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Cancers, Volume 12, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 412 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a complex disease characterized by clonal expansion of undifferentiated myeloid precursors and failed hematopoiesis. Traditionally, chemotherapy has been the mainstay of treatment, consisting of either high-dose cytarabine-containing regimens or lower-intensity treatments such as hypomethylating agents. Recent advances in genetic sequencing, understanding of genomic aberrations, and pathogenesis of AML have transformed the range of drug targets available. Genetic-targeted therapies (FLT3-inhibitors and IDH1/2-inhibitors) have already been approved, while others are under investigation. Approvals of non-genetically targeted therapies (liposomal chemotherapy, venetoclax, and glasdegib) and immunotherapies (gemtuzumab ozogamicin) have also added to the armamentarium. AML drug development remains an innovative frontier with many new agents under investigation. View this [...] Read more.
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Review
Shaping the Treatment Paradigm Based on the Current Understanding of the Pathobiology of Multiple Myeloma: An Overview
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3488; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113488 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Multiple myeloma is an incurable malignancy which despite progressive improvements in overall survival over the last decade remains characterised by recurrent relapse with progressively shorter duration of response and treatment-free intervals with each subsequent treatment. Efforts to unravel the complex and heterogeneous genomic [...] Read more.
Multiple myeloma is an incurable malignancy which despite progressive improvements in overall survival over the last decade remains characterised by recurrent relapse with progressively shorter duration of response and treatment-free intervals with each subsequent treatment. Efforts to unravel the complex and heterogeneous genomic alterations, the marked dysregulation of the immune system and the multifarious interplay between malignant plasma cells and those of the tumour microenvironment have not only led to improved understanding of myelomagenesis and disease progression but have facilitated the rapid development of novel therapeutics including immunotherapies and small molecules bringing us a step closer to therapies that no doubt will extend survival. Novel therapeutic combinations both in the upfront and relapsed setting as well as novel methods to assess response and guide management are rapidly transforming the management of myeloma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances on the Pathobiology and Treatment of Multiple Myeloma)
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Article
Clinicopathological and Molecular Profiles of Sporadic Microsatellite Unstable Colorectal Cancer with or without the CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (CIMP)
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3487; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113487 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Background: The 5’-C-phosphate-G-3’ island methylator phenotype (CIMP) is a specific phenotype of colorectal cancer (CRC) associated with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-high) tumors. Methods: In this study, we determined the CIMP status using eight methylation markers in 92 MSI-high CRC patients after excluding five germline [...] Read more.
Background: The 5’-C-phosphate-G-3’ island methylator phenotype (CIMP) is a specific phenotype of colorectal cancer (CRC) associated with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-high) tumors. Methods: In this study, we determined the CIMP status using eight methylation markers in 92 MSI-high CRC patients after excluding five germline mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutations analyzed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) and confirmed by Sanger sequencing. The mutation spectra of 22 common CRC-associated genes were analyzed by NGS. Results: Of the 92 sporadic MSI-high tumors, 23 (25%) were considered CIMP-high (expressed more than 5 of 8 markers). CIMP-high tumors showed proximal colon preponderance and female predominance. The mutation profiles of CIMP-high tumors were significantly different from those of CIMP-low or CIMP-0 tumors (i.e., higher frequencies of BRAF, POLD1, MSH3, and SMAD4 mutations but lower frequencies of APC, TP53, and KRAS mutations). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that tumor, node, metastasis (TNM) stage was the independent prognostic factor affecting overall survival (OS). Among the MSI-high cases, the CIMP status did not impact the outcome of patients with MSI-high tumors. Conclusions: Only TNM stage was a statistically significant predictor of outcomes independent of CIMP profiles in MSI-high CRC patients. Sporadic MSI-high CRCs with different mechanisms of carcinogenesis have specific mutation profiles and clinicopathological features. Full article
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Article
Circulating Tumour DNA in Advanced Melanoma Patients Ceasing PD1 Inhibition in the Absence of Disease Progression
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3486; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113486 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Immunotherapy is an important and established treatment option for patients with advanced melanoma. Initial anti-PD1 trials arbitrarily defined a two-year treatment duration, but a shorter treatment duration may be appropriate. In this study, we retrospectively assessed 70 patients who stopped anti-PD1 therapy in [...] Read more.
Immunotherapy is an important and established treatment option for patients with advanced melanoma. Initial anti-PD1 trials arbitrarily defined a two-year treatment duration, but a shorter treatment duration may be appropriate. In this study, we retrospectively assessed 70 patients who stopped anti-PD1 therapy in the absence of progressive disease (PD) to determine clinical outcomes. In our cohort, the median time on treatment was 11.8 months. Complete response was attained at time of anti-PD1 discontinuation in 61 (87%). After a median follow up of 34.2 months (range: 2–70.8) post discontinuation, 81% remained disease free. Using ddPCR, we determine the utility of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) to predict progressive disease after cessation (n = 38). There was a significant association between presence of ctDNA at cessation and disease progression (p = 0.012, Fisher’s exact test) and this conferred a negative and positive predictive value of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.645–0.930) and 0.80 (95% CI 0.284–0.995), respectively. Additionally, dichotomised treatment-free survival in patients with or without ctDNA at cessation was significantly longer in the latter group (p < 0.001, HR: 0.008, 95% CI: 0.001–0.079). Overall, our study confirms that durable disease control can be achieved with cessation of therapy in the absence of disease progression and undetectable ctDNA at cessation was associated with longer treatment-free survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Immune Checkpoint Therapy Response and Resistance)
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Article
Calcitriol in the Presence of Conditioned Media from Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells Enhances Ex Vivo Polarization of M2 Alternative Murine Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3485; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113485 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1464
Abstract
In this study, we differentiated murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) into M0, M1, and M2 in the presence or absence of calcitriol. Real-time PCR analysis of gene expression, FACS analysis of surface markers, and chemokine/cytokine production assays were performed. In addition, the effect [...] Read more.
