ResearchPad - skin-tumors https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Identification of differentially expressed genes in actinic keratosis samples treated with ingenol mebutate gel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14730 Actinic keratosis is a common skin disease that may progress to invasive squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. Ingenol mebutate has demonstrated efficacy in field treatment of actinic keratosis. However, molecular mechanisms on ingenol mebutate response are not yet fully understood. In this study, we evaluated the gene expression profiles of actinic keratosis lesions before and after treatment with ingenol mebutate using microarray technology. Actinic keratoses on face/scalp of 15 immunocompetent patients were identified and evaluated after treatment with topical ingenol mebutate gel 0.015%, applied once daily for 3 consecutive days. Diagnostic and clearance of lesions was determined by clinical, dermoscopic, and reflectance confocal microscopy criteria. Lesional and non-lesional skin biopsies were subjected to gene expression analysis profiled by Affymetrix microarray. Differentially expressed genes were identified, and enrichment analyses were performed using STRING database. At 8 weeks post-treatment, 60% of patients responded to ingenol mebutate therapy, achieving complete clearance in 40% of cases. A total of 128 differentially expressed genes were identified following treatment, and downregulated genes (114 of 128) revealed changes in pathways important to epidermal development, keratinocyte differentiation and cornification. In responder patients, 388 downregulated genes (of 450 differentially expressed genes) were also involved in development/differentiation of the epidermis, and immune system-related pathways, such as cytokine and interleukin signaling. Cluster analysis revealed two relevant clusters showing upregulated profile patterns in pre-treatment actinic keratoses of responders, as compared to non-responders. Again, differentially expressed genes were mainly associated with cornification, keratinization and keratinocyte differentiation. Overall, the present study provides insight into the gene expression profile of actinic keratoses after treatment with ingenol mebutate, as well as identification of genetic signatures that could predict treatment response.

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<![CDATA[Prognostic value of uPAR expression and angiogenesis in primary and metastatic melanoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466554d5eed0c484518a14

Angiogenesis is important for the progression of cutaneous melanoma. Here, we analyzed the prognostic impact of the angiogenic factor urokinase plasminogen activator resecptor (uPAR), vascular proliferation index (VPI) and tumor necrosis as a measure of hypoxia in a patient series of nodular melanomas (n = 255) and matched loco-regional metastases (n = 78). Expression of uPAR was determined by immunohistochemistry and VPI was assessed by dual immunohistochemistry using Factor-VIII/Ki67 staining. Necrosis was recorded based on HE-slides. As novel findings, high uPAR expression and high VPI were associated with each other, and with increased tumor thickness, presence of tumor necrosis, tumor ulceration, increased mitotic count and reduced cancer specific survival in primary melanoma. In matched cases, VPI was decreased in metastases, whereas the frequency of necrosis was increased. Our findings demonstrate for the first time the impact on melanoma specific survival of uPAR expression and VPI in primary tumors, and of increased necrosis as an indicator of tumor hypoxia in loco-regional metastases. These findings support the importance of tumor angiogenesis in melanoma aggressiveness, and suggest uPAR as an indicator of vascular proliferation and a potential biomarker in melanoma.

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<![CDATA[Upregulated Expression of Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel Subfamily V Receptors in Mucosae of Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Patients with a History of Alcohol Consumption or Smoking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da18ab0ee8fa60b7bfc0

Objectives

Transient receptor potential cation channel (subfamily V, members 1–4) (TRPV1–4) are expressed in skin and neurons and activated by external stimuli in normal mucosae of all oral cavity sites. The oral cavity is exposed to various stimuli, including temperature, mechanical stimuli, chemical substances, and changes in pH, and, notably, the risk factors for oncogenic transformation in oral squamous epithelium are the same as the external stimuli received by TRPV1–4 receptors. Hence, we examined the relationship between oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and TRPV1–4 expression.

Materials and Methods

Oral SCC patients (n = 37) who underwent surgical resection were included in this study. We investigated the expression of TRPV1–4 by immunohistochemical staining and quantification of TRPV1–4 mRNA in human oral mucosa. In addition, we compared the TRPV1–4 levels in mucosa from patients with SCC to those in normal oral mucosa.

