Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI

Sydney, Australia

Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI

Sydney, Australia

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Robb T.,University of Auckland | Reid G.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Reid G.,University of Sydney | Blenkiron C.,University of Auckland
Targeted Oncology | Year: 2017

miRNAs are a well-studied class of non-coding RNAs, predominantly functioning to down-regulate gene expression from messenger RNA (mRNA) in a targeted manner by binding to complementary sequence on the target mRNA. Many miRNAs have been linked to the development of hallmarks of cancer. miRNAs represent valuable therapeutic targets to exploit in the search for novel cancer treatments, due to their ubiquitous expression and their ability to tightly regulate the gene expression of a whole host of genes and pathways in a single hit. The miRNA system may be harnessed for therapeutic use either through replacement of tumour suppressive miRNAs lost in cancer, or through inhibition of oncogenic miRNAs overexpressed in cancer. There is a large body of work investigating optimal systemic and localised delivery strategies, and while miRNA therapeutics show promise, it is clear that further developments to delivery strategies may be required to allow safe translation of miRNAs to the clinic. The information gleaned from miRNA signatures as biomarkers is already proving invaluable in the fight to better understand and treat individual tumours, and there is great promise to the applications of these small, but mighty molecules in the future of cancer therapeutics.[Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2017 Springer International Publishing Switzerland


Williams M.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Kirschner M.B.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Kirschner M.B.,University of Sydney | Kirschner M.B.,University of Zürich | And 25 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an asbestos-induced cancer with poor prognosis that displays characteristic alterations in microRNA expression. Recently it was reported that the expression of a subset of microRNAs can distinguish between MPM and adenocarcinoma of the lung. However, the functional importance of these changes has yet to be investigated. We compared expression of miR-192, miR-193a-3p and the miR-200 family in normal pleura and MPM tumor specimens and found a statistically significant reduction in the levels of miR-193a-3p (3.1-fold) and miR-192 (2.8-fold) in MPM. Transfection of MPM cells with a miR-193a-3p mimic resulted in inhibition of growth and an induction of apoptosis and necrosis in vitro. The growth inhibitory effects of miR-193a-3p were associated with a decrease in MCL1 expression and were recapitulated by RNAi-mediated MCL1 silencing. Targeted delivery of miR-193a-3p mimic using EDV minicells inhibited MPM xenograft tumour growth, and was associated with increased apoptosis. In conclusion, miR-193a-3p appears to have importance in the biology of MPM and may represent a target for therapeutic intervention.


Henderson D.W.,The Surgical Center | Henderson D.W.,Flinders University | Reid G.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Kao S.C.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Pathology | Year: 2013

The detection of neoplastic invasion remains the linchpin for a clear diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. Cytology-only diagnosis of epithelioid mesothelioma on aspirated effusion fluid remains controversial. A major problem is poor sensitivity, although cytodiagnosis is achievable in many cases at a high order of specificity, especially when a large volume of effusion fluid is submitted for cytological evaluation, enabling the preparation of cell-block sections for immunohistochemical investigation and when the cytological findings can be correlated with imaging studies to assess the anatomical distribution of the lesion and evidence of nodularity of the pleural disorder and, in some cases, to demonstrate evidence of invasion. Although 'positive' and 'negative' immunohistochemical markers have proved remarkably effective in distinguishing between epithelioid mesothelioma and secondary carcinoma and other malignant tumours metastatic to serosal membranes, no mesothelial marker has 100% sensitivity and specificity for mesothelioma diagnosis, so that panels of 'positive' antibodies and markers with negative predictive value are required. At present, no tissue or serum marker (including the molecular detection of p16/CDKN2A) has been proved to have sufficient specificity, consistency and reproducibility that it can replace evidence of invasion as the decisive marker for diagnosis when there is any uncertainty concerning a diagnosis of epithelioid mesothelioma and in the case of atypical fibrous lesions of the pleura (especially collagen-rich lesions, namely fibrous pleuritis vs desmoplastic mesothelioma), in which even the assessment of invasion can be problematical as illustrated in part 2 of this review.


