Publications by authors named "Richard D Hall"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

MYBL2-Driven Transcriptional Programs Link Replication Stress and Error-prone DNA Repair With Genomic Instability in Lung Adenocarcinoma.

Front Oncol 2020 8;10:585551. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States.

It has long been recognized that defects in cell cycle checkpoint and DNA repair pathways give rise to genomic instability, tumor heterogeneity, and metastasis. Despite this knowledge, the transcription factor-mediated gene expression programs that enable survival and proliferation in the face of enormous replication stress and DNA damage have remained elusive. Using robust omics data from two independent studies, we provide evidence that a large cohort of lung adenocarcinomas exhibit significant genome instability and overexpress the DNA damage responsive transcription factor MYB proto-oncogene like 2 (MYBL2). Across two studies, elevated expression was a robust marker of poor overall survival and disease-free survival outcomes, regardless of disease stage. Clinically, elevated expression identified patients with aggressive early onset disease, increased lymph node involvement, and increased incidence of distant metastases. Analysis of genomic sequencing data demonstrated that High lung adenocarcinomas had elevated somatic mutation burden, widespread chromosomal alterations, and alterations in single-strand DNA break repair pathways. In this study, we provide evidence that impaired single-strand break repair, combined with a loss of cell cycle regulators TP53 and RB1, give rise to MYBL2-mediated transcriptional programs. Omics data supports a model wherein tumors with significant genomic instability upregulate MYBL2 to drive genes that control replication stress responses, promote error-prone DNA repair, and antagonize faithful homologous recombination repair. Our study supports the use of checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) pharmacological inhibitors, in targeted High patient cohorts, as a future therapy to improve lung adenocarcinoma patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.585551DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821388PMC
January 2021

Do Patients Regret Having Received Systemic Treatment for Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective Evaluation.

Oncologist 2020 Oct 23. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, USA.

Background: Thousands of patients annually receive treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but little is known about their views on the decision to receive that treatment, or regret. This trial prospectively evaluated the incidence of regret and whether baseline characteristics, patient decision-making parameters, or clinical progress early in the treatment course predicts regret.

Materials And Methods: Patients receiving systemic treatment for advanced NSCLC completed every 3-week patient reported outcome (PRO) assessment using the electronic Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (eLCSS-QL), including the 3-Item Global Index (3-IGI; assessing overall distress, activities, and quality of life [QL]). A prespecified secondary aim was to determine the frequency of regret evaluated at 3 months after starting treatment. Patients were randomized to usual care or enhanced care (which included use of the DecisionKEYS decision aid).

Results: Of 164 patients entered, 160 received treatment and 142 were evaluable for regret. In total, 11.5% of patients and 9% of their supporters expressed regret. Baseline characteristics did not predict regret; regret was rarely expressed by those who had a less than 20% decline or improvement in the 3-IGI PRO score after two treatment cycles. In contrast, when asked if they would make the same decision again, only 1% not having a 20% 3-IGI decline expressed regret, versus 14% with a 3-IGI decline (p = .01).

Conclusion: The majority of patients having regret were identified early using the PRO 3-IGI of the eLCSS-QL measure. Identifying patients at risk for regret allows for interventions, including frank discussions of progress and goals early in the treatment course, which could address regret in patients and their supporters.

Implications For Practice: This report documents prospectively, for the first time, the incidence of treatment-related regret in patients with advanced lung cancer and outlines that risk of regret is associated with patient-determined worsening health status early in the course of treatment. Identifying patients at risk for regret early in treatment (before the third cycle of treatment) appears to be crucial. Counseling at that time should include a discussion of consideration of treatment change and the reason for this change.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13571DOI Listing
October 2020

Intracranial disease control for EGFR-mutant and ALK-rearranged lung cancer with large volume or symptomatic brain metastases.

J Neurooncol 2020 Sep 9;149(2):357-366. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Purpose/objective(s): Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are commonly employed for patients with brain metastases from lung cancer and specific driver mutations. We sought to identify the correlation between intracranial tumor burden and outcomes in patients with brain metastases treated with TKIs.

