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Volume 12, December

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Cancers, Volume 12, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 241 articles

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Open AccessArticle
1H-NMR Based Serum Metabolomics Highlights Different Specific Biomarkers between Early and Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Stages
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010241 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
Abstract
The application of non-targeted serum metabolomics profiling represents a noninvasive tool to identify new clinical biomarkers and to provide early diagnostic differentiation, and insight into the pathological mechanisms underlying hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. In this study, we used proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance ( [...] Read more.
The application of non-targeted serum metabolomics profiling represents a noninvasive tool to identify new clinical biomarkers and to provide early diagnostic differentiation, and insight into the pathological mechanisms underlying hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. In this study, we used proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H-NMR) Spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis to profile the serum metabolome of 64 HCC patients, in early (n = 28) and advanced (n = 36) disease stages. We found that 1H-NMR metabolomics profiling could discriminate early from advanced HCC patients with a cross-validated accuracy close to 100%. Orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) showed significant changes in serum glucose, lactate, lipids and some amino acids, such as alanine, glutamine, 1-methylhistidine, lysine and valine levels between advanced and early HCC patients. Moreover, in early HCC patients, Kaplan–Meier analysis highlighted the serum tyrosine level as a predictor for overall survival (OS). Overall, our analysis identified a set of metabolites with possible clinical and biological implication in HCC pathophysiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research on Gastrointestinal Carcinoma)
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Open AccessReview
Pharmacological Inhibition of Oncogenic STAT3 and STAT5 Signaling in Hematopoietic Cancers
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010240 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
Abstract
Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) 3 and 5 are important effectors of cellular transformation, and aberrant STAT3 and STAT5 signaling have been demonstrated in hematopoietic cancers. STAT3 and STAT5 are common targets for different tyrosine kinase oncogenes (TKOs). In addition, STAT3 [...] Read more.
Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) 3 and 5 are important effectors of cellular transformation, and aberrant STAT3 and STAT5 signaling have been demonstrated in hematopoietic cancers. STAT3 and STAT5 are common targets for different tyrosine kinase oncogenes (TKOs). In addition, STAT3 and STAT5 proteins were shown to contain activating mutations in some rare but aggressive leukemias/lymphomas. Both proteins also contribute to drug resistance in hematopoietic malignancies and are now well recognized as major targets in cancer treatment. The development of inhibitors targeting STAT3 and STAT5 has been the subject of intense investigations during the last decade. This review summarizes the current knowledge of oncogenic STAT3 and STAT5 functions in hematopoietic cancers as well as advances in preclinical and clinical development of pharmacological inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting STAT3 and STAT5 in Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
In-Depth Mapping of the Urinary N-Glycoproteome: Distinct Signatures of ccRCC-related Progression
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010239 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
Abstract
Protein N-glycosylation is one of the most important post-translational modifications and is involved in many biological processes, with aberrant changes in protein N-glycosylation patterns being closely associated with several diseases, including the progression and spreading of tumours. In light of this, [...] Read more.
Protein N-glycosylation is one of the most important post-translational modifications and is involved in many biological processes, with aberrant changes in protein N-glycosylation patterns being closely associated with several diseases, including the progression and spreading of tumours. In light of this, identifying these aberrant protein glycoforms in tumours could be useful for understanding the molecular mechanism of this multifactorial disease, developing specific biomarkers and finding novel therapeutic targets. We investigated the urinary N-glycoproteome of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) patients at different stages (n = 15 at pT1 and n = 15 at pT3), and of non-ccRCC subjects (n = 15), using an N-glyco-FASP-based method. Using label-free nLC-ESI MS/MS, we identified and quantified several N-glycoproteins with altered expression and abnormal changes affecting the occupancy of the glycosylation site in the urine of RCC patients compared to control. In particular, nine of them had a specific trend that was directly related to the stage progression: CD97, COCH and P3IP1 were up-expressed whilst APOB, FINC, CERU, CFAH, HPT and PLTP were down-expressed in ccRCC patients. Overall, these results expand our knowledge related to the role of this post-translational modification in ccRCC and translation of this information into pre-clinical studies could have a significant impact on the discovery of novel biomarkers and therapeutic target in kidney cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renal Cell Carcinoma)
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Open AccessReview
Cytoskeletal Proteins in Cancer and Intracellular Stress: A Therapeutic Perspective
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010238 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
Abstract
Cytoskeletal proteins, which consist of different sub-families of proteins including microtubules, actin and intermediate filaments, are essential for survival and cellular processes in both normal as well as cancer cells. However, in cancer cells, these mechanisms can be altered to promote tumour development [...] Read more.
Cytoskeletal proteins, which consist of different sub-families of proteins including microtubules, actin and intermediate filaments, are essential for survival and cellular processes in both normal as well as cancer cells. However, in cancer cells, these mechanisms can be altered to promote tumour development and progression, whereby the functions of cytoskeletal proteins are co-opted to facilitate increased migrative and invasive capabilities, proliferation, as well as resistance to cellular and environmental stresses. Herein, we discuss the cytoskeletal responses to important intracellular stresses (such as mitochondrial, endoplasmic reticulum and oxidative stresses), and delineate the consequences of these responses, including effects on oncogenic signalling. In addition, we elaborate how the cytoskeleton and its associated molecules present themselves as therapeutic targets. The potential and limitations of targeting new classes of cytoskeletal proteins are also explored, in the context of developing novel strategies that impact cancer progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeted Cancer Therapy)
Open AccessArticle
Loss of Rb1 Enhances Glycolytic Metabolism in Kras-Driven Lung Tumors In Vivo
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010237 (registering DOI) - 17 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Dysregulated metabolism is a hallmark of cancer cells and is driven in part by specific genetic alterations in various oncogenes or tumor suppressors. The retinoblastoma protein (pRb) is a tumor suppressor that canonically regulates cell cycle progression; however, recent studies have highlighted a [...] Read more.
