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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-04-03
    Description: Monocarboxylate transporters (MCT) are transmembrane proteins that control the lactate metabolism and are associated with poor prognosis in solid tumors, including colorectal cancer. Here, we aimed to investigate the biological and clinical role of MCTs in colorectal cancer and to assess the potential of therapeutic application. A total of 16 human colorectal cancer cell lines, 11 patient-derived cells from malignant ascites [patient-derived cells (PDC)], and 39 matched pairs of primary colorectal cancer and normal colorectal tissues were used to assess the role of MCT in vitro and in vivo . siRNA methodology was used to determine the effect of MCT inhibition and molecular mechanism of hypoxia- and angiogenesis-related factors in addition to MCT4. The effect of MCT inhibition was confirmed in mouse xenograft models. MCT4 expression in surgical tissue was evaluated by IHC and used for survival analysis. Expression of MCTs was demonstrated in colorectal cancer cell lines. siRNA-mediated MCT silencing caused significant decline of cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo . An additive effect of MCT inhibition was induced by combined treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In particular, the expression of MCT4 was markedly increased in PDCs, and MCT4 inhibition significantly decreased PDC proliferation. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-α (HIF1α) was also highly expressed in PDCs, whereas HIF1α knockdown reduced MCT4 expression and of other angiogenesis-related mediators. The patients with high MCT4 expression by IHC showed shorter relapse-free survival compared with low expression. These findings suggest that MCT4 may represent a new therapeutic target for colorectal cancer with peritoneal carcinomatosis and serve as a prognostic indicator. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(4); 838–48. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1535-7163
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-8514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-08-02
    Description: Background: Most patients with gastric cancer rapidly lose weight after gastrectomy. Therefore, analysis of the effect of body mass index (BMI) on patients with gastric cancer survival should include postoperative BMI and BMI loss and preoperative BMI. This retrospective cohort study analyzed the effect of three BMI variables and their interaction on long-term outcomes. Methods: Preoperative BMI analysis included 2,063 patients with gastric cancer who underwent curative gastrectomy between January 2009 and December 2013 at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. BMI at postoperative 6 to 12 months was available in 1,845 of these cases. Results: Patients with preoperative BMI 23.0 to 〈27.5 [HR, 0.63; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.48–0.82 for BMI 23.0 to 〈25.0 and HR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.42–0.78 for BMI 25.0 to 〈27.5] and postoperative BMI 23.0 to 〈25.0 (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.46–0.98) showed significantly better overall survival (OS) than pre- and postoperative patients with BMI 18.5 to 〈23.0, respectively. Postoperative underweight (BMI 〈18.5; HR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.27–2.37) and postoperative severe BMI loss (〉4.5; HR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.29–2.50) were associated with higher mortality. Severe BMI loss and preoperative BMI 〈23.0 had an adverse synergistic effect; patients with BMI 〈23.0 were more vulnerable to severe BMI loss than those with BMI ≥23.0. Associations with cancer-specific survival were similar. Conclusions: All three BMI variables were prognostic factors for survival of patients with gastric cancer. Preoperative BMI and severe BMI loss had an interaction. Impact: Perioperative BMI and weight loss should be analyzed collectively in patients with gastric cancer undergoing gastrectomy. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 27(8); 955–62. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1055-9965
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-7755
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-11-02
    Description: Purpose: M2-type TAMs are increasingly implicated as a crucial factor promoting metastasis. Numerous cell types dictate monocyte differentiation into M2 TAMs via a complex network of cytokine-based communication. Elucidating critical pathways in this network can provide new targets for inhibiting metastasis. In this study, we focused on cancer cells, CAFs, and monocytes as a major node in this network. Experimental Design: Monocyte cocultures with cancer-stimulated CAFs were used to investigate differentiation into M2-like TAMs. Cytokine array analyses were employed to discover the CAF-derived regulators of differentiation. These regulators were validated in primary CAFs and bone marrow-derived monocytes. Orthotopic, syngeneic colon carcinoma models using cotransplanted CAFs were established to observe effects on tumor growth and metastasis. To confirm a