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Cancers, Volume 12, Issue 12 (December 2020) – 385 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Cancer initiation, growth, and invasion are promoted by multiple mechanisms, including non-coding RNA (ncRNA)-dependent regulatory pathways. Deregulated expression of ncRNAs including long-non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), competing endogenous RNAS (ceRNAs), and microRNAs (miRNAs) can promote malignancies by altering the cell cycle and apoptotic pathways to facilitate cellular proliferation. LncRNAs can alter gene expression through direct targeting of messenger RNAs (mRNAs), recruitment of epigenetic regulators to repress or activate transcription, or by functioning as ceRNAs to quench tumor suppressive miRNAs. Consequently, abnormal levels of ncRNAs and their ability to alter the epigenome can stimulate tumorigenesis and hematological malignancies. Therefore, targeting ncRNAs could be the foundation for developing new cancer therapies. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Social Jetlag and Prostate Cancer Incidence in Alberta’s Tomorrow Project: A Prospective Cohort Study
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3873; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123873 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 682
Abstract
We investigated the association of social jetlag (misalignment between the internal clock and socially required timing of activities) and prostate cancer incidence in a prospective cohort in Alberta, Canada. Data were collected from 7455 cancer-free men aged 35–69 years enrolled in Alberta’s Tomorrow [...] Read more.
We investigated the association of social jetlag (misalignment between the internal clock and socially required timing of activities) and prostate cancer incidence in a prospective cohort in Alberta, Canada. Data were collected from 7455 cancer-free men aged 35–69 years enrolled in Alberta’s Tomorrow Project (ATP) from 2001–2007. In the 2008 survey, participants reported usual bed- and wake-times on weekdays and weekend days. Social jetlag was defined as the absolute difference in waking time between weekday and weekend days, and was categorized into three groups: 0–<1 h (from 0 to anything smaller than 1), 1–<2 h (from 1 to anything smaller than 2), and 2+ h. ATP facilitated data linkage with the Alberta Cancer Registry in June 2018 to determine incident prostate cancer cases (n = 250). Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regressions, adjusting for a range of covariates. Median follow-up was 9.57 years, yielding 68,499 person-years. Baseline presence of social jetlag of 1–<2 h (HR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.10 to 2.01), and 2+ hours (HR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.15 to 2.46) were associated with increased prostate cancer risk vs. those reporting no social jetlag (p for trend = 0.004). These associations remained after adjusting for sleep duration (p for trend = 0.006). With respect to chronotype, the association between social jetlag and prostate cancer risk remained significant in men with early chronotypes (p for trend = 0.003) but attenuated to null in men with intermediate (p for trend = 0.150) or late chronotype (p for trend = 0.381). Our findings suggest that greater than one hour of habitual social jetlag is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Longitudinal studies with repeated measures of social jetlag and large samples with sufficient advanced prostate cancer cases are needed to confirm these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle
Suppression of Metastatic Melanoma Growth in Lung by Modulated Electro-Hyperthermia Monitored by a Minimally Invasive Heat Stress Testing Approach in Mice
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3872; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123872 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Modulated electro-hyperthermia (mEHT) is a novel complementary therapy in oncology which is based on the higher conductivity and permittivity of cancerous tissues due to their enhanced glycolytic activity and ionic content compared to healthy normal tissues. We aimed to evaluate the potential of [...] Read more.
Modulated electro-hyperthermia (mEHT) is a novel complementary therapy in oncology which is based on the higher conductivity and permittivity of cancerous tissues due to their enhanced glycolytic activity and ionic content compared to healthy normal tissues. We aimed to evaluate the potential of mEHT, inducing local hyperthermia, in the treatment of pulmonary metastatic melanoma. Our primary objective was the optimization of mEHT for targeted lung treatment as well as to identify the mechanism of its potential anti-tumor effect in the B16F10 mouse melanoma pulmonary metastases model while investigating the potential treatment-related side effects of mEHT on normal lung tissue. Repeated treatment of tumor-bearing lungs with mEHT induced significant anti-tumor effects as demonstrated by the lower number of tumor nodules and the downregulation of Ki67 expression in treated tumor cells. mEHT treatment provoked significant DNA double-strand breaks indicated by the increased expression of phosphorylated H2AX protein in treated tumors, although treatment-induced elevation of cleaved/activated caspase-3 expression was insignificant, suggesting the minimal role of apoptosis in this process. The mEHT-related significant increase in p21waf1 positive tumor cells suggested that p21waf1-mediated cell cycle arrest plays an important role in the anti-tumor effect of mEHT on melanoma metastases. Significantly increased CD3+, CD8+ T-lymphocytes, and F4/80+CD11b+ macrophage density in the whole lung and tumor of treated animals emphasizes the mobilizing capability of mEHT on immune cells. In conclusion, mEHT can reduce the growth potential of melanoma, thus offering itself as a complementary therapeutic option to chemo- and/or radiotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combination Therapies in Cancers)
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Open AccessReview
Design and Implementation of NK Cell-Based Immunotherapy to Overcome the Solid Tumor Microenvironment
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3871; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123871 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 584
Abstract
Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune effectors capable of broad cytotoxicity via germline-encoded receptors and can have conferred cytotoxic potential via the addition of chimeric antigen receptors. Combined with their reduced risk of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and cytokine release syndrome (CRS), NK [...] Read more.
Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune effectors capable of broad cytotoxicity via germline-encoded receptors and can have conferred cytotoxic potential via the addition of chimeric antigen receptors. Combined with their reduced risk of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and cytokine release syndrome (CRS), NK cells are an attractive therapeutic platform. While significant progress has been made in treating hematological malignancies, challenges remain in using NK cell-based therapy to combat solid tumors due to their immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments (TMEs). The development of novel strategies enabling NK cells to resist the deleterious effects of the TME is critical to their therapeutic success against solid tumors. In this review, we discuss strategies that apply various genetic and non-genetic engineering approaches to enhance receptor-mediated NK cell cytotoxicity, improve NK cell resistance to TME effects, and enhance persistence in the TME. The successful design and application of these strategies will ultimately lead to more efficacious NK cell therapies to treat patients with solid tumors. This review outlines the mechanisms by which TME components suppress the anti-tumor activity of endogenous and adoptively transferred NK cells while also describing various approaches whose implementation in NK cells may lead to a more robust therapeutic platform against solid tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of NK and T Cells in Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
Targeting Glycans and Heavily Glycosylated Proteins for Tumor Imaging
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3870; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123870 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Real-time tumor imaging techniques are increasingly used in oncological surgery, but still need to be supplemented with novel targeted tracers, providing specific tumor tissue detection based on intra-tumoral processes or protein expression. To maximize tumor/non-tumor contrast, targets should be highly and homogenously expressed [...] Read more.
