ResearchPad - sarcomas https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[DLX1008 (brolucizumab), a single-chain anti-VEGF-A antibody fragment with low picomolar affinity, leads to tumor involution in an <i>in vivo</i> model of Kaposi Sarcoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14618 Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) is among the most angiogenic cancers in humans and an AIDS-defining condition. KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is necessary for KS development, as is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A). DLX1008 is a novel anti-VEGF-A antibody single-chain variable fragment (scFv) with low picomolar affinity for VEGF-A. In vivo imaging techniques were used to establish the efficacy of DLX1008 and to establish the mechanism of action; this included non-invasive imaging by ultrasound and optical fluorescence, verified by post-mortem histochemistry. The results showed that DLX1008 was efficacious in a KS mouse model. The NSG mouse xenografts suffered massive internal necrosis or involution, consistent with a lack of blood supply. We found that imaging by ultrasound was superior to external caliper measurements in the validation of the angiogenesis inhibitor DLX1008. Further development of DLX1008 against VEGF-dependent sarcomas is warranted.

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<![CDATA[Administration of lower doses of radium-224 to ankylosing spondylitis patients results in no evidence of significant overall detriment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11232 The use of low doses of radium-224 (224Ra) chloride for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis was stopped following the discovery that patients treated with it had a higher than control incidence of leukaemia and other cancers. This was so even though the treatment resulted in decreased pain and increased mobility–both of which are associated with decreased mortality. It was decided to re-analyze the epidemiological data looking at all causes of death. The risk of leukaemia, solid cancer, death from non-cancer causes and from all causes in a study populations of men that received either the typical dose of 5.6 to 11.1 MBq of 224Ra, any dose of 224Ra or no radium were compared using the Cox proportional hazard model. For patients that received the typical dose of 224Ra agreed with the excess cancer was similar to that reported in previous studies. In contrast, these patients were less likely to die from non-cancer diseases and from all causes of death than the control patients. No excess mortality was also found in the population of all males that received the radionuclide. It is concluded that 224Ra treatment administered at low doses to patients with ankylosing spondylitis did not impact mortality from all causes. The study demonstrates the need to consider all causes of death and longevity when assessing health impacts following irradiation.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of PD-L1 expression in matched recurrent and/or metastatic sarcoma samples and in a range of selected sarcomas subtypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd4648af7-aaea-40d4-a97f-7213e9d16a5c

We assessed the frequency of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a cohort of 522 sarcomas from 457 patients, incuding a subset of 46 patients with 63 matched samples from local recurrence or metastases with primary tumours and/or metachronous metastases. We also investigated the correlation of PD-L1 with the presence and degree of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in a subset of cases. IHC was performed using the PD-L1 SP263 companion kit (VENTANA) on tissue microarrays from an archival cohort. Evaluation of PD-L1 and TILs was performed on full sections for a subset of 23 cases. Fisher’s exact and Mann Whitney test were used to establish significance (P <0.05). PD-L1 positive expression (≥1%) was identified in 31% of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas, 29% of angiosarcomas, 26% of rhabdomyosarcomas, 18% of myxofibrosarcomas, 11% of leiomyosarcomas and 10% of dedifferentiated liposarcomas. Negative expression was present in all atypical lipomatous tumous/well-differentiated lipoasarcomas, myxoid liposarcomas, synovial sarcomas, pleomorphic liposarcomas, and Ewing sarcomas. PD-L1 IHC was concordant in 81% (38 of 47) of matched/paired samples. PD-L1 IHC was discordant in 19% (9 of 47 matched/paired samples), displaying differences in the proportion of cells expressing PD-L1 amongst paired samples with the percentage of PD-L1-positive cells increasing in the metastatic/recurrent site compared to the primary in 6 of 9 cases (67%). Significant correlation between PD-L1 expression and the degree of TILs was exclusively identified in the general cohort of leiomyosarcomas, but not in other sarcoma subtypes or in metastatic/recurrent samples. We conclude that the prevalence of PD-L1 expression in selected sarcomas is variable and likely to be clone dependent. Importantly, we demonstrated that PD-L1 can objectively increase in a small proportion of metastases/recurrent sarcomas, offering the potential of treatment benefit to immune checkpoint inhibitors in this metastatic setting.

