CRUK Manchester Institute

Manchester, United Kingdom

CRUK Manchester Institute

Manchester, United Kingdom
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Fitzpatrick P.A.,Gothenburg University | Akrap N.,Gothenburg University | Soderberg E.M.V.,Gothenburg University | Harrison H.,University of Manchester | And 2 more authors.
SALAS Discovery | Year: 2017

In order to identify novel treatment principles specifically affecting cancer stem cells in triple-negative breast cancer, we have developed a high-throughput screening method based on the mammosphere and anoikis resistance assays allowing us to screen compounds using a functional readout. The assay was validated against manual protocols and through the use of positive controls, such as the response to hypoxia and treatment with the known cancer stem cell–targeting compound salinomycin. Manual and robotic procedures were compared and produced similar results in cell handling, cell cultures, and counting techniques, with no statistically significant difference produced from either method. The variance between samples processed manually versus robotically was no greater than 0.012, while Levene’s test of significance was 0.2, indicating no significant difference between mammosphere data produced manually or robotically. Through the screening of 989 FDA-approved drugs and a follow-up screen assessing the antineoplastic subgroup, we have identified three therapeutic compounds with the ability to modulate the breast cancer stem cell fraction in the triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, highlighting their potential usage as stem cell–specific adjuvant treatments. © 2017, © 2017 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.


PubMed | EORTC Headquarters, Royal Marsden Hospital, University of Sheffield, Harvard University and 31 more.
Type: | Journal: Nature reviews. Clinical oncology | Year: 2016

Imaging biomarkers (IBs) are integral to the routine management of patients with cancer. IBs used daily in oncology include clinical TNM stage, objective response and left ventricular ejection fraction. Other CT, MRI, PET and ultrasonography biomarkers are used extensively in cancer research and drug development. New IBs need to be established either as useful tools for testing research hypotheses in clinical trials and research studies, or as clinical decision-making tools for use in healthcare, by crossing translational gaps through validation and qualification. Important differences exist between IBs and biospecimen-derived biomarkers and, therefore, the development of IBs requires a tailored roadmap. Recognizing this need, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) assembled experts to review, debate and summarize the challenges of IB validation and qualification. This consensus group has produced 14 key recommendations for accelerating the clinical translation of IBs, which highlight the role of parallel (rather than sequential) tracks of technical (assay) validation, biological/clinical validation and assessment of cost-effectiveness; the need for IB standardization and accreditation systems; the need to continually revisit IB precision; an alternative framework for biological/clinical validation of IBs; and the essential requirements for multicentre studies to qualify IBs for clinical use.


Huang Q.,Sun Yat Sen University | Du X.,Sun Yat Sen University | He X.,Sun Yat Sen University | Yu Q.,Sun Yat Sen University | And 5 more authors.
Experimental Neurology | Year: 2016

The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun pathway is a known critical regulator of dopaminergic neuronal death in Parkinson's disease (PD) and is considered a potential target for neuroprotective therapy. However, whether JNK is activated within dopaminergic neurons remains controversial, and whether JNK acts through downstream effectors other than c-Jun to promote dopaminergic neuronal death remains unclear. In this study, we confirm that JNK but not p38 is activated in dopaminergic neurons after 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-intoxication. Furthermore, within the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra in MPTP-treated mice, JNK2/3 phosphorylates threonine 69 (Thr69) of Activating transcription factor-2 (ATF2), a transcription factor of the ATF/CREB family, whereas the phosphorylation of Thr71 is constitutive and remains unchanged. The increased phosphorylation of ATF2 on Thr69 by JNK in the MPTP mouse model suggests a functional relationship between the transcriptional activation of ATF2 and dopaminergic neuron death. By using dopaminergic neuron-specific conditional ATF2 mutant mice, we found that either partial or complete deletion of the ATF2 DNA-binding domain in dopaminergic neurons markedly alleviates the MPTP-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration, indicating that the activation of ATF2 plays a detrimental role in neuropathogenesis in PD. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that JNK-mediated ATF2 activation contributes to dopaminergic neuronal death in an MPTP model of PD. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | CRUK Manchester Institute and Sun Yat Sen University
Type: | Journal: Experimental neurology | Year: 2016

The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun pathway is a known critical regulator of dopaminergic neuronal death in Parkinsons disease (PD) and is considered a potential target for neuroprotective therapy. However, whether JNK is activated within dopaminergic neurons remains controversial, and whether JNK acts through downstream effectors other than c-Jun to promote dopaminergic neuronal death remains unclear. In this study, we confirm that JNK but not p38 is activated in dopaminergic neurons after 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-intoxication. Furthermore, within the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra in MPTP-treated mice, JNK2/3 phosphorylates threonine 69 (Thr69) of Activating transcription factor-2 (ATF2), a transcription factor of the ATF/CREB family, whereas the phosphorylation of Thr71 is constitutive and remains unchanged. The increased phosphorylation of ATF2 on Thr69 by JNK in the MPTP mouse model suggests a functional relationship between the transcriptional activation of ATF2 and dopaminergic neuron death. By using dopaminergic neuron-specific conditional ATF2 mutant mice, we found that either partial or complete deletion of the ATF2 DNA-binding domain in dopaminergic neurons markedly alleviates the MPTP-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration, indicating that the activation of ATF2 plays a detrimental role in neuropathogenesis in PD. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that JNK-mediated ATF2 activation contributes to dopaminergic neuronal death in an MPTP model of PD.


