A L Harris

University of Oxford, Oxford, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (492)3222.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose:To assess whether the combination of letrozole, metronomic cyclophosphamide and sorafenib (LCS) is well tolerated and shows activity in primary breast cancer (BC).Methods:Thirteen oestrogen receptor-positive, postmenopausal, T2-4, N0-1 BC patients received the LCS combination for 6 months. In these patients we examined the pharmacokinetics of sorafenib and cyclophosphamide, toxicity of the regimen, the clinical response to therapy and changes in the levels of biologically relevant biomarkers.Results:Adequate plasma concentrations of sorafenib were achieved in patients when it was dosed in combination with L+C. The mean plasma concentrations of C were consistently lower following administration of LCS, compared with administration of L+C only. The most common drug-related grade 3/4 adverse events were skin rash (69.3%), hand-foot skin reaction (69.3%) and diarrhoea (46.1%). According to RECIST Criteria, a clinical complete response was observed in 6 of 13 patients. A significant reduction in tumour size, evaluated with MRI, was also observed between baseline and 14 days of treatment in all 13 patients (P=0.005). A significant reduction in SUV uptake, measured by (18)FDG-PET/CT, was observed in all patients between baseline and 30 days of treatment (P=0.015) and between baseline and definitive surgery (P=0.0002). Using modified CT Criteria, a response was demonstrated in 8 out of 10 evaluable patients at 30 days and in 11 out of 13 evaluable patients at the definitive surgery. A significant reduction in Ki67 expression was observed in all patients at day 14 compared with baseline (P<0.00001) and in 9 out of 13 patients at the definitive surgery compared with baseline (P<0.03). There was also a significant suppression of CD31 and VEGF-A expression in response to treatment (P=0.01 and P=0.007, respectively).Conclusions:The LCS combination is feasible and tolerable. The tumour response and target biomarker modulation indicate that the combination is clinically and biologically active.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication 2 December 2014. doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.563 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 12/2014; · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of cellular transcriptional responses, mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), is common in many types of cancer, and generally confers a poor prognosis. Known to induce many hundreds of protein-coding genes, HIF has also recently been shown to be a key regulator of the non-coding transcriptional response. Here, we show that NEAT1 long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) is a direct transcriptional target of HIF in many breast cancer cell lines and in solid tumors. Unlike previously described lncRNAs, NEAT1 is regulated principally by HIF-2 rather than by HIF-1. NEAT1 is a nuclear lncRNA that is an essential structural component of paraspeckles and the hypoxic induction of NEAT1 induces paraspeckle formation in a manner that is dependent upon both NEAT1 and on HIF-2. Paraspeckles are multifunction nuclear structures that sequester transcriptionally active proteins as well as RNA transcripts that have been subjected to adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) editing. We show that the nuclear retention of one such transcript, F11R (also known as junctional adhesion molecule 1, JAM1), in hypoxia is dependent upon the hypoxic increase in NEAT1, thereby conferring a novel mechanism of HIF-dependent gene regulation. Induction of NEAT1 in hypoxia also leads to accelerated cellular proliferation, improved clonogenic survival and reduced apoptosis, all of which are hallmarks of increased tumorigenesis. Furthermore, in patients with breast cancer, high tumor NEAT1 expression correlates with poor survival. Taken together, these results indicate a new role for HIF transcriptional pathways in the regulation of nuclear structure and that this contributes to the pro-tumorigenic hypoxia-phenotype in breast cancer.Oncogene advance online publication, 24 November 2014; doi:10.1038/onc.2014.378.
    Oncogene 11/2014; · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stable isotopes are ideal labels for studying biological processes because they have little or no effect on the biochemical properties of target molecules. The NanoSIMS is a tool that can image the distribution of stable isotope labels with up to 50 nm spatial resolution and with good quantitation. This combination of features has enabled several groups to undertake significant experiments on biological problems in the last decade. Combining the NanoSIMS with other imaging techniques also enables us to obtain not only chemical information but also the structural information needed to understand biological processes. This article describes the methodologies that we have developed to correlate atomic force microscopy and backscattered electron imaging with NanoSIMS experiments to illustrate the imaging of stable isotopes at molecular, cellular, and tissue scales. Our studies make it possible to address 3 biological problems: (1) the interaction of antimicrobial peptides with membranes; (2) glutamine metabolism in cancer cells; and (3) lipoprotein interactions in different tissues.
