Detroit, MI, United States
Detroit, MI, United States

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is located in Detroit, Michigan. It is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. The institute has 1,200 staff members, including 300 doctors. Staff treat approximately 12,000 patients each year and operates with a budget of $260 million. It conducts 700 cancer-specific scientific investigations programs and clinical trials each year.Karmanos Cancer Institute became Michigan's first and only hospital focused on cancer on Dec. 1, 2005.The institute has a Phase 1 program, one of only 14 National Cancer Institute -funded Phase 1 programs in the United States. Karmanos is affiliated with Wayne State University School of Medicine and its doctors are faculty members at the medical school. Wikipedia.


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Gorski D.H.,Wayne State University | Gorski D.H.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2014

Over the past two decades there has been a growing acceptance of 'integrative oncology', also known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), in cancer care and research at academic medical centres and medical schools. Proponents of integrative oncology argue that it is based in science and provides the 'best of both worlds' by combining science-based treatments and 'holistic' medicine. However, a close examination of the methodologies indicates that, from a standpoint of basic science, the vast majority of 'integrative' treatments are supported by little, if any, scientific evidence. What are the consequences of this integration? Is there any harm? Are there any potential benefits? © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Ferrara F.,Cardarelli Hospital | Schiffer C.A.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
The Lancet | Year: 2013

The outlook for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia has improved in the past 30 years. Unlike other cancers, much of this progress is attributable to refinement of supportive treatment, rather than the introduction of new drugs. New antibacterial and antifungal agents, antiemetics, and improved transfusion support have decreased the rate of early death, and morbidity and mortality from allogeneic stem cell transplantation has been substantially reduced. However, more than half of young adult patients and about 90% of older patients still die from their disease. Refractoriness to initial induction treatment and, more frequently, relapse after complete remission, are still the main obstacles to cure. Accordingly, new treatment approaches with mechanisms of action different from those of conventional chemotherapy are needed. Our knowledge of the various chromosomal and molecular abnormalities implicated in the pathogenesis of the many subtypes of the disease has greatly expanded; as a result, clinical research is moving towards the investigation of new non-cytotoxic agents in combination with chemotherapy. The goal is to target the molecular abnormalities identified at diagnosis; however, several aberrations can coexist in subclones of acute myeloid leukaemia, making the disease less likely to be inhibited by a single agent. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Kanwar J.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Frontiers in bioscience (Elite edition) | Year: 2012

Over the past decade many scientific and medical studies have focused on green tea for its long-purported health benefits. There is convincing evidence that tea is a cup of life. It has multiple preventive and therapeutic effects. This review thus focuses on the recent advances of tea polyphenols and their applications in the prevention and treatment of human cancers. Of the various polyphenols in tea, (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant, and active compound studied in tea research. EGCG inhibits several molecular targets to inhibit cancer initiation and modulates several essential survival pathways to block cancer progression. Herein, we describe the various mechanisms of action of EGCG and also discuss previous and current ongoing clinical trials of EGCG and green tea polyphenols in different cancer types.


Buac D.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Current pharmaceutical design | Year: 2013

The cancer drug discovery field has placed much emphasis on the identification of novel and cancer-specific molecular targets. A rich source of such targets for the design of novel anti-tumor agents is the ubiqutin-proteasome system (UP-S), a tightly regulated, highly specific pathway responsible for the vast majority of protein turnover within the cell. Because of its critical role in almost all cell processes that ensure normal cellular function, its inhibition at one point in time was deemed non-specific and therefore not worth further investigation as a molecular drug target. However, today the proteasome is one of the most promising anti-cancer drug targets of the century. The discovery that tumor cells are in fact more sensitive to proteasome inhibitors than normal cells indeed paved the way for the design of its inhibitors. Such efforts have led to bortezomib, the first FDA approved proteasome inhibitor now used as a frontline treatment for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM), relapsed/refractory MM and mantle cell lymphoma. Though successful in improving clinical outcomes for patients with hematological malignancies, relapse often occurs in those who initially responded to bortezomib. Therefore, the acquisition of bortezomib resistance is a major issue with its therapy. Furthermore, some neuro-toxicities have been associated with bortezomib treatment and its efficacy in solid tumors is lacking. These observations have encouraged researchers to pursue the next generation of proteasome inhibitors, which would ideally overcome bortezomib resistance, have reduced toxicities and a broader range of anti-cancer activity. This review summarizes the success and limitations of bortezomib, and describes recent advances in the field, including, and most notably, the most recent FDA approval of carfilzomib in July, 2012, a second generation proteasome inhibitor. Other proteasome inhibitors currently in clinical trials and those that are currently experimental grade will also be discussed.