Materials/methods: We identified and retrospectively reviewed cases of EGFR-mutant or ALK-rearranged lung cancer with brain metastases at any time during their cancer course. Clinical characteristics and treatment information were abstracted from the medical records. Brain metastases were contoured to calculate total volume of disease at diagnosis and after initial therapy. High intracranial burden was defined as either > 10 brain metastases, volume of brain metastases > 15 cc, or largest lesion > 3 cm. Intracranial response was determined according to Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria on the patient level. We determined the correlation between clinical and imaging characteristics and intracranial progression free survival (IC-PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Fifty-seven patients with EGFR (n = 49) and ALK (n = 8) alterations were identified. Median follow-up from initial brain metastasis diagnosis was 17 months. Neurological symptoms were present in 54% at brain metastasis diagnosis. For those receiving TKIs alone or TKIs with radiation, at least a partial intracranial response (≥ 65% volume reduction) at 3 months from starting therapy was achieved in 94% and 58%. Progressive intracranial disease at 3 months occurred in 6.3% and 8.3%. Patients with high intracranial burden (n = 21) had a median 17 brain metastases, 6.5 cc volume, and 1.9 cm maximal tumor diameter. Median IC-PFS and OS for patients with high intracranial burden was 13.9 and 35.4 months. Patients with high intracranial burden and neurological symptoms at diagnosis had similar IC-PFS and OS compared to those with low burden and absence of neurological symptoms (p > 0.05 for each).

Conclusion: Most patients receiving TKIs as part of their initial therapy achieve an early and durable volumetric intracranial response, irrespective of presenting disease burden or neurologic symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03615-4DOI Listing
September 2020

Clinical and Radiographic Response of Leptomeningeal and Brain Metastases to Encorafenib and Binimetinib in a Patient With BRAF V600E-Mutated Lung Adenocarcinoma.

J Thorac Oncol 2019 12;14(12):e269-e271

Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.07.019DOI Listing
December 2019

Treatment of Refractory ALK Rearranged Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma With Alectinib.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2019 06 11;19(6):e247-e250. Epub 2019 Mar 11.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2019.03.001DOI Listing
June 2019

Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition in a Lung Adenocarcinoma Patient With Dual G719S and S768I EGFR Mutations.

J Thorac Oncol 2018 08;13(8):e136-e137

Department of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2018.03.021DOI Listing
August 2018

Clinical laboratory and imaging evidence for effectiveness of agarose-agarose macrobeads containing stem-like cells derived from a mouse renal adenocarcinoma cell population (RMBs) in treatment-resistant, advanced metastatic colorectal cancer: Evaluation of a biological-systems approach to cancer therapy (U.S. FDA IND-BB 10091; NCT 02046174, NCT 01053013).

Chin J Cancer Res 2018 Feb;30(1):72-83

The Rogosin Institute, New York NY 10021, USA.

Objective: The complexity, heterogeneity and capacity of malignant neoplastic cells and tumors for rapid change and evolution suggest that living-cell-based biological-systems approaches to cancer treatment are merited. Testing this hypothesis, the tumor marker, metabolic activity, and overall survival (OS) responses, to the use of one such system, implantable macrobeads [RENCA macrobeads (RMBs)], in phase I and IIa clinical trials in advanced, treatment-resistant metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) are described here.

Methods: Forty-eight mCRC patients (30 females; 18 males), who had failed all available, approved treatments, underwent RMB implantation (8 RMB/kg body weight) up to 4 times in phase I and phase IIa open-label trials. Physicals, labs [tumor and inflammation markers, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)] and positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) imaging to measure number/volume and metabolic activity of the tumors were performed pre- and 3-month-post-implantation to evaluate safety and initial efficacy (as defined by biological responses). PET-CT maximum standard uptake value (SUV) (baseline and d 90; SUV ≥2.5), LDH, and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and/or cancer antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) response (baseline, d 30 and/or d 60) were assessed and compared to OS.

