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1.  The monoclonal antibody SM5-1 recognizes a fibronectin variant which is widely expressed in melanoma 
Background
Previously we have generated the monoclonal antibody SM5-1 by using a subtractive immunization protocol of human melanoma. This antibody exhibits a high sensitivity for primary melanomas of 99% (248/250 tested) and for metastatic melanoma of 96% (146/151 tested) in paraffin embedded sections. This reactivity is superior to the one obtained by HMB-45, anti-MelanA or anti-Tyrosinase and is comparable to anti-S100. However, as compared to anti-S100, the antibody SM5-1 is highly specific for melanocytic lesions since 40 different neoplasms were found to be negative for SM5-1 by immunohistochemistry. The antigen recognized by SM5-1 is unknown.
Methods
In order to characterize the antigen recognized by mAb SM5-1, a cDNA library was constructed from the metastatic human melanoma cell line SMMUpos in the Uni-ZAP lambda phage and screened by mAb SM5-1. The cDNA clones identified by this approach were then sequenced and subsequently analyzed.
Results
Sequence analysis of nine independent overlapping clones (length 3100–5600 bp) represent fibronectin cDNA including the ED-A, but not the ED-B region which are produced by alternative splicing. The 89aa splicing variant of the IIICS region was found in 8/9 clones and the 120aa splicing variant in 1/9 clones, both of which are included in the CS1 region of fibronectin being involved in melanoma cell adhesion and spreading.
Conclusion
The molecule recognized by SM5-1 is a melanoma associated FN variant expressed by virtually all primary and metastatic melanomas and may play an important role in melanoma formation and progression. This antibody is therefore not only of value in immunohistochemistry, but potentially also for diagnostic imaging and immunotherapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-8
PMCID: PMC1351261  PMID: 16405722
2.  Upregulation of meiosis-specific genes in lymphoma cell lines following genotoxic insult and induction of mitotic catastrophe 
Background
We have previously reported that p53 mutated radioresistant lymphoma cell lines undergo mitotic catastrophe after irradiation, resulting in metaphase arrest and the generation of endopolyploid cells. A proportion of these endopolyploid cells then undergo a process of de-polyploidisation, stages of which are partially reminiscent of meiotic prophase. Furthermore, expression of meiosis-specific proteins of the cancer/testis antigens group of genes has previously been reported in tumours. We therefore investigated whether expression of meiosis-specific genes was associated with the polyploidy response in our tumour model.
Methods
Three lymphoma cell lines, Namalwa, WI-L2-NS and TK6, of varying p53 status were exposed to a single 10 Gy dose of gamma radiation and their responses assessed over an extended time course. DNA flow cytometry and mitotic counts were used to assess the kinetics and extent of polyploidisation and mitotic progression. Expression of meiotic genes was analysed using RT-PCR and western blotting. In addition, localisation of the meiotic cohesin REC8 and its relation to centromeres was analysed by immunofluorescence.
Results
The principal meiotic regulator MOS was found to be significantly post-transcriptionally up-regulated after irradiation in p53 mutated but not p53 wild-type lymphoma cells. The maximum expression of MOS coincided with the maximal fraction of metaphase arrested cells and was directly proportional to both the extent of the arrest and the number of endopolyploid cells that subsequently emerged. The meiotic cohesin REC8 was also found to be up-regulated after irradiation, linking sister chromatid centromeres in the metaphase-arrested and subsequent giant cells. Finally, RT-PCR revealed expression of the meiosis-prophase genes, DMC1, STAG3, SYCP3 and SYCP1.
Conclusion
We conclude that multiple meiotic genes are aberrantly activated during mitotic catastrophe in p53 mutated lymphoma cells after irradiation. Furthermore, we suggest that the coordinated expression of MOS and REC8 regulate the extent of arrested mitoses and polyploidy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-6
PMCID: PMC1351196  PMID: 16401344
3.  Systemic chemotherapy with doxorubicin, cisplatin and capecitabine for metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma 
Background
Although numerous chemotherapeutic agents have been tested, the role of systemic chemotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been clarified. New therapeutic strategies are thus needed to improve outcomes, and we designed this study with new effective drug combination.
Methods
Twenty-nine patients with histologically-confirmed, metastatic HCC received a combination chemotherapy with doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 and cisplatin 60 mg/m2 on day 1, plus capecitabine 2000 mg/m2/day as an intermittent regimen of 2 weeks of treatment followed by a 1-week rest.
Results
The median age was 49 years (range, 32–64) and 19 patients were hepatitis B virus seropositive. Child-Pugh class was A in all patients and 4 had Zubrod performance status of 2. The objective response rate was 24% (95% CI 9–40) with 6 stable diseases. The chemotherapy was generally well tolerated despite one treatment-related death.
Conclusion
Combination chemotherapy with doxorubicin, cisplatin and capecitabine produced modest antitumor activity with tolerable adverse effects in patients with metastatic HCC.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-3
PMCID: PMC1352374  PMID: 16396674
4.  Plasmapheresis reverses all side-effects of a cisplatin overdose – a case report and treatment recommendation 
Background
Cisplatin is widely used as an antineoplastic agent since it is effective against a broad spectrum of different tumours. Nevertheless, it has several potential side effects affecting different organ systems and an overdose may lead to life-threatening complications and even death.
Case presentation
We report on a 46-year old woman with non-small cell lung cancer who accidentally received 225 mg/m2 of cisplatin, which was threefold the dose as scheduled, within a 3-day period. Two days later, the patient presented with hearing loss, severe nausea and vomiting, acute renal failure as well as elevated liver enzymes. In addition, she developed a severe myelodepression. After plasmapheresis on two consecutive days and vigorous supportive treatment, the toxicity-related symptoms improved and the patient recovered without any sequelae.
Conclusion
To date, no general accepted guidelines for the treatment of cisplatin overdoses are available. Along with the experience from other published cases, our report shows that plasmapheresis is capable of lowering cisplatin plasma and serum levels efficiently. Therefore, plasma exchange performed as soon as possible can ameliorate all side effects of a cisplatin overdose and be a potential tool for clinicians for treatment. However, additional intensive supportive treatment-modalities are necessary to control all occurring side effects.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-1
PMCID: PMC1334209  PMID: 16390557

Results 1-4 (4)