BORIS, or CTCFL, the so called Brother of the Regulator of Imprinted Sites because of the extensive homology in the central DNA binding region of the protein to the related regulator, CTCF, is expressed in early gametogenesis and in multiple cancers but not in differentiated somatic cells. Thus it is a member of the cancer testes antigen group (CTAs). Since BORIS and CTCF target common DNA binding sites, these proteins function on two levels, the first level is their regulation via the methylation context of the DNA target site and the second level is their distinct and different epigenetic associations due to differences in the non-homologous termini of the proteins. The regulation on both of these levels is extensive and complex and the sphere of influence of each of these proteins is associated with vastly different cellular signaling processes. On the level of gene expression, BORIS has three known promoters and multiple spliced mRNAs which adds another level of complexity to this intriguing regulator. BORIS expression is observed in the majority of cancer tissues and cell lines analyzed up to today. The expression profile and essential role of BORIS in cancer make this molecule very attractive target for cancer immunotherapy. This review summarizes what is known about BORIS regarding its expression, structure, and function and then presents some theoretical considerations with respect to its genome wide influence and its potential for use as a vaccine for cancer immunotherapy.
Many peptide-based cancer vaccines have been tested in clinical trials with a limited success, mostly due to difficulties associated with peptide stability and delivery, resulting in inefficient antigen presentation. Therefore, the development of suitable and efficient vaccine carrier systems remains a major challenge.
Due to the recent advancements in stem cell biology and engineering, scientists have been increasingly interested in creating in vitro niches for embryonic and adult stem cells, and, following induction and differentiation with the appropriate media, the production of large scale blood production. This artificially created niche for hematopoietic cells will be composed of three materials: the stem cells themselves, the scaffold surrounding the stem cell, and the media used to expand and differentiate the stem cells. This paper will examine the recent advancements in technology for each of these relating to the development of an artificial stem cell niche. Many key aspects of the artificial niche need to be improved on before we can scale up the engineered device for large scale blood production including more efficient methods of retrieval of the embroid bodies produced from the microfluidic channels. The current state of experimental methods such as these as well as relevant discoveries in related fields that could be applied to artificial niche technology is described in this paper. Furthermore, we present a mathematical model to describe cell expansion in the artificial hematopoietic stem cell niche in order to design and optimize a scaled-up bioreactor. The mathematical model describes the dynamics of expansion, and maintenance of homeostasis in the bioreactor.
Patients with malignancy sometimes develop painful mucositis and require patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) to treat their pain. Pain disrupts sleep and there is some evidence that analgesic medications also disrupt sleep. This study examined whether treatment with the sedative hypnotic eszopiclone could improve self-reports of sleep, fatigue, and pain as well as decrease opioid self-administered via PCA.
Induction of tumor-specific immunity is an attractive approach to cancer therapy, however to date every major pivotal trial has resulted in failure. While the phenomena of tumor-mediated immune suppression has been known for decades, only recently have specific molecular pathways been elucidated, and for the first time, rationale means of intervening and observing results of intervention have been developed. In this review we describe major advances in our understanding of tumor escape from immunological pressure and provide some possible therapeutic scenarios for enhancement of efficacy in future cancer vaccine trials.
The medical use of low level laser (LLL) irradiation has been occurring for decades, primarily in the area of tissue healing and inflammatory conditions. Despite little mechanistic knowledge, the concept of a non-invasive, non-thermal intervention that has the potential to modulate regenerative processes is worthy of attention when searching for novel methods of augmenting stem cell-based therapies. Here we discuss the use of LLL irradiation as a "photoceutical" for enhancing production of stem cell growth/chemoattractant factors, stimulation of angiogenesis, and directly augmenting proliferation of stem cells. The combination of LLL together with allogeneic and autologous stem cells, as well as post-mobilization directing of stem cells will be discussed.
