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Publications (19)165.33 Total impact

  • Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 06/2013; 12(12):1978. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most lethal form of brain cancer with a median survival of only 12-15 months. Current standard treatment consists of surgery followed by chemoradiation. The poor survival of GBM patients is due to aggressive tumor invasiveness, an inability to remove all tumor tissue, and an innate tumor chemo- and radioresistance. ATM, ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) mutated, is an excellent target for radiosensitizing GBM because of its critical role in regulating the DNA damage response and p53, among other cellular processes. As a first step toward this goal, we recently showed that the novel ATM kinase inhibitor KU-60019 reduced migration, invasion, growth, and potently radiosensitized human glioma cells in vitro. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Using orthotopic xenograft models of GBM, we now show that KU-60019 is also an effective radiosensitizer in vivo. Human glioma cells expressing reporter genes for monitoring tumor growth and dispersal were grown intra-cranially, and KU-60019 was administered intra-tumorally by convection-enhanced delivery or osmotic pump. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that the combined effect of KU-60019 and radiation significantly increased survival of mice 2-3 fold over controls. Importantly, we show that glioma with mutant p53 is much more sensitive to KU-60019 radiosensitization than genetically matched wild-type glioma. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results suggest that an ATM kinase inhibitor may be an effective radiosensitizer and adjuvant therapy for patients with mutant p53 brain cancers.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medicin 04/2013; · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BRCA1 protein measurement has previously been evaluated as a potential diagnostic marker without reaching a conclusive recommendation. In this study, we applied current best practice in antibody validation to further characterize MS110, a widely used antibody targeting BRCA1. Antibody specificity was investigated using different biochemical validation techniques. We found that BRCA1 could not be reliably detected using immunoprecipitation and Western blot in endogenously expressing cells. We used immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cell pellets to establish compatibility with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples. We demonstrated that in transfected cells and cell lines with known genetic BRCA1 status, MS110 successfully detected BRCA1 giving the expected level of staining in immunohistochemistry. Following this, we investigated the use of BRCA1 protein measurement by immunohistochemistry in a cohort of triple negative breast and serous ovarian tumour samples to explore the use of BRCA1 protein measurement by immunohistochemistry for patient stratification. Using MS110 in repeated standardized experiments, on serial sections from a panel of patient samples, results demonstrated considerable run-to-run variability. We concluded that in formalin-fixed tissue samples, MS110 does detect BRCA1; however, using standard methodologies, BRCA1 expression levels in tissue samples is incompatible with the use of this protein as a statistically robust patient selection marker in immunohistochemistry. These results demonstrate the need for further development to deliver BRCA1 protein quantification by immunohistochemistry as a patient stratification marker.
    Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medicin 01/2013; · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is a promising therapeutic strategy for homologous recombination-deficient tumors, such as BRCA1-associated cancers. We previously reported that BRCA1-deficient mouse mammary tumors may acquire resistance to the clinical PARP inhibitor (PARPi) olaparib through activation of the P-glycoprotein drug efflux transporter. Here we show that tumor-specific genetic inactivation of P-glycoprotein increases the long-term response of BRCA1-deficient mouse mammary tumors to olaparib, but these tumors eventually developed PARPi resistance. In a fraction of cases this is caused by partial restoration of homologous recombination due to somatic loss of 53BP1. Importantly, PARPi resistance was minimized by long-term treatment with the novel PARP inhibitor AZD2461, which is a poor P-glycoprotein substrate. Together, our data suggest that restoration of homologous recombination is an important mechanism for PARPi resistance in BRCA1-deficient mammary tumors and that the risk of relapse of BRCA1-deficient tumors can be effectively minimized by using optimized PARP inhibitors.
