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Cancers, Volume 16, Issue 5 (March-1 2024) – 235 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Most platforms used to reconstruct the tumor ecosystem (TE) fail to explore the spatial context in the three-dimensional (3D) space of a solid tumor with single-cell resolution, and thus lack information on cell–cell or cell–extracellular matrix interactions. Our study features a pipeline of integrated multiplex multi-omics 3D spatially resolved modalities using two FFPE gynecological tumor samples. The multi-omics modalities include non-targeted mass spectrometry imaging, stereo-seq, and targeted seqIF. These spatially resolved modalities identify analytes in voxels across serial tissue sections, which reveals an integrated 3D spatial map displaying cell identity, activation, and energized status. These methods will provide insights into the molecular basis of spatial cell heterogeneity. View this paper
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9 pages, 1407 KiB  
Article
The Combined Use of Inflammation Markers, Modified Glasgow Prognostic Score, and Sarculator Nomogram in Extremity Soft Tissue Sarcoma: A Multicenter Observational Study
by Tomoki Nakamura, Satoshi Takenaka, Hidetatsu Outani, Tomohito Hagi, Hironari Tamiya, Yoshinori Imura, Kunihiro Asanuma and Akihiro Sudo
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051077 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Background: Sarculator is a validated nomogram designed to predict overall survival (OS) in extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS). Inflammation plays a critical role in cancer development and progression. There were no reports which investigated the relationship between Sarculator and inflammation. Methods: A total [...] Read more.
Background: Sarculator is a validated nomogram designed to predict overall survival (OS) in extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS). Inflammation plays a critical role in cancer development and progression. There were no reports which investigated the relationship between Sarculator and inflammation. Methods: A total of 217 patients with extremity STS were included. The Sarculator-predicted 10-year probability of OS (pr-OS) was stratified into two subgroups: lower risk (10-year pr-OS ≥ 60%) and higher risk (10-year pr-OS < 60%). The modified Glasgow prognostic score (mGPS) varied from 0 to 2. Results: Out of the 217 patients, 67 were classified as higher risk, while 150 were lower risk. A total of 181 patients had an mGPS of 0, and 36 had a score of 1 or 2. The 5-year OS was 83.3%. When patients were divided into two groups according to the 10-year pr-OS, those with a higher risk had poorer OS than those with a lower risk. Among the patients with a higher risk, those with an mGPS of 1 or 2 had poorer OS compared to those with a score of 0. Conclusions: The mGPS could potentially play an important role in identifying patients who are at high risk of death and metastasis in the higher-risk group on the Sarculator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment for Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma)
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13 pages, 693 KiB  
Review
The Convergence of Radiology and Genomics: Advancing Breast Cancer Diagnosis with Radiogenomics
by Demetra Demetriou, Zarina Lockhat, Luke Brzozowski, Kamal S. Saini, Zodwa Dlamini and Rodney Hull
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1076; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051076 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 824
Abstract
Despite significant progress in the prevention, screening, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of breast cancer (BC), it remains a highly prevalent and life-threatening disease affecting millions worldwide. Molecular subtyping of BC is crucial for predictive and prognostic purposes due to the diverse clinical behaviors [...] Read more.
Despite significant progress in the prevention, screening, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of breast cancer (BC), it remains a highly prevalent and life-threatening disease affecting millions worldwide. Molecular subtyping of BC is crucial for predictive and prognostic purposes due to the diverse clinical behaviors observed across various types. The molecular heterogeneity of BC poses uncertainties in its impact on diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Numerous studies have highlighted genetic and environmental differences between patients from different geographic regions, emphasizing the need for localized research. International studies have revealed that patients with African heritage are often diagnosed at a more advanced stage and exhibit poorer responses to treatment and lower survival rates. Despite these global findings, there is a dearth of in-depth studies focusing on communities in the African region. Early diagnosis and timely treatment are paramount to improving survival rates. In this context, radiogenomics emerges as a promising field within precision medicine. By associating genetic patterns with image attributes or features, radiogenomics has the potential to significantly improve early detection, prognosis, and diagnosis. It can provide valuable insights into potential treatment options and predict the likelihood of survival, progression, and relapse. Radiogenomics allows for visual features and genetic marker linkage that promises to eliminate the need for biopsy and sequencing. The application of radiogenomics not only contributes to advancing precision oncology and individualized patient treatment but also streamlines clinical workflows. This review aims to delve into the theoretical underpinnings of radiogenomics and explore its practical applications in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of BC and to put radiogenomics on a path towards fully integrated diagnostics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging in Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment)
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13 pages, 2476 KiB  
Article
Longitudinal Muscle Biopsies Reveal Inter- and Intra-Subject Variability in Cancer Cachexia: Paving the Way for Biopsy-Guided Tailored Treatment
by Panagiotis Filis, Nikolaos P. Tzavellas, Dimitrios Stagikas, Christianna Zachariou, Panagiotis Lekkas, Dimitrios Kosmas, Evangelia Dounousi, Ioannis Sarmas, Evangelia Ntzani, Davide Mauri, Anastasios Korompilias, Yannis V. Simos, Konstantinos I. Tsamis and Dimitrios Peschos
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1075; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051075 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 579
Abstract
In the rapidly evolving landscape of cancer cachexia research, the development and refinement of diagnostic and predictive biomarkers constitute an ongoing challenge. This study aims to introduce longitudinal muscle biopsies as a potential framework for disease monitoring and treatment. The initial feasibility and [...] Read more.
In the rapidly evolving landscape of cancer cachexia research, the development and refinement of diagnostic and predictive biomarkers constitute an ongoing challenge. This study aims to introduce longitudinal muscle biopsies as a potential framework for disease monitoring and treatment. The initial feasibility and safety assessment was performed for healthy mice and rats that received two consecutive muscle biopsies. The assessment was performed by utilizing three different tools. Subsequently, the protocol was also applied in leiomyosarcoma tumor-bearing rats. Longitudinal muscle biopsies proved to be a safe and feasible technique, especially in rat models. The application of this protocol to tumor-bearing rats further affirmed its tolerability and feasibility, while microscopic evaluation of the biopsies demonstrated varying levels of muscle atrophy with or without leukocyte infiltration. In this tumor model, sequential muscle biopsies confirmed the variability of the cancer cachexia evolution among subjects and at different time-points. Despite the abundance of promising cancer cachexia data during the past decade, the full potential of muscle biopsies is not being leveraged. Sequential muscle biopsies throughout the disease course represent a feasible and safe tool that can be utilized to guide precision treatment and monitor the response in cancer cachexia research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cancer Cachexia)
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15 pages, 1055 KiB  
Review
Current and Emerging Radiotherapy Options for Uveal Melanoma
by Oleksii Semeniuk, Esther Yu and Mark J. Rivard
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1074; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051074 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 662
Abstract
What treatment options are there for patients having uveal melanoma? A randomized, prospective, multi-institutional clinical trial (COMS) showed no difference in survival between brachytherapy and enucleation for medium-sized lesions. With the obvious benefit of retaining the eye, brachytherapy has flourished and many different [...] Read more.
