Next Issue
Volume 16, February-1
Previous Issue
Volume 16, January-1
 
 

Cancers, Volume 16, Issue 2 (January-2 2024) – 235 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): It is hoped that the advances in oncology together with the new technology avaliable will allow us to deliver new modalities of treatments with better outcomes. The best example is MR-LINAC, a new machine that permits magnetic-resonance-image-guided radiation therapy, the key to delivering targeted treatments adapted daily to a tumor’s anatomy with respiratory gating, which is especially useful in difficult locations. This technology could improve the quality of life patients, reduce toxicity and in determinate locations improve the patient’s survival. In this article, we reviewed this new technology, its impact on new oncological treatments by localization, the first results in the literature and future perspectives. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
15 pages, 2111 KiB  
Article
Epidermolysis-Bullosa-Associated Squamous Cell Carcinomas Support an Immunosuppressive Tumor Microenvironment: Prospects for Immunotherapy
by David Rafei-Shamsabadi, Lena Scholten, Sisi Lu, Daniele Castiglia, Giovanna Zambruno, Andreas Volz, Andreas Arnold, Mina Saleva, Ludovic Martin, Kristin Technau-Hafsi, Frank Meiss, Dagmar von Bubnoff and Cristina Has
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020471 - 22 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are a major complication of some subtypes of epidermolysis bullosa (EB), with high morbidity and mortality rates and unmet therapeutic needs. The high rate of endogenous mutations and the fibrotic stroma are considered to contribute to the pathogenesis. [...] Read more.
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are a major complication of some subtypes of epidermolysis bullosa (EB), with high morbidity and mortality rates and unmet therapeutic needs. The high rate of endogenous mutations and the fibrotic stroma are considered to contribute to the pathogenesis. Patients with dystrophic EB (DEB) and Kindler EB (KEB) have the highest propensity for developing SCCs. Another patient group that develops high-risk SCCs is immunosuppressed (IS) patients, especially after organ transplantation. Herein, we interrogate whether immune checkpoint proteins and immunosuppressive enzymes are dysregulated in EB-associated SCCs as an immune resistance mechanism and compare the expression patterns with those in SCCs from IS patients, who frequently develop high-risk tumors and sporadic SCCs, and immunocompetent (IC) individuals. The expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1), T cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain-containing protein-3 (TIM-3), lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG-3), and inflammatory infiltrates (CD4, CD8, and CD68) was assessed via immunohistochemistry and semi-quantitative analysis in 30 DEB-SCCs, 22 KEB-SCCs, 106 IS-SCCs, and 100 sporadic IC-SCCs. DEB-SCCs expressed significantly higher levels of IDO and PD-L1 in tumor cells and PD-1 in the tumor microenvironment (TME) compared with SCCs from IC and IS individuals. The number of CD4-positive T cells per mm2 was significantly lower in DEB-SCCs compared with IC-SCCs. KEB-SCCs showed the lowest expression of the exhaustion markers TIM-3 and LAG-3 compared with all other groups. These findings identify IDO, PD-1, and PD-L1 to be increased in EB-SCCs and candidate targets for combinatory treatments, especially in DEB-SCCs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 1640 KiB  
Review
Mechanisms of Melanoma Progression and Treatment Resistance: Role of Cancer Stem-like Cells
by Youssef Al Hmada, Robert T. Brodell, Naji Kharouf, Thomas W. Flanagan, Abdulhadi A. Alamodi, Sofie-Yasmin Hassan, Hosam Shalaby, Sarah-Lilly Hassan, Youssef Haikel, Mosaad Megahed, Simeon Santourlidis and Mohamed Hassan
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020470 - 22 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1766
Abstract
Melanoma is the third most common type of skin cancer, characterized by its heterogeneity and propensity to metastasize to distant organs. Melanoma is a heterogeneous tumor, composed of genetically divergent subpopulations, including a small fraction of melanoma-initiating cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) and many [...] Read more.
Melanoma is the third most common type of skin cancer, characterized by its heterogeneity and propensity to metastasize to distant organs. Melanoma is a heterogeneous tumor, composed of genetically divergent subpopulations, including a small fraction of melanoma-initiating cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) and many non-cancer stem cells (non-CSCs). CSCs are characterized by their unique surface proteins associated with aberrant signaling pathways with a causal or consequential relationship with tumor progression, drug resistance, and recurrence. Melanomas also harbor significant alterations in functional genes (BRAF, CDKN2A, NRAS, TP53, and NF1). Of these, the most common are the BRAF and NRAS oncogenes, with 50% of melanomas demonstrating the BRAF mutation (BRAFV600E). While the successful targeting of BRAFV600E does improve overall survival, the long-term efficacy of available therapeutic options is limited due to adverse side effects and reduced clinical efficacy. Additionally, drug resistance develops rapidly via mechanisms involving fast feedback re-activation of MAPK signaling pathways. This article updates information relevant to the mechanisms of melanoma progression and resistance and particularly the mechanistic role of CSCs in melanoma progression, drug resistance, and recurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Melanoma Progression)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 935 KiB  
Article
What Does Atypical Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Really Mean? A Retrospective Morphological and Immunophenotypic Study
by Giovanni D’Arena, Candida Vitale, Giuseppe Pietrantuono, Oreste Villani, Giovanna Mansueto, Fiorella D’Auria, Teodora Statuto, Simona D’Agostino, Rosalaura Sabetta, Angela Tarasco, Idanna Innocenti, Francesco Autore, Alberto Fresa, Luciana Valvano, Annamaria Tomasso, Lorenzo Cafaro, Daniela Lamorte and Luca Laurenti
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020469 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1416
Abstract
Atypical chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is still defined according to morphological criteria. However, deviance from the typical surface immunological profile suggests an atypical immunological-based CLL. A large cohort of patients with CLL was retrospectively evaluated aiming at assessing morphological (FAB criteria), immunophenotypical (two [...] Read more.
