Publications by authors named "Sheila Bheddah"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prevalence of Delta-like protein 3 expression in patients with small cell lung cancer.

Lung Cancer 2018 01 22;115:116-120. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Research Institute for Diseases of the Chest, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, 812-8582, Japan. Electronic address:

Objectives: Rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T), an antibody-drug conjugate directed against Delta-like protein 3 (DLL3), is under development for patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) positive for this protein. However, the prevalence of DLL3 expression and its association with patient ethnicity and other characteristics have remained unclear.

Materiais And Methods: Tumor samples from 63 patients with SCLC were subjected to immunohistochemical staining for DLL3. The relation of patient characteristics including sex, age, disease stage, and smoking history to DLL3 expression status was analyzed.

Results And Conlusions: Fifty-two patients (83%) were positive for DLL3 expression, with 20 patients (32%) being positive in at least 50% of cancer cells (DLL3-high). DLL3 expression was not associated with any of the patient characteristics examined. In addition, overall survival did not differ between DLL3-high and DLL3-low patients. Our results reveal that DLL3 is expressed in tumor specimens from most patients with SCLC, and they should inform the undertaking of clinical trials of Rova-T including an ongoing phase I study (NCT03086239) in Japan as well as global phase III trials (NCT03061812 and NCT03033511).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2017.11.018DOI Listing
January 2018

Protein expression of TTF1 and cMYC define distinct molecular subgroups of small cell lung cancer with unique vulnerabilities to aurora kinase inhibition, DLL3 targeting, and other targeted therapies.

Oncotarget 2017 Sep 1;8(43):73419-73432. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a recalcitrant cancer for which no new treatments have been approved in over 30 years. While molecular subtyping now guides treatment selection for patients with non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers, SCLC is still treated as a single disease entity. Using model-based clustering, we found two major proteomic subtypes of SCLC characterized by either high thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF1)/low cMYC protein expression or high cMYC/low TTF1. Applying "drug target constellation" (DTECT) mapping, we further show that protein levels of TTF1 and cMYC predict response to targeted therapies including aurora kinase, Bcl2, and HSP90 inhibitors. Levels of TTF1 and DLL3 were also highly correlated in preclinical models and patient tumors. TTF1 (used in the diagnosis lung cancer) could therefore be used as a surrogate of DLL3 expression to identify patients who may respond to the DLL3 antibody-drug conjugate rovalpituzumab tesirine. These findings suggest that TTF1, cMYC or other protein markers identified here could be used to identify subgroups of SCLC patients who may respond preferentially to several emerging targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20621DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5650272PMC
September 2017

Noninvasive Interrogation of DLL3 Expression in Metastatic Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Cancer Res 2017 07 9;77(14):3931-3941. Epub 2017 May 9.

Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

The Notch ligand DLL3 has emerged as a novel therapeutic target expressed in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas. Rovalpituzumab teserine (Rova-T; SC16LD6.5) is a first-in-class DLL3-targeted antibody-drug conjugate with encouraging initial safety and efficacy profiles in SCLC in the clinic. Here we demonstrate that tumor expression of DLL3, although orders of magnitude lower in surface protein expression than typical oncology targets of immunoPET, can serve as an imaging biomarker for SCLC. We developed Zr-labeled SC16 antibody as a companion diagnostic agent to facilitate selection of patients for treatment with Rova-T based on a noninvasive interrogation of the status of DLL3 expression using PET imaging. Despite low cell-surface abundance of DLL3, immunoPET imaging with Zr-labeled SC16 antibody enabled delineation of subcutaneous and orthotopic SCLC tumor xenografts as well as distant organ metastases with high sensitivity. Uptake of the radiotracer in tumors was concordant with levels of DLL3 expression and, most notably, DLL3 immunoPET yielded rank-order correlation for response to SC16LD6.5 therapy in SCLC patient-derived xenograft models. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-0299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5534176PMC
July 2017

Rovalpituzumab tesirine, a DLL3-targeted antibody-drug conjugate, in recurrent small-cell lung cancer: a first-in-human, first-in-class, open-label, phase 1 study.

Lancet Oncol 2017 01 5;18(1):42-51. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Tennessee Oncology PLLC, Nashville, TN, USA; Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: Rovalpituzumab tesirine is a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate directed against delta-like protein 3 (DLL3), a novel target identified in tumour-initiating cells and expressed in more than 80% of patients with small-cell lung cancer. We aimed to assess the safety and activity of rovalpituzumab tesirine in patients who progressed after one or more previous regimen.

