Todd C Skaar

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (146)812.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A series of triphenylethylene bisphenol analogues of the selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) tamoxifen were synthesized and evaluated for their abilities to inhibit aromatase, bind to estrogen receptor α (ER-α) and estrogen receptor β (ER-β), and antagonize the activity of β-estradiol in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. The long-range goal has been to create dual aromatase inhibitor (AI)/selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). The hypothesis is that in normal tissue the estrogenic SERM activity of a dual AI/SERM could attenuate the undesired effects stemming from global estrogen depletion caused by the AI activity of a dual AI/SERM, while in breast cancer tissue the antiestrogenic SERM activity of a dual AI/SERM could act synergistically with AI activity to enhance the antiproliferative effect. The potent aromatase inhibitory activities and high ER-α and ER-β binding affinities of several of the resulting analogues, together with the facts that they antagonize β-estradiol in a functional assay in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells and they have no E/Z isomers, support their further development in order to obtain dual AI/SERM agents for breast cancer treatment.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: AMPD1 c.34C > T (rs17602729) polymorphism results in AMPD1 deficiency. We examined the association of AMPD1 deficiency and variability of hemodynamic response to regadenoson. Materials & methods: Genotyping for c.34C > T was performed in 267 patients undergoing regadenoson cardiac stress testing. Results: Carriers of c.34C >T variant exhibited higher relative changes in systolic blood pressure (SBP) compared with wild-type subjects ([%] SBP change to peak: 12 ± 25 vs 5 ± 13%; p = 0.01) ([%] SBP change to nadir: -3 ± 15 vs -7 ± 11%; p = 0.04). Change in heart rate (HR) was similar between groups, but side effects were more common in carriers of the variant (+LR = 4.2; p = 0.04). Conclusions: AMPD1 deficiency may be involved in the modulation of regadenoson's systemic effects.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Pharmacogenomics
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    ABSTRACT: Adjuvant therapy for hormone receptor (HR) positive postmenopausal breast cancer patients includes aromatase inhibitors (AI). While both the non-steroidal AI letrozole and the steroidal AI exemestane decrease serum estrogen concentrations, there is evidence that exemestane may be less detrimental to bone. We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) predict effects of AIs on bone turnover. Early stage HR-positive breast cancer patients were enrolled in a randomized trial of exemestane versus letrozole. Effects of AI on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover markers (BTM), and associations between SNPs in 24 candidate genes and changes in BMD or BTM were determined. Of the 503 enrolled patients, paired BMD data were available for 123 and 101 patients treated with letrozole and exemestane, respectively, and paired BTM data were available for 175 and 173 patients, respectively. The mean change in lumbar spine BMD was significantly greater for letrozole-treated (-3.2 %) compared to exemestane-treated patients (-1.0 %) (p = 0.0016). Urine N-telopeptide was significantly increased in patients treated with exemestane (p = 0.001) but not letrozole. Two SNPs (rs4870061 and rs9322335) in ESR1 and one SNP (rs10140457) in ESR2 were associated with decreased BMD in letrozole-treated patients. In the exemestane-treated patients, SNPs in ESR1 (Rs2813543) and CYP19A1 (Rs6493497) were associated with decreased bone density. Exemestane had a less negative impact on bone density compared to letrozole, and the effects of AI therapy on bone may be impacted by genetic variants in the ER pathway.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Plasma miRNAs represent potential minimally invasive biomarkers to monitor and predict outcomes from chemotherapy. The primary goal of the current study-consisting of patients with recurrent, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer-was to identify the changes in circulating miRNA concentrations associated with decitabine followed by carboplatin chemotherapy treatment. A secondary goal was to associate clinical response with changes in circulating miRNA concentration. Methods: We measured miRNA concentrations in plasma samples from 14 patients with platinum-resistant, recurrent ovarian cancer enrolled in a phase II clinical trial that were treated with a low dose of the hypomethylating agent (HMA) decitabine for 5 days followed by carboplatin on day 8. The primary endpoint was to determine chemotherapy-associated changes in plasma miRNA concentrations. The secondary endpoint was to correlate miRNA changes with clinical response as measured by progression free survival (PFS). Results: Seventy-eight miRNA plasma concentrations were measured at baseline (before treatment) and at the end of the first cycle of treatment (day 29). Of these, 10 miRNAs (miR-193a-5p, miR-375, miR-339-3p, miR-340-5p, miR-532-3p, miR-133a-3p, miR-25-3p, miR-10a-5p, miR-616-5p, and miR-148b-5p) displayed fold changes in concentration ranging from -2.9 to 4 (p<0.05), in recurrent platinum resistant ovarian cancer patients, that were associated with response to decitabine followed by carboplatin chemotherapy. Furthermore, lower concentrations of miR-148b-5p after this chemotherapy regimen were associated (P<0.05) with the PFS. Conclusions: This is the first report demonstrating altered circulating miRNA concentrations following a combination platinum plus HMA chemotherapy regiment. In addition, circulating miR-148b-5p concentrations were associated with PFS and may represent a novel biomarker of therapeutic response, with this chemotherapy regimen, in women with recurrent, drug-resistant ovarian cancer.