Purpose: Global DNA hypomethylation plays a crucial role in genomic instability and carcinogenesis. DNA methylation of the long interspersed nucleotide element-1, L1 (LINE-1) repetitive element is a good indicator of the global DNA methylation level, and is attracting interest as a useful marker for predicting cancer prognosis. Our previous study using more than 200 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) specimens demonstrated the significant relationship between LINE-1 hypomethylation and poor prognosis. However, the mechanism by which LINE-1 hypomethylation affects aggressive tumor behavior has yet to be revealed.
Experimental Design: To examine the relationship between LINE-1 hypomethylation and DNA copy number variations, we investigated LINE-1–hypomethylated and LINE-1–hypermethylated ESCC tumors by comparative genomic hybridization array.
Results: LINE-1–hypomethylated tumors showed highly frequent genomic gains at various loci containing candidate oncogenes such as CDK6. LINE-1 methylation levels were significantly associated with CDK6 mRNA and CDK6 protein expression levels in ESCC specimens. In our cohort of 129 patients with ESCC, cases with CDK6-positive expression experienced worse clinical outcome compared with those with CDK6-negative expression, supporting the oncogenic role of CDK6 in ESCC. In addition, we found that the prognostic impact of LINE-1 hypomethylation might be attenuated by CDK6 expression.
Purpose: Cancers accumulate mutations over time, each of which brings the potential for recognition by the immune system. We evaluated T-cell recognition of the tumor mutanome in patients with ovarian cancer undergoing standard treatment.
Experimental Design: Tumor-associated T cells from 3 patients with ovarian cancer were assessed by ELISPOT for recognition of nonsynonymous mutations identified by whole exome sequencing of autologous tumor. The relative levels of mutations and responding T cells were monitored in serial tumor samples collected at primary surgery and first and second recurrence.
Results: The vast majority of mutations (78/79) were not recognized by tumor-associated T cells; however, a highly specific CD8+ T-cell response to the mutation hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase–like protein 1 (HSDL1)L25V was detected in one patient. In the primary tumor, the HSDL1L25V mutation had low prevalence and expression, and a corresponding T-cell response was undetectable. At first recurrence, there was a striking increase in the abundance of the mutation and corresponding MHC class I epitope, and this was accompanied by the emergence of the HSDL1L25V-specific CD8+ T-cell response. At second recurrence, the HSDL1L25V mutation and epitope continued to be expressed; however, the corresponding T-cell response was no longer detectable.
Purpose: Despite new treatments, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains an incurable disease. More effective drug design requires an expanded view of the molecular complexity that underlies AML. Alternative splicing of RNA is used by normal cells to generate protein diversity. Growing evidence indicates that aberrant splicing of genes plays a key role in cancer. We investigated genome-wide splicing abnormalities in AML and based on these abnormalities, we aimed to identify novel potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
Experimental Design: We used genome-wide alternative splicing screening to investigate alternative splicing abnormalities in two independent AML patient cohorts [Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) (Boston, MA) and University Hospital de Nantes (UHN) (Nantes, France)] and normal donors. Selected splicing events were confirmed through cloning and sequencing analysis, and than validated in 193 patients with AML.
Results: Our results show that approximately 29% of expressed genes genome-wide were differentially and recurrently spliced in patients with AML compared with normal donors bone marrow CD34+ cells. Results were reproducible in two independent AML cohorts. In both cohorts, annotation analyses indicated similar proportions of differentially spliced genes encoding several oncogenes, tumor suppressor proteins, splicing factors, and heterogeneous-nuclear-ribonucleoproteins, proteins involved in apoptosis, cell proliferation, and spliceosome assembly. Our findings are consistent with reports for other malignances and indicate that AML-specific aberrations in splicing mechanisms are a hallmark of AML pathogenesis.
Purpose: MicroRNAs (miRNA) that are strongly implicated in carcinogenesis have recently reshaped our understanding of the role of non–protein-coding RNAs. Here, we focused on the function and molecular mechanism of miR-202-3p and its potential clinical application in colorectal cancer.
