Amy J Aldrich

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, United States

Are you Amy J Aldrich?

Claim your profile

Publications (9)49.9 Total impact

  • Cancer Research 05/2015; 75(9 Supplement):P6-14-05-P6-14-05. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.SABCS14-P6-14-05 · 9.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cancer cells often have increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS); however, acquisition of redox adaptive mechanisms allows for evasion of ROS-mediated death. Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a distinct, advanced BC subtype characterized by high rates of residual disease and recurrence despite advances in multimodality treatment. Using a cellular model of IBC, we identified an oxidative stress response (OSR) signature in surviving IBC cells after administration of an acute dose of an ROS inducer. Metagene analysis of patient samples revealed significantly higher OSR scores in IBC tumor samples compared to normal or non-IBC tissues, which may contribute to the poor response of IBC tumors to common treatment strategies, which often rely heavily on ROS induction. To combat this adaptation, we utilized a potent redox modulator, the FDA-approved small molecule Disulfiram (DSF), alone and in combination with copper. DSF forms a complex with copper (DSF-Cu) increasing intracellular copper concentration both in vitro and in vivo, bypassing the need for membrane transporters. DSF-Cu antagonized NFκB signaling, aldehyde dehydrogenase activity and antioxidant levels, inducing oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis in multiple IBC cellular models. In vivo, DSF-Cu significantly inhibited tumor growth without significant toxicity, causing apoptosis only in tumor cells. These results indicate that IBC tumors are highly redox adapted, which may render them resistant to ROS-inducing therapies. DSF, through redox modulation, may be a useful approach to enhance chemo- and/or radio-sensitivity for advanced BC subtypes where therapeutic resistance is an impediment to durable responses to current standard of care. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Molecular Oncology 02/2015; 9(6). DOI:10.1016/j.molonc.2015.02.007 · 5.33 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(8 Supplement):951-951. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-951 · 9.33 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although there is no standard treatment protocol for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), multi-modality treatment has improved survival. In this study we profiled the NCI approved oncology drug set in a qHTS format to identify those that are efficacious in basal type and ErbB2 overexpressing IBC models. Further, we characterized the sensitivity of an acquired therapeutic resistance model to the oncology drugs. We observed that lapatinib-induced acquired resistance in SUM149 cells led to cross-resistance to other targeted- and chemotherapeutic drugs. Removal of the primary drug to which the model was developed led to re-sensitization to multiple drugs to a degree comparable to the parental cell line; this coincided with the cells regaining the ability to accumulate ROS and reducing expression of anti-apoptotic factors and the antioxidant SOD2. We suggest that our findings provide a unique IBC model system for gaining an understanding of acquired therapeutic resistance and the effect of redox adaptation on anti-cancer drug efficacy.
    Cancer letters 05/2013; 337(1). DOI:10.1016/j.canlet.2013.05.017 · 5.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The forkhead transcription factor FOXP3 is necessary for induction of regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs) and their immunosuppressive function. We have previously demonstrated that targeting Tregs by vaccination of mice with murine FOXP3 mRNA-transfected dendritic cells (DCs) elicits FOXP3-specific T cell responses and enhances tumor immunity. It is clear that FOXP3 expression is not restricted to T-cell lineage and herein, using RT-PCR, flow cytometry, and western immunoblot we demonstrate for the first time that FOXP3 is expressed in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) cells, SUM149 (triple negative, ErbB1-activated) and SUM190 (ErbB2-overexpressing). Importantly, FOXP3-specific T cells generated in vitro using human FOXP3 RNA-transfected DCs as stimulators efficiently lyse SUM149 cells. Interestingly, an isogenic model (rSUM149) derived from SUM149 with an enhanced anti-apoptotic phenotype was resistant to FOXP3-specific T cell mediated lysis. The MHC class I cellular processing mechanism was intact in both cell lines at the protein and transcription levels suggesting that the resistance to cytolysis by rSUM149 cells was not related to MHC class I expression or to the MHC class I antigen processing machinery in these cells. Our data suggest that FOXP3 may be an effective tumor target in IBC cells however increased anti-apoptotic signaling can lead to immune evasion.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53150. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0053150 · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We recently identified superoxide dismutase (SOD) overexpression and decreased induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated apoptosis in models of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) cells with acquired therapeutic resistance. This population of cells has high expression of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), which inhibits both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathways. We therefore wanted to evaluate the effect of classical apoptosis-inducing agent TRAIL, a proapoptotic receptor agonist that selectively triggers death receptor (DR)-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells, in the IBC acquired resistance model. XIAP levels and subsequent inhibition of caspase activity inversely correlated with TRAIL sensitivity in our models of IBC. These include SUM149, a basal-type cell line isolated from primary IBC tumors and isogenic SUM149-derived lines rSUM149 and SUM149 wtXIAP, models of acquired therapeutic resistance with endogenous and exogenous XIAP overexpression, respectively. Inhibition of XIAP function using embelin, a plant-derived cell permeable small molecule, in combination with TRAIL caused a synergistic decrease in cell viability. Embelin treatment resulted in activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and ROS accumulation, which correlated with downregulation of antioxidant protein SOD1 and consumption of redox modulator reduced glutathione in the XIAP-overexpressing cells. Simultaneous treatment with an SOD mimic, which protects against ROS accumulation, reversed the decrease in cell viability caused by embelin + TRAIL treatment. Embelin primes IBC cells for TRAIL-mediated apoptosis by its direct action on the anti-caspase activity of XIAP and by shifting the cellular redox balance toward oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis. Thus, ROS modulators represent a novel approach to enhance efficacy of TRAIL-based treatment protocols in IBC.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 04/2012; 11(7):1518-27. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0787 · 5.68 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CD4+CD25+regulatory T cells (T(reg)) impair anti-tumor and anti-viral immunity. As there are higher T(reg) levels in cancer patients compared with healthy individuals, there is considerable interest in eliminating them or altering their function as part of cancer or viral immunotherapy strategies. The scurfin transcriptional regulator encoded by the member of the forkhead winged helix protein family (FOXP3) is critical for maintaining the functions of T(reg). We hypothesized that targeting FOXP3 expression with a novel arginine-rich, cell-penetrating, peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino (PPMO) based antisense would eliminate T(reg) and enhance the induction of effector T-cell responses. We observed that the PPMO was taken up by activated T cells in vitro and could downregulate FOXP3 expression, which otherwise increases during antigen-specific T-cell activation. Generation of antigen-specific T cells in response to peptide stimulation was enhanced by pre-treatment of peripheral blood mononuclear cells with the FOXP3-targeted PPMO. In summary, modulation of T(reg) levels using the FOXP3 PPMO antisense-based genomic strategy has the potential to optimize immunotherapy strategies in cancer and viral immunotherapy.
    Cancer gene therapy 01/2012; 19(1):30-7. DOI:10.1038/cgt.2011.63 · 2.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer with distinct molecular profiles. Gene expression profiling previously identified sonic hedgehog (SHH) as part of a gene signature that is differentially regulated in IBC patients. The effects of reducing GLI1 levels on protein expression, cell proliferation, apoptosis and migration were determined by immunoblots, MTT assay, Annexin-V/PI assay and conventional and automated cell migration assays. Evaluation of a panel of breast cancer cell lines revealed elevated GLI1 expression, typically a marker for hedgehog-pathway activation, in a triple-negative, highly invasive IBC cell line, SUM149 and its isogenic-derived counterpart rSUM149 that has acquired resistance to ErbB1/2 targeting strategies. Downregulation of GLI1 expression in SUM149 and rSUM149 by small interfering RNA or a small molecule GLI1 inhibitor resulted in decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis. Further, GLI1 suppression in these cell lines significantly inhibited cell migration as assessed by a wound-healing assay compared with MCF-7, a non-invasive cell line with low GLI1 expression. A novel high-content migration assay allowed us to quantify multiple effects of GLI1 silencing including significant decreases in cell distance travelled and linearity of movement. Our data reveal a role for GLI1 in IBC cell proliferation, survival and migration, which supports the feasibility of targeting GLI1 as a novel therapeutic strategy for IBC patients.
    British Journal of Cancer 05/2011; 104(10):1575-86. DOI:10.1038/bjc.2011.133 · 4.84 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 10/2010; 19(Supplement 1):B67-B67. DOI:10.1158/1055-9965.DISP-10-B67 · 4.13 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

61 Citations
49.90 Total Impact Points


  • 2011-2015
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • • Department of Surgery
      • • Division of Surgical Sciences
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2012
    • Duke University
      • Department of Surgery
      Durham, North Carolina, United States