In this study, we differentiated murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) into M0, M1, and M2 in the presence or absence of calcitriol. Real-time PCR analysis of gene expression, FACS analysis of surface markers, and chemokine/cytokine production assays were performed. In addition, the effect of the conditioned media (CM) from murine breast cancer 4T1 (metastatic) and 67NR (non-metastatic) and Eph4-Ev (normal) cells with and without calcitriol on the polarization of M1/M2 cells was determined. We found that calcitriol enhanced the differentiation of M2 macrophages, which was manifested by increased expression of Cd206 and Spp1 mRNA and CD36, Arg, and CCL2 in M2 BMDMs and by decreased expression of Cd80 and Spp1 mRNA and IL-1, IL-6, OPN, and iNOS in M1 BMDMs. 4T1 CM showed a higher effect on the gene and protein expression in macrophages than 67NR and Eph4-Ev, with the greatest effect observed on M2 macrophages which increased their differentiation and properties characteristic of alternative macrophages. Moreover, M2 macrophages differentiated with calcitriol-stimulated migration of 4T1 and 67NR cells through fibronectin and collagen type IV, respectively. Overall, our results indicated that vitamin D supplementation may not always be beneficial, especially in relation to cancers causing excessive, pathological activation of the immune system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microenvironment and Cancer Progression)
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Article
Evidences of a Direct Relationship between Cellular Fuel Supply and Ciliogenesis Regulated by Hypoxic VDAC1-ΔC
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3484; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113484 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Metabolic flexibility is the ability of a cell to adapt its metabolism to changes in its surrounding environment. Such adaptability, combined with apoptosis resistance provides cancer cells with a survival advantage. Mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) has been defined as a metabolic [...] Read more.
Metabolic flexibility is the ability of a cell to adapt its metabolism to changes in its surrounding environment. Such adaptability, combined with apoptosis resistance provides cancer cells with a survival advantage. Mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) has been defined as a metabolic checkpoint at the crossroad of these two processes. Here, we show that the hypoxia-induced cleaved form of VDAC1 (VDAC1-ΔC) is implicated in both the up-regulation of glycolysis and the mitochondrial respiration. We demonstrate that VDAC1-ΔC, due to the loss of the putative phosphorylation site at serine 215, concomitantly with the loss of interaction with tubulin and microtubules, reprograms the cell to utilize more metabolites, favoring cell growth in hypoxic microenvironment. We further found that VDAC1-ΔC represses ciliogenesis and thus participates in ciliopathy, a group of genetic disorders involving dysfunctional primary cilium. Cancer, although not representing a ciliopathy, is tightly linked to cilia. Moreover, we highlight, for the first time, a direct relationship between the cilium and cancer cell metabolism. Our study provides the first new comprehensive molecular-level model centered on VDAC1-ΔC integrating metabolic flexibility, ciliogenesis, and enhanced survival in a hypoxic microenvironment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Cancer Biology)
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Review
Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor and Sex Hormone-Responsive Cancers
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3483; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113483 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1192
Abstract
Oestrogens and androgens play important roles in normal and cancerous tissue and have been shown to negatively regulate pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) expression in sex hormone-responsive tumours. PEDF suppresses tumour growth and its downregulation by oestrogen is implicated in tumorigenesis, metastasis, and progression. [...] Read more.
Oestrogens and androgens play important roles in normal and cancerous tissue and have been shown to negatively regulate pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) expression in sex hormone-responsive tumours. PEDF suppresses tumour growth and its downregulation by oestrogen is implicated in tumorigenesis, metastasis, and progression. PEDF expression is reduced in cancerous tissue of the prostate, breast, ovary, and endometrium compared to their normal tissue counterparts, with a link between PEDF downregulation and sex hormone signalling observed in pre-clinical studies. PEDF reduces growth and metastasis of tumour cells by promoting apoptosis, inhibiting angiogenesis, increasing adhesion, and reducing migration. PEDF may also prevent treatment resistance in some cancers by downregulating oestrogen receptor signalling. By interacting with components of the tumour microenvironment, PEDF counteracts the proliferative and immunosuppressive effects of oestrogens, to ultimately reduce tumorigenesis and metastasis. In this review, we focus on sex hormone regulation of PEDF’s anti-tumour action in sex hormone-responsive tumours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hormone Signaling in Cancer)
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Article
A Combined Systemic Strategy for Overcoming Cisplatin Resistance in Head and Neck Cancer: From Target Identification to Drug Discovery
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3482; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113482 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1140
Abstract
Cisplatin is the first-line chemotherapy agent for head and neck cancer (HNC), but its therapeutic effects are hampered by its resistance. In this study, we employed systemic strategies to overcome cisplatin resistance (CR) in HNC. CR cells derived from isogenic HNC cell lines [...] Read more.
Cisplatin is the first-line chemotherapy agent for head and neck cancer (HNC), but its therapeutic effects are hampered by its resistance. In this study, we employed systemic strategies to overcome cisplatin resistance (CR) in HNC. CR cells derived from isogenic HNC cell lines were generated. The CR related hub genes, functional mechanisms, and the sensitizing candidates were globally investigated by transcriptomic and bioinformatic analyses. Clinically, the prognostic significance was assessed by the Kaplan–Meier method. Cellular and molecular techniques, including cell viability assay, tumorsphere formation assay, RT-qPCR, and immunoblot, were used. Results showed that these CR cells possessed highly invasive and stem-like properties. A total of 647 molecules was identified, and the mitotic division exhibited a novel functional mechanism significantly related to CR. A panel of signature molecules, MSRB3, RHEB, ULBP1, and spindle pole body component 25 (SPC25), was found to correlate with poor prognosis in HNC patients. SPC25 was further shown as a prominent molecule, which markedly suppressed cancer stemness and attenuated CR after silencing. Celastrol, a nature extract compound, was demonstrated to effectively inhibit SPC25 expression and reverse CR phenotype. In conclusion, the development of SPC25 inhibitors, such as the application of celastrol, maybe a novel strategy to sensitize cisplatin for the treatment of refractory HNC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC))
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Review
Precision Approaches in the Management of Colorectal Cancer: Current Evidence and Latest Advancements towards Individualizing the Treatment
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3481; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113481 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
The genetic and molecular underpinnings of metastatic colorectal cancer have been studied for decades, and the applicability of these findings in clinical decision making continues to evolve. Advancements in translating molecular studies have provided a basis for tailoring chemotherapeutic regimens in metastatic colorectal [...] Read more.
