[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical development of cancer drugs has a low success rate. Prognostic and predictive biomarkers using minimally invasive approaches hold promise for increasing the probability of success by enabling disease characterization, patient selection and early detection of drug treatment effect. Enumeration and molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTC) may address some of these needs, and thus were evaluated for utility in a Phase I solid tumor clinical study.
Blood samples for CTC analysis were obtained from 24 cancer patients in a multi-center all-comer Phase I study of MEDI-575, a novel anti-PDGFRα antibody. Samples were taken at screening and analyzed for enumeration of CTC using the CellSearch(®) platform and for molecular characterization using a novel quantitative RT-PCR assay.
Fifty-nine percent of the patients showed at least 1 CTC per 7.5 ml of blood at baseline. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of patients with 0 CTCs at baseline were longer than PFS and Os for patients with 1-3 and >3 CTCs (8.8 versus 1.4 and 1.3 months PFS, P = 0.02; 9.0 vs 7.4 and 3.5 months OS, P = 0.20, respectively). Patients with 0 CTC showed a greater percentage of stable disease than the other 2 groups with 1-3 and >3 CTCs (57% vs 29% and 0%). The multimarker qRT-PCR method detected CTC in 40% of the patients, and 80% of these patients were positive for pre-selected drug target genes.
CTC enumeration of patients in an all-comer study is feasible and may allow for patient stratification for PFS and Os to evaluate the clinical response of investigational agents. Gene expression profiling of isolated CTC may provide a means for molecular characterization of selected tumor targets.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e58557. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Targeting the cell-surface receptor EphA2, which is highly expressed in some solid tumors, is a novel approach for cancer therapy. We aimed to evaluate the safety profile, maximum tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of MEDI-547, an antibody drug conjugate composed of the cytotoxic drug auristatin (toxin) linked to a human anti-EphA2 monoclonal antibody (1C1), in patients with solid tumors relapsed/refractory to standard therapy. Methods In this phase 1, open-label study with planned dose-escalation and dose-expansion cohorts, patients received a 1-h intravenous infusion of MEDI-547 (0.08 mg/kg) every 3 weeks. Results Six patients received 0.08 mg/kg; all discontinued treatment. Dose escalation was not pursued. The study was stopped before cohort 2 enrollment due to treatment-related bleeding and coagulation events (hemorrhage-related, n = 3; epistaxis, n = 2). Therefore, lower doses were not explored and an MTD could not be selected. The most frequently reported treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were increased liver enzymes, decreased hemoglobin, decreased appetite, and epistaxis. Three patients (50%) experienced treatment-related serious AEs, including conjunctival hemorrhage, pain (led to study drug discontinuation), liver disorder, and hemorrhage. Best response included progressive disease (n = 5; 83.3%) and stable disease (n = 1; 16.7%). Minimal or no dissociation of toxin from 1C1 conjugate occurred in the blood. Serum MEDI-547 concentrations decreased rapidly, ~70% by 3 days post-dose. No accumulation of MEDI-547 was observed at 0.08 mg/kg upon administration of a second dose 3 weeks following dose 1. Conclusions The safety profile of MEDI-547 does not support further clinical investigation in patients with advanced solid tumors.
Investigational New Drugs 02/2012; · 3.50 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To conduct a phase I dose-escalation trial assessing safety and response of recombinant immunotoxin moxetumomab pasudotox (CAT-8015, HA22) in chemotherapy-resistant hairy cell leukemia (HCL).
Eligible patients had relapsed/refractory HCL after ≥ two prior therapies and required treatment because of abnormal blood counts. Patients received moxetumomab pasudotox 5 to 50 μg/kg every other day for three doses (QOD ×3), with up to 16 cycles repeating at ≥ 4-week intervals if patients did not experience disease progression or develop neutralizing antibodies.
Twenty-eight patients were enrolled, including three patients each at 5, 10, 20, and 30 μg/kg, four patients at 40 μg/kg, and 12 patients at 50 μg/kg QOD ×3 for one to 16 cycles each (median, four cycles). Dose-limiting toxicity was not observed. Two patients had transient laboratory abnormalities consistent with grade 2 hemolytic uremic syndrome with peak creatinine of 1.53 to 1.66 mg/dL and platelet nadir of 106,000 to 120,000/μL. Drug-related toxicities in 25% to 64% of the 28 patients included (in decreasing frequency) grade 1 to 2 hypoalbuminemia, aminotransferase elevations, edema, headache, hypotension, nausea, and fatigue. Of 26 patients evaluable for immunogenicity, 10 patients (38%) made antibodies neutralizing more than 75% of the cytotoxicity of 1,000 ng/mL of immunotoxin, but this immunogenicity was rare (5%) after cycle 1. The overall response rate was 86%, with responses observed at all dose levels, and 13 patients (46%) achieved complete remission (CR). Only 1 CR lasted less than 1 year, with the median disease-free survival time not yet reached at 26 months.