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To describe the effects of six interventions for menopausal vasomotor symptoms relative to control in a pooled analysis, facilitating translation of the results for clinicians and symptomatic women. The Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health network tested these interventions in three randomized clinical trials. METHODS: An analysis of pooled individual-level data from three randomized clinical trials is presented. Participants were 899 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with at least 14 bothersome vasomotor symptoms per week. Interventions included 10-20 mg escitalopram per day, nonaerobic yoga, aerobic exercise, 1.8 g per day omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, 0.5 mg low-dose oral 17-beta-estradiol (E2) per day, and 75 mg low-dose venlafaxine XR per day. The main outcome measures were changes from baseline in mean daily vasomotor symptom frequency and bother during 8-12 weeks of treatment. Linear regression models estimated differences in outcomes between each intervention and corresponding control group adjusted for baseline characteristics. Models included trial-specific intercepts, effects of the baseline outcome measure, and time. RESULTS: The 8-week reduction in vasomotor symptom frequency from baseline relative to placebo was similar for escitalopram at -1.4 per day (95% confidence interval [CI] -2.7 to -0.2), low-dose E2 at -2.4 (95% CI -3.4 to -1.3), and venlafaxine at -1.8 (95% CI -2.8 to -0.8); vasomotor symptom bother reduction was minimal and did not vary across these three pharmacologic interventions (mean -0.2 to -0.3 relative to placebo). No effects on vasomotor symptom frequency or bother were seen with aerobic exercise, yoga, or omega-3 supplements. CONCLUSION: These analyses suggest that escitalopram, low-dose E2, and venlafaxine provide comparable, modest reductions in vasomotor symptom frequency and bother among women with moderate hot flushes.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Obstetrics and Gynecology
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    ABSTRACT: The integrase inhibitors, raltegravir and dolutegravir, are nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-sparing agents which may be used as part of first-line antiretroviral therapy for HIV. These drugs inhibit creatinine secretion through organic cation transporters, thus elevating serum creatinine without affecting glomerular filtration. We sought to determine whether subtle signs of nephrotoxicity could be observed in mice administered a two-week regimen of high-dose integrase inhibitors. C57BL/6 mice were fed standard water (CTRL, n = 6), raltegravir-containing water (40 mg/kg/day, n = 6), or dolutegravir-containing water (2.7 mg/kg/day, n = 6) for two weeks and sacrificed. Endpoints were assessed including urine microalbumin, kidney injury molecule-1 renal tissue gene expression, renal histopathology, serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen. The results are NOT consistent with a direct nephrotoxic effect of the integrase inhibitors in mice. Serum creatinine was significantly elevated in raltegravir and dolutegravir mice (p < 0.05) compared to control (raltegravir = 0.25 mg/dl, dolutegravir = 0.30 mg/dl versus CTRL = 0.17 mg/dl). Blood urea nitrogen, cystatin C, and urine microalbumin were unchanged. Kidney injury molecule-1 tissue expression in raltegravir and dolutegravir groups was nonsignificantly elevated compared to control (1.2-fold compared to control). Renal histopathology by periodic acid-Schiff staining failed to reveal glomerular or tubular renal injury in any group. These studies are consistent with integrase inhibitors competitively inhibiting creatinine secretion. While no evidence of direct nephrotoxicity was observed after two weeks of high-dose drug administration, additional studies may be performed to understand whether these drugs lead to chronic nephropathy. © The Author(s) 2015.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Antiviral chemistry & chemotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer pharmacogenetic studies use archival tumor samples as a DNA source when germline DNA is unavailable. Genotyping DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tumors (FFPE-T) may be inaccurate due to FFPE storage, genetic aberrations, and/or insufficient DNA extraction. Our objective was to assess the extent and source of genotyping inaccuracy from FFPE-T DNA and demonstrate analytical validity of FFPE-T genotyping of candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for pharmacogenetic analyses. Cancer pharmacogenetics SNPs were genotyped by Sequenom MassARRAYs in DNA harvested from matched FFPE-T, FFPE lymph node (FFPE-LN), and whole blood leukocyte samples obtained from breast cancer patients. No- and discordant-call rates were calculated for each tissue type and SNP. Analytical validity was defined as any SNP with <5% discordance between FFPE-T and blood and <10% discordance plus no-calls. Matched samples from 114 patients were genotyped for 247 SNPs. No-call rate in FFPE-T was greater than FFPE-LN and blood (4.3% vs. 3.0% vs. 0.5%, p < 0.001). Discordant-call rate between FFPE-T and blood was very low, but greater than that between FFPE-LN and blood (1.1% vs. 0.3%, p < 0.001). Samples with heterozygous genotypes were more likely to be no- or discordantly-called in either tissue (p < 0.001). Analytical validity of FFPE-T genotyping was demonstrated for 218 (88%) SNPs. No- and discordant-call rates were below concerning thresholds, confirming that most SNPs can be accurately genotyped from FFPE-T on our Sequenom platform. FFPE-T is a viable DNA source for prospective-retrospective pharmacogenetic analyses of clinical trial cohorts. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Molecular oncology
