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Volume 13, November-2

Cancers, Volume 13, Issue 23 (December-1 2021) – 280 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Intestinal cancer is a common neoplastic disease in humans and cats. Mouse models are regarded as the gold standard in cancer research. However, malignancy features of human colorectal cancer (CRC), e.g., metastasis, tumor budding, are not easy to model. The study of Groll et al. reveals parallels of feline and human intestinal cancer on a histomorphological and molecular level, with special emphasis on WHO subtypes, tumor budding, and β-catenin expression. Feline intestinal neoplasms are histomorphologically close to the human counterpart. They display an intriguingly high tumor budding activity and comparable mutations of CTNNB1. This work indicates that cats constitute an immunocompetent and valuable in vivo model for human CRC. This is a first step toward the final idea of comparative oncology, which is to include pets with comparative cancer diseases in clinical trials. View this paper.
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Article
Feasibility, SAR Distribution, and Clinical Outcome upon Reirradiation and Deep Hyperthermia Using the Hypercollar3D in Head and Neck Cancer Patients
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236149 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 756
Abstract
(1) Background: Head and neck cancer (HNC) patients with recurrent or second primary (SP) tumors in previously irradiated areas represent a clinical challenge. Definitive or postoperative reirradiation with or without sensitizing therapy, like chemotherapy, should be considered. As an alternative to chemotherapy, hyperthermia [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Head and neck cancer (HNC) patients with recurrent or second primary (SP) tumors in previously irradiated areas represent a clinical challenge. Definitive or postoperative reirradiation with or without sensitizing therapy, like chemotherapy, should be considered. As an alternative to chemotherapy, hyperthermia has shown to be a potent sensitizer of radiotherapy in clinical studies in the primary treatment of HNC. At our institution, we developed the Hypercollar3D, as the successor to the Hypercollar, to enable improved application of hyperthermia for deeply located HNC. In this study, we report on the feasibility and clinical outcome of patients treated with the Hypercollar3D as an adjuvant to reirradiation in recurrent or SP HNC patients; (2) Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all patients with a recurrent or SP HNC treated with reirradiation combined with hyperthermia using the Hypercollar3D between 2014 and 2018. Data on patients, tumors, and treatments were collected. Follow-up data on disease specific outcomes as well as acute and late toxicity were collected. Data were analyzed using Kaplan Meier analyses; (3) Results: Twenty-two patients with recurrent or SP HNC were included. The average mean estimated applied cfSAR to the tumor volume for the last 17 patients was 80.5 W/kg. Therefore, the novel Hypercollar3D deposits 55% more energy at the target than our previous Hypercollar applicator. In patients treated with definitive thermoradiotherapy a complete response rate of 81.8% (9/11) was observed at 12 weeks following radiotherapy. Two-year local control (LC) and overall survival (OS) were 36.4% (95% CI 17.4–55.7%) and 54.6% (95% CI 32.1–72.4%), respectively. Patients with an interval longer than 24 months from their previous radiotherapy course had an LC of 66.7% (95% CI 37.5–84.6%), whereas patients with a time interval shorter than 24 months had an LC of 14.3% (95% CI 0.7–46.5%) at 18 months (p = 0.01). Cumulative grade 3 or higher toxicity was 39.2% (95% CI 16.0–61.9%); (4) Conclusions: Reirradiation combined with deep hyperthermia in HNC patients using the novel Hypercollar3D is feasible and deposits an average cfSAR of 80.5 W/kg in the tumor volume. The treatment results in high complete response rates at 12 weeks post-treatment. Local control and local toxicity rates were comparable to those reported for recurrent or SP HNC. To further optimize the hyperthermia treatment in the future, temperature feedback is warranted to apply heat at the maximum tolerable dose without toxicity. These data support further research in hyperthermia as an adjuvant to radiotherapy, both in the recurrent as well as in the primary treatment of HNC patients. Full article
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Article
An Extensive Quality Control and Quality Assurance (QC/QA) Program Significantly Improves Inter-Laboratory Concordance Rates of Flow-Cytometric Minimal Residual Disease Assessment in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: An I-BFM-FLOW-Network Report
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236148 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 847
Abstract
Monitoring of minimal residual disease (MRD) by flow cytometry (FCM) is a powerful prognostic tool for predicting outcomes in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To apply FCM-MRD in large, collaborative trials, dedicated laboratory staff must be educated to concordantly high levels of expertise and [...] Read more.
Monitoring of minimal residual disease (MRD) by flow cytometry (FCM) is a powerful prognostic tool for predicting outcomes in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To apply FCM-MRD in large, collaborative trials, dedicated laboratory staff must be educated to concordantly high levels of expertise and their performance quality should be continuously monitored. We sought to install a unique and comprehensive training and quality control (QC) program involving a large number of reference laboratories within the international Berlin-Frankfurt-Münster (I-BFM) consortium, in order to complement the standardization of the methodology with an educational component and persistent quality control measures. Our QC and quality assurance (QA) program is based on four major cornerstones: (i) a twinning maturation program, (ii) obligatory participation in external QA programs (spiked sample send around, United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Service (UK NEQAS)), (iii) regular participation in list-mode-data (LMD) file ring trials (FCM data file send arounds), and (iv) surveys of independent data derived from trial results. We demonstrate that the training of laboratories using experienced twinning partners, along with continuous educational feedback significantly improves the performance of laboratories in detecting and quantifying MRD in pediatric ALL patients. Overall, our extensive education and quality control program improved inter-laboratory concordance rates of FCM-MRD assessments and ultimately led to a very high conformity of risk estimates in independent patient cohorts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pediatric Acute Leukemia)
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Review
Essential Thrombocythemia in Children and Adolescents
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6147; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236147 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
This paper reviews the features of pediatric essential thrombocythemia (ET). ET is a rare disease in children, challenging pediatric and adult hematologists alike. The current WHO classification acknowledges classical Philadelphia-negative MPNs and defines diagnostic criteria, mainly encompassing adult cases. The presence of one [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the features of pediatric essential thrombocythemia (ET). ET is a rare disease in children, challenging pediatric and adult hematologists alike. The current WHO classification acknowledges classical Philadelphia-negative MPNs and defines diagnostic criteria, mainly encompassing adult cases. The presence of one of three driver mutations (JAK2V617F, CALR, and MPL mutations) represent the proof of clonality typical of ET. Pediatric ET cases are thus usually confronted by adult approaches. These can fit only some patients, because only 25–40% of cases present one of the driver mutations. The diagnosis of hereditary, familial thrombocytosis and the exclusion of reactive/secondary thrombocytosis must be part of the diagnostic process in children and can clarify most of the negative cases. Still, many children present a clinical, histological picture of ET, with a molecular triple wild-type status. Moreover, prognosis seems more benign, at least within the first few decades of follow-up. Thrombotic events are rare, and only minor hemorrhages are ordinarily observed. As per the management, the need to control symptoms must be balanced with the collateral effects of lifelong drug therapy. We conclude that these differences concert a compelling case for a very careful therapeutic approach and advocate for the importance of further cooperative studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Natural History of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms)
Commentary
Basosquamous Carcinoma: A Commentary
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236146 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Basosquamous carcinoma is a rare, aggressive non-melanoma skin cancer with features that lie between those of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. A lot of controversy has been raised around the classification, pathogenesis, histologic morphology, biologic behavior, prognosis and management of this [...] Read more.
