Min Huang

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

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Publications (28)121.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: 10  Abstract— Lung cancer remains a challenging health problem with more than 1.1 million deaths worldwide annually. With current therapy, the long term survival for the majority of lung cancer patients remains low, thus new therapeutic strategies are needed. One such strategy would be to develop immune therapy for lung cancer. Immune approaches remain attractive because although surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy alone or in combination produce response rates in all histological types of lung cancer, relapse is frequent. Strategies that harness the immune system to react against tumors can be integrated with existing forms of therapy for optimal responses toward this devastating disease. Both antigen presenting cell (APC) and T cell activities are reduced in the lung tumor microenvironment. In this review we discuss our experience with efforts to restore host APC and T cell activities in the lung cancer microenvironment by intratumoral administration of dendritic cells (DC) expressing the CCR7 receptor ligand CCL21 (secondary lymphoid chemokine, SLC). Based on the results demonstrating that CCL21 is an effective anti cancer agent in the pre-clinical lung tumor model systems, a phase I clinical trial was initiated using intratumoral injection of CCL21 gene modified autologous DC in lung cancer. Results from the trial thus far indicate tolerability, immune enhancement and tumor shrinkage via this approach.
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    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer remains a challenging health problem with more than 1.1 million deaths worldwide annually. With current therapy, the long term survival for the majority of lung cancer patients remains low, thus new therapeutic strategies are needed. One such strategy would be to develop immune therapy for lung cancer. Immune approaches remain attractive because although surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy alone or in combination produce response rates in all histological types of lung cancer, relapse is frequent. Strategies that harness the immune system to react against tumors can be integrated with existing forms of therapy for optimal responses toward this devastating disease. Both antigen presenting cell (APC) and T cell activities are reduced in the lung tumor microenvironment. In this review we discuss our experience with efforts to restore host APC and T cell activities in the lung cancer microenvironment by intratumoral administration of dendritic cells (DC) expressing the CCR7 receptor ligand CCL21 (secondary lymphoid chemokine, SLC). Based on the results demonstrating that CCL21 is an effective anti cancer agent in the pre-clinical lung tumor model systems, a phase I clinical trial was initiated using intratumoral injection of CCL21 gene modified autologous DC in lung cancer. Results from the trial thus far indicate tolerability, immune enhancement and tumor shrinkage via this approach.
    International trends in immunity. 01/2013; 1(1):10-15.
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    ABSTRACT: Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are important regulators of immune responses. We evaluated the mechanistic role of MDSC depletion on antigen presenting cell (APC), NK, T cell activities and therapeutic vaccination responses in murine models of lung cancer. Individual antibody mediated depletion of MDSC (anti-Gr1 or anti-Ly6G) enhanced the antitumor activity against lung cancer. In comparison to controls, MDSC depletion enhanced the APC activity and increased the frequency and activity of the NK and T cell effectors in the tumor. Compared to controls, the anti-Gr1 or anti-Ly6G treatment led to increased: (i) CD8 T cells, (ii) NK cells, (iii) CD8 T or NK intracytoplasmic expression of IFNγ, perforin and granzyme (iv) CD3 T cells expressing the activation marker CD107a and CXCR3, (v) reduced CD8 T cell IL-10 production in the tumors (vi) reduced tumor angiogenic (VEGF, CXCL2, CXCL5, and Angiopoietin1&2) but enhanced anti-angiogenic (CXCL9 and CXCL10) expression and (vii) reduced tumor staining of endothelial marker Meca 32. Immunocytochemistry of tumor sections showed reduced Gr1 expressing cells with increased CD3 T cell infiltrates in the anti-Gr1 or anti-Ly6G groups. MDSC depletion led to a marked inhibition in tumor growth, enhanced tumor cell apoptosis and reduced migration of the tumors from the primary site to the lung compared to controls. Therapeutic vaccination responses were enhanced in vivo following MDSC depletion with 50% of treated mice completely eradicating established tumors. Treated mice that rejected their primary tumors acquired immunological memory against a secondary tumor challenge. The remaining 50% of mice in this group had 20 fold reductions in tumor burden compared to controls. Our data demonstrate that targeting MDSC can improve antitumor immune responses suggesting a broad applicability of combined immune based approaches against cancer. This multifaceted approach may prove useful against tumors where MDSC play a role in tumor immune evasion.
