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Cancers, Volume 14, Issue 10 (May-2 2022) – 224 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Ovarian cancer exhibits one of the lowest survival rates amongst all cancer types, and over the last 30 years, little progress has been made to improve treatment efficacy. This indicates that a paradigm shift is required to treat this devastating disease. Recent research has revealed the presence of numerous overexpressed G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in ovarian cancer tissues, which may highlight a new treatment paradigm that uses GPCRs as molecular entry points to deliver cancer therapeutics into ovarian cancer cells with engineered nanoparticles (NPs). Due to the genetic heterogeneity in ovarian cancers, personalized treatments are required that are based on target receptor expression analysis in cancer tissues, followed by the design of modular GPCR-targeted, drug-loaded NPs on a case-by-case basis. View this paper
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Article
Enucleation Is a Feasible Procedure for Well-Differentiated pNEN—A Matched Pair Analysis
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2570; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102570 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 544
Abstract
The extent of surgical resection in the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNEN) is still controversial. This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of enucleation for well-differentiated non-functional (nf) pNEN. Patients undergoing enucleation (2001–2020) were analyzed. Clinicopathological parameters, perioperative outcomes and survival were [...] Read more.
The extent of surgical resection in the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNEN) is still controversial. This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of enucleation for well-differentiated non-functional (nf) pNEN. Patients undergoing enucleation (2001–2020) were analyzed. Clinicopathological parameters, perioperative outcomes and survival were assessed. The analysis was performed as a nested case-control study and matched-pair analysis with formal resection. Sixty-one patients undergoing enucleation were identified. Compared to patients undergoing formal resection, enucleation was associated with a significantly shorter median length of operative time (128 (IQR 95–170) versus 263 (172–337) minutes, p < 0.0001) and a significantly lower rate of postoperative diabetes (2% versus 21%, p = 0.0020). There was no significant difference in postoperative pancreatic fistula rate (18% versus 16% type B/C, p = 1.0), Clavien−Dindo ≥ III complications (20% versus 26%, p = 0.5189), readmission rate (12% versus 15%, p = 0.6022) or length of hospital stay (8 (7–11) versus 10 (8–17) days, p = 0.0652). There was no 30-day mortality after enucleation compared to 1.6% (n = 1) after formal resection. 10-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) was similar between the two groups (OS: 89% versus 77%, p = 0.2756; DFS: 98% versus 91%, p = 0.0873). Enucleation presents a safe surgical approach for well-differentiated nf-pNEN with good long-term outcomes for selected patients. Full article
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Review
Breast Cancer—Epidemiology, Classification, Pathogenesis and Treatment (Review of Literature)
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2569; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102569 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 638
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most-commonly diagnosed malignant tumor in women in the world, as well as the first cause of death from malignant tumors. The incidence of breast cancer is constantly increasing in all regions of the world. For this reason, despite the [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the most-commonly diagnosed malignant tumor in women in the world, as well as the first cause of death from malignant tumors. The incidence of breast cancer is constantly increasing in all regions of the world. For this reason, despite the progress in its detection and treatment, which translates into improved mortality rates, it seems necessary to look for new therapeutic methods, and predictive and prognostic factors. Treatment strategies vary depending on the molecular subtype. Breast cancer treatment is multidisciplinary; it includes approaches to locoregional therapy (surgery and radiation therapy) and systemic therapy. Systemic therapies include hormone therapy for hormone-positive disease, chemotherapy, anti-HER2 therapy for HER2-positive disease, and quite recently, immunotherapy. Triple negative breast cancer is responsible for more than 15–20% of all breast cancers. It is of particular research interest as it presents a therapeutic challenge, mainly due to its low response to treatment and its highly invasive nature. Future therapeutic concepts for breast cancer aim to individualize therapy and de-escalate and escalate treatment based on cancer biology and early response to therapy. The article presents a review of the literature on breast carcinoma—a disease affecting women in the world. Full article
Article
Simultaneous Care in Oncology: A 7-Year Experience at ESMO Designated Centre at Veneto Institute of Oncology, Italy
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2568; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102568 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 463
Abstract
Benefits of early palliative care referral in oncology are well-validated. At the Veneto Institute of Oncology-IRCCS, a simultaneous-care outpatient clinic (SCOC) has been active since 2014, where patients with advanced cancer are evaluated by an oncologist together with a palliative care team. We [...] Read more.
Benefits of early palliative care referral in oncology are well-validated. At the Veneto Institute of Oncology-IRCCS, a simultaneous-care outpatient clinic (SCOC) has been active since 2014, where patients with advanced cancer are evaluated by an oncologist together with a palliative care team. We prospectively assessed SCOC patients’ characteristics and SCOC outcomes through internal procedure indicators. Data were retrieved from the SCOC prospectively maintained database. There were 753 eligible patients. The median age was 68 years; primary tumor sites were gastrointestinal (75.2%), genitourinary (15.0%) and other sites (9.8%). Predominant symptoms were psychological issues (69.4%), appetite loss (67.5%) and pain (65.9%). Dyspnea was reported in 53 patients (7%) in the referral form, while it was detected in 226 patients (34.2%) during SCOC visits (p < 0.0001). Median survival of patients after the SCOC visit was 7.3 months. Survival estimates by the referring oncologist were significantly different from the actual survival. Psychological intervention was deemed necessary and undertaken in 34.6% of patients, and nutritional support was undertaken in 37.9% of patients. Activation of palliative care services was prompted for 77.7% of patients. Out of 357 patients whose place of death is known, 69.2% died at home, in hospice or residential care. With regard to indicators’ assessment, the threshold was reached for 9 out of 11 parameters (81.8%) requested by the procedure. This study confirmed the importance of close collaboration between oncologists and palliative care teams in responding properly to cancer patients’ needs. The introduction of a procedure with indicators allowed punctual assessment of a team’s performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology: An Update)
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Article
Modifiers of and Disparities in Palliative and Supportive Care Timing and Utilization among Neurosurgical Patients with Malignant Central Nervous System Tumors
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2567; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102567 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Patients with primary or secondary central nervous system (CNS) malignancies benefit from utilization of palliative care (PC) in addition to other supportive services, such as home health and social work. Guidelines propose early initiation of PC for patients with advanced cancers. We analyzed [...] Read more.
