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van Jaarsveld M.T.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | Wouters M.D.,Erasmus Medical Center | Boersma A.W.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | Smid M.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Oncology | Year: 2014

The DNA damage response (DDR) is activated upon DNA damage and prevents accumulation of mutations and chromosomal rearrangements, both driving carcinogenesis. Tumor cells often have defects in the DDR, which in combination with continuous cell proliferation are exploited by genotoxic cancer therapies. Most cancers, overcome initial sensitivity and develop drug resistance, e.g. by modulation of the DDR. Not much is known, however, about DNA damage responsive microRNAs in cancer therapy resistance. Therefore, we mapped temporal microRNA expression changes in primary breast epithelial cells upon low and high dose exposure to the DNA damaging agents ionizing radiation and cisplatin. A third of all DDR microRNAs commonly regulated across all treatments was also misexpressed in breast cancer, indicating a DDR defect. We repeated this approach in primary lung epithelial cells and non-small cell lung cancer samples and found that more than 40% of all DDR microRNAs was deregulated in non-small cell lung cancer. Strikingly, the microRNA response upon genotoxic stress in primary breast and lung epithelial cells was markedly different, although the biological outcome of DNA damage signaling (cell death/senescence or survival) was similar. Several DDR microRNAs deregulated in cancer modulated sensitivity to anti-cancer agents. In addition we were able to distinguish between microRNAs that induced resistance by potentially inducing quiescence (miR-296-5p and miR-382) or enhancing DNA repair or increased DNA damage tolerance (miR-21). In conclusion, we provide evidence that DNA damage responsive microRNAs are frequently misexpressed in human cancer and can modulate chemotherapy sensitivity. © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Allensworth J.L.,Duke University | Evans M.K.,Duke University | Bertucci F.,Institute Paoli Calmettes | Aldrich A.J.,Duke University | And 8 more authors.
Molecular Oncology | Year: 2015

Cancer cells often have increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS); however, acquisition of redox adaptive mechanisms allows for evasion of ROS-mediated death. Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a distinct, advanced BC subtype characterized by high rates of residual disease and recurrence despite advances in multimodality treatment. Using a cellular model of IBC, we identified an oxidative stress response (OSR) signature in surviving IBC cells after administration of an acute dose of an ROS inducer. Metagene analysis of patient samples revealed significantly higher OSR scores in IBC tumor samples compared to normal or non-IBC tissues, which may contribute to the poor response of IBC tumors to common treatment strategies, which often rely heavily on ROS induction. To combat this adaptation, we utilized a potent redox modulator, the FDA-approved small molecule Disulfiram (DSF), alone and in combination with copper. DSF forms a complex with copper (DSF-Cu) increasing intracellular copper concentration both invitro and invivo, bypassing the need for membrane transporters. DSF-Cu antagonized NFκB signaling, aldehyde dehydrogenase activity and antioxidant levels, inducing oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis in multiple IBC cellular models. Invivo, DSF-Cu significantly inhibited tumor growth without significant toxicity, causing apoptosis only in tumor cells. These results indicate that IBCtumors are highly redox adapted, which may render them resistant to ROS-inducing therapies. DSF, through redox modulation, may be a useful approach to enhance chemo- and/or radio-sensitivity for advanced BC subtypes where therapeutic resistance is an impediment to durable responses to current standard of care. © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Van Den Eynden G.G.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | Majeed A.W.,Liver Research Group | Illemann M.,Copenhagen University | Vermeulen P.B.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | And 5 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

The liver is host to many metastatic cancers, particularly colorectal cancer, for which the last 2 decades have seen major advances in diagnosis and treatment. The liver is a vital organ, and the extent of its involvement with metastatic disease is a major determinant of survival. Metastatic cells arriving in the liver via the bloodstream encounter the microenvironment of the hepatic sinusoid. The interactions of the tumor cells with hepatic sinusoidal and extrasinusoidal cells (endothelial, Kupffer, stellate, and inflammatory cells) determine their fate. The sinusoidal cells can have a dual role, sometimes fatal to the tumor cells but also facilitatory to their survival and growth. Adhesion molecules participate in these interactions and may affect their outcome. Bone marrow-derived cells and chemokines also play apart in the early battle for survival of the metastases. Once the tumor cells have arrested and survived the initial onslaught, tumors can grow within the liver in 3 distinct patterns, reflecting differing host responses, mechanisms of vascularization, and proteolytic activity. This review aims to present current knowledge of the interactions between the host liver cells and the invading metastases that has implications for the clinical course of the disease and the response to treatment. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.

