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Kao S.C.-H.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute | Kao S.C.-H.,University of Sydney | Armstrong N.,Garvan Institute of Medical Research | Armstrong N.,University of New South Wales | And 9 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive cancer of serosal membranes, mostly pleura. It is related to asbestos exposure and its incidence in most industrialized countries is projected to remain stable or to increase until 2020. Prognosis remains poor. Clinical prognostic scoring systems lack precision. No prognostic tissue markers are available. Aquaporin 1 (AQP1) is a cell membrane channel involved in water transport, cell motility, and proliferation. A blocker and an agonist are available. METHODS: Two independent cohorts of MM were studied. Cohort 1 consisted of 80 consecutive patients who underwent radical surgery (extrapleural pneumonectomy [EPP]). Cohort 2 included 56 conservatively managed patients from another institution. Clinical information was obtained from files. Diagnoses were histologically verified. Immunohistochemical labeling for AQP1 was performed on tumor tissue and the percentage of positive cells was scored. RESULTS: We demonstrated expression of AQP1 in normal and neoplastic mesothelium at the apical aspect of the cell, in keeping with a role in water transport. For both cohorts, expression of AQP1 by ≥50% of tumor cells was associated with significantly enhanced survival (9.4 months vs 30.4 months in EPP patients and 5 months vs 15 months in conservatively treated patients). This was independent of established prognostic factors, including histologic subtype, pathologic stage, sex, and age at time of diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Expression of AQP1 correlated significantly with prognosis in MM, irrespective of treatment or established prognostic factors. Immunohistochemical labeling for AQP1 should be included in the routine histopathologic workup. An agonist or blocker may become useful for treatment. © 2011 American Cancer Society.

Bernardo B.C.,Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute | Ooi J.Y.Y.,Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute | Lin R.C.Y.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute | Lin R.C.Y.,University of New South Wales | And 2 more authors.
Future Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2015

miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), which regulate gene expression. Here, the authors describe the contribution of miRNAs to cardiac biology and disease. They discuss various strategies for manipulating miRNA activity including antisense oligonucleotides (antimiRs, blockmiRs), mimics, miRNA sponges, Tough Decoys and miRNA mowers. They review developments in chemistries (e.g., locked nucleic acid) and modifications (sugar, 'ZEN', peptide nucleic acids) and miRNA delivery tools (viral vectors, liposomes, nanoparticles, pHLIP). They summarize potential miRNA therapeutic targets for heart disease based on preclinical studies. Finally, the authors review current progress of miRNA therapeutics in clinical development for HCV and cancer, and discuss challenges that will need to be overcome for similar therapies to enter the clinic for patients with cardiac disease. © 2015 Future Science Ltd.

Asbestos Diseases Research Institute | Date: 2013-03-13

The invention relates to microRNA mimics, corresponding to the miR-15/107 family, and to methodology for using microRNA mimics to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) by restoring regulation of the expression of target genes of the miR-15/107 family in MPM tumor cells.

Kao S.C.,Sydney Cancer Center | Kao S.C.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute | Kao S.C.,University of Sydney | Vardy J.,Sydney Cancer Center | And 7 more authors.
Supportive Care in Cancer | Year: 2013

Purpose: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive and symptomatic disease. We examined the relationship between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and inflammatory markers, and the prognostic role of HRQoL in MPM patients. Methods: MPM patients from two parallel phase II studies (thalidomide alone or thalidomide with chemotherapy) were included. HRQoL was assessed at baseline using the modified Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (LCSS). Baseline inflammatory markers and cytokines were measured. Spearman correlation was used to examine the relationship between inflammatory markers and HRQoL measures. The prognostic value of the HRQoL domains was examined using Cox proportional hazard model. Results: Sixty-three patients were included: median age 61 years (range 44-79); 82 % male; 77 % Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0-1; 44 % epithelial histology subtype. Baseline systemic symptoms of anorexia and fatigue, the summation symptoms of overall symptomatic distress, interference with normal activity and global QoL and the aggregate score of total LCSS score were all associated with elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, C-reactive protein and vascular endothelial growth factor levels at baseline (rho ≥ 0.25; p < 0.05). Baseline anorexia, fatigue, cough, dyspnoea, pain, overall symptomatic distress, interference with normal activity, global QoL and total LCSS score were all significantly related to survival (p < 0.05) after adjusting for established prognostic factors (age, gender, histological subtype and performance status) and treatment effect. Conclusions: In conclusion, HRQoL seems to relate to a patient's systemic inflammatory status and is associated with survival in MPM patients. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Linton A.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute | Linton A.,University of Sydney | Vardy J.,Concord Repatriation General Hospital | Vardy J.,University of Sydney | And 3 more authors.
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2012

The relationship between asbestos exposure and malignant mesothelioma (MM) has been well established. Despite bans on asbestos use in an increasing number of nations, the prolonged latency from exposure to diagnosis, and the ongoing presence and use of these dangerous fibres, have led to the increasing prevalence of this deadly disease worldwide. Whilst occupational contact has been implicated in the bulk of diagnosed cases over the past 50 years, a significant proportion of disease has been linked to para-occupational, domestic and environmental exposure. In this review, we will provide an update on the impact of historical and ongoing asbestos contact in both occupational and non-occupational settings. Furthermore, we will address the unresolved controversies surrounding the use of chrysotile asbestos, the effect of gender and genetics on development of this disease, childhood mesothelioma and co-aetiological factors including SV40 exposure. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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