Topic Editors

Dr. Armando Varela-Ramirez
Department of Biological Sciences, The Border Biomedical Research Center (BBRC), The University of Texas At El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
Dr. Elisa Robles-Escajeda
Department of Biological Sciences, The Border Biomedical Research Center (BBRC), The University of Texas At El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
Dr. Blanca E. Ruiz-Medina
Departamento de Biología Celular y del Desarrollo, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, México
Dr. Patricia Talamás-Rohana
Department of Infectomics and Molecular Pathogenesis, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (CINVESTAV), Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
Dr. Rachid Skouta
Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9297, USA

Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs

Abstract submission deadline
20 January 2023
Manuscript submission deadline
20 March 2023
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23130

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

We hope this message finds you well. As large quantities of novel synthetic and natural molecules continue to be generated or discovered, there is challenging to identify and characterize therapeutic agents with effective anti-cancer activity. The aim of this particular Topic, "Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs”, pretends aims to collect a group of publications focused on novel chemical compounds with cytotoxic activity on cancer cells in vitro, in vivo, or both, and particularly those articles including novel biomarkers and target proteins with potential therapeutic properties. In addition, studies on drug repurposing, including approved, discontinued, and shelved drugs, with anti-cancer activity, are encouraged for submission. Moreover, immunotherapy, electrochemotherapy, gene therapy, and phytomedicine studies are highly welcome. The submitted manuscripts should include the partial mechanism used for the novel compounds or strategies to induce cell death. This Topic provides a suitable platform to disseminate anti-cancer discoveries at the bench and the bedside. Thus, we are delighted to invite you for an excellent opportunity to publish your manuscript in our journal.

Dr. Armando Varela-Ramirez
Dr. Elisa Robles-Escajeda
Dr. Blanca E. Ruiz-Medina
Dr. Patricia Talamás-Rohana
Dr. Rachid Skouta
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • anticancer
  • antiproliferation
  • apoptosis
  • biomarkers
  • cell cycle
  • cell signaling
  • drug discovery
  • immunotherapy, gene therapy
  • phytomedicine

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Biology
biology
5.168 2.8 2012 16.7 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Cancers
cancers
6.575 5.8 2009 17.4 Days 2400 CHF Submit
Current Oncology
curroncol
3.109 3.5 1994 20.5 Days 1800 CHF Submit
Medical Sciences
medsci
- - 2013 26.5 Days 1400 CHF Submit
Pharmaceuticals
pharmaceuticals
5.215 4.0 2004 15.2 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Cells
cells
7.666 6.7 2012 15.7 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Medicines
medicines
- - 2014 18 Days 1400 CHF Submit

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Published Papers (31 papers)

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Article
Real World Patient Eligibility for Second Line Lurbinectedin Based Treatment in Small Cell Lung Cancer: Understanding Epidemiology and Estimating Health Care Utilization
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(12), 9744-9752; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29120765 (registering DOI) - 08 Dec 2022
Abstract
Background: In the ATLANTIS study, second-line lurbinectedin/doxorubicin did not improve overall survival (OS), however patients with a chemotherapy-free interval (CTFI) of ≥180 days had an improved progression free survival (PFS). The objective of this retrospective study was to identify the proportion of real-world [...] Read more.
Background: In the ATLANTIS study, second-line lurbinectedin/doxorubicin did not improve overall survival (OS), however patients with a chemotherapy-free interval (CTFI) of ≥180 days had an improved progression free survival (PFS). The objective of this retrospective study was to identify the proportion of real-world small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients who are suitable for lurbinectedin-based therapy based on these criteria. Methods: A retrospective study of all SCLC referred to BC Cancer between 2012 and 2017 was conducted. Patient demographics, staging, treatment, and survival data were collected retrospectively. Baseline characteristics were compared using descriptive statistics. OS was calculated using Kaplan–Meier curves. Statistically significant p-value was <0.05. Results: A total of 1048 patients were identified. Baseline characteristics: median age 68 years, 47% male, 61% current smoking status, 68% extensive disease. Best supportive care was received by 22%. First-line systemic therapy was platinum doublet for 71% of the population. Second-line systemic therapy was delivered to 22%. Of the 219 patients who received second-line systemic therapy after platinum doublet, 183 patients had a CTFI of ≥90 days and 107 patients had a CTFI of ≥180 days. Patients originally treated as limited stage disease, received platinum doublet as second line, received thoracic radiation (RT) or prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) were more likely to have a CTFI of ≥90 and ≥180 days. Conclusion: In our real-world SCLC population, only 21% of the SCLC population received second-line therapy after platinum doublet with 17% achieving CTFI of ≥90 days and 10% CTFI of ≥180 days. Based on this retrospective review, only a small fraction of platinum-treated patients would be preferentially offered lurbinectedin in the second-line setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Review
The Nephrotoxicity of Drugs Used in Causal Oncological Therapies
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(12), 9681-9694; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29120760 - 08 Dec 2022
Viewed by 4
Abstract
In recent years, a dynamic development of oncology has been observed, resulting from the increasingly frequent occurrence of neoplasms and therefore, increasing population of patients. The most effective form of therapy for cancer patients is complex multidisciplinary specialized disease management, including nephro-oncology care. [...] Read more.
In recent years, a dynamic development of oncology has been observed, resulting from the increasingly frequent occurrence of neoplasms and therefore, increasing population of patients. The most effective form of therapy for cancer patients is complex multidisciplinary specialized disease management, including nephro-oncology care. Different forms of renal function impairment are frequently diagnosed in cancer patients. They are caused by different co-morbidities existing before starting the oncologic treatment as well as the direct undesirable effects of this therapy which may cause temporary or irreversible damage of the urinary system—especially kidneys. According to different therapeutic programs, in such cases the degree of renal damage is often crucial for the possibility of further anti-cancer treatment. Medical personnel responsible for delivering care to oncology patients should be properly educated on current methods of prevention and treatment of renal complications resulting from anti-cancer therapy. The development of oncologic medicines design, including especially immuno-oncological agents, obliges us to learn new patomechanisms determining potential adverse effects, including renal complications. This publication is focused on the most important undesirable nephrotoxic effects of the frequently used anti-cancer drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
Article
Targeting Class I Histone Deacetylases in Human Uterine Leiomyosarcoma
Cells 2022, 11(23), 3801; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11233801 - 27 Nov 2022
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Uterine leiomyosarcoma (uLMS) is the most frequent subtype of uterine sarcoma that presents a poor prognosis, high rates of recurrence, and metastasis. Currently, the molecular mechanism of the origin and development of uLMS is unknown. Class I histone deacetylases (including HDAC1, 2, 3, [...] Read more.
