Clinical trials of high-dose androgen therapy for prostate cancer have shown promising efficacy but are limited by lack of criteria to identify likely responders. To elucidate factors that govern the growth-repressive effects of high-dose androgens we applied an unbiased integrative approach utilizing genetic screens and transcriptional profiling of prostate cancer cells with or without demonstrated phenotypic sensitivity to androgen-mediated growth repression. Through this comprehensive analysis, we identified genetic events and related signaling networks that determine the response to both high-dose androgen and androgen withdrawal. We applied these findings to develop a gene signature that may serve as an early indicator of treatment response and identify men with tumors amenable to high dose androgen therapy.
Michael D. Nyquist, Alexandra Corella, Osama Mohamad, Ilsa Coleman, Arja Kaipainen, Daniel A. Kuppers, Jared M. Lucas, Patrick J. Paddison, Stephen R. Plymate, Peter S. Nelson, Elahe A. Mostaghel
CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) correlate with relapse-free survival (RFS) in most cancer types, including breast cancer. However, subset composition, functional status, and spatial location of CD8+ TILs in relation to RFS in human breast tumors remain unclear. Spatial tissue analysis via quantitative immunofluorescence showed that infiltration of CD8+ T cells into cancer islands is more significantly associated with RFS than CD8+ T cell infiltration into either tumor stroma or total tumor. Localization into cancer islands within tumors is mediated by expression of the integrin CD103, which is a marker for tissue resident memory T cells (TRMs). Analysis of fresh tumor samples revealed that CD8+ TRMs are functionally similar to other CD8+ TILs, suggesting that the basis of their protective effect is their spatial distribution rather than functional differences. Indeed, CD103+ TRMs, as compared to CD103- CD8+ TILs, are enriched within cancer islands and CD8+ TRM proximity to cancer cells drives the association of CD8+ TIL densities with RFS. Together, these findings reveal the importance of cancer island localized CD8+ TRMs in surveillance of the breast tumor microenvironment and as a critical determinant of RFS in breast cancer patients.
Colt A. Egelston, Christian Avalos, Travis Y. Tu, Anthony Rosario, Roger Wang, Shawn Solomon, Gayathri Srinivasan, Michael S. Nelson, Yinghui Huang, Min Hui Lim, Diana L. Simons, Ting-Fang He, John H. Yim, Laura Kruper, Joanne Mortimer, Susan Yost, Weihua Guo, Christopher Ruel, Paul H. Frankel, Yuan Yuan, Peter P. Lee
Solid tumors impose immunological and physical barriers to the efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy that are not reflected in conventional pre-clinical testing against singularized tumor cells in two-dimensional culture. Here, we established microphysiologic three-dimensional (3D) lung and breast cancer models that resemble architectural and phenotypical features of primary tumors, and evaluated the anti-tumor function of ROR1-specific CAR T-cells. 3D tumors were established from A549 (non-small cell lung cancer) and MDA-MB-231 (triple-negative breast cancer) cell lines on a biological scaffold with intact basement membrane (BM) under static and dynamic culture conditions, which resulted in progressively increasing cell mass and invasive growth phenotype (dynamic>static; MDA-MB-231>A549). Treatment with ROR1-CAR T-cells conferred potent anti-tumor effects. In dynamic culture, CAR T-cells actively entered arterial medium flow, adhered to and infiltrated the tumor mass. ROR1-CAR T-cells penetrated deep into tumor tissue and eliminated multiple layers of tumor cells located above and below the BM. The microphysiologic 3D tumor models developed in this study are standardized scalable test systems that can be used either in conjunction with or in lieu of animal testing to interrogate the anti-tumor function of CAR T-cells, and to obtain proof-of-concept for their safety and efficacy prior to clinical application.