Dysregulated metabolism is a hallmark of cancer cells and is driven in part by specific genetic alterations in various oncogenes or tumor suppressors. The retinoblastoma protein (pRb) is a tumor suppressor that canonically regulates cell cycle progression; however, recent studies have highlighted a functional role for pRb in controlling cellular metabolism. Here, we report that loss of the gene encoding pRb (Rb1) in a transgenic mutant Kras-driven model of lung cancer results in metabolic reprogramming. Our tracer studies using bolus dosing of [U-13C]-glucose revealed an increase in glucose carbon incorporation into select glycolytic intermediates. Consistent with this result, Rb1-depleted tumors exhibited increased expression of key glycolytic enzymes. Interestingly, loss of Rb1 did not alter mitochondrial pyruvate oxidation compared to lung tumors with intact Rb1. Additional tracer studies using [U-13C,15N]-glutamine and [U-13C]-lactate demonstrated that loss of Rb1 did not alter glutaminolysis or utilization of circulating lactate within the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) in vivo. Taken together, these data suggest that the loss of Rb1 promotes a glycolytic phenotype, while not altering pyruvate oxidative metabolism or glutamine anaplerosis in Kras-driven lung tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinoblastoma Protein in Cancer Progression)
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Open AccessReview
Does Direct and Indirect Exposure to Ionising Radiation Influence the Metastatic Potential of Breast Cancer Cells
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010236 (registering DOI) - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 110
Abstract
Ionising radiation (IR) is commonly used for cancer therapy; however, its potential influence on the metastatic ability of surviving cancer cells exposed directly or indirectly to IR remains controversial. Metastasis is a multistep process by which the cancer cells dissociate from the initial [...] Read more.
Ionising radiation (IR) is commonly used for cancer therapy; however, its potential influence on the metastatic ability of surviving cancer cells exposed directly or indirectly to IR remains controversial. Metastasis is a multistep process by which the cancer cells dissociate from the initial site, invade, travel through the blood stream or lymphatic system, and colonise distant sites. This complex process has been reported to require cancer cells to undergo epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by which the cancer cells convert from an adhesive, epithelial to motile, mesenchymal form and is also associated with changes in glycosylation of cell surface proteins, which may be functionally involved in metastasis. In this paper, we give an overview of metastatic mechanisms and of the fundamentals of cancer-associated glycosylation changes. While not attempting a comprehensive review of this wide and fast moving field, we highlight some of the accumulating evidence from in vitro and in vivo models for increased metastatic potential in cancer cells that survive IR, focusing on angiogenesis, cancer cell motility, invasion, and EMT and glycosylation. We also explore the indirect effects in cells exposed to exosomes released from irradiated cells. The results of such studies need to be interpreted with caution and there remains limited evidence that radiotherapy enhances the metastatic capacity of cancers in a clinical setting and undoubtedly has a very positive clinical benefit. However, there is potential that this therapeutic benefit may ultimately be enhanced through a better understanding of the direct and indirect effects of IR on cancer cell behaviour. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Long Non-Coding RNA Prader Willi/Angelman Region RNA5 (PAR5) Is Downregulated in Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinomas Where It Acts as a Tumor Suppressor by Reducing EZH2 Activity
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010235 (registering DOI) - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 107
Abstract
Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) represents one the most aggressive neoplasias in humans, and, nowadays, limited advances have been made to extend the survival and reduce the mortality of ATC. Thus, the identification of molecular mechanism underlying its progression is needed. Here, we evaluated [...] Read more.
Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) represents one the most aggressive neoplasias in humans, and, nowadays, limited advances have been made to extend the survival and reduce the mortality of ATC. Thus, the identification of molecular mechanism underlying its progression is needed. Here, we evaluated the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) expression profile of nine ATC in comparison with five normal thyroid tissues by a lncRNA microarray. By this analysis, we identified 19 upregulated and 28 downregulated lncRNAs with a fold change >1.1 or <−1.1 and p-value < 0.05, in ATC samples. Some of them were subsequently validated by qRT-PCR. Then, we investigated the role of the lncRNA Prader Willi/Angelman region RNA5 (PAR5), drastically and specifically downregulated in ATC. The restoration of PAR5 reduces proliferation and migration rates of ATC-derived cell lines indicating that its downregulation contributes to thyroid cancer progression. Our results suggest that PAR5 exerts its anti-oncogenic role by impairing Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) oncogenic activity since we demonstrated that PAR5 interacts with it in thyroid cancer cell lines, reducing EZH2 protein levels and its binding on the E-cadherin promoter, relieving E-cadherin from the negative regulation by EZH2. Consistently, EZH2 is overexpressed in ATC, but not in differentiated thyroid carcinomas. The results reported here define a tumor suppressor role for PAR5 in undifferentiated thyroid neoplasias, further highlighting the pivotal role of lncRNAs in thyroid carcinogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thyroid Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Should Genetic Testing for Cancer Predisposition Be Standard-of-Care for Women with Invasive Breast Cancer? The Murtha Cancer Center Experience
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010234 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 86
Abstract
Currently, genetic testing is offered only to women diagnosed with breast cancer who meet a defined set of criteria and is not included as standard-of-care treatment at the time of diagnosis. Thus, a significant number of women diagnosed with breast cancer may miss [...] Read more.