correlation with clinical evidence, meta-analyses were employed using the Oncomine database. Results: Our coculture studies identify IL6 and GM-CSF as the pivotal signals released from cancer cell–activated CAFs that cooperate to induce monocyte differentiation into M2-like TAMs. In orthotopic, syngeneic colon carcinoma mouse models, cotransplanted CAFs elevated IL6 and GM-CSF levels, TAM infiltration, and metastasis. These pathologic effects were dramatically reversed by joint IL6 and GM-CSF blockade. A positive correlation between GM-CSF and IL6 expression and disease course was observed by meta-analyses of the clinical data. Conclusions: Our studies indicate a significant reappraisal of the role of IL6 and GM-CSF in metastasis and implicate CAFs as the "henchmen" for cancer cells in producing an immunosuppressive tumor ecological niche. Dual targeting of GM-CSF and IL6 is a promising new approach for inhibiting metastasis. Clin Cancer Res; 24(21); 5407–21. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1078-0432
    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3265
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-05-02
    Description: In the prospective Korean Cancer Prevention Study-II (KCPS-II), we investigated the application of metabolomics to differentiate subjects with incident hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC group) from subjects who remained free of cancer (control group) during a mean follow-up period of 7 years with the aim of identifying valuable metabolic biomarkers for HCC. We used baseline serum samples from 75 subjects with incident HCC and 134 age- and gender-matched cancer-free subjects. Serum metabolic profiles associated with HCC incidence were investigated via metabolomics analysis. Compared with the control group, the HCC group showed significantly higher serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase, and -glutamyl transpeptidase. At baseline, compared with the control group, the HCC group showed significantly higher levels of 9 metabolites, including leucine, 5-hydroxyhexanoic acid, phenylalanine, tyrosine, arachidonic acid, and tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), but lower levels of 28 metabolites, including oleamide, androsterone sulfate, L-palmitoylcarnitine, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) 16:0, LPA 18:1, and lysophosphatidylcholines (lysoPC). Multiple linear regression revealed that the incidence of HCC was associated with the levels of tyrosine, AST, lysoPCs (16:1, 20:3), oleamide, 5-hydroxyhexanoic acid, androsterone sulfate, and TUDCA (adjusted R 2 = 0.514, P = 0.036). This study showed the clinical relevance of the dysregulation of not only branched amino acids, aromatic amino acids, and lysoPCs but also bile acid biosynthesis and linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and fatty acid metabolism. In addition, tyrosine, AST, lysoPCs (16:1, 20:3), oleamide, 5-hydroxyhexanoic acid, androsterone sulfate, and TUDCA were identified as independent variables associated with the incidence of HCC. Cancer Prev Res; 11(5); 303–12. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1940-6207
    Electronic ISSN: 1940-6215
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-07-03
    Description: Purpose: Understanding the mechanism of radioresistance could help develop strategies to improve therapeutic response of patients with PDAC. The SMAD4 gene is frequently mutated in pancreatic cancer. In this study, we investigated the role of SMAD4 deficiency in pancreatic cancer cells' response to radiotherapy. Experimental Design: We downregulated SMAD4 expression with SMAD4 siRNA or SMAD4 shRNA and overexpressed SMAD4 in SMAD4 mutant pancreatic cancer cells followed by clonogenic survival assay to evaluate their effects on cell radioresistance. To study the mechanism of radioresistance, the effects of SMAD4 loss on reactive oxygen species (ROS) and autophagy were determined by flow cytometry and immunoblot analysis, respectively. Furthermore, we measured radioresistance by clonogenic survival assay after treatment with autophagy inhibitor (Chloroquine) and ROS inhibitor (N-acetyl- l -cysteine) in SMAD4 -depleted pancreatic cancer cells. Finally, the effects of SMAD4 on radioresistance were also confirmed in an orthotopic tumor model derived from SMAD4 -depleted Panc-1 cells. Results: SMAD4 -depleted pancreatic cancer cells were more resistant to radiotherapy based on clonogenic survival assay. Overexpression of wild-type SMAD4 in SMAD4 -mutant cells rescued their radiosensitivity. Radioresistance mediated by SMAD4 depletion was associated with persistently higher levels of ROS and radiation-induced autophagy. Finally, SMAD4 depletion induced in vivo radioresistance in Panc-1-derived orthotopic tumor model ( P = 0.038). More interestingly, we observed that the protein level of SMAD4 is inversely correlated with autophagy in orthotopic tumor tissue samples. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that defective SMAD4 is responsible for radioresistance in pancreatic cancer through induction of ROS and increased level of radiation-induced autophagy. Clin Cancer Res; 24(13); 3176–85. ©2018 AACR .
