ResearchPad - blastomas https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Survival of glioblastoma treated with a moderately escalated radiation dose—Results of a retrospective analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14700 Glioblastoma (GBM) has the highest fatality rate among primary malignant brain tumors and typically tends to recur locally just adjacent to the original tumor site following surgical resection and adjuvant radiotherapy. We conducted a study to evaluate the survival outcomes between a standard dose (≤ 60 Gy) and moderate radiation dose escalation (>60 Gy), and to identify prognostic factors for GBM. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of primary GBM patients diagnosed between 2005 and 2016 in two referral hospitals in Taiwan. They were identified from the cancer registry database and followed up from the date of diagnosis to October 2018. The progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared between the two dose groups, and independent factors for survival were analyzed through Cox proportional hazard model. We also affirmed the results using Cox regression with least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) approach. From our cancer registry database, 142 GBM patients were identified, and 84 of them fit the inclusion criteria. Of the 84 patients, 52 (62%) were males. The radiation dose ranged from 50.0 Gy to 66.6 Gy, but their treatment volumes were similar to the others. Fifteen (18%) patients received an escalated dose boost >60.0 Gy. The escalated group had a longer median PFS (15.4 vs. 7.9 months, p = 0.01 for log-rank test), and a longer median OS was also longer in the escalation group (33.8 vs. 12.5 months, p <0.001) than the reference group. Following a multivariate analysis, the escalated dose was identified as a significant predictor for good prognosis (PFS: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.48, 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 0.23–0.98; OS: HR = 0.40, 95%CI: 0.21–0.78). Using the LASSO approach, we found age > 70 (HR = 1.55), diagnosis after 2010 (HR = 1.42), and a larger radiation volume (≥ 250ml; HR = 0.81) were predictors of PFS. The escalated dose (HR = 0.47) and a larger radiation volume (HR = 0.76) were identified as predictors for better OS. Following detailed statistical analysis, a moderate radiation dose escalation (> 60 Gy) was found as an independent factor affecting OS in GBM patients. In conclusion, a moderate radiation dose escalation (> 60 Gy) was an independent predictor for longer OS in GBM patients. However, prospective studies including more patients with more information, such as molecular markers and completeness of resection, are needed to confirm our findings.

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<![CDATA[On the influence of cannabinoids on cell morphology and motility of glioblastoma cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75a3d5eed0c4843cff4f

The mechanisms behind the anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids by impacting the migratory activity of tumor cells are only partially understood. Previous studies demonstrated that cannabinoids altered the organization of the actin cytoskeleton in various cell types. As actin is one of the main contributors to cell motility and is postulated to be linked to tumor invasion, we tested the following hypothesizes: 1) Can cannabinoids alter cell motility in a cannabinoid receptor dependent manner? 2) Are these alterations associated with reorganizations in the actin cytoskeleton? 3) If so, what are the underlying molecular mechanisms? Three different glioblastoma cell lines were treated with specific cannabinoid receptor 1 and 2 agonists and antagonists. Afterwards, we measured changes in cell motility using live cell imaging and alterations of the actin structure in fixed cells. Additionally, the protein amount of phosphorylated p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), focal adhesion kinases (FAK) and phosphorylated FAK (pFAK) over time were measured. Cannabinoids induced changes in cell motility, morphology and actin organization in a receptor and cell line dependent manner. No significant changes were observed in the analyzed signaling molecules. Cannabinoids can principally induce changes in the actin cytoskeleton and motility of glioblastoma cell lines. Additionally, single cell motility of glioblastoma is independent of their morphology. Furthermore, the observed effects seem to be independent of p44/42 MAPK and pFAK pathways.