Uterine leiomyosarcoma (uLMS) is the most frequent subtype of uterine sarcoma that presents a poor prognosis, high rates of recurrence, and metastasis. Currently, the molecular mechanism of the origin and development of uLMS is unknown. Class I histone deacetylases (including HDAC1, 2, 3, and 8) are one of the major classes of the HDAC family and catalyze the removal of acetyl groups from lysine residues in histones and cellular proteins. Class I HDACs exhibit distinct cellular and subcellular expression patterns and are involved in many biological processes and diseases through diverse signaling pathways. However, the link between class I HDACs and uLMS is still being determined. In this study, we assessed the expression panel of Class I HDACs in uLMS and characterized the role and mechanism of class I HDACs in the pathogenesis of uLMS. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that HDAC1, 2, and 3 are aberrantly upregulated in uLMS tissues compared to adjacent myometrium. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated that the expression levels of HDAC 1, 2, and 3 exhibited a graded increase from normal and benign to malignant uterine tumor cells. Furthermore, inhibition of HDACs with Class I HDACs inhibitor (Tucidinostat) decreased the uLMS proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Notably, gene set enrichment analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) revealed that inhibition of HDACs with Tucidinostat altered several critical pathways. Moreover, multiple epigenetic analyses suggested that Tucidinostat may alter the transcriptome via reprogramming the oncogenic epigenome and inducing the changes in microRNA-target interaction in uLMS cells. In the parallel study, we also determined the effect of DL-sulforaphane on the uLMS. Our study demonstrated the relevance of class I HDACs proteins in the pathogenesis of malignant uLMS. Further understanding the role and mechanism of HDACs in uLMS may provide a promising and novel strategy for treating patients with this aggressive uterine cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
The Aurora Kinase Inhibitor TAK901 Inhibits Glioblastoma Growth by Blocking SREBP1-Mediated Lipid Metabolism
Cancers 2022, 14(23), 5805; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14235805 - 25 Nov 2022
Viewed by 260
Abstract
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal malignant primary brain tumor. The standard treatment for GBM including surgical resection followed by radiation therapy and adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide remains unsatisfactory. In this study, we investigated the effects of the Aurora kinase inhibitor, [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal malignant primary brain tumor. The standard treatment for GBM including surgical resection followed by radiation therapy and adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide remains unsatisfactory. In this study, we investigated the effects of the Aurora kinase inhibitor, TAK901, in GBM both in vitro and in vivo, and explored its key downstream targets. The effects of TAK901 were investigated using cell viability, cell apoptosis, live/dead, cell cycle, Transwell, 3D cell invasion, neuro-sphere, and self-renewal assays. Mechanistic studies were conducted using RNA-seq, lipid measurements, reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and Western blotting. The in vivo efficacy of TAK901 was validated using orthotopic xenograft GBM mouse models. In both GBM cells and GSCs, TAK901 remarkably reduced cell viability, self-renewal, migration and invasion and induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Treatment with TAK901 considerably inhibited GBM growth in vivo. RNA-seq and RT-qPCR analyses showed that TAK901 downregulated the expression and activation of SREBP1. Moreover, SREBP1 overexpression alleviated the TAK901-mediated suppression of cell viability and apoptosis in GBM cells. Our results provide evidence that TAK901 inhibits GBM growth by suppressing SREBP1-mediated lipid metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Review
Norbornene and Related Structures as Scaffolds in the Search for New Cancer Treatments
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1465; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121465 - 25 Nov 2022
Viewed by 329
Abstract
The norbornene scaffold has arisen as a promising structure in medicinal chemistry due to its possible therapeutic application in cancer treatment. The development of norbornene-based derivatives as potential chemotherapeutic agents is attracting significant attention. Here, we report an unprecedented review on the recent [...] Read more.
The norbornene scaffold has arisen as a promising structure in medicinal chemistry due to its possible therapeutic application in cancer treatment. The development of norbornene-based derivatives as potential chemotherapeutic agents is attracting significant attention. Here, we report an unprecedented review on the recent advances of investigations into the antitumoral efficacy of different compounds, including the abovementioned bicyclic scaffold in their structure, in combination with chemotherapeutic agents or forming metal complexes. The impact that structural modifications to these bicyclic compounds have on the antitumoral properties and the mechanisms by which these norbornene derivatives act are discussed in this review. In addition, the use of norbornene, and its related compounds, encapsulation in nanosystems for its use in cancer therapies is here detailed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
S-Benproperine, an Active Stereoisomer of Benproperine, Suppresses Cancer Migration and Tumor Metastasis by Targeting ARPC2
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121462 - 25 Nov 2022
Viewed by 243
Abstract
Metastasis, in which cancer cells migrate to other tissues and form new tumors, is a major cause of both cancer death and treatment failure. In a previous study, benproperine (Benp) was identified as a cancer cell migration inhibitor and an inhibitor of actin-related [...] Read more.
Metastasis, in which cancer cells migrate to other tissues and form new tumors, is a major cause of both cancer death and treatment failure. In a previous study, benproperine (Benp) was identified as a cancer cell migration inhibitor and an inhibitor of actin-related protein 2/3 complex subunit 2 (ARPC2). However, Benp is a racemic mixture, and which stereoisomer is the active isomer remains unclear. In this study, we found that S-Benp is an active isomer and inhibits the migration and invasion of cancer cells much more strongly than R-Benp, with no effect on normal cells. The metastasis inhibitory effect of S-Benp was also verified in an animal model. Validating that inhibitors bind to their targets in cells and tissues has been a very challenging task in drug discovery. The direct interactions between ARPC2 and S-Benp were verified by surface plasmon resonance analysis (SPR), a cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA), and drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS). In the mutant study with ARPC2F225A cells, S-Benp did not bind to ARPC2F225A according to CETSA and DARTS. Furthermore, we validated that S-Benp colocalized with ARPC2 in cancer cells and directly bound to ARPC2 in tumor tissues using Cy3-conjugated S-Benp according to CETSA. Finally, actin polymerization assays and immunocytochemistry showed that S-Benp suppressed actin remodeling such as lamellipodium formation. Taken together, our data suggest that S-Benp is an active stereoisomer of Benp and a potential metastasis inhibitor via ARPC2 binding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Impact of Cabozantinib Exposure on Proteinuria and Muscle Toxicity in Patients with Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1460; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121460 - 25 Nov 2022
Viewed by 362
Abstract
This prospective study investigated the impact of cabozantinib exposure on proteinuria and muscle toxicity, in a cohort of 14 Japanese patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC). We measured the trough concentration of cabozantinib (Ctrough) weekly for 6 weeks after starting treatment. [...] Read more.
