[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although luminal-type primary breast cancer can be efficiently treated, development of metastatic disease remains a significant clinical problem. We have previously shown that luminal-type circulating tumor cells (CTCs) co-expressing the tyrosine-kinase MET and CD47, a ligand involved in cancer cell evasion from macrophage scavenging, are able to initiate metastasis in xenografts. Here, we investigated the clinical relevance of MET-CD47 co-expression in 255 hormone receptor positive breast tumors by immunohistochemistry and found a 10.3- year mean overall-survival difference between MET-CD47 double-positive and double-negative patients (p<0.001) MET-CD47 co-expression defined a novel independent prognosticator for overall-survival by multivariate analysis (Cox proportional hazards model: HR: 4.1, p<0.002) and CD47 expression alone or in combination with MET was strongly associated with lymph node metastasis. Furthermore, flow cytometric analysis of metastatic patient blood revealed consistent presence of MET+CD47+ CTCs (range 0.8 - 33.3% of CTCs) and their frequency was associated with increased metastatic spread. Finally, primary uncultured CTCs with high MET+CD47+ content showed an enhanced capacity to initiate metastasis in mice. Detection and targeting of MET and CD47 may thus provide a rational basis for risk stratification and treatment of patients with luminal-type breast cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To prospectively assess circulating tumor cell (CTC) status at baseline (CTCBL) and after one cycle of a new line of systemic therapy (CTC1C), and changes from CTCBL to CTC1C (CTC kinetics, CTCKIN) for their utility in predicting response, progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
CTCBL and CTC1C status was determined as negative (-) or positive (+) for < 5 or ≥ 5 CTCs/7.5 ml blood using CellSearch™ (Veridex). CTCKIN was categorized as favorable (CTC1C-) or unfavorable (CTC1C+). Tumor response was to be assessed every 2–3 months using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria. Statistical analysis focused on the relation between CTC status and CTCKIN, and response, PFS, and OS.
133/393 (34%) patients enrolled were CTCBL+. CTC1C status after one cycle and radiological tumor response were assessed after median (range) periods of 1.2 (0.5–3.2) and 2.9 (0.5–4.8) months, respectively. 57/201 (28%) were CTC1C+. Median [95% confidence interval] PFS and OS (months) were significantly reduced in CTCBL+ vs. CTCBL- patients (PFS 4.7 [3.7–6.1] vs. 7.8 [6.4–9.2]; OS 10.4 [7.9–15.0] vs. 27.2 [22.3–29.9]), and for CTC1C+ vs. CTC1C- patients (PFS 4.3 [3.6–6.0] vs. 8.5 [6.6–10.4]; OS 7.7 [6.4–13.9] vs. 30.6 [22.6–not available]). Unfavorable CTCKIN was significantly associated with progressive disease. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed prognostic factors for shorter PFS (CTCBL+, persistent CTCs after one cycle, ≥ 3rd-line therapy, and triple-negative receptor status) and shorter OS (CTCBL+, persistent CTCs after one cycle, bone-and-visceral/local metastases, ≥ 3rd-line therapy, and triple-negative receptor status).
CTCBL, CTC1C, and CTCKIN are predictive of outcome in MBC. Serial CTC enumeration is useful in tailoring systemic treatment of MBC.
BMC Cancer 07/2014; 14(1):512. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-14-512 · 3.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
To evaluate CD24/CD44/CD47 cancer stem cell marker expressions in bladder cancer (BCa) and provide data on their prognostic significance for clinical outcome in patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC).
Material and methods
Primary BCa tissue was used for xenograft studies. A tissue microarray was prepared using specimens from a cohort of 132 patients. All patients underwent RC for urothelial BCa between 2001 and 2010. Expression of CD24, CD44, and CD47 was examined in primary samples and xenografts by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Populations of CD24low- and CD24high- expressing cells were sorted and evaluated for tumorigenicity in vivo. Tissue microarray was analyzed for CD24/CD44 staining intensity and tumor-specific vs. stromal cell staining. Associations with BCa survival, BCa stage, and lymph node status were evaluated by univariate and multivariate analyses.
CD24 and CD44/CD47 expressions mark distinct cell populations within the normal urothelium as well as in BCa. CD24high/low expression was not sufficient to characterize CD24 as a BCa-initiating marker in in vivo primary xenotransplants. CD24 and CD44 expressions correlated with lower cancer-specific survival in patients. However, multivariate analyses of CD24 or CD44 did not demonstrate significantly increased hazards for cancer-specific death if analyzed together with stage, grade, and nodal status of patients.
