NCCS VARI Translational Research Laboratory

Singapore, Singapore

NCCS VARI Translational Research Laboratory

Singapore, Singapore
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Tan S.-Y.,Singapore General Hospital | Tan S.-Y.,University of Malaya | Tan S.-Y.,Singapore Health Services | Tan S.-Y.,Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology | And 19 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2013

In this multicentre study, we examined 60 cases of Type II enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL) from the Asia-Pacific region by histological review, immunohistochemistry and molecular techniques. Patients were mostly adult males (median age: 58 years, male:female 2.6:1), presenting with abdominal pain (60%), intestinal perforation (40%) and weight loss (28%). None had a history of coeliac disease and the median survival was only 7 months. Histologically, these tumours could be divided into (i) central tumour zone comprising a monotonous population of neoplastic lymphocytes, (ii) peripheral zone featuring stunted villi and morphologically atypical lymphocytes showing epitheliotropism, and (iii) distant mucosa with normal villous architecture and cytologically normal intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs). Characterized by extensive nuclear expression of Megakaryocyte-associated tyrosine kinase (MATK) (87%) and usually a CD8 + CD56 + (88%) cytotoxic phenotype, there was frequent aberrant expression of CD20 (24%). T-cell receptor (TCR) expression was silent or not evaluable in 40% but of the remainder, there was predominant expression of TCRαβ over TCRγδ (1.6:1). In keeping with the normal ratio of IEL subsets, CD8 + cases showed predominant CD8αα homodimer expression (77%), regardless of TCR lineage. These tumours constitute a distinct entity from classical EATL, and the pathology may reflect tumour progression from IEL precursors, remnants of which are often seen in the distant mucosa. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Chiong E.,National University of Singapore | Tay M.H.,Gleneagles Medical Center | Tan M.H.,Institute Of Bioengineering And Nanotechnology, Singapore | Kumar S.,Christian Medical College | And 4 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2012

Treatment of renal-cell carcinoma has progressed over the past decade, in terms of surgical and systemic therapy. Current treatment guidelines are based on clinical evidence, but do not take into account resource limitations among different countries. These limitations, which include financial and logistical challenges and lack of skilled health-care professionals, have the greatest effect in low-income countries. This consolidated statement gives treatment recommendations for renal-cell carcinoma that are based on clinical evidence and stratified according to extent of resource availability. The statement was formulated by a panel of urologists, medical oncologists, and clinical oncologists from Asian countries, at a consensus session on kidney cancer that was held as part of the 2012 Asian Oncology Summit in Singapore. Resource levels are defined according to a four-tier system (basic, limited, enhanced, and maximum), and treatment recommendations are specified based on availability of financial, skill, and logistical resources. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | Raffles Institution, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National University of Singapore, NCCS VARI Translational Research Laboratory and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncoimmunology | Year: 2016

Patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) face a clinically intractable disease with poor survival rates, attributed to exceptionally high levels of metastasis. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is pronounced at inflammatory foci within the tumor; however, the immunological mechanisms promoting tumor dissemination remain unclear. It is well established that tumors exhibit the Warburg effect, a preferential use of glycolysis for energy production, even in the presence of oxygen, to support rapid growth. We hypothesized that the metabolic pathways utilized by tumor-infiltrating macrophages are altered in PDAC, conferring a pro-metastatic phenotype. We generated tumor-conditioned macrophages in vitro, in which human peripheral blood monocytes were cultured with conditioned media generated from normal pancreatic or PDAC cell lines to obtain steady-state and tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), respectively. Compared with steady-state macrophages, TAMs promoted vascular network formation, augmented extravasation of tumor cells out of blood vessels, and induced higher levels of EMT. TAMs exhibited a pronounced glycolytic signature in a metabolic flux assay, corresponding with elevated glycolytic gene transcript levels. Inhibiting glycolysis in TAMs with a competitive inhibitor to Hexokinase II (HK2), 2-deoxyglucose (2DG), was sufficient to disrupt this pro-metastatic phenotype, reversing the observed increases in TAM-supported angiogenesis, extravasation, and EMT. Our results indicate a key role for metabolic reprogramming of tumor-infiltrating macrophages in PDAC metastasis, and highlight the therapeutic potential of using pharmacologics to modulate these metabolic pathways.

Chusorn P.,Khon Kaen University | Namwat N.,Khon Kaen University | Loilome W.,Khon Kaen University | Techasen A.,Khon Kaen University | And 8 more authors.
Tumor Biology | Year: 2013

