Publications by authors named "Sarah A Steck"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Modeling Brain Metastases Through Intracranial Injection and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

J Vis Exp 2020 06 7(160). Epub 2020 Jun 7.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University; Department of Radiation Oncology, The Ohio State University;

Metastatic spread of cancer is an unfortunate consequence of disease progression, aggressive cancer subtypes, and/or late diagnosis. Brain metastases are particularly devastating, difficult to treat, and confer a poor prognosis. While the precise incidence of brain metastases in the United States remains hard to estimate, it is likely to increase as extracranial therapies continue to become more efficacious in treating cancer. Thus, it is necessary to identify and develop novel therapeutic approaches to treat metastasis at this site. To this end, intracranial injection of cancer cells has become a well-established method in which to model brain metastasis. Previously, the inability to directly measure tumor growth has been a technical hindrance to this model; however, increasing availability and quality of small animal imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are vastly improving the ability to monitor tumor growth over time and infer changes within the brain during the experimental period. Herein, intracranial injection of murine mammary tumor cells into immunocompetent mice followed by MRI is demonstrated. The presented injection approach utilizes isoflurane anesthesia and a stereotactic setup with a digitally controlled, automated drill and needle injection to enhance precision, and reduce technical error. MRI is measured over time using a 9.4 Tesla instrument in The Ohio State University James Comprehensive Cancer Center Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource. Tumor volume measurements are demonstrated at each time point through use of ImageJ. Overall, this intracranial injection approach allows for precise injection, day-to-day monitoring, and accurate tumor volume measurements, which combined greatly enhance the utility of this model system to test novel hypotheses on the drivers of brain metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/61272DOI Listing
June 2020

Stromal Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor-β Signaling Promotes Breast Cancer Metastasis in the Brain.

Cancer Res 2021 Feb 23;81(3):606-618. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta (PDGFRβ) is a receptor tyrosine kinase found in cells of mesenchymal origin such as fibroblasts and pericytes. Activation of this receptor is dependent on paracrine ligand induction, and its preferred ligand PDGFB is released by neighboring epithelial and endothelial cells. While expression of both PDGFRβ and PDGFB has been noted in patient breast tumors for decades, how PDGFB-to-PDGFRβ tumor-stroma signaling mediates breast cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis remains unclear. Here we demonstrate this paracrine signaling pathway that mediates both primary tumor growth and metastasis, specifically, metastasis to the brain. Elevated levels of PDGFB accelerated orthotopic tumor growth and intracranial growth of mammary tumor cells, while mesenchymal-specific expression of an activating mutant PDGFRβ (PDGFRβ) exerted proproliferative signals on adjacent mammary tumor cells. Stromal expression of PDGFRβ also promoted brain metastases of mammary tumor cells expressing high PDGFB when injected intravenously. In the brain, expression of PDGFRβ was observed within a subset of astrocytes, and aged mice expressing PDGFRβ exhibited reactive gliosis. Importantly, the PDGFR-specific inhibitor crenolanib significantly reduced intracranial growth of mammary tumor cells. In a tissue microarray comprised of 363 primary human breast tumors, high PDGFB protein expression was prognostic for brain metastases, but not metastases to other sites. Our results advocate the use of mice expressing PDGFRβ in their stromal cells as a preclinical model of breast cancer-associated brain metastases and support continued investigation into the clinical prognostic and therapeutic use of PDGFB-to-PDGFRβ signaling in women with breast cancer. SIGNIFICANCE: These studies reveal a previously unknown role for PDGFB-to-PDGFRβ paracrine signaling in the promotion of breast cancer brain metastases and support the prognostic and therapeutic clinical utility of this pathway for patients..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-3731DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581545PMC
February 2021

Disruption of stromal hedgehog signaling initiates RNF5-mediated proteasomal degradation of PTEN and accelerates pancreatic tumor growth.

Life Sci Alliance 2018 Oct 26;1(5):e201800190. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Hollings Cancer Center and Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

The contribution of the tumor microenvironment to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) development is currently unclear. We therefore examined the consequences of disrupting paracrine Hedgehog (HH) signaling in PDAC stroma. Herein, we show that ablation of the key HH signaling gene () in stromal fibroblasts led to increased proliferation of pancreatic tumor cells. Furthermore, deletion resulted in proteasomal degradation of the tumor suppressor PTEN and activation of oncogenic protein kinase B (AKT) in fibroblasts. An unbiased proteomic screen identified RNF5 as a novel E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for degradation of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in -null fibroblasts. () knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSKβ), the kinase that marks PTEN for ubiquitination, rescued PTEN levels and reversed the oncogenic phenotype, identifying a new node of PTEN regulation. In PDAC patients, low stromal PTEN correlated with reduced overall survival. Mechanistically, PTEN loss decreased hydraulic permeability of the extracellular matrix, which was reversed by hyaluronidase treatment. These results define non-cell autonomous tumor-promoting mechanisms activated by disruption of the HH/PTEN axis and identifies new targets for restoring stromal tumor-suppressive functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.26508/lsa.201800190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6238420PMC
October 2018

Stromal PTEN determines mammary epithelial response to radiotherapy.

Nat Commun 2018 07 17;9(1):2783. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.

The importance of the tumor-associated stroma in cancer progression is clear. However, it remains uncertain whether early events in the stroma are capable of initiating breast tumorigenesis. Here, we show that in the mammary glands of non-tumor bearing mice, stromal-specific phosphatase and tensin homolog (Pten) deletion invokes radiation-induced genomic instability in neighboring epithelium. In these animals, a single dose of whole-body radiation causes focal mammary lobuloalveolar hyperplasia through paracrine epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation, and EGFR inhibition abrogates these cellular changes. By analyzing human tissue, we discover that stromal PTEN is lost in a subset of normal breast samples obtained from reduction mammoplasty, and is predictive of recurrence in breast cancer patients. Combined, these data indicate that diagnostic or therapeutic chest radiation may predispose patients with decreased stromal PTEN expression to secondary breast cancer, and that prophylactic EGFR inhibition may reduce this risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05266-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6050339PMC
July 2018