Results 1 - 10 of 217
Results 1 - 10 of 217. Search took: 0.022 seconds
|Sort by: date | relevance|
[en] The global incidence of melanoma has dramatically increased during the recent decades, yet the advancement of primary and adjuvant therapies has not kept a similar pace. The development of melanoma is often centered on cellular signaling that hyper-activates survival pathways, while inducing a concomitant blockade to cell death. Aberrations in cell death signaling not only promote tumor survival and enhanced metastatic potential, but also create resistance to anti-tumor strategies. Chemotherapeutic agents target melanoma tumor cells by inducing a form of cell death called apoptosis, which is governed by the BCL-2 family of proteins. The BCL-2 family is comprised of anti-apoptotic proteins (e.g., BCL-2, BCL-xL, and MCL-1) and pro-apoptotic proteins (e.g., BAK, BAX, and BIM), and their coordinated regulation and function are essential for optimal responses to chemotherapeutics. Here we will discuss what is currently known about the mechanisms of BCL-2 family function with a focus on the signaling pathways that maintain melanoma tumor cell survival. Importantly, we will critically evaluate the literature regarding how chemotherapeutic strategies directly impact on BCL-2 family function and offer several suggestions for future regimens to target melanoma and enhance patient survival.
[en] Over the past two decades, management of newly diagnosed glioblastoma has undergone significant evolution. While surgery has long been a mainstay of management for this disease, and while radiotherapy has a proven survival role, initial efforts at radiotherapy dose escalation, use of radiosurgery, brachytherapy, and altered fractionation did not improve patient survival. Recently, multiple modality therapy integrating maximal safe resection, postoperative radiation, and new systemic therapies have resulted in improved patient outcomes compared with older regimens utilizing surgery and postoperative radiation alone. Numerous trials are currently underway investigating the combination of surgery, radiation, and systemic therapy with targeted agents to find ways to further improve outcomes for adults with glioblastoma.
[en] The promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) protein, also known as Zbtb16 or Zfp145, was first identified in a patient with acute promyelocytic leukemia, where a reciprocal chromosomal translocation t(11;17)(q23;q21) resulted in a fusion with the RARA gene encoding retinoic acid receptor alpha. The wild-type Zbtb16 gene encodes a transcription factor that belongs to the POK (POZ and Krüppel) family of transcriptional repressors. In addition to nine Krüppel-type sequence-specific zinc fingers, which make it a member of the Krüppel-like zinc finger protein family, the PLZF protein contains an N-terminal BTB/POZ domain and RD2 domain. PLZF has been shown to be involved in major developmental and biological processes, such as spermatogenesis, hind limb formation, hematopoiesis, and immune regulation. PLZF is localized mainly in the nucleus where it exerts its transcriptional repression function, and many post-translational modifications affect this ability and also have an impact on its cytoplasmic/nuclear dissociation. PLZF achieves its transcriptional regulation by binding to many secondary molecules to form large multi-protein complexes that bind to the regulatory elements in the promoter region of the target genes. These complexes are also capable of physically interacting with its target proteins. Recently, PLZF has become implicated in carcinogenesis as a tumor suppressor gene, since it regulates the cell cycle and apoptosis in many cell types. This review will examine the major advances in our knowledge of PLZF biological activities that augment its value as a therapeutic target, particularly in cancer and immunological diseases.
