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Cancer Statistics
Population in 2012: 1.1m
People newly diagnosed with cancer (excluding NMSC) / yr: 3,400
Age-standardised rate, incidence per 100,000 people/yr: 204.7
Risk of getting cancer before age 75:20.6%
People dying from cancer /yr: 1,500
Data from IARC GlobalCan (2012)
Cyprus Cancer Organisations and Resources
Latest Research Publications Related to Cyprus

Cyprus Cancer Organisations and Resources (4 links)

Latest Research Publications Related to Cyprus

Petrou A, Soonawalla Z, Silva MA, et al.
Prognostic indicators following curative pancreatoduodenectomy for pancreatic carcinoma: A retrospective multivariate analysis of a single centre experience.
J BUON. 2016 Jul-Aug; 21(4):874-882 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Survival after curative resection of pancreatic, ampullary and lower common bile duct cancer remains very poor. The aim of this study was to assess important prognostic factors in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: From 2006 to 2010, 156 patients underwent pancreatoduodenectomy (PD) for malignancies of pancreatic, ampullary or lower common bile duct in our institution. Based on the inclusion criteria 101 patients were selected in our retrospective statistical analysis. Of these 101 cases of malignancies, 65.4% were located in the pancreatic head, 18.8% in the ampulla and 15.8% in the lower bile duct. 48.5% of patients underwent classical PD, and 51.5% pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy (PPPD). Clinical and pathological data were collected, Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate prognostic factors.
RESULTS: Multivariate analysis revealed that blood transfusion, vascular invasion, T4 vs T1 stage, and R0 resection margins were significant negative predictors of survival. Conversely, ampullary (vs pancreatic ductal) and adjuvant chemotherapy were significantly associated with longer survival. Lymph node ratio (LNR), in all its forms, was not found to have a significant effect on survival. For all patients, tumor grading (p=0.042), resection margins (p=0.004), T stage (p=0.001), perineural invasion (p=0.029), vascular invasion (p=0.007) and age >65 years (p=0.009) were factors that impacted survival.
CONCLUSION: Surgical resection margins, tumor grade, T stage, perineural invasion, vascular invasion, age >65 and adjuvant chemotherapy are the strongest predictors of survival after surgical resection of pancreatic, ampullary and lower common bile duct cancer. In this series, lymph node ratio did not impact survival.

Rizaner N, Onkal R, Fraser SP, et al.
Intracellular calcium oscillations in strongly metastatic human breast and prostate cancer cells: control by voltage-gated sodium channel activity.
Eur Biophys J. 2016; 45(7):735-748 [PubMed] Related Publications
The possible association of intracellular Ca(2+) with metastasis in human cancer cells is poorly understood. We have studied Ca(2+) signaling in human prostate and breast cancer cell lines of strongly versus weakly metastatic potential in a comparative approach. Intracellular free Ca(2+) was measured using a membrane-permeant fluorescent Ca(2+)-indicator dye (Fluo-4 AM) and confocal microscopy. Spontaneous Ca(2+) oscillations were observed in a proportion of strongly metastatic human prostate and breast cancer cells (PC-3M and MDA-MB-231, respectively). In contrast, no such oscillations were observed in weakly/non metastatic LNCaP and MCF-7 cells, although a rise in the resting Ca(2+) level could be induced by applying a high-K(+) solution. Various parameters of the oscillations depended on extracellular Ca(2+) and voltage-gated Na(+) channel activity. Treatment with either tetrodotoxin (a general blocker of voltage-gated Na(+) channels) or ranolazine (a blocker of the persistent component of the channel current) suppressed the Ca(2+) oscillations. It is concluded that the functional voltage-gated Na(+) channel expression in strongly metastatic cancer cells makes a significant contribution to generation of oscillatory intracellular Ca(2+) activity. Possible mechanisms and consequences of the Ca(2+) oscillations are discussed.

Petrou A, Moris D, Paul Tabet P, et al.
Ablation of the locally advanced pancreatic cancer: An introduction and brief summary of techniques.
J BUON. 2016 May-Jun; 21(3):650-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a lethal and late presenting malignancy with dismal survival rates. An estimated total of 330,000 people died from this malignancy in 2012. Although there have been improvements in diagnostic and treatment methods, the survival of late stage pancreatic cancer has not shown significant improvement in the past 4 decades. Multiple treatment approaches are available including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy, but to this day surgical resection remains the only curative treatment option. Ablative techniques use various forms of energy to cause local tissue destruction through necrosis or apoptosis. They are relevant in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma as they are a treatment option in non-resectable tumors where their use ranges from symptom control to reducing tumor size for resection. In this narrative review we have grouped and outlined the various ablative methods, classifying them into thermal (Radiofrequency ablation, Microwave ablation, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound ablation, Cryoablation), and non-thermal ablative methods (Irreversible Electroporation (NanoKnife®), Photodynamic Therapy). This is followed by a description and review of the available evidence on survival and complications for each of these ablative methods. According to the literature, thermal ablative methods appear to be more accessible but are implicated with more complications than non thermal ablative methods which show the most promise.

