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Cancers, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2014), Pages 625-1219

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Effect of the Premalignant and Tumor Microenvironment on Immune Cell Cytokine Production in Head and Neck Cancer
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 756-770; doi:10.3390/cancers6020756
Received: 10 January 2014 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (574 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is marked by immunosuppression, a state in which the established tumor escapes immune attack. However, the impact of the premalignant and tumor microenvironments on immune reactivity has yet to be elucidated. The purpose of this study
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Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is marked by immunosuppression, a state in which the established tumor escapes immune attack. However, the impact of the premalignant and tumor microenvironments on immune reactivity has yet to be elucidated. The purpose of this study was to determine how soluble mediators from cells established from carcinogen-induced oral premalignant lesions and HNSCC modulate immune cell cytokine production. It was found that premalignant cells secrete significantly increased levels of G-CSF, RANTES, MCP-1, and PGE2 compared to HNSCC cells. Splenocytes incubated with premalignant supernatant secreted significantly increased levels of Th1-, Th2-, and Th17-associated cytokines compared to splenocytes incubated with HNSCC supernatant. These studies demonstrate that whereas the premalignant microenvironment elicits proinflammatory cytokine production, the tumor microenvironment is significantly less immune stimulatory and may contribute to immunosuppression in established HNSCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytokines in Cancer)
Open AccessArticle lgl Regulates the Hippo Pathway Independently of Fat/Dachs, Kibra/Expanded/Merlin and dRASSF/dSTRIPAK
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 879-896; doi:10.3390/cancers6020879
Received: 6 May 2013 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1942 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In both Drosophila and mammalian systems, the Hippo (Hpo) signalling pathway controls tissue growth by inhibiting cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis. The core pathway consists of a protein kinase Hpo (MST1/2 in mammals) that is regulated by a number of upstream inputs including
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In both Drosophila and mammalian systems, the Hippo (Hpo) signalling pathway controls tissue growth by inhibiting cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis. The core pathway consists of a protein kinase Hpo (MST1/2 in mammals) that is regulated by a number of upstream inputs including Drosophila Ras Association Factor, dRASSF. We have previously shown in the developing Drosophila eye epithelium that loss of the apico-basal cell polarity regulator lethal-(2)-giant-larvae (lgl), and the concomitant increase in aPKC activity, results in ectopic proliferation and suppression of developmental cell death by blocking Hpo pathway signalling. Here, we further explore how Lgl/aPKC interacts with the Hpo pathway. Deregulation of the Hpo pathway by Lgl depletion is associated with the mislocalization of Hpo and dRASSF. We demonstrate that Lgl/aPKC regulate the Hpo pathway independently of upstream inputs from Fat/Dachs and the Kibra/Expanded/Merlin complex. We show depletion of Lgl also results in accumulation and mislocalization of components of the dSTRIPAK complex, a major phosphatase complex that directly binds to dRASSF and represses Hpo activity. However, depleting dSTRIPAK components, or removal of dRASSF did not rescue the lgl/ or aPKC overexpression phenotypes. Thus, Lgl/aPKC regulate Hpo activity by a novel mechanism, independently of dRASSF and dSTRIPAK. Surprisingly, removal of dRASSF in tissue with increased aPKC activity results in mild tissue overgrowth, indicating that in this context dRASSF acts as a tumor suppressor. This effect was independent of the Hpo and Ras Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathways, suggesting that dRASSF regulates a novel pathway to control tissue growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RASSF Signalling in Cancer)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Heat Shock Response Associated with Hepatocarcinogenesis in a Murine Model of Hereditary Tyrosinemia Type I
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 998-1019; doi:10.3390/cancers6020998
Received: 6 December 2013 / Revised: 15 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1072 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Hereditary Tyrosinemia type 1 (HT1) is a metabolic liver disease caused by genetic defects of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH), an enzyme necessary to complete the breakdown of tyrosine. The severe hepatic dysfunction caused by the lack of this enzyme is prevented by the therapeutic
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Hereditary Tyrosinemia type 1 (HT1) is a metabolic liver disease caused by genetic defects of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH), an enzyme necessary to complete the breakdown of tyrosine. The severe hepatic dysfunction caused by the lack of this enzyme is prevented by the therapeutic use of NTBC (2-[2-nitro-4-(trifluoromethyl)benzoyl] cyclohexane-1,3-dione). However despite the treatment, chronic hepatopathy and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are still observed in some HT1 patients. Growing evidence show the important role of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in many cellular processes and their involvement in pathological diseases including cancer. Their survival-promoting effect by modulation of the apoptotic machinery is often correlated with poor prognosis and resistance to therapy in a number of cancers. Here, we sought to gain insight into the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with liver dysfunction and tumor development in a murine model of HT1. Differential gene expression patterns in livers of mice under HT1 stress, induced by drug retrieval, have shown deregulation of stress and cell death resistance genes. Among them, genes coding for HSPB and HSPA members, and for anti-apoptotic BCL-2 related mitochondrial proteins were associated with the hepatocarcinogenetic process. Our data highlight the variation of stress pathways related to HT1 hepatocarcinogenesis suggesting the role of HSPs in rendering tyrosinemia-affected liver susceptible to the development of HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heat Shock Proteins in Cancer: Chaperones of Tumorigenesis)
Open AccessArticle An Impermeant Ganetespib Analog Inhibits Extracellular Hsp90-Mediated Cancer Cell Migration that Involves Lysyl Oxidase 2-like Protein
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1031-1046; doi:10.3390/cancers6021031
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (873 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extracellular Hsp90 (eHsp90) activates a number of client proteins outside of cancer cells required for migration and invasion. Therefore, eHsp90 may serve as a novel target for anti-metastatic drugs as its inhibition using impermeant Hsp90 inhibitors would not affect the numerous vital intracellular
