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IGF2; insulin-like growth factor 2 (somatomedin A) (11p15.5)

Gene Summary

Gene:IGF2; insulin-like growth factor 2 (somatomedin A)
Aliases: IGF-II, PP9974, C11orf43
Location:11p15.5
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the insulin family of polypeptide growth factors, which are involved in development and growth. It is an imprinted gene, expressed only from the paternal allele, and epigenetic changes at this locus are associated with Wilms tumour, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, rhabdomyosarcoma, and Silver-Russell syndrome. A read-through INS-IGF2 gene exists, whose 5' region overlaps the INS gene and the 3' region overlaps this gene. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2010]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:insulin-like growth factor II
HPRD
Source:NCBI
Updated:11 March, 2014

Gene
Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
IGF2 is implicated in:
- exocrine pancreas development
- extracellular region
- extracellular space
- glucose metabolic process
- growth factor activity
- hormone activity
- insulin receptor binding
- insulin receptor signaling pathway
- insulin receptor signaling pathway via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase cascade
- insulin-like growth factor receptor binding
- multicellular organismal development
- organ morphogenesis
- ossification
- osteoblast differentiation
- positive regulation of activated T cell proliferation
- positive regulation of catalytic activity
- positive regulation of cell division
- positive regulation of cell proliferation
- positive regulation of glycogen (starch) synthase activity
- positive regulation of glycogen biosynthetic process
- positive regulation of insulin receptor signaling pathway
- positive regulation of MAPK cascade
- positive regulation of mitosis
- positive regulation of peptidyl-tyrosine phosphorylation
- positive regulation of protein kinase B signaling cascade
- positive regulation of protein phosphorylation
- positive regulation of protein serine/threonine kinase activity
- positive regulation of receptor activity
- positive regulation of steroid hormone biosynthetic process
- positive regulation of transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter
- protein binding
- protein serine/threonine kinase activator activity
- receptor activator activity
- regulation of gene expression by genetic imprinting
- regulation of transcription, DNA-dependent
- response to drug
- response to estradiol stimulus
- response to nicotine
- response to nutrient levels
- response to radiation
- skeletal system development
- striated muscle cell differentiation
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP

Cancer Overview

The loss of imprinting of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and an overexpression of this growth factor gene have been reported in a wide range of cancers, particularly in Wilms' tumour.

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 11 March 2014 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Notable

IGF2 and Bowel Cancer

Related Publications (91)

IGF2 Imprinting and Overexpression in Wilms' Tumour

Related Publications (90)

IGF2 Expression in Hepatocarcinoma

Related Publications (54)

IGF2 and Breast Cancer

Related Publications (48)

IGF2 and Hepatoblastoma

Related Publications (22)

IGF2 Expression in Adrenocortical Carcinoma

Related Publications (14)

IGF2 and Bladder Cancer

Related Publications (12)

IGF2 and Stomach Cancer

Related Publications (9)

Related Links

Latest Publications: IGF2 (cancer-related)

Liu M, Roth A, Yu M, et al.
The IGF2 intronic miR-483 selectively enhances transcription from IGF2 fetal promoters and enhances tumorigenesis.
Genes Dev. 2013; 27(23):2543-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2014 Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), a developmentally regulated and maternally imprinted gene, is frequently overexpressed in pediatric cancers. Although loss of imprinting (LOI) at fetal promoters contributes to increased IGF2 in tumors, the magnitude of IGF2 expression suggests the involvement of additional regulatory mechanisms. A microRNA (miRNA) screen of primary Wilms' tumors identified specific overexpression of miR-483-5p, which is embedded within the IGF2 gene. Unexpectedly, the IGF2 mRNA itself is transcriptionally up-regulated by miR-483-5p. A nuclear pool of miR-483-5p binds directly to the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of fetal IGF2 mRNA, enhancing the association of the RNA helicase DHX9 to the IGF2 transcript and promoting IGF2 transcription. Ectopic expression of miR-483-5p in IGF2-dependent sarcoma cells is correlated with increased tumorigenesis in vivo. Together, these observations suggest a functional positive feedback loop of an intronic miRNA on transcription of its host gene.


Yeh TS, Wang F, Chen TC, et al.
Expression profile of microRNA-200 family in hepatocellular carcinoma with bile duct tumor thrombus.
Ann Surg. 2014; 259(2):346-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the role of the miR-200 family in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma with bile duct tumor thrombus (HCC-BDTT).
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma with bile duct tumor thrombus is a challenging condition because of its rarity and dismal prognosis. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is considered a critical step in the progression and metastasis of HCC and is regulated by the microRNA-200 (miR-200) family.
METHODS: Thirty patients with HCC-BDTT were enrolled and 1240 patients with conventional HCC (cHCC) served as clinicopathologic controls. Sixty age- and sex-matched cHCC patients were selected to compare the miR-200 family expression profile and immunohistochemical characteristics. Gain- and loss-of-function studies of the miR-200 family were conducted using the hepatoma cell lines.
RESULTS: Although the mean size of HCC-BDTT was smaller than that of cHCC, the former had a higher incidence of vascular invasion and a poorer long-term survival. The expressions of miR-200c and miR-141 were downregulated in HCC-BDTT (4.5- and 4.8-fold decrease, respectively). Downregulation of both miR-200c and miR-141 independently predicted disease-free survival. The HCC-BDTT, but not cHCC, exhibited overexpression of ZEB1, Twist, transforming growth factor-β receptor type II, and vimentin, and aberrant E-cadherin expression, indicating EMT. The HCC-BDTT demonstrated increased expression in IL-6 and stemness factor Bmi1, but reduced level of metastasis-suppressive protein, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 4. The invasive ability of the highly aggressive Mahlavu cell was attenuated by pre-miR-200c+141, whereas the invasive ability of the less aggressive Huh7 cell was enhanced by anti-miR-200c+141.
CONCLUSIONS: Simultaneous silencing of miR-200c and miR-141 was likely to be responsible for the development of HCC-BDTT via ZEB1-directed EMT activation and Sec23a-mediated secretome.