Balci T, Yilmaz Susluer S, Kayabasi C, et al.
Analysis of dysregulated long non-coding RNA expressions in glioblastoma cells.
Gene. 2016; 590(1):120-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
Long non coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are associated with various biological roles such as embryogenesis, stem cell biology, cellular development and present specific tissue expression profiles. Aberrant expression of lncRNAs are thought to play a critical role in the progression and development of various cancer types, including gliomas. Glioblastomas (GBM) are common and malignant primary brain tumours. Brain cancer stem cells (BCSC) are isolated from both low and high-grade tumours in adults and children, by cell fraction which express neuronal stem cell surface marker CD133. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression profiles of lncRNAs in brain tumour cells and determine its potential biological function. For this purpose, U118MG-U87MG; GBM stem cell series were used. Human parental brain cancer cells were included as the control group; the expressions of disease related human lncRNA profiles were studied by LightCycler 480 real-time PCR. Expression profiles of 83 lncRNA genes were analyzed for a significant dysregulation, compared to the control cells. Among lncRNAs, 51 lncRNA genes down-regulated, while 8 lncRNA genes were up-regulated. PCAT-1 (-2.36), MEG3 (-5.34), HOTAIR (-2.48) lncRNAs showed low expression in glioblastoma compared to the human (parental) brain cancer stem cells, indicating their role as tumour suppressor genes on gliomas. As a result, significant changes for anti-cancer gene expressions were detected with disease-related human lncRNA array plates. Identification of novel target genes may lead to promising developments in human brain cancer treatment.

Aydar E, Stratton D, Fraser SP, et al.
Sigma-1 receptors modulate neonatal Nav1.5 ion channels in breast cancer cell lines.
Eur Biophys J. 2016; 45(7):671-683 [PubMed] Related Publications
The main aim of this study was to investigate a possible functional connection between sigma-1 receptors and voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) in human breast cancer cells. The hypothesis was that sigma-1 drugs could alter the metastatic properties of breast cancer cells via the VGSC. Evidence was found for expression of sigma-1 receptor and neonatal Nav1.5 (nNav1.5) expression in both MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells. Sigma-1 drugs (SKF10047 and dimethyltryptamine) did not affect cell proliferation or migration but significantly reduced adhesion to the substrate. Silencing sigma-1 receptor expression by siRNA similarly reduced the adhesion. Blocking nNav1.5 activity with a polyclonal antibody (NESOpAb) targeting an extracellular region of nNav1.5 also reduced the adhesion in both cell lines. Importantly, the results of combined treatments with NESOpAb and a sigma-1 drug or sigma-1 siRNA suggested that both treatments targeted the same mechanism. The possibility was tested, therefore, that the sigma-1 receptor and the nNav1.5 channel formed a physical, functional complex. This suggestion was supported by the results of co-immunoprecipitation experiments. Furthermore, application of sigma-1 drugs to the cells reduced the surface expression of nNav1.5 protein, which could explain how sigma-1 receptor activation could alter the metastatic behaviour of breast cancer cells. Overall, these results are consistent with the idea of a sigma-1 protein behaving like either a "chaperone" or a regulatory subunit associated with nNav1.5.

Savva CG, Totokotsopoulos S, Nicolaou KC, et al.
Selective activation of TNFR1 and NF-κB inhibition by a novel biyouyanagin analogue promotes apoptosis in acute leukemia cells.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:279 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Acquired resistance towards apoptosis is a hallmark of cancer. Elimination of cells bearing activated oncogenes or stimulation of tumor suppressor mediators may provide a selection pressure to overcome resistance. KC-53 is a novel biyouyanagin analogue known to elicit strong anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity. The current study was designed to evaluate the anticancer efficacy and molecular mechanisms of KC-53 against human cancer cells.
METHODS: Using the MTT assay we examined initially how KC-53 affects the proliferation rates of thirteen representative human cancer cell lines in comparison to normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and immortalized cell lines. To decipher the key molecular events underlying its mode of action we selected the human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 and the acute lymphocytic leukemia CCRF/CEM cell lines that were found to be the most sensitive to the antiproliferative effects of KC-53.
RESULTS: KC-53 promoted rapidly and irreversibly apoptosis in both leukemia cell lines at relatively low concentrations. Apoptosis was characterized by an increase in membrane-associated TNFR1, activation of Caspase-8 and proteolytic inactivation of the death domain kinase RIP1 indicating that KC-53 induced mainly the extrinsic/death receptor apoptotic pathway. Regardless, induction of the intrinsic/mitochondrial pathway was also achieved by Caspase-8 processing of Bid, activation of Caspase-9 and increased translocation of AIF to the nucleus. FADD protein knockdown restored HL-60 and CCRF/CEM cell viability and completely blocked KC-53-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, KC-53 administration dramatically inhibited TNFα-induced serine phosphorylation on TRAF2 and on IκBα hindering therefore p65/NF-κΒ translocation to nucleus. Reduced transcriptional expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-survival p65 target genes, confirmed that the agent functionally inhibited the transcriptional activity of p65.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate, for the first time, the selective anticancer properties of KC-53 towards leukemic cell lines and provide a detailed understanding of the molecular events underlying its dual anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic properties. These results provide new insights into the development of innovative and targeted therapies for the treatment of some forms of leukemia.

Akbal Ö, Erdal E, Vural T, et al.
Comparison of protein- and polysaccharide-based nanoparticles for cancer therapy: synthesis, characterization, drug release, and interaction with a breast cancer cell line.
Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2017; 45(2):193-203 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, human serum albumin (HSA) was used as a protein-based material and poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB)-carboxymethyl chitosan (CMCh) as a polysaccharide-based material for the production of nanoparticles to be used as nanocarriers in cancer therapy. HSA and PHB-CMCh nanoparticles were prepared and characterized with a Zeta Sizer, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscope. The effects of the pH value of the suspending medium and the amounts of crosslinker and polymer concentration on nanoparticle size and size distribution were investigated. The anticancer-agent etoposide was used as a model drug and encapsulated in nanoparticles to obtain drug release profiles. The entrapment efficiency of HSA nanoparticles was found to be greater than that of PHB-CMCh nanoparticles. To achieve "active" targeting of cancer cells, the nanoparticles were modified with concanavalin A. In the final step of the study, the interaction of nanoparticles with cancer cells was investigated in cytotoxicity and cellular uptake studies.

