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Melbourne, Australia

Kelleher F.C.,St Vincents University Hospital | Kelleher F.C.,Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center | McDermott R.,St Vincents University Hospital
Vitamins and Hormones | Year: 2012

To conduct a systematic review of the role that the hedgehog signaling pathway has in pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis. A PubMed search from 2000 to 2010 and literature-based references were sourced. It was found that in 2009 a genetic analysis of pancreatic cancers discovered that a core set of 12 cellular signaling pathways including hedgehog were genetically altered in 67-100% of cases. Second, in vitro and in vivo studies of treatment with cyclopamine (a naturally occurring antagonist of the hedgehog signaling pathway component; Smoothened) have shown that inhibition of hedgehog can abrogate pancreatic cancer metastasis. Third, experimental evidence has demonstrated that sonic hedgehog (Shh) is correlated with desmoplasia in pancreatic cancer. This is important because targeting the Shh pathway potentially may facilitate chemotherapeutic drug delivery as pancreatic cancers tend to have a dense fibrotic stroma that extrinsically compressed the tumor vasculature leading to a hypoperfusing intratumoral circulation. It is probable that patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer will derive the greatest benefit from treatment with Smoothened antagonists. Fourth, it has been found that ligand-dependent activation by hedgehog occurs in the tumor stromal microenvironment in pancreatic cancer, a paracrine effect on tumorigenesis. Finally, in pancreatic cancer, cells with the CD44+CD24+ESA + immunophenotype select a population enriched for cancer initiating stem cells. Shh is increased 46-fold in CD44+CD24+ESA + cells compared with normal pancreatic epithelial cells. Medications that destruct pancreatic cancer initiating stem cells are a potentially novel strategy in cancer treatment.In conclusion, aberrant hedgehog signaling occurs in pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis and therapeutics that target the transmembrane receptor Smoothened abrogate hedgehog signaling and may improve the outcomes of patients with pancreatic cancer. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Mele T.,Oncologia Medica | Mele T.,Breast Unit | Generali D.,Breast Unit | Fox S.,Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center | And 11 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2010

Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) are the key factors mediating neo-vascularization. They are often coexpressed in breast cancer. Sex steroids may stimulate angiogenesis via the estrogen receptor (ER) pathway. We investigated to compare the effects of the addition of tamoxifen to epirubicin versus epirubicin alone on VEGF and VEGFR2 expression in breast cancer patients. The expression of VEGF and VEGFR2 was assessed on tissue microarray by immunohistochemistry at baseline conditions and after treatments in the case of 191 patients with T2-4 N0-1 breast cancer enrolled in a randomized trial comparing four cycles of single agent epirubicin versus epirubicin plus tamoxifen as primary systemic treatment. Epirubicin alone failed to induce changes in VEGF expression (P = 0.54), while the addition of tamoxifen to epirubicin resulted in a significant reduction in VEGF expression (P < 0.001). As a consequence, baseline VEGF had a negative prognostic role in patients who received epirubicin alone but not in patients receiving epirubicin plus tamoxifen (interaction test P < 0.05). VEGFR2 expression increased at residual tumor histology in both treatment arms, with a lesser extent in patients receiving tamoxifen plus epirubicin. Decrease in VEGFR2 expression was significantly associated with response rate (P = 0.02). The addition of tamoxifen to epirubicin resulted in a suppression of a key angiogenic pathway. These data suggest a potential synergism of these two drugs. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010.


Kelleher F.C.,Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center | Kelleher F.C.,St Vincents University Hospital | Viterbo A.,St Vincents University Hospital | Viterbo A.,St Andrea University Hospital
Cancers | Year: 2013

Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) is an inclusive term used for sarcomas that defy formal sub-classification. The frequency with which this diagnosis is assigned has decreased in the last twenty years. This is because when implemented, careful histologic assessment, immunohistochemistry, and ultra-structural evaluation can often determine lineage of differentiation. Further attrition in the diagnostic frequency of UPS may arise by using array-comparative genomic hybridization. Gene expression arrays are also of potential use as they permit hierarchical gene clustering. Appraisal of the literature is difficult due to a historical perspective in which specific molecular diagnostic methods were previously unavailable. The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) classification has changed with different inclusion criteria. Taxonomy challenges also exist with the older term "malignant fibrous histiocytoma" being replaced by "UPS". In 2010 an analysis of multiple sarcoma expression databases using a 170-gene predictor, re-classified most MFH and "not-otherwise-specified" (NOS) tumors as liposarcomas, leiomyosarcomas or fibrosarcomas. Interestingly, some of the classifier genes are potential molecular therapeutic targets including Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), Peroxisome proliferator- activated receptor γ (PPARγ), Nerve growth factor β (NGF β) and Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR). © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Haeusler G.M.,Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center | Sung L.,Hospital for Sick Children | Ammann R.A.,University of Bern | Phillips B.,University of York
Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Risk stratification is recommended for children with cancer and fever and neutropenia. Further research is required to quantify the overall impact of this approach and to refine exactly which children will benefit from early antibiotic administration as well as modifications to empiric regimens to cover antibiotic-resistant organisms. © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Smart P.J.,Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center | Smart P.J.,General Surgery and Gastroenterology Clinical Institute | Burbury K.L.,Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center | Lynch A.C.,Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials | Year: 2014

Thromboembolism a common, costly, and morbid complication that is also associated with decreased survival in cancer patients. The risk of thromboembolism in cancer patients is underappreciated. In addition to symptomatic deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, asymptomatic and arterial thromboembolic events are important consideration in ambulatory cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT). No specific randomized trial examining thromboprophylaxis (TP) during nCRT for gastrointestinal cancer has been performed, and none is accruing. Most guidelines currently recommend against TP in ambulatory cancer patients due to a lack of data rather than proof of harm or lack of efficacy. It is clear that robust data are urgently required, and that treatment with nCRT in patients with gastrointestinal malignancy is not an indication for routine pharmacological TP at the present time. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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