Methods: We conducted a phase 1 open-label study at ten cancer centres in the USA. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older and had histologically or cytologically confirmed small-cell lung cancer or large-cell neuroendocrine tumours with progressive measurable disease (according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors [RECIST], version 1.1) previously treated with one or two chemotherapeutic regimens, including a platinum-based regimen. We assigned patients to dose-escalation or expansion cohorts, ranging from 0·05 mg/kg to 0·8 mg/kg rovalpituzumab tesirine intravenously every 3 weeks or every 6 weeks, followed by investigation of the dose schedules 0·3 mg/kg and 0·4 mg/kg every 6 weeks and 0·2 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Primary objectives were to assess the safety of rovalpituzumab tesirine, including the maximum tolerated dose and dose-limiting toxic effects. The primary activity endpoint was objective response by intention-to-treat analysis. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01901653. The study is closed to enrolment; this report focuses on the cohort with small-cell lung cancer.

Findings: Between July 22, 2013, and Aug 10, 2015, 82 patients were enrolled, including 74 patients with small-cell lung cancer and eight with large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, all of whom received at least one dose of rovalpituzumab tesirine. Dose-limiting toxic effects of rovalpituzumab tesirine occurred at a dose of 0·8 mg/kg every 3 weeks, including grade 4 thrombocytopenia (in two of two patients at that dose level) and grade 4 liver function test abnormalities (in one patient). The most frequent grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events in 74 patients with small-cell lung cancer were thrombocytopenia (eight [11%]), pleural effusion (six [8%]), and increased lipase (five [7%]). Drug-related serious adverse events occurred in 28 (38%) of 74 patients. The maximum tolerated dose of rovalpituzumab tesirine was 0·4 mg/kg every 3 weeks; the recommended phase 2 dose and schedule is 0·3 mg/kg every 6 weeks. At active doses of rovalpituzumab tesirine (0·2 mg/kg or 0·4 mg/kg every 3 weeks or 0·3 mg/kg or 0·4 mg/kg every 6 weeks), 11 (18%) of 60 assessable patients had a confirmed objective response. 11 (18%) of 60 assessable patients had a confirmed objective response, including ten (38%) of 26 patients confirmed to have high DLL3 expression (expression in 50% or more of tumour cells).

Interpretation: Rovalpituzumab tesirine shows encouraging single-agent antitumour activity with a manageable safety profile. Further development of rovalpituzumab tesirine in DLL3-expressing malignant diseases is warranted.

Funding: Stemcentrx Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30565-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5481162PMC
January 2017

A DLL3-targeted antibody-drug conjugate eradicates high-grade pulmonary neuroendocrine tumor-initiating cells in vivo.

Sci Transl Med 2015 Aug;7(302):302ra136

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA. Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA.

The high-grade pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC), remain among the most deadly malignancies. Therapies that effectively target and kill tumor-initiating cells (TICs) in these cancers should translate to improved patient survival. Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumors serve as excellent models to study tumor biology and characterize TICs. Increased expression of delta-like 3 (DLL3) was discovered in SCLC and LCNEC PDX tumors and confirmed in primary SCLC and LCNEC tumors. DLL3 protein is expressed on the surface of tumor cells but not in normal adult tissues. A DLL3-targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), SC16LD6.5, comprised of a humanized anti-DLL3 monoclonal antibody conjugated to a DNA-damaging pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer toxin, induced durable tumor regression in vivo across multiple PDX models. Serial transplantation experiments executed with limiting dilutions of cells provided functional evidence confirming that the lack of tumor recurrence after SC16LD6.5 exposure resulted from effective targeting of DLL3-expressing TICs. In vivo efficacy correlated with DLL3 expression, and responses were observed in PDX models initiated from patients with both limited and extensive-stage disease and were independent of their sensitivity to standard-of-care chemotherapy regimens. SC16LD6.5 effectively targets and eradicates DLL3-expressing TICs in SCLC and LCNEC PDX tumors and is a promising first-in-class ADC for the treatment of high-grade pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aac9459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934375PMC
August 2015

Initiation and characterization of small cell lung cancer patient-derived xenografts from ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspirates.

PLoS One 2015 8;10(5):e0125255. Epub 2015 May 8.

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Environmental, and Sleep Medicine, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, Virginia, United States of America.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a devastating disease with limited treatment options. Due to its early metastatic nature and rapid growth, surgical resection is rare. Standard of care treatment regimens remain largely unchanged since the 1980's, and five-year survival lingers near 5%. Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models have been established for other tumor types, amplifying material for research and serving as models for preclinical experimentation; however, limited availability of primary tissue has curtailed development of these models for SCLC. The objective of this study was to establish PDX models from commonly collected fine needle aspirate biopsies of primary SCLC tumors, and to assess their utility as research models of primary SCLC tumors. These transbronchial needle aspirates efficiently engrafted as xenografts, and tumor histomorphology was similar to primary tumors. Resulting tumors were further characterized by H&E and immunohistochemistry, cryopreserved, and used to propagate tumor-bearing mice for the evaluation of standard of care chemotherapy regimens, to assess their utility as models for tumors in SCLC patients. When treated with Cisplatin and Etoposide, tumor-bearing mice responded similarly to patients from whom the tumors originated. Here, we demonstrate that PDX tumor models can be efficiently established from primary SCLC transbronchial needle aspirates, even after overnight shipping, and that resulting xenograft tumors are similar to matched primary tumors in cancer patients by both histology and chemo-sensitivity. This method enables physicians at non-research institutions to collaboratively contribute to the rapid establishment of extensive PDX collections of SCLC, enabling experimentation with clinically relevant tissues and development of improved therapies for SCLC patients.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0125255PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425530PMC
February 2016

