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Cancers, Volume 6, Issue 4 (December 2014), Pages 1821-2403

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Monoclonal Antibodies Specific for STAT3β Reveal Its Contribution to Constitutive STAT3 Phosphorylation in Breast Cancer
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2012-2034; doi:10.3390/cancers6042012
Received: 20 June 2014 / Revised: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 17 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1575 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Since its discovery in mice and humans 19 years ago, the contribution of alternatively spliced Stat3, Stat3β, to the overall functions of Stat3 has been controversial. Tyrosine-phosphorylated (p) Stat3β homodimers are more stable, bind DNA more avidly, are less susceptible to dephosphorylation, and
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Since its discovery in mice and humans 19 years ago, the contribution of alternatively spliced Stat3, Stat3β, to the overall functions of Stat3 has been controversial. Tyrosine-phosphorylated (p) Stat3β homodimers are more stable, bind DNA more avidly, are less susceptible to dephosphorylation, and exhibit distinct intracellular dynamics, most notably markedly prolonged nuclear retention, compared to pStat3α homodimers. Overexpression of one or the other isoform in cell lines demonstrated that Stat3β acted as a dominant-negative of Stat3α in transformation assays; however, studies with mouse strains deficient in one or the other isoform indicated distinct contributions of Stat3 isoforms to inflammation. Current immunological reagents cannot differentiate Stat3β proteins derived from alternative splicing vs. proteolytic cleavage of Stat3α. We developed monoclonal antibodies that recognize the 7 C-terminal amino acids unique to Stat3β (CT7) and do not cross-react with Stat3α. Immunoblotting studies revealed that levels of Stat3β protein, but not Stat3α, in breast cancer cell lines positively correlated with overall pStat3 levels, suggesting that Stat3β may contribute to constitutive Stat3 activation in this tumor system. The ability to unambiguously discriminate splice alternative Stat3β from proteolytic Stat3β and Stat3α will provide new insights into the contribution of Stat3β vs. Stat3α to oncogenesis, as well as other biological and pathological processes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Gefitinib Plus Interleukin-2 in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Previously Treated with Chemotherapy
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2035-2048; doi:10.3390/cancers6042035
Received: 28 June 2014 / Revised: 21 August 2014 / Accepted: 15 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (546 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The activation of lymphocytes by gefitinib treatment has been described. In this phase II pilot trial, we explored the possible synergism between IL-2 and gefitinib for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment. From September, 2003, to November, 2006, 70 consecutive patients with advanced,
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The activation of lymphocytes by gefitinib treatment has been described. In this phase II pilot trial, we explored the possible synergism between IL-2 and gefitinib for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment. From September, 2003, to November, 2006, 70 consecutive patients with advanced, progressive NSCLC, previously treated with chemotherapy, received oral gefitinib 250 mg daily. The first 39 patients received gefitinib alone (G group). The other 31 also received subcutaneous IL-2 (GIL-2 group): 1 MIU/m2 (Million International Unit/m2)twice a day on Days 1 and 2, once a day on Days 3, 4, 5 every week for four consecutive weeks with a four-week rest period. Median follow-up was 25.2 months. Grade 3–4 toxicity of gefitinib was represented by skin rash (7%), asthenia/anorexia (6%) and diarrhea (7%); patients treated with IL-2 showed grade 2–3 fever (46%), fatigue (21%) and arthralgia (13%). In the GIL-2 group and G-group, we respectively observed: an overall response rate of 16.1% (6.4% complete response) and 5.1% (only partial response); a disease control rate of 41.9% and 41%; a median time to progression of 3.5 (CI 95% = 3.2–3.8) and 4.1 (CI 95% = 2.6–5.7) months; a median overall survival of 20.1 (CI 95% = 5.1–35.1) and 6.9 (CI 95% = 4.9–8.9) months (p = 0.002); and an actuarial one-year survival rate of 54% and 30%. Skin toxicity (p < 0.001; HR = 0.29; CI 95% = 0.16–0.54) and use of IL-2 (p < 0.001; HR = 0.33; CI 95% = 0.18–0.60) were independently associated with improvement of survival. In this consecutive, non-randomized, series of advanced NSCLC patients, the use of IL-2 increased the efficacy of gefitinib. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Drug Resistance)
Open AccessArticle From Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Detection to Cervical Cancer Prevention in Clinical Practice
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2072-2099; doi:10.3390/cancers6042072
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 25 September 2014 / Accepted: 25 September 2014 / Published: 2 October 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The newly gained knowledge of the viral etiology in cervical carcinogenesis has prompted industrial interests in developing virology-based tools for cervical cancer prevention. Due to the long incubation period from viral infection to developing an invasive cancer, a process whose outcome is influenced
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The newly gained knowledge of the viral etiology in cervical carcinogenesis has prompted industrial interests in developing virology-based tools for cervical cancer prevention. Due to the long incubation period from viral infection to developing an invasive cancer, a process whose outcome is influenced by numerous life-style and genetic factors, the true efficacy of the genotype-specific human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in cervical cancer prevention cannot be determined for another 30 years. Most HPV DNA test kits designed to replace the traditional Papanicolaou (Pap) smears for precancer detection lack the analytical sensitivity and specificity to comprehensively detect all potentially carcinogenic HPVs and to perform reliable genotyping. The authors implemented the classic nested PCR and Sanger DNA-sequencing technology for routine HPV testing. The results showed a true negative HPV PCR invariably indicates the absence of precancerous cells in the cytology samples. However, 80.5% of single positive HPV-16 tests and 97.3% of single positive HPV-18 tests were associated with a negative or a largely self-reversible Pap cytology. Routine sensitive and reliable HPV type-specific or perhaps even variant-specific methods are needed to address the issues of persistence of HPV infection if a virology-based primary cervical screen is used to replace the Pap cytology screening paradigm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Viruses in Human Cancer)
