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Augustine C.,Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center | Augustine C.,Duke University | Yoshimoto Y.,Yamaguchi University | Olson Jr. J.A.,Duke Institute for Genome science and Policy | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2010

In-transit metastatic melanoma, which typically presents as multifocal lesions, provides a unique setting to evaluate the utility of gene signatures for defining optimal regional therapeutic strategies and assessing the efficacy of treatment. The goal of this study was to determine whether a single multifocal lesion is representative of residual tumor burden in terms of gene expression signatures predictive of response to therapy. Using microarray-based gene expression profiling, we examined 55 in-transit melanoma lesions across 29 patients with multifocal disease. Principal component analysis, unsupervised hierarchical clustering, one-way ANOVA, binary regression analysis, and gene signatures predictive of oncogenic pathway activation were used to compare patterns of gene expression across all multifocal lesions from a patient. Patterns of gene expression were highly similar (P < 0.006; average r = 0.979) across pretreatment lesions from a single patient compared with the significantly different patterns observed across patients (P < 0.05). The findings presented in this study show that individual melanoma tumor nodules in patients with multifocal disease harbor similar patterns of gene expression and a single lesion can be used to predict response to chemotherapy, evaluate the activation status of oncogenic signaling pathways, and characterize other aspects of the biology of an individual patient's disease. These results will facilitate the use of gene expression profiling in melanoma regional therapy clinical trials to not only select optimal regional chemotherapeutic agents but to also allow for a more rational identification of candidates for specific targeted therapies and evaluation of their therapeutic efficacy. Mol Cancer Ther © 2010 AACR.


Freedland S.J.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | Choeurng V.,GenomeDx Biosciences | Howard L.,Duke University | De Hoedt A.,Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center | And 14 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2016

Background: Despite salvage radiation therapy (SRT) for recurrent prostate cancer (PCa) after radical prostatectomy (RP), some patients still progress to metastases. Identifying these men would allow them to undergo systemic therapy including testing novel therapies to reduce metastases risk. Objective: To test whether the genomic classifier (GC) predicts development of metastatic disease. Design, setting, and participants: Retrospective multi-center and multi-ethnic cohort study from two academic centers and one Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the United States involving 170 men receiving SRT for recurrent PCa post-RP. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Time from SRT to development of metastatic disease tested using Cox regression, survival c-index, and decision curve analysis. Performance of GC was compared to the Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment Score and Briganti risk models based on these metrics. Results and limitations: With a median 5.7 yr follow-up after SRT, 20 patients (12%) developed metastases. On multivariable analysis, for each 0.1 unit increase in GC (scaled from 0 to 1), the hazard ratio for metastasis was 1.58 (95% confidence interval 1.16-2.17; p = 0.002). Adjusting for androgen deprivation therapy did not materially change the results. The c-index for GC was 0.85 (95% confidence interval 0.73-0.88) versus 0.63-0.65 for published clinico-pathologic risk models. The 5-yr cumulative incidence of metastasis post-SRT in patients with low, intermediate, and high GC scores was 2.7%, 8.4%, and 33.1%, respectively (p <. 0.001). Conclusions: While validation in larger, prospectively collected cohorts is required, these data suggest GC is a strong predictor of metastases among men receiving SRT for recurrent PCa post-RP, accurately identifying men who are excellent candidates for systemic therapy due to their very high-risk of metastases. Patient summary: Genomic classifier and two clinico-pathologic risk models were evaluated on their ability to predict metastases among men receiving salvage radiation therapy for recurrent prostate cancer. Genomic classifier was able to identify candidates for further therapies due to their very high-risk of metastases. Genomic classifier is a strong predictor of metastases among men receiving salvage radiation for recurrent prostate cancer and accurately identifies men who are excellent candidates for systemic therapy due to their very high-risk of metastases despite salvage radiation after prostatectomy. © 2016 European Association of Urology.