What treatment options are there for patients having uveal melanoma? A randomized, prospective, multi-institutional clinical trial (COMS) showed no difference in survival between brachytherapy and enucleation for medium-sized lesions. With the obvious benefit of retaining the eye, brachytherapy has flourished and many different approaches have been developed such as low-dose-rate sources using alternate low-energy photon-emitting radionuclides, different plaque designs and seed-loading techniques, high-dose-rate brachytherapy sources and applicators, and low- and high-dose-rate beta-emitting sources and applicators. There also have been developments of other radiation modalities like external-beam radiotherapy using linear accelerators with high-energy photons, particle accelerators for protons, and gamma stereotactic radiosurgery. This article examines the dosimetric properties, targeting capabilities, and outcomes of these approaches. The several modalities examined herein have differing attributes and it may be that no single approach would be considered optimal for all patients and all lesion characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is New in the Treatment of Intraocular (Uveal) Melanoma)
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15 pages, 4172 KiB  
Article
Onward Spread from Liver Metastases Is a Major Cause of Multi-Organ Metastasis in a Mouse Model of Metastatic Colon Cancer
by Liza A. Wijler, Bastiaan J. Viergever, Esther Strating, Susanne J. van Schelven, Susanna Poghosyan, Nicola C. Frenkel, Hedy te Rietmole, Andre Verheem, Danielle A. E. Raats, Inne H. M. Borel Rinkes, Jeroen Hagendoorn and Onno Kranenburg
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051073 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 742
Abstract
Colorectal cancer metastasizes predominantly to the liver but also to the lungs and the peritoneum. The presence of extra-hepatic metastases limits curative (surgical) treatment options and is associated with very poor survival. The mechanisms governing multi-organ metastasis formation are incompletely understood. Here, we [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer metastasizes predominantly to the liver but also to the lungs and the peritoneum. The presence of extra-hepatic metastases limits curative (surgical) treatment options and is associated with very poor survival. The mechanisms governing multi-organ metastasis formation are incompletely understood. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the site of tumor growth influences extra-hepatic metastasis formation. To this end, we implanted murine colon cancer organoids into the primary tumor site (i.e., the caecum) and into the primary metastasis site (i.e., the liver) in immunocompetent mice. The organoid-initiated liver tumors were significantly more efficient in seeding distant metastases compared to tumors of the same origin growing in the caecum (intra-hepatic: 51 vs. 40%, p = 0.001; peritoneal cavity: 51% vs. 33%, p = 0.001; lungs: 30% vs. 7%, p = 0.017). The enhanced metastatic capacity of the liver tumors was associated with the formation of ‘hotspots’ of vitronectin-positive blood vessels surrounded by macrophages. RNA sequencing analysis of clinical samples showed a high expression of vitronectin in liver metastases, along with signatures reflecting hypoxia, angiogenesis, coagulation, and macrophages. We conclude that ‘onward spread’ from liver metastases is facilitated by liver-specific microenvironmental signals that cause the formation of macrophage-associated vascular hotspots. The therapeutic targeting of these signals may help to contain the disease within the liver and prevent onward spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Colorectal Cancer Therapy)
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17 pages, 1776 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Mutational Hotspots on Cancer Survival
by Melissa Gonzalez-Cárdenas and Víctor Treviño
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051072 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 649
Abstract
Background: Cofactors, biomarkers, and the mutational status of genes such as TP53, EGFR, IDH1/2, or PIK3CA have been used for patient stratification. However, many genes exhibit recurrent mutational positions known as hotspots, specifically linked to varying degrees of survival outcomes. Nevertheless, few hotspots [...] Read more.
Background: Cofactors, biomarkers, and the mutational status of genes such as TP53, EGFR, IDH1/2, or PIK3CA have been used for patient stratification. However, many genes exhibit recurrent mutational positions known as hotspots, specifically linked to varying degrees of survival outcomes. Nevertheless, few hotspots have been analyzed (e.g., TP53 and EGFR). Thus, many other genes and hotspots remain unexplored. Methods: We systematically screened over 1400 hotspots across 33 TCGA cancer types. We compared the patients carrying a hotspot against (i) all cases, (ii) gene-mutated cases, (iii) other mutated hotspots, or (iv) specific hotspots. Due to the limited number of samples in hotspots and the inherent group imbalance, besides Cox models and the log-rank test, we employed VALORATE to estimate their association with survival precisely. Results: We screened 1469 hotspots in 6451 comparisons, where 314 were associated with survival. Many are discussed and linked to the current literature. Our findings demonstrate associations between known hotspots and survival while also revealing more potential hotspots. To enhance accessibility and promote further investigation, all the Kaplan–Meier curves, the log-rank tests, Cox statistics, and VALORATE-estimated null distributions are accessible on our website. Conclusions: Our analysis revealed both known and putatively novel hotspots associated with survival, which can be used as biomarkers. Our web resource is a valuable tool for cancer research. Full article
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17 pages, 1769 KiB  
Article
Immuno-Molecular Targeted Therapy Use and Survival Benefit in Patients with Stage IVB Cervical Carcinoma in Commission on Cancer®-Accredited Facilities in the United States
by Collin A. Sitler, Chunqiao Tian, Chad A. Hamilton, Michael T. Richardson, John K. Chan, Daniel S. Kapp, Charles A. Leath III, Yovanni Casablanca, Christina Washington, Nicole P. Chappell, Ann H. Klopp, Craig D. Shriver, Christopher M. Tarney, Nicholas W. Bateman, Thomas P. Conrads, George Larry Maxwell, Neil T. Phippen and Kathleen M. Darcy
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051071 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Purpose: To investigate IMT use and survival in real-world stage IVB cervical cancer patients outside randomized clinical trials. Methods: Patients diagnosed with stage IVB cervical cancer during 2013–2019 in the National Cancer Database and treated with chemotherapy (CT) ± external beam radiation (EBRT) [...] Read more.