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<![CDATA[AMPA receptor antagonist perampanel affects glioblastoma cell growth and glutamate release in vitro]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8d7d5eed0c48496f231

Epileptic seizures are frequent in patients with glioblastoma, and anticonvulsive treatment is often necessary. While clinical guidelines recommend all approved anticonvulsants, so far it is still unclear which of the available drugs is the best therapeutic option for treating glioma-associated seizures, also in view of possible anti-tumorigenic effects. In our study, we employed four patient-derived low-passage cell lines of glioblastoma and three cell lines of brain metastases, and challenged these cultures with four anticonvulsants with different mechanisms of action: levetiracetam, valproic acid, carbamazepine and perampanel. Cell proliferation was determined by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. To further analyze the effects of perampanel, apoptosis induction was measured by caspase 3/7 activation. Glutamate release was quantified and glucose uptake was determined using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was employed to assess the expression of genes associated with glutamate release and uptake in brain tumor cells. Of the four anticonvulsants, only perampanel showed systematic inhibitory effects on cell proliferation, whereas all other anticonvulsants failed to inhibit glioma and metastasis cell growth in vitro. Metastasis cells were much more resistant to perampanel than glioblastoma cell lines. Glucose uptake was attenuated in all glioblastoma cells after perampanel exposure, whereas cell death via apoptosis was not induced. Extracellular glutamate levels were found to be significantly higher in glioblastoma cell lines as compared to metastasis cell lines, but could be reduced by perampanel exposure. Incubation with perampanel up-regulated glutamine synthetase expression in glioblastoma cells, whereas treatment with valproic acid and levetiracetam downregulated excitatory amino acid transporter-2 expression. Overall, our data suggest that perampanel acts as an anticonvulsive drug and additionally mediated anti-tumorigenic effects.

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<![CDATA[Cancer risk in children and young adults born preterm: A systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bcdd5eed0c48491e6b3

Introduction

Risk of developing a malignancy when born premature is unknown. We hypothesised that risk of certain cancers might be increased in youth born preterm versus term. We therefore performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the incidence of malignancy in the context of preterm birth, according to various cancer types.

Methods

The study was designed per MOOSE and PRISMA guidelines. Articles were identified through November 2015. Observational studies exploring the association between childhood malignancy and birth characteristics were included. Of the 1658 records identified, 109 full text articles were evaluated for eligibility. Random effects meta-analyses were conducted on 10/26 studies retained; 95% confidence intervals were computed and adjusted following sensitivity analysis. Publication bias was evaluated using funnel plots, Begg’s and Egger’s tests.

Results

No differences in risk of primary central nervous system tumor [OR 1.05; 95% CI 0.93–1.17, 5 studies, 580 cases] and neuroblastoma [OR 1.09; 95% CI 0.90–1.32, 5 studies, 211 cases] were observed in individuals born <37 versus ≥37 weeks’ gestation. Preterm birth was consistently associated with hepatoblastoma [ORs 3.12 (95% CI 2.32–4.20), 1.52 (95% CI 1.1–2.1), 1.82 (95% CI 1.01–3.26), and 2.65 (95% CI 1.98–3.55)], but not leukemia, astrocytoma, ependymoma, medulloblastoma, lymphoma, nephroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, retinoblastoma or thyroid cancer.

Conclusions

Children born premature may be at increased risk for hepatoblastoma but there is no strong evidence of an increased risk of primary central nervous system tumours or neuroblastoma. There is insufficient evidence to conclude whether prematurity modulates the risk of other childhood cancers.

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<![CDATA[Continuous and bolus intraventricular topotecan prolong survival in a mouse model of leptomeningeal medulloblastoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390badd5eed0c48491dcce

Leptomeningeal metastasis remains a difficult clinical challenge. Some success has been achieved by direct administration of therapeutics into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circumventing limitations imposed by the blood brain barrier. Here we investigated continuous infusion versus bolus injection of therapy into the CSF in a preclinical model of human Group 3 medulloblastoma, the molecular subgroup with the highest incidence of leptomeningeal disease. Initial tests of selected Group 3 human medulloblastoma cell lines in culture showed that D283 Med and D425 Med were resistant to cytosine arabinoside and methotrexate. D283 Med cells were also resistant to topotecan, whereas 1 μM topotecan killed over 99% of D425 Med cells. We therefore introduced D425 Med cells, modified to express firefly luciferase, into the CSF of immunodeficient mice. Mice were then treated with topotecan or saline in five groups: continuous intraventricular (IVT) topotecan via osmotic pump (5.28 μg/day), daily bolus IVT topotecan injections with a similar daily dose (6 μg/day), systemic intraperitoneal injections of a higher daily dose of topotecan (15 μg/day), daily IVT pumped saline and daily intraperitoneal injections of saline. Bioluminescence analyses revealed that both IVT topotecan treatments effectively slowed leptomeningeal tumor growth in the brains. Histological analysis showed that they were associated with localized brain necrosis, possibly due to backtracking of topotecan around the catheter. In the spines, bolus IVT topotecan showed a trend towards slower tumor growth compared to continuous (pump) IVT topotecan, as measured by bioluminescence. Both continuous and bolus topotecan IVT showed longer survival compared to other groups. Thus, both direct IVT topotecan CSF delivery methods produced better anti-medulloblastoma effect compared to systemic therapy at the dosages used here.

