Gene Summary

Gene:AQP3; aquaporin 3 (Gill blood group)
Aliases: GIL, AQP-3
Summary:This gene encodes the water channel protein aquaporin 3. Aquaporins are a family of small integral membrane proteins related to the major intrinsic protein, also known as aquaporin 0. Aquaporin 3 is localized at the basal lateral membranes of collecting duct cells in the kidney. In addition to its water channel function, aquaporin 3 has been found to facilitate the transport of nonionic small solutes such as urea and glycerol, but to a smaller degree. It has been suggested that water channels can be functionally heterogeneous and possess water and solute permeation mechanisms. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2011]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 07 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 07 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 07 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: AQP3 (cancer-related)

Jung G, Roh J, Lee H, et al.
Autophagic Markers BECLIN 1 and LC3 are Associated with Prognosis of Multiple Myeloma.
Acta Haematol. 2015; 134(1):17-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Autophagy is crucial for the survival and function of plasma cells including protection from toxic misfolded immunoglobulin and proper energy metabolism. Multiple myeloma (MM) is an indolent but eventually fatal neoplasm of plasma cells. Autophagy may play a critical role in the survival of MM cells and their response to chemotherapeutic agents. In this study, we correlated the expression of autophagy-related proteins with the prognosis of MM.
METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we examined the expression of the autophagic markers BECLIN 1 and microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) in 89 cases of MM biopsied from 2001 to 2004 at the Asan Medical Center. The association of the expression scores of these markers with clinical outcomes was assessed.
RESULTS: Patients with strong immunoreactivity to BECLIN 1 or LC3 had a significantly better overall survival (OS) than patients with negative to moderate immunoreactivity (p = 0.036 and 0.018, respectively). This was also true for disease-specific survival (DSS; p = 0.051 and 0.043, respectively). In addition, LC3 immunostaining remained an independent factor impacting OS (p = 0.028) and DSS (p = 0.020) after multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that higher immunoreactivity for autophagic markers in MM is associated with superior patient survival.

Kang BW, Kim JG, Lee SJ, et al.
Expression of aquaporin-1, aquaporin-3, and aquaporin-5 correlates with nodal metastasis in colon cancer.
Oncology. 2015; 88(6):369-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The clinical significance of aquaporin-1 (AQP1), aquaporin-3 (AQP3), and aquaporin-5 (AQP5) expression was analyzed in a large number of patients with colon cancer.
METHODS: AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 expression was investigated based on the immunohistochemistry of tissue microarray specimens from 486 colon cancer patients who underwent curative surgery. Scores were given to the staining intensity and percentage of positive cells, and the staining score was defined as the sum of these scores then used to categorize the AQP expression as negative, weakly AQP-positive, or strongly AQP-positive.
RESULTS: A total of 298 (61.3%) patients were identified as strongly AQP1-positive (staining score ≥ 6), while 38 (7.8%) were strongly AQP3-positive and 145 (29.8%) were strongly AQP5-positive. The overexpression of AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis in a multivariate logistic analysis (AQP1, p = 0.026; AQP3, p = 0.023; AQP5, p = 0.003). While the multivariate survival analysis, which included age, histology, TNM stage, and CEA level showed that the expression of AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 had no effect on the overall survival and disease-free survival.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study found a significant correlation between AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 expression and lymph node metastasis in patients with surgically resected colon cancer.

Choi CM, Kim MY, Hwang HJ, et al.
Advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung: comparison of CT characteristics of patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene rearrangement and those with epidermal growth factor receptor mutation.
Radiology. 2015; 275(1):272-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To study the differences in computed tomographic (CT) characteristics between patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma who have anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement and those who have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board. Informed consent was waived. Patients with stage IV adenocarcinoma (n = 198) were enrolled from November 2004 to December 2013, including 68 patients with ALK rearrangement and 130 with EGFR mutation. Two independent radiologists evaluated the main tumor in each patient and determined its size, type, margins, lymph node metastasis, and intrathoracic metastasis (lung, pleural or pericardial, or bone). A multiple logistic regression model was applied to discriminate clinical and CT characteristics between the types of mutation.
RESULTS: The κ index for assessment of tumor and node stage between radiologists was 0.8530 to 0.9388. Most of the main tumors in patients with both types of mutation appeared as solid masses. In univariate analysis, patients with an ALK rearrangement were younger (P < .001) and were more likely to be men (P = .001), to have never smoked (P = .002), and to have pleural or pericardial metastases (P < .05) compared with those with EGFR mutations. In multivariate analysis, lobulated margins (odds ratio, 4.815; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.789, 12.961; P = .002), N2 or N3 lymph node involvement (odds ratio, 2.445; 95% CI: 1.005, 5.950; P = .049), and lymphangitic lung metastasis (odds ratio, 8.485; 95% CI: 2.238, 32.170; P = .002) were more common in patients with ALK rearrangement than in those with EGFR mutation. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.855.
CONCLUSION: Adenocarcinomas with ALK rearrangement appeared as solid masses with lobulated margins at CT and were more likely to be associated with lymphangitic metastasis, advanced lymph node metastasis, and pleural or pericardial metastasis than were tumors with EGFR mutations.

Moreira L, Muñoz J, Cuatrecasas M, et al.
Prevalence of somatic mutl homolog 1 promoter hypermethylation in Lynch syndrome colorectal cancer.
Cancer. 2015; 121(9):1395-404 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancers (CRCs) that have microsatellite instability (MSI) and mutL homolog 1 (MLH1) immunoloss are observed in 3 clinical scenarios: Lynch syndrome (LS), sporadic MSI CRC, and Lynch-like syndrome (LLS). v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) mutational analysis is used to differentiate LS from sporadic MSI CRC. The role of MLH1 promoter methylation status for the differential diagnosis of these clinical forms is not well established. The objectives of this study were: 1) to analyze MLH1 promoter methylation in MLH1-deficient CRCs by pyrosequencing, and 2) to assess its role in the differential diagnosis of MLH1-deficient CRCs.
METHODS: In total, 165 CRCs were analyzed, including LS (n = 19), MSI BRAF-mutated CRC (n = 37), MSI BRAF wild-type CRC (n = 60), and a control group of CRCs without MSI (microsatellite stable [MSS] CRC; n = 49). MLH1 promoter methylation status was analyzed by pyrosequencing, and the ability of different strategies to identify LS was assessed.
RESULTS: The average ± standard deviation methylation in LS (9% ± 7%) was significantly lower than that in MSI BRAF-mutated CRC (42% ± 17%; P < .001) and in MSI BRAF wild-type CRC (25% ± 19%; P = .002). Somatic MLH1 hypermethylation was detected in 3 patients (15.8%) with LS, in 34 patients (91.9%) with MSI BRAF-mutated CRC, and in 37 patients (61.7%) with MSI BRAF wild-type tumors. Patients with MSI BRAF wild-type, unmethylated tumors (ie, LLS) had a stronger family history of CRC than those who had tumors with MLH1 methylation (P < .05). The sensitivity for ruling out LS was 100% for BRAF analysis, 84.2% for MLH1 methylation analysis, and 84.2% for the combination of both analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: Somatic MLH1 promoter methylation occurs in up to 15% of LS CRCs. Somatic BRAF analysis is the most sensitive strategy for ruling out LS. Patients who have CRCs with loss of MLH1 protein expression and neither BRAF mutation nor MLH1 methylation resemble patients with LS.

