[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly lethal malignancy due to its propensity to invade and rapidly metastasize and remains very difficult to manage clinically. One major hindrance towards a better understanding of PDAC is the lack of molecular data sets and models representative of end stage disease. Moreover, it remains unclear how molecularly similar patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models are to the primary tumor from which they were derived. To identify potential molecular drivers in metastatic pancreatic cancer progression, we obtained matched primary tumor, metastases and normal (peripheral blood) samples under a rapid autopsy program and performed whole exome sequencing (WES) on tumor as well as normal samples. PDX models were also generated, sequenced and compared to tumors. Across the matched data sets generated for three patients, there were on average approximately 160 single-nucleotide mutations in each sample. The majority of mutations in each patient were shared among the primary and metastatic samples and, importantly, were largely retained in the xenograft models. Based on the mutation prevalence in the primary and metastatic sites, we proposed possible clonal evolution patterns marked by functional mutations affecting cancer genes such as KRAS, TP53 and SMAD4 that may play an important role in tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. These results add to our understanding of pancreatic tumor biology, and demonstrate that PDX models derived from advanced or end-stage likely closely approximate the genetics of the disease in the clinic and thus represent a biologically and clinically relevant pre-clinical platform that may enable the development of effective targeted therapies for PDAC.
PLoS ONE 11/2015; 10(11):e0142631. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0142631 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BRAF V600 mutations occur in various nonmelanoma cancers. We undertook a histology-independent phase 2 "basket" study of vemurafenib in BRAF V600 mutation-positive nonmelanoma cancers.
We enrolled patients in six prespecified cancer cohorts; patients with all other tumor types were enrolled in a seventh cohort. A total of 122 patients with BRAF V600 mutation-positive cancer were treated, including 27 patients with colorectal cancer who received vemurafenib and cetuximab. The primary end point was the response rate; secondary end points included progression-free and overall survival.
In the cohort with non-small-cell lung cancer, the response rate was 42% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20 to 67) and median progression-free survival was 7.3 months (95% CI, 3.5 to 10.8). In the cohort with Erdheim-Chester disease or Langerhans'-cell histiocytosis, the response rate was 43% (95% CI, 18 to 71); the median treatment duration was 5.9 months (range, 0.6 to 18.6), and no patients had disease progression during therapy. There were anecdotal responses among patients with pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, anaplastic thyroid cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, salivary-duct cancer, ovarian cancer, and clear-cell sarcoma and among patients with colorectal cancer who received vemurafenib and cetuximab. Safety was similar to that in prior studies of vemurafenib for melanoma.
BRAF V600 appears to be a targetable oncogene in some, but not all, nonmelanoma cancers. Preliminary vemurafenib activity was observed in non-small-cell lung cancer and in Erdheim-Chester disease and Langerhans'-cell histiocytosis. The histologic context is an important determinant of response in BRAF V600-mutated cancers. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01524978.).
New England Journal of Medicine 08/2015; 373(8):726-36. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1502309 · 55.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models are now being widely used in cancer research and have the potential to greatly inform our understanding of cancer biology. However, many questions remain, especially regarding the ability of PDX models to affect clinical decision making. With these points in mind, we asked three scientists to give their opinions on the generation and uses of PDX models and the future of this field.
