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Chemotherapy is the primary established systemic treatment for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in both the early and advanced-stages of the disease. The lack of targeted therapies and the poor prognosis of patients with TNBC have fostered a major effort to discover actionable molecular targets to treat patients with these tumours. Massively parallel sequencing and other 'omics' technologies have revealed an unexpected level of heterogeneity of TNBCs and have led to the identification of potentially actionable molecular features in some TNBCs, such as germline BRCA1/2 mutations or 'BRCAness', the presence of the androgen receptor, and several rare genomic alterations. Whether these alterations are molecular 'drivers', however, has not been clearly established. A subgroup of TNBCs shows a high degree of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes that also correlates with a lower risk of disease relapse and a higher likelihood of benefit from chemotherapy. Proof-of-principle studies with immune-checkpoint inhibitors in advanced-stage TNBC have yielded promising results, indicating the potential benefit of immunotherapy for patients with TNBC. In this Review, we discuss the most relevant molecular findings in TNBC from the past decade and the most promising therapeutic opportunities derived from these data.
BACKGROUND - L-arginine (L-Arg) is the substrate for both inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS2) and arginase (ARG) enzymes. L-Arg is actively transported into cells by means of cationic amino acid transporter (SLC7) proteins. We have linked L-Arg and arginase 1 activity to epithelial restitution. Our aim was to determine if L-Arg, related amino acids, and metabolic enzymes are altered in ulcerative colitis (UC).
METHODS - Serum and colonic tissues were prospectively collected from 38 control subjects and 137 UC patients. Dietary intake, histologic injury, and clinical disease activity were assessed. Amino acid levels were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. Messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were measured by real-time PCR. Colon tissue samples from 12 Crohn's disease patients were obtained for comparison.
RESULTS - Dietary intake of arginine and serum L-Arg levels were not different in UC patients versus control subjects. In active UC, tissue L-Arg was decreased, whereas L-citrulline (L-Cit) and the L-Cit/L-Arg ratio were increased. This pattern was also seen when paired involved (left) versus uninvolved (right) colon tissues in UC were assessed. In active UC, SLC7A2 and ARG1 mRNA levels were decreased, whereas ARG2 and NOS2 were increased. Similar alterations in mRNA expression occurred in tissues from Crohn's disease patients. In involved UC, SLC7A2 and ARG1 mRNA levels were decreased, and NOS2 and ARG2 increased, when compared with uninvolved tissues.
CONCLUSIONS - Patients with UC exhibit diminished tissue L-Arg, likely attributable to decreased cellular uptake and increased consumption by NOS2. These findings combined with decreased ARG1 expression indicate a pattern of dysregulated L-Arg availability and metabolism in UC.
Current evidence suggests a multifactorial etiology to pelvic organ prolapse (POP), including genetic predisposition. We conducted a genome-wide association study of POP in African American (AA) and Hispanic (HP) women from the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Therapy study. Cases were defined as any POP (grades 1-3) or moderate/severe POP (grades 2-3), while controls had grade 0 POP. We performed race-specific multiple logistic regression analyses between SNPs imputed to 1000 genomes in relation to POP (grade 0 vs 1-3; grade 0 vs 2-3) adjusting for age at diagnosis, body mass index, parity, and genetic ancestry. There were 1274 controls and 1427 cases of any POP and 317 cases of moderate/severe POP. Although none of the analyses reached genome-wide significance (p<5x10-8), we noted variants in several loci that met p<10-6. In race-specific analysis of grade 0 vs 2-3, intronic SNPs in the CPE gene (rs28573326, OR:2.14; 95% CI 1.62-2.83; p = 1.0x10-7) were associated with POP in AAs, and SNPs in the gene AL132709.5 (rs1950626, OR:2.96; 95% CI 1.96-4.48, p = 2.6x10-7) were associated with POP in HPs. Inverse variance fixed-effect meta-analysis of the race-specific results showed suggestive signals for SNPs in the DPP6 gene (rs11243354, OR:1.36; p = 4.2x10-7) in the grade 0 vs 1-3 analyses and for SNPs around PGBD5 (rs740494, OR:2.17; p = 8.6x10-7) and SHC3 (rs2209875, OR:0.60; p = 9.3x10-7) in the grade 0 vs 2-3 analyses. While we did not identify genome-wide significant findings, we document several SNPs reaching suggestive statistical significance. Further interrogation of POP in larger minority samples is warranted.
OBJECTIVE - This study describes the development and psychometric evaluation of HPV Clinical Trial Survey for Parents with Children Aged 9 to 15 (CTSP-HPV) using traditional instrument development methods and community engagement principles.
METHODS - An expert panel and parental input informed survey content and parents recommended study design changes (e.g., flyer wording). A convenience sample of 256 parents completed the final survey measuring parental willingness to consent to HPV clinical trial (CT) participation and other factors hypothesized to influence willingness (e.g., HPV vaccine benefits). Cronbach's a, Spearman correlations, and multiple linear regression were used to estimate internal consistency, convergent and discriminant validity, and predictively validity, respectively.
RESULTS - Internal reliability was confirmed for all scales (a ≥ 0.70.). Parental willingness was positively associated (p < 0.05) with trust in medical researchers, adolescent CT knowledge, HPV vaccine benefits, advantages of adolescent CTs (r range 0.33-0.42), supporting convergent validity. Moderate discriminant construct validity was also demonstrated. Regression results indicate reasonable predictive validity with the six scales accounting for 31% of the variance in parents' willingness.
CONCLUSIONS - This instrument can inform interventions based on factors that influence parental willingness, which may lead to the eventual increase in trial participation. Further psychometric testing is warranted.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The IGF1R signaling pathway is a complex and tightly regulated network that is critical for cell proliferation, growth, and survival. IGF1R is a potential therapeutic target for patients with many different malignancies. This brief review summarizes the results of clinical trials targeting the IGF1R pathway in patients with breast cancer, sarcoma, and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Therapeutic agents discussed include both monoclonal antibodies to IGF1R (dalotuzumab, figitumumab, cixutumumab, ganitumab, R1507, AVE1642) and newer IGF1R pathway targeting strategies, including monoclonal antibodies to IGF1 and IGF2 (MEDI-573 and BI 836845) and a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor of IGF1R (linsitinib). The pullback of trials in patients with breast cancer and NSCLC based on several large negative trials is noted and contrasted with the sustained success of IGF1R inhibitor monotherapy in a subset of patients with sarcoma. Several different biomarkers have been examined in these trials with varying levels of success, including tumor expression of IGF1R and its pathway components, serum IGF ligand levels, alternate pathway activation, and specific molecular signatures of IGF1R pathway dependence. However, there remains a critical need to define predictive biomarkers in order to identify patients who may benefit from IGF1R-directed therapies. Ongoing research focuses on uncovering such biomarkers and elucidating mechanisms of resistance, as this therapeutic target is currently being analyzed from the bedside to bench.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.
The therapeutic targeting of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) has been a burgeoning area of research since 2007 when ALK fusions were initially identified in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The field has rapidly progressed through development of the first-generation ALK inhibitor, crizotinib, to an understanding of mechanisms of acquired resistance to crizotinib and is currently witnessing an explosion in the development of next-generation ALK inhibitors such as ceritinib, alectinib, PF-06463922, AP26113, X-396, and TSR-011. As with most targeted therapies, acquired resistance appears to be an inevitable outcome. Current preclinical and clinical studies are focused on the development of rational therapeutic strategies, including novel ALK inhibitors, as well as rational combination therapies to maximize disease control by delaying or overcoming acquired therapeutic resistance. This review summarizes the existing clinical data and ongoing research pertaining to the clinical application of ALK inhibitors in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
For most patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have turned a fatal disease into a manageable chronic condition. Imatinib, the first BCR-ABL1 TKI granted regulatory approval, has been surpassed in terms of molecular responses by the second-generation TKIs nilotinib, dasatinib, and bosutinib. Recently, ponatinib was approved as the only TKI with activity against the T315I mutation. Although all TKIs are associated with nonhematologic adverse events (AEs), experience with imatinib suggested that toxicities are typically manageable and apparent early during drug development. Recent reports of cardiovascular AEs with nilotinib and particularly ponatinib and of pulmonary arterial hypertension with dasatinib have raised concerns about long-term sequelae of drugs that may be administered for decades. Here, we review what is currently known about the cardiovascular toxicities of BCR-ABL1 TKIs, discuss potential mechanisms underlying cardiovascular AEs, and elucidate discrepancies between the reporting of such AEs between oncology and cardiovascular trials. Whenever possible, we provide practical recommendations, but we concede that cause-directed interventions will require better mechanistic understanding. We suggest that chronic myeloid leukemia heralds a fundamental shift in oncology toward effective but mostly noncurative long-term therapies. Realizing the full potential of these treatments will require a proactive rational approach to minimize long-term cardiovascular and cardiometabolic toxicities.
© 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are a major cause of cancer-related deaths. During the last two decades, several studies have shown amplification and overexpression of Aurora kinase A (AURKA) in several GI malignancies. These studies demonstrated that AURKA not only plays a role in regulating cell cycle and mitosis, but also regulates a number of key oncogenic signaling pathways. Although AURKA inhibitors have moved to phase III clinical trials in lymphomas, there has been slower progress in GI cancers and solid tumors. Ongoing clinical trials testing AURKA inhibitors as a single agent or in combination with conventional chemotherapies are expected to provide important clinical information for targeting AURKA in GI cancers. It is, therefore, imperative to consider investigations of molecular determinants of response and resistance to this class of inhibitors. This will improve evaluation of the efficacy of these drugs and establish biomarker based strategies for enrollment into clinical trials, which hold the future direction for personalized cancer therapy. In this review, we will discuss the available data on AURKA in GI cancers. We will also summarize the major AURKA inhibitors that have been developed and tested in pre-clinical and clinical settings.
Two meetings, one sponsored by the Wellcome Trust in 2012 and the other by the Global Virology Foundation in 2013, assembled academic, public health and pharmaceutical industry experts to assess the challenges and opportunities for developing antivirals for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections. The practicalities of clinical trials and establishing reliable outcome measures in different target groups were discussed in the context of the regulatory pathways that could accelerate the translation of promising compounds into licensed agents. RSV drug development is hampered by the perceptions of a relatively small and fragmented market that may discourage major pharmaceutical company investment. Conversely, the public health need is far too large for RSV to be designated an orphan or neglected disease. Recent advances in understanding RSV epidemiology, improved point-of-care diagnostics, and identification of candidate antiviral drugs argue that the major obstacles to drug development can and will be overcome. Further progress will depend on studies of disease pathogenesis and knowledge provided from controlled clinical trials of these new therapeutic agents. The use of combinations of inhibitors that have different mechanisms of action may be necessary to increase antiviral potency and reduce the risk of resistance emergence.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.