Results

The receptors were expressed in oral mucosa at all sites (tongue, buccal mucosa, gingiva, and oral floor) and the expression was stronger in epithelia from patients with SCC than in normal epithelia. Furthermore, alcohol consumption and tobacco use were strongly associated with the occurrence of oral cancer and were found to have a remarkable influence on TRPV1–4 receptor expression in normal oral mucosa. In particular, patients with a history of alcohol consumption demonstrated significantly higher expression levels.

Conclusion

Various external stimuli may influence the behavior of cancer cells. Overexpression of TRPV1-4 is likely to be a factor in enhanced sensitivity to external stimuli. These findings could contribute to the establishment of novel strategies for cancer therapy or prevention.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative Multi-Parametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Tumor Response to Photodynamic Therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da13ab0ee8fa60b7a2e2

Objective

The aim of this study was to characterize response to photodynamic therapy (PDT) in a mouse cancer model using a multi-parametric quantitative MRI protocol and to identify MR parameters as potential biomarkers for early assessment of treatment outcome.

Methods

CT26.WT colon carcinoma tumors were grown subcutaneously in the hind limb of BALB/c mice. Therapy consisted of intravenous injection of the photosensitizer Bremachlorin, followed by 10 min laser illumination (200 mW/cm2) of the tumor 6 h post injection. MRI at 7 T was performed at baseline, directly after PDT, as well as at 24 h, and 72 h. Tumor relaxation time constants (T1 and T2) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were quantified at each time point. Additionally, Gd-DOTA dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI was performed to estimate transfer constants (Ktrans) and volume fractions of the extravascular extracellular space (ve) using standard Tofts-Kermode tracer kinetic modeling. At the end of the experiment, tumor viability was characterized by histology using NADH-diaphorase staining.

Results

The therapy induced extensive cell death in the tumor and resulted in significant reduction in tumor growth, as compared to untreated controls. Tumor T1 and T2 relaxation times remained unchanged up to 24 h, but decreased at 72 h after treatment. Tumor ADC values significantly increased at 24 h and 72 h. DCE-MRI derived tracer kinetic parameters displayed an early response to the treatment. Directly after PDT complete vascular shutdown was observed in large parts of the tumors and reduced uptake (decreased Ktrans) in remaining tumor tissue. At 24 h, contrast uptake in most tumors was essentially absent. Out of 5 animals that were monitored for 2 weeks after treatment, 3 had tumor recurrence, in locations that showed strong contrast uptake at 72 h.

Conclusion

DCE-MRI is an effective tool for visualization of vascular effects directly after PDT. Endogenous contrast parameters T1, T2, and ADC, measured at 24 to 72 h after PDT, are also potential biomarkers for evaluation of therapy outcome.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive measurement of UVB-induced non-melanoma skin cancer burden in mice using photographic images as a substitute for the caliper method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb966

The vernier caliper has been used as a gold standard to measure the length, width and height of skin tumors to calculate their total area and volume. It is a simple method for collecting data on a few tumors at a time, but becomes tedious, time-consuming and stressful for the animals and the operator when used for measuring multiple tumors in a large number of animals in protocols such as UVB-induced non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in SKH-1 mice. Here, we show that photographic images of these mice taken within a few minutes under optimized conditions can be subjected to computerized analyses to determine tumor volume and area as accurately and precisely as the caliper method. Unlike the caliper method, the photographic method also records the incidence and multiplicity of tumors, thus permitting comprehensive measurement of tumor burden in the animal. The simplicity and ease of this method will permit more frequent monitoring of tumor burden in long protocols, resulting in the creation of additional data about dynamic changes in progression of cancer or the efficacy of therapeutic intervention. The photographic method can broadly substitute the caliper method for quantifying other skin pathologies.