Open AccessArticle Auranofin, an Anti-Rheumatic Gold Compound, Modulates Apoptosis by Elevating the Intracellular Calcium Concentration ([Ca2+]i) in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2243-2258; doi:10.3390/cancers6042243
Received: 26 January 2014 / Accepted: 26 September 2014 / Published: 6 November 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1029 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Auranofin, a transition metal complex is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but is also an effective anti-cancer drug. We investigate the effects of Auranofin in inducing cell death by apoptosis and whether these changes are correlated to changes of intracellular calcium
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Auranofin, a transition metal complex is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but is also an effective anti-cancer drug. We investigate the effects of Auranofin in inducing cell death by apoptosis and whether these changes are correlated to changes of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in breast cancer cells (MCF-7). Cytotoxicity of Auranofin was evaluated using MTS assay and the Trypan blue dye exclusion method. With fluorescent dyes SR-FLICA and 7-AAD apoptotic death and necrotic death were differentiated by Flow cytometry. A concentration dependent decrease in the viability occurred and cells were shifted to the apoptotic phase. Intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) was recorded using florescence microscopy and a calcium sensitive dye (Fluo-4 AM) with a strong negative correlation (r = −0.713) to viability. Pharmacological modulators 2-APB (50 μM), Nimodipine (10 μM), Caffeine (10 mM), SKF 96365(20 μM) were used to modify calcium entry and release. Auranofin induced a sustained increase of [Ca2+]i in a concentration and time dependent manner. The use of different blockers of calcium channels did not reveal the source for the rise of [Ca2+]i. Overall, elevation of [Ca2+]i by Auranofin might be crucial for triggering Ca2+-dependent apoptotic pathways. Therefore, in anti-cancer therapy, modulating [Ca2+]i should be considered as a crucial factor for the induction of cell death in cancer cells. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Clinicopathologic Characteristics and Outcomes of Histiocytic and Dendritic Cell Neoplasms: The Moffitt Cancer Center Experience Over the Last Twenty Five Years
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2275-2295; doi:10.3390/cancers6042275
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 25 October 2014 / Accepted: 27 October 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Neoplasms of histiocytic and dendritic cells are rare disorders of the lymph node and soft tissues. Because of this rarity, the corresponding biology, prognosis and terminologies are still being better defined and hence historically, these disorders pose clinical and diagnostic challenges. These disorders
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Neoplasms of histiocytic and dendritic cells are rare disorders of the lymph node and soft tissues. Because of this rarity, the corresponding biology, prognosis and terminologies are still being better defined and hence historically, these disorders pose clinical and diagnostic challenges. These disorders include Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), histiocytic sarcoma (HS), follicular dendritic cell sarcoma (FDCS), interdigtating cell sarcoma (IDCS), indeterminate cell sarcoma (INDCS), and fibroblastic reticular cell tumors (FRCT). In order to gain a better understanding of the biology, diagnosis, and treatment in these rare disorders we reviewed our cases of these neoplasms over the last twenty five years and the pertinent literature in each of these rare neoplasms. Cases of histiocytic and dendritic cell neoplasms diagnosed between 1989–2014 were identified using our institutional database. Thirty two cases were included in this analysis and were comprised of the following: Langerhans cell histiocytosis (20/32), histiocytic sarcoma (6/32), follicular dendritic cell sarcoma (2/32), interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma (2/32), indeterminate dendritic cell sarcoma (1/32), and fibroblastic reticular cell tumor (1/32). Median overall survival was not reached in cases with LCH and showed 52 months in cases with HS, 12 months in cases with FDCS, 58 months in cases with IDCS, 13 months in the case of INDCS, and 51 months in the case of FRCT. The majority of patients had surgical resection as initial treatment (n = 18). Five patients had recurrent disease. We conclude that histiocytic and dendritic cell neoplasms are very rare and perplexing disorders that should be diagnosed with a combination of judicious morphology review and a battery of immunohistochemistry to rule out mimics such as carcinoma, lymphoma, neuroendocrine tumors and to better sub-classify these difficult to diagnose lesions. The mainstay of treatment for localized disease remains surgical resection and the role of adjuvant therapy is unclear. In patients with multiple areas of involvement, treatment at tertiary care centers with multimodality treatment is likely needed. Accurate subset diagnosis will contribute to better data as well as treatment outcomes analysis of these rare disorders of adult patients in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lymphoma)
Open AccessArticle Characterization of HGF/Met Signaling in Cell Lines Derived From Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2313-2329; doi:10.3390/cancers6042313
Received: 8 August 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is mounting evidence of oncogenic hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/Met signaling in urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the bladder. The effects of three kinase inhibitors, cabozantinib, crizotinib and EMD1214063, on HGF-driven signaling and cell growth, invasion and tumorigenicity were analyzed in cultured UC cell