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<![CDATA[A unique subset of low-risk Wilms tumors is characterized by loss of function of TRIM28 (KAP1), a gene critical in early renal development: A Children’s Oncology Group study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0aead5eed0c484426e6f

This study explores the genomic alterations that contribute to the formation of a unique subset of low-risk, epithelial differentiated, favorable histology Wilms tumors (WT), tumors that have been characterized by their expression of post-induction renal developmental genes (Subset 1 WT). We demonstrate copy neutral loss of heterozygosity involving 19q13.32-q13.43, unaccompanied by evidence for imprinting by DNA methylation. We further identified loss-of-function somatic mutations in TRIM28 (also known as KAP1), located at 19q13, in 8/9 Subset 1 tumors analyzed. An additional germline TRIM28 mutation was identified in one patient. Retrospective evaluation of previously analyzed WT outside of Subset 1 identified an additional tumor with anaplasia and both TRIM28 and TP53 mutations. A major function of TRIM28 is the repression of endogenous retroviruses early in development. We depleted TRIM28 in HEK293 cells, which resulted in increased expression of endogenous retroviruses, a finding also demonstrated in TRIM28-mutant WT. TRIM28 has been shown by others to be active during early renal development, and to interact with WTX, another gene recurrently mutated in WT. Our findings suggest that inactivation of TRIM28 early in renal development contributes to the formation of this unique subset of FHWTs, although the precise manner in which TRIM28 impacts both normal renal development and oncogenesis remains elusive.

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<![CDATA[microRNA-2110 functions as an onco-suppressor in neuroblastoma by directly targeting Tsukushi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5bccd5eed0c4846eca00

microRNA-2110 (miR-2110) was previously identified as inducing neurite outgrowth in a neuroblastoma cell lines BE(2)-C, suggesting its differentiation-inducing and oncosuppressive function in neuroblastoma. In this study, we demonstrated that synthetic miR-2110 mimic had a generic effect on reducing cell survival in neuroblastoma cell lines with distinct genetic backgrounds, although the induction of cell differentiation traits varied between cell lines. In investigating the mechanisms underlying such functions of miR-2110, we identified that among its predicted target genes down-regulated by miR-2110, knockdown of Tsukushi (TSKU) expression showed the most potent effect in inducing cell differentiation and reducing cell survival, suggesting that TSKU protein plays a key role in mediating the functions of miR-2110. In investigating the clinical relevance of miR-2110 and TSKU expression in neuroblastoma patients, we found that low tumor miR-2110 levels were significantly correlated with high tumor TSKU mRNA levels, and that both low miR-2110 and high TSKU mRNA levels were significantly correlated with poor patient survival. These findings altogether support the oncosuppressive function of miR-2110 and suggest an important role for miR-2110 and its target TSKU in neuroblastoma tumorigenesis and in determining patient prognosis.

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<![CDATA[Distillation of the clinical algorithm improves prognosis by multi-task deep learning in high-risk Neuroblastoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141e9bd5eed0c484d27646

