International Journal of Cancer

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1097-0215
Publications
Article
Sentinel lymphadenectomy (SLNE) is now internationally accepted for the primary treatment of melanomas thicker than 1 mm. But it is still controversial whether also patients with nonulcerated melanomas in the Breslow range between 0.76 and 1 mm should be included. At the authors' department, 87 of such patients (Group A) underwent SLNE in combination with wide local excision (WLE) of their primary melanomas in the years 1995 to 2001. SLN micrometastases were found in 10 of these patients (11.5%). Radical completion lymph node dissections (CLND) were added in 4 of the 10 patients without revealing any further nodal metastases. All the 87 Group A patients remained free from recurrent disease at a median follow-up time of 74 months. The control Group B from the same department encompassed 61 consecutive stage Ia patients with melanomas in the identical Breslow range, who had undergone only WLE of their primaries without SLNE in the years 1987 to 1993 (median follow-up time 115 months). Five of these 61 patients (8.2%) developed melanoma metastases within 12 to 68 (median 19) months of follow-up, 3 of them initially in regional lymph nodes. Four of the 5 individuals died because of the final distant dissemination of the melanoma. Kaplan-Meier comparisons between Groups A and B with log-rank testing showed a significantly worse outcome of Group B with respect to recurrence-free survival (p = 0.01), regional nodal progression (p = 0.041), distant metastasis (p = 0.023) and melanoma-related mortality (p = 0.03). The overall survival was not significantly different, because expiries not related to melanoma predominated in both groups. Our data suggest that SLNE seems to nearly completely eliminate the risk of melanoma recurrences in patients with melanomas between 0.76 and 1 mm thick.
 
Article
Derivatives of camptothecins, topoisomerase I inhibitors and 7-hydroxystaurosporine (UCN-01), a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor and cell cycle checkpoint abrogator, are promising anticancer drugs. We characterized the apoptotic response to camptothecin and UCN-01 for the 8 human breast carcinoma cell lines (MCF-7, MCF-7/ADR, T47D, HS578T, BT549, MDA-N, MDA MB231, MDA435) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Anticancer Drug Screen. MCF-7 and T47D cells exhibited marked resistance to apoptosis, whereas MCF-7/ADR (NCI/ADR-RES) and HS578T cells exhibited the most pronounced apoptotic response. Apoptotic response was not correlated with growth inhibition measured by sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay, indicating that apoptosis is not the only mechanism of drug-induced cell death. Measurements of topoisomerase I levels and cleavage complexes and of PKC isoforms demonstrated that primary target inhibition was not correlated with apoptotic response. Several key apoptotic pathways were evaluated. Only MCF-7 cells had wild-type p53, indicating that p53 is not required for drug-induced apoptosis. MCF-7 cells also showed the highest MDM-2 expression (along with T47D cells, which were also resistant to apoptosis). Bcl-2, Mcl-1 and caspases 2 and 3 protein levels varied widely, whereas Bax expression was comparable among cell lines. Interestingly, Bcl-2, Mcl-1 and Bcl-X(L) cumulative expressions were inversely correlated with apoptotic response. Our results provide a comparative molecular characterization for the breast cancer cell lines of the NCI Anticancer Drug Screen and demonstrate the diversity of cellular responses to drugs (apoptosis vs. cell cycle arrest) and the importance of multifactorial analyses for modulating/predicting the apoptotic response to chemotherapy.
 
Article
We have previously reported that UCN-01 (7-hydroxystaurosporine), a protein kinase inhibitor that is under clinical trials as an anti-cancer agent in the USA and Japan, enhanced the anti-tumor activity of mitomycin C (MMC) in vitro and in vivo. Subsequent studies from other laboratories revealed that UCN-01 could selectively enhance cytotoxicity of DNA damaging agents in p53 defective cells and that this was mediated by abrogation of S and /or G(2) arrest by UCN-01. In this study, we report that UCN-01 selectively enhances the cytotoxicity of MMC in human p53 mutant cell lines. In contrast, UCN-01 showed little, if any, effect on MMC cytotoxicity in human p53 wild-type cell lines. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP-nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay revealed that the combination of MMC with UCN-01 increased DNA breaks consistent with apoptosis in p53 defective A431 epidermoid carcinoma cells. In p53 wild-type MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor protein p21/WAF1 was markedly induced after the treatment with MMC alone, although this response was significantly delayed from the time of MMC treatment. Detailed cell-cycle studies revealed that UCN-01 abrogated S and G(2) phase accumulation induced by MMC in p53 defective cells and to a lesser extent in p53 wild-type cell lines. The abrogation of arrest in p53 wild-type cells was observed prior to significant induction of the p53 response. Since MMC was less effective against p53 defective cell lines than against p53 wild-type cell lines and UCN-01 selectively enhanced MMC cytotoxicity in p53 defective cell lines, UCN-01 may provide a new modality of MMC-based cancer chemotherapy, particularly in p53 defective cancer patients.
 
Article
Tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP-2) is a known target antigen of spontaneous cytotoxic T cell responses in melanoma patients. Its frequent expression in metastatic tumors suggests that it might be an ideal candidate antigen for T cell-based immunotherapy. To provide knowledge about TRP-2-derived T cell epitopes useful for immunotherapy we applied a "reverse immunology strategy" based on repeated in vitro peptide stimulation of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from normal donors with predicted HLA-A*01 ligands. This led to the identification of TRP-2(181-190) as the first HLA-A*01-presented TRP-2-derived epitope. T-cell lines specific for peptide TRP-2(181-190) could be established from PBL of 50% of the normal HLA-A*01(+) donors tested. Such T cells responded specifically to autologous dendritic cells transduced virally with TRP-2, as well as to HLA-A*01(+), TRP-2(+) melanoma cells, although tumor cells had to be pretreated with IFN-gamma to become susceptible to T cell recognition. Interestingly, short-term in vitro peptide stimulation of PBL from HLA-A*01(+) melanoma patients showed the presence of TRP-2(181-190)-reactive CD8(+) T cells in some donors, suggesting their in vivo sensitization. Because TRP-2(181-190) overlaps with the known HLA-A*0201-presented epitope TRP-2(180-188), an 11mer peptide encompassing both epitopes might be of specific value for vaccination of a broad population of melanoma patients.
 
Article
UCN-01 (7-hydroxystaurosporine) inhibits the growth of various malignant cell lines in vitro and in vivo. In this study, a human small cell lung carcinoma subline resistant to UCN-01, SBC-3/UCN, was established and characterized. SBC-3/UCN cells showed 8-fold greater resistance to the UCN-01-induced growth-inhibitory effect than the parent cells, SBC-3. No UCN-01-induced G1 accumulation in SBC-3 cells was observed in SBC-3/UCN cells and decreased expression of phosphorylated RB protein was found in SBC-3 cells. Neither basal expression nor induction of p21(Cip1) by UCN-01 treatment was detected in the SBC-3/UCN cell line. An inhibitory effect of UCN-01 on CDK2 activity, which is mediated by p21(Cip1)/CDK2 complex formation upon UCN-01 treatment, was observed in SBC-3 but not in SBC-3/UCN cells. SBC-3/UCN showed higher CDK6 activity than SBC-3 cells. UCN-01 did not inhibit the CDK4 and CDK6 activities in both cells. We screened the cell cycle regulatory molecules associated with G(1)/S progression and found a remarked decrease in interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1), which is known to cooperate with p53 in p21(Cip1) induction. Our results suggest that p21(Cip1) regulation via the IRF-1-associated pathway may represent a major determinant of UCN-01-induced growth inhibition in human lung cancer cells.
 
Article
Several recent studies have reported different associations between HLA specificities and human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated disease of the cervix. We report the distribution of DQA1 and DQB1 genes and HPV infection in a population-based case-control study including 92 patients with histologically verified cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade II-III (CIN II-III) (thus including moderate and severe dysplasia and carcinoma in situ) and 225 control subjects. We found an overrepresentation of the DQA1*0102-DQB1*0602 haplotype among HPV-positive cases compared with controls. The association was even stronger when comparing HPV-16-positive cases with HPV-16-positive controls. In addition, among HPV-16-positive individuals, we observed a decreased frequency of DQA1*0102-DQB1*0604 in cases compared with controls. We were not able to detect any association between CIN II-III and DQB1*03. Compared with previous findings in cervical cancer, our data indicate that carrying the DQA1*0102-DQB1*0602 haplotype gives an increased risk of developing CIN when infected with HPV-16, without influencing progression to cancer.
 
Article
Our study investigated the impact of specific KRAS mutations and BRAF mutation on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treated within the AIO KRK-0104-trial as first-line therapy. In total, 146 (of 185) patients were included in this analysis. Seventy-nine patients presented with KRAS/BRAF wild-type (wt), 41 patients with a KRAS codon 12 and nine patients with a KRAS codon 13 mutation. Seventeen patients presented a BRAF-mutated tumor. The patients of our study were treated with CAPIRI/CAPOX plus cetuximab. Major differences regarding PFS and OS were observed depending on the mutation of the tumor. PFS was 8 months in patients with wt-tumors, 5.8 months with codon 12-mutated, 9.9 months with codon 13-mutated and 4.2 months with BRAF-mutated tumors. OS was 23.5 months in patients with wt-tumors, 18.9 months with codon 12-mutated, 26.2 months with codon 13-mutated and 13.0 months with BRAF-mutated tumors. Although the conventional separation of patients with KRAS wild-type versus KRAS mutant tumors did not have a significant impact on outcome parameters in the AIO KRK 0104-trial, this analysis demonstrates that markedly differing results are obtained when subtypes of KRAS and BRAF mutation are taken into account.
 