Real-time tumor imaging techniques are increasingly used in oncological surgery, but still need to be supplemented with novel targeted tracers, providing specific tumor tissue detection based on intra-tumoral processes or protein expression. To maximize tumor/non-tumor contrast, targets should be highly and homogenously expressed on tumor tissue only, preferably from the earliest developmental stage onward. Unfortunately, most evaluated tumor-associated proteins appear not to meet all of these criteria. Thus, the quest for ideal targets continues. Aberrant glycosylation of proteins and lipids is a fundamental hallmark of almost all cancer types and contributes to tumor progression. Additionally, overexpression of glycoproteins that carry aberrant glycans, such as mucins and proteoglycans, is observed. Selected tumor-associated glyco-antigens are abundantly expressed and could, thus, be ideal candidates for targeted tumor imaging. Nevertheless, glycan-based tumor imaging is still in its infancy. In this review, we highlight the potential of glycans, and heavily glycosylated proteoglycans and mucins as targets for multimodal tumor imaging by discussing the preclinical and clinical accomplishments within this field. Additionally, we describe the major advantages and limitations of targeting glycans compared to cancer-associated proteins. Lastly, by providing a brief overview of the most attractive tumor-associated glycans and glycosylated proteins in association with their respective tumor types, we set out the way for implementing glycan-based imaging in a clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Cancer Biomarkers)
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Open AccessArticle
Breast Cancer Organoids Model Patient-Specific Response to Drug Treatment
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3869; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123869 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Tumor organoids are tridimensional cell culture systems that are generated in vitro from surgically resected patients’ tumors. They can be propagated in culture maintaining several features of the tumor of origin, including cellular and genetic heterogeneity, thus representing a promising tool for precision [...] Read more.
Tumor organoids are tridimensional cell culture systems that are generated in vitro from surgically resected patients’ tumors. They can be propagated in culture maintaining several features of the tumor of origin, including cellular and genetic heterogeneity, thus representing a promising tool for precision cancer medicine. Here, we established patient-derived tumor organoids (PDOs) from different breast cancer subtypes (luminal A, luminal B, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-enriched, and triple negative). The established model systems showed histological and genomic concordance with parental tumors. However, in PDOs, the ratio of diverse cell populations was frequently different from that originally observed in parental tumors. We showed that tumor organoids represent a valuable system to test the efficacy of standard therapeutic treatments and to identify drug resistant populations within tumors. We also report that inhibitors of mechanosignaling and of Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP) activation can restore chemosensitivity in drug resistant tumor organoids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Organoids in Basic Science and Translational Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance of Comprehensive Complication Index and Clavien-Dindo Complication Scoring System in Liver Surgery for Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3868; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123868 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Background: We aimed to assess the ability of comprehensive complication index (CCI) and Clavien-Dindo complication (CDC) scale to predict excessive length of hospital stay (e-LOS) in patients undergoing liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods: Patients were identified from an Italian multi-institutional database and [...] Read more.
Background: We aimed to assess the ability of comprehensive complication index (CCI) and Clavien-Dindo complication (CDC) scale to predict excessive length of hospital stay (e-LOS) in patients undergoing liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods: Patients were identified from an Italian multi-institutional database and randomly selected to be included in either a derivation or validation set. Multivariate logistic regression models and ROC curve analysis including either CCI or CDC as predictors of e-LOS were fitted to compare predictive performance. E-LOS was defined as a LOS longer than the 75th percentile among patients with at least one complication. Results: A total of 2669 patients were analyzed (1345 for derivation and 1324 for validation). The odds ratio (OR) was 5.590 (95%CI 4.201; 7.438) for CCI and 5.507 (4.152; 7.304) for CDC. The AUC was 0.964 for CCI and 0.893 for CDC in the derivation set and 0.962 vs. 0.890 in the validation set, respectively. In patients with at least two complications, the OR was 2.793 (1.896; 4.115) for CCI and 2.439 (1.666; 3.570) for CDC with an AUC of 0.850 and 0.673, respectively in the derivation cohort. The AUC was 0.806 for CCI and 0.658 for CDC in the validation set. Conclusions: When reporting postoperative morbidity in liver surgery, CCI is a preferable scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prognosis and Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma)
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Open AccessArticle
LncRNA LINC00518 Acts as an Oncogene in Uveal Melanoma by Regulating an RNA-Based Network
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3867; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123867 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular malignant tumor in adults; little is known about the contribution of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) to UM pathogenesis. Competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks based on RNA–RNA interactions regulate physiological and pathological processes. Through a combined [...] Read more.
Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular malignant tumor in adults; little is known about the contribution of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) to UM pathogenesis. Competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks based on RNA–RNA interactions regulate physiological and pathological processes. Through a combined approach of in silico and experimental biology, we investigated the expression of a set of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in patient biopsies, identifying LINC00518 as a potential oncogene in UM. The detection of LINC00518 dysregulation associated with several in vitro functional assays allowed us to investigate its ceRNA regulatory network and shed light on its potential involvement in cancer-related processes, such as epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and CoCl2-induced hypoxia-like response. In vitro transient silencing of LINC00518 impaired cell proliferation and migration, and affected mRNA expression of LINGO2, NFIA, OTUD7B, SEC22C, and VAMP3. A “miRNA sponge” and “miRNA protector” model have been hypothesized for LINC00518-induced regulation of mRNAs. In vitro inhibition of MITF suggested its role as a potential activator of LINC00518 expression. Comprehensively, LINC00518 may be considered a new oncogene in UM and a potential target for RNA-based therapeutic approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noncoding Landscapes of Uveal Melanoma)
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Open AccessReview
Adjuvant Pancreatic Cancer Management: Towards New Perspectives in 2021
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3866; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123866 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Adjuvant chemotherapy is currently used in all patients with resected pancreatic cancer who are able to begin treatment within 3 months after surgery. Since the recent publication of the PRODIGE 24 trial results, modified FOLFIRINOX has become the standard-of-care in the non-Asian population [...] Read more.