Henderson D.W.,The Surgical Center | Henderson D.W.,Flinders University | Reid G.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Kao S.C.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Pathology | Year: 2013

Pleural malignant mesothelioma (MM) includes several unusual and even rare but distinctive histological subtypes, in addition to the usual subdivision into epithelioid, biphasic and sarcomatoid MM. Criteria for discrimination between fibrous pleuritis versus desmoplastic mesothelioma include evidence of neoplastic invasion for diagnosis of desmoplastic MM, but this histological assessment is complicated by the recently-described 'fake fat phenomenon' in cases of fibrous pleuritis. The distinction between biphasic and monophasic synovial sarcoma of the pleura versus biphasic and sarcomatoid MM can be problematical and is most cogently based upon molecular detection of the t(X;18) translocation, whereas a clear diagnosis of MM for a pleural tumour histologically resembling synovial sarcoma is favoured by a negative result for this translocation and, probably, microRNA evidence supportive of a diagnosis of MM. Aquaporin-1 (AQP1) is a molecule involved in the growth of MM cells, and yet is a factor reported to correlate with improved survival rates for MM with an epithelioid component, in comparison to AQP1-poor MM, as assessed from AQP1 expression by epithelioid MM cells only (apart from co-expression by stromal endothelial cells in addition to the tumour cells). Recent reports have also focused upon germline mutations in the BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1), not only in cases of familial mesothelioma, but also BAP1 deletion in sporadic MM. Prognostic factors for MM include not only the histological subtypes, but other independent variables that include (among others), AQP1 expression by mesothelioma cells, the clinical status of the patient, the serum neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio and blood thrombocytosis.


Kirschner M.B.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Kirschner M.B.,University of Sydney | Cheng Y.Y.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Armstrong N.J.,University of Sydney | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Oncology | Year: 2015

Background: Prognosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is poor, and predicting the outcomes of treatment is difficult. Here we investigate the potential of microRNA expression to estimate prognosis of MPM patients. Methods: Candidate microRNAs from microarray profiling of tumor samples from 8 long (median: 53.7 months) and 8 short (median: 6.4 months) survivors following extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) were validated by RT-qPCR in 48 additional EPP samples. Kaplan-Meier log ranking was used to further explore the association between microRNA expression and overall survival (OS). Binary logistic regression was used to construct a microRNA signature (miR-Score) that was able to predict an OS of ≥20 months. Performance of the miR-Score was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis and validated in a series of 43 tumor samples from patients who underwent palliative surgery [pleurectomy/decortication (P/D)]. Results: The miR-Score, using expression data of six microRNAs (miR-21-5p, -23a-3p, -30e-5p, -221-3p, -222-3p, and -31-5p), enabled prediction of long survival with an accuracy of 92.3% for EPP and 71.9% for palliative P/D. Hazard ratios for score-negative patients were 4.12 (95% CI: 2.03-8.37) for EPP and 1.93 (95% CI: 1.01-3.69) for P/D. Importantly, adding the miR-Score to a set of clinical selection criteria (histology, age, gender) increased predictive accuracy in the independent validation set from 76.3% for clinical factors only to 87.3%. Conclusions: This study has identified a novel 6-microRNA signature (miR-Score) that can accurately predict prognosis of MPM patients. © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.


PubMed | University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Flinders Medical Center and Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular oncology | Year: 2015

Prognosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is poor, and predicting the outcomes of treatment is difficult. Here we investigate the potential of microRNA expression to estimate prognosis of MPM patients.Candidate microRNAs from microarray profiling of tumor samples from 8 long (median: 53.7 months) and 8 short (median: 6.4 months) survivors following extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) were validated by RT-qPCR in 48 additional EPP samples. Kaplan-Meier log ranking was used to further explore the association between microRNA expression and overall survival (OS). Binary logistic regression was used to construct a microRNA signature (miR-Score) that was able to predict an OS of 20 months. Performance of the miR-Score was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis and validated in a series of 43 tumor samples from patients who underwent palliative surgery [pleurectomy/decortication (P/D)].The miR-Score, using expression data of six microRNAs (miR-21-5p, -23a-3p, -30e-5p, -221-3p, -222-3p, and -31-5p), enabled prediction of long survival with an accuracy of 92.3% for EPP and 71.9% for palliative P/D. Hazard ratios for score-negative patients were 4.12 (95% CI: 2.03-8.37) for EPP and 1.93 (95% CI: 1.01-3.69) for P/D. Importantly, adding the miR-Score to a set of clinical selection criteria (histology, age, gender) increased predictive accuracy in the independent validation set from 76.3% for clinical factors only to 87.3%.This study has identified a novel 6-microRNA signature (miR-Score) that can accurately predict prognosis of MPM patients.


