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Victoria, Canada

Ho V.W.,BC Cancer Agency | Leung K.,BC Cancer Agency | Hsu A.,BC Cancer Agency | Luk B.,BC Cancer Agency | And 9 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Since cancer cells depend on glucose more than normal cells, we compared the effects of low carbohydrate (CHO) diets to a Western diet on the growth rate of tumors in mice. To avoid caloric restriction-induced effects, we designed the low CHO diets isocaloric with the Western diet by increasing protein rather than fat levels because of the reported tumor-promoting effects of high fat and the immune-stimulating effects of high protein. We found that both murine and human carcinomas grew slower in mice on diets containing low amylose CHO and high protein compared with a Western diet characterized by relatively high CHO and low protein. There was no weight difference between the tumor-bearing mice on the low CHO or Western diets. Additionally, the low CHO-fed mice exhibited lower blood glucose, insulin, and lactate levels. Additive antitumor effects with the low CHO diets were observed with the mTOR inhibitor CCI-779 and especially with the COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex, a potent anti-inflammatory drug. Strikingly, in a genetically engineered mouse model of HER-2/neu-induced mammary cancer, tumor penetrance in mice on a Western diet was nearly 50% by the age of 1 year whereas no tumors were detected in mice on the low CHO diet. This difference was associated with weight gains in mice on the Western diet not observed in mice on the low CHO diet. Moreover, whereas only 1 mouse on the Western diet achieved a normal life span, due to cancer-associated deaths, more than 50% of the mice on the low CHO diet reached or exceeded the normal life span. Taken together, our findings offer a compelling preclinical illustration of the ability of a low CHO diet in not only restricting weight gain but also cancer development and progression. ©2011 AACR. Source


El-Naggar A.M.,University of British Columbia | El-Naggar A.M.,British Columbia Cancer Research Center | Veinotte C.J.,Health Center | Cheng H.,University of British Columbia | And 27 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2015

Metastatic dissemination is the leading cause of death in cancer patients, which is particularly evident for high-risk sarcomas such as Ewing sarcoma, osteosarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. Previous research identified a crucial role for YB-1 in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis of epithelial malignancies. Based on clinical data and two distinct animal models, we now report that YB-1 is also a major metastatic driver in high-risk sarcomas. Our data establish YB-1 as a critical regulator of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) expression in sarcoma cells. YB-1 enhances HIF1α protein expression by directly binding to and activating translation of HIF1A messages. This leads to HIF1α-mediated sarcoma cell invasion and enhanced metastatic capacity in vivo, highlighting a translationally regulated YB-1-HIF1α axis in sarcoma metastasis. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source


Baker J.H.E.,University of British Columbia | Mcphee K.C.,University of British Columbia | Moosvi F.,University of British Columbia | Saatchi K.,University of British Columbia | And 3 more authors.
Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging | Year: 2016

Macromolecular gadolinium (Gd)-based contrast agents are in development as blood pool markers for MRI. HPG-GdF is a 583kDa hyperbranched polyglycerol doubly tagged with Gd and Alexa 647nm dye, making it both MR and histologically visible. In this study we examined the location of HPG-GdF in whole-tumor xenograft sections matched to in vivo DCE-MR images of both HPG-GdF and Gadovist. Despite its large size, we have shown that HPG-GdF extravasates from some tumor vessels and accumulates over time, but does not distribute beyond a few cell diameters from vessels. Fractional plasma volume (fPV) and apparent permeability-surface area product (aPS) parameters were derived from the MR concentration-time curves of HPG-GdF. Non-viable necrotic tumor tissue was excluded from the analysis by applying a novel bolus arrival time (BAT) algorithm to all voxels. aPS derived from HPG-GdF was the only MR parameter to identify a difference in vascular function between HCT116 and HT29 colorectal tumors. This study is the first to relate low and high molecular weight contrast agents with matched whole-tumor histological sections. These detailed comparisons identified tumor regions that appear distinct from each other using the HPG-GdF biomarkers related to perfusion and vessel leakiness, while Gadovist-imaged parameter measures in the same regions were unable to detect variation in vascular function. We have established HPG-GdF as a biocompatible multi-modal high molecular weight contrast agent with application for examining vascular function in both MR and histological modalities. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

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