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<![CDATA[Expression Profiling of CYP1B1 in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Counterintuitive Downregulation in Tumors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f0ab0ee8fa60b6e452

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) has a very flagitious treatment regime. A prodrug approach is thought to aid in targeting chemotherapy. CYP1B1, a member of cytochrome P450 family, has been implicated in chemical carcinogenesis. There exists a general accordance that this protein is overexpressed in a variety of cancers, making it an ideal candidate for a prodrug therapy. The activation of the prodrug facilitated by CYP1B1 would enable the targeting of chemotherapy to tumor tissues in which CYP1B1 is specifically overexpressed as a result reducing the non-specific side effects that the current chemotherapy elicits. This study was aimed at validating the use of CYP1B1 as a target for the prodrug therapy in OSCC. The expression profile of CYP1B1 was analysed in a panel of 51 OSCC tumors, their corresponding normal tissues, an epithelial dysplasia lesion and its matched normal tissue by qRT-PCR, Western blotting and Immunohistochemistry. CYP1B1 was found to be downregulated in 77.78% (28/36) tumor tissues in comparison to their corresponding normal tissues as well as in the epithelial dysplasia lesion compared to its matched normal tissue at the transcriptional level, and in 92.86% (26/28) of tumor tissues at the protein level. This report therefore clearly demonstrates the downregulation of CYP1B1 at the transcriptional and translational levels in tumor tissues in comparison to their corresponding normal tissues. These observations indicate that caution should be observed as this therapy may not be applicable universally to all cancers and also suggest the possibility of a prophylactic therapy for oral cancer.

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<![CDATA[Kita Driven Expression of Oncogenic HRAS Leads to Early Onset and Highly Penetrant Melanoma in Zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e6ab0ee8fa60b6b5b0

Background

Melanoma is the most aggressive and lethal form of skin cancer. Because of the increasing incidence and high lethality of melanoma, animal models for continuously observing melanoma formation and progression as well as for testing pharmacological agents are needed.

Methodology and Principal Findings

Using the combinatorial Gal4 –UAS system, we have developed a zebrafish transgenic line that expresses oncogenic HRAS under the kita promoter. Already at 3 days transgenic kita-GFP-RAS larvae show a hyper-pigmentation phenotype as earliest evidence of abnormal melanocyte growth. By 2–4 weeks, masses of transformed melanocytes form in the tail stalk of the majority of kita-GFP-RAS transgenic fish. The adult tumors evident between 1–3 months of age faithfully reproduce the immunological, histological and molecular phenotypes of human melanoma, but on a condensed time-line. Furthermore, they show transplantability, dependence on mitfa expression and do not require additional mutations in tumor suppressors. In contrast to kita expressing melanocyte progenitors that efficiently develop melanoma, mitfa expressing progenitors in a second Gal4-driver line were 4 times less efficient in developing melanoma during the three months observation period.

Conclusions and Significance

This indicates that zebrafish kita promoter is a powerful tool for driving oncogene expression in the right cells and at the right level to induce early onset melanoma in the presence of tumor suppressors. Thus our zebrafish model provides a link between kita expressing melanocyte progenitors and melanoma and offers the advantage of a larval phenotype suitable for large scale drug and genetic modifier screens.

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<![CDATA[Association of Inherited Variation in Toll-Like Receptor Genes with Malignant Melanoma Susceptibility and Survival]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa4ab0ee8fa60ba6e3d

The family of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) is critical in linking innate and acquired immunity. Polymorphisms in the genes encoding TLRs have been associated with autoimmune diseases and cancer. We investigated the genetic variation of TLR genes and its potential impact on melanoma susceptibility and patient survival. The study included 763 cutaneous melanoma cases recruited in Germany and 736 matched controls that were genotyped for 47 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 8 TLR genes. The relationship between genotype, disease status and survival was investigated taking into account patient and tumor characteristics, and melanoma treatment. Analysis of 7 SNPs in TLR2, 7 SNPs in TLR3 and 8 SNPs in TLR4 showed statistically significant differences in distribution of inferred haplotypes between cases and controls. No individual polymorphism was associated with disease susceptibility except for the observed tendency for TLR2-rs3804099 (odds ratio OR  = 1.15, 95% CI 0.99–1.34, p = 0.07) and TLR4-rs2149356 (OR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.73–1.00, p = 0.06). Both polymorphisms were part of the haplotypes associated with risk modulation. An improved overall survival (Hazard ratio HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.32–0.88) and survival following metastasis (HR 0.55, 95% CI 0.34–0.91) were observed in carriers of the variant allele (D299G) of TLR4-rs4986790. In addition various TLR2, TLR4 and TLR5 haplotypes were associated with increased overall survival. Our results point to a novel association between TLR gene variants and haplotypes with melanoma survival. Our data suggest a role for the D299G polymorphism in the TLR4 gene in overall survival and a potential link with systemic treatment at stage IV of the disease. The polymorphic amino acid residue, located in the ectodomain of TLR4, can have functional consequences.

