Open AccessReview
Cellular and Molecular Preconditions for Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) Natural Reprogramming during Retinal Regeneration in Urodela
Biomedicines 2016, 4(4), 28; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4040028 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Many regeneration processes in animals are based on the phenomenon of cell reprogramming followed by proliferation and differentiation in a different specialization direction. An insight into what makes natural (in vivo) cell reprogramming possible can help to solve a number of biomedical problems.
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Many regeneration processes in animals are based on the phenomenon of cell reprogramming followed by proliferation and differentiation in a different specialization direction. An insight into what makes natural (in vivo) cell reprogramming possible can help to solve a number of biomedical problems. In particular, the first problem is to reveal the intrinsic properties of the cells that are necessary and sufficient for reprogramming; the second, to evaluate these properties and, on this basis, to reveal potential endogenous sources for cell substitution in damaged tissues; and the third, to use the acquired data for developing approaches to in vitro cell reprogramming in order to obtain a cell reserve for damaged tissue repair. Normal cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in newts (Urodela) can change their specialization and transform into retinal neurons and ganglion cells (i.e., actualize their retinogenic potential). Therefore, they can serve as a model that provides the possibility to identify factors of the initial competence of vertebrate cells for reprogramming in vivo. This review deals mainly with the endogenous properties of native newt RPE cells themselves and, to a lesser extent, with exogenous mechanisms regulating the process of reprogramming, which are actively discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Complementary Approaches to Existing Target Based Drug Discovery for Identifying Novel Drug Targets
Biomedicines 2016, 4(4), 27; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4040027 -
Abstract
In the past decade, it was observed that the relationship between the emerging New Molecular Entities and the quantum of R&D investment has not been favorable. There might be numerous reasons but few studies stress the introduction of target based drug discovery approach
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In the past decade, it was observed that the relationship between the emerging New Molecular Entities and the quantum of R&D investment has not been favorable. There might be numerous reasons but few studies stress the introduction of target based drug discovery approach as one of the factors. Although a number of drugs have been developed with an emphasis on a single protein target, yet identification of valid target is complex. The approach focuses on an in vitro single target, which overlooks the complexity of cell and makes process of validation drug targets uncertain. Thus, it is imperative to search for alternatives rather than looking at success stories of target-based drug discovery. It would be beneficial if the drugs were developed to target multiple components. New approaches like reverse engineering and translational research need to take into account both system and target-based approach. This review evaluates the strengths and limitations of known drug discovery approaches and proposes alternative approaches for increasing efficiency against treatment. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Personalized Dosimetry for Radionuclide Therapy Using Molecular Imaging Tools
Biomedicines 2016, 4(4), 25; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4040025 -
Abstract
For treatment of systemic malignancies, when external radiation therapy is not applicable, radionuclide therapy can be an alternative. In this form of therapy, radionuclides are administered to the patient, often in a form where the radionuclide is labelled to a molecule that plays
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For treatment of systemic malignancies, when external radiation therapy is not applicable, radionuclide therapy can be an alternative. In this form of therapy, radionuclides are administered to the patient, often in a form where the radionuclide is labelled to a molecule that plays the active part in the localization of the tumor. Since the aim is to impart lethal damage to tumor cells while maintaining possible side-effects to normal tissues at tolerable levels, a proper and accurate personalized dosimetry should be a pre-requisite. In radionuclide therapy, there is a need to measure the distribution of the radiopharmaceutical in vivo, as well as its re-distribution over time, in order estimate the total energy released in radioactive decays and subsequent charged-particle interactions, governing the absorbed dose to different organs and tumors. Measurements are usually performed by molecular imaging, more specifically planar and SPECT (Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography) imaging, combined with CT. This review describes the different parts in the dosimetry chain of radionuclide therapy. Emphasis is given to molecular imaging tools and the requirements for determining absorbed doses from quantitative planar and SPECT images. As example solutions to the different problems that need to be addressed in such a dosimetric chain, we describe our tool, Lundadose, which is a set of methods that we have developed for personalized dosimetry. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Strategies to Homogenize PET/CT Metrics: The Case of Onco-Haematological Clinical Trials
Biomedicines 2016, 4(4), 26; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4040026 -
Abstract
