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Roberti M.P.,Fundacion Cancer and Instituto Alexander Fleming | Barrio M.M.,Fundacion Cancer and Instituto Alexander Fleming | Bravo A.I.,Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos Eva Peron | Rocca Y.S.,Fundacion Cancer and Instituto Alexander Fleming | And 5 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2011

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients are not likely to benefit from anti-estrogen or anti-HER2 therapy and this phenotype is associated with a more aggressive clinical course and worse clinical outcome. Taking into account the limited treatment possibilities in TNBC, the aim of the present work was to study a potential therapy based on Cetuximab-mediated immune activity by natural killer (NK) cells. We performed in vitro studies on human breast cancer (BC) cell lines, IIB-BR-G, and the in vivo metastatic variant IIB-BR-G MT. The immunohistochemical analysis showed a TNBC phenotype with high but different levels of EGFR expression on each cell line, measured by flow cytometry. DNA sequencing showed that both cell lines have a mutated K-RAS status, 38 G>A at codon 13. Consequently, Cetuximab did not inhibit cellular proliferation or induce apoptosis. We investigated if Cetuximab could trigger immune mechanisms, and we determined that both cell lines treated with 1 μg/ml Cetuximab were susceptible to antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), mediated by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). At 50:1 effector:target ratio, lytic activity was 34 ± 2% against IIB-BR-G and 27 ± 6% against IIB-BR-G MT cells. PBMC pretreatment with IL-2 allowed reaching 65 ± 3% of Cetuximab-mediated ADCC against IIB-BR-G and 63 ± 6.5% against IIBBR- G MT. Furthermore, IL-15 pretreatment increased the ADCC up to 71 ± 3% in IIB-BR-G and 79 ± 3.5% in IIBBR- G MT. We suggest that NK cells are the effectors present in PBMC since they were able to induce ADCC at lower effector:target ratios. Besides, IL-2- and mainly IL- 15-induced upregulation of NK activating receptors CD16 and NKG2D and enhanced IFN-γ production. EGFRexpressing TNBC could be killed by Cetuximab-mediated ADCC at clinically achievable concentrations. IL-15 could advantageously replace IL-2 in most of its immunologic activities, stimulating the ability to produce IFN-c, and paralleling the up-regulation of activating receptors. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011.

Amat M.,Instituto Alexander Fleming | Loza J.,Instituto Alexander Fleming | Colo F.,Instituto Alexander Fleming | Fabiano V.,Instituto Alexander Fleming | And 6 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2012

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients do not benefit from target-specific treatments and is associated with a high relapse rate. Epidermal growth factor receptor is frequently expressed in TNBC and is a candidate for new therapies. In this work, we studied Cetuximab-mediated immune activity by NK cells. Thirteen activating/inhibitory receptors were examined on peripheral blood and tumor infiltrating NK cells. NK-cell functionality was evaluated using as effectors tumor-modulated NK cells and NK cells from patients. We evaluated the treatment with Cetuximab plus IL-2 or IL-15 in vivo in TNBC xenografts. Tumor NK-cells receptor profile showed upregulation of inhibitory receptors and downregulation of activating ones. Tumor-modulated NK cells were less cytotoxic. They could perform antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) triggered by Cetuximab, although impaired, it could still be restored by stimulation with IL-2 or IL-15. Patients with advanced disease displayed diminished levels of ADCC compared to healthy volunteers. ADCC was restored and potentiated with both cytokines, which were also effective in enhancing the therapeutic activity of Cetuximab in vivo. The combination of Cetuximab with IL-15 and IL-2 may be considered an attractive therapeutic approach to enhance the clinical efficacy of Cetuximab in TNBC. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Albareda M.C.,Instituto Nacional Of Parasitologia Dr M Fatala Chaben | De Rissio A.M.,Instituto Nacional Of Parasitologia Dr M Fatala Chaben | Tomas G.,Instituto Nacional Of Parasitologia Dr M Fatala Chaben | Serjan A.,Hospital Fernandez | And 8 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2013