Experimental Design:miR-202-3p expression was determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) in 94 colorectal cancer tissues and corresponding noncancerous tissues (NCT). Cell proliferation and colony formation assays in vitro and xenograft experiments in vivo were used to evaluate the effect of miR-202-3p on colorectal cancer cell proliferation. Luciferase assay and Western blot analysis were performed to validate the potential targets of miR-202-3p after the preliminary screening by online prediction and microarray analysis. The mRNA and protein levels of target genes were detected by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemical staining. The copy number of pre-miR-202 was measured by quantitative PCR.
Results: First, miR-202-3p was significantly downregulated in 46.7% colorectal cancer samples compared with NCTs. The overexpression of miR-202-3p inhibited colorectal cancer cell growth in vitro and repressed tumorigenesis in nude mice. Then, miR-202-3p downregulated ADP-ribosylation factor-like 5A (ARL5A) protein level by binding to its 3' untranslated region, and knockdown of ARL5A phenocopied the proliferation inhibition effect of miR-202-3p. Furthermore, both of ARL5A mRNA and protein levels were upregulated in colorectal cancer samples compared with NCTs and high ARL5A protein levels predicted a poor prognosis.
Purpose: The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of MUTYH mutations in patients with multiple colonic polyps and to explore the best strategy for diagnosing MUTYH-associated polyposis (MAP) in these patients.
Experimental Design: This study included 405 patients with at least 10 colonic polyps each. All cases were genetically tested for the three most frequent MUTYH mutations. Whole-gene analysis was performed in heterozygous patients and in 216 patients lacking the three most frequent mutations. Polyps from 56 patients were analyzed for the KRAS-Gly12Cys and BRAF V600E somatic mutations.
Results: Twenty-seven (6.7%) patients were diagnosed with MAP, of which 40.8% showed serrated polyps. The sensitivity of studying only the three common variants was 74.1%. Of 216 patients without any monoallelic mutation in common variants, whole-gene analysis revealed biallelic pathogenic mutation in only one. G396D mutation was associated with serrated lesions and older age at diagnosis. There was a strong association between germinal MUTYH mutation and KRAS Gly12Cys somatic mutation in polyps. BRAF V600E mutation was found in 74% of serrated polyps in MUTYH-negative patients and in none of the polyps of MAP patients.
Purpose: To examine potential modifying effects of body weight and bilateral oophorectomy on the association of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with risk of breast cancer, overall and by subtypes according to status of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2) among postmenopausal women.
Experimental Design: This analysis included 2,510 postmenopausal white women recruited in the Nashville Breast Health Study, a population-based case–control study of breast cancer. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between HRT use and risk of breast cancer overall and by subtypes, adjusted for age and education.
Results: Among women with natural menopause and body mass index (BMI) < 25 kg/m2, ever-use of HRT was associated with increased breast cancer risk (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.32–2.88). Risk was elevated with duration of HRT use (P for trend = 0.002). Similar association patterns were found for ER+, ER+PR+, and luminal A cancer subtypes but not ER–, ER–PR–, and triple-negative cancer. In contrast, ever-HRT use in overweight women (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) showed no association with risk of breast cancer overall or by subtypes; interaction tests for modifying effect of BMI were statistically significant. Ever-HRT use was associated with decreased breast cancer risk (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.38–1.31) among women with prior bilateral oophorectomy but elevated risk (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 0.92–2.29) among those with hysterectomy without bilateral oophorectomy (P for interaction = 0.057). Similar associations were seen for virtually all breast cancer subtypes, although interaction tests were statistically significant for ER+ and luminal A only.
Purpose: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) are highly aggressive pediatric malignancies characterized by biallelic inactivation of the SMARCB1 tumor suppressor gene. We searched for novel genomic aberrations by investigating the copy number and expression alterations of let-7a3/let-7b microRNA (miRNA) and correlated these with expression of high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) oncoprotein, a target of let-7 miRNA family, in 18 AT/RT samples to elucidate potential roles of HMGA2 in the pathogenesis of AT/RT.
Experimental Design: Genomic aberrations, let-7a3/let-7b miRNA and HMGA2 expression in AT/RT tissues were identified using quantitative PCR, reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and immunohistochemistry. The impact of let-7b miRNA on HMGA2 expression and the malignant potential of human rhabdoid tumor cell G401 (SMARCB1–/–) were investigated by antisense inhibition and ectopic overexpression studies.