Effects of anti-VEGF on pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and tumor penetration of trastuzumab in a preclinical breast cancer model.

Mol Cancer Ther 2012 Mar 5;11(3):752-62. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Genentech Research and Early Development, South San Francisco, California, USA.

Both human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2/neu) and VEGF overexpression correlate with aggressive phenotypes and decreased survival among breast cancer patients. Concordantly, the combination of trastuzumab (anti-HER2) with bevacizumab (anti-VEGF) has shown promising results in preclinical xenograft studies and in clinical trials. However, despite the known antiangiogenic mechanism of anti-VEGF antibodies, relatively little is known about their effects on the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of other antibodies. This study aimed to measure the disposition properties, with a particular emphasis on tumor uptake, of trastuzumab in the presence or absence of anti-VEGF. Radiolabeled trastuzumab was administered alone or in combination with an anti-VEGF antibody to mice bearing HER2-expressing KPL-4 breast cancer xenografts. Biodistribution, autoradiography, and single-photon emission computed tomography-X-ray computed tomography imaging all showed that anti-VEGF administration reduced accumulation of trastuzumab in tumors despite comparable blood exposures and similar distributions in most other tissues. A similar trend was also observed for an isotype-matched IgG with no affinity for HER2, showing reduced vascular permeability to macromolecules. Reduced tumor blood flow (P < 0.05) was observed following anti-VEGF treatment, with no significant differences in the other physiologic parameters measured despite immunohistochemical evidence of reduced vascular density. In conclusion, anti-VEGF preadministration decreased tumor uptake of trastuzumab, and this phenomenon was mechanistically attributed to reduced vascular permeability and blood perfusion. These findings may ultimately help inform dosing strategies to achieve improved clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0742-TDOI Listing
March 2012

Phosphorous dysregulation induced by MEK small molecule inhibitors in the rat involves blockade of FGF-23 signaling in the kidney.

Toxicol Sci 2012 Jan 5;125(1):187-95. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Safety Assessment, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

MEK, a kinase downstream of Ras and Raf oncogenes, constitutes a high priority target in oncology research. MEK small molecule inhibitors cause soft tissue mineralization in rats secondary to serum inorganic phosphorus (iP) elevation, but the molecular mechanism for this toxicity remains undetermined. We performed investigative studies with structurally distinct MEK inhibitors GEN-A and PD325901 (PD-901) in Sprague-Dawley rats. Our data support a mechanism that involves FGF-23 signal blockade in the rat kidney, causing transcriptional upregulation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) 1-alpha-hydroxylase (Cyp27b1), the rate-limiting enzyme in vitamin D activation, and downregulation of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) 24-hydroxylase (Cyp24a1), the enzyme that initiates the degradation of the active form of vitamin D. These transcriptional changes increase serum vitamin D levels, which in turn drive the increase in serum iP, leading to soft tissue mineralization in the rat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfr263DOI Listing
January 2012

Ubiquitin ligase RNF146 regulates tankyrase and Axin to promote Wnt signaling.

PLoS One 2011 25;6(7):e22595. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

Department of Cancer Targets, Genentech Research and Early Development, South San Francisco, California, United States of America.

Canonical Wnt signaling is controlled intracellularly by the level of β-catenin protein, which is dependent on Axin scaffolding of a complex that phosphorylates β-catenin to target it for ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. This function of Axin is counteracted through relocalization of Axin protein to the Wnt receptor complex to allow for ligand-activated Wnt signaling. AXIN1 and AXIN2 protein levels are regulated by tankyrase-mediated poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation (PARsylation), which destabilizes Axin and promotes signaling. Mechanistically, how tankyrase limits Axin protein accumulation, and how tankyrase levels and activity are regulated for this function, are currently under investigation. By RNAi screening, we identified the RNF146 RING-type ubiquitin E3 ligase as a positive regulator of Wnt signaling that operates with tankyrase to maintain low steady-state levels of Axin proteins. RNF146 also destabilizes tankyrases TNKS1 and TNKS2 proteins and, in a reciprocal relationship, tankyrase activity reduces RNF146 protein levels. We show that RNF146, tankyrase, and Axin form a protein complex, and that RNF146 mediates ubiquitylation of all three proteins to target them for proteasomal degradation. RNF146 is a cytoplasmic protein that also prevents tankyrase protein aggregation at a centrosomal location. Tankyrase auto-PARsylation and PARsylation of Axin is known to lead to proteasome-mediated degradation of these proteins, and we demonstrate that, through ubiquitylation, RNF146 mediates this process to regulate Wnt signaling.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0022595PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3143158PMC
December 2011

Armed antibodies targeting the mucin repeats of the ovarian cancer antigen, MUC16, are highly efficacious in animal tumor models.