Related: Extra-Hepatic Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) Liver Cancer


Sung CH, Im HJ, Park N, et al.
Induction of steroid sulfatase expression in PC-3 human prostate cancer cells by insulin-like growth factor II.
Toxicol Lett. 2013; 223(2):109-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human steroid sulfatase (STS) plays an important role in regulating the formation of biologically active estrogens and may be a promising target for treating estrogen-mediated carcinogenesis. The molecular mechanism of STS gene expression, however, is still not clear. Growth factors are known to increase STS activity but the changes in STS expression have not been completely understood. To determine whether insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-II can induce STS gene expression, the effects of IGF-II on STS expression were studied in PC-3 human prostate cancer cells. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis showed that IGF-II treatment significantly increased the expression of STS mRNA and protein in concentration- and time-dependent manners. To understand the signaling pathway by which IGF-II induces STS gene expression, the effects of specific PI3-kinase/Akt and NF-κB inhibitors were determined. When the cells were treated with IGF-II and PI3-kinase/Akt inhibitors, such as LY294002, wortmannin, or Akt inhibitor IV, STS expression induced by IGF-II was significantly blocked. Moreover, we found that NF-κB inhibitors, such as MG-132, bortezomib, Bay 11-7082 or Nemo binding domain (NBD) binding peptide, also strongly prevented IGF-II from inducing STS gene expression. We assessed whether IGF-II activates STS promoter activity using transient transfection with a luciferase reporter. IGF-II significantly stimulated STS reporter activity. Furthermore, IGF-II induced expression of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD) 1 and 3, whereas it reduced estrone sulfotransferase (EST) gene expression, causing enhanced estrone and β-estradiol production. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that IGF-II induces STS expression via a PI3-kinase/Akt-NF-κB signaling pathway in PC-3 cells and may induce estrogen production and estrogen-mediated carcinogenesis.

Related: Prostate Cancer Screening for Prostate Cancer Prostate Cancer- Molecular Biology AKT1 Signal Transduction Bortezomib


Damaschke NA, Yang B, Bhusari S, et al.
Epigenetic susceptibility factors for prostate cancer with aging.
Prostate. 2013; 73(16):1721-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Increasing age is a significant risk factor for prostate cancer. The prostate is exposed to environmental and endogenous stress that may underlie this remarkable incidence. DNA methylation, genomic imprinting, and histone modifications are examples of epigenetic factors known to undergo change in the aging and cancerous prostate. In this review we examine the data linking epigenetic alterations in the prostate with aging to cancer development.
METHODS: An online search of current and past peer reviewed literature on epigenetic changes with cancer and aging was performed. Relevant articles were analyzed.
RESULTS: Epigenetic changes are responsible for modifying expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Several of these changes may represent a field defect that predisposes to cancer development. Focal hypermethylation occurs at CpG islands in the promoters of certain genes including GSTP1, RARβ2, and RASSF1A with both age and cancer, while global hypomethylation is seen in prostate cancer and known to occur in the colon and other organs. A loss of genomic imprinting is responsible for biallelic expression of the well-known Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 (IGF2) gene. Loss of imprinting (LOI) at IGF2 has been documented in cancer and is also known to occur in benign aging prostate tissue marking the presence of cancer. Histone modifications have the ability to dictate chromatin structure and direct gene expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Epigenetic changes with aging represent molecular mechanisms to explain the increased susceptibly of the prostate to develop cancer in older men. These changes may provide an opportunity for diagnostic and chemopreventive strategies given the epigenome can be modified.

Related: Prostate Cancer


Hsieh YT, Chou MM, Chen HC, Tseng JJ
IMP1 promotes choriocarcinoma cell migration and invasion through the novel effectors RSK2 and PPME1.
Gynecol Oncol. 2013; 131(1):182-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Oncofetal protein insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 1 (IMP1) regulates cellular proliferation and migration. Expression of IMP1 is limited to a few adult human tissues. However, it commonly expresses in a variety of cancers. Our objective was to study the regulatory mechanism of IMP1 on the cellular functions of choriocarcinoma (CC) JAR cells.
METHODS: IMP1 protein levels were measured in CC tissues via immunohistochemistry. Specific siRNAs were used to down-regulate gene expressions. The abilities of migration and invasion were estimated by wound-healing and Matrigel chamber assays. The profile of IMP1-binding genes was investigated with an Agilent microarray. RT-qPCR, RNA immunoprecipitation, and IMP1 rescue experiments were performed to confirm the association between IMP1 and its binding genes. Gene expression was further analyzed by using RT-PCR and Western blotting.
RESULTS: Strong IMP1 expressions were frequently detected in CC tissues. Knockdown of IMP1 expression in JAR cells inhibited cell migration and invasion, but did not affect cellular proliferation and morphology. Microarray and RNA-immunoprecipitation results revealed several candidate genes regulated by IMP1. Among them, ribosomal protein S6 kinase (RSK2) and protein phosphatase methylesterase 1 (PPME1) were confirmed to be down-regulated in IMP1-depleted JAR cells. Re-expression of IMP1 into the cells restored the expressions of RSK2 and PPME1. Furthermore, the depletion of RSK2 or PPME1 decreased the migration and invasion of JAR cells.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that IMP1 plays an essential role in the regulation of migration and invasion of human CC cells, possibly through the novel effectors RSK2 and PPME1.


Jacobs DI, Mao Y, Fu A, et al.
Dysregulated methylation at imprinted genes in prostate tumor tissue detected by methylation microarray.
BMC Urol. 2013; 13(1):37 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2014 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Imprinting is an important epigenetic regulator of gene expression that is often disrupted in cancer. While loss of imprinting (LOI) has been reported for two genes in prostate cancer (IGF2 and TFPI2), disease-related changes in methylation across all imprinted gene regions has not been investigated.
METHODS: Using an Illumina Infinium Methylation Assay, we analyzed methylation of 396 CpG sites in the promoter regions of 56 genes in a pooled sample of 12 pairs of prostate tumor and adjacent normal tissue. Selected LOI identified from the array was validated using the Sequenom EpiTYPER assay for individual samples and further confirmed by expression data from publicly available datasets.
RESULTS: Methylation significantly increased in 52 sites and significantly decreased in 17 sites across 28 unique genes (P < 0.05), and the strongest evidence for loss of imprinting was demonstrated in tumor suppressor genes DLK1, PLAGL1, SLC22A18, TP73, and WT1. Differential expression of these five genes in prostate tumor versus normal tissue using array data from a publicly available database were consistent with the observed LOI patterns, and WT1 hypermethylation was confirmed using quantitative DNA methylation analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: Together, these findings suggest a more widespread dysregulation of genetic imprinting in prostate cancer than previously reported and warrant further investigation.

