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Cancers, Volume 11, Issue 10 (October 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Despite advancements in therapy, the development of castrate resistance in prostate cancer (PCa) [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
A Comprehensive Review on MAPK: A Promising Therapeutic Target in Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1618; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101618 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is an important bridge in the switch from extracellular signals to intracellular responses. Alterations of signaling cascades are found in various diseases, including cancer, as a result of genetic and epigenetic changes. Numerous studies focused on both [...] Read more.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is an important bridge in the switch from extracellular signals to intracellular responses. Alterations of signaling cascades are found in various diseases, including cancer, as a result of genetic and epigenetic changes. Numerous studies focused on both the homeostatic and the pathologic conduct of MAPK signaling; however, there is still much to be deciphered in terms of regulation and action models in both preclinical and clinical research. MAPK has implications in the response to cancer therapy, particularly the activation of the compensatory pathways in response to experimental MAPK inhibition. The present paper discusses new insights into MAPK as a complex cell signaling pathway with roles in the sustenance of cellular normal conduit, response to cancer therapy, and activation of compensatory pathways. Unfortunately, most MAPK inhibitors trigger resistance due to the activation of compensatory feed-back loops in tumor cells and tumor microenvironment components. Therefore, novel combinatorial therapies have to be implemented for cancer management in order to restrict the possibility of alternative pathway activation, as a perspective for developing novel therapies based on integration in translational studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
MPT0G612, a Novel HDAC6 Inhibitor, Induces Apoptosis and Suppresses IFN-γ-Induced Programmed Death-Ligand 1 in Human Colorectal Carcinoma Cells
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1617; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101617 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-associated death worldwide. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) have been implicated in regulating complex cellular mechanisms to influence tumor biology and immunogenicity in various types of cancer. The potential of selective [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-associated death worldwide. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) have been implicated in regulating complex cellular mechanisms to influence tumor biology and immunogenicity in various types of cancer. The potential of selective inhibition of HDAC6 has been widely discussed for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. We previously identified that MPT0G612 is a novel HDAC6 inhibitor exhibiting a promising antitumor activity against several solid tumors. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the feasibility and pharmacological mechanisms of MPT0G612 as a potential therapy for CRC patients. Results revealed that MPT0G612 significantly suppresses the proliferation and viability, as well as induces apoptosis in CRC cells. Autophagy activation with LC3B-II formation and p62 degradation was observed, and the inhibition of autophagy by pharmacological inhibitor or Atg5 knockdown enhances MPT0G612-induced cell death. In addition, HDAC6 knockdown reduces MPT0G612-mediated autophagy and further potentiates apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, MPT0G612 downregulates the expression of PD-L1 induced by IFN-γ in CRC cells. These results suggest that MPT0G612 is a potent cell death inducer through inhibiting HDAC6-associated pathway, and a potential agent for combination strategy with immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Dysregulation in Cancer: From Mechanism to Therapy)
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Open AccessReview
Epigenetic Reprogramming for Targeting IDH-Mutant Malignant Gliomas
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1616; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101616 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Targeting the epigenome has been considered a compelling treatment modality for several cancers, including gliomas. Nearly 80% of the lower-grade gliomas and secondary glioblastomas harbor recurrent mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH). Mutant IDH generates high levels of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) that inhibit [...] Read more.
Targeting the epigenome has been considered a compelling treatment modality for several cancers, including gliomas. Nearly 80% of the lower-grade gliomas and secondary glioblastomas harbor recurrent mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH). Mutant IDH generates high levels of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) that inhibit various components of the epigenetic machinery, including histone and DNA demethylases. The encouraging results from current epigenetic therapies in hematological malignancies have reinvigorated the interest in solid tumors and gliomas, both preclinically and clinically. Here, we summarize the recent advancements in epigenetic therapy for lower-grade gliomas and discuss the challenges associated with current treatment options. A particular focus is placed on therapeutic mechanisms underlying favorable outcome with epigenetic-based drugs in basic and translational research of gliomas. This review also highlights emerging bridges to combination treatment with respect to epigenetic drugs. Given that epigenetic therapies, particularly DNA methylation inhibitors, increase tumor immunogenicity and antitumor immune responses, appropriate drug combinations with immune checkpoint inhibitors may lead to improvement of treatment effectiveness of immunotherapy, ultimately leading to tumor cell eradication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Dysregulation in Cancer: From Mechanism to Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle
Size and Shape Filtering of Malignant Cell Clusters within Breast Tumors Identifies Scattered Individual Epithelial Cells as the Most Valuable Histomorphological Clue in the Prognosis of Distant Metastasis Risk
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101615 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Survival and life quality of breast cancer patients could be improved by more aggressive chemotherapy for those at high metastasis risk and less intense treatments for low-risk patients. Such personalized treatment cannot be currently achieved due to the insufficient reliability of metastasis risk [...] Read more.
Survival and life quality of breast cancer patients could be improved by more aggressive chemotherapy for those at high metastasis risk and less intense treatments for low-risk patients. Such personalized treatment cannot be currently achieved due to the insufficient reliability of metastasis risk prognosis. The purpose of this study was therefore, to identify novel histopathological prognostic markers of metastasis risk through exhaustive computational image analysis of 80 size and shape subsets of epithelial clusters in breast tumors. The group of 102 patients had a follow-up median of 12.3 years, without lymph node spread and systemic treatments. Epithelial cells were stained by the AE1/AE3 pan-cytokeratin antibody cocktail. The size and shape subsets of the stained epithelial cell clusters were defined in each image by use of the circularity and size filters and analyzed for prognostic performance. Epithelial areas with the optimal prognostic performance were uniformly small and round and could be recognized as individual epithelial cells scattered in tumor stroma. Their count achieved an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.82, total area (AUC = 0.77), average size (AUC = 0.63), and circularity (AUC = 0.62). In conclusion, by use of computational image analysis as a hypothesis-free discovery tool, this study reveals the histomorphological marker with a high prognostic value that is simple and therefore easy to quantify by visual microscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Invasion and Metastasis)
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances in Nuclear Imaging of Receptor Expression to Guide Targeted Therapies in Breast Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1614; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101614 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Breast cancer remains the most frequent cancer in women with different patterns of disease progression and response to treatments. The identification of specific biomarkers for different breast cancer subtypes has allowed the development of novel targeting agents for imaging and therapy. To date, [...] Read more.