Cancer Res 2007 May;67(10):4924-32

Department of Cancer Pathways and Targets, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

MUC16 is a well-validated cell surface marker for serous adenocarcinomas of the ovary and other gynecologic malignancies that is distinguished by highly repetitive sequences ("mucin repeats") in the extracellular domain (ECD). We produced and compared two monoclonal antibodies: one (11D10) recognizing a unique, nonrepeating epitope in the ECD and another (3A5) that recognizes the repeats and binds multiple sites on each MUC16 protein. 3A5 conjugated to cytotoxic drugs exhibited superior toxicity against tumor cells in vitro and in tumor xenograft models compared with antibody-drug conjugates of 11D10. Importantly, drug conjugates of 3A5 were well tolerated in primates at levels in excess of therapeutic doses. Additionally, the presence of circulating CA125 in a rat model did not exacerbate the toxicity of 3A5 drug conjugates. We conclude that targeting the repeat MUC16 domains, thereby increasing cell-associated levels of drug-conjugated antibody, provides superior efficacy in vitro and in vivo without compromising safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-4512DOI Listing
May 2007

EphB2 is a prognostic factor in colorectal cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2005 Jul;11(14):5181-7

Department of Pathology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

A receptor tyrosine kinase for ephrin ligands, EphB2 is expressed in colorectal cancer and has been proposed as a target for immunoconjugate therapy. The aim of this study was to perform a detailed histologic analysis of EphB2 expression in normal and neoplastic colorectal tissues. In addition, we sought to evaluate EphB2 expression as a prognostic factor in colorectal cancer. Expression of EphB2 was examined in normal colon (n = 28), colorectal cell lines (n = 20), colorectal adenomas (n = 148), primary cancers (n = 28), and metastases (n = 39) using immunohistochemistry. In addition, a series of primary cancers and matched normal (n = 342) with outcome data were profiled in tissue microarrays. The intensity of EphB2 expression was assessed in the entire series by immunohistochemistry, and in a subset by in situ hybridization. Overall survival and recurrence-free survival were correlated with EphB2 protein expression in retrospective subset analyses. Epithelial EphB2 expression was shown at all stages of colorectal tumorigenesis, including the base of all normal crypts, 77% of adenomas, 82% of primary cancers, and 64% of metastases. Although homogeneous expression was observed in adenomas, the pattern of staining was focal (mean 25%) in most malignant lesions. Patients whose tumor stained 2+ for EphB2 expression (versus 0/1+) exhibited significantly prolonged overall survival: mean duration of survival, 2,514 versus 1,044 days; hazard ratio, 0.45; 95% confidence interval, 0.18 to 0.95 (P = 0.035). In summary, EphB2 is expressed in normal crypts, colorectal adenomas, primary cancers, and metastases. High levels of EphB2 expression are associated with a longer mean duration of survival in colorectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-05-0143DOI Listing
July 2005

COP1, the negative regulator of p53, is overexpressed in breast and ovarian adenocarcinomas.

Cancer Res 2004 Oct;64(20):7226-30

Department of Molecular Oncology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California, USA.

The tumor suppressor protein p53 plays a central role in protecting normal cells from undergoing transformation. Thus, it is fitting that cancer cells selectively dampen the p53 response to gain a selective growth advantage. In fact, the p53 gene is the most commonly mutated tumor suppressor gene in human cancers, and if the gene is not mutated, then other components of the p53 pathways are skewed to dampen the p53 response to stress. We recently identified COP1 as a novel and critical negative regulator of p53. COP1 is a RING finger-containing protein that targets p53 for degradation to the proteasome and is necessary for p53 turnover in normal and cancer cells. However, the association between COP1 and cancer remains to be determined. We performed expression analysis of COP1 in ovarian and breast cancer tissue microarrays. COP1 is significantly overexpressed in 81% (25 of 32) of breast and 44% (76 of 171) of ovarian adenocarcinoma as assessed by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Overexpression of COP1 correlated with a striking decrease in steady state p53 protein levels and attenuation of the downstream target gene, p21, in cancers that retain a wild-type p53 gene status. Overall, these results suggest that overexpression of COP1 contributes to the accelerated degradation of p53 protein in cancers and attenuates the tumor suppressor function of p53.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-2601DOI Listing
October 2004