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[en] There are serious concerns over the adverse impacts of microplastics (MPs) on living organisms. The main objective of this study was to test the effects of MPs on the total length, weight, condition factor (CF), transcriptional level of antioxidant, anti and pro-apoptotic, and neurotransmitter genes, and the histopathology of the gill, liver, brain, kidney, and intestine in the larvae of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Fish were exposed to one of three levels of pristine low-density polyethylene (LDPE) fragments (5, 50, or 500 μg/L) for 10 or 20 days. No significant changes were observed in any of the selected biomarkers across MP concentrations at days 10 or 20. The expression of casp9 (caspase 9, apoptosis-related cysteine protease), casp3a (caspase 3, apoptosis-related cysteine protease a) and cat (catalase), however, were significantly lower in the larvae sampled at day 20 than day 10. We provide evidence that virgin short-term exposure to LDPE fragments has minimal impact on biomarker responses in D. rerio larvae. - Highlights: • Zebrafish larvae were exposed to graded concentrations of LDPE for 10 or 20 days. • Changes in the gene expressions and the histopathology of organs were investigated. • None of the treatments significantly affected the biomarker responses. • The expression of cat, casp 3a, and casp 9 were lower at the day 20 than day 10. - Exposure to LDPE fragments had limited effect on biomarker responses in D. rerio larvae.
[en] Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) have gained attention as cancer biomarkers. The inactive zymogen form of MMP-9 (pro-MMP-9) also exists as a disulphide-linked heterodimer bound to NGAL in humans. Leukaemias represent a heterogeneous group of neoplasms, which vary in their clinical behavior and pathophysiology. In this review, we summarize the current literature on the expression profiles of pro-MMP-9 and NGAL as prognostic factors in leukaemias. We also report the expression of the pro-MMP-9/NGAL complex in these diseases. We discuss the roles of (pro)-MMP-9 (active and latent forms) and NGAL in tumour development, and evaluate the mechanisms by which pro-MMP-9/NGAL may influence the actions of (pro)-MMP-9 and NGAL in cancer. Emerging knowledge about the coexpression and the biology of (pro)-MMP-9, NGAL and their complex in cancer including leukaemia may improve treatment outcomes
[en] Radiotherapy plays a major role in the management of high grade glioma. However, the radioresistance of glioma cells limits its efficiency and drives recurrence inside the irradiated tumor volume leading to poor outcome for patients. Stereotactic hypofractionated radiotherapy is one option for recurrent high grade gliomas. Optimization of hypofractionated radiotherapy with new radiosensitizing agents requires the identification of robust druggable targets involved in radioresistance. We generated 11 xenografted glioma models: 6 were derived from cell lines (1 WHO grade III and 5 grade IV) and 5 were patient derived xenografts (2 WHO grade III and 3 grade IV). Xenografts were treated by hypofractionated radiotherapy (6x5Gy). We searched for 89 biomarkers of radioresistance (39 total proteins, 26 phosphoproteins and 24 ratios of phosphoproteins on total proteins) using Reverse Phase Protein Array. Both type of xenografted models showed equivalent spectrum of sensitivity and profile of response to hypofractionated radiotherapy. We report that Phospho-EGFR/EGFR, Phospho-Chk1/Chk1 and VCP were associated to resistance to hypofractionated radiotherapy. Several compounds targeting EGFR or CHK1 are already in clinical use and combining them with stereotactic hypofractionated radiotherapy for recurrent high grade gliomas might be of particular interest. The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13014-017-0858-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[en] Imaging plays an important role in the diagnosis and staging of cancer, as well as in radiation treatment planning and evaluation of therapeutic response. Recently, there has been significant interest in extracting quantitative information from clinical standard-of-care images, i.e. radiomics, in order to provide a more comprehensive characterization of image phenotypes of the tumor. A number of studies have demonstrated that a deeper radiomic analysis can reveal novel image features that could provide useful diagnostic, prognostic or predictive information, improving upon currently used imaging metrics such as tumor size and volume. Furthermore, these imaging-derived phenotypes can be linked with genomic data, i.e. radiogenomics, in order to understand their biological underpinnings or further improve the prediction accuracy of clinical outcomes. In this article, we will provide an overview of radiomics and radiogenomics, including their rationale, technical and clinical aspects. We will also present some examples of the current results and some emerging paradigms in radiomics and radiogenomics for clinical oncology, with a focus on potential applications in radiotherapy. Finally, we will highlight the challenges in the field and suggest possible future directions in radiomics to maximize its potential impact on precision radiotherapy.
