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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.


Bryan M.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Pulte E.D.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Toomey K.C.,Steeplechase Cancer Center | Pliner L.,University Hospital Cancer Center | And 4 more authors.
Investigational New Drugs | Year: 2011

Purpose: We investigated a combination therapy with weekly paclitaxel and all trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) for tolerability, response to treatment, time to progression and survival in previously treated patients with metastatic or recurrent breast cancer. Our rationale was based on preclinical studies demonstrating potentiation of the cytotoxic effects of taxanes and induction of differentiation by ATRA. Patients and methods: Seventeen patients with previously treated metastatic or recurrent breast cancer were enrolled to a regimen of all-trans retinoic acid (Vesanoid, tretinoin, Hoffman-La Roche, Inc.) 45 mg/m 2 PO daily for 4 days starting 2 days before a 1 h treatment with paclitaxel (Taxol, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Plainsboro, NJ) 80 mg/m 2 IV administered weekly for 3 weeks, repeated in 28 day cycles until disease progression or until no longer tolerated. Patients were evaluated for toxicity, response, time to progression and survival. Patients were primarily African American and Latino, representative of the population served by our Cancer Center. Results: The regimen was relatively well tolerated. There were nine grade 3 and one grade 4 toxic events. We administered 162 treatment cycles with a mean of 7.5 per patient (range 1-22, median 5). Three patients had a partial response (17.6%) and ten patients had stable disease (58.8%), with an overall clinical benefit of 76.4%. Median time to progression was 6.0 months (range 1-21, mean 7.7 months). Fourteen evaluable patients had a median survival of 16 months (range 1-68 months, mean 25.2 months). Conclusions: The data suggest this is a well tolerated regimen with modest response rates but with time to progression and survival rates similar to those reported for paclitaxel alone and relatively high rates of stable disease in this sample of patients. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.


Cohen-Solal K.A.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Merrigan K.T.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Chan J.L.-K.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Goydos J.S.,Cancer Institute of New Jersey | And 5 more authors.
Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research | Year: 2011

Melanoma cells are resistant to transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ)-induced cell-cycle arrest. In this study, we investigated a mechanism of resistance involving a regulatory domain, called linker region, in Smad2 and Smad3, main downstream effectors of TGFβ. Melanoma cells in culture and tumor samples exhibited constitutive Smad2 and Smad3 linker phosphorylation. Treatment of melanoma cells with the MEK1/2 inhibitor, U0126, or the two pan-CDK and GSK3 inhibitors, Flavopiridol and R547, resulted in decreased linker phosphorylation of Smad2 and Smad3. Overexpression of the linker phosphorylation-resistant Smad3 EPSM mutant in melanoma cells resulted in an increase in expression of p15INK4B and p21WAF1, as compared with cells transfected with wild-type (WT) Smad3. In addition, the cell numbers of EPSM Smad3-expressing melanoma cells were significantly reduced compared with WT Smad3-expressing cells. These results suggest that the linker phosphorylation of Smad3 contributes to the resistance of melanoma cells to TGFβ-mediated growth inhibition. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Benhamed M.,Institute Pasteur Paris | Benhamed M.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Herbig U.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Ye T.,Institute Of Genetique Et Of Biologie Moleculaire Et Cellulaire Igbmc | And 4 more authors.
Nature Cell Biology | Year: 2012

Cellular senescence is a tumour-suppressor mechanism that is triggered by cancer-initiating or promoting events in mammalian cells. The molecular underpinnings for this stable arrest involve transcriptional repression of proliferation-promoting genes regulated by the retinoblastoma (RB1)/E2F repressor complex. Here, we demonstrate that AGO2, RB1 and microRNAs (miRNAs), as exemplified here by let-7, physically and functionally interact to repress RB1/E2F-target genes in senescence, a process that we call senescence-associated transcriptional gene silencing (SA-TGS). Herein, AGO2 acts as the effector protein for let-7-directed implementation of silent-state chromatin modifications at target promoters, and inhibition of the let-7/AGO2 effector complex perturbs the timely execution of senescence. Thus, we identify cellular senescence as the an endogenous signal of miRNA/AGO2-mediated TGS in human cells. Our results suggest that miRNA/AGO2-mediated SA-TGS may contribute to tumour suppression by stably repressing proliferation-promoting genes in premalignant cancer cells. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Miknis Z.J.,NCI Inc | Magracheva E.,NCI Inc | Magracheva E.,SAIC | Li W.,University Hospital Cancer Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Biology | Year: 2010

