Showing papers in "Cancer Research in 2008"
TL;DR: The biological properties and rationale for clinical trials evaluating ABT-263 in small-cell lung cancer and B-cell malignancies are provided and the oral efficacy should provide dosing flexibility to maximize clinical utility both as a single agent and in combination regimens are reported.
Abstract: Overexpression of the prosurvival Bcl-2 family members (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Mcl-1) is commonly associated with tumor maintenance, progression, and chemoresistance. We previously reported the discovery of ABT-737, a potent, small-molecule Bcl-2 family protein inhibitor. A major limitation of ABT-737 is that it is not orally bioavailable, which would limit chronic single agent therapy and flexibility to dose in combination regimens. Here we report the biological properties of ABT-263, a potent, orally bioavailable Bad-like BH3 mimetic (K(i)'s of <1 nmol/L for Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Bcl-w). The oral bioavailability of ABT-263 in preclinical animal models is 20% to 50%, depending on formulation. ABT-263 disrupts Bcl-2/Bcl-xL interactions with pro-death proteins (e.g., Bim), leading to the initiation of apoptosis within 2 hours posttreatment. In human tumor cells, ABT-263 induces Bax translocation, cytochrome c release, and subsequent apoptosis. Oral administration of ABT-263 alone induces complete tumor regressions in xenograft models of small-cell lung cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In xenograft models of aggressive B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma where ABT-263 exhibits modest or no single agent activity, it significantly enhances the efficacy of clinically relevant therapeutic regimens. These data provide the rationale for clinical trials evaluating ABT-263 in small-cell lung cancer and B-cell malignancies. The oral efficacy of ABT-263 should provide dosing flexibility to maximize clinical utility both as a single agent and in combination regimens.
TL;DR: In vitro and in vivo efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity of trastuzumab-maytansinoid (microtubule-depolymerizing agents) conjugates using disulfide and thioether linkers are determined andtrastuzuab-MCC-DM1 shows greater activity compared with nonconjugated trastumab while maintaining selectivity for HER2-overexpressing tumor cells.
Abstract: HER2 is a validated target in breast cancer therapy. Two drugs are currently approved for HER2-positive breast cancer: trastuzumab (Herceptin), introduced in 1998, and lapatinib (Tykerb), in 2007. Despite these advances, some patients progress through therapy and succumb to their disease. A variation on antibody-targeted therapy is utilization of antibodies to deliver cytotoxic agents specifically to antigen-expressing tumors. We determined in vitro and in vivo efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity of trastuzumab-maytansinoid (microtubule-depolymerizing agents) conjugates using disulfide and thioether linkers. Antiproliferative effects of trastuzumab-maytansinoid conjugates were evaluated on cultured normal and tumor cells. In vivo activity was determined in mouse breast cancer models, and toxicity was assessed in rats as measured by body weight loss. Surprisingly, trastuzumab linked to DM1 through a nonreducible thioether linkage (SMCC), displayed superior activity compared with unconjugated trastuzumab or trastuzumab linked to other maytansinoids through disulfide linkers. Serum concentrations of trastuzumab-MCC-DM1 remained elevated compared with other conjugates, and toxicity in rats was negligible compared with free DM1 or trastuzumab linked to DM1 through a reducible linker. Potent activity was observed on all HER2-overexpressing tumor cells, whereas nontransformed cells and tumor cell lines with normal HER2 expression were unaffected. In addition, trastuzumab-DM1 was active on HER2-overexpressing, trastuzumab-refractory tumors. In summary, trastuzumab-DM1 shows greater activity compared with nonconjugated trastuzumab while maintaining selectivity for HER2-overexpressing tumor cells. Because trastuzumab linked to DM1 through a nonreducible linker offers improved efficacy and pharmacokinetics and reduced toxicity over the reducible disulfide linkers evaluated, trastuzumab-MCC-DM1 was selected for clinical development.
TL;DR: In this paper, the E-cadherin binding partner beta-catenin was found to be necessary, but not sufficient, for the formation of anoikis resistance.
Abstract: Loss of the epithelial adhesion molecule E-cadherin is thought to enable metastasis by disrupting intercellular contacts-an early step in metastatic dissemination. To further investigate the molecular basis of this notion, we use two methods to inhibit E-cadherin function that distinguish between E-cadherin's cell-cell adhesion and intracellular signaling functions. Whereas the disruption of cell-cell contacts alone does not enable metastasis, the loss of E-cadherin protein does, through induction of an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, invasiveness, and anoikis resistance. We find the E-cadherin binding partner beta-catenin to be necessary, but not sufficient, for induction of these phenotypes. In addition, gene expression analysis shows that E-cadherin loss results in the induction of multiple transcription factors, at least one of which, Twist, is necessary for E-cadherin loss-induced metastasis. These findings indicate that E-cadherin loss in tumors contributes to metastatic dissemination by inducing wide-ranging transcriptional and functional changes.
TL;DR: Today, chemotherapy has changed as important molecular abnormalities are being used to screen for potential new drugs as well as for targeted treatments.