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    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3265
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-10-03
    Description: Background: T-cell immunosenescence, a hallmark of an aging immune system, is potentially linked to the risk of developing cancer and other aging-related diseases. Chronic infection by cytomegalovirus (CMV) has been widely studied as a risk factor for T-cell immunosenescence, but the role of persistent chemicals has never been examined. As a typical example of persistent chemicals, we evaluated whether organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are related to T-cell immunosenescence in the general population. Methods: Serum concentrations of β-hexachlorocyclohexane, p,p '-DDT, p,p '-DDE, and trans-nonachlor were measured in 95 Korean adults ages 30 to 64 years. T-cell immunosenescence was assessed by the frequencies of CD8 + CD57 + , CD8 + CD28 – , CD4 + CD57 + , and CD4 + CD28 – T lymphocytes in 20 mL of fresh peripheral blood. Results: The senescence of CD8 + T lymphocytes was the most consistently associated with OCPs. For quartiles of measurements of OCPs, adjusted mean percentages of CD8 + CD57 + and CD8 + CD28 – T lymphocytes in the CD8 + T lymphocyte population were 23.9, 27.6, 31.0, and 38.7 ( P trend 〈 0.01) and 25.6, 27.3, 28.0, and 35.5 ( P trend = 0.02), respectively. When we compared the strength of the associations among OCPs, CMV IgG titer, and age, OCPs showed the strongest association with markers of immunosenescence. Importantly, the association between OCPs and immunosenescence markers was more prominent among participants without known risk factors, such as a young age or low CMV immunoglobulin G titer. Conclusions: Chronic exposure to low-dose OCPs may be a new risk factor for T-cell immunosenescence. Impact: T-cell immunosenescence may be one possible mechanism linking low-dose OCPs and many chronic diseases. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 27(10); 1159–67. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1055-9965
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-7755
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-11-02
    Description: Purpose: The oxaliplatin plus S-1 and cisplatin plus S-1 regimens are interchangeably used in the management of advanced gastric cancer. The previously reported G-intestinal (G1) and G-diffuse (G2) intrinsic gene expression signatures showed promise for stratifying patients according to their tumor sensitivity to oxaliplatin or cisplatin. Experimental Design: The proof-of-concept, multicenter, open-label phase II "3G" trial was done to prospectively evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of using genomic classifiers to tailor treatment in gastric cancer. Patients’ tumors were classified as "G1" or "G2" using a nearest-prediction template method, or "G3" (unclear assignment) when FDR ≥ 0.05. The first 30 patients in the "G1" cohort were assigned oxaliplatin plus S-1 (SOX) chemotherapy; thereafter, subsequently recruited "G1" patients were treated with cisplatin plus S-1 (SP) chemotherapy. "G2" patients and "G3" patients were treated with SP and SOX chemotherapy, respectively. Results: A total of 48, 21, and 12 patients, respectively, were given "G1," "G2," and "G3" genomic assignments. Median turnaround time was 7 days (IQR, 5–9). Response rates were 44.8%, 8.3%, 26.7%, and 55.6% for the "G1-SOX," "G1-SP," "G2," "G3" cohorts, respectively; and was higher in G1 patients treated with SOX compared with SP ( P = 0.033). Exploratory analyses using the genomic classifier of Lei and colleagues validated the utility of the metabolic signature as a biomarker for predicting benefit from chemotherapy (log-rank P = 0.004 for PFS), whereas the Asian Cancer Research Group classifier did not demonstrate any predictive value. Conclusions: This bench-to-bedside effort establishes a reasonable turnaround time for gene expression profiling and possible utility of genomic classifiers in gastric cancer treatment stratification. Clin Cancer Res; 24(21); 5272–81. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1078-0432
    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3265
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-11-02
    Description: Purpose: Radiotherapy (RT) can transform the immune landscape and render poorly immunogenic tumors sensitive to PD-L1 inhibition. Here, we established that the response to combined RT and PD-L1 inhibition is transient and investigated mechanisms of resistance. Experimental Design: Mechanisms of resistance to RT and PD-L1 blockade were investigated in orthotopic murine head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) tumors using mass cytometry and whole-genome sequencing. Mice were treated with anti–PD-L1 or anti–TIM-3 alone and in combination with and without RT. Tumor growth and survival were assessed. Flow cytometry was used to assess phenotypic and functional changes in intratumoral T-cell populations. Depletion of regulatory T cells (Treg) was performed using anti-CD25 antibody. Results: We show that the immune checkpoint receptor, TIM-3, is upregulated on CD8 T cells and Tregs in tumors treated with RT and PD-L1 blockade. Treatment with anti–TIM-3 concurrently with anti–PD-L1 and RT led to significant tumor growth delay, enhanced T-cell cytotoxicity, decreased Tregs, and improved survival in orthotopic models of HNSCC. Despite this treatment combination, the response was not durable, and analysis of relapsed tumors revealed resurgence of Tregs. Targeted Treg depletion, however, restored antitumor immunity in mice treated with RT and dual immune checkpoint blockade and resulted in tumor rejection and induction of immunologic memory. Conclusions: These data reveal multiple layers of immune regulation that can promote tumorigenesis and the therapeutic potential of sequential targeting to overcome tumor resistance mechanisms. We propose that targeted Treg inhibitors may be critical for achieving durable tumor response with combined radiotherapy and immunotherapy. Clin Cancer Res; 24(21); 5368–80. ©2018 AACR .
