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BACKGROUND - Renal cell cancer (RCC) is a prevalent and lethal disease. At time of diagnosis, most patients present with localized disease. For these patients, the standard of care includes nephrectomy with close monitoring thereafter. While many patients will be cured, 5-year recurrence rates range from 30% to 60%. Furthermore, nearly one-third of patients present with metastatic disease at time of diagnosis. Metastatic disease is rarely curable and typically lethal. Cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiation alone are incapable of controlling the disease. Extensive effort was expended in the development of cytokine therapies but response rates remain low. Newer agents targeting angiogenesis and mTOR signaling emerged in the 2000s and revolutionized patient care. While these agents improve progression free survival, the development of resistance is nearly universal. A new era of immunotherapy is now emerging, led by the checkpoint inhibitors. However, therapeutic resistance remains a complex issue that is likely to persist.
METHODS AND PURPOSE - In this review, we systematically evaluate preclinical research and clinical trials that address resistance to the primary RCC therapies, including anti-angiogenesis agents, mTOR inhibitors, and immunotherapies. As clear cell RCC is the most common adult kidney cancer and has been the focus of most studies, it will be the focus of this review.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible visual loss and is primarily treated with nutritional supplementation as well as with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents for certain patients with neovascular disease. AMD is a complex disease with both genetic and environmental risk factors. In addition, treatment outcomes from nutritional supplementation and anti-VEGF agents vary considerably. Therefore, it is reasonable to suspect that there may be pharmacogenetic influences on these treatments. Many series have reported individual associations with variants in complement factor H (CFH), age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2), and other loci. However, at this time there are no validated associations. With respect to AMD, pharmacogenetics remains an intriguing area of research but is not helpful for routine clinical management.
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1. Pomalidomide has been shown to be potentially teratogenic in thalidomide-sensitive animal species such as rabbits. Screening for thalidomide analogs devoid of teratogenicity/toxicity - attributable to metabolites formed by cytochrome P450 enzymes - but having immunomodulatory properties is a strategic pathway towards development of new anticancer drugs. 2. In this study, plasma concentrations of pomalidomide, its primary 5-hydroxylated metabolite, and its glucuronide conjugate(s) were investigated in control and humanized-liver mice. Following oral administration of pomalidomide (100 mg/kg), plasma concentrations of 7-hydroxypomalidomide and 5-hydroxypomalidomide glucuronide were slightly higher in humanized-liver mice than in control mice. 3. Simulations of human plasma concentrations of pomalidomide were achieved with simplified physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models in both groups of mice in accordance with reported pomalidomide concentrations after low dose administration in humans. 4. The results indicate that pharmacokinetic profiles of pomalidomide were roughly similar between control mice and humanized-liver mice and that control and humanized-liver mice mediated pomalidomide 5-hydroxylation in vivo. Introducing one aromatic amino group into thalidomide resulted in less species differences in in vivo pharmacokinetics in control and humanized-liver mice.
Deregulation of angiogenesis--the growth of new blood vessels from an existing vasculature--is a main driving force in many severe human diseases including cancer. As such, tumor angiogenesis is important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to growing tumors, and therefore considered an essential pathologic feature of cancer, while also playing a key role in enabling other aspects of tumor pathology such as metabolic deregulation and tumor dissemination/metastasis. Recently, inhibition of tumor angiogenesis has become a clinical anti-cancer strategy in line with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, which underscore the critical importance of the angiogenic switch during early tumor development. Unfortunately the clinically approved anti-angiogenic drugs in use today are only effective in a subset of the patients, and many who initially respond develop resistance over time. Also, some of the anti-angiogenic drugs are toxic and it would be of great importance to identify alternative compounds, which could overcome these drawbacks and limitations of the currently available therapy. Finding "the most important target" may, however, prove a very challenging approach as the tumor environment is highly diverse, consisting of many different cell types, all of which may contribute to tumor angiogenesis. Furthermore, the tumor cells themselves are genetically unstable, leading to a progressive increase in the number of different angiogenic factors produced as the cancer progresses to advanced stages. As an alternative approach to targeted therapy, options to broadly interfere with angiogenic signals by a mixture of non-toxic natural compound with pleiotropic actions were viewed by this team as an opportunity to develop a complementary anti-angiogenesis treatment option. As a part of the "Halifax Project" within the "Getting to know cancer" framework, we have here, based on a thorough review of the literature, identified 10 important aspects of tumor angiogenesis and the pathological tumor vasculature which would be well suited as targets for anti-angiogenic therapy: (1) endothelial cell migration/tip cell formation, (2) structural abnormalities of tumor vessels, (3) hypoxia, (4) lymphangiogenesis, (5) elevated interstitial fluid pressure, (6) poor perfusion, (7) disrupted circadian rhythms, (8) tumor promoting inflammation, (9) tumor promoting fibroblasts and (10) tumor cell metabolism/acidosis. Following this analysis, we scrutinized the available literature on broadly acting anti-angiogenic natural products, with a focus on finding qualitative information on phytochemicals which could inhibit these targets and came up with 10 prototypical phytochemical compounds: (1) oleanolic acid, (2) tripterine, (3) silibinin, (4) curcumin, (5) epigallocatechin-gallate, (6) kaempferol, (7) melatonin, (8) enterolactone, (9) withaferin A and (10) resveratrol. We suggest that these plant-derived compounds could be combined to constitute a broader acting and more effective inhibitory cocktail at doses that would not be likely to cause excessive toxicity. All the targets and phytochemical approaches were further cross-validated against their effects on other essential tumorigenic pathways (based on the "hallmarks" of cancer) in order to discover possible synergies or potentially harmful interactions, and were found to generally also have positive involvement in/effects on these other aspects of tumor biology. The aim is that this discussion could lead to the selection of combinations of such anti-angiogenic compounds which could be used in potent anti-tumor cocktails, for enhanced therapeutic efficacy, reduced toxicity and circumvention of single-agent anti-angiogenic resistance, as well as for possible use in primary or secondary cancer prevention strategies.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - VEGF receptor (VEGFR) kinases are important drug targets in oncology that affect function of systemic endothelial cells. To discover genetic markers that affect VEGFR inhibitor pharmacodynamics, we performed a genome-wide association study of serum soluble vascular VEGFR2 concentrations [sVEGFR2], a pharmacodynamic biomarker for VEGFR2 inhibitors.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of [sVEGFR2] in 736 healthy Old Order Amish volunteers. Gene variants identified from the GWAS were genotyped serially in a cohort of 128 patients with advanced solid tumor with baseline [sVEGFR2] measurements, and in 121 patients with renal carcinoma with [sVEGFR2] measured before and during pazopanib therapy.