Basosquamous carcinoma is a rare, aggressive non-melanoma skin cancer with features that lie between those of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. A lot of controversy has been raised around the classification, pathogenesis, histologic morphology, biologic behavior, prognosis and management of this tumor. This is a narrative review based on an electronic search of articles published in PubMed in English language which had in their title the terms “basosquamous carcinoma” and/or “metatypical carcinoma of the skin”. The aim of this review was to summarize and evaluate current data regarding epidemiology, clinical presentation, dermoscopic and histopathologic characteristics, as well as the genetics and management of BSC, in order to shed some more light onto this intriguing entity. As a conclusion, dermoscopy, deep incisional biopsies and immunohistologic techniques (Ber-EP4) should be applied in clinically suspicious lesions in order to achieve an early diagnosis and better prognosis of this tumor. Surgical treatments, including wide excision and Mohs’ micrographic surgery, remain the treatment of choice. Finally, vismodegib, a Hedgehog pathway inhibitor, must be thoroughly investigated, with large controlled trials, since it may offer an alternative solution to irresectable or difficult-to-treat, locally advanced cases of basosquamous carcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Skin Cancer)
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Review
miRNAs in the Regulation of Cancer Immune Response: Effect of miRNAs on Cancer Immunotherapy
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6145; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236145 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 559
Abstract
In the last few decades, carcinogenesis has been extensively explored and substantial research has identified immunogenic involvement in various types of cancers. As a result, immune checkpoint blockers and other immune-based therapies were developed as novel immunotherapeutic strategies. However, despite being a promising [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, carcinogenesis has been extensively explored and substantial research has identified immunogenic involvement in various types of cancers. As a result, immune checkpoint blockers and other immune-based therapies were developed as novel immunotherapeutic strategies. However, despite being a promising therapeutic option, immunotherapy has significant constraints such as a high cost of treatment, unpredictable toxicity, and clinical outcomes. miRNAs are non-coding, small RNAs actively involved in modulating the immune system’s multiple signalling pathways by binding to the 3′-UTR of target genes. miRNAs possess a unique advantage in modulating multiple targets of either the same or different signalling pathways. Therefore, miRNA follows a ‘one drug multiple target’ hypothesis. Attempts are made to explore the therapeutic promise of miRNAs in cancer so that it can be transported from bench to bedside for successful immunotherapeutic results. Therefore, in the current manuscript, we discussed, in detail, the mechanism and role of miRNAs in different types of cancers relating to the immune system, its diagnostic and therapeutic aspect, the effect on immune escape, immune-checkpoint molecules, and the tumour microenvironment. We have also discussed the existing limitations, clinical success and the prospective use of miRNAs in cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue miRNAs: New Insights in Tumor Biology)
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Article
NS-11021 Modulates Cancer-Associated Processes Independently of BK Channels in Melanoma and Pancreatic Duct Adenocarcinoma Cell Lines
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236144 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 457
Abstract
Potassium channels have emerged as regulators of carcinogenesis, thus introducing possible new therapeutic strategies in the fight against cancer. In particular, the large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel, often referred to as BK channel, is involved in several cancer-associated processes. Here, we [...] Read more.
Potassium channels have emerged as regulators of carcinogenesis, thus introducing possible new therapeutic strategies in the fight against cancer. In particular, the large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel, often referred to as BK channel, is involved in several cancer-associated processes. Here, we investigated the effects of different BK activators, NS-11021, NS-19504, and BMS-191011, in IGR39 (primary melanoma cell line) and Panc-1 (primary pancreatic duct carcinoma cell line), highly expressing the channel, and in IGR37 (metastatic melanoma cell line) that barely express BK. Our data showed that NS-11021 and NS-19504 potently activated BK channels in IGR39 and Panc-1 cells, while no effect on channel activation was detected in IGR37 cells. On the contrary, BK channel activator BMS-191011 was less effective. However, only NS-11021 showed significant effects in cancer-associated processes, such as cell survival, migration, and proliferation in these cancer cell lines. Moreover, NS-11021 led to an increase of intracellular Ca2+ concentration, independent of BK channel activation, thus complicating any interpretation of its role in the regulation of cancer-associated mechanisms. Overall, we conclude that the activation of the BK channel by itself is not sufficient to produce beneficial anti-cancer effects in the melanoma and PDAC cell lines examined. Importantly, our results raise an alarm flag regarding the use of presumably specific BK channel openers as anti-cancer agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channels in Cancer Therapies)
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Article
Serum Sorbitol Dehydrogenase as a Novel Prognostic Factor for Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Surgical Resection
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6143; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236143 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 408
Abstract
The majority of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) undergoing curative resection experience tumor recurrence. To examine the association between preoperative serum sorbitol dehydrogenase (SORD), a liver-derived enzyme that reflects liver damage, and recurrence of HCC after curative resection, 92 patients were randomly selected [...] Read more.
