- Heavy ions and X-rays in brain tumor treatment : a comparison of their biological effects on tissue slice cultures (2009)
- Background: In this interdisciplinary project, the biological effects of heavy ions are compared to those of X-rays using tissue slice culture preparations from rodents and humans. Advantages of this biological model are the conservation of an organotypic environment and the independency from genetic immortalization strategies used to generate cell lines. Its open access allows easy treatment and observation via live-imaging microscopy. Materials and methods: Rat brains and human brain tumor tissue are cut into 300 micro m thick tissue slices. These slices are cultivated using a membrane-based culture system and kept in an incubator at 37°C until treatment. The slices are treated with X-rays at the radiation facility of the University Hospital in Frankfurt at doses of up to 40 Gy. The heavy ion irradiations were performed at the UNILAC facility at GSI with different ions of 11.4 A MeV and fluences ranging from 0.5–10 x 106 particles/cm². Using 3D-confocal microscopy, cell-death and immune cell activation of the irradiated slices are analyzed. Planning of the irradiation experiments is done with simulation programs developed at GSI and FIAS. Results: After receiving a single application of either X-rays or heavy ions, slices were kept in culture for up to 9d post irradiation. DNA damage was visualized using gamma H2AXstaining. Here, a dose-dependent increase and time-dependent decrease could clearly be observed for the X-ray irradiation. Slices irradiated with heavy ions showed less gamma H2AX-positive cells distributed evenly throughout the slice, even though particles were calculated to penetrate only 90–100 micro m into the slice. Conclusions: Single irradiations of brain tissue, even at high doses of 40 Gy, will result neither in tissue damage visible on a macroscopic level nor necrosis. This is in line with the view that the brain is highly radio-resistant. However, DNA damage can be detected very well in tissue slices using gamma H2AX-immuno staining. Thus, slice cultures are an excellent tool to study radiation-induced damage and repair mechanisms in living tissues.
- High survivin expression as a risk factor in patients with anal carcinoma treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy (2012)
- Purpose: To investigate the prognostic value of survivin expression in pretreatment specimens from patients with anal cancer treated with concurrent 5-FU and mitomycin C-based chemoradiation (CRT). Material and methods: Immunohistochemical staining for survivin was performed in pretreatment biopsies of 62 patients with anal carcinoma. Survivin expression was correlated with clinical and histopathological characteristics as well as local failure free- (LFFS), distant metastases free- (DMFS), cancer specific- (CSS), and overall survival (OS). Results: Survivin staining intensity was weak in 10%, intermediate in 48% and intense in 42% of the patients. No association between survivin expression and clinicopathologic factors (tumor stage, age and HIV status) could be shown. In univariate analysis, the level of survivin staining was significantly correlated with DMFS (low survivin vs. high survivin: 94% vs. 74%, p=0.04). T-stage, N-stage and the tumor grading were significantly associated with OS and CSS and with DMFS and LFFS, respectively. In multivariate analysis, survivin was confirmed as independent prognostic parameter for DMFS (RR, 0.04; p=0.02) and for OS (RR, 0.27; p=0.04). Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that the level of pretreatment survivin is correlated with the clinical outcome in patients with anal carcinoma treated with concurrent CRT. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the complex role of survivin for the oncologic treatment and to exploit the protein as a therapeutic target in combined modality treatment of anal cancer.
- Targeting cyclin B1 inhibits proliferation and sensitizes breast cancer cells to taxol (2008)
- Background Cyclin B1, the regulatory subunit of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1), is essential for the transition from G2 phase to mitosis. Cyclin B1 is very often found to be overexpressed in primary breast and cervical cancer cells as well as in cancer cell lines. Its expression is correlated with the malignancy of gynecological cancers. Methods In order to explore cyclin B1 as a potential target for gynecological cancer therapy, we studied the effect of small interfering RNA (siRNA) on different gynecological cancer cell lines by monitoring their proliferation rate, cell cycle profile, protein expression and activity, apoptosis induction and colony formation. Tumor formation in vivo was examined using mouse xenograft models. Results Downregulation of cyclin B1 inhibited proliferation of several breast and cervical cancer cell lines including MCF-7, BT-474, SK-BR-3, MDA-MB-231 and HeLa. After combining cyclin B1 siRNA with taxol, we observed an increased apoptotic rate accompanied by an enhanced antiproliferative effect in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, control HeLa cells were progressively growing, whereas the tumor growth of HeLa cells pre-treated with cyclin B1 siRNA was strongly inhibited in nude mice, indicating that cyclin B1 is indispensable for tumor growth in vivo. Conclusion Our data support the notion of cyclin B1 being essential for survival and proliferation of gynecological cancer cells. Concordantly, knockdown of cyclin B1 inhibits proliferation in vitro as well as in vivo. Moreover, targeting cyclin B1 sensitizes breast cancer cells to taxol, suggesting that specific cyclin B1 targeting is an attractive strategy for the combination with conventionally used agents in gynecological cancer therapy.
- Adaptation of cancer cells from different entities to the MDM2 inhibitor nutlin-3 results in the emergence of p53-mutated multi-drug-resistant cancer cells (2011)
- Six p53 wild-type cancer cell lines from infrequently p53-mutated entities (neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and melanoma) were continuously exposed to increasing concentrations of the murine double minute 2 inhibitor nutlin-3, resulting in the emergence of nutlin-3-resistant, p53-mutated sublines displaying a multi-drug resistance phenotype. Only 2 out of 28 sublines adapted to various cytotoxic drugs harboured p53 mutations. Nutlin-3-adapted UKF-NB-3 cells (UKF-NB-3rNutlin10 μM, harbouring a G245C mutation) were also radiation resistant. Analysis of UKF-NB-3 and UKF-NB-3rNutlin10 μM cells by RNA interference experiments and lentiviral transduction of wild-type p53 into p53-mutated UKF-NB-3rNutlin10 μM cells revealed that the loss of p53 function contributes to the multi-drug resistance of UKF-NB-3rNutlin10 μM cells. Bioinformatics PANTHER pathway analysis based on microarray measurements of mRNA abundance indicated a substantial overlap in the signalling pathways differentially regulated between UKF-NB-3rNutlin10 μM and UKF-NB-3 and between UKF-NB-3 and its cisplatin-, doxorubicin-, or vincristine-resistant sublines. Repeated nutlin-3 adaptation of neuroblastoma cells resulted in sublines harbouring various p53 mutations with high frequency. A p53 wild-type single cell-derived UKF-NB-3 clone was adapted to nutlin-3 in independent experiments. Eight out of ten resulting sublines were p53-mutated harbouring six different p53 mutations. This indicates that nutlin-3 induces de novo p53 mutations not initially present in the original cell population. Therefore, nutlin-3-treated cancer patients should be carefully monitored for the emergence of p53-mutated, multi-drug-resistant cells.
- Human neuroblastoma cells with acquired resistance to the p53 activator RITA retain functional p53 and sensitivity to other p53 activating agents (2012)
- Adaptation of wild-type p53 expressing UKF-NB-3 cancer cells to the murine double minute 2 inhibitor nutlin-3 causes de novo p53 mutations at high frequency (13/20) and multi-drug resistance. Here, we show that the same cells respond very differently when adapted to RITA, a drug that, like nutlin-3, also disrupts the p53/Mdm2 interaction. All of the 11 UKF-NB-3 sub-lines adapted to RITA that we established retained functional wild-type p53 although RITA induced a substantial p53 response. Moreover, all RITA-adapted cell lines remained sensitive to nutlin-3, whereas only five out of 10 nutlin-3-adapted cell lines retained their sensitivity to RITA. In addition, repeated adaptation of the RITA-adapted sub-line UKF-NB-3rRITA10 μM to nutlin-3 resulted in p53 mutations. The RITA-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines displayed no or less pronounced resistance to vincristine, cisplatin, and irradiation than nutlin-3-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines. Furthermore, adaptation to RITA was associated with fewer changes at the expression level of antiapoptotic factors than observed with adaptation to nutlin-3. Transcriptomic analyses indicated the RITA-adapted sub-lines to be more similar at the gene expression level to the parental UKF-NB-3 cells than nutlin-3-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines, which correlates with the observed chemotherapy and irradiation sensitivity phenotypes. In conclusion, RITA-adapted cells retain functional p53, remain sensitive to nutlin-3, and display a less pronounced resistance phenotype than nutlin-3-adapted cells.