Publications by authors named "Alena Liskova"

43 Publications

Regulation of Nuclear Factor-KappaB (NF-κB) signaling pathway by non-coding RNAs in cancer: Inhibiting or promoting carcinogenesis?

Cancer Lett 2021 Jul 7;509:63-80. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

NUS Centre for Cancer Research (N2CR), Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 117 600, Singapore. Electronic address:

The nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) signaling pathway is considered as a potential therapeutic target in cancer therapy. It has been well established that transcription factor NF-κB is involved in regulating physiological and pathological events including inflammation, immune response and differentiation. Increasing evidences suggest that deregulated NF-κB signaling can enhance cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and also mediate radio-as well as chemo-resistance. On the contrary, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been found to modulate NF-κB signaling pathway under different settings. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can dually inhibit/induce NF-κB signaling thereby affecting the growth and migration of cancer cells. Furthermore, the response of cancer cells to radiotherapy and chemotherapy may also be regulated by miRNAs. Regulation of NF-κB by miRNAs may be mediated via binding to 3-UTR region. Interestingly, anti-tumor compounds can increase the expression of tumor-suppressor miRNAs in inhibiting NF-κB activation and the progression of cancers. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and circular RNAs (circRNAs) can also effectively modulate NF-κB signaling thus affecting tumorigenesis. It is noteworthy that several studies have demonstrated that lncRNAs and circRNAs can affect miRNAs in targeting NF-κB activation. They can act as competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) thereby reducing miRNA expression to induce NF-κB activation that can in turn promote cancer progression and malignancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2021.03.025DOI Listing
July 2021

Flavonoids Alleviate Peripheral Neuropathy Induced by Anticancer Drugs.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 29;13(7). Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Education City, Qatar Foundation, Doha 24144, Qatar.

Purpose: This study aimed to assess the potential of flavonoids in combating CIPN.

Methods: PubMed and Google Scholar were used, and studies that investigated flavonoids in models of CIPN and models of neuropathic pain similar to CIPN were included. Only studies investigating peripheral mechanisms of CIPN were used.

Results: Flavonoids inhibit several essential mechanisms of CIPN, such as proinflammatory cytokine release, astrocyte and microglial activation, oxidative stress, neuronal damage and apoptosis, mitochondrial damage, ectopic discharge, and ion channel activation. They decreased the severity of certain CIPN symptoms, such as thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical, tactile, and cold allodynia.

Conclusions: Flavonoids hold immense promise in treating CIPN; thus, future research should investigate their effects in humans. Specifically, precise pharmacological mechanisms and side effects need to be elucidated in human models before clinical benefits can be achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071576DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8036789PMC
March 2021

Nrf2 signaling pathway in cisplatin chemotherapy: Potential involvement in organ protection and chemoresistance.

Pharmacol Res 2021 May 24;167:105575. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Medical Technology Research Center, Institute of Health Technology, Kermanashah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah 6715847141, Iran; Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Department, School of Paramedical Sciences, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran. Electronic address:

Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a vital transcription factor and its induction is of significant importance for protecting against oxidative damage. Increased levels of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) stimulate Nrf2 signaling, enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. These enzymes are associated with retarding oxidative stress. On the other hand, Nrf2 activation in cancer cells is responsible for the development of chemoresistance due to disrupting oxidative mediated-cell death by reducing ROS levels. Cisplatin (CP), cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II), is a potent anti-tumor agent extensively used in cancer therapy, but its frequent application leads to the development of chemoresistance as well. In the present study, association of Nrf2 signaling with chemoresistance to CP and protection against its deleterious effects is discussed. Anti-tumor compounds, mainly phytochemicals, retard chemoresistance by suppressing Nrf2 signaling. Upstream mediators such as microRNAs can regulate Nrf2 expression during CP chemotherapy regimens. Protection against side effects of CP is mediated via activating Nrf2 signaling and its downstream targets activating antioxidant defense system. Protective agents that activate Nrf2 signaling, can ameliorate CP-mediated ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity. Reducing ROS levels and preventing cell death are the most important factors involved in alleviating CP toxicity upon Nrf2 activation. As pre-clinical experiments advocate the role of Nrf2 in chemoprotection and CP resistance, translating these findings to the clinic can provide a significant progress in treatment of cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105575DOI Listing
May 2021

Mitochondrial impairments in aetiopathology of multifactorial diseases: common origin but individual outcomes in context of 3P medicine.

EPMA J 2021 Mar 4:1-14. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Predictive, Preventive, Personalised (3P) Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany.

Mitochondrial injury plays a key role in the aetiopathology of multifactorial diseases exhibiting a "vicious circle" characteristic for pathomechanisms of the mitochondrial and multi-organ damage frequently developed in a reciprocal manner. Although the origin of the damage is common (uncontrolled ROS release, diminished energy production and extensive oxidative stress to life-important biomolecules such as mtDNA and chrDNA), individual outcomes differ significantly representing a spectrum of associated pathologies including but not restricted to neurodegeneration, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Contextually, the role of predictive, preventive and personalised (PPPM/3P) medicine is to introduce predictive analytical approaches which allow for distinguishing between individual outcomes under circumstance of mitochondrial impairments followed by cost-effective targeted prevention and personalisation of medical services. Current article considers innovative concepts and analytical instruments to advance management of mitochondriopathies and associated pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13167-021-00237-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7931170PMC
March 2021

Expression of programmed death-ligand 1 protein in pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma correlates with tumour necrosis but not with tumour differentiation.

J Clin Pathol 2021 Mar 8. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave Jesseniova Lekárska Fakulta v Martine, Martin, Slovakia

Aims: Pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) represents the second most common non-small cell lung carcinoma type. The mechanisms which regulate programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in this form of lung cancer are not fully elucidated yet.

Methods: We immunohistochemically determined the level of PD-L1 expression using the Tumour Proportion Score system in surgical resections of 133 patients with pulmonary SqCC. The results from PD-L1 immunohistochemistry were analysed in relation to tumour differentiation and the presence of necrotic areas comprising at least 20% of the tumour mass.