Abstract: The use of chemotherapy to treat cancer began at the start of the 20th century with attempts to narrow the universe of chemicals that might affect the disease by developing methods to screen chemicals using transplantable tumors in rodents. It was, however, four World War II-related programs, and the effects of drugs that evolved from them, that provided the impetus to establish in 1955 the national drug development effort known as the Cancer Chemotherapy National Service Center. The ability of combination chemotherapy to cure acute childhood leukemia and advanced Hodgkin's disease in the 1960s and early 1970s overcame the prevailing pessimism about the ability of drugs to cure advanced cancers, facilitated the study of adjuvant chemotherapy, and helped foster the national cancer program. Today, chemotherapy has changed as important molecular abnormalities are being used to screen for potential new drugs as well as for targeted treatments.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors presented novel methods for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer using at least one miR selected from miR-200b, miR -200b and miR −200c.
Abstract: The present invention provides novel methods for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer using at least one miR selected from miR-200b, miR-141, miR-199a, miR-140, miR-145 and miR-125b1miR-200c. The invention also provides methods of identifying anti-ovarian cancer agents and a kit for detecting ovarian cancer.
TL;DR: Maximal therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer will require novel agents capable of inhibiting intracrine steroidogenic pathways within the prostate tumor microenvironment.
Abstract: Therapy for advanced prostate cancer centers on suppressing systemic androgens and blocking activation of the androgen receptor (AR). Despite anorchid serum androgen levels, nearly all patients develop castration-resistant disease. We hypothesized that ongoing steroidogenesis within prostate tumors and the maintenance of intratumoral androgens may contribute to castration-resistant growth. Using mass spectrometry and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, we evaluated androgen levels and transcripts encoding steroidogenic enzymes in benign prostate tissue, untreated primary prostate cancer, metastases from patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, and xenografts derived from castration-resistant metastases. Testosterone levels within metastases from anorchid men [0.74 ng/g; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.59-0.89] were significantly higher than levels within primary prostate cancers from untreated eugonadal men (0.23 ng/g; 95% CI, 0.03-0.44; P < 0.0001). Compared with primary prostate tumors, castration-resistant metastases displayed alterations in genes encoding steroidogenic enzymes, including up-regulated expression of FASN, CYP17A1, HSD3B1, HSD17B3, CYP19A1, and UGT2B17 and down-regulated expression of SRD5A2 (P < 0.001 for all). Prostate cancer xenografts derived from castration-resistant tumors maintained similar intratumoral androgen levels when passaged in castrate compared with eugonadal animals. Metastatic prostate cancers from anorchid men express transcripts encoding androgen-synthesizing enzymes and maintain intratumoral androgens at concentrations capable of activating AR target genes and maintaining tumor cell survival. We conclude that intracrine steroidogenesis may permit tumors to circumvent low levels of circulating androgens. Maximal therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer will require novel agents capable of inhibiting intracrine steroidogenic pathways within the prostate tumor microenvironment.
TL;DR: In vivo SWNT drug delivery for tumor suppression in mice shows nanotube drug delivery is promising for high treatment efficacy and minimum side effects for future cancer therapy with low drug doses.
Abstract: Chemically functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) have shown promise in tumor-targeted accumulation in mice and exhibit biocompatibility, excretion, and little toxicity. Here, we show in vivo SWNT drug delivery for tumor suppression in mice. We conjugate paclitaxel (PTX), a widely used cancer chemotherapy drug, to branched polyethylene glycol chains on SWNTs via a cleavable ester bond to obtain a water-soluble SWNT-PTX conjugate. SWNT-PTX affords higher efficacy in suppressing tumor growth than clinical Taxol in a murine 4T1 breast cancer model, owing to prolonged blood circulation and 10-fold higher tumor PTX uptake by SWNT delivery likely through enhanced permeability and retention. Drug molecules carried into the reticuloendothelial system are released from SWNTs and excreted via biliary pathway without causing obvious toxic effects to normal organs. Thus, nanotube drug delivery is promising for high treatment efficacy and minimum side effects for future cancer therapy with low drug doses.
TL;DR: It is asserted that epithelial ovarian cancers derive from a subpopulation of CD44(+)CD117(+) cells, thus representing a possible therapeutic target for this devastating disease.
Abstract: The objective of this study was to identify and characterize a self-renewing subpopulation of human ovarian tumor cells (ovarian cancer-initiating cells, OCICs) fully capable of serial propagation of their original tumor phenotype in animals. Ovarian serous adenocarcinomas were disaggregated and subjected to growth conditions selective for self-renewing, nonadherent spheroids previously shown to derive from tissue stem cells.To affirm the existence of OCICs, xenoengraftment of as few as 100 dissociated spheroid cells allowed full recapitulation of the original tumor (grade 2/grade 3 serous adenocarcinoma), whereas >10 5 unselected cells remained nontumorigenic.Stemness properties of OCICs (under stem cell–selective conditions) were further established by cell proliferation assays and reverse transcription–PCR, demonstrating enhanced chemoresistance to the ovarian cancer chemotherapeutics cisplatin or paclitaxel and up-regulation of stem cell markers (Bmi-1, stem cell factor, Notch-1, Nanog, nestin, ABCG2, and Oct-4) compared with parental tumor cells or OCICs under differentiating conditions.To identify an OCIC cell surface phenotype, spheroid immunostaining showed significant up-regulation of the hyaluronate receptor CD44 and stem cell factor receptor CD117 (c-kit), a tyrosine kinase oncoprotein.Similar to sphere-forming OCICs, injection of only 100 CD44 + CD117 + cells could also serially propagate their original tumors, whereas 10 5 CD44CD117 cells remained nontumorigenic.Based on these findings, we assert that epithelial ovarian cancers derive from a subpopulation of CD44 + CD117 + cells, thus representing a possible therapeutic target for this devastating disease. [Cancer Res 2008;68(11):4311–20]
TL;DR: It is indicated that deregulation of miRNAs is a recurrent event in human ovarian cancer and that miR-214 induces cell survival and cisplatin resistance primarily through targeting the PTEN/Akt pathway.