Patients with primary or secondary central nervous system (CNS) malignancies benefit from utilization of palliative care (PC) in addition to other supportive services, such as home health and social work. Guidelines propose early initiation of PC for patients with advanced cancers. We analyzed a cohort of privately insured patients with malignant brain or spinal tumors derived from the Optum Clinformatics Datamart Database to investigate health disparities in access to and utilization of supportive services. We introduce a novel construct, “provider patient racial diversity index” (provider pRDI), which is a measure of the proportion of non-white minority patients a provider encounters to approximate a provider’s patient demographics and suggest a provider’s cultural sensitivity and exposure to diversity. Our analysis demonstrates low rates of PC, home health, and social work services among racial minority patients. Notably, Hispanic patients had low likelihood of engaging with all three categories of supportive services. However, patients who saw providers categorized into high provider pRDI (categories II and III) were increasingly more likely to interface with supportive care services and at an earlier point in their disease courses. This study suggests that prospective studies that examine potential interventions at the provider level, including diversity training, are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Health Equity to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities)
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Systematic Review
Use of Thiazide Diuretics and Risk of All Types of Skin Cancers: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2566; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102566 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Background: The use of thiazide diuretics is associated with skin cancer risk; however, whether this applies to all skin cancer types is unclear. Methods: In this meta-analysis, we searched multiple electronic databases and gray literature up to 10 April 2022, with no language [...] Read more.
Background: The use of thiazide diuretics is associated with skin cancer risk; however, whether this applies to all skin cancer types is unclear. Methods: In this meta-analysis, we searched multiple electronic databases and gray literature up to 10 April 2022, with no language restrictions, to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomized studies (cohort, case-control) that investigated the association between thiazide diuretics and skin cancer. The primary outcomes of interest were malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma [BCC], squamous cell carcinoma [SCC]). Secondary outcomes included other skin cancers (lip cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma, malignant adnexal skin tumors, oral cavity cancer, and precursors of skin cancer). We used a random-effects meta-analysis to estimate pooled adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Thirty non-randomized studies (17 case-control, 13 cohort, no RCTs) were included. Thiazide diuretic users had a higher risk of malignant melanoma (17 studies; n = 10,129,196; pooled adjusted OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.04–1.15; p < 0.001; strength of evidence, very low; very small harmful effect), BCC (14 studies; n = 19,780,476; pooled adjusted OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02–1.09; p = 0.003; strength of evidence, very low; very small harmful effect), and SCC (16 studies; n = 16,387,862; pooled adjusted OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.22–1.48; p < 0.001; strength of evidence, very low; very small harmful effect) than non-users. Thiazide diuretic use was also associated with a higher risk of lip cancer (5 studies; n = 161,491; pooled adjusted OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.52–2.42; p < 0.001; strength of evidence, very low; small harmful effect), whereas other secondary outcomes were inconclusive. Conclusions: Thiazide diuretics are associated with the risk of all skin cancer types, including malignant melanoma; thus, they should be used with caution in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systematic Review or Meta-Analysis in Cancer Research)
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Article
Ascorbate Plus Buformin in AML: A Metabolic Targeted Treatment
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2565; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102565 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 424
Abstract
In the present study, we characterized the metabolic background of different Acute Myeloid Leukemias’ (AMLs) cells and described a heterogeneous and highly flexible energetic metabolism. Using the Seahorse XF Agilent, we compared the metabolism of normal hematopoietic progenitors with that of primary AML [...] Read more.
In the present study, we characterized the metabolic background of different Acute Myeloid Leukemias’ (AMLs) cells and described a heterogeneous and highly flexible energetic metabolism. Using the Seahorse XF Agilent, we compared the metabolism of normal hematopoietic progenitors with that of primary AML blasts and five different AML cell lines. We assessed the efficacy and mechanism of action of the association of high doses of ascorbate, a powerful oxidant, with the metabolic inhibitor buformin, which inhibits mitochondrial complex I and completely shuts down mitochondrial contributions in ATP production. Primary blasts from seventeen AML patients, assayed for annexin V and live/dead exclusion by flow cytometry, showed an increase in the apoptotic effect using the drug combination, as compared with ascorbate alone. We show that ascorbate inhibits glycolysis through interfering with HK1/2 and GLUT1 functions in hematopoietic cells. Ascorbate combined with buformin decreases mitochondrial respiration and ATP production and downregulates glycolysis, enhancing the apoptotic effect of ascorbate in primary blasts from AMLs and sparing normal CD34+ bone marrow progenitors. In conclusion, our data have therapeutic implications especially in fragile patients since both agents have an excellent safety profile, and the data also support the clinical evaluation of ascorbate–buformin in association with different mechanism drugs for the treatment of refractory/relapsing AML patients with no other therapeutic options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Alterations in Cancer)
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Review
The Role of Interstitial Brachytherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment: An Overview of Indications, Applications, and Technical Notes
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2564; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102564 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 314
Abstract
Breast cancer represents the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the female population, despite continuing advances in treatment options that have significantly accelerated in recent years. Conservative treatments have radically changed the concept of healing, also focusing on the psychological aspect of [...] Read more.
Breast cancer represents the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the female population, despite continuing advances in treatment options that have significantly accelerated in recent years. Conservative treatments have radically changed the concept of healing, also focusing on the psychological aspect of oncological treatments. In this scenario, radiotherapy plays a key role. Brachytherapy is an extremely versatile radiation technique that can be used in various settings for breast cancer treatment. Although it is invasive, technically complex, and requires a long learning curve, the dosimetric advantages and sparing of organs at risk are unequivocal. Literature data support muticatheter interstitial brachytherapy as the only method with strong scientific evidence to perform partial breast irradiation and reirradiation after previous conservative surgery and external beam radiotherapy, with longer follow-up than new, emerging radiation techniques, whose effectiveness is proven by over 20 years of experience. The aim of our work is to provide a comprehensive view of the use of interstitial brachytherapy to perform breast lumpectomy boost, breast-conserving accelerated partial breast irradiation, and salvage reirradiation for ipsilateral breast recurrence, with particular focus on the implant description, limits, and advantages of the technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breast Development and Cancer)
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Viewpoint
MDACT: A New Principle of Adjunctive Cancer Treatment Using Combinations of Multiple Repurposed Drugs, with an Example Regimen
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2563; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102563 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 398
Abstract
In part one of this two-part paper, we present eight principles that we believe must be considered for more effective treatment of the currently incurable cancers. These are addressed by multidrug adjunctive cancer treatment (MDACT), which uses multiple repurposed non-oncology drugs, not primarily [...] Read more.