    PLoS ONE 10/2012; 7(7):e40677. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer evades host immune surveillance by dysregulating inflammation. Tumors and their surrounding stromata produce growth factors, cytokines, and chemokines that recruit, expand, and/or activate myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). MDSCs regulate immune responses and are frequently found in malignancy. In this review the authors discuss tumor-MDSC interactions that suppress host antitumor activities and the authors' recent findings regarding MDSC depletion that led to improved therapeutic vaccination responses against lung cancer. Despite the identification of a repertoire of tumor antigens, hurdles persist for immune-based anticancer therapies. It is likely that combined therapies that address the multiple immune deficits in cancer patients will be required for effective therapy. MDSCs play a major role in the suppression of T-cell activation and they sustain tumor growth, proliferation, and metastases. Regulation of MDSC recruitment, differentiation or expansion, and inhibition of the MDSC suppressive function with pharmacologic agents will be useful in the control of cancer growth and progression. Pharmacologic agents that regulate MDSCs may be more effective when combined with immunotherapies. Optimization of combined approaches that simultaneously downregulate MDSC suppressor pathways, restore APC immune-stimulating activity, and expand tumor-reactive T cells will be useful in improving therapy.
    ImmunoTargets and therapy. 10/2012; 2012(1):7-12.
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of a novel modular polymer platform in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In vivo study. Academic research laboratory. Subjects and C3H/HeJ mice and SCID/beige mice were randomized to receive implantation of no polymer, plain polymer, plain polymer with local cisplatin injection, or cisplatin polymer. The 2 groups of mice implanted with cisplatin polymer or no polymer were further randomized to receive 4 Gy of external beam radiation for 4 days or no radiation. Tumor size was measured until the mice were humanely killed. At necropsy, the tumors were excised and weighed. There was a significant reduction in tumor growth using this novel polymer platform. The cisplatin-secreting polymer effectively reduced human head and neck tumor growth in SCID mice by 17-fold and SCC VII/SF tumors in C3H/HeJ mice by more than 16-fold compared with the control, plain polymer, and plain polymer + intratumoral cisplatin injection groups (P = .01 for both). We also observed a statistically significant lower tumor weight in mice treated with cisplatin polymer and concomitant radiation compared with the radiation alone and control groups. We demonstrate the efficacy of a novel polymer platform in delivering cisplatin to a partially resected SCC in a murine model. This polymer may represent a new therapeutic modality for patients with HNSCC. Once this polymer platform is optimized, we will plan for validation in the context of a prospective trial in patients with unresectable advanced or recurrent HNSCC.
    Archives of otolaryngology--head & neck surgery 04/2012; 138(4):412-7. · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preclinical studies suggest lowering dietary fat and decreasing the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decreases the risk of prostate cancer development and progression. We conducted a phase II randomized trial to test the effect of decreasing dietary fat combined with decreasing the dietary omega-6:omega-3 ratio on biomarkers related to prostate cancer development and progression. Patients undergoing radical prostatectomy were randomly assigned to receive a low-fat diet with 5 grams of fish oil daily (dietary omega-6:omega-3 ratio of 2:1) or a control Western diet (omega-6:omega-3 ratio of 15:1) for four to six weeks prior to surgery. The primary endpoint was change in serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) between arms. Secondary endpoints were serum IGFBP-1, prostate prostaglandin E2 levels, omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratios, COX-2, and markers of proliferation and apoptosis. Fifty-five patients were randomized and 48 completed the trial. There was no treatment difference in the primary outcome. Positive secondary outcomes in the low-fat fish oil versus Western group were reduced benign and malignant prostate tissue omega-6:omega-3 ratios, reduced proliferation (Ki-67 index), and reduced proliferation in an ex vivo bioassay when patient sera was applied to prostate cancer cells in vitro. In summary, four to six weeks of a low-fat diet and fish oil capsules to achieve an omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 2:1 had no effect on serum IGF-1 levels, though in secondary analyses, the intervention resulted in decreased prostate cancer proliferation and decreased prostate tissue omega-6:omega-3 ratios. These results support further studies evaluating reduction of dietary fat with fish oil supplementation on modulating prostate cancer biology.
