlation of Pax8 protein with several clinicopathological variables in patients with endometrial cancer.
The following clinical parameters from 229 patients were used for correlation with Pax8 expression; age, histological subtype, myometrial depth of invasion, lymphovascular invasion (LVI), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics grade, lymph nodes status, and disease status.
A positive association of Pax8+ expression was found with high tumour grade (P=0.002), LVI+(P=0.0186), and type II tumour subtype (P<0.0001) in univariate analysis. Survival analysis showed an association of Pax8 and 5-year overall survival probability (P=0.01486), 80.04% for patients with Pax8− and 55.59% for patients with Pax8+. There was also an association of Pax8 and 5-year disease-free survival probability (P=0.02028), 72.12% for patients with Pax8−
vs 49.88% for patients with Pax8+. Finally, an association of Pax8+ and shorter recurrence-free survival was also found (P=0.00203), with 74.36% for Pax8− and 52.11% for Pax8+.
Overexpression of Pax8 protein by endometrial cancer is associated with poor disease outcomes. Inhibition of Pax8 may be a very attractive targeted therapy for selective patients.
Pax8; endometrial cancer; immunoexpression; disease outcome; prognostic biomarker
Several lines of evidence suggest a dichotomy between immune active and quiescent cancers, with the former associated with a good prognostic phenotype and better responsiveness to immunotherapy. Central to such dichotomy is the master regulator of the acute inflammatory process interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-1. However, it remains unknown whether the responsiveness of IRF-1 to cytokines is able to differentiate cancer immune phenotypes.
IRF-1 activation was measured in 15 melanoma cell lines at basal level and after treatment with IFN-γ, TNF-α and a combination of both. Microarray analysis was used to compare transcriptional patterns between cell lines characterised by high or low IRF-1 activation.
We observed a strong positive correlation between IRF-1 activation at basal level and after IFN-γ and TNF-α treatment. Microarray demonstrated that three cell lines with low and three with high IRF-1 inducible translocation scores differed in the expression of 597 transcripts. Functional interpretation analysis showed mTOR and Wnt/β-cathenin as the top downregulated pathways in the cell lines with low inducible IRF-1 activation, suggesting that a low IRF-1 inducibility recapitulates a cancer phenotype already described in literature characterised by poor prognosis.
Our findings support the central role of IRF-1 in influencing different tumour phenotypes.
IRF-1; IFN-γ; immune phenotype; NF-κB; TNF-α; nuclear translocation
Current imaging modalities are inadequate in preoperatively predicting regional lymph node metastasis (RLNM) status in rectal cancer (RC). Here, we designed support vector machine (SVM) model to address this issue by integrating epithelial–mesenchymal-transition (EMT)-related biomarkers along with clinicopathological variables.
Using tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry, the EMT-related biomarkers expression was measured in 193 RC patients. Of which, 74 patients were assigned to the training set to select the robust variables for designing SVM model. The SVM model predictive value was validated in the testing set (119 patients).
In training set, eight variables, including six EMT-related biomarkers and two clinicopathological variables, were selected to devise SVM model. In testing set, we identified 63 patients with high risk to RLNM and 56 patients with low risk. The sensitivity, specificity and overall accuracy of SVM in predicting RLNM were 68.3%, 81.1% and 72.3%, respectively. Importantly, multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that SVM model was indeed an independent predictor of RLNM status (odds ratio, 11.536; 95% confidence interval, 4.113–32.361; P<0.0001).
Our SVM-based model displayed moderately strong predictive power in defining the RLNM status in RC patients, providing an important approach to select RLNM high-risk subgroup for neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.
SVM; EMT; regional lymph node metastasis; colorectal cancer
There is evidence that tumours produce substances such as cytokines and microvesicular bodies bearing bioactive molecules, which support the carcinogenic process. Furthermore, chemotherapy has also been shown to modify these exudates and in doing so, neutralise their tumourigenic influence.
In the current study, we have investigated the effect of chemotherapy agents on modifying the cytokine profile and microvesicular cargo of supernatants derived from cancer cell lines. In addition, we have explored the effect of these tumour-derived supernatants on angiogenesis, and how chemotherapy can alter the supernatants rendering them less pro-angiogenic.
Herein, we show that supernatants contain a rich cocktail of cytokines, a number of which are potent modulators of angiogenesis. They also contain microvesicular bodies containing RNA transcripts that code for proteins involved in transcription, immune modulation and angiogenesis. These supernatants altered intracellular signalling molecules in endothelial cells and significantly enhanced their tubulogenic character; however, this was severely compromised when supernatants from tumours treated with chemotherapy was used instead.