Article
Tumor angiogenesis in childhood neuroblastoma is an important prognostic factor suggesting a potential role for antiangiogenic agents in the treatment of high-risk disease. Within the KidsCancerKinome project, we evaluated the new oral selective pan-VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor axitinib (AG-013736) against neuroblastoma cell lines and the subcutaneous and orthotopic xenograft model IGR-N91 derived from a primary bone marrow metastasis. Axitinib reduced cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner with IC(50) doses between 274 and >10,000 nmol/l. Oral treatment with 30 mg/kg BID for 2 weeks in advanced tumors yielded significant tumor growth delay, with a median time to reach five times initial tumor volume of 11.4 days compared to controls (p = 0.0006) and resulted in significant reduction in bioluminescence. Simultaneous inhibition of VEGFR downstream effector mTOR using rapamycin 20 mg/kg q2d×5 did not statistically enhance tumor growth delay compared to single agent activities. Axitinib downregulated VEGFR-2 phosphorylation resulting in significantly decreased microvessel density (MVD) and overall surface fraction of tumor vessels (OSFV) in all xenografts as measured by CD34 immunohistochemical staining (mean MVD ± SD and OSFV at 14 days 21.27 ± 10.03 in treated tumors vs. 48.79 ± 17.27 in controls and 0.56% vs. 1.29%; p = 0.0006, respectively). We further explored the effects of axitinib on circulating mature endothelial cells (CECs) and endothelial progenitor cells (CEPs) measured by flow cytometry. While only transient modification was observed for CECs, CEP counts were significantly reduced during and up to 14 days after end of treatment. Axitinib has potent antiangiogenic properties that may warrant further evaluation in neuroblastoma.
 
Article
There is good evidence for an association between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Hodgkin's disease (HD). In approximately one-third of cases, the EBV genome is detectable in Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells and there is expression of the viral nuclear antigen EBNA-1 and the latent membrane protein LMP-1. Expression of LMP-2 has been demonstrated at the mRNA level, and it is presumed that the protein is expressed alongside LMP-1. The LMP-2 protein is known to contain an epitope presented to cytotoxic T-cells which is restricted through the HLA class I antigen A*0201 in healthy seropositive individuals. Since most HLA-A*02-positive Caucasians are HLA-A*0201-positive, it was hypothesized that HLA-A*02-positive individuals would be under-represented among Caucasians with EBV-associated HD. HLA-A*02 status was determined, using flow cytometry and/or the polymerase chain reaction, for 276 individuals including 176 cases of HD. There was no significant difference between the frequency of HLA-A*02 positivity in HD cases and controls, and between EBV-associated and non-associated cases of HD. The A*02 alleles of 14 cases of EBV-associated HD were further subtyped using nested PCR; all except one case were found to be A*0201-positive. We therefore investigated whether there was any evidence for mutation of the epitope representing amino acids 426-434 of LMP-2a which is restricted through HLA-A*0201. In 10/11 cases the nucleotide sequence encoding this epitope was identical to the published sequence; in the remaining case there was a mutation which would not be expected to alter the conformation of the epitope. Overall, our data suggest that other mechanisms of immune escape must be operative in EBV-associated HD.
 
Article
Cancer vaccines directed against tumor associate antigen (TAA) have produced encouraging results in preclinical models but not in cancer patients. A major limitation of this strategy is the relative degree of tolerance to these antigens and the low and heterogeneous tumor cell expression of TAA and major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Previous studies have shown that 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) can upregulate the expression of membrane-associated carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA), and MHC molecules in colon and breast carcinoma cell lines. We have investigated whether this drug can also enhance their sensitivity to the lytic effects of CEA-peptide specific Cytotoxic T cell lymphocytes (CTL). The CEA peptide-specific CTLs generated in our laboratory from normal HLA-A(*)02.01(+) donor PBMCs, were able to kill HLA-A(*)02.01(+)/CEA(+) breast (MCF-7-T103) and colon (HLA-A(*)02.01 gene-transfected HT-29 and C22.20) carcinoma cells in HLA-A(*)02.01 restricted manner. The treatment of target cells with 5-FU, enhanced their CEA expression and susceptibility to CTL-mediated lysis. Cold competition assays confirmed these results, thus supporting the hypothesis that immune target cell lysis and 5-FU mediated enhancement were dependent on CEA peptide presentation by cancer cells. 5-FU treatment of functionally "mature" CTL after in vitro expansion, did not reduce their cytolytic activity against MT-2 target cells but, when the anti-metabolite was added during the immune-sensitization phase, CTL generation was significantly inhibited. These results provide a rationale for investigating a possible new role of 5-FU as an immuno targeting amplifier agent in breast and colorectal cancer patients immunized with CEA-directed cancer vaccines.
 
Article
Melanoma-specific T cells can occur spontaneously or in response to vaccination or other therapies, but the frequency is much lower than observed in viral infections. The presence of tumor-specific T cells does not necessarily translate into clinical regressions for a variety of reasons such as an insufficient frequency, activation state or homing capacity of the T cells or escape strategies of the tumor. Having screened melanoma patients prior to inclusion in vaccination trials for spontaneous tumor-specific T cells either by Elispot or tetramer-staining, we have identified 3 patients with sufficient numbers of tumor-reactive T cells to more than 1 TAA and at least 1 virus-antigen to perform phenotypic and functional analysis directly ex vivo. These stage IV melanoma patients showed specific CTL against melan-A.A2, tyrosinase.A2 and influenza matrix peptide (IMP).A2 readily detectable in peripheral blood. T-cell receptor (TCR) staining using the tetramer technology was combined with phenotypic characterization and functional assays. In contrast to IMP-specific CTL, melanoma-specific CTL were predominantly terminally differentiated effector cells. However, analysis of melan-A- and tyrosinase-specific T-cell lines showed that only a part of the melanoma-specific CTL were able to lyse peptide-loaded target cells. Interestingly, the described phenotypic and functional differences of melan-A- and tyrosinase-specific CTL appeared not only between patients but were also evident within patients, suggesting that the immune response against various tumor antigens is regulated independently.
 
Article
Melanoma-reactive human cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) mediate tumor regression in vivo through specific recognition of MHC-associated peptide epitopes, many of which are encoded by the melanocytic tissue differentiation proteins gp100/Pme117 and MART-1/Melan-A. Vaccines using these peptides may induce protective or therapeutic immunity against melanoma. Rational design of such approaches is aided by a clear understanding of the identity of these antigenic peptides; however, most CTL epitopes described to date were identified indirectly. Especially where these peptides may be used in human clinical trials for the treatment or prevention of cancer, there is substantial need for direct evaluation of HLA-A*0201-associated peptides from MART-1 and gp100 that are naturally processed and presented. To that end, we have isolated peptides directly from HLA-A*0201 molecules of human melanoma cells and have determined that naturally processed epitopes for HLA-A*0201-restricted, melanoma-reactive CTLs include the nonamers MART-1(27-35) (AAGIGILTV), gp100(154-162) (KTWGQYWQV), gp100(209-217) (ITDQVPFSV) and gp100(280-288) (YLEPGPVTA) and the decamer gp100(476-485) (VLYRYGSFSV). Among these, the one that appears to be most abundant at the cell surface is gp100(154-162) (KTWGQYWQV). The others are among the less abundant peptides. HLA-A*0201-restricted CTLs from one melanoma patient who has survived metastatic disease recognized MART-1(27-35) (AAGIGILTV), gp100(280-288) (YLEPGPVTA) and gp100(154-162) (KTWGQYWQV) and were cross-reactive on longer peptides that contained these nonamer sequences. These peptides, identified by both an indirect genetic approach and by a direct peptide approach, can be used for tumor vaccine strategies with confidence that they are identical to the naturally processed peptide epitopes presented at the surface of melanoma cells in association with HLA-A*0201 molecules.
 
Article
MAGE-2 is expressed in many tumors, including melanoma, laryngeal tumors, lung tumors and sarcomas, but not in healthy tissue, with the exception of testis. Thus, MAGE-2-derived peptides that bind to HLA class I molecules and elicit cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses could be of significant therapeutic importance. In this study, we show that several MAGE-2-derived peptides bind with high affinity to HLA-A*0201. Three of them form complexes with HLA-A*0201 that are stable at 37 degrees C and are immunogenic in HLA-A*0201Kb transgenic mice. Moreover, CTLs against 2 of them (M2 112-120, and M2 157-166) specifically recognize cells that express both the MAGE-2 protein and HLA-A*0201Kb. These 2 peptides are processed and presented in the context of HLA-A*0201. Therefore, these peptides are candidate components in peptide-based vaccines for the treatment and prevention of several types of MAGE-2-expressing cancers.
 
Article
Tie-2 stabilises pericyte-endothelial interactions during angiogenesis and is highly expressed on endothelium during several diseases, including arthritis, age-related macular degeneration and cancer. A vaccine that targets endothelium overexpressing Tie-2 may result in vessel damage and stimulate an inflammatory cascade resulting in disease regression. We have identified a region unique to Tie-2 (amino acids 1-196) that is homologous in humans and mice. Using computer algorithms, several HLA-A*0201 epitopes that are identical in mice and humans were predicted within this region; however, binding assays showed that the majority of these epitopes were of low affinity. Modification of the anchor residues of 4 epitopes enhanced HLA binding. These epitopes were incorporated by site-directed mutagenesis into a Tie-2 DNA construct. Immunisation of HLA*0201 transgenic mice with one of the modified Tie-2 constructs stimulated CTLs that recognised both wild-type and modified peptide-pulsed target cells. In contrast, no CTLs were generated in mice immunised with wild-type Tie-2 construct, demonstrating that the modified epitope was necessary in the generation of CTLs. Moreover, CTLs from mice immunised with the modified construct killed HLA-A*0201 endothelial cells overexpressing Tie-2. Our study demonstrates that it is possible to break tolerance to the endothelial antigen Tie-2, suggesting that it may be feasible to design a vaccine to activate CTLs to kill endothelial cells overexpressing Tie-2.
 