Currently, genetic testing is offered only to women diagnosed with breast cancer who meet a defined set of criteria and is not included as standard-of-care treatment at the time of diagnosis. Thus, a significant number of women diagnosed with breast cancer may miss the opportunity for precision medical treatment and risk management. The effects of eligibility, timing, and uptake of genetic testing were evaluated in a cohort of women with invasive breast cancer diagnosed between 2001–2018. Risk status was estimated using NCCN BRCA1/2 testing criteria and panel testing was performed for all women who had genomic DNA available. Of the 1231 women, 57.8% were eligible for genetic testing. Uptake of testing within high-risk women was 42.7% of which 6.6% pursued clinical testing only after a second tumor event. Mutation frequencies were 15.8%, 5.5%, and 4.0% in high-risk women with clinical testing, high-risk women without clinical testing, and low-risk women, respectively. More than 4% of all patients harbored pathogenic or likely pathogenic mutations detected only in the research setting. Inclusion of panel testing at the time of diagnosis would allow for appropriate surveillance and treatment strategies to be employed to reduce the risk of secondary tumors and improve patient outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Study of Cancer Susceptibility Genes)
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Open AccessArticle
Elevated Expression of Lumican in Lung Cancer Cells Promotes Bone Metastasis through an Autocrine Regulatory Mechanism
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010233 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 92
Abstract
Background: The microarray analysis of whole-genome expression indicated that the gene encoding the protein lumican, which is associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) interaction, was highly expressed in osteotropic lung cancer cell lines with an enhanced capacity of bone metastasis. Methods: The [...] Read more.
Background: The microarray analysis of whole-genome expression indicated that the gene encoding the protein lumican, which is associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) interaction, was highly expressed in osteotropic lung cancer cell lines with an enhanced capacity of bone metastasis. Methods: The expression of lumican in the osteotropic lung cancer cells was downregulated, and the in vitro migration, invasion, and adhesion of cancer cells to ECM components, and the in vivo bone metastasis capacity of these cells were examined. Exogenous lumican was provided to study the autocrine regulation mechanism of lumican in the bone metastasis of lung cancer cells. Results: Transfection with lumican-specific short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in the osteotropic lung cancer cells reduced the establishment of in vivo bone metastasis, but not lung metastasis. Reduction in the expression of lumican also decreased the attachment of lung osteotropic cancer cells to several components of the ECM and suppressed cell migration and invasion in vitro. Exogenous lumican restored these reduced capacities of lumican knockdown cells and promoted the seeding of lung cancer cells in the bone microenvironment. Conclusions: These results suggested that lumican promotes the metastasis of lung cancer cells to the bones via an autocrine regulatory mechanism, and blocking this interaction may provide a new therapeutic approach to reduce bone metastasis in cases of lung cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ex-Vivo Treatment of Tumor Tissue Slices as a Predictive Preclinical Method to Evaluate Targeted Therapies for Patients with Renal Carcinoma
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010232 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 117
Abstract
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the third type of urologic cancer. At time of diagnosis, 30% of cases are metastatic with no effect of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Current targeted therapies lead to a high rate of relapse and resistance after a [...] Read more.
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the third type of urologic cancer. At time of diagnosis, 30% of cases are metastatic with no effect of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Current targeted therapies lead to a high rate of relapse and resistance after a short-term response. Thus, a major hurdle in the development and use of new treatments for ccRCC is the lack of good pre-clinical models that can accurately predict the efficacy of new drugs and allow the stratification of patients into the correct treatment regime. Here, we describe different 3D cultures models of ccRCC, emphasizing the feasibility and the advantage of ex-vivo treatment of fresh, surgically resected human tumor slice cultures of ccRCC as a robust preclinical model for identifying patient response to specific therapeutics. Moreover, this model based on precision-cut tissue slices enables histopathology measurements as tumor architecture is retained, including the spatial relationship between the tumor and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and the stromal components. Our data suggest that acute treatment of tumor tissue slices could represent a benchmark of further exploration as a companion diagnostic tool in ccRCC treatment and a model to develop new therapeutic drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renal Cell Carcinoma)
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Open AccessArticle
Heterogeneous EGFR, CDK4, MDM4, and PDGFRA Gene Expression Profiles in Primary GBM: No Association with Patient Survival
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010231 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 84
Abstract
Background: The prognostic impact of the expression profile of genes recurrently amplified in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains controversial. Methods: We investigated the RNA gene expression profile of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), murine doble minute [...] Read more.
Background: The prognostic impact of the expression profile of genes recurrently amplified in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains controversial. Methods: We investigated the RNA gene expression profile of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), murine doble minute 4 (MDM4), and platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) in 83 primary GBM tumors vs. 42 normal brain tissue samples. Interphase FISH (iFISH) analysis for the four genes, together with analysis of intragenic deletions in EGFR and PDGFRA, were evaluated in parallel at the DNA level. As validation cohort, publicly available RNA gene expression data on 293 samples from 10 different GBM patient series were also studied. Results: At the RNA level, CDK4 was the most frequently overexpressed gene (90%) followed by EGFR (58%) and PDGFRA (58%). Chromosome 7 copy number alterations, i.e., trisomy (49%) and polysomy (44%), showed no clear association with EGFR gene expression levels. In turn, intragenic EGFR deletions were found in 39 patients (47%), including EGFRvIII (46%) in association with EGFRvIVa (4%), EGFRvII (2%) or other EGFR deletions (3%) and PDGFRA deletion of exons 8–9 was found in only two tumors (2%). Conclusions: Overall, none of the gene expression profiles and/or intragenic EGFR deletions showed a significant impact on overall survival of GBM supporting the notion that other still unraveled features of the disease might play a more relevant prognostic role in GBM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Tumors)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Tumor Mutational Burden in Pediatric Tumors by Real-Life Whole-Exome Sequencing and In Silico Simulation of Targeted Gene Panels: How the Choice of Method Could Affect the Clinical Decision?
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010230 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 88
Abstract
Background: Tumor mutational burden (TMB) is an emerging genomic biomarker in cancer that has been associated with improved response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in adult cancers. It was described that variability in TMB assessment is introduced by different laboratory techniques and various [...] Read more.
