Matching Items (50)
- All Subjects: Cancer
- Creators: School of Life Sciences
- Status: Published
Age is the most significant risk factor for cancer development in humans. The somatic mutation theory postulates that the accumulation of genomic mutations over time results in cellular function degradation which plays an important role in understanding aging and cancer development. Specifically, degradation of the mechanisms that underlie somatic maintenance can occur due to decreased immune cell function and genomic responses to DNA damage. Research has shown that this degradation can lead to the accumulation of mutations that can cause cancer in humans. Despite recent advances in our understanding of cancer in non-human species, how this risk factor translates across species is poorly characterized. Here, we analyze a veterinarian cancer dataset of 4,178 animals to investigate if age related cancer prevalence is similar in non-human animals. We intend for this work to be used as a primary step towards understanding the potential overlap and/or uniqueness between human and non-human cancer risk factors. This study can be used to better understand cancer development and how evolutionary processes have shaped somatic maintenance across species.
Cancers of the reproductive tissues make up a significant portion of the cancer burden and mortality experienced by humans. Humans experience several proximal causative carcinogens that explain a portion of cancer risk, but an evolutionary viewpoint can provide a unique lens into the ultimate causes of reproductive cancer vulnerabilities. A life history framework allows us to make predictions on cancer prevalence based on a species’ tempo of reproduction. Moreover, certain variations in the susceptibility and prevalence of cancer may emerge due to evolutionary trade-offs between reproduction and somatic maintenance. For example, such trade-offs could involve the demand for rapid proliferation of cells in reproductive tissues that arises with reproductive events. In this study, I compiled reproductive cancer prevalence for 158 mammalian species and modeled the predictive power of 13 life history traits on the patterns of cancer prevalence we observed, such as Peto’s Paradox or slow-fast life history strategies. We predicted that fast-life history strategists will exhibit higher neoplasia prevalence risk due to reproductive trade-offs. Furthering this analytical framework can aid in predicting cancer rates and stratifying cancer risk across the tree of life.
Cooperative cellular phenotypes are universal across multicellular life. Division of labor, regulated proliferation, and controlled cell death are essential in the maintenance of a multicellular body. Breakdowns in these cooperative phenotypes are foundational in understanding the initiation and progression of neoplastic diseases, such as cancer. Cooperative cellular phenotypes are straightforward to characterize in extant species but the selective pressures that drove their emergence at the transition(s) to multicellularity have yet to be fully characterized. Here we seek to understand how a dynamic environment shaped the emergence of two mechanisms of regulated cell survival: apoptosis and senescence. We developed an agent-based model to test the time to extinction or stability in each of these phenotypes across three levels of stochastic environments.
Evaluating Biomarkers for Heterogeneous Diseases: from Receiver Operating Characteristics Curves to Jittered Dot Plot and Averaged Above Mean Difference Analysis
Early detection of disease is essential for alleviating disease burden, increasing success rate and decreasing mortality rate especially for cancer. To improve disease diagnostics, many candidate biomarkers have been suggested using molecular biology or image analysis techniques over the past decade. The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve is a standard technique to evaluate a diagnostic accuracy of biomarkers, but it has some limitations especially for heterogeneous diseases. As an alternative of the ROC curve analysis, we suggest a jittered dot plot (JDP) and JDP-based evaluation measures, above mean difference (AMD) and averaged above mean difference (AAMD). We demonstrate how JDP and AMD or AAMD together better evaluate biomarkers than the standard ROC curve. We analyze real and heterogeneous basal-like breast cancer data.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death, globally, with an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, according to the World Health Organization. However, this is not the only impact cancer has on affected individuals, as death rates only capture the mortality of cancer, there are still detrimental effects cancer has on quality of life. Newer therapies for cancer attempt to circumvent these unwanted detriments, such as hormone therapy, stem cell transplants, targeted therapy, etc.3. One such novel therapy being virotherapy, which is the subject of this study. This study follows the observations of the myxoma virus (MYXV), a prototypic poxvirus which belongs to the Leporipoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family. This method allows larger particles to enter host cells through the process of overriding host cell endocytosis pathways, with a few exceptions. Interestingly, research has shown that MYXV has been able to infect multiple types of tumor cells of non-rabbit species both in vitro and in vivo, in not only humans but murine, rodent, species as well. This allows MYXV to pose as a potential virotherapy for human cancer cells. McFadden research lab has been researching the role of the exportin 1 protein (XPO1), also known as the chromosome maintenance region-1 (CRM-1). It is suspected that the XPO1 pathway may be one of the evasion mechanisms that MYXV utilizes as an antiviral response. KPT-330 (Selinexor) is a selective inhibitor of nuclear transport (SINE) drug that was designed as the first-in-human oral FDA approved cancer treatment. It has been shown effectiveness in inhibiting XPO1 in multiple lines of cancer cells, such as the Lewis Lung Carcinoma (LLC1) cells researched in this study. McFadden research lab has been examining the effects of various Selinexor concentrations along with different multiplicities of infection (MOIs) of MYXV to determine the best combination that can be used to reduce tumor size at the highest effectiveness. Overall, Selinexor is not increasing cell killing through a synergistic means, but rather simply by increasing the ability of MYXV to infect and spread in LLC1 cells. This then causes increased cell killing given that more LLC1 cells are penetrated by the OV and “suffocated” by the prevention of exporting essential proteins from the nucleus to their respectively critical final destinations in the cancer cells.