Results: The copy number of let-7a3/let-7b miRNA was substantially decreased in 4 of 11 AT/RT samples. A significantly inverse correlation between let-7a3/let-7b miRNA expression and HMGA2 mRNA expression was observed in AT/RT tissues (R = –0.34; P < 0.05). Immunohistochemistry analysis demonstrated that HMGA2 was highly overexpressed in 83.3% (15 of 18) of AT/RT tissues. Restoration of let-7 miRNA or knockdown of HMGA2 expression significantly suppressed proliferation and colony formation, and almost abolished the invasive potential of G401 cells.
Purpose: The goal of this study is to optimize the activity of trabectedin for Ewing sarcoma by developing a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
Experimental Design: We have recently shown that trabectedin interferes with the activity of EWS-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma cells. In this report, we build on this work to develop a trabectedin-based combination therapy with improved EWS-FLI1 suppression that also targets the drug-associated DNA damage to Ewing sarcoma cells.
Results: We demonstrate by siRNA experiments that EWS-FLI1 drives the expression of the Werner syndrome protein (WRN) in Ewing sarcoma cells. Because WRN-deficient cells are known to be hypersensitive to camptothecins, we utilize trabectedin to block EWS-FLI1 activity, suppress WRN expression, and selectively sensitize Ewing sarcoma cells to the DNA-damaging effects of SN38. We show that trabectedin and SN38 are synergistic, demonstrate an increase in DNA double-strand breaks, an accumulation of cells in S-phase and a low picomolar IC50. In addition, SN38 cooperates with trabectedin to augment the suppression of EWS-FLI1 downstream targets, leading to an improved therapeutic index in vivo. These effects translate into the marked regression of two Ewing sarcoma xenografts at a fraction of the dose of camptothecin used in other xenograft studies.
Purpose: To extend the results of a phase III trial in patients with non–small cell lung cancer with adenocarcinomas harboring EML4-ALK fusion.
Experimental Design: We conducted a co-clinical trial in a mouse model comparing the ALK inhibitor crizotinib to the standard-of-care cytotoxic agents docetaxel or pemetrexed.
Results: Concordant with the clinical outcome in humans, crizotinib produced a substantially higher response rate compared with chemotherapy, associated with significantly longer progression-free survival. Overall survival was also prolonged in crizotinib- compared with chemotherapy-treated mice. Pemetrexed produced superior overall survival compared with docetaxel, suggesting that this agent may be the preferred chemotherapy in the ALK population. In addition, in the EML4-ALK–driven mouse lung adenocarcinoma model, HSP90 inhibition can overcome both primary and acquired crizotinib resistance. Furthermore, HSP90 inhibition, as well as the second-generation ALK inhibitor TAE684, demonstrated activity in newly developed lung adenocarcinoma models driven by crizotinib-insensitive EML4-ALK L1196M or F1174L.
Background: The precise involvement of the PI3K/mTOR and RAS/MEK pathways in carcinoid tumors is not well defined. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to evaluate the role these pathways play in carcinoid cell proliferation, apoptosis, and secretion and to determine the effects of combined treatment on carcinoid tumor inhibition.
Methods: The human neuroendocrine cell lines BON (pancreatic carcinoid), NCI-H727 (lung carcinoid), and QGP-1 (somatostatinoma) were treated with either the pan-PI3K inhibitor, BKM120, or the dual PI3K–mTOR inhibitor, BEZ235, alone or in combination with the MEK inhibitor, PD0325901; proliferation, apoptosis, and protein expression were assessed. Peptide secretion was evaluated in BON and QGP-1 cells. The antiproliferative effect of BEZ235, alone or combined with PD0325901, was then tested in vivo.
Results: Both BKM120 and BEZ235 decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis; combination with PD0325901 significantly enhanced the antineoplastic effects of either treatment alone. In contrast, neurotensin peptide secretion was markedly stimulated with BKM120 treatment, but not BEZ235. The combination of BEZ235 + PD0325901 significantly inhibited the growth of BON xenografts without systemic toxicity.
Purpose: Epitope-based cancer vaccines capable of inducing CD8 T-cell responses to tumor-associated antigens (TAA) expressed by tumor cells have been considered as attractive alternatives for the treatment of some types of cancer. However, reliable TAAs have not been identified for most malignant diseases, limiting the development of epitope-based vaccines. Herein, we report that the combinatorial therapy of polyinosinic–polycytidylic acid (poly-IC) and antiprogrammed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) monoclonal antibody (mAb) can be implemented with good results for tumors where no known TAAs have been identified.