Related: Prostate Cancer


Hubertus J, Zitzmann F, Trippel F, et al.
Selective methylation of CpGs at regulatory binding sites controls NNAT expression in Wilms tumors.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e67605 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2014 Related Publications
Aberrant expression of imprinted genes, such as those coding for the insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and neuronatin (NNAT), is a characteristic of a variety of embryonic neoplasms, including Wilms tumor (WT). In case of IGF2, it is generally accepted that loss of imprinting in a differentially methylated region of the IGF2/H19 locus results in biallelic expression and, thus, upregulation of the gene. In this study we examined methylation pattern at potential regulatory elements of the paternally expressed NNAT gene in a cohort of WT patients in order to further characterize the molecular mechanism causing overexpression of this regulatory gene. We demonstrate that transcriptional upregulation of NNAT in WT is grossly independent of the bladder cancer-associated protein (BLCAP) gene, an imprinted gene within the imprinted domain of the NNAT locus. However, expression of the BLCAP transcript isoform v2a formerly known to be selectively expressed from the paternal allele in brain was associated with high expression of NNAT. This contrasts the situation we found at the IGF2/H19 locus, which shows high overexpression of IGF2 and inversely correlated expression of the H19 gene in WT. An analysis of DNA methylation in two potential regulatory regions of the NNAT locus by pyrosequencing revealed significant hypomethylation of the tumors compared to normal kidney tissue. Interestingly, the difference in DNA methylation was highest at CpGs that were observed within three putative binding sites of the CCCTC-binding factor CTCF. Most importantly, hypomethylation of both NNAT regulatory regions is significantly associated with the upregulation of NNAT expression and the BLCAP_v2a transcript. Our data indicate that the methylation status of a not-yet-described regulatory element within the NNAT locus that contains four potential CTCF binding sites determines the expression level of NNAT and the nearby located BLCAP_v2a transcript, thereby suggesting a functional role in the aberrant upregulation of NNAT in WT.

Related: Kidney Cancer Wilms' Tumour Wilms Tumour NNAT


Zhou AG, Owens CL, Cosar EF, Jiang Z
Clinical implications of current developments in genitourinary pathology.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013; 137(7):887-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Several developments in genitourinary pathology are likely to change our understanding and management of some genitourinary cancers considerably.
OBJECTIVE: To review 5 stories in genitourinary pathology: (1) fusion in the ETS (E26) gene family in prostatic adenocarcinoma; (2) insulin-like growth factor II messenger RNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3), an important prognostic biomarker for kidney and bladder cancers; (3) translocation renal cell carcinoma; (4) UroVysion fluorescence in situ hybridization test in urine cytology for detection of bladder cancer; and (5) the use of triple immunostaining for diagnosis of prostate cancer.
DATA SOURCES: Literature review and authors' personal experiences.
CONCLUSIONS: Many scientific findings have contributed recently to the understanding of the natural pathogenesis and progression of genitourinary cancers. This translational research helps in diagnosing, predicting, and potentially, treating genitourinary cancers.

Related: FISH Kidney Cancer Prostate Cancer Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer - Molecular Biology


Yu LL, Chang K, Lu LS, et al.
Lentivirus-mediated RNA interference targeting the H19 gene inhibits cell proliferation and apoptosis in human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR.
BMC Cell Biol. 2013; 14:26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2014 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: H19 is a paternally imprinted gene that has been shown to be highly expressed in the trophoblast tissue. Results from previous studies have initiated a debate as to whether noncoding RNA H19 acts as a tumor suppressor or as a tumor promotor in trophoblast tissue. In the present study, we developed lentiviral vectors expressing H19-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) to specifically block the expression of H19 in the human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR. Using this approach, we investigated the impact of the H19 gene on the proliferation, invasion and apoptosis of JAR cells. Moreover, we examined the effect of H19 knockdown on the expression of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), hairy and enhancer of split homologue-1 (HES-1) and dual-specific phosphatase 5 (DUSP5) genes.
RESULTS: H19 knockdown inhibited apoptosis and proliferation of JAR cells, but had no significant impact on cell invasion. In addition, H19 knockdown resulted in significant upregulation of HES-1 and DUSP5 expression, but not IGF2 expression in JAR cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The finding that H19 downregulation could simultaneously inhibit proliferation and apoptosis of JAR cells highlights a putative dual function for H19 in choriocarcinoma and may explain the debate on whether H19 acts as a tumor suppressor or a tumor promotor in trophoblast tissue. Furthermore, upregulation of HES-1 and DUSP5 may mediate H19 downregulation-induced suppression of proliferation and apoptosis of JAR cells.

Related: Apoptosis


Caixeiro NJ, Martin JL, Scott CD
Silencing the mannose 6-phosphate/IGF-II receptor differentially affects tumorigenic properties of normal breast epithelial cells.
Int J Cancer. 2013; 133(11):2542-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although loss of the mannose 6-phosphate/insulin-like growth factor-II receptor (M6P/IGF-IIR) in breast cancer is believed to play a role in tumorigenesis, it has not been demonstrated that M6P/IGF-IIR loss is sufficient to confer a malignant phenotype in an untransformed cell. We investigated the impact of M6P/IGF-IIR silencing using phenotypically normal (MCF-10A) and oncogenically transformed (MCF-10T, the c-Ha-ras transformed derivative of MCF-10A) human breast epithelial cell lines as model systems. In both cell lines, silencing of M6P/IGF-IIR increased cell proliferation and motility, with the effects being more pronounced in MCF-10A cells. Although anchorage-independent growth was increased by M6P/IGF-IIR silencing in MCF-10T cells, MCF-10A cells did not acquire the ability to grow in soft agar. Conversely, reduced M6P/IGF-IIR expression increased the invasive potential of MCF-10A cells, but did not enhance the already high rate of invasion of MCF-10T cells. M6P/IGF-IIR silencing had no effect on basal or IGF-II-stimulated IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) or AKT phosphorylation in either cell line, but both were abrogated by IGF-IR kinase inhibition, which also reduced the stimulatory effect of M6P/IGF-IIR silencing on proliferation under basal and IGF-II-stimulated conditions in both cell lines. However, cell motility was neither stimulated by IGF-II nor reduced by IGF-IR inhibition, suggesting that potentiation of specific tumorigenic features in response to M6P/IGF-IIR silencing involves IGF-II- dependent and -independent mechanisms. Collectively, these data suggest that M6P/IGF-IIR silencing alone is insufficient to confer a tumorigenic phenotype, but can enhance tumorigenicity in an already transformed cell.

Related: Breast Cancer


Lu L, Risch E, Deng Q, et al.
An insulin-like growth factor-II intronic variant affects local DNA conformation and ovarian cancer survival.
Carcinogenesis. 2013; 34(9):2024-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) may be a prognostic marker in ovarian cancer, and its intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4320932 has been associated with risk of the disease. We determined whether rs4320932 is associated with IGF-II expression and patient survival in ovarian cancer, and explored whether the SNP variation affects DNA conformation both in the absence of and presence of carboplatin. IGF-II genotype (rs4320932) and phenotype were analyzed in 212 primary invasive epithelial ovarian cancer tissue samples with Taqman® SNP genotyping assays, quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. DNA conformation was evaluated by circular dichroism (CD) spectra. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to analyze the SNP associations with patient survival. The C allele of rs4320932, previously associated with decreased risk of ovarian cancer development, was here associated with significantly elevated risks of relapse (Ptrend = 0.0002) and death (Ptrend = 0.0006), remaining significant in multivariate analyses. The adjusted hazard ratios were 3.05 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.47-6.37) for relapse and 3.28 (95% CI: 1.64-6.57) for death, respectively. The variant was also significantly associated with chemotherapy response, but not with other clinicopathologic variables or with IGF-II expression. DNA with genotypes TT and CC had distinct CD spectra in both the absence of and presence of carboplatin. These findings suggest that the intronic SNP rs4320932 affects patient survival and chemotherapy response via alteration of DNA conformation, but not through regulation of IGF-II expression. This novel finding may have implications in individualized medicine for the design of specific molecules targeting DNA of specific conformations.

Related: Ovarian Cancer


Yang J, Zhang W
New molecular insights into osteosarcoma targeted therapy.
Curr Opin Oncol. 2013; 25(4):398-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent translational studies in osteosarcoma are discussed with the purpose to shed light on the new molecular therapeutic targets.
RECENT FINDINGS: The genetic aberrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), mammalian target of rapamycin, Wnt signaling pathway, the inactivation of p53, Rb, WWOX genes, and amplification of APEX1, c-myc, RECQL4, RPL8, MDM2, VEGFA might be involved in the pathogenesis of osteosarcoma. The promising therapeutic targets for osteosarcoma patients include: integrin, ezrin, statin, NOTCH/HES1, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), m-calpain, and Src, which are involved in tumor cell invasion and metastasis; aldolase A, fructose-bisphosphate, sulfotransferase family 3A, member 1, BCL2-associated athanogene 3, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), B-cell lymphoma 2-interacting mediator (BIM), polo-like kinase 1, hypoxia inducible factor 1, alpha subunit, minibrain-related kinase, Bcl-xl, caspase-3, midkine, high mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), and Beclin1, which are involved in tumor proliferation and apoptosis; met proto-oncogene (hepatocyte growth factor receptor), v-erb-b2 erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 2, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1R, fms-related tyrosine kinase 4, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, beta polypeptide, IGF-I/II, and c-kit, which are involved in tumor growth; endosialin, VEGF, thrombin, and MMPs, which are involved in tumor angiogenesis; transforming growth factor-α/β, parathyroid hormone-like hormone, interleukin-6, interleukin-11, receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand, nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 1, and cathepsin, which are involved in osteoclast function; Myc, HSP90, p-Met, p-Akt, p-STAT3, and cyclin D1, which are transcriptional factors; p-GP, hydroxysteroid (17-beta) dehydrogenase 10, HMGB1, BIM, inorganic phosphate, Bcl-2, PARP, mdm2, p21, Bax, and mitogen-activated protein kinase 1, which are involved in drug sensitivity. Furthermore, microRNAs such as miR-215 are also therapeutic targets.
SUMMARY: These translational studies in osteosarcoma have identified new molecular targets for osteosarcoma.

Related: Bone Cancers Osteosarcoma


Chettouh H, Fartoux L, Aoudjehane L, et al.
Mitogenic insulin receptor-A is overexpressed in human hepatocellular carcinoma due to EGFR-mediated dysregulation of RNA splicing factors.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(13):3974-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insulin receptor (IR) exists as two isoforms resulting from the alternative splicing of IR pre-mRNA. IR-B promotes the metabolic effects of insulin, whereas IR-A rather signals proliferative effects. IR-B is predominantly expressed in the adult liver. Here, we show that the alternative splicing of IR pre-mRNA is dysregulated in a panel of 85 human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) while being normal in adjacent nontumor liver tissue. An IR-B to IR-A switch is frequently observed in HCC tumors regardless of tumor etiology. Using pharmacologic and siRNA approaches, we show that the autocrine or paracrine activation of the EGF receptor (EGFR)/mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway increases the IR-A:IR-B ratio in HCC cell lines, but not in normal hepatocytes, by upregulating the expression of the splicing factors CUGBP1, hnRNPH, hnRNPA1, hnRNPA2B1, and SF2/ASF. In HCC tumors, there is a significant correlation between the expression of IR-A and that of splicing factors. Dysregulation of IR pre-mRNA splicing was confirmed in a chemically induced model of HCC in rat but not in regenerating livers after partial hepatectomy. This study identifies a mechanism responsible for the generation of mitogenic IR-A and provides a novel interplay between IR and EGFR pathways in HCC. Increased expression of IR-A during neoplastic transformation of hepatocytes could mediate some of the adverse effects of hyperinsulinemia on HCC.


Haiman CA, Han Y, Feng Y, et al.
Genome-wide testing of putative functional exonic variants in relationship with breast and prostate cancer risk in a multiethnic population.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(3):e1003419 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2014 Related Publications
Rare variation in protein coding sequence is poorly captured by GWAS arrays and has been hypothesized to contribute to disease heritability. Using the Illumina HumanExome SNP array, we successfully genotyped 191,032 common and rare non-synonymous, splice site, or nonsense variants in a multiethnic sample of 2,984 breast cancer cases, 4,376 prostate cancer cases, and 7,545 controls. In breast cancer, the strongest associations included either SNPs in or gene burden scores for genes LDLRAD1, SLC19A1, FGFBP3, CASP5, MMAB, SLC16A6, and INS-IGF2. In prostate cancer, one of the most associated SNPs was in the gene GPRC6A (rs2274911, Pro91Ser, OR = 0.88, P = 1.3 × 10(-5)) near to a known risk locus for prostate cancer; other suggestive associations were noted in genes such as F13A1, ANXA4, MANSC1, and GP6. For both breast and prostate cancer, several of the most significant associations involving SNPs or gene burden scores (sum of minor alleles) were noted in genes previously reported to be associated with a cancer-related phenotype. However, only one of the associations (rs145889899 in LDLRAD1, p = 2.5 × 10(-7) only seen in African Americans) for overall breast or prostate cancer risk was statistically significant after correcting for multiple comparisons. In addition to breast and prostate cancer, other cancer-related traits were examined (body mass index, PSA level, and alcohol drinking) with a number of known and potentially novel associations described. In general, these findings do not support there being many protein coding variants of moderate to high risk for breast and prostate cancer with odds ratios over a range that is probably required for protein coding variation to play a truly outstanding role in risk heritability. Very large sample sizes will be required to better define the role of rare and less penetrant coding variation in prostate and breast cancer disease genetics.

Related: Breast Cancer Prostate Cancer


Pils D, Tong D, Hager G, et al.
A combined blood based gene expression and plasma protein abundance signature for diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer--a study of the OVCAD consortium.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:178 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2014 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The immune system is a key player in fighting cancer. Thus, we sought to identify a molecular 'immune response signature' indicating the presence of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and to combine this with a serum protein biomarker panel to increase the specificity and sensitivity for earlier detection of EOC.
METHODS: Comparing the expression of 32,000 genes in a leukocytes fraction from 44 EOC patients and 19 controls, three uncorrelated shrunken centroid models were selected, comprised of 7, 14, and 6 genes. A second selection step using RT-qPCR data and significance analysis of microarrays yielded 13 genes (AP2A1, B4GALT1, C1orf63, CCR2, CFP, DIS3, NEAT1, NOXA1, OSM, PAPOLG, PRIC285, ZNF419, and BC037918) which were finally used in 343 samples (90 healthy, six cystadenoma, eight low malignant potential tumor, 19 FIGO I/II, and 220 FIGO III/IV EOC patients). Using new 65 controls and 224 EOC patients (thereof 14 FIGO I/II) the abundances of six plasma proteins (MIF, prolactin, CA125, leptin, osteopondin, and IGF2) was determined and used in combination with the expression values from the 13 genes for diagnosis of EOC.
RESULTS: Combined diagnostic models using either each five gene expression and plasma protein abundance values or 13 gene expression and six plasma protein abundance values can discriminate controls from patients with EOC with Receiver Operator Characteristics Area Under the Curve values of 0.998 and bootstrap .632+ validated classification errors of 3.1% and 2.8%, respectively. The sensitivities were 97.8% and 95.6%, respectively, at a set specificity of 99.6%.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of gene expression and plasma protein based blood derived biomarkers in one diagnostic model increases the sensitivity and the specificity significantly. Such a diagnostic test may allow earlier diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Related: Ovarian Cancer MIF


Soddu S, Di Felice E, Cabras S, et al.
IMP-3 expression in keratoacanthomas and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin: an immunohistochemical study.
Eur J Histochem. 2013; 57(1):e6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2014 Related Publications
The protein insulin-like growth factor II mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3) is an important factor for cell migration and adhesion in malignancies. Recent studies have shown a remarkable overexpression of IMP3 in different human malignant neoplasms and also revealed it as an important prognostic marker in some tumor entities. The purpose of this study is to compare IMP3 immunostaining in squamous cellular skin tumor and determine whether IMP3 can aid in the differential diagnosis of these lesions. To our knowledge, IMP3 expression has not been investigated in skin squamous cell proliferations thus far. Immunohistochemical staining for IMP3 was performed on slides organized by samples from 67 patients, 34 with keratoacanthoma and 33 with primary squamous cell carcinoma (16 invasive and 17 in situ). The majority of our KAs (25/34) were negative for IMP-3 staining. The majority of SCCs (19/33) are positive for IMP3 staining. The percentage of IMP3 positive cells increases significantly in group SCC (p=0.0111), and in particular in the SCC in situ group (p=0.0021) with respect to the KA group.  IMP3 intensity staining increases significantly in SCCs (p=0.0213), and particularly in SCCs (p=0.008) with respect to KA. Our data show that IMP3 expression is different in keratoacanthomas with respect to squamous cell carcinoma. IMP3 assessment and staining pattern, together with a careful histological study, can be useful in the differential diagnosis between KA e SCC.

Related: Skin Cancer


Samanta S, Pursell B, Mercurio AM
IMP3 protein promotes chemoresistance in breast cancer cells by regulating breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2) expression.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(18):12569-73 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/05/2014 Related Publications
IMP3, a member of a family of insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) mRNA-binding proteins (IMPs), is expressed preferentially in triple-negative breast cancers, which are resistant to many chemotherapeutics. However, the mechanisms by which it impacts breast cancer have not been elucidated. We hypothesized a role for IMP3 in chemoresistance based on these observations. Depletion of IMP3 expression in triple-negative breast cancer cells increased their sensitivity to doxorubicin and mitoxantrone significantly but not to taxol. Given that doxorubicin and mitoxantrone are effluxed by breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), we assessed whether IMP3 regulates BCRP. The data obtained demonstrate that IMP3 binds to BCRP mRNA and regulates BCRP expression. These findings are significant because they provide insight into the mechanism by which IMP3 contributes to aggressive cancers, and they highlight the potential for targeting this mRNA-binding protein for the clinical management of cancer.

Related: Breast Cancer Doxorubicin Mitoxantrone ABCG2


Burnett-Hartman AN, Newcomb PA, Potter JD, et al.
Genomic aberrations occurring in subsets of serrated colorectal lesions but not conventional adenomas.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(9):2863-72 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2014 Related Publications
A subset of aggressive colorectal cancers exhibit BRAF mutation, MLH1 methylation, and a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), but precursors are poorly established. In this study, we determined the status of these markers in colorectal polyps and evaluated associated risk factors. The study included 771 polyp cases and 1,027 controls who were ages 24 to 80 years, part of a group health program, received a colonoscopy from 1998 to 2007, and completed a structured questionnaire assessing risk factors. Following standard pathology review, polyps were assayed for BRAF mutation (V600E) and tested for MLH1 and CIMP methylation, the latter including the genes, CACNA1G, IGF2, NEUROG1, RUNX3, and SOCS1. Polytomous logistic regression was used to estimate ORs and 95% confidence intervals for the association between molecularly defined subsets of polyps and potential risk factors. There were 580 conventional adenomas and 419 serrated lesions successfully assayed. For adenomas, the prevalence of each marker was ≤1%. In contrast, 55% of serrated lesions harbored mutant BRAF, 26% were CIMP-high, and 5% had methylated MLH1. In these lesions, the highest prevalence of markers was in sessile-serrated polyps (SSP) of ≥10 mm that were in the right-side/cecal regions of the colon. Risk factors for CIMP-high-serrated lesions included Caucasian race, current smoking status, and a history of polyps, whereas for serrated lesions with mutant BRAF, the significant risk factors were male sex, current smoking status, obesity, and a history of polyps. Our results suggest that SSPs and other large, right-sided serrated lesions have a unique molecular profile that is similar to CIMP-high, BRAF-mutated colorectal cancers.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer BRAF gene


Nowakowska-Zajdel E, Mazurek U, Wierzgon J, et al.
Expression of ADAM28 and IGFBP-3 genes in patients with colorectal cancer - a preliminary report.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2013 Jan-Mar; 26(1):223-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adamalisynes (ADAMs) play an important role in inter-membrane interactions, cell adhesion and fusion processes and protein shedding from the cell surface. Many reports indicate that members of the ADAMs family are overexpressed in human cancer. The aim of the present study was to evaluate ADAM28 and Insulin Like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3 (IGFBP-3)) gene expression in colorectal carcinoma tissues with regard to the overweight or obese status of the patients using an oligonucleotide microarray technique. Fresh tissue specimens were obtained from colorectal cancer patients during surgical treatment. Eighteen specimens from tumour and 18 normal tissue specimens from colorectal cancer patients at clinical stages III and IV were analysed. The examined patients were divided into two groups; those with BMI greater than or equal to 25 and those with normal BMI. The control group consisted of 18 specimens of non-neoplastic colon tissues, which were divided between overweight/obese and normal body weight patients. The gene transcriptional activity from the specimens was analysed using an oligonucleotide microarray technique. Microarrays and rinsing and marking solutions were prepared according to the procedure in the Gene Expression Analysis Technical Manual. The following conclusions were made: i) change of ADAM28 and IGFBP-3 genes expression are present in the normal tissue in overweight/obese patients with colorectal cancer only; ii) the observed molecular variability of ADAM28 and IGFBP-3 expression may be an initial process of cancer proliferation; iii) the histopathologically normal surgical margin in this group of patients was not equal to the molecular margin.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer


Marquardt JU, Fischer K, Baus K, et al.
Sirtuin-6-dependent genetic and epigenetic alterations are associated with poor clinical outcome in hepatocellular carcinoma patients.
Hepatology. 2013; 58(3):1054-64 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2014 Related Publications
Sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) is a member of the sirtuin family of NAD+-dependent deacetylases. Genetic deletion of Sirt6 in mice results in a severe degenerative phenotype with impaired liver function and premature death. The role of SIRT6 in development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma is currently unknown. We first investigated SIRT6 expression in 153 primary human liver cancers and in normal and cirrhotic livers using microarray analysis. SIRT6 was significantly down-regulated in both cirrhotic livers and cancer. A Sirt6 knockout (KO) gene expression signature was generated from primary hepatoctyes isolated from 3-week-old Sirt6-deficient animals. Sirt6-deficient hepatocytes showed up-regulation of established hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) biomarkers alpha-fetoprotein (Afp), insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2), H19, and glypican-3. Furthermore, decreased SIRT6 expression was observed in hepatoma cell lines that are known to be apoptosis-insensitive. Re-expression of SIRT6 in HepG2 cells increased apoptosis sensitivity to CD95-stimulation or chemotherapy treatment. Loss of Sirt6 was characterized by oncogenic changes, such as global hypomethylation, as well as metabolic changes, such as hypoglycemia and increased fat deposition. The hepatocyte-specific Sirt6-KO signature had a prognostic impact and was enriched in patients with poorly differentiated tumors with high AFP levels as well as recurrent disease. Finally, we demonstrated that the Sirt6-KO signature possessed a predictive value for tumors other than HCC (e.g., breast and lung cancer). Conclusion: Loss of SIRT6 induces epigenetic changes that may be relevant to chronic liver disease and HCC development. Down-regulation of SIRT6 and genes dysregulated by loss of SIRT6 possess oncogenic effects in hepatocarcinogenesis. Our data demonstrate that deficiency in one epigenetic regulator predisposes a tumorigenic phenotype that ultimately has relevance for outcome of HCC and other cancer patients.

Related: Liver Cancer Signal Transduction


Foulstone EJ, Zeng L, Perks CM, Holly JM
Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP-2) promotes growth and survival of breast epithelial cells: novel regulation of the estrogen receptor.
Endocrinology. 2013; 154(5):1780-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
In breast tumors IGF binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) is elevated, and the presence of IGFBP-2 has been shown to correlate with malignancy. However, how IGFBP-2 contributes to the malignant state is still unclear. Silencing IGFBP-2 blocked cell proliferation and in MCF-7 cells increased cell death, indicating that IGFBP-2 was acting in both a mitogenic and a survival capacity. Exogenous IGFBP-2 acting via integrin receptors to reduce phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted from chromosome 10 (PTEN) levels protected these cells against death induced by various chemotherapeutic agents. This was dependent on a functional estrogen receptor (ER)-α because silencing ER-α blocked the ability of IGFBP-2 to confer cell survival. Loss of IGFBP-2 increased levels of PTEN and improved chemosensitivity of the cells, confirming its role as a survival factor. Silencing IGFBP-2 had no effect on the response to IGF-II, but responses to estrogen and tamoxifen were no longer observed due to loss of ER-α, which could be prevented by the inhibition of PTEN. Conversely, exogenous IGFBP-2 increased ER-α mRNA and protein in both normal and cancer cells via its interaction with integrin receptors. These actions of IGFBP-2 on ER-α involved the IGF-I receptor and activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in the cancer cells but were independent of this in normal breast cells. The production of IGFBP-2 by breast cancer cells enhances their proliferative potential, increases their survival, and protects them against chemotherapy-induced death. IGFBP-2 not only modulates IGFs and directly regulates PTEN but also has a role in maintaining ER-α expression.

Related: Breast Cancer PTEN ESR1


Csatlós E, Rigó J, Laky M, Joó JG
Gene expression patterns of insulin-like growth factor 2 in human uterine fibroid tissues: a genetic study with clinical correlations.
Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2013; 75(3):185-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: We investigated insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) gene activity in human uterine fibroid tissue. Results of the genetic testing were correlated with clinical data.
METHODS: We obtained samples from patients treated for uterine fibroid and from patients undergoing hysterectomy due to other indications (control group). The examined group (with fibroid) contained 101 cases, while the control group was similar with 110 patients. Gene expression values were determined using the standard PCR technique. Clinical data were available from the computer database of the department.
RESULTS: IGF-2 gene expression was significantly higher in the fibroid group. There was no correlation between increase in gene activity and the number of tumors. History of previous uterine fibroid did not seem to predict IGF-2 gene activity in the current fibroid tumor tissue. IGF-2 gene expression did not correlate with cumulative duration of lactation following prior pregnancies.
CONCLUSION: IGF-2 gene activity is significantly increased in leiomyoma tissue compared to normal myometrium. Familial aggregation of uterine fibroids is not significantly associated with increased IGF-2 gene activity; other genes may have a stronger etiological role. It appears that the genetic factors potentially important in the development of familiar uterine leiomyoma are not related to the IGF-2 gene.


Alajez NM, Shi W, Wong D, et al.
Lin28b promotes head and neck cancer progression via modulation of the insulin-like growth factor survival pathway.
Oncotarget. 2012; 3(12):1641-52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2014 Related Publications
Lin28 is a developmentally regulated RNA binding protein which has recently emerged as key regulator in the biogenesis of the let-7 micro-RNA family. While the expression of Lin28b has been linked to advanced tumor stage, the precise molecular mechanism(s) by which Lin28b drives disease progression is still being unraveled. Herein, we generated a let-7-resistant Lin28b ORF, stably expressed in the FaDu head and neck cancer (HNC) cell line. FaDu-Lin28b cells exhibited enhanced tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Global gene and micro-RNA expression analyses revealed significant enrichment in several pathways involved in cell migration, chromatin remodeling, and cellular stress response. Direct regulation of selected genes (HMGA2, CCND2, IGF1R, and IGF2BP2) via a let-7-Lin28b mechanism was validated. Notably, up-regulation of several genes in the IGF pathway in Lin28b-expressing cells was observed. Functional studies revealed significant increase in the survival of Lin28b-expressing cells when cultured under stress conditions, which was dependent on the presence of IGF1. Therefore, our data identified several novel gene targets for Lin28b-let7, and revealed a novel mechanism by which Lin28b promote tumorigenesis. Concordantly, clinical examinations of Lin28b, IGF2BP2 and IGF2 revealed a significant association between the expression of these genes with disease relapse, thereby corroborating the potential relevance for the Lin28b/IGF axis in HNC progression.

Related: Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology Signal Transduction CCND2 gene


Mohlin S, Hamidian A, Påhlman S
HIF2A and IGF2 expression correlates in human neuroblastoma cells and normal immature sympathetic neuroblasts.
Neoplasia. 2013; 15(3):328-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2014 Related Publications
During normal sympathetic nervous system (SNS) development, cells of the ganglionic lineage can malignantly transform and develop into the childhood tumor neuroblastoma. Hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) mediate cellular responses during normal development and are central in the adaptation to oxygen shortage. HIFs are also implicated in the progression of several cancer forms, and high HIF-2α expression correlates with disseminated disease and poor outcome in neuroblastoma. During normal SNS development, HIF2A is transiently expressed in neuroblasts and chromaffin cells. SNS cells can, during development, be distinguished by distinct gene expression patterns, and insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is a marker of sympathetic chromaffin cells, whereas sympathetic neuroblasts lack IGF2 expression. Despite the neuronal derivation of neuroblastomas, we show that neuroblastoma cell lines and specimens express IGF2 and that expression of HIF2A and IGF2 correlates, with the strongest correlation in high-stage tumors. In neuroblastoma, both IGF2 and HIF2A are hypoxia-driven and knocking down IGF2 at hypoxia resulted in downregulated HIF2A levels. HIF-2α and IGF2 were strongly expressed in subsets of immature neuroblastoma cells, suggesting that these two genes could be co-expressed also at early stages of SNS development. We show that IGF2 is indeed expressed in sympathetic chain ganglia at embryonic week 6.5, a developmental stage when HIF-2α is present. These findings provide a rationale for the unexpected IGF2 expression in neuroblastomas and might suggest that IGF2 and HIF2A positive neuroblastoma cells are arrested at an embryonic differentiation stage corresponding to the stage when sympathetic chain ganglia begins to coalesce.

Related: Neuroblastoma


Shiraha H, Yamamoto K, Namba M
Human hepatocyte carcinogenesis (review).
Int J Oncol. 2013; 42(4):1133-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2014 Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the third most frequent cause of cancer-related death worldwide; and its incidence rate is increasing. Clinical and molecular medical analyses have revealed substantial information on hepatocarcinogenesis. Hepatocarcinogenesis is a stepwise process during which multiple genes are altered. Genetic changes and their biological consequences in human HCC can be divided into at least 4 groups: i) tumor suppressor genes (p53, retinoblastoma, phosphatase tensin homolog and runt-related transcription factor 3), ii) oncogenes (myc, K-ras, BRAF), iii) reactivation of developmental pathways (Wnt, hedgehog), and iv) growth factors and their receptors (transforming growth factor-α, insulin-like growth factor-2 receptor). An experimental model of human hepatocarcinogenesis such as in vitro neoplastic transformation of human hepatocytes has not been successfully achieved yet, but several immortalized human hepatocyte cell lines have been established. These immortalized human hepatocytes will become useful tools for the elucidation of hepatocarcinogenesis, especially for the initial step of multistep hepatocarcinogenesis.

Related: Liver Cancer


Barault L, Ellsworth RE, Harris HR, et al.
Leukocyte DNA as surrogate for the evaluation of imprinted Loci methylation in mammary tissue DNA.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e55896 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2014 Related Publications
There is growing interest in identifying surrogate tissues to identify epimutations in cancer patients since primary target tissues are often difficult to obtain. Methylation patterns at imprinted loci are established during gametogenesis and post fertilization and their alterations have been associated with elevated risk of cancer. Methylation at several imprinted differentially methylated regions (GRB10 ICR, H19 ICR, KvDMR, SNRPN/SNURF ICR, IGF2 DMR0, and IGF2 DMR2) were analyzed in DNA from leukocytes and mammary tissue (normal, benign diseases, or malignant tumors) from 87 women with and without breast cancer (average age of cancer patients: 53; range: 31-77). Correlations between genomic variants and DNA methylation at the studied loci could not be assessed, making it impossible to exclude such effects. Methylation levels observed in leukocyte and mammary tissue DNA were close to the 50% expected for monoallellic methylation. While no correlation was observed between leukocyte and mammary tissue DNA methylation for most of the analyzed imprinted genes, Spearman's correlations were statistically significant for IGF2 DMR0 and IGF2 DMR2, although absolute methylation levels differed. Leukocyte DNA methylation levels of selected imprinted genes may therefore serve as surrogate markers of DNA methylation in cancer tissue.

Related: Breast Cancer


Zhu AX, Ancukiewicz M, Supko JG, et al.
Efficacy, safety, pharmacokinetics, and biomarkers of cediranib monotherapy in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: a phase II study.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(6):1557-66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2014 Related Publications
PURPOSE: We conducted a single-arm phase II study of cediranib, a pan-VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Patients with histologically confirmed measurable advanced HCC and adequate hematologic, hepatic, and renal functions received cediranib 30-mg orally once daily (4 weeks/cycle). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 3 months. Other endpoints included response rates, overall survival (OS), pharmacokinetics (PK), and biomarkers for cediranib.
RESULTS: Cediranib treatment resulted in an estimated 3-month PFS rate of 77% (60%, 99%). Median PFS was 5.3 (3.5,9.7) months, stable disease was seen in 5/17 patients (29%), and median OS was 11.7 (7.5-13.6) months. Grade 3 toxicities included hypertension (29%), hyponatremia (29%), and hyperbilirubinemia (18%). Cediranib PK were comparable to those seen in cancer patients with normal hepatic function. Plasma levels of VEGF and PlGF increased and sVEGFR1, sVEGFR2, and Ang-2 decreased after cediranib treatment. PFS was inversely correlated with baseline levels of VEGF, sVEGFR2, and bFGF and with on-treatment levels of bFGF and IGF-1, and directly associated with on-treatment levels of IFN-γ. OS was inversely correlated with baseline levels of sVEGFR1, Ang-2, TNF-α, CAIX, and CD34(+)CD133(+)CD45(dim) circulating progenitor cells and on-treatment levels of sVEGFR2.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the limitations of primary endpoint selection, cediranib at 30-mg daily showed a high incidence of toxicity and preliminary evidence of antitumor activity in advanced HCC. Hepatic dysfunction did not seem to affect the steady-state PK of cediranib. Exploratory studies suggested proangiogenic and inflammatory factors as potential biomarkers of anti-VEGF therapy in HCC.

Related: Liver Cancer


Di Tommaso S, Massari S, Malvasi A, et al.
Gene expression analysis reveals an angiogenic profile in uterine leiomyoma pseudocapsule.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2013; 19(6):380-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pseudocapsule (PC) of the uterine leiomyoma (UL) is an anatomic entity that surrounds the myoma separating it from the myometrium (UM). Although a number of microarray experiments have identified differences in gene expression profile in the UL when compared with the UM, there is a lack of systematic studies on the PC. In this study, quantitative RT-PCR analysis was performed on 18 matched PC, UL and UM specimens and results showed that the PC displays a specific gene expression profile. The low expression level of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-2), a fibroid specific marker, that we found in the PC and the UM when compared with the UL, clearly indicates that the PC is in structural continuity with the UM. However, the significant increase in endoglin expression level in PC with respect to the UL and UM indicates that an active neoangiogenesis is present in PC. Conversely, other angiogenic factors such as von Willebrand factor (vWF) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) seem to have little influence on the PC angiogenesis. Because the endoglin is preferentially expressed in proliferating endothelial cells, whereas the vWF and VEGF-A are preferentially expressed in preexisting endothelial cells, our idea is that the angiogenic activity in the PC is linked to wound healing. The angiogenic activity is also sustained by intermediate expression level of cystein-rich angiogenesis inducer 61, connective tissue growth factor and collagen 4α2 genes all involved in the neoangiogenesis, that we detected in the PC. Taken together our data demonstrate that the specific expression pattern observed in the PC could be the response of the uterine wall's smooth cells to the tension imposed by the tumor. As a consequence, a neovascular structure is generated involving regenerative processes. For these reasons, we suggest that the laparoscopic intracapsular myomectomy (LIM), a new surgical technique that preserves the PC during the UL removal, should always be preferred, to favor a faster and proper uterine healing.

Related: Angiogenesis and Cancer VEGFA


Arcaroli J, Quackenbush K, Dasari A, et al.
Biomarker-driven trial in metastatic pancreas cancer: feasibility in a multicenter study of saracatinib, an oral Src inhibitor, in previously treated pancreatic cancer.
Cancer Med. 2012; 1(2):207-17 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2014 Related Publications
Src tyrosine kinases are overexpressed in pancreatic cancers, and the oral Src inhibitor saracatinib has shown antitumor activity in preclinical models of pancreas cancer. We performed a CTEP-sponsored Phase II clinical trial of saracatinib in previously treated pancreas cancer patients, with a primary endpoint of 6-month survival. A Simon MinMax two-stage phase II design was used. Saracatinib (175 mg/day) was administered orally continuously in 28-day cycles. In the unselected portion of the study, 18 patients were evaluable. Only two (11%) patients survived for at least 6 months, and three 6-month survivors were required to move to second stage of study as originally designed. The study was amended as a biomarker-driven trial (leucine rich repeat containing protein 19 [LRRC19] > insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 [IGFBP2] "top scoring pairs" polymerase chain reaction [PCR] assay, and PIK3CA mutant) based on preclinical data in a human pancreas tumor explant model. In the biomarker study, archival tumor tissue or fresh tumor biopsies were tested. Biomarker-positive patients were eligible for the study. Only one patient was PIK3CA mutant in a 3' untranslated region (UTR) portion of the gene. This patient was enrolled in the study and failed to meet the 6-month survival endpoint. As the frequency of biomarker-positive patients was very low (<3%), the study was closed. Although we were unable to conclude whether enriching for a subset of second/third line pancreatic cancer patients treated with a Src inhibitor based on a biomarker would improve 6-month survival, we demonstrate that testing pancreatic tumor samples for a biomarker-driven, multicenter study in metastatic pancreas cancer is feasible.

Related: Cancer of the Pancreas Pancreatic Cancer


Ludovini V, Flacco A, Bianconi F, et al.
Concomitant high gene copy number and protein overexpression of IGF1R and EGFR negatively affect disease-free survival of surgically resected non-small-cell-lung cancer patients.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2013; 71(3):671-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) represents a novel molecular target in non-small-cell-lung cancer (NSCLC). IGF1R and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation are essential to mediate tumor cell survival, proliferation, and invasion. This study investigates the prognostic role of IGF1R and EGFR in surgically resected NSCLC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: IGF1R and EGFR copy number gain (CNG) were tested by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and protein expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 125 stage I-II-IIIA NSCLC patients.
RESULTS: Fourty-six tumors (40.3%) were IGF1R FISH-positive (FISH+), and 76 (67.2%) were EGFR FISH+. Tumors with concomitant IGF1R/EGFR FISH+ were observed in 34 cases (30.1%). IGF1R and EGFR FISH+ were associated with SCC histology (p = 0.01 and p = 0.04, respectively). IGF1R and EGFR protein over-expression (IHC+) were detected in 45 (36.0%) and 69 (55.2%) cases, respectively. Tumors with concomitant IGF1R/EGFR IHC+ were detected in 31 (24.8%) patients. IGF1R/EGFR FISH+ and IGF1R/EGFR IHC+ were significantly associated (χ(2) = 4.02, p = 0.04). Patients with IGF1R/EGFR FISH+ and IGF1R/EGFR IHC+ were associated with shorter disease-free survival (DFS) (p = 0.05 and p = 0.05, respectively). Patients with concomitant IGF1R/EGFR FISH+/IHC+ had a worse DFS and overall survival (p = 0.005 and p = 0.01, respectively). The multivariate model confirmed that IGF1R/EGFR FISH+/IHC+ (hazard ratio (HR), 4.08; p = 0.01) and tumor stage (II-III vs I) (HR, 4.77; p = 0.003) were significantly associated with worse DFS.
CONCLUSIONS: IGF1R/EGFR FISH+ correlates with IGF1R/EGFR IHC+. IGF1R/EGFR FISH+/IHC+ is an independent negative prognostic factor for DFS in early NSCLC. These features may have important implications for future anti-IGF1R therapeutic approaches.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer


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