Nature Reviews Cancer 04/2015; 15(5):311-6. DOI:10.1038/nrc3944 · 37.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary objective of this phase I study of LY2780301, a dual p70 S6 kinase and Akt inhibitor, was to determine the recommended phase II dose as a single agent in patients with advanced cancer. Secondary objectives included safety, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic analyses, and co-clinical analyses in Avatar models. Eligible patients received total daily doses of LY2780301 100-500 mg, given orally as a single dose or divided into 2 doses for 28-day cycles. Dose escalation followed 3 + 3 design. The primary pharmacodynamic endpoint was inhibition of S6 assessed by skin and tumor biopsy. Thirty-two patients were treated. Common toxicities possibly related to treatment included constipation (19 %), fatigue (13 %), nausea (9 %), and diarrhea (9 %). Grade 3/4 toxicities potentially related to treatment were anemia (n = 2), increased alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT) (n = 1), and increased gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) (n = 1). One patient experienced best overall response of prolonged stable disease for 6 cycles. Plasma exposures of LY2780301 exceeded predicted efficacious exposures, but were not dose proportional. Among patients receiving 500 mg daily >50 % exhibited reduced S6 in skin biopsies at Day 8 of treatment, but the effect was not maintained. Plasma concentrations of LY2780301 and/or its metabolites were not correlated with S6 expression in the epidermis. There was minimal antitumor activity against the model, CRC 019. Avatar models showed minimal pharmacodynamic effects consistent with the observed antitumor effects. This study suggests a dose of LY2780301 500 mg QD for future studies.
Investigational New Drugs 04/2015; 33(3). DOI:10.1007/s10637-015-0241-7 · 2.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent the root of many solid cancers including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, are highly chemoresistant and represent the cellular source for disease relapse. However the mechanisms involved in these processes still need to be fully elucidated. Understanding the mechanisms implicated in chemoresistance and metastasis of pancreatic cancer is critical to improving patient outcomes.
Micro-RNA (miRNA) expression analyses were performed to identify functionally defining epigenetic signatures in pancreatic CSC-enriched sphere-derived cells and gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic CSCs.
We found the miR-17-92 cluster to be downregulated in chemoresistant CSCs versus non-CSCs and demonstrate its crucial relevance for CSC biology. In particular, overexpression of miR-17-92 reduced CSC self-renewal capacity, in vivo tumourigenicity and chemoresistance by targeting multiple NODAL/ACTIVIN/TGF-β1 signalling cascade members as well as directly inhibiting the downstream targets p21, p57 and TBX3. Overexpression of miR-17-92 translated into increased CSC proliferation and their eventual exhaustion via downregulation of p21 and p57. Finally, the translational impact of our findings could be confirmed in preclinical models for pancreatic cancer.
Our findings therefore identify the miR-17-92 cluster as a functionally determining family of miRNAs in CSCs, and highlight the putative potential of developing modulators of this cluster to overcome drug resistance in pancreatic CSCs.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Gut 04/2015; DOI:10.1136/gutjnl-2014-308470 · 14.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer is a major health problem and the second cause of cancer related death in western countries. Signaling pathways that control tissue homeostasis are often deregulated during tumorigenesis and contribute to tumor development. Studies in mouse models have shown that the p38 MAPK pathway regulates homeostasis in colon epithelial cells but also plays an important role in colon tumor maintenance. In this study, we have investigated the role of p38 MAPK signaling in patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) from three different human colon tumors representing clinical heterogeneity and that recapitulate the human tumor conditions both at histological and molecular levels. We have found that PH797804, a chemical inhibitor of p38 MAPK, reduces tumor growth of the three PDXs, which correlates with impaired colon tumor cell proliferation and survival. The inhibition of p38 MAPK in PDXs results in downregulation of the IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway, which is a key regulator of colon tumorigenesis. Our results show the importance of p38 MAPK in human colon tumor growth using a preclinical model, and support that inhibition of p38 MAPK signaling may have therapeutic interest for colon cancer treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
The tumour stroma/microenvironment not only provides structural support for tumour development, but more importantly it provides cues to cancer stem cells (CSCs) that regulate their self-renewal and metastatic potential. This is certainly true for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC), where tumour-associated fibroblasts, pancreatic stellate cells and immune cells create an abundant paracrine niche for CSCs via microenvironment-secreted factors. Thus understanding the role that tumour stroma cells play in PDAC development and CSC biology is of utmost importance.
Microarray analyses, tumour microarray immunohistochemical assays, in vitro co-culture experiments, recombinant protein treatment approaches and in vivo intervention studies were performed to understand the role that the immunomodulatory cationic antimicrobial peptide 18/LL-37 (hCAP-18/LL-37) plays in PDAC biology.