    Cancer Prevention Research 12/2011; 4(12):2062-71. · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in Unites States. Metastatic spread of tumors is the most common cause of therapy failure and mortality for lung cancer. We are defining genetic programs in lung cancer that modulate immune responses that regulate tumor growth and metastases. Activating immune effectors for tumor destruction has the potential for long-term protection and survival. Cancer cells acquire the ability to progress, invade, and metastasize by undergoing the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), by activating transcription factors (for example, Snail, Twist, Zeb, Slug) that repress E-cadherin, a transmembrane glycoprotein essential for epithelial cell-cell adhesion. These transcriptional repressors are normally active during embryogenesis where they program EMT to enable various morphogenetic steps. EMT is involved in tumor progression. Snail expression in primary NSCLCs has been associated with a shorter overall survival. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of Snail in tumor EMT-induced metastases in melanoma. In this study we are evaluating the mechanistic role of tumor Snail expression on tumor growth and metastases. Our data demonstrates that tumor Snail expression mediates tumor growth and metastasis by modulating immune responses. Genetic knockdown of endogenous tumor Snail expression in the murine lung cancer cell lines [Lewis Lung Cancer (3LL) that spontaneously arose in the C57BL/6 mice] with lentiviral Snail shRNA was validated by qRTPCR and Western blot analyses. With the Snail shRNA we have achieved stable 80–90% Snail knockdown. No differences were noted in growth kinetics of Snail knockdown or controls in vitro. Flow cytometry was utilized to quantify changes in tumor and spleen leukocytic populations. Lung cancer Snail knockdown cells compared to controls: 1) decreased invasiveness (3-fold) and tumor-derived TGFβ (3.3-fold); 2) reduced subcutaneous tumor growth (4-fold), lung metastases (2-fold), tumor nodule TGFβ by ELISA(5-fold), MMP9, and VEGF (2-fold) by qRTPCR; 3) increased tumor infiltrates of CD4 (2-fold) and CD8 (1.5-fold) T lymphocytes that elaborated enhanced IFN2.5-fold) but reduced levels of IL-10 (2-fold); 4) increased expression of the CD107 (7-fold) cytolytic marker in tumor-infiltrating CD8 T cells; 5) augmented the frequencies of innate NK effectors and dendritic cells (DC) (7-fold); 6) reduced the immune suppressors MDSC (2-fold); and 7) reduced MDSC as well as the non-MDSC populations intracellular expression of arginase in the tumors (3–4 fold). Although MDSC from the tumor Snail knockdown group was comparable to the controls in suppressing anti-CD3/CD28 T cell proliferation, its suppressive effects on DC antigen processing and presentation activity (APC) to an antigen-specific CD8 T cell line was reduced (2-fold) in comparison to controls. The suppressive effects of MDSC on T cell proliferation and APC activity was reversed (2-fold) by catalase or N-acetyl cysteine, respectively. Further experiments will mechanistically delineate the genetic program(s) induced by tumor Snail knockdown that alter the balance of immune effectors and suppressors in the tumor. An adequate understanding of the genetic signatures in the tumor and tumor-host interactions that induce immune suppression and promote tumor growth, invasion and metastases will be crucial for the development of immune-based therapies for lung cancer.
