Topical Collection "Drug Resistance and Novel Therapies in Cancers"

Editor

Prof. Zhixiang Wang
Website
Collection Editor
Signal Transduction Research Group, Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H7, Canada
Interests: EGFR family receptors; receptor tyrosine kinases; cell signaling; receptor endocytosis and trafficking; cell cycle; Rho family of GTPases; breast cancer; drug resistance
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cancer is among the leading causes of mortality in developed countries. Despite advances in treatment in all settings, disease recurrence and progression remains a major obstacle to therapy. One of the main clinical issues is the development of drug resistance. Drug resistance exists in two forms: Acquired resistance, where the drug is initially efficient but becomes ineffective over time, while intrinsic resistance occurs when a drug is ineffective from the beginning of treatment. The hallmarks of drug resistance in cancers include sustained tumor cell proliferation, insensitive to growth suppressors, resisting cell death, and active invasion.

The early drugs used in cancer treatment are all of chemical origin, and as thus, drug resistance is also called chemoresistance in cancer. However, with the development of novel cancer treatment agents, such as hormones, cytokines, antibodies, antisense oligonucleotides and siRNAs, cancer drugs now could include any agent that is used to treat cancer patients. Therefore the term drug resistance in cancer could be used to cover resistance to any cancer treatment agents.

Through intensive studies, multiple mechanisms have been identified for the development of drug resistance. In general, drug resistance could arise due to decreased intracellular drug concentrations, alterations of drug targets, epigenetic modification, and activation of certain signaling cascades These mechanisms include drug inactivation, drug target alteration, drug efflux, DNA damage repair, cell death inhibition, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and epigenetic modifications.

Many strategies have been developed to combat drug resistance, either by combining the currently available therapies or by developing novel therapies. While new chemotherapeutic agents are still developed and chemotherapy is still standard-of-care in the treatment of most cancers, the focus has shift to the development and application of novel therapeutic agents for immunotherapy and targeted therapy due to the improved understanding of tumor biology and the hallmarks of cancers. Targeted therapies have frequently been used in combination with chemotherapeutic agents and radiotherapy in some cases.

Prof. Dr. Zhixiang Wang
Collection Editor

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Keywords

  • cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • novel therapy
  • drug resistance
  • multidrug resistance
  • intrinsic drug resistance
  • acquired drug resistance
  • metastasis
  • apoptosis
  • disease recurrence
  • targeted therapy
  • immunotherapy
  • hormones
  • cytokines
  • antibodies
  • antisense oligonucleotides
  • siRNAs

Published Papers (56 papers)

2020

Jump to: 2019, 2018

Open AccessArticle
Erdafitinib Resensitizes ABCB1-Overexpressing Multidrug-Resistant Cancer Cells to Cytotoxic Anticancer Drugs
Cancers 2020, 12(6), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12061366 - 26 May 2020
Abstract
The development of multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer patients, which is often associated with the overexpression of ABCB1 (MDR1, P-glycoprotein) in cancer cells, remains a significant problem in cancer chemotherapy. ABCB1 is one of the major adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters that [...] Read more.
The development of multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer patients, which is often associated with the overexpression of ABCB1 (MDR1, P-glycoprotein) in cancer cells, remains a significant problem in cancer chemotherapy. ABCB1 is one of the major adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters that can actively efflux a range of anticancer drugs out of cancer cells, causing MDR. Given the lack of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment for multidrug-resistant cancers, we explored the prospect of repurposing erdafitinib, the first fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) kinase inhibitor approved by the FDA, to reverse MDR mediated by ABCB1. We discovered that by reducing the function of ABCB1, erdafitinib significantly resensitized ABCB1-overexpressing multidrug-resistant cancer cells to therapeutic drugs at sub-toxic concentrations. Results of erdafitinib-stimulated ABCB1 ATPase activity and in silico docking analysis of erdafitinib binding to the substrate-binding pocket of ABCB1 further support the interaction between erdafitinib and ABCB1. Moreover, our data suggest that ABCB1 is not a major mechanism of resistance to erdafitinib in cancer cells. In conclusion, we revealed an additional action of erdafitinib as a potential treatment option for multidrug-resistant cancers, which should be evaluated in future drug combination trials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemotherapeutic Agents Sensitize Resistant Cancer Cells to the DR5-Specific Variant DR5-B More Efficiently Than to TRAIL by Modulating the Surface Expression of Death and Decoy Receptors
Cancers 2020, 12(5), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12051129 - 30 Apr 2020
Abstract
TRAIL is considered a promising antitumor agent because it causes apoptosis of transformed cells without affecting normal cells. However, many types of tumors are cytokine resistant, and combination therapy with various chemotherapeutic drugs is being developed to overcome the resistance. We have demonstrated [...] Read more.
TRAIL is considered a promising antitumor agent because it causes apoptosis of transformed cells without affecting normal cells. However, many types of tumors are cytokine resistant, and combination therapy with various chemotherapeutic drugs is being developed to overcome the resistance. We have demonstrated that the combination of TRAIL with doxorubicin, bortezomib, and panobinostat dramatically reduced the viability of TRAIL-resistant A549 and HT-29 cells. Chemotherapy even more efficiently sensitized cells to the DR5-specific mutant variant of TRAIL DR5-B, which does not have an affinity for decoy receptors. Bortezomib and doxorubicin greatly enhanced the surface expression of the death receptors DR5 and DR4, while panobinostat increased expression of DR5 and suppressed expression of DR4 in both cell lines. All drugs increased surface expression of the decoy receptors DcR1 and DcR2. Unlike the combined treatment, if the cells were pretreated with chemotherapy for 24 h, the cytotoxic activity of TRAIL was less pronounced, while sequential treatment of cells enhanced the effectiveness of DR5-B. The same results were obtained with agonistic anti-DR5 antibodies. Thus, the effectiveness of TRAIL was rather limited due to changes in the ratio of death and decoy receptors and DR5-specific agonists may be preferred in combination antitumor therapy regimens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nelfinavir Inhibits the TCF11/Nrf1-Mediated Proteasome Recovery Pathway in Multiple Myeloma
Cancers 2020, 12(5), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12051065 - 25 Apr 2020
Abstract
Proteasome inhibitors are the backbone of multiple myeloma therapy. However, disease progression or early relapse occur due to development of resistance to the therapy. One important cause of resistance to proteasome inhibition is the so-called bounce-back response, a recovery pathway driven by the [...] Read more.
Proteasome inhibitors are the backbone of multiple myeloma therapy. However, disease progression or early relapse occur due to development of resistance to the therapy. One important cause of resistance to proteasome inhibition is the so-called bounce-back response, a recovery pathway driven by the TCF11/Nrf1 transcription factor, which activates proteasome gene re-synthesis upon impairment of the proteasome function. Thus, inhibiting this recovery pathway potentiates the cytotoxic effect of proteasome inhibitors and could benefit treatment outcomes. DDI2 protease, the 3D structure of which resembles the HIV protease, serves as the key player in TCF11/Nrf1 activation. Previous work found that some HIV protease inhibitors block DDI2 in cell-based experiments. Nelfinavir, an oral anti-HIV drug, inhibits the proteasome and/or pAKT pathway and has shown promise for treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Here, we describe how nelfinavir inhibits the TCF11/Nrf1-driven recovery pathway by a dual mode of action. Nelfinavir decreases the total protein level of TCF11/Nrf1 and inhibits TCF11/Nrf1 proteolytic processing, likely by interfering with the DDI2 protease, and therefore reduces the TCF11/Nrf1 protein level in the nucleus. We propose an overall mechanism that explains nelfinavir’s effectiveness in the treatment of multiple myeloma. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Glucocorticoids Promote the Onset of Acute Experimental Colitis and Cancer by Upregulating mTOR Signaling in Intestinal Epithelial Cells
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040945 - 11 Apr 2020
Abstract
The therapeutic effects of glucocorticoids on colitis and colitis-associated cancer are unclear. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic roles of glucocorticoids in acute experimental ulcerative colitis and colitis-associated cancer in mice and their immunoregulatory mechanisms. Murine acute ulcerative colitis was induced by [...] Read more.
The therapeutic effects of glucocorticoids on colitis and colitis-associated cancer are unclear. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic roles of glucocorticoids in acute experimental ulcerative colitis and colitis-associated cancer in mice and their immunoregulatory mechanisms. Murine acute ulcerative colitis was induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and treated with dexamethasone (Dex) at different doses. Dex significantly exacerbated the onset and severity of DSS-induced colitis and potentiated mucosal inflammatory macrophage and neutrophil infiltration, as well as cytokine production. Furthermore, under inflammatory conditions, the expression of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) did not change significantly, while mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling was higher in colonic epithelial cells than in colonic immune cells. The deletion of mTOR in intestinal epithelial cells, but not that in myeloid immune cells, in mice significantly ameliorated the severe course of colitis caused by Dex, including weight loss, clinical score, colon length, pathological damage, inflammatory cell infiltration and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. These data suggest that mTOR signaling in intestinal epithelial cells, mainly mTORC1, plays a critical role in the Dex-induced exacerbation of acute colitis and colitis-associated cancer. Thus, these pieces of evidence indicate that glucocorticoid-induced mTOR signaling in epithelial cells is required in the early stages of acute ulcerative colitis by modulating the dynamics of innate immune cell recruitment and activation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preclinical Study Using ABT263 to Increase Enzalutamide Sensitivity to Suppress Prostate Cancer Progression Via Targeting BCL2/ROS/USP26 Axis Through Altering ARv7 Protein Degradation
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040831 - 30 Mar 2020
Abstract
Background: The recently developed antiandrogen, Enzalutamide (Enz), has reformed the standard of care for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients. However, Enz-resistance inevitably emerges despite success of Enz in prolonging CRPC patients’ survival. Here we found that Enz-resistant prostate cancer (PCa) cells had [...] Read more.
Background: The recently developed antiandrogen, Enzalutamide (Enz), has reformed the standard of care for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients. However, Enz-resistance inevitably emerges despite success of Enz in prolonging CRPC patients’ survival. Here we found that Enz-resistant prostate cancer (PCa) cells had higher BCL2 expression. We aimed to test whether targeting BCL2 would influence Enz sensitivity of prostate cancer (PCa) and identify the potential mechanism. Methods: The study was designed to target Enz-induced BCL2 with inhibitor ABT263 and test Enz sensitivity in Enz-resistant PCa cells by MTT assay. Cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were detected with dihydroethidium staining, and in vitro deubiquitinating enzyme activity assay was used to evaluate ubiquitin specific protease 26 (USP26) activity. Results: ABT263 could increase Enz sensitivity in both Enz-sensitive and Enz-resistant PCa cells via inducing ROS generation. Elevated cellular ROS levels might then inhibit USP26 activity to increase the ubiquitination of androgen receptor (AR) and AR splice variant 7 (ARv7) and their ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent degradation, which contributed to the increase of Enz sensitivity. In vivo mouse model also demonstrates that ABT263 will suppress the PCa progression. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that targeting Enz-induced BCL2 with inhibitor ABT263 could increase Enz sensitivity in both Enz-sensitive and Enz-resistant PCa cells through induction of cellular ROS levels and suppression of USP26 activity with a consequent increase of ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent degradation of AR and ARv7 protein expression. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Carbon-Ion Beam Irradiation Alone or in Combination with Zoledronic acid Effectively Kills Osteosarcoma Cells
Cancers 2020, 12(3), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12030698 - 16 Mar 2020
Abstract
Osteosarcoma (OSA) is the most common malignant bone tumor in children and adolescents. The overall five-year survival rate for all bone cancers is below 70%; however, when the cancer has spread beyond the bone, it is about 15–30%. Herein, we evaluated the effects [...] Read more.
