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The molecular features that define clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) initiation and progression are being increasingly defined. The TRACERx Renal studies and others that have described the interaction between tumour genomics and remodelling of the tumour microenvironment provide important new insights into the molecular drivers underlying ccRCC ontogeny and progression. Our understanding of common genomic and chromosomal copy number abnormalities in ccRCC, including chromosome 3p loss, provides a mechanistic framework with which to organize these abnormalities into those that drive tumour initiation events, those that drive tumour progression and those that confer lethality. Truncal mutations in ccRCC, including those in VHL, SET2, PBRM1 and BAP1, may engender genomic instability and promote defects in DNA repair pathways. The molecular features that arise from these defects enable categorization of ccRCC into clinically and therapeutically relevant subtypes. Consideration of the interaction of these subtypes with the tumour microenvironment reveals that specific mutations seem to modulate immune cell populations in ccRCC tumours. These findings present opportunities for disease prevention, early detection, prognostication and treatment.
The conventional dogma of treating cancer by focusing on the elimination of tumor cells has been recently refined to include consideration of the tumor microenvironment, which includes host stromal cells. Ephrin-A1, a cell surface protein involved in adhesion and migration, has been shown to be tumor suppressive in the context of the cancer cell. However, its role in the host has not been fully investigated. Here, we examine how ephrin-A1 host deficiency affects cancer growth and metastasis in a murine model of breast cancer. 4T1 cells were orthotopically implanted into the mammary fat pads or injected into the tail veins of ephrin-A1 wild-type ( ), heterozygous ( ), or knockout ( ) mice. Tumor growth, lung metastasis, and tumor recurrence after surgical resection were measured. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were used to analyze various cell populations in primary tumors and tumor-bearing lungs. While primary tumor growth did not differ between , , and mice, lung metastasis and primary tumor recurrence were significantly decreased in knockout mice. mice had reduced lung colonization of 4T1 cells compared to littermate controls as early as 24 hours after tail vein injection. Furthermore, established lung lesions in mice had reduced proliferation compared to those in controls. Our studies demonstrate that host deficiency of ephrin-A1 does not impact primary tumor growth but does affect metastasis by providing a less favorable metastatic niche for cancer cell colonization and growth. Elucidating the mechanisms by which host ephrin-A1 impacts cancer relapse and metastasis may shed new light on novel therapeutic strategies.
Copyright: © 2020 Shiuan E et al.
Iron is an essential element for multiple fundamental biological processes required for life; yet iron overload can be cytotoxic. Consequently, iron concentrations at the cellular and tissue level must be exquisitely governed by mechanisms that complement and fine-tune systemic control. It is well appreciated that macrophages are vital for systemic iron homeostasis, supplying or sequestering iron as needed for erythropoiesis or bacteriostasis, respectively. Indeed, recycling of iron through erythrophagocytosis by splenic macrophages is a major contributor to systemic iron homeostasis. However, accumulating evidence suggests that tissue-resident macrophages regulate local iron availability and modulate the tissue microenvironment, contributing to cellular and tissue function. Here, we summarize the significance of tissue-specific regulation of iron availability and highlight how resident macrophages are critical for this process. This tissue-dependent regulation has broad implications for understanding both resident macrophage function and tissue iron homeostasis in health and disease.
Siderophores, iron-scavenging small molecules, are fundamental to bacterial nutrient metal acquisition and enable pathogens to overcome challenges imposed by nutritional immunity. Multimodal imaging mass spectrometry allows visualization of host-pathogen iron competition, by mapping siderophores within infected tissue. We have observed heterogeneous distributions of siderophores across infectious foci, challenging the paradigm that the vertebrate host is a uniformly iron-depleted environment to invading microbes.
Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - The goal of this review is to summarize recent experimental and clinical evidence for metastatic latency and the molecular mechanisms that regulate tumor dormancy in the bone.
RECENT FINDINGS - Tumor dormancy contributes to the progression of metastasis and thus has significant clinical implications for prognosis and treatment. Tumor-intrinsic signaling and specialized bone marrow niches play a pivotal role in determining the dormancy status of bone disseminated tumor cells. Experimental models have provided significant insight into the effects of the bone microenvironment on tumor cells; however, these models remain limited in their ability to study dormancy. Despite recent advances in the mechanistic understanding of how tumor cells remain dormant in the bone for prolonged periods of time, the signals that trigger spontaneous dormancy escape remain unclear. This review highlights the need for further investigation of mechanisms underlying tumor dormancy using clinically relevant models.
