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See detailIn vitro monitoring of human tissue degradation by TD-GC×GC-TOFMS
Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULg; Dubois, Lena ULg; DELPORTE, Géraldine ULg et al

Conference (2016, January 27)

Human rescue dog unit are amongst the most efficient tools to locate cadaver or individuals trapped after a natural disaster. However, the dog training process is long and expensive. Dog trainers are ... [more ▼]

Human rescue dog unit are amongst the most efficient tools to locate cadaver or individuals trapped after a natural disaster. However, the dog training process is long and expensive. Dog trainers are still looking for a better understanding of the dog olfaction matching mechanism to improve their training methods (1). How does the decomposition process differ between organs? Are there specific body parts better suited for dog training? What are the major volatile compounds responsible of the dogs’ match response? In the line of these questions, this project was monitoring the headspace of various human organs during the decomposition process. Five different organs, from five different bodies, were used: heart, lung, liver, kidney, and blood. Each organs were sampled in triplicates and let to decompose in glass jar. Regularly, the headspace of the jar was sampled by dynamic pumping to sorbent tubes that were further be desorbed on a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography system (GC×GC). GC×GC is a powerful analytical tool that allows the resolution of “the smell of death”, i.e. the decomposition odor (2-3). The development of an in vitro approach for decomposition monitoring provided several analytical improvements in the decomposition field. Indeed, the study of dead bodies is always limited in the number of replicates (4). The sampling process developed for this project allows intra and inter corpse comparison with at least triplicates sampling. These comparisons were conducted using advanced chemometric methods (Fisher ratio, PCA, hierarchical analysis…) that will contribute to better understand key parameters of rescue the dog training. References 1. Hoffman et al. FSI (2009) 186, 6-13. 2. Stefanuto et al. CPC (2014) 79, 786-789. 3. Perrault et al. J. Sep. Sci. (2015) 38, 73-80. 4. Stefanuto et al. ABC (2015) 407, 4767-4778 [less ▲]

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See detailSeeking for Organ-specific VOC Signatures in Human Cadaveric Decomposition
Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULg; Dubois, Lena ULg; Loyd, R et al

Conference (2016, January)

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See detailLimited impact of imatinib in a murine model of sclerodermatous chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Belle, L; Fransolet, Gilles ULg; SOMJA, Joan ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2016), 11

Background Sclerodermatous chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease (scl-cGVHD) is one of the most severe form of cGVHD. The Platelet-derived Grotwth Factor (PDGF) and the Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β ... [more ▼]

Background Sclerodermatous chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease (scl-cGVHD) is one of the most severe form of cGVHD. The Platelet-derived Grotwth Factor (PDGF) and the Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) play a significant role in the fibrosing process occurring in scl-cGVHD. This prompted us to assess the impact of the PDGF-r and c-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib on scl-cGVHD. Methods To assess the impact of imatinib on T cell subset proliferation in vivo, Balb/cJ recipient mice were lethally (7 Gy) irradiated and then injected with 10x106 bone marrow cells from B10.D2 mice on day 0. Fourteen days later, 70x106 carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE)- labeled splenocytes from B10.D2 mice were infused and imatinib or sterile water was administered for 5 days. To induce severe scl-cGVHD, Balb/cJ mice were injected i.v. with 10.106 bone marrow cells and 70.106 splenocytes from B10.D2 donor mice after 7 Gy irradiation. Mice were then given sterile water or imatinib from day +7 after transplantation to the end of the experiment (day +52). Results Imatinib decreased the proliferation of total T cells (P = 0.02), CD8+ T cells (P = 0.01), and of regulatory T cells (Tregs) (P = 0.02) in the spleen. In the severe scl-cGVHD model, imatinib-treated mice had significantly lower levels of PDGF-r phosphorylation than control mice on day 29 after transplantation (P = 0.008). However, scl-cGVHD scores were similar between vehicle- and imatinib-treated mice during the whole experiment, while there was a suggestion for less weight loss in imatinib-treated mice that reached statistical significance at day +52 following transplantation (P = 0.02). Conclusions Imatinib had a limited impact in murine scl-cGVHD despite significant inhibition of PDGF-r. [less ▲]