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<![CDATA[MicroRNA Alterations and Associated Aberrant DNA Methylation Patterns across Multiple Sample Types in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d3ab0ee8fa60b64e8d

Background

MicroRNA (miRNA) expression is broadly altered in cancer, but few studies have investigated miRNA deregulation in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Epigenetic mechanisms are involved in the regulation of >30 miRNA genes in a range of tissues, and we aimed to investigate this further in OSCC.

Methods

TaqMan® qRT-PCR arrays and individual assays were used to profile miRNA expression in a panel of 25 tumors with matched adjacent tissues from patients with OSCC, and 8 control paired oral stroma and epithelium from healthy volunteers. Associated DNA methylation changes of candidate epigenetically deregulated miRNA genes were measured in the same samples using the MassArray® mass spectrometry platform. MiRNA expression and DNA methylation changes were also investigated in FACS sorted CD44high oral cancer stem cells from primary tumor samples (CSCs), and in oral rinse and saliva from 15 OSCC patients and 7 healthy volunteers.

Results

MiRNA expression patterns were consistent in healthy oral epithelium and stroma, but broadly altered in both tumor and adjacent tissue from OSCC patients. MiR-375 is repressed and miR-127 activated in OSCC, and we confirm previous reports of miR-137 hypermethylation in oral cancer. The miR-200 s/miR-205 were epigenetically activated in tumors vs normal tissues, but repressed in the absence of DNA hypermethylation specifically in CD44high oral CSCs. Aberrant miR-375 and miR-200a expression and miR-200c-141 methylation could be detected in and distinguish OSCC patient oral rinse and saliva from healthy volunteers, suggesting a potential clinical application for OSCC specific miRNA signatures in oral fluids.

Conclusions

MiRNA expression and DNA methylation changes are a common event in OSCC, and we suggest miR-375, miR-127, miR-137, the miR-200 family and miR-205 as promising candidates for future investigations. Although overall activated in OSCC, miR-200/miR-205 suppression in oral CSCs indicate that cell specific silencing of these miRNAs may drive tumor expansion and progression.

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<![CDATA[A Seven-Marker Signature and Clinical Outcome in Malignant Melanoma: A Large-Scale Tissue-Microarray Study with Two Independent Patient Cohorts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5cab0ee8fa60b90095

Background

Current staging methods such as tumor thickness, ulceration and invasion of the sentinel node are known to be prognostic parameters in patients with malignant melanoma (MM). However, predictive molecular marker profiles for risk stratification and therapy optimization are not yet available for routine clinical assessment.

Methods and Findings

Using tissue microarrays, we retrospectively analyzed samples from 364 patients with primary MM. We investigated a panel of 70 immunohistochemical (IHC) antibodies for cell cycle, apoptosis, DNA mismatch repair, differentiation, proliferation, cell adhesion, signaling and metabolism. A marker selection procedure based on univariate Cox regression and multiple testing correction was employed to correlate the IHC expression data with the clinical follow-up (overall and recurrence-free survival). The model was thoroughly evaluated with two different cross validation experiments, a permutation test and a multivariate Cox regression analysis. In addition, the predictive power of the identified marker signature was validated on a second independent external test cohort (n = 225). A signature of seven biomarkers (Bax, Bcl-X, PTEN, COX-2, loss of β-Catenin, loss of MTAP, and presence of CD20 positive B-lymphocytes) was found to be an independent negative predictor for overall and recurrence-free survival in patients with MM. The seven-marker signature could also predict a high risk of disease recurrence in patients with localized primary MM stage pT1-2 (tumor thickness ≤2.00 mm). In particular, three of these markers (MTAP, COX-2, Bcl-X) were shown to offer direct therapeutic implications.