Atypical chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is still defined according to morphological criteria. However, deviance from the typical surface immunological profile suggests an atypical immunological-based CLL. A large cohort of patients with CLL was retrospectively evaluated aiming at assessing morphological (FAB criteria), immunophenotypical (two or more discordances from the typical profile), and clinical–biological features of atypical CLL. Compared to typical cases, morphologically atypical CLL showed a greater percentage of unmutated IgVH and CD38 positivity, and a higher expression of CD20. Immunophenotypically atypical CLL was characterized by more advanced clinical stages, higher expression of CD20, higher rate of FMC7, CD79b and CD49d positivity, and by an intermediate–high expression of membrane surface immunoglobulin, compared to typical cases. When patients were categorized based on immunophenotypic and morphologic concordance or discordance, no difference emerged. Finally, morphological features better discriminated patients’ prognosis in terms of time-to-first treatment, while concordant atypical cases showed overall a worse prognosis. Discordant cases by immunophenotype and/or morphology did not identify specific prognostic groups. Whether—in the era of molecular markers used as prognostic indicators—it does make sense to focus on morphology and immunophenotype features in CLL is still matter of debate needing further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

21 pages, 643 KiB  
Article
Compliance with the WCRF/AICR Recommendations in Qualitative Adaptation and the Occurrence of Breast Cancer: A Case-Control Study
by Beata Stasiewicz, Lidia Wadolowska, Maciej Biernacki, Malgorzata Anna Slowinska and Ewa Stachowska
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020468 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 983
Abstract
Purpose: The aim of the study was twofold: (1) the qualitative adaptation of the 2018 WCRF/AICR (QAd-WCRF/AICR) score, and (2) the assessment of the association between the level of compliance with the WCRF/AICR recommendations and the occurrence of breast cancer in peri- and [...] Read more.
Purpose: The aim of the study was twofold: (1) the qualitative adaptation of the 2018 WCRF/AICR (QAd-WCRF/AICR) score, and (2) the assessment of the association between the level of compliance with the WCRF/AICR recommendations and the occurrence of breast cancer in peri- and postmenopausal women. Methods: This case–control study involved 420 women, aged 40–79 years, from northeastern Poland, including 190 newly diagnosed breast cancer cases. Data related to the WCRF/AICR recommendations were collected in face-to-face interviews with 409 women, including 179 women with breast cancer. The frequency of food consumption data were collected using the FFQ-6® and KomPAN® questionnaires. Body weight, height, and waist circumference were measured. The QAd-WCRF/AICR score (range: 0–8 points) was calculated on the basis of eight components, including two components from to the WCRF/AICR recommendations: (1) body mass index (BMI), and (2) waist circumference, with six components expressed qualitatively: (3) overall physical activity, as well as the frequency of the consumption of (4) vegetables/fruits/whole grains/nuts/seeds/legumes, (5) highly processed foods, including fast foods/sweets/instant soups, (6) red/processed meat, (7) sweetened/energy drinks, and (8) alcohol. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the occurrence of breast cancer. Results: The moderate (4–5 points) and maximal (6–8 points) compliance with the qualitative adaptation of the WRCF/AICR recommendations reduced the odds of breast cancer by 54% and 72%, respectively, compared to the results noted for minimal compliance (≤3 points). Lower odds of breast cancer were associated with moderate or high physical activity, consumption of a minimum of four serving per day of vegetables/fruits/whole grains/nuts/seeds/legumes, and limiting the consumption of highly processed food/fast foods and red/processed meat to a maximum of 1–3 times/month. Higher odds of breast cancer were associated with a higher waist circumference and alcohol abstinence. Conclusions: These findings may prove useful in establishing cancer prevention recommendations based on simple suggestions regarding the frequency of food consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Invasive Breast Cancer: Treatment and Prognosis)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 2174 KiB  
Article
Enhancement of Stopping Power Ratio (SPR) Estimation Accuracy through Image-Domain Dual-Energy Computer Tomography for Pencil Beam Scanning System: A Simulation Study
by Dong Han, Shuangyue Zhang, Sixia Chen, Hamed Hooshangnejad, Francis Yu, Kai Ding and Haibo Lin
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020467 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 742
Abstract
Our study aims to quantify the impact of spectral separation on achieved theoretical prediction accuracy of proton-stopping power when the volume discrepancy between calibration phantom and scanned object is observed. Such discrepancy can be commonly seen in our CSI pediatric patients. One of [...] Read more.
Our study aims to quantify the impact of spectral separation on achieved theoretical prediction accuracy of proton-stopping power when the volume discrepancy between calibration phantom and scanned object is observed. Such discrepancy can be commonly seen in our CSI pediatric patients. One of the representative image-domain DECT models is employed on a virtual phantom to derive electron density and effective atomic number for a total of 34 ICRU standard human tissues. The spectral pairs used in this study are 90 kVp/140 kVp, without and with 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm additional tin filter. The two DECT images are reconstructed via a conventional filtered back projection algorithm (FBP) on simulated noiseless projection data. The best-predicted accuracy occurs at a spectral pair of 90 kVp/140 kVp with a 0.3 mm tin filter, and the root-mean-squared average error is 0.12% for tissue substitutes. The results reveal that the selected image-domain model is sensitive to spectral pair deviation when there is a discrepancy between calibration and scanning conditions. This study suggests that an optimization process may be needed for clinically available DECT scanners to yield the best proton-stopping power estimation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advance of Pencil Beam Scanning Proton Beam Therapy in Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 734 KiB  
Review
Targeted Therapies and Drug Resistance in Advanced Breast Cancer, Alternative Strategies and the Way beyond
by Andrea Nicolini and Paola Ferrari
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020466 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1545
Abstract
“Targeted therapy” or “precision medicine” is a therapeutic strategy launched over two decades ago. It relies on drugs that inhibit key molecular mechanisms/pathways or genetic/epigenetic alterations that promote different cancer hallmarks. Many clinical trials, sponsored by multinational drug companies, have been carried out. [...] Read more.
