The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Solid tumors frequently metastasize to bone and induce bone destruction leading to severe pain, fractures, and other skeletal-related events (SREs). Osteoclast inhibitors such as bisphosphonates delay SREs but do not prevent skeletal complications or improve overall survival. Because bisphosphonates can cause adverse side effects and are contraindicated for some patients, we sought an alternative therapy to reduce tumor-associated bone destruction. Our previous studies identified the transcription factor Gli2 as a key regulator of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), which is produced by bone metastatic tumor cells to promote osteoclast-mediated bone destruction. In this study, we tested the treatment effect of a Gli antagonist GANT58, which inhibits Gli2 nuclear translocation and PTHrP expression in tumor cells. In initial testing, GANT58 did not have efficacy in vivo due to its low water solubility and poor bioavailability. We therefore developed a micellar nanoparticle (NP) to encapsulate and colloidally stabilize GANT58, providing a fully aqueous, intravenously injectable formulation based on the polymer poly(propylene sulfide)-b-poly[(oligoethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate] (PPS-b-POEGA). POEGA forms the hydrophilic NP surface while PPS forms the hydrophobic NP core that sequesters GANT58. In response to reactive oxygen species (ROS), PPS becomes hydrophilic and degrades to enable drug release. In an intratibial model of breast cancer bone metastasis, treatment with GANT58-NPs decreased bone lesion area by 49% (p<.01) and lesion number by 38% (p<.05) and resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in trabecular bone volume (p<.001). Similar results were observed in intracardiac and intratibial models of breast and lung cancer bone metastasis, respectively. Importantly, GANT58-NPs reduced tumor cell proliferation but did not alter mesenchymal stem cell proliferation or osteoblast mineralization in vitro, nor was there evidence of cytotoxicity after repeated in vivo treatment. Thus, inhibition of Gli2 using GANT58-NPs is a potential therapy to reduce bone destruction that should be considered for further testing and development toward clinical translation.
Published by Elsevier B.V.
Intrinsic resistance of unknown mechanism impedes the clinical utility of inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6i) in malignancies other than breast cancer. Here, we used melanoma patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) to study the mechanisms for CDK4/6i resistance in preclinical settings. We observed that melanoma PDXs resistant to CDK4/6i frequently displayed activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway, and inhibition of this pathway improved CDK4/6i response in a p21-dependent manner. We showed that a target of p21, CDK2, was necessary for proliferation in CDK4/6i-treated cells. Upon treatment with CDK4/6i, melanoma cells up-regulated cyclin D1, which sequestered p21 and another CDK inhibitor, p27, leaving a shortage of p21 and p27 available to bind and inhibit CDK2. Therefore, we tested whether induction of p21 in resistant melanoma cells would render them responsive to CDK4/6i. Because p21 is transcriptionally driven by p53, we coadministered CDK4/6i with a murine double minute (MDM2) antagonist to stabilize p53, allowing p21 accumulation. This resulted in improved antitumor activity in PDXs and in murine melanoma. Furthermore, coadministration of CDK4/6 and MDM2 antagonists with standard of care therapy caused tumor regression. Notably, the molecular features associated with response to CDK4/6 and MDM2 inhibitors in PDXs were recapitulated by an ex vivo organotypic slice culture assay, which could potentially be adopted in the clinic for patient stratification. Our findings provide a rationale for cotargeting CDK4/6 and MDM2 in melanoma.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
PURPOSE - To assess whether BIO 300, a synthetic genistein nanosuspension, improves the therapeutic index in prostate cancer treatment by preventing radiation-induced erectile dysfunction (ED) without reducing tumor radiosensitivity.
METHODS AND MATERIALS - Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 25 Gy of 220-kV prostate-confined x-rays. Animals were randomized to receive sham radiation therapy (RT), RT alone, RT with daily BIO 300 at 2 experimental dosing regimens, or RT with daily genistein. Erectile response was evaluated over time. Penile shaft tissue was harvested for histologic analyses. Murine xenograft studies using prostate cancer cell lines determined the effects of BIO 300 dosing on RT efficacy.
RESULTS - Prostate-confined RT significantly decreased apomorphine-induced erectile response (P < .05 vs sham RT). Erection frequency in animals receiving prophylactic treatment with BIO 300 starting 3 days before RT was similar to sham controls after RT. Treatment with synthetic genistein did not mitigate loss in erectile frequency. At week 14, post-RT treatment with BIO 300 resulted in significantly higher quality of erectile function compared with both the RT arm and the RT arm receiving genistein starting 3 days before irradiation (P < .05). In hormone-sensitive and insensitive prostate tumor-bearing mice, BIO 300 administration did not negatively affect radiation-induced tumor growth delay.