Conclusions

The seven-marker signature might serve as a prognostic tool enabling physicians to selectively triage, at the time of diagnosis, the subset of high recurrence risk stage I–II patients for adjuvant therapy. Selective treatment of those patients that are more likely to develop distant metastatic disease could potentially lower the burden of untreatable metastatic melanoma and revolutionize the therapeutic management of MM.

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<![CDATA[High Expression of Wee1 Is Associated with Poor Disease-Free Survival in Malignant Melanoma: Potential for Targeted Therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae0ab0ee8fa60bbb70c

Notoriously resistant malignant melanoma is one of the most increasing forms of cancer worldwide; there is thus a precarious need for new treatment options. The Wee1 kinase is a major regulator of the G2/M checkpoint, and halts the cell cycle by adding a negative phosphorylation on CDK1 (Tyr15). Additionally, Wee1 has a function in safeguarding the genome integrity during DNA synthesis. To assess the role of Wee1 in development and progression of malignant melanoma we examined its expression in a panel of paraffin-embedded patient derived tissue of benign nevi and primary- and metastatic melanomas, as well as in agarose-embedded cultured melanocytes. We found that Wee1 expression increased in the direction of malignancy, and showed a strong, positive correlation with known biomarkers involved in cell cycle regulation: Cyclin A (p<0.0001), Ki67 (p<0.0001), Cyclin D3 (p = 0.001), p21Cip1/WAF1 (p = 0.003), p53 (p = 0.025). Furthermore, high Wee1 expression was associated with thicker primary tumors (p = 0.001), ulceration (p = 0.005) and poor disease-free survival (p = 0.008). Transfections using siWee1 in metastatic melanoma cell lines; WM239WTp53, WM45.1MUTp53 and LOXWTp53, further support our hypothesis of a tumor promoting role of Wee1 in melanomas. Whereas no effect was observed in LOX cells, transfection with siWee1 led to accumulation of cells in G1/S and S phase of the cell cycle in WM239 and WM45.1 cells, respectively. Both latter cell lines displayed DNA damage and induction of apoptosis, in the absence of Wee1, indicating that the effect of silencing Wee1 may not be solely dependent of the p53 status of the cells. Together these results reveal the importance of Wee1 as a prognostic biomarker in melanomas, and indicate a potential role for targeted therapy, alone or in combination with other agents.

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<![CDATA[Cyclic Dipeptide Shuttles as a Novel Skin Penetration Enhancement Approach: Preliminary Evaluation with Diclofenac]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1fab0ee8fa60bcee63

This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a peptide shuttle in delivering diclofenac into and through human epidermis. Diclofenac was conjugated to a novel phenylalanyl-N-methyl-naphthalenylalanine-derived diketopiperazine (DKP) shuttle and to TAT (a classical cell penetrating peptide), and topically applied to human epidermis in vitro. DKP and TAT effectively permeated into and through human epidermis. When conjugated to diclofenac, both DKP and TAT enhanced delivery into and through human epidermis, though DKP was significantly more effective. Penetration of diclofenac through human epidermis (to receptor) was increased by conjugation to the peptide shuttle and cell penetrating peptide with enhancement of 6x by DKP-diclofenac and 3x by TAT-diclofenac. In addition, the amount of diclofenac retained within the epidermis was significantly increased by peptide conjugation. COX-2 inhibition activity of diclofenac was retained when conjugated to DKP. Our study suggests that the peptide shuttle approach may offer a new strategy for targeted delivery of small therapeutic and diagnostic molecules to the skin.