Results: Responses after implantation were characterized by an at least 20% decrease in CEA and/or CA 19-9 in 75% of patients. Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positive lesions (phase I, 39; 2a, 82) were detected in 37/48 evaluable patients, with 35% stable volume and stable or decreased SUV (10) plus four with necrosis; 10, increased tumor volume, SUV. LDH levels remained stable and low in Responders (R) (d 0-60, 290.4-333.9), but increased steadily in Non-responders (NR) (d 0-60, 382.8-1,278.5) (d 60, P=0.050). Responders to RMBs, indicated by the changes in the above markers, correlated with OS (R mean OS=10.76 months; NR mean OS=4.9 months; P=0.0006).

Conclusions: The correlations of the tumor marker, tumor volume and SUV changes on PET-CT, and LDH levels themselves, and with OS, support the concept of a biological response to RMB implantation and the validity of the biological-systems approach to mCRC. A phase III clinical trial is planned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21147/j.issn.1000-9604.2018.01.08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842235PMC
February 2018

A comprehensive microbiological safety approach for agarose encapsulated porcine islets intended for clinical trials.

Xenotransplantation 2016 11 11;23(6):444-463. Epub 2016 Nov 11.

Department of Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA.

Background: The use of porcine islets to replace insulin-producing islet β-cells, destroyed during the diabetogenic disease process, presents distinct challenges if this option is to become a therapeutic reality for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. These challenges include a thorough evaluation of the microbiological safety of the islets. In this study, we describe a robust porcine islet-screening program that provides a high level of confidence in the microbiological safety of porcine islets suitable for clinical trials.

Methods: A four-checkpoint program systematically screens the donor herd (Large White - Yorkshire × Landrace F1 hybrid animals), individual sentinel and pancreas donor animals and, critically, the islet macrobeads themselves. Molecular assays screen for more than 30 known viruses, while electron microscopy and in vitro studies are employed to screen for potential new or divergent (emergent) viruses.

Results: Of 1207 monthly samples taken from random animals over a 2-year period, only a single positive result for Transmissible gastroenteritis virus was observed, demonstrating the high level of biosecurity maintained in the source herd. Given the lack of clinical signs, positive antibody titers for Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Porcine parvovirus, and Influenza A confirm the efficacy of the herd vaccination program. Porcine respiratory coronavirus was found to be present in the herd, as expected for domestic swine. Tissue homogenate samples from six sentinel and 11 donor animals, over the same 2-year period, were negative for the presence of viruses when co-cultured with six different cell lines from four species. The absence of adventitious viruses in separate islet macrobead preparations produced from 12 individual pancreas donor animals was confirmed using validated molecular (n = 32 viruses), in vitro culture (cells from four species), and transmission electron microscopy assays (200 cell profiles per donor animal) over the same 2-year period. There has been no evidence of viral transmission following the implantation of these same encapsulated and functional porcine islets into non-immunosuppressed diabetic cynomolgus macaques for up to 4 years. Isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from all time points were negative for PCV (Type 2), PLHV, PRRSV, PCMV, and PERV-A, PERV-B, and PERV-C by PCR analysis in all six recipient animals.

Conclusion: The four-checkpoint program is a robust and reliable method for characterization of the microbiological safety of encapsulated porcine islets intended for clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/xen.12277DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7169751PMC
November 2016

Development of an open technology sensor suite for assisted living: a student-led research project.