Lee WS, Kim HY, Seok JY, et al.
Genomic profiling of patient-derived colon cancer xenograft models.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2014; 93(28):e298 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent evidence suggests that patient derived xenograft (PDX) models can maintain certain pathological and molecular features of the original disease. However, these characterizations are limited to immunohistochemistry or by tissue microarray analysis. We conducted a high-throughput sequencing of primary colon tumor and PDX has not been reported yet. Fresh primary colon cancer tissues that originate from surgery were implanted into the subcutaneous space of 6- to 8-week-old female BALB/c nu/nu or NOD/SCID mice and serially passaged in vivo. Ion AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel v2 (Ion Torrent) was used to detect frequent somatic mutations and similarity of molecular characteristics between the 10 patient tumors and matched PDX. Histologic and immunohistochemical analyses revealed a high degree of pathologic similarity including histologic architecture and expression of CEA, CK7, and CD20 between the patient and xenograft tumors. In 80% cases, all of the somatic mutations detected in primary tumor were concordantly detected in PDX models. However, 2 PDX models showed gained mutations such as PIK3CA or FBWX7 mutation. Ten patient-derived advanced colon cancer xenograft models were established. These models maintained the key characteristic features of the original tumors, suggesting useful tool for preclinical personalized medicine platform.

Lei J, Fan L, Wei G, et al.
Gli-1 is crucial for hypoxia-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasion of breast cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(4):3119-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia can induce HIF-1α expression and promote the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion of cancer cells. However, their mechanisms remain unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of Gli-1, an effector of the Hedgehog pathway, in the hypoxia-induced EMT and invasion of breast cancer cells. Human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells were transfected with HIF-1α or Gli-1-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) and cultured under a normoxic or hypoxic condition. The relative levels of HIF-1α, Gli-1, E-cadherin, and vimentin in the cells were characterized by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot assays, and the invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells was determined. Data was analyzed by Student T test, one-way ANOVA, and post hoc LSD test or Mann-Whitney U when applicable. We observed that hypoxia significantly upregulated the relative levels of vimentin expression, but downregulated E-cadherin expression and promoted the invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells, associated with upregulated HIF-1α translation and Gil-1 expression. Knockdown of HIF-1α mitigated hypoxia-modulated Gil-1, vimentin and E-cadherin expression, and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells. Knockdown of Gil-1 did not significantly change hypoxia-upregulated HIF-1α translation but completely eliminated hypoxia-modulated vimentin and E-cadherin expression and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells. These data indicate that Gil-1 is crucial for hypoxia-induced EMT and invasion of breast cancer cells and may be a therapeutic target for intervention of breast cancer metastasis.

Pyo JS, Ko YS, Kang G, et al.
Bile acid induces MUC2 expression and inhibits tumor invasion in gastric carcinomas.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2015; 141(7):1181-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Bile acids might induce mucin expression and regulate tumor behavior in esophageal and colon cancers. However, little is known about the effect of bile acids on tumor invasiveness of gastric carcinoma (GC). The aim of the current study was to elucidate the mechanisms by which bile acids regulate tumor invasion in GC.
METHODS: We investigated bile acid-induced MUC2 expression and cell invasion and migration in the cultured GC cell lines, SNU-216, and MKN45. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis of MUC2 and Snail was performed on 389 archival paraffin-embedded tissues of GC to evaluate the correlation of their expression with prognosis.
RESULTS: Deoxycholic acid (DCA), a secondary bile acid, had no effect on the viability of SNU-216 and MKN45 GC cells at low concentrations (0-100 μM), but decreased viability at a higher concentration (200 μM). MKN45 cells showed higher MUC2 expression than SNU-216 cells under basal conditions. DCA treatment upregulated MUC2 mRNA expression in both SNU-216 and MKN45 cells. Expression of Snail and MMP9 was markedly decreased by DCA treatment, and E-cadherin expression was subsequently increased. DCA significantly inhibited invasion and migration of SNU-216 and MKN45 cells. In human GC, MUC2 expression showed a negative correlation with Snail expression (P = 0.021) and a significantly positive correlation with better prognosis (P = 0.023).
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data suggest that DCA induced MUC2 expression in GC cells and inhibited tumor invasion and migration. Additionally, MUC2-expressing GCs showed low rates of Snail expression and were associated with a favorable prognosis.

Koo DH, Ryu MH, Ryoo BY, et al.
Association of ABCG2 polymorphism with clinical efficacy of imatinib in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2015; 75(1):173-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Imatinib is a substrate of drug transporters and metabolizing enzymes, including members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) system. Differences in imatinib pharmacokinetics among individuals might be influenced by genetic polymorphisms and be associated with variable clinical imatinib efficacy. This study sought to test how genetic polymorphisms can affect the clinical efficacy of imatinib and its blood levels in GIST patients.
METHODS: A total of 209 GIST patients who had received imatinib 400 mg daily were genotyped for six single-nucleotide polymorphisms in three genes (CYP3A5 6986A>G; ABCB1 1236C>T, 2677G>A/T, and 3435C>T; and ABCG2 34G>A and 421C>A) via blood samples. Progression-free survival (PFS) and imatinib plasma trough levels were evaluated and compared according to genotypes.
RESULTS: With a median follow-up of 39.6 months (range 16.7-97.5 months), the estimated 5-year PFS rate was 67.5 % (95 % CI 59.9-75.1). Among the CYP3A5, ABCB1, and ABCG2 genotypes, ABCG2 421C>A was associated with PFS. The 5-year PFS rate in patients with the AA variant of ABCG2 421C>A (92.3 %; 95 % CI 77.8-100.0) was significantly superior to that of patients with CC/CA genotypes (65.0 %; 95 % CI 56.9-73.1; p = 0.047). For the imatinib trough levels, there were no statistically significant differences when comparing polymorphisms among all genotypes, even after adjusting for clinical factors, including sex, age, body surface area, hemoglobin, albumin, and creatinine clearance.
CONCLUSIONS: The ABCG2 421C>A genetic variation could influence clinical efficacy in terms of PFS in patients with advanced GIST undergoing imatinib therapy.