Lars Wallstabe, Claudia Göttlich, Lena C. Nelke, Johanna Kühnemundt, Thomas Schwarz, Thomas Nerreter, Hermann Einsele, Heike Walles, Gudrun Dandekar, Sarah L. Nietzer, Michael Hudecek
BACKGROUND. Aberrant expression of RNA processing genes may drive the alterative RNA profile in lower-grade gliomas (LGGs). Thus, we aimed to further stratify LGGs based on the expression of RNA processing genes. METHODS. This study included 446 LGGs from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA, training set) and 171 LGGs from the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA, validation set). The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) Cox regression algorithm was conducted to develop a risk-signature. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and Kaplan–Meier curves were used to study the prognosis value of the risk-signature. RESULTS. Among the tested 784 RNA processing genes, 276 were significantly correlated with the OS of LGGs. Further LASSO Cox regression identified a 19-gene risk-signature, whose risk score was also an independently prognosis factor (P<0.0001, multiplex Cox regression) in the validation dataset. The signature had better prognostic value than the traditional factors “age”, “grade” and “WHO 2016 classification” for 3‐ and 5‐year survival both two datasets (AUCs > 85%). Importantly, the risk-signature could further stratify the survival of LGGs in specific subgroups of WHO 2016 classification. Furthermore, alternative splicing events for genes such as EGFR and FGFR were found to be associated with the risk score. mRNA expression levels for genes, which participated in cell proliferation and other processes, were significantly correlated to the risk score. CONCLUSIONS. Our results highlight the role of RNA processing genes for further stratifying the survival of patients with LGGs and provide insight into the alternative splicing events underlying this role.
Rui-Chao Chai, Yi-Ming Li, Ke-Nan Zhang, Yu-Zhou Chang, Yu-Qing Liu, Zheng Zhao, Zhi-Liang Wang, Yuan-Hao Chang, Guan-Zhang Li, Kuan-Yu Wang, Fan Wu, Yong-Zhi Wang
Tumor-infiltrating B-cells (TIL-B) in breast cancer (BC) have previously been associated with improved clinical outcomes; however, their role(s) in tumor immunity is not currently well known. This study confirms and extends the correlation between higher TIL-B densities and positive outcomes through an analysis of HER2-positive and triple-negative BC patients from the BIG 02-98 clinical trial (10yr mean follow-up). Fresh tissue analyses identify an increase in TIL-B density in untreated primary BC compared to normal breast tissues, which is associated with global, CD4+ and CD8+ TIL, higher tumor grades, higher proliferation and hormone receptor negativity. All B-cell differentiation stages are detectable but significant increases in memory TIL-B are consistently present. BC with higher infiltrates are specifically characterized by germinal center TIL-B, which in turn are correlated with TFH TIL and antibody-secreting TIL-B principally located in tertiary lymphoid structures. Some TIL-B also interact directly with tumor cells. Functional analyses reveal TIL-B are responsive to BCR stimulation ex vivo, express activation markers and produce cytokines and immunoglobulins despite reduced expression of the antigen-presenting molecules HLA-DR and CD40. Overall, these data support the concept that ongoing humoral immune responses are generated by TIL-B and help to generate effective anti-tumor immunity at the tumor site.
Soizic Garaud, Laurence Buisseret, Cinzia Solinas, Chunyan Gu-Trantien, Alexandre de Wind, Gert Van den Eynden, Celine Naveaux, Jean-Nicolas Lodewyckx, Anaïs Boisson, Hugues Duvillier, Ligia Craciun, Lieveke Ameye, Isabelle Veys, Marianne Paesmans, Denis Larsimont, Martine Piccart-Gebhart, Karen Willard-Gallo
Despite the propensity for gastric and esophageal adenocarcinomas to select for recurrent missense mutations in TP53, the precise functional consequence of these mutations remains unclear. Here we report that endogenous mRNA and protein levels of mutant p53 were elevated in cell lines and patients with gastric and esophageal cancer. Functional studies showed that mutant p53 was sufficient, but not necessary, for enhancing primary tumor growth in vivo. Unbiased genome-wide transcriptome analysis revealed that hypoxia signaling was induced by mutant p53 in 2 gastric cancer cell lines. Using real-time in vivo imaging, we confirmed that hypoxia reporter activity was elevated during the initiation of mutant p53 gastric cancer xenografts. Further investigation revealed that, like mutant p53, the HIF1/ARNT hypoxia pathway was not required for the primary tumor functions of advanced mutant p53 gastric cancer. These findings indicate that recurrent p53 mutations in gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma are unlikely to serve as effective therapeutic targets in advanced cancer. However, in elucidating the contribution of missense mutant p53 and hypoxia signaling, the results suggest hypotheses regarding how these recurrent genomic events may contribute to gastric and esophageal adenocarcinoma formation.