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See detailAzacytidine mitigates experimental sclerodermic chronic graft-versus-host disease
Fransolet, Gilles ULg; Ehx, Grégory ULg; SOMJA, Joan ULg et al

in Journal of Hematology & Oncology (2016), 9

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a protective role in the pathogenesis of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Tregs constitutively express the ... [more ▼]

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a protective role in the pathogenesis of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Tregs constitutively express the gene of the transcription factor Foxp3 whose CNS2 region is heavily methylated in conventional CD4+ T cells (CD4+Tconvs) but demethylated in Tregs. Methods: Here, we assessed the impact of azacytidine (AZA) on cGVHD in a well-established murine model of sclerodermic cGVHD (B10.D2 (H-2d)→BALB/cJ (H-2d)). Results: The administration of AZA every 48 h from day +10 to day +30 at the dose of 0.5 mg/kg or 2 mg/kg mitigated chronic GVHD. Further, AZA-treated mice exhibited higher blood and thymic Treg frequencies on day +35, as well as higher demethylation levels of the Foxp3 enhancer and the IL-2 promoter in splenocytes at day +52. Interestingly, Tregs from AZA-treated mice expressed more frequently the activation marker CD103 on day +52. AZA-treated mice had also lower counts of CD4+Tconvs and CD8+ T cells from day +21 to day +35 after transplantation, as well as a lower proportion of CD4+Tconvs expressing the Ki67 antigen on day +21 demonstrating an anti-proliferating effect of the drug on T cells. Conclusions: Our results indicate that AZA prevented sclerodermic cGVHD in a well-established murine model of cGVHD. These data might serve as the basis for a pilot study of AZA administration for cGVHD prevention in patients at high risk for cGVHD. [less ▲]

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See detailEXPEL: A Novel Non-Destructive Method for Mining Soluble Tumor Biomarkers
Costanza, B; Blomme, A; Bellahcene, Akeila ULg et al

in Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica (2016), 79(1), 11

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See detailMyoferlin plays a key role in VEGFA secretion and impacts tumor-associated angiogenesis in human pancreas cancer
Fahmy, Karim ULg; Gonzalez, Arnaud ULg; Arafa, Mohammad et al

in International Journal of Cancer = Journal International du Cancer (2016), 138

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the most deadly forms of cancers with no satisfactory treatment to date. Recent studies have identified myoferlin, a ferlin family member, in human pancreas ... [more ▼]

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the most deadly forms of cancers with no satisfactory treatment to date. Recent studies have identified myoferlin, a ferlin family member, in human pancreas adenocarcinoma where its expression was associated to a bad prognosis. However, the function of myoferlin in pancreas adenocarcinoma has not been reported. In other cell types, myoferlin is involved in several key plasma membrane processes such as fusion, repair, endocytosis and tyrosine kinase receptor activity. In this study, we showed that myoferlin silencing in BxPC-3 human pancreatic cancer cells resulted in the inhibition of cell proliferation in vitro and in a significant reduction of the tumor volume in chick chorioallantoic membrane assay. In addition to be smaller, the tumors formed by the myoferlin-silenced cells showed a marked absence of functional blood vessels. We further demonstrated that this effect was due, at least in part, to an inhibition of VEGFA secretion by BxPC-3 myoferlin-silenced cells. Using immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, we linked the decreased VEGFA secretion to an impairment of VEGFA exocytosis. The clinical relevance of our results was further strengthened by a significant correlation between myoferlin expression in a series of human pancreatic malignant lesions and their angiogenic status evaluated by the determination of the blood vessel density. [less ▲]