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<![CDATA[Multimodality treatment of head-and-neck soft-tissue sarcomas and short-term outcomes: Analysis from sarcoma medical oncology clinic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7561dad5eed0c484cb4b8f

Background

Head-and-neck soft-tissue sarcomas (HNSTS) are extremely rare and lack definite guidelines.

Methods:

We retrospectively analyzed consecutive adult patients with HNSTS who presented to our sarcoma medical oncology clinic from January 2016 to October 2017.

Results:

There were a total of 30 patients. Unresectable localized disease was seen in 13 (43%) patients, metastatic disease 10 (34%) patients, while resectable disease in 7 (23%) patients only. Among unresectable localized disease, 3 (25%) patients could be converted to resectable disease after neoadjuvant therapy. Median follow period was 11 months. Progression-free survival was 19 months in patients with resectable disease and 6 months in patients with the unresectable/metastatic disease. Median OS was not reached.

Conclusion:

Unresectable HNSTS has a poor outcome. Neoadjuvant therapy can be tried in selected cases for achieving respectability or for vital organ preservation until robust data are available. A multidisciplinary approach for local control is crucial in managing unresectable HNSTS.

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<![CDATA[Gammaherpesvirus infection and malignant disease in rhesus macaques experimentally infected with SIV or SHIV]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5ff792463d7e28ade495c5

Human gammaherpesviruses are associated with malignancies in HIV infected individuals; in macaques used in non-human primate models of HIV infection, gammaherpesvirus infections also occur. Limited data on prevalence and tumorigenicity of macaque gammaherpesviruses, mostly cross-sectional analyses of small series, are available. We comprehensively examine all three-rhesus macaque gammaherpesviruses -Rhesus rhadinovirus (RRV), Rhesus Lymphocryptovirus (RLCV) and Retroperitoneal Fibromatosis Herpesvirus (RFHV) in macaques experimentally infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus or Simian Human Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV/SHIV) in studies spanning 15 years at the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program of the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. We evaluated 18 animals with malignancies (16 lymphomas, one fibrosarcoma and one carcinoma) and 32 controls. We developed real time quantitative PCR assays for each gammaherpesvirus DNA viral load (VL) in malignant and non-tumor tissues; we also characterized the tumors using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Furthermore, we retrospectively quantified gammaherpesvirus DNA VL and SIV/SHIV RNA VL in longitudinally-collected PBMCs and plasma, respectively. One or more gammaherpesviruses were detected in 17 tumors; generally, one was predominant, and the relevant DNA VL in the tumor was very high compared to surrounding tissues. RLCV was predominant in tumors resembling diffuse large B cell lymphomas; in a Burkitt-like lymphoma, RRV was predominant; and in the fibrosarcoma, RFHV was predominant. Median RRV and RLCV PBMC DNA VL were significantly higher in cases than controls; SIV/SHIV VL and RLCV VL were independently associated with cancer. Local regressions showed that longitudinal VL patterns in cases and controls, from SIV infection to necropsy, differed for each gammaherpesvirus: while RFHV VL increased only slightly in all animals, RLCV and RRV VL increased significantly and continued to increase steeply in cases; in controls, VL flattened. In conclusion, the data suggest that gammaherpesviruses may play a significant role in tumorogenesis in macaques infected with immunodeficiency viruses.

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<![CDATA[The Genomic Landscape of the Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors Reveals Recurrent STAG2 Mutation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac5ab0ee8fa60bb22b3

The Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (EFT) is a group of highly malignant small round blue cell tumors occurring in children and young adults. We report here the largest genomic survey to date of 101 EFT (65 tumors and 36 cell lines). Using a combination of whole genome sequencing and targeted sequencing approaches, we discover that EFT has a very low mutational burden (0.15 mutations/Mb) but frequent deleterious mutations in the cohesin complex subunit STAG2 (21.5% tumors, 44.4% cell lines), homozygous deletion of CDKN2A (13.8% and 50%) and mutations of TP53 (6.2% and 71.9%). We additionally note an increased prevalence of the BRCA2 K3326X polymorphism in EFT patient samples (7.3%) compared to population data (OR 7.1, p = 0.006). Using whole transcriptome sequencing, we find that 11% of tumors pathologically diagnosed as EFT lack a typical EWSR1 fusion oncogene and that these tumors do not have a characteristic Ewing sarcoma gene expression signature. We identify samples harboring novel fusion genes including FUS-NCATc2 and CIC-FOXO4 that may represent distinct small round blue cell tumor variants. In an independent EFT tissue microarray cohort, we show that STAG2 loss as detected by immunohistochemistry may be associated with more advanced disease (p = 0.15) and a modest decrease in overall survival (p = 0.10). These results significantly advance our understanding of the genomic and molecular underpinnings of Ewing sarcoma and provide a foundation towards further efforts to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and precision therapeutics testing.

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<![CDATA[R1507, an Anti-Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Receptor (IGF-1R) Antibody, and EWS/FLI-1 siRNA in Ewing's Sarcoma: Convergence at the IGF/IGFR/Akt Axis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacaab0ee8fa60bb3c12

A subset of patients with Ewing's sarcoma responds to anti-insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) antibodies. Mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance are unknown. We investigated whether an anti-IGF-1R antibody acts via a pathway that could also be suppressed by small interfering (si) RNA against the EWS/FLI-1 fusion protein, the hallmark of Ewing's sarcoma. The growth of two Ewing's sarcoma cell lines (TC-32 and TC-71) was inhibited by the fully human anti-IGF-1R antibody, R1507 (clonogenic and MTT assays). TC-32 and TC-71 cells express high levels of IGF-2, while RD-ES and A4573 Ewing's cell lines, which were less responsive to R1507 in our assays, express low or undetectable IGF-2, respectively. TC-71 cells also expressed high levels of IGF-1R, and R1507 decreased steady-state levels of this receptor by internalization/degradation, an effect which was associated with a decrease in p-IGF-1R, p-IRS-1, and p-Akt. EWS/FLI-1 siRNA also decreased p-Akt, due to its ability to increase IGF-BP3 levels and subsequently decrease IGF-1 and IGF-2 levels, thus inhibiting signaling through p-IGF-1R. This inhibition correlated with growth suppression and apoptosis. The attenuation of Akt activation was confirmed in TC-71 and HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells by transfecting them with IGF-1R siRNA. We conclude that antibodies and siRNA to IGF-1R, as well as siRNA to EWS/FLI-1, act via intersecting IGF/IGF-1R signals that suppress a common point in this pathway, namely the phosphorylation of Akt.

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<![CDATA[Identification and Validation of Housekeeping Genes for Gene Expression Analysis of Cancer Stem Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f1ab0ee8fa60b6eb1b

The characterization of cancer stem cell (CSC) subpopulation, through the comparison of the gene expression signature in respect to the native cancer cells, is particularly important for the identification of novel and more effective anticancer strategies. However, CSC have peculiar characteristics in terms of adhesion, growth, and metabolism that possibly implies a different modulation of the expression of the most commonly used housekeeping genes (HKG), like b-actin (ACTB). Although it is crucial to identify which are the most stable HKG genes to normalize the data derived from quantitative Real-Time PCR analysis to obtain robust and consistent results, an exhaustive validation of reference genes in CSC is still missing. Here, we isolated CSC spheres from different musculoskeletal sarcomas and carcinomas as a model to investigate on the stability of the mRNA expression of 15 commonly used HKG, in respect to the native cells. The selected genes were analysed for the variation coefficient and compared using the popular algorithms NormFinder and geNorm to evaluate stability ranking. As a result, we found that: 1) Tata Binding Protein (TBP), Tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein zeta polypeptide (YWHAZ), Peptidylprolyl isomerase A (PPIA), and Hydroxymethylbilane synthase (HMBS) are the most stable HKG for the comparison between CSC and native cells; 2) at least four reference genes should be considered for robust results; 3) the use of ACTB should not be recommended, 4) specific HKG should be considered for studies that are focused only on a specific tumor type, like sarcoma or carcinoma. Our results should be taken in consideration for all the studies of gene expression analysis of CSC, and will substantially contribute for future investigations aimed to identify novel anticancer therapy based on CSC targeting.