We found that hCAP-18/LL-37 was strongly expressed in the stroma of advanced primary and secondary PDAC tumours and is secreted by immune cells of the stroma (eg, tumour-associated macrophages) in response to tumour growth factor-β1 and particularly CSC-secreted Nodal/ActivinA. Treatment of pancreatic CSCs with recombinant LL-37 increased pluripotency-associated gene expression, self-renewal, invasion and tumourigenicity via formyl peptide receptor 2 (FPR2)- and P2X purinoceptor 7 receptor (P2X7R)-dependent mechanisms, which could be reversed by inhibiting these receptors. Importantly, in a genetically engineered mouse model of K-Ras-driven pancreatic tumourigenesis, we also showed that tumour formation was inhibited by either reconstituting these mice with bone marrow from cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide (ie, murine homologue of hCAP-18/LL-37) knockout mice or by pharmacologically inhibiting FPR2 and P2X7R.
Thus, hCAP-18/LL-37 represents a previously unrecognised PDAC microenvironment factor that plays a critical role in pancreatic CSC-mediated tumourigenesis.
Gut 04/2015; 53(08). DOI:10.1136/gutjnl-2014-308935 · 14.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer is expected to be the second deadliest malignancy in the USA by 2020. The survival rates for patients with other gastrointestinal malignancies have increased consistently during the past 30 years; unfortunately, however, the outcomes of patients with pancreatic cancer have not changed significantly. Although surgery remains the only curative treatment for pancreatic cancer, therapeutic strategies based on initial resection have not substantially improved the survival of patients with resectable disease over the past 25 years; presently, more than 80% of patients suffer disease relapse after resection. Preclinical evidence that pancreatic cancer is a systemic disease suggests a possible benefit for early administration of systemic therapy in these patients. In locally advanced disease, the role of chemoradiotherapy is increasingly being questioned, particularly considering the results of the LAP-07 trial. Novel biomarkers are clearly needed to identify subsets of patients likely to benefit from chemoradiotherapy. In the metastatic setting, FOLFIRINOX (folinic acid, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin), and nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine have yielded only modest improvements in survival. Thus, new treatments are urgently needed for patients with pancreatic cancer. Herein, we review the state-of-the-art of pancreatic cancer treatment, and the upcoming novel therapeutics that hold promise in this disease are also discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a personalized treatment designed for a patient with pancreatic cancer resistant to other treatments, the success of Mitomycin C (MMC) has been highlighted. This was revealed in a murine xenograft tumor model encompassing pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells extracted from the patient. The patient was found to exhibit a biallelic inactivation of the PALB2 gene, involved in DNA repair in addition to another mutation in the TSC2 gene that induces susceptibility of the tumor to therapeutic targets of the PI3K-mTOR pathway. The aim of the study was to apply metabolomics to elucidate the modes of action of each therapy, suggesting why MMC was so successful in this patient and why it could be a more popular choice in future pancreatic cancer treatment. The effectiveness of MMC compared to rapamycin (RM), another relevant therapeutic agent has been evaluated through liquid- and gas-chromatography mass spectrometry-based metabolomic analyses of the xenograft tumors. The relative concentrations of many metabolites in the xenograft tumors were found to be increased by MMC relative to other treatments (RM and a combination of both), including a number that are involved in central carbon metabolism (CCM). Metabolic fingerprinting revealed statistically significantly altered pathways including, but not restricted to, the pentose phosphate pathway, glycolysis, TCA cycle, purine metabolism, fatty acid biosynthesis, in addition to many significant lipid and amino acid alterations. Given the genetic background of the patient, it was expected that the combined therapy would be most effective; however, the most effective was MMC alone. It is proposed that the effectiveness of MMC is owed to its direct effect on CCM, a vital region of tumor metabolism.