Osteosarcoma (OSA) is the most common malignant bone tumor in children and adolescents. The overall five-year survival rate for all bone cancers is below 70%; however, when the cancer has spread beyond the bone, it is about 15–30%. Herein, we evaluated the effects of carbon-ion beam irradiation alone or in combination with zoledronic acid (ZOL) on OSA cells. Carbon-ion beam irradiation in combination with ZOL significantly inhibited OSA cell proliferation by arresting cell cycle progression and initiating KHOS and U2OS cell apoptosis, compared to treatments with carbon-ion beam irradiation, X-ray irradiation, and ZOL alone. Moreover, we observed that this combination greatly inhibited OSA cell motility and invasion, accompanied by the suppression of the Pi3K/Akt and MAPK signaling pathways, which are related to cell proliferation and survival, compared to individual treatments with carbon-ion beam or X-ray irradiation, or ZOL. Furthermore, ZOL treatment upregulated microRNA (miR)-29b expression; the combination with a miR-29b mimic further decreased OSA cell viability via activation of the caspase 3 pathway. Thus, ZOL-mediated enhancement of carbon-ion beam radiosensitivity may occur via miR-29b upregulation; co-treatment with the miR-29b mimic further decreased OSA cell survival. These findings suggest that the carbon-ion beam irradiation in combination with ZOL has high potential to increase OSA cell death. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Autophagic Inhibition via Lysosomal Integrity Dysfunction Leads to Antitumor Activity in Glioma Treatment
Cancers 2020, 12(3), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12030543 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Manipulating autophagy is a promising strategy for treating cancer as several autophagy inhibitors are shown to induce autophagic cell death. One of these, autophagonizer (APZ), induces apoptosis-independent cell death by binding an unknown target via an unknown mechanism. To identify APZ targets, we [...] Read more.
Manipulating autophagy is a promising strategy for treating cancer as several autophagy inhibitors are shown to induce autophagic cell death. One of these, autophagonizer (APZ), induces apoptosis-independent cell death by binding an unknown target via an unknown mechanism. To identify APZ targets, we used a label-free drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS) approach with a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) readout. Of 35 protein interactors, we identified Hsp70 as a key target protein of unmodified APZ in autophagy. Either APZ treatment or Hsp70 inhibition attenuates integrity of lysosomes, which leads to autophagic cell death exhibiting an excellent synergism with a clinical drug, temozolomide, in vitro, in vivo, and orthotropic glioma xenograft model. These findings demonstrate the potential of APZ to induce autophagic cell death and its development to combinational chemotherapeutic agent for glioma treatment. Collectively, our study demonstrated that APZ, a new autophagy inhibitor, can be used as a potent antitumor drug candidate to get over unassailable glioma and revealed a novel function of Hsp70 in lysosomal integrity regulation of autophagy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of p53-Mediated Signaling in the Therapeutic Response of Colorectal Cancer to 9F, a Spermine-Modified Naphthalene Diimide Derivative
Cancers 2020, 12(3), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12030528 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers due to its frequency and high rate of mortality. Polyamine-vectorized anticancer drugs possess multiple biological properties. Of these drugs, 9F has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and the metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma. [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers due to its frequency and high rate of mortality. Polyamine-vectorized anticancer drugs possess multiple biological properties. Of these drugs, 9F has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and the metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma. This current study aims to investigate the effects of 9F on CRC and determine its molecular mechanisms of action. Our findings demonstrate that 9F inhibits CRC cell growth by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, and suppresses migration, invasion and angiogenesis in vitro, resulting in the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. Based on RNA-seq data, further bioinformatic analyses suggest that 9F exerts its anticancer activities through p53 signaling, which is responsible for the altered expression of key regulators of the cell cycle, apoptosis, the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and angiogenesis. In addition, 9F is more effective than amonafide against CRC. These results show that 9F can be considered as a potential strategy for CRC treatment. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Targeting Cancer Metabolism to Resensitize Chemotherapy: Potential Development of Cancer Chemosensitizers from Traditional Chinese Medicines
Cancers 2020, 12(2), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020404 - 10 Feb 2020
Abstract
Cancer is a common and complex disease with high incidence and mortality rates, which causes a severe public health problem worldwide. As one of the standard therapeutic approaches for cancer therapy, the prognosis and outcome of chemotherapy are still far from satisfactory due [...] Read more.
Cancer is a common and complex disease with high incidence and mortality rates, which causes a severe public health problem worldwide. As one of the standard therapeutic approaches for cancer therapy, the prognosis and outcome of chemotherapy are still far from satisfactory due to the severe side effects and increasingly acquired resistance. The development of novel and effective treatment strategies to overcome chemoresistance is urgent for cancer therapy. Metabolic reprogramming is one of the hallmarks of cancer. Cancer cells could rewire metabolic pathways to facilitate tumorigenesis, tumor progression, and metastasis, as well as chemoresistance. The metabolic reprogramming may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy and rekindle the research enthusiasm for overcoming chemoresistance. This review focuses on emerging mechanisms underlying rewired metabolic pathways for cancer chemoresistance in terms of glucose and energy, lipid, amino acid, and nucleotide metabolisms, as well as other related metabolisms. In particular, we highlight the potential of traditional Chinese medicine as a chemosensitizer for cancer chemotherapy from the metabolic perspective. The perspectives of metabolic targeting to chemoresistance are also discussed. In conclusion, the elucidation of the underlying metabolic reprogramming mechanisms by which cancer cells develop chemoresistance and traditional Chinese medicines resensitize chemotherapy would provide us a new insight into developing promising therapeutics and scientific evidence for clinical use of traditional Chinese medicine as a chemosensitizer for cancer therapy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heterogeneous Responses of Gastric Cancer Cell Lines to Tenovin-6 and Synergistic Effect with Chloroquine
Cancers 2020, 12(2), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020365 - 05 Feb 2020
Abstract
Gastric cancer (GC) is the fifth most frequently diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death. Approximately 15% of GC is associated with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). GC is largely incurable with a dismal five-year survival rate. There is an urgent need [...] Read more.
Gastric cancer (GC) is the fifth most frequently diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death. Approximately 15% of GC is associated with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). GC is largely incurable with a dismal five-year survival rate. There is an urgent need to identify new therapeutic agents for the treatment of GC. Tenovin-6 was initially identified as a p53 activator, but it was later found to inhibit autophagy flux, and the protein deacetylase activity of sirtuins. Tenovin-6 shows promising therapeutic effect in various malignancies. However, it remains unknown whether Tenovin-6 is effective for GC. In this study, we found that EBV-positive and -negative GC cell lines were sensitive to Tenovin-6 but with different response times and doses. Tenovin-6 suppressed anchorage-independent growth of GC cells. Tenovin-6 induced different levels of apoptosis and phases of cell-cycle arrest depending on the cell lines with some manifesting gap 1 (G1) and others showing synthesis (S) phase cell-cycle arrest. Mechanistically, Tenovin-6 induced autophagy or p53 activation in GC cells depending on the status of TP53 gene. However, initiation of autophagy following treatment with Tenovin-6 conferred some protective effect on numerous cells. Combined treatment with Tenovin-6 and autophagy inhibitor chloroquine increased the cytotoxic effect by inducing microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3B (LC3B)-II accumulation, and by enhancing apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest. These results indicated that Tenovin-6 can be used as a potential therapeutic agent for GC, but the genetic background of the cancer cells might determine the response and mechanism of action. Treatment with Tenovin-6 alone or in combination with chloroquine could be a promising therapeutic approach for GC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combination of Decitabine and Entinostat Synergistically Inhibits Urothelial Bladder Cancer Cells via Activation of FoxO1
Cancers 2020, 12(2), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020337 - 03 Feb 2020
Abstract
Occurrence of cisplatin-resistance in bladder cancer is frequent and results in disease progression. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches are a high medical need for patients suffering from chemotherapy failure. The purpose of this study was to test the combination of the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor [...] Read more.
Occurrence of cisplatin-resistance in bladder cancer is frequent and results in disease progression. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches are a high medical need for patients suffering from chemotherapy failure. The purpose of this study was to test the combination of the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine (DAC) with the histone deacetylase inhibitor entinostat (ENT) in bladder cancer cells with different platinum sensitivities: J82, cisplatin-resistant J82CisR, and RT-112. Intermittent treatment of J82 cells with cisplatin resulted in the six-fold more cisplatin-resistant cell line J82CisR. Combinations of DAC and/or ENT plus cisplatin could not reverse chemoresistance. However, the combination of DAC and ENT acted cytotoxic in a highly synergistic manner as shown by Chou-Talalay analysis via induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Importantly, this effect was cancer cell-selective as no synergism was found for the combination in the non-cancerous urothelial cell line HBLAK. Expression analysis indicated that epigenetic treatment led to up-regulation of forkhead box class O1 (FoxO1) and further activated proapoptotic Bim and the cell cycle regulator p21 and reduced expression of survivin in J82CisR. In conclusion, the combination of DAC and ENT is highly synergistic and has a promising potential for therapy of bladder cancer, particularly in cases with platinum resistance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Resistance to MET/VEGFR2 Inhibition by Cabozantinib Is Mediated by YAP/TBX5-Dependent Induction of FGFR1 in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010244 - 19 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The overall goal of this study was to elucidate the role of FGFR1 induction in acquired resistance to MET and VEGFR2 inhibition by cabozantinib in prostate cancer (PCa) and leverage this understanding to improve therapy outcomes. The response to cabozantinib was examined in [...] Read more.
The overall goal of this study was to elucidate the role of FGFR1 induction in acquired resistance to MET and VEGFR2 inhibition by cabozantinib in prostate cancer (PCa) and leverage this understanding to improve therapy outcomes. The response to cabozantinib was examined in mice bearing patient-derived xenografts in which FGFR1 was overexpressed. Using a variety of cell models that reflect different PCa disease states, the mechanism underpinning FGFR1 signaling activation by cabozantinib was investigated. We performed parallel investigations in specimens from cabozantinib-treated patients to confirm our in vitro and in vivo data. FGFR1 overexpression was sufficient to confer resistance to cabozantinib. Our results demonstrate transcriptional activation of FGF/FGFR1 expression in cabozantinib-resistant models. Further analysis of molecular pathways identified a YAP/TBX5-driven mechanism of FGFR1 and FGF overexpression induced by MET inhibition. Importantly, knockdown of YAP and TBX5 led to decreased FGFR1 protein expression and decreased mRNA levels of FGFR1, FGF1, and FGF2. This association was confirmed in a cohort of hormone-naïve patients with PCa receiving androgen deprivation therapy and cabozantinib, further validating our findings. These findings reveal that the molecular basis of resistance to MET inhibition in PCa is FGFR1 activation through a YAP/TBX5-dependent mechanism. YAP and its downstream target TBX5 represent a crucial mediator in acquired resistance to MET inhibitors. Thus, our studies provide insight into the mechanism of acquired resistance and will guide future development of clinical trials with MET inhibitors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sitravatinib Sensitizes ABCB1- and ABCG2-Overexpressing Multidrug-Resistant Cancer Cells to Chemotherapeutic Drugs
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010195 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The development of multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer patients driven by the overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter ABCB1 or ABCG2 in cancer cells presents one of the most daunting therapeutic complications for clinical scientists to resolve. Despite many novel therapeutic strategies that [...] Read more.