MicroRNA, an endogenous noncoding RNA modulating gene expression, is a key molecule that by its dysregulation plays roles in inflammatory-driven carcinogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the role of oncomiR miR-21 and its target, the programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) in tumor growth and metastasis of the liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini-associated cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). The expression levels of miR-21 and PDCD4 were analyzed using the TaqMan miRNA expression assay and immunohistochemistry in liver tissues of both O. viverrini plus N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)-treated hamsters and human CCA samples (n = 23 cases). The functional assay for miR-21 was performed in CCA cell lines by the anti-miR-21 and pre-miR-21 transfection procedures. The peak of miR-21 levels were reached at 2 (hyperplastic lesions) and 6 (CCA) months of the O. viverrini plus NDMA-induced group and had a reverse response with its target PDCD4 proteins. In human CCA, miR-21 was overexpressed in tumor tissues when compared with nontumor tissues (P = 0.0034) and had a negative correlation with PDCD4 protein (P = 0.026). It was also found that high expression of miR-21 was significantly correlated with shorter survival (P < 0.05) and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.037) of CCA patients. Transient transfection of pre-miR-21 reduced the PDCD4 level and resulted in an increase of M213 CCA cell growth and wound-induced migration ability. These results indicated that miR-21 plays a role in the carcinogenesis and metastasis of O. viverrini-associated CCA by suppressing the function of PDCD4. Modulation of aberrantly expressed miR-21 may be a useful strategy to inhibit tumor cell phenotypes or improve response to chemotherapy. © 2013 International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM).

Liu R.-Y.,Indiana University | Liu R.-Y.,Sun Yat Sen University | Dong Z.,Indiana University | Liu J.,Indiana University | And 15 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2011

Translational control at the initiation step has been recognized as a major and important regulatory mechanism of gene expression. Eukaryotic initiation factor-3a (eIF3a), a putative subunit of the eIF3 complex, has recently been shown to have an important role in regulating the translation of a subset of mRNAs and is found to correlate with the prognosis of cancers. In this study, using nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells as a model system, we tested the hypothesis that eIF3a negatively regulates the synthesis of nucleotide excision repair (NER) proteins, and, in turn, cellular response to treatments with DNA-damaging agents such as cisplatin (cis-dichlorodiammine platinum(II) (CDDP)). We found that a CDDP-sensitive sub-clone S16 isolated through limited dilution from an NPC cell line CNE-2 has increased eIF3a expression. Knocking down its expression in S16 cells increased cellular resistance to CDDP, NER activity and synthesis of the NER proteins XPA, XPC, RAD23B and RPA32. Altering eIF3a expression also changed the cellular response to CDDP and UV treatment in other NPC cell lines. Taken together, we conclude that eIF3a has an important role in the CDDP response and in NER activity of NPCs by suppressing the synthesis of NER proteins. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Nahorski M.S.,University College Birmingham | Seabra L.,University College Birmingham | Straatman-Iwanowska A.,University College London | Wingenfeld A.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | And 7 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2012

Inherited mutations in the folliculin (FLCN) gene cause the Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome of familial hair follicle tumours (fibrofolliculomas), lung cysts and kidney tumours. Though folliculin has features of a tumour suppressor, the precise function of the FLCN gene product is not well characterized. We identified plakophilin-4 (p0071) as a potential novel folliculin interacting protein by yeast two-hybrid analysis. We confirmed the interaction of folliculin with p0071 by co-immunoprecipitation studies and, in view of previous studies linking p0071 to the regulation of rho-signalling, cytokinesis and intercellular junction formation, we investigated the effect of cell folliculin status on p0071-related functions. Folliculin and p0071 partially co-localized at cell junctions and in mitotic cells, at the midbody during cytokinesis. Previously, p0071 has been reported to regulate RhoA signalling during cytokinesis and we found that folliculin deficiency was associated with increased expression and activity of RhoA and evidence of disordered cytokinesis. Treatment of folliculin-deficient cells with a downstream inhibitor of RhoA signalling (the ROCK inhibitor Y-27632) reversed the increased cell migration phenotype observed in folliculin-deficient cells. Deficiency of folliculin and of p0071 resulted in tight junction defects and mislocalization of E-cadherin in mouse inner medullary collecting duct-3 renal tubular cells. These findings suggest that aspects of folliculin tumour suppressor function are linked to interaction with p0071 and the regulation of RhoA signalling. © The Author 2012.Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Ding Y.,Van Andel Research Institute | Huang D.,Van Andel Research Institute | Zhang Z.,Van Andel Research Institute | Smith J.,Van Andel Research Institute | And 7 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2011

In recent years, several molecularly targeted therapies have been approved for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), a highly aggressive cancer. Although these therapies significantly extend overall survival, nearly all patients with advanced ccRCC eventually succumb to the disease. To identify other molecular targets, we profiled gene expression in 90 ccRCC patient specimens for which tumor grade information was available. Gene set enrichment analysis indicated that cell-cycle-related genes, in particular, Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), were associated with disease aggressiveness. We also carried out RNAi screening to identify kinases and phosphatases that when inhibited could prevent cell proliferation. As expected, RNAi-mediated knockdown of PLK1 and other cell-cycle kinases was sufficient to suppress ccRCC cell proliferation. The association of PLK1 in both disease aggression and in vitro growth prompted us to examine the effects of a small-molecule inhibitor of PLK1, BI 2536, in ccRCC cell lines. BI 2536 inhibited the proliferation of ccRCC cell lines at concentrations required to inhibit PLK1 kinase activity, and sustained inhibition of PLK1 by BI 2536 led to dramatic regression of ccRCC xenograft tumors in vivo. Taken together, these findings highlight PLK1 as a rational therapeutic target for ccRCC. ©2011 AACR.