Breast cancer remains the most frequent cancer in women with different patterns of disease progression and response to treatments. The identification of specific biomarkers for different breast cancer subtypes has allowed the development of novel targeting agents for imaging and therapy. To date, patient management depends on immunohistochemistry analysis of receptor status on bioptic samples. This approach is too invasive, and in some cases, not entirely representative of the disease. Nuclear imaging using receptor tracers may provide whole-body information and detect any changes of receptor expression during disease progression. Therefore, imaging is useful to guide clinicians to select the best treatments for each patient and to evaluate early response thus reducing unnecessary therapies. In this review, we focused on the development of novel tracers that are ongoing in preclinical and/or clinical studies as promising tools to lead treatment decisions for breast cancer management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Medical Imaging in Cancers)
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Open AccessArticle
MicroRNA 452 Regulates Cell Proliferation, Cell Migration, and Angiogenesis in Colorectal Cancer by Suppressing VEGFA Expression
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101613 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
The human microRNA 452 (MIR452) was identified as a colorectal cancer (CRC)-associated micro RNA (miRNA) by miRNA expression profiling of human CRC tissues versus normal colorectal tissues. It was significantly up-regulated in human CRC tissues. However, the functional mechanisms of MIR452 [...] Read more.
The human microRNA 452 (MIR452) was identified as a colorectal cancer (CRC)-associated micro RNA (miRNA) by miRNA expression profiling of human CRC tissues versus normal colorectal tissues. It was significantly up-regulated in human CRC tissues. However, the functional mechanisms of MIR452 and its target genes in CRC remain unclear. We identified 27 putative MIR452 target genes, and found that the vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) was a direct target gene of MIR452. Both cellular and extracellular VEGFA levels were significantly downregulated in CRC cells upon their transfection with MIR452 or siVEGFA. VEGFA expression was frequently downregulated in human CRC tissues in comparison with that in their healthy counterparts. We showed that MIR452 regulated the expression of genes in the VEGFA-mediated signal transduction pathways vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR2)–mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and VEGFR2–SRC proto-oncogene non-receptor tyrosine kinase (SRC) in CRC cells. Immunohistological analyses of xenografted MIR452-overexpressing CRC cells in mice showed that MIR452 regulated cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Furthermore, aortic ring angiogenesis assay in rats clearly showed that the number of microvessels formed was significantly reduced by MIR452 transfection. Our findings suggest that MIR452 regulates cell proliferation, cell migration, and angiogenesis by suppressing VEGFA expression in early CRC progression; therefore, MIR452 may have therapeutic value in relation to human CRC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of a Synergistic Multi-Drug Combination Active in Cancer Cells via the Prevention of Spindle Pole Clustering
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1612; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101612 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
A major limitation of clinically used cancer drugs is the lack of specificity resulting in toxicity. To address this, we performed a phenotypically-driven screen to identify optimal multidrug combinations acting with high efficacy and selectivity in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). The [...] Read more.
A major limitation of clinically used cancer drugs is the lack of specificity resulting in toxicity. To address this, we performed a phenotypically-driven screen to identify optimal multidrug combinations acting with high efficacy and selectivity in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). The search was performed using the Therapeutically Guided Multidrug Optimization (TGMO) method in ccRCC cells (786-O) and nonmalignant renal cells and identified a synergistic low-dose four-drug combination (C2) with high efficacy and negligible toxicity. We discovered that C2 inhibits multipolar spindle pole clustering, a survival mechanism employed by cancer cells with spindle abnormalities. This phenotype was also observed in 786-O cells resistant to sunitinib, the first line ccRCC treatment, as well as in melanoma cells with distinct percentages of supernumerary centrosomes. We conclude that C2-treatment shows a high efficacy in cells prone to form multipolar spindles. Our data suggest a highly effective and selective C2 treatment strategy for malignant and drug-resistant cancers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Screening a Broad Range of Solid and Haematological Tumour Types for CD70 Expression Using a Uniform IHC Methodology as Potential Patient Stratification Method
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1611; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101611 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
The constitutive expression of CD70 has been described in various haematological and solid tumour types. In addition, the co-expression of its receptor in tumours has been demonstrated, mediating tumour cell proliferation. Although CD70 expression is a prerequisite to enrol patients in solid tumour [...] Read more.
The constitutive expression of CD70 has been described in various haematological and solid tumour types. In addition, the co-expression of its receptor in tumours has been demonstrated, mediating tumour cell proliferation. Although CD70 expression is a prerequisite to enrol patients in solid tumour clinical trials using anti-CD70 immunotherapy, there is currently no standardised test to evaluate CD70 expression. These differences in immunohistochemistry (IHC) protocols make it challenging to compare the expression levels that were obtained in different studies, pointing out the need for one uniform methodology. In this retrospective study, over 600 tumour samples from different solid and haematological malignancies were analysed while using one validated IHC method. CD70 and CD27 expression was demonstrated in a broad range of tumour types. In solid tumours, 43% demonstrated CD70 positivity with the highest degree in renal cell carcinoma (79.5%). Kaposi sarcoma showed no CD70 expression on the tumour cells. In lymphoma samples, 58% demonstrated CD70 positivity. Moreover, the co-expression of CD70 and CD27 was observed in 39% of lymphoma samples. These findings highlight the need to further explore anti-CD70 therapies in a broad range of CD70 expressing tumour types and in doing so, implementing one standardised protocol to define CD70 overexpression to use it as a diagnostic tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biomarkers in Cancers)
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Open AccessArticle
The Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition Promotes Glutamine Independence by Suppressing GLS2 Expression
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101610 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Identifying bioenergetics that facilitate the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in breast cancer cells may uncover targets to treat incurable metastatic disease. Metastasis is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths; therefore, it is urgent to identify new treatment strategies to prevent the [...] Read more.