Nilay Sethi, Osamu Kikuchi, James McFarland, Yanxi Zhang, Max Chung, Nicholas Kafker, Mirazul Islam, Benjamin Lampson, Abhishek Chakraborty, William G. Kaelin Jr., Adam J. Bass
Aberrant activity of the glycoprotein 130 130/JAK/STAT3 (gp130/JAK/STAT3) signaling axis is a recurrent event in inflammation and cancer. In particular, it is associated with a wide range of hematological malignancies, including multiple myeloma and leukemia. Novel targeted therapies have only been successful for some subtypes of these malignancies, underlining the need for developing robust mouse models to better dissect the role of this pathway in specific tumorigenic processes. Here, we investigated the role of selective gp130/JAK/STAT3 activation by generating a conditional mouse model. This model targeted constitutively active, cell-autonomous gp130 activity to B cells, as well as to the entire hematopoietic system. We found that regardless of the timing of activation in B cells, constitutively active gp130 signaling resulted in the formation specifically of mature B cell lymphomas and plasma cell disorders with full penetrance, only with different latencies, where infiltrating CD138+ cells were a dominant feature in every tumor. Furthermore, constitutively active gp130 signaling in all adult hematopoietic cells also led to the development specifically of largely mature, aggressive B cell cancers, again with a high penetrance of CD138+ tumors. Importantly, gp130 activity abrogated the differentiation block induced by a B cell–targeted Myc transgene and resulted in a complete penetrance of the gp130-associated, CD138+, mature B cell lymphoma phenotype. Thus, gp130 signaling selectively provides a strong growth and differentiation advantage for mature B cells and directs lymphomagenesis specifically toward terminally differentiated B cell cancers.
Anna K. Scherger, Mona Al-Maarri, Hans Carlo Maurer, Markus Schick, Sabine Maurer, Rupert Öllinger, Irene Gonzalez-Menendez, Manuela Martella, Markus Thaler, Konstanze Pechloff, Katja Steiger, Sandrine Sander, Jürgen Ruland, Roland Rad, Leticia Quintanilla-Martinez, Frank T. Wunderlich, Stefan Rose-John, Ulrich Keller
Wilms’ tumor is the most common type of childhood kidney cancer. To improve risk stratification and identify novel therapeutic targets for patients with Wilms’ tumor, we used high-resolution mass spectrometry proteomics to identify urine tumor markers associated with Wilms’ tumor relapse. We determined the urine proteomes at diagnosis of 49 patients with Wilms’ tumor, non–Wilms’ tumor renal tumors, and age-matched controls, leading to the quantitation of 6520 urine proteins. Supervised analysis revealed specific urine markers of renal rhabdoid tumors, kidney clear cell sarcomas, renal cell carcinomas as well as those detected in patients with cured and relapsed Wilms’ tumor. In particular, urine prohibitin was significantly elevated at diagnosis in patients with relapsed as compared with cured Wilms’ tumor. In a validation cohort of 139 patients, a specific urine prohibitin ELISA demonstrated that prohibitin concentrations greater than 998 ng/mL at diagnosis were significantly associated with ultimate Wilms’ tumor relapse. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that prohibitin was highly expressed in primary Wilms’ tumor specimens and associated with disease stage. Using functional genetic experiments, we found that prohibitin was required for the growth and survival of Wilms’ tumor cells. Overexpression of prohibitin was sufficient to block intrinsic mitochondrial apoptosis and to cause resistance to diverse chemotherapy drugs, at least in part by dysregulating factors that control apoptotic cytochrome c release from mitochondrial cristae. Thus, urine prohibitin may improve therapy stratification, noninvasive monitoring of treatment response, and early disease detection. In addition, therapeutic targeting of chemotherapy resistance induced by prohibitin dysregulation may offer improved therapies for patients with Wilms’ and other relapsed or refractory tumors.
