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Concept: Growth factor


Background The 70-gene signature test (MammaPrint) has been shown to improve prediction of clinical outcome in women with early-stage breast cancer. We sought to provide prospective evidence of the clinical utility of the addition of the 70-gene signature to standard clinical-pathological criteria in selecting patients for adjuvant chemotherapy. Methods In this randomized, phase 3 study, we enrolled 6693 women with early-stage breast cancer and determined their genomic risk (using the 70-gene signature) and their clinical risk (using a modified version of Adjuvant! Online). Women at low clinical and genomic risk did not receive chemotherapy, whereas those at high clinical and genomic risk did receive such therapy. In patients with discordant risk results, either the genomic risk or the clinical risk was used to determine the use of chemotherapy. The primary goal was to assess whether, among patients with high-risk clinical features and a low-risk gene-expression profile who did not receive chemotherapy, the lower boundary of the 95% confidence interval for the rate of 5-year survival without distant metastasis would be 92% (i.e., the noninferiority boundary) or higher. Results A total of 1550 patients (23.2%) were deemed to be at high clinical risk and low genomic risk. At 5 years, the rate of survival without distant metastasis in this group was 94.7% (95% confidence interval, 92.5 to 96.2) among those not receiving chemotherapy. The absolute difference in this survival rate between these patients and those who received chemotherapy was 1.5 percentage points, with the rate being lower without chemotherapy. Similar rates of survival without distant metastasis were reported in the subgroup of patients who had estrogen-receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, and either node-negative or node-positive disease. Conclusions Among women with early-stage breast cancer who were at high clinical risk and low genomic risk for recurrence, the receipt of no chemotherapy on the basis of the 70-gene signature led to a 5-year rate of survival without distant metastasis that was 1.5 percentage points lower than the rate with chemotherapy. Given these findings, approximately 46% of women with breast cancer who are at high clinical risk might not require chemotherapy. (Funded by the European Commission Sixth Framework Program and others; number, NCT00433589 ; EudraCT number, 2005-002625-31 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Epidermal growth factor, Growth factor, Chemotherapy


Regular users of aspirin may have reduced risk of breast cancer. Few studies have addressed whether risk reduction pertains to specific breast cancer subtypes defined jointly by hormone receptor (estrogen and progesterone receptor) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression. This study assessed the prospective risk of breast cancer (overall and by subtype) according to use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) in a cohort of female public school professionals in California.

Concepts: Immune system, Breast cancer, Signal transduction, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Epidermal growth factor, Growth factor, Estrogen


As neovascularization is essential for tumor growth and metastasis, controlling angiogenesis is a promising tactic in limiting cancer progression. Melatonin has been studied for their inhibitory properties on angiogenesis in cancer. We performed an in vivo study to evaluate the effects of melatonin treatment on angiogenesis in breast cancer. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay after melatonin treatment in triple-negative breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231). After, cells were implanted in athymic nude mice and treated with melatonin or vehicle daily, administered intraperitoneally 1 hour before turning the room light off. Volume of the tumors was measured weekly with a digital caliper and at the end of treatments animals underwent single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with Technetium-99m tagged vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) C to detect in vivo angiogenesis. In addition, expression of pro-angiogenic/growth factors in the tumor extracts was evaluated by membrane antibody array and collected tumor tissues were analyzed with histochemical staining. Melatonin in vitro treatment (1 mM) decreased cell viability (p<0.05). The breast cancer xenografts nude mice treated with melatonin showed reduced tumor size and cell proliferation (Ki-67) compared to control animals after 21 days of treatment (p<0.05). Expression of VEGF receptor 2 decreased significantly in the treated animals compared to that of control when determined by immunohistochemistry (p<0.05) but the changes were not significant on SPECT (p>0.05) images. In addition, there was a decrease of micro-vessel density (Von Willebrand Factor) in melatonin treated mice (p<0.05). However, semiquantitative densitometry analysis of membrane array indicated increased expression of epidermal growth factor receptor and insulin-like growth factor 1 in treated tumors compared to vehicle treated tumors (p<0.05). In conclusion, melatonin treatment showed effectiveness in reducing tumor growth and cell proliferation, as well as in the inhibition of angiogenesis.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Growth factor, Vascular endothelial growth factor, Von Willebrand factor, Single photon emission computed tomography


A functionalized nanohydrogel siRNA delivery system and a mouse model of serous ovarian cancer were used to test predictions from previous cell line studies that knockdown of EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) may be of clinical significance in the treatment of epithelial tumors especially with respect to the enhancement of platinum based therapies. Our results support these predictions and suggest that targeted delivery of EGFR siRNA may be an effective strategy for the treatment of ovarian and other epithelial tumors associated with elevated levels of EGFR and especially those demonstrating resistance to platinum-based therapies.