This prospective study investigated the impact of cabozantinib exposure on proteinuria and muscle toxicity, in a cohort of 14 Japanese patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC). We measured the trough concentration of cabozantinib (Ctrough) weekly for 6 weeks after starting treatment. Although the initial dose was less than 60 mg in most cases, dose interruption occurred in 79%, primarily because of proteinuria and/or malaise. The median and coefficient of variation of maximum Ctrough at 7–42 d were 929.0 ng/mL and 59.2%, respectively. The urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio (UPCR), serum creatine kinase, and serum aldolase values were all significantly elevated following treatment. Moreover, maximum changes in serum creatine kinase and aldolase were significantly associated with maximum Ctrough (r = 0.736, p < 0.01; r = 0.798, p < 0.001; respectively). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that changes in serum creatine kinase ≥70.5 U/L and aldolase ≥6.1 U/L from baseline relatively accurately predicted inclusion in the high-maximum Ctrough (≥929.0 ng/mL) group, with an area under the ROC of 0.929 and 0.833, respectively. Measurement of serum creatine kinase and aldolase may increase the clinical usefulness of cabozantinib treatment for uHCC and help alleviate difficulties with dose adjustments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Systematic Review
Chemo-Immunotherapy in First Line Extensive Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer (ES-SCLC): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(12), 9046-9065; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29120709 - 22 Nov 2022
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma with early metastatic potential. The standard-of-care treatment has not changed in years. Recent studies report improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) with combined ICI and chemotherapy in ES-SCLC. We conducted a [...] Read more.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma with early metastatic potential. The standard-of-care treatment has not changed in years. Recent studies report improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) with combined ICI and chemotherapy in ES-SCLC. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the magnitude of survival benefits. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane between 1 January 2010 and 15 July 2022 and conference proceedings from 2018 to 2022, for randomised controlled trials, evaluating chemo-ICI compared with platinum-doublet chemotherapy in untreated ES-SCLC. Outcomes assessed were PFS, OS, objective response rate (ORR), duration of response (DoR), toxicity, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The search identified 8061 studies, with 8 (56 publications) included in the final analysis. PFS and OS were significantly improved for patients randomised to chemo-ICI (PFS hazard ratio (HR) 0.75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70–0.80) and (OS HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.73–0.85). Subgroup analysis demonstrated a differential effect between PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4 inhibitors. There was no difference in ORR and DoR. All-grade adverse events (RR 1.06, 95% CI 1.00–1.12) were similar. The addition of ICI to chemotherapy in untreated ES-SCLC results in a 22% risk reduction in death, and a 25% risk reduction in disease progression with a minimal increase in toxicity. These improvements are modest but represent progress beyond the standard of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Case Report
Thymoquinone Plus Immunotherapy in Extra-Pulmonary Neuroendocrine Carcinoma: Case Series for a Novel Combination
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(11), 9018-9030; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29110707 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 706
Abstract
Background: Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are a heterogeneous group of cancers that had a significant increase in annual incidence in the last decade. They can be divided into well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs). Poorly differentiated NECs are aggressive forms [...] Read more.
Background: Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are a heterogeneous group of cancers that had a significant increase in annual incidence in the last decade. They can be divided into well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs). Poorly differentiated NECs are aggressive forms of cancers with limited therapeutic options. The first line treatment of metastatic poorly differentiated NECs is similar to small cell lung cancer, with cytotoxic chemotherapy (etoposide plus platinum). Patients who progress have limited therapeutic options and poor overall survival, calling for other novel agents to combat this deadly disease. Therefore, in this article, we summarized the effects of a novel component, Thymoquinone (TQ, C10H12O2), which is the main bioactive component of the black seed (Nigella sativa, Ranunculaceae family), plus immunotherapy in case series of patients with refractory metastatic extra-pulmonary NEC (EP-NEC) and one case of mixed neuroendocrine-non-neuroendocrine neoplasm (MiNEN). Methods: We report the effect of TQ plus dual immune checkpoint inhibitors (nivolumab plus ipilimumab) in four patients with poorly differentiated gastrointestinal Ep-NEC and MiNEN who progressed on cytotoxic chemotherapy. Results: This is the first case series to report the clinical activity of TQ plus dual immune checkpoint inhibitors (nivolumab plus ipilimumab) in patients with refractory metastatic EP-NEC. The four patients showed benefits with the combined regimen TQ plus dual ICPIs with durable response and exceeded the two years of progression-free survival. None of the four patients experienced significant toxicity, and all of them showed improvement in quality of life. Conclusion: The reported clinical courses suggest that combined TQ plus ICPIs is a potential promising regimen for refractory EP-NEC and MiNEN that deserves further prospective investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
A SERPINE1-Based Immune Gene Signature Predicts Prognosis and Immunotherapy Response in Gastric Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(11), 1401; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15111401 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) therapy has been successfully utilized in the treatment of multiple tumors, but only a fraction of patients with gastric cancer (GC) could greatly benefit from it. A recent study has shown that the tumor microenvironment (TME) can greatly affect [...] Read more.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) therapy has been successfully utilized in the treatment of multiple tumors, but only a fraction of patients with gastric cancer (GC) could greatly benefit from it. A recent study has shown that the tumor microenvironment (TME) can greatly affect the effect of immunotherapy in GC. In this study, we established a novel immune risk signature (IRS) for prognosis and predicting response to ICIs in GC based on the TCGA-STAD dataset. Characterization of the TME was explored and further validated to reveal the underlying survival mechanisms and the potential therapeutic targets of GC. The GC patients were stratified into high- and low-risk groups based on the IRS. Patients in the high-risk group, associated with poorer outcomes, were characterized by significantly higher immune function. Further analysis showed higher T cell immune dysfunction and probability of potential immune escape. In vivo, we detected the expressions of SERPINE1 by the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)in tumor tissues and adjacent normal tissues. In vitro, knockdown of SERPINE1 significantly attenuated malignant biological behaviors of tumor cells in GC. Our signature can effectively predict the prognosis and response to immunotherapy in patients with GC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Perspective
Recombinant Interferon-β in the Treatment of Polycythemia Vera and Related Neoplasms: Rationales and Perspectives
Cancers 2022, 14(22), 5495; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14225495 - 09 Nov 2022
Viewed by 759
Abstract
About 30 years ago, the first clinical trials of the safety and efficacy of recombinant interferon-α2 (rIFN-α2) were performed. Since then, several single-arm studies have shown rIFN-α2 to be a highly potent anticancer agent against several cancer types. Unfortunately, however, a high toxicity [...] Read more.