“Targeted therapy” or “precision medicine” is a therapeutic strategy launched over two decades ago. It relies on drugs that inhibit key molecular mechanisms/pathways or genetic/epigenetic alterations that promote different cancer hallmarks. Many clinical trials, sponsored by multinational drug companies, have been carried out. During this time, research has increasingly uncovered the complexity of advanced breast cancer disease. Despite high expectations, patients have seen limited benefits from these clinical trials. Commonly, only a minority of trials are successful, and the few approved drugs are costly. The spread of this expensive therapeutic strategy has constrained the resources available for alternative research. Meanwhile, due to the high cost/benefit ratio, other therapeutic strategies have been proposed by researchers over time, though they are often not pursued due to a focus on precision medicine. Notable among these are drug repurposing and counteracting micrometastatic disease. The former provides an obvious answer to expensive targeted therapies, while the latter represents a new field to which efforts have recently been devoted, offering a “way beyond” the current research. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1796 KiB  
Article
Postoperative Tobacco Cessation Improves Quality of Life, Lung Function and Long-Term Survival in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients
by Fabian Doerr, Tobias Leschczyk, Konstantinos Grapatsas, Hruy Menghesha, Natalie Baldes, Georg Schlachtenberger, Matthias B. Heldwein, Maximilian Michel, Alexander Quaas, Lars Hagmeyer, Katja Höpker, Thorsten Wahlers, Kaid Darwiche, Christian Taube, Martin Schuler, Khosro Hekmat and Servet Bölükbas
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020465 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1014
Abstract
Objectives: About 90% of all non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases are associated with inhalative tabacco smoking. Half of patients continue smoking during lung cancer therapy. We examined the effects of postoperative smoking cessation on lung function, quality of life (QOL) and long-term [...] Read more.
Objectives: About 90% of all non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases are associated with inhalative tabacco smoking. Half of patients continue smoking during lung cancer therapy. We examined the effects of postoperative smoking cessation on lung function, quality of life (QOL) and long-term survival. Materials and Methods: In total, 641 patients, who underwent lobectomy between 2012 and 2019, were identified from our single institutional data base. Postoperatively, patients that actively smoked at the time of operation were offered a structured ‘smoking cessation’ program. For this retrospective analysis, two patient groups (total n = 90) were selected by pair matching. Group A (n = 60) had no postoperative tobacco smoking. Group B (n = 30) involved postoperative continued smoking. Lung function (FEV1, DLCO) and QOL (‘SF-36′ questionnaire) were measured 12 months postoperatively. We compared long-term outcomes using Kaplan–Meier curves. Results: The mean age in group A was 62.6 ± 12.5 years and that in group B was 64.3 ± 9.7 years (p = 0.82); 64% and 62%, respectively, were male (p = 0.46). Preoperative smoking habits were similar (‘pack years’: group A, 47 ± 31; group B, 49 ± 27; p = 0.87). All relevant baseline characteristics we collected were similar (p > 0.05). One year after lobectomy, FEV1 was reduced by 15% in both groups (p = 0.98). Smoking cessation was significantly associated with improved DLCO (group A: 11 ± 16%; group B: −5 ± 14%; p <0.001) and QOL (vitality (VT): +10 vs. −10, p = 0.017; physical role function (RP): +8 vs. −17, p = 0.012; general health perceptions (GH): +12 vs. −5, p = 0.024). Patients who stopped smoking postoperatively had a significantly superior overall survival (median survival: 89.8 ± 6.8 [95% CI: 76.6–103.1] months vs. 73.9 ± 3.6 [95% CI: 66.9–80.9] months, p = 0.034; 3-year OS rate: 96.2% vs. 81.0%, p = 0.02; 5-year OS rate: 80.0% vs. 64.0%, p = 0.016). The hazard ratio (HR) was 2.31 [95% CI: 1.04–5.13] for postoperative smoking versus tobacco cessation. Conclusion: Postoperative smoking cessation is associated with improved quality of life and lung function testing. Notably, a significant increase in long-term survival rates among non-smoking NSCLC patients was observed. These findings could serve as motivation for patients to successfully complete a non-smoking program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Quality of Life of Lung Cancer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 2181 KiB  
Article
Optimal Treatment Strategy for Oligo-Recurrence Lung Cancer Patients with Driver Mutations
by Taimei Tachibana, Yosuke Matsuura, Hironori Ninomiya, Junji Ichinose, Masayuki Nakao, Sakae Okumura, Makoto Nishio, Norihiko Ikeda and Mingyon Mun
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020464 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 974
Abstract
Background: The efficacy of local therapies for lung cancer patients with postoperative oligo-recurrence has been reported. However, whether local therapies should be chosen over molecular targeted therapies for oligo-recurrence patients with driver mutations remains controversial. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the optimal initial [...] Read more.
Background: The efficacy of local therapies for lung cancer patients with postoperative oligo-recurrence has been reported. However, whether local therapies should be chosen over molecular targeted therapies for oligo-recurrence patients with driver mutations remains controversial. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the optimal initial treatment strategy for oligo-recurrence in lung cancer patients with driver mutations. Methods: Among 2152 patients with lung adenocarcinoma who underwent surgical resection at our institute between 2008 and 2020, 66 patients with driver mutations who experienced cancer oligo-recurrence after surgery and were treated with local or molecularly targeted therapy as an initial therapy after recurrence were evaluated. Oligo-recurrence was characterized by the presence of 1 to 3 recurrent lesions. These patients were investigated, focusing on their post-recurrence therapies and prognoses. Results: The median follow-up period was 71 months. Local and molecular targeted therapies were administered to 41 and 25 patients, respectively. The number of recurrence lesions tended to be lower in the initial local therapy group than in the molecular targeted therapy group. In the initial local therapy group, 23 patients (56%) subsequently received molecular targeted therapies. The time from recurrence to the initiation of molecular targeted therapy was significantly longer in the local therapy group than in the molecular targeted therapy group (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in post-recurrence overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.429; 95% confidence interval, 0.701–2.912; log-rank, p = 0.324) and post-recurrence progression-free survival (hazard ratio, 0.799; 95% confidence interval, 0.459–1.390; log-rank, p = 0.426) in the initial local ablative therapy group compared with the initial molecular targeted therapy group. Conclusions: Local therapies as a first-line treatment did not show statistically significant differences in post-recurrence survival or progression-free survival compared with molecular targeted therapies. However, local therapies as an initial treatment should be considered preferably, as they can cure the recurrence and can delay the start of administration of molecular targeted therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Oligo-Recurrence of Various Cancers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 262 KiB  
Article
Rationale for Increasing Oncological Vigilance in Relation to Clinical Findings in Accessory Parotid Gland—Observations Based on 2192 Cases of the Polish Salivary Network Database
by Małgorzata Wierzbicka, Ewelina Bartkowiak, Wioleta Pietruszewska, Dominik Stodulski, Jarosław Markowski, Paweł Burduk, Izabela Olejniczak, Aleksandra Piernicka-Dybich, Małgorzata Wierzchowska, Katarzyna Amernik, Alicja Chańko, Daniel Majszyk, Antoni Bruzgielewicz, Patrycja Gazinska and Bogusław Mikaszewski
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020463 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 714
Abstract
The accessory parotid gland (APG, Vth level) differs in histological structure from main parotid tissue. This gives rise to the hypothesis, mirrored in clinical observations, that the representation of tumours is different than in the rest of the gland. The aim of the [...] Read more.