Background: Tumor mutational burden (TMB) is an emerging genomic biomarker in cancer that has been associated with improved response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in adult cancers. It was described that variability in TMB assessment is introduced by different laboratory techniques and various settings of bioinformatic pipelines. In pediatric oncology, no study has been published describing this variability so far. Methods: In our study, we performed whole exome sequencing (WES, both germline and somatic) and calculated TMB in 106 patients with high-risk/recurrent pediatric solid tumors of 28 distinct cancer types. Subsequently, we used WES data for TMB calculation using an in silico approach simulating two The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved/authorized comprehensive genomic panels for cancer. Results: We describe a strong correlation between WES-based and panel-based TMBs; however, we show that this high correlation is significantly affected by inclusion of only a few hypermutated cases. In the series of nine cases, we determined TMB in two sequentially collected tumor tissue specimens and observed an increase in TMB along with tumor progression. Furthermore, we evaluated the extent to which potential ICI indication could be affected by variability in techniques and bioinformatic pipelines used for TMB assessment. We confirmed that this technological variability could significantly affect ICI indication in pediatric cancer patients; however, this significance decreases with the increasing cut-off values. Conclusions: For the first time in pediatric oncology, we assessed the reliability of TMB estimation across multiple pediatric cancer types using real-life WES and in silico analysis of two major targeted gene panels and confirmed a significant technological variability to be introduced by different laboratory techniques and various settings of bioinformatic pipelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Medicine in Solid Tumors)
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Open AccessReview
RASSF1A Tumour Suppressor: Target the Network for Effective Cancer Therapy
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010229 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 203
Abstract
The RASSF1A tumour suppressor is a scaffold protein that is involved in cell signalling. Increasing evidence shows that this protein sits at the crossroad of a complex signalling network, which includes key regulators of cellular homeostasis, such as Ras, MST2/Hippo, p53, and death [...] Read more.
The RASSF1A tumour suppressor is a scaffold protein that is involved in cell signalling. Increasing evidence shows that this protein sits at the crossroad of a complex signalling network, which includes key regulators of cellular homeostasis, such as Ras, MST2/Hippo, p53, and death receptor pathways. The loss of expression of RASSF1A is one of the most common events in solid tumours and is usually caused by gene silencing through DNA methylation. Thus, re-expression of RASSF1A or therapeutic targeting of effector modules of its complex signalling network, is a promising avenue for treating several tumour types. Here, we review the main modules of the RASSF1A signalling network and the evidence for the effects of network deregulation in different cancer types. In particular, we summarise the epigenetic mechanism that mediates RASSF1A promoter methylation and the Hippo and RAF1 signalling modules. Finally, we discuss different strategies that are described for re-establishing RASSF1A function and how a multitargeting pathway approach selecting druggable nodes in this network could lead to new cancer treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Ras/RASSF in Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Engineering and Characterization of Oncolytic Vaccinia Virus Expressing Truncated Herpes Simplex Virus Thymidine Kinase
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010228 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 136
Abstract
Oncolytic viruses are a promising class of anti-tumor agents; however, concerns regarding uncontrolled viral replication have led to the development of a replication-controllable oncolytic vaccinia virus (OVV). The engineering involves replacing the native thymidine kinase (VV-tk) gene, in a Wyeth strain [...] Read more.
Oncolytic viruses are a promising class of anti-tumor agents; however, concerns regarding uncontrolled viral replication have led to the development of a replication-controllable oncolytic vaccinia virus (OVV). The engineering involves replacing the native thymidine kinase (VV-tk) gene, in a Wyeth strain vaccinia backbone, with the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-tk) gene, which allows for viral replication control via ganciclovir (GCV, an antiviral/cytotoxic pro-drug). Adding the wild-type HSV-tk gene might disrupt the tumor selectivity of VV-tk deleted OVVs; therefore, only engineered viruses that lacked tk activity were selected as candidates. Ultimately, OTS-412, which is an OVV containing a mutant HSV-tk, was chosen for characterization regarding tumor selectivity, sensitivity to GCV, and the influence of GCV on OTS-412 anti-tumor effects. OTS-412 demonstrated comparable replication and cytotoxicity to VVtk- (control, a VV-tk deleted OVV) in multiple cancer cell lines. In HCT 116 mouse models, OTS-412 replication in tumors was reduced by >50% by GCV (p = 0.004); additionally, combination use of GCV did not compromise the anti-tumor effects of OTS-412. This is the first report of OTS-412, a VV-tk deleted OVV containing a mutant HSV-tk transgene, which demonstrates tumor selectivity and sensitivity to GCV. The HSV-tk/GCV combination provides a safety mechanism for future clinical applications of OTS-412. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Virus Therapy Against Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Cold Plasma-Treated Ringer’s Saline: A Weapon to Target Osteosarcoma
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010227 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 171
Abstract
Osteosarcoma (OS) is the main primary bone cancer, presenting poor prognosis and difficult treatment. An innovative therapy may be found in cold plasmas, which show anti-cancer effects related to the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in liquids. In vitro models are [...] Read more.
Osteosarcoma (OS) is the main primary bone cancer, presenting poor prognosis and difficult treatment. An innovative therapy may be found in cold plasmas, which show anti-cancer effects related to the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in liquids. In vitro models are based on the effects of plasma-treated culture media on cell cultures. However, effects of plasma-activated saline solutions with clinical application have not yet been explored in OS. The aim of this study is to obtain mechanistic insights on the action of plasma-activated Ringer’s saline (PAR) for OS therapy in cell and organotypic cultures. To that aim, cold atmospheric plasma jets were used to obtain PAR, which produced cytotoxic effects in human OS cells (SaOS-2, MG-63, and U2-OS), related to the increasing concentration of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species generated. Proof of selectivity was found in the sustained viability of hBM-MSCs with the same treatments. Organotypic cultures of murine OS confirmed the time-dependent cytotoxicity observed in 2D. Histological analysis showed a decrease in proliferating cells (lower Ki-67 expression). It is shown that the selectivity of PAR is highly dependent on the concentrations of reactive species, being the differential intracellular reactive oxygen species increase and DNA damage between OS cells and hBM-MSCs key mediators for cell apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma in Cancer Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Human Medulloblastoma Cell Lines: Investigating on Cancer Stem Cell-Like Phenotype
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010226 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 138
Abstract
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Despite the progress of new treatments, the risk of recurrence, morbidity, and death remains significant and the long-term adverse effects in survivors are substantial. The fraction of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) because of [...] Read more.
