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Evaluation of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors expression in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma: Associations with clinicopathological parameters and patients’ survival

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Abstract

Cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) constitute essential members of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which participates in many different functions indispensable to homeostatic regulation in several tissues, exerting also antitumorigenic effects. The present study aimed to assess the clinical significance of CB1R and CB2R protein expression in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). CB1R and CB2R expression was assessed immunohistochemically on 28 mobile tongue SCC tissue samples and was analyzed in relation with clinicopathological characteristics and overall and disease-free patients' survival. CB1R, CB2R, and concomitant CB1R/CB2R expression was significantly increased in older compared to younger mobile tongue SCC patients (p = 0.0243, p = 0.0079, and p = 0.0366, respectively). Enhanced CB2R and concomitant CB1R/CB2R expression was significantly more frequently observed in female compared to male mobile tongue SCC patients (p = 0.0025 and p = 0.0016, respectively). Elevated CB2R expression was significantly more frequently observed in mobile tongue SCC patients presenting well-defined tumor shape compared to those with diffuse (p = 0.0430). Mobile tongue SCC patients presenting enhanced CB1R, CB2R, or concomitant CB1R/CB2R expression showed significantly longer overall (log-rank test, p = 0.004, p = 0.011, p = 0.018, respectively) and disease-free (log-rank test, p = 0.003, p = 0.007, p = 0.027, respectively) survival times compared to those with low expression. In multivariate analysis, CB1R was identified as an independent prognostic factor for disease-free patients' survival (Cox-regression analysis, p = 0.032). The present study provides evidence that CB1R and CB2R may play a role in the pathophysiological aspects of the mobile tongue SCC and even each molecule may constitute a potential target for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs for this type of malignancy.

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... In addition, recent studies have reported that increased expression of the human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-CB 2 receptor heteromer in breast tumours is associated with lower disease-free survival in patients [48] and that lower CB 2 levels in tumour-associated macrophages from colorectal cancer patients are associated with longer survival [57]. On the other hand, longer survival was found to be associated with higher expression of CB 2 in hepatocellular carcinoma [69], lung cancer [76] and mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma [83]. ...
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... High MAGL expression associated with worse outcomes ○ [78] Mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma High CB1 and CB2 expression associated with longer overall and disease-free survival times ○ ○ [83] Pancreatic cancer Correlation between longer survival and low CB1 receptor or high FAAH as well as MAGL levels; no correlation between survival and CB2 immunoreactivity ○ ↔ ○ ○ [86] Prostate cancer High CB1 expression associated with a shorter survival time ○ [89] High tumour epithelial FAAH associated with a poor disease-specific survival ○ [91] Renal cell carcinoma Higher CB2 expression tending to have poor clinical outcomes in survival analyses ○ [95] ○, higher expression is associated with poorer survival (or vice versa: lower expression is associated with prolonged survival); ○, lower expression is associated with poorer survival (or vice versa: higher expression is linked with prolonged survival); ↔, no association of the indicated parameter with patients' survival; CB1, CB2, cannabinoid receptor 1 or 2; FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase; HER2, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; MAGL, monoacylglycerol lipase. ...
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... Another study showed that strong CB 2 receptor immunoreactivity in biopsies from patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck was significantly associated with a reduced disease-specific survival rate [78]. In contrast to these findings, increased expression of cannabinoid receptors was found to be associated with significantly longer overall survival and disease-free survival in patients with mobile squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue [79]. This study also uncovered age and sex differences, with increased CB 2 receptor expression and concurrent CB 1 /CB 2 receptor expression occurring more frequently in female than male patients. ...
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... In 2014, Facebook's acquisition of Oculus for US$2 billion opened the global era of DNN [3]. With their understanding and analysis of DNN industry events, theocharis and others believe that DNN animation, like all new innovative industries, has undergone baptism and selection, and has unlimited development prospects [4]. Compared with other DNN industries, it has its own uniqueness. ...
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... The pathophysiological status of the tongue has been recently associated with cannabinoid receptor expression levels. Indeed, several pieces of evidence found a higher expression of both CB 1 and CB 2 receptors in patients suffering from mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) [70]. Moreover, higher levels of TRPV 1 and CB 2 are also associated with a reduction in CB 1 expression levels, which have been described in the epithelial cells of the tongue from patients with burning mouth syndrome [59]. ...
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Background: marijuana, the common name for cannabis sativa preparations, is one of the most consumed drug all over the world, both at therapeutical and recreational levels. With the legalization of medical uses of cannabis in many countries, and even its recreational use in most of these, the prevalence of marijuana use has markedly risen over the last decade. At the same time, there is also a higher prevalence in the health concerns related to cannabis use and abuse. Thus, it is mandatory for oral healthcare operators to know and deal with the consequences and effects of cannabis use on oral cavity health. This review will briefly summarize the components of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms of biological cannabis action in human cells and biologic activities on tissues. We will also look into oropharyngeal tissue expression of cannabinoid receptors, together with a putative association of cannabis to several oral diseases. Therefore, this review will elaborate the basic biology and physiology of cannabinoids in human oral tissues with the aim of providing a better comprehension of the effects of its use and abuse on oral health, in order to include cannabinoid usage into dental patient health records as well as good medicinal practice. Methods: the paper selection was performed by PubMed/Medline and EMBASE electronic databases, and reported according to the PRISMA guidelines. The scientific products were included for qualitative analysis. Results: the paper search screened a total of 276 papers. After the initial screening and the eligibility assessment, a total of 32 articles were considered for the qualitative analysis. Conclusions: today, cannabis consumption has been correlated to a higher risk of gingival and periodontal disease, oral infection and cancer of the oral cavity, while the physico-chemical activity has not been completely clarified. Further investigations are necessary to evaluate a therapeutic efficacy of this class of drugs for the promising treatment of several different diseases of the salivary glands and oral diseases.