The accessory parotid gland (APG, Vth level) differs in histological structure from main parotid tissue. This gives rise to the hypothesis, mirrored in clinical observations, that the representation of tumours is different than in the rest of the gland. The aim of the study was to analyse the epidemiological and histological differences of parotid tumours located in regions I–V, with particular emphasis on the distinctiveness of region V. To define the epidemiological factors that will indicate the risk of histological malignancy from clinically benign appearance, multicentre prospective studies conducted between 2017–2021 by five Head and Neck Surgery University Departments, cooperating within the Polish Salivary Network Database 1929 patients (1048 women and 881 men), were included. The age, gender, patient occupation, place of inhabitation, tumour size, clinical features of malignancy, histology, and facial nerve (FN) paresis were analysed for superficial (I_II) and deep (III_IV) lobes and with special regard to the tumours affecting region V. Twenty eight tumours were located exclusively in region V (1.45% total) and seventy-two tumours were found in region V exhibiting extensions to neighbouring regions (3.7% total), characterised as significantly younger and less frequent in retirees. In I–IV regions, approximately 90% of tumours were benign, with pleomorphic adenoma (PA) and Whartin tumour (WT) predominance. In region V, PA exceeded 75% but WT were casuistic (2/28). Incidences of malignancies in region V was 40% but clinical signs of malignancy were evident only in tumours > 4 cm or in the presence of FN paresis. In 19% of patients with a benign appearance, imaging revealed malignancy; however, 38% of patients showed false negative results both in terms of clinical and radiological features of malignancy. Logistic regression models in 28 patients with tumours located exclusively in region V vs. 1901 other patients and in 100 patients with V extension vs. 1829 other patients showed no clinical symptoms of malignancy binding with final malignant tumour histology as a single variable or in combination with other variables. The logistic regression models obtained in this study show strong linkage between tumour location and predictors (age, male gender, and tumour diameter) and also aimed to function as a good classifier. Our conclusion is that, despite the very clear image of the mid-cheek tumour which is easily accessible in palpation and ultrasound examination, it is necessary to improve oncological vigilance and preoperative patient preparation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Salivary Gland Carcinoma)
19 pages, 4625 KiB  
Article
Effects of Combinatory In Vitro Treatment with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors and Cytarabine on the Anti-Cancer Immune Microenvironment in De Novo AML Patients
by Łukasz Bołkun, Aleksandra Starosz, Anna Krętowska-Grunwald, Tomasz Wasiluk, Alicja Walewska, Agnieszka Wierzbowska, Marcin Moniuszko and Kamil Grubczak
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020462 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Despite substantial progress in the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) still constitutes a significant problem for patients suffering from its relapses. A comprehensive knowledge of the disease’s molecular background has led to the development of targeted therapies, including immune checkpoint [...] Read more.
Despite substantial progress in the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) still constitutes a significant problem for patients suffering from its relapses. A comprehensive knowledge of the disease’s molecular background has led to the development of targeted therapies, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, and demonstrated beneficial effects on several types of cancer. Here, we aimed to assess in vitro the potential of the immune checkpoint blockage for supporting anti-cancer responses to the AML backbone therapy with cytarabine. PBMCs of AML patients were collected at admission and, following the therapy, eight complete remission (CR) and eight non-responders (NR) subjects were selected. We assessed the effects of the in vitro treatment of the cells with cytarabine and the immune checkpoint inhibitors: anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1. The study protocol allowed us to evaluate the viability of the cancer and the immune cells, proliferation status, phenotype, and cytokine release. Anti-PD-L1 antibodies were found to exert the most beneficial effect on the activation of T cells, with a concomitant regulation of the immune balance through Treg induction. There was no direct influence on the blast cells; however, the modulation of the PD-1/PD-L1 axis supported the expansion of lymphocytes. Changes in the response between CR and NR patients might result from the differential expression of PD-1 and PD-L1, with lower levels in the latter group. The tested blockers appear to support the anti-cancer immune responses rather than directly improve the effects of cytarabine. In conclusion, checkpoint proteins’ modulators might improve the anti-cancer responses in the tumour environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Immunotherapy: Therapeutics and Mechanisms)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

18 pages, 3641 KiB  
Review
Targeted Therapeutic Strategies for the Treatment of Cancer
by Benjamin Victoir, Cécile Croix, Fabrice Gouilleux and Gildas Prié
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020461 - 22 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1746
Abstract
Extensive research is underway to develop new therapeutic strategies to counteract therapy resistance in cancers. This review presents various strategies to achieve this objective. First, we discuss different vectorization platforms capable of releasing drugs in cancer cells. Second, we delve into multitarget therapies [...] Read more.
Extensive research is underway to develop new therapeutic strategies to counteract therapy resistance in cancers. This review presents various strategies to achieve this objective. First, we discuss different vectorization platforms capable of releasing drugs in cancer cells. Second, we delve into multitarget therapies using drug combinations and dual anticancer agents. This section will describe examples of multitarget therapies that have been used to treat solid tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Review for Cancer Therapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1260 KiB  
Review
CRISPRing KRAS: A Winding Road with a Bright Future in Basic and Translational Cancer Research
by Xian Gong, Jianting Du, Ren-Wang Peng, Chun Chen and Zhang Yang
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020460 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Once considered “undruggable” due to the strong affinity of RAS proteins for GTP and the structural lack of a hydrophobic “pocket” for drug binding, the development of proprietary therapies for KRAS-mutant tumors has long been a challenging area of research. CRISPR technology, the [...] Read more.
