ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Advances in Gynecological Cancers"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Michalis Liontos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: ovarian cancer; personalized medicine; DNA damage response; DNA repair mechanisms; uterine cancer

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Clinical management of gynecological cancers has developed rapidly during the last few years due to the identification of their molecular pathogeneses. Novel compounds have provided a survival benefit through randomized clinical trials and have been approved by regulatory authorities. However, the progress has a major impact on patients with a deficiency in DNA repair mechanisms that bear sensitivity to either PARP inhibitors or immune checkpoint inhibitors. There is an unmet medical need to gain insight into the molecular pathogenesis in DNA repair-proficient patients as well as to understand the mechanisms of resistance in novel compounds. Under this perspective, this Special Issue aims to describe current advances in the diagnosis and management of gynecological cancers as well as challenges in clinical and translational research that will lead to improvements in the survival of patients.

Prof. Dr. Michalis Liontos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • ovarian cancer
  • BRCA1/2 mutations
  • uterine cancer
  • microsatellite instability
  • cervical cancer
  • angiogenesis
  • TP53 mutations

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Metformin Affects Olaparib Sensitivity through Induction of Apoptosis in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10557; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms221910557 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 340
Abstract
This study examined the effect of combination treatment with the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib and metformin on homologous recombination (HR)-proficient epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Ovarian cancer cell lines (OV-90 and SKOV-3) were treated with olaparib, metformin, or a combination of both. Cell [...] Read more.
This study examined the effect of combination treatment with the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib and metformin on homologous recombination (HR)-proficient epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Ovarian cancer cell lines (OV-90 and SKOV-3) were treated with olaparib, metformin, or a combination of both. Cell viability was assessed by MTT and colony formation assays. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential were examined using the specific fluorescence probes, DCFH2-DA (2′,7′-dichloro-dihydrofluorescein diacetate) and JC-1 (5,5′,6,6′-tetrachloro-1,1′,3,3′-tetraethylbenzimidazolcarbocyanine). Apoptotic and necrotic changes were measured by double staining with Hoechst 33258 and propidium iodide, orange acridine and ethidium bromide staining, phosphatidylserine externalization, TUNEL assay, caspase 3/7 activity, and cytochrome c and p53 expression. Compared with single-drug treatment, the combination of olaparib and metformin significantly inhibited cell proliferation and colony formation in HR-proficient ovarian cancer cells. ROS production preceded a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential. The changes in ROS levels suggested their involvement in inducing apoptosis in response to combination treatment. The present results indicate a shift towards synergism in cells with mutant or null p53, treated with olaparib combined with metformin, providing a new approach to the treatment of gynecologic cancers. Taken together, the results support the use of metformin to sensitize EOC to olaparib therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gynecological Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Difluoromethylornithine Induces Apoptosis through Regulation of AP-1 Signaling via JNK Phosphorylation in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10255; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms221910255 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), has promising activity against various cancers and a tolerable safety profile for long-term use as a chemopreventive agent. However, the anti-tumor effects of DFMO in ovarian cancer cells have not been entirely understood. Our [...] Read more.
Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), has promising activity against various cancers and a tolerable safety profile for long-term use as a chemopreventive agent. However, the anti-tumor effects of DFMO in ovarian cancer cells have not been entirely understood. Our study aimed to identify the effects and mechanism of DFMO in epithelial ovarian cancer cells using SKOV-3 cells. Treatment with DFMO resulted in a significantly reduced cell viability in a time- and dose-dependent manner. DFMO treatment inhibited the activity and downregulated the expression of ODC in ovarian cancer cells. The reduction in cell viability was reversed using polyamines, suggesting that polyamine depletion plays an important role in the anti-tumor activity of DFMO. Additionally, significant changes in Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Bax protein levels, activation of caspase-3, and cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase were observed, indicating the apoptotic effects of DFMO. We also found that the effect of DFMO was mediated by AP-1 through the activation of upstream JNK via phosphorylation. Moreover, DFMO enhanced the effect of cisplatin, thus showing a possibility of a synergistic effect in treatment. In conclusion, treatment with DFMO alone, or in combination with cisplatin, could be a promising treatment for ovarian cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gynecological Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
LncRNA MALAT1 Facilitates Ovarian Cancer Progression through Promoting Chemoresistance and Invasiveness in the Tumor Microenvironment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10201; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms221910201 - 22 Sep 2021
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Upregulation of metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1, also known as nuclear-enriched abundant transcript 2 (NEAT2) or LINC00047) was found in various solid tumors, including epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). MALAT1 is a long noncoding (lnc)RNA that regulates many functional signaling pathways, including tumorigenesis. [...] Read more.