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<![CDATA[A Preliminary Evaluation of Limb Salvage Surgery for Osteosarcoma around Knee Joint]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da34ab0ee8fa60b85905

Objective

To evaluate the effectiveness and drawbacks of diversified procedures of limb salvage surgery (LSS), providing a reference of rational surgical criterion of LSS.

Methods

Fifty eight patients with stage IIB extremity osteosarcoma around knee joint area between 1992 and 2002 were studied retrospectively. Among them, 43 patients were treated by LSS followed by reconstruction. Reconstruction approaches included re-implantation of irradiation-devitalized tumor bone (n = 12), autoclaving-devitalized tumor bone (n = 8), prosthetic replacement (n = 11), allograft transplantation (n = 8) and vascularized fibula autograft implantation (n = 4). Amputations were performed in 15 patients. Patients were followed up for 6–16 years.

Results

There were no significant difference between LSS and amputation groups regarding disease free survival and local recurrence rates. The actuarial 5-year continuous disease free survival and local recurrence rate were 30.0% and 25.0% in patients of devitalized LSS group, whereas those were 56.5% and 8.7% in patients of non-devitalized reconstruction group. The complication rate was significantly higher in LSS group compared to amputation group (P = 0.003).

Conclusion

LSS with non-devitalized procedures is the optimal treatment for osteosarcoma around knee joint area. Prosthesis implantation is the preferred option for bone reconstruction following LSS. Prevention and treatment of post-operative complications should be paid more attention to get good long-term outcomes of surgery.

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<![CDATA[Let-7a Is a Direct EWS-FLI-1 Target Implicated in Ewing's Sarcoma Development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f6ab0ee8fa60b7034f

Ewing's sarcoma family tumors (ESFT) are the second most common bone malignancy in children and young adults, characterized by unique chromosomal translocations that in 85% of cases lead to expression of the EWS-FLI-1 fusion protein. EWS-FLI-1 functions as an aberrant transcription factor that can both induce and suppress members of its target gene repertoire. We have recently demonstrated that EWS-FLI-1 can alter microRNA (miRNA) expression and that miRNA145 is a direct EWS-FLI-1 target whose suppression is implicated in ESFT development. Here, we use miRNA arrays to compare the global miRNA expression profile of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and ESFT cell lines, and show that ESFT display a distinct miRNA signature that includes induction of the oncogenic miRNA 17–92 cluster and repression of the tumor suppressor let-7 family. We demonstrate that direct repression of let-7a by EWS-FLI-1 participates in the tumorigenic potential of ESFT cells in vivo. The mechanism whereby let-7a expression regulates ESFT growth is shown to be mediated by its target gene HMGA2, as let-7a overexpression and HMGA2 repression both block ESFT cell tumorigenicity. Consistent with these observations, systemic delivery of synthetic let-7a into ESFT-bearing mice restored its expression in tumor cells, decreased HMGA2 expression levels and resulted in ESFT growth inhibition in vivo. Our observations provide evidence that deregulation of let-7a target gene expression participates in ESFT development and identify let-7a as promising new therapeutic target for one of the most aggressive pediatric malignancies.

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<![CDATA[Recent advances in targeted therapy for Ewing sarcoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b02c408463d7e5da8171ad5

Ewing sarcoma is an aggressive, poorly differentiated neoplasm of solid bone that disproportionally afflicts the young. Despite intensive multi-modal therapy and valiant efforts, 70% of patients with relapsed and metastatic Ewing sarcoma will succumb to their disease. The persistent failure to improve overall survival for this subset of patients highlights the urgent need for rapid translation of novel therapeutic strategies. As Ewing sarcoma is associated with a paucity of mutations in readily targetable signal transduction pathways, targeting the key genetic aberration and master regulator of Ewing sarcoma, the EWS/ETS fusion, remains an important goal.

