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See detailChanges in the transcriptional profile in response to overexpression of the osteopontin-c splice isoform in ovarian (OvCar-3) and prostate (PC-3) cancer cell lines.
Tilli, Tatiana M.; Bellahcene, Akeila ULg; Castronovo, Vincenzo ULg et al

in BMC cancer (2014), 14

BACKGROUND: Especially in human tumor cells, the osteopontin (OPN) primary transcript is subject to alternative splicing, generating three isoforms termed OPNa, OPNb and OPNc. We previously demonstrated ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Especially in human tumor cells, the osteopontin (OPN) primary transcript is subject to alternative splicing, generating three isoforms termed OPNa, OPNb and OPNc. We previously demonstrated that the OPNc splice variant activates several aspects of the progression of ovarian and prostate cancers. The goal of the present study was to develop cell line models to determine the impact of OPNc overexpression on main cancer signaling pathways and thus obtain insights into the mechanisms of OPNc pro-tumorigenic roles. METHODS: Human ovarian and prostate cancer cell lines, OvCar-3 and PC-3 cells, respectively, were stably transfected to overexpress OPNc. Transcriptomic profiling was performed on these cells and compared to controls, to identify OPNc overexpression-dependent changes in gene expression levels and pathways by qRT-PCR analyses. RESULTS: Among 84 genes tested by using a multiplex real-time PCR Cancer Pathway Array approach, 34 and 16, respectively, were differentially expressed between OvCar-3 and PC-3 OPNc-overexpressing cells in relation to control clones. Differentially expressed genes are included in all main hallmarks of cancer, and several interacting proteins have been identified using an interactome network analysis. Based on marked up-regulation of Vegfa transcript in response to OPNc overexpression, we partially validated the array data by demonstrating that conditioned medium (CM) secreted from OvCar-3 and PC-3 OPNc-overexpressing cells significantly induced endothelial cell adhesion, proliferation and migration, compared to CM secreted from control cells. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the present study elucidated transcriptional changes of OvCar-3 and PC-3 cancer cell lines in response to OPNc overexpression, which provides an assessment for predicting the molecular mechanisms by which this splice variant promotes tumor progression features. [less ▲]

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See detailEarly termination of ISRCTN45828668, a phase 1/2 prospective, randomized study of sulfasalazine for the treatment of progressing malignant gliomas in adults.
Robe, Pierre ULg; Martin, Didier ULg; Nguyen-Khac, Minh-Tuan ULg et al

in BMC Cancer (2009), 9

BACKGROUND: Sulfasalazine, a NF-kappaB and x(c)-cystine/glutamate antiport inhibitor, has demonstrated a strong antitumoral potential in preclinical models of malignant gliomas. As it presents an ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Sulfasalazine, a NF-kappaB and x(c)-cystine/glutamate antiport inhibitor, has demonstrated a strong antitumoral potential in preclinical models of malignant gliomas. As it presents an excellent safety profile, we initiated a phase 1/2 clinical study of this anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of recurrent WHO grade 3 and 4 astrocytic gliomas in adults. METHODS: 10 patients with advanced recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma (n = 2) or glioblastoma (n = 8) aged 32-62 years were recruited prior to the planned interim analysis of the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to daily doses of 1.5, 3, 4.5, or 6 grams of oral sulfasalazine, and treated until clinical or radiological evidence of disease progression or the development of serious or unbearable side effects. Primary endpoints were the evaluation of toxicities according to the CTCAE v.3.0, and the observation of radiological tumor responses based on MacDonald criteria. RESULTS: No clinical response was observed. One tumor remained stable for 2 months with sulfasalazine treatment, at the lowest daily dose of the drug. The median progression-free survival was 32 days. Side effects were common, as all patients developed grade 1-3 adverse events (mean: 7.2/patient), four patients developed grade 4 toxicity. Two patients died while on treatment or shortly after its discontinuation. CONCLUSION: Although the proper influence of sulfasalazine treatment on patient outcome was difficult to ascertain in these debilitated patients with a large tumor burden (median KPS = 50), ISRCTN45828668 was terminated after its interim analysis. This study urges to exert cautiousness in future trials of Sulfasalazine for the treatment of malignant gliomas. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN45828668. [less ▲]

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See detailCervix carcinoma is associated with an up-regulation and nuclear localization of the dual-specificity protein phosphatase VHR.
Henkens, Rachel ULg; Delvenne, Philippe ULg; Arafa, Mohammad et al