The genetic and molecular underpinnings of metastatic colorectal cancer have been studied for decades, and the applicability of these findings in clinical decision making continues to evolve. Advancements in translating molecular studies have provided a basis for tailoring chemotherapeutic regimens in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treatment, which have informed multiple practice guidelines. Various genetic and molecular pathways have been identified as clinically significant in the pathogenesis of metastatic colorectal cancer. These include rat sarcoma (RAS), epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF, microsatellite instability, mismatch repair, and v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog b1 (BRAF) with established clinical implications. RAS mutations and deficiencies in the mismatch repair pathway guide decisions regarding the administration of anti-EGFR-based therapies and immunotherapy, respectively. Furthermore, there are several emerging pathways and therapeutic modalities that have not entered mainstream use in mCRC treatment and are ripe for further investigation. The well-established data in the arena of targeted therapies provide evidence-based support for the use or avoidance of various therapeutic regimens in mCRC treatment, while the emerging pathways and platforms offer a glimpse into the future of transforming a precision approach into a personalized treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecularly Targeted Therapies in Solid Tumors)
Article
Pre-Existing Cardiovascular Conditions as Clinical Predictors of Myocarditis Reporting with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: A VigiBase Study
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3480; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113480 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Although rare, immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-related myocarditis can be life-threatening, even fatal. In view of increased ICI prescription, identification of clinical risk factors for ICI-related myocarditis is of primary importance. This study aimed to assess whether pre-existing cardiovascular (CV) patient conditions are associated [...] Read more.
Although rare, immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-related myocarditis can be life-threatening, even fatal. In view of increased ICI prescription, identification of clinical risk factors for ICI-related myocarditis is of primary importance. This study aimed to assess whether pre-existing cardiovascular (CV) patient conditions are associated with the reporting of ICI-related myocarditis in VigiBase, the WHO global database of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs). In a (retrospective) matched case-control study, 108 cases of ICI-related myocarditis and 108 controls of ICI-related ADRs other than myocarditis were selected from VigiBase. Drugs labeled as treatment for CV conditions (used as a proxy for concomitant CV risk factors and/or CV diseases) were found to be associated more strongly with the reporting of ICI-related myocarditis than with other ICI-related ADRs (McNemar’s chi-square test of marginal homogeneity: p = 0.026, Cramer’s coefficient of effect size: Φ = 0.214). No significant association was found between pre-existing diabetes and ICI-related myocarditis reporting (McNemar’s test of marginal homogeneity: p = 0.752). These findings offer an invitation for future prospective pharmacoepidemiological studies to assess the causal relationship between pre-existing CV conditions and myocarditis onset in a cohort of cancer patients followed during ICI treatment. Full article
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Article
Breast Cancer Mortality among Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutation in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Plus Mammography Screening Program
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113479 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
Annual breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plus mammography is the standard of care for screening women with inherited BRCA1/2 mutations. However, long-term breast cancer-related mortality with screening is unknown. Between 1997 and June 2011, 489 previously unaffected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers aged 25 to [...] Read more.
Annual breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plus mammography is the standard of care for screening women with inherited BRCA1/2 mutations. However, long-term breast cancer-related mortality with screening is unknown. Between 1997 and June 2011, 489 previously unaffected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers aged 25 to 65 years were screened with annual MRI plus mammography on our study. Thereafter, participants were eligible to continue MRI screening through the high-risk Ontario Breast Screening Program. In 2019, our data were linked to the Ontario Cancer Registry of Cancer Care Ontario to identify all incident cancers, vital status and causes of death. Observed breast cancer mortality was compared to expected mortality for age-matched women in the general population. There were 91 women diagnosed with breast cancer (72 invasive and 19 ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)) with median follow-up 7.4 (range: 0.1 to 19.2) years. Four deaths from breast cancer were observed, compared to 2.0 deaths expected (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) 2.0, p = 0.14). For the 489 women in the study, the probability of not dying of breast cancer at 20 years from the date of the first MRI was 98.2%. Annual screening with MRI plus mammography is a reasonable option for women who decline or defer risk-reducing mastectomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Landscape of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer)
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Article
Total Pelvic Exenteration, Cytoreductive Surgery, and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy for Rectal Cancer with Associate Peritoneal Metastases: Surgical Strategies to Optimize Safety
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113478 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Background: Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a curative treatment option for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. Total pelvic exenteration (TPE) is an established treatment option for locally advanced pelvic malignancy. These two procedures have high mortality and morbidity, and therefore, [...] Read more.
Background: Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a curative treatment option for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. Total pelvic exenteration (TPE) is an established treatment option for locally advanced pelvic malignancy. These two procedures have high mortality and morbidity, and therefore, their combination is not currently recommended. Herein, we reported our experience on TPE associated with CRS/HIPEC with a critical analysis for rectal cancer with associate peritoneal metastases. Methods: From March 2006 to August 2020, 319 patients underwent a CRS/HIPEC in our hospital. Among them, 16 (12 men and four women) underwent an associated TPE. The primary endpoints were perioperative morbidity and mortality. Results: There was locally recurrent rectal cancer in nine cases, six locally advanced primary rectal cancer, and a recurrent appendiceal adenocarcinoma. The median Peritoneal Cancer Index (PCI) was 8. (4–16). Mean duration of the surgical procedure was 596 min (420–840). Complete cytoreduction (CC0) was achieved in all patients, while clear resection (R0) margins on the resected pelvic organs were achieved in 81.2% of cases. The median hospital stay was 46 days (26–129), and nine patients (56.2%) experienced severe complications (grade III to V) that led to death in two cases (12.5%). The total reoperation rate for patients was 6/16 (37.5%) and 3/16 (18.75%) with percutaneous radiological-guided drainage. Conclusions: In summary, TPE/extended TPE (ETPE) associated with CRS/HIPEC may be a reasonable procedure in selected patients at expert centers. Pelvic involvement should not be considered a definitive contraindication for CRS/HIPEC in patients with resectable peritoneal surface diseases if a R0 resection could be achieved on all sites. However, the morbidity and the mortality are high with this combination of treatment, and further research is needed to assess the oncologic benefit and quality of life before such a radical approach can be recommended. Full article
Review
Towards Understanding of Gastric Cancer Based upon Physiological Role of Gastrin and ECL Cells
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3477; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113477 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1271
Abstract
The stomach is an ideal organ to study because the gastric juice kills most of the swallowed microbes and, thus, creates rather similar milieu among individuals. Combined with a rather easy access to gastric juice, gastric physiology was among the first areas to [...] Read more.