Adjuvant chemotherapy is currently used in all patients with resected pancreatic cancer who are able to begin treatment within 3 months after surgery. Since the recent publication of the PRODIGE 24 trial results, modified FOLFIRINOX has become the standard-of-care in the non-Asian population with localized pancreatic adenocarcinoma following surgery. Nevertheless, there is still a risk of toxicity, and feasibility may be limited in heavily pre-treated patients. In more frail patients, gemcitabine-based chemotherapy remains a suitable option, for example gemcitabine or 5FU in monotherapy. In Asia, although S1-based chemotherapy is the standard of care it is not readily available outside Asia and data are lacking in non-Asiatic patients. In patients in whom resection is not initially possible, intensified schemes such as FOLFIRINOX or gemcitabine-nabpaclitaxel have been confirmed as options to enhance the response rate and resectability, promoting research in adjuvant therapy. In particular, should oncologists prescribe adjuvant treatment after a long sequence of chemotherapy +/– chemoradiotherapy and surgery? Should oncologists consider the response rate, the R0 resection rate alone, or the initial chemotherapy regimen? And finally, should they take into consideration the duration of the entire sequence, or the presence of limited toxicities of induction treatment? The aim of this review is to summarize adjuvant management of resected pancreatic cancer and to raise current and future concerns, especially the need for biomarkers and the best holistic care for patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma)
Open AccessArticle
Chaperonin-Containing TCP-1 Promotes Cancer Chemoresistance and Metastasis through the AKT-GSK3β-β-Catenin and XIAP-Survivin Pathways
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3865; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123865 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 395
Abstract
Chaperonin-containing TCP-1 (CCT) is a chaperonin composed of eight subunits that participates in intracellular protein folding. Here, we showed that increased levels of subunits of CCT, particularly CCT-β, were significantly correlated with lower survival rates for cancer patients. Endogenously high expression of CCT-β [...] Read more.
Chaperonin-containing TCP-1 (CCT) is a chaperonin composed of eight subunits that participates in intracellular protein folding. Here, we showed that increased levels of subunits of CCT, particularly CCT-β, were significantly correlated with lower survival rates for cancer patients. Endogenously high expression of CCT-β was found in cancer cell lines, such as the triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 and the highly metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer cell line CL1-5. Knocking down CCT-β in these cancer cells led to decreased levels of anti-apoptotic proteins, such as XIAP, as well as inhibited phosphorylation of Ser473-AKT and GSK3, resulting in decrease of the nucleus-entering form of β-catenin; these changes reduced the chemoresistance and migration/invasion of the cells. Conversely, overexpression of CCT-β recovered the chemoresistance and cell migration/invasion by promoting the AKT-GSK3β-β-catenin and XIAP-Survivin pathways. Coimmunoprecipitation data revealed that the CCT complex might directly bind and stabilize XIAP and β-catenin. This study not only elucidates the roles of CCT in chemoresistance and metastasis, which are two major obstacles for current cancer therapy, but also provides a possible therapeutic strategy against cancers with overexpressed CCT-β. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism Underlying Tumor Relapse and Targeted Treatment Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Adipocyte-Derived Leptin Promotes PAI-1-Mediated Breast Cancer Metastasis in a STAT3/miR-34a Dependent Manner
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3864; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123864 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 314
Abstract
The crosstalk between cancer cells and adipocytes is critical for breast cancer progression. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions have not been fully characterized. In the present study, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) was found to be a critical effector of the metastatic [...] Read more.
The crosstalk between cancer cells and adipocytes is critical for breast cancer progression. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions have not been fully characterized. In the present study, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) was found to be a critical effector of the metastatic behavior of breast cancer cells upon adipocyte coculture. Loss-of-function studies indicated that silencing PAI-1 suppressed cancer cell migration. Furthermore, we found that PAI-1 was closely related to the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process in breast cancer patients. A loss-of-function study and a mammary orthotopic implantation metastasis model showed that PAI-1 promoted breast cancer metastasis by affecting the EMT process. In addition, we revealed that leptin/OBR mediated the regulation of PAI-1 through the interactions between adipocytes and breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, we elucidated that leptin/OBR further activated STAT3 to promote PAI-1 expression via miR-34a–dependent and miR-34a–independent mechanisms in breast cancer cells. In conclusion, our study suggests that targeting PAI-1 and interfering with its upstream regulators may benefit breast cancer patients. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Tumor Microenvironment as a Driving Force of Breast Cancer Stem Cell Plasticity
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3863; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123863 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Tumor progression involves the co-evolution of transformed cells and the milieu in which they live and expand. Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are a specialized subset of cells that sustain tumor growth and drive metastatic colonization. However, the cellular hierarchy in breast tumors [...] Read more.
