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Cancers, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The unrestrained activation of ALK tyrosine kinase acts as an oncogenic driver in a growing [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Fluorescence Sensing Using DNA Aptamers in Cancer Research and Clinical Diagnostics
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120174
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
Among the various advantages of aptamers over antibodies, remarkable is their ability to tolerate a large number of chemical modifications within their backbone or at the termini without losing significant activity. Indeed, aptamers can be easily equipped with a wide variety of reporter
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Among the various advantages of aptamers over antibodies, remarkable is their ability to tolerate a large number of chemical modifications within their backbone or at the termini without losing significant activity. Indeed, aptamers can be easily equipped with a wide variety of reporter groups or coupled to different carriers, nanoparticles, or other biomolecules, thus producing valuable molecular recognition tools effective for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This review reports an updated overview on fluorescent DNA aptamers, designed to recognize significant cancer biomarkers both in soluble or membrane-bound form. In many examples, the aptamer secondary structure switches induced by target recognition are suitably translated in a detectable fluorescent signal using either fluorescently-labelled or label-free aptamers. The fluorescence emission changes, producing an enhancement (“signal-on”) or a quenching (“signal-off”) effect, directly reflect the extent of the binding, thereby allowing for quantitative determination of the target in bioanalytical assays. Furthermore, several aptamers conjugated to fluorescent probes proved to be effective for applications in tumour diagnosis and intraoperative surgery, producing tumour-type specific, non-invasive in vivo imaging tools for cancer pre- and post-treatment assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamers: Promising Tools for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy)
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Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Cancer Therapy Based on Dual Mode Gold Nanoparticles
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120173
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 9 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Many tumor-targeted strategies have been used worldwide to limit the side effects and improve the effectiveness of therapies, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy (RT), etc. Biophotonic therapy modalities comprise very promising alternative techniques for cancer treatment with minimal invasiveness and side-effects. These modalities use
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Many tumor-targeted strategies have been used worldwide to limit the side effects and improve the effectiveness of therapies, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy (RT), etc. Biophotonic therapy modalities comprise very promising alternative techniques for cancer treatment with minimal invasiveness and side-effects. These modalities use light e.g., laser irradiation in an extracorporeal or intravenous mode to activate photosensitizer agents with selectivity in the target tissue. Photothermal therapy (PTT) is a minimally invasive technique for cancer treatment which uses laser-activated photoabsorbers to convert photon energy into heat sufficient to induce cells destruction via apoptosis, necroptosis and/or necrosis. During the last decade, PTT has attracted an increased interest since the therapy can be combined with customized functionalized nanoparticles (NPs). Recent advances in nanotechnology have given rise to generation of various types of NPs, like gold NPs (AuNPs), designed to act both as radiosensitizers and photothermal sensitizing agents due to their unique optical and electrical properties i.e., functioning in dual mode. Functionalized AuNPS can be employed in combination with non-ionizing and ionizing radiation to significantly improve the efficacy of cancer treatment while at the same time sparing normal tissues. Here, we first provide an overview of the use of NPs for cancer therapy. Then we review many recent advances on the use of gold NPs in PTT, RT and PTT/RT based on different types of AuNPs, irradiation conditions and protocols. We refer to the interaction mechanisms of AuNPs with cancer cells via the effects of non-ionizing and ionizing radiations and we provide recent existing experimental data as a baseline for the design of optimized protocols in PTT, RT and PTT/RT combined treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation-Induced Carcinogenesis)
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Open AccessReview PRIMA-1 and PRIMA-1Met (APR-246): From Mutant/Wild Type p53 Reactivation to Unexpected Mechanisms Underlying Their Potent Anti-Tumor Effect in Combinatorial Therapies
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120172
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 16 December 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (709 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
p53 protects cells from genetic assaults by triggering cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. Inactivation of p53 pathway is found in the vast majority of human cancers often due to somatic missense mutations in TP53 or to an excessive degradation of the protein. Accordingly, reactivation
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p53 protects cells from genetic assaults by triggering cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. Inactivation of p53 pathway is found in the vast majority of human cancers often due to somatic missense mutations in TP53 or to an excessive degradation of the protein. Accordingly, reactivation of p53 appears as a quite promising pharmacological approach and, effectively, several attempts have been made in that sense. The most widely investigated compounds for this purpose are PRIMA-1 (p53 reactivation and induction of massive apoptosis )and PRIMA-1Met (APR-246), that are at an advanced stage of development, with several clinical trials in progress. Based on publications referenced in PubMed since 2002, here we review the reported effects of these compounds on cancer cells, with a specific focus on their ability of p53 reactivation, an overview of their unexpected anti-cancer effects, and a presentation of the investigated drug combinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue p53 Signaling in Cancers)
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Open AccessReview Regulation of EMT in Colorectal Cancer: A Culprit in Metastasis
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120171
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 16 December 2017
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Abstract
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process during which cells lose their epithelial characteristics, for instance cell polarity and cell–cell contact, and gain mesenchymal properties, such as increased motility. In colorectal cancer (CRC), EMT is associated with an invasive or metastatic phenotype.