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Extracellular Hsp90 (eHsp90) activates a number of client proteins outside of cancer cells required for migration and invasion. Therefore, eHsp90 may serve as a novel target for anti-metastatic drugs as its inhibition using impermeant Hsp90 inhibitors would not affect the numerous vital intracellular Hsp90 functions in normal cells. While some eHsp90 clients are known, it is important to establish other proteins that act outside the cell to validate eHsp90 as a drug target to limit cancer spread. Using mass spectrometry we identified two precursor proteins Galectin 3 binding protein (G3BP) and Lysyl oxidase 2-like protein (LOXL2) that associate with eHsp90 in MDA-MB231 breast cancer cell conditioned media and confirmed that LOXL2 binds to eHsp90 in immunoprecipitates. We introduce a novel impermeant Hsp90 inhibitor STA-12-7191 derived from ganetespib and show that it is markedly less toxic to cells and can inhibit cancer cell migration in a dose dependent manner. We used STA-12-7191 to test if LOXL2 and G3BP are potential eHsp90 clients. We showed that while LOXL2 can increase wound healing and compensate for STA-12-7191-mediated inhibition of wound closure, addition of G3BP had no affect on this assay. These findings support of role for LOXL2 in eHsp90 stimulated cancer cell migration and provide preliminary evidence for the use of STA-12-7191 to inhibit eHsp90 to limit cancer invasion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heat Shock Proteins in Cancer: Chaperones of Tumorigenesis)
Open AccessArticle Inflammatory Cell Distribution in Primary Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1047-1064; doi:10.3390/cancers6021047
Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive poorly differentiated neuroendocrine cutaneous carcinoma associated with older age, immunodeficiency and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) integrated within malignant cells. The presence of intra-tumoural CD8+ lymphocytes reportedly predicts better MCC-specific survival. In this study, the distribution of
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Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive poorly differentiated neuroendocrine cutaneous carcinoma associated with older age, immunodeficiency and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) integrated within malignant cells. The presence of intra-tumoural CD8+ lymphocytes reportedly predicts better MCC-specific survival. In this study, the distribution of inflammatory cells and properties of CD8+ T lymphocytes within 20 primary MCC specimens were characterised using immunohistochemistry and multicolour immunofluorescent staining coupled to confocal microscopy. CD8+ cells and CD68+ macrophages were identified in 19/20 primary MCC. CD20+ B cells were present in 5/10, CD4+ cells in 10/10 and FoxP3+ cells in 7/10 specimens. Only two specimens had almost no inflammatory cells. Within specimens, inflammatory cells followed the same patchy distribution, focused at the edge of sheets and nodules and, in some cases, more intense in trabecular areas. CD8+ cells were outside vessels on the edge of tumour. Those few within malignant sheets typically lined up in fine septa not contacting MCC cells expressing MCPyV large T antigen. The homeostatic chemokine CXCL12 was expressed outside malignant nodules whereas its receptor CXCR4 was identified within tumour but not on CD8+ cells. CD8+ cells lacked CXCR3 and granzyme B expression irrespective of location within stroma versus malignant nodules or of the intensity of the intra-tumoural infiltrate. In summary, diverse inflammatory cells were organised around the margin of malignant deposits suggesting response to aberrant signaling, but were unable to penetrate the tumour microenvironment itself to enable an immune response against malignant cells or their polyomavirus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Merkel Cell Carcinoma)
Open AccessArticle The Role of Neutrophil Myeloperoxidase in Models of Lung Tumor Development
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1111-1127; doi:10.3390/cancers6021111
Received: 4 March 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1057 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chronic inflammation plays a key tumor-promoting role in lung cancer. Our previous studies in mice demonstrated that neutrophils are critical mediators of tumor promotion in methylcholanthrene (MCA)-initiated, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)-promoted lung carcinogenesis. In the present study we investigated the role of neutrophil myeloperoxidase
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Chronic inflammation plays a key tumor-promoting role in lung cancer. Our previous studies in mice demonstrated that neutrophils are critical mediators of tumor promotion in methylcholanthrene (MCA)-initiated, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)-promoted lung carcinogenesis. In the present study we investigated the role of neutrophil myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in this inflammation promoted model. Increased levels of MPO protein and activity were present in the lungs of mice administered BHT. Treatment of mice with N-acetyl lysyltyrosylcysteine amide (KYC), a novel tripeptide inhibitor of MPO, during the inflammatory stage reduced tumor burden. In a separate tumor model, KYC treatment of a Lewis Lung Carcinoma (LLC) tumor graft in mice had no effect on tumor growth, however, mice genetically deficient in MPO had significantly reduced LLC tumor growth. Our observations suggest that MPO catalytic activity is critical during the early stages of tumor development. However, during the later stages of tumor progression, MPO expression independent of catalytic activity appears to be required. Our studies advocate for the use of MPO inhibitors in a lung cancer prevention setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco-related Cancers)

Review

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Open AccessReview MicroRNAs in the Regulation of MMPs and Metastasis
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 625-645; doi:10.3390/cancers6020625
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 21 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 25 March 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
MicroRNAs are integral molecules in the regulation of numerous physiological cellular processes including cellular differentiation, proliferation, metabolism and apoptosis. Their function transcends normal physiology and extends into several pathological entities including cancer. The matrix metalloproteinases play pivotal roles, not only in tissue remodeling,