Once considered “undruggable” due to the strong affinity of RAS proteins for GTP and the structural lack of a hydrophobic “pocket” for drug binding, the development of proprietary therapies for KRAS-mutant tumors has long been a challenging area of research. CRISPR technology, the most successful gene-editing tool to date, is increasingly being utilized in cancer research. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of the application of the CRISPR system in basic and translational research in KRAS-mutant cancer, summarizing recent advances in the mechanistic understanding of KRAS biology and the underlying principles of drug resistance, anti-tumor immunity, epigenetic regulatory networks, and synthetic lethality co-opted by mutant KRAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CRISPR in Cancer Biology and Therapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

1 pages, 129 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Zhang et al. Clinical Management of Low Anterior Resection Syndrome: Review of the Current Diagnosis and Treatment. Cancers 2023, 15, 5011
by Ruijia Zhang, Wenqin Luo, Yulin Qiu, Fan Chen, Dakui Luo, Yufei Yang, Weijing He, Qingguo Li and Xinxiang Li
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020459 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 541
Abstract
In the published publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Therapy)
21 pages, 804 KiB  
Review
Novel Insights in Venous Thromboembolism Risk Assessment Methods in Ambulatory Cancer Patients: From the Guidelines to Clinical Practice
by Anca Drăgan and Adrian Ştefan Drăgan
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020458 - 21 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Many cancer patients will experience venous thromboembolism (VTE) at some stage, with the highest rate in the initial period following diagnosis. Novel cancer therapies may further enhance the risk. VTE in a cancer setting is associated with poor prognostic, a decreased quality of [...] Read more.
Many cancer patients will experience venous thromboembolism (VTE) at some stage, with the highest rate in the initial period following diagnosis. Novel cancer therapies may further enhance the risk. VTE in a cancer setting is associated with poor prognostic, a decreased quality of life, and high healthcare costs. If thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized cancer patients and perioperative settings is widely accepted in clinical practice and supported by the guidelines, it is not the same situation in ambulatory cancer patient settings. The guidelines do not recommend primary thromboprophylaxis, except in high-risk cases. However, nowadays, risk stratification is still challenging, although many tools have been developed. The Khrorana score remains the most used method, but it has many limits. This narrative review aims to present the current relevant knowledge of VTE risk assessment in ambulatory cancer patients, starting from the guideline recommendations and continuing with the specific risk assessment methods and machine learning models approaches. Biomarkers, genetic, and clinical features were tested alone or in groups. Old and new models used in VTE risk assessment are exposed, underlining their clinical utility. Imaging and biomolecular approaches to VTE screening of outpatients with cancer are also presented, which could help clinical decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Global Cancer Epidemiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 8783 KiB  
Article
CIC-DUX4 Chromatin Profiling Reveals New Epigenetic Dependencies and Actionable Therapeutic Targets in CIC-Rearranged Sarcomas
by Arnaud Bakaric, Luisa Cironi, Viviane Praz, Rajendran Sanalkumar, Liliane C. Broye, Kerria Favre-Bulle, Igor Letovanec, Antonia Digklia, Raffaele Renella, Ivan Stamenkovic, Christopher J. Ott, Takuro Nakamura, Cristina R. Antonescu, Miguel N. Rivera and Nicolò Riggi
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020457 - 21 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1434
Abstract
CIC-DUX4-rearranged sarcoma (CDS) is a rare and aggressive soft tissue tumor that occurs most frequently in young adults. The key oncogenic driver of this disease is the expression of the CIC-DUX4 fusion protein as a result of chromosomal rearrangements. CIC-DUX4 displays chromatin binding [...] Read more.
CIC-DUX4-rearranged sarcoma (CDS) is a rare and aggressive soft tissue tumor that occurs most frequently in young adults. The key oncogenic driver of this disease is the expression of the CIC-DUX4 fusion protein as a result of chromosomal rearrangements. CIC-DUX4 displays chromatin binding properties, and is therefore believed to function as an aberrant transcription factor. However, the chromatin remodeling events induced by CIC-DUX4 are not well understood, limiting our ability to identify new mechanism-based therapeutic strategies for these patients. Here, we generated a genome-wide profile of CIC-DUX4 DNA occupancy and associated chromatin states in human CDS cell models and primary tumors. Combining chromatin profiling, proximity ligation assays, as well as genetic and pharmacological perturbations, we show that CIC-DUX4 operates as a potent transcriptional activator at its binding sites. This property is in contrast with the repressive function of the wild-type CIC protein, and is mainly mediated through the direct interaction of CIC-DUX4 with the acetyltransferase p300. In keeping with this, we show p300 to be essential for CDS tumor cell proliferation; additionally, we find its pharmacological inhibition to significantly impact tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our study elucidates the mechanisms underpinning CIC-DUX4-mediated transcriptional regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Signal-Processing in Tumor)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 4390 KiB  
Article
Proline Metabolism in WHO G4 Gliomas Is Altered as Compared to Unaffected Brain Tissue
by Magdalena M. Sawicka, Karol Sawicki, Marek Jadeszko, Katarzyna Bielawska, Elżbieta Supruniuk, Joanna Reszeć, Izabela Prokop-Bielenia, Barbara Polityńska, Mateusz Jadeszko, Magdalena Rybaczek, Eryk Latoch, Krzysztof Gorbacz, Tomasz Łysoń and Wojciech Miltyk
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020456 - 21 Jan 2024
Viewed by 971
Abstract
Proline metabolism has been identified as a significant player in several neoplasms, but knowledge of its role in gliomas is limited despite it providing a promising line of pursuit. Data on proline metabolism in the brain are somewhat historical. This study aims to [...] Read more.
