Metronomics Global Health Initiative

Marseille, France

Metronomics Global Health Initiative

Marseille, France

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Tee A.E.,Childrens Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research | Ling D.,Childrens Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research | Nelson C.,Childrens Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research | Atmadibrata B.,Childrens Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research | And 15 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2014

Patients with neuroblastoma due to N-Myc oncogene amplification have a high frequency of tumor metastasis. However, it is not clear how N-Myc induces cell migration, invasion and metastasis. The histone demethylase JMJD1A activates gene transcription by demethylating the lysine 9 residue of histone H3 (H3K9) at target gene promoters. The long noncoding RNA MALAT1 induces lung cancer cell migration and plays a pivotal role in lung cancer metastasis. Here we demonstrated that N-Myc up-regulated the expression of JMJD1A in N-Myc oncogene-amplified human neuroblastoma cells by directly binding to the JMJD1A gene promoter. Affymetrix microarray studies revealed that the gene second most significantly upregulated by JMJD1A was MALAT1. Consistent with this finding, RT-PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that JMJD1A bound to the MALAT1 gene promoter and demethylated histone H3K9 at the MALAT1 gene promoter. Moreover, JMJD1A and MALAT1 induced, while the small molecule JMJD1A inhibitor DMOG suppressed, neuroblastoma cell migration and invasion. Taken together, our data identify a novel pathway through which N-Myc causes neuroblastoma cell migration and invasion, and provide important evidence for further development of more potent JMJD1A/MALAT1 inhibitors for the prevention of tumor metastasis.


McGuire M.F.,University of Houston | Enderling H.,Tufts University | Enderling H.,H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute | Wallace D.I.,Dartmouth College | And 6 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Although many clinicians and researchers work to understand cancer, there has been limited success to effectively combine forces and collaborate over time, distance, data, and budget constraints. Here we present a workflow template for multidisciplinary cancer therapy that was developed during the 2nd Annual Workshop on Cancer Systems Biology sponsored by Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, in July 2012. The template was applied to the development of a metronomic therapy backbone for neuroblastoma. Three primary groups were identified: clinicians, biologists, and quantitative scientists (mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers). The workflow described their integrative interactions; parallel or sequential processes; data sources and computational tools at different stages as well as the iterative nature of therapeutic development from clinical observations to in vitro, in vivo, and clinical trials. We found that theoreticians in dialog with experimentalists could develop calibrated and parameterized predictive models that inform and formalize sets of testable hypotheses, thus speeding up discovery and validation while reducing laboratory resources and costs. The developed template outlines an interdisciplinary collaboration workflow designed to systematically investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of a new therapy and validate that therapy to advance development and clinical acceptance. © 2013 AACR.


PubMed | Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Tongji University, University of Technology, Sydney, Metronomics Global Health Initiative and Childrens Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor during early childhood. One of the key features of neuroblastoma is extensive tumor-driven angiogenesis due to hypoxia. However, the mechanism through which neuroblastoma cells drive angiogenesis is poorly understood. Here we show that the long noncoding RNA MALAT1 was upregulated in human neuroblastoma cell lines under hypoxic conditions. Conditioned media from neuroblastoma cells transfected with small interfering RNAs (siRNA) targeting MALAT1, compared with conditioned media from neuroblastoma cells transfected with control siRNAs, induced significantly less endothelial cell migration, invasion and vasculature formation. Microarray-based differential gene expression analysis showed that one of the genes most significantly down-regulated following MALAT1 suppression in human neuroblastoma cells under hypoxic conditions was fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2). RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses confirmed that MALAT1 suppression reduced FGF2 expression, and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays revealed that transfection with MALAT1 siRNAs reduced FGF2 protein secretion from neuroblastoma cells. Importantly, addition of recombinant FGF2 protein to the cell culture media reversed the effects of MALAT1 siRNA on vasculature formation. Taken together, our data suggest that up-regulation of MALAT1 expression in human neuroblastoma cells under hypoxic conditions increases FGF2 expression and promotes vasculature formation, and therefore plays an important role in tumor-driven angiogenesis.


Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Pasquier E.,Metronomics Global Health Initiative | Ciccolini J.,Aix - Marseille University | Carre M.,Aix - Marseille University | And 10 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2011