Michael V. Ortiz, Saima Ahmed, Melissa Burns, Anton G. Henssen, Travis J. Hollmann, Ian MacArthur, Shehana Gunasekera, Lyvia Gaewsky, Gary Bradwin, Jeremy Ryan, Anthony Letai, Ying He, Arlene Naranjo, Yueh-Yun Chi, Michael LaQuaglia, Todd Heaton, Paolo Cifani, Jeffrey S. Dome, Samantha Gadd, Elizabeth Perlman, Elizabeth Mullen, Hanno Steen, Alex Kentsis
Targeting the dynamic tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) can provide effective therapeutic strategies for cancer. Neutrophils are the predominant leukocyte population in mice and humans, and mounting evidence implicates these cells during tumor growth and metastasis. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are networks of extracellular neutrophil DNA fibers that are capable of binding tumor cells to support metastatic progression. Here we demonstrate for the first time that circulating NET levels are elevated in advanced esophageal, gastric and lung cancer patients compared to healthy controls. Using pre-clinical murine models of lung and colon cancer in combination with intravital video microscopy, we show that NETs functionally regulate disease progression and that blocking NETosis through multiple strategies significantly inhibits spontaneous metastasis to the lung and liver. Further, we visualize how inhibiting tumor-induced NETs decreases cancer cell adhesion to liver sinusoids following intrasplenic injection – a mechanism previously thought to be driven primarily by exogenous stimuli. Thus, in addition to neutrophil abundance, the functional contribution of NETosis within the TIME has critical translational relevance and represents a promising target to impede metastatic dissemination.
Roni F. Rayes, Jack G. Mouhanna, Ioana Nicolau, France Bourdeau, Betty Giannias, Simon Rousseau, Daniela Quail, Logan Walsh, Veena Sangwan, Nicholas Bertos, Jonathan Cools-Lartigue, Lorenzo E. Ferri, Jonathan D. Spicer
Despite their well-recognized success in the clinic, antibodies generally do not penetrate cellular membranes to target intracellular molecules, many of which underlie incurable diseases. Here we show that covalently conjugating phosphorothioated DNA oligonucleotides to antibodies enabled their efficient cellular internalization. Antibody cell penetration was partially mediated by membrane potential alteration. Moreover, without an antigen to bind, intracellular levels of the modified antibodies underwent cellular clearance, which involved efflux and lysosomal degradation, enabling detection of intended intracellular molecules as tested in fibroblasts, tumor cells, and T cells. This target-dependent cellular retention of modified antibodies extended to in vivo studies. Both local and systemic administrations of low doses of modified antibodies effectively inhibited intracellular targets, such as transcription factors Myc, interferon regulatory factor 4, and tyrosine-protein kinase SRC, and expression of their downstream genes in tumors, resulting in tumor cell apoptosis and tumor growth inhibition. This simple modification enables the use of antibodies to detect and modulate intracellular molecules in both cultured living cells and in whole animals, forming the foundation for a new paradigm for antibody-based research, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
Andreas Herrmann, Toshikage Nagao, Chunyan Zhang, Christoph Lahtz, Yi-Jia Li, Chanyu Yue, Ronja Mülfarth, Hua Yu
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