Purpose: To investigate IMT use and survival in real-world stage IVB cervical cancer patients outside randomized clinical trials. Methods: Patients diagnosed with stage IVB cervical cancer during 2013–2019 in the National Cancer Database and treated with chemotherapy (CT) ± external beam radiation (EBRT) ± intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT) ± IMT were studied. The adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for risk of death were estimated in patients treated with vs. without IMT after applying propensity score analysis to balance the clinical covariates. Results: There were 3164 evaluable patients, including 969 (31%) who were treated with IMT. The use of IMT increased from 11% in 2013 to 46% in 2019. Age, insurance, facility type, sites of distant metastasis, and type of first-line treatment were independently associated with using IMT. In propensity-score-balanced patients, the median survival was 18.6 vs. 13.1 months for with vs. without IMT (p < 0.001). The AHR was 0.72 (95% CI = 0.64–0.80) for adding IMT overall, 0.72 for IMT + CT, 0.66 for IMT + CT + EBRT, and 0.69 for IMT + CT + EBRT + ICBT. IMT-associated survival improvements were suggested in all subgroups by age, race/ethnicity, comorbidity score, facility type, tumor grade, tumor size, and site of metastasis. Conclusions: IMT was associated with a consistent survival benefit in real-world patients with stage IVB cervical cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cervical Cancer: Screening and Treatment in 2024)
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12 pages, 7280 KiB  
Article
Robotic Complete ALPPS (rALPPS)—First German Experiences
by Jörg Arend, Mareike Franz, Alexander Rose, Christine March, Mirhasan Rahimli, Aristotelis Perrakis, Eric Lorenz and Roland Croner
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051070 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Background: ALPPS leads to fast and effective liver hypertrophy. This enables the resection of extended tumors. Conventional ALPPS is associated with high morbidity and mortality. MILS reduces morbidity and the robot adds technical features that make complex procedures safe. Material and Methods: The [...] Read more.
Background: ALPPS leads to fast and effective liver hypertrophy. This enables the resection of extended tumors. Conventional ALPPS is associated with high morbidity and mortality. MILS reduces morbidity and the robot adds technical features that make complex procedures safe. Material and Methods: The MD-MILS was screened for patients who underwent rALPPS. Demographic and perioperative data were evaluated retrospectively. Ninety days postoperative morbidity was scored according to the CD classification. The findings were compared with the literature. Results: Since November 2021, five patients have been identified. The mean age and BMI of the patients were 50.0 years and 22.7 kg/m2. In four cases, patients suffered from colorectal liver metastases and, in one case, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Prior to the first operation, the mean liver volume of the residual left liver was 380.9 mL with a FLR-BWR of 0.677%. Prior to the second operation, the mean volume of the residual liver was 529.8 mL with a FLR-BWR of 0.947%. This was an increase of 41.9% of the residual liver volume. The first and second operations were carried out within 17.8 days. The mean time of the first and second operations was 341.2 min and 440.6 min. The mean hospital stay was 27.2 days. Histopathology showed the largest tumor size of 39 mm in diameter with a mean amount of 4.7 tumors. The mean tumor-free margin was 12.3 mm. One complication CD > 3a occurred. No patient died during the 90-day follow up. Conclusion: In the first German series, we demonstrated that rALPPS can be carried out safely with reduced morbidity and mortality in selected patients. Full article
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13 pages, 1199 KiB  
Article
CA9, CYFIP2 and LGALS3BP—A Novel Biomarker Panel to Aid Prognostication in Glioma
by Amanda L. Hudson, Angela Cho, Emily K. Colvin, Sarah A. Hayes, Helen R. Wheeler and Viive M. Howell
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051069 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Brain cancer is a devastating and life-changing disease. Biomarkers are becoming increasingly important in addressing clinical issues, including in monitoring tumour progression and assessing survival and treatment response. The goal of this study was to identify prognostic biomarkers associated with glioma progression. Discovery [...] Read more.
Brain cancer is a devastating and life-changing disease. Biomarkers are becoming increasingly important in addressing clinical issues, including in monitoring tumour progression and assessing survival and treatment response. The goal of this study was to identify prognostic biomarkers associated with glioma progression. Discovery proteomic analysis was performed on a small cohort of astrocytomas that were diagnosed as low-grade and recurred at a higher grade. Six proteins were chosen to be validated further in a larger cohort. Three proteins, CA9, CYFIP2, and LGALS3BP, were found to be associated with glioma progression and, in univariate analysis, could be used as prognostic markers. However, according to the results of multivariate analysis, these did not remain significant. These three proteins were then combined into a three-protein panel. This panel had a specificity and sensitivity of 0.7459 for distinguishing between long and short survival. In silico data confirmed the prognostic significance of this panel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biomarkers)
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27 pages, 1489 KiB  
Article
A Preliminary Evaluation of Advanced Oxidation Protein Products (AOPPs) as a Potential Approach to Evaluating Prognosis in Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients and Its Implication in Tumour Angiogenesis: A 7-Year Single-Centre Study
by Marta Napiórkowska-Mastalerz, Tomasz Wybranowski, Maciej Bosek, Stefan Kruszewski, Piotr Rhone and Barbara Ruszkowska-Ciastek
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051068 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 557
Abstract
Breast cancer (BrC) is a highly prevalent tumour among women. The high incidence and mortality rate of BrC prompts researchers to search for new markers that will provide information on the possible impact of the therapy on the risk of cancer-related events. This [...] Read more.
Breast cancer (BrC) is a highly prevalent tumour among women. The high incidence and mortality rate of BrC prompts researchers to search for new markers that will provide information on the possible impact of the therapy on the risk of cancer-related events. This study aimed to investigate whether the level of advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs) may have a potential impact on disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in BrC patients with early-stage cancer. Additionally, we tried to assess the relationship between AOPPs and angiogenic parameters. In this study, the pre- and post-treatment AOPP levels were examined in the serum of 70 newly diagnosed BrC women. The receiver operating characteristic curve identified pre- and post-treatment AOPPs to be above 9.37 μM and 10.39 μM, respectively, as the best cut-off values to predict the risk of cancer relapse. Additionally, Kaplan–Meier survival analysis indicated that pre- and post-treatment AOPPs above 9.37 μM and 10.39 μM were associated with significantly poorer OS. The uni- and multivariate Cox regression analysis highlighted that lower levels of pre- and post-treatment AOPPs were associated with a longer duration without relapse or cancer-related death. A positive correlation between concentrations of pre-treatment AOPPs and vascular endothelial growth factor A, and negative correlations with levels of soluble forms of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor type 1 and 2, were found. In conclusion, AOPPs appear to have an important role in predicting cancer-related events and may potentially serve as a simple prognostic marker in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Early-Stage Breast Cancer: Management and Treatment)
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14 pages, 1525 KiB  
Review
Electroporation in Translational Medicine: From Veterinary Experience to Human Oncology
by Enrico P. Spugnini, Maria Condello, Stefania Crispi and Alfonso Baldi
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051067 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Electroporation (EP) is a broadly accepted procedure that, through the application of electric pulses with appropriate amplitudes and waveforms, promotes the delivery of anticancer molecules in various oncology therapies. EP considerably boosts the absorptivity of targeted cells to anticancer molecules of different natures, [...] Read more.