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See detail18F-FDG PET/CT imaging in rectal cancer: relationship with the RAS mutational status.
LOVINFOSSE, Pierre ULg; KOOPMANSCH, Benjamin ULg; LAMBERT, Frédéric ULg et al

in British Journal of Radiology (2016)

OBJECTIVE: Treating metastatic colorectal cancer with anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies is recommended only for patients whose tumour does not harbour mutations of KRAS or NRAS. The aim of this study was to ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Treating metastatic colorectal cancer with anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies is recommended only for patients whose tumour does not harbour mutations of KRAS or NRAS. The aim of this study was to investigate the biology of rectal cancers and specifically to evaluate the relationship between fluorine-18 fludeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) intensity and heterogeneity parameters and their mutational status. METHODS: 151 patients with newly diagnosed rectal cancer were included in this retrospective study. All patients underwent a baseline 18F-FDG PET/CT within a median time interval of 27 days of tumour tissue sampling, which was performed before any treatment. Standardized uptake values (SUVs), volume-based parameters and texture analysis were studied. We retrospectively performed KRAS genotyping on codons 12, 13, 61, 117 and 146, NRAS genotyping on codons 12, 13 and 61 and BRAF on codon 600. Associations between PET/CT parameters and the mutational status were assessed using univariate and multivariate analysis. RESULTS: 83 (55%) patients had an RAS mutation: 74 KRAS and 9 NRAS, while 68 patients had no mutation (wild-type tumours). No patient had BRAF mutation. First-order features based on intensity histogram analysis were significantly associated with RAS mutations: maximum SUV (SUVmax) (p-value = 0.002), mean SUV (p-value = 0.006), skewness (p-value = 0.049), SUV standard deviation (p-value = 0.001) and SUV coefficient of variation (SUVcov) (p-value = 0.001). Both SUVcov and SUVmax showed an area under the curve of 0.65 with sensitivity of 56% and 69%, respectively, and specificity of 64% and 52%, respectively. None of the volume-based (metabolic tumour volume and total lesion glycolysis), nor local or regional textural features were associated with the presence of RAS mutations. CONCLUSION: Although rectal cancers with KRAS or NRAS mutations display a significantly higher glucose metabolism than wild-type cancers, the accuracy of the currently proposed quantitative metrics extracted from 18F-FDG PET/CT is not sufficiently high for playing a meaningful clinical role. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: RAS-mutated rectal cancers have a significantly higher glucose metabolism. However, the accuracy of 18F-FDG PET/CT quantitative metrics is not as such as the technique could play a clinical role. [less ▲]

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See detailIgG4-related disease causing rapid evolution of a severe aortic valvular stenosis
BRULS, Samuel ULg; Courtois, Audrey ULg; DELVENNE, Philippe ULg et al

in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2016)

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See detail[18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT imaging of integrin αvβ3 levels in patients with locally advanced rectal carcinoma
WITHOFS, Nadia ULg; Martinive, Philippe ULg; VANDERICK, Jean ULg et al

in European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging (2016)

PURPOSE: Our primary objective was to determine if [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT performed at baseline and/or after chemoradiotherapy (CRT) could predict tumour regression grade (TRG) in locally advanced rectal ... [more ▼]