In part one of this two-part paper, we present eight principles that we believe must be considered for more effective treatment of the currently incurable cancers. These are addressed by multidrug adjunctive cancer treatment (MDACT), which uses multiple repurposed non-oncology drugs, not primarily to kill malignant cells, but rather to reduce the malignant cells’ growth drives. Previous multidrug regimens have used MDACT principles, e.g., the CUSP9v3 glioblastoma treatment. MDACT is an amalgam of (1) the principle that to be effective in stopping a chain of events leading to an undesired outcome, one must break more than one link; (2) the principle of Palmer et al. of achieving fractional cancer cell killing via multiple drugs with independent mechanisms of action; (3) the principle of shaping versus decisive operations, both being required for successful cancer treatment; (4) an idea adapted from Chow et al., of using multiple cytotoxic medicines at low doses; (5) the idea behind CUSP9v3, using many non-oncology CNS-penetrant drugs from general medical practice, repurposed to block tumor survival paths; (6) the concept from chess that every move creates weaknesses and strengths; (7) the principle of mass—by adding force to a given effort, the chances of achieving the goal increase; and (8) the principle of blocking parallel signaling pathways. Part two gives an example MDACT regimen, gMDACT, which uses six repurposed drugs—celecoxib, dapsone, disulfiram, itraconazole, pyrimethamine, and telmisartan—to interfere with growth-driving elements common to cholangiocarcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, glioblastoma, and non-small-cell lung cancer. gMDACT is another example of—not a replacement for—previous multidrug regimens already in clinical use, such as CUSP9v3. MDACT regimens are designed as adjuvants to be used with cytotoxic drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Novel Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies in Gliomas)
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Article
GDF15 Is an Eribulin Response Biomarker also Required for Survival of DTP Breast Cancer Cells
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2562; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102562 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Drug tolerant persister (DTP) cells enter into a reversible slow-cycling state after drug treatment. We performed proteomic characterization of the breast cancer (BC) DTP cell secretome after eribulin treatment. We showed that the growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a protein significantly over-secreted [...] Read more.
Drug tolerant persister (DTP) cells enter into a reversible slow-cycling state after drug treatment. We performed proteomic characterization of the breast cancer (BC) DTP cell secretome after eribulin treatment. We showed that the growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a protein significantly over-secreted upon eribulin treatment. The biomarker potential of GDF15 was confirmed in 3D-cell culture models using BC cells lines and PDXs, as well as in a TNBC in vivo model. We also found that GDF15 is required for survival of DTP cells. Direct participation of GDF15 and its receptor GFRAL in eribulin-induction of DTPs was established by the enhanced cell killing of DTPs by eribulin seen under GDF15 and GFRAL loss of function assays. Finally, we showed that combination therapy of eribulin plus an anti-GDF15 antibody kills BC-DTP cells. Our results suggest that targeting GDF15 may help eradicate DTP cells and block the onset of acquired resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Therapy)
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Review
Homologous Recombination Repair in Biliary Tract Cancers: A Prime Target for PARP Inhibition?
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2561; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102561 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 423
Abstract
Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are a heterogeneous group of malignancies that make up ~7% of all gastrointestinal tumors. It is notably aggressive and difficult to treat; in fact, >70% of patients with BTC are diagnosed at an advanced, unresectable stage and are not [...] Read more.
Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are a heterogeneous group of malignancies that make up ~7% of all gastrointestinal tumors. It is notably aggressive and difficult to treat; in fact, >70% of patients with BTC are diagnosed at an advanced, unresectable stage and are not amenable to curative therapy. For these patients, chemotherapy has been the mainstay treatment, providing an inadequate overall survival of less than one year. Despite the boom in targeted therapies over the past decade, only a few targeted agents have been approved in BTCs (i.e., IDH1 and FGFR inhibitors), perhaps in part due to its relatively low incidence. This review will explore current data on PARP inhibitors (PARPi) used in homologous recombination deficiency (HRD), particularly with respect to BTCs. Greater than 28% of BTC cases harbor mutations in genes involved in homologous recombination repair (HRR). We will summarize the mechanisms for PARPi and its role in synthetic lethality and describe select genes in the HRR pathway contributing to HRD. We will provide our rationale for expanding patient eligibility for PARPi use based on literature and anecdotal evidence pertaining to mutations in HRR genes, such as RAD51C, and the potential use of reliable surrogate markers of HRD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates in Biliary Tract Cancers)
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Review
Glutathione Peroxidase GPX1 and Its Dichotomous Roles in Cancer
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2560; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102560 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
As the first identified selenoprotein, glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) is a widely and abundantly expressed antioxidant enzyme. GPX1 utilizes glutathione as a substrate to catalyze hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxide, and peroxynitrite, thereby reducing intracellular oxidative stress. The GPX1 gene is regulated at transcriptional, [...] Read more.