Identifying bioenergetics that facilitate the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in breast cancer cells may uncover targets to treat incurable metastatic disease. Metastasis is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths; therefore, it is urgent to identify new treatment strategies to prevent the initiation of metastasis. To characterize the bioenergetics of EMT, we compared metabolic activities and gene expression in cells induced to differentiate into the mesenchymal state with their epithelial counterparts. We found that levels of GLS2, which encodes a glutaminase, are inversely associated with EMT. GLS2 down-regulation was correlated with reduced mitochondrial activity and glutamine independence even in low-glucose conditions. Restoration of GLS2 expression in GLS2-negative breast cancer cells rescued mitochondrial activity, enhanced glutamine utilization, and inhibited stem-cell properties. Additionally, inhibition of expression of the transcription factor FOXC2, a critical regulator of EMT in GLS2-negative cells, restored GLS2 expression and glutamine utilization. Furthermore, in breast cancer patients, high GLS2 expression is associated with improved survival. These findings suggest that epithelial cancer cells rely on glutamine and that cells induced to undergo EMT become glutamine independent. Moreover, the inhibition of EMT leads to a GLS2-directed metabolic shift in mesenchymal cancer cells, which may make these cells susceptible to chemotherapies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functionalized Tobacco Mosaic Virus Coat Protein Monomers and Oligomers as Nanocarriers for Anti-Cancer Peptides
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101609 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Components with self-assembly properties derived from plant viruses provide the opportunity to design biological nanoscaffolds for the ordered display of agents of diverse nature and with complementing functions. With the aim of designing a functionalized nanoscaffold to target cancer, the coat protein (CP) [...] Read more.
Components with self-assembly properties derived from plant viruses provide the opportunity to design biological nanoscaffolds for the ordered display of agents of diverse nature and with complementing functions. With the aim of designing a functionalized nanoscaffold to target cancer, the coat protein (CP) of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) was tested as nanocarrier for an insoluble, highly hydrophobic peptide that targets the transmembrane domain of the Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) receptor in cancer cells. The resulting construct CPL-K (CP-linker-“Kill”) binds to NRP1 in cancer cells and disrupts NRP1 complex formation with PlexA1 as well as downstream Akt survival signaling. The application of CPL-K also inhibits angiogenesis and cell migration. CP was also fused to a peptide that targets the extracellular domain of NRP1 and this fusion protein (CPL-F, CP-Linker-“Find”) is shown to bind to cultured cancer cells and to inhibit NRP1-dependent angiogenesis as well. CPL-K and CPL-F maintain their anti-angiogenic properties upon co-assembly to oligomers/nanoparticles together with CPL. The observations show that the CP of TMV can be employed to generate a functionalized nanoparticle with biological activity. Remarkably, fusion to CPL allowed us to solubilize the highly insoluble transmembrane NRP1 peptide and to retain its anti-angiogenic effect. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Productive Cross-Talk with the Microenvironment: A Critical Step in Ovarian Cancer Metastasis
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1608; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101608 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 114
Abstract
Most ovarian cancer patients present with disseminated disease at the time of their diagnosis, which is one of the main reasons for their poor prognosis. Metastasis is a multi-step process and a clear understanding of the mechanism of regulation of these steps remains [...] Read more.
Most ovarian cancer patients present with disseminated disease at the time of their diagnosis, which is one of the main reasons for their poor prognosis. Metastasis is a multi-step process and a clear understanding of the mechanism of regulation of these steps remains elusive. Productive reciprocal interactions between the metastasizing ovarian cancer cells and the microenvironment of the metastatic site or the tumor microenvironment play an important role in the successful establishment of metastasis. Much progress has been made in the recent past in our understanding of such interactions and the role of the cellular and acellular components of the microenvironment in establishing the metastatic tumors. This review will outline the role of the microenvironmental components of the ovarian cancer metastatic niche and their role in helping establish the metastatic tumors. Special emphasis will be given to the mesothelial cells, which are the first cells encountered by the cancer cells at the site of metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ovarian Cancer Metastasis)
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Open AccessArticle
Constitutive or Induced HIF-2 Addiction is Involved in Resistance to Anti-EGFR Treatment and Radiation Therapy in HNSCC
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1607; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101607 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 112
Abstract
Background: management of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) include anti-Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) antibodies and radiotherapy, but resistance emerges in most patients. RAS mutations lead to primary resistance to EGFR blockade in metastatic colorectal cancer but are infrequent in HNSCC, [...] Read more.
Background: management of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) include anti-Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) antibodies and radiotherapy, but resistance emerges in most patients. RAS mutations lead to primary resistance to EGFR blockade in metastatic colorectal cancer but are infrequent in HNSCC, suggesting that other mechanisms are implicated. Since hypoxia and Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) have been associated with treatment failure and tumor progression, we hypothesized that EGFR/mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR)/HIF-1 axis inhibition could radiosensitize HNSCC. Methods: We treated the radiosensitive Cal27 used as control, and radioresistant SQ20B and UD-SCC1 cells, in vivo and in vitro, with rapamycin and cetuximab before irradiation and evaluated tumor progression and clonogenic survival. Results: Rapamycin and cetuximab inhibited the mTOR/HIF-1α axis, and sensitized the SQ20B cell line to EGFR-inhibition. However, concomitant delivery of radiation to SQ20B xenografts increased tumor relapse frequency, despite effective HIF-1 inhibition. Treatment failure was associated with the induction of HIF-2α expression by cetuximab and radiotherapy. Strikingly, SQ20B and UD-SCC1 cells clonogenic survival dropped <30% after HIF-2α silencing, suggesting a HIF-2-dependent mechanism of oncogenic addiction. Conclusions: altogether, our data suggest that resistance to EGFR inhibition combined with radiotherapy in HNSCC may depend on tumor HIF-2 expression and underline the urgent need to develop novel HIF-2 targeted treatments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Toolbox for Functional Analysis and the Systematic Identification of Diagnostic and Prognostic Gene Expression Signatures Combining Meta-Analysis and Machine Learning
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1606; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101606 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 124
Abstract
The identification of biomarker signatures is important for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. However, the detection of clinical reliable signatures is influenced by limited data availability, which may restrict statistical power. Moreover, methods for integration of large sample cohorts and signature identification are limited. [...] Read more.