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<![CDATA[Irreversible EGFR Inhibitor EKB-569 Targets Low-LET γ-Radiation-Triggered Rel Orchestration and Potentiates Cell Death in Squamous Cell Carcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5eab0ee8fa60b907b8

EKB-569 (Pelitinib), an irreversible EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor has shown potential therapeutic efficiency in solid tumors. However, cell-killing potential in combination with radiotherapy and its underlying molecular orchestration remain to be explored. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of EKB-569 on ionizing radiation (IR)-associated NFκB-dependent cell death. SCC-4 and SCC-9 cells exposed to IR (2Gy) with and without EKB-569 treatment were analyzed for transactivation of 88 NFκB pathway molecules, NFκB DNA-binding activity, translation of the NFκB downstream mediators, Birc1, 2 and 5, cell viability, metabolic activity and apoptosis. Selective targeting of IR-induced NFκB by EKB-569 and its influence on cell-fate were assessed by overexpressing (p50/p65) and silencing (ΔIκBα) NFκB. QPCR profiling after IR exposure revealed a significant induction of 74 NFκB signal transduction molecules. Of those, 72 were suppressed with EKB-569. EMSA revealed a dose dependent inhibition of NFκB by EKB-569. More importantly, EKB-569 inhibited IR-induced NFκB in a dose-dependent manner, and this inhibition was sustained up to at least 72 h. Immunoblotting revealed a significant suppression of IR-induced Birc1, 2 and 5 by EKB-569. We observed a dose-dependent inhibition of cell viability, metabolic activity and apoptosis with EKB-569. EKB-569 significantly enhanced IR-induced cell death and apoptosis. Blocking NFκB improved IR-induced cell death. Conversely, NFκB overexpression negates EKB-569 -induced cell-killing. Together, these pre-clinical data suggest that EKB-569 is a radiosensitizer of squamous cell carcinoma and may mechanistically involve selective targeting of IR-induced NFκB-dependent survival signaling. Further pre-clinical in-vivo studies are warranted.

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<![CDATA[Association of Betel Nut with Carcinogenesis: Revisit with a Clinical Perspective]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafbab0ee8fa60bc4c4a

Abstract

Betel nut (BN), betel quid (BQ) and products derived from them are widely used as a socially endorsed masticatory product. The addictive nature of BN/BQ has resulted in its widespread usage making it the fourth most abused substance by humans. Progressively, several additives, including chewing tobacco, got added to simple BN preparations. This addictive practice has been shown to have strong etiological correlation with human susceptibility to cancer, particularly oral and oropharyngeal cancers.

The PUBMED database was searched to retrieve all relevant published studies in English on BN and BQ, and its association with oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Only complete studies directly dealing with BN/BQ induced carcinogenesis using statistically valid and acceptable sample size were analyzed. Additional relevant information available from other sources was also considered.

This systematic review attempts to put in perspective the consequences of this widespread habit of BN/BQ mastication, practiced by approximately 10% of the world population, on oral cancer with a clinical perspective. BN/BQ mastication seems to be significantly associated with susceptibility to oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Addition of tobacco to BN has been found to only marginally increase the cancer risk. Despite the widespread usage of BN/BQ and its strong association with human susceptibility to cancer, no serious strategy seems to exist to control this habit. The review, therefore, also looks at various preventive efforts being made by governments and highlights the multifaceted intervention strategies required to mitigate and/or control the habit of BN/BQ mastication.

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<![CDATA[Human Macrophages and Dendritic Cells Can Equally Present MART-1 Antigen to CD8+ T Cells after Phagocytosis of Gamma-Irradiated Melanoma Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6dab0ee8fa60b93b55