Interferon (IFN)-γ1 [also known as interleukin (IL)-29] belongs to the recently discovered group of type III IFNs. All type III IFNs initiate signaling processes through formation of specific heterodimeric receptor complexes consisting of IFN-γR1 and IL-10R2. We have determined the structure of human IFN-γ1 complexed with human IFN-γR1, a receptor unique to type III IFNs. The overall structure of IFN-γ1 is topologically similar to the structure of IL-10 and other members of the IL-10 family of cytokines. IFN-γR1 consists of two distinct domains having fibronectin type III topology. The ligand-receptor interface includes helix A, loop AB, and helix F on the IFN site, as well as loops primarily from the N-terminal domain and inter-domain hinge region of IFN-γR1. Composition and architecture of the interface that includes only a few direct hydrogen bonds support an idea that long-range ionic interactions between ligand and receptor govern the process of initial recognition of the molecules while hydrophobic interactions finalize it. © 2010.


Bi X.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Feng D.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Korczeniewska J.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Alper N.,University Hospital Cancer Center | And 2 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2014

Repeated low-dose γ-irradiation (IR) induces thymic lymphoma in mice because of oncogenic mutations propagating from a primitive hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSC) in the bone marrow. It is well known that IR-induced thymic lymphomagenesis is markedly enhanced by p53 deficiency, yet data also indicate that p53-dependent apoptosis can actively drive tumor formation in this model. The latter was recently expounded on by findings from Puma-deficient mice, indicating that loss of this proapoptotic p53 target gene results in protection from IR-induced lymphomagenesis rather than enhanced susceptibility to. Similar to Puma, the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (Irf5) has been reported as a p53 target gene and is required for DNA damage-induced apoptosis. To date, no studies have been performed to elucidate the in vivo role of IRF5 in tumorigenesis. Given its essential role in DNA damage-induced apoptosis, we explored the tumor suppressor function of IRF5 in IR-induced thymic lymphomagenesis. Somewhat surprisingly, we found that thymic lymphoma development was significantly suppressed in Irf5-/-mice as compared with wild-type littermates. Suppression was due, in part, to reduced thymocyte and HSC apoptosis, resulting in reduced compensatory proliferation, and reduced replication stress-associated DNA damage. The observed effects were independent of p53 or Puma as these proteins were upregulated in Irf5-/-mice in response to IR. This study demonstrates an important new role for IRF5 in maintaining HSC homeostasis after IR and supports the non-redundant functions of IRF5, p53 and PUMA in DNA damage-induced lymphomagenesis. We propose that IRF5 may be an attractive target for developing therapeutic agents to ameliorate radiation-induced bone marrow injury. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Alagappan D.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Balan M.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Jiang Y.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Cohen R.B.,University Hospital Cancer Center | And 2 more authors.
ASN Neuro | Year: 2013

We recently established that the EGF-R (epidermal growth factor receptor) (EGF-R) is an essential regulator of the reactive expansion of SVZ (subventricular zone) NPs (neural precursors) that occurs during recovery from hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. The purpose of the current studies was to identify the conditions and the transcription factor (s) responsible for inducing the EGF-R. Here, we show that the increase in EGF-R expression and the more rapid division of the NPs can be recapitulated in in vitro by exposing SVZ NPs to hypoxia and hypoglycemia simultaneously, but not separately. The EGF-R promoter has binding sites for multiple transcription factors that includes the zinc finger transcription factor, Egr-1. We show that Egr-1 expression increases in NPs, but not astrocytes, following hypoxia and hypoglycemia where it accumulates in the nucleus. To determine whether Egr-1 is necessary for EGF-R expression, we used SiRNAs (small interfering RNA) specific for Egr-1 to decrease Egr- 1 expression. Knocking-down Egr-1 decreased basal levels of EGF-R and it abolished the stress-induced increase in EGF-R expression. By contrast, HIF-1 accumulation did not contribute to EGF-R expression and FGF-2 only modestly induced EGF-R. These studies establish a new role for Egr-1 in regulating the expression of the mitogenic EGF-R. They also provide new information into mechanisms that promote NP expansion and provide insights into strategies for amplifying the numbers of stem cells for CNS (central nervous system) regeneration. © 2013 The Author(s) This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY).