    Cancer Research: September 15, 2011; Volume 71, Issue 18, Supplement 2; 09/2011
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the utility of chimeric γc homeostatic cytokine, IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc, to restore host APC (antigen presenting cell) and T cell activities in lung cancer. Utilizing murine lung cancer models we determined the antitumor efficacy of IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc. APC, T cell, cytokine analyses, neutralization of CXCL9, CXCL10, and IFNγ were carried out to evaluate the mechanistic differences in the antitumor activity of IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc in comparison to controls. IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc administration inhibited tumor growth and increased survival in lung cancer. Accompanying the tumor growth inhibition were increases in APC and T cell activities. In comparison to controls, IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc treatment of tumor bearing mice led to increased: (i) levels of CXCL9, CXCL10, IFNγ, IL-12 but reduced IL-10 and TGFβ, (ii) tumor macrophage infiltrates characteristic of M1 phenotype with increased IL-12, iNOS but reduced IL-10 and arginase, (iii) frequencies of T and NK cells, (iv) T cell activation markers CXCR3, CD69 and CD127(low), (v) effector memory T cells, and (vi) T cell cytolytic activity against parental tumor cells. IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc treatment abrogated the tumor induced reduction in splenic functional APC activity to T responder cells. The CXCR3 ligands played an important role in IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc-mediated antitumor activity. Neutralization of CXCL9, CXCL10, or IFNγ reduced CXCR3 expressing activated T cells infiltrating the tumor and abrogated IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc-mediated tumor growth inhibition. Our findings show that IL-7/IL-7Rα-Fc promotes afferent and efferent antitumor responses in lung cancer.
    Clinical Cancer Research 06/2011; 17(11):3660-72. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Based on our preclinical findings, we are assessing the efficacy of intratumoral injection of dendritic cells (DC) transduced with an adenoviral vector expressing the secondary lymphoid chemokine (CCL21) gene (Ad-CCL21-DC) in a phase I trial in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). While this approach shows immune enhancement, the preparation of autologous DC for CCL21 genetic modification is cumbersome, expensive and time consuming. We are evaluating a non-DC based approach which utilizes vault nanoparticles for intratumoral CCL21 delivery to mediate antitumor activity in lung cancer. Here we describe that vault nanocapsule platform for CCL21 delivery elicits antitumor activity with inhibition of lung cancer growth. Vault nanocapsule packaged CCL21 (CCL21-vaults) demonstrated functional activity in chemotactic and antigen presenting activity assays. Recombinant vaults impacted chemotactic migration of T cells and this effect was predominantly CCL21 dependent as CCL21 neutralization abrogated the CCL21 mediated enhancement in chemotaxis. Intratumoral administration of CCL21-vaults in mice bearing lung cancer enhanced leukocytic infiltrates (CXCR3(+)T, CCR7(+)T, IFNγ(+)T lymphocytes, DEC205(+) DC), inhibited lung cancer tumor growth and reduced the frequencies of immune suppressive cells [myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC), T regulatory cells (Treg), IL-10 T cells]. CCL21-vaults induced systemic antitumor responses by augmenting splenic T cell lytic activity against parental tumor cells. This study demonstrates that the vault nanocapsule can efficiently deliver CCL21 to sustain antitumor activity and inhibit lung cancer growth. The vault nanocapsule can serve as an "off the shelf" approach to deliver antitumor cytokines to treat a broad range of malignancies.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(5):e18758. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic, preclinical, and clinical trials suggest that green tea consumption may prevent prostate cancer through the action of green tea polyphenols including (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). To study the metabolism and bioactivity of green tea polyphenols in human prostate tissue, men with clinically localized prostate cancer consumed six cups of green tea (n = 8) daily or water (n = 9) for 3 to 6 weeks before undergoing radical prostatectomy. Using high-performance liquid chromatography, 4''-O-methyl EGCG (4''-MeEGCG) and EGCG were identified in comparable amounts, and (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate was identified in lower amounts in prostatectomy tissue from men consuming green tea (38.9 +/- 19.5, 42.1 +/- 32.4, and 17.8 +/- 10.1 pmol/g tissue, respectively). The majority of EGCG and other green tea polyphenols were not conjugated. Green tea polyphenols were not detected in prostate tissue or urine from men consuming water preoperatively. In the urine of men consuming green tea, 50% to 60% of both (-)-epigallocatechin and (-)-epicatechin were present in methylated form with 4'-O-MeEGC being the major methylated form of (-)-epigallocatechin. When incubated with EGCG, LNCaP prostate cancer cells were able to methylate EGCG to 4''-MeEGCG. The capacity of 4''-MeEGCG to inhibit proliferation and NF-kappaB activation and induce apoptosis in LNCaP cells was decreased significantly compared with EGCG. In summary, methylated and nonmethylated forms of EGCG are detectable in prostate tissue following a short-term green tea intervention, and the methylation status of EGCG may potentially modulate its preventive effect on prostate cancer, possibly based on genetic polymorphisms of catechol O-methyltransferase.