Article
Blood lymphocytes from HLA-A*0201-subtyped melanoma patients and healthy controls were screened for the presence of T cells specific for HLA-A*0201-binding melanoma and viral peptide antigens by the enzyme-linked immunoSPOT (ELISPOT) assay. CD8(+) cells were tested for peptide-specific IFN-gamma release immediately after selection as well as after 2 weeks of in vitro stimulation. After in vitro stimulation, CD8(+) T cells specific for influenza were measured in all patients and controls, whereas these T cells could be detected among nonstimulated CD8(+) cells in only 52% of individuals. Similarly, T cells specific for EBV were more frequently measured among in vitro-stimulated than nonstimulated CD8(+) cells. In nonstimulated CD8(+) cells, T cells specific for MART-1/Melan-A, gp100, tyrosinase and CAMEL were present in 4 (33%), 1 (8%), 1 (8%) and 3 (25%) of 12 patients, respectively. Only MART-1/Melan-A-specific CD8(+) T cells were found in 1 (11%) of 9 healthy controls. CD8(+) T cells specific for MAGE-2 were not observed. After in vitro stimulation, CD8(+) T cells specific for MART-1/Melan-A could be demonstrated in 6 (46%) of 13 patients and 2 (20%) of 10 controls. CD8(+) T cells specific for gp100 were detected in 1 patient after in vitro stimulation. No CD8(+) T cells specific for tyrosinase, MAGE-2 or CAMEL could be measured after in vitro stimulation. These data show that the ELISPOT assay allows direct ex vivo detection of CD8(+) T cells specific for viral and melanoma antigens. Furthermore, the data show that the sensitivity of the ELISPOT assay to measure influenza- and EBV-specific CD8(+) T cells can be enhanced by a short in vitro stimulation step, whereas opposing effects on numbers of CD8(+) T cells specific for melanoma antigens have been observed.
 
Article
Immunotherapy of HPV-associated disease such as cervical cancer is moving from preclinical investigation to clinical trials. The viral oncoproteins E6 and E7 are ideal target antigens because their expression is mandatory in HPV-transformed tumor cells. T cells are the most important effector cells for therapeutic vaccination strategies. Therefore, the identification and characterization of HPV E6 and E7 T cell epitopes is necessary. Methods to date rely on screening for immunogenicity of peptides predicted by algorithms. Presentation of the identified peptides on tumor cells, however, needs to be confirmed. In our study, we have improved the method to identify peptide epitopes of HPV18 E7 that are actually presented by tumor cells. We induced allogeneic T-cell lines by stimulation with HPV18-positive, CD80 and HLA-A*0201 transfected cervical cancer cells. Sensitized T cells were probed against an array of a HPV18 E7 20mer peptide-library. We found specific reactivity to one of the 20mer peptides. This sequence was then screened via algorithms for putative epitopes. One putative HLA-A2 restricted epitope was confirmed to bind to HLA-A2, to be immunogenic and to induce IFN gamma-release in ELISpot assays. Epitope-specific T cells were cytolytic toward autologous peptide pulsed targets and HPV18 transformed tumor cells. The identification of epitope-specific T cells in tumor infiltrating lymphocytes of a HPV18-positive HLA-matched cervical cancer patient suggests an in vivo relevance of the identified epitope. We suggest that our approach is advantageous over conventional methods, because it yields candidate peptides that are relevant CTL epitopes that are expressed, processed and presented by tumor cells.
 
Article
For the development of peptide-based immunotherapies, the identification of additional tumor antigens and T-cell epitopes is required. Because HLA-A(*)0201 is the most common allele in Caucasians, who represent the majority of patients with melanomas, 6 peptides carrying an HLA-A(*)0201 motif were synthesized from tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP2) melanoma antigen and tested for binding affinity to the HLA allele using processing-defective T2 cells. These peptides were then pulsed onto autologous dendritic cells and used to stimulate in vitro CD8(+)-enriched T cells isolated from peripheral blood of HLA-A(*)02(+) healthy donors or melanoma patients for the induction of specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). One peptide, TRP2(288-296) (SLDDYNHLV), the best HLA-A(*)0201 binder, elicited specific CTLs from 1 of 4 patients and 3 of 4 healthy donors. The induced CTLs from the patient and from 1 donor efficiently recognized HLA-A(*)02(+) TRP2(+) melanomas as well as COS-7 cells expressing HLA-A(*)0201 and TRP2 in an HLA class I-restricted manner, as assessed by cytokine production and direct cytolysis. The remaining 2 CTL lines derived from 2 donors displayed low T-cell receptor avidity, which could lyse melanoma cells in the presence of exogenous peptide. Since TRP2 is an antigen expressed in most melanomas, identification of the TRP2/HLA-A(*)0201 peptide SLDDYNHLV may facilitate the design of present peptide-based immunotherapies for the treatment of a large fraction of melanoma patients.
 
Article
The design of a broad application tumor vaccine requires the identification of tumor antigens expressed in a majority of tumors of various origins. We questioned whether the major stress-inducible heat shock protein Hsp70 (also known as Hsp72), a protein frequently overexpressed in human tumors of various histological origins, but not in most physiological normal tissues, constitutes a tumor antigen. We selected the p391 and p393 peptides from the sequence of the human inducible Hsp70 that had a high affinity for HLA-A*0201. These peptides were able to trigger a CTL response in vivo in HLA-A*0201-transgenic HHD mice and in vitro in HLA-A*0201+ healthy donors. p391- and p393-specific human and murine CTL recognized human tumor cells overexpressing Hsp70 in a HLA-A*0201-restricted manner. Tetramer analysis of TILs showed that these Hsp70 epitopes are targets of an immune response in many HLA-A*0201+ breast cancer patients. Hsp70 is a tumor antigen and the Hsp70-derived peptides p391 and p393 could be used to raise a cytotoxic response against tumors of various origins.
 
Article
MHC peptides derived from tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) can serve as the basis for the development of immunotherapeutics to treat human malignancies. Previously, we identified novel HLA-A*0201 (HLA-A2)-restricted peptides recovered from soluble HLA molecules secreted by human tumor cell lines, transfected with truncated genes of HLA-A2 and HLA-B7. Here, 4 candidate peptides eluted from soluble HLA-A2 were selected on the basis of their precursor proteins being TAAs. Peptide p1028 (GLIEKNIEL), derived from DNA methyltransferase I (DNMT-1), which is overexpressed in various human tumors, showed the highest affinity to HLA-A2 and was relatively abundant in the sMHC/peptide complexes of all transfected breast, ovarian and prostate cancer cell lines. Peptide p1028-specific CTLs were generated in vitro and shown to efficiently lyse not only target cells pulsed with the peptide but also HLA-A2-positive breast cancer cell lines MDA-231 and MCF-7. The peptide induced IFN-gamma production in CTLs, which were selectively stained by a p1028 tetramer. Since DNMT-1 is a widely expressed tumor-associated enzyme, the novel DNMT-1-derived, HLA-A2-restricted peptide GLIEKNIEL identified here may provide a suitable candidate for a therapeutic cancer vaccine.
 
Article
Cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) was recently shown to be a candidate tumor antigen broadly expressed in solid and hematologic malignancies. Nevertheless, use of such self-antigens as targets for immune intervention can be limited because of loss of high-avidity T cells during negative selection in the thymus. Recent data suggest that targeting of cryptic epitopes may represent a way to circumvent such self-tolerance and induce efficient antitumor CTL responses. Here, we present the identification and characterization of a novel, cryptic HLA-A*0201-binding peptide from CYP1B1. The nanomer CYP246 was identified by epitope deduction using algorithms to predict HLA-A*0201-binding peptides. CYP246 is characterized by strong initial HLA-A*0201 binding but a short MHC/peptide binding half-life. Expansion of high-avidity CTL was readily possible using autologous CD40-activated B cells from normal donors and cancer patients as antigen-presenting cells, suggesting that an intact T-cell repertoire can be expanded for this epitope. Lysis of CYP1B1-expressing, HLA-A*0201+ tumor cell lines and primary tumor cells confirmed that sufficient levels of CYP246 are presented by tumor cells for effector CTL killing. These findings indicate that CYP246 is a candidate cryptic epitope for immune interventions in which tumor CYP1B1 is targeted.
 
Article
Previous analyses of p53 in 40 HLA-A*0201(HLA-A2)(+) squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN) indicated that 6/13 p53 missense mutations that were detected, S149C, T150R, V157F, Y220C, Y220H and E271K, occurred within HLA-A2-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-defined p53 epitopes. Of the 6, the p53 S149C, Y220C and Y220H peptides were immunogenic. Anti-p53 mutant S149C and Y220H effector cells cross-reacted against the parental wild type sequence (wt) p53 peptides, whereas anti-p53 Y220C effector cells were specific for the mutant peptide, p53 Y220C cDNA-transfected HLA-A2(+) SaOS cells, and an HLA-A2(+) SCCHN cell line naturally expressing the mutation. These results indicate that the p53 Y220C mutation can be processed and presented for CD8(+) T cell recognition. Furthermore, using an autologous PBMC/tumor system, anti-p53 Y220C peptide-effector cells recognizing the autologous tumor could also be generated. Our analysis of p53 in 10 additional HLA-A2(+) SCCHN tumors detected the p53 Y220C in 2/10 tumors raising the overall frequency of the p53 Y220C mutation to 6/50 (12%) HLA-A2(+) SCCHN tumors. In contrast, independent of their HLA class I genotypes, the p53 Y220C mutation frequency for all human tumors analyzed to date is approximately 1.5%. This unexpectedly high frequency of the p53 Y220C mutation in HLA-A2(+) SCCHN suggests that vaccines targeting this mutation would not only be expected to induce robust anti-tumor immune responses in HLA-A2(+) subjects, but also be more widely applicable than previously envisioned for any given p53 missense mutation.
 
