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San Antonio, TX, United States

Ivanov S.V.,Yale University | Panaccione A.,Yale University | Panaccione A.,Vanderbilt University | Brown B.,Vanderbilt University | And 10 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2013

Treatment options for adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the salivary gland, a slowly growing tumor with propensity for neuroinvasion and late recurrence, are limited to surgery and radiotherapy. Based on expression analysis performed on clinical specimens of salivary cancers, we identified in ACC expression of the neurotrophin-3 receptor TrkC/NTRK3, neural crest marker SOX10, and other neurologic genes. Here, we characterize TrkC as a novel ACC marker, which was highly expressed in 17 out of 18 ACC primary-tumor specimens, but not in mucoepidermoid salivary carcinomas or head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Expression of the TrkC ligand NT-3 and Tyr-phosphorylation of TrkC detected in our study suggested the existence of an autocrine signaling loop in ACC with potential therapeutic significance. NT-3 stimulation of U2OS cells with ectopic TrkC expression triggered TrkC phosphorylation and resulted in Ras, Erk 1/2 and Akt activation, as well as VEGFR1 phosphorylation. Without NT-3, TrkC remained unphosphorylated, stimulated accumulation of phospho-p53 and had opposite effects on p-Akt and p-Erk 1/2. NT-3 promoted motility, migration, invasion, soft-agar colony growth and cytoskeleton restructuring in TrkC-expressing U2OS cells. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that TrkC-positive ACC specimens also show high expression of Bcl2, a Trk target regulated via Erk 1/2, in agreement with activation of the TrkC pathway in real tumors. In normal salivary gland tissue, both TrkC and Bcl2 were expressed in myoepithelial cells, suggesting a principal role for this cell lineage in the ACC origin and progression. Sub-micromolar concentrations of a novel potent Trk inhibitor AZD7451 completely blocked TrkC activation and associated tumorigenic behaviors. Pre-clinical studies on ACC tumors engrafted in mice showed efficacy and low toxicity of AZD7451, validating our in vitro data and stimulating more research into its clinical application. In summary, we describe in ACC a previously unrecognized pro-survival neurotrophin signaling pathway and link it with cancer progression. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source


Hidalgo M.,Johns Hopkins University | Hidalgo M.,Centro Integral Oncologico Clara Campal | Hidalgo M.,Clinical Research Program | Hidalgo M.,University of San Pablo - CEU | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2011

Patients with many advanced solid cancers have very poor prognosis, and improvements in life expectancy are measured only in months. We have recently reported the remarkable clinical outcome of a patient with advanced, gemcitabine-resistant, pancreatic cancer who was later treated with DNA-damaging agents, on the basis of the observation of significant activity of this class of drugs against a personalized tumorgraft generated from the patient's surgically resected tumor. Here, we extend the approach to patients with other advanced cancers. Tumors resected from 14 patients with refractory advanced cancers were propagated in immunodeficient mice and treated with 63 drugs in 232 treatment regimens. An effective treatment regimen in the xenograft model was identified for 12 patients. One patient died before receiving treatment, and the remaining 11 patients received 17 prospectively guided treatments. Fifteen of these treatments resulted in durable partial remissions. In 2 subjects, no effective treatments were found. Overall, there was a remarkable correlation between drug activity in the model and clinical outcome, both in terms of resistance and sensitivity. The data support the use of the personalized tumorgraft model as a powerful investigational platform for therapeutic decision making and to efficiently guide cancer treatment in the clinic. ©2011 AACR. Source


Tolcher A.W.,South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics
Chinese journal of cancer | Year: 2011