The stomach is an ideal organ to study because the gastric juice kills most of the swallowed microbes and, thus, creates rather similar milieu among individuals. Combined with a rather easy access to gastric juice, gastric physiology was among the first areas to be studied. During the last century, a rather complete understanding of the regulation of gastric acidity was obtained, establishing the central role of gastrin and the histamine producing enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cell. Similarly, the close connection between regulation of function and proliferation became evident, and, furthermore, that chronic overstimulation of a cell with the ability to proliferate, results in tumour formation. The ECL cell has long been acknowledged to give rise to neuroendocrine tumours (NETs), but not to play any role in carcinogenesis of gastric adenocarcinomas. However, when examining human gastric adenocarcinomas with the best methods presently available (immunohistochemistry with increased sensitivity and in-situ hybridization), it became clear that many of these cancers expressed neuroendocrine markers, suggesting that some of these tumours were of neuroendocrine, and more specifically, ECL cell origin. Thus, the ECL cell and its main regulator, gastrin, are central in human gastric carcinogenesis, which make new possibilities in prevention, prophylaxis, and treatment of this cancer. Full article
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Review
Making Connections: p53 and the Cathepsin Proteases as Co-Regulators of Cancer and Apoptosis
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3476; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113476 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1239
Abstract
While viewed as the “guardian of the genome”, the importance of the tumor suppressor p53 protein has increasingly gained ever more recognition in modulating additional modes of action related to cell death. Slowly but surely, its importance has evolved from a mutated genetic [...] Read more.
While viewed as the “guardian of the genome”, the importance of the tumor suppressor p53 protein has increasingly gained ever more recognition in modulating additional modes of action related to cell death. Slowly but surely, its importance has evolved from a mutated genetic locus heavily implicated in a wide array of cancer types to modulating lysosomal-mediated cell death either directly or indirectly through the transcriptional regulation of the key signal transduction pathway intermediates involved in this. As an important step in determining the fate of cells in response to cytotoxicity or during stress response, lysosomal-mediated cell death has also become strongly interwoven with the key components that give the lysosome functionality in the form of the cathepsin proteases. While a number of articles have been published highlighting the independent input of p53 or cathepsins to cellular homeostasis and disease progression, one key area that warrants further focus is the regulatory relationship that p53 and its isoforms share with such proteases in regulating lysosomal-mediated cell death. Herein, we review recent developments that have shaped this relationship and highlight key areas that need further exploration to aid novel therapeutic design and intervention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue P53 and Hallmarks of Cancer)
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Review
The Small GTPase RAC1B: A Potent Negative Regulator of-and Useful Tool to Study-TGFβ Signaling
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3475; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113475 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1066
Abstract
RAC1 and its alternatively spliced isoform, RAC1B, are members of the Rho family of GTPases. Both isoforms are involved in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton remodeling, cell motility, cell proliferation, and epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). Compared to RAC1, RAC1B exhibits a number of distinctive [...] Read more.
RAC1 and its alternatively spliced isoform, RAC1B, are members of the Rho family of GTPases. Both isoforms are involved in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton remodeling, cell motility, cell proliferation, and epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). Compared to RAC1, RAC1B exhibits a number of distinctive features with respect to tissue distribution, downstream signaling and a role in disease conditions like inflammation and cancer. The subcellular locations and interaction partners of RAC1 and RAC1B vary depending on their activation state, which makes RAC1 and RAC1B ideal candidates to establish cross-talk with cancer-associated signaling pathways—for instance, interactions with signaling by transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), a known tumor promoter. Although RAC1 has been found to promote TGFβ-driven tumor progression, recent observations in pancreatic carcinoma cells surprisingly revealed that RAC1B confers anti-oncogenic properties, i.e., through inhibiting TGFβ-induced EMT. Since then, an unexpected array of mechanisms through which RAC1B cross-talks with TGFβ signaling has been demonstrated. However, rather than being uniformly inhibitory, RAC1B interacts with TGFβ signaling in a way that results in the selective blockade of tumor-promoting pathways, while concomitantly allowing tumor-suppressive pathways to proceed. In this review article, we are going to discuss the specific interactions between RAC1B and TGFβ signaling, which occur at multiple levels and include various components such as ligands, receptors, cytosolic mediators, transcription factors, and extracellular inhibitors of TGFβ ligands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Small GTPase Signaling in Tumorigenesis)
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Article
Does Circular Stapler Size in Surgical Management of Esophageal Cancer Affect Anastomotic Leak Rate? 4-Year Experience of a European High-Volume Center
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3474; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113474 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 829
Abstract
Anastomotic leak is one of the most severe postoperative complications and is therefore considered a benchmark for the quality of surgery for esophageal cancer. There is substantial debate on which anastomotic technique is the best for patients undergoing Ivor Lewis esophagectomy. Our standardized [...] Read more.
