*Division of Oncology, Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation ∥Department of Medicine, Division of Bioinformatics, Rush Cancer Center §Department of Pathology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL †Cancer Therapy and Evaluation Program, NCI, Bethesda, MD ‡Amgen Corporation, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Baseline levels of innate and adaptive immune cell functions were studied in patients with pancreatic cancer. The effects of pemetrexed were measured at 7 and 14 days after initial therapy then 14 days after combination therapy with gemcitabine. Pretherapy levels of absolute numbers of natural killer (NK) cells positively correlated with survival. Cytolytic units of NK activity correlated positively with NK cell numbers. Pemetrexed decreased NK cytolytic units to significance when combined with gemcitabine. Pemetrexed increased intracellular accumulation of interferon gamma (IFNγ) in NK cells that correlated negatively with survival. Addition of gemcitabine decreased IFNγ-producing NK cells to baseline. Memory (CD45RO) T cells enumerated at baseline correlated negatively with survival but were decreased by pemetrexed therapy. Memory T cells were increased in subjects with greater B7-H3 expression in tumor tissue, whereas OX40-activated total T cells and helper T-cell subset were decreased. FoxP3, CD8 T cells correlated positively with progression-free interval and survival. In conclusion, innate NK-cell immunity and FoxP3, CD8 T cells seemed beneficial to pancreatic cancer patients. Higher levels of B7-H3 expression in pancreatic tumors were detrimental to effective immunity. Although pemetrexed therapy increased activation of a subset of NK cells to produce IFNγ, addition of gemcitabine abated those responses, decreasing IFNγ-producing NK cells, whereas NK cells producing interleukin-2 without IFNγ at this timepoint positively correlated with survival. Innate immunity and adaptive immunity thus are important in defense against pancreatic cancer. Progression-free interval and survival were longer than observed in a phase III trial where gemcitabine preceded pemetrexed suggesting that a larger trial of pemetrexed preceding gemcitabine is warranted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traditional chemotherapeutics have largely failed to date to produce significant improvements in pancreatic cancer survival. One of the reasons for the resilience of pancreatic cancer towards intensive treatment is that the cancer is capable of high jacking the immune system: during disease progression the immune system is converted from a system that attacks tumor cells into a support structure for the cancer, exerting trophic actions on the cancer cells. This turn-around of immune system action is achieved through mobilization and activation of regulatory T cells, myeloid derived suppressor cells, tumor-associated macrophages and fibroblasts, all of which suppress CD8 T cells and NK cells. This immune suppression occurs both through the expression of tolerance-inducing cell surface molecules, such as PD-L1, as well as through the production of "tolerogenic" cytokines, such as IL-10 and TGF-β. Based on the accumulating insight into the importance of the immune system for the outcome of pancreatic cancer patients multiple new immunotherapeutic approaches against pancreatic cancer are being currently tested in clinical trials. In this review we give an overview of both the immune escaping mechanisms of pancreatic cancer as well as the new immune related therapeutic strategies currently being tested in pancreatic cancer clinical trials.
Cancer Treatment Reviews 11/2013; 40(4). DOI:10.1016/j.ctrv.2013.11.005 · 7.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To observe the clinical efficacy of bevacizumab concomitant with pemetrexed in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Materials and methods:
A total of 72 patients were randomly divided into a combination group (pemetrexed+bevacizumab, n=36) and a pemetrexed group (n=36) and assessed for disease control (CR+PR+SD) after 4-cycles of first-line GP chemotherapy (gemcitabine+cisplatin). Clinical efficacy, progression-free survival time (PFS), overall survival time (OS), overall response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR) and rate of adverse responses between two groups were observed and compared.
ORR and DCR were 27.8% and 83.4% in combination group, and 16.7% and 69.5% in the pemetrexed group, respectively, but there were no significant differences (P>0.05). PFS in combination group and pemetrexed group were 4.6 months and 3.9 months respectively (P=0.09), whereas OS in the combination group was 14 months, evidently higher than in the pemetrexed group (11 months, P=0.004). Adverse responses in both groups included high blood pressure, bleeding, thrombocytopenia, anemia, elevated transaminase, diarrhea, vomiting and proteinuria, but there were no significant differences (P>0.05).
Bevacizumab concomitant with pemetrexed has better clinical efficacy and safety, giving rise to prolonged survival time in patients with advanced NSCLC.
Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 04/2014; 15(8):3447-50. DOI:10.7314/APJCP.2014.15.8.3447 · 2.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Natural killer (NK) cells play a key role in non-specific immune response in different cancers, including pancreatic cancer. However the anti-tumor effect of NK cells decreases during pancreatic cancer progression. The regulatory pathways by which NK cells facilitate tumor immune escape are unclear, therefore our purpose was to investigate the roles of the contributory factors.
NK cells isolated from fresh healthy peripheral blood were co-cultured with normal human pancreatic ductal cells hTERT-HPNE and human pancreatic cancer cell lines SW1990 and BxPc-3 in vitro. Then NK cell function was determined by Flow cytometric analysis of surface receptors and cytotoxic granules in NK cells, NK cell apoptosis and cytotoxicity, and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of cytokines. Expression level of MMP-9, IDO and COX-2 in hTERT-HPNE and SW1990 cells were detected by quantitative RT-PCR. Statistical differences between data groups were determined by independent t-tests using SPSS 19.0 software.
Our results showed that NK cell function was significantly downregulated following exposure to pancreatic cancer cells compared to normal pancreatic cells, as demonstrated by lower expressions of activating surface receptors (NKG2D, DNAM-1, NKp30 and NKp46) and cytotoxic granules (Perforin and Granzyme B); decreased secretion of cytokines (TNF-α and IFN-γ); and reduced cytotoxicity against myelogenous leukemia K562 cells. Further investigations revealed that MMP-9 and IDO may be implicated in SW1990 cell-induced NK cell dysfunction by facilitating tumor immune evasion. Blockade by TIMP-1 and/or 1-MT could partially restore NK function.
Taken together, elevation of MMP-9 and IDO induced by pancreatic cancer cells mediates NK cell dysfunction. Our findings could contribute to the development of NK cell-based immunotherapy in patients with pancreatic cancer.
BMC Cancer 10/2014; 14(1):738. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-14-738 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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