Background:Adults with chronic Trypanosoma cruzi exhibit a poorly functional T cell compartment, characterized by monofunctional (IFN-γ-only secreting) parasite-specific T cells and increased levels of terminally differentiated T cells. It is possible that persistent infection and/or sustained exposure to parasites antigens may lead to a progressive loss of function of the immune T cells.Methodology/Principal Findings:To test this hypothesis, the quality and magnitude of T. cruzi-specific T cell responses were evaluated in T. cruzi-infected children and compared with long-term T. cruzi-infected adults with no evidence of heart failure. The phenotype of CD4+ T cells was also assessed in T. cruzi-infected children and uninfected controls. Simultaneous secretion of IFN-γ and IL-2 measured by ELISPOT assays in response to T. cruzi antigens was prevalent among T. cruzi-infected children. Flow cytometric analysis of co-expression profiles of CD4+ T cells with the ability to produce IFN-γ, TNF-α, or to express the co-stimulatory molecule CD154 in response to T. cruzi showed polyfunctional T cell responses in most T. cruzi-infected children. Monofunctional T cell responses and an absence of CD4+TNF-α+-secreting T cells were observed in T. cruzi-infected adults. A relatively high degree of activation and differentiation of CD4+ T cells was evident in T. cruzi-infected children.Conclusions/Significance:Our observations are compatible with our initial hypothesis that persistent T. cruzi infection promotes eventual exhaustion of immune system, which might contribute to disease progression in long-term infected subjects. © 2013 Albareda et al.

Bravo A.I.,Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos Eva Peron | Bayo S.M.,Hospital Municipal Prof Dr Houssay | Amat M.,Instituto Medico Especializado Alexander Fleming | Aris M.,CONICET | And 7 more authors.
Human Pathology | Year: 2012

Metallothioneins are a family of small, cysteine-rich proteins with many functions. Immunohistochemical evaluation of all metallothionein 1 + 2 isoforms in colorectal tumors has demonstrated an important down-regulation compared with normal tissue, although its prognostic significance is unclear. Moreover, the contribution of individual isoforms to overall metallothionein down-regulation is not known. To address these important issues, we analyzed the messenger RNA expression levels of all functional metallothionein 1 + 2 isoforms by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in 22 pairs of normal and tumor-microdissected epithelia and correlated these to the overall immunohistochemical protein expression. Our results showed that 5 isoforms (MT1G, 1E, 1F, 1H, and 1M) were lost during the transition from normal mucosa to tumor, whereas MT1X and MT2A were less down-regulated, and their expression was correlated with overall protein positivity. Second, we showed that MT1G hypermethylation occurred in cell lines and in 29% of tumor samples, whereas histone deacetylase inhibitors are able to induce most isoforms. Furthermore, we analyzed by immunohistochemistry 107 normal mucosae, 25 adenomas, 81 carcinomas, and 19 lymph node metastases to evaluate metallothionein expression during different stages of cancer development and to assess its relationship to patient survival. A lower immunohistochemical expression was associated with poorer survival, although it was not an independent predictor. Overall, this study identifies for the first time the relevant metallothionein isoforms for colorectal cancer progression, supports the concept that their loss is associated with worse prognosis, and suggests 2 mechanisms for epigenetic repression of metallothionein expression in colorectal tumors. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Alvarez M.G.,Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos Eva Peron | Hernandez Y.,Instituto Nacional Of Parasitologia Dr Mario Fatala Chaben | Bertocchi G.,Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos Eva Peron | Fernandez M.,Instituto Nacional Of Parasitologia Dr Mario Fatala Chaben | And 8 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2016

There is a clinical need to test new schemes of benznidazole administration that are expected to be at least as effective as the current therapeutic scheme but safer. This study assessed a new scheme of benznidazole administration in chronic Chagas disease patients. A pilot study with intermittent doses of benznidazole at 5 mg/kg/day in two daily doses every 5 days for a total of 60 days was designed. The main criterion of response was the comparison of quantitative PCR (qPCR) findings prior to and 1 week after the end of treatment. The safety profile was assessed by the rate of suspensions and severity of adverse effects. Twenty patients were analyzed for safety, while qPCR was tested for 17 of them. The average age was 43 ± 7.9 years; 55% were female. Sixty-five percent of treated subjects showed detectable qPCR results prior to treatment of 1.45 (0.63 to 2.81) and 2.1 (1.18 to 2.78) parasitic equivalents per milliliter of blood (par.eq/ml) for kinetoplastic DNA (kDNA) qPCR and nuclear repetitive sequence satellite DNA (SatDNA) qPCR, respectively. One patient showed detectable PCR at the end of treatment (1/17), corresponding to 6% treatment failure, compared with 11/17 (65%) patients pretreatment (P = 0.01). Adverse effects were present in 10/20 (50%) patients, but in only one case was treatment suspended. Eight patients showed mild adverse effects, whereas moderate reactions with increased liver enzymes were observed in two patients. The main accomplishment of this pilot study is the promising low rate of treatment suspension. Intermittent administration of benznidazole emerges a new potential therapeutic scheme, the efficacy of which should be confirmed by long-term assessment posttreatment. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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