Anastomotic leak is one of the most severe postoperative complications and is therefore considered a benchmark for the quality of surgery for esophageal cancer. There is substantial debate on which anastomotic technique is the best for patients undergoing Ivor Lewis esophagectomy. Our standardized technique is a circular stapled anastomosis with either a 25 or 28 mm anvil. The aim of this study was to retrospectively analyze whether the stapler diameter had an impact on postoperative anastomotic leak rates during a 4-year time frame from 2016 to 2020. A total of 632 patients (open, hybrid, and totally minimally invasive esophagectomy) met the inclusion criteria. A total of 214 patients underwent an anastomosis with a 25 mm stapler vs. 418 patients with a 28 mm stapler. Anastomotic leak rates were 15.4% vs. 10.8%, respectively (p = 0.0925). Stapler size should be chosen according to the individual anatomical situation of the patient. Stapler size may be of higher relevance in patients undergoing totally minimally invasive reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multimodal Therapy of Upper Gastrointestinal Malignancies)
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Article
Nerve-Sparing Systematic Lymph Node Dissection in Gynaecological Oncology: An Innovative Neuro-Anatomical and Surgical Protocol for Enhanced Functional Outcomes
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3473; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113473 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
Whilst systematic lymph node dissection has been less prevalent in gynaecological cancer cases in the last few years, there is still a good number of cases that mandate a systematic lymph node dissection for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. In all of these cases, [...] Read more.
Whilst systematic lymph node dissection has been less prevalent in gynaecological cancer cases in the last few years, there is still a good number of cases that mandate a systematic lymph node dissection for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. In all of these cases, it is crucial to perform the procedure as a nerve-sparing technique with utmost exactitude, which can be achieved optimally only by isolating and sparing all components of the aortic plexus and superior hypogastric plexus. To meet this purpose, it is essential to provide a comprehensive characterization of the specific anatomy of the human female aortic plexus and its variations. The anatomic dissections of two fresh and 17 formalin-fixed female cadavers were utilized to study, understand, and decipher the hitherto ambiguously annotated anatomy of the autonomic nervous system in the retroperitoneal para-aortic region. This study describes the precise anatomy of aortic and superior hypogastric plexus and provides the surgical maneuvers to dissect, highlight, and spare them during systematic lymph node dissection for gynaecological malignancies. The study also confirms the utility and feasibility of this surgery in gynaecological oncology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostics, Staging and Surgical Treatment of Gynaecological Cancer)
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Article
Construction of a Novel Multigene Panel Potently Predicting Poor Prognosis in Patients with Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3471; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113471 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
We observed associations of IQGAP1 downregulation with poor overall survival (OS) in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Differentially expressed genes (DEGs, n = 611) were derived from ccRCCs with (n = 111) and without IQGAP1 (n = 397) reduction using [...] Read more.
We observed associations of IQGAP1 downregulation with poor overall survival (OS) in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Differentially expressed genes (DEGs, n = 611) were derived from ccRCCs with (n = 111) and without IQGAP1 (n = 397) reduction using the TCGA PanCancer Atlas ccRCC dataset. These DEGs exhibit downregulations of immune response and upregulations of DNA damage repair pathways. Through randomization of the TCGA dataset into a training and testing subpopulation, a 9-gene panel (SigIQGAP1NW) was derived; it predicts poor OS in training, testing, and the full population at a hazard ratio (HR) 2.718, p < 2 × 10−16, p = 1.08 × 10−5, and p < 2 × 10−16, respectively. SigIQGAP1NW independently associates with poor OS (HR 1.80, p = 2.85 × 10−6) after adjusting for a set of clinical features, and it discriminates ccRCC mortality at time-dependent AUC values of 70% at 13.8 months, 69%/31M, 69%/49M, and 75.3%/71M. All nine component genes of SigIQGAP1NW are novel to ccRCC. The inclusion of RECQL4 (a DNA helicase) in SigIQGAP1NW agrees with IQGAP1 DEGs enhancing DNA repair. THSD7A affects kidney function; its presence in SigIQGAP1NW is consistent with our observed THSD7A downregulation in ccRCC (n = 523) compared to non-tumor kidney tissues (n = 100). Collectively, we report a novel multigene panel that robustly predicts poor OS in ccRCC. Full article
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Article
Association of Mutation Profiles with Postoperative Survival in Patients with Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3472; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113472 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1189
Abstract
Findings on mutations, associated with lung cancer, have led to advancements in mutation-based precision medicine. This study aimed to comprehensively and synthetically analyze mutations in lung cancer, based on the next generation sequencing data of surgically removed lung tumors, and identify the mutation-related [...] Read more.
Findings on mutations, associated with lung cancer, have led to advancements in mutation-based precision medicine. This study aimed to comprehensively and synthetically analyze mutations in lung cancer, based on the next generation sequencing data of surgically removed lung tumors, and identify the mutation-related factors that can affect clinical outcomes. Targeted sequencing was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgical specimens obtained from 172 patients with lung cancer who underwent surgery in our hospital. The clinical and genomic databases of the hospital were combined to determine correlations between clinical factors and mutation profiles in lung cancer. Multivariate analyses of mutation-related factors that may affect the prognosis were also performed. Based on histology, TP53 was the driver gene in 70.0% of the cases of squamous cell carcinoma. In adenocarcinoma cases, driver mutations were detected in TP53 (26.0%), KRAS (25.0%), and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) (23.1%). According to multivariate analysis, the number of pathogenic mutations (≥3), presence of a TP53 mutation, and TP53 allele fraction >60 were poor prognostic mutational factors. The TP53 allele fraction tended to be high in caudally and dorsally located tumors. Moreover, TP53-mutated lung cancers located in segments 9 and 10 were associated with significantly poorer prognosis than those located in segments 1–8. This study has identified mutation-related factors that affect the postoperative prognosis of lung cancer. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that the TP53 mutation profile varies with the site of lung tumor, and that postoperative prognosis varies accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-small Cell Lung Cancer--Tumor Biology)
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Article
DNA Methylation of FKBP5 as Predictor of Overall Survival in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3470; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113470 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1098
Abstract
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor with median survival of 12 months and limited effective treatments. The scope of this study was to study the relationship between blood DNA methylation (DNAm) and overall survival (OS) aiming at a noninvasive prognostic test. [...] Read more.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor with median survival of 12 months and limited effective treatments. The scope of this study was to study the relationship between blood DNA methylation (DNAm) and overall survival (OS) aiming at a noninvasive prognostic test. We investigated a cohort of 159 incident asbestos exposed MPM cases enrolled in an Italian area with high incidence of mesothelioma. Considering 12 months as a cut-off for OS, epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) revealed statistically significant (p value = 7.7 × 10−9) OS-related differential methylation of a single-CpG (cg03546163), located in the 5′UTR region of the FKBP5 gene. This is an independent marker of prognosis in MPM patients with a better performance than traditional inflammation-based scores such as lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR). Cases with DNAm < 0.45 at the cg03546163 had significantly poor survival compared with those showing DNAm ≥ 0.45 (mean: 243 versus 534 days; p value< 0.001). Epigenetic changes at the FKBP5 gene were robustly associated with OS in MPM cases. Our results showed that blood DNA methylation levels could be promising and dynamic prognostic biomarkers in MPM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malignant Mesothelioma)
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Review
Lipid Regulatory Proteins as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Ovarian Cancer in Obese Women
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3469; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113469 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
Obesity has become a recognized global epidemic that is associated with numerous comorbidities including type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and cancer incidence and progression. Ovarian cancer (OvCa) has a unique mechanism of intra-peritoneal metastasis, already present in 80% of women at the [...] Read more.