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNA) represent a novel class of genes that function as negative regulators of gene expression. Recently, miRNAs have been implicated in several cancers. However, aberrant miRNA expression and its clinicopathologic significance in human ovarian cancer have not been well documented. Here, we show that several miRNAs are altered in human ovarian cancer, with the most significantly deregulated miRNAs being miR-214, miR-199a*, miR-200a, miR-100, miR-125b, and let-7 cluster. Further, we show the frequent deregulation of miR-214, miR-199a*, miR-200a, and miR-100 in ovarian cancers. Significantly, miR-214 induces cell survival and cisplatin resistance through targeting the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of the PTEN, which leads to down-regulation of PTEN protein and activation of Akt pathway. Inhibition of Akt using Akt inhibitor, API-2/triciribine, or introduction of PTEN cDNA lacking 3'-UTR largely abrogates miR-214-induced cell survival. These findings indicate that deregulation of miRNAs is a recurrent event in human ovarian cancer and that miR-214 induces cell survival and cisplatin resistance primarily through targeting the PTEN/Akt pathway.
TL;DR: The data indicate that in breast tumors, EMT likely occurs within a specific genetic context, the basal phenotype, and suggests that this proclivity to mesenchymal transition may be related to the high aggressiveness and the characteristic metastatic spread of these tumors.
Abstract: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is defined by the loss of epithelial characteristics and the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype. In carcinoma cells, EMT can be associated with increased aggressiveness, and invasive and metastatic potential. To assess the occurrence of EMT in human breast tumors, we conducted a tissue microarray-based immunohistochemical study in 479 invasive breast carcinomas and 12 carcinosarcomas using 28 different markers. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of the tumors and statistical analysis showed that up-regulation of EMT markers (vimentin, smooth-muscle-actin, N-cadherin, and cadherin-11) and overexpression of proteins involved in extracellular matrix remodeling and invasion (SPARC, laminin, and fascin), together with reduction of characteristic epithelial markers (E-cadherin and cytokeratins), preferentially occur in breast tumors with the "basal-like phenotype." Moreover, most breast carcinosarcomas also had a basal-like phenotype and showed expression of mesenchymal markers in their sarcomatous and epithelial components. To assess whether basal-like cells have intrinsic phenotypic plasticity for mesenchymal transition, we performed in vitro studies with the MCF10A cell line. In response to low cell density, MCF10A cells suffer spontaneous morphologic and phenotypic EMT-like changes, including cytoskeleton reorganization, vimentin and Slug up-regulation, cadherin switching, and diffuse cytosolic relocalization of the catenins. Moreover, these phenotypic changes are associated with modifications in the global genetic differentiation program characteristic of the EMT process. In summary, our data indicate that in breast tumors, EMT likely occurs within a specific genetic context, the basal phenotype, and suggests that this proclivity to mesenchymal transition may be related to the high aggressiveness and the characteristic metastatic spread of these tumors.
TL;DR: A double-negative feedback loop controlling ZEB1-SIP1 and miR-200 family expression that regulates cellular phenotype is established and has direct relevance to the role of these factors in tumor progression.
Abstract: Epithelial to mesenchymal transition occurs during embryologic development to allow tissue remodeling and is proposed to be a key step in the metastasis of epithelial-derived tumors. The miR-200 family of microRNAs plays a major role in specifying the epithelial phenotype by preventing expression of the transcription repressors, ZEB1/deltaEF1 and SIP1/ZEB2. We show here that miR-200a, miR-200b, and the related miR-429 are all encoded on a 7.5-kb polycistronic primary miRNA (pri-miR) transcript. We show that the promoter for the pri-miR is located within a 300-bp segment located 4 kb upstream of miR-200b. This promoter region is sufficient to confer expression in epithelial cells and is repressed in mesenchymal cells by ZEB1 and SIP1 through their binding to a conserved pair of ZEB-type E-box elements located proximal to the transcription start site. These findings establish a double-negative feedback loop controlling ZEB1-SIP1 and miR-200 family expression that regulates cellular phenotype and has direct relevance to the role of these factors in tumor progression.
TL;DR: Data indicate that stellate cells have an important role in supporting and promoting pancreatic cancer, and the presence of HPSCs in tumors increases the growth and metastasis of these cells.
Abstract: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is characterized by a dense background of tumor associated stroma originating from abundant pancreatic stellate cells. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of human pancreatic stellate cells (HPSC) on pancreatic tumor progression. HPSCs were isolated from resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma samples and immortalized with telomerase and SV40 large T antigen. Effects of HPSC conditioned medium (HPSC-CM) on in vitro proliferation, migration, invasion, soft-agar colony formation, and survival in the presence of gemcitabine or radiation therapy were measured in two pancreatic cancer cell lines. The effects of HPSCs on tumors were examined in an orthotopic murine model of pancreatic cancer by co-injecting them with cancer cells and analyzing growth and metastasis. HPSC-CM dose-dependently increased BxPC3 and Panc1 tumor cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and colony formation. Furthermore, gemcitabine and radiation therapy were less effective in tumor cells treated with HPSC-CM. HPSC-CM activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase and Akt pathways in tumor cells. Co-injection of tumor cells with HPSCs in an orthotopic model resulted in increased primary tumor incidence, size, and metastasis, which corresponded with the proportion of HPSCs. HPSCs produce soluble factors that stimulate signaling pathways related to proliferation and survival of pancreatic cancer cells, and the presence of HPSCs in tumors increases the growth and metastasis of these cells. These data indicate that stellate cells have an important role in supporting and promoting pancreatic cancer. Identification of HPSC-derived factors may lead to novel stroma-targeted therapies for pancreatic cancer.
