Abstract: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most widely publicized and researched pathogenic DNA viruses. For decades, HPV research has focused on transforming viral activities in cervical cancer. During the past 15 years, however, HPV has also emerged as a major etiological agent in cancers of the head and neck, in particular squamous cell carcinoma. Even with significant strides achieved towards the screening and treatment of cervical cancer, and preventive vaccines, cervical cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths for women in developing countries. Furthermore, routine screens are not available for those at risk of head and neck cancer. The current expectation is that HPV vaccination will prevent not only cervical, but also head and neck cancers. In order to determine if previous cervical cancer models for HPV infection and transformation are directly applicable to head and neck cancer, clinical and molecular disease aspects must be carefully compared. In this review, we briefly discuss the cervical and head and neck cancer literature to highlight clinical and genomic commonalities. Differences in prognosis, staging and treatment, as well as comparisons of mutational profiles, viral integration patterns, and alterations in gene expression will be addressed.
Abstract: Cancers have the ability to develop resistance to traditional therapies, and the increasing prevalence of these drug resistant cancers necessitates further research and treatment development. This paper outlines the current knowledge of mechanisms that promote or enable drug resistance, such as drug inactivation, drug target alteration, drug efflux, DNA damage repair, cell death inhibition, and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, as well as how inherent tumor cell heterogeneity plays a role in drug resistance. It also describes the epigenetic modifications that can induce drug resistance and considers how such epigenetic factors may contribute to the development of cancer progenitor cells, which are not killed by conventional cancer therapies. Lastly, this review concludes with a discussion on the best treatment options for existing drug resistant cancers, ways to prevent the formation of drug resistant cancers and cancer progenitor cells, and future directions of study.
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.