Kao S.C.-H.,Concord Repatriation General Hospital | Kao S.C.-H.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Reid G.,Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI | Lee K.,Concord Repatriation General Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Internal Medicine Journal | Year: 2010

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive tumour that commonly affects the mesothelial surfaces of the pleural and peritoneal cavities, and occasionally, the tunica vaginalis and the pericardium. Formerly a rare tumour, MM is increasing in incidence in Australia due to the heavy nationwide use of asbestos from 1940 until the 1980s. The incidence is expected to peak in Australia in the next decade, mirroring the long latency period between asbestos exposure and development of MM. Diagnosis of MM can be difficult. Definitive pathological diagnosis is required and it often requires an experienced pathologist to differentiate MM from other benign or malignant processes. Treatment of MM requires a multidisciplinary approach, regardless of palliative or curative intent. Treatment options, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and active symptom control or a combination of these, may be used. Further research is needed to advance the therapeutic options for MM, and strategies to realize personalisation of therapy through discovery of predictive markers. In the Australian society where asbestos contamination of the built environment is very high, education and stringent public health measures are required to prevent a second wave of increased MM incidence. © 2010 The Authors. Internal Medicine Journal © 2010 Royal Australasian College of Physicians.


PubMed | University of Sydney, Flinders University, Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI and Medical University of Vienna
Type: Journal Article | Journal: British journal of cancer | Year: 2015

Fibulin-3 (FBLN3) was recently presented as a promising novel biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), warranting independent validation studies.ELISA was used to measure cellular and secreted FBLN3 in cell lines, in plasma of xenograft tumour-bearing mice, in plasma from two independent series of MPM and non-MPM patients and in pleural fluid from a third series. Diagnostic and prognostic potential of FBLN3 was assessed by receiver operating characteristics curve analysis and Kaplan-Meier method, respectively.FBLN3 was expressed in all MPM and benign mesothelial cell lines tested, and a correlation was observed between cellular protein expression and secreted levels. Human FBLN3 was detectable in plasma of tumour-bearing mice, suggesting that MPM cells contribute to levels of circulating FBLN3. Plasma FBLN3 was significantly elevated in MPM patients from the Sydney cohort, but not the Vienna cohort, but the diagnostic accuracy was low (63%, (95% CI: 50.1-76.4) and 56% (95% CI: 41.5-71.0), respectively). Although FBLN3 levels in pleural effusions were not significantly different between cases and controls, FBLN3 levels in pleural effusion fluid were found to be independently associated with prognosis (hazard ratio of 9.92 (95% CI: 2.14-45.93)).These data confirm the potential prognostic value of pleural effusion FBLN3, but question the diagnostic value of this protein in MPM patients.


PubMed | University of Auckland and Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI
Type: | Journal: Targeted oncology | Year: 2017

miRNAs are a well-studied class of non-coding RNAs, predominantly functioning to down-regulate gene expression from messenger RNA (mRNA) in a targeted manner by binding to complementary sequence on the target mRNA. Many miRNAs have been linked to the development of hallmarks of cancer. miRNAs represent valuable therapeutic targets to exploit in the search for novel cancer treatments, due to their ubiquitous expression and their ability to tightly regulate the gene expression of a whole host of genes and pathways in a single hit. The miRNA system may be harnessed for therapeutic use either through replacement of tumour suppressive miRNAs lost in cancer, or through inhibition of oncogenic miRNAs overexpressed in cancer. There is a large body of work investigating optimal systemic and localised delivery strategies, and while miRNA therapeutics show promise, it is clear that further developments to delivery strategies may be required to allow safe translation of miRNAs to the clinic. The information gleaned from miRNA signatures as biomarkers is already proving invaluable in the fight to better understand and treat individual tumours, and there is great promise to the applications of these small, but mighty molecules in the future of cancer therapeutics.


PubMed | Asbestos Diseases Research Institute ADRI
Type: | Journal: MicroRNA (Shariqah, United Arab Emirates) | Year: 2016

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at a post-transcriptional level. Each miRNA controls the expression of multiple messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and their dysregulation has been implicated in multiple cancer phenotypes. While some miRNAs are upregulated, global downregulation of miRNA expression is often the rule in cancer. A multitude of potential mechanisms drive aberrant miRNA expression in cancer; miRNA coding regions can harbour genomic defects including mutations, amplifications or deletions, and some miRNAs are broadly repressed by transcription factors such as Myc or have epigenetic modifications to their promoter regions such as hypermethylation of CpG islands. Additionally, the suppression of components of the miRNA processing machinery has been shown to reduce mature miRNA expression and contribute to the malignant phenotype. Understanding the mechanisms driving miRNA downregulation is important in uncovering the critical and complex role of miRNAs in cancer biology. This review will outline the multiple mechanisms by which cancer cells suppress miRNA expression.

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