Lee HJ, Seo AN, Kim EJ, et al.
Prognostic and predictive values of EGFR overexpression and EGFR copy number alteration in HER2-positive breast cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(1):103-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/01/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in a subset of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancers, and coexpression of HER2 and EGFR has been reported to be associated with poor clinical outcome. Moreover, interaction between HER2 and EGFR has been suggested to be a possible basis for trastuzumab resistance.
METHODS: We analysed the clinical significance of EGFR overexpression and EGFR gene copy number alterations in 242 HER2-positive primary breast cancers. In addition, we examined the correlations between EGFR overexpression, trastuzumab response and clinical outcome in 447 primary, and 112 metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer patients treated by trastuzumab.
RESULTS: Of the 242 primary cases, the level of EGFR overexpression was 2+ in 12.7% and 3+ in 11.8%. High EGFR gene copy number was detected in 10.3%. Epidermal growth factor receptor overexpression was associated with hormone receptor negativity and high Ki-67 proliferation index. In survival analyses, EGFR overexpression, but not high EGFR copy number, was associated with poor disease-free survival in all patients, and in the subgroup not receiving adjuvant trastuzumab. In 447 HER2-positive primary breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab, EGFR overexpression was also an independent poor prognostic factor. However, EGFR overexpression was not associated with trastuzumab response, progression-free survival or overall survival in the metastatic setting.
CONCLUSIONS: Epidermal growth factor receptor overexpression, but not high EGFR copy number, is a poor prognostic factor in HER2-positive primary breast cancer. Epidermal growth factor receptor overexpression is a predictive factor for trastuzumab response in HER2-positive primary breast cancer, but not in metastatic breast cancer.

Gil M, Komorowski MP, Seshadri M, et al.
CXCL12/CXCR4 blockade by oncolytic virotherapy inhibits ovarian cancer growth by decreasing immunosuppression and targeting cancer-initiating cells.
J Immunol. 2014; 193(10):5327-37 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2015 Related Publications
Signals mediated by the chemokine CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 are involved in the progression of ovarian cancer through enhancement of tumor angiogenesis and immunosuppressive networks that regulate dissemination of peritoneal metastasis and development of cancer-initiating cells (CICs). In this study, we investigated the antitumor efficacy of a CXCR4 antagonist expressed by oncolytic vaccinia virus (OVV) against an invasive variant of the murine epithelial ovarian cancer cell line ID8-T. This variant harbors a high frequency of CICs that form multilayered spheroid cells and express the hyaluronan receptor CD44, as well as stem cell factor receptor CD117 (c-kit). Using an orthotopic ID8-T tumor model, we observed that i.p. delivery of a CXCR4 antagonist-expressing OVV led to reduced metastatic spread of tumors and improved overall survival compared with oncolysis alone. Inhibition of tumor growth with the armed virus was associated with efficient killing of CICs, reduced expression of ascitic CXCL12 and vascular endothelial growth factor, and decreases in i.p. numbers of endothelial and myeloid cells, as well as plasmacytoid dendritic cells. These changes, together with reduced recruitment of T regulatory cells, were associated with higher ratios of IFN-γ(+)/IL-10(+) tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes, as well as induction of spontaneous humoral and cellular antitumor responses. Similarly, the CXCR4 antagonist released from virally infected human CAOV2 ovarian carcinoma cells inhibited peritoneal dissemination of tumors in SCID mice, leading to improved tumor-free survival in a xenograft model. Our findings demonstrate that OVV armed with a CXCR4 antagonist represents a potent therapy for ovarian CICs with a broad antitumor repertoire.

Park JS, Kim HL, Kim YJ, et al.
Human AP endonuclease 1: a potential marker for the prediction of environmental carcinogenesis risk.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014; 2014:730301 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2015 Related Publications
Human apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) functions mainly in DNA repair as an enzyme removing AP sites and in redox signaling as a coactivator of various transcription factors. Based on these multifunctions of APE1 within cells, numerous studies have reported that the alteration of APE1 could be a crucial factor in development of human diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. In fact, the study on the combination of an individual's genetic make-up with environmental factors (gene-environment interaction) is of great importance to understand the development of diseases, especially lethal diseases including cancer. Recent reports have suggested that the human carcinogenic risk following exposure to environmental toxicants is affected by APE1 alterations in terms of gene-environment interactions. In this review, we initially outline the critical APE1 functions in the various intracellular mechanisms including DNA repair and redox regulation and its roles in human diseases. Several findings demonstrate that the change in expression and activity as well as genetic variability of APE1 caused by environmental chemical (e.g., heavy metals and cigarette smoke) and physical carcinogens (ultraviolet and ionizing radiation) is likely associated with various cancers. These enable us to ultimately suggest APE1 as a vital marker for the prediction of environmental carcinogenesis risk.

Shin J, Kim HJ, Kim G, et al.
Discovery of melanotransferrin as a serological marker of colorectal cancer by secretome analysis and quantitative proteomics.
J Proteome Res. 2014; 13(11):4919-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
To discover serological colorectal cancer (CRC) markers, we analyzed cell line secretome to gather proteins of higher potential to be secreted from tissues into circulation. A total of 898 human proteins were identified, of which 62.2% were predicted to be released or shed from cells. The identified proteins were compared with tissue proteomes to find candidate proteins whose expressions were elevated in tumor tissues compared with normal tissues as revealed by (i) quantitative proteomic analysis based on cICAT and mTRAQ or (ii) data mining of immunohistochemical images piled in Human Protein Atlas database. By applying various stringent criteria, 11 candidate proteins were selected. Among these, we validated an significant increase (p = 0.0018) of melanotransferrin (TRFM) at the plasma level of CRC patients through Western blotting, using 130 plasma samples containing 30 healthy controls, 80 CRC patients, and 20 patients of other diseases. Finally, we measured the expression level of TRFM in 325 plasma samples containing 77 healthy controls and 228 CRC patients (34.6 ± 4.2 ng/mL and 67.0 ± 6.4 ng/mL, p < 0.0001) through ELISA and demonstrated the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.723 (p < 0.0001) with a 92.5% specificity, 48.2% sensitivity, and 95.7% positive predictive value. Furthermore, unlike CEA and PAI-1, up-regulation of TRFM in pathological stages I & II groups compared with stages III & IV groups lead us to expect the use TRFM for early-stage diagnosis of CRC. In this study, we suggest TRFM as a potential serological marker for CRC and expect our discovery strategy to help identify highly cancer-specific and body-fluid-accessible biomarkers.