We introduce the CDRP (Concatenated Diagnostic-Relapse Prognostic) architecture for multi-task deep learning that incorporates a clinical algorithm, e.g., a risk stratification schema to improve prognostic profiling. We present the first application to survival prediction in High-Risk (HR) Neuroblastoma from transcriptomics data, a task that studies from the MAQC consortium have shown to remain the hardest among multiple diagnostic and prognostic endpoints predictable from the same dataset. To obtain a more accurate risk stratification needed for appropriate treatment strategies, CDRP combines a first component (CDRP-A) synthesizing a diagnostic task and a second component (CDRP-N) dedicated to one or more prognostic tasks. The approach leverages the advent of semi-supervised deep learning structures that can flexibly integrate multimodal data or internally create multiple processing paths. CDRP-A is an autoencoder trained on gene expression on the HR/non-HR risk stratification by the Children’s Oncology Group, obtaining a 64-node representation in the bottleneck layer. CDRP-N is a multi-task classifier for two prognostic endpoints, i.e., Event-Free Survival (EFS) and Overall Survival (OS). CDRP-A provides the HR embedding input to the CDRP-N shared layer, from which two branches depart to model EFS and OS, respectively. To control for selection bias, CDRP is trained and evaluated using a Data Analysis Protocol (DAP) developed within the MAQC initiative. CDRP was applied on Illumina RNA-Seq of 498 Neuroblastoma patients (HR: 176) from the SEQC study (12,464 Entrez genes) and on Affymetrix Human Exon Array expression profiles (17,450 genes) of 247 primary diagnostic Neuroblastoma of the TARGET NBL cohort. On the SEQC HR patients, CDRP achieves Matthews Correlation Coefficient (MCC) 0.38 for EFS and MCC = 0.19 for OS in external validation, improving over published SEQC models. We show that a CDRP-N embedding is indeed parametrically associated to increasing severity and the embedding can be used to better stratify patients’ survival.

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<![CDATA[powerTCR: A model-based approach to comparative analysis of the clone size distribution of the T cell receptor repertoire]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c08418cd5eed0c484fc9f91

Sequencing of the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire is a powerful tool for deeper study of immune response, but the unique structure of this type of data makes its meaningful quantification challenging. We introduce a new method, the Gamma-GPD spliced threshold model, to address this difficulty. This biologically interpretable model captures the distribution of the TCR repertoire, demonstrates stability across varying sequencing depths, and permits comparative analysis across any number of sampled individuals. We apply our method to several datasets and obtain insights regarding the differentiating features in the T cell receptor repertoire among sampled individuals across conditions. We have implemented our method in the open-source R package powerTCR.

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<![CDATA[Use of statins or NSAIDs and survival of patients with high-grade glioma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed763d5eed0c484f14054

Background

High-grade glioma (HGG) is associated with a limited prognosis. Drug repurposing has become of increasing interest to improve standard therapy. Statins and NSAIDs inhibit glioma cell growth in vitro and in vivo, but data on statin and NSAID treatment in relation to survival of patients with HGG are sparse.

Methods

We performed multivariable adjusted Cox-regression analyses among 1,093 patients with HGG from a regional cancer registry to obtain Hazard Ratios (HRs) with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) according to treatment with statins or NSAIDs. Data on dose and duration of treatment was mostly lacking in our analysis, therefore we were not able to perform dose-response analyses.

Results

Use of statins was unrelated to OS or PFS of glioma patients. Use of aspirin was associated with prolonged OS and PFS in patients with WHO grade III, but not WHO grade IV glioma. Use of other NSAIDs (diclofenac, ibuprofen) or non-NSAID analgesics (paracetamol) was mostly unrelated to survival of glioma patients. Use of selective COX-2 inhibitors and metamizol was related to inferior patient survival in parts of the analyses.

Conclusions

Use of statins or NSAIDS, including aspirin, was not associated with prolonged OS or PFS of patients with WHO grade IV glioma in our selected cohort. There was an indication for improved survival in patients with WHO grade III glioma using aspirin, but further studies are needed to confirm our first observation.

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<![CDATA[Development and validation of a new MRI simulation technique that can reliably estimate optimal in vivo scanning parameters in a glioblastoma murine model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b60362b463d7e4090b7ce1b

Background

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) relies on optimal scanning parameters to achieve maximal signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and high contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) between tissues resulting in high quality images. The optimization of such parameters is often laborious, time consuming, and user-dependent, making harmonization of imaging parameters a difficult task. In this report, we aim to develop and validate a computer simulation technique that can reliably provide “optimal in vivo scanning parameters” ready to be used for in vivo evaluation of disease models.

Methods

A glioblastoma murine model was investigated using several MRI imaging methods. Such MRI methods underwent a simulated and an in vivo scanning parameter optimization in pre- and post-contrast conditions that involved the investigation of tumor, brain parenchyma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CNR values in addition to the time relaxation values of the related tissues. The CNR tissues information were analyzed and the derived scanning parameters compared in order to validate the simulated methodology as a reliable technique for “optimal in vivo scanning parameters” estimation.