PubMed | Thomas Jefferson University, San Diego Pathologists Medical Group, Ford Motor Company, Mayo Medical School and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European urology | Year: 2016

Despite salvage radiation therapy (SRT) for recurrent prostate cancer (PCa) after radical prostatectomy (RP), some patients still progress to metastases. Identifying these men would allow them to undergo systemic therapy including testing novel therapies to reduce metastases risk.To test whether the genomic classifier (GC) predicts development of metastatic disease.Retrospective multi-center and multi-ethnic cohort study from two academic centers and one Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the United States involving 170 men receiving SRT for recurrent PCa post-RP.Time from SRT to development of metastatic disease tested using Cox regression, survival c-index, and decision curve analysis. Performance of GC was compared to the Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment Score and Briganti risk models based on these metrics.With a median 5.7 yr follow-up after SRT, 20 patients (12%) developed metastases. On multivariable analysis, for each 0.1 unit increase in GC (scaled from 0 to 1), the hazard ratio for metastasis was 1.58 (95% confidence interval 1.16-2.17; p=0.002). Adjusting for androgen deprivation therapy did not materially change the results. The c-index for GC was 0.85 (95% confidence interval 0.73-0.88) versus 0.63-0.65 for published clinico-pathologic risk models. The 5-yr cumulative incidence of metastasis post-SRT in patients with low, intermediate, and high GC scores was 2.7%, 8.4%, and 33.1%, respectively (p<0.001).While validation in larger, prospectively collected cohorts is required, these data suggest GC is a strong predictor of metastases among men receiving SRT for recurrent PCa post-RP, accurately identifying men who are excellent candidates for systemic therapy due to their very high-risk of metastases.Genomic classifier and two clinico-pathologic risk models were evaluated on their ability to predict metastases among men receiving salvage radiation therapy for recurrent prostate cancer. Genomic classifier was able to identify candidates for further therapies due to their very high-risk of metastases.


Coombes J.D.,Institute of Hepatology | Swiderska-Syn M.,Duke University | Dolle L.,Liver Cell Biology Laboratory LIVR | Reid D.,University of Calgary | And 20 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2015

Background: Chronic liver injury triggers a progenitor cell repair response, and liver fibrosis occurs when repair becomes deregulated. Previously, we reported that reactivation of the hedgehog pathway promotes fibrogenic liver repair. Osteopontin (OPN) is a hedgehog-target, and a cytokine that is highly upregulated in fibrotic tissues, and regulates stem-cell fate. Thus, we hypothesised that OPN may modulate liver progenitor cell response, and thereby, modulate fibrotic outcomes. We further evaluated the impact of OPN-neutralisation on murine liver fibrosis. Methods: Liver progenitors (603B and bipotential mouse oval liver) were treated with OPN-neutralising aptamers in the presence or absence of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, to determine if (and how) OPN modulates liver progenitor function. Effects of OPN-neutralisation (using OPN-aptamers or OPN-neutralising antibodies) on liver progenitor cell response and fibrogenesis were assessed in three models of liver fibrosis (carbon tetrachloride, methionine-choline deficient diet, 3, 5,-diethoxycarbonyl-1, 4-dihydrocollidine diet) by quantitative real time (qRT) PCR, Sirius-Red staining, hydroxyproline assay, and semiquantitative double-immunohistochemistry. Finally, OPN expression and liver progenitor response were corroborated in liver tissues obtained from patients with chronic liver disease. Results: OPN is overexpressed by liver progenitors in humans and mice. In cultured progenitors, OPN enhances viability and wound healing by modulating TGF-β signalling. In vivo, OPN-neutralisation attenuates the liver progenitor cell response, reverses epithelial-mesenchymal-transition in Sox9+ cells, and abrogates liver fibrogenesis. Conclusions: OPN upregulation during liver injury is a conserved repair response, and influences liver progenitor cell function. OPN-neutralisation abrogates the liver progenitor cell response and fibrogenesis in mouse models of liver fibrosis.