Article
The human tyrosinase (hTyr) (369-377) cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitope is presented by malignant melanoma and various nontransformed cells in association with human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*0201 (A2.1) and used for vaccination-based immunotherapy of melanoma patients. Its mouse homologue, mTyr (369-377), is naturally processed and bound by A2.1 with equivalent efficacy and thus enabled us to explore the effect of self tolerance on Tyr-specific T cells in different lines of A2.1 transgenic (Tg) mice and man. We found that self Tyr-reactive CTL in Tg mice and, importantly, in man were affected by partial tolerance resulting in only residual T lymphocytes of higher avidity for self Tyr along with low-avidity T cells to be present in the periphery. Immunizing mice with the xenogeneic nonself Tyr peptide facilitated the generation of self Tyr-reactive CTL. As compared to Tyr-reactive CTL induced by high amounts of the self Tyr epitope, however, the nonself antigen (Ag) had no effect on improving the avidity of self Tyr-specific mouse and human T cells. Depleting mice of CD25(+) T cells with and without CTL-associated Ag 4 (CTLA-4) blockade demonstrated that tolerance of Tyr-specific CTL was not regulated by CD4(+)CD25(+) T regulatory cells (Treg) or CTLA-4. Our studies have important implications for the design of anti-Tyr-based immunotherapeutics.
 
Article
The human epithelial mucin MUC1 is over-expressed in more than 90% of carcinomas of the breast, ovary, and pancreas as well as in some other tumours, making it a potential target for tumour immunotherapy. We have identified several MUC1-derived peptides mapping outside the variable number tandem repeat region that comply with the peptide-binding motif for HLA-A*0201 and that become processed into stable major histocompatibility complex-peptide complexes as assessed by in vitro assays. In A2/K(b) transgenic mice, 3 peptides, namely MUC(79-87) (TLAPATEPA), MUC(167-175) (ALGSTAPPV) and MUC(264-272) (FLSFHISNL) elicit peptide-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) immunity, which protects these mice against a challenge with MUC1, A2/K(b)-expressing tumour cells. These peptides therefore represent naturally processed MUC1-derived CTL epitopes that could be used as components in peptide-based vaccines and for the analysis of anti-MUC1 CTL responses in A*0201-positive patients with MUC1-expressing tumours.
 
High-grade breast tumors show the greatest levels of JARID1B. (a) Light and dark-field views for grade III invasive ductal carcinoma (left hand panels) and invasive lobular carcinoma (right hand panels). (b) 61 invasive breast carcinomas were analyzed for JARID1B expression (12 grade I, 16 grade II, 17 grade III, 16 lobular) and percentage of cases classified by intensity of in situ staining according to tumor type and grade. (c) Data scored according to the intensity of silver graining as follows: 0 = negative, 0.5 = very weak, 1 = weak, 2 = moderate, 3 = strongly positive. The scores are an average from two independent assessors. The p-values shown were generated using a one-tail students T-test assuming equal variation.
Binding of JARID1B peptides to MHC HLA-A*0201 using a competition assay
JARID1B peptides stimulate T cells to recognize target cells pulsed with peptide. Lymphocytes from healthy donors were stimulated once with peptide-pulsed mature DC followed by 5 subsequent rounds of stimulation with autologous PHA-treated PBMC as detailed in methods. (a–c) Intracellular interferon-γ production assay. The plots show responder cells stimulated with peptide 30 and assayed against: (a) MCF7 target cells without peptide, both untreated and treated with IFN-γ for 24-hours or 3 days to upregulate IFN-γ and the immunoproteasome respectively, (b) no peptide or peptide 30, (c) MCF7 target cells pulsed with peptide 30 in decreasing concentrations. The number in the gate on each plot shows the percentage of CD8+ cells that are CD69+ and IFN-γ+.
Stimulation of CD8 þ T cells cultured in vitro by JARID1B peptides
Breast cancer patients show a different profile of JARID1B-specific memory T cells, being higher in TCM cells than healthy donors. (a) Samples were stained with antibodies for CD8, CCR7 and CD45 RA, plus no pentamer, or pentamer against one of: JARID1B 73, MUC1 M1.2 or the influenza matrix peptide. Data are shown as the percentage of each memory phenotype. (b) The TCM populations of healthy donors and patients compared directly for two pentamers: JARID1B 73 and influenza matrix peptide. The p-values are calculated using a two-sample t-test, assuming equal variances with a hypothesized mean difference of zero, and are the two-tailed result. The y-axis is the percentage of sampled cells showing that phenotype.
Article
The nuclear protein PLU-1/JARID1B/KDM5 is widely expressed in breast cancers while showing highly restricted expression in normal adult tissues. To investigate whether JARID1B is a potential target antigen for immunotherapy of breast cancer, we have analyzed the responses of CD8(+) T cells to JARID1B HLA-A*0201 peptides in vitro and used peptide multimers to detect the presence of JARID1B reactive T cells in the circulation of breast cancer patients. Peptides were selected using two web-based algorithms: criteria for inclusion being a high score in both prediction algorithms, and nonhomology with retinoblastoma binding protein-2 (RBP2/JARID1A/KDM5A). A 65-peptide panel was selected and assayed for binding strength by competition assay to obtain the IC(50). The immunogenicity in vitro of these peptides was assessed by T cell stimulation experiments, using autologous dendritic cells as APCs in the first rounds followed by autologous lymphoblasts. Fourteen of the peptides assayed produced cultures having >2% of the CD8(+) cells being IFN-γ(+) after 3-6 rounds of stimulation. An HLA-A*0201 cell line could activate the specific T cells if pulsed with peptide, but endogenous peptide levels were insufficient for activation. Nevertheless, multimer staining of circulating T cells from breast cancer patients showed a significantly higher percentage of multimer positive CD8(+) T cells, as compared to healthy adults for two of three JARID1B epitopes tested. One of these, peptide 73 (QLYALPCVL), was analyzed for memory phenotype, and found to have a significantly higher proportion of central memory T cells than the control group, demonstrating a previous exposure to the peptide.
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine, as we did for paclitaxel, the cytotoxic and radiosensitizing potential of docetaxel in human head and neck cancer cells (ZMK-1), and in cervical squamous cell carcinoma cells (CaSki). ZMK-1 cells were incubated with docetaxel for 3, 9 or 24 hr before irradiation and 24 hr after irradiation. CaSki cells were incubated with docetaxel 24 hr before and after irradiation. For ZMK-1 cells, the docetaxel concentrations (0.7, 0.7 and 0.35 nM) were determined to obtain approximately equivalent cell survival at the different incubation times (3, 9 and 24 hr, respectively). For CaSki cells, the necessary concentration of docetaxel was 0.07 nM. Radiation doses were given from 0 to 7 Gy. Cell survival was measured by a standard clonogenic assay after a 9-day incubation. Flow cytometry was used to measure the capacity of docetaxel to accumulate cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. We observed a weak accumulation of cells in the G2/M phase for the ZMK-1 cells and a pronounced accumulation for CaSki cells. For docetaxel incubation before irradiation, the isoeffect enhancement ratios for ZMK-1 cells determined at the 37% survival level were 1.18, 2.01, and 2.40 for pre-incubation at 3, 9 and 24 hr, respectively; for CaSki cells the ratio was 1.44. For a docetaxel incubation of 24 hr after irradiation, the isoeffect enhancement ratios determined at the 37% survival level were 1.54 and 1.17 for the ZMK-1, and CaSki cells, respectively. A radiosensitizing effect of docetaxel could be demonstrated unambiguously in the two cell lines used. In contrast to our previously published results with paclitaxel, docetaxel seems to be a better radiosensitizer than paclitaxel.
 
Article
Susceptibility to a variety of malignancies has been linked to human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes, including the HLA class II allele DQB1*0301. To determine whether melanoma risk is associated with HLA class II alleles, molecular oligotyping of HLA class II-DRB1, -DQA1 and -DQB1 genes was performed for 45 patients with melanoma. The DQB1*0301 allele was present in 56% of melanoma patients vs. 27% of 200 local Caucasian controls. This difference was highly significant (Bonferroni's-corrected chi-square p = 0.003, OR = 3.4). No other class II allele tested was present at significantly increased or decreased frequency in melanoma patients. Furthermore, presence of DQB1*0301 in melanoma patients was associated with advanced disease. Melanoma patients carrying the DQB1*0301 allele presented on average with thicker primary tumors (mean 3.7 mm vs. 1.8 mm, 2-tailed p = 0.02) and were more likely to present with regional or distant metastatic disease (stages III-IV, 44% vs. 5%, chi-square p = 0.003), compared to melanoma patients without DQB1*0301. Risk of melanoma incidence or progression may be influenced by DQB1*0301 or a closely linked gene.
 
Article
NY-ESO-1 is one of the most immunogenic cancer antigens eliciting strong humoral and cellular immune responses in patients with NY-ESO-1-expressing malignancies. Since CD4+ T cells play a critical role in generating and maintaining antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses, we searched for new NY-ESO-1 epitopes presented by MHC class II molecules. CD4+ T cells of patients with NY-ESO-1-expressing cancer were presensitized with 18-mer overlapping synthetic peptides spanning the entire sequence of NY-ESO-1. Two partly overlapping NY-ESO-1 epitopes p49-66 and p55-72 were identified as targets for NY-ESO-1-specific CD4+ T cells. Peptide-specific CD4+ T-cell clones were generated by repetitive stimulation with NY-ESO-1 p49-66 and p55-72. Further experiments confirmed distinct specificities for the CD4+ T-cell clones indicating that at least 2 different CD4+ T-cell epitopes are located in the region p49-72 of the NY-ESO-1 sequence. Using a set of partially histocompatible EBV-B cell lines and MHC class II-specific antibodies, we found that both CD4+ T-cell epitopes were presented in the context of HLA-DQ B1 03011(DQ7). Natural processing and presentation of these epitopes was demonstrated by recognition of an HLA-DQ B1 03011- and NY-ESO-1-expressing lymphoma cell line and by recognition of dendritic cells (DC) exogenously loaded with NY-ESO-1 protein or infected with recombinant NY-ESO-1 adenoviral constructs. The specific production of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha suggests that the NY-ESO-1-specific CD4+ T-cell clones belong to the Th1 subtype. The characterization of the new HLA-DQ B1 03011-restricted NY-ESO-1 peptides broadens the repertoire of epitopes that can be used to monitor NY-ESO-1-specific spontaneous and vaccine-induced T-cell responses in cancer patients.
 