... With respect to cancers of the digestive tract, the overexpression of CB receptors has also been related to cancer prognosis. In this sense, in tongue squamous tumour cells, both CB 1 and CB 2 receptors were overexpressed and this upregulation has been postulated to be an indicator of cancer outcome, with high levels of CB 1 receptors being a better marker of disease survival than the overexpression of CB 2, or of both CB receptors (Theocharis et al., 2016). Similarly, in colon tumours, both CB receptors were detected. ...
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In the last decades, the endocannabinoid system has attracted a great interest in medicine and cancer disease is probably one of its most promising therapeutic areas. On the one hand, endocannabinoid system expression has been found altered in numerous types of tumours compared to healthy tissue, and this aberrant expression has been related to cancer prognosis and disease outcome, suggesting a role of this system in tumour growth and progression that depends on cancer type. On the other hand, it has been reported that cannabinoids exert an anticancer activity by inhibiting the proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells; and also tumour angiogenesis. However, some cannabinoids, at lower concentrations, may increase tumour proliferation, inducing cancer growth. The endocannabinoid system may be considered as a new therapeutic target, although further studies to fully establish the effect of cannabinoids on tumour progression remain necessary.
... In contrast, in hepatocarcinoma, elevated levels of CB 1 and CB 2 are associated with an improvement of cancer outcome [57]. In squamous carcinoma cells of the tongue, an overexpression of both, CB 1 and CB 2 , has also been reported and associated with disease prognosis, being the overexpression of CB 1 receptors a better survival marker than the overexpression of CB 2 or both receptors [58]. Finally, studies in ovarian cancer have reported that invasive tumors show higher expression of CB 1 receptors than benign ones, and this overexpression may be related to ovarian cancer invasiveness [59]. ...
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... Although previous publications reported an overexpression of one or both cannabinoid receptors in hematologic malignancies [22,23,34,49,67], reports regarding a potential role of this overexpression in the clinics are few [49][50][51]. More information is available for solid tumors, where in most studies either CB1 or CB2 expression was linked to poorer patient outcome [32,[43][44][45][46][47][48]68]. Here, we provide for the first time evidence pertaining prognostic relevance of cannabinoid receptors in lymphoid malignancies. ...
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... Cannabinoid-mediated tumor killing was shown to involve mostly CB1 signaling: one path converging on an increase of ceramides that leads to the endoplasmic reticulum and oxidative stress [1], other pathways converging on Akt, Erk or MAP kinase inhibition [59,60], AMPK-mediated autophagy [61], cell cycle inhibition [62], or still unknown receptors and signaling pathways [63]. The expression of CB1 was identified as a positive prognostic factor for disease-free survival in patients with tongue cancer [64] but not prostate cancer [65], although prostate cancer cells, like other cancer cells, are killed by CB1 or CB2 agonists in vitro [25,[66][67][68]. CB2 expression has been recently associated with a poor prognosis in Her2/Neu-positive breast cancer, where its presence promoted pro-oncogenic signaling of Her2 at the level of the tyrosine kinase c-Src [32]. ...
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Pancreatic adenocarcinomas are among the most malignant forms of cancer and, therefore, it is of especial interest to set new strategies aimed at improving the prognostic of this deadly disease. The present study was undertaken to investigate the action of cannabinoids, a new family of potential antitumoral agents, in pancreatic cancer. We show that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human pancreatic tumor cell lines and tumor biopsies at much higher levels than in normal pancreatic tissue. Studies conducted with MiaPaCa2 and Panc1 cell lines showed that cannabinoid administration (a) induced apoptosis, (b) increased ceramide levels, and (c) up-regulated mRNA levels of the stress protein p8. These effects were prevented by blockade of the CB(2) cannabinoid receptor or by pharmacologic inhibition of ceramide synthesis de novo. Knockdown experiments using selective small interfering RNAs showed the involvement of p8 via its downstream endoplasmic reticulum stress-related targets activating transcription factor 4 (ATF-4) and TRB3 in Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced apoptosis. Cannabinoids also reduced the growth of tumor cells in two animal models of pancreatic cancer. In addition, cannabinoid treatment inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumor cells. Moreover, cannabinoid administration selectively increased apoptosis and TRB3 expression in pancreatic tumor cells but not in normal tissue. In conclusion, results presented here show that cannabinoids lead to apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells via a CB(2) receptor and de novo synthesized ceramide-dependent up-regulation of p8 and the endoplasmic reticulum stress-related genes ATF-4 and TRB3. These findings may contribute to set the basis for a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
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Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) has been considered as a critical regulator of diverse cellular processes such as proliferation, survival and motility, being implicated in the malignant transformation in several tissue types. The present study aimed to evaluate the clinical significance of total ERK1 (t-ERK1) and phosphorylated ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2) protein expression in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). t-ERK1 and p-ERK1/2 protein expression in tumour cells and infiltrating the tumour microenvironment lymphoid cells was assessed immunohistochemically on 47 mobile tongue SCC tissue samples and was analyzed in relation with clinicopathological characteristics, overall and disease-free patients' survival. Enhanced nuclear t-ERK1 and p-ERK1/2 expression in tumour cells was associated with the absence of perineural invasion (p = 0.043) and shorter overall patients' survival (log-rank test, p = 0.028), respectively. Enhanced t-ERK1 expression in infiltrating lymphoid cells was significantly associated with female gender, absence of vascular and perineural invasion, lymph node metastases and early depth of invasion (p = 0.008, p = 0.019, p = 0.011, p = 0.036 and p = 0.001, respectively), as well as with longer disease-free survival times (log-rank test, p = 0.038). Enhanced p-ERK1/2 expression in infiltrating lymphoid cells was significantly associated with the presence of vascular invasion and lymph node metastases (p = 0.019 and p = 0.004, respectively) and shorter overall patients' survival (log-rank test, p = 0.013). In multivariate analysis, p-ERK1/2 expression in tumour cells and infiltrating lymphoid cells was identified as independent prognostic factors of overall survival (Cox regression analysis, p = 0.045 and p = 0.032, respectively). The present study supported evidence that ERK signalling pathway may exert a potential role in the pathophysiological aspects of the mobile tongue SCC, presenting also potential utility as a biomarker for patients' survival and reinforcing the development of novel anti-cancer therapies targeting ERK signalling cascade in this type of human malignancy.