    Methods 07/2014; · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Stratification of patients for treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is suboptimal, with high systemic overtreatment rates.Methods:A training set of 95 tumours from women with pure DCIS were immunostained for proteins involved in cell survival, hypoxia, growth factor and hormone signalling. A generalised linear regression with regularisation and variable selection was applied to a multiple covariate Cox survival analysis with recurrence-free survival 10-fold cross-validation and leave-one-out iterative approach were used to build and test the model that was validated using an independent cohort of 58 patients with pure DCIS. The clinical role of a COX-2-targeting agent was then tested in a proof-of-concept neoadjuvant randomised trial in ER-positive DCIS treated with exemestane 25 mg day-1±celecoxib 800 mg day-1.Results:The COX-2 expression was an independent prognostic factor for early relapse in the training (HR 37.47 (95% CI: 5.56-252.74) P=0.0001) and independent validation cohort (HR 3.9 (95% CI: 1.8-8.3) P=0.002). There was no significant interaction with other clinicopathological variables. A statistically significant reduction of Ki-67 expression after treatment with exemestane±celecoxib was observed (P<0.02) with greater reduction in the combination arm (P<0.004). Concomitant reduction in COX-2 expression was statistically significant in the exemestane and celecoxib arm (P<0.03) only.Conclusions:In patients with DCIS, COX-2 may predict recurrence, aiding clinical decision making. A combination of an aromatase inhibitor and celecoxib has significant biological effect and may be integrated into treatment of COX2-positive DCIS at high risk of recurrence.
    British Journal of Cancer 05/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Although Trastuzumab has improved survival of HER2+ breast cancer patients, resistance to the agent pre-exists or develops through the course of therapy. Here we show that a specific metabolism and autophagy-related cancer cell phenotype relates to resistance of HER2+ breast cancer to Trastuzumab and chemotherapy.Methods:Twenty-eight patients with locally advanced primary breast cancer were prospectively scheduled to received one cycle of Trastuzumab followed by a new biopsy on day 21, followed by taxol/Trastuzumab chemotherapy for four cycles before surgery. FDG PET/CT scan was used to monitor tumour response. Tissue samples were immunohistochemically analysed for metabolism and autophagy markers.Results:In pre-Trastuzumab biopsies, the LC3A+/HER2+ cell population was correlated with HIF1α expression (P=0.01), while GLUT1 and LC3B expression were correlated with Ki67 proliferation index (P=0.01 and P=0.01, respectively). FDG PET tumour dimensions before therapy were correlated with LC3B expression (P=0.005). Administration of Trastuzumab significantly reduced clinical and PET-detected tumour dimensions (P<0.01). An inverse association of tumour response with the percentage of cells expressing HIF1α at baseline was documented (P=0.01). Administration of Trastuzumab resulted in a decrease of the proliferation index (P=0.004), GLUT1 (P=0.04) and HER2 (P=0.01) expression. In contrast, the percentage of LC3A+/HER2+ cells was increased (P=0.01). High baseline HIF1α expression was the only parameter associated with poorer pathological response to preoperative chemotherapy (P=0.001).Conclusions:As the HER2+/LC3A+ phenotype, which often overexpresses HIF1α, is a major subpopulation increasing after therapy with Trastuzumab, LC3A- and HIF1α-targeting therapies should be investigated for the augmentation of anti-HER2 therapy efficacy.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 10 April 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.196 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:The lipogenic transcription factor carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP) may play a key role in malignant progression of breast cancer by allowing metabolic adaptations to take place in response to changes in oxygenation.Methods:Immunohistochemical analysis of ChREBP was carried out in human breast tumour tissue microarrays representative of malignant progression from normal breast through to metastatic cancer. The ChREBP protein and mRNA expressions were then analysed in a series of breast cancers for correlative analysis with common and breast-specific hypoxia signatures, and survival.Results:In invasive ductal carcinoma, ChREBP correlated significantly with mean 'downregulated' hypoxia scores (r=0.3, P<0.015, n=67) and in two distinct breast progression arrays, ChREBP protein also increased with malignant progression (P<0.001). However, bioinformatic analysis of a large data set (2136 cases) revealed an apparent reversal in the relationship between ChREBP mRNA level and clinical outcome - not only being significantly correlated with increased survival (log rank P<0.001), but also downregulated in malignant tissue compared with adjacent normal tissue.Conclusion:The ChREBP expression may be reflective of an aerobic metabolic phenotype that may conflict with hypoxia-induced signalling but provide a mechanism for growth at the oxygenated edge of the tumours.