The identification of biomarker signatures is important for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. However, the detection of clinical reliable signatures is influenced by limited data availability, which may restrict statistical power. Moreover, methods for integration of large sample cohorts and signature identification are limited. We present a step-by-step computational protocol for functional gene expression analysis and the identification of diagnostic and prognostic signatures by combining meta-analysis with machine learning and survival analysis. The novelty of the toolbox lies in its all-in-one functionality, generic design, and modularity. It is exemplified for lung cancer, including a comprehensive evaluation using different validation strategies. However, the protocol is not restricted to specific disease types and can therefore be used by a broad community. The accompanying R package vignette runs in ~1 h and describes the workflow in detail for use by researchers with limited bioinformatics training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Bioinformatics in Cancers)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Microenvironment of Pituitary Tumors—Biological and Therapeutic Implications
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1605; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101605 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 129
Abstract
The tumor microenvironment (TME) includes resident and infiltrative non-tumor cells, as well as blood and lymph vessels, extracellular matrix molecules, and numerous soluble factors, such as cytokines and chemokines. While the TME is now considered to be a prognostic tool and a therapeutic [...] Read more.
The tumor microenvironment (TME) includes resident and infiltrative non-tumor cells, as well as blood and lymph vessels, extracellular matrix molecules, and numerous soluble factors, such as cytokines and chemokines. While the TME is now considered to be a prognostic tool and a therapeutic target for many cancers, little is known about its composition in pituitary tumors. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the TME within pituitary tumors and the strong interest in TME as a therapeutic target. While we cover the importance of angiogenesis and immune infiltrating cells, we also address the role of the elusive folliculostellate cells, the emerging literature on pituitary tumor-associated fibroblasts, and the contribution of extracellular matrix components in these tumors. The cases of human pituitary tumors treated with TME-targeting therapies are reviewed and emerging concepts of vascular normalization and combined therapies are presented. Together, this snapshot overview of the current literature pinpoints not only the underestimated role of TME components in pituitary tumor biology, but also the major promise it may offer for both prognosis and targeted therapeutics. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Brain Penetrating and Dual TORC1/TORC2 Inhibitor, RES529, Elicits Anti-Glioma Activity and Enhances the Therapeutic Effects of Anti-Angiogenetic Compounds in Preclinical Murine Models
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1604; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101604 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 120
Abstract
Background. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a devastating disease showing a very poor prognosis. New therapeutic approaches are needed to improve survival and quality of life. GBM is a highly vascularized tumor and as such, chemotherapy and anti-angiogenic drugs have been combined for treatment. [...] Read more.
Background. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a devastating disease showing a very poor prognosis. New therapeutic approaches are needed to improve survival and quality of life. GBM is a highly vascularized tumor and as such, chemotherapy and anti-angiogenic drugs have been combined for treatment. However, as treatment-induced resistance often develops, our goal was to identify and treat pathways involved in resistance to treatment to optimize the treatment strategies. Anti-angiogenetic compounds tested in preclinical and clinical settings demonstrated recurrence associated to secondary activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR pathway. Aims. Here, we determined the sensitizing effects of the small molecule and oral available dual TORC1/TORC2 dissociative inhibitor, RES529, alone or in combination with the anti-VEGF blocking antibody, bevacizumab, or the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, sunitinib, in human GBM models. Results. We observed that RES529 effectively inhibited dose-dependently the growth of GBM cells in vitro counteracting the insurgence of recurrence after bevacizumab or sunitinib administration in vivo. Combination strategies were associated with reduced tumor progression as indicated by the analysis of Time to Tumor Progression (TTP) and disease-free survival (DSF) as well as increased overall survival (OS) of tumor bearing mice. RES529 was able to reduce the in vitro migration of tumor cells and tubule formation from both brain-derived endothelial cells (angiogenesis) and tumor cells (vasculogenic mimicry). Conclusions. In summary, RES529, the first dual TORC1/TORC2 dissociative inhibitor, lacking affinity for ABCB1/ABCG2 and having good brain penetration, was active in GBM preclinical/murine models giving credence to its use in clinical trial for patients with GBM treated in association with anti-angiogenetic compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Predictor Tool of Biochemical Recurrence after Radical Prostatectomy Based on a Five-MicroRNA Tissue Signature
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1603; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101603 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 95
Abstract
Within five to ten years after radical prostatectomy (RP), approximately 15–34% of prostate cancer (PCa) patients experience biochemical recurrence (BCR), which is defined as recurrence of serum levels of prostate-specific antigen >0.2 µg/L, indicating probable cancer recurrence. Models using clinicopathological variables for predicting [...] Read more.
Within five to ten years after radical prostatectomy (RP), approximately 15–34% of prostate cancer (PCa) patients experience biochemical recurrence (BCR), which is defined as recurrence of serum levels of prostate-specific antigen >0.2 µg/L, indicating probable cancer recurrence. Models using clinicopathological variables for predicting this risk for patients lack accuracy. There is hope that new molecular biomarkers, like microRNAs (miRNAs), could be potential candidates to improve risk prediction. Therefore, we evaluated the BCR prognostic capability of 20 miRNAs, which were selected by a systematic literature review. MiRNA expressions were measured in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue RP samples of 206 PCa patients by RT-qPCR. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed, to assess the independent prognostic potential of miRNAs. Internal validation was performed, using bootstrapping and the split-sample method. Five miRNAs (miR-30c-5p/31-5p/141-3p/148a-3p/miR-221-3p) were finally validated as independent prognostic biomarkers. Their prognostic ability and accuracy were evaluated using C-statistics of the obtained prognostic indices in the Cox regression, time-dependent receiver-operating characteristics, and decision curve analyses. Models of miRNAs, combined with relevant clinicopathological factors, were built. The five-miRNA-panel outperformed clinically established BCR scoring systems, while their combination significantly improved predictive power, based on clinicopathological factors alone. We conclude that this miRNA-based-predictor panel will be worth to be including in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prostate Cancer: Past, Present, and Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Prognostic Implication of pAMPK Immunohistochemical Staining by Subcellular Location and Its Association with SMAD Protein Expression in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1602; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101602 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 75
Abstract
Although cytoplasmic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been known as a tumor-suppressor protein, nuclear AMPK is suggested to support clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). In addition, pAMPK interacts with TGF-β/SMAD, which is one of the frequently altered pathways in ccRCC. In this [...] Read more.
