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- ItemCan non-viral technologies knockdown the barriers to siRNA delivery and achieve the next generation of cancer therapeutics?(Elsevier, 2011-07) Guo, Jianfeng; Bourre, Ludovic; Soden, Declan; O'Sullivan, Gerald C.; O'Driscoll, Caitríona M.; Science Foundation Ireland; Enterprise Ireland; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and TechnologyCancer is one of the most wide-spread diseases of modern times, with an estimated increase in the number of patients diagnosed worldwide, from 11.3 million in 2007 to 15.5 million in 2030 (www.who.int). In many cases, due to the delay in diagnosis and high increase of relapse, survival rates are low. Current therapies, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, have made significant progress, but they have many limitations and are far from ideal. Although immunotherapy has recently offered great promise as a new approach in cancer treatment, it is still very much in its infancy and more information on this approach is required before it can be widely applied. For these reasons effective, safe and patient-acceptable cancer therapy is still largely an unmet clinical need. Recent knowledge of the genetic basis of the disease opens up the potential for cancer gene therapeutics based on siRNA. However, the future of such gene-based therapeutics is dependent on achieving successful delivery. Extensive research is ongoing regarding the design and assessment of non-viral delivery technologies for siRNA to treat a wide range of cancers. Preliminary results on the first human Phase I trial for solid tumours, using a targeted non-viral vector, illustrate the enormous therapeutic benefits once the issue of delivery is resolved. In this review the genes regulating cancer will be discussed and potential therapeutic targets will be identified. The physiological and biochemical changes caused by tumours, and the potential to exploit this knowledge to produce bio-responsive ‘smart’ delivery systems, will be evaluated. This review will also provide a critical and comprehensive overview of the different non-viral formulation strategies under investigation for siRNA delivery, with particular emphasis on those designed to exploit the physiological environment of the disease site. In addition, a section of the review will be dedicated to pre-clinical animal models used to evaluate the stability, safety and efficacy of the delivery systems.
- ItemBacteria and tumours: causative agents or opportunistic inhabitants?(BioMed Central, 2013-03-28) Cummins, Joanne; Tangney, Mark; Health Research Board; European CommissionAssociations between different bacteria and various tumours have been reported in patients for decades. Studies involving characterisation of bacteria within tumour tissues have traditionally been in the context of tumourigenesis as a result of bacterial presence within healthy tissues, and in general, dogma holds that such bacteria are causative agents of malignancy (directly or indirectly). While evidence suggests that this may be the case for certain tumour types and bacterial species, it is plausible that in many cases, clinical observations of bacteria within tumours arise from spontaneous infection of established tumours. Indeed, growth of bacteria specifically within tumours following deliberate systemic administration has been demonstrated for numerous bacterial species at preclinical and clinical levels. We present the available data on links between bacteria and tumours, and propose that besides the few instances in which pathogens are playing a pathogenic role in cancer, in many instances, the prevalent relationship between solid tumours and bacteria is opportunistic rather than causative, and discuss opportunities for exploiting tumour-specific bacterial growth for cancer treatment.
- ItemOral tolerance to cancer can be abrogated by T regulatory cell inhibition(Public Library of Science, 2014) Whelan, Maria C.; Casey, Garrett; Larkin, John O.; Guinn, Barbara-Ann; O'Sullivan, Gerald C.; Tangney, Mark; Cancer Research Ireland; Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Cork Cancer Research Centre, College of Medicine and Health, University College CorkOral administration of tumour cells induces an immune hypo-responsiveness known as oral tolerance. We have previously shown that oral tolerance to a cancer is tumour antigen specific, non-cross-reactive and confers a tumour growth advantage. We investigated the utilisation of regulatory T cell (Treg) depletion on oral tolerance to a cancer and its ability to control tumour growth. Balb/C mice were gavage fed homogenised tumour tissue - JBS fibrosarcoma (to induce oral tolerance to a cancer), or PBS as control. Growth of subcutaneous JBS tumours were measured; splenic tissue excised and flow cytometry used to quantify and compare systemic Tregs and T effector (Teff) cell populations. Prior to and/or following tumour feeding, mice were intraperitoneally administered anti-CD25, to inactivate systemic Tregs, or given isotype antibody as a control. Mice which were orally tolerised prior to subcutaneous tumour induction, displayed significantly higher systemic Treg levels (14% vs 6%) and faster tumour growth rates than controls (p<0.05). Complete regression of tumours were only seen after Treg inactivation and occurred in all groups - this was not inhibited by tumour feeding. The cure rates for Treg inactivation were 60% during tolerisation, 75% during tumour growth and 100% during inactivation for both tolerisation and tumour growth. Depletion of Tregs gave rise to an increased number of Teff cells. Treg depletion post-tolerisation and post-tumour induction led to the complete regression of all tumours on tumour bearing mice. Oral administration of tumour tissue, confers a tumour growth advantage and is accompanied by an increase in systemic Treg levels. The administration of anti-CD25 Ab decreased Treg numbers and caused an increase in Teffs. Most notably Treg cell inhibition overcame established oral tolerance with consequent tumor regression, especially relevant to foregut cancers where oral tolerance is likely to be induced by the shedding of tumour tissue into the gut.