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Ephrin receptors (Ephs) are frequently overexpressed in a wide variety of human malignant tumors, being associated with tumor growth, invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. The present study aimed to evaluate the clinical significance of Eph-A1, -A2, -A4 and -A7 protein expression in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Eph-A1, -A2, -A4 and -A7 protein expression was assessed immunohistochemically on 37 mobile tongue SCC tissue samples and was analyzed in relation with clinicopathological characteristics, overall and disease-free patients' survival. All the examined mobile tongue SCC cases were found positive for Eph-A1, -A2, -A4 and -A7. Significant associations were noted between high Eph-A1, -A4 and -A7 expression and absence of lymph node metastases (p = 0.0263, p = 0.0461 and p = 0.0461, respectively). High Eph-A1, -A2 and -A7 expression was significantly more frequently observed in patients presenting absence of vascular invasion (p = 0.0444), dense stromal inflammatory reaction (p = 0.0063) and female gender (p = 0.0327), respectively. Mobile tongue SCC patients with high Eph-A7 expression presented longer overall and disease-free survival compared to those with low Eph-A7 expression (log-rank test, p = 0.0093 and p = 0.0164, respectively). In multivariate analysis, Eph-A7 expression was identified as independent prognostic factor of overall survival (Cox-regression analysis, p = 0.0426). The present study supported evidence that Ephs may participate in the malignant transformation of mobile tongue SCC, reinforcing their utility as clinical markers for patients' management and prognosis, as also as targets for potential therapeutic intervention in tongue chemoprevention.
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Changes in lipid metabolism are intimately related to cancer. Several classes of bioactive lipids play roles in the regulation of signaling pathways involved in neoplastic transformation and tumor growth and progression. The endocannabinoid system, comprising lipid-derived endocannabinoids, their G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and the enzymes for their metabolism, is emerging as a promising therapeutic target in cancer. This report highlights the main signaling pathways for the antitumor effects of the endocannabinoid system in cancer and its basic role in cancer pathogenesis, and discusses the alternative view of cannabinoid receptors as tumor promoters. We focus on new players in the antitumor action of the endocannabinoid system and on emerging crosstalk among cannabinoid receptors and other membrane or nuclear receptors involved in cancer. We also discuss the enzyme MAGL, a key player in endocannabinoid metabolism that was recently recognized as a marker of tumor lipogenic phenotype.
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The endocannabinoid system was revealed following the understanding of the mechanism of action of marijuana's major psychotropic principle, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, and includes two G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs; the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors), their endogenous ligands (the endocannabinoids, the best studied of which are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)), and the proteins that regulate the levels and activity of these receptors and ligands. However, other minor lipid metabolites different from, but chemically similar to, anandamide and 2-AG have also been suggested to act as endocannabinoids. Thus, unlike most other GPCRs, cannabinoid receptors appear to have more than one endogenous agonist, and it has been often wondered what could be the physiological meaning of this peculiarity. In 1999, it was proposed that anandamide might also activate other targets, and in particular the transient receptor potential of vanilloid type-1 (TRPV1) channels. Over the last decade, this interaction has been shown to occur both in peripheral tissues and brain, during both physiological and pathological conditions. TRPV1 channels can be activated also by another less abundant endocannabinoid, N-arachidonoyldopamine, but not by 2-AG, and have been proposed by some authors to act as ionotropic endocannabinoid receptors. This article will discuss the latest discoveries on this subject, and discuss, among others, how anandamide and 2-AG differential actions at TRPV1 and cannabinoid receptors contribute to making this signalling system a versatile tool available to organisms to fine-tune homeostasis.