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MicroRNAs are integral molecules in the regulation of numerous physiological cellular processes including cellular differentiation, proliferation, metabolism and apoptosis. Their function transcends normal physiology and extends into several pathological entities including cancer. The matrix metalloproteinases play pivotal roles, not only in tissue remodeling, but also in several physiological and pathological processes, including those supporting cancer progression. Additionally, the contribution of active MMPs in metastatic spread and the establishment of secondary metastasis, via the targeting of several substrates, are also well established. This review focuses on the important miRNAs that have been found to impact cancer progression and metastasis through direct and indirect interactions with the matrix metalloproteinases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Matrix Metalloproteinases in Cancer Progress)
Open AccessReview Stat3 and Gap Junctions in Normal and Lung Cancer Cells
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 646-662; doi:10.3390/cancers6020646
Received: 14 November 2013 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 25 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gap junctions are channels linking the interiors of neighboring cells. A reduction in gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) correlates with high cell proliferation, while oncogene products such as Src suppress GJIC, through the Ras/Raf/Erk and other effector pathways. High Src activity was found
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Gap junctions are channels linking the interiors of neighboring cells. A reduction in gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) correlates with high cell proliferation, while oncogene products such as Src suppress GJIC, through the Ras/Raf/Erk and other effector pathways. High Src activity was found to correlate with high levels of the Src effector, Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription-3 (Stat3) in its tyrosine-705 phosphorylated, i.e., transcriptionally activated form, in the majority of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer lines examined. However, Stat3 inhibition did not restore GJIC in lines with high Src activity. In the contrary, Stat3 inhibition in normal cells or in lines with low Src activity and high GJIC eliminated gap junctional communication. Therefore, despite the fact that Stat3 is growth promoting and in an activated form acts like an oncogene, it is actually required for junctional permeability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STAT3 Signalling in Cancer: Friend or Foe)
Open AccessReview Structural Pathways of Cytokines May Illuminate Their Roles in Regulation of Cancer Development and Immunotherapy
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 663-683; doi:10.3390/cancers6020663
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 11 March 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 25 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (5474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cytokines are messengers between tissues and the immune system. They play essential roles in cancer initiation, promotion, metastasis, and immunotherapy. Structural pathways of cytokine signaling which contain their interactions can help understand their action in the tumor microenvironment. Here, our aim is to
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Cytokines are messengers between tissues and the immune system. They play essential roles in cancer initiation, promotion, metastasis, and immunotherapy. Structural pathways of cytokine signaling which contain their interactions can help understand their action in the tumor microenvironment. Here, our aim is to provide an overview of the role of cytokines in tumor development from a structural perspective. Atomic details of protein-protein interactions can help in understanding how an upstream signal is transduced; how higher-order oligomerization modes of proteins can influence their function; how mutations, inhibitors or antagonists can change cellular consequences; why the same protein can lead to distinct outcomes, and which alternative parallel pathways can take over. They also help to design drugs/inhibitors against proteins de novo or by mimicking natural antagonists as in the case of interferon-γ. Since the structural database (PDB) is limited, structural pathways are largely built from a series of predicted binary protein-protein interactions. Below, to illustrate how protein-protein interactions can help illuminate roles played by cytokines, we model some cytokine interaction complexes exploiting a powerful algorithm (PRotein Interactions by Structural Matching—PRISM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytokines in Cancer)
Open AccessReview Can Biomarker Assessment on Circulating Tumor Cells Help Direct Therapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer?
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 684-707; doi:10.3390/cancers6020684
Received: 10 September 2013 / Revised: 24 October 2013 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 25 March 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Circulating tumor cell (CTC) count has prognostic significance in metastatic breast cancer, but the predictive utility of CTCs is uncertain. Molecular studies on CTCs have often been limited by a low number of CTCs isolated from a high background of leukocytes. Improved enrichment
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Circulating tumor cell (CTC) count has prognostic significance in metastatic breast cancer, but the predictive utility of CTCs is uncertain. Molecular studies on CTCs have often been limited by a low number of CTCs isolated from a high background of leukocytes. Improved enrichment techniques are now allowing molecular characterisation of single CTCs, whereby molecular markers on single CTCs may provide a real-time assessment of tumor biomarker status from a blood test or “liquid biopsy”, potentially negating the need for a more invasive tissue biopsy. The predictive ability of CTC biomarker analysis has predominantly been assessed in relation to HER2, with variable and inconclusive results. Limited data exist for other biomarkers, such as the estrogen receptor. In addition to the need to define and validate the most accurate and reproducible method for CTC molecular analysis, the clinical relevance of biomarkers, including gain of HER2 on CTC after HER2 negative primary breast cancer, remains uncertain. This review summarises the currently available data relating to biomarker evaluation on CTCs and its role in directing management in metastatic breast cancer, discusses limitations, and outlines measures that may enable future development of this approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Tumor Cells in Cancers)
Open AccessReview The Role of STAT3 in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 708-722; doi:10.3390/cancers6020708
Received: 5 December 2013 / Revised: 23 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 26 March 2014
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (495 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Persistent phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) has been demonstrated in 22%~65% of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). STAT3 activation is mediated by receptor tyrosine kinases, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and MET, cytokine receptors, such as
[...] Read more.