PURPOSE: Our primary objective was to determine if [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT performed at baseline and/or after chemoradiotherapy (CRT) could predict tumour regression grade (TRG) in locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). Secondary objectives were to compare baseline [18F]FPRGD2 and [18F]FDG uptake, to evaluate the correlation between posttreatment [18F]FPRGD2 uptake and tumour microvessel density (MVD) and to determine if [18F]FPRGD2 and FDG PET/CT could predict disease-free survival. METHODS: Baseline [18F]FPRGD2 and FDG PET/CT were performed in 32 consecutive patients (23 men, 9 women; mean age 63 +/- 8 years) with LARC before starting any therapy. A posttreatment [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT scan was performed in 24 patients after the end of CRT (median interval 7 weeks, range 3 - 15 weeks) and before surgery (median interval 4 days, range 1 - 15 days). RESULTS: All LARC showed uptake of both [18F]FPRGD2 (SUVmax 5.4 +/- 1.5, range 2.7 - 9) and FDG (SUVmax 16.5 +/- 8, range 7.1 - 36.5). There was a moderate positive correlation between [18F]FPRGD2 and FDG SUVmax (Pearson's r = 0.49, p = 0.0026). There was a moderate negative correlation between baseline [18F]FPRGD2 SUVmax and the TRG (Spearman's r = -0.37, p = 0.037), and a [18F]FPRGD2 SUVmax of >5.6 identified all patients with a complete response (TRG 0; AUC 0.84, 95 % CI 0.68 - 1, p = 0.029). In the 24 patients who underwent a posttreatment [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT scan the response index, calculated as [(SUVmax1 - SUVmax2)/SUVmax1] x 100 %, was not associated with TRG. Post-treatment [18F]FPRGD2 uptake was not correlated with tumour MVD. Neither [18F]FPRGD2 nor FDG uptake predicted disease-free survival. CONCLUSION: Baseline [18F]FPRGD2 uptake was correlated with the pathological response in patients with LARC treated with CRT. However, the specificity was too low to consider its clinical routine use. [less ▲]

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See detailHDAC7 inhibition resets STAT3 tumorigenic activity in human glioblastoma independently of EGFR and PTEN: new opportunities for selected targeted therapies
Peixoto, Paul; Blomme, Arnaud; Costanza, Brunella ULg et al

in Oncogene (2016)

To date, the mutational status of EGFR and PTEN has been shown as relevant for favoring pro- or anti-tumor functions of STAT3 in human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). We have screened genomic data from 154 ... [more ▼]

To date, the mutational status of EGFR and PTEN has been shown as relevant for favoring pro- or anti-tumor functions of STAT3 in human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). We have screened genomic data from 154 patients and have identified a strong positive correlation between STAT3 and HDAC7 expression. In the current work we show the existence of a subpopulation of patients overexpressing HDAC7 and STAT3 that has particularly poor clinical outcome. Surprisingly, the somatic mutation rate of both STAT3 and HDAC7 was insignificant in GBM comparing with EGFR, PTEN or TP53. Depletion of HDAC7 in a range of GBM cells induced the expression of tyrosine kinase JAK1 and the tumor suppressor AKAP12. Both proteins synergistically sustained the activity of STAT3 by inducing its phosphorylation (JAK1) and protein expression (AKAP12). In absence of HDAC7, activated STAT3 was responsible for significant imbalance of secreted pro-/anti-angiogenic factors. This inhibited the migration and sprouting of endothelial cells in paracrine fashion in vitro as well as angiogenesis in vivo. In a murine model of GBM, induced HDAC7-silencing decreased the tumor burden by threefold. The current data show for the first time that silencing HDAC7 can reset the tumor suppressor activity of STAT3, independently of the EGFR/PTEN/TP53 background of the GBM. This effect could be exploited to overcome tumor heterogeneity and provide a new rationale behind the development of specific HDAC7 inhibitors for clinical use. [less ▲]

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See detailMT4-MMP, a potential prognostic factor in triple negative breast cancer
Yip, Cassandre ULg; FOIDART, Pierre ULg; SOMJA, Joan ULg et al

Scientific conference (2015, December 03)

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See detailL'Azacytidine comme traitement de la maladie du greffon contre l'hôte de type chronique sclérodermique expérimentale.
Fransolet, Gilles ULg; Ehx, Grégory ULg; SOMJA, Joan ULg et al

Conference (2015, November 19)

Introduction: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) has remained a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for the last decades. Following unmanipulated peripheral-blood ... [more ▼]

