William H Yong

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States

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Publications (91)510.17 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose:IDH1/2 mutant gliomas harbor a distinct CpG island methylation profile (G-CIMP) that may promote the initiation and progression of secondary pathway gliomas by silencing tumor suppressive genes. The potential role of tumor suppressive miRNAs in this process is not understood. Experimental Design:To identify potential tumor suppressive microRNAs hypermethylated in glioma, the methylation profiles of IDH1/2WT gliomas (n=11) and IDH1MUT glioma (n=20) were compared by using massively parallel reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS). The methylation status of selected miRNA was validated by using targeted bisulfite sequencing (BiSEQ) in a large cohort of glioma tissue samples including 219 IDH1WT and 72 IDH1/2MUT samples. The expression of selected miRNAs was determined by using TaqMan qPCR. Functional analyses of miRNA-148a were conducted and target genes were identified. Results:We identify miR-148a as a novel, G-CIMP associated miRNA whose methylation is tightly correlated with IDH1 mutation and associated with improved survival in malignant glioma patients. We confirm that down-regulation of miR-148a can occur via DNA methylation. We demonstrate that IDH1 mutation provides a mechanism of miR-148a methylation and downregulation, and that restoration of miR-148a reduced tumorigenic properties of glioma cells, possibly by targeting DNMT1. Conclusions:We identify miR-148a as a novel G-CIMP associated miRNA, and provide results suggesting that miR-148a restoration may have therapeutic implications.
    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Persistent bacterial infection prolongs hospitalizations, leading to increased healthcare costs. Treatment of these infections costs several billion dollars annually. Biofilm production is one mechanism by which bacteria become resistant. With the help of biofilms, bacteria withstand the host immune response and are much less susceptible to antibiotics. Currently, there is interest in the use of laser-generated shockwaves (LGS) to delaminate biofilm from infected wound surfaces; however, the safety of such an approach has not yet been established. Of particular concern are the thermal and mechanical effects of the shockwave treatment on the epidermis and the underlying collagen structure of the dermis. The present study is a preliminary investigation of the effect of LGS on freshly harvested ex vivo porcine skin tissue samples.
    Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 08/2014; · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitroxoline is an FDA-approved antibiotic with potential antitumor activity. Here we evaluated whether nitroxoline has antiproliferative properties on glioma cell growth in vitro and in vivo using glioma cell lines and a genetically engineered PTEN/KRAS mouse glioma model.
    Neuro-oncology. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To examine systemic and central nervous system (CNS) comorbidities of individuals with dementia evaluated during general autopsy.DesignRetrospective cohort study.SettingA large tertiary academic medical center in Los Angeles, California.ParticipantsIndividuals with clinically and neuropathologically diagnosed dementia who received complete autopsies (n = 86) and individuals with dementia who received partial (brain only) autopsies (n = 132).MeasurementsInformation on cause of death and systemic and CNS comorbidities was obtained from autopsy reports and clinical information as available from the medical records. Findings were tabulated with respect to type of dementia, semiquantitative assessment of the severity of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, semiquantitative assessment of the severity of cerebrovascular disease, and evidence of ischemic damage in the brain.ResultsOf 218 subjects with dementia, 175 (80.3%) had Alzheimer's disease alone or in combination with other lesions that might contribute to cognitive impairment, such as cerebrovascular disease and diffuse Lewy body disease (DLBD), 14 (6.4%) had frontotemporal dementia, and seven (3.2%) had isolated DLBD. The most common cause of death in participants with dementia was pneumonia (n = 57, 66.3%), followed by cardiovascular disease (n = 14, 16.3%). Eighteen subjects (20.9%) had lung disease, and 16 (18.6%) had evidence of an old or recent myocardial infarction. Clinically undiagnosed neoplasms included colonic adenocarcinoma, metastatic pulmonary neuroendocrine carcinoma, meningioma, and Schwannoma.Conclusion Significant comorbidities were discovered at autopsy in individuals with dementia. Understanding the causes of death and associated comorbidities in individuals with various subtypes of dementia is important in the assessment of end-of-life care in these individuals.