Persistent phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) has been demonstrated in 22%~65% of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). STAT3 activation is mediated by receptor tyrosine kinases, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and MET, cytokine receptors, such as IL-6, and non-receptor kinases, such as Src. Overexpression of total or phosphorylated STAT3 in resected NSCLC leads to poor prognosis. In a preclinical study, overexpression of STAT3 was correlated with chemoresistance and radioresistance in NSCLC cells. Here, we review the role of STAT3 and the mechanisms of treatment resistance in malignant diseases, especially NSCLC. As STAT3 is a critical mediator of the oncogenic effects of EGFR mutations, we discuss STAT3 pathways in EGFR-mutated NSCLC, referring to mechanisms of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STAT3 Signalling in Cancer: Friend or Foe)
Open AccessReview Reciprocal Supportive Interplay between Glioblastoma and Tumor-Associated Macrophages
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 723-740; doi:10.3390/cancers6020723
Received: 13 February 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 March 2014 / Published: 26 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most lethal and aggressive type of primary brain malignancy. Failures of the traditional therapies in treating GBMs raise the urgent requirement to develop new approaches with more responsive targets. The phenomenon of the high infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages
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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most lethal and aggressive type of primary brain malignancy. Failures of the traditional therapies in treating GBMs raise the urgent requirement to develop new approaches with more responsive targets. The phenomenon of the high infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) into GBMs has been observed for a long time. Regardless of the limited knowledge about TAMs, the high percentage of supportive TAM in GBM tumor mass makes it possible to be a good target for GBM treatment. In this review, we discussed the unique features of TAMs in GBMs, including their origin, the tumor-supportive properties, the secreted cytokines, and the relevant mechanisms. In addition, we tried to interpret the current understandings about the interplay between GBM cancer cells and TAMs. Finally, the translational studies of targeting TAMs were also described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glioblastoma)
Open AccessReview HiJAK’d Signaling; the STAT3 Paradox in Senescence and Cancer Progression
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 741-755; doi:10.3390/cancers6020741
Received: 8 February 2014 / Revised: 8 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 26 March 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (978 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Clinical and epidemiological data have associated chronic inflammation with cancer progression. Most tumors show evidence of infiltrating immune and inflammatory cells, and chronic inflammatory disorders are known to increase the overall risk of cancer development. While immune cells are often observed in early
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Clinical and epidemiological data have associated chronic inflammation with cancer progression. Most tumors show evidence of infiltrating immune and inflammatory cells, and chronic inflammatory disorders are known to increase the overall risk of cancer development. While immune cells are often observed in early hyperplastic lesions in vivo, there remains debate over whether these immune cells and the cytokines they produce in the developing hyperplastic microenvironment act to inhibit or facilitate tumor development. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) family of cytokines, which includes IL-6 and oncostatin M (OSM), among others (LIF, CT-1, CNTF, and CLC), are secreted by immune cells, stromal cells, and epithelial cells, and regulate diverse biological processes. Each of the IL-6 family cytokines signals through a distinct receptor complex, yet each receptor complex uses a shared gp130 subunit, which is critical for signal transduction following cytokine binding. Activation of gp130 results in the activation of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3), and the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) and Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase (PI3K) signaling cascades. Tumor suppressive signaling can often be observed in normal cells following prolonged STAT3 activation. However, there is mounting evidence that the IL-6 family cytokines can contribute to later stages of tumor progression in many ways. Here we will review how the microenvironmental IL-6 family cytokine OSM influences each stage of the transformation process. We discuss the intrinsic adaptations a developing cancer cell must make in order to tolerate and circumvent OSM-mediated growth suppression, as well as the OSM effectors that are hijacked during tumor expansion and metastasis. We propose that combining current therapies with new ones that suppress the signals generated from the tumor microenvironment will significantly impact an oncologist’s ability to treat cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytokines in Cancer)
Open AccessReview BRCA1 and Oxidative Stress
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 771-795; doi:10.3390/cancers6020771
Received: 19 December 2013 / Revised: 20 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) has been well established as a tumor suppressor and functions primarily by maintaining genome integrity. Genome stability is compromised when cells are exposed to oxidative stress. Increasing evidence suggests that BRCA1 regulates oxidative stress and this
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The breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) has been well established as a tumor suppressor and functions primarily by maintaining genome integrity. Genome stability is compromised when cells are exposed to oxidative stress. Increasing evidence suggests that BRCA1 regulates oxidative stress and this may be another mechanism in preventing carcinogenesis in normal cells. Oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is implicated in carcinogenesis and is used strategically to treat human cancer. Thus, it is essential to understand the function of BRCA1 in oxidative stress regulation. In this review, we briefly summarize BRCA1’s many binding partners and mechanisms, and discuss data supporting the function of BRCA1 in oxidative stress regulation. Finally, we consider its significance in prevention and/or treatment of BRCA1-related cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Oxidatively-Induced DNA Damage in Carcinogenesis)
Open AccessReview Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL), Pro-Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (pro-MMP-9) and Their Complex Pro-MMP-9/NGAL in Leukaemias
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 796-812; doi:10.3390/cancers6020796
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 4 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) have gained attention as cancer biomarkers. The inactive zymogen form of MMP-9 (pro-MMP-9) also exists as a disulphide-linked heterodimer bound to NGAL in humans. Leukaemias represent a heterogeneous group of neoplasms, which vary in their
[...] Read more.