Cancer stem cell markers CD24/CD44/CD47 are differentially expressed in cells of urothelial BCa in patients undergoing RC and influence cancer-specific survival of patients. Further evaluation of CD24/CD44/CD47 protein expression could be of high therapeutic value in BCa. However, both CD24 and CD44 expressions cannot be regarded as independent prognostic parameters for patients undergoing RC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phosphatase and tumor suppressor PTEN inhibits the phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway and plays a key role in cell growth, proliferation, survival, and migration. Pten conditional deletion using MxCre or Scl-CreER(T) leads to splenomegaly and leukemia formation, which occurs after the relocation of normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from the bone marrow to the spleen. Unexpectedly, dormant HSCs in the bone marrow do not enter the cell cycle upon Pten loss, they do not lose self-renewal activity, and they are not exhausted. Instead, Pten deficiency causes an up-regulation of the PI3K pathway in myeloid cells, but not in HSCs. Strikingly, myeloid cells secrete high levels of G-CSF upon Pten loss, leading to the mobilization of HSCs from the bone marrow and accumulation in the spleen. After deletion of Pten in mice lacking G-CSF, the splenomegaly, myeloproliferative disease, and splenic HSC accumulation are rescued. Our data show that although PTEN has little if any role in normal HSCs, it is essential to prevent overt G-CSF production by myeloid and stromal cells which otherwise causes HSCs to relocate to the spleen followed by lethal leukemia initiation.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 10/2013; 210(11). DOI:10.1084/jem.20122768 · 13.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been hypothesized that carcinoma metastasis is initiated by a subpopulation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) found in the blood of patients. However, although the presence of CTCs is an indicator of poor prognosis in several carcinoma entities, the existence and phenotype of metastasis-initiating cells (MICs) among CTCs has not been experimentally demonstrated. Here we developed a xenograft assay and used it to show that primary human luminal breast cancer CTCs contain MICs that give rise to bone, lung and liver metastases in mice. These MIC-containing CTC populations expressed EPCAM, CD44, CD47 and MET. In a small cohort of patients with metastases, the number of EPCAM(+)CD44(+)CD47(+)MET(+) CTCs, but not of bulk EPCAM(+) CTCs, correlated with lower overall survival and increased number of metastasic sites. These data describe functional circulating MICs and associated markers, which may aid the design of better tools to diagnose and treat metastatic breast cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients is an independent marker of prognosis. This large prospective multicenter study aimed to assess the impact of CTCs on overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) in patients with predefined molecular subgroups of MBC. To this end, 468 MBC patients were divided into three subgroups based on immunohistochemical staining of the primary tumor: (1) hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative (HorR+/HER2-), (2) HER2-positive (HER2+), and (3) HorR-negative/HER2-negative (HorR-/HER2-) patients. CTC status (<5 CTCs/7.5 ml blood (CTC-negative) vs. ≥5 CTCs/7.5 ml blood (CTC-positive)) was determined using the CellCearch(®) system before patients started a new line of therapy. At baseline, 205 (42 %) patients were CTC-positive. On multivariate analysis, CTC-positivity was an independent prognostic factor for shorter PFS and OS. In HorR+/HER2- patients, median PFS [95 % CI] of CTC-negative versus CTC-positive patients was 8.60 [5.93-11.27] versus 4.33 [3.29-5.38] months (p < 0.001), in HER2+ patients 7.60 [5.40-9.79] versus 6.60 [4.20-9.00] months (p = 0.477) and in HorR-/HER2- patients 5.83 [5.09-6.78] versus 3.05 [1.81-4.29] months (p < 0.001), respectively. Median OS [95 % CI] of CTC-negative versus CTC-positive patients was as follows: not reached by either in the HorR+/HER2- subgroup (p < 0.001), not reached versus 18.07 [11.10-25.05] months (p = 0.001) in the HER2+ subgroup, and not reached versus 8.57 [4.07-13.07] months in the HorR-/HER2- subgroup (p = 0.001). In conclusion, our results strongly confirm the independent prognostic value of CTC enumeration in MBC patients. In contrast to recent reports, there was no association between primary tumor-based molecular subgroups and the impact of CTC status on OS. Hence, CTC status may help to identify patients who require aggressive therapy, especially among those with triple-negative MBC.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 12/2012; 137(2). DOI:10.1007/s10549-012-2382-0 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cancer stem cell (CSC) concept, which arose more than a decade ago, proposed that tumor growth is sustained by a subpopulation of highly malignant cancerous cells. These cells, termed CSCs, comprise the top of the tumor cell hierarchy and have been isolated from many leukemias and solid tumors. Recent work has discovered that this hierarchy is embedded within a genetically heterogeneous tumor, in which various related but distinct subclones compete within the tumor mass. Thus, genetically distinct CSCs exist on top of each subclone, revealing a highly complex cellular composition of tumors. The CSC concept has therefore evolved to better model the complex and highly dynamic processes of tumorigenesis, tumor relapse, and metastasis.
The Journal of Cell Biology 08/2012; 198(3):281-93. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201202014 · 9.69 Impact Factor