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Despite the progress of new treatments, the risk of recurrence, morbidity, and death remains significant and the long-term adverse effects in survivors are substantial. The fraction of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) because of their self-renewal ability and multi-lineage differentiation potential is critical for tumor initiation, growth, and resistance to therapies. For the development of new CSC-targeted therapies, further in-depth studies are needed using enriched and stable MB-CSCs populations. This work, aimed at identifying the amount of CSCs in three available human cell lines (DAOY, D341, and D283), describes different approaches based on the expression of stemness markers. First, we explored potential differences in gene and protein expression patterns of specific stem cell markers. Then, in order to identify and discriminate undifferentiated from differentiated cells, MB cells were characterized using a physical characterization method based on a high-frequency dielectrophoresis approach. Finally, we compared their tumorigenic potential in vivo, through engrafting in nude mice. Concordantly, our findings identified the D283 human cell line as an ideal model of CSCs, providing important evidence on the use of a commercial human MB cell line for the development of new strategic CSC-targeting therapies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mutation Status and Epithelial Differentiation Stratify Recurrence Risk in Chordoid Meningioma—A Multicenter Study with High Prognostic Relevance
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010225 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 150
Abstract
Chordoid meningioma is a rare WHO grade II histologic variant. Its molecular alterations or their impact on patient risk stratification have not been fully explored. We performed a multicenter, clinical, histological, and genomic analysis of chordoid meningiomas from 30 patients (34 tumors), representing [...] Read more.
Chordoid meningioma is a rare WHO grade II histologic variant. Its molecular alterations or their impact on patient risk stratification have not been fully explored. We performed a multicenter, clinical, histological, and genomic analysis of chordoid meningiomas from 30 patients (34 tumors), representing the largest integrated study to date. By NHERF1 microlumen immunohistochemical detection, three epithelial differentiation (ED) groups emerged: #1/fibroblastic-like, #2/epithelial-poorly-differentiated and #3/epithelial-well-differentiated. These ED groups correlated with tumor location and genetic profiling, with NF2 and chromatin remodeling gene mutations clustering in ED group #2, and TRAF7 mutations segregating in ED group #3. Mutations in LRP1B were found in the largest number of cases (36%) across ED groups #2 and #3. Pathogenic ATM and VHL germline mutations occurred in ED group #3 patients, conferring an aggressive or benign course, respectively. The recurrence rate significantly correlated with mutations in NF2, as single gene, and with mutations in chromatin remodeling and DNA damage response genes, as groups. The recurrence rate was very high in ED group #2, moderate in ED group #3, and absent in ED group #1. This study proposes guidelines for tumor recurrence risk stratification and practical considerations for patient management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
JNK Pathway Mediates Low Oxygen Level Induced Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition and Stemness Maintenance in Colorectal Cancer Cells
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010224 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 139
Abstract
(1) Background: Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer cell stemness maintenance (SM) are important factors for cancer metastasis. Although hypoxia has been considered as a possible factor for EMT induction and promotion of SM, studies in this area, apart from hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathways [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer cell stemness maintenance (SM) are important factors for cancer metastasis. Although hypoxia has been considered as a possible factor for EMT induction and promotion of SM, studies in this area, apart from hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathways and severe hypoxia, are scant. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of different oxygen levels on EMT induction and SM and elucidate the signaling pathways involved in colorectal cancer cells. (2) Methods: Cell morphological analysis, migration assay, immunofluorescence staining of cytoskeleton and Western blotting were performed on human colorectal cancer cells HT-29, DLD-1, and SW-480 cultured at 1%, 10%, and normal (21%) O2 levels. The role played by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was evaluated through the use of the specific JNK inhibitor SP600125. (3) Results: This study evaluated 1% and 10% O2 are possible conditions for EMT induction and SM. This study also demonstrated the partial relieve of EMT induction and SM by SP600125, showing the importance of the JNK pathway in these processes. Furthermore, this study proposed a novel pathway on the regulation of Akt by JNK-c-Jun. (4) Conclusions: This study suggests 10% O2 as another possible condition for EMT induction, and SM and JNK pathways play important roles in these processes through multiple factors. Inhibition of JNK could be explored as treatment for inhibiting metastasis in colorectal cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microenvironment and Cancer Progression)
Open AccessArticle
MAGI1, a New Potential Tumor Suppressor Gene in Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010223 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 139
Abstract
Membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) with inverted domain structure-1 (MAGI1) is an intracellular adaptor protein that stabilizes epithelial junctions consistent with a tumor suppressive function in several cancers of epithelial origin. Here we report, based on experimental results and human breast cancer (BC) patients’ [...] Read more.
Membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) with inverted domain structure-1 (MAGI1) is an intracellular adaptor protein that stabilizes epithelial junctions consistent with a tumor suppressive function in several cancers of epithelial origin. Here we report, based on experimental results and human breast cancer (BC) patients’ gene expression data, that MAGI1 is highly expressed and acts as tumor suppressor in estrogen receptor (ER)+/HER2 but not in HER2+ or triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Within the ER+/HER2 subset, high MAGI1 expression associates with ESR1 and luminal genes GATA3 and FOXA1 expression and better prognosis, while low MAGI1 levels correlates with higher histological grade, more aggressive phenotype and worse prognosis. Experimentally, MAGI1 downregulation in the ER+ human BC cells MCF7 impairs ER expression and signaling, promotes cell proliferation, and reduces apoptosis and epithelial differentiation. MAGI1 downregulation in the ER+ murine BC cell line 67NR accelerates primary tumor growth and enhances experimental lung metastasis formation. MAGI1 expression is upregulated by estrogen/ER, downregulated by prostaglandin E2/COX-2axis, and negatively correlates with inflammation in ER+/HER2 BC patients. Taken together, we show that MAGI1 is a new potential tumor suppressor in ER+/HER2 breast cancer with possible prognostic value for the identification of patients at high-risk of relapse within this subset. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Gene Expression Analysis of Aggressive Clinical T1 Stage Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma for Identifying Potential Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010222 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 115
Abstract
The molecular characteristics of early-stage clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) measuring ≤7 cm associated with poor clinical outcomes remain poorly understood. Here, we sought to validate genes associated with ccRCC progression and identify candidate genes to predict ccRCC aggressiveness. From among 1069 [...] Read more.