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) have gained attention as cancer biomarkers. The inactive zymogen form of MMP-9 (pro-MMP-9) also exists as a disulphide-linked heterodimer bound to NGAL in humans. Leukaemias represent a heterogeneous group of neoplasms, which vary in their clinical behavior and pathophysiology. In this review, we summarize the current literature on the expression profiles of pro-MMP-9 and NGAL as prognostic factors in leukaemias. We also report the expression of the pro-MMP-9/NGAL complex in these diseases. We discuss the roles of (pro)-MMP-9 (active and latent forms) and NGAL in tumour development, and evaluate the mechanisms by which pro-MMP-9/NGAL may influence the actions of (pro)-MMP-9 and NGAL in cancer. Emerging knowledge about the coexpression and the biology of (pro)-MMP-9, NGAL and their complex in cancer including leukaemia may improve treatment outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Matrix Metalloproteinases in Cancer Progress)
Figures

Open AccessReview Critical Role of Aberrant Angiogenesis in the Development of Tumor Hypoxia and Associated Radioresistance
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 813-828; doi:10.3390/cancers6020813
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 21 March 2014 / Published: 8 April 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (502 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Newly formed microvessels in most solid tumors show an abnormal morphology and thus do not fulfil the metabolic demands of the growing tumor mass. Due to the chaotic and heterogeneous tumor microcirculation, a hostile tumor microenvironment develops, that is characterized inter alia by
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Newly formed microvessels in most solid tumors show an abnormal morphology and thus do not fulfil the metabolic demands of the growing tumor mass. Due to the chaotic and heterogeneous tumor microcirculation, a hostile tumor microenvironment develops, that is characterized inter alia by local hypoxia, which in turn can stimulate the HIF-system. The latter can lead to tumor progression and may be involved in hypoxia-mediated radioresistance of tumor cells. Herein, cellular and molecular mechanisms in tumor angiogenesis are discussed that, among others, might impact hypoxia-related radioresistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumour Angiogenesis)
Open AccessReview The Multifaceted Roles of STAT3 Signaling in the Progression of Prostate Cancer
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 829-859; doi:10.3390/cancers6020829
Received: 8 February 2014 / Revised: 11 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 9 April 2014
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 governs essential functions of epithelial and hematopoietic cells that are often dysregulated in cancer. While the role for STAT3 in promoting the progression of many solid and hematopoietic malignancies is well established, this review will
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The signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 governs essential functions of epithelial and hematopoietic cells that are often dysregulated in cancer. While the role for STAT3 in promoting the progression of many solid and hematopoietic malignancies is well established, this review will focus on the importance of STAT3 in prostate cancer progression to the incurable metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Indeed, STAT3 integrates different signaling pathways involved in the reactivation of androgen receptor pathway, stem like cells and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition that drive progression to mCRPC. As equally important, STAT3 regulates interactions between tumor cells and the microenvironment as well as immune cell activation. This makes it a major factor in facilitating prostate cancer escape from detection of the immune response, promoting an immunosuppressive environment that allows growth and metastasis. Based on the multifaceted nature of STAT3 signaling in the progression to mCRPC, the promise of STAT3 as a therapeutic target to prevent prostate cancer progression and the variety of STAT3 inhibitors used in cancer therapies is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STAT3 Signalling in Cancer: Friend or Foe)
Open AccessReview The Multifunctional Protein Kinase C-ε in Cancer Development and Progression
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 860-878; doi:10.3390/cancers6020860
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 27 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The protein kinase C (PKC) family proteins are important signal transducers and have long been the focus of cancer research. PKCɛ, a member of this family, is overexpressed in most solid tumors and plays critical roles in different processes that lead to cancer
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The protein kinase C (PKC) family proteins are important signal transducers and have long been the focus of cancer research. PKCɛ, a member of this family, is overexpressed in most solid tumors and plays critical roles in different processes that lead to cancer development. Studies using cell lines and animal models demonstrated the transforming potential of PKCɛ. While earlier research established the survival functions of PKCɛ, recent studies revealed its role in cell migration, invasion and cancer metastasis. PKCɛ has also been implicated in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), which may be the underlying mechanism by which it contributes to cell motility. In addition, PKCɛ affects cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions by direct regulation of the cytoskeletal elements. Recent studies have also linked PKCɛ signaling to cancer stem cell functioning. This review focuses on the role of PKCɛ in different processes that lead to cancer development and progression. We also discussed current literatures on the pursuit of PKCɛ as a target for cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinases and Cancer)
Figures

Open AccessReview STAT3 Target Genes Relevant to Human Cancers
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 897-925; doi:10.3390/cancers6020897
Received: 3 January 2014 / Revised: 22 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 50 | PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since its discovery, the STAT3 transcription factor has been extensively studied for its function as a transcriptional regulator and its role as a mediator of development, normal physiology, and pathology of many diseases, including cancers. These efforts have uncovered an array of genes
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Since its discovery, the STAT3 transcription factor has been extensively studied for its function as a transcriptional regulator and its role as a mediator of development, normal physiology, and pathology of many diseases, including cancers. These efforts have uncovered an array of genes that can be positively and negatively regulated by STAT3, alone and in cooperation with other transcription factors. Through regulating gene expression, STAT3 has been demonstrated to play a pivotal role in many cellular processes including oncogenesis, tumor growth and progression, and stemness. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that STAT3 may behave as a tumor suppressor by activating expression of genes known to inhibit tumorigenesis. Additional evidence suggested that STAT3 may elicit opposing effects depending on cellular context and tumor types. These mixed results signify the need for a deeper understanding of STAT3, including its upstream regulators, parallel transcription co-regulators, and downstream target genes. To help facilitate fulfilling this unmet need, this review will be primarily focused on STAT3 downstream target genes that have been validated to associate with tumorigenesis and/or malignant biology of human cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STAT3 Signalling in Cancer: Friend or Foe)