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<![CDATA[EWS/FLI Mediates Transcriptional Repression via NKX2.2 during Oncogenic Transformation in Ewing's Sarcoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d8ab0ee8fa60b66a86

EWS/FLI is a master regulator of Ewing's sarcoma formation. Gene expression studies in A673 Ewing's sarcoma cells have demonstrated that EWS/FLI downregulates more genes than it upregulates, suggesting that EWS/FLI, and/or its targets, function as transcriptional repressors. One critical EWS/FLI target, NKX2.2, is a transcription factor that contains both transcriptional activation and transcriptional repression domains, raising the possibility that it mediates portions of the EWS/FLI transcriptional signature. We now report that microarray analysis demonstrated that the transcriptional profile of NKX2.2 consists solely of downregulated genes, and overlaps with the EWS/FLI downregulated signature, suggesting that NKX2.2 mediates oncogenic transformation via transcriptional repression. Structure-function analysis revealed that the DNA binding and repressor domains in NKX2.2 are required for oncogenesis in Ewing's sarcoma cells, while the transcriptional activation domain is completely dispensable. Furthermore, blockade of TLE or HDAC function, two protein families thought to mediate the repressive function of NKX2.2, inhibited the transformed phenotype and reversed the NKX2.2 transcriptional profile in Ewing's sarcoma cells. Whole genome localization studies (ChIP-chip) revealed that a significant portion of the NKX2.2-repressed gene expression signature was directly mediated by NKX2.2 binding. These data demonstrate that the transcriptional repressive function of NKX2.2 is necessary, and sufficient, for the oncogenic phenotype of Ewing's sarcoma, and suggest a therapeutic approach to this disease.

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<![CDATA[Genome Analysis of Osteosarcoma Progression Samples Identifies FGFR1 Overexpression as a Potential Treatment Target and CHM as a Candidate Tumor Suppressor Gene]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da28ab0ee8fa60b8194c

Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone, showing complex chromosomal rearrangements but with few known consistent changes. Deeper biological understanding is crucial to find new therapies to improve patient survival. We have sequenced the whole exome of two primary tumors (before and after chemotherapy), one metastatic tumor and a matched normal sample from two OS patients, to identify mutations involved in cancer biology. The metastatic samples were also RNA sequenced. By RNA sequencing we identified dysregulated expression levels of drug resistance- and apoptosis-related genes. Two fusion transcripts were identified in one patient (OS111); the first resulted in p53 inactivation by fusing the first exon of TP53 to the fifth exon of FAM45A. The second fusion joined the two first exons of FGFR1 to the second exon of ZNF343. Furthermore, FGFR1 was amplified and highly expressed, representing a potential treatment target in this patient. Whole exome sequencing revealed large intertumor heterogeneity, with surprisingly few shared mutations. Careful evaluation and validation of the data sets revealed a number of artefacts, but one recurrent mutation was validated, a nonsense mutation in CHM (patient OS106), which also was the mutation with the highest expression frequency (53%). The second patient (OS111) had wild-type CHM, but a downregulated expression level. In a panel of 71 clinical samples, we confirmed significant low expression of CHM compared to the controls (p = 0.003). Furthermore, by analyzing public datasets, we identified a significant association between low expression and poor survival in two other cancer types. Together, these results suggest CHM as a candidate tumor suppressor gene that warrants further investigation.

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<![CDATA[Targeting Angiogenesis-Dependent Calcified Neoplasms Using Combined Polymer Therapeutics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6fab0ee8fa60b94286

Background

There is an immense clinical need for novel therapeutics for the treatment of angiogenesis-dependent calcified neoplasms such as osteosarcomas and bone metastases. We developed a new therapeutic strategy to target bone metastases and calcified neoplasms using combined polymer-bound angiogenesis inhibitors. Using an advanced “living polymerization” technique, the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT), we conjugated the aminobisphosphonate alendronate (ALN), and the potent anti-angiogenic agent TNP-470 with N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer through a Glycine-Glycine-Proline-Norleucine linker, cleaved by cathepsin K, a cysteine protease overexpressed at resorption sites in bone tissues. In this approach, dual targeting is achieved. Passive accumulation is possible due to the increase in molecular weight following polymer conjugation of the drugs, thus extravasating from the tumor leaky vessels and not from normal healthy vessels. Active targeting to the calcified tissues is achieved by ALN's affinity to bone mineral.