Moxetumomab pasudotox at doses up to 50 μg/kg QOD ×3 has activity in relapsed/refractory HCL and has a safety profile that supports further clinical development for treatment of this disease.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 02/2012; 30(15):1822-8. · 18.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) are clinically similar disorders characterized by microvascular thrombosis, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia, and end-organ damage. Although they may present with overlapping symptoms, multiple etiologies have been proposed for these thrombotic microangiopathies (TMA). Chemotherapy-induced TMA, which has been described with the use of mitomycin, gemcitabine, and other drugs, has a poor prognosis. Recently, reports of TMA associated with targeted cancer agents have surfaced in the literature. We discuss the clinical presentation, outcome, and etiology of TMA reported with the use of immunotoxins, monoclonal antibodies, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. A search of PubMed and meeting abstracts was conducted for cases of TMA with the use of targeted cancer agents. The defining symptoms, laboratory values, time to onset, and patient outcomes were compiled. Consistent definitions of TMA and grading of severity in these cases are lacking. However, presentation of TMA in these cases revealed the importance of monitoring for renal toxicity, hemolysis, and thrombocytopenia. Patient outcomes seem to differ from those seen in cases of chemotherapy-induced TMA and may reflect a different underlying etiology. Little is known about the pathogenesis of TMA with targeted cancer agents. In contrast to chemotherapy-induced TMA, partial to full reversibility may be a common outcome. However, further research is warranted into optimal management of patients diagnosed with TMA following treatment with targeted agents.
Clinical Cancer Research 08/2011; 17(18):5858-66. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously reported on the safety and immunologic response of a poxvirus-based vaccine encoding prostate-specific antigen (PSA) used in combination with radiation therapy in patients with localized prostate cancer. We hypothesized that a "metronomic" dose of interleukin 2 (IL-2) as a biological adjuvant would cause less toxicity while maintaining immunologic response.
Eighteen patients with localized prostate cancer were treated in a single-arm trial using previously established doses of vaccine and radiation therapy. The vaccine used was a recombinant vaccinia virus engineered to encode PSA admixed with a recombinant vaccinia encoding the costimulatory molecule B7.1, followed by booster vaccinations with a recombinant fowlpox vector expressing PSA. Patients received a total of eight planned vaccination cycles, once every 4 weeks, with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor given on days 1 to 4 and interleukin 2 (IL-2) at a dose of 0.6 MIU/M2 given from days 8 to 21 after each vaccination. Definitive external beam radiation therapy was initiated after the third vaccination cycle. Patients were evaluated for safety and immunologic response. Toxicity and immunologic activity were compared with the previously reported regimen containing a higher dose of IL-2.
Seventeen of 18 patients received all eight cycles of vaccine with IL-2. Five of eight HLA-A2+ patients evaluated had an increase in PSA-specific T cells of > or =3-fold. Toxicities were generally mild, with only seven vaccination cycles of 140 given resulting in grade 3 toxicities possibly attributable to IL-2.
Metronomic-dose IL-2 in combination with vaccine and radiation therapy is safe, can induce prostate-specific immune responses, and has immunologic activity similar to low-dose IL-2, with markedly reduced toxicities.
Clinical Cancer Research 08/2008; 14(16):5284-91. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the role of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in the development and progression of cancer is now beginning
to be understood, the importance of signaling by bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) ligands is just becoming clear, and much
less is known about the mechanisms by which BMP signaling may mediate carcinogenesis. We have shown that the Smad proteins
which mediate signals from the BMP cell surface receptors can interact with histone methyltransferases of the Suv39h family,
and that this interaction can contribute to transcriptional repression mediated by BMP signaling. This provides the first
evidence that BMP signaling can modulate chromatin structure through methylation, and may provide a mechanism for maintenance
of suppression originally initiated by Smad signals. Aberrant regulation of this phenomenon is likely to be important both
during tumorigenesis and subsequent malignant progression.