Article
Women from high risk families consider preventive measures for breast cancer including screening. Guidelines on screening differ considerably regarding starting age. We investigated whether age at diagnosis in affected relatives is predictive for age at diagnosis. We analyzed the age of breast cancer detection of 1304 first and second degree relatives of 314 BRCA1, 164 BRCA2 and 244 high-risk participants of the Dutch MRI-SCreening study. The within and between family variance in the relative's age at diagnosis was analyzed with a random effect linear regression model. We compared the starting age of screening based on risk-group (25 years for BRCA1, 30 years for BRCA2 and 35 years for familial risk), on family history, and on the model, which combines both. The findings were validated in 63 families from the UK-MARIBS study. Mean age at diagnosis in the relatives varied between families; 95% range of mean family ages was 35-55 in BRCA1 -, 41-57 in BRCA2- and 44-60 in high-risk families.14% of the variance in age at diagnosis, in BRCA1 even 23%, was explained by family history, 7% by risk group. Determining start of screening based on the model and on risk-group gave similar results in terms of cancers missed and years of screening. The approach based on familial history only, missed more cancers and required more screening years in both the Dutch and UK datasets. Age at breast cancer diagnosis is partly dependent on family history which may assist planning starting age for preventive measures. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
 
R-153 inhibits glioblastma cell proliferation. (a–d) In 96-well plates, DBTRG-05MG (a), LN-18 (b), T98G (c) and U251 (d)cells were transfected with mock control, 20 nM of nonspecific (NC), or miR-153. After 24 and 48 hr, cell viabilities were assessed by CellTiter-Glo Luminescent Cell viability Assay kit. Cell viability percentages compared to mock control are indicated. Data are expressed as mean ± S.E.M. Results represent the means of 3 independent experiments. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001.
R-153 induces apoptosis. (a) DBTRG-05MG cells were transfected with 100 nM of miR-153 or NC, 100 nM miR-153 + 200nM inhibitor and mock control in 6 cm dishes. After 36 hr, cells were subjected to flow cytometric analysis with the use of Annexin V-PE apoptosis detection kit I. Representative graphs with Annexin V-PE staining on the x-axis and 7-ADD staining on the y-axis are shown. (b) The flow cytometric analysis experiments had been repeated 3 times and quantified. The amounts of apoptosis induced by mock control, nonspecific oligonucleotide control, miR-153 over-expression and miR-153 with complementary inhibitors are shown. Data are expressed as mean ± S.E.M. Results represent the means of 3 independent experiments. ***p < 0.001. (c) Immunoblots of PARP protein 36 hr after transfection with miR-153 or control miRNA. Bottom, β-actin loading controls.
R-153 inhibits the apoptosis pathway through Bcl-2 and Mcl-1. DBTRG-05MG cells were transfected with 100 nM of miR-153 or NC, 100 nM miR-153 + 200 nM inhibitor and mock control in 6 cm dishes. After 36 hr, cell pellets were collected and total proteins were extracted. (a, c, e) Immunoblots of Bcl-2, Mcl-1, Bcl-XL and β-actin loading controls are shown for mock, NC, miR-153 and miR-153 + inhibitor transfections. (b, d, f) The levels of Bcl-2, Mcl-1 and Bcl-XL mRNA were determined by real-time PCR. β-actin was used as an internal control. Data are expressed as mean ± S.E.M. Results represent the means of 3 independent experiments. *p < 0.05.
Repression of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 3′UTRs by miR-153. Repression of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 3′UTRs by miR-153 are shown in (a) and (b), respectively. The top panels illustrate schematic structures of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 3′UTRs and locations of the 2 putative binding sites for miR-153. For Bcl-2, the putative binding site starts from nucleotide 26 of the 3′UTR. For Mcl-1, the putative binding site starts from nucleotide 1023 of the 3′UTR. The middle panels illustrate in bold capital letters the miR-153 seed region, the matching Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 3′UTR sequences and the 2 base-pair mutations. Relative luciferase activities in HeLa cells transfected with the pGL-3-Bcl-2, pGL-3-Mcl-1 or plasmids with the mutated inserts with miR-153 or nonspecific oligos (NC) were calculated. The bottom panels illustrate the differences in relative activities with the mock control (vehicle) set as 1. Data are expressed as mean ± S.E.M. Results represent the means of 3 independent experiments. *p < 0.05; ***p < 0.001.
Scheme illustrating experimentally proven miRNAs-target pairs in the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Hitherto, 9 miRNA-target pairs involved in the intrinsic cell apoptosis pathway have been reported. Prosurvival Bcl-2 family members Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 are extensively regulated by 7 different miRNAs.
Article
MicroRNA-153 (miR-153) is a brain-specific miRNA that is expressed at a significantly lower level in glioblastoma (GBM) relative to non-neoplastic brain tissue. Although the expression pattern of miR-153 has been extensively established, its target genes and cellular mechanism remain undefined. To investigate into the potential function of miR-153 in glioblastmas, we transfected a GBM cell line DBTRG-05MG with synthetic miR-153 oligos and observed decreased cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that anti-apoptosis family member B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (Mcl-1) are potential targets of miR-153. Indeed, Western blot analysis indicated that miR-153 downregulated both Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 at the protein levels. Single strand miR-153 inhibitor, which forms complementary base-pair with endogenous miR-153, efficiently blocked the apoptosis and target protein degradation induced by overexpression of miR-153. By luciferase reporter assays, we further showed that miR-153 inhibited Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 expressions by directly targeting the 3'UTR regions of their respective mRNAs.
 
Article
Population-based studies have shown a concordance of breast cancer survival among first-degree relatives (FDRs), suggesting a heritable component. Reasons for such heritability remain to be elucidated. We aimed to determine whether association of breast cancer survival among FDRs is linked to shared patient and tumor characteristics or type of treatment. At the population-based Geneva Breast Cancer Registry, we identified 162 FDR pairs diagnosed with breast cancer. We categorized FDRs into poor, medium and good familial survival risk groups according to breast cancer-specific survival of their proband (mother or sister). We compared patient, tumor and treatment characteristics between categories and calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and adjusted disease-specific mortality for each group. Breast cancer patients in the poor familial survival risk group were more likely to be diagnosed at later stages than those in the good familial survival risk group. Similarly, they had higher SMRs than those in the medium and good survival risk groups (18.7, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.4-33.5 vs. 16.5, 95% CI: 7.5-31.3 and 9.4, 95% CI: 3.4-20.4, respectively). After adjustment for patient and tumor characteristics and type of treatment, women in the poor familial survival risk group were almost five times more likely to die of breast cancer than those in the good familial survival risk group (adjusted hazard ratio 4.8, 95% CI: 1.4-16.4). Our study shows that breast cancer prognosis clusters within families and suggests that the hereditary component is independent of patient and tumor characteristics and type of treatment.
 
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate candidate genes that might function as biomarkers to differentiate triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) among patients, who received adjuvant chemotherapy after curative surgery. We tested whether the results of a NanoString expression assay that targeted 250 prospectively selected genes and used mRNA extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded would predict distant recurrence in patients with TNBC. The levels of expression of seven genes were used in a prospectively defined algorithm to allocate each patient to a risk group (low or high). NanoString expression profiles were obtained for 203 tumor tissue blocks. Increased expressions of the five genes (SMAD2, HRAS, KRT6A, TP63 and ETV6) and decreased expression of the two genes (NFKB1 and MDM4) were associated favorable prognosis and were validated with cross-validation. The Kaplan-Meier estimates of the rates of distant recurrence at 10 years in the low- and high-risk groups according to gene expression signature were 62% [95% confidence interval (CI), 48.6-78.9%] and 85% (95% CI, 79.2-90.7%), respectively. When adjusting for TNM stage, the distant recurrence-free survival (DRFS)s in the low-risk group was significantly longer than that in the high-risk group (p <0.001) for early stage (I and II) and advanced stage (III) tumors. In a multivariate Cox regression model, the gene expression signature provided significant predictive power jointly with the TNM staging system. A seven-gene signature could be used as a prognostic model to predict DRFS in patients with TNBC who received curative surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. © 2014 UICC.
 
Article
Patients with metastatic melanoma who expressed HLA-Cw*0702 and whose tumors had demonstrable MAGE-A12 expression were immunized with the peptide MAGE-A12:170-178 administered subcutaneously in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA). The peptide was administered either every week or every 3 weeks for 4 cycles. Patients were evaluated for toxicity and for immunologic and clinical response to peptide immunization. Pre-treatment fine needle aspirates were obtained to document MAGE-A12 expression for enrollment. MAGE-A12 mRNA was identified in 62% of specimens. Nine patients were selected for vaccination based on MAGE-A12 expression and the presence of HLA-Cw*0702. The immune response was monitored both by tetrameric HLA-Cw*0702/MAGE-A12:170-178 complexes and by analysis of interferon-gamma mRNA transcription using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay after peptide-specific stimulation. The samples consisted of circulating lymphocytes analyzed ex vivo or after 10 to 14 days of in vitro sensitization. One of 9 patients sustained an ongoing partial clinical response. No convincing evidence of enhancement of the systemic immune response against MAGE-A12:170-178 could be documented. Because of the modest immunological and clinical results, the present protocol has been discontinued as new routes of administration are being considered.
 