The development of multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer patients driven by the overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter ABCB1 or ABCG2 in cancer cells presents one of the most daunting therapeutic complications for clinical scientists to resolve. Despite many novel therapeutic strategies that have been tested over the years, there is still no approved treatment for multidrug-resistant cancers to date. We have recently adopted a drug repurposing approach to identify therapeutic agents that are clinically active and at the same time, capable of reversing multidrug resistance mediated by ABCB1 and ABCG2. In the present study, we investigated the effect of sitravatinib, a novel multitargeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, on human ABCB1 and ABCG2 in multidrug-resistant cancer cell lines. We discovered that at submicromolar concentrations, sitravatinib re-sensitizes ABCB1- and ABCG2-overexpressing multidrug-resistant cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. We found that sitravatinib blocks the drug efflux function of ABCB1 and ABCG2 in a concentration-dependent manner but does not significantly alter the protein expression of ABCB1 or ABCG2 in multidrug-resistant cancer cells. In conclusion, we reveal a potential drug repositioning treatment option for multidrug-resistant cancers by targeting ABCB1 and ABCG2 with sitravatinib and should be further investigated in future clinical trials. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2020, 2018

Open AccessArticle
The Application of Arsenic Trioxide in Ameliorating ABT-737 Target Therapy on Uterine Cervical Cancer Cells through Unique Pathways in Cell Death
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010108 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
ABT-737, a B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) family inhibitor, activates apoptosis in cancer cells. Arsenic trioxide is an apoptosis activator that impairs cancer cell survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a combination treatment with ABT-737 and arsenic trioxide [...] Read more.
ABT-737, a B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) family inhibitor, activates apoptosis in cancer cells. Arsenic trioxide is an apoptosis activator that impairs cancer cell survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a combination treatment with ABT-737 and arsenic trioxide on uterine cervical cancer cells. MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-25-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay revealed that ABT-737 and arsenic trioxide induced a synergistic effect on uterine cervical cancer cells. Arsenic trioxide enhanced ABT-737-induced apoptosis and caspase-7 activation and the ABT-737-mediated reduction of anti-apoptotic protein Mcl-1 in Caski cells. Western blot assay revealed that arsenic trioxide promoted the ABT-737-mediated reduction of CDK6 and thymidylate synthetase in Caski cells. Arsenic trioxide promoted ABT-737-inhibited mitochondrial membrane potential and ABT-737-inhibited ANT expression in Caski cells. However, ABT-737-elicited reactive oxygen species were not enhanced by arsenic trioxide. The combined treatment induced an anti-apoptosis autophagy in SiHa cells. This study is the first to demonstrate that a combination treatment with ABT-737 and arsenic trioxide induces a synergistic effect on uterine cervical cancer cells through apoptosis. Our findings provide new insights into uterine cervical cancer treatment. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Angioregulatory microRNAs in Colorectal Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010071 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality. Angiogenesis is a rate-determining step in CRC development and metastasis. The balance of angiogenic and antiangiogenic factors is crucial in this process. Angiogenesis-related genes can be regulated post-transcriptionally by microRNAs (miRNAs) [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality. Angiogenesis is a rate-determining step in CRC development and metastasis. The balance of angiogenic and antiangiogenic factors is crucial in this process. Angiogenesis-related genes can be regulated post-transcriptionally by microRNAs (miRNAs) and some miRNAs have been shown to shuttle between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME). MiRNAs have context-dependent actions and can promote or suppress angiogenesis dependent on the type of cancer. On the one hand, miRNAs downregulate anti-angiogenic targets and lead to angiogenesis induction. Tumor suppressor miRNAs, on the other hand, enhance anti-angiogenic response by targeting pro-angiogenic factors. Understanding the interaction between these miRNAs and their target mRNAs will help to unravel molecular mechanisms involved in CRC progression. The aim of this article is to review the current literature on angioregulatory miRNAs in CRC. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Overcoming Drug Resistance by Taking Advantage of Physical Principles: Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC)
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010034 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
Theoretical considerations as well as comprehensive preclinical and clinical data suggest that optimizing physical parameters of intraperitoneal drug delivery might help to circumvent initial or acquired resistance of peritoneal metastasis (PM) to chemotherapy. Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC) is a novel minimally invasive [...] Read more.
Theoretical considerations as well as comprehensive preclinical and clinical data suggest that optimizing physical parameters of intraperitoneal drug delivery might help to circumvent initial or acquired resistance of peritoneal metastasis (PM) to chemotherapy. Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC) is a novel minimally invasive drug delivery system systematically addressing the current limitations of intraperitoneal chemotherapy. The rationale behind PIPAC is: (1) optimizing homogeneity of drug distribution by applying an aerosol rather than a liquid solution; (2) applying increased intraperitoneal hydrostatic pressure to counteract elevated intratumoral interstitial fluid pressure; (3) limiting blood outflow during drug application; (4) steering environmental parameters (temperature, pH, electrostatic charge etc.) in the peritoneal cavity for best tissue target effect. In addition, PIPAC allows repeated application and objective assessment of tumor response by comparing biopsies between chemotherapy cycles. Although incompletely understood, the reasons that allow PIPAC to overcome established chemoresistance are probably linked to local dose intensification. All pharmacological data published so far show a superior therapeutic ratio (tissue concentration/dose applied) of PIPAC vs. systemic administration, of PIPAC vs. intraperitoneal liquid chemotherapy, of PIPAC vs. Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) or PIPAC vs. laparoscopic HIPEC. In the initial introduction phase, PIPAC has been used in patients who were quite ill and had already failed multiple treatment regimes, but it may not be limited to that group of patients in the future. Rapid diffusion of PIPAC in clinical practice worldwide supports its potential to become a game changer in the treatment of chemoresistant isolated PM of various origins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Allometric Scaling Approaches for Predicting Human Pharmacokinetic of a Locked Nucleic Acid Oligonucleotide Targeting Cancer-Associated miR-221
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010027 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
LNA-i-miR-221 is a novel phosphorothioate backbone 13-mer locked nucleic acid oligonucleotide-targeting microRNA-221 designed for the treatment of human malignancies. To understand the pharmacokinetic properties of this new agent, including unbound/total clearance, we investigated the LNA-i-miR-221 protein binding in three different species, including rat [...] Read more.
LNA-i-miR-221 is a novel phosphorothioate backbone 13-mer locked nucleic acid oligonucleotide-targeting microRNA-221 designed for the treatment of human malignancies. To understand the pharmacokinetic properties of this new agent, including unbound/total clearance, we investigated the LNA-i-miR-221 protein binding in three different species, including rat (Sprague–Dawley), monkey (Cynomolgus), and human. To this end, we generated a suitable ultrafiltration method to study the binding of LNA-i-miR-221 to plasma proteins. We identified that the fraction of LNA-i-miR-221 (at concentration of 1 and 10 µM) bound to rat, monkey, and human plasma proteins was high and ranged from 98.2 to 99.05%. This high protein binding of LNA-i-miR-221 to plasma proteins in all the species tested translates into a pharmacokinetic advantage by preventing rapid renal clearance. The integration of these results into multiple allometric interspecies scaling methods was then used to draw inferences about LNA-i-miR-221 pharmacokinetics in humans, thereby providing a framework for definition of safe starting and escalation doses and moving towards a first human clinical trial of LNA-i-miR-221. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
5-Fluorouracil as a Tumor-Treating Field-Sensitizer in Colon Cancer Therapy
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1999; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121999 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of mortality that can be treated effectively with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, although resistance to these therapeutic modalities often occurs. Tumor-treating fields (TTFields) can block tumor growth by selectively impairing tumor cell division. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of mortality that can be treated effectively with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, although resistance to these therapeutic modalities often occurs. Tumor-treating fields (TTFields) can block tumor growth by selectively impairing tumor cell division. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) sensitizes tumor cells to TTFields. Human HCT116 and SW480 CRC cells were treated with 5-FU and/or TTFields, and characterized in vitro in terms of cell viability, apoptosis through reactive oxygen species production, autophagy, and metastatic potentials. The biological effects of 5-FU and/or TTFields were studied via positron emission tomography and computed tomography on xenograft tumor growth and were confirmed with organoid models of patients. Our results revealed that combination treatment with 5-FU and TTFields increased the efficiency of TTFields therapy in colon cancer cells by downregulating signaling pathways associated with cell proliferation, survival, cell invasion, and migration while upregulating pathways mediating apoptosis and autophagic cell death. The novel mechanistic insights gleaned in this study suggest that combination therapy with TTFields and 5-FU may be effective in treating CRC, although safety and efficacy testing in patients with CRC will need to be performed before this strategy can be implemented clinically for TTF-sensitization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Radiosensitization of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells by the Plk1 Inhibitor Volasertib Is Dependent on the p53 Status
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121893 - 28 Nov 2019
Abstract
Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1), a master regulator of mitotic cell division, is highly expressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) making it an interesting drug target. We examined the in vitro therapeutic effects of volasertib, a Plk1 inhibitor, in combination with irradiation in [...] Read more.
Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1), a master regulator of mitotic cell division, is highly expressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) making it an interesting drug target. We examined the in vitro therapeutic effects of volasertib, a Plk1 inhibitor, in combination with irradiation in a panel of NSCLC cell lines with different p53 backgrounds. Pretreatment with volasertib efficiently sensitized p53 wild type cells to irradiation. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that significantly more cells were arrested in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle after the combination therapy compared to either treatment alone (p < 0.005). No significant synergistic induction of apoptotic cell death was observed, but, importantly, significantly more senescent cells were detected when cells were pretreated with volasertib before irradiation compared to both monotherapies alone (p < 0.001), especially in cells with functional p53. Consequently, while most cells with functional p53 showed permanent growth arrest, more p53 knockdown/mutant cells could re-enter the cell cycle, resulting in colony formation and cell survival. Our findings assign functional p53 as a determining factor for the observed radiosensitizing effect of volasertib in combination with radiotherapy for the treatment of NSCLC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
FoxO3a as a Positive Prognostic Marker and a Therapeutic Target in Tamoxifen-Resistant Breast Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1858; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121858 - 25 Nov 2019
Abstract
Background: Resistance to endocrine treatments is a major clinical challenge in the management of estrogen receptor positive breast cancers. Although multiple mechanisms leading to endocrine resistance have been proposed, the poor outcome of this subgroup of patients demands additional studies. Methods: FoxO3a involvement [...] Read more.