About 30 years ago, the first clinical trials of the safety and efficacy of recombinant interferon-α2 (rIFN-α2) were performed. Since then, several single-arm studies have shown rIFN-α2 to be a highly potent anticancer agent against several cancer types. Unfortunately, however, a high toxicity profile in early studies with rIFN-α2 -among other reasons likely due to the high dosages being used-disqualified rIFN-α2, which was accordingly replaced with competitive drugs that might at first glance look more attractive to clinicians. Later, pegylated IFN-α2a (Pegasys) and pegylated IFN-α2b (PegIntron) were introduced, which have since been reported to be better tolerated due to reduced toxicity. Today, treatment with rIFN-α2 is virtually outdated in non-hematological cancers, where other immunotherapies—e.g., immune-checkpoint inhibitors—are routinely used in several cancer types and are being intensively investigated in others, either as monotherapy or in combination with immunomodulatory agents, although only rarely in combination with rIFN-α2. Within the hematological malignancies, rIFN-α2 has been used off-label for decades in patients with Philadelphia-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs)—i.e., essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera, and myelofibrosis—and in recent years rIFN-α2 has been revived with the marketing of ropeginterferon-α2b (Besremi) for the treatment of polycythemia vera patients. Additionally, rIFN-α2 has been revived for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Another rIFN formulation-recombinant interferon-β (rIFN-β)—has been used for decades in the treatment of multiple sclerosis but has never been studied as a potential agent to be used in patients with MPNs, although several studies and reviews have repeatedly described rIFN-β as an effective anticancer agent as well. In this paper, we describe the rationales and perspectives for launching studies on the safety and efficacy of rIFN-β in patients with MPNs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
Article
Curcumin Reprograms TAMs from a Protumor Phenotype towards an Antitumor Phenotype via Inhibiting MAO-A/STAT6 Pathway
Cells 2022, 11(21), 3473; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11213473 - 02 Nov 2022
Viewed by 501
Abstract
M1 phenotype macrophages have anticancer characteristics, whereas M2 phenotype macrophages promote tumor growth and metastasis. A higher M1/M2 ratio, therefore, has a beneficial effect on the tumor immune microenvironment, thereby inhibiting tumor growth. The natural alkaloid curcumin is found to have anticancer properties. [...] Read more.
M1 phenotype macrophages have anticancer characteristics, whereas M2 phenotype macrophages promote tumor growth and metastasis. A higher M1/M2 ratio, therefore, has a beneficial effect on the tumor immune microenvironment, thereby inhibiting tumor growth. The natural alkaloid curcumin is found to have anticancer properties. However, the mechanism remains unclear. In this study, a cell co-culture system and M2 macrophage model were used to evaluate the effects of curcumin on tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) phenotypes. Our results demonstrate that curcumin reprogrammed the M2 macrophages by reducing the level of anti-inflammatory cytokines (TGF-β, Arg-1, and IL-10) and an M2 surface marker (CD206) induced by Cal27 cells or IL-4, as well as upregulating proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, iNOS, and IL-6) and an M1 surface marker (CD86). The in vitro assays suggested that curcumin treatment suppressed the migration and invasion of the Cal27 cells induced by the M2-like macrophages. Mechanistically, the repolarization of TAMs may be attributed to the inhibition of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A)/STAT6 signaling after curcumin treatment. Collectively, our results show that the anticancer effects of curcumin could be explained by reprogramming TAMs from a protumor phenotype towards an antitumor phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
TRAIL Receptor Targeting Agents Potentiate PARP Inhibitor Efficacy in Pancreatic Cancer Independently of BRCA2 Mutation Status
Cancers 2022, 14(21), 5240; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14215240 - 26 Oct 2022
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Chemotherapy, the standard treatment for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), has only a modest effect on the outcome of patients with late-stage disease. Investigations of the genetic features of PDAC have demonstrated a frequent occurrence of mutations in genes involved in homologous recombination (HR), [...] Read more.
Chemotherapy, the standard treatment for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), has only a modest effect on the outcome of patients with late-stage disease. Investigations of the genetic features of PDAC have demonstrated a frequent occurrence of mutations in genes involved in homologous recombination (HR), especially in the breast cancer susceptibility gene 2 (BRCA2). Olaparib, a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, is approved as a maintenance treatment for patients with advanced PDAC with germline BRCA1/2 mutations following a platinum-containing first-line regimen. Limitations to the use of PARP inhibitors are represented by the relatively small proportion of patients with mutations in BRCA1/2 genes and the modest capability of these substances of inducing objective response. We have previously shown that pancreatic cancer with BRCA2 mutations exhibits a remarkably enhanced sensitivity towards tumor-necrosis-factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptor-stimulating agents. We thus aimed to investigate the effect of combined treatment with PARP inhibitors and TRAIL receptor-stimulating agents in pancreatic cancer and its dependency on the BRCA2 gene status. The respective effects of TRAIL-targeting agents and the PARP inhibitor olaparib or of their combination were assessed in pancreatic cancer cell lines and patient-derived organoids. In addition, BRCA2-knockout and -complementation models were investigated. The effects of these agents on apoptosis, DNA damage, cell cycle, and receptor surface expression were assessed by immunofluorescence, Western blot, and flow cytometry. PARP inhibition and TRAIL synergized to cause cell death in pancreatic cancer cell lines and PDAC organoids. This effect proved independent of BRCA2 gene status in three independent models. Olaparib and TRAIL in combination caused a detectable increase in DNA damage and a concentration-dependent cell cycle arrest in the G2/M and S cell cycle phases. Olaparib also significantly increased the proportion of membrane-bound death receptor 5. Our results provide a preclinical rationale for the combination of PARP inhibitors and TRAIL receptor agonists for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and suggest that the use of PARP inhibitors could be extended to patients without BRCA2 mutations if used in combination with TRAIL agonists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Association between Dysfunction of the Nucleolar Stress Response and Multidrug Resistance in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Cancers 2022, 14(20), 5127; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14205127 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Approximately 20% of pediatric patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) relapse or are refractory to chemotherapy despite the low frequency of TP53 mutations. The nucleolar stress response is a P53-activating mechanism via MDM2 inhibition by ribosomal protein L11 (RPL11). We analyzed [...] Read more.
Approximately 20% of pediatric patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) relapse or are refractory to chemotherapy despite the low frequency of TP53 mutations. The nucleolar stress response is a P53-activating mechanism via MDM2 inhibition by ribosomal protein L11 (RPL11). We analyzed the role of the nucleolar stress response using BCP-ALL cell lines and patient samples by drug sensitivity tests, Western blotting, and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. We revealed that the nucleolar stress response works properly in TP53 wild-type human BCP-ALL cell lines. Next, we found that 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate, daunorubicin, and cytarabine had anti-leukemic effects via the nucleolar stress response within BCP-ALL treatment. Comparing the samples at onset and relapse in children with BCP-ALL, RPL11 mRNA expression decreased at relapse in seven of nine cases. Furthermore, leukemia cells with relapse acquired resistance to these four drugs and suppressed P53 and RPL11 expression. Our findings suggest that the nucleolar stress response is a novel anti-leukemia mechanism in BCP-ALL. As these four drugs are key therapeutics for BCP-ALL treatment, dysfunction of the nucleolar stress response may be related to clinical relapse or refractoriness. Nucleolar stress response may be a target to predict and improve the chemotherapy effect for pediatric BCP-ALL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Review
Boron Neutron Capture Therapy: Clinical Application and Research Progress
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(10), 7868-7886; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29100622 - 18 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a binary modality that is used to treat a variety of malignancies, using neutrons to irradiate boron-10 (10B) nuclei that have entered tumor cells to produce highly linear energy transfer (LET) alpha particles and recoil [...] Read more.