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Open AccessReview Transcription Factor STAT3 as a Novel Molecular Target for Cancer Prevention
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 926-957; doi:10.3390/cancers6020926
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 11 March 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 42 | PDF Full-text (1068 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (STATs) are a family of transcription factors that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, immune and inflammatory responses, and angiogenesis. Cumulative evidence has established that STAT3 has a critical role in the development of multiple cancer types. Because
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Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (STATs) are a family of transcription factors that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, immune and inflammatory responses, and angiogenesis. Cumulative evidence has established that STAT3 has a critical role in the development of multiple cancer types. Because it is constitutively activated during disease progression and metastasis in a variety of cancers, STAT3 has promise as a drug target for cancer therapeutics. Recently, STAT3 was found to have an important role in maintaining cancer stem cells in vitro and in mouse tumor models, suggesting STAT3 is integrally involved in tumor initiation, progression and maintenance. STAT3 has been traditionally considered as nontargetable or undruggable, and the lag in developing effective STAT3 inhibitors contributes to the current lack of FDA-approved STAT3 inhibitors. Recent advances in cancer biology and drug discovery efforts have shed light on targeting STAT3 globally and/or specifically for cancer therapy. In this review, we summarize current literature and discuss the potential importance of STAT3 as a novel target for cancer prevention and of STAT3 inhibitors as effective chemopreventive agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STAT3 Signalling in Cancer: Friend or Foe)
Open AccessReview STAT3 Activity and Function in Cancer: Modulation by STAT5 and miR-146b
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 958-968; doi:10.3390/cancers6020958
Received: 24 January 2014 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (513 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The transcription factor STAT3 regulates genes that control critical cellular processes such as proliferation, survival, pluripotency, and motility. Thus, under physiological conditions, the transcriptional function of STAT3 is tightly regulated as one part of a complex signaling matrix. When these processes are subverted
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The transcription factor STAT3 regulates genes that control critical cellular processes such as proliferation, survival, pluripotency, and motility. Thus, under physiological conditions, the transcriptional function of STAT3 is tightly regulated as one part of a complex signaling matrix. When these processes are subverted through mutation or epigenetic events, STAT3 becomes highly active and drives elevated expression of genes underlying these phenotypes, leading to malignant cellular behavior. However, even in the presence of activated STAT3, other cellular modulators can have a major impact on the biological properties of a cancer cell, which is reflected in the clinical behavior of a tumor. Recent evidence has suggested that two such key modulators are the activation status of other STAT family members, particularly STAT5, and the expression of STAT3-regulated genes that are part of negative feedback circuits, including microRNAs such as miR-146b. With attention to these newly emerging areas, we will gain greater insight into the consequence of STAT3 activation in the biology of human cancers. In addition, understanding these subtleties of STAT3 signaling in cancer pathogenesis will allow the development of more rational molecular approaches to cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STAT3 Signalling in Cancer: Friend or Foe)
Open AccessReview Role of Tertiary Lymphoid Structures (TLS) in Anti-Tumor Immunity: Potential Tumor-Induced Cytokines/Chemokines that Regulate TLS Formation in Epithelial-Derived Cancers
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 969-997; doi:10.3390/cancers6020969
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (405 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Following the successes of monoclonal antibody immunotherapies (trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and rituximab (Rituxan®)) and the first approved cancer vaccine, Provenge® (sipuleucel-T), investigations into the immune system and how it can be modified by a tumor has become an exciting
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Following the successes of monoclonal antibody immunotherapies (trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and rituximab (Rituxan®)) and the first approved cancer vaccine, Provenge® (sipuleucel-T), investigations into the immune system and how it can be modified by a tumor has become an exciting and promising new field of cancer research. Dozens of clinical trials for new antibodies, cancer and adjuvant vaccines, and autologous T and dendritic cell transfers are ongoing in hopes of identifying ways to re-awaken the immune system and force an anti-tumor response. To date, however, few consistent, reproducible, or clinically-relevant effects have been shown using vaccine or autologous cell transfers due in part to the fact that the immunosuppressive mechanisms of the tumor have not been overcome. Much of the research focus has been on re-activating or priming cytotoxic T cells to recognize tumor, in some cases completely disregarding the potential roles that B cells play in immune surveillance or how a solid tumor should be treated to maximize immunogenicity. Here, we will summarize what is currently known about the induction or evasion of humoral immunity via tumor-induced cytokine/chemokine expression and how formation of tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) within the tumor microenvironment may be used to enhance immunotherapy response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytokines in Cancer)
Open AccessReview Molecular Imaging and Therapy of Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1020-1030; doi:10.3390/cancers6021020
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
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Abstract
Several molecular imaging modalities have been evaluated in the management of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare and aggressive tumor with a high tendency to metastasize. Continuous progress in the field of molecular imaging might improve management in these patients. The authors review
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Several molecular imaging modalities have been evaluated in the management of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare and aggressive tumor with a high tendency to metastasize. Continuous progress in the field of molecular imaging might improve management in these patients. The authors review the current modalities and their impact on MCC in this brief review article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Merkel Cell Carcinoma)
Open AccessReview The Double-Edged Sword: Conserved Functions of Extracellular Hsp90 in Wound Healing and Cancer
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1065-1097; doi:10.3390/cancers6021065
Received: 13 March 2014 / Revised: 16 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heat shock proteins (Hsps) represent a diverse group of chaperones that play a vital role in the protection of cells against numerous environmental stresses. Although our understanding of chaperone biology has deepened over the last decade, the “atypical” extracellular functions of Hsps have