CONCLUSIONS - BIO 300 prevents radiation-induced ED, measured by erection frequency, erectile function, and erection quality, when administered 3 days before RT and continued daily for up to 14 weeks. Data also suggest that BIO 300 administered starting 2 hours after RT mitigates radiation-induced ED. Data provide strong nonclinical evidence to support clinical translation of BIO 300 for mitigation of ED while maintaining treatment response to RT.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Radiation therapy is often combined with androgen deprivation therapy in the treatment of aggressive localized prostate cancer. However, castration-resistant disease may not respond to testosterone deprivation approaches. Enzalutamide is a second-generation anti-androgen with high affinity and activity that is used for the treatment of metastatic disease. Although radiosensitization mechanisms are known to be mediated through androgen receptor activity, this project aims to uncover the detailed DNA damage repair factors influenced by enzalutamide using multiple models of androgen-sensitive (LNCaP) and castration-resistant human prostate cancer (22Rv1 and DU145). Enzalutamide is able to radiosensitize both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent human prostate cancer models in cell culture and xenografts in mice, as well as a treatment-resistant patient-derived xenograft. The enzalutamide-mediated mechanism of radiosensitization includes delay of DNA repair through temporal prolongation of the repair factor complexes and halting the cell cycle, which results in decreased colony survival. Altogether, these findings support the use of enzalutamide concurrently with radiotherapy to enhance the treatment efficacy for prostate cancer.
While polymeric nano-formulations for RNAi therapeutics hold great promise for molecularly-targeted, personalized medicine, they possess significant systemic delivery challenges including rapid clearance from circulation and the potential for carrier-associated toxicity due to cationic polymer or lipid components. Herein, we evaluated the in vivo pharmacokinetic and safety impact of often-overlooked formulation parameters, including the ratio of carrier polymer to cargo siRNA and hydrophobic siRNA modification in combination with hydrophobic polymer components (dual hydrophobization). For these studies, we used nano-polyplexes (NPs) with well-shielded, zwitterionic coronas, resulting in various NP formulations of equivalent hydrodynamic size and neutral surface charge regardless of charge ratio. Doubling nano-polyplex charge ratio from 10 to 20 increased circulation half-life five-fold and pharmacokinetic area under the curve four-fold, but was also associated with increased liver enzymes, a marker of hepatic damage. Dual hydrophobization achieved by formulating NPs with palmitic acid-modified siRNA (siPA-NPs) both reduced the amount of carrier polymer required to achieve optimal pharmacokinetic profiles and abrogated liver toxicities. We also show that optimized zwitterionic siPA-NPs are well-tolerated upon long-term, repeated administration in mice and exhibit greater than two-fold increased uptake in orthotopic MDA-MB-231 xenografts compared to commercial transfection reagent, in vivo-jetPEI. These data suggest that charge ratio optimization has important in vivo implications and that dual hydrophobization strategies can be used to maximize both NP circulation time and safety.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Breast cancer cells frequently home to the bone, but the mechanisms controlling tumor colonization of the bone marrow remain unclear. We report significant enrichment of bone-disseminated estrogen receptor positive human MCF7 cells by 17 β-estradiol (E2) following intracardiac inoculation. Using flow cytometric and quantitative PCR approaches, tumor cells were detected in >80% of MCF7 tumor-inoculated mice, regardless of E2, suggesting that E2 is not required for MCF7 dissemination to the bone marrow. Furthermore, we propose two additional models in which to study prolonged latency periods by bone-disseminated tumor cells: murine D2.0R and human SUM159 breast carcinoma cells. Tumor cells were detected in bone marrow of up to 100% of D2.0R and SUM159-inoculated mice depending on the detection method. These findings establish novel models of bone colonization in which to study mechanisms underlying tumor cell seeding to the marrow and prolonged latency, and provide highly sensitive methods to detect these rare events.
Cancer immunotherapies that remove checkpoint restraints on adaptive immunity are gaining clinical momentum but have not achieved widespread success in breast cancers, a tumor type considered poorly immunogenic and which harbors a decreased presence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Approaches that activate innate immunity in breast cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment are of increasing interest, based on their ability to induce immunogenic tumor cell death, type I IFNs, and lymphocyte-recruiting chemokines. In agreement with reports in other cancers, we observe loss, downregulation, or mutation of the innate viral nucleotide sensor retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I/) in only 1% of clinical breast cancers, suggesting potentially widespread applicability for therapeutic RIG-I agonists that activate innate immunity. This was tested using an engineered RIG-I agonist in a breast cancer cell panel representing each of three major clinical breast cancer subtypes. Treatment with RIG-I agonist resulted in upregulation and mitochondrial localization of RIG-I and activation of proinflammatory transcription factors STAT1 and NF-κB. RIG-I agonist triggered the extrinsic apoptosis pathway and pyroptosis, a highly immunogenic form of cell death in breast cancer cells. RIG-I agonist also induced expression of lymphocyte-recruiting chemokines and type I IFN, confirming that cell death and cytokine modulation occur in a tumor cell-intrinsic manner. Importantly, RIG-I activation in breast tumors increased tumor lymphocytes and decreased tumor growth and metastasis. Overall, these findings demonstrate successful therapeutic delivery of a synthetic RIG-I agonist to induce tumor cell killing and to modulate the tumor microenvironment These findings describe the first in vivo delivery of RIG-I mimetics to tumors, demonstrating a potent immunogenic and therapeutic effect in the context of otherwise poorly immunogenic breast cancers. .
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.
Somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) is overexpressed in a majority of neuroendocrine neoplasms, including small-cell lung carcinomas (SCLCs). SSTR2 was previously considered an inhibitory receptor on cell growth, but its agonists had poor clinical responses in multiple clinical trials. The role of this receptor as a potential therapeutic target in lung cancer merits further investigation. We evaluated the expression of SSTR2 in a cohort of 96 primary tumors from patients with SCLC and found 48% expressed SSTR2. Correlation analysis in both CCLE and an SCLC RNAseq cohort confirmed high-level expression and identified an association between NEUROD1 and SSTR2. There was a significant association with SSTR2 expression profile and poor clinical outcome. We tested whether SSTR2 expression might contribute to tumor progression through activation of downstream signaling pathways, using in vitro and in vivo systems and downregulated SSTR2 expression in lung cancer cells by shRNA. SSTR2 downregulation led to increased apoptosis and dramatically decreased tumor growth in vitro and in vivo in multiple cell lines with decreased AMPKα phosphorylation and increased oxidative metabolism. These results demonstrate a role for SSTR2 signaling in SCLC and suggest that SSTR2 is a poor prognostic biomarker in SCLC and potential future therapeutic signaling target.
© 2018 UICC.
Female nude mice (J:NU-Foxn1nu; age, 6 wk) were injected with 1 million MCF7 human breast cancer cells in the fourth mammary fat pads and received a 21-d sustained-release estrogen pellet (0.25 mg) subcutaneously in the dorsum of the neck. All mice were maintained in sterile housing and provided sterile water and irradiated rodent chow. Approximately 6 wk after implantation, 4 of the 30 mice showed clinical signs of depression and dehydration. The 2 animals most severely affected were euthanized and presented for necropsy. The urinary bladders of these animals were distended with variable sized white, opaque uroliths. Urinalysis revealed coccal bacteria, erythrocytes, neutrophils and struvite crystals. Urine cultures from both necropsied animals grew heavy, pure growths of Staphylococcus xylosus. The organism was sensitive to all antibiotics tested except erythromycin (intermediate). Analysis of the uroliths revealed 100% struvite composition. Remaining mice in the study were evaluated clinically for hydration status, the ability to urinate, and the presence of palpable stones in the urinary bladder; one additional mouse had a firm, nonpainful bladder (urolithiasis suspected). Given the sensitivity of the organisms cultured from urine samples, the remaining mice were placed on enrofloxacin in the drinking water (0.5 mg/mL). All remaining mice completed the study without further morbidity or mortality. Previous studies have reported the association of estrogen supplementation with urinary bladder pathology, including infection and urolithiasis. Here we present a case of urolithiasis and cystitis in nude mice receiving estrogen supplementation that was associated with Staphylococcus xylosus, which previously was unreported in this context. When assessing these nude mice for urolithiasis, we found that visualizing the stones through the body wall, bladder palpation, and bladder expression were helpful in identifying affected mice.
Metastasis is the most lethal aspect of cancer, yet current therapeutic strategies do not target its key rate-limiting steps. We have previously shown that the entry of cancer cells into the blood stream, or intravasation, is highly dependent upon in vivo cancer cell motility, making it an attractive therapeutic target. To systemically identify genes required for tumor cell motility in an in vivo tumor microenvironment, we established a novel quantitative in vivo screening platform based on intravital imaging of human cancer metastasis in ex ovo avian embryos. Utilizing this platform to screen a genome-wide shRNA library, we identified a panel of novel genes whose function is required for productive cancer cell motility in vivo, and whose expression is closely associated with metastatic risk in human cancers. The RNAi-mediated inhibition of these gene targets resulted in a nearly total (>99.5%) block of spontaneous cancer metastasis in vivo.