Proline metabolism has been identified as a significant player in several neoplasms, but knowledge of its role in gliomas is limited despite it providing a promising line of pursuit. Data on proline metabolism in the brain are somewhat historical. This study aims to investigate alterations of proline metabolism in gliomas of WHO grade 4 (GG4) in the context of the brain. A total of 20 pairs of samples were studied, consisting of excised tumor and unaffected brain tissue, obtained when partial brain resection was required to reach deep-seated lesions. Levels of proline oxidase/proline dehydrogenase (POX/PRODH), Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductases (PYCR1/2/3), prolidase (PEPD), and metalloproteinases (MMP-2, MMP-9) were assessed, along with the concentration of proline and proline-related metabolites. In comparison to normal brain tissue, POX/PRODH expression in GG4 was found to be suppressed, while PYCR1 expression and activity of PEPD, MMP-2, and -9 were upregulated. The GG4 proline concentration was 358% higher. Hence, rewiring of the proline metabolism in GG4 was confirmed for the first time, with a low-POX/PRODH/high-PYCR profile. High PEPD and MMPs activity is in keeping with GG4-increased collagen turnover and local aggressiveness. Further studies on the mechanisms of the interplay between altered proline metabolism and the GG4 microenvironment are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Insights into Glioblastoma and Brain Metastases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

16 pages, 454 KiB  
Review
Caring for Pregnant Patients with Cancer: A Framework for Ethical and Patient-Centred Care
by Alma Linkeviciute, Rita Canario, Fedro Alessandro Peccatori and Kris Dierickx
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020455 - 21 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1411
Abstract
(1) Background: Caring for pregnant cancer patients is clinically and ethically complex. There is no structured ethical guidance for healthcare professionals caring for these patients. (2) Objective: This concept paper proposes a theoretically grounded framework to support ethical and patient-centred care of pregnant [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Caring for pregnant cancer patients is clinically and ethically complex. There is no structured ethical guidance for healthcare professionals caring for these patients. (2) Objective: This concept paper proposes a theoretically grounded framework to support ethical and patient-centred care of pregnant cancer patients. (3) Methodological approach: The framework development was based on ethical models applicable to cancer care during pregnancy—namely principle-based approaches (biomedical ethics principles developed by Beauchamp and Childress and the European principles in bioethics and biolaw) and relational, patient-focused approaches (relational ethics, ethics of care and medical maternalism)—and informed by a systematic review of clinical practice guidelines. (4) Results: Five foundational discussion themes, summarising the key ethical considerations that should be taken into account by healthcare professionals while discussing treatment and care options with these patients, were identified. This was further developed into a comprehensive ethics checklist that can be used during clinical appointments and highlights the need for a holistic view to patient treatment, care and counselling while providing ethical, patient-centric care. (5) Conclusion: The proposed framework was further operationalised into an ethics checklist for healthcare professionals that aims to help them anticipate and address ethical concerns that may arise when attending to pregnant cancer patients. Further studies exploring clinicians’ attitudes towards cancer treatment in the course of pregnancy and patient experiences when diagnosed with cancer while pregnant and wider stakeholder engagement are needed to inform the development of further ethical, patient-centred guidance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Causes, Screening and Diagnosis)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

13 pages, 17759 KiB  
Article
The Clinical Significance of Myosteatosis in Survival Outcomes in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treated with Sorafenib
by Min Kyu Kang, Jeong Eun Song, Se Young Jang, Byung Seok Kim, Woo Jin Chung, Changhyeong Lee, Soo Young Park, Won Young Tak, Young Oh Kweon, Jae Seok Hwang, Byoung Kuk Jang, Yu Rim Lee, Jung Gil Park and on behalf of Daegu-Gyeongbuk Liver Study Group (DGLSG)
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020454 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 897
Abstract
The role of body composition parameters in sorafenib-treated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients is still not fully elucidated. Here, we aimed to evaluate the impact of computed tomography (CT)-based body composition parameters on the survival of such patients. In this multicenter study, we analyzed [...] Read more.
The role of body composition parameters in sorafenib-treated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients is still not fully elucidated. Here, we aimed to evaluate the impact of computed tomography (CT)-based body composition parameters on the survival of such patients. In this multicenter study, we analyzed the data of 245 sorafenib-treated HCC patients from January 2008 to December 2019. Sarcopenia, visceral obesity, and myosteatosis were defined by using cross-sectional CT images at the third lumbar vertebra level. The effects of these parameters on overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were evaluated. The median age was 67.0 years (interquartile range: 61.0–78.0 year), and 211 patients (86.1%) were male. The median OS and PFS were 7.9 months and 4.8 months, respectively. Vascular invasion (hazard ratio (HR), 1.727; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.258–2.371; p = 0.001), extrahepatic metastasis (HR, 1.401; 95% CI, 1.028–1.908; p = 0.033), alpha-fetoprotein level > 200 ng/mL (HR, 1.559; 95% CI, 1.105–2.201; p = 0.012), and myosteatosis (HR, 1.814; 95% CI, 1.112–2.960; p = 0.017) were associated with OS. Patient mortality was significantly higher in the group with two or more risk factors than in the group with fewer risk factors. In conclusion, myosteatosis may be a novel prognostic CT-based radiological biomarker in sorafenib-treated HCC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cancer Cachexia)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

22 pages, 1770 KiB  
Article
Early Changes in LIPI Score Predict Immune-Related Adverse Events: A Propensity Score Matched Analysis in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients on Immune Checkpoint Blockade
by Fabrizio Nelli, Agnese Fabbri, Antonella Virtuoso, Diana Giannarelli, Julio Rodrigo Giron Berrios, Eleonora Marrucci, Cristina Fiore and Enzo Maria Ruggeri
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020453 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1293
Abstract
In advanced cancer patients undergoing immune checkpoint blockade, the burden of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) is high. The need for reliable biomarkers for irAEs remains unfulfilled in this expanding therapeutic field. The lung immune prognostic index (LIPI) is a noninvasive measure of systemic [...] Read more.