Pesz KA, Bieniek A, Gil J, et al.
Polymorphisms in nucleotide excision repair genes and basal cell carcinoma of the skin.
Int J Dermatol. 2014; 53(12):1474-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mutations in nucleotide excision repair (NER) genes are the cause of xeroderma pigmentosum, a genetic syndrome with proneness to basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may affect the effectiveness of DNA repair and hence influence individual susceptibility to a variety of neoplasms. The aim of this study was to find associations between SNPs in selected NER genes and sporadic BCC development.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study group consisted of 100 patients with histopathologically confirmed BCCs and the control group of 100 elderly individuals with no personal history of any cancer. DNA isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes was genotyped for seven SNPs in five different NER genes. Statistical analyses for associations were performed.
RESULTS: A weak association between XPD exon 6 silent C/A polymorphism and BCC development risk was found when comparing single polymorphisms between the two groups. When considering sex and SNPs, men with the A-allele in XPC intron 11 C/A have been found to have a decreased risk of BCC.
CONCLUSIONS: There is no consistency in association studies between SNPs and BCC susceptibility. SNPs in NER genes seem to have an insignificant influence on the risk of developing BCC of the skin.

Moran T, Wei J, Cobo M, et al.
Two biomarker-directed randomized trials in European and Chinese patients with nonsmall-cell lung cancer: the BRCA1-RAP80 Expression Customization (BREC) studies.
Ann Oncol. 2014; 25(11):2147-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In a Spanish Lung Cancer Group (SLCG) phase II trial, the combination of BRCA1 and receptor-associated protein 80 (RAP80) expression was significantly associated with outcome in Caucasian patients with nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The SLCG therefore undertook an industry-independent collaborative randomized phase III trial comparing nonselected cisplatin-based chemotherapy with therapy customized according to BRCA1/RAP80 expression. An analogous randomized phase II trial was carried out in China under the auspices of the SLCG to evaluate the effect of BRCA1/RAP80 expression in Asian patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Eligibility criteria included stage IIIB-IV NSCLC and sufficient tumor specimen for molecular analysis. Randomization to the control or experimental arm was 1 : 1 in the SLCG trial and 1 : 3 in the Chinese trial. In both trials, patients in the control arm received docetaxel/cisplatin; in the experimental arm, patients with low RAP80 expression received gemcitabine/cisplatin, those with intermediate/high RAP80 expression and low/intermediate BRCA1 expression received docetaxel/cisplatin, and those with intermediate/high RAP80 expression and high BRCA1 expression received docetaxel alone. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS).
RESULTS: Two hundred and seventy-nine patients in the SLCG trial and 124 in the Chinese trial were assessable for PFS. PFS in the control and experimental arms in the SLCG trial was 5.49 and 4.38 months, respectively [log rank P = 0.07; hazard ratio (HR) 1.28; P = 0.03]. In the Chinese trial, PFS was 4.74 and 3.78 months, respectively (log rank P = 0.82; HR 0.95; P = 0.82).
CONCLUSION: Accrual was prematurely closed on the SLCG trial due to the absence of clinical benefit in the experimental over the control arm. However, the BREC studies provide proof of concept that an international, nonindustry, biomarker-directed trial is feasible. Thanks to the groundwork laid by these studies, we expect that ongoing further research on alternative biomarkers to elucidate DNA repair mechanisms will help define novel therapeutic approaches.

Woo HS, Ahn HK, Lee HY, et al.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 mutations in non-small-cell lung cancer and resistance to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Invest New Drugs. 2014; 32(6):1311-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the predictive value of rare epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 mutations in determining a patient's response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment is unclear.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed data for NSCLC patients harboring EGFR exon 20 mutations from two hospitals in Korea. EGFR mutations were analyzed using directional sequencing.
RESULTS: We identified eight patients carrying EGFR exon 20 mutations, seven of whom had insertional mutations. Three patients carried previously unreported insertional mutations. Among six patients who were treated with EGFR TKI, one showed stable disease and three showed primary resistance. Response evaluations were not performed for the other two patients because of their clinical deterioration.
CONCLUSIONS: EGFR exon 20 insertional mutations, including three that were previously unreported, were associated with the poor response of patients to TKI treatment.

Srivastava J, Robertson CL, Rajasekaran D, et al.
AEG-1 regulates retinoid X receptor and inhibits retinoid signaling.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(16):4364-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/08/2015 Related Publications
Retinoid X receptor (RXR) regulates key cellular responses such as cell growth and development, and this regulation is frequently perturbed in various malignancies, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the molecule(s) that physically govern this deregulation are mostly unknown. Here, we identified RXR as an interacting partner of astrocyte-elevated gene-1 (AEG-1)/metadherin (MTDH), an oncogene upregulated in all cancers. Upon interaction, AEG-1 profoundly inhibited RXR/retinoic acid receptor (RAR)-mediated transcriptional activation. Consequently, AEG-1 markedly protected HCC and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cells from retinoid- and rexinoid-induced cell death. In nontumorigenic cells and primary hepatocytes, AEG-1/RXR colocalizes in the nucleus in which AEG-1 interferes with recruitment of transcriptional coactivators to RXR, preventing transcription of target genes. In tumor cells and AEG-1 transgenic hepatocytes, overexpressed AEG-1 entraps RXR in cytoplasm, precluding its nuclear translocation. In addition, ERK, activated by AEG-1, phosphorylates RXR that leads to its functional inactivation and attenuation of ligand-dependent transactivation. In nude mice models, combination of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and AEG-1 knockdown synergistically inhibited growth of human HCC xenografts. The present study establishes AEG-1 as a novel homeostatic regulator of RXR and RXR/RAR that might contribute to hepatocarcinogenesis. Targeting AEG-1 could sensitize patients with HCC and AML to retinoid- and rexinoid-based therapeutics.