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There is mounting evidence of oncogenic hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/Met signaling in urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the bladder. The effects of three kinase inhibitors, cabozantinib, crizotinib and EMD1214063, on HGF-driven signaling and cell growth, invasion and tumorigenicity were analyzed in cultured UC cell lines. SW780 xenograft growth in SCID and human HGF knock-in SCID (hHGF/SCID) mice treated with cabozantinib or vehicle, as well as tumor levels of Met and pMet, were also determined. Met content was robust in most UC-derived cell lines. Basal pMet content and effector activation state in quiescent cells were low, but significantly enhanced by added HGF, as were cell invasion, proliferation and anchorage independent growth. These HGF-driven effects were reversed by Met inhibitor treatment. Tumor xenograft growth was significantly higher in hHGF/SCID mice vs. SCID mice and significantly inhibited by cabozantinib, as was tumor phospho-Met content. These studies indicate the prevalence and functionality of the HGF/Met signaling pathway in UC cells, suggest that paracrine HGF may contribute to UC tumor growth and progression, and that support further preclinical investigation of Met inhibitors for the treatment of UC is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MET in Cancer)
Open AccessArticle Morpholino-Mediated Isoform Modulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 (VEGFR2) Reduces Colon Cancer Xenograft Growth
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2330-2342; doi:10.3390/cancers6042330
Received: 29 June 2014 / Revised: 12 October 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Angiogenesis plays a key role in tumor growth. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a pro-angiogenic that is involved in tumor angiogenesis. When VEGF binds to membrane-bound vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (mVEGFR2), it promotes angiogenesis. Through alternative polyadenylation, VEGFR2 is also
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Angiogenesis plays a key role in tumor growth. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a pro-angiogenic that is involved in tumor angiogenesis. When VEGF binds to membrane-bound vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (mVEGFR2), it promotes angiogenesis. Through alternative polyadenylation, VEGFR2 is also expressed in a soluble form (sVEGFR2). sVEGFR2 sequesters VEGF and is therefore anti-angiogenic. The aim of this study was to show that treatment with a previously developed and reported antisense morpholino oligomer that shifts expression from mVEGFR2 to sVEGFR2 would lead to reduced tumor vascularization and growth in a murine colon cancer xenograft model. Xenografts were generated by implanting human HCT-116 colon cancer cells into the flanks of NMRI nu/nu mice. Treatment with the therapeutic morpholino reduced both tumor growth and tumor vascularization. Because the HCT-116 cells used for the experiments did not express VEGFR2 and because the treatment morpholino targeted mouse rather than human VEGFR2, it is likely that treatment morpholino was acting on the mouse endothelial cells rather than directly on the tumor cells. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Proton and 3D Conformal Radiotherapy (3D-CRT) for Reducing Perioperative Cardiopulmonary Complications in Esophageal Cancer Patients
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2356-2368; doi:10.3390/cancers6042356
Received: 18 September 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (738 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background. While neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiotherapy has improved outcomes for esophageal cancer patients, surgical complication rates remain high. The most frequent perioperative complications after trimodality therapy were cardiopulmonary in nature. The radiation modality utilized can be a strong mitigating factor of perioperative complications
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Background. While neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiotherapy has improved outcomes for esophageal cancer patients, surgical complication rates remain high. The most frequent perioperative complications after trimodality therapy were cardiopulmonary in nature. The radiation modality utilized can be a strong mitigating factor of perioperative complications given the location of the esophagus and its proximity to the heart and lungs. The purpose of this study is to make a dosimetric comparison of Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), proton and 3D conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) with regard to reducing perioperative cardiopulmonary complications in esophageal cancer patients. Materials. Ten patients with esophageal cancer treated between 2010 and 2013 were evaluated in this study. All patients were simulated with contrast-enhanced CT imaging. Separate treatment plans using proton radiotherapy, IMRT, and 3D-CRT modalities were created for each patient. Dose-volume histograms were calculated and analyzed to compare plans between the three modalities. The organs at risk (OAR) being evaluated in this study are the heart, lungs, and spinal cord. To determine statistical significance, ANOVA and two-tailed paired t-tests were performed for all data parameters. Results. The proton plans showed decreased dose to various volumes of the heart and lungs in comparison to both the IMRT and 3D-CRT plans. There was no difference between the IMRT and 3D-CRT plans in dose delivered to the lung or heart. This finding was seen consistently across the parameters analyzed in this study. Conclusions. In patients receiving radiation therapy for esophageal cancer, proton plans are technically feasible while achieving adequate coverage with lower doses delivered to the lungs and cardiac structures. This may result in decreased cardiopulmonary toxicity and less morbidity to esophageal cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proton Therapy for Cancer)

Review

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Open AccessReview Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in Oncology
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 1821-1889; doi:10.3390/cancers6041821
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 August 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 64 | PDF Full-text (1960 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since its introduction in the early nineties as a promising functional imaging technique in the management of neoplastic disorders, FDG-PET, and subsequently FDG-PET/CT, has become a cornerstone in several oncologic procedures such as tumor staging and restaging, treatment efficacy assessment during or after