Introduction: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) has remained a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for the last decades. Following unmanipulated peripheral-blood stem cell transplantation, 60% of the patients experience chronic GVHD while approximately 15% of them develop a sclerodermic form of chronic GVHD characterized by multiple organ fibrosis and loss of skin elasticity. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a pivotal protective role in the pathogenesis of chronic GVHD by inhibiting alloreactive conventional T cells (Tconvs). Several studies have shown that hypomethylating agents such as azacytidine (Aza) can demethylate the master transcription factor of Treg (Forkhead box protein 3 factor, FoxP3), thus promoting Treg differentiation from Tconvs. This work investigates the impact of Aza in a classical murine model of sclerodermic chronic GVHD (B10.D2  BALB/cJ). Methods: In vitro analyses have been performed to determine the impact of Aza on collagen production. NIH-3T3 fibroblastic cells were plated and stimulated with 50 ng of PDGF or 10 ng of TGF-beta. Cells were then cultured with various concentrations of Aza for 48 hours. After culture, cells were stained with Sirius Red before quantification of collagen amount by absorbance at 490 nm. For in vivo experiments, lethally irradiated (7 Gy) BALB/cJ recipient mice were injected with 107 bone marrow cells + 7.107splenocytes from B10.D2 donor mice to induce scl-cGVHD. Recipients were injected with either 0,5 or 2 mg/kg of Aza every 48 hours from day 10 to 30 following transplantation. GVHD was scored using a five criteria scale (weight loss, activity, fibrosis, hair loss and mice posture; 0-1-2 points/criteria). Mice were sacrificed at a score of 8/10 (or > 20% weight loss) or at day 52 after transplantation (end of experiment). Results: Concerning in vitro analyses, results suggest a decreased production of collagen at higher concentration of Aza with both stimulations (seen by a gradual diminution of absorbance). For in vivo experiments, mice treated with Aza 0.5 mg/kg (n = 14) or 2 mg/kg (n = 25) had significant lower clinical scores of GVHD compared to control ones (n = 23) after treatment. FACS analysis showed a higher proportion of Treg among CD4+ T cells in the blood of Aza 2 mg/kg mice than in control mice at day 35 following transplantation (P = 0.047), as well as a higher percentage of Tregs expressing the KI67 proliferative marker on the same time point (P = 0.0005). Finally, analyses of the cellular blood components with Cell-dyn demonstrated that Aza 2 mg/kg treated mice were significantly lymphopenic as compared to control mice at day 35 after transplantation (P = 0.05). Conclusion : Aza prevented sclerodermic GVHD in this classical murine model of chronic GVHD. [less ▲]

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See detailREGISTRE BELGE ET CENTRES DE RÉFÉRENCE POUR LES MALADIES TROPHOBLASTIQUES GESTATIONNELLES
DELCOMINETTE, Sarah ULg; TIMMERMANS, Marie ULg; DELBECQUE, Katty ULg et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2015), 70(11), 550-556

Gestational trophoblastic diseases include placental pathologies comprising fertilization abnormalities (hydatidiform moles) and malignant lesions (choriocarcinoma, placental site trophoblastic tumor and ... [more ▼]

Gestational trophoblastic diseases include placental pathologies comprising fertilization abnormalities (hydatidiform moles) and malignant lesions (choriocarcinoma, placental site trophoblastic tumor and epithelioid trophoblastic tumor). Due to their low incidence and heterogeneity, their diagnosis, management and treatment are not always optimal. Following the example of other European countries, a national registration system with two reference centers has been set up to guide physicians and patients and to propose individualized management. The centers offer their expertise through a systematic centralised pathology review by a panel of experts. HCG values are plotted in regression curves. In case of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, an imaging work-up is proposed, from which the FIGO score and stage are derived and will guide the choice of treatment. Belgian centers offer a multidisciplinary approach, in partnership with the referent physician. More information for practitioners and patients is available on a web site: www.mole-chorio-bgog.eu, which also harbours a forum of discussion. [less ▲]

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See detailClinical significance of MT4-MMP and EGFR expression in Breast Cancer
Yip, Cassandre ULg; PAYE, Alexandra ULg; Truong, Alice ULg et al

Scientific conference (2015, September 11)

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