Pérez S, Cid A, Iñarrea A, et al.
Prevalence of HPV 16 and HPV 18 lineages in Galicia, Spain.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(8):e104678 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/08/2015 Related Publications
Genetic variants of human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 (HPV16/18) could differ in their cancer risk. We studied the prevalence and association with high-grade cervical lesions of different HPV16/18 variant lineages in a case-control study including 217 cases (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or grade 3 or worse: CIN2 or CIN3+) and 116 controls (no CIN2 or CIN3+ in two-year follow-up). HPV lineages were determined by sequencing the long control region (LCR) and the E6 gene. Phylogenetic analysis of HPV16 confirmed that isolates clustered into previously described lineages: A (260, 87.5%), B (4, 1.3%), C (8, 2.7%), and D (25, 8.4%). Lineage D/lineage A strains were, respectively, detected in 4/82 control patients, 19/126 CIN3+ cases (OR = 3.1, 95%CI: 1.0-12.9, p = 0.04), 6/1 glandular high-grade lesions (OR = 123, 95%CI: 9.7-5713.6, p<0.0001), and 4/5 invasive lesions (OR = 16.4, 95%CI: 2.2-113.7, p = 0.002). HPV18 clustered in lineages A (32, 88.9%) and B (4, 11.1%). Lineage B/lineage A strains were respectively detected in 1/23 control patients and 2/5 CIN3+ cases (OR = 9.2, 95%CI: 0.4-565.4, p = 0.12). In conclusion, lineages A of HPV16/18 were predominant in Spain. Lineage D of HPV16 was associated with increased risk for CIN3+, glandular high-grade lesions, and invasive lesions compared with lineage A. Lineage B of HPV18 may be associated with increased risk for CIN3+ compared with lineage A, but the association was not significant. Large well-designed studies are needed before the application of HPV lineage detection in clinical settings.

Kim S, Park T, Kon M
Cancer survival classification using integrated data sets and intermediate information.
Artif Intell Med. 2014; 62(1):23-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Although numerous studies related to cancer survival have been published, increasing the prediction accuracy of survival classes still remains a challenge. Integration of different data sets, such as microRNA (miRNA) and mRNA, might increase the accuracy of survival class prediction. Therefore, we suggested a machine learning (ML) approach to integrate different data sets, and developed a novel method based on feature selection with Cox proportional hazard regression model (FSCOX) to improve the prediction of cancer survival time.
METHODS: FSCOX provides us with intermediate survival information, which is usually discarded when separating survival into 2 groups (short- and long-term), and allows us to perform survival analysis. We used an ML-based protocol for feature selection, integrating information from miRNA and mRNA expression profiles at the feature level. To predict survival phenotypes, we used the following classifiers, first, existing ML methods, support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF), second, a new median-based classifier using FSCOX (FSCOX_median), and third, an SVM classifier using FSCOX (FSCOX_SVM). We compared these methods using 3 types of cancer tissue data sets: (i) miRNA expression, (ii) mRNA expression, and (iii) combined miRNA and mRNA expression. The latter data set included features selected either from the combined miRNA/mRNA profile or independently from miRNAs and mRNAs profiles (IFS).
RESULTS: In the ovarian data set, the accuracy of survival classification using the combined miRNA/mRNA profiles with IFS was 75% using RF, 86.36% using SVM, 84.09% using FSCOX_median, and 88.64% using FSCOX_SVM with a balanced 22 short-term and 22 long-term survivor data set. These accuracies are higher than those using miRNA alone (70.45%, RF; 75%, SVM; 75%, FSCOX_median; and 75%, FSCOX_SVM) or mRNA alone (65.91%, RF; 63.64%, SVM; 72.73%, FSCOX_median; and 70.45%, FSCOX_SVM). Similarly in the glioblastoma multiforme data, the accuracy of miRNA/mRNA using IFS was 75.51% (RF), 87.76% (SVM) 85.71% (FSCOX_median), 85.71% (FSCOX_SVM). These results are higher than the results of using miRNA expression and mRNA expression alone. In addition we predict 16 hsa-miR-23b and hsa-miR-27b target genes in ovarian cancer data sets, obtained by SVM-based feature selection through integration of sequence information and gene expression profiles.
CONCLUSION: Among the approaches used, the integrated miRNA and mRNA data set yielded better results than the individual data sets. The best performance was achieved using the FSCOX_SVM method with independent feature selection, which uses intermediate survival information between short-term and long-term survival time and the combination of the 2 different data sets. The results obtained using the combined data set suggest that there are some strong interactions between miRNA and mRNA features that are not detectable in the individual analyses.

Gil J, Gaj P, Misiak B, et al.
CYP1A1 Ile462Val polymorphism and colorectal cancer risk in Polish patients.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(7):72 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/08/2015 Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is an epidemiological problem of a great importance in Poland; each year approximately 14,600 new cases of the disease are diagnosed. Mortality associated with CRC reaches approximately 10,400 cases per year (according to the National Cancer Registry). The 5-year survival rate is approximately 25 %, which is one of the lowest rates in Europe. The etiology of sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) is multifactorial and has been attributed to an interplay between both environmental and genetic risk factors. In addition, there is a general consensus that genetic factors may modulate the influence of environmental insults. Following these assumptions, we performed a study on widely described polymorphisms in xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes and DNA repair genes which may influence individual susceptibility to cancer. We selected five candidate polymorphisms in following genes: ERCC1 Asp118Asn (rs11615), XPC i11C/A (rs2279017), XRCC3 Met241Thr (rs861539) CYP1A1 Ile462Val (rs1048943) and NAT2 A803G (rs1208) and assessed the importance of chosen SNPs on groups consisting of 478 CRC patients and 404 controls. Only CYP1A1 Ile462Val was statistically significant in CRC patients over 50 years old: OR 2.05 (1.29-3.28); p = 1.25E-02 and this association was more pronounced in the female group of CRC patients after the age of 50: OR 2.72 (1.43-5.14); p = 1.14E-02.