RESULTS - rs34231037 (C482R) in KDR, the gene encoding sVEGFR2 was found to be highly associated with [sVEGFR2], explaining 23% of the variance (P = 2.7 × 10(-37)). Association of rs34231037 with [sVEGFR2] was replicated in 128 patients with cancer with comparable effect size (P = 0.025). Furthermore, rs34231037 was a significant predictor of changes in [sVEGFR2] in response to pazopanib (P = 0.01).
CONCLUSION - Our findings suggest that genome-wide analysis of phenotypes in healthy populations can expedite identification of candidate pharmacogenetic markers. Genotyping for germline variants in KDR may have clinical utility in identifying patients with cancer with unusual sensitivity to effects of VEGFR2 kinase inhibitors.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.
Aflibercept (known as ziv-aflibercept in the USA and sold under the trade name Zaltrap®) is a human recombinant fusion protein with antiangiogenic effects that functions as a decoy receptor to bind vascular endothelial growth factors A and B and placental growth factor. Its unique mechanism of action with respect to other agents targeting angiogenesis led investigators to speculate that it may be more ubiquitously efficacious in tumors highly dependent on pathologic angiogenesis for their growth. Despite encouraging preclinical studies in various tumor types, aflibercept has not been proven efficacious in most later-phase clinical studies. In fact, its only currently held US Food and Drug Administration indication is in metastatic colorectal cancer in combination with 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and irinotecan for those patients previously treated with an oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy regimen. Given aflibercept's toxicity profile and cost, further investigation is needed to better understand its mechanism of action and to discover predictive biomarkers for optimization of its appropriate use in treatment of cancer patients.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Over the past 40 years, treatments with standard chemotherapy agents have not resulted in substantial improvements in long-term survival for patients with advanced lung cancer. Therefore, new targets have been sought, and angiogenesis is a promising target for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody targeted against the vascular endothelial growth factor, is the only antiangiogenic agent currently recommended by NCCN for the treatment of advanced NSCLC. However, several antibody-based therapies and multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors are currently under investigation for the treatment of patients with NSCLC. This article summarizes the available clinical trial data on the efficacy and safety of these agents in patients with advanced lung cancer.
The miR-200 family is well known to inhibit the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, suggesting it may therapeutically inhibit metastatic biology. However, conflicting reports regarding the role of miR-200 in suppressing or promoting metastasis in different cancer types have left unanswered questions. Here we demonstrate a difference in clinical outcome based on miR-200's role in blocking tumour angiogenesis. We demonstrate that miR-200 inhibits angiogenesis through direct and indirect mechanisms by targeting interleukin-8 and CXCL1 secreted by the tumour endothelial and cancer cells. Using several experimental models, we demonstrate the therapeutic potential of miR-200 delivery in ovarian, lung, renal and basal-like breast cancers by inhibiting angiogenesis. Delivery of miR-200 members into the tumour endothelium resulted in marked reductions in metastasis and angiogenesis, and induced vascular normalization. The role of miR-200 in blocking cancer angiogenesis in a cancer-dependent context defines its utility as a potential therapeutic agent.
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the Western world. Cytokine-targeted therapies (such as anti-vascular endothelial growth factor) are effective in treating pathologic ocular angiogenesis, but have not led to a durable effect and often require indefinite treatment. Here, we show that Nutlin-3, a small molecule antagonist of the E3 ubiquitin protein ligase MDM2, inhibited angiogenesis in several model systems. We found that a functional p53 pathway was essential for Nutlin-3-mediated retinal antiangiogenesis and disruption of the p53 transcriptional network abolished the antiangiogenic activity of Nutlin-3. Nutlin-3 did not inhibit established, mature blood vessels in the adult mouse retina, suggesting that only proliferating retinal vessels are sensitive to Nutlin-3. Furthermore, Nutlin-3 inhibited angiogenesis in nonretinal models such as the hind limb ischemia model. Our work demonstrates that Nutlin-3 functions through an antiproliferative pathway with conceivable advantages over existing cytokine-targeted antiangiogenesis therapies.