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Since its introduction in the early nineties as a promising functional imaging technique in the management of neoplastic disorders, FDG-PET, and subsequently FDG-PET/CT, has become a cornerstone in several oncologic procedures such as tumor staging and restaging, treatment efficacy assessment during or after treatment end and radiotherapy planning. Moreover, the continuous technological progress of image generation and the introduction of sophisticated software to use PET scan as a biomarker paved the way to calculate new prognostic markers such as the metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and the total amount of tumor glycolysis (TLG). FDG-PET/CT proved more sensitive than contrast-enhanced CT scan in staging of several type of lymphoma or in detecting widespread tumor dissemination in several solid cancers, such as breast, lung, colon, ovary and head and neck carcinoma. As a consequence the stage of patients was upgraded, with a change of treatment in 10%–15% of them. One of the most evident advantages of FDG-PET was its ability to detect, very early during treatment, significant changes in glucose metabolism or even complete shutoff of the neoplastic cell metabolism as a surrogate of tumor chemosensitivity assessment. This could enable clinicians to detect much earlier the effectiveness of a given antineoplastic treatment, as compared to the traditional radiological detection of tumor shrinkage, which usually takes time and occurs much later. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Cell Imaging)
Open AccessReview Mechanisms of Hepatocyte Growth Factor Activation in Cancer Tissues
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 1890-1904; doi:10.3390/cancers6041890
Received: 2 July 2014 / Revised: 2 September 2014 / Accepted: 3 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) plays critical roles in cancer progression through its specific receptor, MET. HGF/SF is usually synthesized and secreted as an inactive proform (pro-HGF/SF) by stromal cells, such as fibroblasts. Several serine proteases are reported to convert pro-HGF/SF to mature
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Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) plays critical roles in cancer progression through its specific receptor, MET. HGF/SF is usually synthesized and secreted as an inactive proform (pro-HGF/SF) by stromal cells, such as fibroblasts. Several serine proteases are reported to convert pro-HGF/SF to mature HGF/SF and among these, HGF activator (HGFA) and matriptase are the most potent activators. Increased activities of both proteases have been observed in various cancers. HGFA is synthesized mainly by the liver and secreted as an inactive pro-form. In cancer tissues, pro-HGFA is likely activated by thrombin and/or human kallikrein 1-related peptidase (KLK)-4 and KLK-5. Matriptase is a type II transmembrane serine protease that is expressed by most epithelial cells and is also synthesized as an inactive zymogen. Matriptase activation is likely to be mediated by autoactivation or by other trypsin-like proteases. Recent studies revealed that matriptase autoactivation is promoted by an acidic environment. Given the mildly acidic extracellular environment of solid tumors, matriptase activation may, thus, be accelerated in the tumor microenvironment. HGFA and matriptase activities are regulated by HGFA inhibitor (HAI)-1 (HAI-1) and/or HAI-2 in the pericellular microenvironment. HAIs may have an important role in cancer cell biology by regulating HGF/SF-activating proteases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MET in Cancer)
Open AccessReview SUMO and KSHV Replication
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 1905-1924; doi:10.3390/cancers6041905
Received: 11 June 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1019 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Small Ubiquitin-related MOdifier (SUMO) modification was initially identified as a reversible post-translational modification that affects the regulation of diverse cellular processes, including signal transduction, protein trafficking, chromosome segregation, and DNA repair. Increasing evidence suggests that the SUMO system also plays an important role
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Small Ubiquitin-related MOdifier (SUMO) modification was initially identified as a reversible post-translational modification that affects the regulation of diverse cellular processes, including signal transduction, protein trafficking, chromosome segregation, and DNA repair. Increasing evidence suggests that the SUMO system also plays an important role in regulating chromatin organization and transcription. It is thus not surprising that double-stranded DNA viruses, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), have exploited SUMO modification as a means of modulating viral chromatin remodeling during the latent-lytic switch. In addition, SUMO regulation allows the disassembly and assembly of promyelocytic leukemia protein-nuclear bodies (PML-NBs), an intrinsic antiviral host defense, during the viral replication cycle. Overcoming PML-NB-mediated cellular intrinsic immunity is essential to allow the initial transcription and replication of the herpesvirus genome after de novo infection. As a consequence, KSHV has evolved a way as to produce multiple SUMO regulatory viral proteins to modulate the cellular SUMO environment in a dynamic way during its life cycle. Remarkably, KSHV encodes one gene product (K-bZIP) with SUMO-ligase activities and one gene product (K-Rta) that exhibits SUMO-targeting ubiquitin ligase (STUbL) activity. In addition, at least two viral products are sumoylated that have functional importance. Furthermore, sumoylation can be modulated by other viral gene products, such as the viral protein kinase Orf36. Interference with the sumoylation of specific viral targets represents a potential therapeutic strategy when treating KSHV, as well as other oncogenic herpesviruses. Here, we summarize the different ways KSHV exploits and manipulates the cellular SUMO system and explore the multi-faceted functions of SUMO during KSHV’s life cycle and pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Viruses in Human Cancer)
Open AccessReview Repositioning of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors as Antagonists of ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters in Anticancer Drug Resistance
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 1925-1952; doi:10.3390/cancers6041925