Background: Resistance to endocrine treatments is a major clinical challenge in the management of estrogen receptor positive breast cancers. Although multiple mechanisms leading to endocrine resistance have been proposed, the poor outcome of this subgroup of patients demands additional studies. Methods: FoxO3a involvement in the acquisition and reversion of tamoxifen resistance was assessed in vitro in three parental ER+ breast cancer cells, MCF-7, T47D and ZR-75-1, in the deriving Tamoxifen resistant models (TamR) and in Tet-inducible TamR/FoxO3a stable cell lines, by growth curves, PLA, siRNA, RT-PCR, Western blot, Immunofluorescence, Transmission Electron Microscopy, TUNEL, cell cycle, proteomics analyses and animal models. FoxO3a clinical relevance was validated in silico by Kaplan–Meier survival curves. Results: Here, we show that tamoxifen resistant breast cancer cells (TamR) express low FoxO3a levels. The hyperactive growth factors signaling, characterizing these cells, leads to FoxO3a hyper-phosphorylation and subsequent proteasomal degradation. FoxO3a re-expression by using TamR tetracycline inducible cells or by treating TamR with the anticonvulsant lamotrigine (LTG), restored the sensitivity to the antiestrogen and strongly reduced tumor mass in TamR-derived mouse xenografts. Proteomics data unveiled novel potential mediators of FoxO3a anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity, while the Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that FoxO3a is predictive of a positive response to tamoxifen therapy in Luminal A breast cancer patients. Conclusions: Altogether, our data indicate that FoxO3a is a key target to be exploited in endocrine-resistant tumors. In this context, LTG, being able to induce FoxO3a, might represent a valid candidate in combination therapy to prevent resistance to tamoxifen in patients at risk. Full article
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Open AccessReview
RAD52 Functions in Homologous Recombination and Its Importance on Genomic Integrity Maintenance and Cancer Therapy
Cancers 2019, 11(11), 1622; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11111622 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Genomes are continually subjected to DNA damage whether they are induced from intrinsic physiological processes or extrinsic agents. Double-stranded breaks (DSBs) are the most injurious type of DNA damage, being induced by ionizing radiation (IR) and cytotoxic agents used in cancer treatment. The [...] Read more.
Genomes are continually subjected to DNA damage whether they are induced from intrinsic physiological processes or extrinsic agents. Double-stranded breaks (DSBs) are the most injurious type of DNA damage, being induced by ionizing radiation (IR) and cytotoxic agents used in cancer treatment. The failure to repair DSBs can result in aberrant chromosomal abnormalities which lead to cancer development. An intricate network of DNA damage signaling pathways is usually activated to eliminate these damages and to restore genomic stability. These signaling pathways include the activation of cell cycle checkpoints, DNA repair mechanisms, and apoptosis induction, also known as DNA damage response (DDR)-mechanisms. Remarkably, the homologous recombination (HR) is the major DSBs repairing pathway, in which RAD52 gene has a crucial repairing role by promoting the annealing of complementary single-stranded DNA and by stimulating RAD51 recombinase activity. Evidence suggests that variations in RAD52 expression can influence HR activity and, subsequently, influence the predisposition and treatment efficacy of cancer. In this review, we present several reports in which the down or upregulation of RAD52 seems to be associated with different carcinogenic processes. In addition, we discuss RAD52 inhibition in DDR-defective cancers as a possible target to improve cancer therapy efficacy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Challenges for Cisplatin-Resistant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101584 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The majority of patients with advanced ovarian germ cell cancer are treated by cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Despite adequate first-line treatment, nearly one third of patients relapse and almost half develop cisplatin-resistant disease, which is often fatal. The treatment of cisplatin-resistant disease is challenging and [...] Read more.
The majority of patients with advanced ovarian germ cell cancer are treated by cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Despite adequate first-line treatment, nearly one third of patients relapse and almost half develop cisplatin-resistant disease, which is often fatal. The treatment of cisplatin-resistant disease is challenging and prognosis remains poor. There are limited data on the efficacy of specific chemotherapeutic regimens, high-dose chemotherapy with autologous progenitor cell support and targeted therapies. The inclusion of patients in clinical trials is strongly recommended, especially in clinical trials on the most frequent male germ cell tumors, to offer wider therapeutic opportunities. Here, we provide an overview of current and potential new treatment options including combination chemotherapy, high-dose chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapies, for patients with cisplatin-resistant ovarian germ cell tumors. Full article
Open AccessArticle
FOXC1 Regulation of miR-31-5p Confers Oxaliplatin Resistance by Targeting LATS2 in Colorectal Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101576 - 16 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related illness worldwide and one of the most common malignancies. Therefore, colorectal cancer research and cases have gained increasing attention. Oxaliplatin (OXA) is currently used in first-line chemotherapy to treat stage III and stage [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related illness worldwide and one of the most common malignancies. Therefore, colorectal cancer research and cases have gained increasing attention. Oxaliplatin (OXA) is currently used in first-line chemotherapy to treat stage III and stage IV metastatic CRC. However, patients undergoing chemotherapy often develop resistance to chemo drugs being used. Evidence has confirmed that microRNAs regulate downstream genes in cancer biology and thereby have roles related to tumor growth, proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis, and multi-drug resistance. The aim of our study is to establish whether miR-31-5p is an oncogene in human colorectal cancers that are resistant to OXA and further confirm its malignant phenotype-associated target molecule. From the results of miRNA microarray assay, we establish that miR-31-5p expression was upregulated in oxaliplatin-resistant (OR)-LoVo cells compared with parental LoVo cells. Moreover, through in vitro and in vivo experiments, we demonstrate that miR-31-5p and large tumor suppressor kinase 2 (LATS2) were inversely related and that miR-31-5p and Forkhead box C1 (FOXC1) were positively correlated in the same LoVo or OR-LoVo cells. Importantly, we reveal a novel drug-resistance mechanism in which the transcription factor FOXC1 binds to the miR-31 promoter to increase the expression of miR31-5p and regulate LATS2 expression, resulting in cancer cell resistance to OXA. These results suggest that miR-31-5p may be a novel biomarker involved in drug resistance progression in CRC patients. Moreover, the FOXC1/miR31-5p/LATS2 drug-resistance mechanism provides new treatment strategies for CRC in clinical trials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Simultaneous Inhibition of BCR-ABL1 Tyrosine Kinase and PAK1/2 Serine/Threonine Kinase Exerts Synergistic Effect against Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Cells
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101544 - 12 Oct 2019
Abstract
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) revolutionized the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia in the chronic phase (CML-CP). However, it is unlikely that they can completely “cure” the disease. This might be because some subpopulations of CML-CP cells such as stem and progenitor cells are [...] Read more.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) revolutionized the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia in the chronic phase (CML-CP). However, it is unlikely that they can completely “cure” the disease. This might be because some subpopulations of CML-CP cells such as stem and progenitor cells are resistant to chemotherapy, even to the new generation of TKIs. Therefore, it is important to look for new methods of treatment to improve therapeutic outcomes. Previously, we have shown that class I p21-activated serine/threonine kinases (PAKs) remained active in TKI-naive and TKI-treated CML-CP leukemia stem and early progenitor cells. In this study, we aimed to determine if simultaneous inhibition of BCR-ABL1 oncogenic tyrosine kinase and PAK1/2 serine/threonine kinase exert better anti-CML effect than that of individual treatments. PAK1 was inhibited by small-molecule inhibitor IPA-3 (p21-activated kinase inhibitor III), PAK2 was downregulated by specific short hairpin RNA (shRNA), and BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase was inhibited by imatinib (IM). The studies were conducted by using (i) primary CML-CP stem/early progenitor cells and normal hematopoietic counterparts isolated from the bone marrow of newly diagnosed patients with CML-CP and from healthy donors, respectively, (ii) CML-blast phase cell lines (K562 and KCL-22), and (iii) from BCR-ABL1-transformed 32Dcl3 cell line. Herein, we show that inhibition of the activity of PAK1 and/or PAK2 enhanced the effect of IM against CML cells without affecting the normal cells. We observed that the combined use of IM with IPA-3 increased the inhibition of growth and apoptosis of leukemia cells. To evaluate the type of interaction between the two drugs, we performed median effect analysis. According to our results, the type and strength of drug interaction depend on the concentration of the drugs tested. Generally, combination of IM with IPA-3 at the 50% of the cell kill level (EC50) generated synergistic effect. Based on our results, we hypothesize that IM, a BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitor, combined with a PAK1/2 inhibitor facilitates eradication of CML-CP cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Signaling as a Therapeutic Target in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1502; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101502 - 08 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a lethal cancer with limited treatment options. No targeted therapy has emerged yet. Here, we performed an integrated molecular characterization of patient tumors in the TCGA dataset, and discovered that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the adaptive unfolded [...] Read more.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a lethal cancer with limited treatment options. No targeted therapy has emerged yet. Here, we performed an integrated molecular characterization of patient tumors in the TCGA dataset, and discovered that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the adaptive unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling are characteristically deregulated in MPM. Consequently, pharmacological perturbation of ER stress/UPR axis by HA15, an agent that induces persistent proteotoxic stress in the ER, selectively suppresses the viability of MPM cells including those refractory to standard chemotherapy. Mechanically, HA15 augments the already high basal level of ER stress in MPM cells, embarks pro-apoptotic malfunctional UPR and autophagy, which eventually induces cell death in MPM. Importantly, HA15 exerts anti-MPM effectiveness in a mouse model of patient-derived xenografts (PDX) without eliciting overt toxicity when compared to chemotherapy. Our results revealed that programs orchestrating ER stress/UPR signaling represent therapeutic vulnerabilities in MPM and validate HA15 as a promising agent to treat patients with MPM, naïve or resistant to chemotherapy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potent Activity of Composite Cyclin Dependent Kinase Inhibition against Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1433; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101433 - 26 Sep 2019
Abstract
Alterations in cell cycle regulators are common in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We tested the efficacy of composite inhibition of CDKs 1, 2, 5, and 9 through dinaciclib on HCC. In vitro, dinaciclib exhibited potent antiproliferative activities in HCC cell lines regardless of Rb [...] Read more.
Alterations in cell cycle regulators are common in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We tested the efficacy of composite inhibition of CDKs 1, 2, 5, and 9 through dinaciclib on HCC. In vitro, dinaciclib exhibited potent antiproliferative activities in HCC cell lines regardless of Rb or c-myc expression levels. Dinaciclib significantly downregulated the phosphorylation of Rb (target of CDKs 1 and 2), ataxia telangiectasia mutated kinase (target of CDK5), and RNA polymerase II (target of CDK9) in the HCC cells. In xenograft studies, mice receiving dinaciclib tolerated the treatment well without significant body weight changes and exhibited a significantly slower tumor growth rate than the mice receiving vehicles. RNA interference (RNAi) of CDKs 1 and 9 was more effective in inhibiting the cell proliferation of HCC cells than RNAi of CDKs 2 and 5. Overexpression of CDK9 significantly reduced the efficacy of dinaciclib in HCC cells, but overexpression of CDK1 did not. In conclusion, composite inhibition of CDKs 1, 2, 5, and 9 through dinaciclib exhibited potent in vitro and in vivo activity against HCC. CDK9 inhibition might be the crucial mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Proton Beam Therapy Combined with Intra-Arterial Infusion Chemotherapy for Stage IV Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Base of the Tongue
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101413 - 22 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a very rare epithelial tumor of the salivary glands. Surgical resection is considered to be a standard therapy. However, the optimal treatment strategy for managing advanced cases has not yet been established. This study evaluated the efficacy and [...] Read more.