The molecular characteristics of early-stage clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) measuring ≤7 cm associated with poor clinical outcomes remain poorly understood. Here, we sought to validate genes associated with ccRCC progression and identify candidate genes to predict ccRCC aggressiveness. From among 1069 nephrectomies performed on patients, RNA sequencing was performed for 12 ccRCC patients with aggressive characteristics and matched pairs of 12 ccRCC patients without aggressive characteristics. Using a prospective cohort (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03694912), the expression levels of nine genes (PBRM1, BAP1, SETD2, KDM5C, FOXC2, CLIP4, AQP1, DDX11, and BAIAP2L1) were measured by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction from frozen tissues, and their relation to Fuhrman grade was investigated in 70 patients with small ccRCC (≤4 cm). In total, 251 genes were differentially expressed and presented fold changes with p-values < 0.05; moreover, 10 genes with the greatest upregulation or downregulation in aggressive ccRCC remained significant even after adjustment. We validated previously identified genes that were associated with ccRCC progression and identified new candidate genes that reflected the aggressiveness of ccRCC. Our study provides new insight into the tumor biology of ccRCC and will help stratify patients with early-stage ccRCC by molecular subtyping. Full article
Open AccessReview
Precision Medicine in Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatment
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010221 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 147
Abstract
Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is a rare component of malignant diseases. STS includes various histological subtypes, and there are some important differences among the different histological subtypes regarding the mutation profile and sensitivity to antitumor agents. Many clinical trials of STS incorporating many [...] Read more.
Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is a rare component of malignant diseases. STS includes various histological subtypes, and there are some important differences among the different histological subtypes regarding the mutation profile and sensitivity to antitumor agents. Many clinical trials of STS incorporating many different histological subtypes in various populations have been conducted; it is difficult to compare the findings and make conclusions about clinical efficacy. Targeted therapies focusing on specific histological subtypes and precision therapy focusing on the specific genetic mutation(s) of each STS patient are being investigated. Since STS patients are a small population, new clinical trial designs are required to evaluate and establish new targeted therapies for each histological subtype that has a limited number of patients, and preclinical investigations are needed to detect targetable mutations. Now that cancer genome profiling is used in clinical practice, it is urgently necessary to connect the genome profiling data obtained in clinical settings to the optimal clinical treatment strategies. Herein we review the development and challenges of precision therapy in the management of STS patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors)
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Adipocyte Renin–Angiotensin System Inhibition on Breast Cancer Cell Inflammation and Migration
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010220 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Obesity is a major risk factor for breast cancer (BC). Obesity-related metabolic alterations such as inflammation and overactivation of the adipose renin–angiotensin system (RAS) may contribute to the progression of BC. Clinically used antihypertensive drugs such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and dietary [...] Read more.
Obesity is a major risk factor for breast cancer (BC). Obesity-related metabolic alterations such as inflammation and overactivation of the adipose renin–angiotensin system (RAS) may contribute to the progression of BC. Clinically used antihypertensive drugs such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and dietary bioactive components such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are known for their anti-inflammatory and adipose RAS blocking properties. However, whether EPA enhances the protective effects of ACE-I in lessening adipocyte inflammation on BC cells has not been studied. We hypothesized that combined EPA and ACE-I would attenuate BC cell inflammation and migration possibly via adipose RAS inhibition. To test our hypothesis, we examined the (i) direct effects of an ACE-I (captopril (CAP)) or EPA, individually and combined, on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human BC cells, and the (ii) effects of conditioned medium (CM) from human adipocytes pretreated with the abovementioned agents on BC cells. We demonstrated that CM from adipocytes pretreated with EPA with or without captopril (but not direct treatments of BC cells) significantly reduced proinflammatory cytokines expression in both BC cell lines. Additionally, cell migration was reduced in MDA-MB-231 cells in response to both direct and CM-mediated CAP and/or EPA treatments. In summary, our study provides a significant insight into added benefits of combining anti-inflammatory EPA and antihypertensive ACE-I to attenuate the effects of adipocytes on breast cancer cell migration and inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Natural Bioactive Compounds in the Rise and Fall of Cancers)
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Open AccessArticle
Cell Electropermeabilisation Enhancement by Non-Thermal-Plasma-Treated PBS
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010219 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 135
Abstract
The effectiveness of electrochemotherapy (ECT) in local eradication of tumours in human and veterinary medicine has been proven. ECT consists of increasing the uptake of cytotoxic drugs by means of pulsed electric fields (PEFs) that transiently permeabilise the cell membrane. Still, this tumour [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of electrochemotherapy (ECT) in local eradication of tumours in human and veterinary medicine has been proven. ECT consists of increasing the uptake of cytotoxic drugs by means of pulsed electric fields (PEFs) that transiently permeabilise the cell membrane. Still, this tumour treatment includes some drawbacks that are linked to the characteristics of the intense electric pulses (EPs) used. Meanwhile, the emerging field of cancer therapies that are based on the application of non-thermal plasmas (NTP) has recently garnered interest because of their potentialities as rich sources of reactive species. In this work, we investigated the potential capabilities of the combined application of indirect NTP treatment and microsecond PEFs (µsPEFs) to outperform in vitro cell electropermeabilisation, the basis of ECT. Thus, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) was plasma-treated (pPBS) and used afterwards to explore the effects of its combination with µsPEFs. Analysis of two different cell lines (DC-3F Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts and malignant B16-F10 murine melanoma cells), by flow cytometry, revealed that this combination resulted in significant increases of the level of cell membrane electropermeabilisation, even at very low electric field amplitude. The B16-F10 cells were more sensitive to the combined treatment than DC-3F cells. Importantly, the percentage of permeabilised cells reached values similar to those of cells exposed to classical electroporation field amplitude (1100 V/cm) when the cells were treated with pPBS before and after being exposed only to very low PEF amplitude (600 V/cm). Although the level of permeabilisation of the cells that are treated by the pPBS and the PEFs at 600 V/cm is lower than the level reached after the exposure to µsPEFs alone at 1100 V/cm, the combined treatment opens the possibility to reduce the amplitude of the EPs used in ECT, potentially allowing for a novel ECT with reduced side-effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma in Cancer Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Plasma Membrane Ca2+ ATPase Isoform 4 (PMCA4) Has an Important Role in Numerous Hallmarks of Pancreatic Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010218 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 159