Obesity has become a recognized global epidemic that is associated with numerous comorbidities including type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and cancer incidence and progression. Ovarian cancer (OvCa) has a unique mechanism of intra-peritoneal metastasis, already present in 80% of women at the time of diagnosis, making it the fifth leading cause of death from gynecological malignancy. Meta-analyses showed that obesity increases the risk of OvCa progression, leads to enhanced overall and organ-specific tumor burden, and adversely effects survival of women with OvCa. Recent data discovered that tumors grown in mice fed on a western diet (40% fat) have elevated lipid levels and a highly increased expression level of sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1). SREBP1 is a master transcription factor that regulates de novo lipogenesis and lipid homeostasis, and induces lipogenic reprogramming of tumor cells. Elevated SREBP1 levels are linked to cancer cell proliferation and metastasis. This review will summarize recent findings to provide a current understanding of lipid regulatory proteins in the ovarian tumor microenvironment with emphasis on SREBP1 expression in the obese host, the role of SREBP1 in cancer progression and metastasis, and potential therapeutic targeting of SREBPs and SREBP-pathway genes in treating cancers, particularly in the context of host obesity. Full article
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Article
Tumor BRCA Testing in High Grade Serous Carcinoma: Mutation Rates and Optimal Tissue Requirements
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3468; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113468 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Background: Approximately 25% of women diagnosed with tubo-ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma have germline deleterious mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, characteristic of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, while somatic mutations have been detected in 3–7%. We set out to determine the BRCA [...] Read more.
Background: Approximately 25% of women diagnosed with tubo-ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma have germline deleterious mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, characteristic of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, while somatic mutations have been detected in 3–7%. We set out to determine the BRCA mutation rates and optimal tissue requirements for tumor BRCA testing in patients diagnosed with tubo-ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma. Methods: Sequencing was performed using a multiplexed polymerase chain reaction-based approach on 291 tissue samples, with a minimum sequencing depth of 500X and an allele frequency of >5%. Results: There were 253 surgical samples (87%), 35 biopsies (12%) and 3 cytology cell blocks (1%). The initial failure rate was 9% (25/291), including 9 cases (3%) with insufficient tumor, and 16 (6%) with non-amplifiable DNA. Sequencing was successful in 78% (228/291) and deemed indeterminate due to failed exons or variants below the limit of detection in 13% (38/291). Repeat testing was successful in 67% (28/42) of retested samples, with an overall success rate of 86% (251/291). Clinically significant (pathogenic, likely pathogenic) variants were identified in 17% (48/276) of complete and indeterminate cases. Successful sequencing was dependent on sample type, tumor cellularity and size (p ≤ 0.001) but not on neoadjuvant chemotherapy or age of blocks (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Our study shows a 17% tumor BRCA mutation rate, with an overall success rate of 86%. Biopsy and cytology samples and post-chemotherapy specimens can be used for tumor BRCA testing, and optimal tumors measure ≥5 mm in size with at least 20% cellularity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Landscape of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer)
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Review
Therapeutic Potential of PARP Inhibitors in the Treatment of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3467; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113467 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1904
Abstract
Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is an incurable malignancy with a poor prognosis. Up to 30% of patients with mCRPC have mutations in homologous recombination repair (HRR) genes. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors take advantage of HRR deficiency to kill tumor cells based [...] Read more.
Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is an incurable malignancy with a poor prognosis. Up to 30% of patients with mCRPC have mutations in homologous recombination repair (HRR) genes. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors take advantage of HRR deficiency to kill tumor cells based on the concept of synthetic lethality. Several PARP inhibitors (PARPis) have been successful in various malignancies with HRR gene mutations including BRCA1/2, especially in breast cancer and ovarian cancer. More recently, olaparib and rucaparib were approved for mCRPC refractory to novel hormonal therapies, and other PARPis will likely follow. This article highlights the mechanism of action of PARPis at the cellular level, the preclinical data regarding a proposed mechanism of action and the effectiveness of PARPis in cancer cell lines and animal models. The article expands on the clinical development of PARPis in mCRPC, discusses potential biomarkers that may predict successful tumor control, and summarizes present and future clinical research on PARPis in the metastatic disease landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Therapies for Prostate Cancer)
Article
Exercise Reduces the Resumption of Tumor Growth and Proteolytic Pathways in the Skeletal Muscle of Mice Following Chemotherapy
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3466; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113466 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1489
Abstract
The pathogenesis of muscle atrophy plays a central role in cancer cachexia, and chemotherapy contributes to this condition. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the effects of endurance exercise on time-dependent muscle atrophy caused by doxorubicin. For this, C57 BL/6 mice were [...] Read more.