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 24 December 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.765 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 12/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Non-muscle invasive (NMI) bladder cancer is characterised by increased expression and activating mutations of FGFR3. We have previously investigated the role of microRNAs in bladder cancer and have shown that FGFR3 is a target of miR-100. In this study, we investigated the effects of hypoxia on miR-100 and FGFR3 expression, and the link between miR-100 and FGFR3 in hypoxia.Methods:Bladder cancer cell lines were exposed to normoxic or hypoxic conditions and examined for the expression of FGFR3 by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and western blotting, and miR-100 by qPCR. The effect of FGFR3 and miR-100 on cell viability in two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) was examined by transfecting siRNA or mimic-100, respectively.Results:In NMI bladder cancer cell lines, FGFR3 expression was induced by hypoxia in a transcriptional and HIF-1α-dependent manner. Increased FGFR3 was also in part dependent on miR-100 levels, which decreased in hypoxia. Knockdown of FGFR3 led to a decrease in phosphorylation of the downstream kinases mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and protein kinase B (PKB), which was more pronounced under hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, transfection of mimic-100 also decreased phosphorylation of MAPK and PKB. Finally, knocking down FGFR3 profoundly decreased 2-D and 3-D cell growth, whereas introduction of mimic-100 decreased 3-D growth of cells.Conclusion:Hypoxia, in part via suppression of miR-100, induces FGFR3 expression in bladder cancer, both of which have an important role in maintaining cell viability under conditions of stress.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication 18 June 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.240 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 06/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:The objective of this study was to determine the optimal scheduling of 2.5 mg daily letrozole in neoadjuvant breast cancer patients to obtain pathological complete response (pathCR) and assess Ki-67 expression as an early predictor of response.Patients and methods:This single institution study comprised 120 oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive postmenopausal women with primary breast cancer (clinical stage T2, N0-1), from three sequential cohorts (cohort A of 40, cohort B of 40 and cohort C of 40 patients, respectively) based on different duration of the neoadjuvant letrozole. Biological markers such as ER, progesterone receptor, HER2 and Ki-67 expression were tested at diagnosis and at definitive surgery.Results:A total of 89 patients (75.4%) achieved an objective response with 44 (37.3%) clinical CRs and 45 (38.1%) partial responses. The clinical CRs were significantly observed in cohort C (23 out of 40 patients, 57.5%) and B (16 out of 38 patients, 42.1%) compared with cohort A (5 out of 40 patients, 12.5%) (P-value for trend <0.001). Letrozole induced a similar significant reduction in Ki-67 index after treatment in all cohorts. The pathCR rate was significantly more frequent in cohort C (7 out of 40 patients, 17.5%) than in cohort A (1 out of 40 patients, 2.5%) and B (2 out of 40 patients, 5.0%) (P-value for trend <0.04).Conclusion:One-year neoadjuvant letrozole therapy leads to a higher pathCR rate and may be the optimal length of drug exposure.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 11 April 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.151 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2013; 108(8). · 5.08 Impact Factor
    This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched format
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Clear cell renal cancer frequently harbours von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene mutations, leading to stabilisation of the hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) and expression of their target genes. We investigated HIF-1 and HIF-2 in the regulation of microRNA-210 (miR-210), and its clinical relevance in renal tumours.Methods:RCC4 and 786-O renal cancer cell lines transfected with either an empty vector or functional VHL and incubated in normoxia or hypoxia were examined for miR-210 expression. Hypoxia-inducible factor siRNAs were used to examine their regulation of miR-210. Seventy-one clear cell renal tumours were sequenced for VHL mutations. Expression of miR-210, VHL, CA9, ISCU and Ki-67 were determined by immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR.Results:In addition to HIF-1 regulating miR-210 in renal cancer, HIF-2 can regulate this microRNA in the absence of HIF-1. MicroRNA-210 is upregulated in renal cancer compared with normal renal cortex tissue. MicroRNA-210 correlates negatively with its gene target ISCU at the protein and mRNA level. MicroRNA-210 correlated with positive outcome variables and negatively with Ki-67.Conclusion:We provide further evidence of miR-210 activity in vivo, and show that high miR-210 expression is associated with better clinico-pathological prognostic factors.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 28 February 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.56 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 02/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • U Harjes, K Bensaad, A L Harris
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    ABSTRACT: Tumour tissue is characterised by fluctuating oxygen concentrations, decreased nutrient supply, and acidic pH. The primarily glycolytic metabolism of tumour cells contributes to this, with increased glucose consumption and increased lactate secretion. Endothelial cells are particularly challenged when recruited towards the tumour metabolic environment. They are required to proliferate and form functional networks in order to establish continuous blood flow. Considering that deregulated metabolism is an emerging hallmark of cancer and target of tumour therapy, it is of importance to incorporate the current knowledge about how the tumour metabolic environment, as a therapy target, can affect endothelial cell metabolism and the angiogenic response. Recent studies have shown differences in metabolic pathways in endothelial cells compared with other normal or tumour tissues. Therefore, we have reviewed relevant literature on endothelial metabolism and the response to angiogenic activation in conditions of metabolic stress.
