Publications by authors named "Viktoria Laszlo"

66 Publications

[Heterogeneity of small cell lung cancer: biological and clinicopathological implications].

Magy Onkol 2020 Sep 9;64(3):243-255. Epub 2020 Aug 9.

Mellkassebészeti Osztály, Országos Onkológiai Intézet, Budapest, Hungary.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC; comprising approximately 14% of all lung cancer cases in Hungary) is an aggressive tumor type characterized by rapid growth and early metastasis. Although SCLC is a particularly malignant form of cancer, targeted therapies in its treatment have remained largely unsuccessful and thus there were no major therapeutic advances in the last three decades. SCLC was once considered a molecularly homogeneous malignancy. However, recent analyses led to the classification of neuroendocrine and molecular subtypes, based on the dominant expression of one of the following four transcriptional regulator genes: ASCL1, NEUROD1, YAP1 and POU2F3. Because these genetically and biologically distinct subtypes might contribute to therapeutic resistance, the better understanding of their biological and clinicopathological characteristics may help in the development of more effective SCLC therapies.
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September 2020

Clinical relevance of circulating activin A and follistatin in small cell lung cancer.

Lung Cancer 2021 11 20;161:128-135. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

National Koranyi Institute of Pulmonology, Budapest, Hungary; Department of Thoracic Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Department of Thoracic Surgery, Semmelweis University and National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary. Electronic address:

Objectives: Circulating levels of activin A (ActA) and follistatin (FST) have been investigated in various disorders including malignancies. However, to date, their diagnostic and prognostic relevance is largely unknown in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Our aim was to evaluate circulating ActA and FST levels as potential biomarkers in this devastating disease.

Methods: Seventy-nine Caucasian SCLC patients and 67 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were included in this study. Circulating ActA and FST concentrations were measured by ELISA and correlated with clinicopathological parameters and long-term outcomes.

Results: Plasma ActA and FST concentrations were significantly elevated in SCLC patients when compared to healthy volunteers (p < 0.0001). Furthermore, extensive-stage SCLC patients had significantly higher circulating ActA levels than those with limited-stage disease (p = 0.0179). Circulating FST concentration was not associated with disease stage (p = 0.6859). Notably, patients with high (≥548.8 pg/ml) plasma ActA concentration exhibited significantly worse median overall survival (OS) compared to those with low (<548.8 pg/ml) ActA levels (p = 0.0009). Moreover, Cox regression analysis adjusted for clinicopathological parameters revealed that high ActA concentration is an independent predictor of shorter OS (HR: 1.932; p = 0.023). No significant differences in OS have been observed with regards to plasma FST levels (p = 0.1218).

Conclusion: Blood ActA levels are elevated and correlate with disease stage in SCLC patients. Measurement of circulating ActA levels might help in the estimation of prognosis in patients with SCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2021.09.008DOI Listing
November 2021

EGFR Alterations Influence the Cetuximab Treatment Response and c-MET Tyrosine-Kinase Inhibitor Sensitivity in Experimental Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas.

Pathol Oncol Res 2021 3;27:620256. Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Experimental Pharmacology, National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary.

Anti-EGFR antibody therapy is still one of the clinical choices in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients, but the emergence of cetuximab resistance questioned its effectiveness and reduced its applicability. Although several possible reasons of resistance against the antibody treatment and alternative therapeutic proposals have been described (EGFR alterations, activation of other signaling pathways), there is no method to predict the effectiveness of anti-EGFR antibody treatments and to suggest novel therapeutics. Our study investigated the effect of EGFR R521K alteration on efficiency of cetuximab therapy of HNSCC cell lines and tried to find alternative therapeutic approaches against the resistant cells. After genetic characterization of HNSCC cells, we chose one wild type and one R521K+ cell line for proliferation and apoptosis tests, and animal models using different therapeutic agents. Although the cetuximab treatment affected EGFR signalization in both cells, it did not alter cell proliferation or apoptosis. cetuximab therapy was also ineffective on R521K harboring tumor xenografts, while blocked the tumor growth of EGFR-wild type xenografts. Interestingly, the cetuximab-resistant R521K tumors were successfully treated with c-MET tyrosine kinase inhibitor SU11274. Our results suggest that HNSCC cell line expressing the R521K mutant form of EGFR does not respond well to cetuximab treatment or , but hopefully might be targeted by c-MET tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/pore.2021.620256DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8262169PMC
May 2021

Down-regulation of A20 promotes immune escape of lung adenocarcinomas.

Sci Transl Med 2021 07;13(601)

Institute of Pharmacology, Center of Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, AT-1090 Vienna, Austria.

Inflammation is a well-known driver of lung tumorigenesis. One strategy by which tumor cells escape tight homeostatic control is by decreasing the expression of the potent anti-inflammatory protein tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3), also known as A20. We observed that tumor cell intrinsic loss of A20 markedly enhanced lung tumorigenesis and was associated with reduced CD8 T cell-mediated immune surveillance in patients with lung cancer and in mouse models. In mice, we observed that this effect was completely dependent on increased cellular sensitivity to interferon-γ (IFN-γ) signaling by aberrant activation of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and increased downstream expression and activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). Interrupting this autocrine feed forward loop by knocking out IFN-α/β receptor completely restored infiltration of cytotoxic T cells and rescued loss of A20 depending tumorigenesis. Downstream of STAT1, programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) was highly expressed in A20 knockout lung tumors. Accordingly, immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) treatment was highly efficient in mice harboring A20-deficient lung tumors. Furthermore, an A20 loss-of-function gene expression signature positively correlated with survival of melanoma patients treated with anti-programmed cell death protein 1. Together, we have identified A20 as a master immune checkpoint regulating the TBK1-STAT1-PD-L1 axis that may be exploited to improve ICB therapy in patients with lung adenocarcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abc3911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611502PMC
July 2021

Characterization of Tumor-Associated Macrophages and the Immune Microenvironment in Limited-Stage Neuroendocrine-High and -Low Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Biology (Basel) 2021 Jun 4;10(6). Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Department of Tumor Biology, National Korányi Institute of Pulmonology, Piheno ut 1, 1121 Budapest, Hungary.