    Cancer Prevention Research 08/2010; 3(8):985-93. · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We are evaluating the immune enhancing activities of cytokines for their optimum utility in augmenting cellular immune responses against lung cancer. In this study, we evaluated the mechanism of antitumor responses following IL-7 administration to mice bearing established Lewis lung cancer. IL-7 decreased tumor burden with concomitant increases in the frequency of CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte subsets, T cell activation markers CXCR3, CD69, and CD127(low), effector memory T cells, and T cell cytolytic activity against parental tumor cells. Accompanying the antitumor responses were increases in IFN-gamma, CXCL9, CXCL10, and IL-12. Individual neutralization of CD4, CD8 T lymphocytes, or the CXCR3 ligands CXCL9 and CXCL10 reversed the antitumor benefit of IL-7, indicating their importance for optimal responses in vivo. Furthermore, IL-7 decreased the tumor-induced apoptosis of T cells with subsequent decrease of the proapoptotic marker Bim. We assessed the impact of IL-7 treatment on regulatory T cells that negatively impact antitumor immune responses. IL-7 decreased regulatory T Foxp3 as well as cell suppressive activity with a reciprocal increase in SMAD7. These results indicate that IL-7 induces CXCR3 ligand-dependent T cell antitumor reactivity in lung cancer.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2009; 182(11):6951-8. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant Pleural Effusions (MPE) may be useful as a model to study hierarchical progression of cancer and/or intratumoral heterogeneity. To strengthen the rationale for developing the MPE-model for these purposes, we set out to find evidence for the presence of cancer stem cells (CSC) in MPE and demonstrate an ability to sustain intratumoral heterogeneity in MPE-primary cultures. Our studies show that candidate lung CSC-expression signatures (PTEN, OCT4, hTERT, Bmi1, EZH2 and SUZ12) are evident in cell pellets isolated from MPE, and MPE-cytopathology also labels candidate-CSC (CD44, cMET, MDR-1, ALDH) subpopulations. Moreover, in primary cultures that use MPE as the source of both tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME), candidate CSC are maintained over time. This allows us to live-sort candidate CSC-fractions from the MPE-tumor mix on the basis of surface markers (CD44, c-MET, uPAR, MDR-1) or differences in xenobiotic metabolism (ALDH). Thus, MPE-primary cultures provide an avenue to extract candidate CSC populations from individual (isogenic) MPE-tumors. This will allow us to test whether these cells can be discriminated in functional bioassays. Tumor heterogeneity in MPE-primary cultures is evidenced by variable immunolabeling, differences in colony-morphology, and differences in proliferation rates of cell subpopulations. Collectively, these data justify the ongoing development of the MPE-model for the investigation of intratumoral heterogeneity, tumor-TME interactions, and phenotypic validation of candidate lung CSC, in addition to providing direction for the pre-clinical development of rational therapeutics.
    PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(6):e5884. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a key enzyme in the production of prostaglandins and thromboxanes from free arachidonic acid. Increasing evidence suggests that COX-2 plays a role in tumorigenesis. A variety of stimuli induce COX-2 and it is overexpressed in many tumors, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We studied the regulation of COX-2 expression in immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) by transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) because these two growth factors are present in both the pulmonary milieu of those at risk for lung cancer as well as in the tumor microenvironment. EGF significantly enhanced TGF-beta1-mediated induction of COX-2 and corresponding prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production. TGF-beta1 and EGF induced COX-2 at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. EGF receptor (EGFR) inhibition, neutralizing antibody against amphiregulin, or mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibition blocked TGF-beta1-mediated COX-2 induction. COX-2 induction by TGF-beta1 depended upon Smad3 signaling and required the activity of EGFR or its downstream mediators. Autocrine amphiregulin signaling maintains EGFR in a constitutively active state in HBECs, allowing for COX-2 induction by TGF-beta1. Thus, EGFR ligands, which are abundant in the pulmonary microenvironment of those at risk for lung cancer, potentiate and are required for COX-2 induction by TGF-beta1 in HBEC. These findings emphasize the central role of EGFR signaling in COX-2 induction by TGF-beta1 and suggest that inhibition of EGFR signaling should be investigated further for lung cancer prevention.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 12/2007; 37(5):578-88. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated tumor cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression is associated with tumor invasion, metastasis, and poor prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we report that COX-2-dependent pathways contribute to the modulation of E-cadherin expression in NSCLC. First, whereas genetically modified COX-2-sense (COX-2-S) NSCLC cells expressed low E-cadherin and showed diminished capacity for cellular aggregation, genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of tumor COX-2 led to increased E-cadherin expression and resulted in augmented homotypic cellular aggregation among NSCLC cells in vitro. An inverse relationship between COX-2 and E-cadherin was shown in situ by double immunohistochemical staining of human lung adenocarcinoma tissue sections. Second, treatment of NSCLC cells with exogenous prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) significantly decreased the expression of E-cadherin, whereas treatment of COX-2-S cells with celecoxib (1 mumol/L) led to increased E-cadherin expression. Third, the transcriptional suppressors of E-cadherin, ZEB1 and Snail, were up-regulated in COX-2-S cells or PGE(2)-treated NSCLC cells but decreased in COX-2-antisense cells. PGE(2) exposure led to enhanced ZEB1 and Snail binding at the chromatin level as determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of ZEB1 or Snail interrupted the capacity of PGE(2) to down-regulate E-cadherin. Fourth, an inverse relationship between E-cadherin and ZEB1 and a direct relationship between COX-2 and ZEB1 were shown by immunohistochemical staining of human lung adenocarcinoma tissue sections. These findings indicate that PGE(2), in autocrine or paracrine fashion, modulates transcriptional repressors of E-cadherin and thereby regulates COX-2-dependent E-cadherin expression in NSCLC. Thus, blocking PGE(2) production or activity may contribute to both prevention and treatment of NSCLC.