Key WordsHistone methyltransferase-Smad-BMP-cell surface receptors-Suv39h family-chromatin
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) pathway plays dual roles in cancer, inhibiting epithelial cell growth under normal physiologic conditions, but promoting invasion and metastasis once growth inhibitory responses are lost. Two recent papers show that TGF-beta receptor III is the most common TGF-beta pathway component downregulated in prostate cancer. Here, we discuss the implications of these findings and what it may mean about the biology of this disease.
Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 12/2007; 39(5):329-32. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 activity has been shown to increase vascular endothelial barrier permeability, which is believed to precede several pathologic conditions, including pulmonary edema and vessel inflammation. In endothelial monolayers, TGF-beta1 increases permeability, and a number of studies have demonstrated the alteration of cell-cell contacts by TGF-beta1. We hypothesized that focal adhesion complexes also likely contribute to alterations in endothelial permeability. We examined early signal transduction events associated with rapid changes in monolayer permeability and the focal adhesion complex of bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells. Western blotting revealed rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Src kinase in response to TGF-beta1; inhibition of both of these kinases using pp2 (4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine), ameliorates TGF-beta1-induced monolayer permeability. Activation of FAK/Src requires activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor downstream of the TGF-beta receptors, and is blocked by the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor AG1478. Immunohistochemistry showed that actin and the focal adhesion proteins paxillin, vinculin, and hydrogen peroxide-inducible clone-5 (Hic-5) are rearranged in response to TGF-beta1; these proteins are released from focal adhesion complexes. Rearrangement of paxillin and vinculin by TGF-beta1 is not blocked by the FAK/Src inhibitor, pp2, or by SB431542 inhibition of the TGF-beta type I receptor, anaplastic lymphoma kinase 5; however, pp1 (4-Amino-5-(4-methylphenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine), which inhibits both type I and type II TGF-beta receptors, does block paxillin and vinculin rearrangement. Hic-5 protein rearrangement requires FAK/Src activity. Together, these results suggest that TGF-beta1-induced monolayer permeability involves focal adhesion and cytoskeletal rearrangement through both FAK/Src-dependent and -independent pathways.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 11/2007; 37(4):485-93. · 4.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we found that SNIP1 (Smad nuclear-interacting protein 1) associates with c-Myc, a key regulator of cell proliferation and transformation. We demonstrate that SNIP1 functions as an important regulator of c-Myc activity, binding the N terminus of c-Myc through its own C terminus, and that SNIP1 enhances the transcriptional activity of c-Myc both by stabilizing it against proteosomal degradation and by bridging the c-Myc/p300 complex. These effects of SNIP1 on c-Myc likely contribute to synergistic effects of SNIP1, c-Myc, and H-Ras in inducing formation of foci in an in vitro transformation assay and also in supporting anchorage-independent growth. The significant association of SNIP1 and c-Myc staining in a non-small cell lung cancer tissue array is further evidence that their activities might be linked and suggests that SNIP1 might be an important modulator of c-Myc activity in carcinogenesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is the prototypical member of a family of growth factors that play important roles in normal development and human diseases. We identified the gene for fibroblast growth factor-binding protein 1 (FGF-BP1) as being significantly repressed following TGF-beta treatment. FGF-BP1 is an extracellular matrix bound protein that enhances fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling. We demonstrate here that TGF-beta signaling significantly represses FGF-BP1 expression in mesenchymal and neural crest cells undergoing in vitro smooth muscle differentiation. Analysis of the downstream signaling pathways shows that Smad2/3 are crucial for efficient FGF-BP1 repression by TGF-beta. Furthermore, we identified a novel element in the region from -785 to -782 bp of the FGF-BP1 promoter, which represents a known binding site for Hypermethylation in Cancer-1 (Hic-1), necessary for repression of FGF-BP1 by TGF-beta. These data define the molecular mechanism of transcriptional repression of an important target of TGF-beta signaling during angiogenesis.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2006; 345(2):595-601. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently reported that transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta induced the neural crest stem cell line Monc-1 to differentiate into a spindle-like contractile smooth muscle cell (SMC) phenotype and that Smad signaling played an important role in this phenomenon. In addition to Smad signaling, other pathways such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), phosphoinositol-3 kinase, and RhoA have also been shown to mediate TGF-beta actions. The objectives of this study were to examine whether these signaling pathways contribute to TGF-beta-induced SMC development and to test whether Smad signaling cross-talks with other pathway(s) during SMC differentiation induced by TGF-beta. We demonstrate here that RhoA signaling is critical to TGF-beta-induced SMC differentiation. RhoA kinase (ROCK) inhibitor Y27632 significantly blocks the expression of multiple SMC markers such as smooth muscle alpha-actin, SM22alpha, and calponin in TGF-beta-treated Monc-1 cells. In addition, Y27632 reversed the cell morphology and abolished the contractility of TGF-beta-treated cells. RhoA signaling was activated as early as 5 min following TGF-beta addition. Dominant negative RhoA blocked nuclear translocation of Smad2 and Smad3 because of the inhibition of phosphorylation of both Smads and inhibited Smad-dependent SBE promoter activity, whereas constitutively active RhoA significantly enhanced SBE promoter activity. Consistent with these results, C3 exotoxin, an inhibitor of RhoA activation, significantly attenuated SBE promoter activity and inhibited Smad nuclear translocation. Taken together, these data point to a new role for RhoA as a modulator of Smad activation while regulating TGF-beta-induced SMC differentiation.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2006; 281(3):1765-70. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smad proteins transduce signals from transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily ligands to regulate the expression of target genes. In order to identify novel partners of Smad proteins in transcriptional regulation, we performed a two-hybrid screen using Smad5, a protein that is activated predominantly by bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling. We identified an interaction between Smad5 and suppressor of variegation 3-9 homolog 2 (Suv39h2), a chromatin modifier enzyme. Suv39h proteins are histone methyltransferases that methylate histone H3 on lysine 9, resulting in transcriptional repression or silencing of target genes. Biochemical studies in mammalian cells demonstrated that Smad5 binds to both known mammalian isoforms of Suv39h proteins, and that Smad proteins activated by the TGF-beta signaling pathway, Smad2 and Smad3, do not bind with significant affinity. Functional studies using the muscle creatine kinase (MCK) promoter, which is suppressed by BMP signaling, demonstrate that Suv39h proteins and Smads cooperate to repress promoter activity. These data suggest a model where association of Smad proteins with Suv39h methyltransferases can repress or silence genes involved in developmental processes, and argues that inefficient gene repression may result in the alteration of the differentiated phenotype. Thus, examination of the Smad-Suv interaction may provide insight into the mechanism of phenotypic determination mediated by BMP signaling.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During vascular development, nascent endothelial networks are invested with a layer of supporting cells called pericytes in capillaries or smooth muscle in larger vessels. The cellular lineage of smooth muscle precursors and factors responsible for regulating their differentiation remain uncertain. In vivo, cells derived from the multipotent neural crest can give rise to vascular smooth muscle in parts of the head and also the cardiac outflow tract. Although transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) has previously been shown to induce some smooth muscle markers from primary cultures of neural crest stem cells, the extent of the differentiation induced was not clear. In this study, we demonstrate that TGF-beta can induce many of the markers and characteristics of vascular smooth muscle from a neural crest stem cell line, Monc-1. Within 3 days of in vitro treatment, TGF-beta induces multiple smooth muscle-specific markers, while downregulating epithelial markers present on the parent cells. Treatment with TGF-beta also induces a contractile phenotype that responds to the muscarinic agonist carbachol and is not immediately reversed on TGF-beta withdrawal. Examination of the signaling pathways involved revealed that TGF-beta activation of Smad2 and Smad3 appear to be essential for the observed differentiation. Taken together, this system provides a novel model of smooth muscle differentiation that reliably recapitulates the process observed in vivo and allows for dissection of the pathways and processes involved in this process.
Circulation Research 06/2004; 94(9):1195-202. · 11.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smad proteins transduce signals from transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) receptors and regulate transcription of target genes. TGF-beta is implicated in the regulation of the smooth muscle cell specific gene SM22alpha, but little is known about how Smads are involved in SM22alpha gene transcription. In this report, we demonstrate that TGF-beta activation of the SM22alpha promoter is Smad dependent in C3H10T1/2 cells, BALB 3T3 cells and neural crest Monc-1 cells. We find that the promoter region from -162 to +41 is sufficient to up-regulate the reporter gene upon TGF-beta induction. Smad3, Smad1 and Smad4 are found in TGF-beta inducible complexes that bind to a region containing a Smad binding site (SBS) and a medea box. Both the SBS and medea box are necessary for complex formation and are functionally important. Smad4 is limiting for TGF-beta induction, and Smad3, but not Smad1, significantly contributes to maximal activation. Time course luciferase assays and time course gel mobility shift assays reveal that the Smad3/4 complex is largely responsible for the immediate response of the SM22alpha promoter to TGF-beta induction, and also contributes to the maximal promoter activity. We further demonstrate that AP-1 elements contribute to induction of the SM22alpha promoter by TGF-beta.