[en] Cancer induces a hypercoagulable state, and patients with cancer who suffer a thrombotic event have a worse prognosis than those who do not. Recurrent pathologic thrombi in patients with cancer are clinically managed with anticoagulant medications; however, anticoagulant prophylaxis is not routinely prescribed owing to a complex variety of patient and diagnosis related factors. Early identification of patients at risk for cancer-associated thrombosis would allow for personalization of anticoagulant prophylaxis and likely reduce morbidity and mortality for many cancers. The environment in which a thrombosis develops in a patient with cancer is complex and unique from patients without cancer, which creates therapeutic challenges but may also provide targets for the development of clinical assays in this context. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may play a role in the association between cancer and thrombosis. Cancer metastasis, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, is facilitated by the hematogenous spread of CTCs, and CTCs accompany metastatic disease across all major types of carcinomas. The role of CTCs in the pathogenesis of thrombosis has not been studied due to the previous difficulty in identifying these rare cells, but the interaction between these circulating cells and the coagulation system is an area of study that demands attention. The development of CTC detection platforms presents a new tool by which to characterize the role for CTCs in cancer-related hypercoagulability. In addition, this area of study presents a new avenue for assessing the risk of cancer-associated thrombosis and represents a potential tool for predicting which patients may benefit from anticoagulant prophylaxis. In this review, we will discuss the evidence in support of CTC induced hypercoagulability, and highlight areas where CTC-detection platforms may provide prognostic insight into the risk of developing thrombosis for patients with cancer.
[en] Purpose: Standard chemoradiation therapy for stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLCa) results in suboptimal outcomes with a high rate of local failure and poor overall survival. We hypothesize that dose escalation using stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) boost could improve upon these results. We present here a study evaluating the dosimetric feasibility of such an approach. Methods: Anonymized CT data sets from five randomly selected patients with stage III NSCLCa undergoing definitive chemoradiation therapy in our department with disease volumes appropriate for SBRT boost were selected. Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) plans to 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions were generated follow by SBRT plans to two dose levels, 16 Gy in two fractions and 28 Gy in two fractions. SBRT plans and total composite (3D-CRT and SBRT) were optimized and evaluated for target coverage and dose to critical structures; lung, esophagus, cord, and heart. Results: All five plans met predetermined target coverage and normal tissue dose constraints. PTV V95 was equal to or greater than 95% in all cases. The cumulative lung V20 and V5 of the combined 3D-CRT and SBRT plans were less than or equal to 30 and 55%, respectively. The 5 cc esophageal dose was less than 12 Gy for all low and high dose SBRT plans. The cumulative dose to the esophagus was also acceptable with less than 10% of the esophagus receiving doses in excess of 50 Gy. The cumulative spinal cord dose was less than 33 Gy and heart V25 was less than 5%. Conclusion: The combination of chemoradiation to 50.4 Gy followed by SBRT boost to gross disease at the primary tumor and involved regional lymph nodes is feasible with respect to normal tissue dose constraints in this dosimetric pilot study. A phase I/II trial to evaluate the clinical safety and efficacy of this approach is being undertaken.
[en] Glioblastoma is the most common malignant primary brain tumor. Surgical resection, postoperative radiotherapy plus concomitant and adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ) is the standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma. In the past decade, efforts have been made to decipher genomic and core pathway alterations to identify clinically relevant glioblastoma subtypes. Based on these studies and more academic explorations, new potential therapeutic targets were found and several targeting agents were developed. Such molecules should hopefully overcome the resistance of glioblastoma to the current therapy. One of the hallmarks of glioblastoma subtypes was the enrichment of extracellular matrix/invasion-related genes. Integrins, which are cell adhesion molecules important in glioma cell migration/invasion and angiogenesis were one of those genes. Integrins seem to be pertinent therapeutic targets and antagonists recently reached the clinic. Although the p53 pathway appears often altered in glioblastoma, conflicting results can be found in the literature about the clinically relevant impact of the p53 status in the resistance to TMZ. Here, we will summarize the current knowledge on (1) integrin expression, (2) p53 status, and (3) relationship between integrins and p53 to discuss their potential impact on the resistance of glioblastoma to temozolomide.
[en] Cancer progression is accompanied by widespread transcriptional changes and metabolic alterations. While it is widely accepted that the origin of cancer can be traced to the mutations that accumulate over time, relatively recent evidence favors a similarly fundamental role for alterations in the epigenome during tumorigenesis. Changes in epigenetics that arise from post-translational modifications of histones and DNA are exploited by cancer cells to upregulate and/or downregulate the expression levels of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, respectively. Although the mechanisms behind these modifications, in particular how they lead to gene silencing and activation, are still being understood, most of the enzymatic machinery of epigenetics require metabolites as substrates or cofactors. As a result, their activities can be influenced by the metabolic state of the cell. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of cancer epigenetics and metabolism and provide examples of where they converge.
