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Milano, Italy

Binda E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Reynolds B.A.,University of Florida | Vescovi A.L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Vescovi A.L.,StemGen SpA
Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2014

High-grade gliomas remain incurable and lethal. Through the availability of the stem-like cells responsible for glioblastoma (GB) formation, expansion, resilience and recurrence, the discovery of glioma cancer stem cells (GCSCs) is revolutionizing this field. GCSCs provide an unprecedented opportunity to reproduce and study GB pathophysiology more accurately. This critically emphasizes our ability to unambiguously identify, isolate and investigate cells that do qualify as GCSCs, to use them as a potential model that is truly predictive of GBs and of their regulation and response to therapeutic agents. We review this concept against the background of key findings on somatic, neural and solid tumour stem cells (SCs), also taking into account the emerging phenomenon of phenotypic SC plasticity. We suggest that basic approaches in these areas can be imported into the GCSC field, so that the same functional method used to identify normal somatic SCs becomes the most appropriate to define GCSCs. This, combined with knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of normal adult neurogenesis, promises to improve the identification of GCSCs and of selective markers, as well as the development of innovative, more specific and efficacious antiglioma strategies. © 2014 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine. Source

Servidei T.,Catholic University of Rome | Meco D.,Catholic University of Rome | Trivieri N.,StemGen SpA | Patriarca V.,Catholic University of Rome | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Some lines of evidence suggest that tumors, including ependymoma, might arise from a subpopulation of cells, termed cancer stem cells (CSCs), with self-renewal and tumor-initiation properties. Given the strict dependence of CSCs on epidermal growth factor (EGF) through EGF receptor (EGFR), we investigated the effects of EGFR inhibitors in ependymoma-stem cells (SCs) in vitro and in orthotopic mouse models. We established two ependymoma-SC lines from two recurrent pediatric ependymoma. Both lines expressed markers of radial glia-the candidate SCs of ependymoma-and showed renewal ability, multipotency, and tumorigenicity after orthotopic implantation, despite markedly different expression of CD133 (94 vs. 6%). High phosphorylated-EGFR/EGFR ratio was detected, which decreased after differentiation. EGFR inhibitors (gefitinib and AEE788) reduced clonogenicity, proliferation and survival of ependymoma-SC lines dose-dependently, and blocked EGF-induced activation of EGFR, Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2. Overall, AEE788 was more effective than gefitinib. EGFR blockade as well as differentiation strongly reduced CD133 expression. However, ex vivo treatment with AEE788 did not impair orthotopic tumor engraftment, whereas ex vivo differentiation did, suggesting that CD133 does not absolutely segregate for tumorigenicity in ependymoma-SCs. Orally administered AEE788 prolonged survival of mice bearing ependymoma-SC-driven orthotopic xenografts from 56 to 63 days, close to statistical significance (log-rank p = 0.06). Our study describes for the first time EGFR signaling in ependymoma-SCs and the effects of EGFR blockade in complementary in vitro and in vivo systems. The experimental models we developed can be used to further investigate the activity of EGFR inhibitors or other antineoplastic agents in this tumor. © 2011 UICC. Source

STEMGEN S.p.A. | Date: 2011-04-18

The present disclosure concerns the field of malignant tumors of the central nervous system and provides pharmaceutical compositions suitable for the therapeutic and for the prophylactic treatment of brain tumors and for inhibiting the growth of the tumor mass.

Binda E.,StemGen SpA | Binda E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Visioli A.,StemGen SpA | Visioli A.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 3 more authors.
Frontiers in Bioscience - Scholar | Year: 2012

Malignant gliomas, particularly glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), account for the majority of brain tumors. Their incidence is increasing world wide and they are incurable. Although a transient response to therapy is observed, tumor recurrence is inevitable and occurs within tissue that has received cytotoxic therapy. This suggests that a subpopulation of resistant cells is responsible for tumor regrowth. The treatment of GBMs represents a daunting challenge to clinicians due principally to the lack of effective therapeutic options. One explanation for this is the marked cellular and genetic heterogeneity within and across these types of tumors. Unravelling the cellular composition of gliomas and describing cell lineage relationships are essential for therapeutic breakthroughs. The recent proposal that a small percentage of cells with stem cells characteristics are responsible for tumor initiation and growth has sparked an interest in applying approaches used to study somatic stem cells toward an understanding of the cellular elements responsible for cancer progression and recurrence. To outline the relevance of these findings is the purpose of this review. Source

Binda E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Visioli A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Giani F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Lamorte G.,IRCSS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza | And 16 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2012

In human glioblastomas (hGBMs), tumor-propagating cells with stem-like characteristics (TPCs) represent a key therapeutic target. We found that the EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in hGBM TPCs. Cytofluorimetric sorting into EphA2High and EphA2Low populations demonstrated that EphA2 expression correlates with the size and tumor-propagating ability of the TPC pool in hGBMs. Both ephrinA1-Fc, which caused EphA2 downregulation in TPCs, and siRNA-mediated knockdown of EPHA2 expression suppressed TPCs self-renewal ex vivo and intracranial tumorigenicity, pointing to EphA2 downregulation as a causal event in the loss of TPCs tumorigenicity. Infusion of ephrinA1-Fc into intracranial xenografts elicited strong tumor-suppressing effects, suggestive of therapeutic applications. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

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