Upregulation of metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1, also known as nuclear-enriched abundant transcript 2 (NEAT2) or LINC00047) was found in various solid tumors, including epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). MALAT1 is a long noncoding (lnc)RNA that regulates many functional signaling pathways, including tumorigenesis. Herein, we observed the consistent upregulation of MALAT1 in MYST4-overexpressing cell lines, while MALAT1 was frequently found to be upregulated in various types of clinical carcinoma tissues, especially EOC. To further investigate the lncRNA MALAT1 in EOC progression, the transduced overexpression of MALAT1 in EOC cell lines and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) was employed. We found that MALAT1 overexpression in EOC cell lines significantly increased drug resistance, cell migration, and invasion. Furthermore, the concomitant overexpression of MALAT1 in EOC cells and CAFs dramatically increased EOC cell invasion. Accordingly, a mechanistic investigation of MALAT1 overexpression in EOC cells showed that expressions of the cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and p-P38/p-NFκB/Cox2/prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) signaling were significantly increased, which stimulated inflammatory responses, whereas cell apoptosis was inhibited due to increased Bcl-2 levels and reduced Caspase3 levels. After MALAT1 was overexpressed in EOC cells, and the cyclin D1, p-PI3K, and p-Akt expressions increased, suggesting the promotion of tumor cell proliferation, while increased zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox-2 (ZEB2), yes-associated protein (YAP), and vimentin expression with E-cadherin downregulation indicated the enhancement of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in terms of metastasis, thereby triggering EOC progression. Together, our findings demonstrate how MALAT1 overexpression facilitates an oncogenic function through inhibiting tumor cell apoptosis, combined with increasing tumor cell inflammation, proliferation, and invasion in the EOC tumor microenvironment. MALAT1 is thus a potential diagnostic marker and therapeutic for this malignancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gynecological Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Tumor Promoting Effect of BMP Signaling in Endometrial Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 7882; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22157882 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 718
Abstract
The effects of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), members of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family, in endometrial cancer (EC) have yet to be determined. In this study, we analyzed the TCGA and MSK-IMPACT datasets and investigated the effects of BMP2 and of TWSG1, [...] Read more.
The effects of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), members of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family, in endometrial cancer (EC) have yet to be determined. In this study, we analyzed the TCGA and MSK-IMPACT datasets and investigated the effects of BMP2 and of TWSG1, a BMP antagonist, on Ishikawa EC cells. Frequent ACVR1 mutations and high mRNA expressions of BMP ligands and receptors were observed in EC patients of the TCGA and MSK-IMPACT datasets. Ishikawa cells secreted higher amounts of BMP2 compared with ovarian cancer cell lines. Exogenous BMP2 stimulation enhanced EC cell sphere formation via c-KIT induction. BMP2 also induced EMT of EC cells, and promoted migration by induction of SLUG. The BMP receptor kinase inhibitor LDN193189 augmented the growth inhibitory effects of carboplatin. Analyses of mRNAs of several BMP antagonists revealed that TWSG1 mRNA was abundantly expressed in Ishikawa cells. TWSG1 suppressed BMP7-induced, but not BMP2-induced, EC cell sphere formation and migration. Our results suggest that BMP signaling promotes EC tumorigenesis, and that TWSG1 antagonizes BMP7 in EC. BMP signaling inhibitors, in combination with chemotherapy, might be useful in the treatment of EC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gynecological Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessment of TSPAN Expression Profile and Their Role in the VSCC Prognosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 5015; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22095015 - 09 May 2021
Viewed by 689
Abstract
The role and prognostic value of tetraspanins (TSPANs) in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) remain poorly understood. We sought to primarily determine, at both the molecular and tissue level, the expression profile of the TSPANs CD9, CD63, CD81, and CD82 in archived VSCC [...] Read more.