As the first identified selenoprotein, glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) is a widely and abundantly expressed antioxidant enzyme. GPX1 utilizes glutathione as a substrate to catalyze hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxide, and peroxynitrite, thereby reducing intracellular oxidative stress. The GPX1 gene is regulated at transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and translational levels. Numerous case-control studies and meta-analyses have assessed the association between a functional genetic polymorphism of the GPX1 gene, named Pro198Leu (rs1050450 C>T), and cancer susceptibility in different populations. GPX1 polymorphism has type-specific effects as a candidate marker for cancer risk, but the association between GPX1 variants and cancer susceptibility remains controversial in different studies. GPX1 is abnormally elevated in most types of cancer but has complex dichotomous roles as tumor suppressor and promoter in different cancers. GPX1 can participate in various signaling pathways to regulate tumor biological behaviors, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, immune response, and chemoresistance. In this review, we comprehensively summarize the controversial associations between GPX1 polymorphism and cancer risks and further discuss the relationships between the aberrant expressions of GPX1 and tumorigenesis. Further studies are needed to elucidate the clinical significance of GPX1 as a potential prognostic biomarker and novel therapeutic target in various malignancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Interface of Genetics, Epigenetics and Metabolism in Cancer)
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Systematic Review
The Effect of Adjuvant Chemotherapy on Localized Extraskeletal Osteosarcoma: A Systematic Review
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2559; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102559 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 346
Abstract
(1) Background: Extraskeletal osteosarcoma (ESOS) is a malignant tumor characterized by the production of bone or bone matrix by tumor cells without any continuity into the skeletal bones. The standard treatment for localized ESOS is wide resection; however, the effect of (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Extraskeletal osteosarcoma (ESOS) is a malignant tumor characterized by the production of bone or bone matrix by tumor cells without any continuity into the skeletal bones. The standard treatment for localized ESOS is wide resection; however, the effect of (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy remains unclear. To investigate the effect of (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy for localized ESOS, we conducted a systematic review of studies comparing the 5-year disease-free survival rate between patients who underwent surgery combined with (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy and those who underwent surgery alone. (2) Methods: Of the 210 studies identified by systematically searching the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases, 12 were included in the final analysis. These 12 articles were not randomized controlled trials, but retrospective studies. In total, 761 patients with localized ESOS were included in this study. (3) Results: The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 47.9% (187 of 390 patients) in the surgery and (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy group and 40.4% (150 of 371 patients) in the surgery alone group. The overall pooled odds ratio was 1.23 (95% confidence interval, 0.69–2.19; p = 0.479) and the heterogeneity I2 was 37%. (4) Conclusions: The effect of adjuvant chemotherapy on localized ESOS seems to be limited. Therefore, routine use of adjuvant chemotherapy for localized ESOS should be avoided. However, further randomized controlled trials are required to confirm these results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Trials of Cancer)
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Article
Viral and Genomic Drivers of Squamous Cell Neoplasms Arising in the Lacrimal Drainage System
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2558; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102558 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 419
Abstract
The pathogenesis of squamous cell neoplasms arising in the lacrimal drainage system is poorly understood, and the underlying genomic drivers for disease development remain unexplored. We aimed to investigate the genomic aberrations in carcinomas arising in the LDS and correlate the findings to [...] Read more.
The pathogenesis of squamous cell neoplasms arising in the lacrimal drainage system is poorly understood, and the underlying genomic drivers for disease development remain unexplored. We aimed to investigate the genomic aberrations in carcinomas arising in the LDS and correlate the findings to human papillomavirus (HPV) status. The HPV analysis was performed using HPV DNA PCR, HPV E6/E7 mRNA in-situ hybridization, and p16 immunohistochemistry. The genomic characterization was performed by targeted DNA sequencing of 523 cancer-relevant genes. Patients with LDS papilloma (n = 17) and LDS carcinoma (n = 15) were included. There was a male predominance (68%) and a median age at diagnosis of 46.0 years (range 27.5–65.5 years) in patients with papilloma and 63.8 years (range 34.0–87.2 years) in patients with carcinoma. Transcriptional activity of the HPV E6/E7 oncogenes was detected in the whole tumor thickness in 12/15 (80%) papillomas (HPV6, 11, 16) and 10/15 (67%) squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) (HPV11: 3/15 (20%) and HPV16: 7/15 (47%)). Pathogenic variants in PIK3CA, FGFR3, AKT1, and PIK3R1, wildtype TP53, p16 overexpression, and deregulated high-risk E6/E7 transcription characterized the HPV16-positive SCC. The deregulated pattern of HPV E6/E7 expression, correlating with HPV DNA presence and p16 positivity, supports a causal role of HPV in a subset of LDS papillomas and carcinomas. The viral and molecular profile of LDS SCC resembles that of other HPV-driven SCC. Full article
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Article
Selection Criteria for Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC) Treatment in Patients with Peritoneal Metastases
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2557; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102557 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Background: The standard treatment protocol for PIPAC consists of three procedures. Completion of treatment has been shown to be prognostic of improved survival. The aim of this study was to identify predictors for completion of treatment. Methods: Retrospective multicentric cohort study of patients [...] Read more.
Background: The standard treatment protocol for PIPAC consists of three procedures. Completion of treatment has been shown to be prognostic of improved survival. The aim of this study was to identify predictors for completion of treatment. Methods: Retrospective multicentric cohort study of patients with peritoneal metastases undergoing PIPAC in three PIPAC expert centers. Per protocol (PP) treatment was defined as patients receiving ≥3 PIPACs and was compared to patients receiving <3. Results: Overall, 183 patients had 517 PIPACs. The main reasons for stopping PIPAC were disease progression in 50% patients, bowel obstruction in 15%, patient’s refusal to pursue in 10%, conversion to cytoreductive surgery in 7%, and medical reasons in 8%. Overall, 95 patients (52%) had PP treatment. The PP median OS was 17 vs. 7 months, p = 0.001. PP patients had r ascites (410 ± 100 mL vs. 960 ± 188 mL, p = 0.001), no prior history of bowel obstruction (12% vs. 24%, p = 0.028), and more bimodal treatment (39% vs. 13%, p < 0.001). After multiple regression, bimodal treatment was found as an independent predictive factor for completing PP (OR = 4.202, 95%CI [1.813, 10.630], p < 0.001), along with prior bowel obstruction (OR = 0.389, 95%CI [0.153, 0.920], p = 0.037). Conclusion: The absence of ascites and prior bowel obstruction can help to select patients suitable for PIPAC. Best results seem to be achieved when PIPAC is combined with systemic chemotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Studies in Peritoneal Surface Malignancies)
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Article
COVID-19 Vaccination in Patients with Cancer
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2556; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102556 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Patients with cancer are concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 vaccination. We conducted an online survey on the COVID-19 vaccination status and side effects among patients with cancer in Japan between 8 and 14 August 2021. We included 1182 female patients with [...] Read more.