Syn W.-K.,Duke University | Syn W.-K.,University of Birmingham | Choi S.S.,Duke University | Choi S.S.,Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center | And 24 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2011

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading cause of cirrhosis. Recently, we showed that NASH-related cirrhosis is associated with Hedgehog (Hh) pathway activation. The gene encoding osteopontin (OPN), a profibrogenic extracellular matrix protein and cytokine, is a direct transcriptional target of the Hh pathway. Thus, we hypothesize that Hh signaling induces OPN to promote liver fibrosis in NASH. Hepatic OPN expression and liver fibrosis were analyzed in wild-type (WT) mice, Patched-deficient (Ptc+/-) (overly active Hh signaling) mice, and OPN-deficient mice before and after feeding methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diets to induce NASH-related fibrosis. Hepatic OPN was also quantified in human NASH and nondiseased livers. Hh signaling was manipulated in cultured liver cells to assess direct effects on OPN expression, and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were cultured in medium with different OPN activities to determine effects on HSC phenotype. When fed MCD diets, Ptc+/- mice expressed more OPN and developed worse liver fibrosis (P < 0.05) than WT mice, whereas OPN-deficient mice exhibited reduced fibrosis (P < 0.05). In NASH patients, OPN was significantly up-regulated and correlated with Hh pathway activity and fibrosis stage. During NASH, ductular cells strongly expressed OPN. In cultured HSCs, SAG (an Hh agonist) up-regulated, whereas cyclopamine (an Hh antagonist) repressed OPN expression (P < 0.005). Cholangiocyte-derived OPN and recombinant OPN promoted fibrogenic responses in HSCs (P < 0.05); neutralizing OPN with RNA aptamers attenuated this (P < 0.05). Conclusion: OPN is Hh-regulated and directly promotes profibrogenic responses. OPN induction correlates with Hh pathway activity and fibrosis stage. Therefore, OPN inhibition may be beneficial in NASH. © 2010 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


Xie G.,Duke University | Choi S.S.,Duke University | Choi S.S.,Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center | Syn W.-K.,Duke University | And 7 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2013

Objective: Vascular remodelling during liver damage involves loss of healthy liver sinusoidal endothelial cell (LSEC) phenotype via capillarisation. Hedgehog (Hh) signalling regulates vascular development and increases during liver injury. This study therefore examined its role in capillarisation. Design: Primary LSEC were cultured for 5 days to induce capillarisation. Pharmacological, antibody-mediated and genetic approaches were used to manipulate Hh signalling. Effects on mRNA and protein expression of Hh-regulated genes and capillarisation markers were evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription PCR and immunoblot. Changes in LSEC function were assessed by migration and tube forming assay, and gain/loss of fenestrae was examined by electron microscopy. Mice with acute or chronic liver injury were treated with Hh inhibitors; effects on capillarisation were assessed by immunohistochemistry. Results: Freshly isolated LSEC expressed Hh ligands, Hh receptors and Hh ligand antagonist Hhip. Capillarisation was accompanied by repression of Hhip and increased expression of Hh-regulated genes. Treatment with Hh agonist further induced expression of Hh ligands and Hh-regulated genes, and upregulated capillarisation-associated genes; whereas Hh signalling antagonist or Hh ligand neutralising antibody each repressed expression of Hh target genes and capillarisation markers. LSEC isolated from SmoloxP/loxP transgenic mice that had been infected with adenovirus expressing Cre-recombinase to delete Smoothened showed over 75% knockdown of Smoothened. During culture, Smoothened-deficient LSEC had inhibited Hh signalling, less induction of capillarisation-associated genes and retention of fenestrae. In mice with injured livers, inhibiting Hh signalling prevented capillarisation. Conclusions: LSEC produce and respond to Hh ligands, and use Hh signalling to regulate complex phenotypic changes that occur during capillarisation.


Syn W.-K.,Duke University | Syn W.-K.,University of Birmingham | Syn W.-K.,Institute of Hepatology | Agboola K.M.,Duke University | And 18 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2012