    British Journal of Cancer 10/2012; 107(8):1207-12. · 5.08 Impact Factor
    This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched format
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Pharmacological inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, like vatalanib, have been tested in randomised trials (CONFIRM (Colorectal Oral Novel therapy For the Inhibition of Angiogenesis and Retarding of Metastases) 1 and 2) in colorectal cancer showing activity in a subgroup of patients with high serum LDH expression. In the current study, we assessed the predictive role of vascular density (VD) in patients treated in the above trials.Methods:Paraffin-embedded materials from 141 patients were analysed with immunohistochemistry for the expression of the CD31 (pan-endothelial cell marker) and of phosphorylated pVEGFR2/KDR on endothelial cells. The VD was correlated with response to therapy and with progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS).Results:A significant association of pVEGFR2/KDR+ VD with poor response in the placebo group was noted (response rates (RRs) 15% (3/20) when high VD vs 52% (26/50) when low VD; P=0.006). The RR increased from 15 (3/20) to 50% (11/22) in tumours with high VD when vatalanib was added to chemotherapy (P=0.02). A significantly improved PFS was noted in patients with high pVEGFR2/KDR+ VD when treated with vatalanib (P=0.002). A similar effect was also noted in patients with high CD31+ VD (P=0.07). Overall survival was marginally improved (P=0.07).Conclusion:Assessment of the activated vessel density may allow the stratification of patients recruited in randomised trials with VEGFR-targeting anti-angiogenic agents, unmasking their therapeutic potential and enabling their introduction in the clinical practice for the benefit of specific patient subgroups, at the same time reducing the cost of therapy.
    British Journal of Cancer 08/2012; 107(7):1044-50. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • British Journal of Cancer 03/2012; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tumour suppressor PTEN is a key negative regulator of the PI3K-Akt pathway, and is frequently either reduced or lost in human tumours. Murine genetic studies have confirmed that reduction of Pten promotes tumourigenesis in multiple organs, and demonstrated dependency of tumour development on the activation of downstream components such as Akt. Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) act via IGF1R to activate the PI3K-Akt pathway, and are commonly upregulated in cancer. A context-dependent interplay between IGFs and PTEN exists in normal tissue and tumours; increased IGF2 ligand supply induces Pten expression creating an autoregulatory negative feedback loop, whereas complete loss of PTEN may either cooperate with IGF overexpression in tumour promotion, or result in desensitisation to IGF ligand. However, it remains unknown whether neoplasia associated with Pten loss is dependent on upstream IGF ligand supply in vivo. We evaluated this by generation of Pten(+/-) mice with differing allelic dosage of Igf2, an imprinted gene encoding the potent embryonic and tumour growth factor Igf2. We show that biallelic Igf2 supply potentiates a previously unreported Pten(+/-) placental phenotype and results in strain-dependent cardiac hyperplasia and neonatal lethality. Importantly, we also show that the effects of Pten loss in vivo are modified by Igf2 supply, as lack of Igf2 results in extended survival and delayed tumour development while biallelic supply is associated with reduced lifespan and accelerated neoplasia in females. Furthermore, we demonstrate that reduction of PTEN protein to heterozygote levels in human MCF7 cells is associated with increased proliferation in response to IGF2, and does not result in desensitisation to IGF2 signalling. These data indicate that the effects of Pten loss at heterozygote levels commonly observed in human tumours are modified by Igf2 ligand, and emphasise the importance of the evaluation of upstream pathways in tumours with Pten loss.