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is largely resistant to standard treatments leading to poor patient survival. The expression of plasma membrane calcium ATPase-4 (PMCA4) is reported to modulate key cancer hallmarks including cell migration, growth, and apoptotic resistance. Data-mining revealed that PMCA4 was over-expressed [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is largely resistant to standard treatments leading to poor patient survival. The expression of plasma membrane calcium ATPase-4 (PMCA4) is reported to modulate key cancer hallmarks including cell migration, growth, and apoptotic resistance. Data-mining revealed that PMCA4 was over-expressed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumors which correlated with poor patient survival. Western blot and RT-qPCR revealed that MIA PaCa-2 cells almost exclusively express PMCA4 making these a suitable cellular model of PDAC with poor patient survival. Knockdown of PMCA4 in MIA PaCa-2 cells (using siRNA) reduced cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) clearance, cell migration, and sensitized cells to apoptosis, without affecting cell growth. Knocking down PMCA4 had minimal effects on numerous metabolic parameters (as assessed using the Seahorse XF analyzer). In summary, this study provides the first evidence that PMCA4 is over-expressed in PDAC and plays a role in cell migration and apoptotic resistance in MIA PaCa-2 cells. This suggests that PMCA4 may offer an attractive novel therapeutic target in PDAC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Calcium Signaling in Cancer Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
L1 Cell Adhesion Molecule Confers Radioresistance to Ovarian Cancer and Defines a New Cancer Stem Cell Population
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010217 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 212
Abstract
Many solid tumors, including ovarian cancer, contain small populations of cancer stem cells (CSCs). These cells are usually resistant against conventional cancer therapies and play a role in disease recurrence. We demonstrated that the L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) is a new CSC [...] Read more.
Many solid tumors, including ovarian cancer, contain small populations of cancer stem cells (CSCs). These cells are usually resistant against conventional cancer therapies and play a role in disease recurrence. We demonstrated that the L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) is a new CSC target in ovarian cancer, triggering radioresistance. Using fluorescence-activated cell sorting, specific cell populations expressing L1CAM alone or in combination with the established CSC marker CD133 were isolated from three ovarian cancer cell lines. Double-positive L1CAM+/CD133+ cells displayed higher spherogenic and clonogenic properties in comparison to L1CAM−/CD133− cells. Furthermore, L1CAM+/CD133+ cells retained highest clonogenic capacity after irradiation and exhibited up-regulation of some CSC-specific genes, enhanced tumor-initiating capacity, self-renewal and higher tumor take rate in nude mice when compared with other cell populations. Superior radioresistance by L1CAM expression was confirmed by deletion of L1CAM using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Moreover, we found expression signatures associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotype in L1CAM deleted cells. These results indicate that L1CAM in combination with CD133 defines a new cancer cell population of ovarian tumor-initiating cells with the implication of targeting L1CAM as a novel therapeutic approach for ovarian CSCs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Aptamer-Conjugated Superparamagnetic Ferroarabinogalactan Nanoparticles for Targeted Magnetodynamic Therapy of Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010216 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 154
Abstract
Nanotechnologies involving physical methods of tumor destruction using functional oligonucleotides are promising for targeted cancer therapy. Our study presents magnetodynamic therapy for selective elimination of tumor cells in vivo using DNA aptamer-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles exposed to a low frequency alternating magnetic field. We [...] Read more.
Nanotechnologies involving physical methods of tumor destruction using functional oligonucleotides are promising for targeted cancer therapy. Our study presents magnetodynamic therapy for selective elimination of tumor cells in vivo using DNA aptamer-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles exposed to a low frequency alternating magnetic field. We developed an enhanced targeting approach of cancer cells with aptamers and arabinogalactan. Aptamers to fibronectin (AS-14) and heat shock cognate 71 kDa protein (AS-42) facilitated the delivery of the nanoparticles to Ehrlich carcinoma cells, and arabinogalactan (AG) promoted internalization through asialoglycoprotein receptors. Specific delivery of the aptamer-modified FeAG nanoparticles to the tumor site was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). After the following treatment with a low frequency alternating magnetic field, AS-FeAG caused cancer cell death in vitro and tumor reduction in vivo. Histological analyses showed mechanical disruption of tumor tissues, total necrosis, cell lysis, and disruption of the extracellular matrix. The enhanced targeted magnetic theranostics with the aptamer conjugated superparamagnetic ferroarabinogalactans opens up a new venue for making biocompatible contrasting agents for MRI imaging and performing non-invasive anti-cancer therapies with a deep penetrated magnetic field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Aptamers in Cancer Diagnostics and Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle
Heat Shock Protein 90 Chaperone Regulates the E3 Ubiquitin-Ligase Hakai Protein Stability
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010215 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 172
Abstract
The E3 ubiquitin-ligase Hakai binds to several tyrosine-phosphorylated Src substrates, including the hallmark of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition E-cadherin, and signals for degradation of its specific targets. Hakai is highly expressed in several human cancers, including colon cancer, and is considered as a drug [...] Read more.