Nucleic Acids Research 03/2003; 31(4):1302-10. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The intracellular signaling events of the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) involve the R-Smad family members Smad1, Smad5, Smad8 and the Co-Smad, Smad4. Smads are currently considered to be DNA-binding transcriptional modulators and shown to recruit the master transcriptional co-activator CBP/p300 for transcriptional activation. SNIP1 is a recently discovered novel repressor of CBP/p300. Currently, the detailed molecular mechanisms that allow R-Smads and Co-Smad to co-operatively modulate transcription events are not fully understood.
Here we report a novel physical and functional link between Smad1 and the 26S proteasome that contributes to Smad1- and Smad4-mediated transcriptional regulation. Smad1 forms a complex with a proteasome beta subunit HsN3 and the ornithine decarboxylase antizyme (Az). The interaction is enhanced upon BMP type I receptor activation and occur prior to the incorporation of HsN3 into the mature 20S proteasome. Furthermore, BMPs trigger the translocation of Smad1, HsN3 and Az into the nucleus, where the novel CBP/p300 repressor protein SNIP1 is further recruited to Smad1/HsN3/Az complex and degraded in a Smad1-, Smad4- and Az-dependent fashion. The degradation of the CBP/p300 repressor SNIP1 is likely an essential step for Smad1-, Smad4-mediated transcriptional activation, since increased SNIP1 expression inhibits BMP-induced gene responses.
Our studies thus add two additional important functional partners of Smad1 into the signaling web of BMPs and also suggest a novel mechanism for Smad1 and Smad4 to co-modulate transcription via regulating proteasomal degradation of CBP/p300 repressor SNIP1.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The zebrafish mutant violet beauregarde (vbg) can be identified at two days post-fertilization by an abnormal circulation pattern in which most blood cells flow through a limited number of dilated cranial vessels and fail to perfuse the trunk and tail. This phenotype cannot be explained by caudal vessel abnormalities or by a defect in cranial vessel patterning, but instead stems from an increase in endothelial cell number in specific cranial vessels. We show that vbg encodes activin receptor-like kinase 1 (Acvrl1; also known as Alk1), a TGFbeta type I receptor that is expressed predominantly in the endothelium of the vessels that become dilated in vbg mutants. Thus, vbg provides a model for the human autosomal dominant disorder, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 2, in which disruption of ACVRL1 causes vessel malformations that may result in hemorrhage or stroke. Movies available on-line
Development 07/2002; 129(12):3009-19. · 6.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Smad family of intracellular signaling intermediates transduce signals downstream from the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) family of receptor serine threonine kinases. The original member of this family, Smad1, has been shown to mediate signals from receptors for the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), a large group of ligands in the TGF-beta superfamily that mediate important developmental events. We have targeted the Smad1 gene in mice and created mutants null at this locus. Smad1 mutant mice die at approximately 9.5 days postcoitum due to defects in allantois formation. In Smad1 mutant mice, the allantois fails to fuse to the chorion, resulting in a lack of placenta and failure to establish a definitive embryonic circulation. Although vasculogenesis is initiated in the mutant allantois, the vessels formed are disorganized, and VCAM-1 protein, a marker for distal allantois development, is not expressed. Smad1 null fibroblasts are still able to respond to BMP2, however, suggesting that the defect observed in the developing extraembryonic tissue is caused by a very specific loss of transcriptional activity regulated by Smad1. Our data further demonstrate that although highly similar structurally, Smad proteins are not functionally homologous.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily signal through unique cell membrane receptor serine-threonine kinases to activate downstream targets. TRAP1 is a previously described 96-kDa cytoplasmic protein shown to bind to TGF-beta receptors and suggested to play a role in TGF-beta signaling. We now fully characterize the binding properties of TRAP1, and show that it associates strongly with inactive heteromeric TGF-beta and activin receptor complexes and is released upon activation of signaling. Moreover, we demonstrate that TRAP1 plays a role in the Smad-mediated signal transduction pathway, interacting with the common mediator, Smad4, in a ligand-dependent fashion. While TRAP1 has only a small stimulatory effect on TGF-beta signaling in functional assays, deletion constructs of TRAP1 inhibit TGF-beta signaling and diminish the interaction of Smad4 with Smad2. These are the first data to identify a specific molecular chaperone for Smad4, suggesting a model in which TRAP1 brings Smad4 into the vicinity of the receptor complex and facilitates its transfer to the receptor-activated Smad proteins.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2001; 276(22):19495-502. · 4.65 Impact Factor