Results: No significant differences in terms of PD-L1 expression were found between SqCC subtypes as defined by the current WHO classification: better differentiated, keratinising tumours (12/24, 50.0 %) compared with less differentiated, non-keratinising and basaloid forms (62/109, 56.9 %) were PD-L1 positive in a comparable proportion of cases (p=0.1903). Contrary to that, SqCCs with the presence of necrosis (51/61, 83.6 %) had significantly more PD-L1-positive cases (p<0.001) compared with SqCCs without necrotic areas (23/72, 32.0 %) CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that PD-L1 expression in pulmonary SqCCs does not correlate with the traditionally defined degree of differentiation of these tumours. On the other hand, we found a significant association between the positive result of PD-L1 immunohistochemistry and tumour necrosis. Further investigation regarding the role of hypoxic pathways as presumable inducers of PD-L1 expression in pulmonary SqCCs might contribute to the understanding of this phenomenon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2020-207171DOI Listing
March 2021

Mitochondriopathies as a Clue to Systemic Disorders-Analytical Tools and Mitigating Measures in Context of Predictive, Preventive, and Personalized (3P) Medicine.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Feb 18;22(4). Epub 2021 Feb 18.

European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine, EPMA, 1160 Brussels, Belgium.

The mitochondrial respiratory chain is the main site of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the cell. Although mitochondria possess a powerful antioxidant system, an excess of ROS cannot be completely neutralized and cumulative oxidative damage may lead to decreasing mitochondrial efficiency in energy production, as well as an increasing ROS excess, which is known to cause a critical imbalance in antioxidant/oxidant mechanisms and a "vicious circle" in mitochondrial injury. Due to insufficient energy production, chronic exposure to ROS overproduction consequently leads to the oxidative damage of life-important biomolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and amino acids, among others. Different forms of mitochondrial dysfunction (mitochondriopathies) may affect the brain, heart, peripheral nervous and endocrine systems, eyes, ears, gut, and kidney, among other organs. Consequently, mitochondriopathies have been proposed as an attractive diagnostic target to be investigated in any patient with unexplained progressive multisystem disorder. This review article highlights the pathomechanisms of mitochondriopathies, details advanced analytical tools, and suggests predictive approaches, targeted prevention and personalization of medical services as instrumental for the overall management of mitochondriopathy-related cascading pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22042007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922866PMC
February 2021

Flavonoids against the SARS-CoV-2 induced inflammatory storm.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 Jun 25;138:111430. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Martin, Slovakia. Electronic address:

The disease severity of COVID-19, especially in the elderly and patients with co-morbidities, is characterized by hypercytokinemia, an exaggerated immune response associated with an uncontrolled and excessive release of proinflammatory cytokine mediators (cytokine storm). Flavonoids, important secondary metabolites of plants, have long been studied as therapeutic interventions in inflammatory diseases due to their cytokine-modulatory effects. In this review, we discuss the potential role of flavonoids in the modulation of signaling pathways that are crucial for COVID-19 disease, particularly those related to inflammation and immunity. The immunomodulatory ability of flavonoids, carried out by the regulation of inflammatory mediators, the inhibition of endothelial activation, NLRP3 inflammasome, toll-like receptors (TLRs) or bromodomain containing protein 4 (BRD4), and the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), might be beneficial in regulating the cytokine storm during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, the ability of flavonoids to inhibit dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), neutralize 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CL) or to affect gut microbiota to maintain immune response, and the dual action of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) may potentially also be applied to the exaggerated inflammatory responses induced by SARS-CoV-2. Based on the previously proven effects of flavonoids in other diseases or on the basis of newly published studies associated with COVID-19 (bioinformatics, molecular docking), it is reasonable to assume positive effects of flavonoids on inflammatory changes associated with COVID-19. This review highlights the current state of knowledge of the utility of flavonoids in the management of COVID-19 and also points to the multiple biological effects of flavonoids on signaling pathways associated with the inflammation processes that are deregulated in the pathology induced by SARS-CoV-2. The identification of agents, including naturally occurring substances such as flavonoids, represents great approach potentially utilizable in the management of COVID-19. Although not clinically investigated yet, the applicability of flavonoids against COVID-19 could be a promising strategy due to a broad spectrum of their biological activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7906511PMC
June 2021

Resveratrol's Anti-Cancer Effects through the Modulation of Tumor Glucose Metabolism.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 7;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Musculoskeletal Research Group and Tumor Biology, Chair of Vegetative Anatomy, Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Pettenkoferstrasse 11, D-80336 Munich, Germany.

Tumor cells develop several metabolic reprogramming strategies, such as increased glucose uptake and utilization via aerobic glycolysis and fermentation of glucose to lactate; these lead to a low pH environment in which the cancer cells thrive and evade apoptosis. These characteristics of tumor cells are known as the Warburg effect. Adaptive metabolic alterations in cancer cells can be attributed to mutations in key metabolic enzymes and transcription factors. The features of the Warburg phenotype may serve as promising markers for the early detection and treatment of tumors. Besides, the glycolytic process of tumors is reversible and could represent a therapeutic target. So-called mono-target therapies are often unsafe and ineffective, and have a high prevalence of recurrence. Their success is hindered by the ability of tumor cells to simultaneously develop multiple chemoresistance pathways. Therefore, agents that modify several cellular targets, such as energy restriction to target tumor cells specifically, have therapeutic potential. Resveratrol, a natural active polyphenol found in grapes and red wine and used in many traditional medicines, is known for its ability to target multiple components of signaling pathways in tumors, leading to the suppression of cell proliferation, activation of apoptosis, and regression in tumor growth. Here, we describe current knowledge on the various mechanisms by which resveratrol modulates glucose metabolism, its potential as an imitator of caloric restriction, and its therapeutic capacity in tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13020188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7825813PMC
January 2021

Flavonoids Targeting HIF-1: Implications on Cancer Metabolism.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 3;13(1). Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 03601 Martin, Slovakia.

