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Li C.-Y.,Tianjin Medical University | Li C.-Y.,Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention | Li C.-Y.,Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy in Tianjin | Zhang S.,Tianjin Medical University | And 14 more authors.
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2013

Aims: To determine the clinical, pathological and prognostic features associated with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Methods: Clinical and histologic data of 21,749 breast cancer patients who were treated at Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute andHospital between July 2002 and December 2011 were collected. Patients were divided into two groups: those with TNBC and those with other types of breast cancer. Patients and tumor characteristics were compared between the two groups using the Chi-square test. The prognostic results of 9,823 patients in the study population were also analyzed to determinelong-term survival rates in the two groups of breast cancer patients. Results: Among the breast cancer patients treated in our hospital between 2003 and 2011, 10.4%-13.5% of themhad triple-negative breast cancers. Data analyses revealed significant differences in disease onset age, family history of breast cancer, tumor size, tumor histologic grade, lymph note positivity and metastatic status between TNBC and non-TNBC patients. There were also significant differences in 5-year, 7-year and 9-year disease-free and 7-year and 9-year overall survival probability between the groups. Conclusions:TNBC are associated with younger disease onset age, larger tumor size, higher rate of axillary lymph node positivity, and higher tumor histologic grade. TNBC is also related to family history of breast cancer, increased metastatic risk and poor prognosis.


Zhang X.,Tianjin Medical University | Zhang X.,Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and Therapy of Ministry of Education | Zhang X.,Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy in Tianjin | Zhang S.,Tianjin Medical University | And 17 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Recent evidence has suggested that breast cancer contains a rare population of cells called cancer stem cells (CSCs), which have an extensive self-renewal ability and contribute to metastasis and therapeutic resistance. This study evaluated the in vitro and in vivo effects of RAD001 (Everolimus) alone or in combination with docetaxel on stem cells from primary breast cancer cells and two breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231). In In vitro studies, we sorted ESA +CD44 +CD24 -/low cells as stem cells using flow cytometry from primary breast cancer cells, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines. MTT assays were used to quantify the inhibitory effect of the drugs on total cells and stem cells. Apoptosis and the cell cycle distributions of stem cells were examined by flow cytometry. The tumourigenicity of stem cells after treatment was investigated by soft agar colony formation assays. In In vivo studies, the BALB/c mice were injected with MDA-MB-231 stem cells and the different treatments were administered. After necropsy, the expression of Ki67, CD31, AKT1, and phospho-AKT (Thr308) was analysed by immunohistochemistry. In In vitro studies, all three populations of stem cells were resistant to the standard treatment doses of docetaxel compared with total cells treated with the same drug. Treatment with RAD001 resulted in growth inhibition of all stem cells in a dose-dependent manner. An additive growth inhibitory effect of the combination treatment on the three stem cells was observed in in vitro compared with treatment with RAD001 alone (P < 0.001). In addition, an increase in G2/M cell cycle arrest and an increased population of cells in early apoptosis were seen in the combination treatment group compared with either single-agent group (P < 0.01). In vivo, the volumes of the xenograft tumours significantly decreased in RAD001 alone group compared to control group (P = 0.008), and RAD001 plus docetaxel therapy was much more effective at reducing tumour volume in mice compared with either single-agent alone (P < 0.05). Compared with RAD001 alone, the combination of RAD001 and docetaxel reduced the expression of Ki67, CD31, AKT1 and phospho-AKT (Thr308) (P < 0.05). We conclude that the combination treatment of RAD001 and docetaxel can inhibit the growth of stem cells in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and reducing the expression of Ki67, CD31, AKT1 and phospho-AKT (Thr308). These data indicate that combination treatment with RAD001 and docetaxel may represent an effective therapy for breast cancer. However, further studies are required to evaluate the drug interaction between RAD001 and docetaxel in the clinical setting. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Liu J.,Tianjin Medical University | Liu J.,Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and Therapy | Liu J.,Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy in Tianjin | Mao Q.,Tianjin Medical University | And 14 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Cancer Research | Year: 2013

The purpose of this study was to identify and validate circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in human plasma for use as breast cancer (BC) biomarkers and to analyze their relationship to clinicopathologic features and its preliminary biological function. Genome-wide expression profiling of miRNAs in BC was investigated by microarray analysis. miR-155 was up-regulated greater than two-fold in BC compared with Normal Adjacent Tissue (NAT), whereas let-7b, miR-381, miR-10b, miR-125a-5p, miR-335, miR-205 and miR-145 were down- regulated greater than two-fold. Our hypothesis was that circulating miRNAs are also present and differentially expressed in the serum of BC patients compared to controls. Using real-time PCR (RT-PCR), we analyzed miR-205 and miR-155 in archived serum from 30 participants, 20 with breast cancer and 10 healthy people. miR-205 was down-regulated in BC patient serum while miR-155 was up-regulated. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between the expression levels of these two miRNAs and the clinicopathologic parameters of BC patients. High expression of miR155 was associated with clinical stage, molecular type, Ki-67 and p53 in BC patients (P<0.05). By contrast, we found no significant correlation between miR-205 and BC patient clinicopathologic parameters. Functional analysis showed that ectopic expression of miR-205 significantly inhibits cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis. miR-205 was down- regulated and miR-155 was up-regulated in BC patient serum. miR-155 was positive correlated with clinical stage and ki-67 and negatively correlated with p53 status. © Chinese Journal of Cancer Research. All rights reserved.