Dendritic cells (DC) can achieve cross-presentation of naturally-occurring tumor-associated antigens after phagocytosis and processing of dying tumor cells. They have been used in different clinical settings to vaccinate cancer patients. We have previously used gamma-irradiated MART-1 expressing melanoma cells as a source of antigens to vaccinate melanoma patients by injecting irradiated cells with BCG and GM-CSF or to load immature DC and use them as a vaccine. Other clinical trials have used IFN-gamma activated macrophage killer cells (MAK) to treat cancer patients. However, the clinical use of MAK has been based on their direct tumoricidal activity rather than on their ability to act as antigen-presenting cells to stimulate an adaptive antitumor response. Thus, in the present work, we compared the fate of MART-1 after phagocytosis of gamma-irradiated cells by clinical grade DC or MAK as well as the ability of these cells to cross present MART-1 to CD8+ T cells. Using a high affinity antibody against MART-1, 2A9, which specifically stains melanoma tumors, melanoma cell lines and normal melanocytes, the expression level of MART-1 in melanoma cell lines could be related to their ability to stimulate IFN-gamma production by a MART-1 specific HLA-A*0201-restricted CD8+ T cell clone. Confocal microscopy with Alexa Fluor®647-labelled 2A9 also showed that MART-1 could be detected in tumor cells attached and/or fused to phagocytes and even inside these cells as early as 1 h and up to 24 h or 48 h after initiation of co-cultures between gamma-irradiated melanoma cells and MAK or DC, respectively. Interestingly, MART-1 was cross-presented to MART-1 specific T cells by both MAK and DC co-cultured with melanoma gamma-irradiated cells for different time-points. Thus, naturally occurring MART-1 melanoma antigen can be taken-up from dying melanoma cells into DC or MAK and both cell types can induce specific CD8+ T cell cross-presentation thereafter.

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<![CDATA[Keratinocyte Growth Factor Induces Gene Expression Signature Associated with Suppression of Malignant Phenotype of Cutaneous Squamous Carcinoma Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad4ab0ee8fa60bb7822

Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF, fibroblast growth factor-7) is a fibroblast-derived mitogen, which stimulates proliferation of epithelial cells. The expression of KGF by dermal fibroblasts is induced following injury and it promotes wound repair. However, the role of KGF in cutaneous carcinogenesis and cancer progression is not known. We have examined the role of KGF in progression of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin. The expression of KGF receptor (KGFR) mRNA was lower in cutaneous SCCs (n = 6) than in normal skin samples (n = 6). Expression of KGFR mRNA was detected in 6 out of 8 cutaneous SCC cell lines and the levels were downregulated by 24-h treatment with KGF. KGF did not stimulate SCC cell proliferation, but it reduced invasion of SCC cells through collagen. Gene expression profiling of three cutaneous SCC cell lines treated with KGF for 24 h revealed a specific gene expression signature characterized by upregulation of a set of genes specifically downregulated in SCC cells compared to normal epidermal keratinocytes, including genes with tumor suppressing properties (SPRY4, DUSP4, DUSP6, LRIG1, PHLDA1). KGF also induced downregulation of a set of genes specifically upregulated in SCC cells compared to normal keratinocytes, including genes associated with tumor progression (MMP13, MATN2, CXCL10, and IGFBP3). Downregulation of MMP-13 and KGFR expression in SCC cells and HaCaT cells was mediated via ERK1/2. Activation of ERK1/2 in HaCaT cells and tumorigenic Ha-ras-transformed HaCaT cells resulted in downregulation of MMP-13 and KGFR expression. These results provide evidence, that KGF does not promote progression of cutaneous SCC, but rather suppresses the malignant phenotype of cutaneous SCC cells by regulating the expression of several genes differentially expressed in SCC cells, as compared to normal keratinocytes.

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<![CDATA[PECAM1+/Sca1+/CD38+ Vascular Cells Transform into Myofibroblast-Like Cells in Skin Wound Repair]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4dab0ee8fa60bdaef8

Skin injury induces the formation of new blood vessels by activating the vasculature in order to restore tissue homeostasis. Vascular cells may also differentiate into matrix-secreting contractile myofibroblasts to promote wound closure. Here, we characterize a PECAM1+/Sca1+ vascular cell population in mouse skin, which is highly enriched in wounds at the peak of neoangiogenesis and myofibroblast formation. These cells express endothelial and perivascular markers and present the receptor CD38 on their surface. PECAM1+/Sca1+/CD38+ cells proliferate upon wounding and could give rise to α-SMA+ myofibroblast-like cells. CD38 stimulation in immunodeficient mice reduced the wound size at the peak of neoangiogenesis and myofibroblast formation. In humans a corresponding cell population was identified, which was enriched in sprouting vessels of basal cell carcinoma biopsies. The results indicate that PECAM1+/Sca1+/CD38+ vascular cells could proliferate and differentiate into myofibroblast-like cells in wound repair. Moreover, CD38 signaling modulates PECAM1+/Sca1+/CD38+ cell activation in the healing process implying CD38 as a target for anti-angiogenic therapies in human basal cell carcinoma.