Positron emission tomography (PET) has been a widely used tool in oncology for staging lymphomas for a long time. Recently, several large clinical trials demonstrated its utility in therapy management during treatment, paving the way to personalized medicine. In doing so, the traditional
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Positron emission tomography (PET) has been a widely used tool in oncology for staging lymphomas for a long time. Recently, several large clinical trials demonstrated its utility in therapy management during treatment, paving the way to personalized medicine. In doing so, the traditional way of reporting PET based on the extent of disease has been complemented by a discrete scale that takes in account tumour metabolism. However, due to several technical, physical and biological limitations in the use of PET uptake as a biomarker, stringent rules have been used in clinical trials to reduce the errors in its evaluation. Within this manuscript we will describe shortly the evolution in PET reporting, examine the main errors in uptake measurement, and analyse which strategy the clinical trials applied to reduce them. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Glioma FMISO PET/MR Imaging Concurrent with Antiangiogenic Therapy: Molecular Imaging as a Clinical Tool in the Burgeoning Era of Personalized Medicine
Biomedicines 2016, 4(4), 24; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4040024 -
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to provide a focused overview of the current use of positron emission tomography (PET) molecular imaging in the burgeoning era of personalized medicine in the treatment of patients with glioma. Specifically, we demonstrate the utility of PET
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The purpose of this article is to provide a focused overview of the current use of positron emission tomography (PET) molecular imaging in the burgeoning era of personalized medicine in the treatment of patients with glioma. Specifically, we demonstrate the utility of PET imaging as a tool for personalized diagnosis and therapy by highlighting a case series of four patients with recurrent high grade glioma who underwent 18F-fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) PET/MR (magnetic resonance) imaging through the course of antiangiogenic therapy. Three distinct features were observed from this small cohort of patients. First, the presence of pseudoprogression was retrospectively associated with the absence of hypoxia. Second, a subgroup of patients with recurrent high grade glioma undergoing bevacizumab therapy demonstrated disease progression characterized by an enlarging nonenhancing mass with newly developed reduced diffusion, lack of hypoxia, and preserved cerebral blood volume. Finally, a reduction in hypoxic volume was observed concurrent with therapy in all patients with recurrent tumor, and markedly so in two patients that developed a nonenhancing reduced diffusion mass. This case series demonstrates how medical imaging has the potential to influence personalized medicine in several key aspects, especially involving molecular PET imaging for personalized diagnosis, patient specific disease prognosis, and therapeutic monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Showing the Way: Oncolytic Adenoviruses as Chaperones of Immunostimulatory Adjuncts
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 23; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030023 -
Abstract
Oncolytic adenoviruses (OAds) are increasingly recognized as vectors for immunotherapy in the treatment of various solid tumors. The myriads of advantages of using adenovirus include targeted specificity upon infection and selective replication, which lead to localized viral burst, exponential spread of OAds, and
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Oncolytic adenoviruses (OAds) are increasingly recognized as vectors for immunotherapy in the treatment of various solid tumors. The myriads of advantages of using adenovirus include targeted specificity upon infection and selective replication, which lead to localized viral burst, exponential spread of OAds, and antitumor effect. OAds can also induce a strong immune reaction due to the massive release of tumor antigens upon cytolysis and the presence of viral antigens. This review will highlight recent advances in adenoviral vectors expressing immunostimulatory effectors, such as GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor), interferon-α, interleukin-12, and CD40L. We will also discuss the combination of OAds with other immunotherapeutic strategies and describe the current understanding of how adenoviral vectors interact with the immune system to eliminate cancer cells. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Abraded Surface of Doxorubicin-Loaded Surfactant-Containing Drug Delivery Systems Effectively Reduces the Survival of Carcinoma Cells
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 22; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030022 -
Abstract
An effective antitumor remedy is yet to be developed. All previous approaches for a targeted delivery of anticancer medicine have relied on trial and error. The goal of this study was to use structural insights gained from the study of delivery systems and