This study suggests tumour exudates and bioactive material from tumours can influence cellular functions, and that treatment with some chemotherapy can serve to negate these pro-tumourigenic processes.
tumour-supernatants; chemotherapy; immunotherapy; angiogenesis; immune-modulation; microvesicles
To determine whether non-viral nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) risk factors might be associated with (and mediated through) Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) serological responses linked to NPC risk, we evaluated predictors of risk of anti-EBNA1 IgA seropositivity and other markers among unaffected relatives from a large NPC family study in Taiwan.
Multivariate logistic regression conditioned on family was used to examine the associations between sociodemographic, dietary, lifestyle, and occupational variables and risk of anti-EBV EBNA1 IgA positivity, anti-VCA IgA, and anti-DNase positivity.
Among 2393 unaffected relatives from 319 multiplex families, 1180 (49.3%) were anti-EBV EBNA1 IgA seropositive. None of the associations with anti-EBNA1 IgA were statistically significant, except for being 31–50 years of age (vs <30, adjusted ORs 0.51–0.57). For one or more EBV serological markers, there were suggestive associations for older age, GuangDong firm salted fish, betel use, current alcohol use, and male gender.
Overall, we found little evidence to suggest that non-viral NPC risk factors significantly alter EBV serological patterns, suggesting that non-viral NPC risk factors act through pathways independent of EBV serological responses.
Epstein–Barr virus; EBNA1; VCA; IgA; DNase; nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) drives cellular transformation. The objective of this study was to detect the potential effects of CIP2A in renal cell carcinomas (RCCs).
A total of 107 RCC patients were involved in the study. Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A expression was investigated by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. In vitro, we examined the expression of CIP2A and c-Myc and tested the migration and invasion capability of A498 and KRC/Y cells with scratch migration assay and Matrigel invasion assay after down-regulating CIP2A expression using siRNA.
Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A was over-expressed in RCC tissues. Clear cell RCC showed an even higher-CIP2A expression level than papillary or chromophobe RCC did. The CIP2A immunostaining level was positively correlated with primary tumour stage, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, TNM stage and histological grade (all P<0.05). High-CIP2A expression implied poor survival for patients (P<0.05). Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A depletion by siRNA down-regulated c-Myc expression and attenuated the migration and invasion of RCC cells.
Higher-CIP2A expression positively correlates with the aggressive phenotype of RCCs, and predicts poor prognosis for patients. Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A may be a novel target for prevention and treatment of RCC metastasis and recurrence.
CIP2A; RCC; metastasis; prognosis; survival
It has been suggested that the relative importance of oestrogen-metabolising pathways may affect the risk of oestrogen-dependent tumours including endometrial cancer. One hypothesis is that the 2-hydroxy pathway is protective, whereas the 16α-hydroxy pathway is harmful.
We conducted a case–control study nested within three prospective cohorts to assess whether the circulating 2-hydroxyestrone : 16α-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1 : 16α-OHE1) ratio is inversely associated with endometrial cancer risk in postmenopausal women. A total of 179 cases and 336 controls, matching cases on cohort, age and date of blood donation, were included. Levels of 2-OHE1 and 16α-OHE1 were measured using a monoclonal antibody-based enzyme assay.
Endometrial cancer risk increased with increasing levels of both metabolites, with odds ratios in the top tertiles of 2.4 (95% CI=1.3, 4.6; Ptrend=0.007) for 2-OHE1 and 1.9 (95% CI=1.1, 3.5; Ptrend=0.03) for 16α-OHE1 in analyses adjusting for endometrial cancer risk factors. These associations were attenuated and no longer statistically significant after further adjustment for oestrone or oestradiol levels. No significant association was observed for the 2-OHE1 : 16α-OHE1 ratio.
Our results do not support the hypothesis that greater metabolism of oestrogen via the 2-OH pathway, relative to the 16α-OH pathway, protects against endometrial cancer.
endometrial cancer; nested case–control study; oestrogen metabolites; 2-hydroxyestrone; 16α-hydroxyestrone, post-menopause
Reduced expression of class 1 human leucocyte antigens (HLA1) is often a mechanism by which tumours evade surveillance by the host immune system. This is often associated with an immune function that is unable to mount appropriate responses against disease, which can result in a state that favours carcinogenesis.
In the current study, we have explored the effects of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) on the cytokine output of leucocytes, which is a key determinant in generating antitumour action, and have also assessed the effect of these cytokine cocktails on HLA1 expression in solid tumour cell lines.