Tumor hypoxia is described as an oxygen deprivation in malignant tissue. The hypoxic condition is a consequence of an imbalance between rapidly proliferating cells and a vascularization that leads to lower oxygen levels in tumors. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is an essential transcription factor contributing to the regulation of hypoxia-associated genes. Some of these genes modulate molecular cascades associated with the Warburg effect and its accompanying pathways and, therefore, represent promising targets for cancer treatment. Current progress in the development of therapeutic approaches brings several promising inhibitors of HIF-1. Flavonoids, widely occurring in various plants, exert a broad spectrum of beneficial effects on human health, and are potentially powerful therapeutic tools against cancer. Recent evidences identified numerous natural flavonoids and their derivatives as inhibitors of HIF-1, associated with the regulation of critical glycolytic components in cancer cells, including pyruvate kinase M2(PKM2), lactate dehydrogenase (LDHA), glucose transporters (GLUTs), hexokinase II (HKII), phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK). Here, we discuss the results of most recent studies evaluating the impact of flavonoids on HIF-1 accompanied by the regulation of critical enzymes contributing to the Warburg phenotype. Besides, flavonoid effects on glucose metabolism via regulation of HIF-1 activity represent a promising avenue in cancer-related research. At the same time, only more-in depth investigations can further elucidate the mechanistic and clinical connections between HIF-1 and cancer metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010130DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794792PMC
January 2021

L. (Sumac) Demonstrates Oncostatic Activity in the Therapeutic and Preventive Model of Breast Carcinoma.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Dec 26;22(1). Epub 2020 Dec 26.

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, P. J. Šafárik University, 040 11 Košice, Slovakia.

Comprehensive scientific data provide evidence that isolated phytochemicals or whole plant foods may beneficially modify carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the oncostatic activities of L. (sumac) using animal models (rat and mouse), and cell lines of breast carcinoma. (as a powder) was administered through the diet at two concentrations (low dose: 0.1% (/) and high dose: 1 % (/)) for the duration of the experiment in a syngeneic 4T1 mouse and chemically-induced rat mammary carcinoma models. After autopsy, histopathological and molecular analyses of tumor samples in rodents were performed. Moreover, in vitro analyses using MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were conducted. The dominant metabolites present in tested methanolic extract were glycosides of gallic acid (possible gallotannins). In the mouse model, at a higher dose (1%) significantly decreased tumor volume by 27% when compared to controls. In addition, treated tumors showed significant dose-dependent decrease in mitotic activity index by 36.5% and 51% in comparison with the control group. In the chemoprevention study using rats, at a higher dose significantly reduced the tumor incidence by 20% and in lower dose non-significantly reduced tumor frequency by 29% when compared to controls. Evaluations of the mechanism of oncostatic action using valid clinical markers demonstrated several positive alterations in rat tumor cells after the treatment with . In this regard, histopathological analysis of treated tumor specimens showed robust dose-dependent decrease in the ratio of high-/low-grade carcinomas by 66% and 73% compared to controls. In treated rat carcinomas, we found significant caspase-3, Bax, and Bax/Bcl-2 expression increases; on the other side, a significant down-regulation of Bcl-2, Ki67, CD24, ALDH1, and EpCam expressions and MDA levels. When compared to control specimens, evaluation of epigenetic alterations in rat tumor cells in vivo showed significant dose-dependent decrease in lysine methylation status of H3K4m3 and H3K9m3 and dose-dependent increase in lysine acetylation in H4K16ac levels (H4K20m3 was not changed) in treated groups. However, only in lower dose of sumac were significant decreases in the expression of oncogenic miR210 and increase of tumor-suppressive miR145 (miR21, miR22, and miR155 were not changed) observed. Finally, only in lower sumac dose, significant decreases in methylation status of three out of five gene promoters-, , and ( and promoters were not changed). In vitro evaluations using methanolic extract of showed significant anticancer efficacy in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells (using Resazurin, cell cycle, annexin V/PI, caspase-3/7, Bcl-2, PARP, and mitochondrial membrane potential analyses). In conclusion, sumac demonstrated significant oncostatic activities in rodent models of breast carcinoma that were validated by mechanistic studies in vivo and in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010183DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7795985PMC
December 2020

Carotenoids in Cancer Metastasis-Status Quo and Outlook.

Biomolecules 2020 12 10;10(12). Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 03601 Martin, Slovakia.

Metastasis represents a major obstacle in cancer treatment and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Therefore, the identification of compounds targeting the multi-step and complex process of metastasis could improve outcomes in the management of cancer patients. Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments with a plethora of biological activities. Carotenoids exert a potent anti-cancer capacity in various cancer models in vitro and in vivo, mediated by the modulation of signaling pathways involved in the migration and invasion of cancer cells and metastatic progression, including key regulators of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and regulatory molecules, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR), hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), and others. Moreover, carotenoids modulate the expression of genes associated with cancer progression and inflammatory processes as key mediators of the complex process involved in metastasis. Nevertheless, due to the predominantly preclinical nature of the known anti-tumor effects of carotenoids, and unclear results from certain carotenoids in specific cancer types and/or specific parts of the population, a precise analysis of the anti-cancer effects of carotenoids is essential. The identification of carotenoids as effective compounds targeting the complex process of cancer progression could improve the outcomes of advanced cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10121653DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763577PMC
December 2020

Cell-free nucleic acid patterns in disease prediction and monitoring-hype or hope?