    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 07/2014; · 3.98 Impact Factor
  • Brain Pathology 07/2014; 24(4):421-2. · 4.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The optimal timing to initiate bevacizumab (BV) therapy for recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) is currently unclear. To address this issue, we examined progression-free survival (PFS) and survival time (ST) in a large retrospective cohort of GBM patients treated with BV at different recurrences. We identified 468 primary GBM patients who underwent biopsy or surgery followed by radiation therapy and temozolomide (RT/TMZ), and then received BV. PFS and ST were compared between patients stratified by the recurrence that BV was initiated (upfront, first recurrence, second recurrence, or 3+ recurrences). We also examined the effect on PFS and ST of the addition of chemotherapy to BV. In a larger cohort of GBM patients, we determined overall treatment continuation rates at each recurrence and identified variables predictive of inability to continue treatment. BV PFS was similar for all 3 recurrence groups (median, 4.1 months). There were no differences in BV ST (median, 9.8 months). The addition of chemotherapy to BV improved PFS but not ST. Analysis of treatment continuation rates indicated that the number of patients unable to undergo further treatments is modest, and that patients unable to tolerate BV delay can be identified by age ≥60 years and low extent of resection. Deferred use of bevacizumab is not associated with diminished efficacy. Analysis of treatment continuation rates identified patients who may be unable to delay BV therapy. Our findings suggest that there is a fixed survival after BV initiation and that delayed BV treatment is preferable for most patients.
    Neuro-Oncology 03/2014; · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most patients with large pituitary tumors do not exhibit hyperprolactinemia as a result of pituitary lactotroph disinhibition (stalk effect). Studies have demonstrated that increased intrasellar pressure is associated with both "stalk effect" hyperprolactinemia and pituitary insufficiency. Our primary hypothesis was that, despite continued disinhibition, lactotroph failure is responsible for normoprolactinemia in patients with large macroadenomas. As a corollary, we proposed that the hyperprolactinemia phase, which presumably would precede the insufficiency/normoprolactinemic state, would more likely be discovered in premenopausal females and go unnoticed in males. Prospective, consecutive surgical series of 98 patients of clinically nonfunctional pituitary adenomas. Lactotroph insufficiency was inferred by the coexistence of insufficiency in another pituitary axis. The existence of pre-operative lactotroph disinhibition was inferred based on comparison of pre- versus post-operative prolactin levels. 87 % of patients with tumor size >20 mm and normoprolactinemia had pituitary insufficiency. Pre-operative prolactin in patients with pituitary insufficiency were lower than those with intact pituitary function. Prolactin levels dropped in nearly all patients, including patients with normoprolactinemia pre-operatively. Premenopausal women had smaller tumors and higher pre-operative prolactin levels compared to males. No premenopausal female exhibited evidence of pituitary insufficiency. Our study provides suggestive evidence that the "stalk effect" pathophysiology is the norm rather than the exception, and that the finding of normoprolactinemia in a patient with a large macroadenoma is likely a consequence of lactotroph insufficiency. In males, the hyperprolactinemia window is more likely to be missed clinically due to an absence of prolactin-related symptoms.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 02/2014; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant gliomas are the most common human primary brain tumors. Point mutation of amino acid arginine 132 to histidine (R132H) in the IDH1 protein leads to an enzymatic gain-of-function and is thought to promote gliomagenesis. Little is known about the downstream effects of the IDH1 mutation on protein expression and how and whether changes in protein expression are involved in tumor formation or propagation. In the current study, we used 2D DIGE (difference gel electrophoresis) and mass spectrometry to analyze differences in protein expression between IDH1(R132H) mutant and wild type anaplastic (grade III) astrocytoma from human brain cancer tissues. We show that expression levels of many proteins are altered in IDH1(R132H) mutant anaplastic astrocytoma. Some of the most over-expressed proteins in the mutants include several forms of αB-crystallin, a small heat-shock and anti-apoptotic protein. αB-crystallin proteins are elevated up to 22-fold in IDH1(R132H) mutant tumors, and αB-crystallin expression appears to be controlled at the post-translational level. We identified the most abundant form of αB-crystallin as a low molecular weight species that is C-terminally truncated. We also found that overexpression of αB-crystallin can be induced by transfecting U251 human glioblastoma cell lines with the IDH1(R132H) mutation. In conclusion, the association of a C-terminally truncated form of αB-crystallin protein with the IDH1(R132H) mutation is a novel finding that could impact apoptosis and stress response in IDH1 mutant glioma.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 01/2014; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Well preserved frozen biospecimens are ideal for evaluating the genome, transcriptome, and proteome. While papers reviewing individual aspects of frozen biospecimens are available, we present a current overview of experimental data regarding procurement, storage, and quality assurance that can inform the handling of frozen biospecimens. Frozen biospecimen degradation can be influenced by factors independent of the collection methodology including tissue type, premortem agonal changes, and warm ischemia time during surgery. Rapid stabilization of tissues by snap freezing immediately can mitigate artifactually altered gene expression and, less appreciated, protein phosphorylation profiles. Collection protocols may be adjusted for specific tissue types as cellular ischemia tolerance varies widely. If data is not available for a particular tissue type, a practical goal is snap freezing within 20 minutes. Tolerance for freeze-thaw events is also tissue type dependent. Tissue storage at -80°C can preserve DNA and protein for years but RNA can show degradation at 5 years. For -80°C freezers, aliquots frozen in RNAlater or similar RNA stabilizing solutions is a consideration. It remains unresolved as to whether storage at -150°C provides significant advantages relative to -80°C. Histologic quality assurance of tissue biospecimens is typically performed at the time of surgery but should also be conducted on the aliquot to be distributed because of tissue heterogeneity. Biobanking protocols for blood and its components are highly dependent on intended use and multiple collection tube types may be needed. Additional quality assurance testing should be dictated by the anticipated downstream applications.