Results

The CNRs and the related scanning parameters were better correlated when spin-echo-based sequences were used rather than the gradient-echo-based sequences due to augmented inhomogeneity artifacts affecting the latter methods. “Optimal in vivo scanning parameters” were generated successfully by the simulations after initial scanning parameter adjustments that conformed to some of the parameters derived from the in vivo experiment.

Conclusion

Scanning parameter optimization using the computer simulation was shown to be a valid surrogate to the in vivo approach in a glioblastoma murine model yielding in a better delineation and differentiation of the tumor from the contralateral hemisphere. In addition to drastically reducing the time invested in choosing optimal scanning parameters when compared to an in vivo approach, this simulation program could also be used to harmonize MRI acquisition parameters across scanners from different vendors.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of single nucleotide variants of HFE gene and association to survival in The Cancer Genome Atlas GBM data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc727

Human hemochromatosis protein (HFE) is involved in iron metabolism. Two major HFE polymorphisms, H63D and C282Y, have been associated with an increased risk of cancers. Previously, we reported decreased gender effects in overall survival based on H63D or C282Y HFE polymorphisms patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). However, the effect of other single nucleotide variation (SNV) in the HFE gene on the cancer development and progression has not been systematically studied. To expand our finding in a larger sample, and to identify other HFE SNV, we analyzed the frequency of somatic SNV in HFE gene and its relationship to survival in GBM patients using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) GBM (Caucasian only) database. We found 9 SNVs with increased frequency in blood normal of TCGA GBM patients compared to the 1000Genome. Among 9 SNVs, 7 SNVs were located in the intron and 2 SNVs (i.e., H63D, C282Y) in the exon of HFE gene. The statistical analysis demonstrated that blood normal samples of TCGA GBM have more H63D (p = 0.0002, 95% Confidence interval (CI): 0.2119–0.3223) or C282Y (p = 0.0129, 95% CI: 0.0474–0.1159) HFE polymorphisms than 1000Genome. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve for the 264 GBM samples revealed no difference between wild type (WT) HFE and H63D, and WT HFE and C282Y GBM patients. In addition, there was no difference in the survival of male/female GBM patients based on HFE genotype. There was no correlation between HFE expression and survival. In conclusion, the current results suggest that somatic HFE polymorphisms do not impact GBM patients’ survival in the TCGA data set of GBM.

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<![CDATA[Mutation spectrum of RB1 mutations in retinoblastoma cases from Singapore with implications for genetic management and counselling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be02c9

Retinoblastoma (RB) is a rare childhood malignant disorder caused by the biallelic inactivation of RB1 gene. Early diagnosis and identification of carriers of heritable RB1 mutations can improve disease outcome and management. In this study, mutational analysis was conducted on fifty-nine matched tumor and peripheral blood samples from 18 bilateral and 41 unilateral unrelated RB cases by a combinatorial approach of Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) assay, deletion screening, direct sequencing, copy number gene dosage analysis and methylation assays. Screening of both blood and tumor samples yielded a mutation detection rate of 94.9% (56/59) while only 42.4% (25/59) of mutations were detected if blood samples alone were analyzed. Biallelic mutations were observed in 43/59 (72.9%) of tumors screened. There were 3 cases (5.1%) in which no mutations could be detected and germline mutations were detected in 19.5% (8/41) of unilateral cases. A total of 61 point mutations were identified, of which 10 were novel. There was a high incidence of previously reported recurrent mutations, occurring at 38.98% (23/59) of all cases. Of interest were three cases of mosaic RB1 mutations detected in the blood from patients with unilateral retinoblastoma. Additionally, two germline mutations previously reported to be associated with low-penetrance phenotypes: missense-c.1981C>T and splice variant-c.607+1G>T, were observed in a bilateral and a unilateral proband, respectively. These findings have implications for genetic counselling and risk prediction for the affected families. This is the first published report on the spectrum of mutations in RB patients from Singapore and shows that further improved mutation screening strategies are required in order to provide a definitive molecular diagnosis for every case of RB. Our findings also underscore the importance of genetic testing in supporting individualized disease management plans for patients and asymptomatic family members carrying low-penetrance, germline mosaicism or heritable unilateral mutational phenotypes.