in BMC Cancer (2008), 8

BACKGROUND: The 21-kDa Vaccinia virus VH1-related (VHR) dual-specific protein phosphatase (encoded by the DUSP3 gene) plays a critical role in cell cycle progression and is itself regulated during the ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The 21-kDa Vaccinia virus VH1-related (VHR) dual-specific protein phosphatase (encoded by the DUSP3 gene) plays a critical role in cell cycle progression and is itself regulated during the cell cycle. We have previously demonstrated using RNA interference that cells lacking VHR arrest in the G1 and G2 phases of the cell cycle and show signs of beginning of cell senescence. METHODS: In this report, we evaluated successfully the expression levels of VHR protein in 62 hysterectomy or conization specimens showing the various (pre) neoplastic cervical epithelial lesions and 35 additional cases of hysterectomy performed for non-cervical pathologies, from patients under 50 years of age. We used a tissue microarray and IHC technique to evaluate the expression of the VHR phosphatase. Immunofluorescence staining under confocal microscopy, Western blotting and RT-PCR methods were used to investigate the localization and expression levels of VHR. RESULTS: We report that VHR is upregulated in (pre) neoplastic lesions (squamous intraepithelial lesions; SILs) of the uterine cervix mainly in high grade SIL (H-SIL) compared to normal exocervix. In the invasive cancer, VHR is also highly expressed with nuclear localization in the majority of cells compared to normal tissue where VHR is always in the cytoplasm. We also report that this phosphatase is highly expressed in several cervix cancer cell lines such as HeLa, SiHa, CaSki, C33 and HT3 compared to primary keratinocytes. The immunofluorescence technique under confocal microscopy shows that VHR has a cytoplasmic localization in primary keratinocytes, while it localizes in both cytoplasm and nucleus of the cancer cell lines investigated. We report that the up-regulation of this phosphatase is mainly due to its post-translational stabilization in the cancer cell lines compared to primary keratinocytes rather than increases in the transcription of DUSP3 locus. CONCLUSION: These results together suggest that VHR can be considered as a new marker for cancer progression in cervix carcinoma and potential new target for anticancer therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailA phase 1-2, prospective, double blind, randomized study of the safety and efficacy of Sulfasalazine for the treatment of progressing malignant gliomas: study protocol of [ISRCTN45828668].
Robe, Pierre ULg; Martin, Didier ULg; Albert, Adelin ULg et al

in BMC Cancer (2006), 6

BACKGROUND: The prognosis of patients suffering from WHO grade 3 and 4 astrocytic glioma remains poor despite surgery, radiation therapy and the use of current chemotherapy regimen. Indeed, the median ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The prognosis of patients suffering from WHO grade 3 and 4 astrocytic glioma remains poor despite surgery, radiation therapy and the use of current chemotherapy regimen. Indeed, the median survival of glioblastoma multiforme (WHO grade 4) patients is at best 14.6 month with only 26.5 percent of the patients still alive after 2 years and the median survival of anaplastic astrocytomas (WHO grade 3) is 19.2 month. Recent evidence suggests that the transcription factor NF-kappaB is constitutively expressed in malignant gliomas and that its inhibition by drugs like Sulfasalazine may block the growth of astrocytic tumors in vitro and in experimental models of malignant gliomas. DESIGN: ULg_GBM_04/1 is a prospective, randomized, double blind single-center phase 1-2 study. A total of twenty patients with progressive malignant glioma despite surgery, radiation therapy and a first line of chemotherapy will be recruited and assigned to four dosage regimen of Sulfasalazine. This medication will be taken orally t.i.d. at a daily dose of 1.5-3-4 or 6 g, continuously until complete remission, evidence of progression or drug intolerance. Primary endpoints are drug safety in the setting of malignant gliomas and tumor response as measured according to MacDonald's criteria. An interim analysis of drug safety will be conducted after the inclusion of ten patients. The complete evaluation of primary endpoints will be conducted two years after the enrollment of the last patient or after the death of the last patient should this occur prematurely. DISCUSSION: The aim of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Sulfasalazine as a treatment for recurring malignant gliomas. The safety and efficacy of this drug are analyzed as primary endpoints. Overall survival and progression-free survival are secondary endpoint. [less ▲]

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See detailDexamethasone inhibits the HSV-tk/ ganciclovir bystander effect in malignant glioma cells.
Robe, Pierre ULg; Nguyen-Khac, Minh-Tuan ULg; Jolois, Olivier ULg et al

in BMC Cancer (2005), 5

BACKGROUND: HSV-tk/ ganciclovir (GCV) gene therapy has been extensively studied in the setting of brain tumors and largely relies on the bystander effect. Large studies have however failed to demonstrate ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: HSV-tk/ ganciclovir (GCV) gene therapy has been extensively studied in the setting of brain tumors and largely relies on the bystander effect. Large studies have however failed to demonstrate any significant benefit of this strategy in the treatment of human brain tumors. Since dexamethasone is a frequently used symptomatic treatment for malignant gliomas, its interaction with the bystander effect and the overall efficacy of HSV-TK gene therapy ought to be assessed. METHODS: Stable clones of TK-expressing U87, C6 and LN18 cells were generated and their bystander effect on wild type cells was assessed. The effects of dexamethasone on cell proliferation and sensitivity to ganciclovir were assessed with a thymidine incorporation assay and a MTT test. Gap junction mediated intercellular communication was assessed with microinjections and FACS analysis of calcein transfer. The effect of dexamethasone treatment on the sensitivity of TK-expressing to FAS-dependent apoptosis in the presence or absence of ganciclovir was assessed with an MTT test. Western blot was used to evidence the effect of dexamethasone on the expression of Cx43, CD95, CIAP2 and BclXL. RESULTS: Dexamethasone significantly reduced the bystander effect in TK-expressing C6, LN18 and U87 cells. This inhibition results from a reduction of the gap junction mediated intercellular communication of these cells (GJIC), from an inhibition of their growth and thymidine incorporation and from a modulation of the apoptotic cascade. CONCLUSION: The overall efficacy of HSV-TK gene therapy is adversely affected by dexamethasone co-treatment in vitro. Future HSV-tk/ GCV gene therapy clinical protocols for gliomas should address this interference of corticosteroid treatment. [less ▲]

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