Received: 31 July 2014 / Revised: 4 September 2014 / Accepted: 11 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1544 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The phenomenon of multidrug resistance (MDR) has attenuated the efficacy of anticancer drugs and the possibility of successful cancer chemotherapy. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play an essential role in mediating MDR in cancer cells by increasing efflux of drugs from cancer cells, hence
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The phenomenon of multidrug resistance (MDR) has attenuated the efficacy of anticancer drugs and the possibility of successful cancer chemotherapy. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play an essential role in mediating MDR in cancer cells by increasing efflux of drugs from cancer cells, hence reducing the intracellular accumulation of chemotherapeutic drugs. Interestingly, small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as AST1306, lapatinib, linsitinib, masitinib, motesanib, nilotinib, telatinib and WHI-P154, have been found to have the capability to overcome anticancer drug resistance by inhibiting ABC transporters in recent years. This review will focus on some of the latest and clinical developments with ABC transporters, TKIs and anticancer drug resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Drug Resistance)
Open AccessReview The Future of Glioblastoma Therapy: Synergism of Standard of Care and Immunotherapy
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 1953-1985; doi:10.3390/cancers6041953
Received: 2 June 2014 / Revised: 5 August 2014 / Accepted: 3 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current standard of care for glioblastoma (GBM) is maximal surgical resection with adjuvant radiotherapy and temozolomide (TMZ). As the 5-year survival with GBM remains at a dismal <10%, novel therapies are needed. Immunotherapies such as the dendritic cell (DC) vaccine, heat shock
[...] Read more.
The current standard of care for glioblastoma (GBM) is maximal surgical resection with adjuvant radiotherapy and temozolomide (TMZ). As the 5-year survival with GBM remains at a dismal <10%, novel therapies are needed. Immunotherapies such as the dendritic cell (DC) vaccine, heat shock protein vaccines, and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFRvIII) vaccines have shown encouraging results in clinical trials, and have demonstrated synergistic effects with conventional therapeutics resulting in ongoing phase III trials. Chemoradiation has been shown to have synergistic effects when used in combination with immunotherapy. Cytotoxic ionizing radiation is known to trigger pro-inflammatory signaling cascades and immune activation secondary to cell death, which can then be exploited by immunotherapies. The future of GBM therapeutics will involve finding the place for immunotherapy in the current treatment regimen with a focus on developing strategies. Here, we review current GBM therapy and the evidence for combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors, DC and peptide vaccines with the current standard of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glioblastoma)
Open AccessReview STAT3: A Novel Molecular Mediator of Resistance to Chemoradiotherapy
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 1986-2011; doi:10.3390/cancers6041986
Received: 30 May 2014 / Revised: 28 August 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (905 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemoradiotherapy (CRT) represents a standard treatment for many human cancers, frequently combined with radical surgical resection. However, a considerable percentage of primary cancers are at least partially resistant to CRT, which represents a substantial clinical problem, because it exposes cancer patients to the
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Chemoradiotherapy (CRT) represents a standard treatment for many human cancers, frequently combined with radical surgical resection. However, a considerable percentage of primary cancers are at least partially resistant to CRT, which represents a substantial clinical problem, because it exposes cancer patients to the potential side effects of both irradiation and chemotherapy. It is therefore exceedingly important to determine the molecular characteristics underlying CRT-resistance and to identify novel molecular targets that can be manipulated to re-sensitize resistant tumors to CRT. In this review, we highlight much of the recent evidence suggesting that the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) plays a prominent role in mediating CRT-resistance, and we outline why inhibition of STAT3 holds great promise for future multimodal treatment concepts in oncology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STAT3 Signalling in Cancer: Friend or Foe)
Open AccessReview Situational Awareness: Regulation of the Myb Transcription Factor in Differentiation, the Cell Cycle and Oncogenesis
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2049-2071; doi:10.3390/cancers6042049
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 11 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 September 2014 / Published: 2 October 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review summarizes the mechanisms that control the activity of the c-Myb transcription factor in normal cells and tumors, and discusses how c-Myb plays a role in the regulation of the cell cycle. Oncogenic versions of c-Myb contribute to the development of leukemias
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This review summarizes the mechanisms that control the activity of the c-Myb transcription factor in normal cells and tumors, and discusses how c-Myb plays a role in the regulation of the cell cycle. Oncogenic versions of c-Myb contribute to the development of leukemias and solid tumors such as adenoid cystic carcinoma, breast cancer and colon cancer. The activity and specificity of the c-Myb protein seems to be controlled through changes in protein-protein interactions, so understanding how it is regulated could lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Cycle Deregulation in Cancers)
Open AccessReview MET and Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2100-2115; doi:10.3390/cancers6042100
Received: 6 August 2014 / Revised: 21 September 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is one of the most aggressive lung tumors. The majority of patients with SCLC are diagnosed at an advanced stage. This tumor type is highly sensitive to chemo-radiation treatment, with very high response rates, but invariably relapses. At this
[...] Read more.