    Cancer Research 06/2006; 66(10):5338-45. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In previous studies, we demonstrated an immune suppressive network in non-small cell lung cancer that is due to overexpression of tumor cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). In this study, we assessed the vaccination response to tumor challenge following either pharmacological or genetic inhibition of COX-2 in a murine lung cancer model. Treatment of naive mice with the COX-2 inhibitor, SC-58236, skewed splenocytes toward a type 1 cytokine response, inducing IFN-gamma, IL-12, and IFN-gamma-inducible protein 10, whereas the type 2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 remained unaltered. Fifty percent of mice receiving SC-58236 and an irradiated tumor cell vaccine completely rejected tumors upon challenge. Those mice that did form tumors following challenge demonstrated a reduced tumor growth. In contrast, all mice either vaccinated with irradiated tumor cells alone or receiving SC-58236 alone showed progressive tumor growth. Studies performed in CD4 and CD8 knockout mice revealed a requirement for the CD4 T lymphocyte subset for the complete rejection of tumors. To determine the role of host COX-2 expression on the vaccination responses, studies were performed in COX-2 gene knockout mice. Compared with control littermates, COX-2(-/-) mice showed a significant tumor growth reduction, whereas heterozygous COX-2(-/+) mice had an intermediate tumor growth reduction following vaccination. In vivo depletion of IFN-gamma abrogated the COX-2 inhibitor-mediated enhancement of the vaccination effect. These findings provide a strong rationale for additional evaluation of the capacity of COX-2 inhibitors to enhance vaccination responses against cancer.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2005; 175(2):813-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and its product prostaglandin (PG) E2 underlie an immunosuppressive network that is important in the pathogenesis of non-small cell lung cancer. CD4+ CD25+ T regulatory (Treg) cells play an important role in maintenance of immunologic self-tolerance. CD4+ CD25+ Treg cell activities increase in lung cancer and appear to play a role in suppressing antitumor immune responses. Definition of the pathways controlling Treg cell activities will enhance our understanding of limitation of the host antitumor immune responses. Tumor-derived COX-2/PGE2 induced expression of the Treg cell-specific transcription factor, Foxp3, and increased Treg cell activity. Assessment of E-prostanoid (EP) receptor requirements revealed that PGE2-mediated induction of Treg cell Foxp3 gene expression was significantly reduced in the absence of the EP4 receptor and ablated in the absence of the EP2 receptor expression. In vivo, COX-2 inhibition reduced Treg cell frequency and activity, attenuated Foxp3 expression in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, and decreased tumor burden. Transfer of Treg cells or administration of PGE2 to mice receiving COX-2 inhibitors reversed these effects. We conclude that inhibition of COX-2/PGE2 suppresses Treg cell activity and enhances antitumor responses.
    Cancer Research 07/2005; 65(12):5211-20. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is a potent fibrogenic factor responsible for promoting synthesis of extracellular matrix. Interleukin-7 (IL-7) inhibits TGF-beta signaling by up-regulating Smad7, a major inhibitor of the Smad family. In a variety of cells, TGF-beta-mediated activation of target genes requires active protein kinase C-delta (PKC-delta) in addition to Smads (1). We determined the role of PKC-delta in the regulation of pulmonary fibroblast collagen synthesis in response to TGF-beta and IL-7 stimulation. Here we show that TGF-beta and IL-7 have opposing effects on PKC-delta; TGF-beta stimulates, while IL-7 inhibits, PKC-delta activity. IL-7 inhibits TGF-beta-induced PKC-delta phosphorylation at Ser-645 and Thr-505. Inhibition of PKC-delta with specific small inhibitory RNA restores TGF-beta-mediated induction of Smad7 and in parallel significantly reduces TGF-beta-mediated collagen synthesis. Thus, PKC-delta may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis and may serve as a molecular target for therapeutic intervention to suppress fibrosis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2004; 279(27):28315-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To achieve in situ tumor antigen uptake and presentation, intratumoral administration of ex vivo-generated, gene-modified murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DC) was used in a murine lung cancer model. To attract mature host DC and activated T cells at the tumor site, the DC were transduced with an adenoviral vector expressing secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (CCL21/SLC). Sixty percent of the mice treated with 10(6) DC-AdCCL21 intratumorally (7-10 ng/ml/10(6) cells/24 h of CCL21) at weekly intervals for 3 weeks showed complete tumor eradication, whereas only 25% of mice had complete resolution of tumors when mice were treated with fibroblasts expressing CCL21. In contrast only 12% of the mice treated with unmodified or control vector modified DC (DC-AdCV) showed complete tumor eradication. DC-AdCCL21 administration led to increases in the CD4(+), CD8(+), and CD3(+)CXCR3(+) T cells, as well as DC expressing CD11c(+) DEC205(+). CD4(+)CD25(+) T-regulatory cells infiltrating the tumors were markedly reduced after DC-AdCCL21 therapy. The tumor site cellular infiltrates were accompanied by the enhanced elaboration of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, IFN-gamma, MIG/CXCL9, IP-10/CXCL10, and interleukin 12, but decreases in the immunosuppressive mediators transforming growth factor beta and prostaglandin E(2). DC-AdCCL21-treated tumor-bearing mice showed enhanced frequency of tumor-specific T lymphocytes secreting IFN-gamma, and tumor protective immunity was induced after DC-AdCCL21 therapy. In vivo depletion of IP-10/CXCL10, MIG/CXCL9, or IFN-gamma significantly reduced the antitumor efficacy of DC-AdCCL21. These findings provide a strong rationale for the evaluation of DC-AdCCL21 in cancer immunotherapy.