EPMA J 2020 Oct 29:1-25. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Predictive, Preventive, Personalised (3P) Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Interest in the use of cell-free nucleic acids (CFNAs) as clinical non-invasive biomarker panels for prediction and prevention of multiple diseases has greatly increased over the last decade. Indeed, circulating CFNAs are attributable to many physiological and pathological processes such as imbalanced stress conditions, physical activities, extensive apoptosis of different origin, systemic hypoxic-ischemic events and tumour progression, amongst others. This article highlights the involvement of circulating CFNAs in local and systemic processes dealing with the question, whether specific patterns of CFNAs in blood, their detection, quantity and quality (such as their methylation status) might be instrumental to predict a disease development/progression and could be further utilised for accompanying diagnostics, targeted prevention, creation of individualised therapy algorithms, therapy monitoring and prognosis. Presented considerations conform with principles of 3P medicine and serve for improving individual outcomes and cost efficacy of medical services provided to the population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13167-020-00226-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7594983PMC
October 2020

Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma (CAP) as a New Tool for the Management of Vulva Cancer and Vulvar Premalignant Lesions in Gynaecological Oncology.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Oct 27;21(21). Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Predictive, Preventive Personalised (3P) Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany.

Vulvar cancer (VC) is a specific form of malignancy accounting for 5-6% of all gynaecologic malignancies. Although VC occurs most commonly in women after 60 years of age, disease incidence has risen progressively in premenopausal women in recent decades. VC demonstrates particular features requiring well-adapted therapeutic approaches to avoid potential treatment-related complications. Significant improvements in disease-free survival and overall survival rates for patients diagnosed with post-stage I disease have been achieved by implementing a combination therapy consisting of radical surgical resection, systemic chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Achieving local control remains challenging. However, mostly due to specific anatomical conditions, the need for comprehensive surgical reconstruction and frequent post-operative healing complications. Novel therapeutic tools better adapted to VC particularities are essential for improving individual outcomes. To this end, cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) treatment is a promising option for VC, and is particularly appropriate for the local treatment of dysplastic lesions, early intraepithelial cancer, and invasive tumours. In addition, CAP also helps reduce inflammatory complications and improve wound healing. The application of CAP may realise either directly or indirectly utilising nanoparticle technologies. CAP has demonstrated remarkable treatment benefits for several malignant conditions, and has created new medical fields, such as "plasma medicine" and "plasma oncology". This article highlights the benefits of CAP for the treatment of VC, VC pre-stages, and postsurgical wound complications. There has not yet been a published report of CAP on vulvar cancer cells, and so this review summarises the progress made in gynaecological oncology and in other cancers, and promotes an important, understudied area for future research. The paradigm shift from reactive to predictive, preventive and personalised medical approaches in overall VC management is also considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21217988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7663780PMC
October 2020

miRNA Expression Profiles in Luminal A Breast Cancer-Implications in Biology, Prognosis, and Prediction of Response to Hormonal Treatment.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Oct 17;21(20). Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Martin University Hospital and Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin, Comenius University of Bratislava, 03601 Martin, Slovakia.

Breast cancer, which is the most common malignancy in women, does not form a uniform nosological unit but represents a group of malignant diseases with specific clinical, histopathological, and molecular characteristics. The increasing knowledge of the complex pathophysiological web of processes connected with breast cancercarcinogenesis allows the development of predictive and prognostic gene expressionand molecular classification systems with improved risk assessment, which could be used for individualized treatment. In our review article, we present the up-to-date knowledge about the role of miRNAs and their prognostic and predictive value in luminal A breast cancer. Indeed, an altered expression profile of miRNAs can distinguish not only between cancer and healthy samples, but they can classify specific molecular subtypes of breast cancer including HER2, Luminal A, Luminal B, and TNBC. Early identification and classification of breast cancer subtypes using miRNA expression profilescharacterize a promising approach in the field of personalized medicine. A detection of sensitive and specific biomarkers to distinguish between healthy and early breast cancer patients can be achieved by an evaluation of the different expression of several miRNAs. Consequently, miRNAs represent a potential as good diagnostic, prognostic, predictive, and therapeutic biomarkers for patients with luminal A in the early stage of BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21207691DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7589921PMC
October 2020

The role of plant-derived natural substances as immunomodulatory agents in carcinogenesis.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020 Dec 15;146(12):3137-3154. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 03601, Martin, Slovakia.

The role of immune system in carcinogenesis represents fundamental events associated with cancer eradication; however, tumor evolution is connected with various mechanisms of tumor evasion and progression of cancer. Based on recent evidence, phytochemicals are directly associated with immunomodulation of the innate and adaptive immunity via different mechanisms of action including stimulation and amplification of immune cells, humoral compartments, and associated molecules. This comprehensive study focuses on immunomodulating potential of phytochemicals (mixture in plants or separately such as individual phytochemical) and their impact on regulation of immune response during cancer development, immune tolerance, and immune escape. Clinical application of phytochemicals as modulators of host immunity against cancer may represent perspective approach in anticancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-020-03424-2DOI Listing
December 2020

Non-small cell lung carcinomas with a minor sarcomatoid component and pleomorphic carcinomas are associated with high expression of programmed death ligand 1.

Pathol Res Pract 2020 Dec 2;216(12):153238. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Department of Pathological Anatomy, Comenius University in Bratislava, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital in Martin, Kollárova 2, 03659, Martin, Slovakia; Martin's Biopsy Centre Ltd., Prieloztek 1, 03601, Martin, Slovakia. Electronic address:

Pleomorphic carcinomas are known to be highly programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) types. However, the level of PD-L1 expression in lung carcinomas with a minor sarcomatoid component, comprising less than 10 % of the tumor mass, has not been determined yet. We hypothesized that NSCLC with a minor sarcomatoid component is more closely related to pleomorphic carcinomas in terms of PD-L1 expression than to NSCLC types without sarcomatoid features. The surgical resections from 690 lung carcinoma patients were retrospectively analyzed for the presence of PD-L1 by means of immunohistochemistry using the 22C3 PharmDx assay. The tumor proportion score system was applied to quantify the level of PD-L1 expression. Membranous staining present in ≥ 1 % of tumor cells was chosen as the cut-off to define a positive result for PD-L1 expression. Tumors were allocated into one of four subgroups: "adenocarcinoma", "squamous cell carcinoma", "pleomorphic carcinoma", or "NSCLC with a minor sarcomatoid component". PD-L1 expression in pleomorphic carcinomas (26/32, 81.3 %) and in the subgroup of NSCLC with a minor sarcomatoid component (35/46, 76.1 %) was identified in a comparable proportion of cases. Pleomorphic carcinomas were significantly more often PD-L1 positive than adenocarcinomas (p < 0.001) or squamous cell carcinomas (p = 0.0015). Accordingly, the proportion of PD-L1 expressing NSCLC with a minor sarcomatoid component was significantly higher than that of the adenocarcinoma (p < 0.001) or squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.002) subgroup. In summary, we identified a presumable new subgroup of highly PD-L1 positive neoplasms within the NSCLC spectrum that is related to pleomorphic carcinomas in terms of PD-L1 expression. Further investigation regarding genetic relation and mechanism of PD-L1 expression in these two NSCLC categories is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prp.2020.153238DOI Listing
December 2020

Pathway Analysis of Selected Circulating miRNAs in Plasma of Breast Cancer Patients: A Preliminary Study.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Oct 2;21(19). Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Biomedical Centre Martin, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 03601 Martin, Slovakia.

MicroRNAs in the circulation of breast cancer (BC) patients have great potential for the early diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of breast cancer. The aim of this preliminary study was to obtain the expression profile of selected miRNAs in the plasma of BC patients that could discriminate BC patients from healthy volunteers and may be useful in early detection of BC. Significantly deregulated miRNAs were evaluated by pathway analysis with the prediction of potential miRNA targets. The study enrolled plasma samples from 65 BC patients and 34 healthy volunteers. Selected miRNAs were screened in pilot testing by the real-time PCR (qPCR) method, and the most appropriate reference genes were selected for normalisation by the geNorm algorithm. In the final testing, we detected miR-99a, miR-130a, miR-484 and miR-1260a ( < 0.05) as significantly up-regulated in the plasma of BC patients. Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis revealed that all significantly deregulated miRNAs are involved in the Hippo and Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-beta) signalling pathways. Our study confirmed a different profile of selected circulating miRNAs in the plasma of BC patients with an emphasis on some critical points in the analysis process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7583045PMC
October 2020

Implications of flavonoids as potential modulators of cancer neovascularity.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020 Dec 9;146(12):3079-3096. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 036 01, Martin, Slovakia.

Purpose: The formation of new blood vessels from previous ones, angiogenesis, is critical in tissue repair, expansion or remodeling in physiological processes and in various pathologies including cancer. Despite that, the development of anti-angiogenic drugs has great potential as the treatment of cancer faces many problems such as development of the resistance to treatment or an improperly selected therapy approach. An evaluation of predictive markers in personalized medicine could significantly improve treatment outcomes in many patients.

Methods: This comprehensive review emphasizes the anticancer potential of flavonoids mediated by their anti-angiogenic efficacy evaluated in current preclinical and clinical cancer research.

Results And Conclusion: Flavonoids are important groups of phytochemicals present in common diet. Flavonoids show significant anticancer effects. The anti-angiogenic effects of flavonoids are currently a widely discussed topic of preclinical cancer research. Flavonoids are able to regulate the process of tumor angiogenesis through modulation of signaling molecules such as VEGF, MMPs, ILs, HIF or others. However, the evaluation of the anti-angiogenic potential of flavonoids within the clinical studies is not frequently discussed and is still of significant scientific interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-020-03383-8DOI Listing
December 2020

Counteracting Chemoresistance with Metformin in Breast Cancers: Targeting Cancer Stem Cells.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Sep 1;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Education City, Qatar Foundation, Doha 24144, Qatar.

Despite the leaps and bounds in achieving success in the management and treatment of breast cancers through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, breast cancer remains the most frequently occurring cancer in women and the most common cause of cancer-related deaths among women. Systemic therapeutic approaches, such as chemotherapy, although beneficial in treating and curing breast cancer subjects with localized breast tumors, tend to fail in metastatic cases of the disease due to (a) an acquired resistance to the chemotherapeutic drug and (b) the development of intrinsic resistance to therapy. The existence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) plays a crucial role in both acquired and intrinsic chemoresistance. CSCs are less abundant than terminally differentiated cancer cells and confer chemoresistance through a unique altered metabolism and capability to evade the immune response system. Furthermore, CSCs possess active DNA repair systems, transporters that support multidrug resistance (MDR), advanced detoxification processes, and the ability to self-renew and differentiate into tumor progenitor cells, thereby supporting cancer invasion, metastasis, and recurrence/relapse. Hence, current research is focusing on targeting CSCs to overcome resistance and improve the efficacy of the treatment and management of breast cancer. Studies revealed that metformin (1, 1-dimethylbiguanide), a widely used anti-hyperglycemic agent, sensitizes tumor response to various chemotherapeutic drugs. Metformin selectively targets CSCs and improves the hypoxic microenvironment, suppresses the tumor metastasis and inflammation, as well as regulates the metabolic programming, induces apoptosis, and reverses epithelial-mesenchymal transition and MDR. Here, we discuss cancer (breast cancer) and chemoresistance, the molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance in breast cancers, and metformin as a chemo-sensitizing/re-sensitizing agent, with a particular focus on breast CSCs as a critical contributing factor to acquired and intrinsic chemoresistance. The review outlines the prospects and directions for a better understanding and re-purposing of metformin as an anti-cancer/chemo-sensitizing drug in the treatment of breast cancer. It intends to provide a rationale for the use of metformin as a combinatory therapy in a clinical setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092482DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7565921PMC
September 2020

Carotenoids in Cancer Apoptosis-The Road and Back.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Aug 26;12(9). Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 03601 Martin, Slovakia.