- ItemFactors driving inequality in prostate cancer survival: a population based study(Public Library of Science, 2014-09-09) Burns, Richéal M.; Sharp, Linda; Sullivan, Francis J.; Deady, Sandra E.; Drummond, Frances J.; O'Neill, Ciaran; Scheurer, Michael; Health Research Board; Sanofi-AventisAs cancer control strategies have become more successful, issues around survival have become increasingly important to researchers and policy makers. The aim of this study was to examine the role of a range of clinical and socio-demographic variables in explaining variations in survival after a prostate cancer diagnosis, paying particular attention to the role of healthcare provider(s) i.e. private versus public status. Data were extracted from the National Cancer Registry Ireland, for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1998-2009 (N = 26,183). A series of multivariate Cox and logistic regression models were used to examine the role of healthcare provider and socio-economic status (area-based deprivation) on survival, controlling for age, stage, Gleason grade, marital status and region of residence. Survival was based on all-cause mortality. Older individuals who were treated in a private care setting were more likely to have survived than those who had not, when other factors were controlled for. Differences were evident with respect to marital status, region of residence, clinical stage and Gleason grade. The effect of socio-economic status was modified by healthcare provider, such that risk of death was higher in those men of lower socio-economic status treated by public, but not private providers in the Cox models. The logistic models revealed a socio-economic gradient in risk of death overall; the gradient was larger for those treated by public providers compared to those treated by private providers when controlling for a range of other confounding factors. The role of healthcare provider and socio-economic status in survival of men with prostate cancer may give rise to concerns that warrant further investigation.
- ItemLithium modulates autophagy in esophageal and colorectal cancer cells and enhances the efficacy of therapeutic agents in vitro and in vivo(Public Library of Science, 2015) O'Donovan, Tracey R.; Rajendran, Simon; O'Reilly, Seamus; O'Sullivan, Gerald C.; McKenna, Sharon L.; Health Research Board; Breakthrough Cancer Research, IrelandMany epithelial cancers, particularly gastrointestinal tract cancers, remain poor prognosis diseases, due to resistance to cytotoxic therapy and local or metastatic recurrence. We have previously shown that apoptosis incompetent esophageal cancer cells induce autophagy in response to chemotherapeutic agents and this can facilitate their recovery. However, known pharmacological inhibitors of autophagy could not enhance cytotoxicity. In this study, we have examined two well known, clinically approved autophagy inducers, rapamycin and lithium, for their effects on chemosensitivity in apoptosis incompetent cancer cells. Both lithium and rapamycin were shown to induce autophagosomes in esophageal and colorectal cancer cells by western blot analysis of LC3 isoforms, morphology and FACS quantitation of Cyto-ID or mCherry-GFP-LC3. Analysis of autophagic flux indicates inefficient autophagosome processing in lithium treated cells, whereas rapamycin treated cells showed efficient flux. Viability and recovery was assessed by clonogenic assays. When combined with the chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil, rapamycin was protective. In contrast, lithium showed strong enhancement of non-apoptotic cell death. The combination of lithium with 5-fluorouracil or oxaliplatin was then tested in the syngenic mouse (balb/c) colorectal cancer model-CT26. When either chemotherapeutic agent was combined with lithium a significant reduction in tumor volume was achieved. In addition, survival was dramatically increased in the combination group (p < 0.0001), with > 50% of animals achieving long term cure without re-occurrence (> 1 year tumor free). Thus, combination treatment with lithium can substantially improve the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents in apoptosis deficient cancer cells. Induction of compromised autophagy may contribute to this cytotoxicity.