Tan D.S.-W.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Tan D.S.-W.,National Cancer Center Singapore | Tan D.S.-W.,NCCS VARI Translational Research Laboratory | Gerlinger M.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer | Year: 2010

Primary or acquired drug resistance remains a fundamental cause of therapeutic failure in cancer therapy. Post-hoc analyses of clinical trials have revealed the importance of selecting patients with the appropriate molecular phenotype for maximal therapeutic benefit, as well as the requirement to avoid exposure and potential harm for those who have drug resistant disease, particularly with respect to targeted agents. Unravelling drug resistance mechanisms not only facilitates rational treatment strategies to overcome existing limitations in therapeutic efficacy, but will enhance biomarker discovery and the development of companion diagnostics. Advances in genomics coupled with state-of-the-art biomarker platforms such as multi-parametric functional imaging and molecular characterisation of circulating tumour cells are expanding the scope of clinical trials - providing unprecedented opportunities for translational objectives that inform on both treatment response and disease biology. In this review, we propose a shift towards innovative trial designs, which are prospectively set up to answer key biological hypotheses in parallel with the RNA interference elucidation of drug resistance pathways in monotherapy pre-operative or 'window of opportunity' early phase trials. Systematic collection of paired clinical samples before and after treatment amenable to genomics analysis in such studies is mandated. With concurrent functional RNA interference analysis of drug response pathways, the identification of robust predictive biomarkers of response and clinically relevant resistance mechanisms may become feasible. This represents a rational approach to accelerate biomarker discovery, maximising the potential for therapeutic benefit and minimising the health economic cost of ineffective therapy. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Zhou N.,Cleveland Clinic | Singh K.,Cleveland Clinic | Mir M.C.,Cleveland Clinic | Parker Y.,Cleveland Clinic | And 7 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Purpose: Despite more than 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer in the United States annually, patients with advanced disease have a poor prognosis due to limited treatment modalities. We evaluated Aurora kinase A, identified as an upregulated candidate molecule in bladder cancer, as a potential therapeutic target. Experimental Design: Gene expression in human bladder cancer samples was evaluated using RNA microarray and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Effects of the Aurora kinase A inhibitor MLN8237 (Millennium) on cell dynamics in malignant T24 and UM-UC-3 and papilloma-derived RT4 bladder cells were evaluated in vitro and in vivo in a mouse xenograft model. Results: A set of 13 genes involved in the mitotic spindle checkpoint, including Aurora kinases A and B, were upregulated in human urothelial carcinoma compared with normal urothelium. The Aurora kinase A inhibitor MLN8237 induced cell-cycle arrest, aneuploidy, mitotic spindle failure, and apoptosis in the human bladder cancer cell lines T24 and UM-UC-3. MLN8237 also arrested tumor growth when administered orally over 4 weeks in a mouse bladder cancer xenograft model. Finally, in vitro sequential administration of MLN8237 with either paclitaxel or gemcitabine resulted in synergistic cytotoxic effects in T24 cells. Conclusions: Mitotic spindle checkpoint dysfunction is a common characteristic of human urothelial carcinoma and can be exploited with pharmacologic Aurora A inhibition. Given our demonstration of the ability of the Aurora A inhibitor MLN8237 to inhibit growth of bladder cancer in vitro and in vivo, we conclude that Aurora kinase inhibitors warrant further therapeutic investigation in bladder cancer. ©2013 AACR.

Mationg-Kalaw E.,NCCS VARI Translational Research Laboratory | Tan L.H.C.,Singapore General Hospital | Tay K.,National Cancer Center | Lim S.T.,National Cancer Center | And 3 more authors.
Histopathology | Year: 2012

Aims: The entity 'B cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL)' refers to B cell neoplasms that share overlapping characteristics of BL and DLBCL. A subset of these 'grey-zone lymphomas' possesses C-MYC and IGH translocations but, in addition, contains additional rearrangements of BCL2 and/or BCL6 genes. The aim of this study was to investigate if the proliferation fraction by Ki67 immunostaining can be used to identify such double-/triple-hit lymphomas. Methods and results: We studied 492 cases of mature aggressive B cell neoplasms by histology, immunohistochemistry and interphase fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) using break-apart probes against C-MYC, BCL2, BCL6, IGH, MALT1, PAX5 and CCND1. Forty Burkitt lymphomas and 28 cases of MYC+ double-/triple-hit lymphomas were identified. Of the latter, 77% and 54% displayed proliferation fractions exceeding 75% and 90%, respectively. With a cut-off of >75% by Ki67 immunostaining, the sensitivity and specificity for detection of MYC+ double/triple translocations was 0.77 and 0.36. Raising the proliferation fraction criterion to >90% improved the specificity to 0.62 at the expense of a low sensitivity of 0.54. Conclusions: Immunostaining for Ki67 is not a useful approach to prescreen B cell lymphomas for MYC+ double/triple translocations. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Limited.

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