Flabouraris G, Karikas GA
Nutri-epigenetics and synthetic analogs in cancer chemoprevention.
J BUON. 2016 Jan-Feb; 21(1):4-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nutri-epigenetics has lately emerged as a new field in cancer epigenetic research. Cancer represents a multistage and heterogeneous disease that is driven by progressive genetic and epigenetic abnormalities. Epigenetic activity is influenced by several exogenous and endogenous factors including, nutrition, environment, disease, ethnicity, life style, medication, toxins, physical activity, age, gender and family genetics. Epigenetic therapy including mainly natural phenolics is a new area for drug development in cancer prevention. The current generation of epigenetic synthetic analogs are primarily target to inhibit the activity and expression of methyltransferases and histone deacetylases. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying nutrition seem very important tools nowadays in further understanding human health in general. New targeted natural and synthetic agents, along with the application of modern genomic methods, could substantially offer more specific armamentarium towards the prevention and therapy of cancer. The present short review demonstrates a selection of natural and recent synthetic chemopreventing compounds, in relation to their epigenetic mechanisms and current/future uses/limitations in therapeutics.

Charalambous A, Kouta C
Cancer Related Fatigue and Quality of Life in Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy.
Biomed Res Int. 2016; 2016:3989286 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer related fatigue (CRF) is a common and debilitating symptom that can influence quality of life (QoL) in cancer patients. The increase in survival times stresses for a better understanding of how CRF affects patients' QoL. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study with 148 randomly recruited prostate cancer patients aiming to explore CRF and its impact on QoL. Assessments included the Cancer Fatigue Scale, EORTC QLQ-C30, and EORTC QLQ-PR25. Additionally, 15 in-depth structured interviews were performed. Quantitative data were analyzed with simple and multiple regression analysis and independent samples t-test. Qualitative data were analyzed with the use of thematic content analysis. The 66.9% of the patients experienced CRF with higher levels being recorded for the affective subscale. Statistically significant differences were found between the patients reporting CRF and lower levels of QoL (mean = 49.1) and those that did not report fatigue and had higher levels of QoL (mean = 72.1). The interviews emphasized CRF's profound impact on the patients' lives that was reflected on the following themes: "dependency on others," "loss of power over decision making," and "daily living disruption." Cancer related fatigue is a significant problem for patients with advanced prostate cancer and one that affects their QoL in various ways.

Petrou A, Moris D, Kountourakis P, et al.
The ALPPS procedure as a novel "liver-first" approach in treating liver metastases of colon cancer: the first experience in Greek Cypriot area.
World J Surg Oncol. 2016; 14:67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite recent advances in multimodality and multidisciplinary treatment of colorectal liver metastases, many patients suffer from extensive bilobar disease, which prevents the performance of a single procedure due to an insufficient future liver remnant (FLR). We present a novel indication for associating liver partition and portal vein ligation for staged hepatectomy (ALPPS) as a "liver-first" approach when inadequate FLR was faced preoperatively, in a patient with extensive bilobar liver metastatic disease of colon cancer origin.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 51-year-old lady was referred to our center due to a stage IV colon cancer with extensive bilobar liver disease and synchronous colon obstruction. During the multidisciplinary tumor board, it was recommended to proceed first in a palliative loop colostomy (at the level of transverse colon) operation and afterwards to offer her palliative chemotherapy. After seven cycles of chemotherapy, the patient was re-evaluated by CT scans that revealed an excellent response (>30%), but the metastatic liver disease was still considered inoperable. Moreover, with the completion of 12 cycles, the indicated restaging process showed further response. Subsequent to a thorough review by the multidisciplinary team, it was decided to proceed to the ALPPS procedure as a feasible means to perform extensive or bilobar liver resections, combined with a decreased risk of tumor progression in the interim.
CONCLUSIONS: All in all, ALPPS can offer a feasible but surgically demanding liver-first approach with satisfactory short-term results in selected patients. Larger studies are mandatory to evaluate short- and long-term results of the procedure on survival, morbidity, and mortality.

Durmaz I, Guven EB, Ersahin T, et al.
Liver cancer cells are sensitive to Lanatoside C induced cell death independent of their PTEN status.
Phytomedicine. 2016; 23(1):42-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma is the second deadliest cancer with limited treatment options. Loss of PTEN causes the P13K/Akt pathway to be hyperactive which contributes to cell survival and resistance to therapeutics in various cancers, including the liver cancer. Hence molecules targeting this pathway present good therapeutic strategies for liver cancer.
HYPOTHESIS: It was previously reported that Cardiac glycosides possessed antitumor activity by inducing apoptosis of multiple cancer cells through oxidative stress. However, whether Cardiac glycoside Lanatoside C can induce oxidative stress in liver cancer cells and induce cell death both in vitro and in vivo remains unknown.
METHODS: Cell viability was measured by SRB assay. Cell death analysis was investigated by propidium iodide staining with flow cytometry and PARP cleavage. DCFH-DA staining and cytometry were used for intracellular ROS measurement. Protein levels were analyzed by western blot analysis. Antitumor activity was investigated on mice xenografts in vivo.
RESULTS: In this study, we found that Cardiac glycosides, particularly Lanatoside C from Digitalis ferruginea could significantly inhibit PTEN protein adequate Huh7 and PTEN deficient Mahlavu human liver cancer cell proliferation by the induction of apoptosis and G2/M arrest in the cells. Lanatoside C was further shown to induce oxidative stress and alter ERK and Akt pathways. Consequently, JNK1 activation resulted in extrinsic apoptotic pathway stimulation in both cells while JNK2 activation involved in the inhibition of cell survival only in PTEN deficient cells. Furthermore, nude mice xenografts followed by MRI showed that Lanatoside C caused a significant decrease in the tumor size. In this study apoptosis induction by Lanatoside C was characterized through ROS altered ERK and Akt pathways in both PTEN adequate epithelial and deficient mesenchymal liver cancer cells.
CONCLUSION: The results indicated that Lanatoside C could be contemplated in liver cancer therapeutics, particularly in PTEN deficient tumors. This is due to Lanatoside C's stress inducing action on ERK and Akt pathways through differential activation of JNK1 and JNK2 by GSK3β.