van Schooneveld E.,Catholic University of Leuven | van Schooneveld E.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | Wouters M.C.A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Van der Auwera I.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | And 11 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Introduction: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small noncoding RNAs involved in the regulation of gene expression. As such, they regulate a large number of cellular pathways, and deregulation or altered expression of miRNAs is associated with tumorigenesis. In the current study, we evaluated the feasibility and clinical utility of circulating miRNAs as biomarkers for the detection and staging of breast cancer.Methods: miRNAs were extracted from a set of 84 tissue samples from patients with breast cancer and eight normal tissue samples obtained after breast-reductive surgery. After reverse transcription and preamplification, 768 miRNAs were profiled by using the TaqMan low-density arrays. After data normalization, unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis (UHCA) was used to investigate global differences in miRNA expression between cancerous and normal samples. With fold-change analysis, the most discriminating miRNAs between both tissue types were selected, and their expression was analyzed on serum samples from 20 healthy volunteers and 75 patients with breast cancer, including 16 patients with untreated metastatic breast cancer. miRNAs were extracted from 200 μl of serum, reverse transcribed, and analyzed in duplicate by using polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).Results: UHCA showed major differences in miRNA expression between tissue samples from patients with breast cancer and tissue samples from breast-reductive surgery (P < 0.0001). Generally, miRNA expression in cancerous samples tends to be repressed when compared with miRNA expression in healthy controls (P = 0.0685). The four most discriminating miRNAs by fold-change (miR-215, miR-299-5p, miR-411, and miR-452) were selected for further analysis on serum samples. All miRNAs at least tended to be differentially expressed between serum samples from patients with cancer and serum samples from healthy controls (miR-215, P = 0.094; miR-299-5P, P = 0.019; miR-411, P = 0.002; and miR-452, P = 0.092). For all these miRNAs, except for miR-452, the greatest difference in expression was observed between serum samples from healthy volunteers and serum samples from untreated patients with metastatic breast cancer.Conclusions: Our study provides a basis for the establishment of miRNAs as biomarkers for the detection and eventually staging of breast cancer through blood-borne testing. We identified and tested a set of putative biomarkers of breast cancer and demonstrated that altered levels of these miRNAs in serum from patients with breast cancer are particularly associated with the presence of metastatic disease. © 2012 van Schooneveld et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Bidard F.-C.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Bidard F.-C.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Peeters D.J.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | Peeters D.J.,University of Antwerp | And 45 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: We aimed to assess the clinical validity of circulating tumour cell (CTC) quantification for prognostication of patients with metastatic breast cancer by undertaking a pooled analysis of individual patient data. Methods: We contacted 51 European centres and asked them to provide reported and unreported anonymised data for individual patients with metastatic breast cancer who participated in studies between January, 2003, and July, 2012. Eligible studies had participants starting a new line of therapy, data for progression-free survival or overall survival, or both, and CTC quantification by the CellSearch method at baseline (before start of new treatment). We used Cox regression models, stratified by study, to establish the association between CTC count and progression-free survival and overall survival. We used the landmark method to assess the prognostic value of CTC and serum marker changes during treatment. We assessed the added value of CTCs or serum markers to prognostic clinicopathological models in a resampling procedure using likelihood ratio (LR) χ2 statistics. Findings: 17 centres provided data for 1944 eligible patients from 20 studies. 911 patients (46·9%) had a CTC count of 5 per 7·5 mL or higher at baseline, which was associated with decreased progression-free survival (hazard ratio [HR] 1·92, 95% CI 1·73-2·14, p<0·0001) and overall survival (HR 2·78, 95% CI 2·42-3·19, p<0·0001) compared with patients with a CTC count of less than 5 per 7·5 mL at baseline. Increased CTC counts 3-5 weeks after start of treatment, adjusted for CTC count at baseline, were associated with shortened progression-free survival (HR 1·85, 95% CI 1·48-2·32, p<0·0001) and overall survival (HR 2·26, 95% CI 1·68-3·03) as were increased CTC counts after 6-8 weeks (progression-free survival HR 2·20, 95% CI 1·66-2·90, p<0·0001; overall survival HR 2·91, 95% CI 2·01-4·23, p<0·0001). Survival prediction was significantly improved by addition of baseline CTC count to the clinicopathological models (progression-free survival LR 38·4, 95% CI 21·9-60·3, p<0·0001; overall survival LR 64·9, 95% CI 41·3-93·4, p<0·0001). This model was further improved by addition of CTC change at 3-5 weeks (progression-free survival LR 8·2, 95% CI 0·78-20·4, p=0·004; overall survival LR 11·5, 95% CI 2·6-25·1, p=0·0007) and at 6-8 weeks (progression-free survival LR 15·3, 95% CI 5·2-28·3; overall survival LR 14·6, 95% CI 4·0-30·6; both p<0·0001). Carcinoembryonic antigen and cancer antigen 15-3 concentrations at baseline and during therapy did not add significant information to the best baseline model. Interpretation: These data confirm the independent prognostic effect of CTC count on progression-free survival and overall survival. CTC count also improves the prognostication of metastatic breast cancer when added to full clinicopathological predictive models, whereas serum tumour markers do not. Funding: Janssen Diagnostics, the Nuovo-Soldati foundation for cancer research. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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