Electroporation (EP) is a broadly accepted procedure that, through the application of electric pulses with appropriate amplitudes and waveforms, promotes the delivery of anticancer molecules in various oncology therapies. EP considerably boosts the absorptivity of targeted cells to anticancer molecules of different natures, thus upgrading their effectiveness. Its use in veterinary oncology has been widely explored, and some applications, such as electrochemotherapy (ECT), are currently approved as first-line treatments for several neoplastic conditions. Other applications include irreversible electroporation and EP-based cancer vaccines. In human oncology, EP is still mostly restricted to therapies for cutaneous tumors and the palliation of cutaneous and visceral metastases of malignant tumors. Fields where veterinary experience could help smooth the clinical transition to humans include intraoperative EP, interventional medicine and cancer vaccines. This article recapitulates the state of the art of EP in veterinary and human oncology, recounting the most relevant results to date. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research in Oncology in 2023)
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16 pages, 2490 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic, Proteomic, and Genomic Mutational Fraction Differences Based on HPV Status Observed in Patient-Derived Xenograft Models of Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma
by Niki M. Zacharias, Luis Segarra, Keiko Akagi, Natalie Wall Fowlkes, Huiqin Chen, Angelita Alaniz, Carolyn de la Cerda, Pedro Pesquera, Yuanxin Xi, Jing Wang, Jad Chahoud, Xin Lu, Priya Rao, Magaly Martinez-Ferrer and Curtis A. Pettaway
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1066; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051066 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Metastatic penile squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) has only a 50% response rate to first-line combination chemotherapies and there are currently no targeted-therapy approaches. Therefore, we have an urgent need in advanced-PSCC treatment to find novel therapies. Approximately half of all PSCC cases are [...] Read more.
Metastatic penile squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) has only a 50% response rate to first-line combination chemotherapies and there are currently no targeted-therapy approaches. Therefore, we have an urgent need in advanced-PSCC treatment to find novel therapies. Approximately half of all PSCC cases are positive for high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV). Our objective was to generate HPV-positive (HPV+) and HPV-negative (HPV−) patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models and to determine the biological differences between HPV+ and HPV− disease. We generated four HPV+ and three HPV− PSCC PDX animal models by directly implanting resected patient tumor tissue into immunocompromised mice. PDX tumor tissue was found to be similar to patient tumor tissue (donor tissue) by histology and short tandem repeat fingerprinting. DNA mutations were mostly preserved in PDX tissues and similar APOBEC (apolipoprotein B mRNA editing catalytic polypeptide) mutational fractions in donor tissue and PDX tissues were noted. A higher APOBEC mutational fraction was found in HPV+ versus HPV− PDX tissues (p = 0.044), and significant transcriptomic and proteomic expression differences based on HPV status included p16 (CDKN2A), RRM2, and CDC25C. These models will allow for the direct testing of targeted therapies in PSCC and determine their response in correlation to HPV status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Cancer Biology)
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2 pages, 475 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Gresseau et al. A Signaling Crosstalk Links SNAIL to the 37/67 kDa Laminin-1 Receptor Ribosomal Protein SA and Regulates the Acquisition of a Cancer Stem Cell Molecular Signature in U87 Glioblastoma Neurospheres. Cancers 2022, 14, 5944
by Loraine Gresseau, Marie-Eve Roy, Stéphanie Duhamel and Borhane Annabi
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051065 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 410
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signalling Pathways of Cancer Stem Cells)
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11 pages, 2944 KiB  
Article
Artificial-Intelligence-Assisted Detection of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Cells in Ascitic Fluid
by Hyung Kyung Kim, Eunkyung Han, Jeonghyo Lee, Kwangil Yim, Jamshid Abdul-Ghafar, Kyung Jin Seo, Jang Won Seo, Gyungyub Gong, Nam Hoon Cho, Milim Kim, Chong Woo Yoo and Yosep Chong
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051064 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Ascites cytology is a cost-effective test for metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) in the abdominal cavity. However, metastatic carcinoma of the peritoneum is difficult to diagnose based on biopsy findings, and ascitic aspiration cytology has a low sensitivity and specificity and a high inter-observer [...] Read more.
Ascites cytology is a cost-effective test for metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) in the abdominal cavity. However, metastatic carcinoma of the peritoneum is difficult to diagnose based on biopsy findings, and ascitic aspiration cytology has a low sensitivity and specificity and a high inter-observer variability. The aim of the present study was to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to classify benign and malignant cells in ascites cytology patch images of metastatic CRC using a deep convolutional neural network. Datasets were collected from The OPEN AI Dataset Project, a nationwide cytology dataset for AI research. The numbers of patch images used for training, validation, and testing were 56,560, 7068, and 6534, respectively. We evaluated 1041 patch images of benign and metastatic CRC in the ascitic fluid to compare the performance of pathologists and an AI algorithm, and to examine whether the diagnostic accuracy of pathologists improved with the assistance of AI. This AI method showed an accuracy, a sensitivity, and a specificity of 93.74%, 87.76%, and 99.75%, respectively, for the differential diagnosis of malignant and benign ascites. The diagnostic accuracy and sensitivity of the pathologist with the assistance of the proposed AI method increased from 86.8% to 90.5% and from 73.3% to 79.3%, respectively. The proposed deep learning method may assist pathologists with different levels of experience in diagnosing metastatic CRC cells of ascites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Screening)
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21 pages, 1131 KiB  
Review
The Potential Influence of Residual or Recurrent Disease on Bevacizumab Treatment Efficacy in Ovarian Cancer: Current Evidence and Future Perspectives
by Klaudia Żak, Małgorzata Satora, Ilona Skrabalak, Rafał Tarkowski, Marta Ostrowska-Leśko and Marcin Bobiński
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051063 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 712
Abstract
There were high hopes for the new antiangiogenic medicament, bevacizumab, which could inhibit the creation of new blood vessels through binding to isoform A of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, it is not only blood vessels that are responsible for tumor cell [...] Read more.
There were high hopes for the new antiangiogenic medicament, bevacizumab, which could inhibit the creation of new blood vessels through binding to isoform A of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, it is not only blood vessels that are responsible for tumor cell spread. During the process of tumor growth, lymphangiogenesis is mediated by other members of the VEGF family, specifically VEGF-C and VEGF-D, which act independent to bevacizumab. Therefore, based on the mechanism of bevacizumab action and the processes of angio- and lymphangiogenesis, we formed three hypotheses: (1) if the lymph nodes in primary ovarian cancers are metastatic, the outcome of bevacizumab treatment is worsened; (2) concerning the second-line treatment, bevacizumab will act in a weakened manner if recurrence occurs in lymph nodes as opposed to a local recurrence; (3) patients treated by bevacizumab are more likely to have recurrences in lymph nodes. These hypotheses raise the issue of the existing knowledge gap, which concerns the effect of bevacizumab on metastatic lymph nodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gynecologic Cancers: Clinical Research Progress of Resection)
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15 pages, 2164 KiB  
Article
High HER2 Intratumoral Heterogeneity Is a Predictive Factor for Poor Prognosis in Early-Stage and Locally Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
by Tomonori Tanei, Shigeto Seno, Yoshiaki Sota, Takaaki Hatano, Yuri Kitahara, Kaori Abe, Nanae Masunaga, Masami Tsukabe, Tetsuhiro Yoshinami, Tomohiro Miyake, Masafumi Shimoda, Hideo Matsuda and Kenzo Shimazu
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051062 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 743
Abstract
Purpose: Breast cancer tumors frequently have intratumoral heterogeneity (ITH). Tumors with high ITH cause therapeutic resistance and have human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) heterogeneity in response to HER2-targeted therapies. This study aimed to investigate whether high HER2 heterogeneity levels were clinically [...] Read more.
