Publications by authors named "Tamika Mitchell"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Therapeutic Targeting of Nemo-like Kinase in Primary and Acquired Endocrine-resistant Breast Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Feb 4. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Purpose: Endocrine resistance remains a major clinical challenge in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Despite the encouraging results from clinical trials for the drugs targeting known survival signaling, relapse is still inevitable. There is an unmet need to discover new drug targets in the unknown escape pathways. Here, we report Nemo-like kinase (NLK) as a new actionable kinase target that endows previously uncharacterized survival signaling in endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

Experimental Design: The effects of NLK inhibition on the viability of endocrine-resistant breast cancer cell lines were examined by MTS assay. The effect of VX-702 on NLK activity was verified by kinase assay. The modulation of ER and its coactivator, SRC-3, by NLK was examined by immunoprecipitation, kinase assay, luciferase assay, and RNA sequencing. The therapeutic effects of VX-702 and everolimus were tested on cell line- and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumor models.

Results: NLK overexpression endows reduced endocrine responsiveness and is associated with worse outcome of patients treated with tamoxifen. Mechanistically, NLK may function, at least in part, via enhancing the phosphorylation of ERα and its key coactivator, SRC-3, to modulate ERα transcriptional activity. Through interrogation of a kinase profiling database, we uncovered and verified a highly selective dual p38/NLK inhibitor, VX-702. Coadministration of VX-702 with the mTOR inhibitor, everolimus, demonstrated a significant therapeutic effect in cell line-derived xenograft and PDX tumor models of acquired or endocrine resistance.

Conclusions: Together, this study reveals the potential of therapeutic modulation of NLK for the management of the endocrine-resistant breast cancers with active NLK signaling.
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February 2021

The oral selective oestrogen receptor degrader (SERD) AZD9496 is comparable to fulvestrant in antagonising ER and circumventing endocrine resistance.

Br J Cancer 2019 02 17;120(3):331-339. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Background: The oestrogen receptor (ER) is an important therapeutic target in ER-positive (ER+) breast cancer. The selective ER degrader (SERD), fulvestrant, is effective in patients with metastatic breast cancer, but its intramuscular route of administration and low bioavailability are major clinical limitations.

Methods: Here, we studied the pharmacology of a new oral SERD, AZD9496, in a panel of in vitro and in vivo endocrine-sensitive and -resistant breast cancer models.

Results: In endocrine-sensitive models, AZD9496 inhibited cell growth and blocked ER activity in the presence or absence of oestrogen. In vivo, in the presence of oestrogen, short-term AZD9496 treatment, like fulvestrant, resulted in tumour growth inhibition and reduced expression of ER-dependent genes. AZD9496 inhibited cell growth in oestrogen deprivation-resistant and tamoxifen-resistant cell lines and xenograft models that retain ER expression. AZD9496 effectively reduced ER levels and ER-induced transcription. Expression analysis of short-term treated tumours showed that AZD9496 potently inhibited classic oestrogen-induced gene transcription, while simultaneously increasing expression of genes negatively regulated by ER, including genes potentially involved in escape pathways of endocrine resistance.

Conclusions: These data suggest that AZD9496 is a potent anti-oestrogen that antagonises and degrades ER with anti-tumour activity in both endocrine-sensitive and endocrine-resistant models.
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February 2019

HER2 Reactivation through Acquisition of the HER2 L755S Mutation as a Mechanism of Acquired Resistance to HER2-targeted Therapy in HER2 Breast Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2017 Sep 9;23(17):5123-5134. Epub 2017 May 9.

Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Resistance to anti-HER2 therapies in HER2 breast cancer can occur through activation of alternative survival pathways or reactivation of the HER signaling network. Here we employed BT474 parental and treatment-resistant cell line models to investigate a mechanism by which HER2 breast cancer can reactivate the HER network under potent HER2-targeted therapies. Resistant derivatives to lapatinib (L), trastuzumab (T), or the combination (LR/TR/LTR) were developed independently from two independent estrogen receptor ER/HER2 BT474 cell lines (AZ/ATCC). Two derivatives resistant to the lapatinib-containing regimens (BT474/AZ-LR and BT474/ATCC-LTR lines) that showed HER2 reactivation at the time of resistance were subjected to massive parallel sequencing and compared with parental lines. Ectopic expression and mutant-specific siRNA interference were applied to analyze the mutation functionally. and experiments were performed to test alternative therapies for mutant HER2 inhibition. Genomic analyses revealed that the L755S mutation was the only common somatic mutation gained in the BT474/AZ-LR and BT474/ATCC-LTR lines. Ectopic expression of L755S induced acquired lapatinib resistance in the BT474/AZ, SK-BR-3, and AU565 parental cell lines. L755S-specific siRNA knockdown reversed the resistance in BT474/AZ-LR and BT474/ATCC-LTR lines. The HER1/2-irreversible inhibitors afatinib and neratinib substantially inhibited both resistant cell growth and the HER2 and downstream AKT/MAPK signaling driven by L755S and HER2 reactivation through acquisition of the L755S mutation was identified as a mechanism of acquired resistance to lapatinib-containing HER2-targeted therapy in preclinical HER2-amplified breast cancer models, which can be overcome by irreversible HER1/2 inhibitors. .
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September 2017

Circulating and disseminated tumor cells from breast cancer patient-derived xenograft-bearing mice as a novel model to study metastasis.