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a very rare epithelial tumor of the salivary glands. Surgical resection is considered to be a standard therapy. However, the optimal treatment strategy for managing advanced cases has not yet been established. This study evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of proton beam therapy (PBT) combined with selective intra-arterial infusion chemotherapy (IAIC) using weekly cisplatin for locally advanced ACC of the base of the tongue. Between March 2009 and February 2018, 15 patients were treated. The median follow-up duration was 56 (range: 15–116) months. The 5-year local control and overall survival rates were 89% and 76%, respectively. With regard to late toxicities, grade 2 osteoradionecrosis was found in one patient and grade 5 pharyngeal necrosis was observed in one patient. Considering most cases were significantly advanced and inoperable, this therapy was effective in controlling the primary tumor, preserving function and maintaining the quality of life. Although improvements are needed to reduce adverse events, PBT in combination with IAIC can be a treatment option for locally advanced ACC of the base of the tongue. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Repurposing Penfluridol in Combination with Temozolomide for the Treatment of Glioblastoma
Cancers 2019, 11(9), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11091310 - 05 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Despite the presence of aggressive treatment strategies, glioblastoma remains intractable, warranting a novel therapeutic modality. An oral antipsychotic agent, penflurido (PFD), used for schizophrenia treatment, has shown an antitumor effect on various types of cancer cells. As glioma sphere-forming cells (GSCs) are known [...] Read more.
Despite the presence of aggressive treatment strategies, glioblastoma remains intractable, warranting a novel therapeutic modality. An oral antipsychotic agent, penflurido (PFD), used for schizophrenia treatment, has shown an antitumor effect on various types of cancer cells. As glioma sphere-forming cells (GSCs) are known to mediate drug resistance in glioblastoma, and considering that antipsychotics can easily penetrate the blood-brain barrier, we investigated the antitumor effect of PFD on patient-derived GSCs. Using five GSCs, we found that PFD exerts an antiproliferative effect in a time- and dose-dependent manner. At IC50, spheroid size and second-generation spheroid formation were significantly suppressed. Stemness factors, SOX2 and OCT4, were decreased. PFD treatment reduced cancer cell migration and invasion by reducing the Integrin α6 and uPAR levels and suppression of the expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) factors, vimentin and Zeb1. GLI1 was found to be involved in PFD-induced EMT inhibition. Furthermore, combinatorial treatment of PFD with temozolomide (TMZ) significantly suppressed tumor growth and prolonged survival in vivo. Immunostaining revealed decreased expression of GLI1, SOX2, and vimentin in the PFD treatment group but not in the TMZ-only treatment group. Therefore, PFD can be effectively repurposed for the treatment of glioblastoma by combining it with TMZ. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The PI3K/AKT/mTOR and CDK4/6 Pathways in Endocrine Resistant HR+/HER2− Metastatic Breast Cancer: Biological Mechanisms and New Treatments
Cancers 2019, 11(9), 1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11091242 - 24 Aug 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Endocrine-based treatments are the normal standard-of-care in women with hormone receptor-positive/Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2-negative metastatic breast cancer. Despite the well-known efficacy of these drugs as first-line therapies, about 50% of women develop endocrine resistance and disease progression. The treatment of these [...] Read more.
Endocrine-based treatments are the normal standard-of-care in women with hormone receptor-positive/Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2-negative metastatic breast cancer. Despite the well-known efficacy of these drugs as first-line therapies, about 50% of women develop endocrine resistance and disease progression. The treatment of these patients has represented one of the most important research fields in the last few years, with several multicenter phase II/III trials published or still ongoing. Novel therapies, such as cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4/6 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, have significantly changed the prognosis of patients progressing to a previous endocrine treatment, allowing a great benefit in terms of progression-free survival and, in some cases, of overall survival. However, identifying response predictors is essential for the rational use of these drugs to avoid unnecessary toxicity and costs, and to ensure the optimal therapeutic sequence is used. In this review, we analyze the PI3K/AKT/mTOR and CDK4/6 pathways and their roles in endocrine resistant metastatic breast cancer. We then focus on the new treatments developed and the roles of these drugs in overcoming endocrine resistance, describing the latest clinical trials that led to the approval of the drugs in clinical practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
TIMP-1-Mediated Chemoresistance via Induction of IL-6 in NSCLC
Cancers 2019, 11(8), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081184 - 15 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Elevated tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) is a negative prognosticator in non-small cell lung carcinoma NSCLC patients. This study sought to identify mechanisms whereby TIMP-1 impacts anticancer therapy. Using NSCLC cells and their TIMP-1 knockdown clones, we examined the chemoresistance against two chemotherapeutic [...] Read more.
Elevated tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) is a negative prognosticator in non-small cell lung carcinoma NSCLC patients. This study sought to identify mechanisms whereby TIMP-1 impacts anticancer therapy. Using NSCLC cells and their TIMP-1 knockdown clones, we examined the chemoresistance against two chemotherapeutic agents, Gemcitabine and Cisplatin, as identified by increased apoptosis in the knockdown clones. A bead-based cytokine screening assay identified interleukin-6 (IL-6) as a key factor in chemoresistance. Exogenous human recombinant rhTIMP-1 or rhIL-6 resulted in reduced apoptosis. IL-6 expression was closely correlated with TIMP-1 kinetics and was upregulated by the addition of exogenous TIMP-1 while TIMP-1 neutralizing antibodies delayed IL-6 elevation. IL-6 production was regulated by TIMP-1, exerting its effect via activation of downstream signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling. Both molecules and their documented transcription factors were upregulated and activated in chemoresistant NSCLC cells, confirming the roles of TIMP-1 and IL-6 in chemoresistance. To examine the role of these genes in patients, survival data from lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) patients was curated from the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) database. Kaplan-Meier analysis found that individuals expressing low TIMP-1 and IL-6 have a higher survival rate and that the two-gene signature was more significant than the single-gene status. We define for the first time, a regulatory relationship between TIMP-1 and IL-6 in NSCLCs, suggesting that the TIMP-1/IL6 axis may be a valuable prognostic biomarker. Therapeutic interventions directed at this dual target may improve overall prognosis while negatively affecting the development of chemoresistance in NSCLC. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Tumor Microenvironment in Colorectal Cancer Therapy
Cancers 2019, 11(8), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081172 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
The current standard-of-care for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) includes chemotherapy and anti-angiogenic or anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies, even though the addition of anti-angiogenic agents to backbone chemotherapy provides little benefit for overall survival. Since the approval of anti-angiogenic monoclonal antibodies [...] Read more.
The current standard-of-care for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) includes chemotherapy and anti-angiogenic or anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies, even though the addition of anti-angiogenic agents to backbone chemotherapy provides little benefit for overall survival. Since the approval of anti-angiogenic monoclonal antibodies bevacizumab and aflibercept, for the management of mCRC over a decade ago, extensive efforts have been devoted to discovering predictive factors of the anti-angiogenic response, unsuccessfully. Recent evidence has suggested a potential correlation between angiogenesis and immune phenotypes associated with colorectal cancer. Here, we review evidence of interactions between tumor angiogenesis, the immune microenvironment, and metabolic reprogramming. More specifically, we will highlight such interactions as inferred from our novel immune-metabolic (IM) signature, which groups mCRC into three distinct clusters, namely inflamed-stromal-dependent (IM Cluster 1), inflamed-non stromal-dependent (IM Cluster 2), and non-inflamed or cold (IM Cluster 3), and discuss the merits of the IM classification as a guide to new immune-metabolic combinatorial therapeutic strategies in mCRC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Untargeted Assessment of Tumor Fractions in Plasma for Monitoring and Prognostication from Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Systemic Treatment
Cancers 2019, 11(8), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081171 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic and predictive value of an untargeted assessment of tumor fractions in the plasma of metastatic breast cancer patients and to compare circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) with circulating tumor cells (CTC) and conventional tumor [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic and predictive value of an untargeted assessment of tumor fractions in the plasma of metastatic breast cancer patients and to compare circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) with circulating tumor cells (CTC) and conventional tumor markers. In metastatic breast cancer patients (n = 29), tumor fractions in plasma were assessed using the untargeted mFAST-SeqS method from 127 serial blood samples. Resulting z-scores for the ctDNA were compared to tumor fractions established with the recently published ichorCNA algorithm and associated with the clinical outcome. We observed a close correlation between mFAST-SeqS z-scores and ichorCNA ctDNA quantifications. Patients with mFAST-SeqS z-scores above three (34.5%) showed significantly worse overall survival (p = 0.014) and progression-free survival (p = 0.018) compared to patients with lower values. Elevated z-score values were clearly associated with radiologically proven progression. The baseline CTC count, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and cancer antigen (CA)15-5 had no prognostic impact on the outcome of patients in the analyzed cohort. This proof of principle study demonstrates the prognostic impact of ctDNA levels detected with mFAST-SeqS as a very fast and cost-effective means to assess the ctDNA fraction without prior knowledge of the genetic landscape of the tumor. Furthermore, mFAST-SeqS-based ctDNA levels provided an early means of measuring treatment response. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
SLMP53-2 Restores Wild-Type-Like Function to Mutant p53 through Hsp70: Promising Activity in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2019, 11(8), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081151 - 10 Aug 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Half of human cancers harbor TP53 mutations that render p53 inactive as a tumor suppressor. In these cancers, reactivation of mutant p53 (mutp53) through restoration of wild-type-like function constitutes a valuable anticancer therapeutic strategy. In order to search for mutp53 reactivators, a small [...] Read more.
Half of human cancers harbor TP53 mutations that render p53 inactive as a tumor suppressor. In these cancers, reactivation of mutant p53 (mutp53) through restoration of wild-type-like function constitutes a valuable anticancer therapeutic strategy. In order to search for mutp53 reactivators, a small library of tryptophanol-derived oxazoloisoindolinones was synthesized and the potential of these compounds as mutp53 reactivators and anticancer agents was investigated in human tumor cells and xenograft mouse models. By analysis of their anti-proliferative effect on a panel of p53-null NCI-H1299 tumor cells ectopically expressing highly prevalent mutp53, the compound SLMP53-2 was selected based on its potential reactivation of multiple structural mutp53. In mutp53-Y220C-expressing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, SLMP53-2-induced growth inhibition was mediated by cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and endoplasmic reticulum stress response. In these cells, SLMP53-2 restored wild-type-like conformation and DNA-binding ability of mutp53-Y220C by enhancing its interaction with the heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), leading to the reestablishment of p53 transcriptional activity. Additionally, SLMP53-2 displayed synergistic effect with sorafenib, the only approved therapy for advanced HCC. Notably, it exhibited potent antitumor activity in human HCC xenograft mouse models with a favorable toxicological profile. Collectively, SLMP53-2 is a new mutp53-targeting agent with promising antitumor activity, particularly against HCC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Benefit of Reactivating p53 under MAPK Inhibition on the Efficacy of Radiotherapy in Melanoma
Cancers 2019, 11(8), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081093 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Radiotherapy (RT) in patients with melanoma historically showed suboptimal results, because the disease is often radioresistant due to various mechanisms such as scavenging free radicals by thiols, pigmentary machinery, or enhanced DNA repair. However, radiotherapy has been utilized as adjuvant therapy after the [...] Read more.
