Abstract: The need to identify biomarkers for bevacizumab-based treatment in advanced colorectal cancer is imperative. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic role of circulating VEGF, PDGF, SDF-1, osteopontin and CEA in patients randomly assigned to three bevacizumab-based regimens. Plasma samples from 50 patients treated at a single Institution were analysed using the multiplex assay BioPlex™ 2200 (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc, Berkeley, CA, USA) at baseline, before first three cycles and subsequently every three cycles until disease progression. Prognostic analyses of baseline values were performed using multivariable Cox models, including disease extension >10 cm or ≤10 cm (measured as the sum of the diameters for all target lesions) as adjustment factor. The association between progression-free and overall survival and biomarkers modulation during treatment was studied using multivariable Cox models, which included summary statistics synthesizing during-treatment modulation together with disease extension. The biomarkers significantly associated with disease extension were baseline CEA (p = 0.012) and SDF-1 (p = 0.030). High values of VEGF and SDF-1 tended to be associated with worse prognosis, especially in terms of overall survival. The negative prognostic trend was more marked for baseline CEA as compared to other biomarkers; increasing values during treatment was significantly related to worse prognosis independently of disease extension (p = 0.007 and 0.016 for progression-free and overall survival, respectively). VEGF is related to bevacizumab pharmacodynamics and is associated to other angiogenic cytokines; some of the proposed biomarkers such as SDF-1 and CEA should be further validated for prognosis assessment and monitoring of bevacizumab-based treatment of advanced colorectal cancer.
Abstract: The mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (c-Met) is a receptor tyrosine kinase with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) as its only high-affinity ligand. Aberrant activation of c-Met is associated with many human malignancies, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We investigated the in vivo antitumor and antimetastatic efficacy of the c-Met inhibitor MSC2156119J (EMD 1214063) in patient-derived tumor explants. BALB/c nude mice were inoculated with MHCC97H cells or with tumor fragments of 10 patient-derived primary liver cancer explants selected according to c-Met/HGF expression levels. MSC2156119J (10, 30, and 100 mg/kg) and sorafenib (50 mg/kg) were administered orally as single-agent treatment or in combination, with vehicle as control. Tumor response, metastases formation, and alpha fetoprotein (AFP) levels were measured. MSC2156119J inhibited tumor growth and induced complete regression in mice bearing subcutaneous and orthotopic MHCC97H tumors. AFP levels were undetectable after 5 weeks of MSC2156119J treatment, and the number of metastatic lung foci was reduced. Primary liver explant models with strong c-Met/HGF activation showed increased responsiveness to MSC2156119J, with MSC2156119J showing similar or superior activity to sorafenib. Tumors characterized by low c-Met expression were less sensitive to MSC2156119J. MSC2156119J was better tolerated than sorafenib, and combination therapy did not improve efficacy. These findings indicate that selective c-Met/HGF inhibition with MSC2156119J is associated with marked regression of c-Met high-expressing tumors, supporting its clinical development as an antitumor treatment for HCC patients with active c-Met signaling.
Abstract: Smoking is an important risk factor in the development of head and neck cancer. However, little is known about its effects on postoperative complications in head and neck cancer surgery. We performed a retrospective analysis on 535 consecutive laryngeal cancer patients submitted to open partial laryngectomy at the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Department of Florence University to evaluate a possible correlation between smoking and surgical complications. Patients were grouped in non smokers and smokers and evaluated for airway, swallowing, local and fistula complications by multivariate analysis: 507 (95%) patients were smokers, 69% presented supraglottic, 30% glottic and 1% transglottic cancer. The most common operation was supraglottic horizontal laryngectomy in 58%, followed by supracricoid partial laryngectomy in 27% and frontolateral hemilaryngectomy in 15% of cases. The incidence of overall complications was 30%, airway complications representing the most frequent (14%), followed by swallowing (7%), local (6%) and fistula complications (3%). Smokers developed more local complications (p = 0.05, univariate, p = 0.04, multivariate analysis) and pharyngocutaneous fistula (p = 0.01, univariate, p = 0.03, multivariate analysis).
Abstract: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is currently considered to be a major etiologic factor, in addition to tobacco and alcohol, for oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) development. HPV positive OPCs are epidemiologically distinct from HPV negative ones, and are characterized by younger age at onset, male predominance, and strong association with sexual behaviors. HPV16 is the most prevalent types in oral cavity cancer (OCC), moreover the prevalence of beta, and gamma HPV types is higher than that of alpha HPV in oral cavity.
Abstract: Oral HPV infection, the cause of most oropharyngeal cancer in the U.S., is not well studied among high-risk young adults. Men (n = 340) and women (n = 270) aged 18–25 years attending Baltimore County STD clinics were recruited if they declined HPV vaccination. Each participant had a 30-second oral rinse and gargle sample tested for 37 types of HPV DNA, and a risk-factor survey. Factors associated with prevalent infection were explored using log binomial regression. Men had higher prevalence of any oral HPV (15.3% vs. 7.8%, p= 0.004) and vaccine-type oral HPV (i.e., HPV16/18/6/11: 5.0% vs. 1.1%, p= 0.007) infection than women. In multivariate analysis, male gender (aPR = 1.93, 95% CI = 1.10–3.39), number of recent oral sex partners (p-trend = 0.013) and having ever performed oral sex on a woman (aPR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.06–2.82) were associated with increased oral HPV prevalence. Performing oral sex on a woman may confer higher risk of oral HPV acquisition than performing oral sex on a man.
Abstract: During tumor progression, circulating monocytes and macrophages are actively recruited into tumors where they alter the tumor microenvironment to accelerate tumor progression. Macrophages shift their functional phenotypes in response to various microenvironmental signals generated from tumor and stromal cells. Based on their function, macrophages are divided broadly into two categories: classical M1 and alternative M2 macrophages. The M1 macrophage is involved in the inflammatory response, pathogen clearance, and antitumor immunity. In contrast, the M2 macrophage influences an anti-inflammatory response, wound healing, and pro-tumorigenic properties. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) closely resemble the M2-polarized macrophages and are critical modulators of the tumor microenvironment. Clinicopathological studies have suggested that TAM accumulation in tumors correlates with a poor clinical outcome. Consistent with that evidence, experimental and animal studies have supported the notion that TAMs can provide a favorable microenvironment to promote tumor development and progression. In this review article, we present an overview of mechanisms responsible for TAM recruitment and highlight the roles of TAMs in the regulation of tumor angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis, immunosuppression, and chemotherapeutic resistance. Finally, we discuss TAM-targeting therapy as a promising novel strategy for an indirect cancer therapy.