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Signal transduction, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Epidermal growth factor, Growth factor, Tumor, Growth factor receptor


Purpose: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) increases transcription of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene. Inhibition of VEGF abolishes VEGF mediated induction of HIF-1α. Recent reports suggested that HIF-1α also mediated the induction of class III β-tubulin (TUBB3) in hypoxia. TUBB3 confers resistance to taxanes. Inhibition of VEGF may decrease the expression of HIF-1α and TUBB3. This study was undertaken to investigate the roles of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) in gastric cancer cell behavior and to identify methods to overcome paclitaxel resistance in vitro. Materials and Methods: The protein expression levels of HIF-1α and TUBB3 were measured in human gastric cancer cell lines (AGS) under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. The relationship between TUBB3 and paclitaxel resistance was assessed with small interfering TUBB3 RNA. AGS cells were treated with anti-VEGFR-1, anti-VEGFR-2, placental growth factor (PlGF), bevacizuamb, and paclitaxel. Results: Hypoxia induced paclitaxel resistance was decreased by knockdown of TUBB3. Induction of HIF-1α and TUBB3 in AGS is VEGFR-1 mediated and PlGF dependent. Hypoxia-dependent upregulation of HIF-1α and TUBB3 was reduced in response to paclitaxel treatment. Expressions of HIF-1α and TUBB3 were most decreased when AGS cells were treated with a combination of paclitaxel and anti-VEGFR-1. AGS cell cytotoxicity was most increased in response to paclitaxel, anti-VEGFR-1, and anti-VEGFR-2. Conclusion: We suggest that blockade of VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 enhances paclitaxel sensitivity in TUBB3-expressing gastric cancer cells.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Gene, Gene expression, Lung cancer, Growth factor, VEGF receptors, Placental growth factor


Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) easily recurs with a multidrug resistant phenotype. However, standard therapeutic strategies for relapsed SCLC remain unestablished. We found that human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is not only expressed in pretreated human SCLC specimens, but is also upregulated when HER2-positive SCLC cells acquire chemoresistance. Trastuzumab induced differential levels of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) to HER2-positive SCLC cells. Furthermore, as a mechanism of the differential levels of ADCC, we have revealed that coexpression of intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 on SCLC cells is essential to facilitate and accelerate the trastuzumab-mediated ADCC. Although SN-38-resistant SCLC cells lacking ICAM-1 expression were still refractory to trastuzumab, their in vivo growth was significantly suppressed by bevacizumab treatment due to dependence on their distinctive and abundant production of vascular endothelial growth factor. Collectively, stepwise treatment with trastuzumab and bevacizumab is promising for the treatment of chemoresistant SCLC.

Concepts: Immune system, Gene expression, Cancer, Lung cancer, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Epidermal growth factor, Growth factor, Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity


The naked mole-rat is a subterranean rodent lacking several pain behaviors found in humans, rats, and mice. For example, nerve growth factor (NGF), an important mediator of pain sensitization, fails to produce thermal hyperalgesia in naked mole-rats. The sensitization of capsaicin-sensitive TRPV1 ion channels is necessary for NGF-induced hyperalgesia, but naked mole-rats have fully functional TRPV1 channels. We show that exposing isolated naked mole-rat nociceptors to NGF does not sensitize TRPV1. However, the naked mole-rat NGF receptor TrkA displays a reduced ability to engage signal transduction pathways that sensitize TRPV1. Between one- and three-amino-acid substitutions in the kinase domain of the naked mole-rat TrkA are sufficient to render the receptor hypofunctional, and this is associated with the absence of heat hyperalgesia. Our data suggest that evolution has selected for a TrkA variant that abolishes a robust nociceptive behavior in this species but is still compatible with species fitness.

