Chemotherapy Abstracts 1

Signatures of breast cancer metastasis at a glance.
(Karagiannis et al., 2016) Download
Gene expression profiling has yielded expression signatures from which prognostic tests can be derived to facilitate clinical decision making in breast cancer patients. Some of these signatures are based on profiling of whole tumor tissue (tissue signatures), which includes all tumor and stromal cells. Prognostic markers have also been derived from the profiling of metastasizing tumor cells, including circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and migratory-disseminating tumor cells within the primary tumor. The metastasis signatures based on CTCs and migratory-disseminating tumor cells have greater potential for unraveling cell biology insights and mechanistic underpinnings of tumor cell dissemination and metastasis. Of clinical interest is the promise that stratification of patients into high or low metastatic risk, as well as assessing the need for cytotoxic therapy, might be improved if prognostics derived from these two types of signatures are used in a combined way. The aim of this Cell Science at a Glance article and accompanying poster is to navigate through both types of signatures and their derived prognostics, as well as to highlight biological insights and clinical applications that could be derived from them, especially when they are used in combination.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy induces breast cancer metastasis through a TMEM-mediated mechanism.
(Karagiannis et al., 2017) Download
Breast cancer cells disseminate through TIE2/MENA(Calc)/MENA(INV)-dependent cancer cell intravasation sites, called tumor microenvironment of metastasis (TMEM), which are clinically validated as prognostic markers of metastasis in breast cancer patients. Using fixed tissue and intravital imaging of a PyMT murine model and patient-derived xenografts, we show that chemotherapy increases the density and activity of TMEM sites and Mena expression and promotes distant metastasis. Moreover, in the residual breast cancers of patients treated with neoadjuvant paclitaxel after doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide, TMEM score and its mechanistically connected MENA(INV) isoform expression pattern were both increased, suggesting that chemotherapy, despite decreasing tumor size, increases the risk of metastatic dissemination. Chemotherapy-induced TMEM activity and cancer cell dissemination were reversed by either administration of the TIE2 inhibitor rebastinib or knockdown of the MENA gene. Our results indicate that TMEM score increases and MENA isoform expression pattern changes with chemotherapy and can be used in predicting prometastatic changes in response to chemotherapy. Furthermore, inhibitors of TMEM function may improve clinical benefits of chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting or in metastatic disease.

A phase II randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of 6-gingerol as an anti-emetic in solid tumor patients receiving moderately to highly emetogenic chemotherapy.
            (Konmun et al., 2017) Download
6-Gingerol is a natural compound extracted from ginger. Preclinical studies demonstrated that 6-gingerol has an anti-emetic activity by inhibiting neurokinin-1, serotonin, and dopamine receptors. Several clinical trials examined crude ginger powder for preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), but none of them was conducted with a standardized bioactive compound. Patients who received moderately to highly emetogenic adjuvant chemotherapy were randomized to receive 6-gingerol 10 mg or placebo orally twice daily for 12 weeks. Ondansetron, metoclopramide, and dexamethasone were given to all patients. The primary endpoint was complete response (CR) rate defined as no emesis or rescue treatment at any time. Eighty-eight patients were randomized to receive 6-gingerol (N = 42) or placebo (N = 46). Most patients received highly emetogenic chemotherapy (93%). Overall CR rate was significantly higher in 6-gingerol group as compared with that of the placebo (77 vs. 32%; P < 0.001). The difference in means of appetite score was significant (P = 0.001) and more noticeable over time. Mean FACT-G score indicating quality of life was significantly higher (86.21) in 6-gingerol group at 64 days as compared with that of placebo group (72.36) (P < 0.001). No toxicity related to 6-gingerol was observed. Patients treated with 6-gingerol reported significantly less grade 3 fatigue (2 vs. 20%; P = 0.020). 6-Gingerol significantly improved overall CR rate in CINV, appetite and quality of life in cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. A phase III randomized study of 6-gingerol is warranted to confirm these results.

The effect of lithium carbonate on leukopenia after chemotherapy.
            (Steinherz et al., 1980) Download
To evaluate the efficacy of lithium carbonate in ameliorating leukopenia, 37 patients (3 to 26 years old, mea (less than or equal to 1,000/mm3) over 40% of the time were designated at random on the last day of 82 separate chemotherapy courses to receive lithium or no treatment. Four could not take the drug because of the size of the capsules. There were 39 controls and 39 patients given lithium. Blood levels were maintained at 0.2 to 1.2 mEq/1 (median 0.7). The median drop of WBC in the treated group was 3,400/mm3 with a nadir of 1,800/mm3 vs 5,000 and 1,400, respectively, for the untreated patients (P LESS THAN 0.01). Eight patients (21%) in the lithium-treated group became severly leukopenic (less than or equal to 1,000/mm3) while 14 (36%) in the control group became leukopenic to that extent. Twenty-four patient days were spent with the WBC less than or equal to 1,000/mm3 after lithium and 57 days in the control group. Three patients required admission for 24 hospital days for fever while leukopenic after lithium, whereas seven patients spent 62 days in the hospital in the control group. Lithium reduces the period of leukopenia after chemotherapy during which time the patients may acquire infections.



Karagiannis, GS, et al. (2016), ‘Signatures of breast cancer metastasis at a glance.’, J Cell Sci, 129 (9), 1751-58. PubMed: 27084578
Karagiannis, GS, et al. (2017), ‘Neoadjuvant chemotherapy induces breast cancer metastasis through a TMEM-mediated mechanism.’, Sci Transl Med, 9 (397), PubMed: 28679654
Konmun, J, et al. (2017), ‘A phase II randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of 6-gingerol as an anti-emetic in solid tumor patients receiving moderately to highly emetogenic chemotherapy.’, Med Oncol, 34 (4), 69. PubMed: 28349496
Steinherz, PG, et al. (1980), ‘The effect of lithium carbonate on leukopenia after chemotherapy.’, J Pediatr, 96 (5), 923-27. PubMed: 6767826