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Chemokines are small secreted proteins that orchestrate migration and positioning of immune cells within the tissues. Chemokines are essential for the function of the immune system. Accumulating evidence suggest that chemokines play important roles in tumor microenvironment. In this review we discuss an association of chemokine expression and activity within the tumor microenvironment with cancer outcome. We summarize regulation of immune cell recruitment into the tumor by chemokine-chemokine receptor interactions and describe evidence implicating chemokines in promotion of the "inflamed" immune-cell enriched tumor microenvironment. We review both tumor-promoting function of chemokines, such as regulation of tumor metastasis, and beneficial chemokine roles, including stimulation of anti-tumor immunity and response to immunotherapy. Finally, we discuss the therapeutic strategies target tumor-promoting chemokines or induce/deliver beneficial chemokines within the tumor focusing on pre-clinical studies and clinical trials going forward. The goal of this review is to provide insight into comprehensive role of chemokines and their receptors in tumor pathobiology and treatment.
Uveal melanoma (UM) is an uncommon melanoma subtype with poor prognosis. Agents that have transformed the management of cutaneous melanoma have made minimal inroads in UM. We conducted a single-arm phase II study of pembrolizumab in patients with metastatic UM and performed bioinformatics analyses of publicly available datasets to characterize the activity of anti-PD-1 in this setting and to understand the mutational and immunologic profile of this disease. A total of 5 patients received pembrolizumab in this study. Median overall survival was not reached, and median progression-free survival was 11.0 months. One patient experienced a complete response after one dose and 2 others experienced prolonged stable disease (20% response rate, 60% clinical benefit rate); 2 additional patients had rapidly progressing disease. Notably, the patients who benefited had either no liver metastases or small-volume disease, whereas patients with rapidly progressing disease had bulky liver involvement. We performed a bioinformatics analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas for UM and confirmed a low mutation burden and low rates of T-cell inflammation. Note that the lack of T-cell inflammation strongly correlated with pathway overexpression. Anti-PD-1-based therapy may cause clinical benefit in metastatic UM, seemingly more often in patients without bulky liver metastases. Lack of mutation burden and T-cell infiltration and overexpression may be factors limiting therapeutic responses. NCT02359851.
Copyright © 2019 by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
OBJECTIVE - To determine if there is a critical depth of invasion that predicts micrometastasis in early oral tongue cancer.
METHODS - Retrospective series identifying patients undergoing primary surgical resection of T1 or T2 oral tongue cancer who elected against neck treatment between 2000 and 2015. Cox proportional-hazard model compared the relative hazard and cumulative incidence of recurrence to depth of invasion. The model used a 2 parameter quadratic effect for depth that was chosen based on Akaike's information criterion.
RESULTS - Ninety-three patients were identified with T1 or T2 oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma and clinically N0 neck undergoing glossectomy without elective neck treatment. 61% were male and median age was 60 years. Median follow up was 45 months, and 76 patients had at least two years of follow up. Thirty-six of 76 patients recurred (47.4%), with 15 recurring in the oral cavity (19.7%) and 21 developing nodal metastasis (27.6%). Cox proportional-hazards quadratic polynomial showed increasing hazard of recurrence with depth of invasion and the cumulative incidence increased sharply within the range of data from 2 to 6 mm depth of invasion.
CONCLUSIONS - Depth of invasion is significantly associated with nodal metastasis and has been added to the 8th AJCC staging guidelines. Variable depths of invasion have been associated with regional metastasis; however, there is likely not a critical depth that predicts neck recurrence due to progressive hazards and cumulative risk of occult metastasis. The risk of regional metastasis is likely much greater than previously believed and increases progressively with increasing depth.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
AIM - To identify combined positron-emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based radiomics as a surrogate biomarker of intratumour disease risk for molecular subtype ccA and ccB in patients with primary clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS - PET/MRI data were analysed retrospectively from eight patients. One hundred and sixty-eight radiomics features for each tumour sampling based on the regionally sampled tumours with 23 specimens were extracted. Sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis (SPLS-DA) was applied to feature screening on high-throughput radiomics features and project the selected features to low-dimensional intrinsic latent components as radiomics signatures. In addition, multilevel omics datasets were leveraged to explore the complementing information and elevate the discriminative ability.
RESULTS - The correct classification rate (CCR) for molecular subtype classification by SPLS-DA using only radiomics features was 86.96% with permutation test p=7×10. When multi-omics datasets including mRNA, microvascular density, and clinical parameters from each specimen were combined with radiomics features to refine the model of SPLS-DA, the best CCR was 95.65% with permutation test, p<10; however, even in the case of generating the classification based on transcription features, which is the reference standard, there is roughly 10% classification ambiguity. Thus, this classification level (86.96-95.65%) of the proposed method represents the discriminating level that is consistent with reality.
CONCLUSION - Featured with high accuracy, an integrated multi-omics model of PET/MRI-based radiomics could be the first non-invasive investigation for disease risk stratification and guidance of treatment in patients with primary ccRCC.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
PURPOSE - The identification of biomarkers related to the prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is critically important for improved understanding of the biology that drives TNBC progression.
METHODS - We evaluated gene expression in total RNA isolated from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples using the NanoString nCounter assay for 469 TNBC cases from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study. We used Cox regression to quantify Hazard Ratios (HR) and corresponding confidence intervals (CI) for overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in models that included adjustment for breast cancer intrinsic subtype. Of 302 genes in our discovery analysis, 22 were further evaluated in relation to OS among 134 TNBC cases from the Nashville Breast Health Study and the Southern Community Cohort Study; 16 genes were further evaluated in relation to DFS in 335 TNBC cases from four gene expression omnibus datasets. Fixed-effect meta-analysis was used to combine results across data sources.
RESULTS - Twofold higher expression of EOMES (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83-0.97), RASGRP1 (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.82-0.97), and SOD2 (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.66-0.96) was associated with better OS. Twofold higher expression of EOMES (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.81-0.97) and RASGRP1 (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.81-0.95) was also associated with better DFS. On the contrary, a doubling of FA2H (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.22) and GSPT1 (HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.14-1.55) expression was associated with shorter DFS.
CONCLUSIONS - We identified five genes (EOMES, FA2H, GSPT1, RASGRP1, and SOD2) that may serve as potential prognostic biomarkers and/or therapeutic targets for TNBC.
Both the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) staging systems for skeletal sarcomas have major weaknesses. A revised staging system for osteosarcoma (the Vanderbilt system) was developed based on exploratory analyses of the relative prognostic impacts of histologic grade, tumor size, local tumor extension, and specific anatomic sites of metastasis using case records from the National Cancer Database (N = 4,285). AJCC, MSTS, and Vanderbilt staging schemes were then compared using a separate, population-based cancer registry (the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database; N = 2,246) as a validation dataset. Predictive accuracy for 5-year sarcoma-specific survival was evaluated by comparing areas under receiver-operating characteristic curves generated from logistic regression. Three different concordance indices and Bayesian information criteria were also calculated for model comparisons. The Vanderbilt staging system showed comparable predictive accuracy for 5-year disease-specific survival (65%) compared to the AJCC (67%) and MSTS (67%) staging systems. Most cross-comparisons of model concordance were not significantly different either. Bayesian information criterion was lowest for the MSTS staging system. Substaging osteosarcoma by current anatomical criteria is ineffectual. A simplified staging system based only on histologic grade and the presence of distant metastasis to any anatomic site performs similarly to the current AJCC and MSTS staging systems by multiple statistical criteria and is proposed for clinical and pathological staging of osteosarcomas of the non-pelvic appendicular and non-spinal axial skeleton. © 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:2802-2808, 2018.
© 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - The presence of specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can be used to calculate an individual's risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), called a genetic risk score (GRS). We investigated whether GRS can identify individuals with clinically relevant neoplasms in a screening colonoscopy population.
METHODS - We derived a GRS based on 48 SNPs associated with CRC, identified in a comprehensive literature search. We obtained genetic data from 1043 participants (50-79 years old) in a screening colonoscopy study in Germany, recruited from 2005 through 2013 (294 with advanced neoplasms, 249 with non-advanced adenoma (NAAs), and 500 without neoplasms). Each participant was assigned a GRS by aggregating their risk alleles (0, 1, or 2). Risk of advanced neoplasms and NAA according to GRS was calculated by multiple logistic regression. Risk advancement periods were calculated. We replicated our findings using data from a subset of the Tennessee Colorectal Polyp Study.
RESULTS - An increased GRS was associated with higher prevalence of advanced neoplasms, but not NAAs. Participants in the middle and upper tertiles of GRS had a 2.2-fold and 2.7-fold increase in risk, respectively, of advanced neoplasms compared to those in the lower tertile. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were 1.09 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76-1.57) for NAA in the middle tertile and 1.05 (95% CI, 0.70-1.55) for NAA in the upper tertile. The ORs were largest for proximal advanced neoplasms for participants in the middle tertile (OR, 3.55; 95% CI 1.85-6.82) and the upper tertile (OR, 3.61; 95% CI 1.84-7.10). The risk advancement period for medium vs low GRS was 13.4 years (95% CI 4.8-22.0) and for high vs low GRS was 17.5 years (95% CI, 7.8-27.3).
CONCLUSIONS - In a genetic analysis of participants in a CRC screening study in Germany, an increased GRS (based on CRC-associated SNPs) was associated with increased prevalence of advanced neoplasms. These findings might be used in defining risk-adapted screening ages.
Copyright © 2018 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - High cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression in ovarian tumors has been associated with poor prognosis, but the role of COX-1 expression and its relation to survival is less clear. Here, we evaluated COX expression and associations with survival outcomes between type I (clear cell, mucinous, low grade endometrioid and low grade serous) and type II (high grade serous and high grade endometrioid) ovarian tumors.
METHODS - We developed and validated a new COX-1 antibody, and conducted immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for COX-1 and COX-2 on a tissue microarray (TMA) of 190 primary ovarian tumors. In addition to standard IHC scoring and H-scores to combine the percentage of positive cells and staining intensity, we also measured COX-1 and COX-2 mRNA expression by QPCR. High expression was defined as greater than or equal to median values. Clinical characteristics and disease outcomes were ascertained from medical records. Associations with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were quantified by hazard ratios (HRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) from proportional hazards regression.
RESULTS - Type I tumors had high COX-2 expression, while type II tumors had high COX-1 expression. In multivariable adjusted regression models, higher COX-1 mRNA expression was associated with shorter DFS (HR: 6.37, 95% CI: 1.84-22.01) and OS (HR: 2.26, 95% CI: 1.04-4.91), while higher H-scores for COX-2 expression were associated with shorter DFS (HR: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.06-3.49). Stratified analysis indicated that COX-2 was significantly associated with DFS among cases with Type II tumors (HR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.06-3.53).
CONCLUSIONS - These findings suggest that ovarian tumor type contributes to differences in COX expression levels and associations with survival.
The AJCC recently published the 8th edition of its cancer staging system. Significant changes were made to the staging algorithm for soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of the extremities or trunk, including the addition of 2 additional T (size) classifications in lieu of tumor depth and grouping lymph node metastasis (LNM) with distant metastasis as stage IV disease. Whether these changes improve staging system performance is questionable. This retrospective cohort analysis of 21,396 adult patients with STS of the extremity or trunk in the SEER database compares the AJCC 8th edition staging system with the 7th edition and a newly proposed staging algorithm using a variety of statistical techniques. The effect of tumor size on disease-specific survival was assessed by flexible, nonlinear Cox proportional hazard regression using restricted cubic splines and fractional polynomials. The slope of covariate-adjusted log hazards for sarcoma-specific survival decreases for tumors >8 cm in greatest dimension, limiting prognostic information contributed by the new T4 classification in the AJCC 8th edition. Anatomic depth independently provides significant prognostic information. LNM is not equivalent to distant, non-nodal metastasis. Based on these findings, an alternative staging system is proposed and demonstrated to outperform both AJCC staging schemes. The analyses presented also disclose no evidence of improved clinical performance of the 8th edition compared with the previous edition. The AJCC 8th edition staging system for STS is no better than the previous 7th edition. Instead, a proposed staging system based on histologic grade, tumor size, and anatomic depth shows significantly higher predictive accuracy, with higher model concordance than either AJCC staging system. Changes to existing staging systems should improve the performance of prognostic models. Until such improvements are documented, AJCC committees should refrain from modifying established staging schemes.
Copyright © 2018 by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.