The response of CD24(-/low)/CD44+ breast cancer-initiating cells to radiation.
ABSTRACT If cancer arises and is maintained by a small population of cancer-initiating cells within every tumor, understanding how these cells react to cancer treatment will facilitate improvement of cancer treatment in the future. Cancer-initiating cells can now be prospectively isolated from breast cancer cell lines and tumor samples and propagated as mammospheres in vitro under serum-free conditions.
CD24(-/low)/CD44+ cancer-initiating cells were isolated from MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer monolayer cultures and propagated as mammospheres. Their response to radiation was investigated by assaying clonogenic survival and by measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, phosphorylation of the replacement histone H2AX, CD44 levels, CD24 levels, and Notch-1 activation using flow cytometry. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Cancer-initiating cells were more resistant to radiation than cells grown as monolayer cultures (MCF-7: monolayer cultures, mean surviving fraction at 2 Gy [SF(2Gy)] = 0.2, versus mammospheres, mean SF(2Gy) = 0.46, difference = 0.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.05 to 0.47; P = .026; MDA-MB-231: monolayer cultures, mean SF(2Gy) = 0.5, versus mammospheres, mean SF(2Gy) = 0.69, difference = 0.19, 95% CI = -0.07 to 0.45; P = .09). Levels of ROS increased in both mammospheres and monolayer cultures after irradiation with a single dose of 10 Gy but were lower in mammospheres than in monolayer cultures (MCF-7 monolayer cultures: 0 Gy, mean = 1.0, versus 10 Gy, mean = 3.32, difference = 2.32, 95% CI = 0.67 to 3.98; P = .026; mammospheres: 0 Gy, mean = 0.58, versus 10 Gy, mean = 1.46, difference = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.20 to 1.56; P = .031); phosphorylation of H2AX increased in irradiated monolayer cultures, but no change was observed in mammospheres. Fractionated doses of irradiation increased activation of Notch-1 (untreated, mean = 10.7, versus treated, mean = 15.1, difference = 4.4, 95% CI = 2.7 to 6.1, P = .002) and the percentage of the cancer stem/initiating cells in the nonadherent cell population of MCF-7 monolayer cultures (untreated, mean = 3.52%, versus treated, mean = 7.5%, difference = 3.98%, 95% CI = 1.67% to 6.25%, P = .009).
Breast cancer-initiating cells are a relatively radioresistant subpopulation of breast cancer cells and increase in numbers after short courses of fractionated irradiation. These findings offer a possible mechanism for the accelerated repopulation of tumor cells observed during gaps in radiotherapy.
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ABSTRACT: The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis suggests that only a subpopulation of cells within a tumour is responsible for the initiation and progression of neoplasia. The original and best evidence for the existence of CSCs came from advances in the field of haematological malignancies. Thus far, putative CSCs have been isolated from various solid and non-solid tumours and shown to possess self-renewal, differentiation, and cancer regeneration properties. Although research in the field is progressing extremely fast, proof of concept for the CSC hypothesis is still lacking and key questions remain unanswered, e.g. the cell of origin for these cells. Nevertheless, it is undisputed that neoplastic transformation is associated with genetic and epigenetic alterations of normal cells, and a better understanding of these complex processes is of utmost importance for developing new anti-cancer therapies. In the present review, we discuss the CSC hypothesis with special emphasis on age-associated alterations that govern carcinogenesis, at least in some types of tumours. We present evidence from the scientific literature for age-related genetic and epigenetic alterations leading to cancer and discuss the main challenges in the field.BMC Cancer 01/2015; 15 Suppl 1:S1. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-15-S1-S1 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Survivin is a key member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family, and is considered a promising therapeutic target due to its universal overexpression in cancers. Survivin is implicated in cellular radiation response through its role in apoptosis, cell division, and DNA damage response. In the present study, analysis of publically available data sets showed that survivin gene expression increased with breast cancer stage (p < 0.00001) and was significantly higher in estrogen receptor-negative cancers as compared to estrogen receptor-positive cancers (p = 9e-46). However, survivin was prognostic in estrogen receptor-positive tumors (p = 0.03) but not in estrogen receptor-negative tumors (p = 0.28). We assessed the effect of a survivin dominant-negative mutant on colony-formation (2D) and mammosphere-formation (3D) efficiency, and radiation response in the estrogen receptor-positive MCF7 and estrogen receptor-negative SUM149 breast cancer cell lines. The colony-formation efficiency was significantly lower in the dominant-negative survivin-transduced cells versus control MCF7 cells (0.42 vs. 0.58, p < 0.01), but it was significantly higher in dominant-negative population versus control-transduced SUM149 cells (0.29 vs. 0.20, p < 0.01). A similar, non-significant, trend in mammosphere-formation efficiency was observed. We compared the radiosensitivity of cells stably expressing dominant-negative survivin with their controls in both cell lines under 2D and 3D culture conditions following exposure to increasing doses of radiation. We found that the dominant-negative populations were radioprotective in MCF7 cells but radiosensitive in SUM149 cells compared to the control-transduced population; further, Taxol was synergistic with the survivin mutant in SUM149 but not MCF7. Our data suggests that survivin modulation influences radiation response differently in estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer subtypes, warranting further investigation.PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0120719. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0120719. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite progress in radio-, chemo- and photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer, treatment resistance still remains a major problem for patients with aggressive tumours. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) or tumour-initiating cells are intrinsically and notoriously resistant to conventional cancer therapies and are proposed to be responsible for the recurrence of tumours after therapy. According to the CSC hypothesis it is imperative to develop novel anticancer agents or therapeutic strategies that take into account the biology and role of CSC. The present review outlines our recent work pointing out photochemical internalisation (PCI) using the clinical relevant photosensitiser TPCS2a/Amphinex® as a rational, non-invasive strategy for light-controlled endosomal escape of CSC-targeting drugs. PCI is an intracellular drug delivery method based on light-induced ROS-generation and a subsequent membrane-disruption of endocytic vesicles leading to cytosolic release of the entrapped drugs of interest. In different proof-of-concept studies we have demonstrated that PCI of CSC-directed immunotoxins targeting CD133, CD44, CSPG4 and EpCAM is a highly specific and effective strategy for killing cancer cells and CSCs. CSC overexpressing CD133 are PDT-resistant, however, this is circumvented by PCI of CD133-targeting immunotoxins. In view of the fact that TPCS2a/Amphinex is not a substrate of the efflux pumps ABCG2 and P-glycoprotein (ABCB1), the PCI-method is a promising anti-CSC therapeutic strategy. Due to a laser-controlled exposure, PCI of CSC-targeting drugs will be confined exclusively to the tumour tissue, suggesting that this drug delivery method has the potential to spare distant normal stem cells.Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 03/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5PP00027K · 2.92 Impact Factor