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Lugnani F.,Kirurski Sanatorij | Simone G.,Regina Elena Cancer Institute | Biava P.M.,Scientific Institute of Research and Care Multimedica | Ablin R.J.,Arizona Cancer Center
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2014

Neuroendocrine prostate carcinoma (NE-PCa) is a heterogeneous disease. Due to a high prevalence of NE (neuroendocrine) differentiation in patients who receive prolonged androgen deprivation treatment, the real incidence of NE-PCa remains unknown. Similarly, the biological steps from prostate carcinoma (PCa) toward NE differentiation are far less than definitive and, consequently, there is a lack of evidence to support any of the treatments as the "gold standard". Materials and Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted using the PubMed, Scopus, and Embase databases to identify original articles and review articles regarding NE-PCa. Keywords were "prostate cancer" and "neuroendocrine". Articles published between 1995 and 2013, were reviewed and selected with the consensus of all of the authors. Results: Fifty-one articles were selected by the authors for the purpose of this review. The principle findings were reported in some subsections: Epidemiology, Biological steps of NE differentiation (with some principle articles on animal and in vitro, since there is very little in the literature found on human studies); for the treatment options, we had to expand the search on PubMed to a larger timeframe and selection since very little was specifically found in the first criteria: surgery, radiotherapy, ablative techniques, immunomodulation and epigenetic therapy were then reviewed. A multidisciplinary approach, advocated by many authors, although promising, has failed to demonstrate increased survival rates. Limitations of this review include the lack of a clear definition of NE-PCa and consequently, the lack of strong evidence provided by a large series with long-term follow-up. Conclusions: Supported from this extensive review, we propose that it is worthwhile to investigate a new multimodal therapeutic approach to address advanced NE-PCa starting from a debulking (with radical intent) of the disease plus epigenetic therapy with stem cell differentiation stage factors (SCDSFs). In addition immunotherapy can be used to treat the cancer presenting phenotype in association with chemomodulation plus ablative therapies, in case of advanced or recurrent diseases. SCDSFs may be utilized to regulate cancer stem cells and possible new phenotypes could also be associated with ablative therapies. Hormonal deprivation, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, ex vivo vaccines and targeted therapies could also be used and reserved in case of failure. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.


Sell S.,New York State Department of Health | Nicolini A.,University of Pisa | Ferrari P.,University of Pisa | Biava P.M.,Scientific Institute of Research and Care Multimedica
Current Drug Targets | Year: 2016

Current medical literature acknowledges that embryonic micro-environment is able to suppress tumor development. Administering carcinogenic substances during organogenesis in fact leads to embryonic malformations, but not to offspring tumor growth. Once organogenesis has ended, administration of carcinogenic substances causes a rise in offspring tumor development. These data indicate that cancer can be considered a deviation in normal development, which can be regulated by factors of the embryonic microenvironment. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that teratoma differentiates into normal tissues once it is implanted in the embryo. Recently, it has been shown that implanting a melanoma in Zebrafish embryo did not result in a tumor development; however, it did in the adult specimen. This demonstrates that cancer cells can differentiate into normal tissues when implanted in the embryo. In addition, it was demonstrated that other tumors can revert into a normal phenotype and/or differentiate into normal tissue when implanted in the embryo. These studies led some authors to define cancer as a problem of developmental biology and to predict the present concept of "cancer stem cells theory". In this review, we record the most important researches about the reprogramming and differentiation treatments of cancer cells to better clarify how the substances taken from developing embryo or other biological substances can induce differentiation of malignant cells. Lastly, a model of cancer has been proposed here, conceived by one of us, which is consistent with the reality, as demonstrated by a great number of researches. This model integrates the theory of the "maturation arrest" of cancer cells as conceived by B. Pierce with the theory which describes cancer as a process of deterministic chaos determined by genetic and/or epigenetic alterations in differentiated cells, which leads a normal cell to become cancerous. All the researches here described demonstrated that cancer can be considered a problem of developmental biology and that one of the most important hallmarks of cancer is the loss of differentiation as already described by us in other articles. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers.


