Novel therapies employing oncolytic viruses have emerged as promising anticancer modalities. The cure of particularly aggressive malignancies requires induction of immunogenic cell death (ICD), coupling oncolysis with immune responses via calreticulin, ATP, and high-mobility group box protein B1 (HMGB1) release from dying tumor cells. The present study shows that in human pancreatic cancer cells (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma [PDAC] cells n=4), oncolytic parvovirus H-1 (H-1PV) activated multiple interconnected death pathways but failed to induce calreticulin exposure or ATP release. In contrast, H-1PV elevated extracellular HMGB1 levels by 4.0±0.5 times (58%±9% of total content; up to 100 ng/ml) in all infected cultures, whether nondying, necrotic, or apoptotic. An alternative secretory route allowed H-1PV to overcome the failure of gemcitabine to trigger HMGB1 release, without impeding cytotoxicity or other ICD activities of the standard PDAC medication. Such broad resistance of H-1PV-induced HMGB1 release to apoptotic blockage coincided with but was uncoupled from an autocrine interleukin-1? (IL-1?) loop. That and the pattern of viral determinants maintained in gemcitabine-treated cells suggested the activation of an inflammasome/caspase 1 (CASP1) platform alongside DNA detachment and/or nuclear exclusion of HMGB1 during early stages of the viral life cycle. We concluded that H-1PV infection of PDAC cells is signaled through secretion of the alarmin HMGB1 and, besides its own oncolytic effect, might convert drug-induced apoptosis into an ICD process. A transient arrest of cells in the cyclin A1-rich S phase would suffice to support compatibility of proliferation-dependent H-1PV with cytotoxic regimens. These properties warrant incorporation of the oncolytic virus H-1PV, which is not pathogenic in humans, into multimodal anticancer treatments.
CSPG4 marks pericytes, undifferentiated precursors and tumor cells. We assessed whether the shed ectodomain of CSPG4 (sCSPG4) might circulate and reflect potential changes in CSPG4 tissue expression (pCSPG4) due to desmoplastic and malignant aberrations occurring in pancreatic tumors. Serum sCSPG4 was measured using ELISA in test (n?=?83) and validation (n?=?221) cohorts comprising donors (n?=?11+26) and patients with chronic pancreatitis (n?=?11+20) or neoplasms: benign (serous cystadenoma SCA, n?=?13+20), premalignant (intraductal dysplastic IPMNs, n?=?9+55), and malignant (IPMN-associated invasive carcinomas, n?=?4+14; ductal adenocarcinomas, n?=?35+86). Pancreatic pCSPG4 expression was evaluated using qRT-PCR (n?=?139), western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. sCSPG4 was found in circulation, but its level was significantly lower in pancreatic patients than in donors. Selective maintenance was observed in advanced IPMNs and PDACs and showed a nodal association while lacking prognostic relevance. Pancreatic pCSPG4 expression was preserved or elevated, whereby neoplastic cells lacked pCSPG4 or tended to overexpress without shedding. Extreme pancreatic overexpression, membranous exposure and tissue(high)/sera(low)-discordance highlighted stroma-poor benign cystic neoplasm. SCA is known to display hypoxic markers and coincide with von-Hippel-Lindau and Peutz-Jeghers syndromes, in which pVHL and LBK1 mutations affect hypoxic signaling pathways. In vitro testing confined pCSPG4 overexpression to normal mesenchymal but not epithelial cells, and a third of tested carcinoma cell lines; however, only the latter showed pCSPG4-responsiveness to chronic hypoxia. siRNA-based knockdowns failed to reduce the malignant potential of either normoxic or hypoxic cells. Thus, overexpression of the newly established conditional hypoxic indicator, CSPG4, is apparently non-pathogenic in pancreatic malignancies but might mark distinct epithelial lineage and contribute to cell polarity disorders. Surficial retention on tumor cells renders CSPG4 an attractive therapeutic target. Systemic 'drop and restoration' alterations accompanying IPMN and PDAC progression indicate that the interference of pancreatic diseases with local and remote shedding/release of sCSPG4 into circulation deserves broad diagnostic exploration.
KRAS mutations are major factors involved in initiation and maintenance of pancreatic tumors. The impact of different mutations on patient survival has not been clearly defined. We screened tumors from 171 pancreatic cancer patients for mutations in KRAS and CDKN2A genes. Mutations in KRAS were detected in 134 tumors, with 131 in codon 12 and only 3 in codon 61. The GGT>GAT (G12D) was the most frequent mutation and was present in 60% (80/134). Deletions and mutations in CDKN2A were detected in 43 tumors. Analysis showed that KRAS mutations were associated with reduced patient survival in both malignant exocrine and ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC). Patients with PDACs that had KRAS mutations showed a median survival of 17 months compared to 30 months for those without mutations (log-rank P?=?0.07) with a multivariate hazard ratio (HR) of 2.19 (95%CI 1.09-4.42). The patients with G12D mutation showed a median survival of 16 months (log-rank-test P?=?0.03) and an associated multivariate HR 2.42 (95%CI 1.14-2.67). Although, the association of survival in PDAC patients with CDKN2A aberrations in tumors was not statistically significant, the sub-group of patients with concomitant KRAS mutations and CDKN2A alterations in tumors were associated with a median survival of 13.5 months compared to 22 months without mutation (log-rank-test P?=?0.02) and a corresponding HR of 3.07 (95%CI 1.33-7.10). Our results are indicative of an association between mutational status and survival in PDAC patients, which if confirmed in subsequent studies can have potential clinical application.
