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  • 1
    Keywords: NECROSIS-FACTOR-ALPHA ; NATURAL-KILLER-CELLS ; HUMAN DENDRITIC CELLS ; TOLL-LIKE RECEPTORS ; COLONY-STIMULATING FACTOR ; ISOLATED LIMB PERFUSION ; REGULATORY T-CELLS ; PHASE-I TRIAL ; DEPENDENT CELLULAR CYTOTOXICITY ; IMMUNOSTIMULATORY MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODIES
    Abstract: During the past decades, anticancer immunotherapy has evolved from a promising therapeutic option to a robust clinical reality. Many immunotherapeutic regimens are now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for use in cancer patients, and many others are being investigated as standalone therapeutic interventions or combined with conventional treatments in clinical studies. Immunotherapies may be subdivided into "passive" and "active" based on their ability to engage the host immune system against cancer. Since the anticancer activity of most passive immunotherapeutics (including tumor-targeting monoclonal antibodies) also relies on the host immune system, this classification does not properly reflect the complexity of the drug-host-tumor interaction. Alternatively, anticancer immunotherapeutics can be classified according to their antigen specificity. While some immunotherapies specifically target one (or a few) defined tumor-associated antigen(s), others operate in a relatively non-specific manner and boost natural or therapy-elicited anticancer immune responses of unknown and often broad specificity. Here, we propose a critical, integrated classification of anticancer immunotherapies and discuss the clinical relevance of these approaches.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25537519
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  • 2
    Abstract: Dendritic cells (DCs) essentially contribute to the induction and regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. Based on these important properties, DCs may profoundly influence tumor progression in patients. However, little is known about the role of distinct human DC subsets in primary tumors and their impact on clinical outcome. In the present study, we investigated the characteristics of human 6-sulfo LacNAc (slan) DCs in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). slanDCs have been shown to display various tumor-directed properties and to accumulate in tumor-draining lymph nodes from patients. When evaluating 263 ccRCC and 227 tumor-free tissue samples, we found increased frequencies of slanDCs in ccRCC tissues compared to tumor-free tissues. slanDCs were also detectable in the majority of 24 metastatic lymph nodes and 67 distant metastases from ccRCC patients. Remarkably, a higher density of slanDCs was significantly associated with a reduced progression-free, tumor-specific or overall survival of ccRCC patients. Tumor-infiltrating slanDCs displayed an immature phenotype expressing interleukin-10. ccRCC cells efficiently impaired slanDC-induced T-cell proliferation and programming as well as natural killer (NK) cell activation. In conclusion, these findings indicate that higher slanDC numbers in ccRCC tissues are associated with poor prognosis. The induction of a tolerogenic phenotype in slanDCs leading to an insufficient activation of innate and adaptive antitumor immunity may represent a novel immune escape mechanism of ccRCC. These observations may have implications for the design of therapeutic strategies that harness tumor-directed functional properties of DCs against ccRCC.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26155414
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  • 3
    Abstract: In our previous studies, we have shown that patients with serous ovarian carcinoma in advanced surgical stage disease have a particularly poor prognosis if they carry the HLA-A*02 genotype. This represent a stronger prognostic factor than loss or downregulation of the MHC class I heavy chain (HC) on tumor cells. In this study, we investigated the expression of the non-classical, immune tolerogenic HLA -G and -E on the tumor cells along with the infiltration of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. FFPE primary tumors from 72 patients with advanced stages of serous adenocarcinoma and metastatic cells present in ascites fluid from 8 additional patients were included in this study. Both expression of HLA-G and aberrant expression of HLA-E were correlated to a significant worse prognosis in patients with HLA-A*02, but not with different HLA genotypes. Focal cell expression of HLA-G correlated to a site-specific downregulation of classical MHC class I HC products and aberrant HLA-E expression, showing a poor survival. HLA-G was more frequently expressed in metastatic cells than in primary tumor lesions and the expression of HLA-G inversely correlated with the frequency of tumor infiltrating immune cells. All these parameters can contribute together to identify and discriminate subpopulations of patients with extremely poor prognosis and can give them the opportunity to receive, and benefit of individually tailored treatments.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26942060
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  • 4
    Abstract: The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II antigen-processing machinery (APM) presents to cognate CD4+ T-cells antigenic peptides mainly generated from exogeneous proteins in the endocytic compartment. These CD4+ T cells exert helper function, but may also act as effector cells, thereby recognizing HLA class II antigen-expressing tumor cells. Thus, HLA class II antigen expression by tumor cells influences the tumor antigen (TA)-specific immune responses and, depending on the cancer type, the clinical course of the disease. Many types of human cancers express HLA class II antigens, although with marked differences in their frequency. Some types of cancer lack HLA class II antigen expression, which could be due to structural defects or deregulation affecting different components of the complex HLA class II APM and/or from lack of cytokine(s) in the tumor microenvironment. In this review, we have summarized the information about HLA class II antigen distribution in normal tissues, the structural organization of the HLA class II APM, their expression and regulation in malignant cells, the defects, which have been identified in malignant cells, and their functional and clinical relevance.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28344859