Article
We have analyzed the effects of IL-15, a growth factor with IL-2-like properties produced by dendritic and stromal cells, on 3 GM-CSF/IL-3-dependent AML cell lines: M-07e, UT-7 and TF-1. M-07e cells proliferated in response to IL-15, while UT-7 and TF-1 cells failed to respond. In addition, IL-15 supported long-term proliferation of M-07e cells, thus allowing selection of a subline (M-07SB), which displayed an enhanced sensitivity to IL-15. M-07e and M-07SB cells undergo apoptosis following 48-hr growth factor (GM-CSF or IL-15) starvation, as detected by cytofluorimetric analysis and DNA laddering. IL-15 (20 ng/ml) prevented apoptosis in both cell lines. M-07e and M-07SB expressed IL-2R beta, IL-2R gamma, Jak-1 and Jak-3 mRNA, while IL-15R alpha mRNA was undetectable. In contrast, IL-15R alpha was expressed in UT-7 and TF-1 cells, which lacked expression of IL-2R beta mRNA and, in the case of UT-7, also of Jak-3 mRNA. Accordingly, surface IL-2R beta protein was identified only in M-07e and M-07SB cells, by indirect immunofluorescence, while no expression of IL-2R alpha and IL-15R alpha was detected. Anti-IL-2R beta antibodies (10 microg/ml) efficiently blocked (90% inhibition) the proliferation and the anti-apoptotic effect induced by IL-15, while anti-GM-CSFR alpha antibodies had no effect. Anti-IL-2R gamma antibodies were less efficient at proliferation inhibition but synergized with suboptimal concentrations of anti-IL-2R beta antibodies. Our data suggest a role of IL-15 as an anti-apoptotic and mitogenic growth factor for a subset of myeloid leukemias expressing a functional IL-2R beta/gamma complex.
 
Article
CDC25 phosphatases are key actors in cyclin-dependent kinases activation whose role is essential at various stages of the cell cycle. CDC25 expression is upregulated in a number of human cancers. CDC25 phosphatases are therefore thought to represent promising novel targets in cancer therapy. Here, we report the identification and the characterization of IRC-083864, an original bis-quinone moiety that is a potent and selective inhibitor of CDC25 phosphatases in the low nanomolar range. IRC-083864 inhibits cell proliferation of a number of cell lines, regardless of their resistance to other drugs. It irreversibly inhibits cell proliferation and cell cycle progression and prevents entry into mitosis. In addition, it inhibits the growth of HCT-116 tumor spheroids with induction of p21 and apoptosis. Finally, IRC-083864 reduced tumor growth in mice with established human prostatic and pancreatic tumor xenografts. This study describes a novel compound, which merits further study as a potential anticancer agent.
 
Article
There is little information on breast cancer (BC) survival in Ethiopia and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This study estimated cumulative probabilities of distant metastasis-free survival (MFS) in patients at Addis Ababa (AA) University Radiotherapy Center, the only public oncologic institution in Ethiopia. We analysed 1,070 females with BC stage 1-3 seen in 2005-2010. Patients underwent regular follow-up; estrogen receptor-positive and -unknown patients received free endocrine treatment (an independent project funded by AstraZeneca Ltd. and facilitated by the Axios Foundation). The primary endpoint was distant metastasis. Sensitivity analysis (worst-case scenario) assumed patients with incomplete follow-up had events 3 months after the last appointment. The median age was 43.0 (20-88) yrs. The median tumor size was 4.96 cm (standard deviation [SD] 2.81 cm; n=709 information available). Stages 1, 2, and 3 represented 4%, 25%, and 71%, respectively (n=644). Ductal carcinoma predominated (79.2%, n=1,070), as well as grade 2 tumors (57%, n=509). Median follow-up was 23.1 (0-65.6) months, during which 285 women developed metastases. MFS after 2 years was 74% (69-79%), declining to 59% (53-64%) in the worst-case scenario. Patients with early stage (1-2) showed better MFS than patients with stage 3 (85% and 66%, respectively). The 5-year MFS was 72% for stage 1-2 and 33% for stage 3. We present a first overview on MFS in a large cohort of female BC patients (1,070 patients) from sub-Saharan Africa. Young age and advanced stage were associated with poor outcome. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
 
Article
To obtain information on the effects of nongenotoxic carcinogens at low doses for human cancer risk assessment, the carcinogenic potential of the organochlorine insecticide, 1,1-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane (DDT), in the liver was assessed in F344 rats. In experiment 1, 240 male animals, 21 days old, were administered 0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, 20, 100 and 500 ppm DDT in the diet for 16 weeks. Experiment 2 was conducted to elucidate the carcinogenic potential of DDT at lower levels using 180 rats given doses of 0, 0.005, 0.01, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.5 ppm. The livers of all animals were immunohistochemically examined for expression of glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P), putative preneoplastic lesions. Quantitative values for GST-P-positive foci in the liver were increased dose-dependently in rats given 20 ppm DDT and above with statistical significance as compared with the concurrent control value. In contrast, doses of 0.005 and 0.01 ppm were associated with a tendency for decrease below the control value, although not significantly. Western blotting analysis show that cytochrome P-450 3A2 (CYP3A2) protein expression tended to decrease at 0.005 and 0.01 ppm, a good correlation being observed with the change in the number of GST-P-positive foci. These findings suggest that a DDT hepatocarcinogenicity may show nonlinear response, that is, hormetic response at low doses. Furthermore, since CYP3A2 protein expression appears to be important for the effects of phenobarbital and the alpha-isomer of benzene hexachloride, mRNAs for IL-1 receptor type 1 (IL-1R1) and TNF-alpha receptor type 1 (TNFR1) whose ligands have roles not only in downregulating CYP3A2 expression but also in inducing antiproliferative effect or apoptosis in hepatocyte were examined. Increase was observed at low doses of DDT. Oxidative stress in liver DNA, assessed in terms of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine as a marker, was also decreased. These findings suggest that the possible hormetic effect that was observed in our detailed low-dose study of DDT carcinogenesis, although not statistically significant, may be linked to levels of oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines.
 
Cancer morphology distribution of 1001 incident TGCTs in a cohort of 1,092,373 Israeli men
Cox proportional hazard ratios (HRs) for testicular cancer in 1,092,373 Israeli men examined from 1967 to 2005 and followed up through 2006, ''univariate'' and multivariable analyses
Cox proportional hazard ratios (HRs) for seminoma or nonseminoma testicular germ cell tumors in 1,092,373 Israeli men examined from 1967 to 2005 and followed up through 2006, multivariable analyses
Article
Testicular cancer incidence is highest among men of northern European ancestry and lowest among men of Asian/African descent. We conducted a large-scale migrant cohort study to assess origin and migrant generation as predictors of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs), controlling for possible confounders. Data on 1,092,373 Jewish Israeli males, who underwent a general health examination prior to compulsory military service at ages 16-19 between the years 1967-2005, were linked to Israel National Cancer Registry to obtain incident TGCTs up to 2006. Cox proportional hazards was used to model time to event. Overall, 1,001 incident cases (534 seminoma and 467 nonseminoma) were detected during 19.2 million person-years of follow-up. Origin was a strong independent predictor of TGCTs with remarkably low incidence for North African-born (HR = 0.10, 95% CI: 0.04-0.21) and Asian-born (HR = 0.35, 0.20-0.62), while intermediate for Israeli-born of North African origin (HR = 0.48, 0.40-0.58) and Asian origin (HR = 0.56, 0.47-0.66), compared to European origin. A comparison of Israeli born of North African and Asian origin with North African and Asian-born yielded a HR of 2.31 (1.36-3.93). Significant risk factors controlled for were year of birth, years of education and height. Findings persisted when analyses were stratified by histologic subtypes of TGCTs. The findings of lower rates of TGCTs among men born in North Africa and Asia compared to European ancestry, but a steep increase in next generation migrants, particularly among the Israeli-born migrants from North Africa, provide clues to direct further research on the role of modern lifestyle and environment in the etiology of TGCTs.
 
Article
Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is a common cancer with increasing incidence in many parts of the world where light-skinned populations live. We conducted a large-scale nationally representative migrant cohort study to assess country of origin and age of migration as predictors of CM, controlling for possible confounders. Data on 1,086,569 Jewish Israeli males, who underwent a general health examination prior to compulsory military service at ages 16-19 between the years 1967-2005, were linked to Israel National Cancer Registry to obtain incident CM up to 2006. Cox proportional hazards was used to model time to event. Overall, 1562 incident cases were detected during 19.2 million person-years of follow-up. Origin was a strong independent predictor of CM. Incidence was higher for European (HR=4.08, 95% CI: 3.55-4.67) and Israeli origin (HR=2.92, 95% CI: 2.25-3.79) compared to N. African/Asian origin, adjusted for year of birth, years of education, residential socio-economic position, rural residence and body surface area (or height). Among those of European origin, the adjusted risk was significantly lower for those who immigrated after the age of 10 years (HR=0.58, 95% CI: 0.45-0.73) but not for younger ages (HR=1.02, 95% CI 0.84-1.23) compared to Israeli born. The higher rates of CM among men of European origin, and the almost twofold lower risk among those immigrating after age 10, provide solid support for the deleterious, yet preventable childhood sun exposure as a risk factor for melanoma. These findings will serve in directing public health and research efforts. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
 
Article
We examined the association between self-reported consumption of fruits and vegetables and prostate cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Data on food consumption and complete follow-up for cancer incidence were available for 130544 men in 7 countries recruited into EPIC between 1993 and 1999. After an average of 4.8 years of follow-up, there were 1104 incident cases of prostate cancer. The associations of consumption of total fruits, total vegetables, cruciferous vegetables and combined total fruits and vegetables with prostate cancer risk were examined using Cox regression, stratified for recruitment center and adjusted for height, weight and energy intake. There was a wide range in consumption of fruits and vegetables: mean intakes (g/day) in the bottom and top fifths of the distribution, as estimated from 24-hr recalls in a subsample of participants, were 53.2 and 410.7 for fruits, 97.1 and 242.1 for vegetables and 169.0 and 633.7 for fruits and vegetables combined. No significant associations between fruit and vegetable consumption and prostate cancer risk were observed. Relative risks (95% confidence intervals) in the top fifth of the distribution of consumption, compared to the bottom fifth, were 1.06 (0.84-1.34) for total fruits, 1.00 (0.81-1.22) for total vegetables and 1.00 (0.79-1.26) for total fruits and vegetables combined; intake of cruciferous vegetables was not associated with risk. These results suggest that total consumption of fruits and vegetables is not associated with the risk for prostate cancer.
 