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Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process during which cells lose their epithelial characteristics, for instance cell polarity and cell–cell contact, and gain mesenchymal properties, such as increased motility. In colorectal cancer (CRC), EMT is associated with an invasive or metastatic phenotype. In this review, we discuss recent studies exploring novel regulation mechanisms of EMT in CRC, including the identification of new CRC EMT regulators. Upregulation of inducers can promote EMT, leading to increased invasiveness and metastasis in CRC. These inducers can downregulate E-cadherin and upregulate N-cadherin and vimentin (VIM) through modulating EMT-related signaling pathways, for instance WNT/β-catenin and TGF-β, and EMT transcription factors, such as zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) and ZEB2. In addition, several microRNAs (miRNAs), including members of the miR-34 and miR-200 families, are found to target mRNAs of EMT-transcription factors, for example ZEB1, ZEB2, or SNAIL. Downregulation of these miRNAs is associated with distant metastasis and advanced stage tumors. Furthermore, the role of EMT in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is also discussed. Mesenchymal markers on the surface of EMT CTCs were found to be associated with metastasis and could serve as potential biomarkers for metastasis. Altogether, these studies indicate that EMT is orchestrated by a complicated network, involving regulators of different signaling pathways. Further studies are required to understand the mechanisms underlying EMT in CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in Cancer)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Synchrotron-Based Pencil Beam Scanning Nozzle with an Integrated Mini-Ridge Filter: A Dosimetric Study to Optimize Treatment Delivery
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120170
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
A mini-ridge filter is often used to widen the Bragg peak in the longitudinal direction at low energies but not high energies. To facilitate the clinical use of a mini-ridge filter, we performed a planning study for the feasibility of a mini-ridge filter
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A mini-ridge filter is often used to widen the Bragg peak in the longitudinal direction at low energies but not high energies. To facilitate the clinical use of a mini-ridge filter, we performed a planning study for the feasibility of a mini-ridge filter as an integral part of the synchrotron nozzle (IMRF). Dose models with and without IMRF were commissioned in a commercial Treatment planning system (TPS). Dosimetric characteristics in a homogenous water phantom were compared between plans with and without IMRF for a fixed spread-out Bragg peak width of 4 cm with distal ranges varying from 8 to 30 g/cm2. Six clinical cases were then used to compare the plan quality between plans. The delivery efficiency was also compared between plans in both the phantom and the clinical cases. The Bragg peak width was increased by 0.18 cm at the lowest energy and by only about 0.04 cm at the highest energy. The IMRF increased the spot size (σ) by up to 0.1 cm at the lowest energy and by only 0.02 cm at the highest energy. For the phantom, the IMRF negligibly affected dose at high energies but increased the lateral penumbra by up to 0.12 cm and the distal penumbra by up to 0.06 cm at low energies. For the clinical cases, the IMRF slightly increased dose to the organs at risk. However, the beam delivery time was reduced from 18.5% to 47.1% for the lung, brain, scalp, and head and neck cases, and dose uniformities of target were improved up to 2.9% for these cases owing to the reduced minimum monitor unit effect. In conclusion, integrating a mini-ridge filter into a synchrotron nozzle is feasible for improving treatment efficiency without significantly sacrificing the plan quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proton and Carbon Ion Therapy)
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Open AccessReview Activated HGF-c-Met Axis in Head and Neck Cancer
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120169
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a highly morbid disease. Recent developments including Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved molecular targeted agent’s pembrolizumab and cetuximab show promise but did not improve the five-year survival which is currently less than 40%. The