Biava P.M.,Scientific Institute of Research and Care Multimedica | Canaider S.,University of Bologna | Canaider S.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures | Facchin F.,University of Bologna | And 9 more authors.
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Year: 2015

In spite of the growing body of evidence on the biology of the Zebrafish embryo and stem cells, including the use of Stem Cell Differentiation Stage Factors (SCDSFs) taken from Zebrafish embryo to impact cancer cell dynamics, comparatively little is known about the possibility to use these factors to modulate the homeostasis of normal human stem cells or to modulate the behavior of cells involved in different pathological conditions. In the present review we recall in a synthetic way the most important researches about the use of SCDSFs in reprogramming cancer cells and in modulating the high speed of multiplication of keratinocytes which is characteristic of some pathological diseases like psoriasis. Moreover we add here the results about the capability of SCDSFs in modulating the homeostasis of human adiposederived stem cells (hASCs) isolated from a fat tissue obtained with a novel-non enzymatic method and device. In addition we report the data not yet published about a first protein analysis of the SCDSFs and about their role in a pathological condition like neurodegeneration. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers.


Nicolini A.,University of Pisa | Ferrari P.,University of Pisa | Kotlarova L.,Edukafarm | Rossi G.,National Research Council Italy | Biava P.M.,Scientific Institute of Research and Care Multimedica
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Acquired hormone resistance is an old hurdle and still represents to be a constant challenge in oncology for the medical community. Most recently, mainly following the results of BOLERO-2 study, the activation of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway is considered clinically relevant for tumor escape from hormone dependence in breast cancer. In the BOLERO-2 trial, a combination of everolimus, mTOR inhibitor, and exemestane significantly prolonged the median progression free survival (PFS) compared to exemestane alone in advanced breast cancer patients with acquired endocrine resistance. Therefore, the inhibitors of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway are a new class of drugs in great expansion joined with great expectation. This review article focuses on this special issue and briefly reports on the results of clinical trials using PI3K-AKT-mTOR inhibitors. However, the emergence of resistance to this new class of drugs, evidenced by the basic research and the relatively less benefit shown in the clinical trials, has been emerging as a new undesirable complication. Therefore, the principal elucidated mechanisms of the resistance to the inhibitors of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway and the related potential therapeutic strategies are described. A more general immunological approach to delay acquired hormone resistance has also been considered and commented upon. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers.


Biava P.M.,Scientific Institute of Research and Care Multimedica | Norbiato G.,University of Milan
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Year: 2015

As the modern society is troubled by multi-factorial diseases, research has been conductedon complex realities including chronic inflammation, cancer, obesity, HIV infection, metabolic syndrome and its detrimental cardiovascular complications as well as depression and other brain disorders. Deterioration of crucial homeostatic mechanisms in such diseases invariably results in activation of inflammatorymediators, chronic inflammation, loss in immunological function, increased susceptibility to diseases, alteration of metabolism, decrease of energy production and neuro-cognitive decline. Regulation of genes expression by epigenetic code is the dominant mechanism for the transduction ofenvironmental inputs, such as stress and inflammation to lasting physiological changes. Acute and chronic stress determines DNA methylation and histone modifications in brain regions which may contribute to neuro-degenerative disorders.Nuclear glucocorticoids receptor interacts with the epigenoma resulting in a cortisol resistance status associated with a deterioration of the metabolic and immune functions. Gonadal steroids receptors have a similar capacity to produce epigenomic reorganization of chromatine structure. Epigenomic-induced reduction in immune cells telomeres length has been observed in many degenerative diseases, including all types of cancer. The final result of these epigenetic alterations is a serious damage to the neuro-endocrine-immune-metabolic adaptive systems. In this study, we propose a treatment with stem cells differentiation stage factors taken from zebrafish embryos which are able to regulate the genes expression of normal and pathological stem cells in a different specific way. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers.


