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Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the deadliest form of breast cancer because it is more aggressive, diagnosed at later stage and more likely to develop local and systemic recurrence. Many patients do not experience adequate tumor control after current clinical treatments involving surgical removal, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, leading to disease progression and significantly decreased quality of life. Here we report a new combinatory therapy strategy involving cannabinoid-based medicine and photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of TNBC. This combinatory therapy targets two proteins upregulated in TNBC: the cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CBR, a G-protein coupled receptor) and translocator protein (TSPO, a mitochondria membrane receptor). We found that the combined CBR agonist and TSPO-PDT treatment resulted in synergistic inhibition in TNBC cell and tumor growth. This combinatory therapy approach provides new opportunities to treat TNBC with high efficacy. In addition, this study provides new evidence on the therapeutic potential of CBR agonists for cancer.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Late-life depression (LLD) is associated with a fragile antidepressant response and high recurrence risk. This study examined what measures predict recurrence in remitted LLD.
METHODS - Individuals of age 60 years or older with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - IV (DSM-IV) diagnosis of major depressive disorder were enrolled in the neurocognitive outcomes of depression in the elderly study. Participants received manualized antidepressant treatment and were followed longitudinally for an average of 5 years. Study analyses included participants who remitted. Measures included demographic and clinical measures, medical comorbidity, disability, life stress, social support, and neuropsychological testing. A subset underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
RESULTS - Of 241 remitted elders, approximately over 4 years, 137 (56.8%) experienced recurrence and 104 (43.2%) maintained remission. In the final model, greater recurrence risk was associated with female sex (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.536; confidence interval [CI] = 1.027-2.297), younger age of onset (HR = 0.990; CI = 0.981-0.999), higher perceived stress (HR = 1.121; CI = 1.022-1.229), disability (HR = 1.060; CI = 1.005-1.119), and less support with activities (HR = 0.885; CI = 0.812-0.963). Recurrence risk was also associated with higher Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores prior to censoring (HR = 1.081; CI = 1.033-1.131) and baseline symptoms of suicidal thoughts by MADRS (HR = 1.175; CI = 1.002-1.377) and sadness by Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (HR = 1.302; CI, 1.080-1.569). Sex, age of onset, and suicidal thoughts were no longer associated with recurrence in a model incorporating report of multiple prior episodes (HR = 2.107; CI = 1.252-3.548). Neither neuropsychological test performance nor MRI measures of aging pathology were associated with recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS - Over half of the depressed elders who remitted experienced recurrence, mostly within 2 years. Multiple clinical and environmental measures predict recurrence risk. Work is needed to develop instruments that stratify risk.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND - The impact of re-resection of a positive intraoperative bile duct margin on clinical outcomes for resectable hilar cholangiocarcinoma (HCCA) remains controversial. We sought to define the impact of re-resection of an initially positive frozen-section bile duct margin on outcomes of patients undergoing surgery for HCCA.
METHODS - Patients who underwent curative-intent resection for HCCA between 2000 and 2014 were identified at 10 hepatobiliary centers. Short- and long-term outcomes were analyzed among patients stratified by margin status.
RESULTS - Among 215 (83.7%) patients who underwent frozen-section evaluation of the bile duct, 80 (37.2%) patients had a positive (R1) ductal margin, 58 (72.5%) underwent re-resection, and 29 ultimately had a secondary negative margin (secondary R0). There was no difference in morbidity, 30-day mortality, and length of stay among patients who had primary R0, secondary R0, and R1 resection (all p > 0.10). Median and 5-year survival were 22.3 months and 23.3%, respectively, among patients who had a primary R0 resection compared with 18.5 months and 7.9%, respectively, for patients with an R1 resection (p = 0.08). In contrast, among patients who had a secondary R0 margin with re-resection of the bile duct margin, median and 5-year survival were 30.6 months and 44.3%, respectively, which was comparable to patients with a primary R0 margin (p = 0.804). On multivariable analysis, R1 margin resection was associated with decreased survival (R1: hazard ratio [HR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0-1.7; p = 0.027), but secondary R0 resection was associated with comparable long-term outcomes as primary R0 resection (HR 0.9, 95% CI 0.4-2.3; p = 0.829).
CONCLUSIONS - Additional resection of a positive frozen-section ductal margin to achieve R0 resection was associated with improved long-term outcomes following curative-intent resection of HCCA.
BACKGROUND - The risk of recurrence after resection of non-metastatic gastro-entero-pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NET) is poorly defined. We developed/validated a nomogram to predict risk of recurrence after curative-intent resection.
METHODS - A training set to develop the nomogram and test set for validation were identified. The predictive ability of the nomogram was assessed using c-indices.
RESULTS - Among 1477 patients, 673 (46%) were included in the training set and 804 (54%) in y the test set. On multivariable analysis, Ki-67, tumor size, nodal status, and invasion of adjacent organs were independent predictors of DFS. The risk of death increased by 8% for each percentage increase in the Ki-67 index (HR 1.08, 95% CI, 1.05-1.10; P < 0.001). GEP-NET invading adjacent organs had a HR of 1.65 (95% CI, 1.03-2.65; P = 0.038), similar to tumors ≥3 cm (HR 1.67, 95% CI, 1.11-2.51; P = 0.014). Patients with 1-3 positive nodes and patients with >3 positive nodes had a HR of 1.81 (95% CI, 1.12-2.87; P = 0.014) and 2.51 (95% CI, 1.50-4.24; P < 0.001), respectively. The nomogram demonstrated good ability to predict risk of recurrence (c-index: training set, 0.739; test set, 0.718).
CONCLUSION - The nomogram was able to predict the risk of recurrence and can be easily applied in the clinical setting.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Time to tumor recurrence may be associated with outcomes following resection of hepatobiliary cancers. The objective of the current study was to investigate risk factors and prognosis among patients with early versus late recurrence of hilar cholangiocarcinoma (HCCA) after curative-intent resection.
METHODS - A total of 225 patients who underwent curative-intent resection for HCCA were identified from 10 academic centers in the USA. Data on clinicopathologic characteristics, pre-, intra-, and postoperative details and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. The slope of the curves identified by linear regression was used to categorize recurrences as early versus late.
RESULTS - With a median follow-up of 18.0 months, 99 (44.0%) patients experienced a tumor recurrence. According to the slope of the curves identified by linear regression, the functions of the two straight lines were y = -0.465x + 16.99 and y = -0.12x + 7.16. The intercept value of the two lines was 28.5 months, and therefore, 30 months (2.5 years) was defined as the cutoff to differentiate early from late recurrence. Among 99 patients who experienced recurrence, the majority (n = 80, 80.8%) occurred within the first 2.5 years (early recurrence), while 19.2% of recurrences occurred beyond 2.5 years (late recurrence). Early recurrence was more likely present as distant disease (75.1% vs. 31.6%, p = 0.001) and was associated with a worse OS (Median OS, early 21.5 vs. late 50.4 months, p < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, poor tumor differentiation (HR 10.3, p = 0.021), microvascular invasion (HR 3.3, p = 0.037), perineural invasion (HR 3.9, p = 0.029), lymph node metastases (HR 5.0, p = 0.004), and microscopic positive margin (HR 3.5, p = 0.046) were independent risk factors associated with early recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS - Early recurrence of HCCA after curative resection was common (~35.6%). Early recurrence was strongly associated with aggressive tumor characteristics, increased risk of distant metastatic recurrence and a worse long-term survival.
INTRODUCTION - Patients with SCLC have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Because access to longitudinal tumor samples is very limited in patients with this disease, we chose to focus our studies on the characterization of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for rapid, noninvasive monitoring of disease burden.
METHODS - We developed a liquid biopsy assay that quantifies somatic variants in cfDNA. The assay detects single nucleotide variants, copy number alterations, and insertions or deletions in 14 genes that are frequently mutated in SCLC, including tumor protein p53 gene (TP53), retinoblastoma 1 gene (RB1), BRAF, KIT proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase gene (KIT), notch 1 gene (NOTCH1), notch 2 gene (NOTCH2), notch 3 gene (NOTCH3), notch 4 gene (NOTCH4), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha gene (PIK3CA), phosphatase and tensin homolog gene (PTEN), fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 gene (FGFR1), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog gene (MYC), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene lung carcinoma derived homolog gene (MYCL1), and v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene neuroblastoma derived homolog gene (MYCN).
RESULTS - Over the course of 26 months of peripheral blood collection, we examined 140 plasma samples from 27 patients. We detected disease-associated mutations in 85% of patient samples with mutant allele frequencies ranging from 0.1% to 87%. In our cohort, 59% of the patients had extensive-stage disease, and the most common mutations occurred in TP53 (70%) and RB1 (52%). In addition to mutations in TP53 and RB1, we detected alterations in 10 additional genes in our patient population (PTEN, NOTCH1, NOTCH2, NOTCH3, NOTCH4, MYC, MYCL1, PIK3CA, KIT, and BRAF). The observed allele frequencies and copy number alterations tracked closely with treatment responses. Notably, in several cases analysis of cfDNA provided evidence of disease relapse before conventional imaging.
CONCLUSIONS - These results suggest that liquid biopsies are readily applicable in patients with SCLC and can potentially provide improved monitoring of disease burden, depth of response to treatment, and timely warning of disease relapse in patients with this disease.
Copyright © 2017 International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) E6 antibodies may be an early marker of the diagnosis and recurrence of human papillomavirus-driven oropharyngeal cancer (HPV-OPC).
METHODS - This study identified 161 incident oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) cases diagnosed at the University of Pittsburgh (2003-2013) with pretreatment serum. One hundred twelve had preexisting clinical HPV testing with p16 immunohistochemistry and HPV in situ hybridization (87 were dual-positive [HPV-OPC], and 25 were dual-negative [HPV-negative]); 62 had at least 1 posttreatment serum sample. Eighty-six of the 161 tumors were available for additional HPV16 DNA/RNA testing (45 were dual-positive [HPV16-OPC], and 19 were dual-negative [HPV16-negative). HPV16 E6 antibody testing was conducted with multiplex serology. The following were evaluated: 1) the sensitivity and specificity of HPV16 E6 serology for distinguishing HPV-OPC and HPV16-OPC from HPV-negative OPC, 2) HPV16 E6 antibody decay after treatment with linear models accommodating correlations in variance estimates, and 3) pre- and posttreatment HPV16 E6 levels and the risk of recurrence with Cox proportional hazards models.
RESULTS - Seventy-eight of 87 HPV-OPCs were HPV16 E6-seropositive (sensitivity, 89.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 81.3%-95.2%), and 24 of 25 HPV-negative OPCs were HPV16 E6-seronegative (specificity, 96.0%; 95% CI, 79.6%-99.9%). Forty-two of 45 HPV16-OPCs were HPV16 E6-seropositive (sensitivity, 93.3%; 95% CI, 81.7%-98.6%), and 18 of 19 HPV16-negative OPCs were HPV16 E6-seronegative (specificity, 94.7%; 95% CI, 74.0%-99.9%). Posttreatment HPV16 E6 antibody levels did not decrease significantly from the baseline (P = .575; median follow-up, 307 days) and were not associated with the risk of recurrence. However, pretreatment HPV16 E6 seropositivity was associated with an 86% reduced risk of local/regional recurrence (hazard ratio, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.03-0.68; P = .015).
CONCLUSIONS - HPV16 E6 antibodies may have potential clinical utility for the diagnosis and/or prognosis of HPV-OPC. Cancer 2017;123:4382-90. © 2017 American Cancer Society.
© 2017 American Cancer Society.
BACKGROUND - Surgical site infections (SSI) are one of the most common complications after hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery. Infectious complications may lead to an associated immune-modulatory effect that inhibits the body's response to cancer surveillance. We sought to define the impact of SSI on long-term prognosis of patients undergoing surgical resection of extrahepatic biliary malignancies (EHBM).
METHODS - Patients undergoing surgery for EHBM between 2000 and 2014 were identified using a large, multi-center, national cohort dataset. Recurrence free survival (RFS) was calculated and a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model was utilized to identify potential risk factors for RFS including SSI.
RESULTS - Seven hundred twenty-eight patients included in the analytic cohort; 236 (32.4%) patients had perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, 241 (33.1%) gallbladder cancer, and 251 (34.5%) distal cholangiocarcinoma. A major resection, liver resection, was performed in 205 (28.3%) patients, while 110 (15.2%) patients had a pancreaticoduodenectomy. The overall incidence of morbidity was 55.8%; among the 397 patients who experienced a complication, 161 patients specifically had an SSI. The SSI occurred as an infection of the surgical site (n = 70, 9.6%) or formation of an abscess in the operative bed (n = 91, 12.5%). SSI was associated with long-term survival as patients who experienced an SSI had a median RFS of 19.5 months compared with 30.5 months for those patients who did not have an SSI (HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.08-1.80; p = 0.01). Among 279 patients who had EHBM that had no associated lymph node metastases, well-to-moderate tumor differentiation, as well as an R0 resection margin, SSI remained associated with worse RFS (HR 1.84, 95% CI 1.03-3.29; p = 0.038), as well as overall survival (HR 1.87, 95% CI 1.18-2.97; p = 0.008).
CONCLUSION - SSI was a relatively common occurrence following surgery for EHBM as 1 in 10 patients experienced an SSI. In addition to standard tumor-specific factors, the occurrence of postoperative SSI was adversely associated with long-term survival.
Basal-like/triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are among the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, and disproportionally affects young premenopausal women and women of African descent. Patients with TNBC suffer a poor prognosis due in part to a lack of molecularly targeted therapies, which represents a critical barrier for effective treatment. Here, we identify EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase as a clinically relevant target for TNBC. EphA2 expression is enriched in the basal-like molecular subtype in human breast cancers. Loss of EphA2 function in both human and genetically engineered mouse models of TNBC reduced tumor growth in culture and in vivo. Mechanistically, targeting EphA2 impaired cell cycle progression through S-phase via downregulation of c-Myc and stabilization of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27/KIP1. A small molecule kinase inhibitor of EphA2 effectively suppressed tumor cell growth in vivo, including TNBC patient-derived xenografts. Thus, our data identify EphA2 as a novel molecular target for TNBC.