The pathogenesis of muscle atrophy plays a central role in cancer cachexia, and chemotherapy contributes to this condition. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the effects of endurance exercise on time-dependent muscle atrophy caused by doxorubicin. For this, C57 BL/6 mice were subcutaneously inoculated with Lewis lung carcinoma cells (LLC group). One week after the tumor establishment, a group of these animals initiated the doxorubicin chemotherapy alone (LLC + DOX group) or combined with endurance exercise (LLC + DOX + EXER group). One group of animals was euthanized after the chemotherapy cycle, whereas the remaining animals were euthanized one week after the last administration of doxorubicin. The practice of exercise combined with chemotherapy showed beneficial effects such as a decrease in tumor growth rate after chemotherapy interruption and amelioration of premature death due to doxorubicin toxicity. Moreover, the protein degradation levels in mice undergoing exercise returned to basal levels after chemotherapy; in contrast, the mice treated with doxorubicin alone experienced an increase in the mRNA expression levels of the proteolytic pathways in gastrocnemius muscle (Trim63, Fbxo32, Myostatin, FoxO). Collectively, our results suggest that endurance exercise could be utilized during and after chemotherapy for mitigating muscle atrophy promoted by doxorubicin and avoid the resumption of tumor growth. Full article
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Article
Identification of VRK1 as a New Neuroblastoma Tumor Progression Marker Regulating Cell Proliferation
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3465; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113465 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2045
Abstract
Neuroblastoma (NB) is one of the most common pediatric cancers and presents a poor survival rate in affected children. Current pretreatment risk assessment relies on a few known molecular parameters, like the amplification of the oncogene MYCN. However, a better molecular knowledge about [...] Read more.
Neuroblastoma (NB) is one of the most common pediatric cancers and presents a poor survival rate in affected children. Current pretreatment risk assessment relies on a few known molecular parameters, like the amplification of the oncogene MYCN. However, a better molecular knowledge about the aggressive progression of the disease is needed to provide new therapeutical targets and prognostic markers and to improve patients’ outcomes. The human protein kinase VRK1 phosphorylates various signaling molecules and transcription factors to regulate cell cycle progression and other processes in physiological and pathological situations. Using neuroblastoma tumor expression data, tissue microarrays from fresh human samples and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), we have determined that VRK1 kinase expression stratifies patients according to tumor aggressiveness and survival, allowing the identification of patients with worse outcome among intermediate risk. VRK1 associates with cell cycle signaling pathways in NB and its downregulation abrogates cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Through the analysis of ChIP-seq and methylation data from NB tumors, we show that VRK1 is a MYCN gene target, however VRK1 correlates with NB aggressiveness independently of MYCN gene amplification, synergizing with the oncogene to drive NB progression. Our study also suggests that VRK1 inhibition may constitute a novel cell-cycle-targeted strategy for anticancer therapy in neuroblastoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-canonical Kinases and Substrates in Cancer Progression)
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Article
IL3RA-Targeting Antibody–Drug Conjugate BAY-943 with a Kinesin Spindle Protein Inhibitor Payload Shows Efficacy in Preclinical Models of Hematologic Malignancies
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3464; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113464 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1623
Abstract
IL3RA (CD123) is the alpha subunit of the interleukin 3 (IL-3) receptor, which regulates the proliferation, survival, and differentiation of hematopoietic cells. IL3RA is frequently expressed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), presenting an opportunity to treat AML and [...] Read more.
IL3RA (CD123) is the alpha subunit of the interleukin 3 (IL-3) receptor, which regulates the proliferation, survival, and differentiation of hematopoietic cells. IL3RA is frequently expressed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), presenting an opportunity to treat AML and HL with an IL3RA-directed antibody–drug conjugate (ADC). Here, we describe BAY-943 (IL3RA-ADC), a novel IL3RA-targeting ADC consisting of a humanized anti-IL3RA antibody conjugated to a potent proprietary kinesin spindle protein inhibitor (KSPi). In vitro, IL3RA-ADC showed potent and selective antiproliferative efficacy in a panel of IL3RA-expressing AML and HL cell lines. In vivo, IL3RA-ADC improved survival and reduced tumor burden in IL3RA-positive human AML cell line-derived (MOLM-13 and MV-4-11) as well as in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models (AM7577 and AML11655) in mice. Furthermore, IL3RA-ADC induced complete tumor remission in 12 out of 13 mice in an IL3RA-positive HL cell line-derived xenograft model (HDLM-2). IL3RA-ADC was well-tolerated and showed no signs of thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, or liver toxicity in rats, or in cynomolgus monkeys when dosed up to 20 mg/kg. Overall, the preclinical results support the further development of BAY-943 as an innovative approach for the treatment of IL3RA-positive hematologic malignancies. Full article
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Article
DNAJA3/Tid1 Is Required for Mitochondrial DNA Maintenance and Regulates Migration and Invasion of Human Gastric Cancer Cells
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3463; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113463 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
Background: Gastric cancer is a common health issue. Deregulated cellular energetics is regarded as a cancer hallmark and mitochondrial dysfunction might contribute to cancer progression. Tid1, a mitochondrial co-chaperone, may play a role as a tumor suppressor in various cancers, but the role [...] Read more.
Background: Gastric cancer is a common health issue. Deregulated cellular energetics is regarded as a cancer hallmark and mitochondrial dysfunction might contribute to cancer progression. Tid1, a mitochondrial co-chaperone, may play a role as a tumor suppressor in various cancers, but the role of Tid1 in gastric cancers remains under investigated. Methods: The clinical TCGA online database and immunohistochemical staining for Tid1 expression in tumor samples of gastric cancer patients were analyzed. Tid1 knockdown by siRNA was applied to investigate the role of Tid1 in gastric cancer cells. Results: Low Tid1 protein-expressing gastric cancer patients had a poorer prognosis and higher lymph node invasion than high Tid1-expressing patients. Knockdown of Tid1 did not increase cell proliferation, colony/tumor sphere formation, or chemotherapy resistance in gastric cancer cells. However, Tid1 knockdown increased cell migration and invasion. Moreover, Tid1 knockdown reduced the mtDNA copy number of gastric cancer cells. In addition, the Tid1-galectin-7-MMP-9 axis might be associated with Tid1 knockdown–induced cell migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells. Conclusions: Tid1 is required for mtDNA maintenance and regulates migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells. Tid1 deletion may be a poor prognostic factor in gastric cancers and could be further investigated for development of gastric cancer treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Cancer Biology)
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Review
Histone Monoubiquitination in Chromatin Remodelling: Focus on the Histone H2B Interactome and Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3462; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113462 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
Chromatin remodelling is a major mechanism by which cells control fundamental processes including gene expression, the DNA damage response (DDR) and ensuring the genomic plasticity required by stem cells to enable differentiation. The post-translational modification of histone H2B resulting in addition of a [...] Read more.