An incidence and mortality of cancer are rapidly growing worldwide, especially due to heterogeneous character of the disease that is associated with irreversible impairment of cellular homeostasis and function. Targeting apoptosis, one of cancer hallmarks, represents a potent cancer treatment strategy. Carotenoids are phytochemicals represented by carotenes, xanthophylls, and derived compounds such as apocarotenoids that demonstrate a broad spectrum of anti-cancer effects involving pro-apoptotic signaling through extrinsic and intrinsic pathways. As demonstrated in preclinical oncology research, the apoptotic modulation is performed at post-genomic levels. Further, carotenoids demonstrate additive/synergistic action in combination with conventional oncostatic agents. In addition, a sensitization of tumor cells to anti-cancer conventional treatment can be achieved by carotenoids. The disadvantage of anti-cancer application of carotenoids is associated with their low solubility and, therefore, poor bioavailability. However, this deficiency can be improved by using nanotechnological approaches, solid dispersions, microemulsions or biofortification that significantly increase the anti-cancer and pro-apoptotic efficacy of carotenoids. Only limited number of studies dealing with apoptotic potential of carotenoids has been published in clinical sphere. Pro-apoptotic effects of carotenoids should be beneficial for individuals at high risk of cancer development. The article considers the utility of carotenoids in the framework of 3P medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092425DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563597PMC
August 2020

Liquid Biopsy is Instrumental for 3PM Dimensional Solutions in Cancer Management.

J Clin Med 2020 Aug 25;9(9). Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Predictive, Preventive and Personalised (3P) Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany.

One in every four deaths is due to cancer in Europe. In view of its increasing incidence, cancer became the leading cause of death and disease burden in Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the UK. Without essential improvements in cancer prevention, an additional 775,000 cases of annual incidence have been prognosed until 2040. Between 1995 and 2018, the direct costs of cancer doubled from EUR 52 billion to EUR 103 billion in Europe, and per capita health spending on cancer increased by 86% from EUR 105 to EUR 195 in general, whereby Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, and France spend the most on cancer care compared to other European countries. In view of the consequent severe socio-economic burden on society, the paradigm change from a reactive to a predictive, preventive, and personalized medical approach in the overall cancer management is essential. Concepts of predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine (3PM) demonstrate a great potential to revise the above presented trends and to implement cost-effective healthcare that benefits the patient and society as a whole. At any stage, application of early and predictive diagnostics, targeted prevention, and personalization of medical services are basic pillars making 3PM particularly attractive for the patients as well as ethical and cost-effective healthcare. Optimal 3PM approach requires novel instruments such as well-designed liquid biopsy application. This review article highlights current achievements and details liquid biopsy approaches specifically in cancer management. 3PM-relevant expert recommendations are provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563444PMC
August 2020

Flavonoids against the Warburg phenotype-concepts of predictive, preventive and personalised medicine to cut the Gordian knot of cancer cell metabolism.

EPMA J 2020 Sep 30;11(3):377-398. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 036 01 Martin, Slovakia.

The Warburg effect is characterised by increased glucose uptake and lactate secretion in cancer cells resulting from metabolic transformation in tumour tissue. The corresponding molecular pathways switch from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis, due to changes in glucose degradation mechanisms known as the 'Warburg reprogramming' of cancer cells. Key glycolytic enzymes, glucose transporters and transcription factors involved in the Warburg transformation are frequently dysregulated during carcinogenesis considered as promising diagnostic and prognostic markers as well as treatment targets. Flavonoids are molecules with pleiotropic activities. The metabolism-regulating anticancer effects of flavonoids are broadly demonstrated in preclinical studies. Flavonoids modulate key pathways involved in the Warburg phenotype including but not limited to PKM2, HK2, GLUT1 and HIF-1. The corresponding molecular mechanisms and clinical relevance of 'anti-Warburg' effects of flavonoids are discussed in this review article. The most prominent examples are provided for the potential application of targeted 'anti-Warburg' measures in cancer management. Individualised profiling and patient stratification are presented as powerful tools for implementing targeted 'anti-Warburg' measures in the context of predictive, preventive and personalised medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13167-020-00217-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429635PMC
September 2020

Targeting Glucose Metabolism to Overcome Resistance to Anticancer Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Aug 12;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Education City, Qatar Foundation, Doha 24144, Qatar.

Breast cancer (BC) is the most prevalent cancer in women. BC is heterogeneous, with distinct phenotypical and morphological characteristics. These are based on their gene expression profiles, which divide BC into different subtypes, among which the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype is the most aggressive one. The growing interest in tumor metabolism emphasizes the role of altered glucose metabolism in driving cancer progression, response to cancer treatment, and its distinct role in therapy resistance. Alterations in glucose metabolism are characterized by increased uptake of glucose, hyperactivated glycolysis, decreased oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) component, and the accumulation of lactate. These deviations are attributed to the upregulation of key glycolytic enzymes and transporters of the glucose metabolic pathway. Key glycolytic enzymes such as hexokinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and enolase are upregulated, thereby conferring resistance towards drugs such as cisplatin, paclitaxel, tamoxifen, and doxorubicin. Besides, drug efflux and detoxification are two energy-dependent mechanisms contributing to resistance. The emergence of resistance to chemotherapy can occur at an early or later stage of the treatment, thus limiting the success and outcome of the therapy. Therefore, understanding the aberrant glucose metabolism in tumors and its link in conferring therapy resistance is essential. Using combinatory treatment with metabolic inhibitors, for example, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) and metformin, showed promising results in countering therapy resistance. Newer drug designs such as drugs conjugated to sugars or peptides that utilize the enhanced expression of tumor cell glucose transporters offer selective and efficient drug delivery to cancer cells with less toxicity to healthy cells. Last but not least, naturally occurring compounds of plants defined as phytochemicals manifest a promising approach for the eradication of cancer cells via suppression of essential enzymes or other compartments associated with glycolysis. Their benefits for human health open new opportunities in therapeutic intervention, either alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs. Importantly, phytochemicals as efficacious instruments of anticancer therapy can suppress events leading to chemoresistance of cancer cells. Here, we review the current knowledge of altered glucose metabolism in contributing to resistance to classical anticancer drugs in BC treatment and various ways to target the aberrant metabolism that will serve as a promising strategy for chemosensitizing tumors and overcoming resistance in BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12082252DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7464784PMC
August 2020

Genoprotective activities of plant natural substances in cancer and chemopreventive strategies in the context of 3P medicine.