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is one of the most aggressive lung tumors. The majority of patients with SCLC are diagnosed at an advanced stage. This tumor type is highly sensitive to chemo-radiation treatment, with very high response rates, but invariably relapses. At this time, treatment options are still limited and the prognosis of these patients is poor. A better knowledge of the molecular biology of SCLC allowed us to identify potential druggable targets. Among these, the MET/HGF axis seems to be one of the most aberrant signaling pathways involved in SCLC invasiveness and progression. In this review, we describe briefly all recent literature on the different molecular profiling in SCLC; in particular, we discuss the specific alterations involving c-MET gene and their implications as a potential target in SCLC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MET in Cancer)
Open AccessReview Mutational Analysis of Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2116-2136; doi:10.3390/cancers6042116
Received: 28 July 2014 / Revised: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (774 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive cutaneous neuroendocrine malignancy that is associated with a poor prognosis. The pathogenesis of MCC is not well understood, and despite a recent plethora of mutational analyses, we have yet to find a set of signature mutations
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Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive cutaneous neuroendocrine malignancy that is associated with a poor prognosis. The pathogenesis of MCC is not well understood, and despite a recent plethora of mutational analyses, we have yet to find a set of signature mutations implicated in the majority of cases. Mutations, including TP53, Retinoblastoma and PIK3CA, have been documented in subsets of patients. Other mechanisms are also likely at play, including infection with the Merkel cell polyomavirus in a subset of patients, dysregulated immune surveillance, epigenetic alterations, aberrant protein expression, posttranslational modifications and microRNAs. In this review, we summarize what is known about MCC genetic mutations and chromosomal abnormalities, and their clinical significance. We also examine aberrant protein function and microRNA expression, and discuss the therapeutic and prognostic implications of these findings. Multiple clinical trials designed to selectively target overexpressed oncogenes in MCC are currently underway, though most are still in early phases. As we accumulate more molecular data on MCC, we will be better able to understand its pathogenic mechanisms, develop libraries of targeted therapies, and define molecular prognostic signatures to enhance our clinicopathologic knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Merkel Cell Carcinoma)
Open AccessReview Desmoplasia and Chemoresistance in Pancreatic Cancer
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2137-2154; doi:10.3390/cancers6042137
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 8 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 21 October 2014
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (633 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) occurs mainly in people older than 50 years of age. Although great strides have been taken in treating PDAC over the past decades its incidence nearly equals its mortality rate and it was quoted as the 4th leading cause
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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) occurs mainly in people older than 50 years of age. Although great strides have been taken in treating PDAC over the past decades its incidence nearly equals its mortality rate and it was quoted as the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2012. This review aims to focus on research models and scientific developments that help to explain the extraordinary resistance of PDAC towards current therapeutic regimens. Furthermore, it highlights the main features of drug resistance including mechanisms promoted by cancer cells or cancer stem cells (CSCs), as well as stromal cells, and the acellular components surrounding the tumor cells—known as peritumoral desmoplasia—that affects intra-tumoral drug delivery. Finally, therapeutic concepts and avenues for future research are suggested, based on the topics discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Drug Resistance)
Open AccessReview Viral Carcinogenesis: Factors Inducing DNA Damage and Virus Integration
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2155-2186; doi:10.3390/cancers6042155
Received: 31 July 2014 / Revised: 3 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (571 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Viruses are the causative agents of 10%–15% of human cancers worldwide. The most common outcome for virus-induced reprogramming is genomic instability, including accumulation of mutations, aberrations and DNA damage. Although each virus has its own specific mechanism for promoting carcinogenesis, the majority of
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Viruses are the causative agents of 10%–15% of human cancers worldwide. The most common outcome for virus-induced reprogramming is genomic instability, including accumulation of mutations, aberrations and DNA damage. Although each virus has its own specific mechanism for promoting carcinogenesis, the majority of DNA oncogenic viruses encode oncogenes that transform infected cells, frequently by targeting p53 and pRB. In addition, integration of viral DNA into the human genome can also play an important role in promoting tumor development for several viruses, including HBV and HPV. Because viral integration requires the breakage of both the viral and the host DNA, the integration rate is believed to be linked to the levels of DNA damage. DNA damage can be caused by both endogenous and exogenous factors, including inflammation induced by either the virus itself or by co-infections with other agents, environmental agents and other factors. Typically, cancer develops years to decades following the initial infection. A better understanding of virus-mediated carcinogenesis, the networking of pathways involved in transformation and the relevant risk factors, particularly in those cases where tumorigenesis proceeds by way of virus integration, will help to suggest prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to reduce the risk of virus-mediated cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Viruses in Human Cancer)