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Heat shock proteins (Hsps) represent a diverse group of chaperones that play a vital role in the protection of cells against numerous environmental stresses. Although our understanding of chaperone biology has deepened over the last decade, the “atypical” extracellular functions of Hsps have remained somewhat enigmatic and comparatively understudied. The heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) chaperone is a prototypic model for an Hsp family member exhibiting a duality of intracellular and extracellular functions. Intracellular Hsp90 is best known as a master regulator of protein folding. Cancers are particularly adept at exploiting this function of Hsp90, providing the impetus for the robust clinical development of small molecule Hsp90 inhibitors. However, in addition to its maintenance of protein homeostasis, Hsp90 has also been identified as an extracellular protein. Although early reports ascribed immunoregulatory functions to extracellular Hsp90 (eHsp90), recent studies have illuminated expanded functions for eHsp90 in wound healing and cancer. While the intended physiological role of eHsp90 remains enigmatic, its evolutionarily conserved functions in wound healing are easily co-opted during malignancy, a pathology sharing many properties of wounded tissue. This review will highlight the emerging functions of eHsp90 and shed light on its seemingly dichotomous roles as a benevolent facilitator of wound healing and as a sinister effector of tumor progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heat Shock Proteins in Cancer: Chaperones of Tumorigenesis)
Open AccessReview CCL21 Cancer Immunotherapy
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1098-1110; doi:10.3390/cancers6021098
Received: 1 March 2014 / Revised: 22 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cancer, a major health problem, affects 12 million people worldwide every year. With surgery and chemo-radiation the long term survival rate for the majority of cancer patients is dismal. Thus novel treatments are urgently needed. Immunotherapy, the harnessing of the immune system to
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Cancer, a major health problem, affects 12 million people worldwide every year. With surgery and chemo-radiation the long term survival rate for the majority of cancer patients is dismal. Thus novel treatments are urgently needed. Immunotherapy, the harnessing of the immune system to destroy cancer cells is an attractive option with potential for long term anti-tumor benefit. Cytokines are biological response modifiers that stimulate anti-tumor immune responses. In this review, we discuss the anti-tumor efficacy of the chemotactic cytokine CCL21 and its pre-clinical and clinical application in cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytokines in Cancer)
Open AccessReview Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the Eyelid and Periocular Region
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1128-1137; doi:10.3390/cancers6021128
Received: 6 March 2014 / Revised: 28 April 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (562 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) in the eyelid and periocular region can be treated surgically, in most cases, with preservation of the eye and reasonable visual function. Adjuvant radiation therapy, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and chemotherapy should be considered for MCC of the eyelid
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Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) in the eyelid and periocular region can be treated surgically, in most cases, with preservation of the eye and reasonable visual function. Adjuvant radiation therapy, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and chemotherapy should be considered for MCC of the eyelid and periocular region, especially for larger tumors that are T2b or more advanced and lesions that present with regional nodal or distant metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Merkel Cell Carcinoma)
Open AccessReview Mechanisms of Cancer Induction by Tobacco-Specific NNK and NNN
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1138-1156; doi:10.3390/cancers6021138
Received: 6 February 2014 / Revised: 13 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (767 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tobacco use is a major public health problem worldwide. Tobacco-related cancers cause millions of deaths annually. Although several tobacco agents play a role in the development of tumors, the potent effects of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) are unique. Metabolically activated NNK and
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Tobacco use is a major public health problem worldwide. Tobacco-related cancers cause millions of deaths annually. Although several tobacco agents play a role in the development of tumors, the potent effects of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) are unique. Metabolically activated NNK and NNN induce deleterious mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppression genes by forming DNA adducts, which could be considered as tumor initiation. Meanwhile, the binding of NNK and NNN to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor promotes tumor growth by enhancing and deregulating cell proliferation, survival, migration, and invasion, thereby creating a microenvironment for tumor growth. These two unique aspects of NNK and NNN synergistically induce cancers in tobacco-exposed individuals. This review will discuss various types of tobacco products and tobacco-related cancers, as well as the molecular mechanisms by which nitrosamines, such as NNK and NNN, induce cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco-related Cancers)
Open AccessReview Updates and Controversies in the Rapidly Evolving Field of Lung Cancer Screening, Early Detection, and Chemoprevention
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1157-1179; doi:10.3390/cancers6021157
Received: 13 February 2014 / Revised: 25 April 2014 / Accepted: 8 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (654 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a well-recognized risk factor for lung cancer, and a sustained elevation of lung cancer risk persists even after smoking cessation. Despite identifiable risk factors, there has been
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Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a well-recognized risk factor for lung cancer, and a sustained elevation of lung cancer risk persists even after smoking cessation. Despite identifiable risk factors, there has been minimal improvement in mortality for patients with lung cancer primarily stemming from diagnosis at a late stage when there are few effective therapeutic options. Early detection of lung cancer and effective screening of high-risk individuals may help improve lung cancer mortality. While low dose computerized tomography (LDCT) screening of high risk smokers has been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality, the high rates of false positives and potential for over-diagnosis have raised questions on how to best implement lung cancer screening. The rapidly evolving field of lung cancer screening and early-detection biomarkers may ultimately improve the ability to diagnose lung cancer in its early stages, identify smokers at highest-risk for this disease, and target chemoprevention strategies. This review aims to provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges related to lung cancer screening, the field of biomarker development for early lung cancer detection, and the future of lung cancer chemoprevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco-related Cancers)
Open AccessReview Systemic Therapy for Merkel Cell Carcinoma: What’s on the Horizon?