- ItemDevelopment of a bioluminescent nitroreductase probe for preclinical imaging(Public Library of Science, 2015) Vorobyeva, Anzhelika G.; Stanton, Michael; Godinat, Aurelien; Lund, Kjetil B.; Karateev, Grigory G.; Francis, Kevin P.; Allen, Elizabeth; Gelovani, Juri G.; McCormack, Emmet; Tangney, Mark; Dubikovskaya, Elena A.; Intrace Medical SA, Switzerland; Bergen Research Foundation, Norway; Norwegian Cancer Society; Western Norway Regional Health Authority; Science Foundation Ireland; Enterprise Ireland; Health Research Board; Irish Cancer Society; Seventh Framework ProgrammeBacterial nitroreductases (NTRs) have been widely utilized in the development of novel antibiotics, degradation of pollutants, and gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) of cancer that reached clinical trials. In case of GDEPT, since NTR is not naturally present in mammalian cells, the prodrug is activated selectively in NTR-transformed cancer cells, allowing high efficiency treatment of tumors. Currently, no bioluminescent probes exist for sensitive, non-invasive imaging of NTR expression. We therefore developed a "NTR caged luciferin" (NCL) probe that is selectively reduced by NTR, producing light proportional to the NTR activity. Here we report successful application of this probe for imaging of NTR in vitro, in bacteria and cancer cells, as well as in vivo in mouse models of bacterial infection and NTR-expressing tumor xenografts. This novel tool should significantly accelerate the development of cancer therapy approaches based on GDEPT and other fields where NTR expression is important.
- ItemLC3B globular structures correlate with survival in esophageal adenocarcinoma(Biomed Central Ltd., 2015-08-12) El-Mashad, Shereen M.; O'Donovan, Tracey R.; Kay, Elaine W.; Abdallah, Ayat R.; Cathcart, Mary-Clare; O'Sullivan, Jacintha; O'Grady, Anthony; Reynolds, John; O'Reilly, Seamus; O'Sullivan, Gerald C.; McKenna, Sharon L.; Higher Education Authority; Breakthrough Cancer Research, Ireland; Egyptian Education BureauBackground: Esophageal adenocarcinoma has the fastest growing incidence of any solid tumor in the Western world. Prognosis remains poor with overall five-year survival rates under 25 %. Only a limited number of patients benefit from chemotherapy and there are no biomarkers that can predict outcome. Previous studies have indicated that induction of autophagy can influence various aspects of tumor cell biology, including chemosensitivity. The objective of this study was to assess whether expression of the autophagy marker (LC3B) correlated with patient outcome. Methods: Esophageal adenocarcinoma tumor tissue from two independent sites, was examined retrospectively. Tumors from 104 neoadjuvant naïve patients and 48 patients post neoadjuvant therapy were assembled into tissue microarrays prior to immunohistochemical analysis. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and log-rank tests were used to assess impact of LC3B expression on survival. Cox regression was used to examine association with clinical risk factors. Results: A distinct globular pattern of LC3B expression was found to be predictive of outcome in both patient groups, irrespective of treatment (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis found that this was a strong independent predictor of poor prognosis (p < 0.001). Conclusions: This distinctive staining pattern of LC3B represents a novel prognostic marker for resectable esophageal adenocarcinoma.
- ItemDifferential expression of key regulators of Toll-like receptors in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease: a role for Tollip and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma?(Wiley, 2015-10-14) Fernandes, Philana; MacSharry, John; Darby, Trevor; Shanahan, Fergus; Houston, Aileen M.; Brint, Elizabeth K.; Science Foundation IrelandThe innate immune system is currently seen as the probable initiator of events which culminate in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with Toll‐like receptors (TLRs) known to be involved in this disease process. Many regulators of TLRs have been described, and dysregulation of these may also be important in the pathogenesis of IBD. The aim of this study was to perform a co‐ordinated analysis of the expression levels of both key intestinal TLRs and their inhibitory proteins in the same IBD cohorts, both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), in order to evaluate the potential roles of these proteins in the pathogenesis of IBD. Of the six TLRs (TLRs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9) examined, only TLR‐4 was increased significantly in IBD, specifically in active UC. In contrast, differential alterations in expression of TLR inhibitory proteins were observed. A20 and suppressor of cytokine signalling 1 (SOCS1) were increased only in active UC while interleukin‐1 receptor‐associated kinase 1 (IRAK‐m) and B cell lymphoma 3 protein (Bcl‐3) were increased in both active UC and CD. In contrast, expression of both peroxisome proliferator‐activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and Toll interacting protein (Tollip) was decreased in both active and inactive UC and CD and at both mRNA and protein levels. In addition, expression of both PPARγ and A20 expression was increased by stimulation of a colonic epithelial cell line Caco‐2 with both TLR ligands and commensal bacterial strains. These data suggest that IBD may be associated with distinctive changes in TLR‐4 and TLR inhibitory proteins, implying that alterations in these may contribute to the pathogenesis of IBD.