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Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a highly morbid disease. Recent developments including Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved molecular targeted agent’s pembrolizumab and cetuximab show promise but did not improve the five-year survival which is currently less than 40%. The hepatocyte growth factor receptor; also known as mesenchymal–epithelial transition factor (c-Met) and its ligand hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) are overexpressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC); and regulates tumor progression and response to therapy. The c-Met pathway has been shown to regulate many cellular processes such as cell proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis. The c-Met pathway is involved in cross-talk, activation, and perpetuation of other signaling pathways, curbing the cogency of a blockade molecule on a single pathway. The receptor and its ligand act on several downstream effectors including phospholipase C gamma (PLCγ), cellular Src kinase (c-Src), phosphotidylinsitol-3-OH kinase (PI3K) alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (Akt), mitogen activate protein kinase (MAPK), and wingless-related integration site (Wnt) pathways. They are also known to cross-talk with other receptors; namely epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and specifically contribute to treatment resistance. Clinical trials targeting the c-Met axis in HNSCC have been undertaken because of significant preclinical work demonstrating a relationship between HGF/c-Met signaling and cancer cell survival. Here we focus on HGF/c-Met impact on cellular signaling in HNSCC to potentiate tumor growth and disrupt therapeutic efficacy. Herein we summarize the current understanding of HGF/c-Met signaling and its effects on HNSCC. The intertwining of c-Met signaling with other signaling pathways provides opportunities for more robust and specific therapies, leading to better clinical outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatocyte Growth Factor Pathway in Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Tracking Functional Tumor Cell Subpopulations of Malignant Glioma by Phasor Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy of NADH
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120168
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
Intra-tumoral heterogeneity is associated with therapeutic resistance of cancer and there exists a need to non-invasively identify functional tumor subpopulations responsible for tumor recurrence. Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is a metabolic coenzyme essential in cellular respiration. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of
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Intra-tumoral heterogeneity is associated with therapeutic resistance of cancer and there exists a need to non-invasively identify functional tumor subpopulations responsible for tumor recurrence. Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is a metabolic coenzyme essential in cellular respiration. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of NADH has been demonstrated to be a powerful label-free indicator for inferring metabolic states of living cells. Using FLIM, we identified a significant shift towards longer NADH fluorescence lifetimes, suggesting an increase in the fraction of protein-bound NADH, in the invasive stem-like tumor-initiating cell (STIC) subpopulation relative to the tumor mass-forming cell (TMC) subpopulation of malignant gliomas. By applying our previously studied model to transition glioma from a majority of STIC to a majority of TMC in serum-adherent culture conditions following serial passages, we compared changes in NADH states, cellular respirations (oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis), EGFR expression, and cell-growth speed over passages. We identified a significant positive correlation between free-NADH fraction and cell growth, which was related to an increase of TMC fraction. In comparison, the increase of EGFR and cellular respirations preceded all these changes. In conclusion, FLIM of NADH provides a non-invasive method to monitor the dynamics of tumor heterogeneity before and after treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosomal Instability and Cancers)