Methods and Finding

The anti-angiogenic and antitumor potency of HPMA copolymer-ALN-TNP-470 conjugate was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. We show that free and conjugated ALN-TNP-470 have synergistic anti-angiogenic and antitumor activity by inhibiting proliferation, migration and capillary-like tube formation of endothelial and human osteosarcoma cells in vitro. Evaluation of anti-angiogenic, antitumor activity and body distribution of HPMA copolymer-ALN-TNP-470 conjugate was performed on severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) male mice inoculated with mCherry-labeled MG-63-Ras human osteosarcoma and by modified Miles permeability assay. Our targeted bi-specific conjugate reduced VEGF-induced vascular hyperpermeability by 92% and remarkably inhibited osteosarcoma growth in mice by 96%.

Conclusions

This is the first report to describe a new concept of a narrowly-dispersed combined polymer therapeutic designed to target both tumor and endothelial compartments of bone metastases and calcified neoplasms at a single administration. This new approach of co-delivery of two synergistic drugs may have clinical utility as a potential therapy for angiogenesis-dependent cancers such as osteosarcoma and bone metastases.

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<![CDATA[Individual and Combined Expression of DNA Damage Response Molecules PARP1, γH2AX, BRCA1, and BRCA2 Predict Shorter Survival of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daddab0ee8fa60bbaabf

DNA damage response (DDR) molecules are protective against genotoxic stresses. DDR molecules are also involved in the survival of cancer cells in patients undergoing anti-cancer therapies. Therefore, DDR molecules are potential markers of cancer progression in addition to being potential therapeutic targets. In this study, we evaluated the immunohistochemical expression of PARP1, γH2AX, BRCA1, and BRCA2 and their prognostic significance in 112 cases of soft tissue sarcoma (STS). The expression of PARP1, γH2AX, BRCA1, and BRCA2 were significantly associated with each other and were associated with higher tumor stage and presence of distant metastasis. The expression of PARP1, γH2AX, and BRCA2 were significantly associated with shorter disease-specific survival (DSS) and event-free survival (EFS) by univariate analysis. BRCA1 expression was associated with shorter DSS. Multivariate analysis revealed the expression of PARP1 and γH2AX to be independent indicators of poor prognosis of DSS and EFS. BRCA2 expression was an independent indicator of poor prognosis of DSS. In addition, the combined expressional patterns of PARP1, γH2AX, BRCA1, and BRCA2 (CSddrm) were independent prognostic predictors of DSS (P < 0.001) and EFS (P = 0.016). The ten-year DSS rate of the CSddrm-low, CSddrm-intermediate, and CSddrm-high subgroups were 81%, 26%, and 0%, respectively. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the individual and combined expression patterns of the DDR molecules PARP1, γH2AX, BRCA1, and BRCA2 could be predictive of the prognosis of STS patients and suggests that controlling the activity of these DDR molecules could be employed in new therapeutic stratagems for the treatment of STS.

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<![CDATA[p53 Modulation as a Therapeutic Strategy in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5dab0ee8fa60b90578

The KIT-inhibitor imatinib mesylate (IM) has greatly improved the treatment of metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). IM exhibits strong antiproliferative effects but fails to induce sufficient levels of apoptosis resulting in low pathologic complete remission rates and a high rate of secondary progression in the metastatic setting. Upregulation of p53 by MDM2 inhibitors has been shown to induce apoptosis in p53 wildtype tumors. Analyzing a series of 62 mostly untreated, localized and metastatic GIST we detected a low rate (3%) of inactivating p53 mutations, thus providing a rationale for further exploration of p53-directed therapeutic strategies. To this end, we studied nutlin-3, an inhibitor of the p53 antagonist MDM2, and RITA, a putative p53 activator, in GIST cell lines. Nutlin-3 effectively induced p53 at therapeutically relevant levels, which resulted in moderate antiproliferative effects and cell cycle arrest in p53 wildtype GIST cell lines GIST430, GIST48 and GIST48B. P53 reactivation substantially improved the apoptotic response after effective KIT inhibition with sunitinib and 17-AAG in IM-resistant cell lines. The commonly used imatinib-sensitive cell lines GIST882 and GIST-T1 were shown to harbor defective p53 and therefore failed to respond to nutlin-3 treatment. RITA induced p53 in GIST48B, followed by antiproliferative effects and a strong induction of apoptosis. Surprisingly, GIST-T1 was also highly sensitive to RITA despite lacking functional p53. This suggested a more complex, p53-independent mechanism of action for the latter compound. No antagonistic effects from p53-activating drugs were seen with any drug combination. Our data provide first evidence that modulation of the MDM2/p53 pathway may be therapeutically useful to improve the apoptotic response of KIT-inhibitory drugs in the treatment of naïve GIST, with p53 mutation status being a predictive factor of response.