- ItemAn antitumorigenic role for the IL-33 receptor, ST2L, in colon cancer(Nature Publishing Group, 2015-12-17) O'Donnell, Charlotte; Mahmoud, Amr; Keane, Jonathan; Murphy, Carola T.; White, Declan; Carey, Sinead; O'Riordain, Micheal G.; Bennett, Michael W.; Brint, Elizabeth K.; Houston, Aileen M.; Health Research Board; Pathological Society of Great Britain and IrelandBackground: Despite the importance of inflammation in cancer, the role of the cytokine IL-33, and its receptor ST2, in colon cancer is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of IL-33, and its receptor isoforms (ST2 and ST2L), in colon cancer. Methods: Serum levels of IL-33 and sST2 were determined with ELISA. ST2 and IL-33 expression was detected with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT–PCR), western blotting and immunohistochemistry. ST2 expression in CT26 cells was stably suppressed using ST2-specific shRNA. Cytokine and chemokine gene expression was detected with qRT–PCR. Results: Human colon tumours showed lower expression of ST2L as compared with adjacent non-tumour tissue (P<0.01). Moreover, the higher the tumour grade, the lower the expression of ST2L (P=0.026). Colon cancer cells expressed ST2 and IL-33 in vitro. Functional analyses showed that stimulation of tumour cells with IL-33 induced the expression of chemokine (C–C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2). Knockdown of ST2 in murine colon cancer cells resulted in enhanced tumour growth (P<0.05) in BALB/c mice in vivo. This was associated with a decrease in macrophage infiltration, with IL-33-induced macrophage recruitment reduced by antagonising CCL2 in vitro. Conclusion: The IL-33/ST2 signalling axis may have a protective role in colon carcinogenesis.
- ItemEffect of investigation intensity and treatment differences on prostate cancer survivor's physical symptoms, psychological well-being and health-related quality of life: a two country cross-sectional study(BMJ Publishing Group Limited, 2016-01) Gavin, Anna T.; Donnelly, David; Donnelly, Conan; Drummond, Frances J.; Morgan, Eileen; Gormley, Gerard J.; Sharp, Linda; Prostate Cancer UK; Health Research Board; Public Health Agency; Research and Development Office, Northern Ireland; National Cancer Control Programme, IrelandAim: To investigate effects on men's health and well-being of higher prostate cancer (PCa) investigation and treatment levels in similar populations.Participants PCa survivors in Ireland where the Republic of Ireland (RoI) has a 50% higher PCa incidence than Northern Ireland (NI).Method: A cross-sectional postal questionnaire was sent to PCa survivors 2–18 years post-treatment, seeking information about current physical effects of treatment, health-related quality of life (HRQoL; EORTC QLQ-C30; EQ-5D-5L) and psychological well-being (21 question version of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, DASS-21). Outcomes in RoI and NI survivors were compared, stratifying into ‘late disease’ (stage III/IV and any Gleason grade (GG) at diagnosis) and ‘early disease’ (stage I/II and GG 2–7). Responses were weighted by age, jurisdiction and time since diagnosis. Between-country differences were investigated using multivariate logistic and linear regression.Results: 3348 men responded (RoI n=2567; NI n=781; reflecting population sizes, response rate 54%). RoI responders were younger; less often had comorbidities (45% vs 38%); were more likely to present asymptomatically (66%; 41%) or with early disease (56%; 35%); and less often currently used androgen deprivation therapy (ADT; 2%; 28%). Current prevalence of incontinence (16%) and impotence (56% early disease, 67% late disease) did not differ between RoI and NI. In early disease, only current bowel problems (RoI 12%; NI 21%) differed significantly in multivariate analysis. In late disease, NI men reported significantly higher levels of gynaecomastia (23% vs 9%) and hot flashes(41% vs 19%), but when ADT users were analysed separately, differences disappeared. For HRQoL, in multivariate analysis, only pain (early disease: RoI 11.1, NI 19.4) and financial difficulties (late disease: RoI 10.4, NI 7.9) differed significantly between countries. There were no significant between-country differences in DASS-21 or index ED-5D-5L score.Conclusions: Treatment side effects were commonly reported and increased PCa detection in RoI has left more men with these side effects. We recommended that men be offered a PSA test only after informed discussion.