This study aims to characterize tumor-infiltrating macrophages (TAMs), myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), and the related molecular milieu regulating anti-tumor immunity in limited-stage neuroendocrine (NE)-high and NE-low small cell lung cancer. Primary tumors and matched lymph node (LN) metastases of 32 resected, early-stage SCLC patients were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) with antibodies against pan-macrophage marker CD68, M2-macrophage marker CD163, and MDSC marker CD33. Area-adjusted cell counting on TMAs showed that TAMs are the most abundant cell type in the TME, and their number in tumor nests exceeds the number of CD3 + T-cells (64% vs. 38% in NE-low and 71% vs. 18% in NE-high). Furthermore, the ratio of CD163-expressing M2-polarized TAMs in tumor nests was significantly higher in NE-low vs. NE-high tumors (70% vs. 31%). TAM density shows a strong positive correlation with CD45 and CD3 in tumor nests, but not in the stroma. fGSEA analysis on a targeted RNAseq oncological panel of 2560 genes showed that NE-high tumors exhibited increased enrichment in pathways related to cell proliferation, whereas in NE-low tumors, immune response pathways were significantly upregulated. Interestingly, we identified a subset of NE-high tumors representing an immune-oasis phenotype, but with a different gene expression profile compared to NE-low tumors. In contrast, we found that a limited subgroup of NE-low tumors is immune-deserted and express distinct cellular pathways from NE-high tumors. Furthermore, we identified potential molecular targets based on our expression data in NE-low and immune-oasis tumor subsets, including CD70, ANXA1, ITGB6, TP63, IFI27, YBX3 and CXCR2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology10060502DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228874PMC
June 2021

[Predictive relevance of KRAS mutational status in bone metastatic lung adenocarcinoma treated with bisphosphonate therapy].

Magy Onkol 2021 Jun 8;65(2):103-111. Epub 2021 May 8.

Mellkassebészeti Osztály, Országos Onkológiai Intézet, Budapest, Hungary.

The therapeutic impact of KRAS mutations remains controversial in bone metastatic lung adenocarcinoma (LADC). Therefore, our aim was to investigate the effects of KRAS mutational status on overall survival (OS) in these patients according to bisphosphonate therapy (BTx) and radiation therapy (RTx). In total, 134 LADC patients diagnosed with simultaneous bone metastasis were included in this study. The results of the univariate (p=0.008) and multivariate (p=0.004) survival analyses indicated that KRAS mutation is a negative prognostic factor. Both BTx and RTx can increase the OS with a pronounced benefit for patients with KRAS wild-type tumors. Importantly, the concomitant use of BTx and RTx might increase the OS irrespective of KRAS status compared to BTx or RTx alone. In summary, our results might contribute to the development of new therapeutic approaches with regards to KRAS mutational status in bone metastatic LADC.
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June 2021

Prognostic impact of PD-1 and PD-L1 expression in malignant pleural mesothelioma: an international multicenter study.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Apr;10(4):1594-1607

Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Background: Programmed cell death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) immune-checkpoint blockade is a promising new therapeutic strategy in cancer. However, expression patterns and prognostic significance of PD-L1 and PD-1 are still controversial in human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples from 203 MPM patients receiving standard treatment without immunotherapy were collected from 5 European centers. PD-L1 and PD-1 expression of tumor cells (TCs) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were measured by immunohistochemistry and correlated with clinical parameters and long-term outcome.

Results: High (>10%) PD-L1 TC and PD-1 TILs expressions were found in 18 (8%) and 39 (24%) patients, respectively. PD-L1 was rarely expressed by TILs [≥1%, n=13 (8%); >10%, n=1]. No significant associations were found between the PD-L1 or PD-1 expression of TCs or TILs and clinicopathological parameters such as stage or histological subtype. Notably, patients with high (>10%) TC-specific PD-L1 expression exhibited significantly worse median overall survival (OS) (6.3 15.1 months of those with low TC PD-L1 expression; HR: 2.51, P<0.001). In multivariate cox regression analysis adjusted for clinical parameters, high TC PD-L1 expression (>10%) proved to be an independent negative prognostic factor for OS (HR: 2.486, P=0.005). There was no significant correlation between PD-L1 or PD-1 expression of TILs and OS.

Conclusions: In this multicenter cohort study, we demonstrate that high (>10%) PD-L1 expression of TCs independently predicts worse OS in MPM. Further studies are warranted to investigate the value of PD-L1/PD-1 expression as a marker for treatment response in MPM patients receiving immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-20-1114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8107750PMC
April 2021

Molecular profiles of small cell lung cancer subtypes: therapeutic implications.

Mol Ther Oncolytics 2021 Mar 6;20:470-483. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC; accounting for approximately 13%-15% of all lung cancers) is an exceptionally lethal malignancy characterized by rapid doubling time and high propensity to metastasize. In contrast to the increasingly personalized therapies in other types of lung cancer, SCLC is still regarded as a homogeneous disease and the prognosis of SCLC patients remains poor. Recently, however, substantial progress has been made in our understanding of SCLC biology. Advances in genomics and development of new preclinical models have facilitated insights into the intratumoral heterogeneity and specific genetic alterations of this disease. This worldwide resurgence of studies on SCLC has ultimately led to the development of novel subtype-specific classifications primarily based on the neuroendocrine features and distinct molecular profiles of SCLC. Importantly, these biologically distinct subtypes might define unique therapeutic vulnerabilities. Herein, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular profiles of SCLC subtypes with a focus on their potential clinical implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.omto.2021.02.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7917449PMC
March 2021

The effects of bisphosphonate and radiation therapy in bone-metastatic lung adenocarcinoma: the impact of KRAS mutation.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Feb;10(2):675-684

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Ruhrlandklinik, University Clinic Essen, Essen, Germany.