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<![CDATA[Suppression of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Growth by a Host Defense-Like Lytic Peptide]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da37ab0ee8fa60b86904

Background

Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is an anatomically and histologically heterogeneous neoplasia that shares a putative mesenchymal cell origin. The treatment with common chemotherapeutics is still unsatisfying because of association with poor response rates. Although evidence is accumulating for potent oncolytic activity of host defense peptides (HDPs), their potential therapeutic use is often limited by poor bioavailability and inactivation in serum. Therefore, we tested the designer host defense-like lytic D,L-amino acid peptide [D]-K3H3L9 on two STS cell lines in vitro and also in an athymic and syngeneic mouse model. In recent studies the peptide could show selectivity against prostate carcinoma cells and also an active state in serum.

Methods

In vitro the human synovial sarcoma cell line SW982, the murine fibrosarcoma cell line BFS-1 and primary human fibroblasts as a control were exposed to [D]-K3H3L9, a 15mer D,L-amino acid designer HDP. Cell vitality in physiological and acidic conditions (MTT-assay), cell growth (BrdU) and DNA-fragmentation (TUNEL) were investigated. Membrane damage at different time points could be analyzed with LDH assay. An antibody against the tested peptide and recordings using scanning electron microscopy could give an inside in the mode of action. In vivo [D]-K3H3L9 was administered intratumorally in an athymic and syngeneic (immunocompetent) mouse model with SW982 and BFS-1 cells, respectively. After three weeks tumor sections were histologically analyzed.

Results

The peptide exerts rapid and high significant cytotoxicity and antiproliferating activity against the malignant cell lines, apparently via a membrane disrupting mode of action. The local intratumoral administration of [D]-K3H3L9 in the athymic and syngeneic mice models significantly inhibited tumor progression. The histological analyses of the tumor sections revealed a significant antiproliferative, antiangiogenic activity of the treatment group.

Conclusion

These findings demonstrate the in vitro and in vivo oncolytic activity of [D]-K3H3L9 in athymic and syngeneic mouse models.

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<![CDATA[Oncological and surgical outcome after treatment of pelvic sarcomas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc63b

Background and objectives

Treatment of pelvic tumors remains challenging due to complex anatomy, poor oncological outcome and high complication rates. We sought to investigate the long-term oncological and surgical outcome of these patients.

Methods

Between 1980 and 2012, 147 patients underwent surgical treatment for pelvic sarcoma. Histological diagnosis was Chondrosarcoma in 54, Ewing’s Sarcoma/PNET in 37, Osterosarcoma in 32 and others in 24 patients. Statistical analysis for the evaluation of oncological and surgical outcome was performed by applying Cox proportional hazards regression and Fine-Gray regression models for competing risk (CR) endpoints.

Results

The estimated overall survival (OS) to death was 80%, 45% and 37% at 1, 5 and 10 years, respectively. Univariate analyses revealed a statistically significant unadjusted influence of age age (p = 0.038; HR = 1.01), margin (p = 0.043; HR = 0.51) and grade (p = 0.001; HR = 2.27) on OS. Considering the multivariable model, grade (p = 0.005; HR = 3.04) and tumor volume (p = 0.014; HR = 1.18) presented themselves as independent prognostic factors on OS. CR analysis showed a cumulative incidence for major complication of 31% at 5 years. Endoprosthetic reconstruction had a higher risk for experiencing a major complication (p<0.0001) and infection (p = 0.001).