- ItemMiR-193b promotes autophagy and non-apoptotic cell death in oesophageal cancer cells(BioMed Central, 2016-02-15) Nyhan, Michelle J.; O'Donovan, Tracey R.; Boersma, Antonius W. M.; Wiemer, Erik A. C.; McKenna, Sharon L.; Irish Cancer Society; Breakthrough Cancer Research, IrelandBackground: Successful treatment of oesophageal cancer is hampered by recurrent drug resistant disease. We have previously demonstrated the importance of apoptosis and autophagy for the recovery of oesophageal cancer cells following drug treatment. When apoptosis (with autophagy) is induced, these cells are chemosensitive and will not recover following chemotherapy treatment. In contrast, when cancer cells exhibit only autophagy and limited Type II cell death, they are chemoresistant and recover following drug withdrawal. Methods: MicroRNA (miRNA) expression profiling of an oesophageal cancer cell line panel was used to identify miRNAs that were important in the regulation of apoptosis and autophagy. The effects of miRNA overexpression on cell death mechanisms and recovery were assessed in the chemoresistant (autophagy inducing) KYSE450 oesophageal cancer cells. Results: MiR-193b was the most differentially expressed miRNA between the chemosensitive and chemoresistant cell lines with higher expression in chemosensitive apoptosis inducing cell lines. Colony formation assays showed that overexpression of miR-193b significantly impedes the ability of KYSE450 cells to recover following 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) treatment. The critical mRNA targets of miR-193b are unknown but target prediction and siRNA data analysis suggest that it may mediate some of its effects through stathmin 1 regulation. Apoptosis was not involved in the enhanced cytotoxicity. Overexpression of miR-193b in these cells induced autophagic flux and non-apoptotic cell death. Conclusion: These results highlight the importance of miR-193b in determining oesophageal cancer cell viability and demonstrate an enhancement of chemotoxicity that is independent of apoptosis induction.
- ItemRecommendations for improving the quality of reporting clinical electrochemotherapy studies based on qualitative systematic review(Sciendo, 2016-02-16) Campana, Luca G.; Clover, Anthony J. P.; Valpione, Sara; Quaglino, Pietro; Gehl, Julie; Kunte, Christian; Snoj, Marko; Cemazar, Maja; Rossi, Carlo R.; Miklavcic, Damijan; Sersa, GregorBackground: Electrochemotherapy is becoming a well-established treatment for malignancies of skin and non-skin origin and its use is widening across Europe. The technique was developed and optimized from solid experimental and clinical evidence. A consensus document is now warranted to formalize reporting results, which should strengthen evidence-based practice recommendations. This consensus should be derived from high quality clinical data collection, clinical expertise and summarizing patient feedback. The first step, which is addressed in this paper, aims to critically analyze the quality of published studies and to provide the recommendations for reporting clinical trials on electrochemotherapy. Methods: The quality of reporting in published studies on electrochemotherapy was analyzed in order to produce procedure specific reporting recommendations. A comprehensive literature search of studies published from 2006 to 2015 was performed followed by qualitative analysis of manuscripts assessing for 47 quality criteria grouped into four major clusters: (1) trial design, (2) description of patient population, (3) description of treatment delivery and patient outcome, (4) analysis of results and their interpretation. The summary measure during literature assessment was the proportion of studies fulfilling each manuscript quality criteria. Results: A total of 56 studies were screened, from the period 2006 to 2015, of which 33 were included in the qualitative analysis, with a total of 1215 patients. Overall, the quality of reporting was highly variable. Twenty-four reports (73%) were single-center, non-comparative studies, and only 15 (45%) were prospective in nature (only 2 of them were entered into a clinical trials registry). Electrochemotherapy technique was consistently reported, with most studies (31/33) adhering closely to published standard operating procedures. The quality of reporting the patient population was variable among the analyzed studies, with only between 45% and 100% achieving dedicated quality criteria. Reporting of treatment delivery and patient outcome was also highly variable with studies only fulfilling between 3% and 100%. Finally, reporting study results critically varied, fulfilling from 27% to 100% of the quality criteria. Based on the critical issues emerging from this analysis, recommendations and minimal requirements for reporting clinical data on electrochemotherapy were prepared and summarized into a checklist. Conclusions: There is an increasing body of published clinical data on electrochemotherapy, but more high quality clinical data are needed. Published papers often lack accurate description of study population, treatment delivery as well as patient outcome. Our recommendations, provided in the form of a summary checklist, are intended to ameliorate data reporting in future studies on electrochemotherapy and help researchers to provide a solid evidence basis for clinical practice.