Patients with cancer are concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 vaccination. We conducted an online survey on the COVID-19 vaccination status and side effects among patients with cancer in Japan between 8 and 14 August 2021. We included 1182 female patients with cancer aged 20–70 years and registered on an online patient website. Of the patients, 944 had breast cancer, 216 had gynecological cancer, 798 were undergoing drug/radiation therapy, and 370 were in follow-up. At the time of the survey, 885 patients had already received at least one dose. Of these, 580 had also received their second dose. The incidence rate of side effects was equivalent to previous reports. In patients with breast cancer, problems such as the onset or worsening of lymphedema or axillary lymphadenopathy metastasis requiring differential diagnosis were encountered following vaccination. A total of 768 patients were concerned about the vaccine at some point, and 726 consulted with their attending physicians about the timing or side effects of the vaccination. Of the 110 patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, 75 adjusted the timing of the vaccination based on their therapy. The cross-analysis revealed that 81% of those who consulted their physician had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination compared with 65% of those who had not consulted their physician. Consulting with a physician about the COVID-19 vaccination was found to alleviate the concerns of patients with cancer and encourage them to get vaccinated. Full article
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Article
Deep-Learning-Based Automatic Detection and Segmentation of Brain Metastases with Small Volume for Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2555; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102555 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Recently, several efforts have been made to develop the deep learning (DL) algorithms for automatic detection and segmentation of brain metastases (BM). In this study, we developed an advanced DL model to BM detection and segmentation, especially for small-volume BM. From the institutional [...] Read more.
Recently, several efforts have been made to develop the deep learning (DL) algorithms for automatic detection and segmentation of brain metastases (BM). In this study, we developed an advanced DL model to BM detection and segmentation, especially for small-volume BM. From the institutional cancer registry, contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance images of 65 patients and 603 BM were collected to train and evaluate our DL model. Of the 65 patients, 12 patients with 58 BM were assigned to test-set for performance evaluation. Ground-truth for BM was assigned to one radiation oncologist to manually delineate BM and another one to cross-check. Unlike other previous studies, our study dealt with relatively small BM, so the area occupied by the BM in the high-resolution images were small. Our study applied training techniques such as the overlapping patch technique and 2.5-dimensional (2.5D) training to the well-known U-Net architecture to learn better in smaller BM. As a DL architecture, 2D U-Net was utilized by 2.5D training. For better efficacy and accuracy of a two-dimensional U-Net, we applied effective preprocessing include 2.5D overlapping patch technique. The sensitivity and average false positive rate were measured as detection performance, and their values were 97% and 1.25 per patient, respectively. The dice coefficient with dilation and 95% Hausdorff distance were measured as segmentation performance, and their values were 75% and 2.057 mm, respectively. Our DL model can detect and segment BM with small volume with good performance. Our model provides considerable benefit for clinicians with automatic detection and segmentation of BM for stereotactic ablative radiotherapy. Full article
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Article
Associations of Physical Activity and Handgrip Strength with Different Domains of Quality of Life in Pediatric Cancer Survivors
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2554; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102554 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 437
Abstract
There is a paucity of evidence about the associations of physical activity (PA) and handgrip strength (HGS) within different domains of quality of life (QoL) in Chinese pediatric cancer survivors. We, therefore, conducted this multicenter cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether increased PA [...] Read more.
There is a paucity of evidence about the associations of physical activity (PA) and handgrip strength (HGS) within different domains of quality of life (QoL) in Chinese pediatric cancer survivors. We, therefore, conducted this multicenter cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether increased PA level and HGS are associated with higher scores in different QoL domains (i.e., physical, emotional, social, and school functioning) in pediatric cancer survivors. PA was assessed with a validated self-reported PA rating scale. In total, 191 Chinese pediatric cancer survivors aged 9 to 16 years were included in the analysis. Results showed that engaging in a higher level of PA was significantly associated with improved QoL in different domains, including physical (β = 0.543, p < 0.001), emotional (β = 0.449, p < 0.001), social (β = 0.434, p < 0.001), and school functioning (β = 0.407, p < 0.001). Greater HGS was also associated with better physical (β = 0.230, p ≤ 0.001) and emotional (β = 0.261, p ≤ 0.001) functioning. Findings from this study provide evidence of the significant beneficial impact of regular PA on pediatric cancer survivors’ QoL along their survivorship trajectory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Cancer Care)
Review
Strategies to Achieve Breast Health Equity in the St. Louis Region and Beyond over 15+ Years
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2550; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102550 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Community-based participatory strategies are a promising approach to addressing disparities in community health outcomes. This paper details the efforts of Siteman Cancer Center to achieve breast health equity over the past 15+ years. We begin by describing the activities and successes arising from [...] Read more.
Community-based participatory strategies are a promising approach to addressing disparities in community health outcomes. This paper details the efforts of Siteman Cancer Center to achieve breast health equity over the past 15+ years. We begin by describing the activities and successes arising from our breast health community partnerships including identifying priorities, developing recommendations, and implementing patient navigation services to advance breast health. This system-wide coordinated navigation approach that includes primary and specialty care providers helped to increase potential impact on reducing breast health disparities by expediting care, increasing care efficiency, and standardizing referral procedures across systems for all women including those who are uninsured and underinsured. We also discuss a mobile mammography unit that has been deployed to serve women living in both urban and rural regions. The van reached a particularly vulnerable population that was mostly poor, uninsured, and with limited educational backgrounds regardless of their zip code of service. This work shows that collaborations between academic and community partners have resulted in decreased late stage at diagnosis and improved access to mammography. Furthermore, we offer lessons learned and recommendations that may be applicable to other communities. Full article
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Article
Association of Diabetes Severity and Mortality with Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2553; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102553 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Purpose: The survival impact of diabetes severity on lung cancer remains unclear. We performed head-to-head propensity score matching to estimate the survival impact of various adapted diabetes complications severity index (aDCSI) scores in patients with both diabetes and lung squamous cell carcinoma (SqCLC). [...] Read more.
