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    ABSTRACT: Although prostate cancer is the most common malignancy to affect men in the Western world, the molecular mechanisms underlying its development and progression remain poorly understood. Like all cancers, prostate cancer is a genetic disease that is characterized by multiple genomic alterations, including point mutations, microsatellite variations, and chromosomal alterations such as translocations, insertions, duplications, and deletions. In prostate cancer, but not other carcinomas, these chromosome alterations result in a high frequency of gene fusion events. The development and application of novel high-resolution technologies has significantly accelerated the detection of genomic alterations, revealing the complex nature and heterogeneity of the disease. The clinical heterogeneity of prostate cancer can be partly explained by this underlying genetic heterogeneity, which has been observed between patients from different geographical and ethnic populations, different individuals within these populations, different tumour foci within the same patient, and different cells within the same tumour focus. The highly heterogeneous nature of prostate cancer provides a real challenge for clinical disease management and a detailed understanding of the genetic alterations in all cells, including small subpopulations, would be highly advantageous.
    Nature Reviews Urology 11/2012; 9(11):652-64. DOI:10.1038/nrurol.2012.185
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    ABSTRACT: Oncolytic adenoviruses have shown promising efficacy in clinical trials targeting prostate cancers that frequently develop resistance to all current therapies. The replication-selective mutants AdΔΔ and dl922-947, defective in pRb-binding, have been demonstrated to synergise with the current standard of care, mitoxantrone and docetaxel, in prostate cancer models. While expression of the early viral E1A gene is essential for the enhanced cell killing, the specific E1A-regions required for the effects are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that replicating mutants deleted in small E1A-domains, binding pRb (dl1108), p300/CBP (dl1104) and p400/TRRAP or p21 (dl1102) sensitize human prostate cancer cells (PC-3, DU145, 22Rv1) to mitoxantrone and docetaxel. Through generation of non-replicating mutants, we demonstrate that the small E1A12S protein is sufficient to potently sensitize all prostate cancer cells to the drugs even in the absence of viral replication and the E1A transactivating domain, conserved region (CR) 3. Furthermore, the p300/CBP-binding domain in E1ACR1 is essential for drug-sensitisation in the absence (AdE1A1104) but not in the presence of the E1ACR3 (dl1104) domain. AdE1A1104 also failed to increase apoptosis and accumulation of cells in G2/M. All E1AΔCR2 mutants (AdE1A1108, dl922-947) and AdE1A1102 or dl1102 enhance cell killing to the same degree as wild type virus. In PC-3 xenografts in vivo the dl1102 mutant significantly prolongs time to tumor progression that is further enhanced in combination with docetaxel. Neither dl1102 nor dl1104 replicates in normal human epithelial cells (NHBE). These findings suggest that additional E1A-deletions might be included when developing more potent replication-selective oncolytic viruses, such as the AdΔCR2-mutants, to further enhance potency through synergistic cell killing in combination with current chemotherapeutics.
    PLoS ONE 10/2012; 7(10):e46617. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0046617
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Numerous oncolytic viral mutants derived from a variety of strains have antitumor efficacy with limited or no toxicity to normal tissue. While all modes of administration were determined to be safe in patients with solid cancers refractory to current standard of care, this therapeutic approach requires further improvements to achieve definite efficacy. Areas covered: We review the most promising clinical developments with several oncolytic viruses. The focus is on preclinical and clinical findings with replication-selective adenoviral mutants including ONYX-015, H101 and Ad5ΔCR mutants that, to date, are the most studied oncolytic viruses. Cellular pathways reported to play a role in virus-induced cell killing are reviewed as potential targets for the development of more effective combinatorial therapies. Expert opinion: The most promising clinical outcomes for metastatic cancers have been reported for oncolytic vaccinia and herpes virus mutants expressing the cytokine GMCSF. However, highly efficacious and selective adenoviral mutants have been developed that interact synergistically with cytotoxic drugs in model systems. We anticipate that by delineating the cellular targets for synergistic cancer cell killing in response to adenoviral mutants and drugs such as apoptosis and autophagy signaling, greatly improved anticancer therapies will result in the near future.
    Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 08/2012; 16(10):945-58. DOI:10.1517/14728222.2012.712962
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract AdΔΔ is an oncolytic adenoviral mutant that has been engineered to selectively target tumors with deregulated cell cycle and apoptosis pathways. AdΔΔ potentiates apoptotic cell death induced by drugs, including mitoxantrone and docetaxel, which are commonly used to treat prostate cancer. Here, we demonstrate that AdΔΔ can also interact synergistically with dietary phytochemicals known to have anti-cancer activities, without incurring the toxic side effects of chemodrugs. Curcumin, genistein, epigallocatechin-gallate, equol, and resveratrol efficiently killed both androgen-receptor positive (22Rv1) and negative cell lines (PC-3, DU145) in combination with adenoviral mutants. Synergistic cell killing was demonstrated with wild-type virus (Ad5) and AdΔΔ in combination with equol and resveratrol. EC(50) values for both phytochemicals and viruses were reduced three- to eightfold in all three combination-treated cell lines. The most potent efficacy was achieved in the cytotoxic drug- and virus-insensitive PC-3 cells, both in vitro and in vivo, while cell killing in normal bronchial epithelial cells was not enhanced. Although equol and resveratrol induced only low levels of apoptosis when administered alone, in combination with wild-type virus or AdΔΔ, the level of apoptotic cell death was significantly increased in PC-3 and DU145 cells. In vivo studies using suboptimal doses of AdΔΔ and equol or resveratrol, showed reduced tumor growth without toxicity to normal tissue. These findings identify novel functions for AdΔΔ and phytochemicals in promoting cancer cell killing and apoptosis, suggesting the use of these natural nontoxic compounds might be a feasible and currently unexploited anti-cancer strategy.
    Human gene therapy 07/2012; 23(9):1003-15. DOI:10.1089/hum.2012.046
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    ABSTRACT: Tumours lacking argininosuccinate synthetase-1 (ASS1) are auxotrophic for arginine and sensitive to amino-acid deprivation. Here, we investigated the role of ASS1 as a biomarker of response to the arginine-lowering agent, pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20), in lymphoid malignancies. Although ASS1 protein was largely undetectable in normal and malignant lymphoid tissues, frequent hypermethylation of the ASS1 promoter was observed specifically in the latter. A good correlation was observed between ASS1 methylation, low ASS1 mRNA, absence of ASS1 protein expression and sensitivity to ADI-PEG20 in malignant lymphoid cell lines. We confirmed that the demethylating agent 5-Aza-dC reactivated ASS1 expression and rescued lymphoma cell lines from ADI-PEG20 cytotoxicity. ASS1-methylated cell lines exhibited autophagy and caspase-dependent apoptosis following treatment with ADI-PEG20. In addition, the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine triggered an accumulation of light chain 3-II protein and potentiated the apoptotic effect of ADI-PEG20 in malignant lymphoid cells and patient-derived tumour cells. Finally, a patient with an ASS1-methylated cutaneous T-cell lymphoma responded to compassionate-use ADI-PEG20. In summary, ASS1 promoter methylation contributes to arginine auxotrophy and represents a novel biomarker for evaluating the efficacy of arginine deprivation in patients with lymphoma.
    Cell Death & Disease 07/2012; 3(7):e342. DOI:10.1038/cddis.2012.83
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    ABSTRACT: The range of testicular tumours is so large that many pathologists may encounter the rarer variants only a few times, if at all, in their career. This rarity and complexity results in immense challenges for pathologists. For clinicians, due to their rarity and the high cure rate, the difficulty in conducting randomised trials in this area, even in the more common germ cell tumours, means that progress is slow and it is difficult to accumulate evidence for the relevance of the various histopathological risk factors for recurrence. A number of recent trials and retrospective analyses have suggested that some histopathological features suggestive of recurrence are more important than others. This has implications both in how testicular tumours are examined macroscopically and microscopically. New clinically important entities will also be described, as well as some pitfalls in the diagnosis of testicular tumours and how to avoid them.
    Pathology 06/2012; 44(5):419-26. DOI:10.1097/PAT.0b013e328355f7e7
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    ABSTRACT: Many human cancers present as multifocal lesions. Understanding the clonal origin of multifocal cancers is of both etiological and clinical importance. The molecular basis of multifocal prostate cancer has previously been explored using a limited number of isolated markers and, although independent origin is widely believed, the clonal origin of multifocal prostate cancer is still debatable. We attempted to address clonal origin using a genome-wide copy-number analysis of individual cancer and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) lesions. Using Affymetrix array 6.0 copy-number analysis, we compared the genomic changes detected in 48 individual cancer and HGPIN lesions, isolated from 18 clinically localized prostate cancer cases. Identical genomic copy-number changes, shared by all same-case cancer foci, were detected in all 13 informative cases displaying multiple tumor foci. In addition, individual HGPIN lesions in the two multifocal-HGPIN cases available shared identical genomic changes. Commonly known genomic alterations, including losses at 6q15, 8p21.3-8p21.2, 10q23.2-10q23.31, 16q22.3, 16q23.2-16q23.3 and 21q22.2-21q22.3 regions and gain of 8q24.3 were the most frequently detected changes in this study and each was detected in all same-case foci in at least one case. Microarray data were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization in selected foci. Our high-resolution genome-wide copy-number data suggest that many multifocal cases derive from a single prostate cancer precursor clone and that this precursor may give rise to separate HGPIN foci and may further progress to multifocal invasive prostate cancer. These findings, which demonstrate the monoclonal origin of multifocal prostate cancer, should significantly enhance our understanding of prostate carcinogenesis.
    Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 06/2012; 51(6):579-89. DOI:10.1002/gcc.21944
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    ABSTRACT: High-throughput profiling has generated massive amounts of data across basic, clinical and translational research fields. However, open source comprehensive web tools for analysing data obtained from different platforms and technologies are still lacking. To fill this gap and the unmet computational needs of ongoing research projects, we developed O-miner, a rapid, comprehensive, efficient web tool that covers all the steps required for the analysis of both transcriptomic and genomic data starting from raw image files through in-depth bioinformatics analysis and annotation to biological knowledge extraction. O-miner was developed from a biologist end-user perspective. Hence, it is as simple to use as possible within the confines of the complexity of the data being analysed. It provides a strong analytical suite able to overlay and harness large, complicated, raw and heterogeneous sets of profiles with biological/clinical data. Biologists can use O-miner to analyse and integrate different types of data and annotations to build knowledge of relevant altered mechanisms and pathways in order to identify and prioritize novel targets for further biological validation. Here we describe the analytical workflows currently available using O-miner and present examples of use. O-miner is freely available at www.o-miner.org.
    Nucleic Acids Research 05/2012; 40(Web Server issue):W560-8. DOI:10.1093/nar/gks432
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    ABSTRACT: Broader functional annotation of single nucleotide variations is a valuable mean for prioritizing targets in further disease studies and large-scale genotyping projects. We originally developed SNPnexus to assess the potential significance of known and novel SNPs on the major transcriptome, proteome, regulatory and structural variation models in order to identify the phenotypically important variants. Being committed to providing continuous support to the scientific community, we have substantially improved SNPnexus over time by incorporating a broader range of variations such as insertions/deletions, block substitutions, IUPAC codes submission and region-based analysis, expanding the query size limit, and most importantly including additional categories for the assessment of functional impact. SNPnexus provides a comprehensive set of annotations for genomic variation data by characterizing related functional consequences at the transcriptome/proteome levels of seven major annotation systems with in-depth analysis of potential deleterious effects, inferring physical and cytogenetic mapping, reporting information on HapMap genotype/allele data, finding overlaps with potential regulatory elements, structural variations and conserved elements, and retrieving links with previously reported genetic disease studies. SNPnexus has a user-friendly web interface with an improved query structure, enhanced functional annotation categories and flexible output presentation making it practically useful for biologists. SNPnexus is freely available at http://www.snp-nexus.org.
    Nucleic Acids Research 04/2012; 40(Web Server issue):W65-70. DOI:10.1093/nar/gks364
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a major cause of cancer-related death, largely due to metastatic disease. To better understand PDAC metastatic spread and identify novel therapeutic targets, we analysed the proteome of primary tumours and matched lymph node (LN) metastases. As frozen specimens of metastatic lesions are scarce, we examined formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. This poses technical challenges because of the cross-linkages induced by fixation. Using laser capture microdissection (PALM system), we isolated malignant epithelia from seven FFPE primary PDAC tumours and matched LN metastases. Following dissection, samples were analysed in duplicate using Multidimensional Protein Identification Technology (MudPIT); this resulted in the identification of 1504 proteins, 854 of which were common to all samples analysed. Comparison of the obtained proteins with data from previous proteomics studies on pancreatic tissue, pancreatic juice, serum, and urine resulted in a less than 30% overlap, indicating that our study has substantially expanded the current database of proteins expressed in this malignancy. Statistical analysis further showed that 115/854 proteins (13.5%) were significantly differentially expressed (g-value ≥ 3.8). Two proteins, S100P and 14-3-3 sigma, with highly significant g-values were confirmed to be significantly differentially expressed (S100P: p = 0.05 and 14-3-3 sigma: p < 0.001) in a larger series of 55 cases of matched primary PDAC and LN metastases using immunohistochemistry. Thus, laser capture microdissection of FFPE tissue coupled with downstream proteomic analysis is a valid approach for the investigation of metastatic PDAC. This is the first study to establish and compare the protein composition of primary PDAC and matched LN metastases, and has resulted in the identification of several potential epithelial-specific therapeutic targets, including 14-3-3 sigma and S100P.
    The Journal of Pathology 04/2012; 226(5):756-63. DOI:10.1002/path.3959
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