Taieb J, Tabernero J, Mini E, et al.
Oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, and leucovorin with or without cetuximab in patients with resected stage III colon cancer (PETACC-8): an open-label, randomised phase 3 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2014; 15(8):862-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Since the 1990s, fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy has significantly reduced the risk of tumour recurrence in patients with stage III colon cancer. We aimed to assess whether the addition of cetuximab to standard adjuvant oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, and leucovorin chemotherapy (FOLFOX4) in patients with stage III colon cancer improved disease-free survival (DFS).
METHODS: For this open-label, randomised phase 3 study done in nine European countries, we enrolled patients through an interactive voice response system to the central randomisation centre, with a central stratified permuted block randomisation procedure. We randomly assigned patients with resected (R0) stage III disease (1:1) to receive 12 cycles of FOLFOX4 twice a week with or without cetuximab. Patients were stratified by N-status (N1 vs N2), T-status (T1-3 vs T4), and obstruction or perforation status (no obstruction and no perforation vs obstruction or perforation or both). A protocol amendment (applied in June, 2008, after 2096 patients had been randomly assigned to treatment-restricted enrolment to patients with tumours wild-type at codons 12 and 13 in exon 2 of the KRAS gene (KRAS exon 2 wild-type). The primary endpoint was DFS. Analysis was intention to treat in all patients with KRAS exon 2 wild-type tumours. The study is registered at EudraCT, number 2005-003463-23.
FINDINGS: Between Dec 22, 2005, and Nov 5, 2009, 2559 patients from 340 sites in Europe were randomly assigned. Of these patients, 1602 had KRAS exon 2 wild-type tumours (intention-to-treat population), 791 in the FOLFOX4 plus cetuximab group and 811 in the FOLFOX4 group. Median follow-up was 3·3 years (IQR 3·2-3·4). In the experimental and control groups, DFS was similar in the intention-to-treat population (hazard ratio [HR] 1·05; 95% CI 0·85-1·29; p=0·66), and in patients with KRAS exon 2/BRAF wild-type (n=984, HR 0·99; 95% CI 0·76-1·28) or KRAS exon 2-mutated tumours (n=742, HR 1·06; 95% CI 0·82-1·37). We noted heterogeneous responses to the addition of cetuximab in preplanned subgroup analyses. Grade 3 or 4 acne-like rash (in 209 of 785 patients [27%] vs four of 805 [<1%]), diarrhoea (113 [14%] vs 70 [9%]), mucositis (63 [8%] vs 10 [1%]), and infusion-related reactions (55 [7%] vs 30 [4%]) were more frequent in patients treated with FOLFOX4 plus cetuximab than in those patients who received FOLFOX4 alone.
INTERPRETATION: The addition of cetuximab to FOLFOX4 did not improve DFS compared with FOLFOX4 alone in patients with KRAS exon 2 wild-type resected stage III colon cancer. This trial cannot conclude on the benefit of cetuximab in the studied population, but the heterogeneity of response suggests that further investigation of the role of FOLFOX4 plus cetuximab in specific patient subgroups is warranted.
FUNDING: Fédération Francophone de Cancérologie Digestive (FFCD), Merck KGaA, and Sanofi-Aventis.

Tsouris V, Joo MK, Kim SH, et al.
Nano carriers that enable co-delivery of chemotherapy and RNAi agents for treatment of drug-resistant cancers.
Biotechnol Adv. 2014 Sep-Oct; 32(5):1037-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor cells exhibit drug resistant phenotypes that decrease the efficacy of chemotherapeutic treatments. The drug resistance has a genetic basis that is caused by an abnormal gene expression. There are several types of drug resistance: efflux pumps reducing the cellular concentration of the drug, alterations in membrane lipids that reduce cellular uptake, increased or altered drug targets, metabolic alteration of the drug, inhibition of apoptosis, repair of the damaged DNA, and alteration of the cell cycle checkpoints (Gottesman et al., 2002; Holohan et al., 2013). siRNA is used to silence the drug resistant phenotype and prevent this drug resistance response. Of the listed types of drug resistance, pump-type resistance (e.g., high expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter proteins such as P-glycoproteins (Pgp; also known as multi-drug resistance protein 1 or MDR1, encoded by the ATP-Binding Cassette Sub-Family B Member 1 (ABCB1) gene)) and apoptosis inhibition (e.g., expression of anti-apoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2) are the most frequently targeted for gene silencing. The co-delivery of siRNA and chemotherapeutic drugs has a synergistic effect, but many of the current projects do not control the drug release from the nanocarrier. This means that the drug payload is released before the drug resistance proteins have degraded and the drug resistance phenotype has been silenced. Current research focuses on cross-linking the carrier's polymers to prevent premature drug release, but these carriers still rely on environmental cues to release the drug payload, and the drug may be released too early. In this review, we studied the release kinetics of siRNA and chemotherapeutic drugs from a broad range of carriers. We also give examples of carriers used to co-deliver siRNA and drugs to drug-resistant tumor cells, and we examine how modifications to the carrier affect the delivery. Lastly, we give our recommendations for the future directions of the co-delivery of siRNA and chemotherapeutic drug treatments.

Cho SW, Yi KH, Han SK, et al.
Therapeutic potential of metformin in papillary thyroid cancer in vitro and in vivo.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2014; 393(1-2):24-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metformin, an anti-diabetic drug used in type 2 diabetes treatment, is reported to have oncopreventive or therapeutic roles in several human cancers. The present study investigated the therapeutic potential of physiologic dose of metformin in PTC. Metformin inhibited PTC cell viability and increased cell apoptosis in various doses (0.5-20mM) in BCPAP and BHP10-3SC cells. Western blot analysis demonstrated that the p-AMPK/AMPK ratio increased with increased metformin treatment. The ectopic tumor experiment was performed using BHP10-3SC cells and athymic nude mice. Oral metformin treatment via drinking water significantly delayed tumor growth in both tumor development model and established tumor models. Necrotic area in tumors significantly increased with metformin treatment. Western blot analysis revealed an increase in p-AMPK/AMPK ratio and suppressions of mTOR and Akt expressions in metformin-treated mice compared to the results in mock-treated control mice. Our results indicate that a physiologic dose of metformin has anti-tumorigenic effects that result from activation of AMPK signaling and inhibition of Akt signaling.