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Open AccessReview Ubiquitin Specific Peptidase 22 Regulates Histone H2B Mono-Ubiquitination and Exhibits Both Oncogenic and Tumor Suppressor Roles in Cancer
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120167
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 3 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
Ubiquitin-Specific Peptidase 22 (USP22) is a ubiquitin hydrolase, notably catalyzing the removal of the mono-ubiquitin moiety from histone H2B (H2Bub1). Frequent overexpression of USP22 has been observed in various cancer types and is associated with poor patient prognosis. Multiple mechanisms have been identified
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Ubiquitin-Specific Peptidase 22 (USP22) is a ubiquitin hydrolase, notably catalyzing the removal of the mono-ubiquitin moiety from histone H2B (H2Bub1). Frequent overexpression of USP22 has been observed in various cancer types and is associated with poor patient prognosis. Multiple mechanisms have been identified to explain how USP22 overexpression contributes to cancer progression, and thus, USP22 has been proposed as a novel drug target in cancer. However, gene re-sequencing data from numerous cancer types show that USP22 expression is frequently diminished, suggesting it may also harbor tumor suppressor-like properties. This review will examine the current state of knowledge on USP22 expression in cancers, describe its impact on H2Bub1 abundance and present the mechanisms through which altered USP22 expression may contribute to oncogenesis, including an emerging role for USP22 in the maintenance of genome stability in cancer. Clarifying the impact aberrant USP22 expression and abnormal H2Bub1 levels have in oncogenesis is critical before precision medicine therapies can be developed that either directly target USP22 overexpression or exploit the loss of USP22 expression in cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Histone Modification in Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Supraphysiologic Testosterone Therapy in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer: Models, Mechanisms and Questions
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120166
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
Since Huggins defined the androgen-sensitive nature of prostate cancer (PCa), suppression of systemic testosterone (T) has remained the most effective initial therapy for advanced disease although progression inevitably occurs. From the inception of clinical efforts to suppress androgen receptor (AR) signaling by reducing
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Since Huggins defined the androgen-sensitive nature of prostate cancer (PCa), suppression of systemic testosterone (T) has remained the most effective initial therapy for advanced disease although progression inevitably occurs. From the inception of clinical efforts to suppress androgen receptor (AR) signaling by reducing AR ligands, it was also recognized that administration of T in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) could result in substantial clinical responses. Data from preclinical models have reproducibly shown biphasic responses to T administration, with proliferation at low androgen concentrations and growth inhibition at supraphysiological T concentrations. Many questions regarding the biphasic response of PCa to androgen treatment remain, primarily regarding the mechanisms driving these responses and how best to exploit the biphasic phenomenon clinically. Here we review the preclinical and clinical data on high dose androgen growth repression and discuss cellular pathways and mechanisms likely to be involved in mediating this response. Although meaningful clinical responses have now been observed in men with PCa treated with high dose T, not all men respond, leading to questions regarding which tumor characteristics promote response or resistance, and highlighting the need for studies designed to determine the molecular mechanism(s) driving these responses and identify predictive biomarkers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Telomere Shortening in Hematological Malignancies with Tetraploidization—A Mechanism for Chromosomal Instability?