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<![CDATA[Drug Repositioning for Cancer Therapy Based on Large-Scale Drug-Induced Transcriptional Signatures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa2ab0ee8fa60ba6156

An in silico chemical genomics approach is developed to predict drug repositioning (DR) candidates for three types of cancer: glioblastoma, lung cancer, and breast cancer. It is based on a recent large-scale dataset of ~20,000 drug-induced expression profiles in multiple cancer cell lines, which provides i) a global impact of transcriptional perturbation of both known targets and unknown off-targets, and ii) rich information on drug’s mode-of-action. First, the drug-induced expression profile is shown more effective than other information, such as the drug structure or known target, using multiple HTS datasets as unbiased benchmarks. Particularly, the utility of our method was robustly demonstrated in identifying novel DR candidates. Second, we predicted 14 high-scoring DR candidates solely based on expression signatures. Eight of the fourteen drugs showed significant anti-proliferative activity against glioblastoma; i.e., ivermectin, trifluridine, astemizole, amlodipine, maprotiline, apomorphine, mometasone, and nortriptyline. Our DR score strongly correlated with that of cell-based experimental results; the top seven DR candidates were positive, corresponding to an approximately 20-fold enrichment compared with conventional HTS. Despite diverse original indications and known targets, the perturbed pathways of active DR candidates show five distinct patterns that form tight clusters together with one or more known cancer drugs, suggesting common transcriptome-level mechanisms of anti-proliferative activity.

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<![CDATA[Regulation of Nuclear Receptor Nur77 by miR-124]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db10ab0ee8fa60bcbdee

The nuclear receptor Nur77 is commonly upregulated in adult cancers and has oncogenic functions. Nur77 is an immediate-early response gene that acts as a transcription factor to promote proliferation and protect cells from apoptosis. Conversely, Nur77 can translocate to the mitochondria and induce apoptosis upon treatment with various cytotoxic agents. Because Nur77 is upregulated in cancer and may have a role in cancer progression, it is of interest to understand the mechanism controlling its expression. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are responsible for inhibiting translation of their target genes by binding to the 3ʹUTR and either degrading the mRNA or preventing it from being translated into protein, thereby making these non-coding endogenous RNAs vital regulators of every cellular process. Several miRNAs have been predicted to target Nur77; however, strong evidence showing the regulation of Nur77 by any miRNA is lacking. In this study, we used a luciferase reporter assay containing the 3ʹUTR of Nur77 to screen 296 miRNAs and found that miR-124, which is the most abundant miRNA in the brain and has a role in promoting neuronal differentiation, caused the greatest reduction in luciferase activity. Interestingly, we discovered an inverse relationship in Daoy medulloblastoma cells and undifferentiated granule neuron precursors in which Nur77 is upregulated and miR-124 is downregulated. Exogenous expression to further elevate Nur77 levels in Daoy cells increased proliferation and viability, but knocking down Nur77 via siRNA resulted in the opposite phenotype. Importantly, exogenous expression of miR-124 reduced Nur77 expression, cell viability, proliferation, and tumor spheroid size in 3D culture. In all, we have discovered miR-124 to be downregulated in instances of medulloblastoma in which Nur77 is upregulated, resulting in a proliferative state that abets cancer progression. This study provides evidence for increasing miR-124 expression as a potential therapy for cancers with elevated levels of Nur77.

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<![CDATA[Ion channel expression patterns in glioblastoma stem cells with functional and therapeutic implications for malignancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbc83

Ion channels and transporters have increasingly recognized roles in cancer progression through the regulation of cell proliferation, migration, and death. Glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) are a source of tumor formation and recurrence in glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive brain cancer, suggesting that ion channel expression may be perturbed in this population. However, little is known about the expression and functional relevance of ion channels that may contribute to GSC malignancy. Using RNA sequencing, we assessed the enrichment of ion channels in GSC isolates and non-tumor neural cell types. We identified a unique set of GSC-enriched ion channels using differential expression analysis that is also associated with distinct gene mutation signatures. In support of potential clinical relevance, expression of selected GSC-enriched ion channels evaluated in human glioblastoma databases of The Cancer Genome Atlas and Ivy Glioblastoma Atlas Project correlated with patient survival times. Finally, genetic knockdown as well as pharmacological inhibition of individual or classes of GSC-enriched ion channels constrained growth of GSCs compared to normal neural stem cells. This first-in-kind global examination characterizes ion channels enriched in GSCs and explores their potential clinical relevance to glioblastoma molecular subtypes, gene mutations, survival outcomes, regional tumor expression, and experimental responses to loss-of-function. Together, the data support the potential biological and therapeutic impact of ion channels on GSC malignancy and provide strong rationale for further examination of their mechanistic and therapeutic importance.

