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Milano, Italy

Pennati M.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | Sbarra S.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | De Cesare M.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | Lopergolo A.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2015

Because available treatments have limited efficacy in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the identification of new therapeutic strategies to improve patients' outcome is urgently needed. In our study, we investigated the effects of the administration of the small molecule selective survivin suppressant YM155, alone or in association with CD34+ cells transduced with a replication-deficient adenovirus encoding the human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) gene (CD34-TRAIL+ cells), in three TNBC cell models. YM155 exposure significantly impaired TNBC cell growth and selectively modulated survivin expression at both mRNA and protein level. In addition, co-culturing YM155-treated TNBC cells with CD34-TRAIL+ cells resulted in markedly increased cytotoxic effect and apoptotic response in comparison with single treatments. Such a chemosensitizing effect was observed only in TNBC cells inherently expressing DR5 and relied on the ability of YM155 to upregulate DR5 expression through a p38 MAPK- and CHOP-dependent mechanism. YM155/CD34-TRAIL+ combination also showed a significant inhibitory effect on the growth of DR5-expressing TNBC cells following xenotransplantation into NOD/SCID mice, in the absence of toxicity. Overall, our data (i) provide, for the first time, evidence that YM155 sensitizes TNBC cells to CD34-TRAIL+ cells-induced apoptosis by a mechanism involving the downregulation of survivin and the simultaneous p38 MAPK- and CHOP-mediated upregulation of DR5, and (ii) suggest the combination of YM155 with TRAIL-armed CD34+ progenitor cells as a promising therapeutic option for patients with TNBC expressing DR5. What's new? In this study, a new combined treatment based on the use of the survivin inhibitor YM155 and CD34+ cells transduced with an adenovirus encoding the human TRAIL gene (CD34-TRAIL+ cells) produced synergistic effects in experimental models of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Such antitumor effect relied on the ability of YM155 to up-regulate the death receptor DR5 through a p38 MAPK- and CHOP-dependent mechanism and was selectively observed in TNBC models inherently expressing DR5. The findings provide a molecular basis for a rational combination to be clinically exploited in TNBC and suggest DR5 expression as a possible marker for patient selection. © 2014 UICC. Source


De Cesare M.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | Sfondrini L.,University of Milan | Pennati M.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | De Marco C.,Biomarker Unit | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2016

Background: Diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (DMPM) is a rare and locally aggressive disease. DMPM prognosis is dismal, mainly due to the lack of effective treatment options and the development of new therapeutic strategies is urgently needed. In this context, novel immunotherapy approaches can be explored in an attempt to improve DMPM patients' survival. Methods: We tested the efficacy of CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN), synthetic DNA sequences recognized by Toll-like receptor 9 and able to induce innate/adaptive immune response, in two DMPM orthotopic xenografts (MesoII and STO), which properly recapitulate the dissemination pattern of the disease in the peritoneal cavity. Severe combined immunodeficiency mice carrying DMPM xenografts were treated at different stages of tumor development with i.p. delivered CpG-ODN1826 for 4weeks. CpG-ODN1826-induced modulation in the composition of peritoneal immune infiltrate was assessed by flow cytometry. Results: When administered to early-stage tumors (i.e., 4days after i.p. DMPM cell injection in mice), the agent exhibited impressive efficacy against MesoII by completely inhibiting tumor take and ascites development (no evidence of tumor masses and ascites in 6/6 mice at necropsy), and also impaired STO tumor take and growth (4/6 tumor-free mice; i.p. tumor masses reduced by 94% in the 2 remaining mice, P=0.00005). Interestingly, when tested against late-stage STO tumors (i.e., 11days after i.p. DMPM cell injection in mice), CpG-ODN1826 was still able to reduce the growth of i.p. tumor masses by 66% (P=0.0009). Peritoneal washings of tumor-bearing mice revealed a strong increase of macrophage infiltration together with a decrease in the presence of B-1 cells and a reduced IgM concentration after CpG-ODN1826 treatment. Conclusions: Our results indicate that locally administered CpG-ODN1826 is able to markedly affect the growth of both early- and late-stage DMPM orthotopic xenografts in the absence of severe side effects, and suggest a possible clinical role for the agent in the therapy of DMPM. © 2016 De Cesare et al. Source


Bisso A.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB | Bisso A.,University of Trieste | Bisso A.,Italian Institute of Technology | Faleschini M.,Laboratorio Nazionale CIB | And 10 more authors.
Cell Cycle | Year: 2013