Open AccessReview Standard of Care and Promising New Agents for Triple Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2187-2223; doi:10.3390/cancers6042187
Received: 5 May 2014 / Revised: 5 September 2014 / Accepted: 26 September 2014 / Published: 24 October 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a cluster of heterogeneous diseases, all of them sharing the lack of expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors and HER2 protein. They are characterized by different biological, molecular and clinical features, including a poor prognosis despite the
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Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a cluster of heterogeneous diseases, all of them sharing the lack of expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors and HER2 protein. They are characterized by different biological, molecular and clinical features, including a poor prognosis despite the increased sensitivity to the current cytotoxic therapies. Several studies have identified important molecular features which enable further subdivision of this type of tumor. We are drawing from genomics, transcription and translation analysis at different levels, to improve our knowledge of the molecular alterations along the pathways which are activated during carcinogenesis and tumor progression. How this information should be used for the rational selection of therapy is an ongoing challenge and the subject of numerous research studies in progress. Currently, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), HSP90 and Aurora inhibitors are most used as targeting agents in metastatic setting clinical trials. In this paper we will review the current knowledge about the genetic subtypes of TNBC and their different responses to conventional therapeutic strategies, as well as to some new promising molecular target agents, aimed to achieve more tailored therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breast Cancer Biology and Treatment)
Open AccessReview Highlights of the Latest Advances in Research on CDK Inhibitors
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2224-2242; doi:10.3390/cancers6042224
Received: 25 July 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 27 October 2014
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Uncontrolled proliferation is the hallmark of cancer and other proliferative disorders and abnormal cell cycle regulation is, therefore, common in these diseases. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) play a crucial role in the control of the cell cycle and proliferation. These kinases are frequently deregulated
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Uncontrolled proliferation is the hallmark of cancer and other proliferative disorders and abnormal cell cycle regulation is, therefore, common in these diseases. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) play a crucial role in the control of the cell cycle and proliferation. These kinases are frequently deregulated in various cancers, viral infections, neurodegenerative diseases, ischemia and some proliferative disorders. This led to a rigorous pursuit for small-molecule CDK inhibitors for therapeutic uses. Early efforts to block CDKs with nonselective CDK inhibitors led to little specificity and efficacy but apparent toxicity, but the recent advance of selective CDK inhibitors allowed the first successful efforts to target these kinases for the therapies of several diseases. Major ongoing efforts are to develop CDK inhibitors as monotherapies and rational combinations with chemotherapy and other targeted drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinases and Cancer)
Open AccessReview Epstein-Barr Virus in Gastric Carcinoma
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2259-2274; doi:10.3390/cancers6042259
Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 27 September 2014 / Accepted: 28 October 2014 / Published: 7 November 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (901 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is detected in about 10% of gastric carcinoma cases throughout the world. In EBV-associated gastric carcinoma, all tumor cells harbor the clonal EBV genome. Gastric carcinoma associated with EBV has distinct clinicopathological features, occurs predominately in men and in
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The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is detected in about 10% of gastric carcinoma cases throughout the world. In EBV-associated gastric carcinoma, all tumor cells harbor the clonal EBV genome. Gastric carcinoma associated with EBV has distinct clinicopathological features, occurs predominately in men and in younger-aged individuals, and presents a generally diffuse histological type. Most cases of EBV-associated gastric carcinoma exhibit a histology rich in lymphocyte infiltration. The immunological reactiveness in the host may represent a relatively preferable prognosis in EBV-positive cases. This fact highlights the important role of EBV in the development of EBV-associated gastric carcinoma. We have clearly proved direct infection of human gastric epithelialcells by EBV. The infection was achieved by using a recombinant EBV. Promotion of growth by EBV infection was observed in the cells. Considerable data suggest that EBV may directly contribute to the development of EBV-associated GC. This tumor-promoting effect seems to involve multiple mechanisms, because EBV affects several host proteins and pathways that normally promote apoptosis and regulate cell proliferation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Viruses in Human Cancer)
Open AccessReview Next-Generation Sequencing in Clinical Oncology: Next Steps Towards Clinical Validation
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2296-2312; doi:10.3390/cancers6042296
Received: 11 October 2014 / Revised: 7 November 2014 / Accepted: 10 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Compelling evidence supports the transition of next generation sequencing (NGS) technology from a research environment into clinical practice. Before NGS technologies are fully adopted in the clinic, they should be thoroughly scrutinised for their potential as powerful diagnostic and prognostic tools. The importance