Although cytoplasmic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been known as a tumor-suppressor protein, nuclear AMPK is suggested to support clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). In addition, pAMPK interacts with TGF-β/SMAD, which is one of the frequently altered pathways in ccRCC. In this study, we investigated the prognostic significance of pAMPK with respect to subcellular location and investigated its interaction with TGF-β/SMAD in ccRCC. Immunohistochemical staining for pAMPK, pSMAD2 and SMAD4 was conducted on tissue microarray of 987 ccRCC specimens. Moreover, the levels of pSMAD2 were measured in Caki-1 cells treated with 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide. The relationship between AMPK/pAMPK and TGFB1 expression was determined using the TCGA database. As a result, pAMPK positivity, either in the cytoplasm or nuclei, was independently associated with improved ccRCC prognosis, after adjusting for TNM stage and WHO grade. Furthermore, pAMPK-positive ccRCC displayed increased pSMAD2 and SMAD4 expression, while activation of pAMPK increased pSMAD2 in Caki-1 cells. However, AMPK/pAMPK expression was inversely correlated with TGFB1 expression in the TCGA database. Therefore, pAMPK immunostaining, both in the cytoplasm and nuclei, is a useful prognostic biomarker for ccRCC. pAMPK targets TGF-β-independent phosphorylation of SMAD2 and activates pSMAD2/SMAD4, representing a novel anti-tumoral mechanism of pAMPK in ccRCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renal Cell Carcinoma)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Exploiting ING2 Epigenetic Modulation as a Therapeutic Opportunity for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1601; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101601 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 113
Abstract
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, over the last few decades. Survival remains extremely poor in the metastatic setting and, consequently, innovative therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. Inhibitor of Growth Gene 2 (ING2) is a [...] Read more.
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, over the last few decades. Survival remains extremely poor in the metastatic setting and, consequently, innovative therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. Inhibitor of Growth Gene 2 (ING2) is a core component of the mSin3A/Histone deacetylases complex (HDAC), which controls the chromatin acetylation status and modulates gene transcription. This gene has been characterized as a tumor suppressor gene and its status in cancer has been scarcely explored. In this review, we focused on ING2 and other mSin3A/HDAC member statuses in NSCLC. Taking advantage of existing public databases and known pharmacological properties of HDAC inhibitors, finally, we proposed a therapeutic model based on an ING2 biomarker-guided strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inhibitor of Growth (ING) Genes)
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Open AccessArticle
Mutational Landscape of the BAP1 Locus Reveals an Intrinsic Control to Regulate the miRNA Network and the Binding of Protein Complexes in Uveal Melanoma
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101600 - 19 Oct 2019
Viewed by 243
Abstract
The BAP1 (BRCA1-associated protein 1) gene is associated with a variety of human cancers. With its gene product being a nuclear ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase with deubiquitinase activity, BAP1 acts as a tumor suppressor gene with potential pleiotropic effects in multiple tumor types. Herein, [...] Read more.
The BAP1 (BRCA1-associated protein 1) gene is associated with a variety of human cancers. With its gene product being a nuclear ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase with deubiquitinase activity, BAP1 acts as a tumor suppressor gene with potential pleiotropic effects in multiple tumor types. Herein, we focused specifically on uveal melanoma (UM) in which BAP1 mutations are associated with a metastasizing phenotype and decreased survival rates. We identified the ubiquitin carboxyl hydrolase (UCH) domain as a major hotspot region for the pathogenic mutations with a high evolutionary action (EA) score. This also includes the mutations at conserved catalytic sites and the ones overlapping with the phosphorylation residues. Computational protein interaction studies revealed that distant BAP1-associated protein complexes (FOXK2, ASXL1, BARD1, BRCA1) could be directly impacted by this mutation paradigm. We also described the conformational transition related to BAP1-BRCA-BARD1 complex, which may pose critical implications for mutations, especially at the docking interfaces of these three proteins. The mutations affect - independent of being somatic or germline - the binding affinity of miRNAs embedded within the BAP1 locus, thereby altering the unique regulatory network. Apart from UM, BAP1 gene expression and survival associations were found to be predictive for the prognosis in several (n = 29) other cancer types. Herein, we suggest that although BAP1 is conceptually a driver gene in UM, it might contribute through its interaction partners and its regulatory miRNA network to various aspects of cancer. Taken together, these findings will pave the way to evaluate BAP1 in a variety of other human cancers with a shared mutational spectrum. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Application of Bioinformatics in Cancers)
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Open AccessReview
Targeting Autophagy for Cancer Treatment and Tumor Chemosensitization
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1599; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101599 - 19 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 171
Abstract
Autophagy is a tightly regulated catabolic process that facilitates nutrient recycling from damaged organelles and other cellular components through lysosomal degradation. Deregulation of this process has been associated with the development of several pathophysiological processes, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. In cancer, [...] Read more.
