Abstract: The canonical hedgehog (HH) pathway is a multicomponent signaling cascade (HH, protein patched homolog 1 (PTCH1), smoothened (SMO)) that plays a pivotal role during embryonic development through activation of downstream effector molecules, namely glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1 (GLI1), GLI2 and GLI3. Activation of GLIs must be tightly regulated as they modulate target genes which control tissue patterning, stem cell maintenance, and differentiation during development. However, dysregulation or mutations in HH signaling leads to genomic instability (GI) and various cancers, for example, germline mutation in PTCH1 lead to Gorlin syndrome, a condition where patients develop numerous basal cell carcinomas and rarely rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Activating mutations in SMO have also been recognized in sporadic cases of medulloblastoma and SMO is overexpressed in many other cancers. Recently, studies in several human cancers have shown that GLI1 expression is independent from HH ligand and canonical intracellular signaling through PTCH and SMO. In fact, this aberrantly regulated GLI1 has been linked to several non-canonical oncogenic growth signals such as Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS), avian myelocytomatosis virus oncogene cellular homolog (C-MYC), transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), wingless-type MMTV integration site family (WNT) and β-catenin. Recent studies from our lab and other independent studies demonstrate that aberrantly expressed GLI1 influences the integrity of several DNA damage response and repair signals, and if altered, these networks can contribute to GI and impact tumor response to chemo- and radiation therapies. Furthermore, the ineffectiveness of SMO inhibitors in clinical studies argues for the development of GLI1-specific inhibitors in order to develop effective therapeutic modalities to treat these tumors. In this review, we focus on summarizing current understanding of the molecular, biochemical and cellular basis for aberrant GLI1 expression and discuss GLI1-mediated HH signaling on DNA damage responses, carcinogenesis and chemoresistance.
Abstract: Adult T cell leukemia-lymphoma is a rare disease with a high mortality rate, and is challenging for the clinician. Early allogeneic stem cell transplant can confer durable remission. As novel therapeutic agents become available to treat T cell malignancies, it is increasingly important that medical oncologists, hematologists, and hematopathologists recognize and accurately diagnose adult T cell leukemia-lymphoma. There is no uniform standard of treatment of adult T cell leukemia-lymphoma, and clinical trials remain critical to improving outcomes. Here we present one management approach based on the recent advances in treatment for adult T cell leukemia-lymphoma patients.
Abstract: Pancreatic cancer is without any doubt the malignancy with the poorest prognosis and the lowest survival rate. This highly aggressive disease is rarely diagnosed at an early stage and difficult to treat due to its resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Therefore, there is an urgent need to clarify the causes responsible for pancreatic cancer and to identify preventive strategies to reduce its incidence in the population. Some circumstances, such as smoking habits, being overweight and diabetes, have been identified as potentially predisposing factors to pancreatic cancer, suggesting that diet might play a role. A diet low in fat and sugars, together with a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, weight reduction and not smoking, may contribute to prevent pancreatic cancer and many other cancer types. In addition, increasing evidence suggests that some food may have chemo preventive properties. Indeed, a high dietary intake of fresh fruit and vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, and recent epidemiological studies have associated nut consumption with a protective effect against it. Therefore, diet could have an impact on the development of pancreatic cancer and further investigations are needed to assess the potential chemo preventive role of specific foods against this disease. This review summarizes the key evidence for the role of dietary habits and their effect on pancreatic cancer and focuses on possible mechanisms for the association between diet and risk of pancreatic cancer.
Abstract: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been the standard care for patients with advanced prostate cancer (PC) since the 1940s. Although ADT shows clear benefits for many patients, castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) inevitably occurs. In fact, with the two recent FDA-approved second-generation anti-androgens abiraterone and enzalutamide, resistance develops rapidly in patients with CRPC, despite their initial effectiveness. The lack of effective therapeutic solutions towards CRPC largely reflects our limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms responsible for CRPC development. While persistent androgen receptor (AR) signaling under castration levels of serum testosterone (<50 ng/mL) contributes to resistance to ADT, it is also clear that CRPC evolves via complex mechanisms. Nevertheless, the physiological impact of individual mechanisms and whether these mechanisms function in a cohesive manner in promoting CRPC are elusive. In spite of these uncertainties, emerging evidence supports a critical role of prostate cancer stem-like cells (PCSLCs) in stimulating CRPC evolution and resistance to abiraterone and enzalutamide. In this review, we will discuss the recent evidence supporting the involvement of PCSLC in CRPC acquisition as well as the pathways and factors contributing to PCSLC expansion in response to ADT.
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to establish a non-surgical breast-conserving treatment (BCT) using KORTUC II radiosensitization treatment. A new radiosensitizing agent containing 0.5% hydrogen peroxide and 0.83% sodium hyaluronate (a CD44 ligand) has been developed for intra-tumoral injection into various tumors. This new method, named KORTUC II, was approved by our local ethics committee for the treatment of breast cancer and metastatic lymph nodes. A total of 72 early-stage breast cancer patients (stage 0, 1 patient; stage I, 23; stage II, 48) were enrolled in the KORTUC II trial after providing fully informed consent. The mean age of the patients was 59.7 years. A maximum of 6 mL (usually 3 mL for tumors of less than approximately 3 cm in diameter) of the agent was injected into breast tumor tissue twice a week under ultrasonographic guidance. For radiotherapy, hypofraction radiotherapy was administered using a tangential fields approach including an ipsilateral axillary region and field-in-field method; the energy level was 4 MV, and the total radiation dose was 44 Gy administered as 2.75 Gy/fraction. An electron boost of 3 Gy was added three times. Treatment was well tolerated with minimal adverse effects in all 72 patients. No patients showed any significant complications other than mild dermatitis. A total of 24 patients under 75 years old with stage II breast cancer underwent induction chemotherapy (EC and/or taxane) prior to KORTUC II treatment, and 58 patients with estrogen receptor-positive tumors also received hormonal therapy following KORTUC II. The mean duration of follow-up as of the end of September 2014 was 51.1 months, at which time 68 patients were alive without any distant metastases. Only one patient had local recurrence and died of cardiac failure at 6.5 years. Another one patient had bone metastases. For two of the 72 patients, follow-up ended after several months following KORTUC II treatment. In conclusion, non-surgical BCT can be performed using KORTUC II, which has three major characteristics: imaging guidance; enzyme-targeting; and targeting of breast cancer stem cells via the CD44 receptor.
Abstract: A common characteristic of many cancer cells is that they suffer from oxidative stress. They, therefore, require effective redox regulatory systems to combat the higher levels of reactive oxygen species that accompany accelerated growth compared to the normal cells of origin. An elevated dependence on these systems in cancers suggests that targeting these systems may provide an avenue for retarding the malignancy process. Herein, we examined the redox regulatory systems in human liver and lung cancers by comparing human lung adenocarcinoma and liver carcinoma to their respective surrounding normal tissues. Significant differences were found in the two major redox systems, the thioredoxin and glutathione systems. Thioredoxin reductase 1 levels were elevated in both malignancies, but thioredoxin was highly upregulated in lung tumor and only slightly upregulated in liver tumor, while peroxiredoxin 1 was highly elevated in lung tumor, but downregulated in liver tumor. There were also major differences within the glutathione system between the malignancies and their normal tissues. The data suggest a greater dependence of liver on either the thioredoxin or glutathione system to drive the malignancy, while lung cancer appeared to depend primarily on the thioredoxin system.