    Clinical biochemistry 01/2014; · 2.02 Impact Factor
  • The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques 01/2014; 41(1):112-4. · 1.33 Impact Factor
  • William H Yong, Sarah M Dry, Maryam Shabihkhani
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    ABSTRACT: Powerful technologies critical to personalized medicine and targeted therapeutics require the analysis of carefully validated, procured, stored, and managed biospecimens. Reflecting advancements in biospecimen science, the National Cancer Institute and the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories are periodically publishing best practices that can guide the biobanker. The modern biobank will operate more like a clinical laboratory with formal accreditation, standard operating procedures, and quality assurance protocols. This chapter highlights practical issues of consent, procurement, storage, quality assurance, disbursement, funding, and space. Common topics of concern are discussed including the differences between clinical and research biospecimens, stabilization of biospecimens during procurement, optimal storage temperatures, and technical validation of biospecimen content and quality. With quickly expanding biospecimen needs and limited healthcare budgets, biobanks may need to be selective as to what is stored. Furthermore, a shift to room-temperature storage modalities where possible can reduce long-term space and fiscal requirements.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2014; 1180:137-62. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Frozen biospecimens are crucial for translational research and contain well preserved nucleic acids and protein. However, the risk for catastrophic freezer failure as well as space, cost, and environmental concerns argue for evaluating long-term room temperature storage alternatives. Formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues have great value but their use is limited by cross-linking and fragmentation of nucleic acids, as well as loss of enzymatic activity. Stabilization solutions can now robustly preserve fresh tissue for up to 7days at room temperature. For longer term storage, commercial vendors of chemical matrices claim real time stability of nucleic acids of over 2years and their accelerated aging studies to date suggest stability for 12years for RNA and 60years for DNA. However, anatomic pathology biorepositories store mostly frozen tissue rather than nucleic acids. Small quantities of tissue can be directly placed on some chemical matrices to stabilize DNA, however RNA and proteins are not preserved. Current lyophilization approaches can preserve histomorphology, DNA, RNA, and proteins though RNA shows moderate degradation after 1-2years. Formalin free fixatives show improved but varying abilities to preserve nucleic acids and face validation as well as cost barriers in replacing FFPE specimens. The paraffin embedding process can degrade RNA. Development of robust long-term room temperature biospecimen tissue storage technology can potentially reduce costs for the biomedical community in the face of growing targeted therapy needs and decreasing budgets.
    Clinical biochemistry 12/2013; · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brain metastases are frequently treated with radiation. It is critical to distinguish recurrent or progressive brain metastases (RPBM) from late or delayed radiation injury (LDRI). The purpose of this study was to examine the diagnostic accuracy as well as the prognostic power of 6-(18)F-fluoro-l-dopa ((18)F-FDOPA) PET for differentiating RPBM from LDRI. Thirty-two patients who had 83 previously irradiated brain metastases and who underwent (18)F-FDOPA PET because of an MR imaging-based suggestion of RPBM were studied retrospectively. PET studies were analyzed semiquantitatively (lesion-to-striatum and lesion-to-normal brain tissue ratios based on both maximum and mean standardized uptake values) and visually (4-point scale). The diagnostic accuracy of PET was verified by histopathologic analysis (n = 9) or clinical follow-up (n = 74) on a lesion-by-lesion basis. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to identify the best diagnostic indices. The power of (18)F-FDOPA PET to predict disease progression was evaluated with the Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression methods. The best overall accuracy was achieved by visual scoring, with which a score of 2 or more (lesion uptake greater than or equal to striatum uptake) resulted in a sensitivity of 81.3% and a specificity of 84.3%. Semiquantitative (18)F-FDOPA PET uptake indices based on lesion-to-normal brain tissue ratios were significantly higher for RPBM than for LDRI. Among the various predictors tested, (18)F-FDOPA PET was the strongest predictor of tumor progression (hazard ratio, 6.26; P < 0.001), and the lesion-to-normal brain tissue ratio or visual score was the best discriminator. The mean time to progression was 4.6 times longer for lesions with negative (18)F-FDOPA PET results than for lesions with positive (18)F-FDOPA PET results (76.5 vs. 16.7 mo; P < 0.001). (18)F-FDOPA PET findings tended to predict overall survival. Metabolic imaging with (18)F-FDOPA PET was useful for differentiating RPBM from LDRI. Semiquantitative indices, particularly lesion-to-normal uptake ratios, could be used. A visual score comparing tumor (18)F-FDOPA uptake and striatum (18)F-FDOPA uptake provided the highest sensitivity and specificity and was predictive of disease progression.