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    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3265
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-11-16
    Description: Purpose: On the basis of the identified stress-independent cellular functions of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), we reported enhanced ATF4 levels in MCF10A cells treated with TGFβ1. ATF4 is overexpressed in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), but its impact on patient survival and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We aimed to determine ATF4 effects on patients with breast cancer survival and TNBC aggressiveness, and the relationships between TGFβ and ATF4. Defining the signaling pathways may help us identify a cell signaling–tailored gene signature. Experimental Design: Patient survival data were determined by Kaplan–Meier analysis. Relationship between TGFβ and ATF4, their effects on aggressiveness (tumor proliferation, metastasis, and stemness), and the underlying pathways were analyzed in three TNBC cell lines and in vivo using patient-derived xenografts (PDX). Results: ATF4 overexpression correlated with TNBC patient survival decrease and a SMAD-dependent crosstalk between ATF4 and TGFβ was identified. ATF4 expression inhibition reduced migration, invasiveness, mammosphere-forming efficiency, proliferation, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and antiapoptotic and stemness marker levels. In PDX models, ATF4 silencing decreased metastases, tumor growth, and relapse after chemotherapy. ATF4 was shown to be active downstream of SMAD2/3/4 and mTORC2, regulating TGFβ/SMAD and mTOR/RAC1–RHOA pathways independently of stress. We defined an eight-gene signature with prognostic potential, altered in 45% of 2,509 patients with breast cancer. Conclusions: ATF4 may represent a valuable prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in patients with TNBC, and we identified a cell signaling pathway–based gene signature that may contribute to the development of combinatorial targeted therapies for breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 24(22); 5697–709. ©2018 AACR .
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-05-02
    Description: The biological functions of the p53-related protein kinase (PRPK) remain unclear. We have previously demonstrated that PRPK is phosphorylated by the T-LAK cell-originated protein kinase (TOPK) and that phosphorylated PRPK (p-PRPK) promotes colon cancer metastasis. Here, we analyzed colon adenocarcinomas from 87 patients and found that higher expression levels of p-PRPK were associated with later stages of metastatic dissemination (stage III and IV) as compared with earlier stages (stages I and II). Indeed, levels of p-PRPK were higher in metastatic versus malignant human colon adenocarcinomas. Knocking down PRPK expression attenuated colorectal liver and lung metastasis of colon cancer cells in vivo . An in vitro kinase assay indicated that active PRPK does not phosphorylate p53 directly. We found that PRPK phosphorylates survivin, a regulator of colon cancer metastasis. PRPK phosphorylates survivin at Thr34, which is important for survivin stability. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that the PRPK signaling pathway promotes colon cancer metastasis by modulating survivin stability, and that PRPK could be a new prognostic marker for the survival of colon cancer patients. In addition, we identified an FDA-approved bacteriostatic antibiotic, fusidic acid sodium salt (fusidic acid or FA) as an inhibitor of PRPK, and show that FA combined with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) inhibited PRPK activity and colon cancer metastasis to the lung in mice. We contend that the combination of FA with 5-FU could be an alternative therapeutic strategy to traditional chemotherapy for colon cancer patients with poor prognosis. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(5); 1101–13. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1535-7163
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-8514
    Topics: Medicine
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