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120165
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
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Abstract
Aneuploidy, the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell, is one of the most obvious differences between normal and cancer cells. There is, however, debate on how aneuploid cells arise and whether or not they are a cause or a
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Aneuploidy, the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell, is one of the most obvious differences between normal and cancer cells. There is, however, debate on how aneuploid cells arise and whether or not they are a cause or a consequence of tumorigenesis. Further, it is important to distinguish aneuploidy (the “state” of the karyotype) from chromosomal instability (CIN; the “rate” of karyotypic change). Although CIN leads to aneuploidy, not all aneuploid cells exhibit CIN. One proposed route to aneuploid cells is through an unstable tetraploid intermediate because tetraploidy promotes chromosomal aberrations and tumorigenesis. Tetraploidy or near-tetraploidy (T/NT) (81–103 chromosomes) karyotypes with or without additional structural abnormalities have been reported in acute leukemia, T-cell and B-cell lymphomas, and solid tumors. In solid tumors it has been shown that tetraploidization can occur in response to loss of telomere protection in the early stages of tumorigenesis in colon cancer, Barrett’s esophagus, and breast and cervical cancers. In hematological malignancies T/NT karyotypes are rare and the role of telomere dysfunction for the induction of tetraploidization is less well characterized. To further our understanding of possible telomere dysfunction as a mechanism for tetrapolydization in hematological cancers we here characterized the chromosomal complement and measured the telomere content by interphase nuclei quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (iQFISH) in seven hematological cancer patients with T/NT karyotypes, and after cytogenetic remission. The patients were identified after a search in our local cytogenetic registry in the 5-year period between June 2012 and May 2017 among more than 12,000 analyzed adult patients in this period. One advantage of measuring telomere content by iQFISH is that it is a single-cell analysis so that the telomere content can be distinguished between normal karyotype cells and cells with T/NT karyotypes. We find that the telomeres are particularly short in cells with T/NT karyotypes as compared with normal cells, and in T/NT karyotypes harboring additional chromosomal aberrations as well. These findings suggest that telomere dysfunction in hematological malignancies may be a mechanism for tetraploidization and CIN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosomal Instability and Cancers)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Non-Canonical Thinking for Targeting ALK-Fusion Onco-Proteins in Lung Cancer
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120164
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
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Abstract
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements have been identified in lung cancer at 3–7% frequency, thus representing an important subset of genetic lesions that drive oncogenesis in this disease. Despite the availability of multiple FDA-approved small molecule inhibitors targeting ALK fusion
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Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements have been identified in lung cancer at 3–7% frequency, thus representing an important subset of genetic lesions that drive oncogenesis in this disease. Despite the availability of multiple FDA-approved small molecule inhibitors targeting ALK fusion proteins, drug resistance to ALK kinase inhibitors is a common problem in clinic. Thus, there is an unmet need to deepen the current understanding of genomic characteristics of ALK rearrangements and to develop novel therapeutic strategies that can overcome ALK inhibitor resistance. In this review, we present the genomic landscape of ALK fusions in the context of co-occurring mutations with other cancer-related genes, pointing to the central role of genetic epistasis (gene-gene interactions) in ALK-driven advanced-stage lung cancer. We discuss the possibility of targeting druggable domains within ALK fusion partners in addition to available strategies inhibiting the ALK kinase domain directly. Finally, we examine the potential of targeting ALK fusion-specific neoantigens in combination with other treatments, a strategy that could open a new avenue for the improved treatment of ALK positive lung cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting ALK in Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Early Postoperative Low Expression of RAD50 in Rectal Cancer Patients Associates with Disease-Free Survival
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120163
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
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Abstract
Background: Molecular biomarkers have the potential to predict response to the treatment of rectal cancer. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the prognostic and clinicopathological implication of RAD50 (DNA repair protein RAD50 homolog) expression in rectal cancer. Methods: A total of 266
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Background: Molecular biomarkers have the potential to predict response to the treatment of rectal cancer. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the prognostic and clinicopathological implication of RAD50 (DNA repair protein RAD50 homolog) expression in rectal cancer. Methods: A total of 266 rectal cancer patients who underwent surgery and received chemo- and radiotherapy between 2000 and 2011 were involved in the study. Postoperative RAD50 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in surgical samples (n = 266). Results: Using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis, we found that low RAD50 expression in postoperative samples was associated with worse disease free survival (p = 0.001) and overall survival (p < 0.001) in early stage/low-grade tumors. In a comparison of patients with low vs. high RAD50 expression, we found that low levels of postoperative RAD50 expression in rectal cancer tissues were significantly associated with perineural invasion (p = 0.002). Conclusion: Expression of RAD50 in rectal cancer may serve as a prognostic biomarker for long-term survival of patients with perineural invasion-positive tumors and for potential use in early stage and low-grade rectal cancer assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Biomarkers)