[en] Introduction: Once thought to be radioresistant, emerging cellular and clinical evidence now suggests melanoma can respond to large radiation doses per fraction. Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of all patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiotherapy at Georgetown University Hospital from May 2002 through November 2008 and studied the classic extrapolated total dose corrected for volume (ETDvol) model for predicting melanoma tumor response. Region-specific tumor outcomes were categorized by RECIST criteria and local control curves were estimated and analyzed when stratified by ETDvol thresholds by use of the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: Follow-up information was available for 78 lesions (49 intracranial, 8 spinal, and 21 body) with mean follow-up period of 9.2 (range, 2–36) months. 1-year local control rates for intracranial, spinal, and body tumors were 84, 100, and 72%, respectively. Treatments in general were well-tolerated. Increased ETDvol (p < 0.001) among intracranial sites resulted from larger (p < 0.001) doses per fraction combined with smaller (p < 0.001) tumor diameters. Intracranial 6-, 12-, and 24-month local control rates when treated above ETDvol threshold of 230 Gy were all 90 vs. 89, 80, and 53% below this threshold. Body 6- and 12-month local control rates when treated above ETDvol threshold of 100 Gy were 100 and 80% vs. 74 and 59% below this threshold. Discussion: By tailoring to melanoma’s unique radiobiology with large radiation doses per fraction, favorable local control was safely achieved. The ETDvol model combines the important factor of dose per fraction in melanoma treatment with a volume correction factor to predict tumor response. Although limited sample size may have prevented reaching statistical significance for local control improvements using ETDvol thresholds, optimal thresholds may exist to improve future tumor responses and further research is required.
[en] Alkylating agents have long played a central role in the adjuvant therapy of glioblastoma (GBM). More recently, inclusion of temozolomide (TMZ), an orally administered methylating agent with low systemic toxicity, during and after radiotherapy has markedly improved survival. Extensive in vitro and in vivo evidence has shown that TMZ-induced O6-methylguanine (O6-meG) mediates GBM cell killing. Moreover, low or absent expression of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), the sole human repair protein that removes O6-meG from DNA, is frequently associated with longer survival in GBMs treated with TMZ, promoting interest in developing inhibitors of MGMT to counter resistance. However, the clinical efficacy of TMZ is unlikely to be due solely to O6-meG, as the agent produces approximately a dozen additional DNA adducts, including cytotoxic N3-methyladenine (3-meA) and abasic sites. Repair of 3-meA and abasic sites, both of which are produced in greater abundance than O6-meG, is mediated by the base excision repair (BER) pathway, and occurs independently of removal of O6-meG. These observations indicate that BER activities are also potential targets for strategies to potentiate TMZ cytotoxicity. Here we review the evidence that 3-meA and abasic sites mediate killing of GBM cells. We also present in vitro and in vivo evidence that alkyladenine-DNA glycosylase, the sole repair activity that excises 3-meA from DNA, and Ape1, the major human abasic site endonuclease, mediate TMZ resistance in GBMs and represent potential anti-resistance targets.
[en] The use of PET/CT as an adjunct in radiotherapy planning is an attractive option in head and neck cancer (HNC) for several reasons. First, with potentially better identification of the disease extent, i.e., staging, the risk of geographical miss of radiation delivery to the gross tumor volume is reduced. Second, in characterizing the biological behavior of the disease for example, areas of hypoxia, rich or poor vascularity, or high cell proliferation, PET/CT can identify biological target volumes either for escalation of radiation dose or to predict the requirement for the addition of a radiosensitizer or alternative treatment strategies. 18F-FDG is the most common tracer used in oncology studies, but many other tracers have been investigated with several entering clinical practice, although these remain predominantly in the research domain in HNC.