Korczeniewska J.,New Jersey Medical School | Korczeniewska J.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Barnes B.J.,New Jersey Medical School | Barnes B.J.,University Hospital Cancer Center
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2013

The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) exerts crucial functions in the regulation of host immunity against extracellular pathogens, DNA damage-induced apoptosis, death receptor signaling, and macrophage polarization. Tight regulation of IRF5 is thus warranted for an efficient response toward extracellular stressors and for limiting autoimmune and inflammatory responses. Here we report that the COP9 signalosome (CSN), a general modulator of diverse cellular and developmental processes, associates constitutively with IRF5 and promotes its protein stability. The constitutive CSN/IRF5 interaction was identified using proteomics and confirmed by endogenous immunoprecipitations. The CSN/IRF5 interaction occurred on the carboxyl and amino termini of IRF5; a single internal deletion from amino acids 455 to 466 (δ455-466) was found to significantly reduce IRF5 protein stability. CSN subunit 3 (CSN3) was identified as a direct interacting partner of IRF5, and knockdown of this subunit with small interfering RNAs resulted in enhanced degradation. Degradation was further augmented by knockdown of CSN1 and CSN3 together. The ubiquitin E1 inhibitor UBEI-41 or the proteasome inhibitor MG132 prevented IRF5 degradation, supporting the idea that its stability is regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Importantly, activation of IRF5 by the death receptor ligand tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) resulted in enhanced degradation via loss of the CSN/IRF5 interaction. This study defines CSN to be a new interacting partner of IRF5 that controls its stability © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.


Burkart C.,University of California at San Diego | Arimoto K.-ichiro.,University of California at San Diego | Tang T.,University of California at San Diego | Cong X.,University of California at San Diego | And 5 more authors.
EMBO Molecular Medicine | Year: 2013

The theory of cancer immunoediting refers to mechanisms by which the immune system can suppress or promote tumour progression. A major challenge for the development of novel cancer immunotherapies is to find ways to exploit the immune system's antitumour activity while concomitantly reducing its protumour activity. Using the PyVmT model of mammary tumourigenesis, we show that lack of the Usp18 gene significantly inhibits tumour growth by creating a tumour-suppressive microenvironment. Generation of this antitumour environment is driven by elevated secretion of the potent T-cell chemoattractant Cxcl10 by Usp18 deficient mammary epithelial cells (MECs), which leads to recruitment of Th1 subtype CD4+ T cells. Furthermore, we show that Cxcl10 upregulation in MECs is promoted by interferon-λ and that Usp18 is a novel inhibitor of interferon-λ signalling. Knockdown of the interferon-λ specific receptor subunit IL-28R1 in Usp18 deficient MECs dramatically enhances tumour growth. Taken together, our data suggest that targeting Usp18 may be a viable approach to boost antitumour immunity while suppressing the protumour activity of the immune system. Usp18 regulates the mammary tumor microenvironment via IFN-λ signalling in epithelial cells: secreted Cxcl10 attract Th1 cells that will block tumor growth. These findings provide new candidates for epithelial breast cancer immunotherapy. © 2013 The Authors.


Flowers S.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Xu F.,University Hospital Cancer Center | Moran E.,University Hospital Cancer Center
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein pRB is conventionally regarded as an inhibitor of the E2F family of transcription factors. Conversely, pRB is also recognized as an activator of tissue-specific gene expression along various lineages including osteoblastogenesis. During osteoblast differentiation, pRB directly targets Alpl and Bglap, which encode the major markers of osteogenesis alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin. Surprisingly, p130 and repressor E2Fs were recently found to cooccupy and repress Alpl and Bglap in proliferating osteoblast precursors before differentiation. This raises the further question of whether these genes convert to E2F activation targets when differentiation begins, which would constitute a remarkable situation wherein pRB and E2F would be cotargeting genes for activation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis in an osteoblast differentiation model shows that Alpl and Bglap are indeed targeted by an activator E2F, i.e., is E2F1. Promoter occupation of Alpl and Bglap by E2F1 occurs specifically during activation, and depletion of E2F1 severely impairs their induction. Mechanistically, promoter occupation by E2F1 and pRB is mutually dependent, and without this cooperative effect, activation steps previously shown to be dependent on pRB, including recruitment of RNA polymerase II, are impaired. Myocyte- and adipocyte-specific genes are also cotargeted by E2F1 and pRB during differentiation along their respective lineages. The finding that pRB and E2F1 cooperate to activate expression of tissue-specific genes is aparadigm distinct from the classical concept of pRB as an inhibitor of E2F1, but is consistent with the observed roles of these proteins in physiological models. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.

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