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Seminars in Cancer Biology

Barbara Pasculli, Raffaela Barbano, Paola Parrella
In the last years, mortality from breast cancer has declined in western countries as a consequence of a more widespread screening resulting in earlier detection, as well as an improved molecular classification and advances in adjuvant treatment. Nevertheless, approximately one third of breast cancer patients will develop distant metastases and eventually die for the disease. There is now a compelling body of evidence suggesting that epigenetic modifications comprising DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling play a pivotal role since the early stages of breast cancerogenesis...
January 12, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Chetan K Rane, Audrey Minden
The p21 Activated Kinases (PAKs) are a family of serine threonine kinases, that consist of 6 members, PAKs 1-6, which are positioned at an intersection of multiple signaling pathways implicated in oncogenesis. The PAKs were originally identified as protein kinases that function downstream of the Ras related Rho GTPases Cdc42 and Rac. PAK1 and PAK4, which belong to Group I and Group II PAKs, respectively, are most often associated with tumorigenesis. On account of their well characterized roles in cancer, several small molecule inhibitors are being developed to inhibit the PAKs, and there is interest in investigating their efficacy as either first line or adjuvant treatments for cancer...
January 9, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Raj Kumar Yadav, Anoop Singh Chauhan, Li Zhuang, Boyi Gan
FoxO transcription factors serve as the central regulator of cellular homeostasis and are tumor suppressors in human cancers. Recent studies have revealed that, besides their classic functions in promoting cell death and inducing cell cycle arrest, FoxOs also regulate cancer metabolism, an emerging hallmark of cancer. In this review, we summarize the regulatory mechanisms employed to control FoxO activities in the context of cancer biology, and discuss FoxO function in metabolism reprogramming in cancer and interaction with other key cancer metabolism pathways...
January 5, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Youcai Deng, Fangjie Wang, Tiffany Hughes, Jianhua Yu
In the tumor microenvironment (TME), cancer cells, stromal cells, and immune cells, along with their extracellular factors, have profound effects on either promoting or repressing anti-cancer immunity. Accumulating evidence has shown the paradoxical intrinsic role of the Forkhead box O (FOXO) family of transcription factors in cancer, which can act as a tumor repressor while also maintaining cancer stem cells. FOXOs also regulate cancer immunity. FOXOs promote antitumor activity through negatively regulating the expression of immunosuppressive proteins, such as programmed death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in tumor cells or stromal cells, which can shape an immunotolerant state in the TME...
January 5, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Siddavaram Nagini, Josephraj Sophia, Rajakishore Mishra
Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), a serine/threonine kinase is an archetypal multifunctional moonlighting protein involved in diverse cellular processes including metabolism, insulin signaling, proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, neuronal function and embryonic development. The two known isoforms, GSK-3α and GSK-3β that undergo activation/inactivation by post-translational, site-specific phosphorylation incorporate a vast number of substrates in their repertoire. Dysregulation of GSK-3 has been linked to diverse disease entities including cancer...
January 5, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Ruth Nussinov, Chung-Jung Tsai, Hyunbum Jang
Membrane-anchored oncogenic KRas can dimerize, form nanoclusters, and signal through the MAPK (Raf/MEK/ERK) and PI3Kα/Akt/mTOR. Both pathways are needed in KRAS-driven proliferation. Here we ask: Is oncogenic KRas nanoclustering (or dimerization) essential for all KRas signaling pathways? Raf kinase domain dimerization, thus MAPK activation, requires KRas nanoclusters. By contrast, the PI3Kα heterodimer acts as a monomeric unit; thus, does PI3Kα activation and PI3Kα/Akt/mTOR signaling require nanoclustering? Further, calmodulin binds only to oncogenic KRas4B...