Radiotherapy (RT) in patients with melanoma historically showed suboptimal results, because the disease is often radioresistant due to various mechanisms such as scavenging free radicals by thiols, pigmentary machinery, or enhanced DNA repair. However, radiotherapy has been utilized as adjuvant therapy after the complete excision of primary melanoma and lymph nodes to reduce the rate of nodal recurrences in high-risk patients. The resistance of melanoma cells to radiotherapy may also be in relation with the constitutive activation of the MAPK pathway and/or with the inactivation of p53 observed in about 90% of melanomas. In this study, we aimed to assess the potential benefit of adding RT to BRAF-mutated melanoma cells under a combined p53 reactivation and MAPK inhibition in vitro and in a preclinical animal model. We found that the combination of BRAF inhibition (vemurafenib, which completely shuts down the MAPK pathway), together with p53 reactivation (PRIMA-1Met) significantly enhanced the radiosensitivity of BRAF-mutant melanoma cells. This was accompanied by an increase in both p53 expression and activity. Of note, we found that radiation alone markedly promoted both ERK and AKT phosphorylation, thus contributing to radioresistance. The combination of vemurafenib and PRIMA-1Met caused the inactivation of both MAPK kinase and PI3K/AKT pathways. Furthermore, when combined with radiotherapy, it was able to significantly enhance melanoma cell radiosensitivity. Interestingly, in nude mice bearing melanoma xenografts, the latter triple combination had not only a synergistic effect on tumor growth inhibition, but also a potent control on tumor regrowth in all animals after finishing the triple combination therapy. RT alone had only a weak effect. In conclusion, we provide a basis for a strategy that may overcome the radioresistance of BRAF-mutated melanoma cells to radiotherapy. Whether this will translate into a rational to use radiotherapy in the curative setting in BRAF-mutated melanoma patients deserves consideration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
TP53 DNA Binding Domain Mutations Predict Progression-Free Survival of Bevacizumab Therapy in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(8), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081079 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) Background: Bevacizumab-based regimens are a standard treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients, however meaningful clinical biomarkers for treatment benefit remain scarce. (2) Methods: Tumor samples from 36 mCRC patients treated with bevacizumab-based chemotherapy underwent comprehensive genomic profiling. Alterations in frequently altered [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Bevacizumab-based regimens are a standard treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients, however meaningful clinical biomarkers for treatment benefit remain scarce. (2) Methods: Tumor samples from 36 mCRC patients treated with bevacizumab-based chemotherapy underwent comprehensive genomic profiling. Alterations in frequently altered genes and important signaling pathways were correlated with progression-free survival (PFS). (3) Results: Overall genetic alteration analysis of investigated genes and pathways did not identify promising new predictors of PFS. However, when considering mutation subtypes, TP53 DNA binding domain (DBD) missense mutations were associated with prolonged PFS (HR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.13−0.65; p = 0.005). In contrast, TP53 truncating mutations were associated with short PFS (HR, 2.95; 95% CI, 1.45−27.50; p = 0.017). Importantly, neither TP53 mutation subtype was associated with overall response rate. In multivariate analysis, TP53 DBD missense mutations remained an independent PFS predictor (HR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.13–0.77; p = 0.011). The other genetic factor independently associated with PFS were PTPRT/PTPRD deleterious alterations, which we previously identified in a screen for biomarkers of bevacizumab response. (4) Conclusions: TP53 DBD missense mutations may predict prolonged PFS in mCRC patients treated with bevacizumab-based therapy. Analyses of TP53 mutations as clinical biomarkers should take the biological impact of different mutation subtypes into consideration to improve patient stratification. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inhibition of DNA Repair Mechanisms and Induction of Apoptosis in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells Expressing the Human Herpesvirus 6 U94
Cancers 2019, 11(7), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11071006 - 18 Jul 2019
Abstract
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15–20% of all breast cancers. In spite of initial good response to chemotherapy, the prognosis of TNBC remains poor and no effective specific targeted therapy is readily available. Recently, we demonstrated the ability of U94, the latency [...] Read more.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15–20% of all breast cancers. In spite of initial good response to chemotherapy, the prognosis of TNBC remains poor and no effective specific targeted therapy is readily available. Recently, we demonstrated the ability of U94, the latency gene of human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6), to interfere with proliferation and with crucial steps of the metastatic cascade by using MDA-MB 231 TNBC breast cancer cell line. U94 expression was also associated with a partial mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET) of cells, which displayed a less aggressive phenotype. In this study, we show the ability of U94 to exert its anticancer activity on three different TNBC cell lines by inhibiting DNA damage repair genes, cell cycle and eventually leading to cell death following activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Interestingly, we found that U94 acted synergistically with DNA-damaging drugs. Overall, we provide evidence that U94 is able to combat tumor cells with different mechanisms, thus attesting for the great potential of this molecule as a multi-target drug in cancer therapy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Morin Hydrate Reverses Cisplatin Resistance by Impairing PARP1/HMGB1-Dependent Autophagy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2019, 11(7), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11070986 - 15 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Chemoresistance is a major obstacle that limits the benefits of cisplatin-based chemotherapy in various cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma. De-regulation of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1)/high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) signaling pathway has been proposed as an important mechanism involved in cisplatin-resistance. In this [...] Read more.
Chemoresistance is a major obstacle that limits the benefits of cisplatin-based chemotherapy in various cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma. De-regulation of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1)/high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) signaling pathway has been proposed as an important mechanism involved in cisplatin-resistance. In this study, we investigated therapeutic potential of a natural flavonoid Morin hydrate against cisplatin-induced toxicity using the HepG2DR multi-drug resistant cell line, which is derived from the HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. HepG2DR cells were exposed to cisplatin and Morin hydrate alone or together after which autophagy and apoptotic signaling pathways were monitored by fluorometric assay and Western blot analysis. Xenograft mouse models were performed to confirm the in vitro effect of Morin hydrate. PARP1 was hyper activated in cisplatin-resistant HepG2DR cells. Cisplatin-induced PARP1 activation resulted in chemoresistance via increased autophagy. The cisplatin/Morin hydrate combination was effective in the reversal of the HepG2DR cell resistance via suppression of PARP1-mediated autophagy by regulating the HMGB1 and microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3) I/II. Moreover, PARP1 inhibition by 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide or autophagy inhibition by a knockdown of the autophagy-related 5 (ATG5) gene resulted in sensitizing the HepG2DR cells to cisplatin (CP) through activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway. In a mouse xenograft model, the treatment of cisplatin with Morin hydrate reversed the increased expression of PARP and HMGB1 and significantly suppressed tumor growth. These findings indicate dysregulated expression of PARP1 confers cisplatin-resistance via autophagy activation in HepG2DR cells. Morin hydrate inhibits cisplatin-mediated autophagy induction, resulting in increased susceptibility of HepG2DR cells to cisplatin cytotoxicity. The combination of Morin hydrate with cisplatin may be a promising therapeutic strategy to enhance the efficacy of conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Temozolomide Resistant Primary GBM Stem-Like Cells and Recurrent GBM Identifies Up-Regulation of the Carbonic Anhydrase CA2 Gene as Resistance Factor
Cancers 2019, 11(7), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11070921 - 30 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
About 95% of patients with Glioblastoma (GBM) show tumor relapse, leaving them with limited therapeutic options as recurrent tumors are most often resistant to the first line chemotherapy standard Temozolomide (TMZ). To identify molecular pathways involved in TMZ resistance, primary GBM Stem-like Cells [...] Read more.
About 95% of patients with Glioblastoma (GBM) show tumor relapse, leaving them with limited therapeutic options as recurrent tumors are most often resistant to the first line chemotherapy standard Temozolomide (TMZ). To identify molecular pathways involved in TMZ resistance, primary GBM Stem-like Cells (GSCs) were isolated, characterized, and selected for TMZ resistance in vitro. Subsequently, RNA sequencing analysis was performed and revealed a total of 49 differentially expressed genes (|log2-fold change| > 0.5 and adjusted p-value < 0.1) in TMZ resistant stem-like cells compared to their matched DMSO control cells. Among up-regulated genes, we identified carbonic anhydrase 2 (CA2) as a candidate gene correlated with glioma malignancy and patient survival. Notably, we describe consistent up-regulation of CA2 not only in TMZ resistant GSCs on mRNA and protein level, but also in patient-matched clinical samples of first manifest and recurrent tumors. Co-treatment with the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor Acetazolamid (ACZ) sensitized cells to TMZ induced cell death. Cumulatively, our findings illustrate the potential of CA2 as a chemosensitizing target in recurrent GBM and provide a rationale for a therapy associated inhibition of CA2 to overcome TMZ induced chemoresistance. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Resistance to Systemic Agents in Renal Cell Carcinoma Predict and Overcome Genomic Strategies Adopted by Tumor
Cancers 2019, 11(6), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11060830 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The development of new systemic agents has led us into a “golden era” of management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Certainly, the approval of immune-checkpoint inhibitors and the combination of these with targeted compounds has irreversibly changed clinical scenarios. A deeper knowledge [...] Read more.
The development of new systemic agents has led us into a “golden era” of management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Certainly, the approval of immune-checkpoint inhibitors and the combination of these with targeted compounds has irreversibly changed clinical scenarios. A deeper knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that correlate with tumor development and progression has made this revolution possible. In this amazing era, novel challenges are awaiting us in the clinical management of metastatic RCC. Of these, the development of reliable criteria which are able to predict tumor response to treatment or primary and acquired resistance to systemic treatments still remain an unmet clinical need. Thanks to the availability of data provided by studies evaluating genomic assessments of the disease, this goal may no longer be out of reach. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about genomic alterations related to primary and secondary resistance to target therapy and immune-checkpoint inhibitors in RCC. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Improving the Brain Delivery of Chemotherapeutic Drugs in Childhood Brain Tumors
Cancers 2019, 11(6), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11060824 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The central nervous system (CNS) may be considered as a sanctuary site, protected from systemic chemotherapy by the meninges, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Consequently, parenchymal and CSF exposure of most antineoplastic agents following intravenous (IV) administration is lower [...] Read more.
