Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Jersey City, NJ, United States

Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Jersey City, NJ, United States
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Zhang Y.-J.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Zheng X.F.S.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Drug Discovery Today | Year: 2011

The mTOR signaling pathway is dysregulated in ∼50% of all human malignancies and is a major cancer drug target. Although rapamycin analogs (rapalogs) have shown clinical efficacy in a subset of cancers, they do not fully exploit the antitumor potential of mTOR targeting. Because the mTOR kinase domain is important for rapamycin-sensitive and -insensitive functions, mTOR catalytic inhibitors have been developed recently as the second generation of anti-mTOR agents. Importantly, they have shown marked improvement of antitumor activity in vivo and in vitro. This review will detail the potential therapeutic value and issues of these novel antineoplastic agents, with emphasis placed on those that have already entered clinical trials. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Levine A.J.,Institute for Advanced Study | Levine A.J.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Puzio-Kuter A.M.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Science | Year: 2010

Cells from some tumors use an altered metabolic pattern compared with that of normal differentiated adult cells in the body. Tumor cells take up much more glucose and mainly process it through aerobic glycolysis, producing large quantities of secreted lactate with a lower use of oxidative phosphorylation that would generate more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), water, and carbon dioxide. This is the Warburg effect, which provides substrates for cell growth and division and free energy (ATP) from enhanced glucose use. This metabolic switch places the emphasis on producing intermediates for cell growth and division, and it is regulated by both oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in a number of key cancer-producing pathways. Blocking these metabolic pathways or restoring these altered pathways could lead to a new approach in cancer treatments.

White E.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | White E.,Johnson University | White E.,Rutgers University
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2012

Autophagy (also known as macroautophagy) captures intracellular components in autophagosomes and delivers them to lysosomes, where they are degraded and recycled. Autophagy can have two functions in cancer. It can be tumour suppressive through the elimination of oncogenic protein substrates, toxic unfolded proteins and damaged organelles. Alternatively, it can be tumour promoting in established cancers through autophagy-mediated intracellular recycling that provides substrates for metabolism and that maintains the functional pool of mitochondria. Therefore, defining the context-specific role for autophagy in cancer and the mechanisms involved will be important to guide autophagy-based therapeutic intervention. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Rabinowitz J.D.,Princeton University | Rabinowitz J.D.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | White E.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | White E.,Rutgers University | White E.,Johnson University
Science | Year: 2010

Autophagy is a process of self-cannibalization. Cells capture their own cytoplasm and organelles and consume them in lysosomes. The resulting breakdown products are inputs to cellular metabolism, through which they are used to generate energy and to build new proteins and membranes. Autophagy preserves the health of cells and tissues by replacing outdated and damaged cellular components with fresh ones. In starvation, it provides an internal source of nutrients for energy generation and, thus, survival. A powerful promoter of metabolic homeostasis at both the cellular and whole-animal level, autophagy prevents degenerative diseases. It does have a downside, however-cancer cells exploit it to survive in nutrient-poor tumors.

Sethi N.,Princeton University | Dai X.,Merck And Co. | Winter C.G.,Merck And Co. | Kang Y.,Princeton University | Kang Y.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Cancer Cell | Year: 2011

Despite evidence supporting an oncogenic role in breast cancer, the Notch pathway's contribution to metastasis remains unknown. Here, we report that the Notch ligand Jagged1 is a clinically and functionally important mediator of bone metastasis by activating the Notch pathway in bone cells. Jagged1 promotes tumor growth by stimulating IL-6 release from osteoblasts and directly activates osteoclast differentiation. Furthermore, Jagged1 is a potent downstream mediator of the bone metastasis cytokine TGFβ that is released during bone destruction. Importantly, γ-secretase inhibitor treatment reduces Jagged1-mediated bone metastasis by disrupting the Notch pathway in stromal bone cells. These findings elucidate a stroma-dependent mechanism for Notch signaling in breast cancer and provide rationale for using γ-secretase inhibitors for the treatment of bone metastasis. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Wan L.,Princeton University | Pantel K.,University of Hamburg | Kang Y.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Nature Medicine | Year: 2013

As the culprit behind most cancer-related deaths, metastasis is the ultimate challenge in our effort to fight cancer as a life-threatening disease. The explosive growth of metastasis research in the past decade has yielded an unprecedented wealth of information about the tumor-intrinsic and tumor-extrinsic mechanisms that dictate metastatic behaviors, the molecular and cellular basis underlying the distinct courses of metastatic progression in different cancers and what renders metastatic cancer refractory to available therapies. However, integration of such new knowledge into an improved, metastasis-oriented oncological drug development strategy is needed to thwart the development of metastatic disease at every stage of progression. © 2013 Nature America, Inc.