Interface Focus 2016 Aug;6(4):20160018

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies and Applications, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Many countries have a rapidly ageing population, placing strain on health services and creating a growing market for assistive technology for older people. We have, through a student-led, 12-week project for 10 students from a variety of science and engineering backgrounds, developed an integrated sensor system to enable older people, or those at risk, to live independently in their own homes for longer, while providing reassurance for their family and carers. We provide details on the design procedure and performance of our sensor system and the management and execution of a short-term, student-led research project. Detailed information on the design and use of our devices, including a door sensor, power monitor, fall detector, general in-house sensor unit and easy-to-use location-aware communications device, is given, with our open designs being contrasted with closed proprietary systems. A case study is presented for the use of our devices in a real-world context, along with a comparison with commercially available systems. We discuss how the system could lead to improvements in the quality of life of older users and increase the effectiveness of their associated care network. We reflect on how recent developments in open source technology and rapid prototyping increase the scope and potential for the development of powerful sensor systems and, finally, conclude with a student perspective on this team effort and highlight learning outcomes, arguing that open technologies will revolutionize the way in which technology will be deployed in academic research in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2016.0018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918835PMC
August 2016

Angiogenesis inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2015 Oct;4(5):515-23

1 Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA ; 2 Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, NC, USA.

In many cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), tumor angiogenesis pathways have been identified as important therapeutic targets. Angiogenesis is essential in the process of primary tumor growth, proliferation and metastasis. One of the best characterized group of protein factors for angiogenesis include the members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family, consisting of VEGF-(A-D), and placenta growth factor (PIGF). Targeting tumor angiogenesis has been approached through two primary methods, monoclonal antibodies that block VEGF-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) binding or small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that inhibit the downstream VEGFR mediated signaling. Many TKIs inhibit multiple pro-angiogenic and pro-proliferative pathways such as the mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. Bevacizumab and ramucirumab, monoclonal antibodies targeting VEGF and the VEGFR, respectively, have each led to improvements in overall survival (OS) for NSCLC when added to standard first and second line chemotherapy, respectively. Small incremental gains seen with both bevacizumab and ramucirumab may be further improved upon by incorporating novel agents and treatment strategies, and many additional trials are ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2015.06.09DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4630516PMC
October 2015

No evidence of viral transmission following long-term implantation of agarose encapsulated porcine islets in diabetic dogs.

J Diabetes Res 2014 5;2014:727483. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

The Rogosin Institute, New York, NY 10021, USA ; NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.

We have previously described the use of a double coated agarose-agarose porcine islet macrobead for the treatment of type I diabetes mellitus. In the current study, the long-term viral safety of macrobead implantation into pancreatectomized diabetic dogs treated with pravastatin (n = 3) was assessed while 2 dogs served as nonimplanted controls. A more gradual return to preimplant insulin requirements occurred after a 2nd implant procedure (days 148, 189, and >652) when compared to a first macrobead implantation (days 9, 21, and 21) in all macrobead implanted animals. In all three implanted dogs, porcine C-peptide was detected in the blood for at least 10 days following the first implant and for at least 26 days following the second implant. C-peptide was also present in the peritoneal fluid of all three implanted dogs at 6 months after 2nd implant and in 2 of 3 dogs at necropsy. Prescreening results of islet macrobeads and culture media prior to transplantation were negative for 13 viruses. No evidence of PERV or other viral transmission was found throughout the study. This study demonstrates that the long-term (2.4 years) implantation of agarose-agarose encapsulated porcine islets is a safe procedure in a large animal model of type I diabetes mellitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/727483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4068064PMC
February 2015

Pravastatin improves glucose regulation and biocompatibility of agarose encapsulated porcine islets following transplantation into pancreatectomized dogs.

J Diabetes Res 2014 19;2014:405362. Epub 2014 May 19.

The Rogosin Institute, New York, NY 10021, USA ; NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.

The encapsulation of porcine islets is an attractive methodology for the treatment of Type I diabetes. In the current study, the use of pravastatin as a mild anti-inflammatory agent was investigated in pancreatectomized diabetic canines transplanted with porcine islets encapsulated in agarose-agarose macrobeads and given 80 mg/day of pravastatin (n = 3) while control animals did not receive pravastatin (n = 3). Control animals reached preimplant insulin requirements on days 18, 19, and 32. Pravastatin-treated animals reached preimplant insulin requirements on days 22, 27, and 50. Two animals from each group received a second macrobead implant: control animals remained insulin-free for 15 and 21 days (AUC = 3003 and 5078 mg/dL/24 hr days 1 to 15) and reached preimplant insulin requirements on days 62 and 131. Pravastatin treated animals remained insulin-free for 21 and 34 days (AUC = 1559 and 1903 mg/dL/24 hr days 1 to 15) and reached preimplant insulin requirements on days 38 and 192. Total incidence (83.3% versus 64.3%) and total severity (22.7 versus 18.3) of inflammation on tissue surfaces were higher in the control group at necropsy. These findings support pravastatin therapy in conjunction with the transplantation of encapsulated xenogeneic islets for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/405362DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055154PMC
February 2015

BRAF mutations: signaling, epidemiology, and clinical experience in multiple malignancies.

Cancer Control 2014 Jul;21(3):221-30

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Virginia Health System, Hematology/Oncology, Charlottesville, 22908, USA.

Background: Mutations in BRAF were first reported in 2002. Since that time, the molecular basis for oncogenic signaling has been elucidated in multiple malignancies. The development of v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF) inhibitors has helped improve clinical outcomes in malignant melanoma and is suggested by case reports in other malignancies.

Methods: A review of pertinent articles examining the mechanisms of BRAF signaling in various cancer types and an update on clinical trials of BRAF inhibitions are presented.

Results: Clinical response to BRAF inhibition varies by malignancy. In melanoma, single-agent vemurafenib or dabrafenib prolongs overall survival compared with chemotherapy, but both are limited by the development of acquired resistance in many patients. Results of early-phase clinical trials and case reports demonstrate responses in V600E-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer, thyroid cancer, and hairy cell leukemia. However, no significant difference in progression-free survival was seen in colorectal cancer with single-agent vemurafenib. Overcoming resistance to BRAF inhibition with combination therapy is an active area of research.

Conclusions: The detection of BRAF mutations represents an advance in delivering molecularly targeted therapies to patients with a variety of cancers. Acquired resistance limits the ability of BRAF inhibitors to produce long-term remissions; however, combining BRAF inhibitors with the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway and/or other pathway inhibitors represents a promising method to improve long-term outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/107327481402100307DOI Listing
July 2014

Enhancement of in vitro and in vivo function of agarose-encapsulated porcine islets by changes in the islet microenvironment.

Cell Transplant 2014 29;23(8):929-44. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

The Rogosin Institute-Xenia Division, Xenia, OH, USA.

The transplantation of porcine islets of Langerhans to treat type 1 diabetes may provide a solution to the demand for insulin-producing cells. Porcine islets encapsulated in agarose-agarose macrobeads have been shown to function in nonimmunosuppressed xenogeneic models of both streptozotocin-induced and autoimmune type 1 diabetes. One advantage of agarose encapsulation is the ability to culture macrobeads for extended periods, permitting microbiological and functional assessment. Herein we describe optimization of the agarose matrix that results in improved islet function. Porcine islets (500 IEQs) from retired breeding sows were encapsulated in 1.5% SeaKem Gold (SG), 0.8% SG, or 0.8% Litex (Li) agarose, followed by an outer capsule of 5% SG agarose. Insulin production by the encapsulated islets exhibited an agarose-specific effect with 20% (0.8% SG) to 50% (0.8% Li) higher initial insulin production relative to 1.5% SG macrobeads. Insulin production was further increased by 40-50% from week 2 to week 12 in both agarose types at the 0.8% concentration, whereas islets encapsulated in 1.5% SG agarose increased insulin production by approximately 20%. Correspondingly, fewer macrobeads were required to restore normoglycemia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic female CD(SD) rats that received 0.8% Li (15 macrobeads) or 0.8% SG (17 macrobeads) as compared to 1.5% SG (19 macrobeads). Islet cell proliferation was also observed during the first 2 months postencapsulation, peaking at 4 weeks, where approximately 50% of islets contained proliferative cells, including β-cells, regardless of agarose type. These results illustrate the importance of optimizing the microenvironment of encapsulated islets to improve islet performance and advance the potential of islet xenotransplantation for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368913X667033DOI Listing
May 2015

Beyond the standard of care: a review of novel immunotherapy trials for the treatment of lung cancer.

Cancer Control 2013 Jan;20(1):22-31

Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Background: Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States, yet traditional chemotherapy fails to provide long-term benefit for many patients. New approaches are needed to improve overall survival beyond the current standard of care.

Methods: This review discusses recent clinical trials using immunotherapy techniques to treat both non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and highlights ongoing immunotherapy research efforts at our center.

Results: For NSCLC, phase II clinical trials have examined allogeneic vaccines that target either mucin 1 (MUC1), epidermal growth factor or melanoma-associated antigen 3. These vaccines are now undergoing larger phase III trials. An autologous cellular therapy directed against transforming growth factor beta-2 and a recombinant protein with antitumor properties have also shown promise in prolonging survival in NSCLC in phase II trials. The monoclonal antibodies ipilimumab, BMS-936558 (anti-PD-1), and BMS936559 (anti-PD-L1) lead to enhanced T-cell-mediated antitumor effects and have produced objective responses in early-phase clinical trials. Studies for SCLC also exist, such as a novel vaccine therapy targeting p53.

Conclusions: Recent clinical trials in lung cancer demonstrate the potential of immunotherapeutics to increase overall survival in patients with lung cancer compared with the current standard of care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/107327481302000105DOI Listing
January 2013

Streptozotocin is responsible for the induction and progression of renal tumorigenesis in diabetic Wistar-Furth rats treated with insulin or transplanted with agarose encapsulated porcine islets.

Islets 2011 Jul-Aug;3(4):196-203. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

The Rogosin Institute-Xenia Division, Xenia, OH, USA.

Streptozotocin (STZ), a nitrosourea with DNA alkylating properties, has been widely used to induce hyperglycemia by specifically destroying the insulin-producing β-cells of the islets of Langerhans in experimental models of Type I diabetes. STZ's known carcinogenic properties, however, raise concerns about its suitability for long-term studies. We conducted a formal study of STZ's carcinogenic effects in long-term surviving diabetic Wistar-Furth rats. To determine if insulin therapy or islet transplantation exacerbated tumorigenesis, rats were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: normal animals with no treatment (Group 1, n=12); normal animals that underwent peritoneal implantation of porcine islets encapsulated in a double layer of agarose to form islet macrobeads (normal + islets; group 2, n=12); STZ treatment followed by daily exogenous insulin (STZ + insulin; group 3, n=18) and STZ treatment followed by the intraperitoneal implantation of porcine islet macrobeads (STZ + islets; group 4, n=14). At 215 days post-STZ induction, no renal proliferative lesions were observed in animals that did not receive STZ (group 1 and group 2) whereas adenoma incidences of 57% for group 3 and 34% for group 4 were observed. By terminal necropsy at day 351, the incidence and severity of renal proliferative lesions increased with tubular carcinoma observed in 67% of group 3 and 60% of group 4 animals. We conclude that the STZ-induced diabetic rat model is not suitable for long-term studies because of progressive renal tumorigenesis. Our experiments also demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of porcine islet macrobeads for the treatment of diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/isl.3.4.16129DOI Listing
November 2011

Three-dimensional culture of mouse renal carcinoma cells in agarose macrobeads selects for a subpopulation of cells with cancer stem cell or cancer progenitor properties.

Cancer Res 2011 Feb 24;71(3):716-24. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

The Rogosin Institute, New York, New York 10021, USA.

The culture of tumor cell lines in three-dimensional scaffolds is considered to more closely replicate the in vivo tumor microenvironment than the standard method of two-dimensional cell culture. We hypothesized that our method of encapsulating and maintaining viable and functional pancreatic islets in agarose-agarose macrobeads (diameter 6-8 mm) might provide a novel method for the culture of tumor cell lines. In this report we describe and characterize tumor colonies that form within macrobeads seeded with mouse renal adenocarcinoma cells. Approximately 1% of seeded tumor cells survive in the macrobead and over several months form discrete elliptical colonies appearing as tumor cell niches with increasing metabolic activity in parallel to colony size. The tumor colonies demonstrate ongoing cell turnover as shown by BrdU incorporation and activated caspase-3 and TUNEL staining. Genes upregulated in the tumor colonies of the macrobead are likely adaptations to this novel environment, as well as an amplification of G(1)/S cell-cycle checkpoints. The data presented, including SCA-1 and Oct4 positivity and the upregulation of stem cell-like genes such as those associated with the Wnt pathway, support the notion that the macrobead selects for a subpopulation of cells with cancer stem cell or cancer progenitor properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2254DOI Listing
February 2011

Hydrophilic agarose macrobead cultures select for outgrowth of carcinoma cell populations that can restrict tumor growth.

Cancer Res 2011 Feb 24;71(3):725-35. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

The Rogosin Institute, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Cancer cells and their associated tumors have long been considered to exhibit unregulated proliferation or growth. However, a substantial body of evidence indicates that tumor growth is subject to both positive and negative regulatory controls. Here, we describe a novel property of tumor growth regulation that is neither species nor tumor-type specific. This property, functionally a type of feedback control, is triggered by the encapsulation of neoplastic cells in a growth-restricting hydrogel composed of an agarose matrix with a second coating of agarose to form 6- to 8-mm diameter macrobeads. In a mouse cell model of renal adenocarcinoma (RENCA cells), this process resulted in selection for a stem cell-like subpopulation which together with at least one other cell subpopulation drove colony formation in the macrobeads. Cells in these colonies produced diffusible substances that markedly inhibited in vitro and in vivo proliferation of epithelial-derived tumor cells outside the macrobeads. RENCA cells in monolayer culture that were exposed to RENCA macrobead-conditioned media exhibited cell-cycle accumulation in S phase due to activation of a G(2)/M checkpoint. At least 10 proteins with known tumor suppression functions were identified by analysis of RENCA macrobead-conditioned media, the properties of which offer opportunities to further dissect the molecular basis for tumor growth control. More generally, macrobead culture may permit the isolation of cancer stem cells and other cells of the stem cell niche, perhaps providing strategies to define more effective biologically based clinical approaches to treat neoplastic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2258DOI Listing
February 2011

Improved glucose regulation on a low carbohydrate diet in diabetic rats transplanted with macroencapsulated porcine islets.

Cell Transplant 2008 ;17(5):567-75

Rogosin Institute, Xenia Division, Xenia, OH 45385, USA.

Islet xenografts from porcine donors can reverse diabetes in experimental animal models and may be an alternative to human islet transplantation. We have recently reported the ability of porcine islets encapsulated in a double layer of hydrophilic agarose to maintain in vitro functional ability for >6 months. Although beta-cells are capable of adapting their secretory capacity in response to glucose levels, evidence has shown that prolonged hyperglycemia can compromise this ability. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of diet manipulation on the long-term regulation of blood glucose levels, and the preservation of functional islet in the macrobeads. Twenty-one streptozotocin-induced diabetic Wistar-Furth male rats were randomly assigned to two diets containing 64% carbohydrate (CHO) or 20% CHO. Groups of five to six animals assigned to either diet were implanted with either empty (EM) or porcine islet-containing macrobeads (PIM) and followed for 333 days. Observations included general condition, body weight, blood glucose, and food and water intakes. Monthly blood samples were collected for insulin and C-peptide analysis. The 20% CHO diet significantly lowered blood glucose values when compared with those of the 64% CHO groups for both the empty (14.94 +/- 0.41 vs. 16.26 +/- 0.42 mmol/L, respectively, p < 0.001) and islet macrobead recipients (12.88 +/- 0.39 vs. 15.57 +/-0.85 mmol/L, respectively, p <0.001). The different diets, however, had no statistically significant effects on the preservation of islet mass in the macrobead. Serum porcine C-peptide was detected throughout the experiment in animals receiving porcine islet macrobeads, regardless of diet. Diabetic rats fed a low carbohydrate level diet and transplanted with porcine islet macrobeads had improved total tissue glucose disposal and improved clinical parameters associated with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368908785095962DOI Listing
January 2009

Encapsulation of porcine islets permits extended culture time and insulin independence in spontaneously diabetic BB rats.

Cell Transplant 2007 ;16(6):609-20

The Rogosin Institute-Xenia Division, Xenia, OH 45385, USA.

The ability to culture porcine islets for extended times allows for both their functional assessment and the assurance of their microbiological safety prior to transplantation. We have previously shown that agarose-encapsulated porcine islets can be cultured for at least 24 weeks. In the current study, porcine islet agarose macrobeads cultured for up to 67 weeks were assessed for their ability to restore normoglycemia, respond to an intraperitoneal glucose challenge, maintain spontaneously diabetic BB rats free of insulin therapy for more than 6 months, and for their biocompatibility. Porcine islets were encapsulated in agarose macrobeads and subjected to weekly static perifusion assays for the assessment of insulin production. After in vitro culture for either 9, 40, or 67 weeks, 56-60 macrobeads were transplanted to each spontaneously diabetic BB rat. Transplanted rats were monitored daily for blood glucose levels. Glucose tolerance tests and assessments for porcine C-peptide were conducted at various intervals throughout the study. Normoglycemia (100-200 mg/dl) was initially restored in all islet transplanted rats. Moderate hyperglycemia (200-400 mg/dl) developed at around 30 days posttransplantation and continued throughout the study period of 201-202 days. Importantly, all rats that received encapsulated porcine islets continued to gain weight and were free of exogenous insulin therapy for the entire study. Porcine C-peptide (0.2-0.9 ng/ml) was detected in the serum of islet recipients throughout the study period. No differences were detected between recipient animals receiving islet macrobeads of various ages. These results demonstrate that the encapsulation of porcine islets in agarose macrobeads allows for extended culture periods and is an appropriate strategy for functional and microbiological assessment prior to clinical use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000007783465028DOI Listing
November 2007

The use of pancreas biopsy scoring provides reliable porcine islet yields while encapsulation permits the determination of microbiological safety.

Cell Transplant 2005 ;14(7):427-39

The Rogosin Institute, Xenia Division, OH 45385, USA.

For clinical xenogenic islet transplantation to be successful, several requirements must be met. Among them is a sizeable and reliable source of fully functional and microbiologically safe islets. The inherent variability among porcine pancreases, with respect to islet yield, prompted us to develop a Biopsy Score technique to determine the suitability of each pancreas for islet isolation processing. The Biopsy Score consists of an assessment of five variables: warm ischemia time, pancreas color, fat content, islet size, and islet demarcation, each of which is assigned a value of -1 or +1, depending on whether or not the established criteria is met. For determination of islet size and demarcation, fresh biopsies of porcine pancreases are stained with dithizone (DTZ) solution and examined under a dissecting microscope. Based on the scoring of such biopsies in pancreases from 26-56-month-old sows, we report here that the presence of large (>100 microm diameter), well-demarcated islets in the pancreas biopsy is a reliable predictor of isolation success. Encapsulation of the isolated porcine islets within the inner layer of a 1.5% agarose and an outer layer of 5.0% agarose macrobead, containing 500 equivalent islet number (EIN), provides for extended in vitro functional viability (>6 months of insulin production in response to glucose), as well as for comprehensive microbiological testing and at least partial isolation of the xenogeneic islets from the host immune system. All microbiological testing to date has been negative, except for the presence of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV). Taken together, we believe that the Biopsy Score enhancement of our islet isolation technique and our agarose-agarose macroencapsulation methodology bring us significantly closer to realizing clinical porcine islet xenotransplantation for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000005783982846DOI Listing
December 2005