Guest R.D.,Cellular Therapeutics | Kirillova N.,Cellular Therapeutics | Mowbray S.,Cellular Therapeutics | Gornall H.,University of Manchester | And 12 more authors.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2014

Adoptive cell therapy employing gene-modified T-cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) has shown promising preclinical activity in a range of model systems and is now being tested in the clinical setting. The manufacture of CAR T-cells requires compliance with national and European regulations for the production of medicinal products. We established such a compliant process to produce T-cells armed with a first-generation CAR specific for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). CAR T-cells were successfully generated for 14 patients with advanced CEA+ malignancy. Of note, in the majority of patients, the defined procedure generated predominantly CD4+ CAR T-cells with the general T-cell population bearing an effector-memory phenotype and high in vitro effector function. Thus, improving the process to generate less-differentiated T-cells would be more desirable in the future for effective adoptive gene-modified T-cell therapy. However, these results confirm that CAR T-cells can be generated in a manner compliant with regulations governing medicinal products in the European Union. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Hall J.S.,University of Manchester | Iype R.,University of Manchester | Senra J.,University of Manchester | Senra J.,University of Oxford | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Intrinsic radiosensitivity is an important factor underlying radiotherapy response, but there is no method for its routine assessment in human tumours. Gene signatures are currently being derived and some were previously generated by expression profiling the NCI-60 cell line panel. It was hypothesised that focusing on more homogeneous tumour types would be a better approach. Two cell line cohorts were used derived from cervix [n = 16] and head and neck [n = 11] cancers. Radiosensitivity was measured as surviving fraction following irradiation with 2 Gy (SF2) by clonogenic assay. Differential gene expression between radiosensitive and radioresistant cell lines (SF2〈/〉. median) was investigated using Affymetrix GeneChip Exon 1.0ST (cervix) or U133A Plus2 (head and neck) arrays. There were differences within cell line cohorts relating to tissue of origin reflected by expression of the stratified epithelial marker p63. Of 138 genes identified as being associated with SF2, only 2 (1.4%) were congruent between the cervix and head and neck carcinoma cell lines (MGST1 and TFPI), and these did not partition the published NCI-60 cell lines based on SF2. There was variable success in applying three published radiosensitivity signatures to our cohorts. One gene signature, originally trained on the NCI-60 cell lines, did partially separate sensitive and resistant cell lines in all three cell line datasets. The findings do not confirm our hypothesis but suggest that a common transcriptional signature can reflect the radiosensitivity of tumours of heterogeneous origins. © 2014 Hall et al.


Aung K.L.,CRUK Manchester Institute | Donald E.,Astrazeneca | Ellison G.,Astrazeneca | Bujac S.,Astrazeneca | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Diagnostics | Year: 2014

BRAF mutation testing from circulating free DNA (cfDNA) using the amplification refractory mutation testing system (ARMS) holds potential as a surrogate for tumor mutation testing. Robust assay validation is needed to establish the optimal clinical matrix for measurement and cfDNA-specific mutation calling criteria. Plasma- and serum-derived cfDNA samples from 221 advanced melanoma patients were analyzed for BRAF c.1799T>A (p.V600E) mutation using ARMS in two stages in a blinded fashion. cfDNA-specific mutation calling criteria were defined in stage 1 and validated in stage 2. cfDNA concentrations in serum and plasma, and the sensitivities and specificities of BRAF mutation detection in these two clinical matrices were compared. Sensitivity of BRAF c.1799T>A (p.V600E) mutation detection in cfDNA was increased by using mutation calling criteria optimized for cfDNA (these criteria were adjusted from those used for archival tumor biopsies) without compromising specificity. Sensitivity of BRAF mutation detection in serum was 44% (95% CI, 35% to 53%) and in plasma 52% (95% CI, 43% to 61%). Specificity was 96% (95% CI, 90% to 99%) in both matrices. Serum contains significantly higher total cfDNA than plasma, whereas the proportion of tumor-derived mutant DNA was significantly higher in plasma. Using mutation calling criteria optimized for cfDNA improves sensitivity of BRAF c.1799T>A (p.V600E) mutation detection. The proportion of tumor-derived cfDNA in plasma was significantly higher than in serum. © 2014 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology.

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