Purpose: The survival impact of diabetes severity on lung cancer remains unclear. We performed head-to-head propensity score matching to estimate the survival impact of various adapted diabetes complications severity index (aDCSI) scores in patients with both diabetes and lung squamous cell carcinoma (SqCLC). Patients and Methods: We enrolled patients with both diabetes and lung SqCLC and categorized them into the mild (aDCSI = 0–1) and moderate-to-severe (aDCSI ≥ 2) diabetes groups. The patients in both groups were matched at a 1:1 ratio. Results: the matching process yielded a final cohort of 5742 patients with both diabetes and lung SqCLC (2871 patients in the mild diabetes group and 2871 patients in the moderate-to-severe diabetes groups) who were eligible for further analysis. A multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR; 95% confidence interval) of all-cause death for the mild diabetes group relative to the moderate-to-severe diabetes group was 1.17 (1.08–1.28; p = 0.0005). Conclusion: severe diabetes (aDCSI ≥ 2) is an independent prognostic factor for OS among patients with both diabetes and lung SqCLC who receive standard treatments. Preventing diabetes progression is necessary for patients with diabetes because it not only supports diabetes control but also improves survival for patients with lung SqCLC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Lung Cancer Therapy)
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Article
Monocarboxylate Transporters 1 and 4 and Prognosis in Small Bowel Neuroendocrine Tumors
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2552; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102552 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 463
Abstract
Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) are cell membrane proteins transporting lactate, pyruvate, and ketone bodies across the plasma membrane. The prognostic role of MCTs in neuroendocrine tumors is unknown. We aimed to analyze MCT1 and MCT4 expression in small bowel neuroendocrine tumors (SB-NETs). The cohort [...] Read more.
Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) are cell membrane proteins transporting lactate, pyruvate, and ketone bodies across the plasma membrane. The prognostic role of MCTs in neuroendocrine tumors is unknown. We aimed to analyze MCT1 and MCT4 expression in small bowel neuroendocrine tumors (SB-NETs). The cohort included 109 SB-NETs and 61 SB-NET lymph node metastases from two Finnish hospitals. Tumor samples were immunohistochemically stained with MCT1 and MCT4 monoclonal antibodies. The staining intensity, percentage of positive cells, and stromal staining were assessed. MCT1 and MCT4 scores (0, 1 or 2) were composed based on the staining intensity and the percentage of positive cells. Survival analyses were performed with the Kaplan–Meier method and Cox regression, adjusted for confounders. The primary outcome was disease-specific survival (DSS). A high MCT4 intensity in SB-NETs was associated with better DSS when compared to low intensity (85.7 vs. 56.6%, p = 0.020). A high MCT4 percentage of positive cells resulted in better DSS when compared to a low percentage (77.4 vs. 49.1%, p = 0.059). MCT4 scores 0, 1, and 2 showed DSS of 52.8 vs. 58.8 vs. 100% (p = 0.025), respectively. After adjusting for confounders, the mortality hazard was lowest in the patients with a high MCT4 score. MCT1 showed no association with survival. According to our study, a high MCT4 expression is associated with an improved prognosis in SB-NETs. Full article
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Article
Blockade LAT1 Mediates Methionine Metabolism to Overcome Oxaliplatin Resistance under Hypoxia in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2551; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102551 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Hypoxic microenvironment and metabolic dysregulation of tumor impairs the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs, resulting in drug resistance and tumor metastasis, which has always been a challenge for the treatment of solid tumors, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Herein, starting from the evaluation [...] Read more.
Hypoxic microenvironment and metabolic dysregulation of tumor impairs the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs, resulting in drug resistance and tumor metastasis, which has always been a challenge for the treatment of solid tumors, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Herein, starting from the evaluation of methionine metabolism in RCC cells, we demonstrated that the increased methionine accumulation in RCC cells was mediated by L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1) under hypoxia. Glutathione (GSH), as a methionine metabolite, would attenuate the therapeutic efficacy of oxaliplatin through chemical chelation. Reducing methionine uptake by LAT1 inhibitor JPH203 significantly enhanced the sensitivity of RCC cells to oxaliplatin by reducing GSH production in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, we proposed an effective and stable therapeutic strategy based on the combination of oxaliplatin and LAT1 inhibitor, which is expected to solve the resistance of RCC to platinum-based drugs under hypoxia to a certain extent, providing a meaningful insight into the development of new therapeutic strategies and RCC treatment Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Targeting Tumor Metabolism for Cancer Therapy)
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Review
Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2549; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102549 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Cytokines are secreted soluble glycoproteins that regulate cellular growth, proliferation, and differentiation. Suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins negatively regulate cytokine signaling and form a classical negative feedback loop in the signaling pathways. There are eight members of the SOCS family. The SOCS [...] Read more.
Cytokines are secreted soluble glycoproteins that regulate cellular growth, proliferation, and differentiation. Suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins negatively regulate cytokine signaling and form a classical negative feedback loop in the signaling pathways. There are eight members of the SOCS family. The SOCS proteins are all comprised of a loosely conserved N-terminal domain, a central Src homology 2 (SH2) domain, and a highly conserved SOCS box at the C-terminus. The role of SOCS proteins has been implicated in the regulation of cytokines and growth factors in liver diseases. The SOCS1 and SOCS3 proteins are involved in immune response and inhibit protective interferon signaling in viral hepatitis. A decreased expression of SOCS3 is associated with advanced stage and poor prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). DNA methylations of SOCS1 and SOCS3 are found in HCC. Precise regulation of liver regeneration is influenced by stimulatory and inhibitory factors after partial hepatectomy (PH), in particular, SOCS2 and SOCS3 are induced at an early time point after PH. Evidence supporting the important role of SOCS signaling during liver regeneration also supports a role of SOCS signaling in HCC. Immuno-oncology drugs are now the first-line therapy for advanced HCC. The SOCS can be potential targets for HCC in terms of cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and immune response. In this literature review, we summarize recent findings of the SOCS family proteins related to HCC and liver diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Cancer: Improving Standard Diagnosis and Therapy)
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Review
The Molecular Biology of Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2548; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102548 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Soft tissue sarcomas are malignant tumors of mesenchymal origin, encompassing a large spectrum of entities that were historically classified according to their histological characteristics. Over the last decades, molecular biology has allowed a better characterization of these tumors, leading to the incorporation of [...] Read more.