Background: KRAS mutation is the most common genetic alteration in lung adenocarcinoma (LADC) in Western countries and is associated with worse outcome in bone-metastatic cases. Yet, to date, no effective treatment guidelines were developed for these patients. Accordingly, our aim was to investigate the impact of KRAS mutation on bisphosphonate (BTx) and radiation therapy (RTx) in bone-metastatic LADC patients.

Methods: Clinicopathological variables of 134 consecutive LADC patients with bone metastases at diagnosis and known KRAS status were retrospectively analyzed. The effects of BTx, RTx and KRAS mutation on overall survival (OS) were investigated.

Results: Of the total cohort, 93 patients were identified as KRAS wild-type (WT) (69.4%) and 41 (30.6%) as KRAS mutant patients. The presence of KRAS mutation was associated with significantly reduced median OS (5.1 10.2 months in KRAS WT patients; P=0.008). Irrespective of KRAS mutational status both BTx (P=0.007) and RTx (P=0.021) conferred a significant benefit for OS. Notably, however, when analyzing the patients with KRAS-mutant and KRAS WT tumors separately, the benefit from BTx and RTx on OS remained statistically significant only in KRAS WT patients (P=0.032 and P=0.031, respectively).

Conclusions: KRAS mutation is a strong negative prognostic factor in bone-metastatic LADC patients. Both BTx and RTx can increase the OS with a pronounced benefit for patients with KRAS WT tumors. Altogether, KRAS mutational status should be considered during therapeutic decision making in bone-metastatic LADC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-20-754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947398PMC
February 2021

EGFR variant allele frequency predicts EGFR-TKI efficacy in lung adenocarcinoma: a multicenter study.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Feb;10(2):662-674

National Koranyi Institute of Pulmonology, Budapest, Hungary.

Background: Although lung adenocarcinoma (LADC) with sensitizing mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor () is highly sensitive to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs), in most cases disease progression inevitably occurs. Our aim was to investigate the predictive and prognostic significance of adjusted tumoral variant allele frequency (EGFR-aVAF) in the above setting.

Methods: Eighty-nine Caucasian advanced-stage LADC patients with known exon-specific mutations undergoing EGFR-TKI treatment were included. The correlations of EGFR-aVAF with clinicopathological variables including progression-free and overall survival (PFS and OS, respectively) were retrospectively analyzed.

Results: Of 89 -mutant LADC patients, 46 (51.7%) had exon 19 deletion, while 41 (46.1%) and 2 (2.2%) patients had exon 21- and exon 18-point mutations, respectively. Tumoral EGFR-aVAF was significantly higher in patients harboring exon 19 mutations than in those with exon 21-mutant tumors (P<0.001). Notably, patients with exon 19 mutant tumors demonstrated significantly improved PFS (P=0.003) and OS (P=0.02) compared to patients with exon 21 mutations. Irrespective of specific exon mutations, a statistically significant positive linear correlation was found between EGFR-aVAF of tumoral tissue and PFS (r=0.319; P=0.002). High (≥70%) EGFR-aVAF was an independent predictor of longer PFS [ low (<70%) EGFR-aVAF; median PFSs were 52 26 weeks, respectively; P<0.001]. Additionally, patients with high EGFR-aVAF also had significantly improved OS than those with low EGFR-aVAF (P=0.011).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that high (≥70%) EGFR-aVAF of tumoral tissue predicts benefit from EGFR-TKI treatment in advanced LADC and, moreover, that exon 19 mutation is associated with high EGFR-aVAF and improved survival outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-20-814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947383PMC
February 2021

Apelin promotes blood and lymph vessel formation and the growth of melanoma lung metastasis.

Sci Rep 2021 03 11;11(1):5798. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Tumor Biology, National Korányi Institute of Pulmonology, Budapest, Hungary.

Apelin, a ligand of the APJ receptor, is overexpressed in several human cancers and plays an important role in tumor angiogenesis and growth in various experimental systems. We investigated the role of apelin signaling in the malignant behavior of cutaneous melanoma. Murine B16 and human A375 melanoma cell lines were stably transfected with apelin encoding or control vectors. Apelin overexpression significantly increased melanoma cell migration and invasion in vitro, but it had no impact on its proliferation. In our in vivo experiments, apelin significantly increased the number and size of lung metastases of murine melanoma cells. Melanoma cell proliferation rates and lymph and blood microvessel densities were significantly higher in the apelin-overexpressing pulmonary metastases. APJ inhibition by the competitive APJ antagonist MM54 significantly attenuated the in vivo pro-tumorigenic effects of apelin. Additionally, we detected significantly elevated circulating apelin and VEGF levels in patients with melanoma compared to healthy controls. Our results show that apelin promotes blood and lymphatic vascularization and the growth of pulmonary metastases of skin melanoma. Further studies are warranted to validate apelin signaling as a new potential therapeutic target in this malignancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85162-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952702PMC
March 2021

The landscape of small cell lung cancer metastases: Organ specificity and timing.

Thorac Cancer 2021 03 3;12(6):914-923. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Semmelweis University and National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary.

Background: Early metastasis is a hallmark of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). However, the mechanisms and resulting patterns of SCLC dissemination are unclear. Our aim was thus to investigate the organ specificity and timing of blood-borne metastases in a comprehensive large cohort of SCLC patients.

Methods: In this retrospective non-interventional cross-sectional study of 1009 Caucasian SCLC patients, we investigated the correlation between the distinct locations of the primary tumor and metastatic sites.

Results: The onset of bone (p < 0.001), brain (p < 0.001), and pericardial (p = 0.02) metastases were late events, whereas adrenal gland (p = 0.005) and liver (p < 0.001) metastases occurred earlier. No significant difference was found in the distribution of early versus late metastases when comparing central and peripheral primary tumors. Patients with bone metastases had a higher than expected likelihood of having liver metastases, while brain metastases tended to appear together with adrenal gland metastases. Pleural and both lung and pericardial metastases also tended to co-metastasize together more frequently than expected if metastatic events occurred independently. Notably, patients with central primary tumors had decreased median overall survival (OS) compared to those with peripheral tumors, although this tendency does not appear to be significant (p = 0.072).