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a binary modality that is used to treat a variety of malignancies, using neutrons to irradiate boron-10 (10B) nuclei that have entered tumor cells to produce highly linear energy transfer (LET) alpha particles and recoil 7Li nuclei (10B [n, α] 7Li). Therefore, the most important part in BNCT is to selectively deliver a large number of 10B to tumor cells and only a small amount to normal tissue. So far, BNCT has been used in more than 2000 cases worldwide, and the efficacy of BNCT in the treatment of head and neck cancer, malignant meningioma, melanoma and hepatocellular carcinoma has been confirmed. We collected and collated clinical studies of second-generation boron delivery agents. The combination of different drugs, the mode of administration, and the combination of multiple treatments have an important impact on patient survival. We summarized the critical issues that must be addressed, with the hope that the next generation of boron delivery agents will overcome these challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
Review
Autophagy in Hematological Malignancies
Cancers 2022, 14(20), 5072; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14205072 - 17 Oct 2022
Viewed by 825
Abstract
Autophagy is a highly conserved metabolic pathway via which unwanted intracellular materials, such as unfolded proteins or damaged organelles, are digested. It is activated in response to conditions of oxidative stress or starvation, and is essential for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and [...] Read more.
Autophagy is a highly conserved metabolic pathway via which unwanted intracellular materials, such as unfolded proteins or damaged organelles, are digested. It is activated in response to conditions of oxidative stress or starvation, and is essential for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and other vital functions, such as differentiation, cell death, and the cell cycle. Therefore, autophagy plays an important role in the initiation and progression of tumors, including hematological malignancies, where damaged autophagy during hematopoiesis can cause malignant transformation and increase cell proliferation. Over the last decade, the importance of autophagy in response to standard pharmacological treatment of hematological tumors has been observed, revealing completely opposite roles depending on the tumor type and stage. Thus, autophagy can promote tumor survival by attenuating the cellular damage caused by drugs and/or stabilizing oncogenic proteins, but can also have an antitumoral effect due to autophagic cell death. Therefore, autophagy-based strategies must depend on the context to create specific and safe combination therapies that could contribute to improved clinical outcomes. In this review, we describe the process of autophagy and its role on hematopoiesis, and we highlight recent research investigating its role as a potential therapeutic target in hematological malignancies. The findings suggest that genetic variants within autophagy-related genes modulate the risk of developing hemopathies, as well as patient survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
A Phase I Dose-Escalation and Dose-Expansion Study of FCN-437c, a Novel CDK4/6 Inhibitor, in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors
Cancers 2022, 14(20), 4996; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14204996 - 12 Oct 2022
Viewed by 629
Abstract
A phase I study evaluated the safety, tolerability, and maximum-tolerated dose (MTD)/recommended phase II dose (RP2D) of FCN-437c, a novel, orally available cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDK4/6i), in participants with advanced/metastatic solid tumors (aSTs). FCN-437c was escalated from 50 mg (once daily [QD] on [...] Read more.
A phase I study evaluated the safety, tolerability, and maximum-tolerated dose (MTD)/recommended phase II dose (RP2D) of FCN-437c, a novel, orally available cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDK4/6i), in participants with advanced/metastatic solid tumors (aSTs). FCN-437c was escalated from 50 mg (once daily [QD] on days 1–21 of 28-day cycles) to the MTD/RP2D. In the dose-expansion phase, patients with CDK4/6i-treated breast cancer, or KRAS-mutant (KRASmut) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) received the MTD. Twenty-two patients were enrolled. The most common tumors in the dose-escalation phase (n = 15) were breast, colorectal, and lung (each n = 4 [27.3%]). The dose-expansion phase included five (71.4%) patients with breast cancer and two (28.6%) with KRASmut NSCLC. Twenty (90.9%) participants experienced FCN-437c–related adverse events. Dose-limiting toxicities occurred in two (33.3%) participants (200-mg dose, dose-escalation phase): grade 3 neutropenia and grade 4 neutrophil count decreased. Due to toxicities reported at 150 mg QD, the MTD was de-escalated to 100 mg QD. One (4.5%) participant (KRASmut NSCLC, 100-mg dose) achieved a partial response lasting 724+ days, and five (22.7%) had stable disease lasting 56+ days. In conclusion, FCN-437c was well tolerated with encouraging signs of antitumor activity and disease control. Further exploration of FCN-437c in aSTs is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Shikonin Inhibits Fin Regeneration in Zebrafish Larvae
Cells 2022, 11(20), 3187; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11203187 - 11 Oct 2022
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Shikonin is a naphthoquinone compound extracted from Chinese comfrey for treating cancer. However, there are few reports on its research on vertebrate tissue regeneration. Zebrafish is an ideal model for studying organ regeneration. In this study, we found that 3-dpf of zebrafish larvae [...] Read more.
Shikonin is a naphthoquinone compound extracted from Chinese comfrey for treating cancer. However, there are few reports on its research on vertebrate tissue regeneration. Zebrafish is an ideal model for studying organ regeneration. In this study, we found that 3-dpf of zebrafish larvae exposed to shikonin at concentrations of 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 mg/L showed increasingly inhibited regeneration of the tail fin. Immunohistochemical staining showed that shikonin exposure from 6 to 12 hpa increased the number of apoptotic cells in the caudal fin wound of larvae and decreased the number of proliferating cells. Shikonin exposure was found to up-regulate oxidative stress, increase ROS levels, and reduce neutrophil recruitment in the early stage of wound repair. Moreover, shikonin exposure caused disordered expression of fin regeneration blastemal-related genes. The use of astaxanthin to down-regulate oxidative stress was found to significantly reduce the inhibition of caudal fin regeneration. Mixed exposure of AMPK inhibitors or fullerenes (C60) with shikonin also showed the similar rescue effect. Collectively, our study showed that shikonin inhibited fin regeneration in zebrafish larvae by the upregulation of oxidative stress level and AMPK signaling pathway. This research provides valuable information on the mechanism of action of shikonin for its safe application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Novel 7-Chloro-(4-thioalkylquinoline) Derivatives: Synthesis and Antiproliferative Activity through Inducing Apoptosis and DNA/RNA Damage
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(10), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15101234 - 08 Oct 2022
Viewed by 622
Abstract
A series of 78 synthetic 7-chloro-(4-thioalkylquinoline) derivatives were investigated for cytotoxic activity against eight human cancer as well as 4 non-tumor cell lines. The results showed, with some exceptions, that sulfanyl 540 and sulfinyl 4162 derivatives exhibited lower cytotoxicity [...] Read more.