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<![CDATA[Combined Efficacy of Cediranib and Quinacrine in Glioma Is Enhanced by Hypoxia and Causally Linked to Autophagic Vacuole Accumulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da11ab0ee8fa60b79bbc

We have previously reported that the in vivo anti-glioma efficacy of the anti-angiogenic receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor cediranib is substantially enhanced via combination with the late-stage autophagy inhibitor quinacrine. The current study investigates the role of hypoxia and autophagy in combined cediranib/quinacrine efficacy. EF5 immunostaining revealed a prevalence of hypoxia in mouse intracranial 4C8 glioma, consistent with high-grade glioma. MTS cell viability assays using 4C8 glioma cells revealed that hypoxia potentiated the efficacy of combined cediranib/quinacrine: cell viability reductions induced by 1 µM cediranib +2.5 µM quinacrine were 78±7% (hypoxia) vs. 31±3% (normoxia), p<0.05. Apoptosis was markedly increased for cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia versus all other groups. Autophagic vacuole biomarker LC3-II increased robustly in response to cediranib, quinacrine, or hypoxia. Combined cediranib/quinacrine increased LC3-II further, with the largest increases occurring with combined cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia. Early stage autophagy inhibitor 3-MA prevented LC3-II accumulation with combined cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia and substantially attenuated the associated reduction in cell viability. Combined efficacy of cediranib with bafilomycin A1, another late-stage autophagy inhibitor, was additive but lacked substantial potentiation by hypoxia. Substantially lower LC3-II accumulation was observed with bafilomycin A1 in comparison to quinacrine. Cediranib and quinacrine each strongly inhibited Akt phosphoryation, while bafilomycin A1 had no effect. Our results provide compelling evidence that autophagic vacuole accumulation plays a causal role in the anti-glioma cytotoxic efficacy of combined cediranib/quinacrine. Such accumulation is likely related to stimulation of autophagosome induction by hypoxia, which is prevalent in the glioma tumor microenvironment, as well as Akt signaling inhibition from both cediranib and quinacrine. Quinacrine's unique ability to inhibit both Akt and autophagic vacuole degradation may enhance its ability to drive cytotoxic autophagic vacuole accumulation. These findings provide a rationale for a clinical evaluation of combined cediranib/quinacrine therapy for malignant glioma.

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<![CDATA[The Role of a Single Angiogenesis Inhibitor in the Treatment of Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa7ab0ee8fa60ba7fc7

Background

Currently, the standard treatment for newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is maximal safe surgical resection followed by radiation therapy with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide. However, disease recurs in almost all patients, and the optimal salvage treatment for recurrent GBM remains unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published clinical trials to assess the efficacy and toxicities of angiogenesis inhibitors alone as salvage treatment in these patients.

Methods

Trials published between 1994 and 2015 were identified by an electronic search of public databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane library). Demographic data, treatment regimens, objective response rate (ORR), median progression-free survival (PFS), median overall survival (OS), 6-months PFS rate, 1-year OS and grade 3/4 toxicities were extracted. We also compared the main outcomes of interest between bevacizumab and other angiogenesis inhibitors. All analyses were performed using Comprehensive Meta Analysis software (Version 2.0).

Results

A total of 842 patients were included for analysis: 343 patients were treated with bevacizumab, 386 with other angiogenesis inhibitors and 81 with thalidomide. The pooled ORR, 6-months PFS, and 1-year OS for recurrent GBM patients receiving angiogenesis inhibitors was 20.1%, 19.5% and 29.3%, respectively. The use of single agent bevacizumab in recurrent GBM significantly improved ORR and 6-months PFS when compared to other angiogenesis inhibitors [relative risk (RR) 2.93, 95% CI 1.38–6.21; p = 0.025; and RR 2.36 95% CI 1.46–3.82; p<0.001, respectively], while no significant difference in 1-year OS was found between the two groups (p = 0.07). when compared to thalidomide, bevacizumab treatment in recurrent GBM significantly improved ORR (RR 6.8, 95%CI: 2.64–17.6, p<0.001), but not for 6-months PFS (p = 0.07) and 1-year OS (p = 0.31). As for grade 3/4 toxicities, the common toxicity was hypertension with pooled incidence of 12.1%, while high-grade thromboembolic events (2.2%), hemorrhage (5.1%) and GI perforation (2.8%) associated with angiogenesis inhibitors were relatively low.