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Open AccessReview Eukaryotic Elongation Factor 2 Kinase (eEF2K) in Cancer
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120162
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 25 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
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Abstract
Eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K) is a highly unusual protein kinase that negatively regulates the elongation step of protein synthesis. This step uses the vast majority of the large amount of energy and amino acids required for protein synthesis. eEF2K activity is
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Eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K) is a highly unusual protein kinase that negatively regulates the elongation step of protein synthesis. This step uses the vast majority of the large amount of energy and amino acids required for protein synthesis. eEF2K activity is controlled by an array of regulatory inputs, including inhibition by signalling through mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). eEF2K is activated under conditions of stress, such as energy depletion or nutrient deprivation, which can arise in poorly-vascularised tumours. In many such stress conditions, eEF2K exerts cytoprotective effects. A growing body of data indicates eEF2K aids the growth of solid tumours in vivo. Since eEF2K is not essential (in mice) under ‘normal’ conditions, eEF2K may be a useful target in the treatment of solid tumours. However, some reports suggest that eEF2K may actually impair tumorigenesis in some situations. Such a dual role of eEF2K in cancer would be analogous to the situation for other pathways involved in cell metabolism, such as autophagy and mTORC1. Further studies are needed to define the role of eEF2K in different tumour types and at differing stages in tumorigenesis, and to assess its utility as a therapeutic target in oncology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue mTOR Pathway in Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Targeting Autophagy in ALK-Associated Cancers
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120161
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
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Abstract
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process, which is used by the cells for cytoplasmic quality control. This process is induced following different kinds of stresses e.g., metabolic, environmental, or therapeutic, and acts, in this framework, as a cell survival mechanism. However, under
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Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process, which is used by the cells for cytoplasmic quality control. This process is induced following different kinds of stresses e.g., metabolic, environmental, or therapeutic, and acts, in this framework, as a cell survival mechanism. However, under certain circumstances, autophagy has been associated with cell death. This duality has been extensively reported in solid and hematological cancers, and has been observed during both tumor development and cancer therapy. As autophagy plays a critical role at the crossroads between cell survival and cell death, its involvement and therapeutic modulation (either activation or inhibition) are currently intensively studied in cancer biology, to improve treatments and patient outcomes. Over the last few years, studies have demonstrated the occurrence of autophagy in different Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK)-associated cancers, notably ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), Neuroblastoma (NB), and Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). In this review, we will first briefly describe the autophagic process and how it can lead to opposite outcomes in anti-cancer therapies, and we will then focus on what is currently known regarding autophagy in ALK-associated cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting ALK in Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Integrative Bioinformatic Analysis of Transcriptomic Data Identifies Conserved Molecular Pathways Underlying Ionizing Radiation-Induced Bystander Effects (RIBE)
Cancers 2017, 9(12), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers9120160
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1925 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ionizing radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBE) encompass a number of effects with potential for a plethora of damages in adjacent non-irradiated tissue. The cascade of molecular events is initiated in response to the exposure to ionizing radiation (IR), something that may occur during diagnostic
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Ionizing radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBE) encompass a number of effects with potential for a plethora of damages in adjacent non-irradiated tissue. The cascade of molecular events is initiated in response to the exposure to ionizing radiation (IR), something that may occur during diagnostic or therapeutic medical applications. In order to better investigate these complex response mechanisms, we employed a unified framework integrating statistical microarray analysis, signal normalization, and translational bioinformatics functional analysis techniques. This approach was applied to several microarray datasets from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) related to RIBE. The analysis produced lists of differentially expressed genes, contrasting bystander and irradiated samples versus sham-irradiated controls. Furthermore, comparative molecular analysis through BioInfoMiner, which integrates advanced statistical enrichment and prioritization methodologies, revealed discrete biological processes, at the cellular level. For example, the negative regulation of growth, cellular response to Zn2+-Cd2+, and Wnt and NIK/NF-kappaB signaling, thus refining the description of the phenotypic landscape of RIBE. Our results provide a more solid understanding of RIBE cell-specific response patterns, especially in the case of high-LET radiations, like α-particles and carbon-ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation-Induced Carcinogenesis)
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