    Cancer Discovery 10/2012; · 10.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Impaired DNA damage response pathways may create vulnerabilities of cancer cells that can be exploited therapeutically. One such selective vulnerability is the sensitivity of BRCA1- or BRCA2-defective tumors (hence defective in DNA repair by homologous recombination, HR) to inhibitors of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), an enzyme critical for repair pathways alternative to HR. While promising, treatment with PARP-1 inhibitors (PARP-1i) faces some hurdles, including (1) acquired resistance, (2) search for other sensitizing, non-BRCA1/2 cancer defects and (3) lack of biomarkers to predict response to PARP-1i. Here we addressed these issues using PARP-1i on 20 human cell lines from carcinomas of the breast, prostate, colon, pancreas and ovary. Aberrations of the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex sensitized cancer cells to PARP-1i, while p53 status was less predictive, even in response to PARP-1i combinations with camptothecin or ionizing radiation. Furthermore, monitoring PARsylation and Rad51 foci formation as surrogate markers for PARP activity and HR, respectively, supported their candidacy for biomarkers of PARP-1i responses. As to resistance mechanisms, we confirmed the role of the multidrug resistance efflux transporters and its reversibility. More importantly, we demonstrated that shRNA lentivirus-mediated depletion of 53BP1 in human BRCA1-mutant breast cancer cells increased their resistance to PARP-1i. Given the preferential loss of 53BP1 in BRCA-defective and triple-negative breast carcinomas, our findings warrant assessment of 53BP1 among candidate predictive biomarkers of response to PARPi. Overall, this study helps characterize genetic and functional determinants of cellular responses to PARP-1i and contributes to the search for biomarkers to exploit PARP inhibitors in cancer therapy.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 09/2012; 11(20):3837-50. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most patients with ovarian carcinomas succumb to their disease and there is a critical need for improved therapeutic approaches. Carcinomas arising in BRCA mutation carriers display defective DNA double-strand break repair that can be therapeutically exploited by inhibition of PARP-1, a key enzyme in the repair of DNA single-strand breaks, creating synthetic lethality in tumor cells. To investigate synthetic lethality in vivo, we established a BRCA2 germline-mutated xenograft model that was developed directly from human ovarian cancer tissue, treated with the PARP inhibitor olaparib (AZD2281) alone and in combination with carboplatin. We show that olaparib alone and in combination with carboplatin greatly inhibit growth in BRCA2-mutated ovarian serous carcinoma. This effect was not observed in a serous carcinoma with normal BRCA function, showing a specific antitumor effect of olaparib in mutation carriers. Immunohistochemistry (cleaved caspase-3 and Ki-67 stains) of remnant tissue after olaparib treatment revealed significantly decreased proliferation and increased apoptotic indices in these tumors compared with untreated controls. Furthermore, olaparib-treated tumors showed highly reduced PARP-1 activity that correlated with olaparib levels. We established a BRCA2-mutated human ovarian cancer xenograft model suitable for experimental drug testing. The demonstrated in vivo efficacy of olaparib extends on the preclinical rationale for further clinical trials targeting ovarian cancer patients with BRCA mutations.
    Clinical Cancer Research 02/2011; 17(4):783-91. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inhibition of poly(adenosine diphosphate [ADP]-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is a potential synthetic lethal therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancers with specific DNA-repair defects, including those arising in carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. We conducted a clinical evaluation in humans of olaparib (AZD2281), a novel, potent, orally active PARP inhibitor. This was a phase 1 trial that included the analysis of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics of olaparib. Selection was aimed at having a study population enriched in carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. We enrolled and treated 60 patients; 22 were carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and 1 had a strong family history of BRCA-associated cancer but declined to undergo mutational testing. The olaparib dose and schedule were increased from 10 mg daily for 2 of every 3 weeks to 600 mg twice daily continuously. Reversible dose-limiting toxicity was seen in one of eight patients receiving 400 mg twice daily (grade 3 mood alteration and fatigue) and two of five patients receiving 600 mg twice daily (grade 4 thrombocytopenia and grade 3 somnolence). This led us to enroll another cohort, consisting only of carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, to receive olaparib at a dose of 200 mg twice daily. Other adverse effects included mild gastrointestinal symptoms. There was no obvious increase in adverse effects seen in the mutation carriers. Pharmacokinetic data indicated rapid absorption and elimination; pharmacodynamic studies confirmed PARP inhibition in surrogate samples (of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells and plucked eyebrow-hair follicles) and tumor tissue. Objective antitumor activity was reported only in mutation carriers, all of whom had ovarian, breast, or prostate cancer and had received multiple treatment regimens. Olaparib has few of the adverse effects of conventional chemotherapy, inhibits PARP, and has antitumor activity in cancer associated with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00516373.)
    New England Journal of Medicine 07/2009; 361(2):123-34. · 51.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Germ-line heterozygosity of the BRCA2 gene in women predisposes to breast and ovarian cancers. Successful therapies targeted specifically at these neoplasms have thus far remained elusive. Recent studies in mice have shown that inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) targets cells lacking Brca2 and xenografts derived from BRCA2-deficient ES cells or Chinese hamster ovary cells. We set out to develop a more relevant preclinical model that will inform and accelerate translation into the clinic. As such, we conditionally deleted Brca2 and p53 within murine mammary epithelium and treated the resulting tumors in situ with a highly potent PARP-1 inhibitor (AZD2281) alone or in combination with carboplatin. Daily exposure to AZD2281 for 28 days caused significant regression or growth inhibition in 46 of 52 tumors. This response was shown to be specific to tumors lacking both Brca2and p53. AZD2281/carboplatin combination therapy for 28 days showed no advantage over carboplatin monotherapy. However, if PARP inhibitor treatment was continued, this significantly increased the time to tumor relapse and death in these mice. This preclinical study is the first to show in vivo hypersensitivity of spontaneously arising Brca2-deficient mammary tumors to PARP-1 inhibition monotherapy or combination therapy. As such, our data add substantial weight to the argument for the use of PARP inhibitors as therapeutic agents against human breast cancers in which BRCA2 is mutated. Moreover, the specificity that we have shown further suggests that PARP inhibitors will be generally effective against tumors caused by dysregulation of components of the homologous recombination pathway.