The E3 ubiquitin-ligase Hakai binds to several tyrosine-phosphorylated Src substrates, including the hallmark of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition E-cadherin, and signals for degradation of its specific targets. Hakai is highly expressed in several human cancers, including colon cancer, and is considered as a drug target for cancer therapy. Here, we report a link between Hakai and the heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) chaperone complex. Hsp90 participates in the correct folding of its client proteins, allowing them to maintain their stability and activity. Hsp90 inhibitors specifically interfere with the association with its Hsp90 client proteins, and exhibit potent anti-cancer properties. By immunoprecipitation, we present evidence that Hakai interacts with Hsp90 chaperone complex in several epithelial cells and demonstrate that is a novel Hsp90 client protein. Interestingly, by overexpressing and knocking-down experiments with Hakai, we identified Annexin A2 as a Hakai-regulated protein. Pharmacological inhibition of Hsp90 with geldanamycin results in the degradation of Hakai in a lysosome-dependent manner. Interestingly, geldanamycin-induced Hakai degradation is accompanied by an increased expression of E-cadherin and Annexin A2. We also show that geldanamycin suppresses cell motility at least in part through its action on Hakai expression. Taken together, our results identify Hakai as a novel Hsp90 client protein and shed light on the regulation of Hakai stability. Our results open the possibility to the potential use of Hsp90 inhibitors for colorectal cancer therapy through its action on Hakai client protein of Hsp90. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Therapy for Colon Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
Chronic Non-Malignant Pain in Patients with Cancer Seen at a Timely Outpatient Palliative Care Clinic
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010214 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 175
Abstract
Palliative care is seeing cancer patients earlier in the disease trajectory with a multitude of chronic issues. Chronic non-malignant pain (CNMP) in cancer patients is under-studied. In this prospective study, we examined the prevalence and management of CNMP in cancer patients seen at [...] Read more.
Palliative care is seeing cancer patients earlier in the disease trajectory with a multitude of chronic issues. Chronic non-malignant pain (CNMP) in cancer patients is under-studied. In this prospective study, we examined the prevalence and management of CNMP in cancer patients seen at our supportive care clinic for consultation. We systematically characterized each pain type with the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and documented current treatments. The attending physician made the pain diagnoses according to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) task force classification. Among 200 patients (mean age 60 years, 69% metastatic disease, 1-year survival of 77%), the median number of pain diagnosis was 2 (IQR 1–2); 67 (34%, 95% CI 28–41%) had a diagnosis of CNMP; 133 (67%) had cancer-related pain; and 52 (26%) had treatment-related pain. In total, 12/31 (39%) patients with only CNMP and 21/36 (58%) patients with CNMP and other pain diagnoses were on opioids. There was a total of 94 CNMP diagnoses among 67 patients, including 37 (39%) osteoarthritis and 20 (21%) lower back pain; 30 (32%) were treated with opioids. In summary, CNMP was common in the timely palliative care setting and many patients were on opioids. Our findings highlight the need to develop clinical guidelines for CNMP in cancer patients to standardize its management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Palliative/Supportive Care )
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Open AccessReview
Nanodrug Delivery Systems for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010213 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 117
Abstract
Despite advances achieved in medicine, chemotherapeutics still has detrimental side effects with ovarian cancer (OC), accounting for numerous deaths among females. The provision of safe, early detection and active treatment of OC remains a challenge, in spite of improvements in new antineoplastic discovery. [...] Read more.
Despite advances achieved in medicine, chemotherapeutics still has detrimental side effects with ovarian cancer (OC), accounting for numerous deaths among females. The provision of safe, early detection and active treatment of OC remains a challenge, in spite of improvements in new antineoplastic discovery. Nanosystems have shown remarkable progress with impact in diagnosis and chemotherapy of various cancers, due to their ideal size; improved drug encapsulation within its interior core; potential to minimize drug degradation; improve in vivo drug release kinetics; and prolong blood circulation times. However, nanodrug delivery systems have few limitations regarding its accuracy of tumour targeting and the ability to provide sustained drug release. Hence, a cogent and strategic approach has focused on nanosystem functionalization with antibody-based ligands to selectively enhance cellular uptake of antineoplastics. Antibody functionalized nanosystems are (advanced) synthetic candidates, with a broad range of efficiency in specific tumour targeting, whilst leaving normal cells unaffected. This article comprehensively reviews the present status of nanosystems, with particular emphasis on nanomicelles for molecular diagnosis and treatment of OC. In addition, biomarkers of nanosystems provide important prospects as chemotherapeutic strategies to upsurge the survival rate of patients with OC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Nanomedicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Association of TIM-3 with BCLC Stage, Serum PD-L1 Detection, and Response to Transarterial Chemoembolization in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010212 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 143
Abstract
Considering the increasing importance of immune checkpoints in tumor immunity we investigated the clinical relevance of serum T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-3 (TIM-3) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Serum TIM-3 levels were measured and their association with HCC stage and the detection [...] Read more.
Considering the increasing importance of immune checkpoints in tumor immunity we investigated the clinical relevance of serum T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-3 (TIM-3) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Serum TIM-3 levels were measured and their association with HCC stage and the detection of serum programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) were assessed. In patients submitted to transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), pre- and 1-week post-treatment TIM-3 levels were also evaluated. We studied 53 HCC patients with BCLC stages: 0 (5.7%), A (34%), B (32.1%), C (22.6%), and D (5.7%). The patients with advanced HCC (BCLC C) had significantly higher TIM-3 levels than patients with BCLC A (p = 0.009) and BCLC B (p = 0.019). TIM-3 levels were not associated with HCC etiology (p = 0.183). PD-L1 detection (9/53 patients) correlated with TIM-3 levels (univariate analysis, p = 0.047). In 33 patients who underwent TACE, post-treatment TIM-3 levels (231 pg/mL, 132–452) were significantly higher than pre-TACE levels (176 pg/mL, 110–379), (p = 0.036). Complete responders had higher post-TACE TIM-3 levels (534 pg/mL, 370–677) than partial responders (222 pg/mL, 131–368), (p = 0.028). Collectively, TIM-3 may have a role in anti-tumor immunity following TACE, setting a basis for combining immunotherapy and chemoembolization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC))
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