Purpose: Breast cancer tumors frequently have intratumoral heterogeneity (ITH). Tumors with high ITH cause therapeutic resistance and have human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) heterogeneity in response to HER2-targeted therapies. This study aimed to investigate whether high HER2 heterogeneity levels were clinically related to a poor prognosis for HER2-targeted adjuvant therapy resistance in primary breast cancers. Methods: This study included patients with primary breast cancer (n = 251) treated with adjuvant HER2-targeted therapies. HER2 heterogeneity was manifested by the shape of HER2 fluorescence in situ hybridization amplification (FISH) distributed histograms with the HER2 gene copy number within a tumor sample. Each tumor was classified into a biphasic grade graph (high heterogeneity [HH]) group or a monophasic grade graph (low heterogeneity [LH]) group based on heterogeneity. Both groups were evaluated for disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) for a median of ten years of annual follow-up. Results: Of 251 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, 46 (18.3%) and 205 (81.7%) were classified into the HH and LH groups, respectively. The HH group had more distant metastases and a poorer prognosis than the LH group (DFS: p < 0.001 (HH:63% vs. LH:91% at 10 years) and for the OS: p = 0.012 (HH:78% vs. LH:95% at 10 years). Conclusions: High HER2 heterogeneity is a poor prognostic factor in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. A novel approach to heterogeneity, which is manifested by the shape of HER2 FISH distributions, might be clinically useful in the prognosis prediction of patients after HER2 adjuvant therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Cancer Biology)
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10 pages, 502 KiB  
Article
Sonographic Measurements of Rectus Femoris Muscle Thickness Strongly Predict Neutropenia in Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy
by Gürkan Güner, Levent Özçakar, Yusuf Baytar, Mehmet Ruhi Onur, Metin Demir, Burak Yasin Aktaş, Oktay Halit Aktepe, Deniz Can Güven, Hakan Taban, Hasan Çağrı Yıldırım, Serkan Akın, Sercan Aksoy, Murat Kara and Ömer Dizdar
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051061 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 632
Abstract
The objective of this study was to explore the possible association between low skeletal muscle mass (SMM)—assessed by computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound (US)—and hematologic toxicity in cancer patients. A prospective cohort study was conducted in cancer patients who received anthracycline-based chemotherapy between [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to explore the possible association between low skeletal muscle mass (SMM)—assessed by computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound (US)—and hematologic toxicity in cancer patients. A prospective cohort study was conducted in cancer patients who received anthracycline-based chemotherapy between 2018 and 2020 and who had baseline abdominal CT including L3 level for measuring SMM. Regional muscle measurements were carried out using US. A total of 65 patients (14 males, 51 females) were included. ROC (receiver operating characteristic) analysis identified threshold values of 18.0 mm [AUC (area under the curve) = 0.765] for females and 20.0 mm (AUC = 0.813) for males, predicting severe neutropenia. Using these cut-offs, females with low rectus femoris (RF) thickness (<18.0 mm) had a significantly higher incidence of grade ≥3 neutropenia (50.0% vs. 10.8%, p = 0.005), and males with low RF values (<20.0 mm) had a higher incidence (80.0% vs. 22.2%, p = 0.063). A regression analysis, irrespective of age, gender, and body mass index, revealed that only low RF muscle thickness increased the risk of grade 3–4 neutropenia by 9.210 times (95% CI = 2.401–35.326, p = 0.001). Utilizing US to measure RF muscle thickness aids in identifying cancer patients at an elevated risk of developing neutropenia. Needless to say, US can serve as a convenient and easily accessible tool for assessing low SMM, providing repeat point-of-care evaluations in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Supportive and Palliative Care in Cancer)
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15 pages, 3594 KiB  
Article
Identification of GB3 as a Novel Biomarker of Tumor-Derived Vasculature in Neuroblastoma Using a Stiffness-Based Model
by Aranzazu Villasante, Josep Corominas, Clara Alcon, Andrea Garcia-Lizarribar, Jaume Mora, Monica Lopez-Fanarraga and Josep Samitier
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051060 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 811
Abstract
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a childhood cancer in sympathetic nervous system cells. NB exhibits cellular heterogeneity, with adrenergic and mesenchymal states displaying distinct tumorigenic potentials. NB is highly vascularized, and blood vessels can form through various mechanisms, including endothelial transdifferentiation, leading to the development [...] Read more.
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a childhood cancer in sympathetic nervous system cells. NB exhibits cellular heterogeneity, with adrenergic and mesenchymal states displaying distinct tumorigenic potentials. NB is highly vascularized, and blood vessels can form through various mechanisms, including endothelial transdifferentiation, leading to the development of tumor-derived endothelial cells (TECs) associated with chemoresistance. We lack specific biomarkers for TECs. Therefore, identifying new TEC biomarkers is vital for effective NB therapies. A stiffness-based platform simulating human arterial and venous stiffness was developed to study NB TECs in vitro. Adrenergic cells cultured on arterial-like stiffness transdifferentiated into TECs, while mesenchymal state cells did not. The TECs derived from adrenergic cells served as a model to explore new biomarkers, with a particular focus on GB3, a glycosphingolipid receptor implicated in angiogenesis, metastasis, and drug resistance. Notably, the TECs unequivocally expressed GB3, validating its novelty as a marker. To explore targeted therapeutic interventions, nanoparticles functionalized with the non-toxic subunit B of the Shiga toxin were generated, because they demonstrated a robust affinity for GB3-positive cells. Our results demonstrate the value of the stiffness-based platform as a predictive tool for assessing NB aggressiveness, the discovery of new biomarkers, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of targeted therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biomarkers)
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16 pages, 7070 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Survival Risk Prognostic Model and Genomic Landscape for Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumors: A Population-Based, Real-World Study
by Sihao Chen, Yi He, Jiao Liu, Ruixin Wu, Menglei Wang and Aishun Jin
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051059 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Background: An atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is an uncommon and aggressive pediatric central nervous system neoplasm. However, a universal clinical consensus or reliable prognostic evaluation system for this malignancy is lacking. Our study aimed to develop a risk model based on comprehensive clinical [...] Read more.