Experimental Design: Three cancer mouse models (melanoma, lung, and colon) were used to evaluate therapeutic efficacy and examine the immunologic mechanisms of the poly-IC/anti–PD-L1 mAb therapy.
Results: The combined administration of poly-IC and anti–PD-L1 mAb into tumor-bearing mice generated potent immune responses resulting in the complete eradication or remarkable reduction of tumor growth. In some instances, the poly-IC/anti–PD-L1 mAb therapy induced long-lasting protection against tumor rechallenges. The results indicate that CD8 T cells but not CD4 T cells or NK cells mediated the therapeutic efficacy of this combinatorial therapy. Experiments using genetically deficient mice indicate that the therapeutic efficacy of this combinatorial therapy depended in part by the participation of type-I IFN, whereas IFN- did not seem to play a major role.
Purpose: Inhibitors of the DNA damage response (DDR) have great potential for radiosensitization of numerous cancers, including glioblastomas, which are extremely radio- and chemoresistant brain tumors. Currently, there are no DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair inhibitors that have been successful in treating glioblastoma. Our laboratory previously demonstrated that the dual phosphoinositide 3-kinase/mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 can potently inhibit the two central DDR kinases, DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), in vitro. Here, we tested whether NVP-BEZ235 could also inhibit ATM and DNA-PKcs in tumors in vivo and assessed its potential as a radio- and chemosensitizer in preclinical mouse glioblastoma models.
Experimental Design: The radiosensitizing effect of NVP-BEZ235 was tested by following tumor growth in subcutaneous and orthotopic glioblastoma models. Tumors were generated using the radioresistant U87-vIII glioma cell line and GBM9 neurospheres in nude mice. These tumors were then treated with ionizing radiation and/or NVP-BEZ235 and analyzed for DNA-PKcs and ATM activation, DSB repair inhibition, and attenuation of growth.
Results: NVP-BEZ235 potently inhibited both DNA-PKcs and ATM kinases and attenuated the repair of ionizing radiation–induced DNA damage in tumors. This resulted in striking tumor radiosensitization, which extended the survival of brain tumor–bearing mice. Notably, tumors displayed a higher DSB-load when compared with normal brain tissue. NVP-BEZ235 also sensitized a subset of subcutaneous tumors to temozolomide, a drug routinely used concurrently with ionizing radiation for the treatment of glioblastoma.
Purpose: Azanucleoside DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitors are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome. The relative contributions of DNMT inhibition and other off-target effects to their clinical efficacy remain unclear. Data correlating DNA methylation reversal and clinical response have been conflicting. Consequently, it is necessary to investigate so-called off-target effects and their impact on cell survival and differentiation.
Experimental Design: Flow cytometry was used for cell cycle, apoptosis, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation analysis. Gene expression analysis was performed using real-time PCR. DNA methylation was detected by methylation-specific PCR. Mitochondrial membrane potential was analyzed using JC-1 dye staining. Western blotting was used for quantitative protein expression analysis.
Results: 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC) induced cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in leukemia cells. p53 expression was dispensable for DAC-induced apoptosis. DAC induced delayed ROS accumulation in leukemia cells but not in solid tumor cells and p53 expression was dispensable for ROS increase. ROS increase was deoxycytidine kinase dependent, indicating that incorporation of DAC into nuclear DNA is required for ROS generation. ROS accumulation by DAC was caspase-independent and mediated the dissipation of the mitochondrial membrane potential. Concordantly, ROS scavengers diminished DAC-induced apoptosis. DAC induced the expression of different NADPH oxidase isoforms and upregulated Nox4 protein expression in an ATM-dependent manner, indicating the involvement of DNA damage signaling in Nox4 upregulation.
Purpose: Near equal rates of incidence and mortality emphasize the need for novel targeted approaches for better management of patients with pancreatic cancer. Inflammatory molecules NF-B and STAT3 are overexpressed in pancreatic tumors. Inhibition of one protein allows cancer cells to survive using the other. The goal of this study is to determine whether targeting STAT3/NF-B crosstalk with a natural product Nexrutine can inhibit inflammatory signaling in pancreatic cancer.