The majority of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) undergoing curative resection experience tumor recurrence. To examine the association between preoperative serum sorbitol dehydrogenase (SORD), a liver-derived enzyme that reflects liver damage, and recurrence of HCC after curative resection, 92 patients were randomly selected who underwent curative resection for HCC between 2011 and 2012 from a prospective registry. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) was compared based on serum SORD levels. Cox proportional hazard models were used to investigate prognostic factors for RFS. During a median follow-up duration of 57.1 months, 43 patients experienced HCC recurrence. Patients with serum SORD ≥15 ng/mL (HR, 3.46; 95% CI, 1.76–6.81; p < 0.001) had worse RFS compared with patients with serum SORD <15 ng/mL. Serum AFP and SORD levels were two independent prognostic factors for RFS. When patients were stratified by baseline serum SORD and AFP levels, patients with serum AFP levels ≥400 ng/mL and serum SORD levels ≥15 ng/mL had a distinctly poor prognosis with the lowest RFS rates (HR, 22.08; 95% CI, 6.91–70.50; p < 0.001). Baseline serum SORD is an effective prognostic factor for HCC after resection. It may help guide patient selection for surgery, especially when combined with serum AFP levels. Full article
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Article
Metabolic Rewiring Is Essential for AML Cell Survival to Overcome Autophagy Inhibition by Loss of ATG3
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236142 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Autophagy is an important survival mechanism that allows recycling of nutrients and removal of damaged organelles and has been shown to contribute to the proliferation of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. However, little is known about the mechanism by which autophagy- dependent AML [...] Read more.
Autophagy is an important survival mechanism that allows recycling of nutrients and removal of damaged organelles and has been shown to contribute to the proliferation of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. However, little is known about the mechanism by which autophagy- dependent AML cells can overcome dysfunctional autophagy. In our study we identified autophagy related protein 3 (ATG3) as a crucial autophagy gene for AML cell proliferation by conducting a CRISPR/Cas9 dropout screen with a library targeting around 200 autophagy-related genes. shRNA-mediated loss of ATG3 impaired autophagy function in AML cells and increased their mitochondrial activity and energy metabolism, as shown by elevated mitochondrial ROS generation and mitochondrial respiration. Using tracer-based NMR metabolomics analysis we further demonstrate that the loss of ATG3 resulted in an upregulation of glycolysis, lactate production, and oxidative phosphorylation. Additionally, loss of ATG3 strongly sensitized AML cells to the inhibition of mitochondrial metabolism. These findings highlight the metabolic vulnerabilities that AML cells acquire from autophagy inhibition and support further exploration of combination therapies targeting autophagy and mitochondrial metabolism in AML. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Autophagy for Cancer Treatment)
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Article
Association between Immune-Related Adverse Events and Survival in 319 Stage IV Melanoma Patients Treated with PD-1-Based Immunotherapy: An Approach Based on Clinical Chemistry
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236141 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 387
Abstract
(1) Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have improved the prognosis of patients with advanced melanoma. Published data suggested that the objective response rates appear to be superior in patients who developed immune-related adverse events (irAEs). (2) The primary aim of this cohort study was [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have improved the prognosis of patients with advanced melanoma. Published data suggested that the objective response rates appear to be superior in patients who developed immune-related adverse events (irAEs). (2) The primary aim of this cohort study was to evaluate the association between irAEs and disease control rate in patients with stage IV melanoma treated with first-line PD-1-based immunotherapy. (3) Among 319 patients, 53% experienced at least one irAE. A higher percentage of patients with irAEs had disease control compared to those without irAEs (69.8% vs. 49.3%). In multivariate analysis, development of grade 3 and 4 irAEs was significantly associated with a protective effect for the outcome primary resistance (OR: 0.40 95% CI 0.23–0.70, p = 0.001). The presence of any grade irAEs was significantly associated with longer OS (irAEs grade 1–2 HRadj: 0.61 95% CI: 0.4–0.93, p = 0.02, irAEs grade 3–4 HRadj: 0.55 95% CI 0.31–0.99, p = 0.04), but not with PFS (irAEs grade 1–2 HRadj: 1.21 95% CI: 0.91–1.79, p = 0.16, irAEs grade 3–4 HRadj: 1.14 95% CI 0.83–2.02, p = 0.24). (4) The presence of irAEs with laboratorial expression is positively associated with response and OS, suggesting that irAEs might be a predictive factor in this setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy)
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Review
Vaccine Responses in Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients: A Comprehensive Review
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6140; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236140 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Consensus on timing of post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) vaccination is currently lacking and is therefore assessed in this review. PubMed was searched systematically for articles concerning vaccination post-HSCT and included a basis in predefined criteria. To enable comparison, data were extracted and [...] Read more.
Consensus on timing of post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) vaccination is currently lacking and is therefore assessed in this review. PubMed was searched systematically for articles concerning vaccination post-HSCT and included a basis in predefined criteria. To enable comparison, data were extracted and tables were constructed per vaccine, displaying vaccine response as either seroprotection or seroconversion for allogeneic HSCT (alloHSCT) and autologous HSCT (autoHSCT) separately. A total of 33 studies were included with 1914 patients in total: 1654 alloHSCT recipients and 260 autoHSCT recipients. In alloHSCT recipients, influenza vaccine at 7–48 months post-transplant resulted in responses of 10–97%. After 12 months post-transplant, responses were >45%. Pneumococcal vaccination 3–25 months post-transplant resulted in responses of 43–99%, with the response increasing with time. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis and Haemophilus influenzae type b at 6–17 months post-transplant: 26–100%. Meningococcal vaccination at 12 months post-transplant: 65%. Hepatitis B vaccine at 6–23 months post-transplant: 40–94%. Measles, mumps and rubella at 41–69 months post-transplant: 19–72%. In general, autoHSCT recipients obtained slightly higher responses compared with alloHSCT recipients. Conclusively, responses to childhood immunization vaccines post-HSCT are poor in comparison with healthy individuals. Therefore, evaluation of response might be indicated. Timing of revaccination is essential for optimal response. An individualized approach might be necessary for optimizing vaccine responses. Full article
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Article
Methylation of DROSHA and DICER as a Biomarker for the Detection of Lung Cancer
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6139; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236139 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Early diagnosis may improve the prognosis. Methods: Using quantitative methylation-specific real-time PCR (qMSP-PCR), we assessed the methylation status of two genes (in two subsequent regions according to locations in their promoter sequences) [...] Read more.
Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Early diagnosis may improve the prognosis. Methods: Using quantitative methylation-specific real-time PCR (qMSP-PCR), we assessed the methylation status of two genes (in two subsequent regions according to locations in their promoter sequences) related to carcinogenesis, DICER and DROSHA, in 101 plasma samples (obtained prior to the treatment) of lung cancer patients and 45 healthy volunteers. Results: The relative level of methylation of DROSHA was significantly lower (p = 0.012 for first and p < 0.00001 for the second region) and DICER significantly higher (p = 0.029 for the first region) in cancer patients. The relative level of methylation of DROSHA was significantly (p = 0.037) higher in patients with early-stage NSCLC (IA-IIIA) and could discriminate them from healthy people with a sensitivity of 71% and specificity of 76% (AUC = 0.696, 95% CI: 0.545–0.847, p = 0.011) for the first region and with a sensitivity of 60% and specificity of 85% (AUC = 0.795, 95% CI: 0.689–0.901, p < 0.0001) for the second region. Methylation analysis of the first region of the DICER enabled the distinction of NSCLC patients from healthy individuals with a sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 60% (AUC = 0.651, 95% CI: 0.517–0.785, p = 0.027). The limitations of the study include its small sample size, preliminary nature, being an observational type of study, and the lack of functional experiments allowing for the explanation of the biologic backgrounds of the observed associations. Conclusion: The obtained results indicate that the assessment of DICER and DROSHA methylation status can potentially be used as a biomarker for the early detection of lung cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Prognosis and Theranostics of Lung Cancer)
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Article
AutoProstate: Towards Automated Reporting of Prostate MRI for Prostate Cancer Assessment Using Deep Learning
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6138; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236138 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) of the prostate is used by radiologists to identify, score, and stage abnormalities that may correspond to clinically significant prostate cancer (CSPCa). Automatic assessment of prostate mpMRI using artificial intelligence algorithms may facilitate a reduction in missed cancers [...] Read more.
Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) of the prostate is used by radiologists to identify, score, and stage abnormalities that may correspond to clinically significant prostate cancer (CSPCa). Automatic assessment of prostate mpMRI using artificial intelligence algorithms may facilitate a reduction in missed cancers and unnecessary biopsies, an increase in inter-observer agreement between radiologists, and an improvement in reporting quality. In this work, we introduce AutoProstate, a deep learning-powered framework for automatic MRI-based prostate cancer assessment. AutoProstate comprises of three modules: Zone-Segmenter, CSPCa-Segmenter, and Report-Generator. Zone-Segmenter segments the prostatic zones on T2-weighted imaging, CSPCa-Segmenter detects and segments CSPCa lesions using biparametric MRI, and Report-Generator generates an automatic web-based report containing four sections: Patient Details, Prostate Size and PSA Density, Clinically Significant Lesion Candidates, and Findings Summary. In our experiment, AutoProstate was trained using the publicly available PROSTATEx dataset, and externally validated using the PICTURE dataset. Moreover, the performance of AutoProstate was compared to the performance of an experienced radiologist who prospectively read PICTURE dataset cases. In comparison to the radiologist, AutoProstate showed statistically significant improvements in prostate volume and prostate-specific antigen density estimation. Furthermore, AutoProstate matched the CSPCa lesion detection sensitivity of the radiologist, which is paramount, but produced more false positive detections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Prostate Cancer: From Diagnosis to Treatment)
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Review
Challenges for the Development of Extracellular Vesicle-Based Nucleic Acid Medicines
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236137 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Nucleic acid drugs, such as siRNAs, antisense oligonucleotides, and miRNAs, exert their therapeutic effects by causing genetic changes in cells. However, there are various limitations in their delivery to target organs and cells, making their application to cancer treatment difficult. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) [...] Read more.
Nucleic acid drugs, such as siRNAs, antisense oligonucleotides, and miRNAs, exert their therapeutic effects by causing genetic changes in cells. However, there are various limitations in their delivery to target organs and cells, making their application to cancer treatment difficult. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are lipid bilayer particles that are released from most cells, are stable in the blood, and have low immunogenicity. Methods using EVs to deliver nucleic acid drugs to target organs are rapidly being developed that take advantage of these properties. There are two main methods for loading nucleic acid drugs into EVs. One is to genetically engineer the parent cell and load the target gene into the EV, and the other is to isolate EVs and then load them with the nucleic acid drug. Target organ delivery methods include passive targeting using the enhanced permeation and retention effect of EVs and active targeting in which EVs are modified with antibodies, peptides, or aptamers to enhance their accumulation in tumors. In this review, we summarize the advantages of EVs as a drug delivery system for nucleic acid drugs, the methods of loading nucleic acid drugs into EVs, and the targeting of EVs to target organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exosome Biology for Nucleic Acid Medicine—From Bench to Bed)
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Review
Promising Antigens for the New Frontier of Targeted Immunotherapy in Multiple Myeloma
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236136 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 759
Abstract
The incorporation of novel agents in recent treatments in multiple myeloma (MM) has improved the clinical outcome of patients. Specifically, the approval of monoclonal antibody (MoAb) against CD38 (daratumumab) and SLAMF7 (elotuzumab) in relapsed and refractory MM (RRMM) represents an important milestone in [...] Read more.
The incorporation of novel agents in recent treatments in multiple myeloma (MM) has improved the clinical outcome of patients. Specifically, the approval of monoclonal antibody (MoAb) against CD38 (daratumumab) and SLAMF7 (elotuzumab) in relapsed and refractory MM (RRMM) represents an important milestone in the development of targeted immunotherapy in MM. These MoAb-based agents significantly induce cytotoxicity of MM cells via multiple effector-dependent mechanisms and can further induce immunomodulation to repair a dysfunctional tumor immune microenvironment. Recently, targeting B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), an even MM-specific antigen, has shown high therapeutic activities by chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR T), antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE), as well as bispecific antibody (BiAb), with some already approved for heavily pretreated RRMM patients. New antigens, such as orphan G protein-coupled receptor class C group 5 member D (GPRC5D) and FcRH5, were identified and rapidly moved to ongoing clinical studies. We here summarized the pathobiological function of key MM antigens and the status of the corresponding immunotherapies. The potential challenges and emerging treatment strategies are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signaling Pathways in Multiple Myeloma)
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Review
Tumor Microenvironment Features and Chemoresistance in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Insights into Targeting Physicochemical Barriers and Metabolism as Therapeutic Approaches
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236135 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Currently, the median overall survival of PDAC patients rarely exceeds 1 year and has an overall 5-year survival rate of about 9%. These numbers are anticipated to worsen in the future due to the lack of understanding of the factors involved in its [...] Read more.