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An effective antitumor remedy is yet to be developed. All previous approaches for a targeted delivery of anticancer medicine have relied on trial and error. The goal of this study was to use structural insights gained from the study of delivery systems and malignant cells to provide for a systematic approach to the development of next-generation drugs. We used doxorubicin (Dox) liposomal formulations. We assayed for cytotoxicity via the electrical current exclusion method. Dialysis of the samples yielded information about their drug release profiles. Information about the surface of the delivery systems was obtained through synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements. SAXS measurements revealed that Dox-loading yielded an abraded surface of our Dox liposomal formulation containing soybean oil, which also correlated with an effective reduction of the survival of carcinoma cells. Furthermore, a dialysis assay revealed that a higher burst of Dox was released from soybean oil-containing preparations within the first five hours. We conclude from our results that an abraded surface of Dox-loaded drug delivery system increases their efficacy. The apparent match between surface geometry of drug delivery systems and target cells is suggested as a steppingstone for refined development of drug delivery systems. This is the first study to provide a systematic approach to developing next-generation drug carrier systems using structural insights to guide the development of next-generation drug delivery systems with increased efficacy and reduced side effects. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Capitalizing on Cancer Specific Replication: Oncolytic Viruses as a Versatile Platform for the Enhancement of Cancer Immunotherapy Strategies
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 21; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030021 -
Abstract
The past decade has seen considerable excitement in the use of biological therapies in treating neoplastic disease. In particular, cancer immunotherapy and oncolytic virotherapy have emerged as two frontrunners in this regard with the first FDA approvals for agents in both categories being
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The past decade has seen considerable excitement in the use of biological therapies in treating neoplastic disease. In particular, cancer immunotherapy and oncolytic virotherapy have emerged as two frontrunners in this regard with the first FDA approvals for agents in both categories being obtained in the last 5 years. It is becoming increasingly apparent that these two approaches are not mutually exclusive and that much of the therapeutic benefit obtained from the use of oncolytic viruses (OVs) is in fact the result of their immunotherapeutic function. Indeed, OVs have been shown to recruit and activate an antitumor immune response and much of the current work in this field centers around increasing this activity through strategies such as engineering genes for immunomodulators into OV backbones. Because of their broad immunostimulatory functions, OVs can also be rationally combined with a variety of other immunotherapeutic approaches including cancer vaccination strategies, adoptive cell transfer and checkpoint blockade. Therefore, while they are important therapeutics in their own right, the true power of OVs may lie in their ability to enhance the effectiveness of a wide range of immunotherapies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Emerging Therapeutic Potential of Nanoparticles in Pancreatic Cancer: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 20; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030020 -
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease with a five year survival rate of less than 5%, which is associated with late presentation. In recent years, research into nanomedicine and the use of nanoparticles as therapeutic agents for cancers has increased. This article describes
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Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease with a five year survival rate of less than 5%, which is associated with late presentation. In recent years, research into nanomedicine and the use of nanoparticles as therapeutic agents for cancers has increased. This article describes the latest developments in the use of nanoparticles, and evaluates the risks and benefits of nanoparticles as an emerging therapy for pancreatic cancer. The Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses checklist was used. Studies were extracted by searching the Embase, MEDLINE, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases from inception to 18 March 2016 with no language restrictions. Clinical trials involving the use of nanoparticles as a therapeutic or prognostic option in patients with pancreatic cancer were considered. Selected studies were evaluated using the Jadad score for randomised control trials and the Therapy CA Worksheet for intervention studies. Of the 210 articles found, 10 clinical trials including one randomised control trial and nine phase I/II clinical trials met the inclusion criteria and were analysed. These studies demonstrated that nanoparticles can be used in conjunction with chemotherapeutic agents increasing their efficacy whilst reducing their toxicity. Increased efficacy of treatment with nanoparticles may improve the clinical outcomes and quality of life in patients with pancreatic cancer, although the long-term side effects are yet to be defined. The study registration number is CRD42015020009. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Recombinant Poxvirus and the Tumor Microenvironment: Oncolysis, Immune Regulation and Immunization
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 19; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030019 -
Abstract
Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are being extensively studied for their potential roles in the development of cancer therapy regimens. In addition to their direct lytic effects, OVs can initiate and drive systemic antitumor immunity indirectly via release of tumor antigen, as well as by
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Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are being extensively studied for their potential roles in the development of cancer therapy regimens. In addition to their direct lytic effects, OVs can initiate and drive systemic antitumor immunity indirectly via release of tumor antigen, as well as by encoding and delivering immunostimulatory molecules. This combination makes them an effective platform for the development of immunotherapeutic strategies beyond their primary lytic function. Engineering the viruses to also express tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) allows them to simultaneously serve as therapeutic vaccines, targeting and amplifying an immune response to TAAs. Our group and others have shown that vaccinating intratumorally with a poxvirus that encodes TAAs, in addition to immune stimulatory molecules, can modulate the tumor microenvironment, overcome immune inhibitory pathways, and drive both local and systemic tumor specific immune responses. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