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Cannabinoids exert antiproliferative properties in a variety of malignant tumors, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). In our study, we quantitatively evaluated the immunoreactivity for cannabinoid-1 (CB1) and cannabinoid-2 (CB2) receptors as well as for the endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacyl glycerol lipase (MGLL). Furthermore, quantitative real-time RT-PCR for CB1, CB2, FAAH and MGLL in normal pancreas and pancreatic cancer tissues was performed. Levels of endocannabinoids were determined by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Immunoreactivity scores and QRT-PCR expression levels were correlated with the clinico-pathological (TNM, survival, pain) status of the patients. Evaluation of endocannabinoid levels revealed that these remained unchanged in PDAC compared to the normal pancreas. Patients with high CB1 receptor levels in enlarged nerves in PDAC had a lower combined pain score (intensity, frequency, duration; p = 0.012). There was a significant relationship between low CB1 receptor immunoreactivity or mRNA expression levels (p = 0.0011 and p = 0.026, respectively), or high FAAH and MGLL cancer cell immunoreactivity (p = 0.036 and p = 0.017, respectively) and longer survival of PDAC patients. These results are underlined by a significant correlation of high pain scores and increased survival (p = 0.0343). CB2 receptor immunoreactivity, CB2 receptor, FAAH and MGLL mRNA expression levels did not correlate with survival. Therefore, changes in the levels of endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes and cannabinoid receptors on pancreatic cancer cells may affect prognosis and pain status of PDAC patients. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
Quantification of tumor vascularization recently has been shown to a parameter of potential clinical significance. Several basic and clinical studies have demonstrated that tumor growth correlates significantly with angiogenesis. To determine the utility of quantification of tumor vascularization and mitotic index for the pathobiologic assessment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, a prospective study of 114 consecutively recruited primary neoplasms was performed. Tumors were also studied for differentiation, keratinization, nuclear atypia, growth pattern, inflammation, desmoplasia, vascular tumor emboli, and DNA content. In this cohort, tumor vascularization was correlated with mitotic index (P < 0.001), nuclear grade (P = 0.03), presence of tumor emboli in the peripheral microvessels (P = 0.05), and lymph nodal status (P = 0.03). A strong relationship between poor differentiation and high N classification (P < 0.001), differentiation and keratinization (P < 0.001) and tumor cell emboli and clinically involved lymph nodes (P = 0.01) was also observed. Emboli were more rare in laryngeal and oropharynx/oral cavity tumors than in hypopharynx/epilarynx (P = 0.02). This study indicates that tumor vascularization, differentiation, and tumor emboli in peripheral microvessel network are important histologic parameters in the assessment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
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PurposeThis study aims at evaluation of the different prognostic models, including stage, tumor thickness, shape, malignancy grading of tumor invasive front, Martinez-Gimeno score, and pathologic features in the prediction of subclinical nodal metastasis, local recurrence, and survival of early T1 and T2 oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma. The results will have important implication for the management of patients.Patients and Methods Seventy-two clinically T1 and T2 glossectomy specimens of oral tongue carcinoma were serially sectioned in 3-mm thickness for the evaluation of various pathologic features. The prognostic value in the prediction of subclinical nodal metastasis, local recurrence, and survival of different models were compared.ResultsAmong all the tumor parameters and predictive models being evaluated, tumor thickness was the only significant factor that had significant predictive value for subclinical nodal metastasis, local recurrence, and survival. With the use of 3-mm and 9-mm division, tumor of up to 3-mm thickness has 8% subclinical nodal metastasis, 0% local recurrence, and 100% 5-year actuarial disease-free survival; tumor thickness of more than 3 mm and up to 9 mm had 44% subclinical nodal metastasis, 7% local recurrence, and 76% 5-year actuarial disease-free survival; tumor of more than 9 mm had 53% subclinical nodal metastasis, 24% local recurrence, and 66% 5-year actuarial disease-free survival.Conclusions Tumor thickness should be considered in the management planning of patients with early oral tongue carcinoma. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 24: 513–520, 2002
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Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Src are protein tyrosine kinases, localized in the focal adhesions, which, upon activation interacts each other, regulate several cellular signaling pathways implicated in malignant transformation and disease progression. The present study aimed to evaluate the clinical significance of FAK and Src protein expression in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). FAK and Src protein expression was assessed immunohistochemically on 48 mobile tongue SCC tissue samples and was analyzed in relation with clinicopathological characteristics, overall and disease-free patients' survival. FAK positivity was noted in 32 (66.67 %) and Src positivity in 45 (93.75 %) out of 48 mobile tongue SCC cases. FAK and Src protein expression was significantly increased in well-differentiated tumors compared to poorly differentiated ones (p = 0.0455 and p = 0.0301, respectively). Mobile tongue SCC patients presenting elevated Src expression showed longer overall and disease-free survival (log-rank test, p = 0.0145 and p = 0.0388, respectively). In multivariate analysis, the depth of invasion proved to be an independent prognostic factor of both overall and disease-free patients' survival (Cox regression, p = 0.0313 and p = 0.0481, respectively), whereas Src expression did not remain significant. The present study supported evidence for a potential role of FAK and Src signaling in mobile tongue SCC, rendering their small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors as possible treatment strategy in tongue cancer chemoprevention.