Recent clinical evidence revealed that the use of beta-blockers such as propranolol, prior to diagnosis or concurrently with chemotherapy, could increase relapse-free and overall survival in breast cancer patients. We therefore hypothesized that propranolol may be able to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy either through direct effects on cancer cells or via anti-angiogenic mechanisms. In vitro proliferation assay showed that propranolol (from 50-100 μM) induces dose-dependent anti-proliferative effects in a panel of 9 human cancer and "normal" cell lines. Matrigel assays revealed that propranolol displays potent anti-angiogenic properties at non-toxic concentrations (<50 μM) but exert no vascular-disrupting activity. Combining chemotherapeutic drugs, such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or paclitaxel, with propranolol at the lowest effective concentration resulted in synergistic, additive or antagonistic effects on cell proliferation in vitro depending on the cell type and the dose of chemotherapy used. Interestingly, breast cancer and vascular endothelial cells were among the most responsive to these combinations. Furthermore, Matrigel assays indicated that low concentrations of propranolol (10 - 50 μM) potentiated the anti-angiogenic effects of 5-FU and paclitaxel. Using an orthotopic xenograft model of triple-negative breast cancer, based on injection of luciferase-expressing MDA-MB-231 cells in the mammary fat pad of nude mice, we showed that propranolol, when used alone, induced only transient anti-tumor effects, if at all, and did not increase median survival. However, the combination of propranolol with chemotherapy resulted in more profound and sustained anti-tumor effects and significantly increased the survival benefits induced by chemotherapy alone (+19% and +79% in median survival for the combination as compared with 5-FU alone and paclitaxel alone, respectively; p<0.05). Collectively our results show that propranolol can potentiate the anti-angiogenic effects and antitumor efficacy of chemotherapy. The current study, together with retrospective clinical data, strongly suggests that the use of propranolol concurrently with chemotherapy may improve the outcome of breast cancer patients, thus providing a strong rationale for the evaluation of this drug combination in prospective clinical studies. © Pasquier et al.


Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Pasquier E.,Metronomics Global Health Initiative | Street J.,University of New South Wales | Pouchy C.,University of New South Wales | And 12 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: The use of b-blockers for the management of hypertension has been recently associated with significant clinical benefits in cancer patients. Herein, we investigated whether b-blockers could be used in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of neuroblastoma. Methods: Seven b-blockers were tested for their antiproliferative and anti-angiogenic properties alone, and in combination with chemotherapy in vitro; the most potent drug combinations were evaluated in vivo in the TH-MYCN mouse model of neuroblastoma. Results: Three b-blockers (i.e., carvedilol, nebivolol and propranolol) exhibited potent anticancer properties in vitro and interacted synergistically with vincristine, independently of P-glycoprotein expression. b-blockers potentiated the anti-angiogenic, antimitochondrial, antimitotic and ultimately pro-apoptotic effects of vincristine. In vivo, b-blockers alone transiently slowed tumour growth as compared with vehicle only (P<0.01). More importantly, when used in combination, b-blockers significantly increased the tumour regression induced by vincristine (P<0.05). This effect was associated with an increase in tumour angiogenesis inhibition (P<0.001) and ultimately resulted in a four-fold increase in median survival, as compared with vincristine alone (P<0.01). Conclusion: b-blockers can increase treatment efficacy against neuroblastoma, and their combination with chemotherapy may prove beneficial for the treatment of this disease and other drug-refractory cancers. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.


Andre N.,Service dHematologie et Oncologie Pediatrique | Andre N.,Metronomics Global Health Initiative | Abed S.,Service dHematologie et Oncologie Pediatrique | Orbach D.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | And 7 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2011

Background: Metronomic chemotherapy (MC) is defined as the frequent administration of chemotherapy at doses below the maximal tolerated dose and with no prolonged drug-free break. MC is gaining interest as an alternative strategy to fight resistant cancer. Objective: to assess the safety of 4 drug MC regimen in pediatric patients with refractory or relapsing various tumors types. Setting: From November 2008 to December 2010, in three academic pediatric oncology centers, 16 children (median age 12 years old; range 5.5-20) were included in this pilot study. This treatment was proposed to children with refractory disease for whom no further effective treatments were available. Most frequent diagnosis were medulloblastoma/cerebral PNET (5) osteosarcoma (5), and one case each of nephroblastoma, high grade glioma, Hodgkin lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma and kidney rhabdoid tumour. The MC regimen consisted in cycles of 56 days (8 weeks) with weekly vinblastine 3 mg/mï¿1/2 (week 1-7), daily cyclophosphamide 30 mg/mï¿1/2 (days 1-21), and twice weekly methotrexate 10 mg/mï¿1/2 (days 21-42), and daily celecoxib 100 mg to 400 mg twice daily (days1-56) followed by a 2-weeks chemotherapy break. Adverse events were determined through laboratory analysis and investigator observations. Results: One objective response was observed in a patient with Hodgkin lymphoma, and 4 patients experienced disease stabilization and continued their treatment for 3 cycles (24 weeks) or more. At last follow-up, 7 patients (43%) are alive including 1 still undergoing treatment. During the overall 36 cycles of treatments received by patients, 4 grade IV toxicities and 24 grade III toxicities were observed in 11 cycles in only 10 different patients. Conclusion: The metronomic regimen we report here was well tolerated and associated with disease stabilization. This regimen is currently being evaluated in a national multicenter phase II study. © André et al.


Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Pasquier E.,Metronomics Global Health Initiative | Tuset M.-P.,University of New South Wales | Street J.,University of New South Wales | And 8 more authors.
Angiogenesis | Year: 2013

The anti-angiogenic activity of chemotherapy is both dose- and schedule-dependent. While conventional maximum tolerated dose (MTD) chemotherapy exerts only mild and reversible anti-angiogenic effects, low-dose metronomic (LDM) chemotherapy was developed to specifically target tumour angiogenesis. However, the long-term effects of either MTD or LDM chemotherapy on vascular endothelial cells have never been investigated. Here, we demonstrated that repeated exposure to MTD and LDM chemotherapy differentially impact on the angiogenic potential and chemosensitivity of immortalized endothelial cells. Repeated MTD vinblastine treatment of vascular endothelial cells led to an increased proliferation rate and resistance to paclitaxel. In contrast, repeated LDM treatment with vinblastine or etoposide impaired the angiogenic potential of endothelial cells and increased their chemosensitivity. This effect was associated with a significant decrease in βII- and βIII-tubulin expression. Functional analysis using siRNA showed that silencing the expression of βIII-tubulin in endothelial cells significantly decreased their capacity to form vascular structures and increased their sensitivity to the anti-angiogenic and vascular-disrupting effects of chemotherapy, whereas silencing βII-tubulin expression had no effect. Collectively our results show that LDM chemotherapy impairs the angiogenic potential of endothelial cells while increasing their chemosensitivity - an effect at least in part mediated by the down-regulation of βIII-tubulin expression. Furthermore, our study suggests that βIII-tubulin represents an attractive therapeutic target to increase the anti-angiogenic effects of chemotherapy and overall anti-tumour efficacy. © 2012 The Author(s).


Brandl M.B.,University of New South Wales | Brandl M.B.,Cornell College | Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Pasquier E.,Metronomics Global Health Initiative | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Oncology | Year: 2014

An imaged-based profiling and analysis system was developed to predict clinically effective synergistic drug combinations that could accelerate the identification of effective multi-drug therapies for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer and other challenging malignancies. The identification of effective drug combinations for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) was achieved by integrating high-content screening, computational analysis, and experimental biology. The approach was based on altered cellular phenotypes induced by 55 FDA-approved drugs and biologically active compounds, acquired using fluorescence microscopy and retained in multivariate compound profiles. Dissimilarities between compound profiles guided the identification of 5 combinations, which were assessed for qualitative interaction on TNBC cell growth. The combination of the microtubule-targeting drug vinblastine with KSP/Eg5 motor protein inhibitors monastrol or ispinesib showed potent synergism in 3 independent TNBC cell lines, which was not substantiated in normal fibroblasts. The synergistic interaction was mediated by an increase in mitotic arrest with cells demonstrating typical ispinesib-induced monopolar mitotic spindles, which translated into enhanced apoptosis induction. The antitumour activity of the combination vinblastine/ispinesib was confirmed in an orthotopic mouse model of TNBC. Compared to single drug treatment, combination treatment significantly reduced tumour growth without causing increased toxicity. Image-based profiling and analysis led to the rapid discovery of a drug combination effective against TNBC invitro and invivo, and has the potential to lead to the development of new therapeutic options in other hard-to-treat cancers. © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.


Faivre C.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Barbolosi D.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Pasquier E.,Metronomics Global Health Initiative | And 2 more authors.
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology | Year: 2013

We propose a mathematical model that takes into account a classical maximum tolerated dose (MTD) chemotherapy regimen (whose primary targets are the tumor cells) as well as a metronomic chemotherapy regimen (whose primary targets are the tumor endothelial cells) for the administration of temozolomide (Temodal®) in order to compare the effectiveness of these two types of protocols. The model is built from 4 natural hypotheses: (H1) without treatment the tumor growth follows a Gompertz model, (H2) endothelial cells are more sensitive to temozolomide than cancer cells, (H3) the anti-angiogenic effect blocks tumor growth, and (H4) endothelial cells are more genetically stable than cancer cells and thus less likely to develop resistance to temozolomide. Then, we compared a conventional MTD regimen of 200 mg/m 2 temozolomide J1-J5 every 28 days with a daily metronomic regimen of 85 mg/m2/day for cycles of 42 days. Our mathematical model shows that the metronomic regimen induces tumor regression through anti-angiogenic effects while the MTD regimen fails to do so, due to the emergence of temozolomide resistance in cancer cells. Overall, our model is consistent with clinical observations and provides an interesting tool toward the personalization of anticancer treatments, through optimization of dose and schedule of chemotherapy based on individual patient characteristics. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Yee E.M.H.,University of New South Wales | Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Pasquier E.,Metronomics Global Health Initiative | Iskander G.,University of New South Wales | And 3 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2013

Isoflavene-propranolol hybrid molecules were developed as potentially novel anti-tumour agents. Isoflavene itself has potent anti-cancer activity while propranolol can enhance anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic properties of 5-fluorouracil and paclitaxel. The hybrids were produced via nucleophilic addition of substituted amine groups to a dioxiran intermediate, which was in turn generated from the Williamson-type reaction of isoflavene with (±)-epichlorohydrin. These analogues were tested in anti-cancer cell viability assays against SHEP neuroblastoma and MDA-MB-231 breast adenocarcinoma cell lines, and were found to exhibit potent anti-proliferative activities. These compounds also displayed anti-angiogenic and anti-proliferative effects in HMEC-1 human microvascular endothelial cell lines. Notably, the most potent hybrid molecules synthesized in this work showed enhanced potency against cancer cell lines compared to either isoflavene or propranolol alone, while retaining significant selectivity for cancer cells over MRC-5 normal lung fibroblast cells. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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