Article
Methyl 2-cyano-3,11-dioxo-18beta-olean-1,12-dien-30-oate (CDODA-Me) is a synthetic derivative of glycyrrhetinic acid, a triterpenoid phytochemical found in licorice extracts. CDODA-Me inhibited growth of RKO and SW480 colon cancer cells and this was accompanied by decreased expression of Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 protein and mRNA and several Sp-dependent genes including survivin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1 or Flt-1). CDODA-Me also induced apoptosis, arrested RKO and SW480 cells at G(2)/M, and inhibited tumor growth in athymic nude mice bearing RKO cells as xenografts. CDODA-Me decreased expression of microRNA-27a (miR-27a), and this was accompanied by increased expression of 2 miR-27a-regulated mRNAs, namely ZBTB10 (an Sp repressor) and Myt-1 which catalyzes phosphorylation of cdc2 to inhibit progression of cells through G(2)/M. Both CDODA-Me and antisense miR-27a induced comparable responses in RKO and SW480 cells, suggesting that the potent anticarcinogenic activity of CDODA-Me is due to repression of oncogenic miR-27a.
 
Article
Recent studies have assessed the role of low molecular weight protein tyrosine phosphatase (LMW-PTP) in cell transformation and tumour onset and progression, observing a significant increase in the expression of LMW-PTP mRNA and protein in human breast, colon, bladder and kidney tumour samples. Moreover, its enhanced expression is generally prognostic of a more aggressive cancer. To better understand the role of this protein during colon carcinogenesis and to study whether its overexpression is also observed in earlier phases of carcinogenesis, we studied its expression in colon tumours, induced in rats by treatment with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH), an animal model that resemble the sequential formation of histopathological lesions of spontaneous carcinogenesis in humans. The results show a significant increase in LMW-PTP expression in adenocarcinomas, suggesting that this phenomenon is associated with the onset of malignancy. Moreover a significant overexpression of LMW-PTP transcript is associated with tumours originating in the proximal (right) part of the colon, confirming an observation already reported for human colon cancer.
 
Cell surface expression of α(1,2)-linked fucose, α(2,3)-linked sialic acid, sLex epitope and E-selectin binding of parental (Hep) and FUT1-transduced HepG2 cells (FUT1). (a) Cells were stained either with RITC-labeled UEA-I lectin (left panel) or with the anti-sLex mAb KM93 followed by Alexa Fluor-conjugated anti-mouse IgM antibodies (middle panel). For E-selectin binding (right panel), cells were incubated with the E-selectin-IgM chimera and counterstained with Alexa Fluor-conjugated anti-human IgM. (b) Sialic acid dependence of E-selectin binding as demonstrated by treatment of HepG2 cells with the Clostridium perfringens sialidase. The E-selectin binding was performed as in (a). (c) Comparison of sialic acid-specific staining with Maakia ameurensis lectin (MAL) between parental and FUT1-transduced HCC (left panel) and after sialidase treatment (right panel). MAL staining was performed by incubating cells with biotin-labeled MAL followed by RITC-labeled streptavidin. Cells were visualised by fluorescence microscopy. Original magnification ×40.
Effect of FUT1 expression on hepatocarcinoma tumor growth. (a) Top, Photograph of 4 repesentative nude mice, 8 weeks after s.c. inoculation of HCC. Mice (12 animals in each experiment) were injected with 107 cells of either parental (in the left flank) or FUT1-expressing HepG2 cells (in the right flank). Tumors were allowed to develop for 8 weeks and the animals were sacrificed thereafter. Middle, one of the tumors grown from FUT1-transduced cells (right) is presented for size comparison with its parental counterpart (left). Bottom, persistence of the transgene expression in the tumors. The tumor nodules were enzymatically dispersed into single cells and cultured under standard conditions. Presented are parental cells expressing EGFP (left) and those expressing the FUT1-EGFP fusion protein (right). (b) A representative plot showing the strong FUT1-dependent inhibition of HCC tumor growth. Note that 9 out of 12 animals that have been inoculated with HepG2 cells, developed tumors with sizes ranked from 500 to 3,000 mm3 while in the same period, only 4 small size tumors appeared on animals injected with FUT1-transduced cells. The statistical significance was determined by the Student's test p < 0.05. [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at www.interscience.wiley.com.]
Effect of FUT1 expression on the growth rate, and adhesion to ECM proteins. (a) Comparison of growth rates of parental and FUT1-transduced cells. Cells were seeded at a density of 104 cells/well in 96-multiwell culture plates. At the indicated days, the media were removed and cells were fixed in 1% glutaraldehyde, stained by 0.1% crystal violet and lysed with 1% SDS. Absorbance was then measured with an ELISA microplate-reader at 600 nm. (b) MEK/MAPK assay following incubation of parental (Hep) and FUT1-transduced cells (FUT1) without (−) or with EGF or HGF. (c) Adhesion of parental (squares) and FUT1-expressing cells (dots) to purified extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Adherent cells were counted by the crystal violet technique as described in (a) and plotted versus protein concentration.
Caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation. (a) Parental (Hep) and FUT1-transduced HepG2 cells (Hep) were incubated with 40 ng/ml IFN-γ for 15 min at 37°C and treated without (cont) or with the TRAIL (100 ng/ml) for 48 hr. The cleaved caspase-3 was then detected by western blotting as described under Material and Methods section. (b) Cells were incubated as earlier without (cont) or with TNF-α (50 ng/ml), TRAIL (100 ng/ml), or anti-Fas mAb (100 ng/ml) for 48 hr and prepared for DNA fragmentation assay. (c) Immunohistological studies of apoptosis. Tumors from parental (Hep) and FUT1-expressing cells (FUT1) were paraffin-embedded, sectioned and stained for the active caspase-3 as described under Material and Methods section. [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at www.interscience.wiley.com.]
Analysis of vasculogenesis, E-selectin induction and in vitro tubulogenesis. (a) Immunohistological analysis of tumor vascularization. Cryosections of tumors from parental (Hep) and FUT1-transduced cells (FUT1) were immunostained with the anti-mouse CD31 as described in Material and Methods section and visualised by fluorescence microscopy. PC: phase contrast. (b) FACS analysis of E-selectin expression induced on HUVEC following HUVEC/HCC coculture. HCC and HUVEC were mixed at the ratio of 4:1 and cultured for 5 days. Cells were then harvested and stained with the anti-human E-selectin mAb BBIG-E4, followed by cyanin-5 (Cy5)-conjugated goat anti-mouse IgG. Autofluorescence (denoted as 2nd Ab) was determined by incubating cells without the anti-E-selectin mAb. FACS data of either parental (Hep) or FUT1-transduced cells (FUT1) were compared to fluorescence of HUVEC incubated with 10 ng/ml TNF-α for 4 hr at 37°C and examined for E-selectin expression (see TNF-α). (c) Effect of culture media on microtubular formation by HUVEC in Matrigel. The in vitro Matrigel-based capillary-like tube assay was carried out as described in Material and Methods section. HUVEC were incubated with the fresh medium (medium) or the conditioned media from either parental cells (Hep supernatant) or FUT1-infected cells (FUT1 supernatant) and viewed in phase contrast at 0, 8 and 24 hr later. [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at www.interscience.wiley.com.]
Article
The glycoantigen sialyl-Lewis x (sLex) and its isomer sialy-Lewis a (sLea) are frequently associated with advanced states of cancer and metastasis. In a previous work, we have shown that hepatocarcinoma cells (HCC) HepG2 interact with the endothelial E-selectin exclusively through sLe(x) oligosaccharides, the synthesis of which could be completely prevented by the alpha(1,2)-fucosyltransferase-I (FUT1), thus resulting in a strong inhibition of adhesion and rolling on activated endothelial cells. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact of inhibiting sLex synthesis and the subsequent E-selectin adhesion, on HCC tumor growth in nude mice. Four weeks after subcutaneous transplantation of cells, no FUT1-derived tumor could be detected, whereas 75% of control animals developed large size tumor nodules. Between the 4th and the 8th week postinoculation, 33% tumors arose from FUT1-transduced cells but showed a slow growth (nodule volumes less than 500 mm(3)), while more than 50% of control tumors reached volumes between 1,500 and 3,000 mm(3). Several parameters were examined, including cell division and proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion to extracellular matrix components and angiogenesis/vasculogenesis. We provide evidence that among all, vasculogenesis was the most clearly affected by FUT1 expression, suggesting that tumor angiomorphogenesis may, at least partly, depend on E-selectin-mediated interaction between HCC and endothelial cells, the inhibition of which remarkably retards tumor growth.
 
Article
The radioactivity level in blood, bile, urine and contents of parts of the gastro-intestinal tract in rats was studied after subcutaneous administration of 3-H-1,2-dimethylhydrazine (3-H-SDMH) which induces colonic tumours. The alkylation of DNA, RNA and protein in the intestinal mucosa, liver and kidneys was estimated 1 h to 28 days after 3-H-SDMH treatment from the 3-H-incorporation into these macromolecules. Administration of 3-H-1,2-diethylhydrazine (3-H-SDEH) which does not induce intestinal tumours was made as a control. Fifteen to 30 min after 3-H-SDMH treatment, marked radioactivity was found in blood, bile, urine and in contents of all regions of gastro-intestinal tract. After 3-H-SDMH administration no label occurred in the contents of localized segments of gastro-intestinal tract although it was present in blood, bile and urine. 3-H-SDMH methylated DNA, RNA and proteins of intestinal mucosa, liver and kidney to a high degree. One hour after 3-H-SDMH treatment the incorporation of label into protein of intestinal mucosa was higher than into liver and kidneys. 3-H-SDEH did not alkylate macromolecules in these organs but did so in thymus, spleen and brain, which are target organs for this carcinogen. After total hepatectomy, 3-H-SDMH did not methylate macromolecules of the intestinal mucosa. The following mechanism for the carcinogenic effect of SDMH is suggested. A carcinogenic metabolite of SDMH forms, in the liver, a conjugate with glucuronic acid. This glucuronide enters the gut both with bile and directly via the circulation. Microbial beta-glucuronidase releases the active metabolite which, in turn, alkylates tissue macromolecules.
 