Experimental Design: HPNE, HPNE-Ras, BxPC3, Capan-2, MIA PaCa-2, and AsPC-1 cells were tested for growth, apoptosis, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), NF-B, and STAT3 level in response to Nexrutine treatment. Transient expression, gel shift, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was used to examine transcriptional regulation of COX-2. STAT3 knockdown was used to decipher STAT3/NF-B crosstalk. Histopathologic and immunoblotting evaluation was performed on BK5–COX-2 transgenic mice treated with Nexrutine. In vivo expression of prostaglandin receptor E-prostanoid 4 (EP4) was analyzed in a retrospective cohort of pancreatic tumors using a tissue microarray.
Results: Nexrutine treatment inhibited growth of pancreatic cancer cells through induction of apoptosis. Reduced levels and activity of STAT3, NF-B, and their crosstalk led to transcriptional suppression of COX-2 and subsequent decreased levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and PGF2. STAT3 knockdown studies suggest STAT3 as negative regulator of NF-B activation. Nexrutine intervention reduced the levels of NF-B, STAT3, and fibrosis in vivo. Expression of prostaglandin receptor EP4 that is known to play a role in fibrosis was significantly elevated in human pancreatic tumors.
Purpose: To investigate the antitumor activities of a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, MPT0E028, plus sorafenib in liver cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
Experimental Design: Different liver cancer cell lines were exposed to sorafenib in the presence or absence of MPT0E028, and cell viability was determined by MTT assay. Effects of combined treatment on cell cycle and intracellular signaling pathways were assessed by flow cytometry and Western blot analysis. The Hep3B xenograft model was used to examine the antitumor activity in vivo.
Results: Our data indicate that sorafenib and MPT0E028 synergistically reduced cell viability in liver cancer cells, and also markedly induced apoptotic cell death in these cells, as evidenced by the cleavage of caspase-3, PARP, and DNA fragmentation. MPT0E028 altered the global modifications of histone and nonhistone proteins regardless of the presence of sorafenib. However, sorafenib blocked MPT0E028-induced Erk activation and its downstream signaling cascades, such as Stat3 phosphorylation (Ser727) and Mcl-1 upregulation. Ectopic expression of constitutively active Mek successively reversed the apoptosis triggered by the combined treatment. Pharmacologic inhibition of Mek by PD98059 potentiated MPT0E028-induced apoptosis, suggesting that the synergistic interaction between MPT0E028 and sorafenib occurs at least partly through inhibition of Erk signaling. The data demonstrated that transcriptional activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) contributes to MPT0E028-mediated Erk phosphorylation. Finally, MPT0E028 plus sorafenib significantly improved the tumor growth delay (TGD) in a Hep3B xenograft model.
Purpose: Ovarian cancer has a high recurrence and mortality rate. A barrier to improved outcomes includes a lack of accurate models for preclinical testing of novel therapeutics.
Experimental Design: Clinically relevant, patient-derived tumorgraft models were generated from sequential patients and the first 168 engrafted models are described. Fresh ovarian, primary peritoneal, and fallopian tube carcinomas were collected at the time of debulking surgery and injected intraperitoneally into severe combined immunodeficient mice.
Results: Tumorgrafts demonstrated a 74% engraftment rate with microscopic fidelity of primary tumor characteristics. Low-passage tumorgrafts also showed comparable genomic aberrations with the corresponding primary tumor and exhibit gene set enrichment of multiple ovarian cancer molecular subtypes, similar to patient tumors. Importantly, each of these tumorgraft models is annotated with clinical data and for those that have been tested, response to platinum chemotherapy correlates with the source patient.
Purpose: To assess the prognostic value of the PAM50 risk-of-recurrence (ROR) score on late distant recurrence (beyond 5 years after diagnosis and treatment) in a large cohort of postmenopausal, endocrine-responsive breast cancer patients.
Experimental Design: The PAM50 assay was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded whole-tumor sections of patients who had been enrolled in the Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group Trial 8 (ABCSG-8). RNA expression levels of the PAM50 genes were determined centrally using the nCounter Dx Analysis System. Late distant recurrence-free survival (DRFS) was analyzed using Cox models adjusted for clinical and pathologic parameters.
Results: PAM50 analysis was successfully performed in 1,246 ABCSG-8 patients. PAM50 ROR score and ROR-based risk groups provided significant additional prognostic information with respect to late DRFS compared with a combined score of clinical factors alone (ROR score: LR2 15.32, P < 0.001; ROR-based risk groups: LR2 14.83, P < 0.001). Between years 5 and 15, we observed an absolute risk of distant recurrence of 2.4% in the low ROR-based risk group, as compared with 17.5% in the high ROR-based risk group. The DRFS differences according to the PAM50 ROR score were observed for both node-positive and node-negative disease.
Purpose: The characterization of actionable mutations in human tumors is a prerequisite for the development of individualized, targeted therapy. We examined the prevalence of potentially therapeutically actionable mutations in patients with high-risk clinically localized prostate cancer.
Experimental Design: Forty-eight samples of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded prostatectomy tissue from a neoadjuvant chemotherapy trial were analyzed. DNA extracted from microdissected tumor was analyzed for 643 common solid tumor mutations in 53 genes using mass spectroscopy–based sequencing. In addition, PTEN loss and erythroblast transformation-specific–related gene (ERC) translocations were examined using immunohistochemistry (IHC) in associated tissue microarrays. Association with relapse during 5 years of follow-up was examined in exploratory analyses of the potential clinical relevance of the genetic alterations.
Results: Of the 40 tumors evaluable for mutations, 10% had point mutations in potentially actionable cancer genes. Of the 47 tumors evaluable for IHC, 36% had PTEN loss and 40% had ERG rearrangement. Individual mutations were not frequent enough to determine associations with relapse. Using Kaplan–Meier analysis with a log-rank test, the 16 patients who had PTEN loss had a significantly shorter median relapse-free survival, 19 versus 106 months (P = 0.01).
Purpose: To develop a mouse ovarian cancer model that allows modulating the expression levels of human vascular targets in mouse xenograft tumors and to test whether expression of CD276 during tumor angiogenesis can be visualized by molecularly targeted ultrasound in vivo.
Experimental Design: CD276-expressing MILE SVEN 1 (MS1) mouse endothelial cells were engineered and used for coinjection with 2008 human ovarian cancer cells for subcutaneous xenograft tumor induction in 15 nude mice. Fourteen control mice were injected with 2008 cells only. After confirming their binding specificity in flow chamber cell attachment studies, anti-CD276 antibody-functionalized contrast microbubbles were used for in vivo CD276-targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging.
Results: CD276-targeted ultrasound imaging signal was significantly higher (P = 0.006) in mixed MS1/2008 tumors than in control tumors. Compared with control microbubbles, the ultrasound signal using CD276-targeted microbubbles was significantly higher (P = 0.002), and blocking with purified anti-CD276 antibody significantly decreased (P = 0.0096) the signal in mixed MS1/2008 tumors. Immunofluorescence analysis of the tumor tissue confirmed higher quantitative immunofluorescence signal in mixed MS1/2008 tumors than in control 2008 only tumors, but showed not significantly different (P = 0.54) microvessel density.
Purpose: Despite research efforts to develop more effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) prognosis remains poor. The assessment of tumor response to therapy can be improved by a deeper phenotypical classification of the tumor, with emphasis on its clinico-biological heterogeneity. The identification of molecular profiles is a powerful approach to better define MPM subclasses and targeted therapies.
Experimental Design: Molecular subclasses were defined by transcriptomic microarray on 38 primary MPM cultures. A three-gene predictor, identified by quantitative reverse transcription PCR, was used to classify an independent series of 108 frozen tumor samples. Gene mutations were determined in BAP1, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, NF2, and TP53. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers were studied at the mRNA and protein levels.
Results: Unsupervised hierarchical clustering on transcriptomic data defined two robust MPM subgroups (C1 and C2), closely related to prognosis and partly to histologic subtypes. All sarcomatoid/desmoplastic MPM were included in the C2 subgroup. Epithelioid MPM were found in both subgroups, with a worse survival prognosis in the C2 subgroup. This classification and its association with histologic subtypes and survival were validated in our independent series using the three-gene predictor. Similar subgroups were found after classification of other MPM series from transcriptomic public datasets. C1 subgroup exhibited more frequent BAP1 alterations. Pathway analysis revealed that EMT was differentially regulated between MPM subgroups. C2 subgroup is characterized by a mesenchymal phenotype.
Purpose: The androgen receptor pathway remains active in men with prostate cancer whose disease has progressed following surgical or medical castration. Orteronel (TAK-700) is an investigational, oral, nonsteroidal, selective, reversible inhibitor of 17,20-lyase, a key enzyme in the production of androgenic hormones.
Experimental Design: We conducted a phase I/II study in men with progressive, chemotherapy-naïve, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, and serum testosterone <50 ng/dL. In the phase I part, patients received orteronel 100 to 600 mg twice daily or 400 mg twice a day plus prednisone 5 mg twice a day. In phase II, patients received orteronel 300 mg twice a day, 400 mg twice a day plus prednisone, 600 mg twice a day plus prednisone, or 600 mg once a day without prednisone.
Results: In phase I (n = 26), no dose-limiting toxicities were observed and 13 of 20 evaluable patients (65%) achieved ≥50% prostate-specific antigen (PSA) decline from baseline at 12 weeks. In phase II (n = 97), 45 of 84 evaluable patients (54%) achieved a ≥50% decline in PSA and at 12 weeks, substantial mean reductions from baseline in testosterone (–7.5 ng/dL) and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (–45.3 μg/dL) were observed. Unconfirmed partial responses were reported in 10 of 51 evaluable phase II patients (20%). Decreases in circulating tumor cells were documented. Fifty-three percent of phase II patients experienced grade ≥3 adverse events irrespective of causality; most common were fatigue, hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, and diarrhea.
Purpose: Anemia is associated with poor tumor control. It was previously observed that accelerated radiotherapy combined with carbogen breathing and nicotinamide (ARCON) can correct this adverse outcome in patients with head and neck cancer. The purpose of this study was to validate this observation based on data from a randomized trial.
Experimental Design: Of 345 patients with cT2-4 laryngeal cancer, 174 were randomly assigned to accelerated radiotherapy and 171 to ARCON. Hemoglobin levels, measured before treatment, were defined as low when <7.5 mmol/L for women and <8.5 mmol/L for men. The hypoxia marker pimonidazole was used to assess the oxygenation status in tumor biopsies. Data were analyzed 2 years after inclusion of the last patient.
Results: Pretreatment hemoglobin levels were available and below normal in 27 of 173 (16%) accelerated radiotherapy and 27 of 167 (16%) ARCON patients. In patients with normal pretreatment, hemoglobin levels treatment with ARCON had no significant effect on 5-year loco-regional control (LRC, 79% versus 75%; P = 0.44) and disease-free survival (DFS, 75% vs. 70%; P = 0.46) compared with accelerated radiotherapy. However, in patients with low pretreatment, hemoglobin levels ARCON significantly improved 5-year LRC (79% vs. 53%; P = 0.03) and DFS (68% vs. 45%; P = 0.04). In multivariate analysis including other prognostic factors, pretreatment hemoglobin remained prognostic for LRC and DFS in the accelerated radiotherapy treatment arm. No correlation between pretreatment hemoglobin levels and pimonidazole uptake was observed.
Purpose: Myeloma-directed cellular immune responses after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) may reduce relapse rates. We studied whether coinjecting the TLR-3 agonist and vaccine adjuvant Poly-ICLC with a MAGE-A3 peptide vaccine was safe and would elicit a high frequency of vaccine-directed immune responses when combined with vaccine-primed and costimulated autologous T cells.
Experimental Design: In a phase II clinical trial (NCT01245673), we evaluated the safety and activity of ex vivo expanded autologous T cells primed in vivo using a MAGE-A3 multipeptide vaccine (compound GL-0817) combined with Poly-ICLC (Hiltonol), granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) ± montanide. Twenty-seven patients with active and/or high-risk myeloma received autografts followed by anti-CD3/anti-CD28–costimulated autologous T cells, accompanied by MAGE-A3 peptide immunizations before T-cell collection and five times after ASCT. Immune responses to the vaccine were evaluated by cytokine production (all patients), dextramer binding to CD8+ T cells, and ELISA performed serially after transplant.