Purinergic receptors sense extracellular nucleotide DAMPs such as ATP and adenosine, which are expressed in high concentrations in the tumor microenvironment (TME). A2AR, an adenosine receptor that is expressed on both T cells and tumor cells, promotes immunosuppression. However, the impact of the TME on changes in purinergic receptor expression on CD8 T cells, as well as the overall dynamic between A2AR expression and tumor control, have not been clearly elucidated. Using in vitro co-culture experiments and in vivo murine tumor models, we found that A2AR is significantly upregulated on effector, tumor-infiltrating CD8 T cells. This upregulation was independent of the hypoxia, which we identified via inhibition of HIF1A. We found that this upregulation was partially dependent on CD8 T cell-tumor contact, but independent of cognate antigen recognition, by using transwell co-cultures, as well as combinations of different transgenic lines of CD8 T cells and tumor cells. We confirmed this observation in vivo using transfer of activated OTI cells into B16.OVA-bearing mice. Ultimately, we observed that the upregulation depended on inhibitory receptors such as Tim3 via the antibody blockade of Tim3. Using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout of A2AR on activated CD8 T cells, we found that tumor-bearing mice receiving A2AR knockout CD8 T cells had increased tumor control. Taken together, these results suggest that inhibitory receptor-dependent, TCR-independent signals in the TME promotes upregulation of A2AR on CD8 T cells, leading to impairment of CD8 T cell-mediated tumor control.
Redox homeostasis is described as the net physiologic balance between inter-convertible oxidized and reduced equivalents within subcellular compartments that remain in a dynamic equilibrium. This equilibrium is impacted by reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are natural by-products of normal cellular activity. Studies have shown that cancer cells have high ROS levels and altered redox homeostasis due to increased basal metabolic activity, mitochondrial dysfunction, peroxisome activity, as well as the enhanced activity of NADPH oxidase, cyclooxygenases, and lipoxygenases. Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most prevalent primary brain tumor in adults with a median survival of 15 months. GBM is characterized by its extreme resistance to therapeutic interventions as well as an elevated metabolic rate that results in the exacerbated production of ROS. Therefore, many agents with either antioxidant or pro-oxidant mechanisms of action have been rigorously employed in preclinical as well as clinical settings for treating GBM by inducing oxidative stress within the tumor. Among those agents are well-known antioxidant vitamin C and small molecular weight SOD mimic BMX-001, both of which are presently in clinical trials on GBM patients. Despite the wealth of investigations, limited data is available on the response of normal brain vs glioblastoma tissue to these therapeutic interventions. Currently, a sensitive and rapid liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was established for the quantification of a panel of oxidative stress biomarkers: glutathione (GSH), cysteine (Cys), glutathione disulfide (GSSG), and cysteine disulfide in human-derived brain tumor and mouse brain samples; this method will be enriched with additional oxidative stress biomarkers homocysteine (Hcy), methionine (Met), and cystathionine (Cyst). Using this enriched method, we propose to evaluate the thiol homeostasis and the redox state of both normal brain and GBM in mice after exposure with redox-active therapeutics. Our results showed that, compared to normal brain (in intact mice), GBM tissue has significantly lower GSH/GSSG and Cys/CySS ratios indicating much higher oxidative stress levels. Contralateral “normal” brain tissue collected from the mice with intracranial GBM were also under significant oxidative stress compared to normal brains collected from the intact mice. Importantly, normal brain tissue in both studies retained the ability to restore redox homeostasis after treatment with a redox-active therapeutic within 24 hours while glioblastoma tissue does not. Ultimately, elucidating the differential redox response of normal vs tumor tissue will allow for the development of more redox-active agents with therapeutic benefit.
The Patient Guidance Project was created by a team of research assistants in the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center as a source of supplemental education and support for recently diagnosed cancer patients. Extensive background research in the form of literature reviews highlighted disparities between the information patients want and are receiving, as well as between average literacy levels of patients and the literacy levels at which cancer information is commonly provided. The Patient Guidance Project has published comprehensive guides for specific types of cancer, which so far include metastatic melanoma, glioblastoma, prostate cancer, oral cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. The content of the guides is intended to bridge the gaps in information for patients with an emphasis on treatment options, treatment side effects, and psychological support resources, which surveys have identified as the topics patients want information on most. Written at a sixth-grade literacy level, which over half of adults in the U.S. read at, the guides are meant to be of benefit to as many people as possible. In the future, the team hopes to expand the Patient Guidance Project to include more cancer types, guides in different languages, and multimodal features to increase their effectiveness.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most lethal primary brain tumor in adults with a less than 5% chance of survival beyond 5 years. With few effective therapies beyond the standard of care, there are often treatment resistant recurrences seen in most patients. STAT5 is a protein that has shown to be upregulated in highly invasive and treatment resistant GBM. Elucidating the role of STAT5 in GBM could reveal a node of therapeutic vulnerability in primary and recurrent GBM.
Cancer is an ever-relevant disease with many genetic, social, environmental, and behavioral risk factors. One factor which has been garnering interest is the impact of nutrition on cancer. As a disease process, cancer is primarily driven by an accumulation of genetic aberrations. Recent epidemiological, pre-clinical, and clinical studies have demonstrated various impacts of bioactive food molecules on the promotion or prevention of these oncogenic mutations. This work explores several of these molecules and their relation to cancer prevention and provides a sample meal plan, which highlights many additional molecules that are currently being studied.