The central nervous system (CNS) may be considered as a sanctuary site, protected from systemic chemotherapy by the meninges, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Consequently, parenchymal and CSF exposure of most antineoplastic agents following intravenous (IV) administration is lower than systemic exposure. In this review, we describe the different strategies developed to improve delivery of antineoplastic agents into the brain in primary and metastatic CNS tumors. We observed that several methods, such as BBB disruption (BBBD), intra-arterial (IA) and intracavitary chemotherapy, are not routinely used because of their invasiveness and potentially serious adverse effects. Conversely, intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy has been safely and widely practiced in the treatment of pediatric primary and metastatic tumors, replacing the neurotoxic cranial irradiation for the treatment of childhood lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). IT chemotherapy may be achieved through lumbar puncture (LP) or across the Ommaya intraventricular reservoir, which are both described in this review. Additionally, we overviewed pharmacokinetics and toxic aspects of the main IT antineoplastic drugs employed for primary or metastatic childhood CNS tumors (such as methotrexate, cytosine arabinoside, hydrocortisone), with a concise focus on new and less used IT antineoplastic agents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
SIRT2 Contributes to the Resistance of Melanoma Cells to the Multikinase Inhibitor Dasatinib
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050673 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer and can only be cured if detected early. Unfortunately, later stages of the disease do not guarantee success due to the rapid rate of melanoma cell metastasis and their high resistance to applied therapies. The [...] Read more.
Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer and can only be cured if detected early. Unfortunately, later stages of the disease do not guarantee success due to the rapid rate of melanoma cell metastasis and their high resistance to applied therapies. The search for new molecular targets and targeted therapy may represent the future in the development of effective methods for combating this cancer. SIRT2 is a promising target; thus, we downregulated SIRT2 expression in melanoma cells in vertical growth and metastatic phases and demonstrated that sirtuin acts as regulator of the basic functions of melanoma cells. A detailed transcriptomic analysis showed that SIRT2 regulates the expression of multiple genes encoding the tyrosine kinase pathways that are molecular targets of dasatinib. Indeed, cells with low SIRT2 expression were more susceptible to dasatinib, as demonstrated by multiple techniques, e.g., neutral red uptake, 3/7 caspase activity, colony formation assay, and in vitro scratch assay. Furthermore, these cells showed an altered phosphorylation profile for proteins playing roles in the response to dasatinib. Thus, our research indicates new, previously unknown SIRT2 functions in the regulation of gene expression, which is of key clinical significance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Palliative Electrochemotherapy in Vulvar Carcinoma: Preliminary Results of the ELECHTRA (Electrochemotherapy Vulvar Cancer) Multicenter Study
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050657 - 12 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Vulvar cancer (VC) is a rare disease of which recurrence poses management problems due to patients’ advanced age and comorbidities, and to the localization of the disease. Palliative treatments, allowing local disease control in patients previously treated with multimodal therapies or with comorbidities, [...] Read more.
Vulvar cancer (VC) is a rare disease of which recurrence poses management problems due to patients’ advanced age and comorbidities, and to the localization of the disease. Palliative treatments, allowing local disease control in patients previously treated with multimodal therapies or with comorbidities, are lacking. In this study we tested electrochemotherapy (ECT) on recurrent VC refractory to standard therapies to assess the tumor response and to define the selection criteria for patient’s candidate to ECT. This is a multicenter observational study carried out in five Italian centers. Data about patients and tumor characteristics, treatment, toxicity, and clinical response were recorded. In all procedures, intravenous bleomycin was administered according to European Standard Operative Procedure ECT (ESOPE) guidelines. Sixty-one patients, with a median age 79 years (range: 39–85) and mainly affected by squamous cellular carcinoma (91.8%), were treated with ECT. No serious adverse events were reported. Patients were discharged after three days (median, range: 0–8 days). Two months after ECT, the clinical response rate was 83.6% and was not related to age, body mass index, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage, number of treated nodules, or previous treatments. ECT is a safe procedure with a favorable cost-effectiveness ratio and should be considered as a treatment option for local disease control in patients unsuitable for standard therapies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Outcomes of Carbon-Ion Radiotherapy for Malignant Gynecological Melanoma
Cancers 2019, 11(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11040482 - 04 Apr 2019
Abstract
Surgical resection is considered a standard therapy for malignant melanoma (MM). However, it has not yet been established as an optimal treatment strategy for gynecological MMs, particularly owing to their very low incidence rates. We retrospectively analyzed clinical outcomes of carbon-ion radiotherapy (C-ion [...] Read more.
Surgical resection is considered a standard therapy for malignant melanoma (MM). However, it has not yet been established as an optimal treatment strategy for gynecological MMs, particularly owing to their very low incidence rates. We retrospectively analyzed clinical outcomes of carbon-ion radiotherapy (C-ion RT) for gynecological MMs. The eligibility criterion was the presence of histologically confirmed gynecological MM. Patients with pelvic or inguinal lymph node metastases were included, while those with distant metastases were excluded. The pelvic and inguinal lymph node regions were irradiated with up to 36 gray relative biological effectiveness (Gy (RBE)) followed by a gross tumor volume boost of up to 57.6 Gy (RBE) or 64 Gy (RBE) in 16 fractions over 4 weeks. Thirty-seven patients (median age: 71 years) were examined. In total, 22 patients had vaginal tumors, 12 had vulval tumors, and 3 had cervical uterine tumors. The median follow-up periods were 23 months (range: 5–103 months) for all patients and 53 months (range: 16–103 months) for survivors. Thirty of 37 patients (81%) achieved complete tumor disappearance. The 2-year local control, overall survival, and progression-free survival rates were 71%, 53%, and 29%, respectively. C-ion RT may be a definitive treatment option for patients with gynecological MM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Increase Paclitaxel Sensitivity to Better Suppress Serous Epithelial Ovarian Cancer via Ablating Androgen Receptor/Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor-ABCG2 Axis
Cancers 2019, 11(4), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11040463 - 02 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one of the most lethal gynecological malignancies and presents chemoresistance after chemotherapy treatment. Androgen receptor (AR) has been known to participate in proliferation. Yet the mechanisms of the resistance of this drug and its linkage to the [...] Read more.
Background: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one of the most lethal gynecological malignancies and presents chemoresistance after chemotherapy treatment. Androgen receptor (AR) has been known to participate in proliferation. Yet the mechanisms of the resistance of this drug and its linkage to the AR remains unclear. Methods: To elucidate AR-related paclitaxel sensitivity, co-IP, luciferase reporter assay and ChIP assay were performed to identify that AR direct-regulated ABCG2 expression under paclitaxel treatment. IHC staining by AR antibody presented higher AR expression in serous-type patients than other types. AR degradation enhancer (ASC-J9) was used to examine paclitaxel-associated and paclitaxel-resistant cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Results: We found AR/aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-mediates ABCG2 expression and leads to a change in paclitaxel cytotoxicity/sensitivity in EOC serous subtype cell lines. Molecular mechanism study showed that paclitaxel activated AR transactivity and bound to alternative ARE in the ABCG2 proximal promoter region. To identify AR as a potential therapeutic target, the ASC-J9 was used to re-sensitize paclitaxel-resistant EOC tumors upon paclitaxel treatment in vitro and in vivo. Conclusion: The results demonstrated that activation of AR transactivity beyond the androgen-associated biological effect. This novel AR mechanism explains that degradation of AR is the most effective therapeutic strategy for treating AR-positive EOC serous subtype. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Pertuzumab and Its Combination with Trastuzumab on HER2 Homodimerization and Phosphorylation
Cancers 2019, 11(3), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11030375 - 16 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Pertuzumab (Perjeta) is an anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody that is used for treatment of HER2-positive breast cancers in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and docetaxel and showed promising clinical outcomes. Pertuzumab is suggested to block heterodimerization of HER2 with EGFR and HER3 that abolishes canonical [...] Read more.
Pertuzumab (Perjeta) is an anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody that is used for treatment of HER2-positive breast cancers in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and docetaxel and showed promising clinical outcomes. Pertuzumab is suggested to block heterodimerization of HER2 with EGFR and HER3 that abolishes canonical function of HER2. However, evidence on the exact mode of action of pertuzumab in homodimerization of HER2 are limited. In this study, we investigated the effect of pertuzumab and its combination with trastuzumab on HER2 homodimerization, phosphorylation and whole gene expression profile in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells stably overexpressing human HER2 (CHO-K6). CHO-K6 cells were treated with pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and their combination, and then HER2 homodimerization and phosphorylation at seven pY sites were investigated. The effects of the monoclonal antibodies on whole gene expression and the expression of cell cycle stages, apoptosis, autophagy, and necrosis were studied by cDNA microarray. Results showed that pertuzumab had no significant effect on HER2 homodimerization, however, trastuzumab increased HER2 homodimerization. Interestingly, pertuzumab increased HER2 phosphorylation at Y1127, Y1139, and Y1196 residues, while trastuzumab increased HER2 phosphorylation at Y1196. More surprisingly, combination of pertuzumab and trastuzumab blocked the phosphorylation of Y1005 and Y1127 of HER2. Our results also showed that pertuzumab, but not trastuzumab, abrogated the effect of HER2 overexpression on cell cycle in particular G1/S transition, G2/M transition, and M phase, whereas trastuzumab abolished the inhibitory effect of HER2 on apoptosis. Our findings confirm that pertuzumab is unable to inhibit HER2 homodimerization but induces HER2 phosphorylation at some pY sites that abolishes HER2 effects on cell cycle progress. These data suggest that the clinical effects of pertuzumab may mostly through the inhibition of HER2 heterodimers, rather than HER2 homodimers and that pertuzumab binding to HER2 may inhibit non-canonical HER2 activation and function in non-HER-mediated and dimerization-independent pathway(s). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cucurbitacin D Reprograms Glucose Metabolic Network in Prostate Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(3), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11030364 - 14 Mar 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Prostate cancer (PrCa) metastasis is the major cause of mortality and morbidity among men. Metastatic PrCa cells are typically adopted for aberrant glucose metabolism. Thus, chemophores that reprogram altered glucose metabolic machinery in cancer cells can be useful agent for the repression of [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer (PrCa) metastasis is the major cause of mortality and morbidity among men. Metastatic PrCa cells are typically adopted for aberrant glucose metabolism. Thus, chemophores that reprogram altered glucose metabolic machinery in cancer cells can be useful agent for the repression of PrCa metastasis. Herein, we report that cucurbitacin D (Cuc D) effectively inhibits glucose uptake and lactate production in metastatic PrCa cells via modulating glucose metabolism. This metabolic shift by Cuc D was correlated with decreased expression of GLUT1 by its direct binding as suggested by its proficient molecular docking (binding energy −8.5 kcal/mol). Cuc D treatment also altered the expression of key oncogenic proteins and miR-132 that are known to be involved in glucose metabolism. Cuc D (0.1 to 1 µM) treatment inhibited tumorigenic and metastatic potential of human PrCa cells via inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase. Cuc D treatment also showed inhibition of tumor growth in PrCa xenograft mouse model with concomitant decrease in the expression of GLUT1, PCNA and restoration of miR-132. These results suggest that Cuc D is a novel modulator of glucose metabolism and could be a promising therapeutic modality for the attenuation of PrCa metastasis. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Hiroshi Sugano et al. Nafamostat Mesilate Enhances the Radiosensitivity and Reduces the Radiation-Induced Invasive Ability of Colorectal Cancer Cells. Cancers 2018, 10, 386
Cancers 2019, 11(3), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11030335 - 08 Mar 2019
Abstract
The authors would like to make a correction to their published paper [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Expression of Neural Crest Markers GLDC and ERRFI1 is Correlated with Melanoma Prognosis
Cancers 2019, 11(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11010076 - 11 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Regulation of particular genes during the formation of neural crest (NC) cells is also described during progression of malignant melanoma. In this context, it is of paramount importance to develop neural crest models allowing the identification of candidate genes, which could be used [...] Read more.