Autophagy is a tightly regulated catabolic process that facilitates nutrient recycling from damaged organelles and other cellular components through lysosomal degradation. Deregulation of this process has been associated with the development of several pathophysiological processes, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. In cancer, autophagy has opposing roles, being either cytoprotective or cytotoxic. Thus, deciphering the role of autophagy in each tumor context is crucial. Moreover, autophagy has been shown to contribute to chemoresistance in some patients. In this regard, autophagy modulation has recently emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment and chemosensitization of tumors, and has already demonstrated positive clinical results in patients. In this review, the dual role of autophagy during carcinogenesis is discussed and current therapeutic strategies aimed at targeting autophagy for the treatment of cancer, both under preclinical and clinical development, are presented. The use of autophagy modulators in combination therapies, in order to overcome drug resistance during cancer treatment, is also discussed as well as the potential challenges and limitations for the use of these novel therapeutic strategies in the clinic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Autophagy in Cancer Progression and Drug Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
Diagnostic and Prognostic Value of B4GALT1 Hypermethylation and Its Clinical Significance as a Novel Circulating Cell-Free DNA Biomarker in Colorectal Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1598; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101598 - 19 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 251
Abstract
Epigenetic modifications of glyco-genes have been documented in different types of cancer and are tightly linked to proliferation, invasiveness, metastasis, and drug resistance. This study aims to investigate the diagnostic, prognostic, and therapy-response predictive value of the glyco-gene B4GALT1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) [...] Read more.
Epigenetic modifications of glyco-genes have been documented in different types of cancer and are tightly linked to proliferation, invasiveness, metastasis, and drug resistance. This study aims to investigate the diagnostic, prognostic, and therapy-response predictive value of the glyco-gene B4GALT1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. A Kaplan–Meier analysis was conducted in 1418 CRC patients (GEO and TCGA datasets) to assess the prognostic and therapy-response predictive values of the aberrant expression and methylation status of B4GALT1. Quantitative methylation-specific PCR (QMSP) and droplet digital quantitative methylation-specific PCR (dd-QMSP) were respectively used to detect hypermethylated B4GALT1 in metastasis and plasma in four cohorts of metastatic CRC cases (mCRC). Both the downregulated expression and promoter hypermethylation of B4GALT1 have a negative prognostic impact on CRC. Interestingly a low expression level of B4GALT1 was significantly associated with poor cetuximab response (progression-free survival (PFS) p = 0.01) particularly in wild-type (WT)-KRAS patients (p = 0.03). B4GALT1 promoter was aberrantly methylated in liver and lung metastases. The detection of hypermethylated B4GALT1 in plasma of mCRC patients showed a highly discriminative receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve profile (area under curve (AUC) value 0.750; 95% CI: 0.592–0.908, p = 0.008), clearly distinguishing mCRC patients from healthy controls. Based on an optimal cut-off value defined by the ROC analysis, B4GALT1 yield a 100% specificity and a 50% sensitivity. These data support the potential value of B4GALT1 as an additional novel biomarker for the prediction of cetuximab response, and as a specific and sensitive diagnostic circulating biomarker that can be detected in CRC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cold Atmospheric Plasma-Treated PBS Eliminates Immunosuppressive Pancreatic Stellate Cells and Induces Immunogenic Cell Death of Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1597; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101597 - 19 Oct 2019
Viewed by 169
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive cancers with a low response to treatment and a five-year survival rate below 5%. The ineffectiveness of treatment is partly because of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, which comprises tumor-supportive pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs). [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive cancers with a low response to treatment and a five-year survival rate below 5%. The ineffectiveness of treatment is partly because of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, which comprises tumor-supportive pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs). Therefore, new therapeutic strategies are needed to tackle both the immunosuppressive PSC and pancreatic cancer cells (PCCs). Recently, physical cold atmospheric plasma consisting of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species has emerged as a novel treatment option for cancer. In this study, we investigated the cytotoxicity of plasma-treated phosphate-buffered saline (pPBS) using three PSC lines and four PCC lines and examined the immunogenicity of the induced cell death. We observed a decrease in the viability of PSC and PCC after pPBS treatment, with a higher efficacy in the latter. Two PCC lines expressed and released damage-associated molecular patterns characteristic of the induction of immunogenic cell death (ICD). In addition, pPBS-treated PCC were highly phagocytosed by dendritic cells (DCs), resulting in the maturation of DC. This indicates the high potential of pPBS to trigger ICD. In contrast, pPBS induced no ICD in PSC. In general, pPBS treatment of PCCs and PSCs created a more immunostimulatory secretion profile (higher TNF-α and IFN-γ, lower TGF-β) in coculture with DC. Altogether, these data show that plasma treatment via pPBS has the potential to induce ICD in PCCs and to reduce the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment created by PSCs. Therefore, these data provide a strong experimental basis for further in vivo validation, which might potentially open the way for more successful combination strategies with immunotherapy for PDAC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma in Cancer Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Celastrol as a Novel YAP-TEAD Inhibitor for Cancer Therapy by High Throughput Screening with Ultrasensitive YAP/TAZ–TEAD Biosensors
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1596; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101596 - 19 Oct 2019
Viewed by 222
Abstract
The Hippo pathway has emerged as a key signaling pathway that regulates a broad range of biological functions, and dysregulation of the Hippo pathway is a feature of a variety of cancers. Given this, some have suggested that disrupting the interaction of the [...] Read more.
The Hippo pathway has emerged as a key signaling pathway that regulates a broad range of biological functions, and dysregulation of the Hippo pathway is a feature of a variety of cancers. Given this, some have suggested that disrupting the interaction of the Hippo core component YAP and its paralog TAZ with transcriptional factor TEAD may be an effective strategy for cancer therapy. However, there are currently no clinically available drugs targeting the YAP/TAZ–TEAD interaction for cancer treatment. To facilitate screens for small molecule compounds that disrupt the YAP–TEAD interaction, we have developed the first ultra-bright NanoLuc biosensor to quantify YAP/TAZ–TEAD protein–protein interaction (PPI) both in living cells and also in vitro using biosensor fusion proteins purified from bacteria. Using this biosensor, we have performed an in vitro high throughput screen (HTS) of small molecule compounds and have identified and validated the drug Celastrol as a novel inhibitor of YAP/TAZ–TEAD interaction. We have also demonstrated that Celastrol can inhibit cancer cell proliferation, transformation, and cell migration. In this study, we describe a new inhibitor of the YAP/TAZ–TEAD interaction warranting further investigation and offer a novel biosensor tool for the discovery of other new Hippo-targeting drugs in future work. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Single-Cell Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells: Why Heterogeneity Matters
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101595 - 19 Oct 2019
Viewed by 122
Abstract
Unlike bulk-cell analysis, single-cell approaches have the advantage of assessing cellular heterogeneity that governs key aspects of tumor biology. Yet, their applications to circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are relatively limited, due mainly to the technical challenges resulting from extreme rarity of CTCs. Nevertheless, [...] Read more.