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 10/2013; · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aerobic glycolysis (the Warburg effect) is a core hallmark of cancer, but the molecular mechanisms underlying it remain unclear. Here, we identify an unexpected central role for mTORC2 in cancer metabolic reprogramming where it controls glycolytic metabolism by ultimately regulating the cellular level of c-Myc. We show that mTORC2 promotes inactivating phosphorylation of class IIa histone deacetylases, which leads to the acetylation of FoxO1 and FoxO3, and this in turn releases c-Myc from a suppressive miR-34c-dependent network. These central features of activated mTORC2 signaling, acetylated FoxO, and c-Myc levels are highly intercorrelated in clinical samples and with shorter survival of GBM patients. These results identify a specific, Akt-independent role for mTORC2 in regulating glycolytic metabolism in cancer.
    Cell metabolism 10/2013; · 17.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the immune system may provide early protection against cancer, tumors may exploit the healing arm of the immune system to enhance their growth and metastasis. For example, myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are thought to promote tumor growth by several mechanisms, including the suppression of T cell activity. It has been suggested that STAT3 activation in myeloid cells modulates multiple aspects of MDSC physiology, including their expansion and activity. Whereas most animal studies investigating tumor immunology have used tumor implants, we used transgenic mice (Smo*) that spontaneously develop medulloblastoma brain tumors to investigate the temporal accumulation of MDSCs within tumors and how myeloid STAT3 disruption affects MDSC and other immune cell types. We found distinct populations of MDSC in medulloblastoma tumors, with a high prevalence of CD11b(+)Ly6G(+)Ly6C(low/-) cells, described previously by others as G-MDSCs. These were found early in tumor development, in premalignant lesions located on the surface of the cerebellum of 28-day-old mice. In fully developed tumors, pSTAT3 was found in the majority of these cells. Conditional STAT3 gene disruption in myeloid cells resulted in an enhanced proinflammatory phenotype of macrophages in Smo* mice. Moreover, a significant reduction in the abundance of G-MDSCs and Tregs was observed within tumors along with an increased presence of CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells. Despite these alterations in immune cells induced by myeloid STAT3 disruption, we found no effect on tumor incidence in Smo* mice with this deletion mice was observed.
    Journal of leukocyte biology 09/2013; · 4.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An autofluorescence lifetime wide-field imaging system that can generate contrast in underlying tissue structures of normal and malignant brain tissue samples with video rate acquisition and processing time is presented. Images of the investigated tissues were acquired with high resolution (∼35 μm) using an algorithm to produce contrast based on differences in relative lifetimes. Sufficient contrast for delineation was produced without the computation of fluorescence decay times or Laguerre coefficients. The imaged tissues were sent for histological analysis that confirmed the detected imaged tissues morphological findings and correlations between relative lifetime maps and histology identified.
    Journal of Biomedical Optics 06/2013; 18(6):60504. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing contributes to diverse aspects of cancer pathogenesis including altered cellular metabolism, but the specificity of the process or its consequences are not well understood. We characterized genome-wide alternative splicing induced by the activating EGFRvIII mutation in glioblastoma (GBM). EGFRvIII upregulates the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1 splicing factor, promoting glycolytic gene expression and conferring significantly shorter survival in patients. HnRNPA1 promotes splicing of a transcript encoding the Myc-interacting partner Max, generating Delta Max, an enhancer of Myc-dependent transformation. Delta Max, but not full-length Max, rescues Myc-dependent glycolytic gene expression upon induced EGFRvIII loss, and correlates with hnRNPA1 expression and downstream Myc-dependent gene transcription in patients. Finally, Delta Max is shown to promote glioma cell proliferation in vitro and augment EGFRvIII expressing GBM growth in vivo. These results demonstrate an important role for alternative splicing in GBM and identify Delta Max as a mediator of Myc-dependent tumor cell metabolism.