From Benchtop to Bedside: A Review of Oncolytic Virotherapy
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 18; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030018 -
Abstract
Oncolytic viruses (OVs) demonstrate the ability to replicate selectively in cancer cells, resulting in antitumor effects by a variety of mechanisms, including direct cell lysis and indirect cell death through immune-mediate host responses. Although the mechanisms of action of OVs are still not
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Oncolytic viruses (OVs) demonstrate the ability to replicate selectively in cancer cells, resulting in antitumor effects by a variety of mechanisms, including direct cell lysis and indirect cell death through immune-mediate host responses. Although the mechanisms of action of OVs are still not fully understood, major advances have been made in our understanding of how OVs function and interact with the host immune system, resulting in the recent FDA approval of the first OV for cancer therapy in the USA. This review provides an overview of the history of OVs, their selectivity for cancer cells, and their multifaceted mechanism of antitumor action, as well as strategies employed to augment selectivity and efficacy of OVs. OVs in combination with standard cancer therapies are also discussed, as well as a review of ongoing human clinical trials. Full article
Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Microbial Potentiality Investigation of Different Fractions of Caryota urens Leaves
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 17; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030017 -
Abstract
Background: Caryota urens is a member of the Arecaceae family and a common plant in the Southeast Asian region. This plant has been reported as an anti-microbial agent in recent years. Thus, we aimed to find out the MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) against
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Background: Caryota urens is a member of the Arecaceae family and a common plant in the Southeast Asian region. This plant has been reported as an anti-microbial agent in recent years. Thus, we aimed to find out the MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) against different pathogenic microorganism. Methods: The leaves of C. urens were extracted and fractioned using different reagents (chloroform, n-hexane and carbon tetrachloride). Disc diffusion method was implemented for the assessment of in vitro anti-microbial potency (500 and 250 µg/disc). Result: The entire fraction showed good effect (with the zone of inhibition 19–25 mm) against both gram positive (Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus cereus, Sarina lutea) and gram negative (Vibrio mimicus, Shigella boydii, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) bacterial pathogens and fungal strains (Aspergillus niger, Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The plants also possess effective free radical scavenging potency with an IC50 of 130.32 µg/mL. Conclusion: This finding reflects a link between the presence of anti-oxidative material and a substantial anti-microbial activity, and substantiates all previous claims against C. urens. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Fifty Years of Clinical Application of Newcastle Disease Virus: Time to Celebrate!
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 16; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030016 -
Abstract
This review provides an overview of 50 years of basic and clinical research on an oncolytic avian virus, Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), which has particular anti-neoplastic and immune stimulatory properties. Of special interest is the fact that this biological agent induces immunogenic cell
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This review provides an overview of 50 years of basic and clinical research on an oncolytic avian virus, Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), which has particular anti-neoplastic and immune stimulatory properties. Of special interest is the fact that this biological agent induces immunogenic cell death and systemic anti-tumor immunity. Furthermore, localized oncolytic virotherapy with NDV was shown to overcome systemic tumor resistance to immune checkpoint blockade immunotherapy. Clinical experience attests to low side effects and a high safety profile. This is due among others to the strong virus-induced type I interferon response. Other viral characteristics are lack of interaction with host cell DNA, lack of genetic recombination and independence of virus replication from cell proliferation. In this millennium, new recombinant strains of viruses are being produced with improved therapeutic properties. Clinical applications include single case observations, case series studies and Phase I to III studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design, Synthesis and Biochemical Evaluation of Novel Selective Estrogen Receptor Ligand Conjugates Incorporating an Endoxifen-Combretastatin Hybrid Scaffold
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 15; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030015 -
Abstract
Nuclear-receptors are often overexpressed in tumours and can thereby be used as targets when designing novel selective chemotherapeutic agents. To date, many conjugates incorporating an estrogen receptor (ER) ligand have been synthesised in order to direct chemical agents to tissue sites containing ERs.