The role and prognostic value of tetraspanins (TSPANs) in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) remain poorly understood. We sought to primarily determine, at both the molecular and tissue level, the expression profile of the TSPANs CD9, CD63, CD81, and CD82 in archived VSCC samples (n = 117) and further investigate their clinical relevance as prognostic markers. Our studies led us to identify CD63 as the most highly expressed TSPAN, at the gene and protein levels. Multicomparison studies also revealed that the expression of CD9 was associated with tumor size, whereas CD63 upregulation was associated with histological diagnosis and vascular invasion. Moreover, low expression of CD81 and CD82 was associated with worse prognosis. To determine the role of TSPANs in VSCC at the cellular level, we assessed the mRNA levels of CD63 and CD82 in established metastatic (SW962) and non-metastatic (SW954) VSCC human cell lines. CD82 was found to be downregulated in SW962 cells, thus supporting its metastasis suppressor role. However, CD63 was significantly upregulated in both cell lines. Silencing of CD63 by siRNA led to a significant decrease in proliferation of both SW954 and SW962. Furthermore, in SW962 particularly, CD63-siRNA also remarkably inhibited cell migration. Altogether, our data suggest that the differential expression of TSPANs represents an important feature for prognosis of VSCC patients and indicates that CD63 and CD82 are likely potential therapeutic targets in VSCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gynecological Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Patient-Derived Xenograft Models in Cervical Cancer: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9369; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22179369 - 29 Aug 2021
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Background: Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models have been a focus of attention because they closely resemble the tumor features of patients and retain the molecular and histological features of diseases. They are promising tools for translational research. In the current systematic review, we identify [...] Read more.
Background: Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models have been a focus of attention because they closely resemble the tumor features of patients and retain the molecular and histological features of diseases. They are promising tools for translational research. In the current systematic review, we identify publications on PDX models of cervical cancer (CC-PDX) with descriptions of main methodological characteristics and outcomes to identify the most suitable method for CC-PDX. Methods: We searched on PubMed to identify articles reporting CC-PDX. Briefly, the main inclusion criterion for papers was description of PDX created with fragments obtained from human cervical cancer specimens, and the exclusion criterion was the creation of xenograft with established cell lines. Results: After the search process, 10 studies were found and included in the systematic review. Among 98 donor patients, 61 CC-PDX were established, and the overall success rate was 62.2%. The success rate in each article ranged from 0% to 75% and was higher when using severe immunodeficient mice such as severe combined immunodeficient (SCID), nonobese diabetic (NOD) SCID, and NOD SCID gamma (NSG) mice than nude mice. Subrenal capsule implantation led to a higher engraftment rate than orthotopic and subcutaneous implantation. Fragments with a size of 1–3 mm3 were suitable for CC-PDX. No relationship was found between the engraftment rate and characteristics of the tumor and donor patient, including histology, staging, and metastasis. The latency period varied from 10 days to 12 months. Most studies showed a strong similarity in pathological and immunohistochemical features between the original tumor and the PDX model. Conclusion: Severe immunodeficient mice and subrenal capsule implantation led to a higher engraftment rate; however, orthotopic and subcutaneous implantation were alternatives. When using nude mice, subrenal implantation may be better. Fragments with a size of 1–3 mm3 were suitable for CC-PDX. Few reports have been published about CC-PDX; the results were not confirmed because of the small sample size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gynecological Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Molecular Landscape of Vulvar Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(13), 7069; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22137069 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 772
Abstract
Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) is a rare malignancy with dual pathogenesis, Human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated and HPV-independent, with a poorly explored molecular landscape. We aimed to summarize the findings of the series analyzing molecular hallmarks of this neoplasm. In January 2021, we conducted [...] Read more.
Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) is a rare malignancy with dual pathogenesis, Human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated and HPV-independent, with a poorly explored molecular landscape. We aimed to summarize the findings of the series analyzing molecular hallmarks of this neoplasm. In January 2021, we conducted a comprehensive literature search using Pubmed Medline and Scopus to identify publications focused on genomic profiling of VSCC. Observational studies, including both prospective and retrospective designs, evaluating molecular alterations in VSCC were deemed eligible. A total of 14 studies analyzing 749 VSCC were identified. The study series were heterogeneous in HPV testing and sequencing strategies, included small sets of tumors and cancer genes, and commonly lacked survival analysis. Only one extensive targeted next-generation sequencing-based study comprised a large cohort of 280 VSCC. The mutated genes, their number, and frequencies were highly variable between the series. Overall, TP53 and CDKN2A, followed by PIK3CA, HRAS, and PTEN, were the most frequently studied and mutated genes. Mutations involved in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, including TP53, HRAS, KRAS, and PIK3CA, have been consistently reported across the studies. However, the role of individual mutations or pathways in the development of VSCC remains unclear. In conclusion, heterogeneity and the small sample size of available molecular series contribute to a limited view of the molecular landscape of VSCC. Large-scale genome- or exome-wide studies with robust HPV testing are necessary to improve the molecular characterization of VSCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gynecological Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop