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Innsbruck, Austria

Steiner N.,Innsbruck Medical University | Kern J.,Innsbruck Medical University | Kern J.,Oncotyrol GmbH | Untergasser G.,Innsbruck Medical University | Gunsilius E.,Innsbruck Medical University
Memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology | Year: 2014

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological B-cell malignancy that has still a fatal prognosis. Although the treatments have improved, one major problem in MM is the clinical resistance to available drugs and combination therapies over time. Novel agents, such as oral proteasome inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, second generation immunomodulatory drugs and therapies targeting the cell signaling and the tumor microenvironment are in development for the treatment of relapsed/refractory MM. In this review, we refer on the role of new strategies targeting the tumor microenvironment, especially on angiogenesis, hypoxia and other interactions between MM and bone marrow components. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Wien.

Martowicz A.,Innsbruck Medical University | Martowicz A.,Karolinska Institutet | Kern J.,Innsbruck Medical University | Kern J.,Oncotyrol GmbH | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Visualized Experiments | Year: 2015

Multiple myeloma (MM), a malignant plasma cell disease, remains incurable and novel drugs are required to improve the prognosis of patients. Due to the lack of the bone microenvironment and auto/paracrine growth factors human MM cells are difficult to cultivate. Therefore, there is an urgent need to establish proper in vitro and in vivo culture systems to study the action of novel therapeutics on human MM cells. Here we present a model to grow human multiple myeloma cells in a complex 3D environment in vitro and in vivo. MM cell lines OPM-2 and RPMI-8226 were transfected to express the transgene GFP and were cultivated in the presence of human mesenchymal cells and collagen type-I matrix as three-dimensional spheroids. In addition, spheroids were grafted on the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of chicken embryos and tumor growth was monitored by stereo fluorescence microscopy. Both models allow the study of novel therapeutic drugs in a complex 3D environment and the quantification of the tumor cell mass after homogenization of grafts in a transgene-specific GFP-ELISA. Moreover, angiogenic responses of the host and invasion of tumor cells into the subjacent host tissue can be monitored daily by a stereo microscope and analyzed by immunohistochemical staining against human tumor cells (Ki-67, CD138, Vimentin) or host mural cells covering blood vessels (desmin/ASMA). In conclusion, the onplant system allows studying MM cell growth and angiogenesis in a complex 3D environment and enables screening for novel therapeutic compounds targeting survival and proliferation of MM cells. © 2015 Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Borjan B.,Innsbruck Medical University | Steiner N.,Innsbruck Medical University | Karbon S.,Innsbruck Medical University | Kern J.,Oncotyrol GmbH | And 6 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2015

Background: Novel synthesized analogs of Aplidin, PM01215 and PM02781, were tested for antiangiogenic effects on primary human endothelial cells in vitro and for inhibition of angiogenesis and tumor growth in vivo. Methods: Antiangiogenic activity of both derivatives was evaluated by real-time cell proliferation, capillary tube formation and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced spheroid sprouting assays. Distribution of endothelial cells in the different phases of the cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry. Aplidin analogs were tested in vivo in chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assays. Results: Both derivatives inhibited angiogenic capacities of human endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro at low nanomolar concentrations. Antiangiogenic effects of both analogs were observed in the CAM. In addition, growth of human multiple myeloma xenografts in vivo in CAM was significantly reduced after application of both analogs. On the molecular level, both derivatives induced cell cycle arrest in G1 phase. This growth arrest of endothelial cells correlated with induction of the cell cycle inhibitor p16INK4A and increased senescence-associated beta galactosidase activity. In addition, Aplidin analogs induced oxidative stress and decreased production of the vascular maturation factors Vasohibin-1 and Dickkopf-3. Conclusions: From these findings we conclude that both analogs are promising agents for the development of antiangiogenic drugs acting independent on classical inhibition of VEGF signaling. © 2015 Borjan et al.

Steiner N.,Innsbruck Medical University | Ribatti D.,University of Bari | Ribatti D.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Willenbacher W.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 11 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Purpose: The prognosis of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is still dismal despite recent improvements achieved by introducing new therapeutic agents. However, there remains an urgent need for progress in myeloma drug development. We here show that novel marine-derived compounds can exert potent anti-myeloma activity. Experimental Design: Nine marine-derived compounds were applied at low nM concentrations (0.1-100 nM) to MM cell lines (OPM-2, NCI-H929, U266, RPMI-8226), to primary human myeloma cells and to peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry. In addition, eGFP-transgenic MM cell lines growing with mesenchymal cells from bone marrow were used to visualize tumors by fluorescence stereomicroscopy. Anti-myeloma activities were studied in vitro in 3D spheroids and in vivo in myeloma xenografts on chicken embryos. Tumor size was analyzed by measuring GFP content with a GFP ELISA. Anti-angiogenic activities of compounds were tested in an in vivo gelatin sponge assay with conditioned media from primary bone marrow-derived endothelial cells. Results: We identified a subset of marine compounds with strong anti-myeloma activity in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, some of the compounds inhibited myeloma-related angiogenesis in the in vivo gelatin sponge assay. They merit further drug development to improve treatment options for MM.

Dueregger A.,Innsbruck Medical University | Dueregger A.,Oncotyrol GmbH | Schopf B.,Oncotyrol GmbH | Schopf B.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Tumor cells adapt via metabolic reprogramming to meet elevated energy demands due to continuous proliferation, for example by switching to alternative energy sources. Nutrients such as glucose, fatty acids, ketone bodies and amino acids may be utilized as preferred substrates to fulfill increased energy requirements. In this study we investigated the metabolic characteristics of benign and cancer cells of the prostate with respect to their utilization of medium chain (MCTs) and long chain triglycerides (LCTs) under standard and glucose-starved culture conditions by assessing cell viability, glycolytic activity, mitochondrial respiration, the expression of genes encoding key metabolic enzymes as well as mitochondrial mass and mtDNA content. We report that BE prostate cells (RWPE-1) have a higher competence to utilize fatty acids as energy source than PCa cells (LNCaP, ABL, PC3) as shown not only by increased cell viability upon fatty acid supplementation but also by an increased β-oxidation of fatty acids, although the base-line respiration was 2-fold higher in prostate cancer cells. Moreover, BE RWPE-1 cells were found to compensate for glucose starvation in the presence of fatty acids. Of notice, these findings were confirmed in vivo by showing that PCa tissue has a lower capacity in oxidizing fatty acids than benign prostate. Collectively, these metabolic differences between benign and prostate cancer cells and especially their differential utilization of fatty acids could be exploited to establish novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Copyright: © 2015 Dueregger et al.

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