A series of 78 synthetic 7-chloro-(4-thioalkylquinoline) derivatives were investigated for cytotoxic activity against eight human cancer as well as 4 non-tumor cell lines. The results showed, with some exceptions, that sulfanyl 540 and sulfinyl 4162 derivatives exhibited lower cytotoxicity for cancer cell lines than those of well-described sulfonyl N-oxide derivatives 6382. As for compound 81, the most pronounced selectivity (compared against BJ and MRC-5 cells) was observed for human cancer cells from HCT116 (human colorectal cancer with wild-type p53) and HCT116p53−/− (human colorectal cancer with deleted p53), as well as leukemia cell lines (CCRF-CEM, CEM-DNR, K562, and K562-TAX), lung (A549), and osteosarcoma cells (U2OS). A good selectivity was also detected for compounds 73 and 74 for leukemic and colorectal (with and without p53 deletion) cancer cells (compared to MRC-5). At higher concentrations (5 × IC50) against the CCRF-CEM cancer cell line, we observe the accumulation of the cells in the G0/G1 cell phase, inhibition of DNA and RNA synthesis, and induction of apoptosis. In addition, X-ray data for compound 15 is being reported. These results provide useful scientific data for the development of 4-thioalkylquinoline derivatives as a new class of anticancer candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Disulfiram/Copper Induces Immunogenic Cell Death and Enhances CD47 Blockade in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2022, 14(19), 4715; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14194715 - 28 Sep 2022
Viewed by 921
Abstract
Some chemotherapeutic agents have been found to enhance antitumor immunity by inducing immunogenic cell death (ICD). The combination of disulfiram (DSF) and copper (Cu) has demonstrated anti-tumor effects in a range of malignancies including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the potential of DSF/Cu as [...] Read more.
Some chemotherapeutic agents have been found to enhance antitumor immunity by inducing immunogenic cell death (ICD). The combination of disulfiram (DSF) and copper (Cu) has demonstrated anti-tumor effects in a range of malignancies including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the potential of DSF/Cu as an ICD inducer and whether it can enhance the efficacy of the immune checkpoint blockade in HCC remains unknown. Here, we showed that DSF/Cu-treated HCC cells exhibited characteristics of ICD in vitro, such as calreticulin (CRT) exposure, ATP secretion, and high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) release. DSF/Cu-treated HCC cells elicited significant immune memory in a vaccination assay. DSF/Cu treatment promoted dendritic cell activation and maturation. The combination of DSF/Cu and CD47 blockade further facilitated DC maturation and subsequently enhanced CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity. Mechanically, DSF/Cu promoted the nuclear accumulation and aggregation of nuclear protein localization protein 4 (NPL4) to inhibit the ubiquitin-proteasome system; thus, inducing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. The inhibition of NPL4 induced ICD-associated damage-associated molecular patterns. Collectively, our findings demonstrated that DSF/Cu-induced ICD-mediated immune activation in HCC enhanced the efficacy of CD47 blockade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Identification of Monobenzone as a Novel Potential Anti-Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Agent That Inhibits RNR and Suppresses Tumour Growth in Mouse Xenograft Model
Cancers 2022, 14(19), 4710; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14194710 - 27 Sep 2022
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is one of the most common types of haematopoietic malignancy. Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is a key enzyme required for DNA synthesis and cell proliferation, and its small subunit RRM2 plays a key role for the enzymatic activity. We predicted [...] Read more.
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is one of the most common types of haematopoietic malignancy. Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is a key enzyme required for DNA synthesis and cell proliferation, and its small subunit RRM2 plays a key role for the enzymatic activity. We predicted monobenzone (MB) as a potential RRM2 target compound based on the crystal structure of RRM2. In vitro, MB inhibited recombinant RNR activity (IC50 = 0.25 μM). Microscale thermophoresis indicated that MB inhibited RNR activity by binding to RRM2. MB inhibited cell proliferation (MTT IC50 = 6–18 μM) and caused dose-dependent DNA synthesis inhibition, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in AML cells. The cell cycle arrest was reversed by the addition of deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates precursors, suggesting that RNR was the intracellular target of the compound. Moreover, MB overcame drug resistance to the common AML drugs cytarabine and doxorubicin, and treatment with the combination of MB and the Bcl-2 inhibitor ABT-737 exerted a synergistic inhibitory effect. Finally, the nude mice xenografts study indicated that MB administration produced a significant inhibitory effect on AML growth with relatively weak toxicity. Thus, we propose that MB has the potential as a novel anti-AML therapeutic agent in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Hybrid Membrane-Derived Nanoparticles for Isoliquiritin Enhanced Glioma Therapy
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(9), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15091059 - 26 Aug 2022
Viewed by 720
Abstract
Due to the obstruction and heterogeneity of the blood-brain barrier, the clinical treatment of glioma has been extremely difficult. Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) exhibits antitumor effects, but its low solubility and bioavailability limit its application potential. Herein, we established a nanoscale hybrid membrane-derived system composed [...] Read more.
Due to the obstruction and heterogeneity of the blood-brain barrier, the clinical treatment of glioma has been extremely difficult. Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) exhibits antitumor effects, but its low solubility and bioavailability limit its application potential. Herein, we established a nanoscale hybrid membrane-derived system composed of erythrocytes and tumor cells. By encapsulating ISL in hybrid membrane nanoparticles, ISL is expected to be enhanced for the targeting and long-circulation in gliomas therapy. We fused erythrocytes with human glioma cells U251 and extracted the fusion membrane via hypotension, termed as hybrid membrane (HM). HM-camouflaged ISL nanoparticles ([email protected] NPs) were prepared and featured with FT-IR, SEM, TEM, and DLS particle analysis. As the results concluded, the ISL active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) were successfully encapsulated with HM membranes, and the NPs loading efficiency was 38.9 ± 2.99% under maximum entrapment efficiency. By comparing the IC50 of free ISL and NPs, we verified that the solubility and antitumor effect of NPs was markedly enhanced. We also investigated the mechanism of the antitumor effect of [email protected] NPs, which revealed a marked inhibition of tumor cell proliferation and promotion of senescence and apoptosis of tumor cells of the formulation. In addition, the FSC and WB results examined the effects of different concentrations of [email protected] NPs on tumor cell disruption and apoptotic protein expression. Finally, it can be concluded that hybridized membrane-derived nanoparticles could prominently increase the solubility of insoluble materials (as ISL), and also enhance its targeting and antitumor effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Review
Pharmacological Small Molecules against Prostate Cancer by Enhancing Function of Death Receptor 5
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(8), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15081029 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Death receptor 5 (DR5) is a membrane protein that mediates exogenous apoptosis. Based on its function, it is considered to be a target for the treatment of cancers including prostate cancer. It is encouraging to note that a number of drugs targeting DR5 [...] Read more.