Objective: Immune responses are important in dictating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) outcome. We previously reported that upregulation of hedgehog (Hh) and osteopontin (OPN) occurs in NASH, that Hh-regulated accumulation of natural killer T (NKT) cells promotes hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation, and that cirrhotic livers harbour large numbers of NKT cells. Design: The hypothesis that activated NKT cells drive fibrogenesis during NASH was evaluated by assessing if NKT depletion protects against NASH fibrosis; identifying the NKT-associated fibrogenic factors; and correlating plasma levels of the NKT cell-associated factor OPN with fibrosis severity in mice and humans. Results: When fed methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diets for 8 weeks, wild type (WT) mice exhibited Hh pathway activation, enhanced OPN expression, and NASH-fibrosis. Ja18-/- and CD1d-/- mice which lack NKT cells had significantly attenuated Hh and OPN expression and dramatically less fibrosis. Liver mononuclear cells (LMNCs) from MCD diet fed WT mice contained activated NKT cells, generated Hh and OPN, and stimulated HSCs to become myofibroblasts; neutralising these factors abrogated the fibrogenic actions of WT LMNCs. LMNCs from NKT-cell-deficient mice were deficient in fibrogenic factors, failing to activate collagen gene expression in HSCs. Human NASH livers with advanced fibrosis contained more OPN and Hh protein than those with early fibrosis. Plasma levels of OPN mirrored hepatic OPN expression and correlated with fibrosis severity. Conclusion: Hepatic NKT cells drive production of OPN and Hh ligands that promote fibrogenesis during NASH. Associated increases in plasma levels of OPN may provide a biomarker of NASH fibrosis.


Ke H.,Duke University | Augustine C.K.,Duke University | Augustine C.K.,Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center | Gandham V.D.,Duke University | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2013

The molecular mechanisms mediating cylindromatosis (CYLD) tumor suppressor function appear to be manifold. Here, we demonstrate that, in contrast to the increased levels of phosphorylated c-Jun NH 2 -terminal kinase (pJNK), CYLD was decreased in a majority of the melanoma cell lines and tissues examined. Exogenous expression of CYLD but not its catalytically deficient mutant markedly inhibited melanoma cell proliferation and migration in vitro and subcutaneous tumor growth in vivo. In addition, the melanoma cells expressing exogenous CYLD were unable to form pulmonary tumor nodules following tail-vein injection. At the molecular level, CYLD decreased β1-integrin and inhibited pJNK induction by tumor necrosis factor-α or cell attachment to collagen IV. Moreover, CYLD induced an array of other molecular changes associated with modulation of the "malignant" phenotype, including a decreased expression of cyclin D1, N-cadherin, and nuclear Bcl3, and an increased expression of p53 and E-cadherin. Most interestingly, coexpression of the constitutively active MKK7 or c-Jun mutants with CYLD prevented the above molecular changes, and fully restored melanoma growth and metastatic potential in vivo. Our findings demonstrate that the JNK/activator protein 1 signaling pathway underlies the melanoma growth and metastasis that are associated with CYLD loss of function. Thus, restoration of CYLD and inhibition of JNK and β1-integrin function represent potential therapeutic strategies for treatment of malignant melanoma. © 2013 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.


Simpson K.M.,Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center | Simpson K.M.,Duke University | Simpson K.M.,KayeM Inc. | Porter K.,Duke University | And 7 more authors.
Implementation Science | Year: 2013

Background: Many challenges arise in complex organizational interventions that threaten research integrity. This article describes a Tool for Evaluating Research Implementation Challenges (TECH), developed using a complexity science framework to assist research teams in assessing and managing these challenges.Methods: During the implementation of a multi-site, randomized controlled trial (RCT) of organizational interventions to reduce resident falls in eight nursing homes, we inductively developed, and later codified the TECH. The TECH was developed through processes that emerged from interactions among research team members and nursing home staff participants, including a purposive use of complexity science principles.Results: The TECH provided a structure to assess challenges systematically, consider their potential impact on intervention feasibility and fidelity, and determine actions to take. We codified the process into an algorithm that can be adopted or adapted for other research projects. We present selected examples of the use of the TECH that are relevant to many complex interventions.Conclusions: Complexity theory provides a useful lens through which research procedures can be developed to address implementation challenges that emerge from complex organizations and research designs. Sense-making is a group process in which diverse members interpret challenges when available information is ambiguous; the groups' interpretations provide cues for taking action. Sense-making facilitates the creation of safe environments for generating innovative solutions that balance research integrity and practical issues. The challenges encountered during implementation of complex interventions are often unpredictable; however, adoption of a systematic process will allow investigators to address them in a consistent yet flexible manner, protecting fidelity. Research integrity is also protected by allowing for appropriate adaptations to intervention protocols that preserve the feasibility of 'real world' interventions. © 2013 Simpson et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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