    Cancer Research 05/2009; 69(9):3850-5. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whereas target-specific drugs are available for treating ERBB2-overexpressing and hormone receptor-positive breast cancers, no tailored therapy exists for hormone receptor- and ERBB2-negative ("triple-negative") mammary carcinomas. Triple-negative tumors account for 15% of all breast cancers and frequently harbor defects in DNA double-strand break repair through homologous recombination (HR), such as BRCA1 dysfunction. The DNA-repair defects characteristic of BRCA1-deficient cells confer sensitivity to poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) inhibition, which could be relevant to treatment of triple-negative tumors. To evaluate PARP1 inhibition in a realistic in vivo setting, we tested the PARP inhibitor AZD2281 in a genetically engineered mouse model (GEMM) for BRCA1-associated breast cancer. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with AZD2281 inhibited tumor growth without signs of toxicity, resulting in strongly increased survival. Long-term treatment with AZD2281 in this model did result in the development of drug resistance, caused by up-regulation of Abcb1a/b genes encoding P-glycoprotein efflux pumps. This resistance to AZD2281 could be reversed by coadministration of the P-glycoprotein inhibitor tariquidar. Combination of AZD2281 with cisplatin or carboplatin increased the recurrence-free and overall survival, suggesting that AZD2281 potentiates the effect of these DNA-damaging agents. Our results demonstrate in vivo efficacy of AZD2281 against BRCA1-deficient breast cancer and illustrate how GEMMs of cancer can be used for preclinical evaluation of novel therapeutics and for testing ways to overcome or circumvent therapy resistance.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2008; 105(44):17079-84. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activation is an immediate cellular response to metabolic-, chemical-, or ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage and represents a new target for cancer therapy. In this article, we disclose a novel series of substituted 4-benzyl-2 H-phthalazin-1-ones that possess high inhibitory enzyme and cellular potency for both PARP-1 and PARP-2. Optimized compounds from the series also demonstrate good pharmacokinetic profiles, oral bioavailability, and activity in vivo in an SW620 colorectal cancer xenograft model. 4-[3-(4-Cyclopropanecarbonylpiperazine-1-carbonyl)-4-fluorobenzyl]-2 H-phthalazin-1-one (KU-0059436, AZD2281) 47 is a single digit nanomolar inhibitor of both PARP-1 and PARP-2 that shows standalone activity against BRCA1-deficient breast cancer cell lines. Compound 47 is currently undergoing clinical development for the treatment of BRCA1- and BRCA2-defective cancers.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/2008; 51(20):6581-91. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess efficacy of the novel, selective poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) inhibitor AZD2281 against newly established BRCA2-deficient mouse mammary tumor cell lines and to determine potential synergy between AZD2281 and cisplatin. We established and thoroughly characterized a panel of clonal cell lines from independent BRCA2-deficient mouse mammary tumors and BRCA2-proficient control tumors. Subsequently, we assessed sensitivity of these lines to conventional cytotoxic drugs and the novel PARP inhibitor AZD2281. Finally, in vitro combination studies were done to investigate interaction between AZD2281 and cisplatin. Genetic, transcriptional, and functional analyses confirmed the successful isolation of BRCA2-deficient and BRCA2-proficient mouse mammary tumor cell lines. Treatment of these cell lines with 11 different anticancer drugs or with gamma-irradiation showed that AZD2281, a novel and specific PARP inhibitor, caused the strongest differential growth inhibition of BRCA2-deficient versus BRCA2-proficient mammary tumor cells. Finally, drug combination studies showed synergistic cytotoxicity of AZD2281 and cisplatin against BRCA2-deficient cells but not against BRCA2-proficient control cells. We have successfully established the first set of BRCA2-deficient mammary tumor cell lines, which form an important addition to the existing preclinical models for BRCA-mutated breast cancer. The exquisite sensitivity of these cells to the PARP inhibitor AZD2281, alone or in combination with cisplatin, provides strong support for AZD2281 as a novel targeted therapeutic against BRCA-deficient cancers.
    Clinical Cancer Research 07/2008; 14(12):3916-25. · 7.84 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2008; 6(12):154-154.
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    Breast Cancer Research 01/2008; 10:1-1. · 5.33 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2008; 6(12):175-176.