The advent of targeted therapies, combined with an unsustainable rate of failure in oncology drug development, has resulted in a number of new approaches to clinical trials. Early clinical trials are no exception, with efforts to improve the eventual success rate of late stage trials through evolving phase I trial methodologies, the addition of extensive pharmacodynamic studies, and early adoption of patient selection strategies. Unfortunately, some of these new approaches have met with mixed results. Furthermore, no clear metrics are available to determine whether these designs are more successful than previous strategies. This review examines the evolution of phase I trials and draws upon several examples of strategies that have been successful as well as those that have not, and outlines a pragmatic approach to phase I trials as our understanding of the molecular biology of individual malignancies emerges. Source


Vonderheide R.H.,University of Pennsylvania | Burg J.M.,University of Pennsylvania | Mick R.,University of Pennsylvania | Trosko J.A.,University of Pennsylvania | And 4 more authors.
OncoImmunology | Year: 2013

CD40 is a cell-surface molecule that critically regulates immune responses. CP -870,893 is a fully human, CD40-specific agonist monoclonal antibody (mAb) exerting clinical antineoplastic activity. Here, the safety of CP -870,893 combined with carboplatin and paclitaxel was assessed in a Phase I study. Patients with advanced solid tumors received standard doses of paclitaxel and carboplatin on day 1 followed by either 0.1 mg/Kg or 0.2 mg/Kg CP -870,893 on day 3 (Schedule A) or day 8 (Schedule B), repeated every 21 d. The primary objective was to determine safety and maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of CP -870,893. Secondary objectives included the evaluation of antitumor responses, pharmacokinetics and immune modulation. Thirty-two patients were treated with CP -870,893, 16 patients on each schedule. Two doselimiting toxicities were observed (grade 3 cytokine release and transient ischemic attack), each at the 0.2 mg/Kg dose level, which was estimated to be the MTD. The most common treatment-related adverse event was fatigue (81%). Of 30 evaluable patients, 6 (20%) exhibited partial responses constituting best responses as defined by REC IST. Following CP -870,893 infusion, the peripheral blood manifested an acute depletion of B cells associated with upregulation of immune co-stimulatory molecules. T-cell numbers did not change significantly from baseline, but transient tumor-specific T-cell responses were observed in a small number of evaluable patients. The CD40 agonist mAb CP -870,893, given on either of two schedules in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin, was safe for patients affected with advanced solid tumors. Biological and clinical responses were observed, providing a rationale for Phase II studies. © 2013 Landes Bioscience. Source


Garon E.B.,University of California at Los Angeles | Rizvi N.A.,Columbia University | Hui R.,University of Sydney | Leighl N.,Princess Margaret Cancer Center | And 23 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: We assessed the efficacy and safety of programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) inhibition with pembrolizumab in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer enrolled in a phase 1 study. We also sought to define and validate an expression level of the PD-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) that is associated with the likelihood of clinical benefit. METHODS: We assigned 495 patients receiving pembrolizumab (at a dose of either 2 mg or 10 mg per kilogram of body weight every 3 weeks or 10 mg per kilogram every 2 weeks) to either a training group (182 patients) or a validation group (313 patients). We assessed PD-L1 expression in tumor samples using immunohistochemical analysis, with results reported as the percentage of neoplastic cells with staining for membranous PD-L1 (proportion score). Response was assessed every 9 weeks by central review. RESULTS: Common side effects that were attributed to pembrolizumab were fatigue, pruritus, and decreased appetite, with no clear difference according to dose or schedule. Among all the patients, the objective response rate was 19.4%, and the median duration of response was 12.5 months. The median duration of progression-free survival was 3.7 months, and the median duration of overall survival was 12.0 months. PD-L1 expression in at least 50% of tumor cells was selected as the cutoff from the training group. Among patients with a proportion score of at least 50% in the validation group, the response rate was 45.2%. Among all the patients with a proportion score of at least 50%, median progression-free survival was 6.3 months; median overall survival was not reached. CONCLUSIONS: Pembrolizumab had an acceptable side-effect profile and showed antitumor activity in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. PD-L1 expression in at least 50% of tumor cells correlated with improved efficacy of pembrolizumab. Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source

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