Chromatin remodelling is a major mechanism by which cells control fundamental processes including gene expression, the DNA damage response (DDR) and ensuring the genomic plasticity required by stem cells to enable differentiation. The post-translational modification of histone H2B resulting in addition of a single ubiquitin, in humans at lysine 120 (K120; H2Bub1) and in yeast at K123, has key roles in transcriptional elongation associated with the RNA polymerase II-associated factor 1 complex (PAF1C) and in the DDR. H2Bub1 itself has been described as having tumour suppressive roles and a number of cancer-related proteins and/or complexes are recognised as part of the H2Bub1 interactome. These include the RING finger E3 ubiquitin ligases RNF20, RNF40 and BRCA1, the guardian of the genome p53, the PAF1C member CDC73, subunits of the switch/sucrose non-fermenting (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodelling complex and histone methyltransferase complexes DOT1L and COMPASS, as well as multiple deubiquitinases including USP22 and USP44. While globally depleted in many primary human malignancies, including breast, lung and colorectal cancer, H2Bub1 is selectively enriched at the coding region of certain highly expressed genes, including at p53 target genes in response to DNA damage, functioning to exercise transcriptional control of these loci. This review draws together extensive literature to cement a significant role for H2Bub1 in a range of human malignancies and discusses the interplay between key cancer-related proteins and H2Bub1-associated chromatin remodelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting the Ubiquitin Pathway in Cancer)
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Review
Challenges and Therapeutic Opportunities of Autophagy in Cancer Therapy
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3461; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113461 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1846
Abstract
Autophagy is a physiological cellular process that is crucial for development and can occurs in response to nutrient deprivation or metabolic disorders. Interestingly, autophagy plays a dual role in cancer cells—while in some situations, it has a cytoprotective effect that causes chemotherapy resistance, [...] Read more.
Autophagy is a physiological cellular process that is crucial for development and can occurs in response to nutrient deprivation or metabolic disorders. Interestingly, autophagy plays a dual role in cancer cells—while in some situations, it has a cytoprotective effect that causes chemotherapy resistance, in others, it has a cytotoxic effect in which some compounds induce autophagy-mediated cell death. In this review, we summarize strategies aimed at autophagy for the treatment of cancer, including studies of drugs that can modulate autophagy-mediated resistance, and/or drugs that cause autophagy-mediated cancer cell death. In addition, the role of autophagy in the biology of cancer stem cells has also been discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Autophagy for Cancer Treatment)
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Article
Importance of Cullin4 Ubiquitin Ligase in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3460; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113460 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), the tumor suppressor frequently lost in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), suppresses tumorigenesis in part by inhibiting the Cullin4 ubiquitin ligase (CUL4) complex in the nucleus. Here, we evaluated the importance of CUL4 in MPM progression and tested the efficacy [...] Read more.
Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), the tumor suppressor frequently lost in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), suppresses tumorigenesis in part by inhibiting the Cullin4 ubiquitin ligase (CUL4) complex in the nucleus. Here, we evaluated the importance of CUL4 in MPM progression and tested the efficacy of cullin inhibition by pevonedistat, a small molecule inhibiting cullin neddylation. CUL4 paralogs (CUL4A and CUL4B) were upregulated in MPM tumor specimens compared to nonmalignant pleural tissues. High gene and protein expressions of CUL4B was associated with a worse progression-free survival of MPM patients. Among 13 MPM cell lines tested, five (38%) were highly sensitive to pevonedistat (half maximal inhibitory concentration of cell survival IC50 < 0.5 µM). This remained true in a 3D spheroid culture. Pevonedistat treatment caused the accumulation of CDT1 and p21 in both sensitive and resistant cell lines. However, the treatment induced S/G2 cell cycle arrest and DNA rereplication predominantly in the sensitive cell lines. In an in vivo mouse model, the pevonedistat treatment significantly prolonged the survival of mice bearing both sensitive and resistant MPM tumors. Pevonedistat treatment reduced growth in sensitive tumors but increased apoptosis in resistant tumors. The mechanism in the resistant tumor model may be mediated by reduced macrophage infiltration, resulting from the suppression of macrophage chemotactic cytokines, C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), expression in tumor cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Therapy)
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Review
Immunotherapy Moves to the Early-Stage Setting in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Emerging Evidence and the Role of Biomarkers
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3459; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113459 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Despite numerous advances in targeted therapy and immunotherapy in the last decade, lung cancer continues to present the highest mortality rate of all cancers. Targeted therapy based on specific genomic alterations, together with PD-1 and CTLA-4 axis blocking-based immunotherapy, have significantly improved survival [...] Read more.
Despite numerous advances in targeted therapy and immunotherapy in the last decade, lung cancer continues to present the highest mortality rate of all cancers. Targeted therapy based on specific genomic alterations, together with PD-1 and CTLA-4 axis blocking-based immunotherapy, have significantly improved survival in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and both therapies are now well-established in this clinical setting. However, it is time for immunotherapy to be applied in patients with early-stage disease, which would be an important qualitative leap in the treatment of lung cancer patients with curative intent. Preliminary data from a multitude of studies are highly promising, but therapeutic decision-making should be guided by an understanding of the molecular features of the tumour and host. In the present review, we discuss the most recently published studies and ongoing clinical trials, controversies, future challenges and the role of biomarkers in the selection of best therapeutic options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thoracic Cancers)
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