The pathogenesis of HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment (NCI) may involve iron dysregulation. In 243 HIV-seropositive adults without severe comorbidities, we therefore genotyped 250 variants in 20 iron-related genes and evaluated their associations with magnetic resonance imaging measures of brain structure and metabolites, including measures previously linked to NCI. Multivariable regression analyses examined associations between genetic variants and neuroimaging measures, adjusting for relevant covariates and multiple testing. Exploratory analyses stratified by NCI (Global Deficit Score ≥ 0.5 vs. <0.5), virus detectability in plasma, and comorbidity levels were also performed. Of 27 variants (in 12 iron-regulatory genes) associated with neuroimaging measures after correction for the 37 haplotype blocks represented, 3 variants survived additional correction for the 21 neuroimaging measures evaluated and demonstrated biologically plausible associations. SLC11A1 rs7576974_T was significantly associated with higher frontal gray matter N-acetylaspartate (p = 3.62e). Among individuals with detectable plasma virus, TFRC rs17091382_A was associated with smaller subcortical gray matter volume (p = 3.23e), and CP rs4974389_A (p = 3.52e) was associated with higher basal ganglia Choline in persons with mild comorbidities. Two other strong associations were observed for variants in SLC40A1 and ACO2 but were not robust due to low minor-allele frequencies in the study sample. Variants in iron metabolism and transport genes are associated with structural and metabolite neuroimaging measures in HIV-seropositive adults, regardless of virus suppression on antiretroviral therapy. These variants may confer susceptibility to HIV-related brain injury and NCI. Further studies are needed to determine the specificity of these findings to HIV infection and explore potential underlying mechanisms.
BACKGROUND - Approximately 10% of patients with SCLC develop a paraneoplastic syndrome (PNS). Neurologic PNS are thought to improve prognosis, which we hypothesized is related to increased tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and immune recognition.
METHODS - We queried 2,512,042 medical records from a single institution to identify patients who have SCLC with and without PNS and performed manual, retrospective chart review. We then performed multiplexed fluorescence immunohistochemistry and automated quantitative analysis (AQUA Technology) on tumors to assess CD3, CD4, and CD8 T cell infiltrates and programmed death 1 (PD-1)/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) interactions. T cell infiltrates and PD-1/PD-L1 interaction scores were compared among patients with neurologic PNS, endocrinologic PNS, and a control group without PNS. Clinical outcomes were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards models.
RESULTS - We evaluated 145 SCLC patients: 55 with PNS (25 neurologic and 30 endocrinologic) and 90 controls. Patients with neurologic PNS experienced improved overall survival compared to patients with endocrinologic PNS and controls (median overall survival of 24 months versus 12 months versus 13 months, respectively). Of the 145 patients, we identified tumor tissue from 34 patients that was adequate for AQUA analysis. Among 37 specimens from these 34 patients, patients with neurologic PNS had increased T cell infiltrates (p = 0.033) and PD-1/PD-L1 interaction (p = 0.014) compared to tumors from patients with endocrinologic PNS or controls.
CONCLUSIONS - Tumor tissue from patients with SCLC with neurologic PNS showed increased tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and PD-1/PD-L1 interaction consistent with an inflamed tumor microenvironment.
Copyright © 2019 International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The connection between inflammation and cancer was initially recognized by Rudolf Virchow in the nineteenth century. During the last decades, a large body of evidence has provided support to his hypothesis, and now inflammation is recognized as one of the hallmarks of cancer, both in etiopathogenesis and ongoing tumor growth. Infection with the pathogen Helicobacter pylori is the primary causal factor in 90% of gastric cancer (GC) cases. As we increase our understanding of how chronic inflammation develops in the stomach and contributes to carcinogenesis, there is increasing interest in targeting cancer-promoting inflammation as a strategy to treat GC. Moreover, once cancer develops and anti-cancer immune responses are suppressed, there is evidence of a substantial shift in the microenvironment and new targets for immune therapy emerge. In this chapter, we provide insight into inflammation-related factors, including T lymphocytes, macrophages, pro-inflammatory chemokines, and cytokines, which promote H. pylori-associated GC initiation and growth. While intervening with chronic inflammation is not a new practice in rheumatology or gastroenterology, this approach has not been fully explored for its potential to prevent carcinogenesis or to contribute to the treatment of GC. This review highlights current and possible strategies for therapeutic intervention including (i) targeting pro-inflammatory mediators, (ii) targeting growth factors and pathways involved in angiogenesis in the gastric tumor microenvironment, and (iii) enhancing anti-tumor immunity. In addition, we highlight a significant number of clinical trials and discuss the importance of individual tumor characterization toward offering personalized immune-related therapy.
Although iron is crucial for neuronal functioning, many aspects of cerebral iron biology await clarification. The ability to quantify specific iron forms in the living brain would open new avenues for diagnosis, therapeutic monitoring, and understanding pathogenesis of diseases. A modality that allows assessment of brain tissue composition in vivo, in particular of iron deposits or myelin content on a submillimeter spatial scale, is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Multimodal strategies combining MRI with complementary analytical techniques ex vivo have emerged, which may lead to improved specificity. Interdisciplinary collaborations will be key to advance beyond simple correlative analyses in the biological interpretation of MRI data and to gain deeper insights into key factors leading to iron accumulation and/or redistribution associated with neurodegeneration.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.