[en] Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a common head and neck malignancy. The incidence of NPC is higher in Southern China and Southeast Asia compared with Western countries. Given its high radiosensitivity, the standard treatment for NPC is radiotherapy. However, radioresistance remains a serious obstacle to successful treatment. Radioresistance can cause local recurrence and distant metastases in some patients after treatment by radiation. Thus, special emphasis has been given to the discovery of effective radiosensitizers. This review aims to discuss the biomarkers, classified according to the main mechanisms of radiosensitization, which can enhance the sensitivity of NPC cells to ionizing radiation
[en] Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most potentially curable cancers, yet it remains the fourth most common overall cause of cancer death worldwide. The identification of robust molecular prognostic biomarkers can refine the conventional tumor–node–metastasis staging system, avoid understaging of tumor, and help pinpoint patients with early-stage CRC who may benefit from aggressive treatments. Recently, epigenetic studies have provided new molecular evidence to better categorize the CRC subtypes and predict clinical outcomes. In this review, we summarize recent findings concerning the prognostic potential of microRNAs (miRNAs) in CRC. We first discuss the prognostic value of three tissue miRNAs (miR-21-5p, miR-29-3p, miR-148-3p) that have been examined in multiple studies. We also summarize the dysregulation of miRNA processing machinery DICER in CRC and its association with risk for mortality. We also reviewe the potential application of miRNA-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms as prognostic biomarkers for CRC, especially the miRNA-associated polymorphism in the KRAS gene. Last but not least, we discuss the microsatellite instability-related miRNA candidates. Among all these candidates, miR-21-5p is the most promising prognostic marker, yet further prospective validation studies are required before it can go into clinical usage
[en] Clinical parameters and proteins have recently been suggested as possible causes of radiotherapy (RT) resistance in cervical carcinoma (CC). The objective of the present study was to validate prognostic biomarkers of radiation resistance. The present prospective study included patients undergoing RT with curative intent for histologically proven locally advanced squamous cell CC. Tissues and blood samples were systematically collected before RT initiation. Immuno-histochemistry was performed (IGF-IR α and β, GAPDH, HIF-1 alpha, Survivin, GLUT1, CAIX, hTERT and HKII). Response to radiation was assessed through tumour response 3 months after RT completion, through overall survival (OS) and through progression-free survival (PFS). One hundred forty nine patients with a mean age of 46 years were included, with FIGO IIB (n = 53) and FIGO IIIB (n = 96) CCs. 61 patients were treated with exclusive RT + brachytherapy and 88 underwent chemo-radiotherapy + brachytherapy. Our findings suggest an association between hemoglobin level (Hb) (>11 g/dL) and 3 months complete response (p = 0.02). Hb level < 11 g/dL was associated with decreased PFS (p = 0.05) and OS (p = 0.08). Overexpression of IGF-1R β was correlated with a decreased OS (p = 0.007). Overexpression of GLUT1 was marginally correlated with reduced OS (p = 0.05). PFS and OS were significantly improved in patients undergoing chemoradiation versus exclusive radiotherapy (PFS: p = 0.04; OS: p = 0.01). IGF-1R β overexpression and Hb level (≤11 g/dl) were associated with poor prognosis, and thus appear to be possible interesting biomarkers of radiation resistance. Our results corroborate previous pre-clinical studies suggesting IGF-1R and hypoxia to be part of the biological pathways leading to radio-resistance.
[en] Left atrial (LA) size and function have been demonstrated to be important imaging biomarkers with powerful potential in predicting clinical outcome in several disorders. The angle-independent three-dimensional (3D) speckle-tracking echocardiography (3DSTE) has a capability for quantitative assessment of LA volumes and strains in 3D space at the same time from the same 3D acquired datasets. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to define normal values of 3DSTE-derived LA strains in healthy subjects. It was also examined whether there is any age- and gender-dependency of these parameters. The present study comprised 309 healthy volunteers, from which 87 were excluded due to inadequate image quality. The remaining group consisted of 222 subjects (mean age: 36.3 ± 13.7 years, 112 males). Complete two-dimensional echocardiography and 3DSTE have been performed in all cases. Peak circumferential strain (CS) increased with age with a decline > 50 years in females, in males CS remained almost unchanged. While peak longitudinal strain (LS) increased with age with unchanged parameters > 50 years, parallel increase in peak area strain (AS) with age could be demonstrated in both genders with a decline in females > 50 years. While CS and AS at atrial contraction increased with age in females, parallel decrease could be demonstrated in males. LS at atrial contraction increased with age especially in females. Normal values of 3DSTE-derived LA peak strains and strains at atrial contraction are demonstrated together with their age- and gender-dependency.
[en] Highlights: • Sphingolipids have remarkable structural diversity. • This diversity has complicated attempts to understand specific molecular functions. • Recent advances in mass spectrometry now allow high-throughput lipidomics analyses. • This review discusses practical aspects of this technology. Lipids comprise an exceptionally diverse class of bioactive macromolecules. While quantitatively abundant lipid species serve fundamental roles in cell structure and energy metabolism, thousands of structurally-distinct, quantitatively minor species may serve as important regulators of cellular processes. Historically, a complete understanding of the biological roles of these lipids has been limited by a lack of sensitive, discriminating analytical techniques. The class of sphingolipids alone, for example, is known to consist of over 600 different confirmed species, but is likely to include tens of thousands of metabolites with potential biological significance. Advances in mass spectrometry (MS) have improved the throughput and discrimination of lipid analysis, allowing for the determination of detailed lipid profiles in large cohorts of clinical samples. Databases emerging from these studies will provide a rich resource for the identification of novel biomarkers and for the discovery of potential drug targets, analogous to that of existing genomics databases. In this review, we will provide an overview of the field of sphingolipidomics, and will discuss some of the challenges and considerations facing the generation of robust lipidomics databases.