Unlike bulk-cell analysis, single-cell approaches have the advantage of assessing cellular heterogeneity that governs key aspects of tumor biology. Yet, their applications to circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are relatively limited, due mainly to the technical challenges resulting from extreme rarity of CTCs. Nevertheless, recent advances in microfluidics and immunoaffinity enrichment technologies along with sequencing platforms have fueled studies aiming to enrich, isolate, and sequence whole genomes of CTCs with high fidelity across various malignancies. Here, we review recent single-cell CTC (scCTC) sequencing efforts, and the integrated workflows, that have successfully characterized patient-derived CTCs. We examine how these studies uncover DNA alterations occurring at multiple molecular levels ranging from point mutations to chromosomal rearrangements from a single CTC, and discuss their cellular heterogeneity and clinical consequences. Finally, we highlight emerging strategies to address key challenges currently limiting the translation of these findings to clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metastatic Progression and Tumour Heterogeneity)
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Open AccessArticle
Plasma Metabolomics Identifies Lipid and Amino Acid Markers of Weight Loss in Patients with Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1594; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101594 - 19 Oct 2019
Viewed by 109
Abstract
Cachexia is a multifactorial wasting syndrome associated with high morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. Diagnosis can be difficult and, in the clinical situation, usually relies upon reported weight loss. The ‘omics’ technologies allow us the opportunity to study the end points [...] Read more.
Cachexia is a multifactorial wasting syndrome associated with high morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. Diagnosis can be difficult and, in the clinical situation, usually relies upon reported weight loss. The ‘omics’ technologies allow us the opportunity to study the end points of many biological processes. Among these, blood-based metabolomics is a promising method to investigate the pathophysiology of human cancer cachexia and identify candidate biomarkers. In this study, we performed liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS)-based metabolomics to investigate the metabolic profile of cancer-associated weight loss. Non-selected patients undergoing surgery with curative intent for upper gastrointestinal cancer were recruited. Fasting plasma samples were taken at induction of anaesthesia. LC/MS analysis showed that 6 metabolites were highly discriminative of weight loss. Specifically, a combination profile of LysoPC 18.2, L-Proline, Hexadecanoic acid, Octadecanoic acid, Phenylalanine and LysoPC 16:1 showed close correlation for eight weight-losing samples (≥5% weight loss) and nine weight-stable samples (<5%weight loss) between predicted and actual weight change (r = 0.976, p = 0.0014). Overall, 40 metabolites were associated with ≥5% weight loss. This study provides biological validation of the consensus definition of cancer cachexia (Fearon et al.) and provides feasible candidate markers for further investigation in early diagnosis and the assessment of therapeutic intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Cachexia)
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Open AccessArticle
Apalutamide Sensitizes Prostate Cancer to Ionizing Radiation via Inhibition of Non-Homologous End-Joining DNA Repair
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101593 - 18 Oct 2019
Viewed by 214
Abstract
Androgen-deprivation therapy was shown to improve treatment outcome of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) for locally advanced prostate cancer (PCa). DNA damage response (DDR) was suggested to play a role in the underlying mechanism, but conflicting results were reported. This study aims to [...] Read more.
Androgen-deprivation therapy was shown to improve treatment outcome of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) for locally advanced prostate cancer (PCa). DNA damage response (DDR) was suggested to play a role in the underlying mechanism, but conflicting results were reported. This study aims to reveal the role of the androgen receptor (AR) in EBRT-induced DDR and to investigate whether next-generation AR inhibitor apalutamide can radiosensitize PCa. PCa cell lines and tissue slices were treated with anti-androgen alone or combined with EBRT. The effect of treatments on cell growth, tissue viability, DDR, and cell cycle were investigated. RAD51 and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) levels were determined by Western blotting. Homologous recombination (HR) capacity was measured with the directed repeats-green fluorescent protein (DR-GFP) assay. We report the radiosensitizing effect of anti-androgens, which showed synergism in combination with EBRT in AR-expressing tumor slices and cell lines. Moreover, a compromised DDR was observed in AR-expressing cells upon AR suppression. We found that AR inhibition downregulated DNA-PKcs expression, resulting in reduced non-homologous end-joining repair. DDR through HR was a secondary effect due to cell-cycle change. These data provide a mechanistic explanation for the combination regimen and support the clinical use of apalutamide together with EBRT for localized PCa patients. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Targeting Programmed Fusobacterium nucleatum Fap2 for Colorectal Cancer Therapy
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101592 - 18 Oct 2019
Viewed by 148
Abstract
Colorectal patients generally have the maximum counts of Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) in tumors and elevate colorectal adenomas and carcinomas, which show the lowest rate of human survival. Hence, F. nucleatum is a diagnostic marker of colorectal cancer (CRC). Studies demonstrated that targeting [...] Read more.