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Metallothionein (MT) has been implicated in several aspects of cancer pathobiology, such as differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis and invasion. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical significance of MT expression in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). MT protein expression was assessed immunohistochemically on 49 mobile tongue SCC specimens, and was analysed in relation to clinicopathological characteristics, and overall and disease-free patient survival. All of the examined mobile tongue SCC cases showed MT positivity in tumour cells; however, neither MT overexpression nor staining intensity was significantly associated with clinicopathological parameters. MT cellular distribution was significantly associated with histopathological grade of differentiation and depth of invasion (P = 0.0188 and P = 0.0484, respectively). MT staining intensity was identified as a significant predictor of overall patient survival at both univariate (P = 0.0377) and multivariate (P = 0.0472) levels. Twenty-seven (55.10%) of the examined SCC cases showed MT positivity in squamous tongue epithelium adjacent to the tumour, the MT positivity being correlated with depth of invasion (P = 0.0281), vascular invasion (P = 0.0194), and the existence of lymph node metastases (P = 0.0194). MT may be implicated in the development and progression of mobile tongue SCC and could be considered as a useful clinical marker for patient management and prognosis.
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Alterations in the endogenous cannabinoid system have been described in almost every category of disease. These changes can alternatively be protective or maladaptive, such as producing antinociception in neuropathic pain or fibrogenesis in liver disease, making the system an attractive therapeutic target. However, the challenge remains to selectively target the site of disease while sparing other areas, particularly mood and cognitive centers of the brain. Identifying regional changes in cannabinoid receptor-1 and -2 (CB(1)R and CB(2)R) expression is particularly important when considering endocannabinoid system-based therapies, because regional increases in cannabinoid receptor expression have been shown to increase potency and efficacy of exogenous agonists at sites of disease. Although there have been extensive descriptive studies of cannabinoid receptor expression changes in disease, the underlying mechanisms are only just beginning to unfold. Understanding these mechanisms is important and potentially relevant to therapeutics. In diseases for which cannabinoid receptors are protective, knowledge of the mechanisms of receptor up-regulation could be used to design therapies to regionally increase receptor expression and thus increase efficacy of an agonist. Alternatively, inhibition of harmful cannabinoid up-regulation could be an attractive alternative to global antagonism of the system. Here we review current findings on the mechanisms of cannabinoid receptor regulation in disease and discuss their therapeutic implications.
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Cannabinoids (CBs) have been found to exert antiproliferative effects upon a variety of cancer cells, including colorectal carcinoma cells. However, little is known about the signalling mechanisms behind the antitumoural effect in these cells, whether the effects are shared by endogenous lipids related to endocannabinoids, or whether such effects are synergistic with treatment paradigms currently used in the clinic. The aim of this preclinical study was to investigate the effect of synthetic and endogenous CBs and their related fatty acids on the viability of human colorectal carcinoma Caco-2 cells, and to determine whether CB effects are synergistic with those seen with the pyrimidine antagonist 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The synthetic CB HU 210, the endogenous CB anandamide, the endogenous structural analogue of anandamide, N-arachidonoyl glycine (NAGly), as well as the related polyunsaturated fatty acids arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid showed antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects in the Caco-2 cells, as measured by using [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation assay, the CyQUANT proliferation assay and calcein-AM fluorescence. HU 210 was the most potent compound examined, followed by anandamide, whereas NAGly showed equal potency and efficacy as the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Furthermore, HU 210 and 5-FU produced synergistic effects in the Caco-2 cells, but not in the human colorectal carcinoma cell lines HCT116 or HT29. The compounds examined produced cytotoxic, rather than antiproliferative effects, by a mechanism not involving CB receptors, since the CB receptor antagonists AM251 and AM630 did not attenuate the effects, nor did pertussis toxin. However, alpha-tocopherol and the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME attenuated the CB toxicity, suggesting involvement of oxidative stress. It is concluded that the CB system may provide new targets for the development of drugs to treat colorectal cancer.
Article
Oral (mobile) tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) is the most common cancer diagnosed within the oral cavity. Due to the inherent disadvantages of the mobile tongue OTSCC behaves aggressively and is generally associated with higher rates of occult metastasis and neck nodal metastasis than any other cancer of the oral cavity. The prognosis remains relatively poor and is still heavily reliant on TNM (tumor, node, metastasis) staging of the tumor despite a vast array of literature on possible prognostic indicators. This is a two-part article which examines the methods by which the behavior and prognosis of OTSCC has been studied, the prognostics markers, and the relevance and future direction of prognostic studies. In this first part, we discuss the relative merits of the methods used in prognostic studies and the clinicopathologic prognostic factors.
Article
Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral (mobile) tongue (OTSCC) is increasingly regarded as a biologically different entity compared to cancer affecting other oral sites. It is more aggressive and generally associated with a higher rate of metastasis. This is the concluding part of our two-part article that examines the methods by which the behavior and prognosis of OTSCC has been studied, the prognostics markers, and the relevance and future direction of prognostic studies. In this part, we continue our discussion of the histopathologic and molecular prognostic factors, and serum and salivary biomarkers in of OTSCC, and emphasize the need to regard OTSCC as a high risk variant of oral cancer. We conclude with future direction of prognostic studies of OTSCC.
Article
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) is a ligand-activated transcription factor, implicated in various aspects of cancer biology, such as differentiation, proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis. The present study aimed to evaluate the clinical significance of PPAR-γ in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). PPAR-γ protein expression was assessed immunohistochemically on 49 mobile tongue SCC tissue samples obtained from an equal number of patients. PPAR-γ expression and intensity of immunostaining were statistically analyzed in relation with clinicopathological characteristics, mitotic index and patients' survival. Elevated PPAR-γ expression was more frequently observed in patients with reduced depth of invasion (P = 0.0111). Moderate/intense PPAR-γ staining intensity was more frequently observed in patients with no evidence of muscular infiltration (P = 0.0229) and reduced depth of invasion (P = 0.0176). Mobile tongue SCC patients presenting enhanced PPAR-γ expression had significantly longer overall and disease-free survival times compared to those with low PPAR-γ expression (log-rank test, P = 0.0162 and P = 0.0114, respectively). PPAR-γ immunoreactivity in mobile tongue SCC was correlated with clinicopathological characteristics crucial for patients' management and prognosis. PPAR-γ may be considered as a useful prognostic marker in mobile tongue SCC and a potential therapeutic target for tongue cancer chemoprevention and treatment.