Background: An atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is an uncommon and aggressive pediatric central nervous system neoplasm. However, a universal clinical consensus or reliable prognostic evaluation system for this malignancy is lacking. Our study aimed to develop a risk model based on comprehensive clinical data to assist in clinical decision-making. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study by examining data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) repository, spanning 2000 to 2019. The external validation cohort was sourced from the Children’s Hospital Affiliated to Chongqing Medical University, China. To discern independent factors affecting overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS), we applied Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) and Random Forest (RF) regression analyses. Based on these factors, we structured nomogram survival predictions and initiated a dynamic online risk-evaluation system. To contrast survival outcomes among diverse treatments, we used propensity score matching (PSM) methodology. Molecular data with the most common mutations in AT/RT were extracted from the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) database. Results: The annual incidence of AT/RT showed an increasing trend (APC, 2.86%; 95% CI:0.75–5.01). Our prognostic study included 316 SEER database participants and 27 external validation patients. The entire group had a median OS of 18 months (range 11.5 to 24 months) and median CSS of 21 months (range 11.7 to 29.2). Evaluations involving C-statistics, DCA, and ROC analysis underscored the distinctive capabilities of our prediction model. An analysis via PSM highlighted that individuals undergoing triple therapy (integrating surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy) had discernibly enhanced OS and CSS. The most common mutations of AT/RT identified in the COSMIC database were SMARCB1, BRAF, SMARCA4, NF2, and NRAS. Conclusions: In this study, we devised a predictive model that effectively gauges the prognosis of AT/RT and briefly analyzed its genomic features, which might offer a valuable tool to address existing clinical challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Concept and Management of Pediatric ATRTs)
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15 pages, 2668 KiB  
Review
Immunotherapy and Radiation Therapy Combinatorial Approaches in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
by Alireza Tojjari, James Yu and Anwaar Saeed
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051058 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 843
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a prevalent and often fatal liver cancer, presents significant treatment challenges, especially in its advanced stages. This article delves into the promising approach of combining immunotherapy, particularly immune checkpoint inhibitors, with radiation therapy, a cornerstone of HCC management. Our review [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a prevalent and often fatal liver cancer, presents significant treatment challenges, especially in its advanced stages. This article delves into the promising approach of combining immunotherapy, particularly immune checkpoint inhibitors, with radiation therapy, a cornerstone of HCC management. Our review synthesizes current preclinical and clinical research, highlighting the potential synergistic effects of this combinational treatment. Emerging evidence suggests that this synergy enhances tumor control and improves patient survival rates. The combination leverages the localized, tumor-targeting ability of radiation therapy and the systemic, immune-boosting effects of immunotherapy, potentially overcoming the limitations inherent in each treatment modality when used separately. This integrative approach is especially promising in addressing the complex tumor microenvironment of HCC. However, the treatment landscape is nuanced, with challenges such as patient-specific response variability and potential resistance to therapies. Future research directions should focus on refining these combination strategies, tailoring them to individual patient profiles, and understanding the underlying mechanisms that govern the interaction between immunotherapy and radiation therapy. Such advancements could significantly improve HCC management, setting new standards for patient care and treatment efficacy. Full article
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19 pages, 1722 KiB  
Review
Glutamine Supplementation as an Anticancer Strategy: A Potential Therapeutic Alternative to the Convention
by Hayato Muranaka, Rasaq Akinsola, Sandrine Billet, Stephen J. Pandol, Andrew E. Hendifar, Neil A. Bhowmick and Jun Gong
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051057 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Glutamine, a multifaceted nonessential/conditionally essential amino acid integral to cellular metabolism and immune function, holds pivotal importance in the landscape of cancer therapy. This review delves into the intricate dynamics surrounding both glutamine antagonism strategies and glutamine supplementation within the context of cancer [...] Read more.
Glutamine, a multifaceted nonessential/conditionally essential amino acid integral to cellular metabolism and immune function, holds pivotal importance in the landscape of cancer therapy. This review delves into the intricate dynamics surrounding both glutamine antagonism strategies and glutamine supplementation within the context of cancer treatment, emphasizing the critical role of glutamine metabolism in cancer progression and therapy. Glutamine antagonism, aiming to disrupt tumor growth by targeting critical metabolic pathways, is challenged by the adaptive nature of cancer cells and the complex metabolic microenvironment, potentially compromising its therapeutic efficacy. In contrast, glutamine supplementation supports immune function, improves gut integrity, alleviates treatment-related toxicities, and improves patient well-being. Moreover, recent studies highlighted its contributions to epigenetic regulation within cancer cells and its potential to bolster anti-cancer immune functions. However, glutamine implementation necessitates careful consideration of potential interactions with ongoing treatment regimens and the delicate equilibrium between supporting normal cellular function and promoting tumorigenesis. By critically assessing the implications of both glutamine antagonism strategies and glutamine supplementation, this review aims to offer comprehensive insights into potential therapeutic strategies targeting glutamine metabolism for effective cancer management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pre-clinical Studies of Personalized Medicine for Cancer Research)
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15 pages, 1706 KiB  
Review
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Targeting the HGF/c-MET Pathway: The MEK Inhibitor Trametinib
by Junyeol Kim, Tae Seung Lee, Myeong Hwan Lee, In Rae Cho, Ji Kon Ryu, Yong-Tae Kim, Sang Hyub Lee and Woo Hyun Paik
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051056 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is characterized by fibrosis/desmoplasia in the tumor microenvironment, which is primarily mediated by pancreatic stellate cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts. HGF/c-MET signaling, which is instrumental in embryonic development and wound healing, is also implicated for its mitogenic and motogenic properties. In pancreatic [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is characterized by fibrosis/desmoplasia in the tumor microenvironment, which is primarily mediated by pancreatic stellate cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts. HGF/c-MET signaling, which is instrumental in embryonic development and wound healing, is also implicated for its mitogenic and motogenic properties. In pancreatic cancer, this pathway, along with its downstream signaling pathways, is associated with disease progression, prognosis, metastasis, chemoresistance, and other tumor-related factors. Other features of the microenvironment in pancreatic cancer with the HGF/c-MET pathway include hypoxia, angiogenesis, metastasis, and the urokinase plasminogen activator positive feed-forward loop. All these attributes critically influence the initiation, progression, and metastasis of pancreatic cancer. Therefore, targeting the HGF/c-MET signaling pathway appears promising for the development of innovative drugs for pancreatic cancer treatment. One of the primary downstream effects of c-MET activation is the MAPK/ERK (Ras, Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK) signaling cascade, and MEK (Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase) inhibitors have demonstrated therapeutic value in RAS-mutant melanoma and lung cancer. Trametinib is a selective MEK1 and MEK2 inhibitor, and it has evolved as a pivotal therapeutic agent targeting the MAPK/ERK pathway in various malignancies, including BRAF-mutated melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and thyroid cancer. The drug’s effectiveness increases when combined with agents like BRAF inhibitors. However, resistance remains a challenge, necessitating ongoing research to counteract the resistance mechanisms. This review offers an in-depth exploration of the HGF/c-MET signaling pathway, trametinib’s mechanism, clinical applications, combination strategies, and future directions in the context of pancreatic cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Tumor Microenvironment)
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11 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
Comparing Molnupiravir to Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir (Paxlovid) in the Treatment of Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19 in Immunocompromised Cancer Patients
by Andrea J. Haddad, Ray Y. Hachem, Mohamed Moussa, Ying Jiang, Hiba R. Dagher, Patrick Chaftari, Anne-Marie Chaftari and Issam I. Raad
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051055 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Background: Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir has been shown to reduce the risk of COVID-19 progression by 88% compared to placebo, while Molnupiravir reduced it by 31%. However, these two agents have not been compared head-to-head. We therefore compared the safety and efficacy of both agents for [...] Read more.
