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Zhu A.X.,Harvard University | Park J.O.,Sungkyunkwan University | Ryoo B.-Y.,University of Ulsan | Yen C.-J.,National Cheng Kung University | And 16 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2015

Background: VEGF and VEGF receptor-2-mediated angiogenesis contribute to hepatocellular carcinoma pathogenesis. Ramucirumab is a recombinant IgG1 monoclonal antibody and VEGF receptor-2 antagonist. We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of ramucirumab in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma following first-line therapy with sorafenib. Methods: In this randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre, phase 3 trial (REACH), patients were enrolled from 154 centres in 27 countries. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, had hepatocellular carcinoma with Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage C disease or stage B disease that was refractory or not amenable to locoregional therapy, had Child-Pugh A liver disease, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, had previously received sorafenib (stopped because of progression or intolerance), and had adequate haematological and biochemical parameters. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive intravenous ramucirumab (8 mg/kg) or placebo every 2 weeks, plus best supportive care, until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or death. Randomisation was stratified by geographic region and cause of liver disease with a stratified permuted block method. Patients, medical staff, investigators, and the funder were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was overall survival in the intention-to-treat population. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01140347. Findings: Between Nov 4, 2010, and April 18, 2013, 565 patients were enrolled, of whom 283 were assigned to ramucirumab and 282 were assigned to placebo. Median overall survival for the ramucirumab group was 9·2 months (95% CI 8·0-10·6) versus 7·6 months (6·0-9·3) for the placebo group (HR 0·87 [95% CI 0·72-1·05]; p=0·14). Grade 3 or greater adverse events occurring in 5% or more of patients in either treatment group were ascites (13 [5%] of 277 patients treated with ramucirumab vs 11 [4%] of 276 patients treated with placebo), hypertension (34 [12%] vs ten [4%]), asthenia (14 [5%] vs five [2%]), malignant neoplasm progression (18 [6%] vs 11 [4%]), increased aspartate aminotransferase concentration (15 [5%] vs 23 [8%]), thrombocytopenia (13 [5%] vs one [<1%]), hyperbilirubinaemia (three [1%] vs 13 [5%]), and increased blood bilirubin (five [2%] vs 14 [5%]). The most frequently reported (≥1%) treatment-emergent serious adverse event of any grade or grade 3 or more was malignant neoplasm progression. Interpretation: Second-line treatment with ramucirumab did not significantly improve survival over placebo in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. No new safety signals were noted in eligible patients and the safety profile is manageable. Funding: Eli Lilly and Co. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Nguyen K.-Q.N.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Tsou W.-I.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Tsou W.-I.,The New School | Calarese D.A.,Yeshiva University | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2014

MERTK, a member of the TAM (TYRO3, AXL, and MERTK) receptor tyrosine kinases, has complex and diverse roles in cell biology. On the one hand, knock-out of MERTK results in agedependent autoimmunity characterized by failure of apoptotic cell clearance, while on the other, MERTK overexpression in cancer drives classical oncogene pathways leading to cell transformation. To better understand the interplay between cell transformation and efferocytosis, we stably expressed MERTK in human MCF10A cells, a non-tumorigenic breast epithelial cell line devoid of endogenous MERTK. While stable expression of MERTK in MCF10A resulted in enhanced motility and AKTmediated chemoprotection, MERTK-10A cells did not form stable colonies in soft agar, or enhance proliferation compared with parental MCF10A cells. Concomitant to chemoresistance, MERTK also stimulated efferocytosis in a gain-of-function capacity. However, unlike AXL, MERTK activation was highly dependent on apoptotic cells, suggestingMERTKmay preferentially interface with phosphatidylserine. Consistent with this idea, knockdown ofMERTKin breast cancer cellsMDA-MB231 reduced efferocytosis, while transient or stable expression of MERTK stimulated apoptotic cell clearance in all cell lines tested. Moreover, human breast cancer cells with higher endogenous MERTK showed higher levels of efferocytosis that could be blocked by solubleTAMreceptors. Finally, through MERTK, apoptotic cells induced PD-L1 expression, an immune checkpoint blockade, suggesting that cancer cells may adopt MERTKdriven efferocytosis as an immune suppression mechanism for their advantage. These data collectively identify MERTK as a significant link between cancer progression and efferocytosis, and a potentially unrealized tumor-promoting event when MERTK is overexpressed in epithelial cells. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source


Stone R.C.,The New School | Stone R.C.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Kim S.,The New School | Barnes B.J.,University Hospital Cancer Center | And 2 more authors.
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2012

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) stimulates cell proliferation and is crucial for maintenance of somatic tissues. However, this effect is associated with the inhibition of FOXO transcription factors and downregulation of antioxidative enzymes. In this study, we compared the responses of primary dermal fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial cells with IGF-1 treatment. We found that IGF-1 primarily downregulated enzymatic antioxidants in skin fibroblasts. However, human umbilical vein endothelial cells were protected from an IGF-1-mediated decrease in antioxidative capacity. Moreover, IGF-1 also activated endothelial nitric oxide synthase in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. These observations suggest a dichotomous role for IGF-1, which provides for growth and repair needs of the soma, while attenuating the effect of oxidative stress on the vasculature by activating endothelial nitric oxide synthase. This increases the production of nitric oxide, an antiproliferative and, under certain circumstances, an antioxidant agent. Findings could help clarify the role of IGF-1 in aging and longevity of lower organisms, short-lived mammals, and humans. © 2012 The Author. Source

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