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    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of rifampin on the in vivo metabolism of the antiretroviral drug efavirenz was evaluated in healthy volunteers. In a cross-over placebo control trial, healthy subjects (n = 20) were administered a single 600 mg oral dose of efavirenz after pretreatment with placebo or rifampin (600 mg/day for 10 days). Plasma and urine concentrations of efavirenz, 8-hydroxyefavirenz and 8,14-dihydroxyefavirenz were measured by LC–MS/MS. Compared to placebo treatment, rifampin increased the oral clearance (by ∼2.5-fold) and decreased maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC0–∞) of efavirenz (by ∼1.6- and ∼2.5-fold respectively) (p < 0.001). Rifampin treatment substantially increased the Cmax and AUC0–12h of 8-hydroxyefavirenz and 8,14-dihydroxyefavirenz, metabolic ratio (AUC0–72h of metabolites to AUC0–72h efavirenz) and the amount of metabolites excreted in urine (Ae0–12hr) (all, p < 0.01). Female subjects had longer elimination half-life (1.6–2.2-fold) and larger weight-adjusted distribution volume (1.6–1.9-fold) of efavirenz than male subjects (p < 0.05) in placebo and rifampin treated groups respectively. In conclusion, rifampin enhances CYP2B6-mediated efavirenz 8-hydroxylation in vivo. The metabolism of a single oral dose of efavirenz may be a suitable in vivo marker of CYP2B6 activity to evaluate induction drug interactions involving this enzyme.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015
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    ABSTRACT: CYP2D6 is highly polymorphic gene which encodes the (CYP2D6) enzyme, involved in the metabolism of 20-25% of all clinically prescribed drugs and other xenobiotics in the human body. CYP2D6 genotyping is recommended prior to treatment decisions involving one or more of the numerous drugs sensitive to CYP2D6 allelic composition. In this context, high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies provide a promising time-efficient and cost-effective alternative to currently used genotyping techniques. To achieve accurate interpretation of HTS data, however, one needs to overcome several obstacles such as high sequence similarity and genetic recombinations between CYP2D6 and evolutionarily related pseudogenes CYP2D7 and CYP2D8, high copy number variation among individuals and short read lengths generated by HTS technologies. In this work, we present the first algorithm to computationally infer CYP2D6 genotype at basepair resolution from HTS data. Our algorithm is able to resolve complex genotypes, including alleles that are the products of duplication, deletion and fusion events involving CYP2D6 and its evolutionarily related cousin CYP2D7. Through extensive experiments using simulated and real datasets, we show that our algorithm accurately solves this important problem with potential clinical implications. Cypiripi is available at © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Bioinformatics
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    Santosh Philips · Jing Zhou · Zhigao Li · Todd C Skaar · Lang Li
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    ABSTRACT: One major challenge in personalized medicine research is to identify the environmental factors that can alter drug response, and to investigate their molecular mechanisms. These environmental factors include co-medications, food, and nutrition or dietary supplements. The increasing use of dietary supplements and their potential interactions with cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes is a highly significant personalized medicine research domain, because most of the drugs on the market are metabolized through CYP450 enzymes. Initial bioinformatics analysis revealed a number of regulators of CYP450 enzymes from a human liver bank gene expression quantitative loci data set. Then, a compound-gene network was constructed from the curated literature data. This network consisted of compounds that interact with either CYPs and/or their regulators that influence either their gene expression or activity. We further evaluated this finding in three different cell lines: JEG3, HeLa, and LNCaP cells. From a total of 868 interactions we were able to identify an interesting interaction between retinoic acid (i.e. Vitamin A) and the aromatase gene (i.e. CYP19A1). Our experimental results showed that retinoic acid at physiological concentration significantly influenced CYP19A1 gene expressions. These results suggest that the presence of retinoic acid may alter the efficacy of agents used to suppress aromatase expression.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · BMC Genomics