TL;DR: PI3K pathway aberrations likely play a distinct role in the pathogenesis of different breast cancer subtypes and the specific aberration present may have implications for the selection of PI3K-targeted therapies in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
Abstract: Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway aberrations are common in cancer. By applying mass spectroscopy-based sequencing and reverse-phase protein arrays to 547 human breast cancers and 41 cell lines, we determined the subtype specificity and signaling effects of PIK3CA, AKT, and PTEN mutations and the effects of PIK3CA mutations on responsiveness to PI3K inhibition in vitro and on outcome after adjuvant tamoxifen. PIK3CA mutations were more common in hormone receptor-positive (34.5%) and HER2-positive (22.7%) than in basal-like tumors (8.3%). AKT1 (1.4%) and PTEN (2.3%) mutations were restricted to hormone receptor-positive cancers. Unlike AKT1 mutations that were absent from cell lines, PIK3CA (39%) and PTEN (20%) mutations were more common in cell lines than tumors, suggesting a selection for these but not AKT1 mutations during adaptation to culture. PIK3CA mutations did not have a significant effect on outcome after adjuvant tamoxifen therapy in 157 hormone receptor-positive breast cancer patients. PIK3CA mutations, in comparison with PTEN loss and AKT1 mutations, were associated with significantly less and inconsistent activation of AKT and of downstream PI3K/AKT signaling in tumors and cell lines. PTEN loss and PIK3CA mutation were frequently concordant, suggesting different contributions to pathophysiology. PTEN loss rendered cells significantly more sensitive to growth inhibition by the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 than did PIK3CA mutations. Thus, PI3K pathway aberrations likely play a distinct role in the pathogenesis of different breast cancer subtypes. The specific aberration present may have implications for the selection of PI3K-targeted therapies in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
TL;DR: Although BIBF 1120 is rapidly metabolized in vivo by methylester cleavage, resulting in a short mean residence time, once daily oral dosing is fully efficacious in xenograft models, preclinical findings suggest that long-term clinical outcomes may improve with blockade of additional proangiogenic receptor tyrosine kinases.
Abstract: Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis through blockade of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling pathway is a novel treatment modality in oncology. Preclinical findings suggest that long-term clinical outcomes may improve with blockade of additional proangiogenic receptor tyrosine kinases: platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFR) and fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR). BIBF 1120 is an indolinone derivative potently blocking VEGF receptor (VEGFR), PDGFR and FGFR kinase activity in enzymatic assays (IC50, 20–100 nmol/L). BIBF 1120 inhibits mitogen-activated protein kinase and Akt signaling pathways in three cell types contributing to angiogenesis, endothelial cells, pericytes, and smooth muscle cells, resulting in inhibition of cell proliferation (EC50, 10–80 nmol/L) and apoptosis. In all tumor models tested thus far, including human tumor xenografts growing in nude mice and a syngeneic rat tumor model, BIBF 1120 is highly active at well-tolerated doses (25–100 mg/kg daily p.o.), as measured by magnetic resonance imaging of tumor perfusion after 3 days, reducing vessel density and vessel integrity after 5 days, and inducing profound growth inhibition. A distinct pharmacodynamic feature of BIBF 1120 in cell culture is sustained pathway inhibition (up to 32 hours after 1-hour treatment), suggesting slow receptor off-kinetics. Although BIBF 1120 is rapidly metabolized in vivo by methylester cleavage, resulting in a short mean residence time, once daily oral dosing is fully efficacious in xenograft models. These distinctive pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties may help explain clinical observations with BIBF 1120, currently entering phase III clinical development. [Cancer Res 2008;68(12):4774–82]
TL;DR: A simple and effective mechanism by which PCa cells can synthesize a constitutively active AR and thus circumvent androgen ablation is described.
Abstract: The standard systemic treatment for prostate cancer (PCa) is androgen ablation, which causes tumor regression by inhibiting activity of the androgen receptor (AR). Invariably, PCa recurs with a fatal androgen-refractory phenotype. Importantly, the growth of androgen-refractory PCa remains dependent on the AR through various mechanisms of aberrant AR activation. Here, we studied the 22Rv1 PCa cell line, which was derived from a CWR22 xenograft that relapsed during androgen ablation. Three AR isoforms are expressed in 22Rv1 cells: a full-length version with duplicated exon 3 and two truncated versions lacking the COOH terminal domain (CTD). We found that CTD-truncated AR isoforms are encoded by mRNAs that have a novel exon 2b at their 3' end. Functionally, these AR isoforms are constitutively active and promote the expression of endogenous AR-dependent genes, as well as the proliferation of 22Rv1 cells in a ligand-independent manner. AR mRNAs containing exon 2b and their protein products are expressed in commonly studied PCa cell lines. Moreover, exon 2b-derived species are enriched in xenograft-based models of therapy-resistant PCa. Together, our data describe a simple and effective mechanism by which PCa cells can synthesize a constitutively active AR and thus circumvent androgen ablation.