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Nuclear-receptors are often overexpressed in tumours and can thereby be used as targets when designing novel selective chemotherapeutic agents. To date, many conjugates incorporating an estrogen receptor (ER) ligand have been synthesised in order to direct chemical agents to tissue sites containing ERs. A series of ER ligand conjugates were synthesised incorporating an antagonistic ER ligand scaffold based on endoxifen, covalently-bound via an amide linkage to a variety of combretastatin-based analogues, which may act as antimitotic agents. These novel endoxifen-combretastatin hybrid scaffold analogues were biochemically evaluated in order to determine their antiproliferative and cytotoxicity effects in both the ER-positive MCF-7 and the ER-negative MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines. ER competitive binding assays were carried out to assess the binding affinity of the lead conjugate 28 towards both the ERα and ERβ isoforms. In results from the NCI 60-cell line screen, the lead conjugate 28 displayed potent and highly selective antiproliferative activity towards the MCF-7 human cancer cell line (IC50 = 5 nM). In the ER-binding assays, the lead conjugate 28 demonstrated potent ER competitive binding in ERα (IC50 value: 0.9 nM) and ERβ (IC50 value: 4.7 nM). Preliminary biochemical results also demonstrate that the lead conjugate 28 may exhibit pure antagonism. This series makes an important addition to the class of ER antagonists and may have potential applications in anticancer therapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Antibody–Drug Conjugates for Cancer Therapy
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 14; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030014 -
Abstract
Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) take advantage of the specificity of a monoclonal antibody to deliver a linked cytotoxic agent directly into a tumour cell. The development of these compounds provides exciting opportunities for improvements in patient care. Here, we review the key issues impacting
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Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) take advantage of the specificity of a monoclonal antibody to deliver a linked cytotoxic agent directly into a tumour cell. The development of these compounds provides exciting opportunities for improvements in patient care. Here, we review the key issues impacting on the clinical success of ADCs in cancer therapy. Like many other developing therapeutic classes, there remain challenges in the design and optimisation of these compounds. As the clinical applications for ADCs continue to expand, key strategies to improve patient outcomes include better patient selection for treatment and the identification of mechanisms of therapy resistance. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Tumor-Associated Macrophages in Oncolytic Virotherapy: Friend or Foe?
Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 13; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4030013 -
Abstract
Cancer therapy remains a challenge due to toxicity limitations of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Oncolytic viruses that selectively replicate and destroy cancer cells are of increasing interest. In addition to direct cell lysis, these vectors stimulate an anti-tumor immune response. A key regulator
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Cancer therapy remains a challenge due to toxicity limitations of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Oncolytic viruses that selectively replicate and destroy cancer cells are of increasing interest. In addition to direct cell lysis, these vectors stimulate an anti-tumor immune response. A key regulator of tumor immunity is the tumor-associated macrophage population. Macrophages can either support oncolytic virus therapy through pro-inflammatory stimulation of the anti-tumor response at the cost of hindering direct oncolysis or through immunosuppressive protection of virus replication at the cost of hindering the anti-tumor immune response. Despite similarities in macrophage interaction between adult and pediatric tumors and the abundance of research supporting macrophage modulation in adult tumors, there are few studies investigating macrophage modulation in pediatric cancers or modulation of immunotherapy. We review the current state of knowledge regarding macrophages in cancers and their influence on oncolytic virotherapy. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Plant Toxin-Based Immunotoxins for Cancer Therapy: A Short Overview
Biomedicines 2016, 4(2), 12; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4020012 -
Abstract
Immunotoxins are chimeric proteins obtained by linking a toxin to either an intact antibody or an antibody fragment. Conjugation can be obtained by chemical or genetic engineering, where the latter yields recombinant conjugates. An essential requirement is that the target molecule recognized by