Concepts: Immune system, Signal transduction, Growth factor, Hormone, Pain, Mammal, Nociceptor, Nerve growth factor


Dentin-pulp complex regeneration is a promising alternative treatment for the irreversible pulpitis caused by tooth trauma or dental caries. This process mainly relies on the recruitment of endogenous or the transplanted dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) to guide dentin-pulp tissue formation. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), a well-known potent mitogenic, angiogenic, and chemoattractive agent, has been widely used in tissue regeneration. However, the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of PDGF on dentin-pulp complex regeneration are still unclear. In this study, we tested the effect of PDGF-BB on dentin-pulp tissue regeneration by establishing PDGF-BB gene-modified human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) using a lentivirus. Our results showed that PDGF-BB can significantly enhance hDPSC proliferation and odontoblastic differentiation. Furthermore, PDGF-BB and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secreted by hDPSCs enhanced angiogenesis. The chemoattractive effect of PDGF-BB on hDPSCs was also confirmed using a Transwell chemotactic migration model. We further determined that PDGF-BB facilitates hDPSCs migration via the activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway. In vivo, CM-DiI-labeled hDPSCs were injected subcutaneously into mice, and our results showed that more labeled cells were recruited to the sites implanted with calcium phosphate cement scaffolds containing PDGF-BB gene-modified hDPSCs. Finally, the tissue-engineered complexes were implanted subcutaneously in mice for 12 weeks, the Lenti-PDGF group generated more dentin-like mineralized tissue which showed positive staining for the DSPP protein, similar to tooth dentin tissue, and was surrounded by highly vascularized dental pulp-like connective tissue. Taken together, our data demonstrated that the PDGF-BB possesses a powerful function in prompting stem cell-based dentin-pulp tissue regeneration. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017.

Concepts: Angiogenesis, Growth factor, Vascular endothelial growth factor, Cellular differentiation, Teeth, Dental caries, Dentin, Platelet-derived growth factor


Estimating distant recurrence (DR) risk among women with estrogen receptor-positive (ER+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative early breast cancer helps decisions on using adjuvant chemotherapy. The 21-gene Oncotype DX recurrence score (RS) is widely used for this. EndoPredict (EPclin) is an alternative test combining prognostic information from an eight-gene signature (EP score) with tumor size and nodal status. We compared the prognostic information provided by RS and EPclin for 10-year DR risk.

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Breast cancer, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Epidermal growth factor, Growth factor, Estrogen, Growth factor receptor


Background Cabozantinib is an oral, small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) as well as MET and AXL, each of which has been implicated in the pathobiology of metastatic renal-cell carcinoma or in the development of resistance to antiangiogenic drugs. This randomized, open-label, phase 3 trial evaluated the efficacy of cabozantinib, as compared with everolimus, in patients with renal-cell carcinoma that had progressed after VEGFR-targeted therapy. Methods We randomly assigned 658 patients to receive cabozantinib at a dose of 60 mg daily or everolimus at a dose of 10 mg daily. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Secondary efficacy end points were overall survival and objective response rate. Results Median progression-free survival was 7.4 months with cabozantinib and 3.8 months with everolimus. The rate of progression or death was 42% lower with cabozantinib than with everolimus (hazard ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.45 to 0.75; P<0.001). The objective response rate was 21% with cabozantinib and 5% with everolimus (P<0.001). A planned interim analysis showed that overall survival was longer with cabozantinib than with everolimus (hazard ratio for death, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.89; P=0.005) but did not cross the significance boundary for the interim analysis. Adverse events were managed with dose reductions; doses were reduced in 60% of the patients who received cabozantinib and in 25% of those who received everolimus. Discontinuation of study treatment owing to adverse events occurred in 9% of the patients who received cabozantinib and in 10% of those who received everolimus. Conclusions Progression-free survival was longer with cabozantinib than with everolimus among patients with renal-cell carcinoma that had progressed after VEGFR-targeted therapy. (Funded by Exelixis; METEOR number, NCT01865747 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Cancer, Signal transduction, Angiogenesis, Growth factor, Vascular endothelial growth factor, Protein kinase, Renal cell carcinoma