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In this article, we demonstrate that the synthetic cannabinoid R-(+)-(2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(4-morpholinyl)methyl]pyrol[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl)-(1-naphthalenyl) methanone mesylate (WIN 55,212-2) sensitizes human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells to apoptosis mediated by tumor necrosis-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL). The apoptotic mechanism induced by treatment with WIN/TRAIL combination involved the loss of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential and led to the activation of caspases. In HCC cells, WIN treatment induced the up-regulation of TRAIL death receptor DR5, an effect that seemed to be related to the increase in the level of p8 and CHOP, two factors implicated in cellular stress response and apoptosis. This relationship was suggested by the observation that the down-regulation of p8 or CHOP by specific small interfering RNAs attenuated both WIN-mediated DR5 up-regulation and the cytotoxicity induced by WIN/TRAIL cotreatment. Moreover, WIN induced a significant decrease in the levels of some survival factors (survivin, c-inhibitor of apoptosis protein 2, and Bcl-2) and in particular in that of the active phosphorylated form of AKT. This event seemed to be dependent on the transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma whose level significantly increased after WIN treatment. Therefore, both the induction of DR5 via p8 and CHOP and the down-regulation of survival factors seem to be crucial for the marked synergistic effects induced by the two drugs in HCC cells. Taken together, the results reported in this article indicate that WIN/TRAIL combination could represent a novel important tool for the treatment of HCC.
Article
Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain. The mechanistic basis of these treatments emerged after the discovery of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol as the major constituent of Cannabis. Further progress was made when the receptors for Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol were identified as part of an endocannabinoid system, that consists of specific cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and their biosynthetic and degradative enzymes. Anatomical, physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and organ-specific actions. It is involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastroprotection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation in the gut. Cellular targets have been defined that include the enteric nervous system, epithelial and immune cells. Molecular targets of the endocannabinoid system include, in addition to the cannabinoid receptors, transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha receptors and the orphan G-protein coupled receptors, GPR55 and GPR119. Pharmacological agents that act on these targets have been shown in preclinical models to have therapeutic potential. Here, we discuss cannabinoid receptors and their localization in the gut, the proteins involved in endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation and the presence of endocannabinoids in the gut in health and disease. We focus on the pharmacological actions of cannabinoids in relation to GI disorders, highlighting recent data on genetic mutations in the endocannabinoid system in GI disease.
Article
A rather complex and pleiotropic endogenous signalling system was discovered in the late 1990s, starting from studies on the mechanism of action of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive principle of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. This system includes: (1) at least two G-protein-coupled receptors, known as the cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors; (2) the endogenous agonists at these receptors, known as endocannabinoids, of which anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are the best known; and (3) proteins and enzymes for the regulation of endocannabinoid levels and action at receptors. The number of the members of this endocannabinoid signalling system seems to be ever increasing as new non-CB(1) non-CB(2) receptors for endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid-related molecules with little activity at CB(1) and CB(2) receptors, and new enzymes for endocannabinoid biosynthesis and degradation are being identified every year. The complexity of the endocannabinoid system and of its physiological and pathological function is outlined in this introductory chapter, for a better understanding of the subsequent chapters in this special issue.
Article
In the light of findings indicating that cannabinoids can affect the proliferation of a number of cancer cell types and that cannabinoid receptor expression is higher in prostate cancer cell lines than in non-malignant cells, we investigated whether the level of cannabinoid 1 receptor immunoreactivity (CB(1)IR) in prostate cancer tissues is associated with disease severity and outcome. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded non-malignant and tumour tissue samples from patients who were diagnosed with prostate cancer at a transurethral resection for voiding problems were used. CB(1)IR, which was scored in a total of 399 cases, was associated with the epithelial cell membranes, with little staining in the stroma. Patients with a tumour CB(1)IR score greater or equal to the median (2) had a significantly higher proportion of Gleason scores 8-10, metastases at diagnosis, tumour size and rate of cell proliferation at diagnosis than patients with a score<2. For 269 cases, tumour CB(1)IR was measured for patients who only received palliative therapy at the end stages of the disease, allowing the influence of CB(1)IR upon the disease outcome to be determined. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves showed an area under the curve of 0.67 (95% confidence limits 0.59-0.74) for CB(1)IR in the tumour. CB(1)IR in non-malignant tissue was not associated with disease outcome. A tumour CB(1)IR score >or=2 was associated with a significantly lower disease specific survival. A Cox proportional hazards regression indicated that the tumour CB(1)IR score and the Gleason score were independent prognostic variables. It is concluded that a high tumour CB(1)IR score is associated with prostate cancer severity and outcome.