Article
Dithiolethiones are currently one of the most promising classes of cancer chemopreventive agents that exhibit antitumorigenic properties at numerous organ sites against several classes of carcinogens. In the current study, we examined the effects of 2 dithiolethiones, 1,2-dithiole-3-thione (D3T) and its structural analogue oltipraz, on DNA adduction induced by the potent mammary carcinogen dibenzo-[a,l]pyrene (DBP) in vivo. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were provided dietary D3T and oltipraz (500 ppm each) for I week followed by a single intragastric dose of DBP (8 micromol/kg body weight) and killed 5 days later. D3T inhibited DBP-DNA adduction from 78% to 82% in all tissues examined, while oltipraz was equally effective in the lung and liver but less effective in the mammary glands, inhibiting DBP-DNA adduction by nearly 60%. These data coupled with their broad anti-tumor specificity support the use of D3T and oltipraz as cancer-preventive agents in clinical trials.
 
Article
DNA single-strand breaks induced in various organs of BALB/c mice by treatment with a single dose of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) were studied by means of the alkaline elution method modified in order to allow the evaluation of DNA damage in vivo with no need of radioactive prelabelling. DNA damage was detected in liver, lung, kidney, stomach and colon mucosa, with the liver showing the greatest amount of damage. Its degree was dependent on the dose and route of administration. A differential effect was evident in colon mucosa from Swiss and C57BL/6 mice which are respectively susceptible and resistant to the induction of bowel tumors by DMH. The higher degree of DNA damage found in liver in comparison with colon mucosa is consistent with the previously reported higher degree of DNA methylation, but does not correlate with the specificity of this carcinogen in inducing tumors of the large intestine in mice given repeated subcutaneous injections.
 
Article
Anticancer agent-incorporating polymeric micelles accumulate effectively in tumors via the enhanced permeability and retention effect to exert potent antitumor effects. However, combined use of such micelles has not been elucidated. We compared the effect of combining the epirubicin-incorporating micelle NC-6300 and 1,2-diaminocyclohexane platinum (II) (oxaliplatin parent complex)-incorporating micelle NC-4016 (NCs) with that of epirubicin and oxaliplatin (E/O) in 44As3Luc cells using the combination index method. The in vivo antitumor activities of NCs and E/O were evaluated in mice bearing 44As3Luc xenografts. Pharmacokinetic analysis was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Cardiotoxicity of NC-6300 and epirubicin was assessed by echocardiography. Neurotoxicity of NC-4016 and oxaliplatin was evaluated by examining the paw withdrawal response to noxious mechanical stimuli. NCs showed a highly synergistic activity equivalent to E/O. In vivo, NCs exhibited higher antitumor activity in the subcutaneous tumor model and longer overall survival in the orthotopic tumor model than E/O (p < 0.001, p = 0.015, respectively). The intratumor concentrations of epirubicin and platinum were significantly higher following NCs than following E/O administration. Moreover, the micelles showed lower cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity than the corresponding conventional drugs. The combined use of the micelles was associated with remarkable efficacy and favorable toxicities in the human gastric cancer model, and warrants the conduct of clinical trials.
 
Article
Combined effects of sodium nitrite (NaNO2) and 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) on liver, colon and Zymbal's gland carcinogenesis were assessed using a rat two-stage carcinogenesis model, with a focus on involvement of oxidative stress. Male 6-week-old F344 rats were given a single intraperitoneal injection of 200 mg/kg of diethylnitrosamine and 4 subcutaneous injections of 40 mg/kg of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine for initiation. Then, they were administered 0 or 300 ppm IQ in the diet or 0, 0.1 or 0.2% NaNO2 in their drinking water for 27 weeks. The treatment with NaNO2+IQ significantly enhanced colon and Zymbal's gland carcinogenesis and tended to enhance hepatocarcinogenesis. The incidence of lung tumors in the IQ-treated groups was significantly increased as compared with the initiation alone group. In a second experiment, male rats were given IQ or NaNO2 under the same conditions as before for 1 week, and at sacrifice, their liver and colon tissue or mucosa were collected for analysis of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), acrolein-modified protein and the bromodeoxyuridine-labeling index (BrdU-LI) (in the colon). In the colon, 8-OHdG, acrolein-modified protein levels and BrdU-LI were significantly increased by the combined treatment. These results indicate that the treatment with NaNO2 enhances IQ-induced colon and Zymbal's gland carcinogenesis in rats and that oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation may partly be involved, especially in the colon. In addition, this experiment showed that IQ can act as a potent lung carcinogen in rats.
 
Article
We have previously demonstrated that JTE-522, a selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, inhibited development of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in rats, a putative preneoplastic lesion in colon, and suggested its inhibitory potential in rat colon carcinogenesis. To evaluate the chemopreventive properties of JTE-522, the present study was design to evaluate the inhibitory effects of JTE-522 on rat colon tumorigenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH). Rats at 6 weeks of age were divided into 4 groups. One week after the start of the experiment, all rats received DMH by s.c. injection at a dose of 40 mg/kg body weight once a week for 4 successive weeks. As the initiation and postinitiation treatment groups, groups 1-3 were fed diets containing 0, 50, or 150 ppm JTE-522, respectively, from the start of the study to the end. As the postinitiation treatment group, group 4 was given 150 ppm JTE-522 from 1 week after the last DMH injection to the end of the study. Forty weeks after the start of the experiment, administration of 150 ppm JTE-522 during both initiation and postinitiation stages significantly inhibited the incidences of tubular adenocarcinomas and total carcinomas, as well as total tumors in the colon. The inhibitory effect of JTE-522 was most prominent for tubular adenocarcinomas, but was not observed in the nontubular carcinomas (signet-ring cell and mucinous carcinomas). Almost equal inhibitory effects on tubular adenocarcinomas were also observed in the rats given 150 ppm JTE-522 during the postinitiation stage, suggesting that its major anticancer action is at the postinitiation phase. However, JTE-522 had no effect on the size or invasive extent of tubular adenocarcinomas. Furthermore, microarray analyses revealed that JTE-522 had no effect on gene expression levels in DMH-induced tubular adenocarcinomas. These findings suggest that JTE-522 possesses chemopreventive activity against induction but not progression of tubular adenocarcinomas in rat colon. In view of the significant inhibitory effects of JTE-522 on ACF, its major anticancer action may occur in the postinitiation stage but before the malignant conversion stage of DMH-induced colon carcinogenesis.
 
Article
To determine the clonality and cellular origin of colon pre-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions, C3H/HeN<-->BALB/c chimeric mice treated with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) were investigated immunohistochemically using a specific antibody to C3H strain-specific antigen (CSA) enabling immunohistochemical discrimination of C3H cells in histological sections of chimeric mouse tissues. To confirm the results of immunostaining, simple sequence length polymorphism (SSLP) analysis was performed on DNA samples extracted from histological sections of adenocarcinomas. C3H/HeN<-->BALB/c chimeric mice were produced by an aggregation procedure and together with BALB/c and C3H/HeN animals were given weekly s.c. injections of 20 mg/kg body weight DMH for up to 20 weeks. At weeks 20 and 35 animals were killed and autopsied. In normal colonic mucosa of the chimeras, each gland was composed entirely of either CSA-positive or -negative cells and no mixed glands were found. Cells of all focal atypias in chimeric mice were, in each case, homogeneous for one or another of the parental types. Of 91 adenomas in chimeric mice, only one comprised both types of cell. Among 119 adenocarcinomas, 12 contained cells of both parental types. In these tumors, however, the 2 phenotypes were not mixed together at random but arranged in discrete areas, with intermingling limited to the junctions. SSLP analysis demonstrated DNAs extracted from CSA-positive and -negative tumors to exhibit the polymorphic patterns of C3H and BALB/c, respectively, while mixed CSA-positive and -negative tumors showed mixtures of both polymorphic DNA types.
 
Article
Mucin-depleted foci (MDF), formed by dysplastic crypts devoid of mucins, have been identified in the colon of carcinogen-treated rodents and in humans at high risk for colon cancer. The lack of the protective layer of mucus may cause inflammation which has been linked to colon carcinogenesis, therefore, the expression of markers such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (i-NOS) and macrophage infiltration was studied with immunohistochemistry (IH) in MDF harvested from F344 rats treated with the colon carcinogen 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH). The same determinations were performed in aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and, at a later time point, in tumours. A dramatic increase in COX-2, i-NOS and macrophage infiltration was observed in MDF but ACF showed a moderate increase compared with the paired normal mucosa. Tumours were positive for all the markers. RT-PCR experiments demonstrated that i-NOS RNA expression was increased in a set of MDF confirming the results obtained with immunohistochemistry. In an inflammation-cancer experimental model [mice treated with azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sodium sulphate (DSS)], we observed that DSS-induced inflammation promoted MDF in a dose-dependent manner, whereas ACF were not affected. In conclusion, we report here for the first time a strong activation of the inflammatory process in MDF, which may contribute to the further progression of MDF to tumours.
 
Top-cited authors
Freddie Bray
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer
David Forman
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer
Rajesh Dikshit
  • Tata Memorial Centre
Sultan Eser
  • Izmir Cancer Registry
Eva Negri
  • Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research