ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a crucial role in the innate immune response and the subsequent induction of adaptive immune responses against microbial infection or tissue injury. Recent findings show that functional TLRs are expressed not only on immune cells but also on cancer cells. TLRs play an active role in carcinogenesis and tumor progression during chronic inflammation that involves the tumor microenvironment. Damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) derived from injured normal epithelial cells and necrotic cancer cells appear to be present at significant levels in the tumor microenvironment, and their stimulation of specific TLRs can foster chronic inflammation. This review discusses how carcinogenesis, cancer progression, and site-specific metastasis are related to interactions between cancer cells, immune cells, and DAMPs through TLR activation in the tumor microenvironment.
Cancer Microenvironment 09/2009; 2 Suppl 1:205-14.
ABSTRACT: Estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers are considered prognostically more favorable than ER-negative tumors, whereas human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)2/neu-positive breast cancers are associated with worse prognosis. The objective of the present study was to determine whether ER-positive and ER-negative status relates to epigenetic changes in breast cancer-related genes. To evaluate epigenetic differences in tumor-related genes relating to ER and HER2/neu status of primary tumors, we examined the promoter methylation status of the promoter region CpG islands of eight major breast tumor-related genes (RASSF1A, CCND2, GSPT1, TWIST, APC, NES1, RARbeta2, and CDH1).
Paired ER-positive (n = 65) and ER-negative (n = 65) primary breast tumors (n = 130) matched for prognostic factors were assessed. DNA was extracted from paraffin-embedded tumor tissue after microdissection, and methylation-specific PCR and capillary-array electrophoresis analysis were performed.
In early stages of tumor progression (T1 and N0), RASSF1A and CCND2 were significantly (P < 0.05) more methylated in ER-positive than in ER-negative tumors. GSTP1 hypermethylation was more frequent in the lymph node metastasis positive group than in the negative group. Double negative (ER-negative, HER2/neu-negative) breast cancers had significantly lesser frequencies of RASSF1A, GSTP1, and APC methylation (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001, and P = 0.0035, respectively). Both ER and HER2/neu status correlated independently with these epigenetic alterations.
We demonstrated significant differences in tumor-related gene methylation patterns relevant to ER and HER2/neu status of breast tumors. This may be of significance in the assessment of targeted therapy resistance related to ER and HER2/neu status in breast cancer patients.
Breast cancer research: BCR 05/2008; 10(3):R46. · 5.24 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The detection of circulating tumor cells (CTC) in patients with melanoma represents an appealing prognostic tool, but no consensus exists on this topic. We aimed to comprehensively and quantitatively summarize the evidence for the use of CTC to predict patients' clinical outcome.
Fifty-three studies enrolling 5,433 patients were reviewed. Correlation of CTC status with tumor-node-metastasis disease stage and patients' overall (OS) and progression-free (PFS) survival was assessed by means of association statistics and meta-analysis, respectively.
CTC status correlated with both tumor-node-metastasis stage (stage I, 32%; stage II, 41.7%; stage III, 41.1%; stage IV, 47.4%; P(trend) < 0.0001) and survival (OS: hazard ratio, 2.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-3.45, P < 0.0001; PFS: hazard ratio, 2.45; 95% confidence interval, 1.78-3.38; P < 0.0001). However, statistical heterogeneity was significant for both OS and PFS, likely underscoring the wide variability in study design. Furthermore, CTC positivity rates in early stages were higher and in the metastatic setting were lower than expected, which indicates an unsatisfactory accuracy of currently available CTC detection assays.
Our findings suggest that CTC might have a clinically valuable prognostic power in patients with melanoma. However, the heterogeneity of the studies thus far published warrants caution not to overestimate the favorable results of pooled data.
Clinical Cancer Research 08/2006; 12(15):4605-13. · 7.74 Impact Factor