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Ewing sarcomas are rare mesenchymal-derived bone and soft tissue tumors in children. Afflicted children with distant metastases have poor survival despite aggressive therapeutics. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in epithelial carcinomas is associated with loss of E-cadherin and resistance to apoptosis. ML327 is a novel small molecule that we have previously shown to reverse epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition features in both epithelial and neural crest-derived cancers. Herein, we sought to evaluate the effects of ML327 on mesenchymal-derived Ewing sarcoma cells, hypothesizing that ML327 initiates growth arrest and sensitizes to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand. ML327 induced protein expression changes, increased E-cadherin and decreased vimentin, consistent with partial induction of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition in multiple Ewing Sarcoma cell lines (SK-N-MC, TC71, and ES-5838). Induction of epithelial features was associated with apoptosis, as demonstrated by PARP and Caspase 3 cleavage by immunoblotting. Cell cycle analysis validated these findings by marked induction of the subG cell population. In vitro combination treatment with TRAIL demonstrated additive induction of apoptotic markers. Taken together, these findings establish a rationale for further in vivo trials of ML327 in cells of mesenchymal origin both alone and in combination with TRAIL.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
There is a great need to develop novel approaches to target oncogenic transcription factors with small molecules. Ewing sarcoma is emblematic of this need, as it depends on the continued activity of the EWS-FLI1 transcription factor to maintain the malignant phenotype. We have previously shown that the small molecule trabectedin interferes with EWS-FLI1. Here, we report important mechanistic advances and a second-generation inhibitor to provide insight into the therapeutic targeting of EWS-FLI1. We discovered that trabectedin functionally inactivated EWS-FLI1 by redistributing the protein within the nucleus to the nucleolus. This effect was rooted in the wild-type functions of the EWSR1, compromising the N-terminal half of the chimeric oncoprotein, which is known to be similarly redistributed within the nucleus in the presence of UV light damage. A second-generation trabectedin analogue lurbinectedin (PM01183) caused the same nuclear redistribution of EWS-FLI1, leading to a loss of activity at the promoter, mRNA, and protein levels of expression. Tumor xenograft studies confirmed this effect, and it was increased in combination with irinotecan, leading to tumor regression and replacement of Ewing sarcoma cells with benign fat cells. The net result of combined lurbinectedin and irinotecan treatment was a complete reversal of EWS-FLI1 activity and elimination of established tumors in 30% to 70% of mice after only 11 days of therapy. Our results illustrate the preclinical safety and efficacy of a disease-specific therapy targeting the central oncogenic driver in Ewing sarcoma. Cancer Res; 76(22); 6657-68. ©2016 AACR.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.
Ewing sarcoma is driven by characteristic chromosomal translocations between the EWSR1 gene with genes encoding ETS family transcription factors (EWS-ETS), most commonly FLI1. However, direct pharmacological inhibition of transcription factors like EWS-FLI1 remains largely unsuccessful. Active gene transcription requires orchestrated actions of many epigenetic regulators, such as the bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) family proteins. Emerging BET bromodomain inhibitors have exhibited promising antineoplastic activities via suppression of oncogenic transcription factors in various cancers. We reasoned that EWS-FLI1-mediated transcription activation might be susceptible to BET inhibition. In this study, we demonstrated that small molecule BET bromodomain inhibitors repressed EWS-FLI1-driven gene signatures and downregulated important target genes. However, expression of EWS-FLI1 was not significantly affected. Repression of autocrine IGF1 by BET inhibitors led to significant inhibition of the IGF1R/AKT pathway critical to Ewing sarcoma cell proliferation and survival. Consistently, BET inhibitors impaired viability and clonogenic survival of Ewing sarcoma cell lines and blocked EWS-FLI1-induced transformation of mouse NIH3T3 fibroblast cells. Selective depletion of individual BET genes partially phenocopied the actions of BET inhibitors. Finally, the prototypical BET inhibitor, JQ1, significantly repressed Ewing sarcoma xenograft tumor growth. These findings suggest therapeutic potential of BET inhibitors in Ewing sarcoma and highlight an emerging paradigm of using epigenetic agents to treat cancers driven by fusion transcription factors.