Colorectal patients generally have the maximum counts of Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) in tumors and elevate colorectal adenomas and carcinomas, which show the lowest rate of human survival. Hence, F. nucleatum is a diagnostic marker of colorectal cancer (CRC). Studies demonstrated that targeting fusobacterial Fap2 or polysaccharide of the host epithelium may decrease fusobacteria count in the CRC. Attenuated F. nucleatum-Fap2 prevents transmembrane signals and inhibits tumorigenesis inducing mechanisms. Hence, in this review, we hypothesized that application of genetically programmed fusobacterium can be skillful and thus reduce fusobacterium in the CRC. Genetically programmed F. nucleatum is a promising antitumor strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Therapy for Colon Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia: Update on the Mechanisms of Leukemogenesis, Resistance and on Innovative Treatment Strategies
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101591 - 18 Oct 2019
Viewed by 115
Abstract
This review highlights new findings that have deepened our understanding of the mechanisms of leukemogenesis, therapy and resistance in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Promyelocytic leukemia-retinoic acid receptor α (PML-RARa) sets the cellular landscape of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) by repressing the transcription of [...] Read more.
This review highlights new findings that have deepened our understanding of the mechanisms of leukemogenesis, therapy and resistance in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Promyelocytic leukemia-retinoic acid receptor α (PML-RARa) sets the cellular landscape of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) by repressing the transcription of RARa target genes and disrupting PML-NBs. The RAR receptors control the homeostasis of tissue growth, modeling and regeneration, and PML-NBs are involved in self-renewal of normal and cancer stem cells, DNA damage response, senescence and stress response. The additional somatic mutations in APL mainly involve FLT3, WT1, NRAS, KRAS, ARID1B and ARID1A genes. The treatment outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed APL improved dramatically since the advent of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO). ATRA activates the transcription of blocked genes and degrades PML-RARα, while ATO degrades PML-RARa by promoting apoptosis and has a pro-oxidant effect. The resistance to ATRA and ATO may derive from the mutations in the RARa ligand binding domain (LBD) and in the PML-B2 domain of PML-RARa, but such mutations cannot explain the majority of resistances experienced in the clinic, globally accounting for 5–10% of cases. Several studies are ongoing to unravel clonal evolution and resistance, suggesting the therapeutic potential of new retinoid molecules and combinatorial treatments of ATRA or ATO with different drugs acting through alternative mechanisms of action, which may lead to synergistic effects on growth control or the induction of apoptosis in APL cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia)
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Open AccessArticle
EP4 and Class III β-Tubulin Expression in Uterine Smooth Muscle Tumors: Implications for Prognosis and Treatment
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1590; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101590 - 18 Oct 2019
Viewed by 144
Abstract
The microtubule-stabilizing agent docetaxel in combination with gemcitabine represents one of the most effective regimens against the aggressive gynecologic tumor leiomyosarcoma (LMS). Upregulation of class III β-tubulin has previously been shown to confer taxane resistance in a variety of human cancers. Prostaglandin E [...] Read more.
The microtubule-stabilizing agent docetaxel in combination with gemcitabine represents one of the most effective regimens against the aggressive gynecologic tumor leiomyosarcoma (LMS). Upregulation of class III β-tubulin has previously been shown to confer taxane resistance in a variety of human cancers. Prostaglandin E2 receptor EP4 is linked to progression of a variety of human cancers and may represent a novel target for tumor inhibition in LMS. We evaluated the hypotheses that EP4 and class III β-tubulin have increased expression in LMS in comparison to normal myometrium or benign tumors and that expression of class III β-tubulin correlates with resistance to taxanes and poor clinical outcome. Gene expression was examined using TCGA data and correlated with clinicopathologic outcome which demonstrated that class III β-tubulin is more highly expressed in more aggressive sarcomas with EP4 being widely expressed in all subtypes of sarcoma. Immunohistochemistry for EP4 and class III β-tubulin was performed on patients with LMS, leiomyomatosis/STUMP, leiomyoma, and normal myometrium. Expression of EP4 and class III β-tubulin were characterized for cell lines SK-UT-1, SK-UT-1B, and PHM-41 and these cell lines were treated with docetaxel alone and in combination with EP4 inhibitors. In taxane-resistant cell lines that overexpress class III β-tubulin and EP4, treatment with EP4 inhibitor resulted in at least 2-fold sensitization to docetaxel. Expression of class III β-tubulin and EP4 in LMS may identify patients at risk of resistance to standard chemotherapies and candidates for augmentation of therapy through EP4 inhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma)
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Open AccessArticle
Salivary Gland FNA Diagnostics in a Real-Life Setting: One-Year-Experiences of the Implementation of the Milan System in a Tertiary Care Center
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101589 - 18 Oct 2019
Viewed by 121
Abstract
The Milan System for Reporting Salivary Gland Cytopathology (MSRSGC) was introduced in 2018 following other organ specific cytopathological reporting systems and it aimed at bringing a practical, evidence-based, user-friendly classification system with characterization and management algorithms. At the Department of Pathology, Fimlab Laboratories, [...] Read more.
The Milan System for Reporting Salivary Gland Cytopathology (MSRSGC) was introduced in 2018 following other organ specific cytopathological reporting systems and it aimed at bringing a practical, evidence-based, user-friendly classification system with characterization and management algorithms. At the Department of Pathology, Fimlab Laboratories, Tampere, Finland all salivary fine needle aspirations (FNAs) have been given cytopathological diagnoses according to the MSRSGC since January 2018. Analyses of a one-year-period (January 2018–December 2018) consisted of 183 salivary FNA samples from 138 patients with correlation to histopathology in 90 cases with surgical follow-up. The MSRSGC performance in patient based analysis was as follows: accuracy was 90.9%, sensitivity was 61.5%, specificity was 100%, positive predictive value was 100%, and negative predictive value was 89.4%, respectively. Risks of malignancy (ROMs) in MSRSGC categories were: 0.0% (0/15) in non-diagnostic category, 100.0% (1/1) in non-neoplastic category biased by only one falsely-negative lymphoma case, 14.3% (1/7) in atypia of undetermined significance category, 0.0% (0/28) in benign neoplasm category, 27.3% (3/11) in neoplasm of uncertain malignant potential category, and 100% for both suspicious for malignancy (4/4) and malignancy (4/4) categories, respectively. The MSRSGC has been proven as a reliable classification system in salivary gland FNA routine diagnostics in a tertiary care center. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytologic Features of Tumor)
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