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    ABSTRACT: Developmental changes in the liver can significantly impact drug disposition. Due to the emergence of microRNAs (miRNAs) as important regulators of drug disposition gene expression, we studied age-dependent changes in miRNA expression. Expression of 533 miRNAs was measured in 90 human liver tissues (fetal, pediatric (1-17 years), and adult (28-80 years); n=30 each). 114 miRNAs were upregulated and 72 were downregulated from fetal to pediatric, and 2 and 3, respectively, from pediatric to adult. Among the developmentally changing miRNAs, 99 miRNA-mRNA interactions were predicted or experimentally validated (e.g. hsa-miR-125b-5p-CYP1A1; hsa-miR-34a-5p-HNF4A). In human liver samples (n=10 each), analyzed by RNA-sequencing, significant negative correlations were observed between the expression of >1000 miRNAs and mRNAs of drug disposition and regulatory genes. Our data suggest a mechanism for the marked changes in hepatic gene expression between the fetal and pediatric developmental periods, and support a role for these age-dependent miRNAs in regulating drug disposition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Clinical Pharmacology &#38 Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are primary treatment options for major depressive and anxiety disorders. CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 polymorphisms can influence the metabolism of SSRIs thereby affecting drug efficacy and safety. We summarize evidence from the published literature supporting these associations and provide dosing recommendations for fluvoxamine, paroxetine, citalopram, escitalopram and sertraline based on CYP2D6 and/or CYP2C19 genotype (updates at This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Clinical Pharmacology &#38 Therapeutics

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Gastroenterology
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    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Clinical Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Both selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors are widely used for the treatment of breast cancer. Compounds with both aromatase inhibitory and estrogen receptor modulatory activities could have special advantages for treatment of breast cancer. Our previous efforts led to the discovery of norendoxifen as the first compound with dual aromatase inhibitory and estrogen receptor binding activities. To optimize its efficacy and aromatase selectivity versus other cytochrome P450 enzymes, a series of structurally related norendoxifen analogues were designed and synthesized. The most potent compound, 4'-hydroxynorendoxifen (10), displayed elevated inhibitory potency against aromatase and enhanced affinity for estrogen receptors when compared to norendoxifen. The selectivity of 10 for aromatase versus other cytochrome P450 enzymes was also superior to norendoxifen. 4'-Hydroxynorendoxifen is therefore an interesting lead for further development to obtain new anticancer agents of potential value for the treatment of breast cancer.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Oncology nursing forum
  • K. Burgess · E. Benson · Z. Desta · A. Gaedigk · Y. Liu · T. Skaar

    No preview · Conference Paper · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the frequency of pharmacogenomic variants and concurrent medications that may alter the efficacy and tolerability of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs). A multisite cross-sectional study was carried out across four memory care practices in the greater Indianapolis area. Participants were adults aged 65 years and older with a diagnosis of probable or possible Alzheimer's disease (AD) (n=105). Blood samples and self-reported medication data were collected. Since two of the three AChEIs are metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP)-2D6, we determined the frequency of functional genetic variants in the CYP2D6 gene and calculated their predicted CYP2D6-activity scores. Concurrent medication data were collected from self-reported medication surveys, and their predicted effect on the pharmacokinetics of AChEIs was determined based on their known effects on CYP2D6 and CYP3A4/5 enzyme activities. Among the 105 subjects enrolled, 72% were female and 36% were African American. Subjects had a mean age of 79.6 years. The population used a mean of eight medications per day (prescription and nonprescription). The CYP2D6 activity score frequencies were 0 (3.8%), 0.5 (4.8%), 1.0 (36.2%), 1.5-2.0 (51.4%), and >2.0 (3.8%). Nineteen subjects (18.1%) used a medication considered a strong or moderate inhibitor of CYP2D6, and eight subjects (7.6%) used a medication considered a strong or moderate inhibitor of CYP3A4/5. In total, 28.6% of the study population was predicted to have reduced activity of the CYP2D6 or CYP3A4/5 enzymes due to either genetic variants or concomitant medications. Both pharmacogenetic variants and concurrent drug therapies that are predicted to alter the pharmacokinetics of AChEIs should be evaluated in older adults with AD. Pharmacogenetic and drug-interaction data may help personalize AD therapy and increase adherence by improving tolerability.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Clinical Interventions in Aging

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Molecular Diagnostics

Publication Stats

4k Citations
812.43 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Simon Fraser University
      Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2005-2015
    • Indiana University School of Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Obstetrics and Gynecology
      • • Division of Clinical Pharmacology
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
    • Indiana University East
      Ричмонд, Indiana, United States
  • 2004-2015
    • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Division of Clinical Pharmacology
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • 2013
    • University of Milan
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2009-2011
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2008
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1994-2007
    • Georgetown University
      • • Department of Oncology
      • • Lombardi Cancer Center
      • • Department of Physiology and Biophysics
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2004-2005
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2003
    • University of Indianapolis
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States