January 5, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Helen R Mott, Darerca Owen
Inhibition of Ras signalling has been a goal almost since its central role in cell signalling and its deregulation in disease were discovered. Early attempts at inhibiting its post-translational modification using peptidomimetics were successful in cell culture but failed spectacularly in clinical trials, making industry wary of targeting this critical oncoprotein. Small molecule inhibition of the protein-protein interactions involving Ras has also been difficult due to the nature of the interaction interface...
January 4, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
M Morfouace, S M Hewitt, R Salgado, K Hartmann, S Litiere, S Tejpar, V Golfinopoulos, T Lively, M Thurin, B Conley, D Lacombe
Immuno-therapeutics aim to activate the body's own immune system against cancer and are one of the most promising cancer treatment strategies, but currently limited by a variable response rate. Biomarkers may help to distinguish those patients most likely to respond to therapy; they may also help guide clinical decision making for combination therapies, dosing schedules, and determining progression versus relapse. However, there is a need to confirm such biomarkers in preferably prospective clinical trials before they can be used in practice...
January 4, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Angela Poff, Andrew Kourtnik, Kathleen M Egan, Solmaz Sahebjum, Dominic D'Agostino, Nagi B Kumar
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 30, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Venkata Manem, Roberto Salgado, Philippe Aftimos, Christos Sotiriou, Benjamin Haibe-Kains
There has been a paradigm shift in translational oncology with the advent of novel molecular diagnostic tools in the clinic. However, several challenges are associated with the integration of these sophisticated tools into clinical oncology and daily practice. High-throughput profiling at the DNA, RNA and protein levels (omics) generate a massive amount of data. The analysis and interpretation of these is non-trivial but will allow a more thorough understanding of cancer. Linear modelling of the data as it is often used today is likely to limit our understanding of cancer as a complex disease, and at times under-performs to capture a phenotype of interest...
December 23, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Belinda Lee, Ryan Hutchinson, Hui-Li Wong, Jeanne Tie, Tracy Putoczki, Ben Tran, Peter Gibbs, Michael Christie
Carcinomas of the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas and liver are common and account for a disproportionately high number of cancer deaths. There is a need for new treatment options for patients with advanced disease. Immunomodulatory treatments including immune checkpoint blockade offer a promising new approach, with efficacy shown in other solid tumour types. However, only a small proportion of patients with carcinomas of the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas and liver have responded to single agent checkpoint inhibitors, and there is a need for markers that are predictive of response to guide treatment of individual patients...
December 16, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Lokesh Agrawal, Kelly B Engel, Sarah R Greytak, Helen M Moore
Identifying a suitable course of immunotherapy treatment for a given patient as well as monitoring treatment response is heavily reliant on biomarkers detected and quantified in blood and tissue biospecimens. Suboptimal or variable biospecimen collection, processing, and storage practices have the potential to alter clinically relevant biomarkers, including those used in cancer immunotherapy. In the present review, we summarize effects reported for immunologically relevant biomarkers and highlight preanalytical factors associated with specific analytical platforms and assays used to predict and gauge immunotherapy response...
December 16, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Claire Lhuillier, Claire Vanpouille-Box, Lorenzo Galluzzi, Silvia Chiara Formenti, Sandra Demaria
Over the past few years, multiple immune checkpoint blockers (ICBs) have achieved unprecedented clinical success and have been approved by regulatory agencies for the treatment of an increasing number of malignancies. However, only a limited fraction of patients responds to ICBs employed as a standalone intervention, calling for the development of combinatorial regimens. Radiation therapy (RT) stands out as a very promising candidate for this purpose. Indeed, RT mediates antineoplastic effects not only by cytotoxic and cytostatic mechanisms, but also by modulating immunological functions, both locally (within the irradiated field) and systemically...
December 16, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Hege Marie Vedeld, Ajay Goel, Guro E Lind
Each year, almost 4.1 million people are diagnosed with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. Due to late detection of this disease, the mortality is high, causing approximately 3 million cancer-related deaths annually, worldwide. Although the incidence and survival differs according to organ site, earlier detection and improved prognostication have the potential to reduce overall mortality burden from these cancers. Epigenetic changes, including aberrant promoter DNA methylation, are common events in both cancer initiation and progression...
December 15, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Mohammad Hassan Baig, Mohd Adil, Rosina Khan, Surendar Dhadi, Khurshid Ahmad, Gulam Rabbani, Tufail Bashir, Mohammad Azhar Imran, Fohad Mabood Husain, Eun Ju Lee, Mohammad Amjad Kamal, Inho Choi
Extensive growth of cancer in humans is a major cause of death. Numerous studies are being conducted to improve the early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer. Recent technological advancements in medical science and research indicate molecular target therapy holds much promise in cancer treatment. In the past, therapeutic and diagnostic targeting of non-glycolytic and glycolytic enzymes in cancer have been successful, and discoveries of biomarker enzymes in cancer hold promise for therapeutic treatments...
December 14, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Russell Spencer-Smith, John P O'Bryan
RAS GTPases (H-, K-, and N-RAS) are the most frequently mutated oncoprotein family in human cancer. However, the relatively smooth surface architecture of RAS and its picomolar affinity for nucleotide have given rise to the assumption that RAS is an "undruggable" target. Recent advancements in drug screening, molecular modeling, and a greater understanding of RAS function have led to a resurgence in efforts to pharmacologically target this challenging foe. This review focuses on the state of the art of RAS inhibition, the approaches taken to achieve this goal, and the challenges of translating these discoveries into viable therapeutics...
December 14, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Priti S Hegde, Jeffrey J Wallin, Christoph Mancao
The critical role of angiogenesis in promoting tumor growth and metastasis has been well established scientifically, and consequently blocking this pathway as a therapeutic strategy has demonstrated great clinical success for the treatment of cancer. The holy grail however, has been the identification of patients who derive significant survival benefit from this class of agents. Here we attempt to delineate the diverse mechanisms related to anti-VEGF including its role as an anti-vascular, anti-angiogenic or an anti-permeability factor and review the most promising predictive biomarkers interrogated in large clinical trials, that identify patients who may derive significant survival advantage with VEGF inhibition...
December 8, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Santiago González, Nadezda Volkova, Philip Beer, Moritz Gerstung
The past years have witnessed significant success for cancer immunotherapies that activate a patient's immune system against their cancer cells. At the same time our understanding of the genetic changes driving tumor evolution have progressed dramatically. The study of cancer genomes has shown that tumors are best understood as cell populations governed by the rules of evolution, leading to the emergence and spread of cell lineages with pathogenic mutations. Moreover, somatic evolution can explain the acquisition of mutations conferring drug resistance in the ever-lasting battle for reaching even fitter cell states...
December 6, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
James V Michael, Lawrence E Goldfinger
For decades oncogenic RAS proteins were considered undruggable due to a lack of accessible binding pockets on the protein surfaces. Seminal early research in RAS biology uncovered the basic paradigm of post-translational isoprenylation of RAS polypeptides, typically with covalent attachment of a farnesyl group, leading to isoprenyl-mediated RAS anchorage at the plasma membrane and signal initiation at those sites. However, the failure of farnesyltransferase inhibitors to translate to the clinic stymied anti-RAS therapy development...
December 1, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Saswati Karmakar, Garima Kaushik, Ramakrishna Nimmakayala, Satyanarayana Rachagani, Moorthy P Ponnusamy, Surinder K Batra
The Ras family of GTPases is involved in cell proliferation, cell survival, and angiogenesis. It is upregulated in several cancers, including pancreatic cancer (PC) and leads to uncontrolled growth and aggressiveness. PC is well known to be a lethal disease with poor prognosis, plagued by limited therapeutic modalities. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), which are short non-coding RNA molecules, have recently emerged as regulators of signaling networks and have shown potential to target pathway components for therapeutic use in several malignancies...
November 30, 2017: Seminars in Cancer Biology
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