EPMA J 2020 Jun 29;11(2):261-287. Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 03601 Martin, Slovakia.

Severe durable changes may occur to the DNA structure caused by exogenous and endogenous risk factors initiating the process of carcinogenesis. By evidence, a large portion of malignancies have been demonstrated as being preventable. Moreover, the targeted prevention of cancer onset is possible, due to unique properties of plant bioactive compounds. Although genoprotective effects of phytochemicals have been well documented, there is an evident lack of articles which would systematically present the spectrum of anticancer effects by phytochemicals, plant extracts, and plant-derived diet applicable to stratified patient groups at the level of targeted primary (cancer development) and secondary (cancer progression and metastatic disease) prevention. Consequently, clinical implementation of knowledge accumulated in the area is still highly restricted. To stimulate coherent co-development of the dedicated plant bioactive compound investigation on one hand and comprehensive cancer preventive strategies on the other hand, the current paper highlights and deeply analyses relevant evidence available in the area. Key molecular mechanisms are presented to detail genoprotective and anticancer activities of plants and phytochemicals. Clinical implementation is discussed. Based on the presented evidence, advanced chemopreventive strategies in the context of 3P medicine are considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13167-020-00210-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7272522PMC
June 2020

Calcium Entry through TRPV1: A Potential Target for the Regulation of Proliferation and Apoptosis in Cancerous and Healthy Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jun 11;21(11). Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Education City, Qatar Foundation, Doha, PO Box 24144, Qatar.

Intracellular calcium (Ca) concentration ([Ca]) is a key determinant of cell fate and is implicated in carcinogenesis. Membrane ion channels are structures through which ions enter or exit the cell, depending on the driving forces. The opening of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) ligand-gated ion channels facilitates transmembrane Ca and Na entry, which modifies the delicate balance between apoptotic and proliferative signaling pathways. Proliferation is upregulated through two mechanisms: (1) ATP binding to the G-protein-coupled receptor P2Y2, commencing a kinase signaling cascade that activates the serine-threonine kinase Akt, and (2) the transactivation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), leading to a series of protein signals that activate the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2. The TRPV1-apoptosis pathway involves Ca influx and efflux between the cytosol, mitochondria, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the release of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and cytochrome c from the mitochondria, caspase activation, and DNA fragmentation and condensation. While proliferative mechanisms are typically upregulated in cancerous tissues, shifting the balance to favor apoptosis could support anti-cancer therapies. TRPV1, through [Ca] signaling, influences cancer cell fate; therefore, the modulation of the TRPV1-enforced proliferation-apoptosis balance is a promising avenue in developing anti-cancer therapies and overcoming cancer drug resistance. As such, this review characterizes and evaluates the role of TRPV1 in cell death and survival, in the interest of identifying mechanistic targets for drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21114177DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312732PMC
June 2020

Flavonoids in Cancer Metastasis.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Jun 8;12(6). Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 03601 Martin, Slovakia.

Metastasis represents a serious complication in the treatment of cancer. Flavonoids are plant secondary metabolites exerting various health beneficiary effects. The effects of flavonoids against cancer are associated not only with early stages of the cancer process, but also with cancer progression and spread into distant sites. Flavonoids showed potent anti-cancer effects against various cancer models in vitro and in vivo, mediated via regulation of key signaling pathways involved in the migration and invasion of cancer cells and metastatic progression, including key regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal transition or regulatory molecules such as MMPs, uPA/uPAR, TGF-β and other contributors of the complex process of metastatic spread. Moreover, flavonoids modulated also the expression of genes associated with the progression of cancer and improved inflammatory status, a part of the complex process involved in the development of metastasis. Flavonoids also documented clear potential to improve the anti-cancer effectiveness of conventional chemotherapeutic agents. Most importantly, flavonoids represent environmentally-friendly and wide spectrum of different flavonoids demonstrated safety and minimal side effects during long-termed administration. In addition, the bioavailability of flavonoids can be improved by their conjugation with metal ions or structural modifications by radiation. In conclusion, anti-cancer effects of flavonoids, targeting all phases of carcinogenesis including metastatic progression, should be implemented into clinical cancer research in order to strengthen their potential use in the future targeted prevention and therapy of cancer in high-risk individuals or patients with aggressive cancer disease with metastatic potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12061498DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352928PMC
June 2020

Rho GTPases in Gynecologic Cancers: In-Depth Analysis toward the Paradigm Change from Reactive to Predictive, Preventive, and Personalized Medical Approach Benefiting the Patient and Healthcare.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 May 20;12(5). Epub 2020 May 20.

Predictive, Preventive and Personalised (3P) Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany.

Rho guanosine triphospatases (GTPases) resemble a conserved family of GTP-binding proteins regulating actin cytoskeleton dynamics and several signaling pathways central for the cell. Rho GTPases create a so-called Ras-superfamily of GTPases subdivided into subgroups comprising at least 20 members. Rho GTPases play a key regulatory role in gene expression, cell cycle control and proliferation, epithelial cell polarity, cell migration, survival, and apoptosis, among others. They also have tissue-related functions including angiogenesis being involved in inflammatory and wound healing processes. Contextually, any abnormality in the Rho GTPase function may result in severe consequences at molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. Rho GTPases also play a key role in tumorigenesis and metastatic disease. Corresponding mechanisms include a number of targets such as kinases and scaffold/adaptor-like proteins initiating GTPases-related signaling cascades. The accumulated evidence demonstrates the oncogenic relevance of Rho GTPases for several solid malignancies including breast, liver, bladder, melanoma, testicular, lung, central nervous system (CNS), head and neck, cervical, and ovarian cancers. Furthermore, Rho GTPases play a crucial role in the development of radio- and chemoresistance e.g. under cisplatin-based cancer treatment. This article provides an in-depth overview on the role of Rho GTPases in gynecological cancers, highlights relevant signaling pathways and pathomechanisms, and sheds light on their involvement in tumor progression, metastatic spread, and radio/chemo resistance. In addition, insights into a spectrum of novel biomarkers and innovative approaches based on the paradigm shift from reactive to predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine are provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12051292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7281750PMC
May 2020

Chemopreventive and Therapeutic Efficacy of L. Bark in Experimental Breast Carcinoma: Mechanistic In Vivo and In Vitro Analyses.