Death receptor 5 (DR5) is a membrane protein that mediates exogenous apoptosis. Based on its function, it is considered to be a target for the treatment of cancers including prostate cancer. It is encouraging to note that a number of drugs targeting DR5 are now progressing to different stages of clinical trial studies. We collected 38 active compounds that could produce anti-prostate-cancer effects by modulating DR5, 28 of which were natural compounds and 10 of which were synthetic compounds. In addition, 6 clinically used chemotherapeutic agents have also been shown to promote DR5 expression and thus exert apoptosis-inducing effects in prostate cancer cells. These compounds promote the expression of DR5, thereby enhancing its function in inducing apoptosis. When these compounds were used in combination with the natural ligand of DR5, the number of apoptotic cells was significantly increased. These compounds are all promising for development as anti-prostate-cancer drugs, while most of these compounds are currently being evaluated for their anti-prostate-cancer effects at the cellular level and in animal studies. A great deal of more in-depth research is needed to evaluate whether they can be developed as drugs. We collected literature reports on small molecules against prostate cancer through modulation of DR5 to understand the current dynamics in this field and to evaluate the prospects of small molecules against prostate cancer through modulation of DR5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
OATD-02 Validates the Benefits of Pharmacological Inhibition of Arginase 1 and 2 in Cancer
Cancers 2022, 14(16), 3967; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14163967 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1935
Abstract
Background: Arginases play essential roles in metabolic pathways, determining the fitness of both immune and tumour cells. Along with the previously validated role of ARG1 in cancer, the particular significance of ARG2 as a therapeutic target has emerged as its levels correlate with [...] Read more.
Background: Arginases play essential roles in metabolic pathways, determining the fitness of both immune and tumour cells. Along with the previously validated role of ARG1 in cancer, the particular significance of ARG2 as a therapeutic target has emerged as its levels correlate with malignant phenotype and poor prognosis. These observations unveil arginases, and specifically ARG2, as well-validated and promising therapeutic targets. OATD-02, a new boronic acid derivative, is the only dual inhibitor, which can address the benefits of pharmacological inhibition of arginase 1 and 2 in cancer. Methods: The inhibitory activity of OATD-02 was determined using recombinant ARG1 and ARG2, as well as in a cellular system using primary hepatocytes and macrophages. In vivo antitumor activity was determined in syngeneic models of colorectal and kidney carcinomas (CT26 and Renca, respectively), as well as in an ARG2-dependent xenograft model of leukaemia (K562). Results: OATD-02 was shown to be a potent dual (ARG1/ARG2) arginase inhibitor with a cellular activity necessary for targeting ARG2. Compared to a reference inhibitor with predominant extracellular activity towards ARG1, we have shown improved and statistically significant antitumor efficacy in the CT26 model and an immunomodulatory effect reflected by Treg inhibition in the Renca model. Importantly, OATD-02 had a superior activity when combined with other immunotherapeutics. Finally, OATD-02 effectively inhibited the proliferation of human K562 leukemic cells both in vitro and in vivo. Conclusions: OATD-02 is a potent small-molecule arginase inhibitor with optimal drug-like properties, including PK/PD profile. Excellent activity against intracellular ARG2 significantly distinguishes OATD-02 from other arginase inhibitors. OATD-02 represents a very promising drug candidate for the combined treatment of tumours, and is the only pharmacological tool that can effectively address the benefits of ARG1/ARG2 inhibition. OATD-02 will enter clinical trials in cancer patients in 2022. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Multiple Asparaginase Infusions Cause Increasingly Severe Acute Hyperammonemia
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10030043 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 725
Abstract
Adverse reactions during and shortly after infusing asparaginase for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia can increase in severity with later doses, limiting further use and increasing relapse risk. Although asparaginase is associated with hyperammonemia, the magnitude of the increase in serum ammonia [...] Read more.
Adverse reactions during and shortly after infusing asparaginase for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia can increase in severity with later doses, limiting further use and increasing relapse risk. Although asparaginase is associated with hyperammonemia, the magnitude of the increase in serum ammonia immediately after the infusion and in response to multiple infusions has not been examined. The concurrence of hyperammonemia and infusion reactions was studied using weaned juvenile pigs that received 12 infusions of Erwinia asparaginase (Erwinase; 1250 U/kg) over 28 days, with two 5-day recovery periods without asparaginase after the eighth and eleventh doses. Infusion reactions and prolonged hyperammonemia (>50 µM ammonia 48 h after the infusion) began after the fourth dose and increased with later doses. Dense sampling for 60 min revealed an acute phase of hyperammonemia that peaked within 20 min after starting the first infusion (298 + 62 µM) and lasted less than 1 h, without apparent symptoms. A pronounced acute hyperammonemia after the final infusion (1260 + 250 µM) coincided with severe symptoms and one mortality during the infusion. The previously unrecognized acute phase of hyperammonemia associated with asparaginase infusion coincides with infusion reactions. The juvenile pig is a translational animal model for understanding the causes of acute and chronic hyperammonemia, differentiating from hypersensitivity reactions, and for improving infusion protocols to reduce acute hyperammonemia and to allow the continued use of asparaginase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Whole Transcriptome Analysis Identifies Platycodin D-Mediated RNA Regulatory Network in Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Cells 2022, 11(15), 2360; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11152360 - 01 Aug 2022
Viewed by 977
Abstract
Non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the most fatal malignant tumors harmful to human health. Previous studies report that Platycodin D (PD) exhibits anti-tumor effects in multiple human cancers, including NSCLC, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Accumulating evidence indicates that [...] Read more.
Non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the most fatal malignant tumors harmful to human health. Previous studies report that Platycodin D (PD) exhibits anti-tumor effects in multiple human cancers, including NSCLC, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Accumulating evidence indicates that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) participate in NSCLC disease progression, but the link between PD and the ncRNAs in NSCLC is poorly elucidated. Here, we used whole transcriptome sequencing to systematically investigate the RNAs-associated regulatory network in the PD treating NSCLC cell lines. A total of 942 significantly dysregulated RNAs were obtained. Among those, five circRNAs and six IncRNAs were rigorously selected via database and in vitro validation. In addition, the functional enrichment study of differentially expressed mRNAs, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within PD-related mRNA structures, and the interaction between PD and mRNA-related proteins were analyzed through gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), structural variant analysis, and molecular docking, respectively. With further in vitro validation, the results show that PD inhibits cell proliferation, arrests the cell cycle, and induces cell apoptosis through targeting BCL2-related proteins. We hope these data can provide a full concept of PD-related molecular changes, leading to a new treatment for NSCLC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Review
Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumour: State of the Art
Cancers 2022, 14(15), 3662; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153662 - 27 Jul 2022
Viewed by 953
Abstract
An inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is a neoplasm composed of myofibroblastic and fibroblastic spindle cells accompanied by inflammatory cells, including lymphocytes and eosinophils. It is an ultra-rare tumor, the optimal management of which remains to be defined. Surgery is the treatment of choice [...] Read more.
An inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is a neoplasm composed of myofibroblastic and fibroblastic spindle cells accompanied by inflammatory cells, including lymphocytes and eosinophils. It is an ultra-rare tumor, the optimal management of which remains to be defined. Surgery is the treatment of choice for localized tumors. The treatment of advanced disease is not precisely defined. Chemotherapy regimens result in an overall response rate of approximately 50% based on retrospective data. The latest pathophysiological data highlight the role played by tyrosine kinase fusion genes in IMT proliferation. Anaplast lymphoma kinase (ALK) oncogenic activation mechanisms have been characterized in approximately 80% of IMTs. In this context, data regarding targeted therapies are most important. The aims of this article are to review the latest published data on the use of systematic therapy, particularly the use of molecular targeted therapy, and to publish an additional case of an IMT with Ran-binding protein 2 (RANPB2)-ALK fusion showing a long response to a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Review
Polyphenol Mechanisms against Gastric Cancer and Their Interactions with Gut Microbiota: A Review
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(8), 5247-5261; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29080417 - 25 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1498
Abstract
The lack of new drugs and resistance to existing drugs are serious problems in gastric cancer(GC) treatment. The research found polyphenols possess anti-Helicobacter pylori(Hp) and antitumor activities and may be used in the research and development of drugs for cancer prevention and [...] Read more.
The lack of new drugs and resistance to existing drugs are serious problems in gastric cancer(GC) treatment. The research found polyphenols possess anti-Helicobacter pylori(Hp) and antitumor activities and may be used in the research and development of drugs for cancer prevention and treatment. However, polyphenols are affected by their chemical structures and physical properties, which leads to relatively low bioavailability and bioactivity in vivo. The intestinal flora can improve the absorption, utilization, and biological activity of polyphenols, whereas polyphenol compounds can increase the richness of the intestinal flora, reduce the activity of carcinogenic bacteria, stabilize the proportion of core flora, and maintain homeostasis of the intestinal microenvironment. Our review summarizes the gastrointestinal flora-mediated mechanisms of polyphenol against GC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Cannabidiol Regulates PPARγ-Dependent Vesicle Formation as well as Cell Death in A549 Human Lung Cancer Cells
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(7), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15070836 - 06 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Extracts of phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativa have been studied for therapeutic purposes. Although nonpsychoactive CBD has been studied as a promising anticancer drug because it induces apoptosis in many cancer cells, it is also known to induce several physiological changes. In this study, [...] Read more.
Extracts of phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativa have been studied for therapeutic purposes. Although nonpsychoactive CBD has been studied as a promising anticancer drug because it induces apoptosis in many cancer cells, it is also known to induce several physiological changes. In this study, we clarify the functional role it plays in the morphological characteristics of intracellular vesicle formation as well as apoptosis in A549 human lung cancer cells. CBD treatment shows growth inhibition at concentrations above 20 μM, but FACS analysis shows low efficacy in terms of cell death. Microscopic observations suggest that multiple vesicles were detected in the cytoplasmic region of CBD-treated A549 cells. CBD treatment upregulates apoptosis-related proteins, such as p53, PARP, RIP1, RIP3, Atg12, and Beclin, indicating that CBD regulates several types of cell death. CBD treatment also induced E-cadherin, PPARγ, clathrin, β-adaptin, and Tsg101, also known to be cellular-differentiation inducers or vesicle-formation components. Treatment combining CBD with GW9662, a PPARγ inhibitor, reduced CBD-induced cytoplasmic vesicle formation. This indicates that PPARγ regulates the vesicle-formation mechanism. However, CBD-treated E-cad KO clones did not show this regulatory mechanism. These results elucidate the pharmacological and molecular networks associated with CBD in PPARγ-dependent vesicle formation and the induction of apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Synergistic Antitumoral Effect of Epigenetic Inhibitors and Gemcitabine in Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(7), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15070824 - 02 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1232
Abstract
Epigenetic modifications could drive some of the molecular events implicated in proliferation, drug resistance and metastasis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Thus, epigenetic enzyme inhibitors could be the key to revert those events and transform PDAC into a drug-sensitive tumor. We performed a [...] Read more.
Epigenetic modifications could drive some of the molecular events implicated in proliferation, drug resistance and metastasis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Thus, epigenetic enzyme inhibitors could be the key to revert those events and transform PDAC into a drug-sensitive tumor. We performed a systematic study with five different epigenetic enzyme inhibitors (1, UVI5008, MS275, psammaplin A, and BIX01294) targeting either Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) 1 or 1/4, DNA methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3a), Euchromatic histone lysine methyltransferase 2 (EHMT2), or Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), as well as one drug that restores the p53 function (P53R3), in three different human PDAC cell lines (SKPC-1, MIA PaCa-2, and BxPC-3) using 2D and 3D cell cultures. The synergistic effect of these antitumoral drugs with gemcitabine was tested and the most efficient combinations were characterized by RNA-seq. The inhibition of HDAC1/4 (MS275), HDAC1/4/SIRT1/DNMT3a (UVI5008) or EHMT2 (BIX01294) induced a significant reduction on the cell viability, even in gemcitabine-resistance cells. The combination of UVI5008 or MS275 with gemcitabine induced a synergistic effect at low concentration and the RNA-Seq analysis revealed some synergy candidate genes as potential biomarkers. Reverting aberrant epigenetic modifications in combination with gemcitabine offers an alternative treatment for PDAC patients, with an important reduction of the therapeutic dose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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Article
Identification of a Unique Cytotoxic Thieno[2,3-c]Pyrazole Derivative with Potent and Selective Anticancer Effects In Vitro
Biology 2022, 11(6), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060930 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1113
Abstract
In recent years, the thienopyrazole moiety has emerged as a pharmacologically active scaffold with antitumoral and kinase inhibitory activity. In this study, high-throughput screening of 2000 small molecules obtained from the ChemBridge DIVERset library revealed a unique thieno[2,3-c]pyrazole derivative (Tpz-1) with potent and [...] Read more.
In recent years, the thienopyrazole moiety has emerged as a pharmacologically active scaffold with antitumoral and kinase inhibitory activity. In this study, high-throughput screening of 2000 small molecules obtained from the ChemBridge DIVERset library revealed a unique thieno[2,3-c]pyrazole derivative (Tpz-1) with potent and selective cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. Compound Tpz-1 consistently induced cell death at low micromolar concentrations (0.19 μM to 2.99 μM) against a panel of 17 human cancer cell lines after 24 h, 48 h, or 72 h of exposure. Furthermore, an in vitro investigation of Tpz-1’s mechanism of action revealed that Tpz-1 interfered with cell cycle progression, reduced phosphorylation of p38, CREB, Akt, and STAT3 kinases, induced hyperphosphorylation of Fgr, Hck, and ERK 1/2 kinases, and disrupted microtubules and mitotic spindle formation. These findings support the continued exploration of Tpz-1 and other thieno[2,3-c]pyrazole-based compounds as potential small-molecule anticancer agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-cancer Drugs)
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