- ItemAre we sleeping on the job? Insomnia among men with prostate cancer(PiscoMed Publishing, 2016-04) Drummond, Frances J.Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men and almost half of male cancer survivors in the US have had a prostate cancer diagnosis. Insomnia is common among cancer patients and survivors. There is evidence that cognitive behavioural therapy can be used to effectively manage insomnia among women with breast cancer. The aim of this review was to investigate the prevalence, risk factors and management of insomnia among men with prostate cancer. The effect of insomnia on the psychological health and health-related quality of life of these patients and/or survivors is also discussed. Increased awareness and knowledge of this symptom among men with prostate cancer may facilitate improved diagnosis, and management of insomnia in this large population. This in turn may improve the health-related quality of life of these men. Therefore, research into the effective management of insomnia among men with prostate cancer is essential.
- ItemThe microbiota of breast tissue and its association with breast cancer(American Society for Microbiology, 2016-06-24) Urbaniak, Camilla; Gloor, Gregory B.; Brackstone, Muriel; Scott, Leslie; Tangney, Mark; Reid, Gregor; Canadian Institutes of Health ResearchIn the United States, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Along with genetics, the environment contributes to disease development, but what these exact environmental factors are remains unknown. We have previously shown that breast tissue is not sterile but contains a diverse population of bacteria. We thus believe that the host's local microbiome could be modulating the risk of breast cancer development. Using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, we show that bacterial profiles differ between normal adjacent tissue from women with breast cancer and tissue from healthy controls. Women with breast cancer had higher relative abundances of Bacillus, Enterobacteriaceae and Staphylococcus. Escherichia coli (a member of the Enterobacteriaceae family) and Staphylococcus epidermidis, isolated from breast cancer patients, were shown to induce DNA double-stranded breaks in HeLa cells using the histone-2AX (H2AX) phosphorylation (γ-H2AX) assay. We also found that microbial profiles are similar between normal adjacent tissue and tissue sampled directly from the tumor. This study raises important questions as to what role the breast microbiome plays in disease development or progression and how we can manipulate this for possible therapeutics or prevention. IMPORTANCE This study shows that different bacterial profiles in breast tissue exist between healthy women and those with breast cancer. Higher relative abundances of bacteria that had the ability to cause DNA damage in vitro were detected in breast cancer patients, as was a decrease in some lactic acid bacteria, known for their beneficial health effects, including anticarcinogenic properties. This study raises important questions as to the role of the mammary microbiome in modulating the risk of breast cancer development.
- ItemAntitumour responses induced by a cell-based Reovirus vaccine in murine lung and melanoma models(BioMed Central, 2016-07-13) Campion, Ciorsdan A.; Soden, Declan; Forde, Patrick F.; Breakthrough Cancer Research, Ireland; Cork Cancer Research CentreBackground: The ever increasing knowledge in the areas of cell biology, the immune system and the mechanisms of cancer are allowing a new phase of immunotherapy to develop. The aim of cancer vaccination is to activate the host immune system and some success has been observed particularly in the use of the BCG vaccine for bladder cancer as an immunostimulant. Reovirus, an orphan virus, has proven itself as an oncolytic virus in vitro and in vivo. Over 80 % of tumour cell lines have been found to be susceptible to Reovirus infection and it is currently in phase III clinical trials. It has been shown to induce immune responses to tumours with very low toxicities. Methods: In this study, Reovirus was examined in two main approaches in vivo, in mice, using the melanoma B16F10 and Lewis Lung Carcinoma (LLC) models. Initially, mice were treated intratumourally (IT) with Reovirus and the immune responses determined by cytokine analysis. Mice were also vaccinated using a cell-based Reovirus vaccine and subsequently exposed to a tumourigenic dose of cells (B16F10 or LLC). Using the same cell-based Reovirus vaccine, established tumours were treated and subsequent immune responses and virus retrieval investigated. Results: Upregulation of several cytokines was observed following treatment and replication-competent virus was also retrieved from treated tumours. Varying levels of cytokine upregulation were observed and no replication-competent virus was retrieved in vaccine-treated mice. Prolongation of survival and delayed tumour growth were observed in all models and an immune response to Reovirus, either using Reovirus alone or a cell-based vaccine was also observed in all mice. Conclusion: This study provides evidence of immune response to tumours using a cell-based Reovirus vaccine in both tumour models investigated, B16F10 and LLC, cytokine induction was observed with prolongation of survival in almost all cases which may suggest a new method for using Reovirus in the clinic.