Breast Cancer Res 2015 Jan 9;17. Epub 2015 Jan 9.

Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.

Introduction: Real-time monitoring of biologic changes in tumors may be possible by investigating the transitional cells such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and disseminated tumor cells in bone marrow (BM-DTCs). However, the small numbers of CTCs and the limited access to bone marrow aspirates in cancer patients pose major hurdles. The goal of this study was to determine whether breast cancer (BC) patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mice could provide a constant and renewable source of CTCs and BM-DTCs, thereby representing a unique system for the study of metastatic processes.

Methods: CTCs and BM-DTCs, isolated from BC PDX-bearing mice, were identified by immunostaining for human pan-cytokeratin and nuclear counterstaining of red blood cell-lysed blood and bone marrow fractions, respectively. The rate of lung metastases (LM) was previously reported in these lines. Associations between the presence of CTCs, BM-DTCs, and LM were assessed by the Fisher's Exact and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests. Two separate genetic signatures associated with the presence of CTC clusters and with lung metastatic potential were computed by using the expression arrays of primary tumors from different PDX lines and subsequently overlapped to identify common genes.

Results: In total, 18 BC PDX lines were evaluated. CTCs and BM-DTCs, present as either single cells or clusters, were detected in 83% (15 of 18) and 62.5% (10 to16) of the lines, respectively. A positive association was noted between the presence of CTCs and BM-DTCs within the same mice. LM was previously found in 9 of 18 (50%) lines, of which all nine had detectable CTCs. The presence of LM was strongly associated with the detection of CTC clusters but not with individual cells or detection of BM-DTCs. Overlapping of the two genetic signatures of the primary PDX tumors associated with the presence of CTC clusters and with lung metastatic potential identified four genes (HLA-DP1A, GJA1, PEG3, and XIST). This four-gene profile predicted distant metastases-free survival in publicly available datasets of early BC patients.

Conclusion: This study suggests that CTCs and BM-DTCs detected in BC PDX-bearing mice may represent a valuable and unique preclinical model for investigating the role of these rare cells in tumor metastases.
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January 2015

Sub-100nm gold nanomatryoshkas improve photo-thermal therapy efficacy in large and highly aggressive triple negative breast tumors.

J Control Release 2014 Oct 19;191:90-97. Epub 2014 Jul 19.

Division of Molecular Imaging, Department of Radiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Mail: BCM 360, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, United States.

There is an unmet need for efficient near-infrared photothermal transducers for the treatment of highly aggressive cancers and large tumors where the penetration of light can be substantially reduced, and the intra-tumoral nanoparticle transport is restricted due to the presence of hypoxic or necrotic regions. We report the performance advantages obtained by sub 100nm gold nanomatryushkas, comprising concentric gold-silica-gold layers compared to conventional ~150nm silica core gold nanoshells for photothermal therapy of triple negative breast cancer. We demonstrate that a 33% reduction in silica-core-gold-shell nanoparticle size, while retaining near-infrared plasmon resonance, and keeping the nanoparticle surface charge constant, results in a four to five fold tumor accumulation of nanoparticles following equal dose of injected gold for both sizes. The survival time of mice bearing large (>1000mm(3)) and highly aggressive triple negative breast tumors is doubled for the nanomatryushka treatment group under identical photo-thermal therapy conditions. The higher absorption cross-section of a nanomatryoshka results in a higher efficiency of photonic to thermal energy conversion and coupled with 4-5× accumulation within large tumors results in superior therapy efficacy.
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October 2014

Au nanomatryoshkas as efficient near-infrared photothermal transducers for cancer treatment: benchmarking against nanoshells.

ACS Nano 2014 Jun 3;8(6):6372-81. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Department of Chemistry, Rice University , 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, United States.

Au nanoparticles with plasmon resonances in the near-infrared (NIR) region of the spectrum efficiently convert light into heat, a property useful for the photothermal ablation of cancerous tumors subsequent to nanoparticle uptake at the tumor site. A critical aspect of this process is nanoparticle size, which influences both tumor uptake and photothermal efficiency. Here, we report a direct comparative study of ∼90 nm diameter Au nanomatryoshkas (Au/SiO2/Au) and ∼150 nm diameter Au nanoshells for photothermal therapeutic efficacy in highly aggressive triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) tumors in mice. Au nanomatryoshkas are strong light absorbers with 77% absorption efficiency, while the nanoshells are weaker absorbers with only 15% absorption efficiency. After an intravenous injection of Au nanomatryoshkas followed by a single NIR laser dose of 2 W/cm(2) for 5 min, 83% of the TNBC tumor-bearing mice appeared healthy and tumor free >60 days later, while only 33% of mice treated with nanoshells survived the same period. The smaller size and larger absorption cross section of Au nanomatryoshkas combine to make this nanoparticle more effective than Au nanoshells for photothermal cancer therapy.
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June 2014