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  • 5
    Abstract: Leukaemogenesis requires enhanced self-renewal, which is induced by oncogenes. The underlying molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we identified C/D box snoRNAs and rRNA 2'-O-methylation as critical determinants of leukaemic stem cell activity. Leukaemogenesis by AML1-ETO required expression of the groucho-related amino-terminal enhancer of split (AES). AES functioned by inducing snoRNA/RNP formation via interaction with the RNA helicase DDX21. Similarly, global loss of C/D box snoRNAs with concomitant loss of rRNA 2'-O-methylation resulted in decreased leukaemia self-renewal potential. Genomic deletion of either C/D box snoRNA SNORD14D or SNORD35A suppressed clonogenic potential of leukaemia cells in vitro and delayed leukaemogenesis in vivo. We further showed that AML1-ETO9a, MYC and MLL-AF9 all enhanced snoRNA formation. Expression levels of C/D box snoRNAs in AML patients correlated closely with in vivo frequency of leukaemic stem cells. Collectively, these findings indicate that induction of C/D box snoRNA/RNP function constitutes an important pathway in leukaemogenesis.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28650479
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  • 6
    Keywords: METASTATIC MELANOMA ; MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODIES ; ACQUIRED-RESISTANCE ; tumor microenvironment ; STAGE-IV MELANOMA ; MEK INHIBITION ; PRIMARY CUTANEOUS MELANOMA ; BRAF INHIBITOR ; IMPROVES EARLY-DETECTION ; ADOPTIVE CELL TRANSFER
    Abstract: The fourth inverted question markMelanoma Bridge Meeting inverted question mark took place in Naples, December 5 to 8th, 2013. The four topics discussed at this meeting were: Diagnosis and New Procedures, Molecular Advances and Combination Therapies, News in Immunotherapy, and Tumor Microenvironment and Biomarkers.Until recently systemic therapy for metastatic melanoma patients was ineffective, but recent research in tumor biology and immunology has led to the development of new targeted and immunotherapeutic agents that prolong progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). New therapies, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibitors, like BRAF and MEK inhibitors, as well as other signaling pathways inhibitors, are being tested in metastatic melanoma either as monotherapy or in combination, and have yielded promising results.Improved survival rates have also been observed with immune therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. Immune-modulating antibodies came to the forefront with anti-CTLA-4, programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and PD-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway blocking antibodies that result in durable responses in a subset of melanoma patients. Agents targeting other immune inhibitory (e.g., Tim-3) or immune stimulating (e.g., CD137) receptors and other approaches such as adoptive cell transfer demonstrate clinical benefit in melanoma as well.This meeting inverted question marks specific focus was on advances in targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Both combination targeted therapy approaches and different immunotherapies were discussed. Similarly to the previous meetings, the importance of biomarkers for clinical application as markers for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of treatment response was an integral part of the meeting. Significant consideration was given to issues surrounding the development of novel therapeutic targets as further study of patterns of resistance to both immunologic and targeted drugs are paramount to future drug development to guide existing and future therapies. The overall emphasis on biomarkers supports novel concepts toward integrating biomarkers into contemporary clinical management of patients with melanoma across the entire spectrum of disease stage. Translation of the knowledge gained from the biology of tumor microenvironment across different tumors represents a bridge to impact on prognosis and response to therapy in melanoma.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25348889
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  • 7
    Abstract: The fourth "Melanoma Bridge Meeting" took place in Naples, December 3-6th, 2014. The four topics discussed at this meeting were: Molecular and Immunological Advances, Combination Therapies, News in Immunotherapy, and Tumor Microenvironment and Biomarkers. Until recently systemic therapy for metastatic melanoma patients was ineffective, but recent advances in tumor biology and immunology have led to the development of new targeted and immunotherapeutic agents that prolong progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). New therapies, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibitors as well as other signaling pathway inhibitors, are being tested in patients with metastatic melanoma either as monotherapy or in combination, and all have yielded promising results. These include inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinases (BRAF, MEK, and VEGFR), the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) pathway [PI3K, AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)], activators of apoptotic pathway, and the cell cycle inhibitors (CDK4/6). Various locoregional interventions including radiotherapy and surgery are still valid approaches in treatment of advanced melanoma that can be integrated with novel therapies. Intrinsic, adaptive and acquired resistance occur with targeted therapy such as BRAF inhibitors, where most responses are short-lived. Given that the reactivation of the MAPK pathway through several distinct mechanisms is responsible for the majority of acquired resistance, it is logical to