    Oncogene 11/2011; 31(31):3635-46. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The family of ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase) proteins has been implicated in tumor initiation and progression. ADAM17/tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα)-converting enzyme (TACE) has been initially recognized to release TNFα as well as its receptors (TNFRs) from the membrane. ADAM17, TNFα and TNFR have been found upregulated in cancer patients, although the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. As hypoxia is a hallmark of cancer that can lead to severe stress conditions accumulating in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR), we investigated the role of these stress conditions in the regulation of ADAM17 and release of TNFR1.We found that severe hypoxia induced ADAM17 expression and activity. Although hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) was important to maintain basal ADAM17 mRNA levels during moderate hypoxia, it was not sufficient to induce ADAM17 levels under severe hypoxia. Instead, we found that ADAM17 induction by severe hypoxia can be mimicked by ER stressors such as Thapsigargin and occurs as a consequence of the activation of the PERK/eIF2α/ATF4 and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) arms of UPR in several tumor cell lines. ADAM17 expression was also increased in xenografts displaying ER stress because of treatment with the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitory antibody Bevacizumab. Additionally, severe hypoxia and ER stress activated ADAM17 and ectodomain shedding of TNFR1 involving mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Collectively, these results show that ADAM17 is a novel UPR-regulated gene in response to severe hypoxia and ER stress, which is actively involved in the release of TNFR1 under these conditions. These data provide a novel link between severe hypoxic stress conditions and inflammation in the tumor environment.
    Oncogene 11/2011; 31(31):3621-34. · 8.56 Impact Factor
  • British Journal of Cancer 10/2011; 105(8):1252. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The risk of recurrence following surgery in women with early breast cancer varies, depending upon prognostic factors. Adjuvant chemotherapy reduces this risk; however, increasingly effective regimens are associated with higher costs and toxicity profiles, making it likely that different regimens may be cost-effective for women with differing prognoses. To investigate this we performed a cost-effectiveness analysis of four treatment strategies: (1) no chemotherapy, (2) chemotherapy using cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF) (a first generation regimen), (3) chemotherapy using Epirubicin-CMF (E-CMF) or fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FEC60) (a second generation regimens), and (4) chemotherapy with FEC60 followed by docetaxel (FEC-D) (a third generation regimen). These adjuvant chemotherapy regimens were used in three large UK-led randomised controlled trials (RCTs). A Markov model was used to simulate the natural progression of early breast cancer and the impact of chemotherapy on modifying this process. The probability of a first recurrent event within the model was estimated for women with different prognostic risk profiles using a parametric regression-based survival model incorporating established prognostic factors. Other probabilities, treatment effects, costs and quality of life weights were estimated primarily using data from the three UK-led RCTs, a meta-analysis of all relevant RCTs, and other published literature. The model predicted the lifetime costs, quality adjusted life years (QALYs) and cost-effectiveness of the four strategies for women with differing prognoses. Sensitivity analyses investigated the impact of uncertain parameters and model assumptions. For women with an average to high risk of recurrence (based upon prognostic factors and any other adjuvant therapies received), FEC-D appeared most cost-effective assuming a threshold of £20,000 per QALY for the National Health Service (NHS). For younger low risk women, E-CMF/FEC60 tended to be the optimal strategy and, for some older low risk women, the model suggested a policy of no chemotherapy was cost-effective. For no patient group was CMF chemotherapy the preferred option. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated cost-effectiveness results to be particularly sensitive to the treatment effect estimate for FEC-D and the future price of docetaxel. To our knowledge, this analysis is the first cost-effectiveness comparison of no chemotherapy, and first, second, and third generation adjuvant chemotherapy regimens for early breast cancer patients with differing prognoses. The results demonstrate the potential for different treatment strategies to be cost-effective for different types of patients. These findings may prove useful for policy makers attempting to formulate cost-effective treatment guidelines in the field of early breast cancer.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 07/2011; 47(17):2517-30. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Combined therapy of metronomic cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and high-dose celecoxib targeting angiogenesis was used in a phase II trial. Patients with advanced cancer received oral cyclophosphamide 50 mg o.d., celecoxib 400 mg b.d. and methotrexate 2.5 mg b.d. for two consecutive days each week. Response was determined every 8 weeks; toxicity was evaluated according to CTC version 2.0. Plasma markers of inflammation, coagulation and angiogenesis were measured. Sixty-seven of 69 patients were evaluable for response. Twenty-three patients had stable disease (SD) after 8 weeks, but there were no objective responses to therapy. Median time to progression was 57 days. There was a low incidence of toxicities. Among plasma markers, levels of tissue factor were higher in the SD group of patients at baseline, and levels of both angiopoietin-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 increased in the progressive disease group only. There were no changes in other plasma markers. This metronomic approach has negligible activity in advanced cancer albeit with minimal toxicity. Analysis of plasma markers indicates minimal effects on endothelium in this trial. These data for this particular regimen do not support basic tenets of metronomic chemotherapy, such as the ability to overcome resistant tumours by targeting the endothelium.