Background: Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir has been shown to reduce the risk of COVID-19 progression by 88% compared to placebo, while Molnupiravir reduced it by 31%. However, these two agents have not been compared head-to-head. We therefore compared the safety and efficacy of both agents for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in immunocompromised cancer patients. Methods: We identified 240 cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and treated with Molnupiravir or Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir. Patients were matched using a 1:2 ratio based on age group (18–64 years vs. ≥65) and type of cancer. The collected data included demographics, comorbidities, and treatment outcome. Results: Both groups had comparable characteristics and presenting symptoms. However, dyspnea was more prevalent in the Molnupiravir group, while sore throat was more prevalent in the Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir group. The rate of disease progression was comparable in both groups by univariate and multivariable analysis. Treatment with Molnupiravir versus Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir revealed no significant difference in disease progression by multivariable analysis (adjusted OR = 1.31, 95% CI: 0.56–3.14, p = 0.70). Patients who received Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir, however, were significantly more prone to having drug–drug interactions/adverse events (30% vs. 0%, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: In the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in cancer patients, Molnupiravir was comparable to Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir in preventing progression to severe disease/death and rebound events, and it had a superior safety profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Therapy: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go)
3 pages, 151 KiB  
Editorial
Advancements in the Treatment Landscape of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
by Takefumi Kimura
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051054 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 499
Abstract
The landscape of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment has expanded significantly with the advent of multi-kinase inhibitors and immune checkpoint inhibitors [...] Full article
4 pages, 195 KiB  
Editorial
Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Modified T Cell Therapy in Metastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Promise and Potential
by Leah R. Tharian, Shiv Verma and Sanjay Gupta
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051053 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Prostate cancer, the most common cancer among males, has a mortality rate of approximately 29,000 deaths each year in the United States alone [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Tumor Microenvironment)
22 pages, 5322 KiB  
Article
Impact of Primary Tumor Location on Demographics, Resectability, Outcomes, and Quality of Life in Finnish Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients (Subgroup Analysis of the RAXO Study)
by Sonja Aho, Emerik Osterlund, Ari Ristimäki, Lasse Nieminen, Jari Sundström, Markus J. Mäkinen, Teijo Kuopio, Soili Kytölä, Annika Ålgars, Raija Ristamäki, Eetu Heervä, Raija Kallio, Päivi Halonen, Leena-Maija Soveri, Arno Nordin, Aki Uutela, Tapio Salminen, Hanna Stedt, Annamarja Lamminmäki, Timo Muhonen, Juha Kononen, Bengt Glimelius, Helena Isoniemi, Juho T. Lehto, Kaisa Lehtomäki and Pia Osterlundadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051052 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 732
Abstract
The primary tumor location (PTL) is associated with the phenotype, metastatic sites, mutations, and outcomes of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients, but this has mostly been studied according to sidedness (right vs. left sided). We studied right colon vs. left colon vs. rectal [...] Read more.
The primary tumor location (PTL) is associated with the phenotype, metastatic sites, mutations, and outcomes of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients, but this has mostly been studied according to sidedness (right vs. left sided). We studied right colon vs. left colon vs. rectal PTL in a real-life study population (n = 1080). Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was assessed multi-cross-sectionally with QLQ-C30, QLQ-CR29, EQ-5D, and 15D. A chi-square, Kaplan–Meier, and Cox regression were used to compare the groups. The PTL was in the right colon in 310 patients (29%), the left colon in 396 patients (37%), and the rectum in 375 patients (35%). The PTL was associated with distinct differences in metastatic sites during the disease trajectory. The resectability, conversion, and resection rates were lowest in the right colon, followed by the rectum, and were highest in the left colon. Overall survival was shortest for right colon compared with left colon or rectal PTL (median 21 vs. 35 vs. 36 months), with the same trends after metastasectomy or systemic therapy only. PTL also remained statistically significant in a multivariable model. The distribution of symptoms varied according to PTL, especially between the right colon (with general symptoms of metastases) and rectal PTL (with sexual- and bowel-related symptoms). mCRC, according to PTL, behaves differently regarding metastatic sites, resectability of the metastases, outcomes of treatment, and HRQoL. Full article
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15 pages, 270 KiB  
Article
Study International Multicentric Pancreatic Left Resections (SIMPLR): Does Surgical Approach Matter?
by Sara Acciuffi, Mohammed Abu Hilal, Clarissa Ferrari, Sara Al-Madhi, Marc-Anthony Chouillard, Nouredin Messaoudi, Roland S. Croner and Andrew A. Gumbs
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051051 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Background: Minimally invasive surgery is increasingly preferred for left-sided pancreatic resections. The SIMPLR study aims to compare open, laparoscopic, and robotic approaches using propensity score matching analysis. Methods: This study included 258 patients with tumors of the left side of the pancreas who [...] Read more.
Background: Minimally invasive surgery is increasingly preferred for left-sided pancreatic resections. The SIMPLR study aims to compare open, laparoscopic, and robotic approaches using propensity score matching analysis. Methods: This study included 258 patients with tumors of the left side of the pancreas who underwent surgery between 2016 and 2020 at three high-volume centers. The patients were divided into three groups based on their surgical approach and matched in a 1:1 ratio. Results: The open group had significantly higher estimated blood loss (620 mL vs. 320 mL, p < 0.001), longer operative time (273 vs. 216 min, p = 0.003), and longer hospital stays (16.9 vs. 6.81 days, p < 0.001) compared to the laparoscopic group. There was no difference in lymph node yield or resection status. When comparing open and robotic groups, the robotic procedures yielded a higher number of lymph nodes (24.9 vs. 15.2, p = 0.011) without being significantly longer. The laparoscopic group had a shorter operative time (210 vs. 340 min, p < 0.001), shorter ICU stays (0.63 vs. 1.64 days, p < 0.001), and shorter hospital stays (6.61 vs. 11.8 days, p < 0.001) when compared to the robotic group. There was no difference in morbidity or mortality between the three techniques. Conclusion: The laparoscopic approach exhibits short-term benefits. The three techniques are equivalent in terms of oncological safety, morbidity, and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Surgery for Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) Cancer)
15 pages, 3259 KiB  
Article
Combined Antitumor Effect of the Serine Protease Urokinase Inhibitor Upamostat and the Sphingosine Kinase 2 Inhibitor Opaganib on Cholangiocarcinoma Patient-Derived Xenografts
by Faizal Z. Asumda, Nellie A. Campbell, Mohamed A. Hassan, Reza Fathi, Daniella F. Vasquez Rico, Melanie Kiem, Ethan V. Vang, Yo Han Kim, Xin Luo, Daniel R. O’Brien, Sarah A. Buhrow, Joel M. Reid, Michael J. Moore, Vered Katz Ben-Yair, Mark L. Levitt, Jennifer L. Leiting, Amro M. Abdelrahman, Xinli Zhu, Fabrice Lucien, Mark J. Truty and Lewis R. Robertsadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051050 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 969
Abstract
Upamostat is an orally available small-molecule serine protease inhibitor that is a highly potent inhibitor of trypsin 1, trypsin 2, trypsin 3 (PRSS1/2/3), and the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). These enzymes are expressed in many cancers, especially during tissue remodeling and subsequent tumor [...] Read more.