Recent years have brought significant breakthroughs in the understanding of tumor biology, related to discovery of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in acute myelogenous leukemia as well as in a number of solid tumors. This finding revealed that not all tumor cells are able to divide indefinitely, and that the bulk of tumor cells are expanded because of divisions and differentiation of CSC fraction. Although the CSCs identified in acute leukemia have a phenotype of early hematopoietic progenitors, it seems that CSCs in multiple myeloma (MM) may resemble the memory B cell fraction. Previous studies in patients with MM have documented the existence of cells without plasma cell characteristics expressing MM-type immunoglobulin genes--so-called "clonotypic" B cells. These cells have been characterized functionally and phenotypically as chemoresistant recirculating B cells. They have been found to self-renew and to be capable of initiating MM growth in immunocompromised animals. Controversy exists as to whether these cells truly belong to an MM clone, however; they may represent only the remaining clones of premalignant B cells. The identification of MM stem cells responsible for the recurrence of MM is of primary importance in designing targeted therapies to definitely cure this disease. This article summarizes the current state of knowledge on these hypothetical "MM stem cells."
It has been suggested that the initial differentiation of endothelial and hematopoietic cells during embryogenesis occurs from a common progenitor, called hemangioblast (hB). We hypothesized that these cells with dual hematopoietic/endothelial potential could be used in future regenerative medicine.
"Niche" is defined as a specialized regulatory microenvironment, consisting of components which control the fate specification of stem and progenitor cells, as well as maintaining their development by supplying the requisite factors. Bone marrow (BM) niche has a well-organized architecture and is composed of osteoblasts, osteoclasts, bone marrow endothelial cells, stromal cells, adipocytes and extracellular matrix proteins (ECM). These elements play an essential role in the survival, growth and differentiation of diverse lineages of blood cells, but also provide optimal growth environment for multiple hematological malignancies including multiple myeloma (MM). MM is a neoplastic plasma cell disorder which not only resides in BM but also converts it into specialized neoplastic niche. This niche aids the growth and spreading of tumor cells by a complex interplay of cytokines, chemokines, proteolytic enzymes and adhesion molecules. Moreover, the MM BM microenvironment was shown to confer survival and chemoresistance of MM cells to current therapies. However, our knowledge in this field is still in infancy and many details are unknown. Therefore, there is a strong need to further dissect the MM BM niche and understand the process of how the complex interactions with BM milieu influence MM growth, survival and development of resistance to chemotherapy. A better and more detailed understanding of neoplastic MM niche will provide a guiding model for identifying and validating novel targeted therapies directed against MM. Therefore, in the present review, we have focused principally on the basic features, physical structures, and functions of the BM niche and have highlighted its interaction with MM cells.
Autologous peripheral blood stem/progenitor cell transplantation (APBSCT) has been investigated as a potential therapeutic option to improve outcome in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). However, its optimal role in treatment for adults in remission has not been clearly established. We performed a retrospective analysis on 45 patients aged 21 to 73 years (median 51 years) with de novo AML who underwent APBSCT stratified by age, complete remission status, and cytogenetic risk. The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) for all patients was 33.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.1%-53.7%) and overall survival (OS) was 43.6% (CI, 29.2%-62.8%). For patients under the age of 60 years, the 5-year DFS for intermediate and high cytogenetic risk was 53.3% (CI, 23.5%-85.6%) and 50.0% (CI, 16.1%-100.0%); the 5-year OS for patients under the age of 60 years with low, intermediate, and high cytogenetic risk was 80.0% (CI, 40.0%-100.0%), 60.0% (CI, 31.2%-90.7%), and 75.0% (CI, 39.0%-100.0%), respectively. For patients over the age of 60 years, the 5-year DFS and OS for intermediate cytogenetic risk was 21.4% (CI, 7.9%-58.4%) and 21.4% (CI, 7.9%-58.4%). The DFS and OS of these patients are comparable to the historic survival of those who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation when adjusted by age. In addition, there was no treatment-related mortality (TRM). We conclude that APBSCT is a reasonable and safe intensive consolidation for patients with AML who do not have a suitable HLA-matched donor.
Relapse of malignancy after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) remains a therapeutic challenge. Blockade of the CTLA4 molecule can effectively augment antitumor immunity mediated by autologous effector T cells. We have assessed the safety and preliminary efficacy of a neutralizing, human anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody, ipilimumab, in stimulating the graft-versus-malignancy (GVM) effect after allo-HCT. Twenty-nine patients with malignancies that were recurrent or progressive after allo-HCT, received ipilimumab as a single infusion at dose cohorts between 0.1 and 3.0 mg/kg. Dose-limiting toxicity was not encountered, and ipilimumab did not induce graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) or graft rejection. Organ-specific immune adverse events (IAE) were seen in 4 patients (grade 3 arthritis, grade 2 hyperthyroidism, recurrent grade 4 pneumonitis). Three patients with lymphoid malignancy developed objective disease responses following ipilimumab: complete remission (CR) in 2 patients with Hodgkin disease and partial remission (PR) in a patient with refractory mantle cell lymphoma. At the 3.0 mg/kg dose, active serum concentrations of ipilimumab were maintained for more than 30 days after a single infusion. Ipilimumab, as administered in this clinical trial, does not induce or exacerbate clinical GVHD, but may cause organ-specific IAE and regression of malignancy. This study is registered at (http://clinicaltrials.gov) under NCI protocol ID P6082.
Translation of small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based approaches into practical therapeutics is limited because of lack of an effective and cell-specific delivery system. Herein, we present a new method of selectively delivering siRNA to dendritic cells (DCs) in vivo using CD40 siRNA-containing immunoliposomes (siILs) that were decorated with DC-specific DEC-205 mAb. Administration of CD40 siILs resulted in DC-specific cell targeting in vitro and in vivo. On treatment with CD40 siILs, the expression of CD40 in DCs, as well allostimulatory activity was inhibited. In vivo administration resulted in selective siRNA uptake into immune organs and functional immune modulation as assessed using a model antigen. In conclusion, this is the first demonstration of DC-specific siRNA delivery and gene silencing in vivo, which highlights the potential of DC-mediated immune modulation and the feasibility of siRNA-based clinical therapy.
Animal studies have demonstrated that selective tropism of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) for glioma may be used as a means of selective delivery of cytotoxic payloads. Endometrial Regenerative Cells (ERC) are a population of mesenchymal-like cells which possesse pluripotent differentiation capacity and is characterized by unique surface markers and growth factor production. In this study we sought to determine whether unmanipulated ERC would alter the growth of glioma using the aggressive C6/LacZ7 (C6) into Sprague Dawley rat model. ERC administration by intravenous (i.v.) or intratumoral (i.t.) showed significant inhibition of glioma: volume reduction of 49% after i.v. treatment (p < 0.05), and about 46% i.t. treatment (p < 0.05). Tumor reduction was associated with inhibition of angiogenesis and reduced numbers of CD133 positive cells in the incranial tumor. Despite the angiogenic potential of ERC in the hindlimb ischemia model, these data support a paradoxical tumor inhibitory activity of ERC. Further studies are needed to determine the qualitative differences between physiological angiogenesis, which seems to be supported by ERC and tumor angiogenesis which appeared to be inhibited.
Cryopreservation is a common procedure widely used in biological and clinical sciences. Similar protocols are also applied in preserving cancer stem cells, a field with high promises and challenges. Specific cell surface membrane proteins are considered to be biomarkers of cancer stem cells and they may play a critical role in differentiating stem cells from non stem cells. We have looked at the possible effect of long-term cryopreservation on the molecular integrity of breast MCF7 and lung, A549 and H460, cancer stem cells and to assess if these cells are more sensitive to long-term storage process. We analyzed the expression of CD24 and CD38 as two potent biomarkers of lung cancer stem cells and EpCAM and ALDH that are used as biomarkers of a wide range of cancer stem cells. We also selected three genes essential for the normal functioning of the cells, Fos, MUC1, and HLA. Our results indicate a pattern of down-regulation in the expression of the genes following freezing, in particular among cell surface marker proteins. Global gene expression of the post-thaw breast and lung cancer stem cells also reveals a significant down-regulation in freeze-thaw cells independent from each other. Analyzing the canonical pathways between two populations reveals a significant alteration in the gene expression of the pathways involved in cell cycle, mitosis, and ataxia telangiectasia mutated pathways. Overall, our results indicate that current protocols for long-term storage of lung and breast cancer stem cells may substantially influence the activity and function of genes.
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