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  • 1
    Abstract: Purpose: For rare cancers such as neuroendocrine bladder cancer treatment options are limited due partly to the lack of preclinical models. Techniques to amplify rare primary neuroendocrine bladder cancer cells could provide novel tools for the discovery of drug and diagnostic targets. We developed preclinical experimental models for neuroendocrine bladder cancer. Materials and Methods: Fresh tumor tissue from 2 patients with neuroendocrine bladder cancer was used to establish in vitro and in vivo models. We analyzed additional archived tissues in the National Center of Tumor Diseases tissue bank from patients with neuroendocrine bladder cancer. Primary tumor samples were collected during radical cystectomy. PHA-665752 was used to inhibit MET in animal models and cell cultures. The expression of markers and drug targets in neuroendocrine bladder cancer was determined by flow cytometry. The growth of neuroendocrine bladder cancer in vitro was determined by counting live cells. Tumor growth in mice was assessed by measuring tumor volume. Groups were compared using the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: Xenograft models and serum-free cultures of neuroendocrine bladder cancer cells allowed screening for cell surface markers and drug targets. We found expression of the HGF receptor MET in neuroendocrine bladder cancer cultures, xenograft models and primary patient sections. The growth of neuroendocrine bladder cancer spheroids in vitro depended critically on HGF. Treatment of neuroendocrine bladder cancer bearing mice with a MET inhibitor significantly decreased tumor growth compared to that in control treated mice. Conclusions: Neuroendocrine bladder cancer xenografts and serum-free cultures provided suitable models in which to identify diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. Using the models, we noted HGF dependent growth of human neuroendocrine bladder cancer and identified MET as a new treatment target for neuroendocrine bladder cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23820058
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  • 2
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: In metastatic breast cancer (MBC), antigen profiles of metastatic tissue and primary tumor differ in up to 20 % of patients. Reassessment of predictive markers, including human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression, might help to optimize MBC treatment. While tissue sampling is invasive and often difficult to repeat, circulating tumor cell (CTC) analysis requires only a blood sample and might provide an easy-to-repeat, real-time "liquid biopsy" approach. The present retrospective study was conducted to compare HER2 expression in primary tumors, metastatic tissue, and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from MBC patients and to analyze the potential impact of HER2 overexpression by CTCs on progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in MBC. METHODS: CTC-positive (five or more CTCs/7.5 mL blood; CellSearch(R), Janssen Diagnostics) MBC patients starting a new line of systemic treatment were eligible for the study. HER2 status of CTCs was determined by immunofluorescence (CellSearch(R)). HER2 status of primary (PRIM) and metastatic (MET) tumor tissue was determined by immunohistochemistry. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Kaplan-Meier plots. RESULTS: One hundred seven patients (median age (range) 57 (33-81) years) were included. 100/107 (93 %) patients were followed-up for a median [95 % confidence interval (CI)] of 28.5 [25.1-40.1] months. Of 37/107 (35 %) CTC-HER2-positive patients only 10 (27 %) were PRIM-HER2-positive. 6/46 (13 %) patients were MET-HER2-positive; only 2/10 (20 %) CTC-HER2-positive patients were MET-HER2-positive. Overall accuracy between CTC-HER2 expression and PRIM-HER2 and MET-HER2 status was 69 % and 74 %, respectively. Kaplan-Meier plots of PFS and OS by CTC-HER2 status revealed significantly longer median [95 % CI] PFS of CTC-HER2-positive versus CTC-HER2-negative patients (7.4 [4.7-13.7] versus 4.34 [3.5-5.9] months; p = 0.035). CTC-HER2-positive status showed no significant difference for OS (13.7 [7.7-30.0] versus 8.7 [5.9-15.3] months; p = 0.287). CONCLUSIONS: HER2 status can change during the course of breast cancer. CTC phenotyping may serve as an easy-to-perform "liquid biopsy" to reevaluate HER2 status and potentially guide treatment decisions. Further, prospective studies are needed.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25972110
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