Ben-Arye E, Popper-Giveon A, Samuels N, et al.
Communication and integration: a qualitative analysis of perspectives among Middle Eastern oncology healthcare professionals on the integration of complementary medicine in supportive cancer care.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(5):1117-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVES: The use of complementary and traditional medicine (CTM ) in Middle Eastern countries is widespread, including among patients with cancer. Perspectives of oncology healthcare professionals (HCPs) in this region regarding the integration of CTM within conventional supportive cancer care were explored.
METHODS: An 11-item questionnaire with an open-ended question asking respondents to comment about the integration of CTM within supportive cancer care was sent to Middle Eastern oncology HCPs, using snowball sampling methodology. The narratives provided were examined using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 339 oncology HCPs completed and returned the study tool (80.3 % response rate ), of which 178 from 15 Middle Eastern countries responded to the open-ended question. The majority of respondents are in favor of the integration of CTM within supportive cancer care, though ideas on how this should be implemented varied. Thematic analysis identified multifactorial barriers to integration, which focused on HCPs' perspectives (e.g., a lack of knowledge and training; a skeptical approach to CTM), attitudes of patients and caregivers (e.g., unrealistic expectations regarding the outcomes of CTM treatments) and HCP-patient communication. In order to overcome these barriers, respondents suggested education and training programs for oncology HCPs which would focus on improving patients' quality-of-life-related outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: Middle Eastern oncology HCPs support the integration of CTM within supportive cancer care, while recognizing the need for education and training in this field. A better understanding of CTM would provide the knowledge and skills which would promote a non-judgmental, evidence-based approach, fostering better communication with patients.

Serakinci N, Kalkan R, Tulay P
Double faced role of human mesenchymal stem cells and their role challenges in cancer therapy.
Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2016; 11(4):343-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are multipotent non-hematopoietic precursor cells with the ability to differentiate into several tissue types. The use of hMSCs has gained significant importance in cancer therapies as well as a large number of degenerative disease therapies due to their homing abilities. However, these cells may undergo spontaneous transformation leading to them bypassing naturally built-in cell controls that could lead to senescence and carcinogenesis. Therefore, although MSCs have great potential for cancer therapy, they also risk the development of cancer, which provides them with double-faced characteristics for both cancer development and therapy. The potential use of hMSCs in therapeutics from the aspect of in vitro expansion of hMSCs and telomere dynamic is discussed.

Koufaris C
Human and primate-specific microRNAs in cancer: Evolution, and significance in comparison with more distantly-related research models: The great potential of evolutionary young microRNA in cancer research.
Bioessays. 2016; 38(3):286-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
The largest proportion of microRNAs in humans (ca. 40-50%) originated in the phylogenetic grouping defined as primates. The dynamic evolution of this family of non-coding RNA is further demonstrated by the presence of microRNA unique to the human species. Investigations into the role of microRNA in cancer have until recently mainly focused on the more ancient members of this RNA family that are widely conserved in the animal kingdom. As I describe in this review the evolutionary young lineage and species-specific microRNA could be important contributors to cancers, especially in particular organs in primates compared to more distantly-related research models. Elucidating the biological significance of primate and human-specific microRNA in cancer could have important implications for cancer research and the use of non-primate animal models.

Barbaric J, Sekerija M, Agius D, et al.
Disparities in melanoma incidence and mortality in South-Eastern Europe: Increasing incidence and divergent mortality patterns. Is progress around the corner?
Eur J Cancer. 2016; 55:47-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Most countries in South-Eastern Europe (SEE) have lower incidence, but higher mortality rates of malignant melanoma (MM) of the skin compared to North-Western Europe (NWE). We explored trends in MM incidence and mortality in SEE countries by sex and age and compared them with the trends in NWE.
METHODS: We obtained data on incident cases and deaths from MM (ICD-10 code C43) from 11 population-based cancer registries in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Malta, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. We calculated age-specific rates for 25-49 ('young'), 50-69 ('middle aged') and 70+ years ('older') and estimated the average annual percent of change in incidence and mortality trends 2000-2010 according to age group and sex, using joinpoint regression analysis.
FINDINGS: The incidence rates of MM across the region were uniformly increasing. Significant increases in mortality rates were observed in middle aged men in Serbia and Bulgaria, middle aged women in Slovenia, older men in the Czech Republic, Serbia and Turkey, and older women in Slovenia and Serbia.
INTERPRETATION: While MM incidence rates were still increasing across SEE, mortality trends diverged and were less favourable than in NWE. Empowering cancer registration and improving the quality of incidence and mortality data will be essential for monitoring progress in MM control. In the context of prevention of melanoma, disparities in early detection appear to be widening the gap between SEE and NWE, while the provision of care to patients with advanced disease is likely to prove a challenge for regional healthcare budgets.

Kalogera E, Pistos C, Provatopoulou X, et al.
Bioanalytical LC-MS Method for the Quantification of Plasma Androgens and Androgen Glucuronides in Breast Cancer.
J Chromatogr Sci. 2016; 54(4):583-92 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The physiological and pathological development of the breast is strongly affected by the hormonal milieu consisting of steroid hormones. Mass spectrometry (MS) technologies of high sensitivity and specificity enable the quantification of androgens and consequently the characterization of the hormonal status. The aim of this study is the assessment of plasma androgens and androgen glucuronides, in the par excellence hormone-sensitive tissue of the breast, through the application of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). A simple and efficient fit-for-purpose method for the simultaneous identification and quantification of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), androstenedione (A4), androsterone glucuronide (ADTG) and androstane-3α, 17β-diol-17-glucuronide (3α-diol-17G) in human plasma was developed and validated. The presented method permits omission of derivatization, requires a single solid-phase extraction procedure and the chromatographic separation can be achieved on a single C18 analytical column, for all four analytes. The validated method was successfully applied for the analysis of 191 human plasma samples from postmenopausal women with benign breast disease (BBD), lobular neoplasia (LN), ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). DHEAS plasma levels exhibited significant differences between LN, IDC and BBD patients (P < 0.05). Additionally, ADTG levels were significantly higher in patients with LN compared with those with BBD (P < 0.05).

Vranken MJ, Lisman JA, Mantel-Teeuwisse AK, et al.
Barriers to access to opioid medicines: a review of national legislation and regulations of 11 central and eastern European countries.
Lancet Oncol. 2016; 17(1):e13-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Control measures designed to prevent the misuse of opioid medicines can often unintentionally restrict legitimate medical use, leaving patients with cancer in pain. This study aimed to develop and validate an assessment instrument based on WHO policy guidelines to systematically identify legal and regulatory barriers to opioid access in 11 European countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey) as part of the Access to Opioid Medication in Europe project. Relevant legislation and regulations were independently assessed by three reviewers and potential barriers were identified within nine categories including prescribing, penalties, and others. Potential barriers were identified in all countries, ranging from 22 potential barriers (Cyprus) to 128 potential barriers (Lithuania). The total number of barriers in a single category varied from one (Slovenia, usage category) to 49 (Greece, prescribing category). Differences, such as prescription validity, varied within one category, ranging from 5 days (Hungary) to 13 weeks (Cyprus). The results of this Review should give rise to a national review and revision of provisions that impede access to opioids, disproportionate to their (intended) benefit in preventing misuse, in these 11 European countries.

Fraser SP, Hemsley F, Djamgoz MB
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester: Inhibition of metastatic cell behaviours via voltage-gated sodium channel in human breast cancer in vitro.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2016; 71:111-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester, derived from natural propolis, has been reported to have anti-cancer properties. Voltage-gated sodium channels are upregulated in many cancers where they promote metastatic cell behaviours, including invasiveness. We found that micromolar concentrations of caffeic acid phenethyl ester blocked voltage-gated sodium channel activity in several invasive cell lines from different cancers, including breast (MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468), colon (SW620) and non-small cell lung cancer (H460). In the MDA-MB-231 cell line, which was adopted as a 'model', long-term (48 h) treatment with 18 μM caffeic acid phenethyl ester reduced the peak current density by 91% and shifted steady-state inactivation to more hyperpolarized potentials and slowed recovery from inactivation. The effects of long-term treatment were also dose-dependent, 1 μM caffeic acid phenethyl ester reducing current density by only 65%. The effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester on metastatic cell behaviours were tested on the MDA-MB-231 cell line at a working concentration (1 μM) that did not affect proliferative activity. Lateral motility and Matrigel invasion were reduced by up to 14% and 51%, respectively. Co-treatment of caffeic acid phenethyl ester with tetrodotoxin suggested that the voltage-gated sodium channel inhibition played a significant intermediary role in these effects. We conclude, first, that caffeic acid phenethyl ester does possess anti-metastatic properties. Second, the voltage-gated sodium channels, commonly expressed in strongly metastatic cancers, are a novel target for caffeic acid phenethyl ester. Third, more generally, ion channel inhibition can be a significant mode of action of nutraceutical compounds.

Pavlou D, Kirmizis A
Depletion of histone N-terminal-acetyltransferase Naa40 induces p53-independent apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells via the mitochondrial pathway.
Apoptosis. 2016; 21(3):298-311 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Protein N-terminal acetylation is an abundant post-translational modification in eukaryotes implicated in various fundamental cellular and biochemical processes. This modification is catalysed by evolutionarily conserved N-terminal acetyltransferases (NATs) whose deregulation has been linked to cancer development and thus, are emerging as useful diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Naa40 is a highly selective NAT that acetylates the amino-termini of histones H4 and H2A and acts as a sensor of cell growth in yeast. In the present study, we examine the role of Naa40 in cancer cell survival. We demonstrate that depletion of Naa40 in HCT116 and HT-29 colorectal cancer cells decreases cell survival by enhancing apoptosis, whereas Naa40 reduction in non-cancerous mouse embryonic fibroblasts has no effect on cell viability. Specifically, Naa40 knockdown in colon cancer cells activates the mitochondrial caspase-9-mediated apoptotic cascade. Consistent with this, we show that caspase-9 activation is required for the induced apoptosis because treatment of cells with an irreversible caspase-9 inhibitor impedes apoptosis when Naa40 is depleted. Furthermore, the effect of Naa40-depletion on cell-death is mediated through a p53-independent mechanism since p53-null HCT116 cells still undergo apoptosis upon reduction of the acetyltransferase. Altogether, these findings reveal an anti-apoptotic role for Naa40 and exhibit its potential as a therapeutic target in colorectal cancers.

Adamidi T, Soulitzis N, Neofytou E, et al.
Expression of YKL-40 and MIP-1a proteins in exudates and transudates: biomarkers for differential diagnosis of pleural effusions? A pilot study.
BMC Pulm Med. 2015; 15:150 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: YKL-40 is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein with a significant role in tissue inflammation and remodeling. MIP-1a has chemotactic and pro-inflammatory properties, and is induced by YKL-40 in several lung disorders. The aim of this study was to determine the levels of YKL-40 and MIP-1a in blood serum and pleural fluids of various pulmonary diseases, and to evaluate their potential role as differential diagnosis biomarkers.
METHODS: We recruited 60 patients (age: 62.5 ± 20.6 years) with pleural effusions: 49 exudates and 11 transudates (T). Exudates were further classified based on the underlying disease: ten with tuberculosis (TB), 13 with lung cancer (LCa), 15 with metastatic cancer (MCa) of non-lung origin and 11 with parapneumonic (PN) effusions. YKL-40 and MIP-1a levels were measured by ELISA.
RESULTS: Pleural YKL-40 levels (ng/ml) were similar among all patient groups (TB: 399 ± 36, LCa: 401 ± 112, MCa: 416 ± 34, PN: 401 ± 50, T: 399 ± 42, p = 0.92). On the contrary, YKL-40 was significantly lower in the serum of TB patients (TB: 58 ± 22, LCa: 212 ± 106, MCa: 254 ± 140, PN: 265 ± 140, T: 229 ± 123, p < 0.001). Pleural MIP-1a protein levels (ng/ml) were statistically lower only in patients with LCa (TB: 25.0 ± 20.2, LCa: 7.3 ± 6.0, MCa: 16.1 ± 14.9, PN: 25.4 ± 27.9, T: 18.5 ± 7.9, p = 0.012), a finding also observed in serum MIP-1a levels (TB: 17.1 ± 7.6, LCa: 9.4 ± 7.0, MCa: 28.7 ± 28.7, PN: 33.3 ± 24.0, T: 22.9 ± 8.7, p = 0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that both YKL-40 and MIP-1a, particularly in serum, could prove useful for the differentiation of pleural effusions in clinical practice, especially of TB or LCa origin. However, large-scale studies are needed to validate these findings.

Türkay DÖ, Vural Ç, Sayan M, Gürbüz Y
Detection of human papillomavirus in esophageal and gastroesophageal junction tumors: A retrospective study by real-time polymerase chain reaction in an instutional experience from Turkey and review of literature.
Pathol Res Pract. 2016; 212(2):77-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal cancer is a poor-prognosis malignancy that ranks eighth among all cancer types, and its prevalence shows differences among geographical regions. Although the most important risk factors for esophageal carcinoma are alcohol and smoking, viral infections, particularly HPV infection, are also considered among etiological agents. Our study aims to detect the presence of HPV in esophageal cancers in our patient population and to investigate its correlation with clinico-pathological parameters. We investigated the presence of HPV-DNA by real-time polymerase chain reaction in a total of 52 patients with esophageal cancer. Subtype analysis was performed in positive cases and was correlated with selected clinico-pathological parameters. Five (9.6%) of 52 tumor samples, 3 squamous cell carcinomas (3/33 cases) and 2 adenocarcinomas (2/19 cases), were HPV-DNA-positive. Subtype analysis could be performed in four HPV-DNA-positive cases, of which three were HPV type-39 and 1 was type-16. The Marmara region, where the present study was carried out, is a region with low-moderate risk for esophageal cancer, and the prevalence of HPV-DNA in these tumors is similar to the prevalence of HPV-DNA reported in the literature for regions with similar risk. In conclusion, we detected HPV DNA in a subset of esophageal and gastroesophageal junction tumors. HPV infection may have a role in esophageal carcinogenesis and high-risk HPV subtypes can particularly be considered among risk factors since the prevalence of high risk HPV infection has also been found to be increased in regions with a high risk for esophageal cancer compared to low-moderate risk regions.

Ben-Arye E, Samuels N, Goldstein LH, et al.
Potential risks associated with traditional herbal medicine use in cancer care: A study of Middle Eastern oncology health care professionals.
Cancer. 2016; 122(4):598-610 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The authors assessed the use of herbal medicine by Middle Eastern patients with cancer, as reported by their oncology health care professionals (HCPs). Herbal products identified by the study HCPs were evaluated for potential negative effects.
METHODS: Oncology HCPs from 16 Middle Eastern countries received a 17-item questionnaire asking them to list 5 herbal products in use by their patients with cancer. A literature search (PubMed, Micromedex, AltMedDex, and the Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database) was conducted to identify safety-related concerns associated with the products listed.
RESULTS: A total of 339 HCPs completed the study questionnaire (response rate of 80.3%), identifying 44 herbal and 3 nonherbal nutritional supplements. Safety-related concerns were associated with 29 products, including herb-drug interactions with altered pharmacodynamics (15 herbs), direct toxic effects (18 herbs), and increased in vitro response of cancer cells to chemotherapy (7 herbs).
CONCLUSIONS: Herbal medicine use, which is prevalent in Middle Eastern countries, has several potentially negative effects that include direct toxic effects, negative interactions with anticancer drugs, and increased chemosensitivity of cancer cells, requiring a reduction in dose-density. Oncology HCPs working in countries in which herbal medicine use is prevalent need to better understand the implications of this practice. The presence of integrative physicians with training in complementary and traditional medicine can help patients and their HCPs reach an informed decision regarding the safety and effective use of these products.

Kalkan R
Hypoxia Is the Driving Force Behind GBM and Could Be a New Tool in GBM Treatment.
Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr. 2015; 25(4):363-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) can be divided into two distinct disease entities according to the genetic and the epigenetic background of the tumor. Tumor location is associated with high variability in its genetic abnormalities. The treatment procedures for these tumors are often unsuccessful because of the cellular heterogeneity and intrinsic ability of the tumor cells to invade healthy tissues. The fatal outcomes of these tumors have encouraged researchers to find new markers associated with prognosis and treatment planning. In the present communication, we discuss hypoxia as a new therapeutic target of glioblastoma multiforme and the molecular and phenotypic effects of hypoxia on cancer cells. We focus on the inhibition of the signaling pathways, which is associated with the hypoxia-mediated maintenance of glioblastoma stem cells and the knockdown of the hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIFlα). This discussion may contribute to the development of new specifically targeted treatments. Furthermore, we highlight the idea that hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) could be attractive molecular targets for GBM therapeutics.

Kalkan R
Glioblastoma Multiforme: The Genetic Perspective of the Treatment Planning.
Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr. 2015; 25(4):281-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is divided into two distinct disease entities called primary and secondary GBM. The genetic and the epigenetic background of these tumors are highly variable. These tumors are not successfully treated because of their cellular heterogeneity and intrinsic ability of the tumor cells to invade healthy tissues. The fatal outcomes of these tumors promote researchers to find new markers associated with prognosis and treatment planning. A better understanding of stem-like cells and the genetic and the epigenetic background of GBM are necessary for designing new effective treatments and developing novel molecular strategies to target tumor cells and glioblastoma stem cells. In this review, we discuss the new therapeutic targets. Focusing on inhibiting the signaling pathways, which are associated with hypoxia-mediated maintenance of glioblastoma stem cells or the knockdown of the hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF1α), may help to the develop new target-specific treatments.

André T, de Gramont A, Vernerey D, et al.
Adjuvant Fluorouracil, Leucovorin, and Oxaliplatin in Stage II to III Colon Cancer: Updated 10-Year Survival and Outcomes According to BRAF Mutation and Mismatch Repair Status of the MOSAIC Study.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(35):4176-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The MOSAIC (Multicenter International Study of Oxaliplatin/Fluorouracil/Leucovorin in the Adjuvant Treatment of Colon Cancer) study has demonstrated 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) and 6-year overall survival (OS) benefit of adjuvant oxaliplatin in stage II to III resected colon cancer. This update presents 10-year OS and OS and DFS by mismatch repair (MMR) status and BRAF mutation.
METHODS: Survival actualization after 10-year follow-up was performed in 2,246 patients with resected stage II to III colon cancer. We assessed MMR status and BRAF mutation in 1,008 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens.
RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 9.5 years, 10-year OS rates in the bolus/infusional fluorouracil plus leucovorin (LV5FU2) and LV5FU2 plus oxaliplatin (FOLFOX4) arms were 67.1% versus 71.7% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; P = .043) in the whole population, 79.5% versus 78.4% for stage II (HR, 1.00; P = .980), and 59.0% versus 67.1% for stage III (HR, 0.80; P = .016) disease. Ninety-five patients (9.4%) had MMR-deficient (dMMR) tumors, and 94 (10.4%) had BRAF mutation. BRAF mutation was not prognostic for OS (P = .965), but dMMR was an independent prognostic factor (HR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.15 to 3.55; P = .014). HRs for DFS and OS benefit in the FOLFOX4 arm were 0.48 (95% CI, 0.20 to 1.12) and 0.41 (95% CI, 0.16 to 1.07), respectively, in patients with stage II to III dMMR and 0.50 (95% CI, 0.25 to 1.00) and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.31 to 1.42), respectively, in those with BRAF mutation.
CONCLUSION: The OS benefit of oxaliplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy, increasing over time and with the disease severity, was confirmed at 10 years in patients with stage II to III colon cancer. These updated results support the use of FOLFOX in patients with stage III disease, including those with dMMR or BRAF mutation.

Fahrioğlu U, Dodurga Y, Elmas L, Seçme M
Ferulic acid decreases cell viability and colony formation while inhibiting migration of MIA PaCa-2 human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro.
Gene. 2016; 576(1 Pt 3):476-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Novel and combinatorial treatment methods are becoming sought after entities in cancer treatment and these treatments are even more valuable for pancreatic cancer. The scientists are always on the lookout for new chemicals to help them in their fight against cancer. In this study, we examine the effects of ferulic acid (FA), a phenolic compound, on gene expression, viability, colony formation and migration/invasion in the cultured MIA PaCa-2 human pancreatic cancer cell. Cytotoxic effects of FA were determined by using trypan blue dye exclusion test and Cell TiterGlo (CTG) assay. IC50 dose in MIA PaCa-2 cells was detected as 500μM/ml at the 72nd hour. Expression profiles of certain cell cycle and apoptosis genes such as CCND1 (cyclin D1),CDK4, CDK6, RB, p21, p16, p53, caspase-3, caspase-9, caspase-8, caspase-10, Bcl-2, BCL-XL,BID, DR4,DR5,FADD,TRADD,PARP, APAF, Bax, Akt, PTEN, PUMA, NOXA, MMP2, MMP9, TIMP1 and TIMP2 were determined by real-time PCR. The effect of FA on cell viability was determined by CellTiter-Glo® Luminescent Cell Viability Assay. Additionally, effects of FA on colony formation and invasion were also investigated. It was observed that FA caused a significant decrease in the expression of CCND1, CDK 4/6, Bcl2 and caspase 8 and 10 in the MIA PaCa-2 cells while causing an increase in the expression of p53, Bax, PTEN caspase 3 and 9. FA was observed to decrease colony formation while inhibiting cell invasion and migration as observed by the BioCoat Matrigel Invasion Chamber guide and colony formation assays. In conclusion, FA is thought to behave as an anti-cancer agent by affecting cell cycle, apoptotic, invasion and colony formation behavior of MIA PaCa-2 cells. Therefore, FA is placed as a strong candidate for further studies aimed at finding a better, more effective treatment approach for pancreatic cancer.

Dorling L, Barnett GC, Michailidou K, et al.
Patients with a High Polygenic Risk of Breast Cancer do not have An Increased Risk of Radiotherapy Toxicity.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(6):1413-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: It has been hypothesized that increased predisposition to breast cancer may correlate with radiosensitivity, and thus increased risk of toxicity following breast irradiation. This study investigated the relationship between common breast cancer risk variants and radiotherapy toxicity.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: SNP genotypes were determined in female breast cancer patients from the RAPPER (Radiogenomics: Assessment of polymorphisms for predicting the effects of radiotherapy) study using the Illumina CytoSNP12 genome-wide array. A further 15,582,449 genotypes were imputed using the 1000 Genomes Project reference panel. Patient (n = 1,160) polygenic risk scores were generated by summing risk-allele dosages, both unweighted and weighted by published effect sizes for breast cancer risk. Regression models were used to test associations of individual variants and polygenic risk scores with acute and late toxicity phenotypes (telangiectasia, breast edema, photographically assessed shrinkage, induration, pigmentation, breast pain, breast sensitivity, and overall toxicity).
RESULTS: Genotypes of 90 confirmed breast cancer risk variants were accurately determined and polygenic risk scores were approximately normally distributed. Variant rs6964587 was associated with increased breast edema 5 years following radiotherapy (Beta, 0.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.34; P = 7 × 10(-4)). No other associations were found between individual variants or the unweighted (P > 0.17) or weighted (P > 0.13) polygenic risk score and radiotherapy toxicity. This study had >87% power to detect an association between the polygenic risk score (relative risk > 1.1) and toxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: Cancer patients with a high polygenic predisposition to breast cancer do not have an increased risk of radiotherapy toxicity up to 5 years following radiotherapy but individual variants may increase risk.

Kyriakides S
Survivorship care after early breast cancer.
Breast. 2015; 24 Suppl 2:S163-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
This article discusses the changing realities for patients after a diagnosis of early breast cancer due to the various survivorship issues that create a new normality for each patient. The importance of individualised treatment plans, the issues of fertility , of returning to work, of support following end of treatment are only a few of the many questions discussed. The age of personalised treatment needs to address the personalised care in survivorship as well.

Katodritou E, Terpos E, Kastritis E, et al.
Lack of survival improvement with novel anti-myeloma agents for patients with multiple myeloma and central nervous system involvement: the Greek Myeloma Study Group experience.
Ann Hematol. 2015; 94(12):2033-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) is a rare complication of multiple myeloma (MM). Herein, we have described the incidence, characteristics, prognostic factors for post CNS-MM survival, and outcome of CNS-MM and explored the efficacy of novel agents (NA) (thalidomide, bortezomib, lenalidomide) in this setting. Between 2000 and 2013, 31 (0.9 %) out of 3408 newly diagnosed symptomatic MM patients, consecutively diagnosed and treated during the same period in 12 Greek centers, developed CNS-MM (M/F 15/16, median age 59 years, range 20-96 years; newly diagnosed/relapsed-refractory 2/29; median time to CNS-MM diagnosis 29 months). Clinical and laboratory characteristics were retrospectively recorded. Twenty-six percent of patients had circulating plasma cells (PCs) or plasma cell leukemia (PCL) at CNS-MM and 39 % had skull-derived plasmacytomas, suggesting hematological and contiguous spread. Treatment for CNS-MM was offered in 29/31 patients and 11/29 responded (NA 18/29, additional radiotherapy 9/28, intrathecal chemotherapy 13/29). The median post CNS-MM survival was 3 months (95 % CI 1.9-4.1) and did not differ between patients treated with NA and/or radiotherapy vs. others. In the multivariate analysis, prior treatment of MM with NA, extramedullary disease (EMD) during MM course (i.e., plasmacytomas, circulating PCs, or documented PCL) and abnormally high LDH at MM diagnosis were independent prognostic factors, whereas treatment of CNS-MM with NA did not predict for post CNS-MM survival. Despite the relatively limited number of patients due to the rarity of CNS-MM, our results suggest that NA do not seem to improve post CNS-MM survival. Patients with EMD display shortened post CNS-MM survival and should be followed thoroughly.

Karalexi MA, Papathoma P, Thomopoulos TP, et al.
Childhood central nervous system tumour mortality and survival in Southern and Eastern Europe (1983-2014): Gaps persist across 14 cancer registries.
Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51(17):2665-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Childhood central nervous system (CNS) tumour registration and control programs in Southern and Eastern Europe remain thin, despite the lethal nature of the disease. Mortality/survival data were assembled to estimate the burden of malignant CNS tumours, as well as the potential role of sociodemographic survival determinants across 14 cancer registries of this region.
METHODS: Average age-adjusted mortality rates were calculated, whereas time trends were quantified through Poisson and Joinpoint regressions. Kaplan-Meier curves were derived for the maximum and the more recent (10 and 5 year) registration periods. Multivariate Cox regression models were used to assess demographic and disease-related determinants.
RESULTS: Variations in mortality (8-16 per million) and survival (5-year: 35-69%) were substantial among the participating registries; in most registries mortality trend was stable, whereas Bulgaria, having the highest starting rate, experienced decreasing annual mortality (-2.4%, p=0.001). A steep decrease in survival rates was evident before the second year of follow-up. After controlling for diagnostic subgroup, age, gender and diagnostic year, Greece seemed to present higher survival compared with the other contributing registries, although the follow-up period was short. Irrespective of country, however, rural residence was found to impose substantial adverse repercussions on survival (hazard ratio (HR): 1.2, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1-1.4).
CONCLUSION: Cross-country mortality and survival variations possibly reflect suboptimal levels of health care delivery and cancer control in some regions of Southern and Eastern Europe, notwithstanding questionable death certification patterns or follow-up procedures. Continuous childhood cancer registration and linkage with clinical data are prerequisite for the reduction of survival inequalities across Europe.

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