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Compelling evidence supports the transition of next generation sequencing (NGS) technology from a research environment into clinical practice. Before NGS technologies are fully adopted in the clinic, they should be thoroughly scrutinised for their potential as powerful diagnostic and prognostic tools. The importance placed on generating accurate NGS data, and consequently appropriate clinical interpretation, has stimulated much international discussion regarding the creation and implementation of strict guidelines and regulations for NGS clinical use. In the context of clinical oncology, NGS technologies are currently transitioning from a clinical research background into a setting where they will contribute significantly to individual patient cancer management. This paper explores the steps that have been taken, and those still required, for the transition of NGS into the clinical area, with particular emphasis placed on validation in the setting of clinical oncology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Sequencing Approaches in Cancer)
Open AccessReview Dynamic Changes in Numbers and Properties of Circulating Tumor Cells and Their Potential Applications
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2369-2386; doi:10.3390/cancers6042369
Received: 29 September 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (804 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be detected in the blood of different types of early or advanced cancer using immunology-based assays or nucleic acid methods. The detection and quantification of CTCs has significant clinical utility in the prognosis of metastatic breast, prostate, and
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Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be detected in the blood of different types of early or advanced cancer using immunology-based assays or nucleic acid methods. The detection and quantification of CTCs has significant clinical utility in the prognosis of metastatic breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. CTCs are a heterogeneous population of cells and often different from those of their respective primary tumor. Understanding the biology of CTCs may provide useful predictive information for the selection of the most appropriate treatment. Therefore, CTC detection and characterization could become a valuable tool to refine prognosis and serve as a “real-time biopsy” and has the potential to guide precision cancer therapies, monitor cancer treatment, and investigate the process of metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Cell Invasion)
Open AccessReview Met in Urological Cancers
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2387-2403; doi:10.3390/cancers6042387
Received: 19 June 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Met is a tyrosine kinase receptor that is considered to be a proto-oncogene. The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-Met signaling system plays an important role in tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis in many types of malignancies. Furthermore, Met expression has been reported to be
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Met is a tyrosine kinase receptor that is considered to be a proto-oncogene. The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-Met signaling system plays an important role in tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis in many types of malignancies. Furthermore, Met expression has been reported to be a useful predictive biomarker for disease progression and patient survival in these malignancies. Many studies have focused on the clinical significance and prognostic role of Met in urological cancers, including prostate cancer (PCa), renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and urothelial cancer. Several preclinical studies and clinical trials are in progress. In this review, the current understanding of the pathological role of Met in cancer cell lines, its clinical significance in cancer tissues, and its predictive value in patients with urological cancers are summarized. In particular, Met-related malignant behavior in castration-resistant PCa and the different pathological roles Met plays in papillary RCC and other histological types of RCC are the subjects of focus. In addition, the pathological significance of phosphorylated Met in these cancers is shown. In recent years, Met has been recognized as a potential therapeutic target in various types of cancer; therapeutic strategies used by Met-targeted agents in urological cancers are summarized in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MET in Cancer)

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Open AccessCommentary Multimodal Hazard Rate for Relapse in Breast Cancer: Quality of Data and Calibration of Computer Simulation
Cancers 2014, 6(4), 2343-2355; doi:10.3390/cancers6042343
Received: 11 July 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 27 November 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Much has occurred since our 2010 report in Cancers. In the past few years we published several extensive reviews of our research so a brief review is all that will be provided here. We proposed in the earlier reports that most relapses in
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Much has occurred since our 2010 report in Cancers. In the past few years we published several extensive reviews of our research so a brief review is all that will be provided here. We proposed in the earlier reports that most relapses in breast cancer occur within 5 years of surgery and seem to be associated with some unspecified manner of surgery-induced metastatic initiation. These events can be identified in relapse data and are correlated with clinical data. In the last few years an unexpected mechanism has become apparent. Retrospective analysis of relapse events by a Brussels anesthesiology group reported that a perioperative NSAID analgesic seems to reduce early relapses five-fold. We then proposed that primary surgery produces a transient period of systemic inflammation. This has now been identified by inflammatory markers in serum post mastectomy. That could explain the early relapses. It is possible that an inexpensive and non-toxic NSAID can reduce breast cancer relapses significantly. We want to take this opportunity to discuss database quality issues and our relapse hazard data in some detail. We also present a demonstration that the computer simulation can be calibrated with Adjuvant-on-line, an often used clinical tool for prognosis in breast cancer. Full article
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