Soft tissue sarcomas are malignant tumors of mesenchymal origin, encompassing a large spectrum of entities that were historically classified according to their histological characteristics. Over the last decades, molecular biology has allowed a better characterization of these tumors, leading to the incorporation of multiple molecular features in the latest classification of sarcomas as well as to molecularly-guided therapeutic strategies. This review discusses the main uses of molecular biology in current practice for the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue sarcomas, in addition to perspectives for this rapidly evolving field of research. Full article
Article
Prognostic Value of Preclinical Markers after Radiotherapy of Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression—An Additional Analysis of Patients from Two Prospective Trials
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2547; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102547 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 362
Abstract
For optimal personalization of treatment for metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC), the patient’s survival prognosis should be considered. Estimation of survival can be facilitated by prognostic factors. This study investigated the prognostic value of pre-treatment preclinical markers, namely hemoglobin, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte [...] Read more.
For optimal personalization of treatment for metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC), the patient’s survival prognosis should be considered. Estimation of survival can be facilitated by prognostic factors. This study investigated the prognostic value of pre-treatment preclinical markers, namely hemoglobin, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and c-reactive protein (CRP), in 190 patients from two prospective trials who had poor or intermediate survival prognoses and were irradiated for MSCC with motor deficits. In addition, clinical factors including radiation regimen, age, gender, tumor type, interval from tumor diagnosis to MSCC, number of affected vertebrae, visceral metastases, other bone metastases, time developing motor deficits, ambulatory status, sensory function, and sphincter function were evaluated. On univariate analyses, NLR (p = 0.033), LDH (p < 0.001), CRP (p < 0.001), tumor type (p < 0.001), pre-radiotherapy ambulatory status (p < 0.001), and sphincter function (p = 0.011) were significant. In the subsequent Cox regression analysis, LDH (p = 0.007), CRP (p = 0.047), tumor type (p = 0.003), and ambulatory status (p = 0.010) maintained significance. In addition to clinical factors, preclinical markers may help in estimating the survival of patients irradiated for MSCC. Additional prospective trials are warranted. Full article
Review
Management of Unresectable Localized Pelvic Bone Sarcomas: Current Practice and Future Perspectives
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2546; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102546 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Bone sarcomas (BS) are rare mesenchymal tumors usually located in the extremities and pelvis. While surgical resection is the cornerstone of curative treatment, some locally advanced tumors are deemed unresectable and hence not suitable for curative intent. This is often true for pelvic [...] Read more.
Bone sarcomas (BS) are rare mesenchymal tumors usually located in the extremities and pelvis. While surgical resection is the cornerstone of curative treatment, some locally advanced tumors are deemed unresectable and hence not suitable for curative intent. This is often true for pelvic sarcoma due to anatomic complexity and proximity to vital structures, making treatment options for these tumors generally limited and not unanimous, with decisions being made on an individual basis after multidisciplinary discussion. Several studies have been published in recent years focusing on innovative treatment options for patients with locally advanced sarcoma not amenable to local surgery. The present article reviews the evidence regarding the treatment of patients with locally advanced and unresectable pelvic BS, with the goal of providing an overview of treatment options for the main BS histologic subtypes involving this anatomic area and exploring future therapeutic perspectives. The management of unresectable localized pelvic BS represents a major challenge and is hampered by the lack of comprehensive and standardized guidelines. As such, the optimal treatment needs to be individually tailored, weighing a panoply of patient- and tumor-related factors. Despite the bright prospects raised by novel therapeutic approaches, the role of each treatment option in the therapeutic armamentarium of these patients requires solid clinical evidence before becoming fully established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research in Pelvic and Sacral Bone Sarcoma Diagnosis and Treatment)
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Review
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors as a Neoadjuvant/Adjuvant Treatment of Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: A Systematic Review
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2545; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102545 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Bladder cancer is the ninth most common cancer worldwide. Over 75% of non-muscle invasive cancer patients require conservative local treatment, while the remaining 25% of patients undergo radical cystectomy or radiotherapy. Immune checkpoint inhibitors represent a novel class of immunotherapy drugs that restore [...] Read more.
Bladder cancer is the ninth most common cancer worldwide. Over 75% of non-muscle invasive cancer patients require conservative local treatment, while the remaining 25% of patients undergo radical cystectomy or radiotherapy. Immune checkpoint inhibitors represent a novel class of immunotherapy drugs that restore natural antitumoral immune activity via the blockage of inhibitory receptors and ligands expressed on antigen-presenting cells, T lymphocytes and tumour cells. The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in bladder cancer has been expanded from the neoadjuvant setting, i.e., after radical cystectomy, to the adjuvant setting, i.e., before the operative time or chemotherapy, in order to improve the overall survival and to reduce the morbidity and mortality of both the disease and its treatment. However, some patients do not respond to checkpoint inhibitors. As result, the capability for identifying patients that are eligible for this immunotherapy represent one of the efforts of ongoing studies. The aim of this systematic review is to summarize the most recent evidence regarding the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors, in a neoadjuvant and adjuvant setting, in the treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Immunotherapy for Genitourinary Malignancies)
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Article
Prognostic Neurotransmitter Receptors Genes Are Associated with Immune Response, Inflammation and Cancer Hallmarks in Brain Tumors
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2544; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102544 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Neurotransmitters (NTs) have recently been linked with the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells, but the role of NTs in the progression of human gliomas is still largely unexplored. Here, we investigate [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Neurotransmitters (NTs) have recently been linked with the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells, but the role of NTs in the progression of human gliomas is still largely unexplored. Here, we investigate the genes encoding for neurotransmitter receptors (NTRs) by analyzing public transcriptomic data from GBM and LGG (low-grade glioma) samples. Our results showed that 50 out of the 98 tested NTR genes were dysregulated in brain cancer tissue. Next, we identified and validated NTR-associated prognostic gene signatures for both LGG and GBM. A subset of 10 NTR genes (DRD1, HTR1E, HTR3B, GABRA1, GABRA4, GABRB2, GABRG2, GRIN1, GRM7, and ADRA1B) predicted a positive prognosis in LGG and a negative prognosis in GBM. These genes were progressively downregulated across glioma grades and exhibited a strong negative correlation with genes associated with immune response, inflammasomes, and established cancer hallmarks genes in lower grade gliomas, suggesting a putative role in inhibiting cancer progression. This study might have implications for the development of novel therapeutics and preventive strategies that target regulatory networks associated with the link between the autonomic nervous system, cancer cells, and the tumor microenvironment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Strategies in Diagnosis and Treatments for Brain Tumors)
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Article
Mutational Activation of the NRF2 Pathway Upregulates Kynureninase Resulting in Tumor Immunosuppression and Poor Outcome in Lung Adenocarcinoma
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2543; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102543 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Activation of the NRF2 pathway through gain-of-function mutations or loss-of-function of its suppressor KEAP1 is a frequent finding in lung cancer. NRF2 activation has been reported to alter the tumor microenvironment. Here, we demonstrated that NRF2 alters tryptophan metabolism through the kynurenine pathway [...] Read more.
Activation of the NRF2 pathway through gain-of-function mutations or loss-of-function of its suppressor KEAP1 is a frequent finding in lung cancer. NRF2 activation has been reported to alter the tumor microenvironment. Here, we demonstrated that NRF2 alters tryptophan metabolism through the kynurenine pathway that is associated with a tumor-promoting, immune suppressed microenvironment. Specifically, proteomic profiles of 47 lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) cell lines (11 KEAP1 mutant and 36 KEAP1 wild-type) revealed the tryptophan-kynurenine enzyme kynureninase (KYNU) as a top overexpressed protein associated with activated NRF2. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of NFE2L2, the gene encoding for NRF2, or activation of the NRF2 pathway through siRNA-mediated knockdown of KEAP1 or via chemical induction with the NRF2-activator CDDO-Me confirmed that NRF2 is a regulator of KYNU expression in LUAD. Metabolomic analyses confirmed KYNU to be enzymatically functional. Analysis of multiple independent gene expression datasets of LUAD, as well as a LUAD tumor microarray demonstrated that elevated KYNU was associated with immunosuppression, including potent induction of T-regulatory cells, increased levels of PD1 and PD-L1, and resulted in poorer survival. Our findings indicate a novel mechanism of NRF2 tumoral immunosuppression through upregulation of KYNU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Proteomics in Cancers)
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Article
Gene Expression Monotonicity across Bladder Cancer Stages Informs on the Molecular Pathogenesis and Identifies a Prognostic Eight-Gene Signature
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2542; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102542 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Despite advancements in molecular classification, tumor stage and grade still remain the most relevant prognosticators used by clinicians to decide on patient management. Here, we leverage publicly available data to characterize bladder cancer (BLCA)’s stage biology based on increased sample sizes, identify potential [...] Read more.
Despite advancements in molecular classification, tumor stage and grade still remain the most relevant prognosticators used by clinicians to decide on patient management. Here, we leverage publicly available data to characterize bladder cancer (BLCA)’s stage biology based on increased sample sizes, identify potential therapeutic targets, and extract putative biomarkers. A total of 1135 primary BLCA transcriptomes from 12 microarray studies were compiled in a meta-cohort and analyzed for monotonal alterations in pathway activities, gene expression, and co-expression patterns with increasing stage (Ta–T1–T2–T3–T4), starting from the non-malignant tumor-adjacent urothelium. The TCGA-2017 and IMvigor-210 RNA-Seq data were used to validate our findings. Wnt, MTORC1 signaling, and MYC activity were monotonically increased with increasing stage, while an opposite trend was detected for the catabolism of fatty acids, circadian clock genes, and the metabolism of heme. Co-expression network analysis highlighted stage- and cell-type-specific genes of potentially synergistic therapeutic value. An eight-gene signature, consisting of the genes AKAP7, ANLN, CBX7, CDC14B, ENO1, GTPBP4, MED19, and ZFP2, had independent prognostic value in both the discovery and validation sets. This novel eight-gene signature may increase the granularity of current risk-to-progression estimators. Full article
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Article
Pan-Cancer Characterization of Intratumoral Autonomic Innervation in 32 Cancer Types in the Cancer Genome Atlas
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2541; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cancers14102541 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Over the past two decades, multiple studies have demonstrated the important role that the autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays in tumorigenesis and cancer progression. However, the mechanisms by which this process occurs have only recently begun to be elucidated. Further, the extent of [...] Read more.
Over the past two decades, multiple studies have demonstrated the important role that the autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays in tumorigenesis and cancer progression. However, the mechanisms by which this process occurs have only recently begun to be elucidated. Further, the extent of autonomic innervation in various cancer types and its effects on tumor molecular, immunological, and histopathological features, as well as on patient outcomes, are not yet fully characterized. In this study, we analyzed intratumoral ANS gene expression signatures, including overall intratumoral neuron growth and sympathetic and parasympathetic markers, across 32 cancer types using tumor transcriptomic and clinical annotation data available from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Our analysis revealed wide variations in intratumoral ANS expression both within and across cancer types. The association of ANS signatures with tumor histopathological characteristics and survival outcomes also varied by cancer type. We found intratumoral ANS expression to be commonly correlated with angiogenesis, TGF-β signaling, and immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment of many cancer types, which provide mechanistic insights into the involvement of intratumoral innervation in cancer development and progression. Our findings suggest that the potential benefits of cancer therapies targeting β-adrenergic receptor-mediated stress signaling pathways are likely dependent on cancer type. Full article
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