Currently, the median overall survival of PDAC patients rarely exceeds 1 year and has an overall 5-year survival rate of about 9%. These numbers are anticipated to worsen in the future due to the lack of understanding of the factors involved in its strong chemoresistance. Chemotherapy remains the only treatment option for most PDAC patients; however, the available therapeutic strategies are insufficient. The factors involved in chemoresistance include the development of a desmoplastic stroma which reprograms cellular metabolism, and both contribute to an impaired response to therapy. PDAC stroma is composed of immune cells, endothelial cells, and cancer-associated fibroblasts embedded in a prominent, dense extracellular matrix associated with areas of hypoxia and acidic extracellular pH. While multiple gene mutations are involved in PDAC initiation, this desmoplastic stroma plays an important role in driving progression, metastasis, and chemoresistance. Elucidating the mechanisms underlying PDAC resistance are a prerequisite for designing novel approaches to increase patient survival. In this review, we provide an overview of the stromal features and how they contribute to the chemoresistance in PDAC treatment. By highlighting new paradigms in the role of the stromal compartment in PDAC therapy, we hope to stimulate new concepts aimed at improving patient outcomes. Full article
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Review
An Update on Silent Corticotroph Adenomas: Diagnosis, Mechanisms, Clinical Features, and Management
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236134 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 375
Abstract
With the introduction of 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of endocrine tumors, T-PIT can serve as a complementary tool for identification of silent corticotroph adenomas (SCAs) in some cases if the tumor is not classifiable by pituitary hormone expression in pathological tissue [...] Read more.
With the introduction of 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of endocrine tumors, T-PIT can serve as a complementary tool for identification of silent corticotroph adenomas (SCAs) in some cases if the tumor is not classifiable by pituitary hormone expression in pathological tissue samples. An increase of the proportion of SCAs among the non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs) has been witnessed under the new rule with the detection of T-PIT-positive ACTH-negative SCAs. Studies of molecular mechanisms related to SCA pathogenesis will provide new directions for the diagnosis and management of SCAs. A precise pathological diagnosis can help clinicians better identify SCAs. Understanding clinical features in the context of the pathophysiology of SCAs is critical for optimal management. It could provide information on appropriate follow-up time and aid in early recognition and treatment of potentially aggressive forms. Management approaches include surgical, radiation, and/or medical therapies. Full article
Article
Pretreatment Albumin-to-Alkaline Phosphatase Ratio Is a Prognostic Marker in Lung Cancer Patients: A Registry-Based Study of 7077 Lung Cancer Patients
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236133 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 426
Abstract
The albumin-to-alkaline phosphatase ratio (AAPR) is a novel promising prognostic marker in cancer patients. However, the evidence for its significance in lung cancer is scarce. Therefore, we assessed the prognostic value of the AAPR in a large cohort of lung cancer patients. Data [...] Read more.
The albumin-to-alkaline phosphatase ratio (AAPR) is a novel promising prognostic marker in cancer patients. However, the evidence for its significance in lung cancer is scarce. Therefore, we assessed the prognostic value of the AAPR in a large cohort of lung cancer patients. Data on lung cancer patients diagnosed from January 2009 to June 2018 were extracted from the Danish Lung Cancer Registry and combined with data on the pretreatment serum AAPR level extracted from the clinical laboratory information system (LABKA). AAPR tertiles were applied as cutoffs. Cox proportional hazard models assessed the prognostic value of the AAPR. In total, 5978 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and 1099 small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients were included. Decreasing AAPR level was significantly associated with declining median overall survival (OS) in NSCLC patients (medium vs. low AAPR, adjusted HR = 0.73 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68–0.79); high vs. low AAPR, adjusted HR = 0.68 (95% CI 0.62–0.73)) and in SCLC patients (medium vs. low AAPR, adjusted HR = 0.62 (95% CI 0.52–0.74); high vs. low, adjusted HR = 0.59 (95% CI 0.50–0.70)). In conclusion, the AAPR was an independent prognostic factor in NSCLC and SCLC patients. The correlation seems to be level dependent, with reducing survival found to be associated with decreasing AAPR level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection The Biomarkers for the Diagnosis and Prognosis in Cancer)
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Review
Multifaceted Roles of Chemokines and Chemokine Receptors in Tumor Immunity
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236132 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Various immune cells are involved in host tumor immune responses. In particular, there are many T cell subsets with different roles in tumor immunity. T-helper (Th) 1 cells are involved in cellular immunity and thus play the major role in host anti-tumor immunity [...] Read more.
Various immune cells are involved in host tumor immune responses. In particular, there are many T cell subsets with different roles in tumor immunity. T-helper (Th) 1 cells are involved in cellular immunity and thus play the major role in host anti-tumor immunity by inducing and activating cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). On the other hand, Th2 cells are involved in humoral immunity and suppressive to Th1 responses. Regulatory T (Treg) cells negatively regulate immune responses and contribute to immune evasion of tumor cells. Th17 cells are involved in inflammatory responses and may play a role in tumor progression. However, recent studies have also shown that Th17 cells are capable of directly inducting CTLs and thus may promote anti-tumor immunity. Besides these T cell subsets, there are many other innate immune cells such as dendritic cells (DCs), natural killer (NK) cells, and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that are involved in host immune responses to cancer. The migratory properties of various immune cells are critical for their functions and largely regulated by the chemokine superfamily. Thus, chemokines and chemokine receptors play vital roles in the orchestration of host immune responses to cancer. In this review, we overview the various immune cells involved in host responses to cancer and their migratory properties regulated by the chemokine superfamily. Understanding the roles of chemokines and chemokine receptors in host immune responses to cancer may provide new therapeutic opportunities for cancer immunotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Roles of Chemokines in Cancer Immunotherapy)
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Review
Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) in Cancer Metastasis
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236131 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 493
Abstract
Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer related morbidity and mortality. The metastatic process involves several identifiable biological stages, including tumor cell dissemination, intravasation, and the extravasation of circulating cancer cells to facilitate colonization at a distant site. Immune cell infiltration and inflammation [...] Read more.
Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer related morbidity and mortality. The metastatic process involves several identifiable biological stages, including tumor cell dissemination, intravasation, and the extravasation of circulating cancer cells to facilitate colonization at a distant site. Immune cell infiltration and inflammation within the tumor microenvironment coincide with tumor progression and metastatic spread and are thought to be the key mediators of this complex process. Amongst many infiltrating cells, neutrophils have recently emerged as an important player in fueling tumor progression, both in animal models and cancer patients. The production of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) is particularly important in the pathogenesis of the metastatic cascade. NETs are composed of web-like DNA structures with entangled proteins that are released in response to inflammatory cues in the environment. NETs play an important role in driving tumor progression both in experimental and clinical models. In this review, we aim to summarize the current advances in understanding the role of NETs in cancer, with a specific focus on their role in promoting premetastatic niche formation, interaction with circulating cancer cells, and in epithelial to mesenchymal transition during cancer metastasis. We will furthermore discuss the possible role and different treatment options for targeting NETs to prevent tumor progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neutrophils in Cancer: Role and Therapeutic Strategies)
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Systematic Review
Impact of Prostate Size on the Outcomes of Radical Prostatectomy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236130 - 05 Dec 2021
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Background: The impact of prostate size on the radical prostatectomy outcome is not clear. Several published reports have shown conflicting results. Objectives: To investigate the effect of prostate size on the surgical, functional and oncological results of radical prostatectomy. Methods: A systematic review [...] Read more.
Background: The impact of prostate size on the radical prostatectomy outcome is not clear. Several published reports have shown conflicting results. Objectives: To investigate the effect of prostate size on the surgical, functional and oncological results of radical prostatectomy. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were carried out in accordance with the PRISMA criteria. Finally, we investigated the research that reported on the impact of prostate size on radical prostatectomy outcome. The Review Manager (RevMan) software version 5.4 was utilized for statistical analysis. Results: Eighteen studies including 12,242 patients were included. Estimated blood loss was significantly less with smaller prostates (Z = 3.01; p = 0.003). The complications rate was 17% with larger prostates, compared to 10% for smaller prostates (Z = 5.73; p < 0.00001). Seventy-three percent of patients with a smaller prostate were continent within one month, compared to 64% with a larger prostate (Z = 1.59; p = 0.11). The rate of positive surgical margins was significantly higher with smaller prostates (20.2% vs. 17.8%). (Z = 2.52; p = 0.01). The incidence of biochemical recurrence was higher with smaller prostates (7.8% vs. 4.9%) (Z = 1.87; p = 0.06). Conclusion: Larger prostate size is associated with more blood loss and a higher rate of complications. However, the oncological outcome is better, compared to that in patients with smaller prostates. The impact of the size on the functional outcome is not clear. Full article
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Article
First-Line Pharmacotherapies and Survival among Patients Diagnosed with Non-Resectable NSCLC: A Real-Life Setting Study with Gender Prospective
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236129 - 05 Dec 2021
Viewed by 406
Abstract
(1) Purpose: To describe first-line pharmacotherapy and overall survival in non-resectable non-small cell lung cancer (nrNSCLC) patients by gender. (2) Methods: Incident cases of nrNSCLC recorded between 2009 and 2019 (cohort entry) in the pathology registry of the regional administrative healthcare database of [...] Read more.
(1) Purpose: To describe first-line pharmacotherapy and overall survival in non-resectable non-small cell lung cancer (nrNSCLC) patients by gender. (2) Methods: Incident cases of nrNSCLC recorded between 2009 and 2019 (cohort entry) in the pathology registry of the regional administrative healthcare database of Tuscany were identified. Records of antineoplastic therapies delivered up to 4 months following cohort entry were classified as chemotherapy, target therapies, immunotherapies, and undefined monoclonal antibodies. First-line treatment and survival of patients receiving drug treatment was described. Analyses were stratified according to histology, gender, and cohort entry year. (3) Results: 4393 incident cases of nrNSCLC were included. Women with non-squamous-NSCLC received target-therapy more frequently than men (14.9% vs. 6.5%). Immunotherapy incidence of use varied between 3.8% (2017) and 9.1% (2019). The 2-year survival rate increased over time: for non-squamous-NSCLC, it was 22.3% (2009–2011) and 30.6% (2018–2019), while for squamous-NSCLC, it was 13.5% and 22.5%, respectively. After multivariate analysis, a low reduction in mortality risk in 2018–2019 vs. 2009–2011 was found (non-squamous: HR: 0.95 CI95%: 0.92–0.98; squamous: HR: 0.94 CI95%: 0.90–0.98). Among non-squamous NSCLC, median survival was longer in women than in men (389 vs. 276 days). (4) Conclusion: In light of sex-related biomolecular differences, among non-squamous NSCLC, women received target-therapy more frequently than men. Survival seemed to slightly improve over the study period for both histologies, despite a poor reduction in mortality risk was still observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Lung Cancer Therapy)
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Review
An Overview of Intracranial Ependymomas in Adults
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6128; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236128 - 05 Dec 2021
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Ependymomas are rare primary central nervous system tumors. They can form anywhere along the neuraxis, but in adults, these tumors predominantly occur in the spine and less frequently intracranially. Ependymal tumors represent a heterogenous group of gliomas, and the WHO 2016 classification is [...] Read more.
Ependymomas are rare primary central nervous system tumors. They can form anywhere along the neuraxis, but in adults, these tumors predominantly occur in the spine and less frequently intracranially. Ependymal tumors represent a heterogenous group of gliomas, and the WHO 2016 classification is based essentially on a grading system, with ependymomas classified as grade I, II (classic), or III (anaplastic). In adults, surgery is the primary initial treatment, while radiotherapy is employed as an adjuvant treatment in some cases of grade II and in all cases of anaplastic ependymoma; chemotherapy is reserved for recurrent cases. In recent years, important and interesting advances in the molecular characterization of ependymomas have been made, allowing for the identification of nine molecular subgroups of ependymal tumors and moving toward subgroup-specific patients with improved risk stratification for treatment-decisions and future prospective trials. New targeted agents or immunotherapies for ependymoma patients are being explored for recurrent disease. This review summarizes recent molecular advances in the diagnosis and treatment of intracranial ependymomas including surgery, radiation therapy and systemic therapies. Full article
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Review
A Network-Based Approach to Glioma Surgery: Insights from Functional Neurosurgery
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236127 - 05 Dec 2021
Viewed by 785
Abstract
The evaluation and manipulation of structural and functional networks, which has been integral to advancing functional neurosurgery, is beginning to transcend classical subspecialty boundaries. Notably, its application in neuro-oncologic surgery has stimulated an exciting paradigm shift from the traditional localizationist approach, which is [...] Read more.