Ma Y.,Tianjin Medical University | Ma Y.,Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and Therapy of Ministry of Education | Ma Y.,Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy in Tianjin | Hao X.,Tianjin Medical University | And 8 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2012

The purpose of the study was to detect the effect and possible mechanism of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) on the in vitro and in vivo growth of stem cells isolated from primary human breast cancer cells and cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7. Primary human breast cancer cells and MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells were sorted in vitro using flow cytometry, and the ESA+, CD44+, CD24-/low cells were isolated as breast cancer stem cells (CSCs). The inhibitory effect of hUCMSCs on CSCs was examined using the Cell Counting Kit-8 cell proliferation and soft agar colony formation assay. In vivo tumor inhibition was studied using a severe combined immunodeficient xenograft mouse model transplanted with MDA-MB-231 breast CSCs. The expression of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and AKT was examined in the xenograft tumors using immunohistochemistry. The number of colonies formed by breast CSCs co-cultured with hUCMSCs at the bottom of soft agar was significantly lower than those formed by the control group (P < 0.01). Compared with the control group, the CSCs co-cultured with hUCMSCs showed a higher number of cells in the G2-M phase (P<0.05) and an increased number of apoptotic cells (P < 0.01). The mice in the medium- and high-concentration hUCMSC treatment groups exhibited clearly reduced tumor volume and tumor weight, compared with the control group (P < 0.01). Compared with the saline group, the xenograft tumor tissues from the mice treated with different concentrations of hUCMSCs showed significantly reduced levels of PI3K and AKT proteins (P < 0.001). In conclusion, hUCMSC significantly inhibited the growth of breast CSCs in vitro and in vivo. The underlying mechanism is likely related to cell cycle arrest, induction of tumor cell apoptosis, and suppressed activities of PI3K and AKT protein kinases. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Zhang S.,Tianjin Medical University | Zhang S.,Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and Therapy of Ministry of Education | Zhang S.,Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy in Tianjin | Zhang C.,Zhengzhou University | And 8 more authors.
Medical Oncology | Year: 2012

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Zoladex combined with CEF chemotherapy as neoadjuvant therapy in hormone-responsive, premenopausal, operable breast cancer. One hundred and nineteen patients with hormone-responsive, premenopausal, operable breast cancer were enrolled in the study. Zoladex at 3.6 mg was given by subcutaneous injection every 4 weeks for 3 cycles. CEF (cyclophosphamide, 600 mg/m 2, epirubicin, 60-90 mg/m2, and fluorouracil 500 mg/m 2) was administered every 3 weeks for 4 cycles as neoadjuvant therapy. The primary objective was a pathologic complete response (PCR) rate in the breast. Thirty-one patients (26.1%) achieved a clinical complete response, and 76 patients (63.9%) achieved a clinical partial response; the clinical response rate was 90.0%. Fourteen patients (11.8%) achieved a pathologic complete response (T0/Tis, N0), and 20 patients (16.8%) achieved a pathologic complete response (T0/Tis, Nx). When stratified by the clinical lymph node status, the clinical partial response rate in the clinical lymph node negative group was significantly higher than in the clinical lymph node positive group (P = 0.02). When stratified by hormonal status, the clinical partial response rate in the ER and PR + group was significantly better than the ER or PRgroup (P = 0.0471). There were no treatment-related deaths and no grades 3 or 4 toxicity. The most common adverse event was nausea (grade 1 65.5%, grade 2 18.5%), vomiting (grade 1 58.8%, grade 2 13.4%), and alopecia (grade 1 45.4%, grade 2 54.6%). Zoladex combined with CEF chemotherapy was effective as neoadjuvant therapy in hormone-responsive, premenopausal breast cancer. This regimen was particularly effective in the clinical lymph node negative group and in the ER/PR double positive group. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00488722). © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.


Zhang X.,Tianjin Medical University | Zhang X.,Key laboratory of breast cancer prevention and therapy of ministry of education | Zhang X.,Key laboratory of cancer prevention and therapy in Tianjin | Li X.-r.,Chinese People's Liberation Army | And 3 more authors.
Current Cancer Drug Targets | Year: 2013

The PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway is involved in the inhibition of tumor cell apoptosis, the promotion of cell survival, cell cycle regulation, tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis and therefore plays an important role in tumorigenesis, tumor growth, patient prognosis, and tumor treatment. Recent studies have identified this signaling pathway in breast cancer, and the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is therefore being considered as a new therapeutic target and a hotspot in breast cancer research. Pre-clinical studies have confirmed that PI3K inhibitors and mTOR inhibitors achieve anticancer effects by targeting different levels of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. Among the PI3K inhibitors, some molecules target only PI3K, whereas others target both PI3K and mTOR. Currently, researchers tend to focus on molecular targets based on the different PI3K subtypes to achieve more targeted and specific inhibition of the PI3K pathway. However, the clinical efficacy and efficiency of these inhibitors need to be further studied. The mTOR inhibitors target mTORC1 and have become relatively well-developed targeted therapies for the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Rapamycin derivatives have been studied in Phase II / III clinical trials in breast cancer, and these derivatives achieved positive results in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer when combined with endocrine therapy or HER2-targeted therapies. This review summarizes the activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, its role in breast cancer, and the latest clinical trials of a variety of PI3K and mTOR inhibitors to improve the understanding of the role of these drugs in breast cancer treatment. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

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