Tumor progression involves the co-evolution of transformed cells and the milieu in which they live and expand. Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are a specialized subset of cells that sustain tumor growth and drive metastatic colonization. However, the cellular hierarchy in breast tumors is rather plastic, and the capacity to transition from one cell state to another depends not only on the intrinsic properties of transformed cells, but also on the interplay with their niches. It has become evident that the tumor microenvironment (TME) is a major player in regulating the BCSC phenotype and metastasis. The complexity of the TME is reflected in its number of players and in the interactions that they establish with each other. Multiple types of immune cells, stromal cells, and the extracellular matrix (ECM) form an intricate communication network with cancer cells, exert a highly selective pressure on the tumor, and provide supportive niches for BCSC expansion. A better understanding of the mechanisms regulating these interactions is crucial to develop strategies aimed at interfering with key BCSC niche factors, which may help reducing tumor heterogeneity and impair metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stemness and Differentiation in Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
TMEFF2: A Transmembrane Proteoglycan with Multifaceted Actions in Cancer and Disease
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3862; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123862 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Transmembrane protein with an EGF-like and two Follistatin-like domains 2 (TMEFF2) is a 374-residue long type-I transmembrane proteoglycan which is proteolytically shed from the cell surface. The protein is involved in a range of functions including metabolism, neuroprotection, apoptosis, embryonic development, onco-suppression and [...] Read more.
Transmembrane protein with an EGF-like and two Follistatin-like domains 2 (TMEFF2) is a 374-residue long type-I transmembrane proteoglycan which is proteolytically shed from the cell surface. The protein is involved in a range of functions including metabolism, neuroprotection, apoptosis, embryonic development, onco-suppression and endocrine function. TMEFF2 is methylated in numerous cancers, and an inverse correlation with the stage, response to therapy and survival outcome has been observed. Moreover, TMEFF2 methylation increases with breast, colon and gastric cancer progression. TMEFF2 is methylated early during oncogenesis in breast and colorectal cancer, and the detection of methylated free-circulating TMEFF2 DNA has been suggested as a potential diagnostic tool. The TMEFF2 downregulation signature equals and sometimes outperforms the Gleason and pathological scores in prostate cancer. TMEFF2 is downregulated in glioma and cotricotropinomas, and it impairs the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone in glioma cells. Interestingly, through binding the amyloid β protein, its precursor and derivatives, TMEFF2 provides neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s disease. Despite undergoing extensive investigation over the last two decades, the primary literature regarding TMEFF2 is incoherent and offers conflicting information, in particular, the oncogenic vs. onco-suppressive role of TMEFF2 in prostate cancer. For the first time, we have compiled, contextualised and critically analysed the vast body of TMEFF2-related literature and answered the apparent discrepancies regarding its function, tissue expression, intracellular localization and oncogenic vs. onco-suppressive role. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Etiology of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL): Current Directions in Research
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3861; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123861 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a CD30-positive, anaplastic lymphoma kinase-negative T-cell lymphoma. Where implant history is known, all confirmed cases to date have occurred in patients with exposure to textured implants. There is a spectrum of disease presentation, with the [...] Read more.
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a CD30-positive, anaplastic lymphoma kinase-negative T-cell lymphoma. Where implant history is known, all confirmed cases to date have occurred in patients with exposure to textured implants. There is a spectrum of disease presentation, with the most common occurring as a seroma with an indolent course. A less common presentation occurs as locally advanced or, rarely, as metastatic disease. Here we review the immunological characteristics of BIA-ALCL and potential triggers leading to its development. BIA-ALCL occurs in an inflammatory microenvironment with significant lymphocyte and plasma cell infiltration and a prominent Th1/Th17 phenotype in advanced disease. Genetic lesions affecting the JAK/STAT signaling pathway are commonly present. Proposed triggers for the development of malignancy include mechanical friction, silicone implant shell particulates, silicone leachables, and bacteria. Of these, the bacterial hypothesis has received significant attention, supported by a plausible biologic model. In this model, bacteria form an adherent biofilm in the favorable environment of the textured implant surface, producing a bacterial load that elicits a chronic inflammatory response. Bacterial antigens, primarily of Gram-negative origin, may trigger innate immunity and induce T-cell proliferation with subsequent malignant transformation in genetically susceptible individuals. Although much remains to be elucidated regarding the multifactorial origins of BIA-ALCL, future research should focus on prevention and treatment strategies, recognizing susceptible populations, and whether decreasing the risk of BIA-ALCL is possible. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary
Obesity Epidemic—The Underestimated Risk of Endometrial Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3860; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123860 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 354
Abstract
Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most frequently observed malignant gynecologic disease in developed countries. There is a strong association between the established risk factor obesity and the incidence of EC. Furthermore, the rate of women with a body mass index (BMI) > 30 [...] Read more.
Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most frequently observed malignant gynecologic disease in developed countries. There is a strong association between the established risk factor obesity and the incidence of EC. Furthermore, the rate of women with a body mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2 is increasing worldwide, correspondingly leading to a higher prevalence of EC. Understanding the adipose tissue as an endocrine organ, elementary pathophysiological pathways of tumorigenesis have been revealed. This includes the fundamental role of hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and hyperestrogenemia, as well as interactions with a chronic proinflammatory microenvironment. Therapeutic options potentially include metformin or bariatric surgery. Moreover, changes in individual lifestyle such as weight reduction, physical activity, and an awareness of healthy nutrition are effective in preventing the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Factors for Endometrial Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Rapalink-1 Targets Glioblastoma Stem Cells and Acts Synergistically with Tumor Treating Fields to Reduce Resistance against Temozolomide
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3859; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123859 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 481
Abstract
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a lethal disease with limited clinical treatment options available. Recently, a new inhibitor targeting the prominent cancer signaling pathway mTOR was discovered (Rapalink-1), but its therapeutic potential on stem cell populations of GBM is unknown. We applied a collection of [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a lethal disease with limited clinical treatment options available. Recently, a new inhibitor targeting the prominent cancer signaling pathway mTOR was discovered (Rapalink-1), but its therapeutic potential on stem cell populations of GBM is unknown. We applied a collection of physiological relevant organoid-like stem cell models of GBM and studied the effect of RL1 exposure on various cellular features as well as on the expression of mTOR signaling targets and stem cell molecules. We also undertook combination treatments with this agent and clinical GBM treatments tumor treating fields (TTFields) and the standard-of-care drug temozolomide, TMZ. Low nanomolar (nM) RL1 treatment significantly reduced cell growth, proliferation, migration, and clonogenic potential of our stem cell models. It acted synergistically to reduce cell growth when applied in combination with TMZ and TTFields. We performed an in silico analysis from the molecular data of diverse patient samples to probe for a relationship between the expression of mTOR genes, and mesenchymal markers in different GBM cohorts. We supported the in silico results with correlative protein data retrieved from tumor specimens. Our study further validates mTOR signaling as a druggable target in GBM and supports RL1, representing a promising therapeutic target in brain oncology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Stem Cells and Therapy Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
A Confidence Habitats Methodology in MR Quantitative Diffusion for the Classification of Neuroblastic Tumors
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3858; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123858 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Background/Aim: In recent years, the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) has been used in many oncology applications as a surrogate marker of tumor cellularity and aggressiveness, although several factors may introduce bias when calculating this coefficient. The goal of this study was to develop [...] Read more.
Background/Aim: In recent years, the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) has been used in many oncology applications as a surrogate marker of tumor cellularity and aggressiveness, although several factors may introduce bias when calculating this coefficient. The goal of this study was to develop a novel methodology (Fit-Cluster-Fit) based on confidence habitats that could be applied to quantitative diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images (DWIs) to enhance the power of ADC values to discriminate between benign and malignant neuroblastic tumor profiles in children. Methods: Histogram analysis and clustering-based algorithms were applied to DWIs from 33 patients to perform tumor voxel discrimination into two classes. Voxel uncertainties were quantified and incorporated to obtain a more reproducible and meaningful estimate of ADC values within a tumor habitat. Computational experiments were performed by smearing the ADC values in order to obtain confidence maps that help identify and remove noise from low-quality voxels within high-signal clustered regions. The proposed Fit-Cluster-Fit methodology was compared with two other methods: conventional voxel-based and a cluster-based strategy. Results: The cluster-based and Fit-Cluster-Fit models successfully differentiated benign and malignant neuroblastic tumor profiles when using values from the lower ADC habitat. In particular, the best sensitivity (91%) and specificity (89%) of all the combinations and methods explored was achieved by removing uncertainties at a 70% confidence threshold, improving standard voxel-based sensitivity and negative predictive values by 4% and 10%, respectively. Conclusions: The Fit-Cluster-Fit method improves the performance of imaging biomarkers in classifying pediatric solid tumor cancers and it can probably be adapted to dynamic signal evaluation for any tumor. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Proteomic Resistance Biomarkers for PI3K Inhibitor in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patient-Derived Xenograft Models
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3857; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123857 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 463
Abstract
PI3K pathway activation is frequently observed in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, single agent PI3K inhibitors have shown limited anti-tumor activity. To investigate biomarkers of response and resistance mechanisms, we tested 17 TNBC patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models representing diverse genomic backgrounds and [...] Read more.
PI3K pathway activation is frequently observed in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, single agent PI3K inhibitors have shown limited anti-tumor activity. To investigate biomarkers of response and resistance mechanisms, we tested 17 TNBC patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models representing diverse genomic backgrounds and varying degrees of PI3K pathway signaling activities for their tumor growth response to the pan-PI3K inhibitor, BKM120. Baseline and post-treatment PDX tumors were subjected to reverse phase protein array (RPPA) to identify protein markers associated with tumor growth response. While BKM120 consistently reduced PI3K pathway activity, as demonstrated by reduced levels of phosphorylated AKT, percentage tumor growth inhibition (%TGI) ranged from 35% in the least sensitive to 84% in the most sensitive model. Several biomarkers showed significant association with resistance, including elevated baseline levels of growth factor receptors (EGFR, pHER3 Y1197), PI3Kp85 regulatory subunit, anti-apoptotic protein BclXL, EMT (Vimentin, MMP9, IntegrinaV), NFKB pathway (IkappaB, RANKL), and intracellular signaling molecules including Caveolin, CBP, and KLF4, as well as treatment-induced increases in the levels of phosphorylated forms of Aurora kinases. Interestingly, increased AKT phosphorylation or PTEN loss at baseline were not significantly correlated to %TGI. These results provide important insights into biomarker development for PI3K inhibitors in TNBC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High Expression of NRF2 Is Associated with Increased Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes and Cancer Immunity in ER-Positive/HER2-Negative Breast Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3856; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123856 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) is a key modifier in breast cancer. It is unclear whether NRF2 suppresses or promotes breast cancer progression. We studied the clinical relevance of NRF2 expression by conducting in silico analyses in 5443 breast [...] Read more.
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) is a key modifier in breast cancer. It is unclear whether NRF2 suppresses or promotes breast cancer progression. We studied the clinical relevance of NRF2 expression by conducting in silico analyses in 5443 breast cancer patients from several large patient cohorts (METABRIC, GSE96058, GSE25066, GSE20194, and GSE75688). NRF2 expression was significantly associated with better survival, low Nottingham pathological grade, and ER-positive/HER2-negative and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). High NRF2 ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer enriched inflammation- and immune-related gene sets by GSEA. NRF2 expression was elevated in immune, stromal, and cancer cells. High NRF2 tumors were associated with high infiltration of immune cells (CD8+, CD4+, and dendritic cells (DC)) and stromal cells (adipocyte, fibroblasts, and keratinocytes), and with low fraction of Th1 cells. NRF2 expression significantly correlated with area under the curve (AUC) of several drug response in multiple ER-positive breast cancer cell lines, however, there was no significant association between NRF2 and pathologic complete response (pCR) rate after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in human samples. Finally, high NRF2 breast cancer was associated with high expression of immune checkpoint molecules. In conclusion, NRF2 expression was associated with enhanced tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The KEAP1-NRF2 Pathway in Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
NAMPT Over-Expression Recapitulates the BRAF Inhibitor Resistant Phenotype Plasticity in Melanoma
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3855; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123855 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Serine–threonine protein kinase B-RAF (BRAF)-mutated metastatic melanoma (MM) is a highly aggressive type of skin cancer. Treatment of MM patients using BRAF/MEK inhibitors (BRAFi/MEKi) eventually leads to drug resistance, limiting any clinical benefit. Herein, we demonstrated that the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide [...] Read more.
Serine–threonine protein kinase B-RAF (BRAF)-mutated metastatic melanoma (MM) is a highly aggressive type of skin cancer. Treatment of MM patients using BRAF/MEK inhibitors (BRAFi/MEKi) eventually leads to drug resistance, limiting any clinical benefit. Herein, we demonstrated that the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-biosynthetic enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a driving factor in BRAFi resistance development. Using stable and inducible NAMPT over-expression systems, we showed that forced NAMPT expression in MM BRAF-mutated cell lines led to increased energy production, MAPK activation, colony-formation capacity, and enhance tumorigenicity in vivo. Moreover, NAMPT over-expressing cells switched toward an invasive/mesenchymal phenotype, up-regulating expression of ZEB1 and TWIST, two transcription factors driving the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. Consistently, within the NAMPT-overexpressing cell line variants, we observed an increased percentage of a rare, drug-effluxing stem cell-like side population (SP) of cells, paralleled by up-regulation of ABCC1/MRP1 expression and CD133-positive cells. The direct correlation between NAMPT expression and gene set enrichments involving metastasis, invasiveness and mesenchymal/stemness properties were verified also in melanoma patients by analyzing The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets. On the other hand, CRISPR/Cas9 full knock-out NAMPT BRAFi-resistant MM cells are not viable, while inducible partial silencing drastically reduces tumor growth and aggressiveness. Overall, this work revealed that NAMPT over-expression is both necessary and sufficient to recapitulate the BRAFi-resistant phenotype plasticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Skin Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of cis- and trans-Acting RNA Regulatory Elements in Leukemia
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3854; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123854 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 450
Abstract
RNA molecules are a source of phenotypic diversity and an operating system that connects multiple genetic and metabolic processes in the cell. A dysregulated RNA network is a common feature of cancer. Aberrant expression of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), micro RNA (miRNA), and [...] Read more.
RNA molecules are a source of phenotypic diversity and an operating system that connects multiple genetic and metabolic processes in the cell. A dysregulated RNA network is a common feature of cancer. Aberrant expression of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), micro RNA (miRNA), and circular RNA (circRNA) in tumors compared to their normal counterparts, as well as the recurrent mutations in functional regulatory cis-acting RNA motifs have emerged as biomarkers of disease development and progression, opening avenues for the design of novel therapeutic approaches. This review looks at the progress, challenges and future prospects of targeting cis-acting and trans-acting RNA elements for leukemia diagnosis and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Leukemia)
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Open AccessReview
Highlighting the Potential for Chronic Stress to Minimize Therapeutic Responses to Radiotherapy through Increased Immunosuppression and Radiation Resistance
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3853; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123853 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Ionizing radiation has been used in the treatment of cancer for more than 100 years. While often very effective, there is still a great effort in place to improve the efficacy of radiation therapy for controlling the progression and recurrence of tumors. Recent [...] Read more.
Ionizing radiation has been used in the treatment of cancer for more than 100 years. While often very effective, there is still a great effort in place to improve the efficacy of radiation therapy for controlling the progression and recurrence of tumors. Recent research has revealed the close interaction between nerves and tumor progression, especially nerves of the autonomic nervous system that are activated by a variety of stressful stimuli including anxiety, pain, sleep loss or depression, each of which is likely to be increased in cancer patients. A growing literature now points to a negative effect of chronic stressful stimuli in tumor progression. In this review article, we present data on the potential for adrenergic stress to influence the efficacy of radiation and in particular, its potential to influence the anti-tumor immune response, and the frequency of an “abscopal effect” or the shrinkage of tumors which are outside an irradiated field. We conclude that chronic stress can be a major impediment to more effective radiation therapy through mechanisms involving immunosuppression and increased resistance to radiation-induced tumor cell death. Overall, these data highlight the potential value of stress reduction strategies to improve the outcome of radiation therapy. At the same time, objective biomarkers that can accurately and objectively reflect the degree of stress in patients over prolonged periods of time, and whether it is influencing immunosuppression and radiation resistance, are also critically needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prospective Study of Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3852; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123852 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 374
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the acute and medium-term toxicities, the quality of life, and aesthetic results of patients with breast cancer (BC) treated with tomotherapy. This was a prospective study, including patients with BC treated by tomotherapy. Radiation therapy [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the acute and medium-term toxicities, the quality of life, and aesthetic results of patients with breast cancer (BC) treated with tomotherapy. This was a prospective study, including patients with BC treated by tomotherapy. Radiation therapy delivered 50 Gy in 25 fractions to the breast or chest wall and to lymph node areas, with a simultaneous integrated boost at a dose of 60 Gy at the tumor bed in cases of breast conservative surgery. We included 288 patients, 168 and 120 treated with breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy respectively. Two hundred sixty patients (90.3%) received lymph node irradiation. Median follow-up was 25 months (6–48). Acute dermatitis was observed in 278 patients (96.5%), mostly grade 1 (59.7%). The aesthetic aspect of the breast at one year was reported as “good” or “excellent” in 84.6% of patients. The patients’ quality of life improved over time, especially those treated with chemotherapy. The two-year overall survival and disease-free survival were 97.8% (95% confidence interval (CI): 94.1–99.2%), and 93.4% (95% CI: 89.2–96.0%) respectively. Tomotherapy for locally advanced BC has acceptable toxicity, supporting its use in this indication; however, longer follow-up is needed to assess long-term outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Acquired Resistance to PD-1/PD-L1 Blockade in Lung Cancer: Mechanisms and Patterns of Failure
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3851; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123851 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Immunotherapy is now the preferred treatment for most lung cancer patients. It is used to treat unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer and is the first-line therapy for non-oncogene-driven advanced/metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer patients (either alone or in combination with chemotherapy). Unfortunately, most [...] Read more.
Immunotherapy is now the preferred treatment for most lung cancer patients. It is used to treat unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer and is the first-line therapy for non-oncogene-driven advanced/metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer patients (either alone or in combination with chemotherapy). Unfortunately, most patients that respond initially to immunotherapy develop resistance over time, thus limiting the durability of immunotherapy. A better understanding of the mechanisms of acquired resistance is urgently needed to expand the benefit of immunotherapy in lung cancer patients. This review aims to summarize the mechanisms and clinical outcomes of acquired resistance of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies in non-small-cell lung cancer patients. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms of Immunosuppression in Colorectal Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3850; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123850 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 338
Abstract
CRC is the third most diagnosed cancer in the US with the second-highest mortality rate. A multi-modality approach with surgery/chemotherapy is used in patients with early stages of colon cancer. Radiation therapy is added to the armamentarium in patients with locally advanced rectal [...] Read more.
CRC is the third most diagnosed cancer in the US with the second-highest mortality rate. A multi-modality approach with surgery/chemotherapy is used in patients with early stages of colon cancer. Radiation therapy is added to the armamentarium in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. While some patients with metastatic CRC are cured, the majority remain incurable and receive palliative chemotherapy as the standard of care. Recently, immune checkpoint blockade has emerged as a promising treatment for many solid tumors, including CRC with microsatellite instability. However, it has not been effective for microsatellite stable CRC. Here, main mechanisms of immunosuppression in CRC will be discussed, aiming to provide some insights for restoring immunosurveillance to improve treatment efficacy in CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Immunotherapy in Cancers)
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Open AccessArticle
Delayed Postoperative Hyponatremia Following Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Surgery for Non-Adenomatous Parasellar Tumors
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3849; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123849 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 247
Abstract
Little is known about delayed postoperative hyponatremia (DPH) accompanied with transsphenoidal surgery for non-adenomatous skull base tumors (NASBTs). Consecutive data on 30 patients with parasellar NASBT was retrospectively reviewed with detailed analyses on perioperative serial sodium levels. Serological DPH (sodium ≤ 135 mmol/L) [...] Read more.
Little is known about delayed postoperative hyponatremia (DPH) accompanied with transsphenoidal surgery for non-adenomatous skull base tumors (NASBTs). Consecutive data on 30 patients with parasellar NASBT was retrospectively reviewed with detailed analyses on perioperative serial sodium levels. Serological DPH (sodium ≤ 135 mmol/L) was observed in eight (27%), with four (13%) of them being symptomatic. DPH developed on postoperative day 7–12 where the mean sodium levels were 134 mmol/L (a mean of 7 mmol/L drop from the baseline) in asymptomatic and 125 mmol/L (a mean of 17.5 mmol/L drop from the baseline) in symptomatic DPH. Serological DPH was accompanied with “weight loss and hemoconcentration (cerebral salt wasting type)” in four (50%), “weight gain and hemodilution (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion type)” in three (38%), and no significant weight change in one. Intraoperative extradural retraction of the pituitary gland was the only significant factor for serological DPH (p = 0.035; odds ratio, 12.25 (95% confidence interval, 1.27–118.36)). DPH should be recognized as one of the significant postsurgical complications associated with TSS for NASBTs. Although the underlying mechanism is still controversial, intraoperative extradural compression of the pituitary gland and subsequent dysregulation of the hypothalamo-hypophyseal axis may be responsible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances and Challenges in Sellar and Para-Sellar Pathology)
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Open AccessArticle
Light Stability, Pro-Apoptotic and Genotoxic Properties of Silver (I) Complexes of Metronidazole and 4-Hydroxymethylpyridine against Pancreatic Cancer Cells In Vitro
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3848; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123848 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 385
Abstract
Antimicrobial properties of silver (I) ion and its complexes are well recognized. However, recent studies suggest that both silver (I) ion and its complexes possess anticancer activity associated with oxidative stress-induced apoptosis of various cancer cells. In this study, we aimed to investigate [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial properties of silver (I) ion and its complexes are well recognized. However, recent studies suggest that both silver (I) ion and its complexes possess anticancer activity associated with oxidative stress-induced apoptosis of various cancer cells. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether silver nitrate and its complexes with metronidazole and 4-hydroxymethylpyridine exert anticancer action against human pancreatic cancer cell lines (PANC-1 and 1.2B4). In the study, we compared decomposition speed for silver complexes under the influence of daylight and UV-A (ultraviolet-A) rays. We employed the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazonium bromide) assay to evaluate the cytotoxicity and the alkaline comet assay to determine genotoxicity of silver nitrate and its complexes. Flow cytometry and the Annexin V-FITC/PI apoptosis detection kit were used to detect the apoptosis of human pancreatic cancer cells. We found a dose dependent decrease of both pancreatic cancer cell line viability after exposure to silver nitrate and its complexes. The flow cytometry analysis confirmed that cell death occurred mainly via apoptosis. We also documented that the studied compounds induced DNA damage. Metronidazole and 4-hydroxymethylpyridine alone did not significantly affect viability and level of DNA damage of pancreatic cancer cell lines. Complex compounds showed better stability than AgNO3, which decomposed slower than when exposed to light. UV-A significantly influences the speed of silver salt decomposition reaction. To conclude, obtained data demonstrated that silver nitrate and its complexes exerted anticancer action against human pancreatic cancer cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The YAP/TEAD Axis as a New Therapeutic Target in Osteosarcoma: Effect of Verteporfin and CA3 on Primary Tumor Growth
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3847; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123847 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 321
Abstract
Although some studies suggested that disruption of the Hippo signaling pathway is associated with osteosarcoma progression, the molecular mechanisms by which YAP regulates primary tumor growth is not fully clarified. In addition, the validation of YAP as a therapeutic target through the use [...] Read more.