The evaluation and manipulation of structural and functional networks, which has been integral to advancing functional neurosurgery, is beginning to transcend classical subspecialty boundaries. Notably, its application in neuro-oncologic surgery has stimulated an exciting paradigm shift from the traditional localizationist approach, which is lacking in nuance and optimization. This manuscript reviews the existing literature and explores how structural and functional connectivity analyses have been leveraged to revolutionize and individualize pre-operative tumor evaluation and surgical planning. We describe how this novel approach may improve cognitive and neurologic preservation after surgery and attenuate tumor spread. Furthermore, we demonstrate how connectivity analysis combined with neuromodulation techniques can be employed to induce post-operative neuroplasticity and personalize neurorehabilitation. While the landscape of functional neuro-oncology is still evolving and requires further study to encourage more widespread adoption, this functional approach can transform the practice of neuro-oncologic surgery and improve the care and outcomes of patients with intra-axial tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Neuro-Oncology)
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Article
A Guide for Water Bolus Temperature Selection for Semi-Deep Head and Neck Hyperthermia Treatments Using the HYPERcollar3D Applicator
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6126; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236126 - 05 Dec 2021
Viewed by 421
Abstract
During hyperthermia cancer treatments, especially in semi-deep hyperthermia in the head and neck (H&N) region, the induced temperature pattern is the result of a complex interplay between energy delivery and tissue cooling. The purpose of this study was to establish a water bolus [...] Read more.
During hyperthermia cancer treatments, especially in semi-deep hyperthermia in the head and neck (H&N) region, the induced temperature pattern is the result of a complex interplay between energy delivery and tissue cooling. The purpose of this study was to establish a water bolus temperature guide for the HYPERcollar3D H&N applicator. First, we measured the HYPERcollar3D water bolus heat-transfer coefficient. Then, for 20 H&N patients and phase/amplitude settings of 93 treatments we predict the T50 for nine heat-transfer coefficients and ten water bolus temperatures ranging from 20–42.5 °C. Total power was always tuned to obtain a maximum of 44 °C in healthy tissue in all simulations. As a sensitivity study we used constant and temperature-dependent tissue cooling properties. We measured a mean heat-transfer coefficient of h = 292 W m−2K−1 for the HYPERcollar3D water bolus. The predicted T50 shows that temperature coverage is more sensitive to the water bolus temperature than to the heat-transfer coefficient. We propose changing the water bolus temperature from 30 °C to 35 °C which leads to a predicted T50 increase of +0.17/+0.55 °C (constant/temperature-dependent) for targets with a median depth < 20 mm from the skin surface. For deeper targets, maintaining a water bolus temperature at 30 °C is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyperthermia in Cancer)
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Review
Brentuximab-Induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Manage an Emerging Challenge in Hodgkin Lymphoma Therapy
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236125 - 05 Dec 2021
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Brentuximab vedotin (BV) is an anti-CD30 antibody–drug conjugate approved to treat classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). BV-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (BVIN) is one of the greatest concerns for haematologists treating HL for several reasons. First, BVIN is highly frequent. Most patients receiving BV will experience [...] Read more.
Brentuximab vedotin (BV) is an anti-CD30 antibody–drug conjugate approved to treat classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). BV-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (BVIN) is one of the greatest concerns for haematologists treating HL for several reasons. First, BVIN is highly frequent. Most patients receiving BV will experience some degree of BVIN, resulting in the primary reason for dose modification or discontinuation of HL therapy. Second, BV produces sensory, motor, and/or autonomic peripheral nerve dysfunction, which can present as severe, disabling forms of BVIN—predominantly motor—in some patients. Third, although largely reversible, BVIN may persist months or years after treatment and thereby become a major issue in HL survivorship. BVIN may, therefore, negatively affect the quality of life and work-life of often young patients with HL, in whom long-term survival is expected. Currently, the only strategy for BVIN includes dose adjustments and treatment discontinuation; however, this could interfere with LH therapy efficacy. In this setting, early recognition and adequate management of BVIN are critical in improving clinical outcomes. Careful neurologic monitoring may allow accurate diagnoses and gradation of ongoing forms of BVIN presentation. This review analysed current, available data on epidemiology, pathophysiology, patient- and treatment-related risk factors, clinical and neurophysiologic phenotypes, and management in patients with HL. Furthermore, this review specifically addresses limitations posed by BVIN assessments in clinical practice and provides skills and tools to improve neurologic assessments in these patients. Integrating this neurotoxic drug in clinical practice requires a multidisciplinary approach to avoid or minimise neurotoxicity burden in survivors of HL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapy of Hodgkin Lymphoma)
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Article
Induction of Apoptosis in Human Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells by the Endoplasmic Reticulum-Targeted Alkylphospholipid Analog Edelfosine and Potentiation by Autophagy Inhibition
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236124 - 05 Dec 2021
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies with a poor and gloomy prognosis and the highest mortality-to-incidence ratio. Pancreatic cancer remains an incurable malignancy, and current therapies are ineffective. We isolated cancer stem cells (CSCs) from the human PANC-1 pancreatic cancer [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies with a poor and gloomy prognosis and the highest mortality-to-incidence ratio. Pancreatic cancer remains an incurable malignancy, and current therapies are ineffective. We isolated cancer stem cells (CSCs) from the human PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cell line as CD44+CD24+EpCAM+ cells. These CSCs form pancreatic cancer spheres or spheroids and develop tumors in SCID mice after subcutaneous injection of as few as 100 cells per mouse. Here, we found that the alkylphospholipid analog edelfosine inhibited CSC pancreatic cancer spheroid formation and induced cell death, as assessed by an increase in the percentage of cells in the sub-G0/G1 region by means of flow cytometry, indicative of DNA breakdown and apoptosis. This correlated with an increase in caspase-3 activity and PARP breakdown, as a major substrate of caspase-3, following PANC-1 CSC treatment with edelfosine. The antitumor ether lipid edelfosine colocalized with the endoplasmic reticulum in both PANC-1 cells as well as PANC-1 CSCs by using a fluorescent edelfosine analog, and induced an endoplasmic reticulum stress response in both PANC-1 cells and PANC-1 CSCs, with a potent CHOP/GADD153 upregulation. Edelfosine elicited a strong autophagy response in both PANC-1 cells and PANC-1 CSCs, and preincubation of CSCs with autophagy inhibitors, chloroquine or bafilomycin A1, enhanced edelfosine-induced apoptosis. Primary cultures from pancreatic cancer patients were sensitive to edelfosine, as well as their respective isolated CSCs. Nontumorigenic pancreatic human cell line HPNE and normal human fibroblasts were largely spared. These data suggest that pancreatic CSCs isolated from established cell lines and pancreatic cancer patients are sensitive to edelfosine through its accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum and induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma)
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Article
Comparing Characteristics of Endometrial Cancer in Women of South Asian and White Ethnicity in England
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236123 - 05 Dec 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Differences in patient demographic and tumour characteristics between patients of South Asian and White ethnicity diagnosed with an endometrial cancer (EC) and currently living in England are not well described. We undertook a retrospective study of EC cases diagnosed at the University Hospitals [...] Read more.
