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Open access

Sung Gwe Ahn, Chang Ik Yoon, Jae Hoon Lee, Hye Sun Lee, So Eun Park, Yoon Jin Cha, Chihwan Cha, Soong June Bae, Kyung-A Lee and Joon Jeong

On the basis of TP53 mutations and standardized uptake values (SUVs) from 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET), we sought to enhance our knowledge of the biology underlying low progesterone receptor (PR) expression in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)-negative tumors. This study included 272 patients surgically treated for ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer and who had undergone TP53 gene sequencing. Of these, 229 patients also underwent 18F-FDG PET or PET/CT. Mutational analysis of exons 5–9 of the TP53 gene was conducted using PCR amplification and direct sequencing. The SUVs were measured using 18F-FDG-PET scan images. Twenty-eight (10.3%) tumors had a somatic TP53 mutation. The TP53 mutation rate was significantly higher in low-PR tumors than in high-PR tumors (17.1% vs 7.9%, P = 0.039). Low-PR tumors had significantly higher median SUVs than high-PR tumors (P = 0.046). The multivariable analysis revealed that SUV and age remained independent variables associated with low PR expression. An adverse impact of low PR expression on recurrence-free survival was observed in the multivariable Cox regression hazard model. We provide clinical evidence that genetic alteration of the TP53 gene and dysregulated glucose metabolism partly involve low PR expression in ER-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer.

Free access

P Hadji

Third-generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are replacing tamoxifen as adjuvant therapy in postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer due to their superiority shown in several recent head-to-head trials. Healthy postmenopausal women normally experience age-related side effects, and in postmenopausal women with breast cancer, these symptoms may be exacerbated by adjuvant endocrine therapy. This review evaluates the current literature regarding bone health, lipid metabolism, cardiovascular disease, gynecologic health, and cognition in postmenopausal women receiving adjuvant AI therapy. The AIs – anastrozole, exemestane, and letrozole – are generally well tolerated: most adverse events are mild to moderate and common to menopause. Common short-term AI-associated toxicities are hot flushes, musculoskeletal complaints/arthralgia, and bone loss, all of which can be effectively managed. AIs may lack the cardioprotective and lipid-lowering effects of tamoxifen but, in contrast to tamoxifen, do not increase the risk of serious life-threatening thromboembolic or cerebrovascular events or endometrial cancer. Every patient should be individually assessed with respect to therapy risks and benefits. Lifestyle, comorbidities, and concomitant medications must be considered, and the importance of compliance to adjuvant therapy should be discussed before selecting a treatment regimen. The superior efficacy of adjuvant AI therapy will in most cases outweigh the risk of bothersome side effects that can be prevented or easily managed.

Free access

Frederieke M Brouwers, Sven Gläsker, Amanda F Nave, Alexander O Vortmeyer, Irina Lubensky, Steven Huang, Mones S Abu-Asab, Graeme Eisenhofer, Robert J Weil, Deric M Park, W Marston Linehan, Karel Pacak and Zhengping Zhuang

Pheochromocytomas are catecholamine-producing tumors that can occur in the context of von Hippel–Lindau syndrome (VHL) and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2). Pheochromocytomas in these two syndromes differ in histopathological features, catecholamine metabolism, and clinical phenotype. To further investigate the nature of these differences, we compared the global protein expressions of 8 MEN2A-associated pheochromocytomas with 11 VHL-associated pheochromocytomas by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis proteomic profiling followed by sequencing and identification of differentially expressed proteins. Although both types of pheochromocytoma shared similarities in their protein expression patterns, the expression of several proteins was distinctly different between VHL- and MEN2A-associated pheochromocytomas. We identified several of these differentially expressed proteins. One of the proteins with higher expression in MEN2-associated tumors was chromogranin B, of which the differential expression was confirmed by western blot analysis. Our results expand the evidence for proteomic differences between these two tumor entities, and suggest that VHL-associated pheochromocytomas may be deficient in fundamental machinery for catecholamine storage. In light of these new findings, as well as existing evidence for differences between both types of pheochromocytomas, we propose that these tumors may have different developmental origins.

Free access

Yvonne Fierz, Ruslan Novosyadlyy, Archana Vijayakumar, Shoshana Yakar and Derek LeRoith

Type 2 diabetes increases breast cancer risk and mortality, and hyperinsulinemia is a major mediator of this effect. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is activated by insulin and is a key regulator of mammary tumor progression. Pharmacological mTOR inhibition suppresses tumor growth in numerous mammary tumor models in the non-diabetic setting. However, the role of the mTOR pathway in type 2 diabetes-induced tumor growth remains elusive. Herein, we investigated whether the mTOR pathway is implicated in insulin-induced mammary tumor progression in a transgenic mouse model of type 2 diabetes (MKR mice) and evaluated the impact of mTOR inhibition on the diabetic state. Mammary tumor progression was studied in the double transgenic MMTV-Polyoma Virus middle T antigen (PyVmT)/MKR mice and by orthotopic inoculation of PyVmT- and Neu/ErbB2-driven mammary tumor cells (Met-1 and MCNeuA cells respectively). mTOR inhibition by rapamycin markedly suppressed tumor growth in both wild-type and MKR mice. In diabetic animals, however, the promoting action of insulin on tumor growth was completely blunted by rapamycin, despite a worsening of the carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Taken together, pharmacological mTOR blockade is sufficient to abrogate mammary tumor progression in the setting of hyperinsulinemia, and thus mTOR inhibitors may be an attractive therapeutic modality for breast cancer patients with type 2 diabetes. Careful monitoring of the metabolic state, however, is important as dose adaptations of glucose- and/or lipid-lowering therapy might be necessary.

Free access

Denise K Reaves, Erika Ginsburg, John J Bang and Jodie M Fleming

Dietary ingestion of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is correlated with the development of obesity. Obesity alters metabolism, induces an inflammatory tissue microenvironment, and is also linked to diabetes and breast cancer risk/promotion of the disease. However, no direct evidence exists with regard to the correlation among all three of these factors (POPs, obesity, and breast cancer). Herein, we present results from current correlative studies indicating a causal link between POP exposure through diet and their bioaccumulation in adipose tissue that promotes the development of obesity and ultimately influences breast cancer development and/or progression. Furthermore, as endocrine disruptors, POPs could interfere with hormonally responsive tissue functions causing dysregulation of hormone signaling and cell function. This review highlights the critical need for advanced in vitro and in vivo model systems to elucidate the complex relationship among obesity, POPs, and breast cancer, and, more importantly, to delineate their multifaceted molecular, cellular, and biochemical mechanisms. Comprehensive in vitro and in vivo studies directly testing the observed correlations as well as detailing their molecular mechanisms are vital to cancer research and, ultimately, public health.

Restricted access

Zhi Long, Yinan Li, Yu Gan, Dongyu Zhao, Guangyu Wang, Ning Xie, Jessica M Lovnicki, Ladan Fazli, Qi Cao, Kaifu Chen and Xuesen Dong

Homeobox A10 (HOXA10) is an important transcription factor that regulates the development of the prostate gland. However, it remains unknown whether it modulates prostate cancer (PCa) progression into castrate-resistant stages. In this study, we have applied RNA in situ hybridization assays to demonstrate that downregulation of HOXA10 expression is associated with castrate-resistant PCa. These findings are supported by public RNA-seq data showing that reduced HOXA10 expression is correlated with poor patient survival. We show that HOXA10 suppresses PCa cell proliferation, anchorage colony formation and xenograft growth independent to androgens. Using AmpliSeq transcriptome sequencing, we have found that gene groups associated with lipid metabolism and androgen receptor (AR) signaling are enriched in the HOXA10 transcriptome. Furthermore, we demonstrate that HOXA10 suppresses the transcription of the fatty acid synthase (FASN) gene by forming a protein complex with AR and prevents AR recruitment to the FASN gene promoter. These results lead us to conclude that downregulation of HOXA10 gene expression may enhance lipogenesis to promote PCa cell growth and tumor progression to castrate-resistant stage.

Free access

N Angelopoulos, V Barbounis, S Livadas, D Kaltsas and G Tolis

Breast cancer is one of the main life-threatening diseases that a woman may have to face during her lifetime. The increasing incidence of breast neoplasia reported over the last few decades has led to widespread screening of women resulting in early diagnosis. One common but challenging question for most doctors, after the surgical excision of the lesion, is determination of the ideal adjuvant therapy for their patients for the achievement of maximum life expectancy with the best quality of life.

Since the beginning of the last century, the knowledge that breast cancer arises from hormone-responsive tissues has long made use of hormone-blocking agents in the beneficial treatment of breast neoplasia. The discovery of new molecules with endocrine actions has rendered the use of adjuvant therapy in a tailor-made pattern too complicated, as these agents have a different mode of action, different adverse effects and probably different indications.

The aim of the present review is to clarify these issues, analyzing the mechanism of action of available drugs and their actions on specific areas of uncertainty: cognitive function, cardiovascular system, urogenital tract, bone metabolism, weight gain, hot flushes and premature menopause. Regarding the efficacy of adjuvant therapy, there has been particular focus on the multiple hormonal-induced consequences of each regimen in order to provide the clinician with the available data for choosing the ideal therapy for the patient.

Free access

Atsushi Mizokami, Eitetsu Koh, Kouji Izumi, Kazutaka Narimoto, Masashi Takeda, Seijiro Honma, Jinlu Dai, Evan T Keller and Mikio Namiki

One of the mechanisms through which advanced prostate cancer (PCa) usually relapses after androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the adaptation to residual androgens in PCa tissue. It has been observed that androgen biosynthesis in PCa tissue plays an important role in this adaptation. In the present study, we investigated how stromal cells affect adrenal androgen dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) metabolism in androgen-sensitive PCa LNCaP cells. DHEA alone had little effect on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) promoter activity and the proliferation of LNCaP cells. However, the addition of prostate stromal cells or PCa-derived stromal cells (PCaSC) increased DHEA-induced PSA promoter activity via androgen receptor activation in the LNCaP cells. Moreover, PCaSC stimulated the proliferation of LNCaP cells under physiological concentrations of DHEA. Biosynthesis of testosterone or dihydrotestosterone from DHEA in stromal cells and LNCaP cells was involved in this stimulation of LNCaP cell proliferation. Androgen biosynthesis from DHEA depended upon the activity of various steroidogenic enzymes present in stromal cells. Finally, the dual 5α-reductase inhibitor dutasteride appears to function not only as a 5α-reductase inhibitor but also as a 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibitor in LNCaP cells. Taken together, this coculture assay system provides new insights of coordinate androgen biosynthesis under the microenvironment of PCa cells before and after ADT, and offers a model system for the identification of important steroidogenic enzymes involved in PCa progression and for the development of the corresponding inhibitors of androgen biosynthesis.

Free access

Filipa Morais-Santos, Vera Miranda-Gonçalves, Sílvia Pinheiro, André F Vieira, Joana Paredes, Fernando C Schmitt, Fátima Baltazar and Céline Pinheiro

The tumour microenvironment is known to be acidic due to high glycolytic rates of tumour cells. Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) play a role in extracellular acidification, which is widely known to be involved in tumour progression. Recently, we have described the upregulation of MCT1 in breast carcinomas and its association with poor prognostic variables. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the effect of lactate transport inhibition in human breast cancer cell lines. The effects of α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate, quercetin and lonidamine on cell viability, metabolism, proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion were assessed in a panel of different breast cancer cell lines. MCT1, MCT4 and CD147 were differently expressed among the breast cancer cell lines and, as expected, different sensitivities were observed for the three inhibitors. Interestingly, in the most sensitive cell lines, lactate transport inhibition induced a decrease in cell proliferation, migration and invasion, as well as an increase in cell death. Results were validated by silencing MCT1 expression using siRNA. The results obtained here support targeting of lactate transport as a strategy to treat breast cancer, with a special emphasis on the basal-like subtype, which so far does not have a specific molecular therapy.

Free access

José O Alemán, Azeez Farooki and Monica Girotra

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are at the forefront of molecular-targeted therapies for cancer. With the advent of imatinib for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia, a new wave of small-molecule therapeutics redefined the oncologic treatment to become chronically administered medications with tolerable side-effect profiles compared with cytotoxic agents. Effects on bone mineral metabolism were observed during early imatinib treatment, in the form of hypophosphatemia with increased urinary phosphorus excretion. This finding led to detailed investigations of off-target effects responsible for changes in bone cell maturation, activity, and impact on bone mass. Subsequently, another BCR-Abl inhibitor (dasatinib), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors (sorafenib and sunitinib) as well as rearranged during transfection (RET) inhibitors (vandetanib and cabozantinib) were developed. Inhibition of bone resorption appears to be a class effect and is likely contributed by TKI effects on the hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells. As long-term, prospective, clinical outcomes data accumulate on these targeted therapies, the full extent of off-target side effects on bone health will need to be considered along with the significant benefits of tyrosine kinase inhibition in oncologic treatment.