Results: T-cell infusions were well tolerated, whereas vaccine injection site reactions occurred in >90% of patients. Two of nine patients who received montanide developed sterile abscesses; however, this did not occur in the 18 patients who did not receive montanide. Dextramer staining demonstrated MAGE-A3–specific CD8 T cells in 7 of 8 evaluable HLA-A2+ patients (88%), whereas vaccine-specific cytokine-producing T cells were generated in 19 of 25 patients (76%). Antibody responses developed in 7 of 9 patients (78%) who received montanide and only weakly in 2 of 18 patients (11%) who did not. The 2-year overall survival was 74% [95% confidence interval (CI), 54%–100%] and 2-year event-free survival was 56% (95% CI, 37%–85%).
Purpose: Increasing research suggests that inflammation mediates symptom development. In this longitudinal study, we examined inflammatory factors related to the development of high symptom burden during autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (AuSCT) for multiple myeloma.
Experimental Design: Patients (n = 63) repeatedly reported symptom severity on the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory multiple myeloma module (MDASI-MM) and contributed blood samples periodically for up to 100 days after AuSCT for inflammatory marker assays. The temporal associations between serum inflammatory marker concentrations and symptom severity outcomes were examined by nonlinear mixed-effect modeling.
Results: Fatigue, pain, disturbed sleep, lack of appetite, and drowsiness were consistently the most severe MDASI-MM symptoms during the study. Peak symptom severity occurred on day 8 after AuSCT, during white blood cell count nadir. Patterns of serum interleukin (IL)-6 (peak on day 9) and soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R; nadir on day 8) expression paralleled symptom development over time (both P < 0.0001). By univariate analysis, serum IL-6, sIL-6R, IL-10, C-reactive protein, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, sIL-1R2, sIL-1RA, and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 were significantly related to the most severe symptoms during the first 30 days after AuSCT (all P < 0.05). By multivariate analysis, IL-6 (estimate = 0.170; P = 0.004) and MIP-1α (estimate = –0.172; P = 0.006) were temporally associated with the severity of the component symptom score.
Purpose: To report on a phase I trial designed to find the maximally tolerated dose in children of the immunologic adjuvant OPT-821 in a vaccine containing neuroblastoma-associated antigens (GD2 and GD3; Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00911560). Secondary objectives were to obtain preliminary data on immune response and activity against minimal residual disease (MRD). Treatment also included the immunostimulant β-glucan.
Experimental Design: Patients with neuroblastoma in ≥2nd complete/very good partial remission received vaccine subcutaneously (weeks 1–2–3–8–20–32–52). Vaccine contained 30 μg each of GD2 and GD3 stabilized as lactones and conjugated to the immunologic carrier protein keyhole limpet hemocyanin; and OPT-821, which was dose escalated as 50, 75, 100, and 150 μg/m2 per injection. Oral β-glucan (40 mg/kg/day, 14 days on/14 days off) started week 6.
Results: The study was completed with 15 patients because there was no dose-limiting toxicity at 150 μg/m2 of OPT-821 (the dosing used in adults). Thirteen of fifteen patients received the entire protocol treatment, including 12 who remain relapse-free at 24+ to 39+ (median 32+) months and 1 who relapsed (single node) at 21 months. Relapse-free survival was 80% ± 10% at 24 months. Vaccine and β-glucan were well tolerated. Twelve of fifteen patients had antibody responses against GD2 and/or GD3. Disappearance of MRD was documented in 6 of 10 patients assessable for response.
Purpose: We investigated the incidence of concomitant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangements in Chinese patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and assessed responses to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) and crizotinib in such tumors.
Experimental Design: We screened 977 consecutive patients with NSCLC for the presence of concomitant EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements by rapid amplification of cDNA ends-coupled PCR sequencing and FISH. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting were used to correlate the activation of EGFR, ALK, and downstream proteins with responses to EGFR-TKIs and crizotinib.
Results: The overall frequency of concomitant EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements was 1.3% (13/977). EGFR/ALK co-alterations were found in 3.9% (13/336) EGFR-mutant and 18.6% (13/70) ALK-rearranged patients. Ten tumors were treated with first-line EGFR-TKIs, with a response rate of 80% (8/10). Two tumors with high phospho-ALK levels and low phospho-EGFR levels achieved stable and progressive disease, respectively. Median progression-free survival was 11.2 months. Coexpression of mutant EGFR and ALK fusion proteins in the same tumor cell populations was detected by IHC. Two cases with high phospho-ALK levels treated with crizotinib achieved partial responses; two cases with low phospho-ALK levels had progressive or stable disease.