Differences in patient demographic and tumour characteristics between patients of South Asian and White ethnicity diagnosed with an endometrial cancer (EC) and currently living in England are not well described. We undertook a retrospective study of EC cases diagnosed at the University Hospitals of Leicester, UK. A total of 1884 cases were included, with 13% of the patients being of South Asian ethnicity. South Asian women were diagnosed at a significantly younger age (mean age of 60.3 years) compared to women of White ethnicity (mean age of 66.9 years) with a mean difference of 6.6 years (95% CI 5.1 to 8.1, p < 0.001). Rising body mass index (BMI) in the White patient group was significantly correlated with younger age at diagnosis (p < 0.001); however, this association was not seen in South Asian patients. A linear regression that adjusted for diabetes status, BMI, and the interaction terms of diabetes status with BMI and ethnicity with BMI, highlighted a younger age of diagnosis in South Asian patients with a BMI less than 45 kg/m2. The difference was greatest at lower BMIs for both non-diabetics and diabetics. Further investigation is needed to explain these differences and to determine their impact on suspected cancer referral criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Management of Endometrial Cancer)
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Article
Receptor Activator of NF-κB (RANK) Confers Resistance to Chemotherapy in AML and Associates with Dismal Disease Course
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236122 - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Although treatment options of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have improved over the recent years, prognosis remains poor. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms influencing and predicting treatment efficacy may improve disease control and outcome. Here we studied the expression, prognostic relevance and functional [...] Read more.
Although treatment options of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have improved over the recent years, prognosis remains poor. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms influencing and predicting treatment efficacy may improve disease control and outcome. Here we studied the expression, prognostic relevance and functional role of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family member Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor (NF)-κB (RANK) in AML. We conducted an experimental ex vivo study using leukemic cells of 54 AML patients. Substantial surface expression of RANK was detected on primary AML cells in 35% of the analyzed patients. We further found that RANK signaling induced the release of cytokines acting as growth and survival factors for the leukemic cells and mediated resistance of AML cells to treatment with doxorubicin and cytarabine, the most commonly used cytostatic compounds in AML treatment. In line, RANK expression correlated with a dismal disease course as revealed by reduced overall survival. Together, our results show that RANK plays a yet unrecognized role in AML pathophysiology and resistance to treatment, and identify RANK as “functional” prognostic marker in AML. Therapeutic modulation of RANK holds promise to improve treatment response in AML patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Therapy)
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Article
Survival Outcome and Prognostic Factors for Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinoma: Retrospective Analysis from the German Cancer Registry Group
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236121 - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Background: Pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma (PACC) is a distinct type of pancreatic cancer with low prevalence. We aimed to analyze prognostic factors and survival outcome for PACC in comparison to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), based on data from the German Cancer Registry Group. [...] Read more.
Background: Pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma (PACC) is a distinct type of pancreatic cancer with low prevalence. We aimed to analyze prognostic factors and survival outcome for PACC in comparison to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), based on data from the German Cancer Registry Group. Methods: Patients with PACC and PDAC were extracted from pooled data of the German clinical cancer registries (years 2000 to 2019). The distribution of demographic parameters, tumor stage and therapy modes were compared between PACC and PDAC. The Kaplan–Meier method and Cox regression analysis were used to delineate prognostic factors for PACC. Propensity score matching was used to compare survival between PACC and PDAC. Results: There were 233 (0.44%) patients with PACC out of 52,518 patients with pancreatic malignancy. Compared to PDAC, patients with PACC were younger (median age 66 versus 70, respectively, p < 0.001) and the percentage of males was higher (66.1% versus 53.3%, respectively, p < 0.001). More patients were resected with PACC than with PDAC (56.2% versus 38.9%, respectively, p < 0.001). The estimated overall median survival in PACC was 22 months (95% confidence interval 15 to 27), compared to 12 months (95% confidence interval 10 to 13) in the matched PDAC cohort (p < 0.001). Surgical resection was the strongest positive prognostic factor for PACC after adjusting for sex, age, and distant metastases (hazard ratio 0.34, 95% confidence interval 0.22 to 0.51, p < 0.001). There was no survival benefit for adjuvant therapy in PACC. Conclusions: PACC has overall better prognosis than PDAC. Surgical resection is the best therapeutic strategy for PACC and should be advocated even in advanced tumor stages. Full article
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Review
Novel Therapeutic Strategies for Refractory Ovarian Cancers: Clear Cell and Mucinous Carcinomas
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers13236120 - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 385
Abstract
Ovarian cancer has the worst prognosis among gynecological cancers. In particular, clear cell and mucinous carcinomas are less sensitive to chemotherapy. The establishment of new therapies is necessary to improve the treatment outcomes for these carcinomas. In previous clinical studies, chemotherapy with cytotoxic [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer has the worst prognosis among gynecological cancers. In particular, clear cell and mucinous carcinomas are less sensitive to chemotherapy. The establishment of new therapies is necessary to improve the treatment outcomes for these carcinomas. In previous clinical studies, chemotherapy with cytotoxic anticancer drugs has failed to demonstrate better treatment outcomes than paclitaxel + carboplatin therapy. In recent years, attention has been focused on treatment with molecular target drugs and immune checkpoint inhibitors that target newly identified biomarkers. The issues that need to be addressed include the most appropriate combination of therapies, identifying patients who may benefit from each therapy, and how results should be incorporated into the standard of care for ovarian clear cell and mucinous carcinomas. In this article, we have reviewed the most promising therapies for ovarian clear cell and mucinous carcinomas, which are regarded as intractable, with an emphasis on therapies currently being investigated in clinical studies. Full article
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