Conclusions

Pelvic resections are still associated with a high incidence of complications. Patients with pelvic reconstruction and high volume tumors are especially at risk. Consequently, a cautious decision-making process is necessary when indicating pelvic reconstruction, although a restrictive approach to pelvic reconstruction is not necessarily reasonable when the other option is major amputation.

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<![CDATA[FUS-DDIT3 Prevents the Development of Adipocytic Precursors in Liposarcoma by Repressing PPARγ and C/EBPα and Activating eIF4E]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae0ab0ee8fa60bbb9b3

Background

FUS-DDIT3 is a chimeric protein generated by the most common chromosomal translocation t(12;16)(q13;p11) linked to liposarcomas, which are characterized by the accumulation of early adipocytic precursors. Current studies indicate that FUS-DDIT3- liposarcoma develops from uncommitted progenitors. However, the precise mechanism whereby FUS-DDIT3 contributes to the differentiation arrest remains to be elucidated.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we have characterized the adipocyte regulatory protein network in liposarcomas of FUS-DITT3 transgenic mice and showed that PPARγ2 and C/EBPα expression was altered. Consistent with in vivo data, FUS-DDIT3 MEFs and human liposarcoma cell lines showed a similar downregulation of both PPARγ2 and C/EBPα expression. Complementation studies with PPARγ but not C/EBPα rescued the differentiation block in committed adipocytic precursors expressing FUS-DDIT3. Our results further show that FUS-DDIT3 interferes with the control of initiation of translation by upregulation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factors eIF2 and eIF4E both in FUS-DDIT3 mice and human liposarcomas cell lines, explaining the shift towards the truncated p30 isoform of C/EBPα in liposarcomas. Suppression of the FUS-DDIT3 transgene did rescue this adipocyte differentiation block. Moreover, eIF4E was also strongly upregulated in normal adipose tissue of FUS-DDIT3 transgenic mice, suggesting that overexpression of eIF4E may be a primary event in the initiation of liposarcomas. Reporter assays showed FUS-DDIT3 is involved in the upregulation of eIF4E in liposarcomas and that both domains of the fusion protein are required for affecting eIF4E expression.

Conclusions/Significance

Taken together, this study provides evidence of the molecular mechanisms involve in the disruption of normal adipocyte differentiation program in liposarcoma harbouring the chimeric gene FUS-DDIT3.

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<![CDATA[EWS/ETS Regulates the Expression of the Dickkopf Family in Ewing Family Tumor Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac9ab0ee8fa60bb3b25

Background

The Dickkopf (DKK) family comprises a set of proteins that function as regulators of Wnt/β–catenin signaling and has a crucial role in development. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of this family in tumorigenesis, however their role in tumorigenesis is still remained unclear.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We found increased expression of DKK2 but decreased expression of DKK1 in Ewing family tumor (EFT) cells. We showed that EFT-specific EWS/ETS fusion proteins enhance the DKK2 promoter activity, but not DKK1 promoter activity, via ets binding sites (EBSs) in the 5′ upstream region. EWS/ETS-mediated transactivation of the promoter was suppressed by the deletion and mutation of EBSs located upstream of the DKK2 gene. Interestingly, the inducible expression of EWS/ETS resulted in the strong induction of DKK2 expression and inhibition of DKK1 expression in human primary mesenchymal progenitor cells that are thought to be a candidate of cell origin of EFT. In addition, using an EFT cell line SK-ES1 cells, we also demonstrated that the expression of DKK1 and DKK2 is mutually exclusive, and the ectopic expression of DKK1, but not DKK2, resulted in the suppression of tumor growth in immuno-deficient mice.

Conclusions/Significance

Our results suggested that DKK2 could not functionally substitute for DKK1 tumor-suppressive effect in EFT. Given the mutually exclusive expression of DKK1 and DKK2, EWS/ETS regulates the transcription of the DKK family, and the EWS/ETS-mediated DKK2 up-regulation could affect the tumorigenicity of EFT in an indirect manner.

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