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Immunotoxins are chimeric proteins obtained by linking a toxin to either an intact antibody or an antibody fragment. Conjugation can be obtained by chemical or genetic engineering, where the latter yields recombinant conjugates. An essential requirement is that the target molecule recognized by the antibody is confined to the cell population to be deleted, or at least that it is not present on stem cells or other cell types essential for the organism’s survival. Hundreds of different studies have demonstrated the potential for applying immunotoxins to many models in pre-clinical studies and in clinical trials. Immunotoxins can be theoretically used to eliminate any unwanted cell responsible for a pathological condition. The best results have been obtained in cancer therapy, especially in hematological malignancies. Among plant toxins, the most frequently employed to generate immunotoxins are ribosome-inactivating proteins, the most common being ricin. This review summarizes the various approaches and results obtained in the last four decades by researchers in the field of plant toxin-based immunotoxins for cancer therapy. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Recent Innovations in Peptide Based Targeted Drug Delivery to Cancer Cells
Biomedicines 2016, 4(2), 11; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4020011 -
Abstract
Targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics and diagnostic agents conjugated to carrier ligands has made significant progress in recent years, both in regards to the structural design of the conjugates and their biological effectiveness. The goal of targeting specific cell surface receptors through structural compatibility
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Targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics and diagnostic agents conjugated to carrier ligands has made significant progress in recent years, both in regards to the structural design of the conjugates and their biological effectiveness. The goal of targeting specific cell surface receptors through structural compatibility has encouraged the use of peptides as highly specific carriers as short peptides are usually non-antigenic, are structurally simple and synthetically diverse. Recent years have seen many developments in the field of peptide based drug conjugates (PDCs), particularly for cancer therapy, as their use aims to bypass off-target side-effects, reducing the morbidity common to conventional chemotherapy. However, no PDCs have as yet obtained regulatory approval. In this review, we describe the evolution of the peptide-based strategy for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics and discuss recent innovations in the arena that should lead in the near future to their clinical application. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Cancer Vaccines in Ovarian Cancer: How Can We Improve?
Biomedicines 2016, 4(2), 10; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4020010 -
Abstract
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one important cause of gynecologic cancer-related death. Currently, the mainstay of ovarian cancer treatment consists of cytoreductive surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy (introduced 30 years ago) but, as the disease is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, its prognosis
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Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one important cause of gynecologic cancer-related death. Currently, the mainstay of ovarian cancer treatment consists of cytoreductive surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy (introduced 30 years ago) but, as the disease is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, its prognosis remains very poor. Clearly, there is a critical need for new treatment options, and immunotherapy is one attractive alternative. Prophylactic vaccines for prevention of infectious diseases have led to major achievements, yet therapeutic cancer vaccines have shown consistently low efficacy in the past. However, as they are associated with minimal side effects or invasive procedures, efforts directed to improve their efficacy are being deployed, with Dendritic Cell (DC) vaccination strategies standing as one of the more promising options. On the other hand, recent advances in our understanding of immunological mechanisms have led to the development of successful strategies for the treatment of different cancers, such as immune checkpoint blockade strategies. Combining these strategies with DC vaccination approaches and introducing novel combinatorial designs must also be considered and evaluated. In this review, we will analyze past vaccination methods used in ovarian cancer, and we will provide different suggestions aiming to improve their efficacy in future trials. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Genetic Modification of T Cells
Biomedicines 2016, 4(2), 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines4020009 -
Abstract
Gene transfer technology and its application to human gene therapy greatly expanded in the last decade. One area of investigation that appears particularly promising is the transfer of new genetic material into T cells for the potential treatment of cancer. Herein, we describe
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Gene transfer technology and its application to human gene therapy greatly expanded in the last decade. One area of investigation that appears particularly promising is the transfer of new genetic material into T cells for the potential treatment of cancer. Herein, we describe several core technologies that now yield high-efficiency gene transfer into primary human T cells. These gene transfer techniques include viral-based gene transfer methods based on modified Retroviridae and non-viral methods such as DNA-based transposons and direct transfer of mRNA by electroporation. Where specific examples are cited, we emphasize the transfer of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to T cells, which permits engineered T cells to recognize potential tumor antigens. Full article
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