Conclusion: Our results are suggestive for particular site- and sequence-specific metastasis patterns in human SCLC. SCLC bone metastases tend to appear together with liver metastases, while brain metastases occur together with adrenal gland metastases. Better understanding of metastasis distribution patterns might help to improve the diagnosis and therapeutic decision-making in SCLC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952793PMC
March 2021

[Therapeutic possibilities in KRAS-mutant lung adenocarcinoma].

Magy Onkol 2020 Sep 6;64(3):231-244. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Mellkassebészeti Osztály, Országos Onkológiai Intézet, Budapest, Hungary.

KRAS mutations are the most common gain-of-function alterations in lung adenocarcinoma (LADC) in the western countries. Although the different mutations of the KRAS gene have been identified decades ago, the development of drugs targeting the KRAS protein directly have not been successful due to the lack of small molecule binding sites and the extremely high affinity to cellular GTP. Indirect strategies to inhibit KRAS (e.g. inhibitors of farnesyltransferase, prenylation, synthetic lethal partners and KRAS downstream signaling) have so far also failed. In recent times, however several compounds have been developed that target subtype- specific KRAS mutations. Covalent KRAS G12C-specific inhibitors showed the most promising preclinical results. Below, we summarize the predictive and prognostic value of KRAS mutations in LADC as well as the current targeting strategies.
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September 2020

3D histopathology of human tumours by fast clearing and ultramicroscopy.

Sci Rep 2020 10 19;10(1):17619. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Bioelectronics, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria.

Here, we describe a novel approach that allows pathologists to three-dimensionally analyse malignant tissues, including the tumour-host tissue interface. Our visualization technique utilizes a combination of ultrafast chemical tissue clearing and light-sheet microscopy to obtain virtual slices and 3D reconstructions of up to multiple centimetre sized tumour resectates. For the clearing of tumours we propose a preparation technique comprising three steps: (a) Fixation and enhancement of tissue autofluorescence with formalin/5-sulfosalicylic acid. (b) Ultrafast active chemical dehydration with 2,2-dimethoxypropane and (c) refractive index matching with dibenzyl ether at up to 56 °C. After clearing, the tumour resectates are imaged. The images are computationally post-processed for contrast enhancement and artefact removal and then 3D reconstructed. Importantly, the sequence a-c is fully reversible, allowing the morphological correlation of one and the same histological structures, once visualized with our novel technique and once visualized by standard H&E- and IHC-staining. After reverting the clearing procedure followed by standard H&E processing, the hallmarks of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) found in the cleared samples could be successfully correlated with the corresponding structures present in H&E and IHC staining. Since the imaging of several thousands of optical sections is a fast process, it is possible to analyse a larger part of the tumour than by mechanical slicing. As this also adds further information about the 3D structure of malignancies, we expect that our technology will become a valuable addition for histological diagnosis in clinical pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71737-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7572501PMC
October 2020

Current therapy of KRAS-mutant lung cancer.

Cancer Metastasis Rev 2020 12;39(4):1159-1177

Department of Thoracic Surgery, National Institute of Oncology-Semmelweis University, Rath Gyorgy u. 7-9, Budapest, 1122, Hungary.

KRAS mutations are the most frequent gain-of-function alterations in patients with lung adenocarcinoma (LADC) in the Western world. Although they have been identified decades ago, prior efforts to target KRAS signaling with single-agent therapeutic approaches such as farnesyl transferase inhibitors, prenylation inhibition, impairment of KRAS downstream signaling, and synthetic lethality screens have been unsuccessful. Moreover, the role of KRAS oncogene in LADC is still not fully understood, and its prognostic and predictive impact with regards to the standard of care therapy remains controversial. Of note, KRAS-related studies that included general non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) population instead of LADC patients should be very carefully evaluated. Recently, however, comprehensive genomic profiling and wide-spectrum analysis of other co-occurring genetic alterations have identified unique therapeutic vulnerabilities. Novel targeted agents such as the covalent KRAS G12C inhibitors or the recently proposed combinatory approaches are some examples which may allow a tailored treatment for LADC patients harboring KRAS mutations. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the therapeutic approaches of KRAS-mutated LADC and provides an update on the most recent advances in KRAS-targeted anti-cancer strategies, with a focus on potential clinical implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10555-020-09903-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680319PMC
December 2020

Proteomic analysis enables distinction of early- versus advanced-stage lung adenocarcinomas.

Clin Transl Med 2020 Jun 14;10(2):e106. Epub 2020 Jun 14.

Clinical Protein Science and Imaging, Biomedical Center, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Background: A gel-free proteomic approach was utilized to perform in-depth tissue protein profiling of lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) and normal lung tissues from early and advanced stages of the disease. The long-term goal of this study is to generate a large-scale, label-free proteomics dataset from histologically well-classified lung ADC that can be used to increase further our understanding of disease progression and aid in identifying novel biomarkers.

Methods And Results: Cases of early-stage (I-II) and advanced-stage (III-IV) lung ADCs were selected and paired with normal lung tissues from 22 patients. The histologically and clinically stratified human primary lung ADCs were analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. From the analysis of ADC and normal specimens, 4863 protein groups were identified. To examine the protein expression profile of ADC, a peak area-based quantitation method was used. In early- and advanced-stage ADC, 365 and 366 proteins were differentially expressed, respectively, between normal and tumor tissues (adjusted P-value < .01, fold change ≥ 4). A total of 155 proteins were dysregulated between early- and advanced-stage ADCs and 18 were suggested as early-specific stage ADC. In silico functional analysis of the upregulated proteins in both tumor groups revealed that most of the enriched pathways are involved in mRNA metabolism. Furthermore, the most overrepresented pathways in the proteins that were unique to ADC are related to mRNA metabolic processes.

Conclusions: Further analysis of these data may provide an insight into the molecular pathways involved in disease etiology and may lead to the identification of biomarker candidates and potential targets for therapy. Our study provides potential diagnostic biomarkers for lung ADC and novel stage-specific drug targets for rational intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ctm2.106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7403673PMC
June 2020

Neuroendocrine subtypes of small cell lung cancer differ in terms of immune microenvironment and checkpoint molecule distribution.

Mol Oncol 2020 09 18;14(9):1947-1965. Epub 2020 Jul 18.

National Korányi Institute of Pulmonology, Budapest, Hungary.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) has recently been subcategorized into neuroendocrine (NE)-high and NE-low subtypes showing 'immune desert' and 'immune oasis' phenotypes, respectively. Here, we aimed to characterize the tumor microenvironment according to immune checkpoints and NE subtypes in human SCLC tissue samples at the protein level. In this cross-sectional study, we included 32 primary tumors and matched lymph node (LN) metastases of resected early-stage, histologically confirmed SCLC patients, which were previously clustered into NE subtypes using NE-associated key RNA genes. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded TMAs with antibodies against CD45, CD3, CD8, MHCII, TIM3, immune checkpoint poliovirus receptor (PVR), and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). The stroma was significantly more infiltrated by immune cells both in primary tumors and in LN metastases compared to tumor nests. Immune cell (CD45 cell) density was significantly higher in tumor nests (P = 0.019), with increased CD8 effector T-cell infiltration (P = 0.003) in NE-low vs NE-high tumors. The expression of IDO was confirmed on stromal and endothelial cells and was positively correlated with higher immune cell density both in primary tumors and in LN metastases, regardless of the NE pattern. Expression of IDO and PVR in tumor nests was significantly higher in NE-low primary tumors (vs NE-high, P < 0.05). We also found significantly higher MHC II expression by malignant cells in NE-low (vs NE-high, P = 0.004) tumors. TIM3 expression was significantly increased in NE-low (vs NE-high, P < 0.05) tumors and in LN metastases (vs primary tumors, P < 0.05). To our knowledge, this is the first human study that demonstrates in situ that NE-low SCLCs are associated with increased immune cell infiltration compared to NE-high tumors. PVR, IDO, MHCII, and TIM3 are emerging checkpoints in SCLC, with increased expression in the NE-low subtype, providing key insight for further prospective studies on potential biomarkers and targets for SCLC immunotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12741DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7463307PMC
September 2020

Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Promoter Mutations Identify a Genomically Defined and Highly Aggressive Human Pleural Mesothelioma Subgroup.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 07 21;26(14):3819-3830. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Institute of Cancer Research and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Purpose: Human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is characterized by dismal prognosis. Consequently, dissection of molecular mechanisms driving malignancy is of key importance. Here we investigate whether activating mutations in the telomerase reverse transcriptase () gene promoter are present in MPM and associated with disease progression, cell immortalization, and genomic alteration patterns.

Experimental Design: promoters were sequenced in 182 MPM samples and compared with clinicopathologic characteristics. Surgical specimens from 45 patients with MPM were tested for immortalization. The respective MPM cell models ( = 22) were analyzed by array comparative genomic hybridization, gene expression profiling, exome sequencing as well as TRAP, telomere length, and luciferase promoter assays.

Results: promoter mutations were detected in 19 of 182 (10.4%) MPM cases and significantly associated with advanced disease and nonepithelioid histology. Mutations independently predicted shorter overall survival in both histologic MPM subtypes. Moreover, 9 of 9 (100%) mutated but only 13 of 36 (36.1%) wild-type samples formed immortalized cell lines promoter mutations were associated with enforced promoter activity and mRNA expression, while neither telomerase activity nor telomere lengths were significantly altered. promoter-mutated MPM cases exhibited distinctly reduced chromosomal alterations and specific mutation patterns. While mutations/deletions were exclusive with promoter mutations, homozygous deletions at the and the loci were clearly enriched in mutated cases.

Conclusions: promoter mutations independently predict a dismal course of disease in human MPM. The altered genomic aberration pattern indicates that promoter mutations identify a novel, highly aggressive MPM subtype presumably based on a specific malignant transformation process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3573DOI Listing
July 2020

Comparative analysis of prognostic histopathologic parameters in subtypes of epithelioid pleural mesothelioma.

Histopathology 2020 Jul 25;77(1):55-66. Epub 2020 May 25.

2nd Institute of Pathology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.

Aims: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare malignancy with a dismal prognosis. While the epithelioid type is associated with a more favourable outcome, additional factors are needed to further stratify prognosis and to identify patients who can benefit from multimodal treatment. As epithelioid MPM shows remarkable morphological variability, the prognostic role of the five defined morphologies, the impact of the nuclear grading system and the mitosis-necrosis score were investigated in this study.

Methods And Results: Tumour specimens of 192 patients with epithelioid MPM from five European centres were histologically subtyped. Nuclear grading and mitosis-necrosis score were determined and correlated with clinicopathological parameters and overall survival (OS). Digital slides of 55 independent cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database were evaluated for external validation. Histological subtypes were collapsed into three groups based on their overlapping survival curves. The tubulopapillary/microcystic group had a significantly longer OS than the solid/trabecular group (732 days versus 397 days, P = 0.0013). Pleomorphic tumours had the shortest OS (173 days). The solid/trabecular variants showed a significant association with high nuclear grade and mitosis-necrosis score. The mitosis-necrosis score was a robust and independent prognostic factor in our patient cohort. The prognostic significance of all three parameters was externally validated in the TCGA cohort. Patients with tubulopapillary or microcystic tumours showed a greater improvement in OS after receiving multimodal therapy than those with solid or trabecular tumours.

Conclusions: Histological subtypes of epithelioid MPM have a prognostic impact, and might help to select patients for intensive multimodal treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.14105DOI Listing
July 2020

Comparative expression analysis in small cell lung carcinoma reveals neuroendocrine pattern change in primary tumor versus lymph node metastases.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2019 Dec;8(6):938-950

Division of Medical Oncology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, USA.

Background: Recent preclinical data suggest that neuroendocrine (NE) subtype of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) has strong therapeutic relevance. NE high tumors are associated with immune desert and NE low tumors are considered to have an immune oasis phenotype. Our aim was to investigate the NE phenotypes of surgically resected SCLC tumors according to inter-tumor heterogeneity.

Methods: Expression analysis for 2,560 genes was performed in 32 surgically resected SCLC patients' primary tumors and corresponding lymph node (LN) metastases. To analyze tumor heterogeneity, we examined the differences in the gene expression of primary tumors versus LN metastases. We performed cluster analysis and heat map to divide patients into NE high and low subtypes by using the top NE-associated genes described in preclinical studies.

Results: We found 6% (n=154) genes with significant differences and only 13.1% (n=336) of all genes in the panel had a strong correlation between the primary tumor and LN metastases. Cluster analysis clearly distinguished SCLC NE high versus low subtypes both in primary tumor (20 12, respectively) and LNs (23 9, respectively). As for inter-tumor heterogeneity, in case of five patients, a change in the NE pattern was observed. Specifically, we found significant downregulation of the NE-associated genes (P=0.004), (P=0.029) and (P=0.035) in their LN metastases compared to their primary tumor.

Conclusions: Our data confirm the results of preclinical studies and clearly distinguish NE low and high differentiation clusters in SCLC. Moreover, they highlight the gene expression discordance between primary tumors and corresponding LN metastases suggesting that the NE pattern of metastatic LNs might not reflect that of the primary tumor. Altogether, by shedding light on the diversity of SCLC, the current study might help to improve patient selection and treatment in this devastating disease.

Keywords: Small cell lung cancer (SCLC); neuroendocrine tumor; lymph node metastasis; tumor heterogeneity; RNA sequencing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr.2019.11.30DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6976364PMC
December 2019

Long interspersed element-1 ribonucleoprotein particles protect telomeric ends in alternative lengthening of telomeres dependent cells.

Neoplasia 2020 02 14;22(2):61-75. Epub 2019 Dec 14.

Surgical Research Laboratories, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria; Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

Malignant cells ensure telomere maintenance by the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) in the absence of telomerase activity (TA). The retrotransposons "long interspersed nuclear element-1" (LINE-1, L1) are expressed in malignant cells and are primarily known to contribute to complex karyotypes. Here we demonstrate that LINE-1 ribonucleoprotein particles (L1-RNPs) expression is significantly higher in ALT- versus in TA-human glioma. Analyzing a role of L1-RNP in ALT, we show that L1-RNPs bind to telomeric repeat containing RNA (TERRA), which is critical for telomere stabilization and which is overexpressed in ALT cells. In turn, L1-RNP knockdown (KD) abrogated the nuclear retention of TERRA, resulted in increased telomeric DNA damage, decreased cell growth and reduced expression of ALT characteristics such as c-circles and PML-bodies. L1-RNP KD also decreased the expression of Shelterin- and the ALT-regulating protein Topoisomerase IIIα (TopoIIIα) indicating a more general role of L1-RNPs in supporting telomeric integrity in ALT. Our findings suggest an impact of L1-RNP on telomere stability in ALT dependent tumor cells. As L1-RNPs are rarely expressed in normal adult human tissue those elements might serve as a novel target for tumor ablative therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neo.2019.11.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6920197PMC
February 2020

KRAS Mutations Predict Response and Outcome in Advanced Lung Adenocarcinoma Patients Receiving First-Line Bevacizumab and Platinum-Based Chemotherapy.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Oct 9;11(10). Epub 2019 Oct 9.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, National Institute of Oncology-Semmelweis University, 1122 Budapest, Hungary.

Bevacizumab, combined with platinum-based chemotherapy, has been widely used in the treatment of advanced-stage lung adenocarcinoma (LADC). Although KRAS (V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) mutation is the most common genetic alteration in human LADC and its role in promoting angiogenesis has been well established, its prognostic and predictive role in the above setting remains unclear. The association between KRAS exon 2 mutational status and clinicopathological variables including progression-free survival and overall survival (PFS and OS, respectively) was retrospectively analyzed in 501 Caucasian stage IIIB-IV LADC patients receiving first-line platinum-based chemotherapy (CHT) with or without bevacizumab (BEV). EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor)-mutant cases were excluded. Of 247 BEV/CHT and 254 CHT patients, 95 (38.5%) and 75 (29.5%) had mutations in KRAS, respectively. KRAS mutation was associated with smoking ( = 0.008) and female gender ( = 0.002) in the BEV/CHT group. We found no difference in OS between patients with KRAS-mutant versus KRAS wild-type tumors in the CHT-alone group ( = 0.6771). Notably, patients with KRAS-mutant tumors demonstrated significantly shorter PFS ( = 0.0255) and OS ( = 0.0186) in response to BEV/CHT compared to KRAS wild-type patients. KRAS mutation was an independent predictor of shorter PFS (hazard ratio, 0.597; = 0.011) and OS (hazard ratio, 0.645; = 0.012) in the BEV/CHT group. G12D KRAS-mutant patients receiving BEV/CHT showed significantly shorter PFS (3.7 months versus 8.27 months in the G12/13x group; = 0.0032) and OS (7.2 months versus 16.1 months in the G12/13x group; = 0.0144). In this single-center, retrospective study, KRAS-mutant LADC patients receiving BEV/CHT treatment exhibited inferior PFS and OS compared to those with KRAS wild-type advanced LADC. G12D mutations may define a subset of KRAS-mutant LADC patients unsuitable for antiangiogenic therapy with BEV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101514DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827133PMC
October 2019

Expression of FGFR1-4 in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Tissue and Corresponding Cell Lines and its Relationship to Patient Survival and FGFR Inhibitor Sensitivity.

Cells 2019 09 16;8(9). Epub 2019 Sep 16.

Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a devastating malignancy with limited therapeutic options. Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR) and their ligands were shown to contribute to MPM aggressiveness and it was suggested that subgroups of MPM patients could benefit from FGFR-targeted inhibitors. In the current investigation, we determined the expression of all four FGFRs (FGFR1-FGFR4) by immunohistochemistry in tissue samples from 94 MPM patients. From 13 of these patients, we were able to establish stable cell lines, which were subjected to FGFR1-4 staining, transcript analysis by quantitative RT-PCR, and treatment with the FGFR inhibitor infigratinib. While FGFR1 and FGFR2 were widely expressed in MPM tissue and cell lines, FGFR3 and FGFR4 showed more restricted expression. FGFR1 and FGFR2 showed no correlation with clinicopathologic data or patient survival, but presence of FGFR3 in 42% and of FGFR4 in 7% of patients correlated with shorter overall survival. Immunostaining in cell lines was more homogenous than in the corresponding tissue samples. Neither transcript nor protein expression of FGFR1-4 correlated with response to infigratinib treatment in MPM cell lines. We conclude that FGFR3 and FGFR4, but not FGFR1 or FGFR2, have prognostic significance in MPM and that FGFR expression is not sufficient to predict FGFR inhibitor response in MPM cell lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells8091091DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769772PMC
September 2019

JAK-STAT inhibition impairs K-RAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma progression.

Int J Cancer 2019 12 10;145(12):3376-3388. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Department of Physiology, Center of Physiology and Pharmacology & Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Oncogenic K-RAS has been difficult to target and currently there is no K-RAS-based targeted therapy available for patients suffering from K-RAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma (AC). Alternatively, targeting K-RAS-downstream effectors, K-RAS-cooperating signaling pathways or cancer hallmarks, such as tumor-promoting inflammation, has been shown to be a promising therapeutic strategy. Since the JAK-STAT pathway is considered to be a central player in inflammation-mediated tumorigenesis, we investigated here the implication of JAK-STAT signaling and the therapeutic potential of JAK1/2 inhibition in K-RAS-driven lung AC. Our data showed that JAK1 and JAK2 are activated in human lung AC and that increased activation of JAK-STAT signaling correlated with disease progression and K-RAS activity in human lung AC. Accordingly, administration of the JAK1/2 selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor ruxolitinib reduced proliferation of tumor cells and effectively reduced tumor progression in immunodeficient and immunocompetent mouse models of K-RAS-driven lung AC. Notably, JAK1/2 inhibition led to the establishment of an antitumorigenic tumor microenvironment, characterized by decreased levels of tumor-promoting chemokines and cytokines and reduced numbers of infiltrating myeloid derived suppressor cells, thereby impairing tumor growth. Taken together, we identified JAK1/2 inhibition as promising therapy for K-RAS-driven lung AC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32624DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6856680PMC
December 2019

Apelin inhibition prevents resistance and metastasis associated with anti-angiogenic therapy.

EMBO Mol Med 2019 08 24;11(8):e9266. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Vienna BioCenter, Vienna, Austria.

Angiogenesis is a hallmark of cancer, promoting growth and metastasis. Anti-angiogenic treatment has limited efficacy due to therapy-induced blood vessel alterations, often followed by local hypoxia, tumor adaptation, progression, and metastasis. It is therefore paramount to overcome therapy-induced resistance. We show that Apelin inhibition potently remodels the tumor microenvironment, reducing angiogenesis, and effectively blunting tumor growth. Functionally, targeting Apelin improves vessel function and reduces polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cell infiltration. Importantly, in mammary and lung cancer, Apelin prevents resistance to anti-angiogenic receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor therapy, reducing growth and angiogenesis in lung and breast cancer models without increased hypoxia in the tumor microenvironment. Apelin blockage also prevents RTK inhibitor-induced metastases, and high Apelin levels correlate with poor prognosis of anti-angiogenic therapy patients. These data identify a druggable anti-angiogenic drug target that reduces tumor blood vessel densities and normalizes the tumor vasculature to decrease metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.201809266DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6685079PMC
August 2019

The FAK inhibitor BI 853520 inhibits spheroid formation and orthotopic tumor growth in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

J Mol Med (Berl) 2019 02 11;97(2):231-242. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.

No tyrosine kinase inhibitors are approved for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Preclinical studies identified focal adhesion kinase (FAK) as a target in MPM. Accordingly, we assessed the novel, highly selective FAK inhibitor (BI 853520) in 2D and 3D cultures and in vivo. IC values were measured by adherent cell viability assay. Cell migration and 3D growth were quantified by video microscopy and spheroid formation, respectively. Phosphorylation of FAK, Akt, S6, and Erk was measured by immunoblot. The mRNA expression of the putative tumor stem cell markers SOX2, Nanog, CD44, ALDH1, c-myc, and Oct4 was analyzed by qPCR. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor tissue microvessel density (MVD) were investigated in orthotopic MPM xenografts. In all 12 MPM cell lines, IC exceeded 5 μM and loss of NF2 did not correlate with sensitivity. No synergism was found with cisplatin in adherent cells. BI 853520 decreased migration in 3 out of 4 cell lines. FAK phosphorylation was reduced upon treatment but activation of Erk, Akt, or S6 remained unaffected. Nevertheless, BI 853520 inhibited spheroid growth and significantly reduced tumor weight, cell proliferation, and MVD in vivo. BI 853520 has limited effect in adherent cultures but demonstrates potent activity in spheroids and in orthotopic tumors in vivo. Based on our findings, further studies are warranted to explore the clinical utility of BI 853520 in human MPM. KEY MESSAGES: Response to FAK inhibition in MPM is independent of NF2 expression or histotype. FAK inhibition strongly interfered with MPM spheroid formation. BI 853520 has been shown to exert anti-tumor effect in MPM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00109-018-1725-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348072PMC
February 2019

New insights into the impact of primary lung adenocarcinoma location on metastatic sites and sequence: A multicenter cohort study.

Lung Cancer 2018 12 5;126:139-148. Epub 2018 Nov 5.

National Korányi Institute of Pulmonology, Budapest, Hungary. Electronic address:

Introduction: The presence of organ metastases is a major factor for unfavorable prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma (LADC). However, the influence of primary tumor location on metastatic sites and sequence has not been extensively analyzed.

Methods: We performed a multicenter cohort study, evaluating clinicopathological data of 1126 Caucasian LADC patients, focusing on the distinct location of primary tumors and metastatic sites during disease progression.

Results: Metastases to the lung (p < 0.001), pleura (p < 0.001) and adrenal glands (p < 0.001) occurred earlier during disease progression and central primary tumors were associated with early metastases (OR 1.43, p = 0.02). In secondary exploratory analysis we found that bone metastases were more frequent in patients with central tumors (OR 1.86, p = 0.017), whereas lung metastases in those with peripheral tumors (OR 1.35, p = 0.015). Central primary LADCs were associated with decreased median overall survival (vs. peripheral tumors, 10.2 vs. 22 months) both in univariate (HR 2.075, p = 0.001) and in multivariate (HR 1.558, p < 0.001) analyses and independent from stage and T factor. By subsequent analysis, we found that bone metastases tend to appear together with adrenal and liver metastases, and adrenal with skin, and pleural with pericardial metastases more frequently than expected if metastatic events occurred independently.

Conclusion: This comprehensive large cohort analysis demonstrates metastatic site- and sequence-specific variations in patients with LADC. Central LADC is associated with early metastatic disease, bone involvement and, consequently, decreased survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2018.11.004DOI Listing
December 2018

Role of (myo)fibroblasts in the development of vascular and connective tissue structure of the C38 colorectal cancer in mice.

Cancer Commun (Lond) 2018 07 5;38(1):46. Epub 2018 Jul 5.

First Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Üllői út 26, 1085, Hungary.

Background: It remains unclear if the vascular and connective tissue structures of primary and metastatic tumors are intrinsically determined or whether these characteristics are defined by the host tissue. Therefore we examined the microanatomical steps of vasculature and connective tissue development of C38 colon carcinoma in different tissues.

Methods: Tumors produced in mice at five different locations (the cecal wall, skin, liver, lung, and brain) were analyzed using fluorescent immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: We found that in the cecal wall, skin, liver, and lung, resident fibroblasts differentiate into collagenous matrix-producing myofibroblasts at the tumor periphery. These activated fibroblasts together with the produced matrix were incorporated by the tumor. The connective tissue development culminated in the appearance of intratumoral tissue columns (centrally located single microvessels embedded in connective tissue and smooth muscle actin-expressing myofibroblasts surrounded by basement membrane). Conversely, in the brain (which lacks fibroblasts), C38 metastases only induced the development of vascularized desmoplastic tissue columns when the growing tumor reached the fibroblast-containing meninges.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that the desmoplastic host tissue response is induced by tumor-derived fibrogenic molecules acting on host tissue fibroblasts. We concluded that not only the host tissue characteristics but also the tumor-derived fibrogenic signals determine the vascular and connective tissue structure of tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40880-018-0316-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6034296PMC
July 2018

Afatinib restrains K-RAS-driven lung tumorigenesis.

Sci Transl Med 2018 06;10(446)

Department of Physiology, Center of Physiology and Pharmacology and Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), Medical University of Vienna, AT-1090 Vienna, Austria.

On the basis of clinical trials using first-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), it became a doctrine that V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog () mutations drive resistance to EGFR inhibition in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Conversely, we provide evidence that EGFR signaling is engaged in K-RAS-driven lung tumorigenesis in humans and in mice. Specifically, genetic mouse models revealed that deletion of quenches mutant K-RAS activity and transiently reduces tumor growth. However, EGFR inhibition initiates a rapid resistance mechanism involving non-EGFR ERBB family members. This tumor escape mechanism clarifies the disappointing outcome of first-generation TKIs and suggests high therapeutic potential of pan-ERBB inhibitors. On the basis of various experimental models including genetically engineered mouse models, patient-derived and cell line-derived xenografts, and in vitro experiments, we demonstrate that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved pan-ERBB inhibitor afatinib effectively impairs K-RAS-driven lung tumorigenesis. Our data support reconsidering the use of pan-ERBB inhibition in clinical trials to treat -mutated NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aao2301DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610658PMC
June 2018

Nintedanib Is Active in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cell Models and Inhibits Angiogenesis and Tumor Growth .

Clin Cancer Res 2018 08 3;24(15):3729-3740. Epub 2018 May 3.

Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Comprehensive Cancer Centre Vienna, Medical University Vienna, Austria.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive thoracic tumor type with limited treatment options and poor prognosis. The angiokinase inhibitor nintedanib has shown promising activity in the LUME-Meso phase II MPM trial and thus is currently being evaluated in the confirmatory LUME-Meso phase III trial. However, the anti-MPM potential of nintedanib has not been studied in the preclinical setting. We have examined the antineoplastic activity of nintedanib in various and models of human MPM. Nintedanib's target receptors were (co)expressed in all the 20 investigated human MPM cell lines. Nintedanib inhibited MPM cell growth in both short- and long-term viability assays. Reduced MPM cell proliferation and migration and the inhibition of Erk1/2 phosphorylation were also observed upon nintedanib treatment Additive effects on cell viability were detected when nintedanib was combined with cisplatin, a drug routinely used for systemic MPM therapy. In an orthotopic mouse model of human MPM, survival of animals receiving nintedanib showed a favorable trend, but no significant benefit. Nintedanib significantly reduced tumor burden and vascularization and prolonged the survival of mice when it was administered intraperitoneally. Importantly, unlike bevacizumab, nintedanib demonstrated significant antivascular and antitumor potential independently of baseline VEGF-A levels. Nintedanib exerts significant antitumor activity in MPM both and These data provide preclinical support for the concept of LUME-Meso trials evaluating nintedanib in patients with unresectable MPM. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-1507DOI Listing
August 2018
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