    Cell metabolism 05/2013; · 17.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cushing disease (CD) is a life-threatening disorder attributed to excess pituitary tumor-derived adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and adrenal steroid secretion caused by pituitary tumors. Whereas CD was first described in 1932, the underlying genetic basis driving tumor growth and ACTH secretion remains unsolved. Here, we show that testicular orphan nuclear receptor 4 (TR4, nuclear receptor subfamily 2, group C, member 2) is overexpressed in human corticotroph tumors as well as in human and mouse corticotroph tumor cell lines. Forced overexpression of TR4 in both human and murine tumor cells increased proopiomelanocortin transcription, ACTH secretion, cellular proliferation, and tumor invasion rates in vitro. Conversely, knockdown of TR4 expression reversed all phenotypes. Mechanistically, we show that TR4 transcriptionally activates proopiomelanocortin through binding of a direct repeat 1 response element in the promoter, and that this is enhanced by MAPK-mediated TR4 phosphorylation. In vivo, TR4 overexpression promotes murine corticotroph tumor growth as well as enhances ACTH and corticosterone production, whereas TR4 knockdown decreases circulating ACTH and corticosterone levels in mice harboring ACTH-secreting tumors. Our findings directly link TR4 to the etiology of corticotroph tumors, hormone secretion, and cell growth as well as identify it as a potential target in the treatment of CD.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Frozen tissue, a gold standard biospecimen, can yield well preserved nucleic acids and proteins after over a decade but is vulnerable to thawing and has substantial fiscal, spatial, and environmental costs. A long-term room temperature biospecimen storage alternative that preserves broad analytical utility can potentially empower tissue-based research. As there is scant data on the analytical utility of lyophilized brain tumor biospecimens, we evaluated lyophilized (freeze-dried) samples stored for 1 year at room temperature. Lyophilized tumor tissue processed into paraffin sections produced good histology. Yields of extracted DNA, RNA, and protein approximated those of frozen tissue. After 1 year, lyophilized samples yielded high molecular weight DNA that permitted copy number variation analysis, IDH 1 mutation detection, and MGMT promoter methylation PCR. A 27 % decrease in RIN scores over the 1 year suggests that RNA degradation was inhibited though incompletely. Nevertheless, RT-PCR studies on lyophilized tissue performed similarly to frozen tissue. In contrast to FFPE tissues where protein bands were absent or shifted to a lower molecular weight, lyophilized samples showed similar protein bands as frozen tissue on SDS-PAGE analysis. Lyophilized tissue performed similarly to frozen tissue for Western blots and enzyme activity assays. Immunohistochemistry of lyophilized tissue that were processed into FFPE blocks often required longer incubation times for staining than standard FFPE samples but generally provided robust antigen detection. This preliminary study suggests that lyophilization has promise for long-term room temperature storage while permitting varied tests; however, further work is required to better stabilize nucleic acids particularly RNA.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 05/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunotherapy has the potential to improve clinical outcomes with little toxicity for pediatric patients with brain tumors. We conducted a pilot feasibility study of tumor lysate-pulsed dendritic cell (DC) vaccination in pediatric patients (1 to 18 years old) with newly diagnosed or recurrent high-grade glioma (HGG). A total of nine DC vaccine doses, each containing 1×10(6) cells per dose were administered to three out of the seven originally enrolled patients. Toxicities were limited to mild side-effects, except in one case of elevated alkaline phosphatase, which resolved without clinical consequences. Two patients with primary lesions amongst the three vaccinated were alive at the time of writing, both without evidence of disease. Pre- and post-vaccination tumor samples from a patient with an anaplastic oligoastrocytoma that recurred failed to demonstrate immune cell infiltration by immunohistochemistry. Peripheral cytokine levels were evaluated in one patient following DC vaccination and demonstrated some changes in relation to vaccination. DC vaccine is tolerable and feasible with some limitations for pediatric patients with HGG. Dendritic cell based immunotherapy may provide some clinical benefit in pediatric patients with glioma, especially for patients with minimal residual disease, but further investigation of this modality is required.
    Anticancer research 05/2013; 33(5):2047-56. · 1.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
510.17 Total Impact Points


  • 2006–2014
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2013
    • Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
      La Jolla, California, United States
    • Children's Hospital Los Angeles
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2005–2012
    • University of Southern California
      • Department of Biomedical Engineering
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2011
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 2009
    • Laureate Institute for Brain Research
      Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
  • 2000–2006
    • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
      • Cedars Sinai Medical Center
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2001
    • Los Angeles Neurosurgical Institute
      Los Angeles, California, United States