BCG potently activated a broad range of leucocytes, and also enhanced the production of cytokines that were Th1-predominant. Supernatants from BCG-treated leucocytes significantly increased the expression of HLA1 on the surface of cancer cell lines, which correlated with increased cytolytic T-cell activity. We also showed that the increased HLA1 expression was associated with activation of intracellular signalling pathways, which was triggered by the increases in the Th1-cytokines interferon-γ and tumour necrosis factor-α, as counteracting their effects negated the enhancement.
These studies reaffirm the role of BCG as a putative immunotherapy through their cytokine-modifying effects on leucocytes and their capacity to enhance tumour visibility.
HLA1; BCG; immunovisibility; immunotherapy; cytokines
Persistent activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) is commonly detected in many types of cancer, including colon cancer. To date, whether STAT3 is activated and the effects of STAT3 inhibition by a newly developed curcumin analogue, GO-Y030, in colon cancer stem cells are still unknown.
Flow cytometry was used to isolate colon cancer stem cells, which are characterised by both aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)-positive and CD133-positive subpopulations (ALDH+/CD133+). The levels of STAT3 phosphorylation and the effects of STAT3 inhibition by a newly developed curcumin analogue, GO-Y030, that targets STAT3 in colon cancer stem cells were examined.
Our results observed that ALDH+/CD133+ colon cancer cells expressed higher levels of phosphorylated STAT3 than ALDH-negative/CD133-negative colon cancer cells, suggesting that STAT3 is activated in colon cancer stem cells. GO-Y030 and curcumin inhibited STAT3 phosphorylation, cell viability, tumoursphere formation in colon cancer stem cells. GO-Y030 also reduced STAT3 downstream target gene expression and induced apoptosis in colon cancer stem cells. Furthermore, GO-Y030 suppressed tumour growth of cancer stem cells from both SW480 and HCT-116 colon cancer cell lines in the mouse model.
Our results indicate that STAT3 is a novel therapeutic target in colon cancer stem cells, and inhibition of activated STAT3 in cancer stem cells by GO-Y030 may offer an effective treatment for colorectal cancer.
STAT3; curcumin analogue; colon cancer; cancer stem cells; ALDH; CD133
Previous studies indicate that disulfiram (DS), an anti-alcoholism drug, is cytotoxic to cancer cell lines and reverses anticancer drug resistance. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the major cause of chemoresistance leading to the failure of cancer chemotherapy. This study intended to examine the effect of DS on breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs).
The effect of DS on BC cell lines and BCSCs was determined by MTT, western blot, CSCs culture and CSCs marker analysis.
Disulfiram was highly toxic to BC cell lines in vitro in a copper (Cu)-dependent manner. In Cu-containing medium (1 μ), the IC50 concentrations of DS in BC cell lines were 200–500 n. Disulfiram/copper significantly enhanced (3.7–15.5-fold) cytotoxicity of paclitaxel (PAC). Combination index isobologram analysis demonstrated a synergistic effect between DS/Cu and PAC. The increased Bax and Bcl2 protein expression ratio indicated that intrinsic apoptotic pathway may be involved in DS/Cu-induced apoptosis. Clonogenic assay showed DS/Cu-inhibited clonogenicity of BC cells. Mammosphere formation and the ALDH1+VE and CD24Low/CD44High CSCs population in mammospheres were significantly inhibited by exposure to DS/Cu for 24 h. Disulfiram/copper induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and activated its downstream apoptosis-related cJun N-terminal kinase and p38 MAPK pathways. Meanwhile, the constitutive NFκB activity in BC cell lines was inhibited by DS/Cu.
Disulfiram/copper inhibited BCSCs and enhanced cytotoxicity of PAC in BC cell lines. This may be caused by simultaneous induction of ROS and inhibition of NFκB.
disulfiram; reactive oxygen species; NFκB; breast cancer stem cells; paclitaxel; MAPK pathway
The epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) family of receptor tyrosine kinases has been reported to have an active role in a number of malignancies. Amplifications and overexpression of various EGFR family members, including EGFR, Her2, and ErbB3, have been reported in epithelial ovarian cancer. Although anti-EGFR-targeted therapy has shown limited clinical activity in ovarian cancer to date, a recent report suggests that activation of ErbB3, one of the members of the EGFR family, may support the growth and proliferation of ovarian cancer cells and that ErbB3 may therefore serve as a potential therapeutic target in this disease. Here, we review the EGFR family and the clinical experience with anti-EGFR family member-directed therapies in ovarian cancer to date.
EGFR family; ErbB3; ovarian cancer