Karantza V.,Johnson University | Karantza V.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Oncogene | Year: 2011

Keratins are the intermediate filament (IF)-forming proteins of epithelial cells. Since their initial characterization almost 30 years ago, the total number of mammalian keratins has increased to 54, including 28 type I and 26 type II keratins. Keratins are obligate heteropolymers and, similarly to other IFs, they contain a dimeric central α-helical rod domain that is flanked by non-helical head and tail domains. The 10-nm keratin filaments participate in the formation of a proteinaceous structural framework within the cellular cytoplasm and, as such, serve an important role in epithelial cell protection from mechanical and non-mechanical stressors, a property extensively substantiated by the discovery of human keratin mutations predisposing to tissue-specific injury and by studies in keratin knockout and transgenic mice. More recently, keratins have also been recognized as regulators of other cellular properties and functions, including apico-basal polarization, motility, cell size, protein synthesis and membrane traffic and signaling. In cancer, keratins are extensively used as diagnostic tumor markers, as epithelial malignancies largely maintain the specific keratin patterns associated with their respective cells of origin, and, in many occasions, full-length or cleaved keratin expression (or lack there of) in tumors and/or peripheral blood carries prognostic significance for cancer patients. Quite intriguingly, several studies have provided evidence for active keratin involvement in cancer cell invasion and metastasis, as well as in treatment responsiveness, and have set the foundation for further exploration of the role of keratins as multifunctional regulators of epithelial tumorigenesis. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Kerrigan J.E.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

This minireview focuses on recent developments in the application of molecular dynamics to drug design. Recent applications of endpoint free-energy computational methods such as molecular mechanics Poisson- Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) and generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA) and linear response methods are described. Recent progress in steered molecular dynamics applied to drug design is reviewed. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013.

Puzio-Kuter A.M.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Genes and Cancer | Year: 2011

The metabolic changes that occur in a cancer cell have been studied for a few decades, but our appreciation of the complexity and importance of those changes is now being realized. The metabolic switch from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis provides intermediates for cell growth and division and is regulated by both oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. The p53 tumor suppressor gene has long been shown to play key roles in responding to DNA damage, hypoxia, and oncogenic activation. However, now p53 has added the ability to mediate metabolic changes in cells through the regulation of energy metabolism and oxidative stress to its repertoire of activities. It is therefore the focus of this review to discuss the metabolic pathways regulated by p53 and their cooperation in controlling cancer cell metabolism. © The Author(s) 2011.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 202.60K | Year: 2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): B-cell lymphomas include Hodgkin's, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) (eg. mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), follicular lymphoma (FL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and Burkitt lymphoma). More than 70,000 people willbe diagnosed with these B-cell malignancies in the U.S. this year and more than 19,000 will die from NHL alone. B-cell lymphomas can affect numerous organs including the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and bone marrow. Many patients who receive treatment for B-cell lymphomas become refractory to all available therapies and often die from disease. Thus, there is a significant need to identify newer therapeutics with greater activity and fewer side effects. The novel biologic agent Leukothera(R) (leukotoxin; LtxA) specifically targets active leukocyte function antigen-1 (LFA-1) expressed on white blood cells (WBCs). Malignant WBCs constantly express high levels active LFA-1, allowing LtxA to target specifically diseased cells while minimally affecting healthy cells and tissue. LtxA employs several mechanisms of cell death to intoxicate susceptible WBCs. We have found that cell lines and primary cells from patients with newly diagnosed, relapsed, and refractory leukemia and lymphoma are highly sensitive to LtxA. Inpreclinical studies, LtxA shows significant efficacy using humanized mouse models for leukemia. In addition, single- dose LtxA administered intravenously into rhesus monkeys was active, highly specific for WBCs, and well-tolerated. No effect was seen on red blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, or markers of organ toxicity. However, no studies have yet examined LtxA for the treatment of B- cell lymphoma. Thus, based on our encouraging preclinical studies for leukemia, we propose to test LtxA using in vitro and in vivo B-cell lymphoma model systems. The data that we generate from the work described in this application is necessary to provide proof-of-principle and mechanistic knowledge for subsequent clinical testing in lymphoma patients. PUBLIC HEALTHRELEVANCE: B-cell lymphomas kill thousands of people each year. We are developing a biotherapeutic agent (leukotoxin) that has targeted specificity for malignant white blood cells. Our studies will test the hypothesis that leukotoxin can be used for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas employing in vitro and in vivo models.

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