Shekhar M.P.V.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Current Cancer Drug Targets | Year: 2011

The success of current treatment strategies is limited by the development of therapy resistance as evidenced by recurrence of the primary tumor or distant metastasis. Eradication of primary and metastatic disease requires interventions at both the cancer cell and tumor microenvironment levels. In this review, we will discuss mechanisms that are intrinsic to cancer cells, and those that are mediated by the tumor microenvironment as contributors to drug resistance. Mechanisms contributing to multidrug resistance phenotype and the challenges facing molecular targeted therapy are discussed. The DNA damage tolerance pathway confers tolerance to a variety of structurally and functionally unrelated drugs. A rationale for targeting the DNA damage tolerance pathway as a novel tool for overcoming drug resistance is discussed. We have also addressed the need for employing clinically relevant model systems for performing drug sensitivity evaluations. These model systems must take into account the three-dimensional organization and in vivo relationship of tumor with its microenvironment. Such integrative efforts would not only yield a more global understanding of the tumor- and microenvironment-derived mechanisms involved in emergence of drug resistance but would also provide novel therapeutic targets that will disrupt the interactions between the tumor cells and its microenvironment. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.


Venuprasad K.P.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Cancer Research | Year: 2010

E3 ligases Cbl-b and Itch have emerged as dominant "tolerogenic" regulators of T cells because their deficiency results in severe autoimmune diseases. Cbl-b and Itch ligase activity regulate T-cell anergy and development of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Treg) in the periphery by modulating key components of T-cell receptor (TCR) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling. Manipulation of Cbl-b and Itch activities may provide unique opportunities to develop future therapies for immune disorders such as autoimmunity and cancer. ©2010 AACR.


Mujtaba T.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Discovery medicine | Year: 2011

The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway regulates many basic cellular processes and has been proven to be a promising target for cancer therapy. Bortezomib is the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved proteasome inhibitor used in the treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, and mantle cell lymphoma. The anti-cancer mechanisms of bortezomib elucidated by preclinical studies include: upregulation of proapoptotic proteins (e.g., Noxa, IκB), inhibition of NFκB and its anti-apoptotic target genes, suppression of several anti-apoptotic proteins (e.g., Bcl-XL, Bcl-2, and STAT-3), down-regulation of expression of several proteins involved in DNA repair pathways, and induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and pro-apoptotic Unfolded Protein Response (UPR). Bortezomib has potent chemo-/radio-sensitizing effects and can overcome traditional drug resistance in tumors when used in combination with potential chemotherapies. Although bortezomib has been successful in improving clinical outcomes when used in hematological malignancies, relapse may occur in those patients who responded initially. Furthermore, some cytotoxicities (such as peripheral neuropathy) were found to be associated with bortezomib treatment. These observations have encouraged researchers to search for the next generation proteasome inhibitors (including carfilzomib and marizomib) that could overcome bortezomib resistance and have improved properties, reduced toxicities, and broader anticancer activities, based on the lessons learned from the mechanisms and use of bortezomib. This review summarizes the current status of bortezomib as well as several other proteasome inhibitors that are currently under clinical and preclinical investigation. © Discovery Medicine