Purpose To compare the agreement of three-dimensional (3D) tumor measurements for therapeutic response assessment of Ewing sarcoma according to the Children's Oncology Group (COG) criteria, one-dimensional (1D) Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), and two-dimensional (2D) measurements defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) with tumor volume measurements as the standard of reference and to determine which method correlates best with clinical outcomes. Materials and Methods This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board of three institutions. Seventy-four patients (mean age ± standard deviation, 14.5 years ± 6.5) with newly diagnosed Ewing sarcoma treated at three medical centers were evaluated. Primary tumor size was assessed on pre- and posttreatment magnetic resonance images according to 1D RECIST, 2D WHO, and 3D COG measurements. Tumor responses were compared with the standard of reference (tumor volume) on the basis of RECIST, COG, and WHO therapeutic response thresholds. Agreement between the percentage reduction measurements of the methods was assessed with concordance correlation, Bland-Altman analysis, and Spearman rank correlation. Agreement between therapeutic responses was assessed with Kendall tau and unweighted κ statistics. Tumor responses were compared with patient survival by using the log-rank test, Kaplan-Meier plots, and Cox regression. Results Agreement with the reference standard was significantly better for 3D measurement than for 1D and 2D measurements on the basis of RECIST and COG therapeutic response thresholds (concordance correlation of 0.41, 0.72, and 0.84 for 1D, 2D, and 3D measurements, respectively; P < .0001). Comparison of overall survival of responders and nonresponders demonstrated P values of .4133, .0112, .0032, and .0027 for 1D, 2D, 3D, and volume measurements, respectively, indicating that higher dimensional measurements were significantly better predictors of overall survival. Conclusion The 3D tumor measurements according to COG are better predictors of therapeutic response of Ewing sarcoma than 1D RECIST or 2D WHO measurements and show a significantly higher correlation with clinical outcomes. (©) RSNA, 2016 Online supplemental material is available for this article.
Only 21 % of adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) meet glycemic goals set forth by the American Diabetes Association. Adherence to therapy is a particular concern in this population, and the association between poor adherence and worsening glycemic control indicates that there is a critical need to improve adherence to therapy in adolescents with T1D. In this article, we review barriers to adherence in adolescents with T1D and discuss interventions aimed at improving adherence to therapy and glycemic control. Interventions include technology-based applications, family-based therapies, motivational interviewing, and others. Notably, less than 10 % of the interventions reviewed are provider-led, clinic-based interventions, and few have focused on regimen-related aspects of adherence. This article also outlines the importance of provider communication and the role of providers in facilitating adherence behaviors in adolescents with T1D. Finally, we suggest future directions of research to improve adherence to therapy in adolescents with T1D.
This study reports findings from a meta-analysis summarizing the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions for adolescents (age 11-18) and young adults (age 19-30). We identified 185 eligible study samples using a comprehensive literature search and synthesized findings using random-effects meta-analyses with robust standard errors. Overall, brief alcohol interventions led to significant reductions in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among adolescents (g = 0.27 and g = 0.19) and young adults (g = 0.17 and g = 0.11). These effects persisted for up to 1 year after intervention and did not vary across participant demographics, intervention length, or intervention format. However, certain intervention modalities (e.g., motivational interviewing) and components (e.g., decisional balance, goal-setting exercises) were associated with larger effects. We conclude that brief alcohol interventions yield beneficial effects on alcohol-related outcomes for adolescents and young adults that are modest but potentially worthwhile given their brevity and low cost.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - To assess the efficacy and acceptability of a group medical nutritional therapy (MNT) intervention, using motivational interviewing (MI). RESEARCH DESIGN & METHOD: African American (AA) women with type 2 diabetes (T2D) participated in five, certified diabetes educator/dietitian-facilitated intervention sessions targeting carbohydrate, fat, and fruit/vegetable intake and management. Motivation-based activities centered on exploration of dietary ambivalence and the relationships between diet and personal strengths. Repeated pre- and post-intervention, psychosocial, dietary self-care, and clinical outcomes were collected and analyzed using generalized least squares regression. An acceptability assessment was administered after intervention.
RESULTS - Participants (n = 24) were mostly of middle age (mean age 50.8 ± 6.3) with an average BMI of 39 ± 6.5. Compared to a gradual pre-intervention loss of HbA1c control and confidence in choosing restaurant foods, a significant post-intervention improvement in HbA1c (P = 0.03) and a near significant (P = 0.06) increase in confidence in choosing restaurant foods were observed with both returning to pre-intervention levels. 100% reported that they would recommend the study to other AA women with type 2 diabetes.