Conclusions

In comparison with other angiogenesis inhibitors and thalidomide, the use of single agent bevacizumab as salvage treatment for recurrent GBM patients improve ORR and 6-months PFS, but not for 1-year OS.

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<![CDATA[Can We Spare the Pancreas and Other Abdominal Organs at Risk? A Comparison of Conformal Radiotherapy, Helical Tomotherapy and Proton Beam Therapy in Pediatric Irradiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf1ab0ee8fa60bc154e

Objectives

Late abdominal irradiation toxicity during childhood included renal damage, hepatic toxicity and secondary diabetes mellitus. We compared the potential of conformal radiotherapy (CRT), helical tomotherapy (HT) and proton beam therapy (PBT) to spare the abdominal organs at risk (pancreas, kidneys and liver- OAR) in children undergoing abdominal irradiation.

Methods

We selected children with abdominal tumors who received more than 10 Gy to the abdomen. Treatment plans were calculated in order to keep the dose to abdominal OAR as low as possible while maintaining the same planned target volume (PTV) coverage. Dosimetric values were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

Results

The dose distribution of 20 clinical cases with a median age of 8 years (range 1–14) were calculated with different doses to the PTV: 5 medulloblastomas (36 Gy), 3 left-sided and 2 right-sided nephroblastomas (14.4 Gy to the tumor + 10.8 Gy boost to para-aortic lymphnodes), 1 left-sided and 4 right-sided or midline neuroblastomas (21 Gy) and 5 Hodgkin lymphomas (19.8 Gy to the para-aortic lymphnodes and spleen). HT significantly reduced the mean dose to the whole pancreas (WP), the pancreatic tail (PT) and to the ipsilateral kidney compared to CRT. PBT reduced the mean dose to the WP and PT compared to both CRT and HT especially in midline and right-sided tumors. PBT decreased the mean dose to the ispilateral kidney but also to the contralateral kidney and the liver compared to CRT. Low dose to normal tissue was similar or increased with HT whereas integral dose and the volume of normal tissue receiving at least 5 and 10 Gy were reduced with PBT compared to CRT and HT.

Conclusion

In children undergoing abdominal irradiation therapy, proton beam therapy reduces the dose to abdominal OAR while sparing normal tissue by limiting low dose irradiation.

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<![CDATA[MLIF Alleviates SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Injury Induced by Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation by Targeting Eukaryotic Translation Elongation Factor 1A2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadcab0ee8fa60bba539

Monocyte locomotion inhibitory factor (MLIF), a heat-stable pentapeptide, has been shown to exert potent anti-inflammatory effects in ischemic brain injury. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotective action of MLIF against oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-induced injury in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. MTT assay was used to assess cell viability, and flow cytometry assay and Hoechst staining were used to evaluate apoptosis. LDH assay was used to exam necrosis. The release of inflammatory cytokines was detected by ELISA. Levels of the apoptosis associated proteins were measured by western blot analysis. To identify the protein target of MLIF, pull-down assay and mass spectrometry were performed. We observed that MLIF enhanced cell survival and inhibited apoptosis and necrosis by inhibiting p-JNK, p53, c-caspase9 and c-caspase3 expression. In the microglia, OGD-induced secretion of inflammatory cytokines was markedly reduced in the presence of MLIF. Furthermore, we found that eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1A2 (eEF1A2) is a downstream target of MLIF. Knockdown eEF1A2 using short interfering RNA (siRNA) almost completely abrogated the anti-apoptotic effect of MLIF in SH-SY5Y cells subjected to OGD, with an associated decrease in cell survival and an increase in expression of p-JNK and p53. These results indicate that MLIF ameliorates OGD-induced SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma injury by inhibiting the p-JNK/p53 apoptotic signaling pathway via eEF1A2. Our findings suggest that eEF1A2 may be a new therapeutic target for ischemic brain injury.

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