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<![CDATA[The Anaphase-Promoting Complex or Cyclosome Supports Cell Survival in Response to Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4bab0ee8fa60bda548

The anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C) is a multi-subunit ubiquitin ligase that regulates exit from mitosis and G1 phase of the cell cycle. Although the regulation and function of APC/CCdh1 in the unperturbed cell cycle is well studied, little is known of its role in non-genotoxic stress responses. Here, we demonstrate the role of APC/CCdh1 (APC/C activated by Cdh1 protein) in cellular protection from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Activation of APC/CCdh1 under ER stress conditions is evidenced by Cdh1-dependent degradation of its substrates. Importantly, the activity of APC/CCdh1 maintains the ER stress checkpoint, as depletion of Cdh1 by RNAi impairs cell cycle arrest and accelerates cell death following ER stress. Our findings identify APC/CCdh1 as a regulator of cell cycle checkpoint and cell survival in response to proteotoxic insults.

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<![CDATA[Methylation and Loss of Secreted Frizzled-Related Protein 3 Enhances Melanoma Cell Migration and Invasion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f6ab0ee8fa60b70385

Background

Wnt signaling is important in development and can also contribute to the initiation and progression of cancer. The Secreted Frizzled Related Proteins (SFRPs) constitute a family of Wnt modulators, crucial for controlling Wnt signaling. Here we investigate the expression and role of SFRP3 in melanoma.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We show that SFRP3 mRNA is down-regulated in malignant melanoma tumors as compared to normal/benign tissue. Furthermore, we found that SFRP3 expression was lost in the malignant melanoma cell lines, A2058, HTB63 and A375, but not in the non-transformed melanocyte cell line, Hermes 3A. Methylated CpG rich areas were detected in the SFRP3 gene in melanoma cell lines and their SFRP3 expression could be restored using the demethylating agent, 5′aza-deoxycytidine. Addition of recombinant SFRP3 to melanoma cells had no effect on viable cell numbers, but decreased cell migration and invasion. Wnt5a signaling has been shown to increase the migration and invasion of malignant melanoma cells, and high expression of Wnt5a in melanoma tumors has been connected to a poor prognosis. We found that recombinant SFRP3 could inhibit Wnt5a signaling, and that it inhibited melanoma cell migration and invasion in a Wnt5a-dependent manner.

Conclusion/Significance

We conclude that SFRP3 functions as a melanoma migration and invasion suppressor by interfering with Wnt5a signaling.

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<![CDATA[Serum Soluble HLA-E in Melanoma: A New Potential Immune-Related Marker in Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db29ab0ee8fa60bd0deb

Background

Tumor-derived soluble factors, including soluble HLA molecules, can contribute to cancer immune escape and therefore impact on clinical course of malignant diseases. We previously reported that melanoma cells produce, in vitro, soluble forms of the non-classical MHC class I molecule HLA-E (sHLA-E). In order to investigate sHLA-E production by various tumors and to address its potential value as a tumor-associated marker, we developed a specific ELISA for the quantification of sHLA-E in biological fluids.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We developed a sHLA-E specific and sensitive ELISA and we showed that serum sHLA-E levels were significantly elevated (P<0.01) in melanoma patients (n = 127), compared with healthy donors (n = 94). sHLA-E was also detected in the culture supernatants of a wide variety of tumor cell lines (n = 98) including melanomas, kidney, colorectal and breast cancers. Cytokines regulation of sHLA-E production by tumor cells was also carried out. IFN-γ, IFN-α and TNF-α were found to upregulate sHLA-E production by tumor cells.

Conclusions/Significance

In view of the broad tumor tissue release of HLA-E and its up-regulation by inflammatory cytokines, sHLA-E should be studied for its involvement in immune responses against tumors. Interestingly, our results demonstrated a positive association between the presence of serum sHLA-E and melanoma. Therefore, the determination of sHLA-E levels, using ELISA approach, may be investigated as a clinical marker in cancer patients.

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