CONCLUSION - The results support the potential efficacy of a group MNT/MI intervention in improving glycemic control and dietary self-care-related confidence in overweight/obese AA women with type 2 diabetes.
Despite intensive treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, over 70% of patients with metastatic Ewing's Sarcoma Family of Tumors (EFT) will die of their disease. We hypothesize that properly characterized laboratory models reflecting the drug resistance of clinical tumors will facilitate the application of new therapeutic agents to EFT. To determine resistance patterns, we studied newly established EFT cell lines derived from different points in therapy: two established at diagnosis (CHLA-9, CHLA-32), two after chemotherapy and progressive disease (CHLA-10, CHLA-25), and two at relapse after myeloablative therapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation (post-ABMT) (CHLA-258, COG-E-352). The new lines were compared to widely studied EFT lines TC-71, TC-32, SK-N-MC, and A-673. These lines were extensively characterized with regard to identity (short tandem repeat (STR) analysis), p53, p16/14 status, and EWS/ETS breakpoint and target gene expression profile. The DIMSCAN cytotoxicity assay was used to assess in vitro drug sensitivity to standard chemotherapy agents. No association was found between drug resistance and the expression of EWS/ETS regulated genes in the EFT cell lines. No consistent association was observed between drug sensitivity and p53 functionality or between drug sensitivity and p16/14 functionality across the cell lines. Exposure to chemotherapy prior to cell line initiation correlated with drug resistance of EFT cell lines in 5/8 tested agents at clinically achievable concentrations (CAC) or the lower tested concentration (LTC): (cyclophosphamide (as 4-HC) and doxorubicin at CAC, etoposide, irinotecan (as SN-38) and melphalan at LTC; P<0.1 for one agent, and P<0.05 for four agents. This panel of well-characterized drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cell lines will facilitate in vitro preclinical testing of new agents for EFT.
PURPOSE - The goal of this study is to optimize the activity of trabectedin for Ewing sarcoma by developing a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - We have recently shown that trabectedin interferes with the activity of EWS-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma cells. In this report, we build on this work to develop a trabectedin-based combination therapy with improved EWS-FLI1 suppression that also targets the drug-associated DNA damage to Ewing sarcoma cells.
RESULTS - We demonstrate by siRNA experiments that EWS-FLI1 drives the expression of the Werner syndrome protein (WRN) in Ewing sarcoma cells. Because WRN-deficient cells are known to be hypersensitive to camptothecins, we utilize trabectedin to block EWS-FLI1 activity, suppress WRN expression, and selectively sensitize Ewing sarcoma cells to the DNA-damaging effects of SN38. We show that trabectedin and SN38 are synergistic, demonstrate an increase in DNA double-strand breaks, an accumulation of cells in S-phase and a low picomolar IC50. In addition, SN38 cooperates with trabectedin to augment the suppression of EWS-FLI1 downstream targets, leading to an improved therapeutic index in vivo. These effects translate into the marked regression of two Ewing sarcoma xenografts at a fraction of the dose of camptothecin used in other xenograft studies.
CONCLUSIONS - These results provide the basis and rationale for translating this drug combination to the clinic. In addition, the study highlights an approach that utilizes a targeted agent to interfere with an oncogenic transcription factor and then exploits the resulting changes in gene expression to develop a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
The Ewing sarcoma family of tumors or Ewing sarcoma (ES) is the second most common malignant bone tumor of childhood. The prognosis for localized Ewing sarcoma has improved through the development of intense multimodal therapy over the past several decades. Unfortunately, patients with recurrent or metastatic disease continue to have a poor prognosis. Therefore, a number of complementary approaches are being developed in both the preclinical and clinical arenas to improve these outcomes. In this review, we will discuss efforts to directly target the biologic drivers of this disease and relate these efforts to the experience with several different agents both in the clinic and under development. We will review the data for compounds that have shown excellent activity in the clinic, such as the camptothecins, and summarize the biological data that supports this activity. In addition, we will review the clinical experience with IGF1 targeted agents, ET-743 and epigenetically targeted therapies, the substantial amount of literature that supports their activity in Ewing sarcoma and the challenges remaining translating these therapies to the clinic. Finally, we will highlight recent work aimed at directly targeting the EWS-FLI1 transcription factor with small molecules in Ewing tumors.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.