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    ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy that is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection focuses primarily on targeting virally encoded proteins. However, the combination of a short retroviral life cycle and high mutation rate leads to the selection of drug-resistant HIV-1 variants. One way to address this problem is to inhibit non-essential host cell proteins that are required for viral replication. Here we show that the activity of HIV-1 integrase stimulates an ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated (ATM)-dependent DNA damage response, and that a deficiency of this ATM kinase sensitizes cells to retrovirus-induced cell death. Consistent with these observations, we demonstrate that a novel and specific small molecule inhibitor of ATM kinase activity, KU-55933, is capable of suppressing the replication of both wild-type and drug-resistant HIV-1.
    Nature Cell Biology 06/2005; 7(5):493-500. · 20.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Specialized DNA polymerases are required to bypass DNA damage lesions that would otherwise cause replication arrest and cell death. When operating on non-canonical templates, such as undamaged DNA or on non-cognate lesions, these polymerases exhibit considerably reduced fidelity, resulting in the generation of mutations. Ectopic overexpression of these polymerases can also lead to an increased mutation rate and an enhanced capability of DNA repair, suggesting that they could potentially act as oncogenes if they were overexpressed in cancers. Here, we examine expression patterns of DNA polymerases in matched normal and tumor samples from a diverse range of tissues. As well as investigating the specialized polymerases beta, lambda, iota and kappa, we also investigate the expression of the replicative polymerases alpha, delta and epsilon. The data presented provide evidence for the overexpression of specialized polymerases in tumors, with more than 45% of the 68 tumor samples studied demonstrating greater than two-fold enhanced expression of at least one specialized polymerase. Of particular note, DNA polymerase beta (pol beta) was found to be overexpressed at both the mRNA and protein level in approximately one third of all tumor types studied, with overexpression being particularly frequent in uterus, ovary, prostate and stomach samples. Pols lambda, and iota were also found to be overexpressed to a significant extent in a range of tumor types, albeit less frequently than pol beta. In contrast, pol kappa was rarely found to be overexpressed in tumors but was found to be commonly underexpressed in many samples. Downregulation of pol beta expression by siRNA resulted in an increased sensitivity to the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin, suggesting a role for this polymerase in providing tolerance to cisplatin-induced damage. These observations suggest that specialised DNA polymerases, and particularly pol beta, could be considered both as caretaker genes altered during tumorigenesis, and as potential drug targets to sensitise tumors to chemotherapy.
    DNA Repair 06/2005; 4(5):583-93. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reverse transcription of retroviral RNA into linear double-stranded DNA and its integration into the host cell genome are essential steps in the retroviral life cycle. The nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) DNA repair pathway has been implicated in protecting cells from retrovirus-induced apoptosis caused by strand breaks in host cell DNA or unintegrated linear viral DNA. In eukaryotes, both the NHEJ and homologous recombination (HR) pathways play important roles in repairing DNA double-strand breaks. Here we show that the HR repair protein RAD52 modulates the outcome of recombinant HIV-l vector infection by markedly reducing the efficiency of productive integration events. Increased retroviral integration is the first major phenotype described for a RAD52 deficiency in mammalian cells. Mutations in other HR proteins (XRCC2, XRCC3 and BRCA2) do not markedly affect retroviral transduction rates, suggesting that the HR repair pathway per se does not influence retroviral infection. Instead, the mechanism of attenuation of retroviral infection by RAD52 appears to be based upon competition between the RAD52 protein and active integration complexes for the retroviral cDNA genome.
    The EMBO Journal 09/2004; 23(16):3421-9. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have started a project in collaboration with Jos Jonkers (NKI-AVL) to study resistance mechanisms in 'spontaneous' tumors arising in mice, conditionally defective in p53 and Brca1. These mice contain floxed alleles of these two genes and a Cre recombinase gene driven by a Keratin14 promotor, active only in epithelial cells, resulting in breast (and skin) cancer. When treated with the maximum tolerable dose of doxorubicin, docetaxel or topotecan, the breast tumors initially respond but eventually always develop resistance. Resistance is often associated with upregulation of the Mdr1a and Mdr1b genes (Abcb1), which encode drug-transporting P-glyco- proteins and we have shown with specific inhibitors that remarkably low levels of Abcb1 upregulation (3-fold the levels in sensitive tumors) suffice to make the tumor multidrug resistant. We are also using this mouse model to test new anticancer drugs and drug combinations. Impressive tumor regression has been obtained with a new inhibitor of Poly-ADP-ribose polymerase I (PARPI) in collaboration with AstraZeneca. We are crossing disrupted alleles for the Abcb1 and Abcg2 genes into our mouse model to further test the importance of these transporters in drug resistance and to uncover other forms of resistance not mediated by transporters. In contrast to the results obtained with MDR drugs, we have been unable to obtain cisplatin resistance in this tumor model. The tumors respond to each new treatment with cisplatin, but are never fully eradicated.