TL;DR: It is shown that human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells exposed to tumor-conditioned medium (TCM) over a prolonged period of time assume a CAF-like myofibroblastic phenotype, which suggests that hMSCs are a source of CAFs and can be used in the modeling of tumor-stroma interactions.
Abstract: Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAF) have recently been implicated in important aspects of epithelial solid tumor biology, such as neoplastic progression, tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. However, neither the source of CAFs nor the differences between CAFs and fibroblasts from nonneoplastic tissue have been well defined. In this study, we show that human bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) exposed to tumor-conditioned medium (TCM) over a prolonged period of time assume a CAF-like myofibroblastic phenotype. More importantly, these cells exhibit functional properties of CAFs, including sustained expression of stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) and the ability to promote tumor cell growth both in vitro and in an in vivo coimplantation model, and expression of myofibroblast markers, including α-smooth muscle actin and fibroblast surface protein. hMSCs induced to differentiate to a myofibroblast-like phenotype using 5-azacytidine do not promote tumor cell growth as efficiently as hMSCs cultured in TCM nor do they show increased SDF-1 expression. Furthermore, gene expression profiling revealed similarities between TCM-exposed hMSCs and CAFs. Taken together, these data suggest that hMSCs are a source of CAFs and can be used in the modeling of tumor-stroma interactions. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing that hMSCs become activated and resemble carcinoma-associated myofibroblasts on prolonged exposure to conditioned medium from MDAMB231 human breast cancer cells. [Cancer Res 2008;68(11):4331–9]
TL;DR: This is the first report of BRAF activation through rearrangement as a frequent feature in a sporadic tumor, and the frequency and specificity of this change underline its potential both as a therapeutic target and as a diagnostic tool.
Abstract: Brain tumors are the most common solid tumors of childhood, and pilocytic astrocytomas (PA) are the most common central nervous system tumor in 5 to 19 year olds. Little is known about the genetic alterations underlying their development. Here, we describe a tandem duplication of ∼2 Mb at 7q34 occurring in 66% of PAs. This rearrangement, which was not observed in a series of 244 higher-grade astrocytomas, results in an in-frame fusion gene incorporating the kinase domain of the BRAF oncogene. We further show that the resulting fusion protein has constitutive BRAF kinase activity and is able to transform NIH3T3 cells. This is the first report of BRAF activation through rearrangement as a frequent feature in a sporadic tumor. The frequency and specificity of this change underline its potential both as a therapeutic target and as a diagnostic tool. [Cancer Res 2008;68(21):8673–7]
TL;DR: Significant differences in microRNA abundance were found between organ-confined tumors and those with extraprostatic disease extension, and evidence that some microRNAs are androgen-regulated and that tumor micro RNAs influence transcript abundance of protein-coding target genes in the cancerous prostate was found.
Abstract: MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that regulate the expression of protein-coding genes. To evaluate the involvement of microRNAs in prostate cancer, we determined genome-wide expression of microRNAs and mRNAs in 60 primary prostate tumors and 16 non-tumor prostate tissues. The mRNA analysis revealed that key components of microRNA processing and several microRNA host genes, e.g., MCM7 and C9orf5, were significantly up-regulated in prostate tumors. Consistent with these findings, tumors expressed the miR-106b-25 cluster, which maps to intron 13 of MCM7, and miR-32, which maps to intron 14 of C9orf5, at significantly higher levels than non-tumor prostate. The expression levels of other microRNAs, including a number of miR-106b-25 cluster homologues, were also altered in prostate tumors. Additional differences in microRNA abundance were found between organ-confined tumors and those with extraprostatic disease extension. Lastly, we found evidence that some microRNAs are androgen-regulated and that tumor microRNAs influence transcript abundance of protein-coding target genes in the cancerous prostate. In cell culture, E2F1 and p21/WAF1 were identified as targets of miR-106b, Bim of miR-32, and exportin-6 and protein tyrosine kinase 9 of miR-1. In summary, microRNA expression becomes altered with the development and progression of prostate cancer. Some of these microRNAs regulate the expression of cancer-related genes in prostate cancer cells.
TL;DR: It is shown in three cohorts of untreated, node-negative breast cancer patients that the humoral immune system plays a pivotal role in metastasis-free survival of carcinomas of the breast.
Abstract: Estrogen receptor (ER) expression and proliferative activity are established prognostic factors in breast cancer. In a search for additional prognostic motifs, we analyzed the gene expression patterns of 200 tumors of patients who were not treated by systemic therapy after surgery using a discovery approach. After performing hierarchical cluster analysis, we identified coregulated genes related to the biological process of proliferation, steroid hormone receptor expression, as well as B-cell and T-cell infiltration. We calculated metagenes as a surrogate for all genes contained within a particular cluster and visualized the relative expression in relation to time to metastasis with principal component analysis. Distinct patterns led to the hypothesis of a prognostic role of the immune system in tumors with high expression of proliferation-associated genes. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, the proliferation metagene showed a significant association with metastasis-free survival of the whole discovery cohort [hazard ratio (HR), 2.20; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.40-3.46]. The B-cell metagene showed additional independent prognostic information in carcinomas with high proliferative activity (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.46-0.97). A prognostic influence of the B-cell metagene was independently confirmed by multivariate analysis in a first validation cohort enriched for high-grade tumors (n = 286; HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.62-0.98) and a second validation cohort enriched for younger patients (n = 302; HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.7-0.97). Thus, we could show in three cohorts of untreated, node-negative breast cancer patients that the humoral immune system plays a pivotal role in metastasis-free survival of carcinomas of the breast.