Article
Several investigators have suggested that there is a strong correlation between tumor depth and lymph node involvement in tongue carcinoma. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the shape of tumor, tumor depth, and lymph node metastasis in tongue carcinoma. Fifty-four patients with T1 abd T2 tongue carcinomas who underwent surgical treatment were included in this study. Tumors were divided into four categories according to their shape of invasion: superficial, exophytic, endophytic, and a combination of endophytic and exophytic. Forty cases of endophytic and combination types were divided into two groups according to the shape of invasion: (1) reductive bottom of invasion (n = 17) and (2) expansive bottom of invasion (n = 23). Tumors with a reductive bottom of invasion showed a variety of tumor depths and had low lymph node involvement (4/17, 23.5%). However, tumors with an expansive bottom of invasion showed deeper invasion and a high incidence of lymph node metastasis (16/23, 69.6%). These results suggested that the macroscopic shape of invasion is a feature that may provide important information about the prognosis of the primary tumor especially in relation to cervical lymph node involvement.
Article
Cannabinoid receptors (CB1-R) are the target of a novel class of neuromodulators, the endocannabinoids. Yet, their signalling mechanisms in adult brain are poorly understood. We report that, in rat and mouse hippocampal slices, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, synthetic cannabinoids, and delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), but not c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). In contrast, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a lipid messenger acting on different receptors, increased both p38-MAPK and JNK phosphorylation. The effects of cannabinoids on p38-MAPK were mediated through activation of CB1-R because they were blocked in the presence of SR 141716 A and absent in CB1-R knockout mice, two conditions that did not alter the effects of LPA. The activation of p38-MAPK by cannabinoids was insensitive to inhibitors of SRC: These results provide new insights into the cellular mechanisms by which cannabinoids exert their effects in hippocampus.
Article
To analyze the impact of resection margin status and histologic prognosticators on local recurrence (LR) and overall survival (OS) for patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). This study was both retrospective and prospective in design. Cohort 1 refers to the entire group of 292 patients with OSCC. The slides from the earliest resection specimens from Cohort 1 were examined in an exploratory manner for multiple parameters. Cohort 2 refers to a subset of 203 patients, who did not receive any neoadjuvant therapy and had outcome data. Cohort 3 represents a subset of Cohort 2 (n = 168) wherein the histologic resection margin status could be reconfirmed. Cohort 4 refers a subset of 85 patients with tongue/floor of mouth tumors. Margin status was designated as follows: group 1, clearance of > or =5 mm with intraoperative analysis, no need for supplemental margins (n = 46); group 2, initial margins were measured as <5 mm during intraoperative frozen section; supplemental resection margins were negative on final pathology (n = 73); group 3, the final pathology revealed resection margins <5 mm (n = 30); group 4, the final pathology revealed frankly positive resection margins (n = 19). The endpoints of LR and OS were queried with respect to T stage, tumor site, margin status, and numerous histologic variables, by Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses. Tumor stage (T) was significantly associated with LR (P = 0.028). Kaplan-Meier analysis for stage and for intraoral site was significantly associated with LR for T4 tumors. The increased likelihood of LR was higher for T4 OSCC of the buccal mucosa (75%), sinopalate (50%), and gingiva (100%) compared with mobile tongue (27%), and oropharynx (13%) (P = 0.013). Margin status was not associated with LR or OS (Cohort 3). This was so when all tumors were grouped together and when separate analyses were performed by tumor stage and oral subsite. No significance was demonstrated when margin status was examined for patients with similar treatment (surgery alone or surgery with adjuvant RT). However, the administration of adjuvant RT did significantly increase local disease-free survival (P = 0.0027 and P = 0.001 for T1 and T2 SCC, respectively). On exploratory analyses of histologic parameters, worst pattern of invasion was significantly associated with LR (P = 0.015) and OS (P < 0.001). Perineural invasion involving large nerves (>1 mm) was associated with LR (P = 0.005) and OS (P = 0.039). Limited lymphocytic response was also significantly associated with LR (P = 0.005) and OS (P = 0.001). When used as covariates in a multivariate Cox regression model, worst pattern of invasion, perineural invasion, and lymphocytic response were significant and independent predictors of both LR and OS, even when adjusting for margin status. Thus, these factors were used to generate our risk assessment. Our risk assessment classified patients into low-, intermediate-, or high-risk groups, with respect to LR (P = 0.0004) and OS (P < 0.0001). This classification retained significance when examining patients with uniform treatment. In separate analyses for each risk group, we found that administration of adjuvant radiation therapy is associated with increased local disease-free survival for high-risk patients only (P = 0.0296) but not low-risk or intermediate-risk patients. Resection margin status alone is not an independent predictor of LR and cannot be the sole variable in the decision-making process regarding adjuvant radiation therapy. We suggest that the recommendation for adjuvant radiation therapy be based on, not only traditional factors (inadequate margin, perineural invasion, bone invasion) but also histologic risk assessment. If clinicians want to avoid the debilitation of adjuvant radiation therapy, then a 5-mm margin standard may not be effective in the presence of high-risk score.