Breast cancer is a heterogeneous tumor type characterized by a complex spectrum of molecular aberrations, resulting in a diverse array of malignant features and clinical outcomes. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms that fuel breast cancer development and act as determinants of aggressiveness is a primary need to improve patient management. Among other alterations, aberrant expression of microRNAs has been found in breast cancer and other human tumors, where they act as either oncogenes or tumor suppressors by virtue of their ability to finely modulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. In this study, we describe a new role for miR-181a/b as negative regulators of the DNA damage response in breast cancer, impacting on the expression and activity of the stress-sensor kinase ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM). We report that miR-181a and miR-181b were overexpressed in more aggressive breast cancers, and their expression correlates inversely with ATM levels. Moreover we demonstrate that deregulated expression of miR-181a/b determines the sensitivity of triple-negative breast cancer cells to the poly-ADP-ribose-polymerase1 (PARP1) inhibition. These evidences suggest that monitoring the expression of miR-181a/b could be helpful in tailoring more effective treatments based on inhibition of PARP1 in breast and other tumor types. © 2013 Landes Bioscience. Source


De Cesare M.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | Sfondrini L.,University of Milan | Pennati M.,Molecular Pharmacology Unit | De Marco C.,Biomarker Unit | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2016

Background: Diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (DMPM) is a rare and locally aggressive disease. DMPM prognosis is dismal, mainly due to the lack of effective treatment options and the development of new therapeutic strategies is urgently needed. In this context, novel immunotherapy approaches can be explored in an attempt to improve DMPM patients' survival. Methods: We tested the efficacy of CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN), synthetic DNA sequences recognized by Toll-like receptor 9 and able to induce innate/adaptive immune response, in two DMPM orthotopic xenografts (MesoII and STO), which properly recapitulate the dissemination pattern of the disease in the peritoneal cavity. Severe combined immunodeficiency mice carrying DMPM xenografts were treated at different stages of tumor development with i.p. delivered CpG-ODN1826 for 4 weeks. CpG-ODN1826-induced modulation in the composition of peritoneal immune infiltrate was assessed by flow cytometry. Results: When administered to early-stage tumors (i.e., 4 days after i.p. DMPM cell injection in mice), the agent exhibited impressive efficacy against MesoII by completely inhibiting tumor take and ascites development (no evidence of tumor masses and ascites in 6/6 mice at necropsy), and also impaired STO tumor take and growth (4/6 tumor-free mice; i.p. tumor masses reduced by 94 % in the 2 remaining mice, P = 0.00005). Interestingly, when tested against late-stage STO tumors (i.e., 11 days after i.p. DMPM cell injection in mice), CpG-ODN1826 was still able to reduce the growth of i.p. tumor masses by 66 % (P = 0.0009). Peritoneal washings of tumor-bearing mice revealed a strong increase of macrophage infiltration together with a decrease in the presence of B-1 cells and a reduced IgM concentration after CpG-ODN1826 treatment. Conclusions: Our results indicate that locally administered CpG-ODN1826 is able to markedly affect the growth of both early- and late-stage DMPM orthotopic xenografts in the absence of severe side effects, and suggest a possible clinical role for the agent in the therapy of DMPM. © 2016 De Cesare et al. Source


Tiberio P.,Biomarker Unit | Callari M.,Biomarker Unit | Angeloni V.,Biomarker Unit | Daidone M.G.,Biomarker Unit | Appierto V.,Biomarker Unit
BioMed Research International | Year: 2015

In the last years, circulating miRNAs have emerged as a new class of promising cancer biomarkers. Independent studies have shown the feasibility of using these small RNAs as tools for the diagnosis and prognosis of different types of malignancies as well as for predicting and possibly monitoring treatment response. However, despite an initial enthusiasm for their possible clinical application, widespread inconsistencies have been observed among the studies, and miRNA-based tools still represent the object of research within clinical diagnostic or treatment protocols. The poor overlap of results could be explained, at least in part, by preanalytical and analytical variables and donor-related factors that could generate artefacts, impairing an accurate quantification of circulating miRNAs. In fact, critical issues are represented by nonuniform sample choice, handling, and processing, as well as by blood cell contamination in sample preparation and lack of consensus for data normalization. In this review, we address the potential technical biases and individual-related parameters that can influence circulating miRNA studies' outcome. The exciting potential of circulating miRNAs as cancer biomarkers could confer an important advance in the disease management, but their clinical significance might not be proven without a global consensus of procedures and standardized protocols for their accurate detection. © 2015 Paola Tiberio et al. Source

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