Nicolini A.,University of Pisa | Carpi A.,University of Pisa | Ferrari P.,University of Pisa | Biava P.M.,Scientific Institute of Research and Care Multimedica | Rossi G.,National Research Council Italy
Current Drug Targets | Year: 2016

Historically, antiestrogen is the first targeted therapy used in breast cancer treatment. In fact, its rationale lies in the molecular pathways elucidated by basic research. In estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha positive metastatic breast cancer patients, hormone-therapy remains the first option of treatment. While tamoxifen concomitant with suppression of ovarian function with luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists is the standard first line treatment in premenopausal, third generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are the first line standard hormone therapy in postmenopausal. However, the development of acquired resistance during antiestrogen therapy continues to be a central clinical problem. This review provides an update on the antiestrogen action and report on immunological treatment of the advanced disease by some cytokines. Interleukin-2, interleukin-12 and interferons used alone or in combination demonstrated an anti-tumor action directly and/or through synergism with antiestrogens. A rationale for the addition of interferon-beta and interleukin-2 to antiestrogens is described. Furthermore, we summarize and interpret the clinical and laboratory data of a recent long-term hormone-immunotherapy study in metastatic endocrine dependent breast cancer patients. Prospective randomized trials are necessary to confirm some recent promising results based on an immunological approach in addition to antiestrogens to overcome or delay acquired hormone resistance. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers.


PubMed | Scientific Institute of Research and Care Multimedica
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Current medicinal chemistry | Year: 2014

The term cancer cell reprogramming is used to define any kind of intervention aimed at transforming cancer cells into terminally differentiated cells. Using this approach, new technologies have been applied with different methods for a more systemic approach to cancer treatment. This review reports on advances of these technologies, including our personal contributions, mainly carried out on endocrine-related cancers. Some of the interventions, aimed at reverting cancer cells into a normal phenotype, are based on the evidence that tumor development is suppressed by the embryonic microenvironment. On the basis of this rationale, experiments have been conducted using stem cell differentiation stage factors (SCDSFs) taken at different stages of development of Zebrafish embryos, oocyte extracts, or nave human umbilical cord matrix derived stem cells (UMDSCs). SCDSFs induce significant growth inhibition on different tumor cell lines in vitro, likely because of increases in cell cycle regulatory molecules, such as p53 and pRb. Treatment with these factors activates apoptosis and differentiation related to caspase-3. This is achieved via p73 apoptotic-dependent pathway activation with a concurrent normalization of the E-cadherin and beta-catenin ratio. Extracts from prophase amphibian oocytes could reprogram relevant epigenetic alterations in MCF-7 and HCC1954 breast cancer cell lines, while un-engineered (nave) human UMDSCs attenuated growth of MDA-231 human breast carcinoma cells. A product prepared for human treatments, containing SCDSFs at very low doses, yielded favorable results in breast cancer and in intermediate-advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Other reprogramming interventions used in the models of breast, prostate and ovarian cancer cell lines are described. Finally, current and future perspectives of this novel technology are discussed and a new hallmark of cancer is suggested: the loss of differentiation of cancer cells.


PubMed | Scientific Institute of Research and Care Multimedica
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Current drug targets | Year: 2016

Current medical literature acknowledges that embryonic micro-environment is able to suppress tumor development. Administering carcinogenic substances during organogenesis in fact leads to embryonic malformations, but not to offspring tumor growth. Once organogenesis has ended, administration of carcinogenic substances causes a rise in offspring tumor development. These data indicate that cancer can be considered a deviation in normal development, which can be regulated by factors of the embryonic microenvironment. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that teratoma differentiates into normal tissues once it is implanted in the embryo. Recently, it has been shown that implanting a melanoma in Zebrafish embryo did not result in a tumor development; however, it did in the adult specimen. This demonstrates that cancer cells can differentiate into normal tissues when implanted in the embryo. In addition, it was demonstrated that other tumors can revert into a normal phenotype and/or differentiate into normal tissue when implanted in the embryo. These studies led some authors to define cancer as a problem of developmental biology and to predict the present concept of cancer stem cells theory. In this review, we record the most important researches about the reprogramming and differentiation treatments of cancer cells to better clarify how the substances taken from developing embryo or other biological substances can induce differentiation of malignant cells. Lastly, a model of cancer has been proposed here, conceived by one of us, which is consistent with the reality, as demonstrated by a great number of researches. This model integrates the theory of the maturation arrest of cancer cells as conceived by B. Pierce with the theory which describes cancer as a process of deterministic chaos determined by genetic and/or epigenetic alterations in differentiated cells, which leads a normal cell to become cancerous. All the researches here described demonstrated that cancer can be considered a problem of developmental biology and that one of the most important hallmarks of cancer is the loss of differentiation as already described by us in other articles.

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