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1180-1194; doi:10.3390/cancers6021180
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 9 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (561 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Merkel cell carcinoma is an aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer that usually affects elderly patients. Despite being uncommon, incidence has been steadily increasing over the last two decades, likely due to increased awareness, better diagnostic methods and aging of the population. It is currently
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Merkel cell carcinoma is an aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer that usually affects elderly patients. Despite being uncommon, incidence has been steadily increasing over the last two decades, likely due to increased awareness, better diagnostic methods and aging of the population. It is currently one of the most lethal cutaneous malignancies, with a five-year overall survival of approximately 50%. With the better understanding of the molecular pathways that lead to the development of Merkel cell carcinoma, there has been an increasing excitement and optimism surrounding novel targeted therapies, in particular to immunotherapy. Some of the concepts surrounding the novel targeted therapies and currently ongoing clinical trials are reviewed here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Merkel Cell Carcinoma)
Open AccessReview Replicative Stress and the FHIT Gene: Roles in Tumor Suppression, Genome Stability and Prevention of Carcinogenesis
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1208-1219; doi:10.3390/cancers6021208
Received: 16 April 2014 / Revised: 21 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 4 June 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (873 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fragile FHIT gene, encompassing the chromosomal fragile site FRA3B, is an early target of DNA damage in precancerous cells. While vulnerable to DNA damage itself, FHIT protein expression is essential to protect from DNA damage-induced cancer initiation and progression by modulating genome
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The fragile FHIT gene, encompassing the chromosomal fragile site FRA3B, is an early target of DNA damage in precancerous cells. While vulnerable to DNA damage itself, FHIT protein expression is essential to protect from DNA damage-induced cancer initiation and progression by modulating genome stability, oxidative stress and levels of accumulating DNA damage. Thus, FHIT, whose expression is lost or reduced in many human cancers, is a tumor suppressor and genome caretaker whose loss initiates genome instability in preneoplastic lesions. Ongoing studies are seeking more detailed understanding of the role of FHIT in the cellular response to oxidative damage. This review discusses the relationship between FHIT, reactive oxygen species production, and DNA damage in the context of cancer initiation and progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Oxidatively-Induced DNA Damage in Carcinogenesis)

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Open AccessConcept Paper Circulating Tumor Cells: What Is in It for the Patient? A Vision towards the Future
Cancers 2014, 6(2), 1195-1207; doi:10.3390/cancers6021195
Received: 13 March 2014 / Revised: 22 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Knowledge on cellular signal transduction pathways as drivers of cancer growth and metastasis has fuelled development of “targeted therapy” which “targets” aberrant oncogenic signal transduction pathways. These drugs require nearly invariably companion diagnostic tests to identify the tumor-driving pathway and the cause of
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Knowledge on cellular signal transduction pathways as drivers of cancer growth and metastasis has fuelled development of “targeted therapy” which “targets” aberrant oncogenic signal transduction pathways. These drugs require nearly invariably companion diagnostic tests to identify the tumor-driving pathway and the cause of the abnormal pathway activity in a tumor sample, both for therapy response prediction as well as for monitoring of therapy response and emerging secondary drug resistance. Obtaining sufficient tumor material for this analysis in the metastatic setting is a challenge, and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may provide an attractive alternative to biopsy on the premise that they can be captured from blood and the companion diagnostic test results are correctly interpreted. We discuss novel companion diagnostic directions, including the challenges, to identify the tumor driving pathway in CTCs, which in combination with a digital pathology platform and algorithms to quantitatively interpret complex CTC diagnostic results may enable optimized therapy response prediction and monitoring. In contrast to CTC-based companion diagnostics, CTC enumeration is envisioned to be largely replaced by cell free tumor DNA measurements in blood for therapy response and recurrence monitoring. The recent emergence of novel in vitro human model systems in the form of cancer-on-a-chip may enable elucidation of some of the so far elusive characteristics of CTCs, and is expected to contribute to more efficient CTC capture and CTC-based diagnostics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Tumor Cells in Cancers)

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