TL;DR: This study establishes miR-7 as a regulator of major cancer pathways and suggests that it has therapeutic potential for glioblastoma.
Abstract: microRNAs are noncoding RNAs inhibiting expression of numerous target genes, and a few have been shown to act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. We show that microRNA-7 (miR-7) is a potential tumor suppressor in glioblastoma targeting critical cancer pathways. miR-7 potently suppressed epidermal growth factor receptor expression, and furthermore it independently inhibited the Akt pathway via targeting upstream regulators. miR-7 expression was down-regulated in glioblastoma versus surrounding brain, with a mechanism involving impaired processing. Importantly, transfection with miR-7 decreased viability and invasiveness of primary glioblastoma lines. This study establishes miR-7 as a regulator of major cancer pathways and suggests that it has therapeutic potential for glioblastoma. [Cancer Res 2008;68(10):3566–71]
TL;DR: In this article, the authors show that all enzymes necessary for androgen synthesis are expressed in prostate cancer tumors and some seem to be up-regulated during prostate cancer progression, leading to AR activation.
Abstract: Although systemic androgen deprivation prolongs life in advanced prostate cancer, remissions are temporary because patients almost uniformly progress to a state of a castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) as indicated by recurring PSA. This complex process of progression does not seem to be stochastic as the timing and phenotype are highly predictable, including the observation that most androgen-regulated genes are reactivated despite castrate levels of serum androgens. Recent evidence indicates that intraprostatic levels of androgens remain moderately high following systemic androgen deprivation therapy, whereas the androgen receptor (AR) remains functional, and silencing the AR expression following castration suppresses tumor growth and blocks the expression of genes known to be regulated by androgens. From these observations, we hypothesized that CRPC progression is not independent of androgen-driven activity and that androgens may be synthesized de novo in CRPC tumors leading to AR activation. Using the LNCaP xenograft model, we showed that tumor androgens increase during CRPC progression in correlation to PSA up-regulation. We show here that all enzymes necessary for androgen synthesis are expressed in prostate cancer tumors and some seem to be up-regulated during CRPC progression. Using an ex vivo radiotracing assays coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography-radiometric/mass spectrometry detection, we show that tumor explants isolated from CRPC progression are capable of de novo conversion of [(14)C]acetic acid to dihydrotestosterone and uptake of [(3)H]progesterone allows detection of the production of six other steroids upstream of dihydrotestosterone. This evidence suggests that de novo androgen synthesis may be a driving mechanism leading to CRPC progression following castration.
TL;DR: The five major molecular subtypes in breast cancer are evidently different with regard to their ability to metastasize to distant organ(s), and share biological features and pathways with their preferred distant metastatic site.
Abstract: We explored whether the five previously reported molecular subtypes in breast cancer show a preference for organ-specific relapse and searched for molecular pathways involved. The "intrinsic" gene list describing the subtypes was used to classify 344 primary breast tumors of lymph node-negative patients. Fisher exact tests were used to determine the association between a tumor subtype and a particular site of distant relapse in these patients who only received local treatment. Modulated genes and pathways were identified in the various groups using Significance Analysis of Microarrays and Global Testing. Bone relapse patients were most abundant in the luminal subtypes but were found less than expected in the basal subtype. The reverse was true for lung and brain relapse patients with the remark that absence of lung relapse was luminal A specific. Finally, a pleura relapse, although rare, was found almost exclusively in both luminal subtypes. Many differentially expressed genes were identified, of which several were in common in a subtype and the site to which the subtype preferentially relapsed. WNT signaling was up-regulated in the basal subtype and in brain-specific relapse, and down-modulated in the luminal B subtype and in bone-specific relapse. Focal adhesion was found up-regulated in the luminal A subtype but down-regulated in lung relapse. The five major molecular subtypes in breast cancer are evidently different with regard to their ability to metastasize to distant organ(s), and share biological features and pathways with their preferred distant metastatic site.
TL;DR: This is the first example of specific regulation by a miR of a neural stem cell self-renewal factor, implicating miRs that may normally regulate brain development as important biological and therapeutic targets against the "stem cell-like" characteristics of glioma.
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miR) show characteristic expression signatures in various cancers and can profoundly affect cancer cell behavior. We carried out miR expression profiling of human glioblastoma specimens versus adjacent brain devoid of tumor. This revealed several significant alterations, including a pronounced reduction of miR-128 in tumor samples. miR-128 expression significantly reduced glioma cell proliferation in vitro and glioma xenograft growth in vivo. miR-128 caused a striking decrease in expression of the Bmi-1 oncogene, by direct regulation of the Bmi-1 mRNA 3'-untranslated region, through a single miR-128 binding site. In a panel of patient glioblastoma specimens, Bmi-1 expression was significantly up-regulated and miR-128 was down-regulated compared with normal brain. Bmi-1 functions in epigenetic silencing of certain genes through epigenetic chromatin modification. We found that miR-128 expression caused a decrease in histone methylation (H3K27me(3)) and Akt phosphorylation, and up-regulation of p21(CIP1) levels, consistent with Bmi-1 down-regulation. Bmi-1 has also been shown to promote stem cell self-renewal; therefore, we investigated the effects of miR-128 overexpression in human glioma neurosphere cultures, possessing features of glioma "stem-like" cells. This showed that miR-128 specifically blocked glioma self-renewal consistent with Bmi-1 down-regulation. This is the first example of specific regulation by a miR of a neural stem cell self-renewal factor, implicating miRs that may normally regulate brain development as important biological and therapeutic targets against the "stem cell-like" characteristics of glioma.