There is strong epidemiologic evidence indicating that common genetic variability could be implicated in pancreatic cancer risk and, to date, various loci have been proposed. In particular, there is increasing evidence of the involvement of ABO gene variability and pancreatic cancer risk. In a large multicentric study of 1,028 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cases and 2,257 controls in the context of the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium, we investigated the suggested association with increased risk for carriers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) determining the A or B allele in comparison with the O allele, which encodes for a non-functional enzyme. Since glycosyltransferase activity, encoded by ABO, is higher for the A1 variant compared with the A2 variant, we investigated the hypothesis that A1 carriers were at an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. In our analysis, carriers of the A1 were indeed at greater risk of developing the disease. In addition, we investigated the possible influence that genetic variability at the ABO locus may have in pancreatic cancer survival, but we observed no effect in our population.
Oncolytic viruses with their capacity to specifically replicate in and kill tumor cells emerged as a novel class of cancer therapeutics. Rat oncolytic parvovirus (H-1PV) was used to treat different types of cancer in preclinical settings and was lately successfully combined with standard gemcitabine chemotherapy in treating pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in rats. Our previous work showed that the immune system and particularly the release of interferon-gamma (IFN?) seem to mediate the anticancer effect of H-1PV in that model. Therefore, we reasoned that the therapeutic properties of H-1PV can be boosted with IFN? for the treatment of late incurable stages of PDAC like peritoneal carcinomatosis. Rats bearing established orthotopic pancreatic carcinomas with peritoneal metastases were treated with a single intratumoral (i.t.) or intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of 5 x 10? plaque forming units of H-1PV with or without concomitant IFN? application. Intratumoral injection proved to be more effective than the intraperitoneal route in controlling the growth of both the primary pancreatic tumors and peritoneal carcinomatosis, accompanied by migration of virus from primary to metastatic deposits. Concomitant i.p. treatment of H-1PV with recIFN? resulted in improved therapeutic effect yielding an extended animal survival, compared with i.p. treatment with H-1PV alone. IFN? application enhanced the H-1PV-induced peritoneal macrophage and splenocyte responses against tumor cells while causing a significant reduction in the titers of H1-PV-neutralising antibodies in ascitic fluid. Thus, IFN? co-application together with H-1PV might be considered as a novel therapeutic option to improve the survival of PDAC patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis.
Erythropoietin (Epo) administration has been reported to have tumor-promoting effects in anemic cancer patients. We investigated the prognostic impact of endogenous Epo in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).
Two recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), conducted, respectively, in a Japanese and in a Chinese population, identified eight novel loci affecting PDAC risk.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the European Union and in the USA, but little is known about its genetic susceptibility. The PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium was established to unite the efforts of different research groups; its aim is to create a large bio-database to uncover new genetic factors for pancreatic cancer risk, response to treatment, and patient survival. So far 2220 cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, a smaller number of cases of endocrine pancreatic tumours (n=86), chronic pancreatitis (n=272) and 3847 healthy controls have been collected. As a collective effort of the consortium, SNPs associated with pancreatic adenocarcinoma risk from a genome-wide association study performed in Caucasians were replicated. The possibility that the same genetic polymorphisms may influence patient survival as well was also addressed. This collective effort is particularly important for pancreatic cancer because it is a relatively rare disease for which little is known about aetiopathogenesis and risk factors. The recruitment of additional collaborators and partner institutions is continuously on-going.
Standard cancer cell lines do not model the intratumoural heterogeneity situation sufficiently. Clonal selection leads to a homogeneous population of cells by genetic drift. Heterogeneity of tumour cells, however, is particularly critical for therapeutically relevant studies, since it is a prerequisite for acquiring drug resistance and reoccurrence of tumours. Here, we report the isolation of a highly tumourigenic primary pancreatic cancer cell line, called JoPaca-1 and its detailed characterization at multiple levels. Implantation of as few as 100 JoPaca-1 cells into immunodeficient mice gave rise to tumours that were histologically very similar to the primary tumour. The high heterogeneity of JoPaca-1 was reflected by diverse cell morphology and a substantial number of chromosomal aberrations. Comparative whole-genome sequencing of JoPaca-1 and BxPC-3 revealed mutations in genes frequently altered in pancreatic cancer. Exceptionally high expression of cancer stem cell markers and a high clonogenic potential in vitro and in vivo was observed. All of these attributes make this cell line an extremely valuable model to study the biology of and pharmaceutical effects on pancreatic cancer.
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