- ItemIntratumoural production of TNF alpha by bacteria mediates cancer therapy(Public Library of Science, 2017) Murphy, Carola T.; Rettedal, Elizabeth; Lehouritis, Panos; Devoy, Ciaran; Tangney, Mark; Breakthrough Breast Cancer; Seventh Framework Programme; Irish Cancer SocietySystemic administration of the highly potent anticancer therapeutic, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) induces high levels of toxicity and is responsible for serious side effects. Consequently, tumour targeting is required in order to confine this toxicity within the locality of the tumour. Bacteria have a natural capacity to grow within tumours and deliver therapeutic molecules in a controlled fashion. The non-pathogenic E. co/istrain MG1655 was investigated as a tumour targeting system in order to produce TNF alpha specifically within murine tumours. In vivo bioluminescence imaging studies and ex vivo immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated rapid targeting dynamics and prolonged survival, replication and spread of this bacterial platform within tumours. An engineered TNF alpha producing construct deployed in mouse models via either intra-tumoural (i.t.) or intravenous (i.v.) administration facilitated robust TNF alpha production, as evidenced by ELISA of tumour extracts. Tumour growth was impeded in three subcutaneous murine tumour models (CT26 colon, RENCA renal, and TRAMP prostate) as evidenced by tumour volume and survival analyses. A pattern of pro inflammatory cytokine induction was observed in tumours of treated mice vs. controls. Mice remained healthy throughout experiments. This study indicates the therapeutic efficacy and safety of TNF alpha expressing bacteria in vivo, highlighting the potential of non-pathogenic bacteria as a platform for restricting the activity of highly potent cancer agents to tumours.
- ItemComputed tomography diagnosed cachexia and sarcopenia in 725 oncology patients: is nutritional screening capturing hidden malnutrition?(Wiley Open Access, 2017) Ní Bhuachalla, Éadaoin B.; Daly, Louise E.; Power, Derek G.; Cushen, Samantha J.; MacEneaney, Peter; Ryan, Aoife M.; Cork Cancer Research Centre; Breakthrough Cancer Research, IrelandBackground: Nutrition screening on admission to hospital is mandated in many countries, but to date, there is no consensus on which tool is optimal in the oncology setting. Wasting conditions such as cancer cachexia (CC) and sarcopenia are common in cancer patients and negatively impact on outcomes; however, they are often masked by excessive adiposity. This study aimed to inform the application of screening in cancer populations by investigating whether commonly used nutritional screening tools are adequately capturing nutritionally vulnerable patients, including those with abnormal body composition phenotypes (CC, sarcopenia, and myosteatosis). Methods: A prospective study of ambulatory oncology outpatients presenting for chemotherapy was performed. A detailed survey incorporating clinical, nutritional, biochemical, and quality of life data was administered. Participants were screened for malnutrition using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST), Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST), and the Nutritional Risk Index (NRI). Computed tomography (CT) assessment of body composition was performed to diagnose CC, sarcopenia, and myosteatosis according to consensus criteria. Results: A total of 725 patients (60% male, median age 64 years) with solid tumours participated (45% metastatic disease). The majority were overweight/obese (57%). However, 67% were losing weight, and CT analysis revealed CC in 42%, sarcopenia in 41%, and myosteatosis in 46%. Among patients with CT-identified CC, the MUST, MST, and NRI tools categorized 27%, 35%, and 7% of them as ‘low nutritional risk’, respectively. The percentage of patients with CT-identified sarcopenia and myosteatosis that were categorised as ‘low nutritional risk’ by MUST, MST and NRI were 55%, 61%, and 14% and 52%, 50%, and 11%, respectively. Among these tools, the NRI was most sensitive, with scores <97.5 detecting 85.8%, 88.6%, and 92.9% of sarcopenia, myosteatosis, and CC cases, respectively. Using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models, NRI score < 97.5 predicted greater mortality risk (hazard ratio 1.8, confidence interval: 1.2–2.8, P = 0.007). Conclusions: High numbers of nutritionally vulnerable patients, with demonstrated abnormal body composition phenotypes on CT analysis, were misclassified by MUST and MST. Caution should be exercised when categorizing the nutritional risk of oncology patients using these tools. NRI detected the majority of abnormal body composition phenotypes and independently predicted survival. Of the tools examined, the NRI yielded the most valuable information from screening and demonstrated usefulness as an initial nutritional risk grading system in ambulatory oncology patients.