Regulation of particular genes during the formation of neural crest (NC) cells is also described during progression of malignant melanoma. In this context, it is of paramount importance to develop neural crest models allowing the identification of candidate genes, which could be used as biomarkers for melanoma prognosis. Here, we used a human induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)-based approach to present novel NC-associated genes, expression of which was upregulated in melanoma. A list of 8 candidate genes, based on highest upregulation, was tested for prognostic value in a tissue microarray analysis containing samples from advanced melanoma (good versus bad prognosis) as well as from high-risk primary melanomas (early metastasizing versus non or late-metastasizing). CD271, GLDC, and ERRFI1 showed significantly higher expression in metastatic patients who died early than the ones who survived at least 30 months. In addition, GLDC and TWIST showed a significantly higher immunohistochemistry (IHC) score in primary melanomas from patients who developed metastases within 12 months versus those who did not develop metastases in 30 months. In conclusion, our iPSC-based study reveals a significant association of NC marker GLDC protein expression with melanoma prognosis. Full article
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2018

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Open AccessArticle
Interplay between Epigenetics, Expression of Estrogen Receptor- α, HER2/ERBB2 and Sensitivity of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells to Hormonal Therapy
Cancers 2019, 11(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11010013 - 21 Dec 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells are resistant to hormonal/targeted therapies. This study aims to investigate epigenetic differences between TNBC and other types of breast cancer and the effect of epigenetic modulation on the response of TNBC cells to hormonal therapy. Thus, we [...] Read more.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells are resistant to hormonal/targeted therapies. This study aims to investigate epigenetic differences between TNBC and other types of breast cancer and the effect of epigenetic modulation on the response of TNBC cells to hormonal therapy. Thus, we investigated (i) the expression of different epigenetic markers, (ii) the effect of epigenetic modifying agents on the expression of ERα and HER2/ERBB2 and (iii) the effect on the response to tamoxifen in four breast cancer cell lines with different hormonal receptor status. Our results revealed a differential expression patterns of epigenetic markers in the four breast cancer cells. In TNBC cells, histone deacetylases (HDAC) 1 and 2 were less expressed, whereas HDACs 4 and 6 were overexpressed. Interestingly, treatment with epigenetic modifiers resulted in (i) a pronounced increase in the expression of ERα and HER2/ERBB2 along with (ii) an increase in the sensitivity of TNBC cells to tamoxifen. Collectively, this study indicates a different epigenetic background for TNBC cells, which represses the expression of ERα and HER2/ERBB2. Furthermore, we provide here the rationale for the use of epigenetic modifiers to enhance the response of TNBC to hormonal therapy through upregulation of ERα. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
ATM Dependent DUSP6 Modulation of p53 Involved in Synergistic Targeting of MAPK and p53 Pathways with Trametinib and MDM2 Inhibitors in Cutaneous Melanoma
Cancers 2019, 11(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11010003 - 20 Dec 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
MAPK and p14ARF–MDM2–p53 pathways are critical in cutaneous melanomas. Here, synergistic combination of the MEK inhibitor, trametinib, with MDM2 inhibitors, nutlin-3/RG7388/HDM201, and the mechanistic basis of responses, for BRAFV600E and p53WT melanoma cells, are reported. The combination treatments induced [...] Read more.
MAPK and p14ARF–MDM2–p53 pathways are critical in cutaneous melanomas. Here, synergistic combination of the MEK inhibitor, trametinib, with MDM2 inhibitors, nutlin-3/RG7388/HDM201, and the mechanistic basis of responses, for BRAFV600E and p53WT melanoma cells, are reported. The combination treatments induced higher levels of p53 target gene transcripts and protein products, resulting in increased cell cycle arrest and apoptosis compared with MDM2 inhibitors alone, suggesting trametinib synergized with MDM2 inhibitors via upregulation of p53-dependent pathways. In addition, DUSP6 phosphatase involvement was indicated by downregulation of its mRNA and protein following pERK reduction by trametinib. Furthermore, suppression of DUSP6 by siRNA, or inhibition with the small molecule inhibitor, BCI, at a dose without cytotoxicity, potentiated the effect of MDM2 inhibitors through increased ATM-dependent p53 phosphorylation, as demonstrated by complete reversal with the ATM inhibitor, KU55933. Trametinib synergizes with MDM2 inhibitors through a novel DUSP6 mechanism in BRAFV600E and p53WT melanoma cells, in which DUSP6 regulation of p53 phosphorylation is mediated by ATM. This provides a new therapeutic rationale for combination treatments involving activation of the ATM/p53 pathway and MAPK pathway inhibition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Targeted Therapy-Resistant Melanoma Cells Acquire Transcriptomic Similarities with Human Melanoblasts
Cancers 2018, 10(11), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10110451 - 16 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The mechanisms of adaptive and acquired drug resistance in tumors are not completely understood. So far, gene amplifications or mutations, leading to the reactivation of the MAPK or PI3K pathways have been described. In this study, we used two different methods to generate [...] Read more.
The mechanisms of adaptive and acquired drug resistance in tumors are not completely understood. So far, gene amplifications or mutations, leading to the reactivation of the MAPK or PI3K pathways have been described. In this study, we used two different methods to generate human melanoblasts: (1) via differentiation from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and (2) via dedifferentiation from melanocytes. The melanoblast transcriptomes were then compared to the transcriptome of MAPK inhibitor-resistant melanoma cells. We observed that the expression of genes associated with cell cycle control, DNA damage control, metabolism, and cancer was altered in both melanoblast populations and in both adaptive and acquired resistant melanoma samples, compared to drug-sensitive samples. However, genes involved in antigen presentation and cellular movement were only regulated in the melanoblast populations and in the acquired resistant melanoma samples, compared to the drug-sensitive samples. Moreover, melanocyte-derived melanoblasts and adaptive resistant melanoma samples were characterized by different expression levels of certain transcription factors or genes involved in the CDK5 pathway. In conclusion, we show here that in vitro models of human melanoblasts are very important tools to comprehend the expression profiles of drug-resistant melanoma. Full article
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Open AccessReview
NF-κB Signaling in Targeting Tumor Cells by Oncolytic Viruses—Therapeutic Perspectives
Cancers 2018, 10(11), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10110426 - 08 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
In recent years, oncolytic virotherapy became a promising therapeutic approach, leading to the introduction of a novel generation of anticancer drugs. However, despite evoking an antitumor response, introducing an oncolytic virus (OV) to the patient is still inefficient to overcome both tumor protective [...] Read more.
In recent years, oncolytic virotherapy became a promising therapeutic approach, leading to the introduction of a novel generation of anticancer drugs. However, despite evoking an antitumor response, introducing an oncolytic virus (OV) to the patient is still inefficient to overcome both tumor protective mechanisms and the limitation of viral replication by the host. In cancer treatment, nuclear factor (NF)-κB has been extensively studied among important therapeutic targets. The pleiotropic nature of NF-κB transcription factor includes its involvement in immunity and tumorigenesis. Therefore, in many types of cancer, aberrant activation of NF-κB can be observed. At the same time, the activity of NF-κB can be modified by OVs, which trigger an immune response and modulate NF-κB signaling. Due to the limitation of a monotherapy exploiting OVs only, the antitumor effect can be enhanced by combining OV with NF-κB-modulating drugs. This review describes the influence of OVs on NF-κB activation in tumor cells showing NF-κB signaling as an important aspect, which should be taken into consideration when targeting tumor cells by OVs. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Systemic Therapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Latest Advances
Cancers 2018, 10(11), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10110412 - 30 Oct 2018
Cited by 46
Abstract
Systemic therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has changed drastically since the introduction of the molecular targeted agent sorafenib in 2007. Although sorafenib expanded the treatment options for extrahepatic spread (EHS) and vascular invasion, making long-term survival of patients with advanced disease achievable to [...] Read more.
Systemic therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has changed drastically since the introduction of the molecular targeted agent sorafenib in 2007. Although sorafenib expanded the treatment options for extrahepatic spread (EHS) and vascular invasion, making long-term survival of patients with advanced disease achievable to a certain extent, new molecular-targeted agents are being developed as alternatives to sorafenib due to shortcomings such as its low response rate and high toxicity. Every single one of the many drugs developed during the 10-year period from 2007 to 2016 was a failure. However, during the two-year period from 2017 through 2018, four drugs—regorafenib, lenvatinib, cabozantinib, and ramucirumab—emerged successfully from clinical trials in quick succession and became available for clinical use. The efficacy of combination therapy with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) plus sorafenib was also first demonstrated in 2018. Recently, immune checkpoint inhibitors have been applied to HCC treatment and many phase III clinical trials are ongoing, not only on monotherapy with nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and tislelizumab, but also on combination therapy with checkpoint inhibitors, programmed death-1 (PD-1) or PD-ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody plus a molecular targeted agent (bevacizumab) or the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) antibody, tremelimumab. These combination therapies have shown higher response rates than PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy alone, suggesting a synergistic effect by combination therapy in early phases; therefore, further results are eagerly awaited. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nafamostat Mesilate Enhances the Radiosensitivity and Reduces the Radiation-Induced Invasive Ability of Colorectal Cancer Cells
Cancers 2018, 10(10), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10100386 - 17 Oct 2018
Cited by 4Correction
Abstract
Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery is the standard treatment for patients with locally advanced low rectal cancer. However, several studies have reported that ionizing radiation (IR) activates nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) that causes radioresistance and induces matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2/-9, which promote [...] Read more.
Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery is the standard treatment for patients with locally advanced low rectal cancer. However, several studies have reported that ionizing radiation (IR) activates nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) that causes radioresistance and induces matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2/-9, which promote tumor migration and invasion. Nafamostat mesilate (FUT175), a synthetic serine protease inhibitor, enhances the chemosensitivity to cytotoxic agents in digestive system cancer cells by inhibiting NF-κB activation. Therefore, we evaluated the combined effect of IR and FUT175 on cell proliferation, migration and invasion of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. IR-induced upregulation of intranuclear NF-κB, FUT175 counteracted this effect. Moreover, the combination treatment suppressed cell viability and induced apoptosis. Similar effects were also observed in xenograft tumors. In addition, FUT175 prevented the migration and invasion of cancer cells caused by IR by downregulating the enzymatic activity of MMP-2/-9. In conclusion, FUT175 enhances the anti-tumor effect of radiotherapy through downregulation of NF-κB and reduces IR-induced tumor invasiveness by directly inhibiting MMP-2/-9 in CRC cells. Therefore, the use of FUT175 during radiotherapy might improve the efficacy of radiotherapy in patients with CRC. Full article
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