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Bandera E.V.,Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Cancer causes & control : CCC | Year: 2013

There is growing evidence that body size in early life influences lifetime breast cancer risk, but little is known for African American (AA) women. We evaluated body size during childhood and young adulthood and breast cancer risk among 1,751 cases [979 AA and 772 European American (EA)] and 1,673 controls (958 AA and 715 EA) in the Women's Circle of Health Study. Odds ratio (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were computed using logistic regression models while adjusting for potential covariates. Among AA women, being shorter at 7-8 years compared to peers was associated with increased postmenopausal breast cancer risk (OR 1.68, 95 % CI 1.02-2.74), and being heavier at menarche with decreased postmenopausal breast cancer risk, although of borderline significance (OR 0.45, 95 % CI 0.20-1.02). For EA women, being shorter from childhood through adolescence, particularly at menarche, was associated with reduced premenopausal breast cancer risk (OR 0.55, 95 % CI 0.31-0.98). After excluding hormone replacement therapy users, an inverse association with postmenopausal breast cancer was found among EA women reporting to be heavier than their peers at menarche (OR 0.18, 95 % CI 0.04-0.79). The inverse relationship between BMI at age 20 and breast cancer risk was stronger and only statistically significant in EA women. No clear association with weight gain since age 20 was found. Findings suggest that the impact of childhood height on breast cancer risk may differ for EA and AA women and confirm the inverse association previously reported in EA populations with adolescent body fatness, in AA women.


Wang X.-W.,Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Zhang Y.-J.,Shanghai JiaoTong University
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2014

The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) integrates growth factor signals with cellular nutrient and energy levels and coordinates cell growth, proliferation and survival. A regulatory network with multiple feedback loops has evolved to ensure the exquisite regulation of cell growth and division. Colorectal cancer is the most intensively studied cancer because of its high incidence and mortality rate. Multiple genetic alterations are involved in colorectal carcinogenesis, including oncogenic Ras activation, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway hyperactivation, p 53 mutation, and dysregulation of wnt pathway. Many oncogenic pathways activate the mTOR pathway. mTOR has emerged as an effective target for colorectal cancer therapy. In vitro and preclinical studies targeting the mTOR pathway for colorectal cancer chemotherapy have provided promising perspectives. However, the overall objective response rates in major solid tumors achieved with single-agent rapalog therapy have been modest, especially in advanced metastatic colorectal cancer. Combination regimens of mTOR inhibitor with agents such as cytotoxic chemotherapy, inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor, epidermal growth factor receptor and Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors are being intensively studied and appear to be promising. Further understanding of the molecular mechanism in mTOR signaling network is needed to develop optimized therapeutic regimens. In this paper, oncogenic gene alterations in colorectal cancer, as well as their interaction with the mTOR pathway, are systematically summarized. The most recent preclinical and clinical anticancer therapeutic endeavors are reviewed. New players in mTOR signaling pathway, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and metformin with therapeutic potentials are also discussed here. © 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.


White E.,Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Genes and Development | Year: 2013

Oncogenic Ras promotes glucose fermentation and glutamine use to supply central carbon metabolism, but how and why have only emerged recently. Ras-mediated metabolic reprogramming generates building blocks for growth and promotes antioxidant defense. To fuel metabolic pathways, Ras scavenges extracellular proteins and lipids. To bolster metabolism and mitigate stress, Ras activates cellular self-cannibalization and recycling of proteins and organelles by autophagy. Targeting these distinct features of Ras-driven cancers provides novel approaches to cancer therapy. © 2013 White.


White E.,Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey | White E.,Rutgers University
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2015

Autophagy is a survival-promoting pathway that captures, degrades, and recycles intracellular proteins and organelles in lysosomes. Autophagy preserves organelle function, prevents the toxic buildup of cellular waste products, and provides substrates to sustain metabolism in starvation. Although in some contexts autophagy suppresses tumorigenesis, in most contexts autophagy facilitates tumorigenesis. Cancers can upregulate autophagy to survive microenvironmental stress and to increase growth and aggressiveness. Mechanisms by which autophagy promotes cancer include suppressing induction of the p53 tumor suppressor protein and maintaining metabolic function of mitochondria. Efforts to inhibit autophagy to improve cancer therapy have thereby attracted great interest.


Hirshfield K.M.,Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Ganesan S.,Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2014

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs), lacking estrogen receptor expression and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 amplification, have no effective targeted therapy. Large-scale comprehensive genomic analyses have allowed stratification of TNBCs by molecular features. We will review the recent data regarding the classification of these poor prognosis cancers and the associated potential targeted treatment approaches. RECENT FINDINGS: TNBCs are a heterogeneous set of cancers characterized by a diverse set of gene-expression patterns and underlying genomic changes. Mutations in p53 are the only genomic alteration present in the majority of TNBCs. Other potential targetable alterations are only present in small subsets of TNBCs, and include defects in DNA repair present in BRCA1-mutant TNBCs and some sporadic TNBCs. Antiandrogens may be effective for TNBCs that express the androgen receptor and have luminal-like gene-expression features. PI3KCA pathway inhibitors and HSP90 inhibitors may also be effective in a small fraction of TNBCs. SUMMARY: Robust methods to functionally classify TNBCs to determine vulnerable pathways are urgently needed to guide the development of clinical trials. It is quite possible that TNBCs, like non-small cell lung cancer, will be stratified into many individually rare cancer classes, each requiring a distinct treatment approach. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health.

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