Aguilar H, Urruticoechea A, Halonen P, et al.
VAV3 mediates resistance to breast cancer endocrine therapy.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(3):R53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/08/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Endocrine therapies targeting cell proliferation and survival mediated by estrogen receptor α (ERα) are among the most effective systemic treatments for ERα-positive breast cancer. However, most tumors initially responsive to these therapies acquire resistance through mechanisms that involve ERα transcriptional regulatory plasticity. Herein we identify VAV3 as a critical component in this process.
METHODS: A cell-based chemical compound screen was carried out to identify therapeutic strategies against resistance to endocrine therapy. Binding to ERα was evaluated by molecular docking analyses, an agonist fluoligand assay and short hairpin (sh)RNA-mediated protein depletion. Microarray analyses were performed to identify altered gene expression. Western blot analysis of signaling and proliferation markers, and shRNA-mediated protein depletion in viability and clonogenic assays, were performed to delineate the role of VAV3. Genetic variation in VAV3 was assessed for association with the response to tamoxifen. Immunohistochemical analyses of VAV3 were carried out to determine its association with therapeutic response and different tumor markers. An analysis of gene expression association with drug sensitivity was carried out to identify a potential therapeutic approach based on differential VAV3 expression.
RESULTS: The compound YC-1 was found to comparatively reduce the viability of cell models of acquired resistance. This effect was probably not due to activation of its canonical target (soluble guanylyl cyclase), but instead was likely a result of binding to ERα. VAV3 was selectively reduced upon exposure to YC-1 or ERα depletion, and, accordingly, VAV3 depletion comparatively reduced the viability of cell models of acquired resistance. In the clinical scenario, germline variation in VAV3 was associated with the response to tamoxifen in Japanese breast cancer patients (rs10494071 combined P value = 8.4 × 10-4). The allele association combined with gene expression analyses indicated that low VAV3 expression predicts better clinical outcome. Conversely, high nuclear VAV3 expression in tumor cells was associated with poorer endocrine therapy response. Based on VAV3 expression levels and the response to erlotinib in cancer cell lines, targeting EGFR signaling may be a promising therapeutic strategy.
CONCLUSIONS: This study proposes VAV3 as a biomarker and a rationale for its use as a signaling target to prevent and/or overcome resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer.

Blanco L, Sanz B, Perez I, et al.
Altered glutamyl-aminopeptidase activity and expression in renal neoplasms.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:386 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Advances in the knowledge of renal neoplasms have demonstrated the implication of several proteases in their genesis, growth and dissemination. Glutamyl-aminopeptidase (GAP) (EC. is a zinc metallopeptidase with angiotensinase activity highly expressed in kidney tissues and its expression and activity have been associated wtih tumour development.
METHODS: In this prospective study, GAP spectrofluorometric activity and immunohistochemical expression were analysed in clear-cell (CCRCC), papillary (PRCC) and chromophobe (ChRCC) renal cell carcinomas, and in renal oncocytoma (RO). Data obtained in tumour tissue were compared with those from the surrounding uninvolved kidney tissue. In CCRCC, classic pathological parameters such as grade, stage and tumour size were stratified following GAP data and analyzed for 5-year survival.
RESULTS: GAP activity in both the membrane-bound and soluble fractions was sharply decreased and its immunohistochemical expression showed mild staining in the four histological types of renal tumours. Soluble and membrane-bound GAP activities correlated with tumour grade and size in CCRCCs.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests a role for GAP in the neoplastic development of renal tumours and provides additional data for considering the activity and expression of this enzyme of interest in the diagnosis and prognosis of renal neoplasms.

Joo MK, Yhee JY, Kim SH, Kim K
The potential and advances in RNAi therapy: chemical and structural modifications of siRNA molecules and use of biocompatible nanocarriers.
J Control Release. 2014; 193:113-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Small interfering RNA (siRNA) has attracted great attention as a potential new drug due to its highly sequence-specific gene silencing ability and generality in therapeutic target. However, the medical applications of siRNA have been severely hindered by the lack of an optimal systemic delivery methodology. This poor delivery performance of siRNA is mainly caused by its inherent physicochemical properties including short and stiff structure, low charge density and vulnerability to nuclease cleavage. Thus, the successful development of efficient systemic delivery platform for siRNA is a fundamental requirement necessary to bring siRNA-based drugs to the market. Herein, we describe some siRNA delivery methods based on the chemical and structural modifications of delivery materials and siRNA itself to carry siRNA therapeutics safely to the targeted place without adverse effects. This review particularly explains the latest progress of chemically and structurally modified siRNA polymer (poly-siRNA)-based delivery systems. The stable and compact siRNA polyplexes, which are formed by poly-siRNA and different types of biocompatible materials, can enhance serum stability and target delivery efficiency in vitro and in vivo. In addition, this review provides specific information on poly-siRNA delivery systems from basics to therapeutic applications in different animal disease models.

Cho SW, Kim YA, Sun HJ, et al.
Therapeutic potential of Dickkopf-1 in wild-type BRAF papillary thyroid cancer via regulation of β-catenin/E-cadherin signaling.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(9):E1641-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is a common pathogenesis of various human cancers. We investigated the role of the Wnt inhibitor, Dkk-1, in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).
METHODS: Immunohistochemical β-catenin staining was performed in tissue microarray containing 148 PTCs and five normal thyroid tissues. In vivo effects of Dkk-1 were explored using ectopic tumors with BHP10-3SC cells.
RESULTS: In 27 PTC patients, 60% of patients showed β-catenin up-regulation and Dkk-1 down-regulation in tumor vs normal tissues. Tissue microarray analysis showed that 14 of 148 PTC samples exhibited cytoplasmic-dominant β-catenin expression compared to membranous-dominant expression in normal tissues. Aberrant β-catenin expression was significantly correlated with higher rates of the loss of membranous E-cadherin expression and poor disease-free survival than that in the normal membranous expression group over a median follow-up period of 14 years. Implantation of Dkk-1-overexpressing BHP10-3SC cells revealed delayed tumor growth, resulting from the rescue of membranous β-catenin and E-cadherin expressions. Furthermore, tissue microarray analysis demonstrated that BRAF(WT) patients had higher rates of aberrant expressions of β-catenin and E-cadherin than BRAF(V600E) patients. Indeed, the inhibitory effects of Dkk-1 on cell survival were more sensitive in BRAF(WT) (BHP10-3SC and TPC-1) than in BRAF(V600E) (SNU-790 and BCPAP) cells. Overexpression of BRAF(V600E) in normal thyroid epithelial (H tori) cells also reduced the effects of Dkk-1 on cell survival.
CONCLUSION: A subset of PTC patients showed aberrant expression of β-catenin/E-cadherin signaling and poor disease-free survival. Dkk-1 might have a therapeutic role, particularly in BRAF(WT) patients.