TL;DR: This microRNA signature is an independent predictor of the cancer relapse and survival of NSCLC patients and was validated by the testing set and an independent cohort.
Abstract: 4432 Abstract MicroRNAs are a new class of small non-protein-coding RNAs that function in endogenous negative gene-regulation and tumorigenesis Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide Current clinical-pathological staging methods are inadequate to predict treatment outcome for lung cancer Using real-time RT-PCR, we obtained microRNA expressions in 112 NSCLC patients, which were divided into the training and testing sets Using Cox regression and risk-score analysis, we identified a 5-microRNA signature for the prediction of treatment outcome of NSCLC in the training set This microRNA signature was validated by the testing set and an independent cohort (62 patients from different medical center) Patients with high-risk score of the microRNA signature had poor overall and disease-free survivals compared to the low-risk score patients the results were consistent across the training, testing, and independent dataset This microRNA signature is an independent predictor of cancer relapse (hazard ratio=329, p value=0016) and overall survival (hazard ratio=1031, p value=0002) of NSCLC patients, as well as in the testing dataset and an independent cohort In conclusion, we identified a 5-microRNA signature that can predict survival in lung cancer patients and it had been validated twice times This may have clinical implication in the molecular-pathogenesis of cancer, development of new targeted-therapy or selection of high-risk cancer patients for adjuvant chemotherapy
TL;DR: NVP-BEZ235 inhibits the PI3K/mTOR axis and results in antiproliferative and antitumoral activity in cancer cells with both wild-type and mutated p110-alpha, suggesting that skin may serve as surrogate tissue for pharmacodynamic studies.
Abstract: Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) pathway deregulation is a common event in human cancer, either through inactivation of the tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted from chromosome 10 or activating mutations of p110-alpha These hotspot mutations result in oncogenic activity of the enzyme and contribute to therapeutic resistance to the anti-HER2 antibody trastuzumab The PI3K pathway is, therefore, an attractive target for cancer therapy We have studied NVP-BEZ235, a dual inhibitor of the PI3K and the downstream mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) NVP-BEZ235 inhibited the activation of the downstream effectors Akt, S6 ribosomal protein, and 4EBP1 in breast cancer cells The antiproliferative activity of NVP-BEZ235 was superior to the allosteric selective mTOR complex inhibitor everolimus in a panel of 21 cancer cell lines of different origin and mutation status The described Akt activation due to mTOR inhibition was prevented by higher doses of NVP-BEZ235 NVP-BEZ235 reversed the hyperactivation of the PI3K/mTOR pathway caused by the oncogenic mutations of p110-alpha, E545K, and H1047R, and inhibited the proliferation of HER2-amplified BT474 cells exogenously expressing these mutations that render them resistant to trastuzumab In trastuzumab-resistant BT474 H1047R breast cancer xenografts, NVP-BEZ235 inhibited PI3K signaling and had potent antitumor activity In treated animals, there was complete inhibition of PI3K signaling in the skin at pharmacologically active doses, suggesting that skin may serve as surrogate tissue for pharmacodynamic studies In summary, NVP-BEZ235 inhibits the PI3K/mTOR axis and results in antiproliferative and antitumoral activity in cancer cells with both wild-type and mutated p110-alpha
TL;DR: An easy classification system defined by EpCAM and AFP is proposed to reveal HCC subtypes similar to hepatic cell maturation lineages, which may enable prognostic stratification and assessment of H CC patients with adjuvant therapy and provide new insights into the potential cellular origin of HCC and its activated molecular pathways.
Abstract: The heterogeneous nature of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the lack of appropriate biomarkers have hampered patient prognosis and treatment stratification. Recently, we have identified that a hepatic stem cell marker, epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), may serve as an early biomarker of HCC because its expression is highly elevated in premalignant hepatic tissues and in a subset of HCC. In this study, we aimed to identify novel HCC subtypes that resemble certain stages of liver lineages by searching for EpCAM-coexpressed genes. A unique signature of EpCAM-positive HCCs was identified by cDNA microarray analysis of 40 HCC cases and validated by oligonucleotide microarray analysis of 238 independent HCC cases, which was further confirmed by immunohistochemical analysis of an additional 101 HCC cases. EpCAM-positive HCC displayed a distinct molecular signature with features of hepatic progenitor cells including the presence of known stem/progenitor markers such as cytokeratin 19, c-Kit, EpCAM, and activated Wnt-beta-catenin signaling, whereas EpCAM-negative HCC displayed genes with features of mature hepatocytes. Moreover, EpCAM-positive and EpCAM-negative HCC could be further subclassified into four groups with prognostic implication by determining the level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). These four subtypes displayed distinct gene expression patterns with features resembling certain stages of hepatic lineages. Taken together, we proposed an easy classification system defined by EpCAM and AFP to reveal HCC subtypes similar to hepatic cell maturation lineages, which may enable prognostic stratification and assessment of HCC patients with adjuvant therapy and provide new insights into the potential cellular origin of HCC and its activated molecular pathways.
TL;DR: It is shown for the first time that miR-21 targets multiple important components of the p53, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), and mitochondrial apoptosis tumor-suppressive pathways in glioblastoma cells.
Abstract: MicroRNA dysregulation is observed in different types of cancer. MiR-21 up-regulation has been reported for the majority of cancers profiled to date; however, knowledge is limited on the mechanism of action of miR-21, including identification of functionally important targets that contribute to its proproliferative and antiapoptotic actions. In this study, we show for the first time that miR-21 targets multiple important components of the p53, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), and mitochondrial apoptosis tumor-suppressive pathways. Down-regulation of miR-21 in glioblastoma cells leads to derepression of these pathways, causing repression of growth, increased apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest. These phenotypes are dependent on two of the miR-21 targets validated in this study, HNRPK and TAp63. These findings establish miR-21 as an important oncogene that targets a network of p53, TGF-beta, and mitochondrial apoptosis tumor suppressor genes in glioblastoma cells.
TL;DR: The essential role of ROS production by extramitochondrial source in prostate cancer is shown for the first time and therapies aimed at reducing ROS production might offer effective means of combating prostate cancer in particular and perhaps other malignancies in general.
Abstract: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the coupled oxidative stress have been associated with tumor formation. Several studies suggested that ROS can act as secondary messengers and control various signaling cascades. In the present studies, we characterized the oxidative stress status in three different prostate cancer cells (PC3, DU145, and LNCaP) exhibiting various degree of aggressiveness and normal prostate cells in culture (WPMY1, RWPE1, and primary cultures of normal epithelial cells). We observed increased ROS generation in cancer cells compared with normal cells, and that extramitochondrial source of ROS generator, NAD(P)H oxidase (Nox) systems, are associated with the ROS generation and are critical for the malignant phenotype of prostate cancer cells. Moreover, diphenyliodonium, a specific Nox inhibitor, blocked proliferation, modulated the activity of growth signaling cascades extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/ERK2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase as well as AKT protein kinase B, and caused cyclin B-dependent G(2)-M cell cycle arrest. We also observed higher degrees of ROS generation in the PC3 cells than DU145 and LNCaP, and that ROS generation is critical for migratory/invasiveness phenotypes. Furthermore, blocking of the ROS production rather than ROS neutralization resulted in decreased matrix metalloproteinase 9 activity as well as loss of mitochondrial potential, plausible reasons for decreased cell invasion and increased cell death. Taken together, these studies show, for the first time, the essential role of ROS production by extramitochondrial source in prostate cancer and suggest that therapies aimed at reducing ROS production might offer effective means of combating prostate cancer in particular, and perhaps other malignancies in general.
TL;DR: The LCS6 variant allele in a KRAS miRANA complementary site is significantly associated with increased risk for NSCLC among moderate smokers and represents a new paradigm for let-7 miRNAs in lung cancer susceptibility.
Abstract: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, yet few genetic markers of lung cancer risk useful for screening exist. The let-7 family-of-microRNAs (miRNA) are global genetic regulators important in controlling lung cancer oncogene expression by binding to the 3' untranslated regions of their target mRNAs. The purpose of this study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) that could modify let-7 binding and to assess the effect of such SNPs on target gene regulation and risk for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). let-7 complementary sites (LCS) were sequenced in the KRAS 3' untranslated region from 74 NSCLC cases to identify mutations and SNPs that correlated with NSCLC. The allele frequency of a previously unidentified SNP at LCS6 was characterized in 2,433 people (representing 46 human populations). The frequency of the variant allele is 18.1% to 20.3% in NSCLC patients and 5.8% in world populations. The association between the SNP and the risk for NSCLC was defined in two independent case-control studies. A case-control study of lung cancer from New Mexico showed a 2.3-fold increased risk (confidence interval, 1.1-4.6; P = 0.02) for NSCLC cancer in patients who smoked <40 pack-years. This association was validated in a second independent case-control study. Functionally, the variant allele results in KRAS overexpression in vitro. The LCS6 variant allele in a KRAS miRANA complementary site is significantly associated with increased risk for NSCLC among moderate smokers and represents a new paradigm for let-7 miRNAs in lung cancer susceptibility.
TL;DR: A new model for melanoma progression is presented that accounts for transcription signature plasticity and provides a more rational context for explaining observed melanoma biology, and challenge previous models of melan cancer progression that evoke one-way changes in gene expression.
Abstract: Metastatic melanoma represents a complex and heterogeneous disease for which there are no therapies to improve patient survival. Recent expression profiling of melanoma cell lines identified two transcription signatures, respectively, corresponding with proliferative and invasive cellular phenotypes. A model derived from these findings predicts that in vivo melanoma cells may switch between these states. Here, DNA microarray–characterized cell lines were subjected to in vitro characterization before s.c. injection into immunocompromised mice. Tumor growth rates were measured and postexcision samples were assessed by immunohistochemistry to identify invasive and proliferative signature cells. In vitro tests showed that proliferative signature melanoma cells are faster growing but less motile than invasive signature cells. In vivo proliferative signature cells initiated tumor growth in 14 ± 3 days postinjection. By comparison, invasive signature cells required a significantly longer ( P in vivo likely regulated by local microenvironmental conditions. Our findings challenge previous models of melanoma progression that evoke one-way changes in gene expression. We present a new model for melanoma progression that accounts for transcription signature plasticity and provides a more rational context for explaining observed melanoma biology. [Cancer Res 2008;68(3):650–6]