Upamostat is an orally available small-molecule serine protease inhibitor that is a highly potent inhibitor of trypsin 1, trypsin 2, trypsin 3 (PRSS1/2/3), and the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). These enzymes are expressed in many cancers, especially during tissue remodeling and subsequent tumor cell invasion. Opaganib (ABC294640), a novel, orally available small molecule is a selective inhibitor of the phosphorylation of sphingosine to sphingosine-1-phosphate (S-1-P) by sphingosine kinase 2 (SPHK2). Both sphingosine kinase 1 (SPHK1) and SPHK2 are known to regulate the proliferation-inducing compound S-1-P. However, SPHK2 is more critical in cancer pathogenesis. The goal of this project was to investigate the potential antitumor effects of upamostat and opaganib, individually and in combination, on cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) xenografts in nude mice. PAX165, a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) from a surgically resected CCA, expresses substantial levels of SPHK2, PRSS1, PRSS2, and PRSS3. Four groups of 18 mice each were treated with upamostat, opaganib, both, or vehicle. Mouse weights and PAX165 tumor volumes were measured. Tumor volumes in the upamostat, opaganib, and upamostat plus opaganib groups were significantly decreased compared to the control group. Full article
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13 pages, 1006 KiB  
Article
Palliative Quad Shot Radiation Therapy with or without Concurrent Immune Checkpoint Inhibition for Head and Neck Cancer
by Rituraj Upadhyay, Emile Gogineni, Glenis Tocaj, Sung J. Ma, Marcelo Bonomi, Priyanka Bhateja, David J. Konieczkowski, Sujith Baliga, Darrion L. Mitchell, Sachin R. Jhawar, Simeng Zhu, John C. Grecula, Khaled Dibs, Mauricio E. Gamez and Dukagjin M. Blakaj
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051049 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Objectives: Patients with recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer (HNC) have limited treatment options. ‘QuadShot’ (QS), a hypofractionated palliative radiotherapy regimen, can provide symptomatic relief and local control and may potentiate the effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). We compared outcomes of [...] Read more.
Objectives: Patients with recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer (HNC) have limited treatment options. ‘QuadShot’ (QS), a hypofractionated palliative radiotherapy regimen, can provide symptomatic relief and local control and may potentiate the effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). We compared outcomes of QS ± concurrent ICIs in the palliative treatment of HNC. Materials and Methods: We identified patients who received ≥three cycles of QS from 2017 to 2022 and excluded patients without post-treatment clinical evaluation or imaging. Outcomes for patients who received QS alone were compared to those treated with ICI concurrent with QS, defined as receipt of ICI within 4 weeks of QS. Results: Seventy patients were included, of whom 57% received concurrent ICI. Median age was 65.5 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 57.9–77.8), and 50% patients had received prior radiation to a median dose of 66 Gy (IQR: 60–70). Median follow-up was 8.8 months. Local control was significantly higher with concurrent ICIs (12-month: 85% vs. 63%, p = 0.038). Distant control (12-month: 56% vs. 63%, p = 0.629) and median overall survival (9.0 vs. 10.0 months, p = 0.850) were similar between the two groups. On multivariable analysis, concurrent ICI was a significant predictor of local control (HR for local failure: 0.238; 95% CI: 0.073–0.778; p = 0.018). Overall, 23% patients experienced grade 3 toxicities, which was similar between the two groups. Conclusions: The combination of QS with concurrent ICIs was well tolerated and significantly improved local control compared to QS alone. The median OS of 9.4 months compares favorably to historical controls for patients with HNC treated with QS. This approach represents a promising treatment option for patients with HNC unsuited for curative-intent treatment and warrants prospective evaluation. Full article
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22 pages, 7309 KiB  
Article
Increased O-GlcNAcylation by Upregulation of Mitochondrial O-GlcNAc Transferase (mOGT) Inhibits the Activity of Respiratory Chain Complexes and Controls Cellular Bioenergetics
by Paweł Jóźwiak, Joanna Oracz, Angela Dziedzic, Rafał Szelenberger, Dorota Żyżelewicz, Michał Bijak and Anna Krześlak
Cancers 2024, 16(5), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16051048 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 759
Abstract
O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a reversible post-translational modification involved in the regulation of cytosolic, nuclear, and mitochondrial proteins. The interplay between O-GlcNAcylation and phosphorylation is critical to control signaling pathways and maintain cellular homeostasis. The addition of O-GlcNAc moieties to target proteins is [...] Read more.
O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a reversible post-translational modification involved in the regulation of cytosolic, nuclear, and mitochondrial proteins. The interplay between O-GlcNAcylation and phosphorylation is critical to control signaling pathways and maintain cellular homeostasis. The addition of O-GlcNAc moieties to target proteins is catalyzed by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT). Of the three splice variants of OGT described, one is destined for the mitochondria (mOGT). Although the effects of O-GlcNAcylation on the biology of normal and cancer cells are well documented, the role of mOGT remains poorly understood. In this manuscript, the effects of mOGT on mitochondrial protein phosphorylation, electron transport chain (ETC) complex activity, and the expression of VDAC porins were investigated. We performed studies using normal and breast cancer cells with upregulated mOGT or its catalytically inactive mutant. Proteomic approaches included the isolation of O-GlcNAc-modified proteins of the electron transport chain, followed by their analysis using mass spectrometry. We found that mitochondrial OGT regulates the activity of complexes I-V of the respiratory chain and identified a group of 19 ETC components as mOGT substrates in mammary cells. Furthermore, we observed that the upregulation of mOGT inhibited the interaction of VDAC1 with hexokinase II. Our results suggest that the deregulation of mOGT reprograms cellular energy metabolism via interaction with and O-GlcNAcylation of proteins involved in ATP production in mitochondria and its exchange between mitochondria and the cytosol. Full article
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