Lee HJ, Park IA, Park SY, et al.
Two histopathologically different diseases: hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative tumors in HER2-positive breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 145(3):615-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinical behavior of human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, including pathologic complete response rate and pattern of relapse and metastasis, differs substantially according to hormone receptor (HR) status. We investigated various histopathologic features of HER2-positive breast cancer and their correlation with HR status. We retrospectively analyzed tumors of 450 HER2-positive breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and 1 year of trastuzumab. HR-/HER2+ tumors showed higher nuclear grade, less tubule formation, higher histologic grade, frequent apocrine features, diffuse and abundant lymphocytic infiltration, strong HER2 immunohistochemical staining (3+), higher average HER2 copy number and HER2/CEP17 ratio, the absence of HER2 genetic heterogeneity, and greater p53 expression than HR+/HER2+ tumors. An inverse correlation was observed between estrogen receptor or progesterone receptor Allred score and average HER2 copy number or HER2/CEP17 ratio. The percentage of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) within the tumor was negatively correlated with ER Allred score, but positively correlated with average HER2 copy number and HER2/CEP17 ratio. Pathologic tumor size and DCIS percentage also showed a significant inverse correlation. Ratio of metastatic to total examined lymph node number was significantly correlated with average HER2 copy number and HER2/CEP17 ratio. High pT stage (hazard ratio, 2.370; p = 0.027), the presence of lymphovascular invasion (hazard ratio, 2.806; p = 0.005), and HR negativity (hazard ratio, 2.202; 1.074-4.513; p = 0.031) were found to be independent prognostic indicators of poor disease-free survival. In conclusion, HR+/HER2+ and HR-/HER2+ breast cancer showed distinct histopathologic features that may be relevant to their distinct clinical behavior.

Tertil M, Skrzypek K, Florczyk U, et al.
Regulation and novel action of thymidine phosphorylase in non-small cell lung cancer: crosstalk with Nrf2 and HO-1.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e97070 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/08/2015 Related Publications
Proangiogenic enzyme thymidine phosphorylase (TP) is a promising target for anticancer therapy, yet its action in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is not fully understood. To elucidate its role in NSCLC tumor growth, NCI-H292 lung mucoepidermoid carcinoma cells and endothelial cells were engineered to overexpress TP by viral vector transduction. NSCLC cells with altered expression of transcription factor Nrf2 or its target gene heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) were used to study the regulation of TP and the findings from pre-clinical models were related to gene expression data from clinical NSCLC specimens. Overexpression of Nrf2 or HO-1 resulted in upregulation of TP in NCI-H292 cells, an effect mimicked by treatment with an antioxidant N-acetylcysteine and partially reversed by HO-1 knockdown. Overexpression of TP attenuated cell proliferation and migration in vitro, but simultaneously enhanced angiogenic potential of cancer cells supplemented with thymidine. The latter was also observed for SK-MES-1 squamous cell carcinoma and NCI-H460 large cell carcinoma cells. TP-overexpressing NCI-H292 tumors in vivo exhibited better oxygenation and higher expression of IL-8, IL-1β and IL-6. TP overexpression in endothelial cells augmented their angiogenic properties which was associated with enhanced generation of HO-1 and VEGF. Correlation of TP with the expression of HO-1 and inflammatory cytokines was confirmed in clinical samples of NSCLC. Altogether, the increased expression of IL-1β and IL-6 together with proangiogenic effects of TP-expressing NSCLC on endothelium can contribute to tumor growth, implying TP as a target for antiangiogenesis in NSCLC.

Hong SK
Kallikreins as biomarkers for prostate cancer.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:526341 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/08/2015 Related Publications
The introduction of testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a member of the fifteen-gene family of kallikrein-related peptidases and also known as kallikrein-related peptidase 3 (KLK3), in blood has revolutionized both the detection and management of prostate cancer. Given the similarities between PSA and other KLK gene family members along with limitations of PSA as a biomarker for prostate cancer mainly in reference to diagnostic specificity, the potential roles of other members of this gene family as well as PSA derivatives and isoforms in the management of prostate cancer have been studied extensively. Of these, approaches to measure distinct molecular forms of PSA (free, intact, complexed PSA, and pro-PSA) combined with kallikrein-related peptidase 2 (KLK2), also known as hK2, have been considered holding particular promise in enhancing the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Recently, an integrated approach of applying a panel of four kallikrein markers has been demonstrated to enhance accuracy in predicting the risk of prostate cancer at biopsy. This review presents an overview of kallikreins, starting with the past and current status of PSA, summarizing published data on the evaluations of various KLKs as biomarkers in the diagnosis, prognostication, and monitoring of prostate cancer.

Xia H, Ma YF, Yu CH, et al.
Aquaporin 3 knockdown suppresses tumour growth and angiogenesis in experimental non-small cell lung cancer.
Exp Physiol. 2014; 99(7):974-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the most common diseases encountered in medical oncology practice. The aim of the present study was to test the antitumour effects of short-hairpin RNA targeting aquaporin 3 (AQP3) in experimental NSCLC. Expression of AQP3 was suppressed in human A549 and H1299 NSCLC cell lines by short-hairpin RNA-mediated silencing. Therapeutic effects were assessed by examining tumorigenicity using a subcutaneous xenograft mouse model of NSCLC. Aquaporin 3 knockdown inhibited tumour growth and prolonged survival of mice with tumours. Aquaporin 3 knockdown suppressed tumour proliferation, marked by enhanced expression of p53, an increased ratio of cleaved caspase 3 to pro-caspase 3 and reduced expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and B-cell lymphoma-2 (bcl-2). Aquaporin 3 knockdown inhibited tumour angiogenesis, marked by decreased CD31 immunostaining and reduced expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-2α and vascular endothelial growth factor. Aquaporin 3 knockdown reduced cellular glycerol content and suppressed mitochondrial ATP formation. Aquaporin 3 knockdown in vitro significantly suppressed activities of matrix metalloproteinases MMP2 and MMP9, reduced AKT phosphorylation and decreased cell invasiveness of A549 and H1299 cells. In conclusion, AQP3 knockdown suppressed tumour growth and reduced angiogenesis in human NSCLS xenografts. Aquaporin 3 could thus be envisaged as a novel therapeutic target for NSCLC.

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