- ItemThe burden of healthcare costs associated with prostate cancer in Ireland(Wichtig: Open Access Journals, 2017-01) Burns, Richéal M.; Leal, Jose; Wolstenholme, Jane; O'Neill, Ciaran; Sullivan, Frank J.; Drummond, Frances J.; Sharp, Linda; Health Research BoardPurpose: With one of the highest incidences across Europe and the rest of the World in 2012, the Republic of Ireland (RoI) has experienced significant increases in prostate cancer (PCa) since 1994. The main driver is the widespread use of PSA testing which is used to detect PCa. This is expected to have significant implications on resource use in the RoI. The focus of this paper was to (i) derive costs for the PCa pathway, from diagnosis to treatment, and (ii) estimate overall healthcare expenditure for PCa in the RoI. Methods: PCa incidence (ICD-10 code: C61), treatment and mortality data during 2007-2010 was obtained from the National Cancer Registry Ireland. Costs associated with diagnosis, treatment, treatment complications, clinical follow-up to year four post-diagnosis and terminal (palliative) care were estimated using sources such as survey data, Irish inpatient costs and published costs.Results: The overall estimated burden of healthcare costs associated with those diagnosed with PCa and receiving care (up to four-year post-diagnosis) or dying from PCa in 2010 was approximately (sic)45.6 million. The overall cost associated with detection, via PSA testing, for those diagnosed with PCa in 2010 (n = 3287) was (sic)366,369. Treatment costs varied considerably with the most expensive treatment being chemotherapy and radical prostatectomy (unit cost (sic)11,278 and (sic)7324, respectively). Conclusions: PCa incidence partly due to high levels of PSA testing has significant resource utilisation implications in the RoI.
- ItemUBE2L6/UBCH8 and ISG15 attenuate autophagy in esophageal cancer cells(Impact Journals, 2017-02-08) Falvey, Chloe M.; O'Donovan, Tracey R.; El-Mashad, Shereen M.; Nyhan, Michelle J.; O'Reilly, Seamus; McKenna, Sharon L.; University College Cork; Higher Education Authority; Breakthrough Cancer Research, IrelandEsophageal cancer remains a poor prognosis cancer due to advanced stage of presentation and drug resistant disease. To understand the molecular mechanisms influencing response to chemotherapy, we examined genes that are differentially expressed between drug sensitive, apoptosis competent esophageal cancer cells (OE21, OE33, FLO-1) and those which are more resistant and do not exhibit apoptosis (KYSE450 and OE19). Members of the ISG15 (ubiquitin-like) protein modification pathway, including UBE2L6 and ISG15, were found to be more highly expressed in the drug sensitive cell lines. In this study, we evaluated the contribution of these proteins to the response of drug sensitive cells. Depletion of UBE2L6 or ISG15 with siRNA did not influence caspase-3 activation or nuclear fragmentation following treatment with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). We assessed autophagy by analysis of LC3II expression and Cyto-ID staining. Depletion of either ISG15 or UBE2L6 resulted in enhanced endogenous autophagic flux. An increase in autophagic flux was also observed following treatment with cytotoxic drugs (5-FU, rapamycin). In ISG15 depleted cells, this increase in autophagy was associated with improved recovery of drug treated cells. In contrast, UBE2L6 depleted cells, did not show enhanced recovery. UBE2L6 may therefore influence additional targets that limit the pro-survival effect of ISG15 depletion. These data identify UBE2L6 and ISG15 as novel inhibitors of autophagy, with the potential to influence chemosensitivity in esophageal cancer cells.
- ItemDesigner bacteria as intratumoural enzyme biofactories(Elsevier, 2017-09-12) Lehouritis, Panos; Hogan, Glenn; Tangney, Mark; Irish Cancer Society; Science Foundation Ireland; Breakthrough Cancer Research, IrelandBacterial-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (BDEPT) is an emerging form of treatment for cancer. It is a biphasic variant of gene therapy in which a bacterium, armed with an enzyme that can convert an inert prodrug into a cytotoxic compound, induces tumour cell death following tumour-specific prodrug activation. BDEPT combines the innate ability of bacteria to selectively proliferate in tumours, with the capacity of prodrugs to undergo contained, compartmentalised conversion into active metabolites in vivo. Although BDEPT has undergone clinical testing, it has received limited clinical exposure, and has yet to achieve regulatory approval. In this article, we review BDEPT from the system designer's perspective, and provide detailed commentary on how the designer should strategize its development de novo. We report on contemporary advancements in this field which aim to enhance BDEPT in terms of safety and efficacy. Finally, we discuss clinical and regulatory barriers facing BDEPT, and propose promising approaches through which these hurdles may best be tackled.