Article
An increasing incidence of oral carcinoma among young adults has been reported in the U.S. and Europe. Although the association between human papillomavirus infection and tonsillar carcinoma is now well established, to the authors' knowledge little is known about incidence trends in tonsillar carcinoma among younger adults. The objective of the current study was to explore the trends in both oral cavity and pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in younger U.S. populations, in particular tongue and tonsillar SCC. Using the 1973-2001 Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, we computed age, race, and site-specific trends of oral and pharyngeal (excluding nasopharynx) carcinoma incidence rates. The percent change (PC) and annual percent change (APC) were computed to explore trends in incidence rates over time. There were 2262 SCC of the oral cavity and 1251 SCC of the pharynx reported to the SEER program from 1973 to 2001 in adults aged 20-44 years. There was a statistically significant increase in the incidence of oral tongue SCC (APC = +2.1; P < 0.001), base of tongue SCC (APC = +1.7; P = 0.04), and palatine tonsil SCC (APC = +3.9; P < 0.001) among younger white individuals, whereas the incidence of SCC in all other oral and pharyngeal sites decreased or remained constant. The increase in tonsil SCC incidence from 1973 to 2001 paralleled the increase in tongue SCC, whereas SCC in all other oral and pharyngeal sites remained constant or decreased. This may suggest similar etiologic factors for SCC affecting the palatine tonsils and tongue in younger populations.
Article
The endocannabinoid system regulates cell proliferation in human breast cancer cells. We reasoned that stimulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors could induce a non-invasive phenotype in breast metastatic cells. In a model of metastatic spreading in vivo, the metabolically stable anandamide analogue, 2-methyl-2'-F-anandamide (Met-F-AEA), significantly reduced the number and dimension of metastatic nodes, this effect being antagonized by the selective CB1 antagonist SR141716A. In MDA-MB-231 cells, a highly invasive human breast cancer cell line, and in TSA-E1 cells, a murine breast cancer cell line, Met-F-AEA inhibited adhesion and migration on type IV collagen in vitro without modifying integrin expression: both these effects were antagonized by SR141716A. In order to understand the molecular mechanism involved in these processes, we analyzed the phosphorylation of FAK and Src, two tyrosine kinases involved in migration and adhesion. In Met-F-AEA-treated cells, we observed a decreased tyrosine phosphorylation of both FAK and Src, this effect being attenuated by SR141716A. We propose that CB1 receptor agonists inhibit tumor cell invasion and metastasis by modulating FAK phosphorylation, and that CB1 receptor activation might represent a novel therapeutic strategy to slow down the growth of breast carcinoma and to inhibit its metastatic diffusion in vivo.
Article
CB1 and CB2 are multifunctional cannabinoid-specific receptors considered to be involved in inhibition of tumor development. To elucidate their roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, we analyzed the expression of these receptors in tumor and matched nontumorous tissues of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) samples. In situ hybridization analysis showed overexpression of CB1 mRNAs in 8 of 13 (62%) HCC samples, and of CB2 mRNAs in 7 of 13 (54%). Immunohistochemical analysis of 64 HCC samples showed the expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors to increase from normal liver to chronic hepatitis to cirrhosis. Marked expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors was noted in the majority of cirrhotic liver samples (86 and 78%, respectively). In HCC, high expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors was observed in 29 (45%) and 33 (52%) cases, respectively. Clinicopathological evaluation indicated a significant correlation between CB1 and CB2 expression and two clinicopathological parameters such as the histopathological differentiation (P = 0.021 and 0.001, respectively), portal vein invasion (P = 0.015 and 0.004, respectively). Univariate analysis indicated that disease-free survival was significantly better in HCC patients with high versus those with low CB1 and CB2 expression levels (P = 0.010 and 0.037, respectively). Our results indicate that CB1 and CB2 have potential as prognostic indicators and suggest possible beneficial effects of cannabinoids on prognosis of patients with HCC.
Article
Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue (SCCOT) is one of the most prevalent tumors of the head and neck region. Despite advances in treatment, the survival of patients with SCCOT has not significantly improved over the past several decades. Most frequently, treatment failure takes the form of local and regional recurrences, but as disease control in these areas improves, SCCOT treatment failures are occurring more often as distant metastasis. The presence of cervical lymph node metastasis is the most reliable adverse prognostic factor in patients with SCCOT, and extracapsular spread (ECS) of cervical lymph nodes metastasis is a particularly reliable predictor of regional and distant recurrence and death from disease. Decisions regarding the elective and therapeutic management of cervical lymph node metastases are made mainly on clinical grounds as we cannot always predict cervical lymph node metastasis from the size and extent of invasion of the primary tumors. Therefore, the treatment of these metastases in the management of SCCOT remains controversial. The promise of basing treatment decisions on biomarkers has yet to be fully realized because of our poor understanding of the mechanisms of regional and distant metastases of SCCOT. Here we summarize the current status of investigations of SCCOT metastases and the potential of these studies to have a positive impact on the clinical management of SCCOT in the future.
Clinical significance of cannabinoid receptor 2 in human invasive breast carcinoma
  • S Theocharis
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Theocharis S, Theohari I, Giannopoulou I, et al. Clinical significance of cannabinoid receptor 2 in human invasive breast carcinoma. Virchows Arch. 2014;465:S119.
Cannabinoids in pancreatic cancer: correlation with survival and pain
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Prognostic factors of clinically stage I and II oral tongue carcinoma-A comparative study of stage, thickness, shape, growth pattern, invasive front malignancy grading, Martinez-Gimeno score, and pathologic features
  • Po Wing Yuen
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Po Wing Yuen A, Lam KY, Lam LK, et al. Prognostic factors of clinically stage I and II oral tongue carcinoma-A comparative study of stage, thickness, shape, growth pattern, invasive front malignancy grading, Martinez-Gimeno score, and pathologic features. Head Neck. 2002;24:513-20.