    Clinical Cancer Research 05/2004; 10(8):2891-901. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antitumor efficacy of EBV-induced molecule 1 ligand CC chemokine (ELC/CCL19) was evaluated in a murine lung cancer model. The ability of ELC/CCL19 to chemoattract both dendritic cells and T lymphocytes formed the rationale for this study. Compared with diluent-treated tumor-bearing mice, intratumoral injection of recombinant ELC/CCL19 led to significant systemic reduction in tumor volumes (p < 0.01). ELC/CCL19-treated mice exhibited an increased influx of CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets as well as dendritic cells at the tumor sites. These cell infiltrates were accompanied by increases in IFN-gamma, MIG/CXCL9, IP-10/CXCL10, GM-CSF, and IL-12 but a concomitant decrease in the immunosuppressive molecules PGE(2) and TGFbeta. Transfer of T lymphocytes from ELC/CCL19 treated tumor-bearing mice conferred the antitumor therapeutic efficacy of ELC/CCL19 to naive mice. ELC/CCL19 treated tumor-bearing mice showed enhanced frequency of tumor specific T lymphocytes secreting IFN-gamma. In vivo depletion of IFN-gamma, MIG/CXCL9, or IP-10/CXCL10 significantly reduced the antitumor efficacy of ELC/CCL19. These findings provide a strong rationale for further evaluation of ELC/CCL19 in tumor immunity and its use in cancer immunotherapy.
    The Journal of Immunology 01/2004; 171(12):6457-65. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antitumor efficiency of dendritic cells transduced with an adenovirus vector expressing interleukin (IL)-7 (DC-AdIL-7) was evaluated in a murine model of spontaneous bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma. These transgenic mice (CC-10 TAg), expressing the SV40 large T antigen under the Clara cell promoter, develop bilateral multifocal pulmonary adenocarcinomas and die at 4 months as a result of progressive pulmonary tumor burden. Injection of DC-AdIL-7 in the axillary lymph node region (ALNR) weekly for 3 weeks led to a marked reduction in tumor burden with extensive lymphocytic infiltration of the tumors and enhanced survival. The antitumor responses were accompanied by the enhanced elaboration of interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-12 as well as an increase in the antiangiogenic chemokines, IFN-gamma-inducible protein 10 (IP-10/CXCL10) and monokine induced by IFN-gamma (MIG/CXCL9). In contrast, production of the immunosuppressive mediators IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta, prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), and the proangiogenic modulator vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) decreased in response to DC-AdIL-7 treatment. Significant reduction in tumor burden in a model in which tumors develop in an organ-specific manner provides a strong rationale for further evaluation of DC-AdIL-7 in regulation of tumor immunity and its use in lung cancer genetic immunotherapy.
    Human Gene Therapy 11/2003; 14(16):1511-24. · 4.02 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

903 Citations
121.25 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2012
    • Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada
      Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
    • VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2002–2011
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • • Department of Biological Chemistry
      • • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2004
    • University of Southern California
      • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, CA, United States