combine BRAF inhibitors with inhibitors of targets downstream in the MAPK pathway. For example, combination of BRAF/MEK inhibitors (e.g., dabrafenib/trametinib) have been demonstrated to improve survival compared to monotherapy. Application of novel technologies such sequencing have proven useful as a tool for identification of MAPK pathway-alternative resistance mechanism and designing other combinatorial therapies such as those between BRAF and AKT inhibitors. Improved survival rates have also been observed with immune-targeted therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. Immune-modulating antibodies came to the forefront with anti-CTLA-4, programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and PD-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway blocking antibodies that result in durable responses in a subset of melanoma patients. Agents targeting other immune inhibitory (e.g., Tim-3) or immune stimulating (e.g., CD137) receptors and other approaches such as adoptive cell transfer demonstrate clinical benefit in patients with melanoma as well. These agents are being studied in combination with targeted therapies in attempt to produce longer-term responses than those more typically seen with targeted therapy. Other combinations with cytotoxic chemotherapy and inhibitors of angiogenesis are changing the evolving landscape of therapeutic options and are being evaluated to prevent or delay resistance and to further improve survival rates for this patient population. This meeting's specific focus was on advances in combination of targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Both combination targeted therapy approaches and different immunotherapies were discussed. Similarly to the previous meetings, the importance of biomarkers for clinical application as markers for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of treatment response was an integral part of the meeting. The overall emphasis on biomarkers supports novel concepts toward integrating biomarkers into contemporary clinical management of patients with melanoma across the entire spectrum of disease stage. Translation of the knowledge gained from the biology of tumor microenvironment across different tumors represents a bridge to impact on prognosis and response to therapy in melanoma.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26619946
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  • 8
    Abstract: Current therapies against cancer utilize the patient's immune system for tumor eradication. However, tumor cells can evade immune surveillance of CD8+ T and/or natural killer (NK) cells by various strategies. These include the aberrant expression of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I antigens, co-inhibitory or costimulatory molecules, and components of the interferon (IFN) signal transduction pathway. In addition, alterations of the tumor microenvironment could interfere with efficient antitumor immune responses by downregulating or inhibiting the frequency and/or functional activity of immune effector cells and professional antigen-presenting cells. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified as major players in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, thereby controlling many physiological and also pathophysiological processes including neoplastic transformation. Indeed, the cellular miRNA expression pattern is frequently altered in many tumors of distinct origin, demonstrating the tumor suppressive or oncogenic potential of miRNAs. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that miRNAs could also influence antitumor immune responses by affecting the expression of immune modulatory molecules in tumor and immune cells. Apart from their important role in tumor immune escape and altered tumor-host interaction, immune modulatory miRNAs often exert neoplastic properties, thus representing promising targets for future combined immunotherapy approaches. This review focuses on the characterization of miRNAs involved in the regulation of immune surveillance or immune escape of tumors and their potential use as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers or as therapeutic targets.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28383653
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  • 9
    Keywords: CANCER ; CELLS ; GROWTH ; PROTECTION ; tumor ; carcinoma ; CELL ; MODEL ; TUMORS ; MICE ; PATIENT ; DNA ; IFN-GAMMA ; T cell ; T cells ; T-CELL ; T-CELLS ; BREAST ; breast cancer ; BREAST-CANCER ; cytokines ; antibodies ; antibody ; SWEDEN ; SURFACE ; VACCINE ; CANCER-PATIENTS ; CARCINOMAS ; CD8(+) ; immune response ; IMMUNE-RESPONSE ; IMMUNITY ; T-LYMPHOCYTES ; vaccination ; REJECTION ; CANCER PATIENTS ; CTL ; INTERFERON-GAMMA ; EFFECTOR ; GM-CSF ; HER-2/neu ; IMMUNIZATION ; ABSENCE ; CYTOKINE ; tumor immunity ; ANTI-ERBB-2 ANTIBODY ; anti-tumor immunity ; DNA vaccine ; ERBB-2 DNA ; PROTOONCOGENE
    Abstract: HER-2/neu (HER-2) is a cell surface proto-oncogene that is often overexpressed in carcinomas. Passive administration of anti-HER-2 antibodies in breast cancer patients has achieved promising results, but less is known about the role of antibodies in active immunization. We asked whether B cells/ antibodies are needed for tumor immunity induced by plasmid (HER-2 and GM-CSF) immunization. HER-2 specific tumor immunity relied completely on both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. IFN-gamma, and to a lesser extent IL-4, seemed to be crucial cytokines during tumor rejection. Protection was associated with production of anti-HER-2 IgG antibodies in B cell competent mice. After immunization, however, B cell-deficient mice rejected HER-2-expressing tumors as efficiently as control littermates. We conclude that T cells are the main effector cells in DNA vaccine induced immunity against HER-2 and that anti HER-2 antibodies are not necessary to elicit a protective anti tumor immune response in this model. (C) 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 14750178
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  • 10
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