Molecules 2020 Mar 19;25(6). Epub 2020 Mar 19.

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, P. J. Šafarik University, 040 11 Košice, Slovakia.

Comprehensive oncology research suggests an important role of phytochemicals or whole plant foods in the modulation of signaling pathways associated with anticancer action. The goal of this study is to assess the anticancer activities of L. using rat, mouse, and cell line breast carcinoma models. (as bark powder) was administered in the diet at two concentrations of 0.1% (w/w) and 1% (w/w) during the whole experiment in chemically induced rat mammary carcinomas and a syngeneic 4T1 mouse model. After autopsy, histopathological and molecular evaluations of mammary gland tumors in rodents were carried out. Moreover, in vitro analyses using MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were performed. The dominant metabolites present in the tested essential oil (with relative content over 1%) were cinnamaldehyde, cinnamaldehyde dimethyl acetal, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol, linalool, eucalyptol, limonene, o-cymol, and α-terpineol. The natural mixture of mentioned molecules demonstrated significant anticancer effects in our study. In the mouse model, at a higher dose (1%) significantly decreased tumor volume by 44% when compared to controls. In addition, treated tumors showed a significant dose-dependent decrease in mitotic activity index by 29% (0.1%) and 45.5% (1%) in comparison with the control group. In rats, in both doses significantly reduced the tumor incidence by 15.5% and non-significantly suppressed tumor frequency by more than 30% when compared to controls. An evaluation of the mechanism of anticancer action using valid oncological markers showed several positive changes after treatment with . Histopathological analysis of treated rat tumor specimens showed a significant decrease in the ratio of high-/low-grade carcinomas compared to controls. In treated rat carcinomas, we found caspase-3 and Bax expression increase. On the other hand, we observed a decrease in Bcl-2, Ki67, VEGF, and CD24 expressions and MDA levels. Assessment of epigenetic changes in rat tumor cells in vivo showed a significant decrease in lysine methylation status of H3K4m3 and H3K9m3 in the high-dose treated group, a dose-dependent increase in H4K16ac levels (H4K20m3 was not changed), down-regulations of miR21 and miR155 in low-dose cinnamon groups (miR22 and miR34a were not modulated), and significant reduction of the methylation status of two out of five gene promoters- and (, , promoters were not changed). In vitro study confirmed results of animal studies, in that the essential oil of displayed significant anticancer efficacy in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells (using MTS, BrdU, cell cycle, annexin V/PI, caspase-3/7, Bcl-2, PARP, and mitochondrial membrane potential analyses). As a conclusion, L. showed chemopreventive and therapeutic activities in animal breast carcinoma models that were also significantly confirmed by mechanistic evaluations in vitro and in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7144360PMC
March 2020

Therapeutic Potential of Plant Phenolic Acids in the Treatment of Cancer.

Biomolecules 2020 02 3;10(2). Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Education City, Qatar Foundation, Doha P.O. Box 24144, Qatar.

Globally, cancer is the second leading cause of death. Different conventional approaches to treat cancer include chemotherapy or radiotherapy. However, these are usually associated with various deleterious effects and numerous disadvantages in clinical practice. In addition, there are increasing concerns about drug resistance. In the continuous search for safer and more effective treatments, plant-derived natural compounds are of major interest. Plant phenolics are secondary metabolites that have gained importance as potential anti-cancer compounds. Phenolics display a great prospective as cytotoxic anti-cancer agents promoting apoptosis, reducing proliferation, and targeting various aspects of cancer (angiogenesis, growth and differentiation, and metastasis). Phenolic acids are a subclass of plant phenolics, furtherly divided into benzoic and cinnamic acids, that are associated with potent anticancer abilities in various in vitro and in vivo studies. Moreover, the therapeutic activities of phenolic acids are reinforced by their role as epigenetic regulators as well as supporters of adverse events or resistance associated with conventional anticancer therapy. Encapsulation of phyto-substances into nanocarrier systems is a challenging aspect concerning the efficiency of natural substances used in cancer treatment. A summary of phenolic acids and their effectiveness as well as phenolic-associated advances in cancer treatment will be discussed in this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10020221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7072661PMC
February 2020

Dietary phytochemicals as the potential protectors against carcinogenesis and their role in cancer chemoprevention.

Clin Exp Med 2020 May 3;20(2):173-190. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Mala Hora 4, Martin, 036 01, Slovakia.

Health-threatening consequences of carcinogen exposure are mediated via occurrence of electrophiles or reactive oxygen species. As a result, the accumulation of biomolecular damage leads to the cancer initiation, promotion or progression. Accordingly, there is an association between lifestyle factors including inappropriate diet or carcinogen formation during food processing, mainstream, second or third-hand tobacco smoke and other environmental or occupational carcinogens and malignant transformation. Nevertheless, increasing evidence supports the protective effects of naturally occurring phytochemicals against carcinogen exposure as well as carcinogenesis in general. Isolated phytochemicals or their mixtures present in the whole plant food demonstrate efficacy against malignancy induced by carcinogens widely spread in our environment. Phytochemicals also minimize the generation of carcinogenic substances during the processing of meat and meat products. Based on numerous data, selected phytochemicals or plant foods should be highly recommended to become a stable and regular part of the diet as the protectors against carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10238-020-00611-wDOI Listing
May 2020