    British Journal of Cancer 06/2011; 104(12):1822-7. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Junction-mediating and regulatory protein (JMY) is a novel p53 cofactor that regulates p53 activity during stress. JMY interacts with p300/CBP, which are ubiquitous transcriptional co-activators that interact with a variety of sequence-specific transcription factors, including hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). In addition, JMY is an actin-nucleating protein, which, through its WH2 domains, stimulates cell motility. In this study, we show that JMY is upregulated during hypoxia in a HIF-1α-dependent manner. The JMY gene contains HIF-responsive elements in its promoter region and HIF-1α is recruited to its promoter during hypoxia. HIF-1α drives transcription of JMY, which accounts for its induction under hypoxia. Moreover, the enhanced cell motility and invasion that occurs during hypoxia requires JMY, as depleting JMY under hypoxic conditions causes decreased cell motility. Our results establish the interplay between JMY and HIF-1α as a new mechanism that controls cell motility under hypoxic stress.
    Oncogene 05/2011; 30(48):4835-42. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate small-nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) as reference genes when measuring miRNA expression in tumour samples, given emerging evidence for their role in cancer. Four snoRNAs, commonly used for normalisation, RNU44, RNU48, RNU43 and RNU6B, and miRNA known to be associated with pathological factors, were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction in two patient series: 219 breast cancer and 46 head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). SnoRNA and miRNA were then correlated with clinicopathological features and prognosis. Small-nucleolar RNA expression was as variable as miRNA expression (miR-21, miR-210, miR-10b). Normalising miRNA PCR expression data to these recommended snoRNAs introduced bias in associations between miRNA and pathology or outcome. Low snoRNA expression correlated with markers of aggressive pathology. Low levels of RNU44 were associated with a poor prognosis. RNU44 is an intronic gene in a cluster of highly conserved snoRNAs in the growth arrest specific 5 (GAS5) transcript, which is normally upregulated to arrest cell growth under stress. Low-tumour GAS5 expression was associated with a poor prognosis. RNU48 and RNU43 were also identified as intronic snoRNAs within genes that are dysregulated in cancer. Small-nucleolar RNAs are important in cancer prognosis, and their use as reference genes can introduce bias when determining miRNA expression.
    British Journal of Cancer 03/2011; 104(7):1168-77. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • European Urology Supplements 03/2011; 10(2):167-167. · 3.37 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

25k Citations
3,222.54 Total Impact Points


  • 1991–2014
    • University of Oxford
      • • Department of Oncology
      • • Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
      • • Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1990–2014
    • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
      • • Molecular Oncology Laboratory
      • • Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2002–2010
    • Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
    • Oxford Brookes University
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1998–2010
    • Democritus University of Thrace
      • Department of Internal Medicine I
      Komotiní, Anatoliki Makedonia kai Thraki, Greece
    • New York State
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2009
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 2008
    • NHS Blood and Transplant
      Watford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Stanford, CA, United States
  • 2003–2007
    • University of Antwerp
      • • Labo Pathofysiologie
      • • Department of Pathology
      Antwerpen, VLG, Belgium
    • University of Manitoba
      • Department of Pathology
      Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2005
    • Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2003–2005
    • Cancer Research UK
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2001
    • Texas A&M University
      • Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
      College Station, TX, United States
  • 2000–2001
    • Canterbury District Health Board
      • Department of Oncology Services
      Christchurch, Canterbury Region, New Zealand
    • The University of Sheffield
      Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
    • Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center
      Kallithea, Attica, Greece
    • The Institute for Molecular Medicine
      Huntington Beach, California, United States
  • 1999–2001
    • University Hospital of Heraklion
      • Department of Gastroenterology
      Irákleio, Attica, Greece
  • 1998–2000
    • The University of Manchester
      • School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
      Manchester, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1996
    • Institute of Cancer Research
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1993–1996
    • San Bortolo Hospital
      Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
  • 1995
    • The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
      • Breast Unit
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Harper University Hospital
      Detroit, Michigan, United States
    • University of Naples Federico II
      • Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 1985–1993
    • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
      • • Department of Respiratory Medicine
      • • Department of Clinical Biochemistry
      Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom
  • 1985–1990
    • Newcastle University
      • Northern Institute for Cancer Research
      Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom
  • 1986–1988
    • University of Newcastle
      Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia