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Cancers, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2010), Pages 1379-1770

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle The Prognostic Value of Haplotypes in the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A Gene in Colorectal Cancer
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1405-1418; doi:10.3390/cancers2031405
Received: 24 May 2010 / Revised: 23 June 2010 / Accepted: 25 June 2010 / Published: 28 June 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
New prognostic markers in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) are a prerequisite for individualized treatment. Prognostic importance of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) gene has been proposed. The objective of the present study was
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New prognostic markers in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) are a prerequisite for individualized treatment. Prognostic importance of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) gene has been proposed. The objective of the present study was to investigate the prognostic importance of haplotypes in the VEGF-A gene in patients with CRC. The study included 486 patients surgically resected for stage II and III CRC, divided into two independent cohorts. Three SNPs in the VEGF-A gene were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction. Haplotypes were estimated using the PHASE program. The prognostic influence was evaluated using Kaplan-Meir plots and log rank tests. Cox regression method was used to analyze the independent prognostic importance of different markers. All three SNPs were significantly related to survival. A haplotype combination, responsible for this effect, was present in approximately 30% of the patients and demonstrated a significant relationship with poor survival, and it remained an independent prognostic marker after multivariate analysis, hazard ratio 2.46 (95% confidence interval 1.49–4.06), p < 0.001. Validation was provided by consistent findings in a second and independent cohort. Haplotype combinations call for further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prognostic and Predictive Factors in Colorectal Cancer)
Open AccessArticle Dermoscopy of Scalp Melanoma: Report of Three Cases
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1597-1601; doi:10.3390/cancers2031597
Received: 9 July 2010 / Revised: 27 July 2010 / Accepted: 16 August 2010 / Published: 18 August 2010
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Abstract
Scalp melanoma is rare and often late-discovered because of its unusual position. As a consequence, its prognosis is poorer than melanoma on other body sites and only few clinical reports about its dermoscopic pattern have been published. In this paper, we report three
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Scalp melanoma is rare and often late-discovered because of its unusual position. As a consequence, its prognosis is poorer than melanoma on other body sites and only few clinical reports about its dermoscopic pattern have been published. In this paper, we report three clinical cases of scalp melanoma with photographic documentation and dermoscopic images, in order to improve the early detection of scalp melanoma. Full article
Open AccessArticle Identification of Serum Biomarkers for Biliary Tract Cancers by a Proteomic Approach Based on Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1602-1616; doi:10.3390/cancers2031602
Received: 21 June 2010 / Revised: 5 August 2010 / Accepted: 16 August 2010 / Published: 18 August 2010
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Abstract
Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are lethal malignancies currently lacking satisfactory methods for early detection and accurate diagnosis. Surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS) is a promising diagnostic tool for this disease. In this pilot study, sera samples from 50 BTCs and 30
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Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are lethal malignancies currently lacking satisfactory methods for early detection and accurate diagnosis. Surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS) is a promising diagnostic tool for this disease. In this pilot study, sera samples from 50 BTCs and 30 cholelithiasis patients as well as 30 healthy subjects from a population-based case-control study were randomly grouped into training set (30 BTCs, 20 cholelithiasis and 20 controls), duplicate of training set, and blind set (20 BTCs, 10 cholelithiasis and 10 controls); all sets were analyzed on Immobilized Metal Affinity Capture ProteinChips via SELDI-TOF-MS. A decision tree classifier was built using the training set and applied to all test sets. The classification tree constructed with the 3,400, 4,502, 5,680, 7,598, and 11,242 mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) protein peaks had a sensitivity of 96.7% and a specificity of 85.0% when comparing BTCs with non-cancers. When applied to the duplicate set, sensitivity was 66.7% and specificity was 70.0%, while in the blind set, sensitivity was 95.0% and specificity was 75.0%. Positive predictive values of the training, duplicate, and blind sets were 82.9%, 62.5% and 79.2%, respectively. The agreement of the training and duplicate sets was 71.4% (Kappa = 0.43, u = 3.98, P < 0.01). The coefficient of variations based on 10 replicates of one sample for the five differential peaks were 15.8–68.8% for intensity and 0–0.05% for m/z. These pilot results suggest that serum protein profiling by SELDI-TOF-MS may be a promising approach for identifying BTCs but low assay reproducibility may limit its application in clinical practice. Full article
Open AccessArticle DLEC1 Expression Is Modulated by Epigenetic Modifications in Hepatocelluar Carcinoma Cells: Role of HBx Genotypes
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1689-1704; doi:10.3390/cancers2031689
Received: 29 July 2010 / Revised: 23 August 2010 / Accepted: 8 September 2010 / Published: 16 September 2010
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Abstract
Deleted in Lung and Esophageal Cancer 1 (DLEC1) is a functional tumor suppressor gene (TSG). It has been found to be silenced in a variety of human cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The silencing of DLEC1 can be modulated by epigenetic modifications, such
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Deleted in Lung and Esophageal Cancer 1 (DLEC1) is a functional tumor suppressor gene (TSG). It has been found to be silenced in a variety of human cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The silencing of DLEC1 can be modulated by epigenetic modifications, such as DNA hypermethylation and histone hypoacetylation. In the case of HCC, hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) has been implicated in methylation of target promoters resulting in the down-regulation of tumor suppressor genes, which in turn contributes to the development of HCC. In the present study, we first established a cell system in which epigenetic modifications can be modulated using inhibitors of either DNA methylation or histone deacetylation. The cell system was used to reveal that the expression of DLEC1 was upregulated by HBx in a genotype-dependent manner. In particular, HBx genotype A was found to decrease DNA methylation of the DLEC1 promoter. Our results have provided new insights on the impact of HBx in HCC development by epigenetic modifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics of Cancer Progression)

Review

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Open AccessReview The Changing Face of Esophageal Cancer
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1379-1404; doi:10.3390/cancers2031379
Received: 17 June 2010 / Revised: 24 June 2010 / Accepted: 24 June 2010 / Published: 28 June 2010
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The two main histological esophageal cancer types, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, differ in incidence, geographic distribution, ethnic pattern and etiology. This article focuses on epidemiology with particular reference to geographic and temporal variations in incidence, along with a review of the evidence
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The two main histological esophageal cancer types, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, differ in incidence, geographic distribution, ethnic pattern and etiology. This article focuses on epidemiology with particular reference to geographic and temporal variations in incidence, along with a review of the evidence supporting environmental and genetic factors involved in esophageal carcinogenesis. Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus remains predominantly a disease of the developing world. In contrast, esophageal adenocarcinoma is mainly a disease of western developed societies, associated with obesity and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. There has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of adenocarcinoma in developed countries in parallel with migration of both esophageal and gastric adenocarcinomas towards the gastro-esophageal junction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiologic Research and Cancer)
Open AccessReview The Problems of Radiofrequency Ablation as an Approach for Advanced Unresectable Ductal Pancreatic Carcinoma
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1419-1431; doi:10.3390/cancers2031419
Received: 8 June 2010 / Revised: 28 June 2010 / Accepted: 30 June 2010 / Published: 1 July 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Advanced ductal pancreatic carcinoma (PC) remains a challenge for current surgical and medical approaches. It has recently been claimed that radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may be beneficial for patients with locally advanced or metastatic PC. Using the MEDLINE database, we found seven studies involving
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Advanced ductal pancreatic carcinoma (PC) remains a challenge for current surgical and medical approaches. It has recently been claimed that radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may be beneficial for patients with locally advanced or metastatic PC. Using the MEDLINE database, we found seven studies involving 106 patients in which PC was treated using RFA. The PC was mainly located in the pancreatic head (66.9%) with a median size of 4.6 cm. RFA was carried out in 85 patients (80.1%) with locally advanced PC and in 21 (19.9%) with metastatic disease. Palliative surgical procedures were carried out in 41.5% of the patients. The average temperature used was 90 °C (with a temperature range of 30–105 °C) and the ratio between the number of passes of the probe and the size of the tumor in centimeters was 0.5 (range of 0.36–1). The median postoperative morbidity and mortality were 28.3% and 7.5%, respectively; the median survival was 6.5 months (range of 1–33 months). In conclusion, RFA is a feasible technique: however, its safety and long-term results are disappointing; Thus, the RFA procedure should not be recommended in clinical practice for a PC patient. Full article
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Open AccessReview PCA3 and TMPRSS2-ERG: Promising Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1432-1440; doi:10.3390/cancers2031432
Received: 17 May 2010 / Revised: 24 June 2010 / Accepted: 5 July 2010 / Published: 6 July 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The search for the biomarkers to precisely and non-invasively characterize the biology of prostate cancer (PCa) is the focus of many laboratories across the world. Although prostate-specific antigen (PSA) remains the standard diagnostic tool for PCa, its low specificity leads to unnecessary biopsies
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The search for the biomarkers to precisely and non-invasively characterize the biology of prostate cancer (PCa) is the focus of many laboratories across the world. Although prostate-specific antigen (PSA) remains the standard diagnostic tool for PCa, its low specificity leads to unnecessary biopsies in a substantial number of patients. More importantly, with the current status of knowledge, it is very difficult to early identify individuals with a life-threatening disease who require an immediate treatment. The significant advances in genetics and biotechnology in recent years has led to the discovery of new molecular markers including PCA3 and the TMPRSS2:ERG genomic fusion. Both PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG, compared to PSA, show an increased specificity in PCa detection. However, the quest for a single PCa marker that can fully satisfy urologists and their patients is still ongoing. The aim of this review is to present the recent findings on PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG and to describe their clinical implications and performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers: Oncology Studies)
Open AccessReview Models of Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Biomarker Strategy
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1441-1452; doi:10.3390/cancers2031441
Received: 3 June 2010 / Revised: 2 July 2010 / Accepted: 6 July 2010 / Published: 7 July 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (303 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The overwhelming need to improve preclinical models in oncology has stimulated research efforts to refine and validate robust orthotopic models that closely mimic the disease population and therefore have the potential to better predict clinical outcome with novel therapies. Sophisticated technologies including bioluminescence,
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The overwhelming need to improve preclinical models in oncology has stimulated research efforts to refine and validate robust orthotopic models that closely mimic the disease population and therefore have the potential to better predict clinical outcome with novel therapies. Sophisticated technologies including bioluminescence, contrast enhanced ultrasound imaging, positron emission tomography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging have been added to existing serum- and histology-based biomarkers to assist with patient selection and the design of clinical trials. The rationale for the use of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines, implementation of xenograft and orthotopic animal models and utilization of available biomarkers have been discussed, providing guidelines to facilitate preclinical research for the development of treatments for HCC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers: Oncology Studies)
Open AccessReview YKL-40—A Protein in the Field of Translational Medicine: A Role as a Biomarker in Cancer Patients?
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1453-1491; doi:10.3390/cancers2031453
Received: 13 May 2010 / Revised: 1 July 2010 / Accepted: 9 July 2010 / Published: 12 July 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (649 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
YKL-40 is a 40 kDa glycoprotein produced by cancer cells, inflammatory cells and stem cells. It probably has a role in cell proliferation and differentiation, inflammation, protection against apoptosis, stimulation of angiogenesis, and regulation of extracellular tissue remodelling. Plasma levels of YKL-40 are
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YKL-40 is a 40 kDa glycoprotein produced by cancer cells, inflammatory cells and stem cells. It probably has a role in cell proliferation and differentiation, inflammation, protection against apoptosis, stimulation of angiogenesis, and regulation of extracellular tissue remodelling. Plasma levels of YKL-40 are often elevated in patients with localized or advanced cancer compared to age-matched healthy subjects. Several studies have demonstrated that high plasma YKL-40 is an independent prognostic biomarker of short survival in patients with different types of cancer. However, there is not yet sufficient data to support determination of plasma YKL-40 outside research projects as a biomarker for screening of gastrointestinal cancer and determination of treatment response and poor prognosis before or during treatment and follow-up. Plasma YKL-40 is also elevated in patients with other diseases than cancer, e.g., severe infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung disease, asthma, liver fibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Co-morbidity should therefore always be considered in patients with cancer, since other sources than cancer cells can increase plasma YKL-40 levels. Future focused translational research projects combining basic and clinical research are needed in a joint effort to answer questions of the complex function and regulation of YKL-40 and the question if plasma YKL-40 is a clinical useful biomarker in patients with cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers: Oncology Studies)
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Open AccessReview The Kinase Mirk/dyrk1B: A Possible Therapeutic Target in Pancreatic Cancer
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1492-1512; doi:10.3390/cancers2031492
Received: 26 May 2010 / Revised: 28 June 2010 / Accepted: 8 July 2010 / Published: 14 July 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3761 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas are strongly resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation, underscoring the need for new therapeutic targets, particularly ones which target the numerous out of cycle cancer cells. Analysis of resected tumors for nuclear Ki67 antigen has shown that about 70% of
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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas are strongly resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation, underscoring the need for new therapeutic targets, particularly ones which target the numerous out of cycle cancer cells. Analysis of resected tumors for nuclear Ki67 antigen has shown that about 70% of pancreatic cancer cells are out of cycle, some post-mitotic. Other out of cycle cells are in a quiescent, reversible G0 state, resistant to drugs which target dividing cells, with some able to repopulate a tumor. The serine/threonine kinase Mirk/dyrk1B is a downstream effector of oncogenic K-ras, the most common mutation in this cancer. Mirk expression is elevated in quiescent pancreatic cancer cells and mediates their prolonged survival through increasing expression of a cohort of antioxidant genes. Mirk is expressed in about 90% of pancreatic cancers and is amplified in a subset. Mirk appears not to be an essential gene for normal cells from embryonic knockout studies in mice and RNA interference studies on cultured cells, but is upregulated in pancreatic tumor cells. These unusual characteristics suggest that Mirk may be a selective target for therapeutic intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Neural Invasion in Pancreatic Cancer: The Past, Present and Future
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1513-1527; doi:10.3390/cancers2031513
Received: 2 June 2010 / Revised: 30 June 2010 / Accepted: 7 July 2010 / Published: 14 July 2010
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the past 15 years, invasion of nerves by cancer cells has escaped from its role as a mere bystander in cancer biology and turned into an attractive niche to study the heterotypic interaction between cancer cells and neurons. Today, neural invasion (NI)
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In the past 15 years, invasion of nerves by cancer cells has escaped from its role as a mere bystander in cancer biology and turned into an attractive niche to study the heterotypic interaction between cancer cells and neurons. Today, neural invasion (NI) in pancreatic cancer (PCa) stands out due to the recent demonstration of its association with tumor progression, local recurrence and neuropathic pain. Accordingly, recent research on NI in PCa revealed the critical involvement of numerous nerve- or cancer cell-derived molecules in several novel in vitro and in vivo models of NI, which, however, still need further major improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Cancer)
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Open AccessReview A Quest for Initiating Cells of Head and Neck Cancer and Their Treatment
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1528-1554; doi:10.3390/cancers2031528
Received: 21 June 2010 / Revised: 12 July 2010 / Accepted: 13 July 2010 / Published: 27 July 2010
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Abstract
The biology of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and other cancers have been related to cancer stem-like cells (CSC). Specific markers, which vary considerably depending on tumor type or tissue of origin, characterize CSC. CSC are cancer initiating, sustaining and mostly
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The biology of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and other cancers have been related to cancer stem-like cells (CSC). Specific markers, which vary considerably depending on tumor type or tissue of origin, characterize CSC. CSC are cancer initiating, sustaining and mostly quiescent. Compared to bulk tumors, CSC are less sensitive to chemo- and radiotherapy and may have low immunogenicity. Therapeutic targeting of CSC may improve clinical outcome. HNSCC has two main etiologies: human papillomavirus, a virus infecting epithelial stem cells, and tobacco and alcohol abuse. Here, current knowledge of HNSCC-CSC biology is reviewed and parallels to CSC of other origin are drawn where necessary for a comprehensive picture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers: Oncology Studies)
Open AccessReview The Role of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) in Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Carcinogenesis
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1555-1564; doi:10.3390/cancers2031555
Received: 23 June 2010 / Revised: 5 August 2010 / Accepted: 6 August 2010 / Published: 9 August 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the most common cause of physical injury to the skin due to environmental damage, and UV exposure substantially increases the risk of actinic damage to the skin. The inflammatory changes induced by acute UV exposure include erythema (sunburn) of
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Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the most common cause of physical injury to the skin due to environmental damage, and UV exposure substantially increases the risk of actinic damage to the skin. The inflammatory changes induced by acute UV exposure include erythema (sunburn) of the skin, while chronic exposure to solar UV radiation causes photo-aging, immunosuppression, and ultimately, carcinogenesis of the skin. After skin damage by UV radiation, the cells are known to secrete many cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). MIF was originally identified as a lymphokine that concentrates macrophages at inflammatory loci, and is known to be a potent activator of macrophages in vivo. MIF is considered to play an important role in cell-mediated immunity. Since the molecular cloning of MIF cDNA, MIF has been re-evaluated as a proinflammatory cytokine and pituitary-derived hormone that potentiates endotoxemia. MIF is ubiquitously expressed in various tissues, including the skin. Recent studies have suggested a potentially broader role for MIF in growth regulation because of its ability to antagonize p53-mediated gene activation and apoptosis. This article reviews the latest findings on the roles of MIF with regard to UV-induced skin cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Death and Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) for Unresectable Pancreatic Carcinoma
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1565-1575; doi:10.3390/cancers2031565
Received: 28 July 2010 / Revised: 5 August 2010 / Accepted: 6 August 2010 / Published: 9 August 2010
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Abstract
Survival in patients with unresectable pancreatic carcinoma is poor. Studies by Mayo Clinic and the Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group (GITSG) have established combined modality treatment with chemotherapy and radiation as the standard of care. Use of gemcitabine-based chemotherapy alone has also been shown
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Survival in patients with unresectable pancreatic carcinoma is poor. Studies by Mayo Clinic and the Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group (GITSG) have established combined modality treatment with chemotherapy and radiation as the standard of care. Use of gemcitabine-based chemotherapy alone has also been shown to provide a benefit, but 5‑year overall survival still remains less than 5%. Conventional radiotherapy is traditionally delivered over a six week period and high toxicity is seen with the concomitant use of chemotherapy. In contrast, SBRT can be delivered in 3–5 days and, when used as a component of combined modality therapy with gemcitabine, disruption to the timely delivery of chemotherapy is minimal. Early single-institution reports of SBRT for unresectable pancreatic carcinoma demonstrate excellent local control with acceptable toxicity. Use of SBRT in unresectable pancreatic carcinoma warrants further investigation in order to improve the survival of patients with historically poor outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Cancer)
Open AccessReview The Emerging Role of the Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/ Akt/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Signaling Network in Cancer Stem Cell Biology
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1576-1596; doi:10.3390/cancers2031576
Received: 23 July 2010 / Accepted: 16 August 2010 / Published: 18 August 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The cancer stem cell theory entails the existence of a hierarchically organized, rare population of cells which are responsible for tumor initiation, self-renewal/maintenance, and mutation accumulation. The cancer stem cell proposition could explain the high frequency of cancer relapse and resistance to currently
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The cancer stem cell theory entails the existence of a hierarchically organized, rare population of cells which are responsible for tumor initiation, self-renewal/maintenance, and mutation accumulation. The cancer stem cell proposition could explain the high frequency of cancer relapse and resistance to currently available therapies. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway regulates a wide array of physiological cell functions which include differentiation, proliferation, survival, metabolism, autophagy, and motility. Dysregulated PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling has been documented in many types of neoplasias. It is now emerging that this signaling network plays a key role in cancer stem cell biology. Interestingly, cancer stem cells displayed preferential sensitivity to pathway inhibition when compared to healthy stem cells. This observation provides the proof-of-principle that functional differences in signaling pathways between neoplastic stem cells and healthy stem cells could be identified. In this review, we present the evidence which links the signals emanating from the PI3K/Akt/mTOR cascade with the functions of cancer stem cells, both in solid and hematological tumors. We then highlight how targeting PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling with small molecules could improve cancer patient outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Stem Cells)
Open AccessReview ZEB1 in Pancreatic Cancer
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1617-1628; doi:10.3390/cancers2031617
Received: 30 June 2010 / Revised: 16 August 2010 / Accepted: 17 August 2010 / Published: 18 August 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most malignant human neoplasias. On the molecular level, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been demonstrated to contribute to the malignant phenotype of pancreatic cancer cells. ZEB1 is a transcriptional repressor that has been identified as an inducer of
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Pancreatic cancer is one of the most malignant human neoplasias. On the molecular level, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been demonstrated to contribute to the malignant phenotype of pancreatic cancer cells. ZEB1 is a transcriptional repressor that has been identified as an inducer of EMT. A negative feedback loop between ZEB1 and microRNA-200c has been shown to regulate this EMT induction in various models. With respect to pancreatic cancer, primary effects of EMT comprise increased local and distant tumor cell dissemination. Another recently described feature of the EMT is the acquisition of cancer stem cell traits. For pancreatic cancer cells, antagonism between ZEB1 and stemness-inhibiting micro-RNAs has been demonstrated to contribute to this process, providing experimental support for the migrating cancer stem cell (MCSC) hypothesis. ZEB1 has also been shown to be associated with drug resistance of pancreatic cancer cells. This article reviews the biological functions of ZEB1 with a focus on pancreatic cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Cancer Stem Cells in Pancreatic Cancer
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1629-1641; doi:10.3390/cancers2031629
Received: 2 July 2010 / Revised: 29 July 2010 / Accepted: 18 August 2010 / Published: 19 August 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (894 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignant solid tumor well-known by early metastasis, local invasion, resistance to standard chemo- and radiotherapy and poor prognosis. Increasing evidence indicates that pancreatic cancer is initiated and propagated by cancer stem cells (CSCs). Here we review the current
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Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignant solid tumor well-known by early metastasis, local invasion, resistance to standard chemo- and radiotherapy and poor prognosis. Increasing evidence indicates that pancreatic cancer is initiated and propagated by cancer stem cells (CSCs). Here we review the current research results regarding CSCs in pancreatic cancer and discuss the different markers identifying pancreatic CSCs. This review will focus on metastasis, microRNA regulation and anti-CSC therapy in pancreatic cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Cancer)
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Open AccessReview The Clinical Significance of Unknown Sequence Variants in BRCA Genes
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1644-1660; doi:10.3390/cancers2031644
Received: 29 June 2010 / Revised: 8 July 2010 / Accepted: 31 August 2010 / Published: 10 September 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (405 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Germline mutations in BRCA1/2 genes are responsible for a large proportionof hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancers. Many highly penetrant predisposition alleles have been identified and include frameshift or nonsense mutations that lead to the translation of a truncated protein. Other alleles contain
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Germline mutations in BRCA1/2 genes are responsible for a large proportion of hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancers. Many highly penetrant predisposition alleles have been identified and include frameshift or nonsense mutations that lead to the translation of a truncated protein. Other alleles contain missense mutations, which result in amino acid substitution and intronic variants with splicing effect. The discovery of variants of uncertain/unclassified significance (VUS) is a result that can complicate rather than improve the risk assessment process. VUSs are mainly missense mutations, but also include a number of intronic variants and in-frame deletions and insertions. Over 2,000 unique BRCA1 and BRCA2 missense variants have been identified, located throughout the whole gene (Breast Cancer Information Core Database (BIC database)). Up to 10–20% of the BRCA tests report the identification of a variant of uncertain significance. There are many methods to discriminate deleterious/high-risk from neutral/low-risk unclassified variants (i.e., analysis of the cosegregation in families of the VUS, measure of the influence of the VUSs on the wild-type protein activity, comparison of sequence conservation across multiple species), but only an integrated analysis of these methods can contribute to a real interpretation of the functional and clinical role of the discussed variants. The aim of our manuscript is to review the studies on BRCA VUS in order to clarify their clinical relevance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiologic Research and Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Interaction of Stellate Cells with Pancreatic Carcinoma Cells
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1661-1682; doi:10.3390/cancers2031661
Received: 28 July 2010 / Revised: 2 September 2010 / Accepted: 2 September 2010 / Published: 9 September 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is characterized by its late detection, aggressive growth, intense infiltration into adjacent tissue, early metastasis, resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy and a strong “desmoplastic reaction”. The dense stroma surrounding carcinoma cells is composed of fibroblasts, activated stellate cells (myofibroblast-like cells), various
[...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is characterized by its late detection, aggressive growth, intense infiltration into adjacent tissue, early metastasis, resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy and a strong “desmoplastic reaction”. The dense stroma surrounding carcinoma cells is composed of fibroblasts, activated stellate cells (myofibroblast-like cells), various inflammatory cells, proliferating vascular structures, collagens and fibronectin. In particular the cellular components of the stroma produce the tumor microenvironment, which plays a critical role in tumor growth, invasion, spreading, metastasis, angiogenesis, inhibition of anoikis, and chemoresistance. Fibroblasts, myofibroblasts and activated stellate cells produce the extracellular matrix components and are thought to interact actively with tumor cells, thereby promoting cancer progression. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of the role of pancreatic stellate cells (PSC) in the desmoplastic response of pancreas cancer and the effects of PSC on tumor progression, metastasis and drug resistance. Finally we present some novel ideas for tumor therapy by interfering with the cancer cell-host interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Epigenetic Therapy in Human Choriocarcinoma
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1683-1688; doi:10.3390/cancers2031683
Received: 18 August 2010 / Revised: 3 September 2010 / Accepted: 9 September 2010 / Published: 10 September 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Because epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in the repression of tumor suppressor genes and promotion of tumorigenesis in choriocarcinomas, novel compounds endowed with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory activity are an attractive therapeutic approach. HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) were able to mediate
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Because epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in the repression of tumor suppressor genes and promotion of tumorigenesis in choriocarcinomas, novel compounds endowed with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory activity are an attractive therapeutic approach. HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) were able to mediate inhibition of cell growth, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and the expression of genes related to the malignant phenotype in choriocarcinoma cell lines. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDACIs in treating choriocarcinoma, with a special focus on preclinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics of Cancer Progression)
Open AccessReview Aberrant Crypt Foci: The Case for Inclusion as a Biomarker for Colon Cancer
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1705-1716; doi:10.3390/cancers2031705
Received: 28 August 2010 / Accepted: 14 September 2010 / Published: 16 September 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (269 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) are one of the earliest histopathological manifestations of colon cancer. In this review, we critically present the molecular, cellular, histopathological, and chemopreventive evidence that ACF are relevant biomarkers for colon cancer. The laboratory and clinical evidence are highly suggestive
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Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) are one of the earliest histopathological manifestations of colon cancer. In this review, we critically present the molecular, cellular, histopathological, and chemopreventive evidence that ACF are relevant biomarkers for colon cancer. The laboratory and clinical evidence are highly suggestive that ACF are in the pathway leading to colon cancer, but not all ACF will do so. The possible fate and outcome of ACF in the progression toward colon cancer may be dependent on a number of features that define their predictive power for the prevention or progression of cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers: Oncology Studies)
Open AccessReview 5-FU Metabolism in Cancer and Orally-Administrable 5-FU Drugs
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1717-1730; doi:10.3390/cancers2031717
Received: 23 August 2010 / Revised: 14 September 2010 / Accepted: 15 September 2010 / Published: 17 September 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is a key anticancer drug that for its broad antitumor activity, as well as for its synergism with other anticancer drugs, has been used to treat various types of malignancies. In chemotherapeutic regimens, 5-FU has been combined with oxaliplatin, irinotecan and
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5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is a key anticancer drug that for its broad antitumor activity, as well as for its synergism with other anticancer drugs, has been used to treat various types of malignancies. In chemotherapeutic regimens, 5-FU has been combined with oxaliplatin, irinotecan and other drugs as a continuous intravenous infusion. Recent clinical chemotherapy studies have shown that several of the regimens with oral 5-FU drugs are not inferior compared to those involving continuous 5-FU infusion chemotherapy, and it is probable that in some regimens continuous 5-FU infusion can be replaced by oral 5-FU drugs. Historically, both the pharmaceutical industry and academia in Japan have been involved in the development of oral 5-FU drugs, and this review will focus on the current knowledge of 5-FU anabolism and catabolism, and the available information about the various orally-administrable 5-FU drugs, including UFT, S-1 and capecitabine. Clinical studies comparing the efficacy and adverse events of S-1 and capecitabine have been reported, and the accumulated results should be utilized to optimize the treatment of cancer patients. On the other hand, it is essential to elucidate the pharmacokinetic mechanism of each of the newly-developed drugs, to correctly select the drugs for each patient in the clinical setting, and to further develop optimized drug derivatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Death and Cancer)
Open AccessReview Bioelectric Applications for Treatment of Melanoma
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1731-1770; doi:10.3390/cancers2031731
Received: 27 August 2010 / Revised: 14 September 2010 / Accepted: 15 September 2010 / Published: 27 September 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (400 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two new cancer therapies apply bioelectric principles. These methods target tumor structures locally and function by applying millisecond electric fields to deliver plasmid DNA encoding cytokines using electrogene transfer (EGT) or by applying rapid rise-time nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs). EGT has been
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Two new cancer therapies apply bioelectric principles. These methods target tumor structures locally and function by applying millisecond electric fields to deliver plasmid DNA encoding cytokines using electrogene transfer (EGT) or by applying rapid rise-time nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs). EGT has been used to locally deliver cytokines such as IL-12 to activate an immune response, resulting in bystander effects. NsPEFs locally induce apoptosis-like effects and affect vascular networks, both promoting tumor demise and restoration of normal vascular homeostasis. EGT with IL-12 is in melanoma clinical trials and nsPEFs are used in models with B16F10 melanoma in vitro and in mice. Applications of bioelectrics, using conventional electroporation and extensions of it, provide effective alternative therapies for melanoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Concepts in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Cutaneous Melanoma)

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Open AccessCorrection Werner et al. Identification of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I Receptor (IGF-IR) Gene Promoter-Binding Proteins in Estrogen Receptor (ER)-Positive and ER-Depleted Breast Cancer Cells
Cancers 2010, 2(3), 1642-1643; doi:10.3390/cancers2031642
Received: 29 July 2010 / Published: 30 August 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract We have found a mistake in our paper recently published in Cancers [1]. [...] Full article

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