Although some studies suggested that disruption of the Hippo signaling pathway is associated with osteosarcoma progression, the molecular mechanisms by which YAP regulates primary tumor growth is not fully clarified. In addition, the validation of YAP as a therapeutic target through the use of inhibitors in a preclinical model must be demonstrated. RNA-seq analysis and Kaplan–Meier assays identified a YAP signature in osteosarcoma patients and a correlation with patients’ outcomes. Molecular and cellular analysis (RNAseq, PLA, immunoprecipitation, promoter/specific gene, proliferation, cell cycle assays) using overexpression of mutated forms of YAP able or unable to interact with TEAD, indicate that TEAD is crucial for YAP-driven cell proliferation and in vivo tumor growth. In addition, in vivo experiments using an orthotopic mice model of osteosarcoma show that two YAP/TEAD inhibitors, verteporfin and CA3, reduce primary tumor growth. In this context, in vitro experiments demonstrate that these inhibitors decrease YAP expression, YAP/TEAD transcriptional activity and cell viability mainly by their ability to induce cell apoptosis. We thus demonstrate that the YAP/TEAD signaling axis is a central actor in mediating primary tumor growth of osteosarcoma, and that the use of YAP inhibitors may be a promising therapeutic strategy against osteosarcoma tumor growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Advances and Therapeutic Strategies of Human Osteosarcoma)
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Open AccessArticle
Establishment and Characterization of Patient-Derived Xenografts (PDXs) of Different Histology from Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Patients
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3846; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123846 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a very aggressive tumor originating from mesothelial cells. Although several etiological factors were reported to contribute to MPM onset, environmental exposure to asbestos is certainly a major risk factor. The latency between asbestos (or asbestos-like fibers) exposure [...] Read more.
Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a very aggressive tumor originating from mesothelial cells. Although several etiological factors were reported to contribute to MPM onset, environmental exposure to asbestos is certainly a major risk factor. The latency between asbestos (or asbestos-like fibers) exposure and MPM onset is very long. MPM continues to be a tumor with poor prognosis despite the introduction of new therapies including immunotherapy. One of the major problems is the low number of preclinical models able to recapitulate the features of human tumors. This impacts the possible discovery of new treatments and combinations. Methods: In this work, we aimed to generate patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) from MPM patients covering the three major histotypes (epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and mixed) occurring in the clinic. To do this, we obtained fresh tumors from biopsies or pleurectomies, and samples were subcutaneously implanted in immunodeficient mice within 24 h. Results: We successfully isolated different PDXs and particularly concentrated our efforts on three covering the three histotypes. The tumors that grew in mice compared well histologically with the tumors of origin, and showed stable growth in mice and a low response to cisplatin, as was observed in the clinic. Conclusions: These models are helpful in testing new drugs and combinations that, if successful, could rapidly translate to the clinical setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM))
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Open AccessArticle
G1 Cell Cycle Arrest and Extrinsic Apoptotic Mechanisms Underlying the Anti-Leukemic Activity of CDK7 Inhibitor BS-181
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3845; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123845 - 19 Dec 2020
Viewed by 417
Abstract
In vitro antitumor activity of the CDK7 inhibitor BS-181 against human T-ALL Jurkat cells was determined. Treatment of Jurkat clones (JT/Neo) with BS-181 caused cytotoxicity and several apoptotic events, including TRAIL/DR4/DR5 upregulation, c-FLIP down-regulation, BID cleavage, BAK activation, ΔΨm loss, caspase-8/9/3 activation, [...] Read more.
In vitro antitumor activity of the CDK7 inhibitor BS-181 against human T-ALL Jurkat cells was determined. Treatment of Jurkat clones (JT/Neo) with BS-181 caused cytotoxicity and several apoptotic events, including TRAIL/DR4/DR5 upregulation, c-FLIP down-regulation, BID cleavage, BAK activation, ΔΨm loss, caspase-8/9/3 activation, and PARP cleavage. However, the BCL-2-overexpressing Jurkat clone (JT/BCL-2) abrogated these apoptotic responses. CDK7 catalyzed the activating phosphorylation of CDK1 (Thr161) and CDK2 (Thr160), and CDK-directed retinoblastoma phosphorylation was attenuated in both BS-181-treated Jurkat clones, whereas only JT/BCL-2 cells exhibited G1 cell cycle arrest. The G1-blocker hydroxyurea augmented BS-181-induced apoptosis by enhancing TRAIL/DR4/DR5 upregulation and c-FLIP down-regulation. BS-181-induced FITC–annexin V-positive apoptotic cells were mostly in the sub-G1 and G1 phases. BS-181-induced cytotoxicity and mitochondrial apoptotic events (BAK activation/ΔΨm loss/caspase-9 activation) in Jurkat clones I2.1 (FADD-deficient) and I9.2 (caspase-8-deficient) were significantly lower than in A3 (wild-type). Exogenously added recombinant TRAIL (rTRAIL) markedly synergized BS-181-induced apoptosis in A3 cells but not in normal peripheral T cells. The cotreatment cytotoxicity was significantly reduced by the DR5-blocking antibody but not by the DR4-blocking antibody. These results demonstrated that the BS-181 anti-leukemic activity is attributed to extrinsic TRAIL/DR5-dependent apoptosis preferentially induced in G1-arrested cells, and that BS-181 and rTRAIL in combination may hold promise for T-ALL treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle
Deep Learning Prediction of Cancer Prevalence from Satellite Imagery
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3844; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123844 - 19 Dec 2020
Viewed by 722
Abstract
The worldwide growth of cancer incidence can be explained in part by changes in the prevalence and distribution of risk factors. There are geographical gaps in the estimates of cancer prevalence, which could be filled with innovative methods. We used deep learning (DL) [...] Read more.
The worldwide growth of cancer incidence can be explained in part by changes in the prevalence and distribution of risk factors. There are geographical gaps in the estimates of cancer prevalence, which could be filled with innovative methods. We used deep learning (DL) features extracted from satellite images to predict cancer prevalence at the census tract level in seven cities in the United States. We trained the model using detailed cancer prevalence estimates from 2018 available in the CDC (Center for Disease Control) 500 Cities project. Data from 3500 census tracts covering 14,483,366 inhabitants were included. Features were extracted from 170,210 satellite images with deep learning. This method explained up to 64.37% (median = 43.53%) of the variation of cancer prevalence. Satellite features are highly correlated with individual socioeconomic and health measures that are linked to cancer prevalence (age, smoking and drinking status, and obesity). A higher similarity between two environments is associated with better generalization of the model (p = 1.10–6). This method can be used to accurately estimate cancer prevalence at a high spatial resolution without using surveys at a fraction of the cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine Learning Techniques in Cancer)
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