Bepler G.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2013

We assessed whether chemotherapy selection based on in situ ERCC1 and RRM1 protein levels would improve survival in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Eligible patients were randomly assigned 2:1 to the trial's experimental arm, which consisted of gemcitabine/carboplatin if RRM1 and ERCC1 were low, docetaxel/carboplatin if RRM1 was high and ERCC1 was low, gemcitabine/docetaxel if RRM1 was low and ERCC1 was high, and docetaxel/vinorelbine if both were high. In the control arm, patients received gemcitabine/carboplatin. The trial was powered for a 32% improvement in 6-month progression-free survival (PFS). Of 331 patients registered, 275 were eligible. The median number of cycles given was four in both arms. A tumor rebiopsy specifically for expression analysis was required in 17% of patients. The median time from informed consent to expression analysis was 11 days. We found no statistically significant differences between the experimental arm and the control arm in PFS (6.1 months v 6.9 months) or overall survival (11.0 months v 11.3 months). A subset analysis revealed that patients with low levels for both proteins who received the same treatment in both treatment arms had a statistically better PFS (P = .02) in the control arm (8.1 months) compared with the experimental arm (5.0 months). This demonstrates that protein expression analysis for therapeutic decision making is feasible in newly diagnosed patients with advanced-stage NSCLC. A tumor rebiopsy is safe, required in 17%, and acceptable to 89% (47 of 53) of patients.


This protocol requires 2-4 h and presents a method for injecting tumor cells, cancer stem cells or dispersed biopsy material into subcutaneous or orthotopic locations within recipient mice. The tumor cells or biopsy are mixed with basement membrane matrix proteins (CultrexBME or Matrigel) at 4 °C and then injected into recipient animals at preferred anatomical sites. Tumor cells can also be co-injected with additional cell types, such as fibroblasts, stromal cells, endothelial cells and so on. Details are given on appropriate cell numbers, handling and concentration of the basement membrane proteins, recipient animals, injection location and techniques. This procedure enables the growth of tumors from cells or biopsy material (tumor graft) with greater efficiency of take and growth, and with retention of the primary tumor phenotype based on histology. Co-injection with additional cell types provides more physiological models of human cancers for use in drug screening and studying cancer biology.


Targeting a single pathway in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PC) is unlikely to affect its natural history. We tested the hypothesis that simulataneous targeting of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and insulin-like growth factor receptor-1 (IGF-1R) pathways would significantly improve progression-free survival (PFS) by abrogating reciprocal signaling that promote drug resistance This was a phase Ib/II study testing cixutumumab, combined with erlotinib and gemcitabine (G) in patients with untreated metastatic PC. The control arm was erlotinib plus G. The primary end point was PFS. Eligibility included performance status 0/1 and normal fasting blood glucose. Polymorphisms in genes involved in G metabolism and in the EGFR pathway were also studied The phase I results (n = 10) established the safety of cixutumumab 6 mg/kg/week intravenously, erlotinib 100 mg/day orally, and G 1000 mg/m(2) intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle. In the RP2 portion (116 eligible patients; median age, 63), the median PFS and overall survival (OS) were 3.6 and 7.0 months, respectively, on the cixutumumab arm, and 3.6 and 6.7 months, respecively, on the control arm. Major grades 3 and 4 toxicities with cixutumumab and control were elevation of transaminases, 12% and 6%, respectively; fatigue, 16% and 12%, respectively; gastrointestinal, 35% and 28%, respectively; neutropenia, 21% and 10%, respectively; and thrombocytopenia, 16% and 7%, respecively. Grade 3/4 hyperglycemia was seen in 16% of patients on cixutumumab. Grade 3 or 4 skin toxicity was similar in both arms of the study (< 5%). No significant differences in PFS by genotype were seen for any of the polymorphisms. Adding the IGF-1R inhibitor cixutumumab to erlotinib and G did not lead to longer PFS or OS in metastatic PC. © 2014 American Cancer Society.

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