In advanced cancer patients undergoing immune checkpoint blockade, the burden of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) is high. The need for reliable biomarkers for irAEs remains unfulfilled in this expanding therapeutic field. The lung immune prognostic index (LIPI) is a noninvasive measure of systemic inflammation that has consistently shown a correlation with survival in various cancer types when assessed at baseline. This study sought to determine whether early changes in the LIPI score could discriminate the risk of irAEs and different survival outcomes in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients receiving PD-(L)1 blockade-based therapies. We included consecutive patients diagnosed with metastatic NSCLC who received pembrolizumab, nivolumab, or atezolizumab as second-line therapy following platinum-based chemotherapy, or first-line pembrolizumab either alone or in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy. The LIPI score relied on the combined values of derived neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (dNLR) and lactate dehydrogenase. Their assessment at baseline and after two cycles of treatment allowed us to categorize the population into three subgroups with good (LIPI-0), intermediate (LIPI-1), and poor (LIPI-2) prognosis. Between April 2016 and May 2023, we enrolled a total of 345 eligible patients, 165 (47.8%) and 180 (52.2%) of whom were treated as first- and second-line at our facility, respectively. After applying propensity score matching, we considered 83 relevant patients in each cohort with a homogeneous distribution of all characteristics across the baseline LIPI subgroups. There was a noticeable change in the distribution of LIPI categories due to a significant decrease in dNLR values during treatment. Although no patients shifted to a worse prognosis category, 20 (24.1%) transitioned from LIPI-1 to LIPI-0, and 7 (8.4%) moved from LIPI-2 to LIPI-1 (p < 0.001). Throughout a median observation period of 7.3 (IQR 3.9–15.1) months, a total of 158 irAEs (63.5%) were documented, with 121 (48.6%) and 39 (15.7%) patients experiencing mild to moderate and severe adverse events, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the classification and changes in the LIPI score while on treatment were independent predictors of irAEs. The LIPI-0 group was found to have significantly increased odds of experiencing irAEs. Following a median follow-up period of 21.1 (95% CI 17.9–25.8) months, the multivariable Cox model confirmed LIPI categorization at any given time point as a significant covariate with influence on overall survival, irrespective of the treatment line. These findings suggest that reassessing the LIPI score after two cycles of treatment could help pinpoint patients particularly prone to immune-related toxicities. Those who maintain a good LIPI score or move from the intermediate to good category would be more likely to develop irAEs. The continuous assessment of LIPI provides prognostic insights and could be useful for predicting the benefit of PD-(L)1 checkpoint inhibitors. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 428 KiB  
Article
Complete Primary Pathological Response Following Neoadjuvant Treatment and Radical Resection for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
by Kai Tai Derek Yeung, Joseph Doyle, Sacheen Kumar, Katharine Aitken, Diana Tait, David Cunningham, Long R. Jiao and Ricky Harminder Bhogal
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020452 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Introduction: Neoadjuvant treatment (NAT) for borderline (BD) or locally advanced (LA) primary pancreatic cancer (PDAC) is now a widely adopted approach. We present a case series of patients who have achieved a complete pathological response of the primary tumour on final histology following [...] Read more.
Introduction: Neoadjuvant treatment (NAT) for borderline (BD) or locally advanced (LA) primary pancreatic cancer (PDAC) is now a widely adopted approach. We present a case series of patients who have achieved a complete pathological response of the primary tumour on final histology following neoadjuvant chemotherapy +/− chemoradiation and radical surgery. Methods: Patients who underwent radical pancreatic resection following neoadjuvant treatment between March 2006 and March 2023 at a single institution were identified by retrospective case note review of a prospectively maintained database. Results: Ten patients were identified to have a complete primary pathological response (ypT0) on postoperative histology. Before treatment, five patients were considered BD and five were LA according to National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. All patients underwent staging Computed Tomography (CT) and nine underwent 18Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography (18FDG-PET/CT) imaging, with a mean maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of the primary lesion at 6.14 ± 1.98 units. All patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and eight received further chemoradiotherapy prior to resection. Mean pre- and post-neoadjuvant treatment serum Ca19-9 was 148.0 ± 146.3 IU/L and 18.0 ± 18.7 IU/L, respectively (p = 0.01). The mean duration of NAT was 5.6 ± 1.7 months. The mean time from completion of NAT to surgery was 13.1 ± 8.3 weeks. The mean lymph node yield was 21.1 ± 10.4 nodes, with one patient found to have 1 lymph node involved. All resections were reported to be R0. The mean length of stay was 11.8 ± 6.2 days. At the time of analysis, one death was reported at 35 months postoperatively. Two cases of recurrence were reported at 16 months (surgical bed) and 33 months (pulmonary). All other patients remain alive and under active surveillance. The current overall survival is 26.6 ± 20.7 months and counting. Conclusions: Complete primary pathological response is uncommon but possible following neoadjuvant treatment in patients with PDAC. Further work to identify the common denominator within this unique cohort may lead to advances in the therapeutic approach and offer hope for patients diagnosed with borderline or locally advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Research of Cancer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
Major Stressful Life Events and the Risk of Pancreatic, Head and Neck Cancers: A Case–Control Study
by Arthi Sridhar, Vishaldeep Kaur Sekhon, Chandler Nguyen, Kamelah Abushalha, Amirali Tahanan, Mohammad Hossein Rahbar and Syed Hasan Jafri
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020451 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 966
Abstract
Background: Major stressful life events have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and the development of various chronic illnesses. The stress response generated by our body results in a variety of physiological and metabolic changes [...] Read more.
Background: Major stressful life events have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and the development of various chronic illnesses. The stress response generated by our body results in a variety of physiological and metabolic changes which can affect the immune system and have been shown to be associated with tumor progression. In this study, we aim to determine if major stressful life events are associated with the incidence of head and neck or pancreatic cancer (HNPC). Methods: This is a matched case–control study. Cases (CAs) were HNPC patients diagnosed within the previous 12 months. Controls (COs) were patients without a prior history of malignancy. Basic demographic data information on major stressful life events was collected using the modified Holmes–Rahe stress scale. A total sample of 280 was needed (79 cases, 201 controls) to achieve at least 80% power to detect odds ratios (ORs) of 2.00 or higher at the 5% level of significance. Results: From 1 January 2018 to 31 August 2021, 280 patients were enrolled (CA = 79, CO = 201) in this study. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis after controlling for potential confounding variables (including sex, age, race, education, marital status, smoking history), there was no difference between the lifetime prevalence of major stressful event in cases and controls. However, patients with HNPC were significantly more likely to report a major stressful life event within the preceding 5 years when compared to COs (p = 0.01, OR = 2.32, 95% CI, 1.18–4.54). Conclusions: Patients with head, neck and pancreatic cancers are significantly associated with having a major stressful life event within 5 years of their diagnosis. This study highlights the potential need to recognize stressful life events as risk factors for developing malignancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Informatics and Big Data)
22 pages, 841 KiB  
Review
Lung Cancer Related Thrombosis (LCART): Focus on Immune Checkpoint Blockade
by Andriani Charpidou, Grigorios Gerotziafas, Sanjay Popat, Antonio Araujo, Arnaud Scherpereel, Hans-Georg Kopp, Paolo Bironzo, Gilbert Massard, David Jiménez, Anna Falanga, Anastasios Kollias and Konstantinos Syrigos
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020450 - 20 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1646
Abstract
Cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT) is a common complication in lung cancer patients. Lung cancer confers an increased risk of thrombosis compared to other solid malignancies across all stages of the disease. Newer treatment agents, including checkpoint immunotherapy and targeted agents, may further increase the [...] Read more.
Cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT) is a common complication in lung cancer patients. Lung cancer confers an increased risk of thrombosis compared to other solid malignancies across all stages of the disease. Newer treatment agents, including checkpoint immunotherapy and targeted agents, may further increase the risk of CAT. Different risk-assessment models, such as the Khorana Risk Score, and newer approaches that incorporate genetic risk factors have been used in lung cancer patients to evaluate the risk of thrombosis. The management of CAT is based on the results of large prospective trials, which show similar benefits to low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs) and direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in ambulatory patients. The anticoagulation agent and duration of therapy should be personalized according to lung cancer stage and histology, the presence of driver mutations and use of antineoplastic therapy, including recent curative lung surgery, chemotherapy or immunotherapy. Treatment options should be evaluated in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been shown to impact the thrombotic risk in cancer patients. This review focuses on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, risk factors, novel predictive scores and management of CAT in patients with active lung cancer, with a focus on immune checkpoint inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 6080 KiB  
Article
Tumor Suppression by Anti-Fibroblast Activation Protein Near-Infrared Photoimmunotherapy Targeting Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts
by Raisa A. Glabman, Colleen P. Olkowski, Hannah A. Minor, Laura L. Bassel, Noemi Kedei, Peter L. Choyke and Noriko Sato
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020449 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1278
Abstract
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) constitute a prominent cellular component of the tumor stroma, with various pro-tumorigenic roles. Numerous attempts to target fibroblast activation protein (FAP), a highly expressed marker in immunosuppressive CAFs, have failed to demonstrate anti-tumor efficacy in human clinical trials. Near-infrared photoimmunotherapy [...] Read more.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) constitute a prominent cellular component of the tumor stroma, with various pro-tumorigenic roles. Numerous attempts to target fibroblast activation protein (FAP), a highly expressed marker in immunosuppressive CAFs, have failed to demonstrate anti-tumor efficacy in human clinical trials. Near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT) is a highly selective tumor therapy that utilizes an antibody-photo-absorbing conjugate activated by near-infrared light. In this study, we examined the therapeutic efficacy of CAF depletion by NIR-PIT in two mouse tumor models. Using CAF-rich syngeneic lung and spontaneous mammary tumors, NIR-PIT against FAP or podoplanin was performed. Anti-FAP NIR-PIT effectively depleted FAP+ CAFs, as well as FAP+ myeloid cells, and suppressed tumor growth, whereas anti-podoplanin NIR-PIT was ineffective. Interferon-gamma production by CD8 T and natural killer cells was induced within hours after anti-FAP NIR-PIT. Additionally, lung metastases were reduced in the treated spontaneous mammary cancer model. Depletion of FAP+ stromal as well as FAP+ myeloid cells effectively suppressed tumor growth in bone marrow chimeras, suggesting that the depletion of both cell types in one treatment is an effective therapeutic approach. These findings highlight a promising therapy for selectively eliminating immunosuppressive FAP+ cells within the tumor microenvironment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in Cancer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2850 KiB  
Article
Late Local Recurrence after Neoadjuvant Therapy and Radical Resection for Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer
by Adrian Salega, Marina Münch, Philipp Renner, Klaus-Peter Thon, Wolfgang Steurer, Dina Mönch, Jana Koch, Annika Maaß, Hans Jürgen Schlitt, Marc-Hendrik Dahlke and Tobias Leibold
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020448 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 868
Abstract
Neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (RCT) and lately total neoadjuvant therapy (TNT) improved local recurrence rates of rectal cancer significantly compared to total mesorectal excision (TME) alone. Yet the occurrence and impact of late local recurrences after many years appears to be a distinct biological problem. [...] Read more.
Neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (RCT) and lately total neoadjuvant therapy (TNT) improved local recurrence rates of rectal cancer significantly compared to total mesorectal excision (TME) alone. Yet the occurrence and impact of late local recurrences after many years appears to be a distinct biological problem. We included n = 188 patients with rectal cancer after RCT and radical resection in this study; n = 38 of which had recurrent disease (sites: local (8.0%), liver (6.4%), lung (3.7%)). We found that 68% of all recurrences developed within the first two years. Four patients, however, experience recurrence >8 years after surgery. Here, we report and characterize four cases of late local recurrence (10% of patients with recurrent disease), suggesting that neoadjuvant therapy in principle delays local recurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Locally Advanced and Recurrent Rectal Cancer (2nd Edition))
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 2370 KiB  
Review
Antibody–Drug Conjugates: The Dynamic Evolution from Conventional to Next-Generation Constructs
by Virginia Metrangolo and Lars H. Engelholm
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020447 - 20 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 7713
Abstract
Introduced almost two decades ago, ADCs have marked a breakthrough in the targeted therapy era, providing clinical benefits to many cancer patients. While the inherent complexity of this class of drugs has challenged their development and broad application, the experience gained from years [...] Read more.
Introduced almost two decades ago, ADCs have marked a breakthrough in the targeted therapy era, providing clinical benefits to many cancer patients. While the inherent complexity of this class of drugs has challenged their development and broad application, the experience gained from years of trials and errors and recent advances in construct design and delivery have led to an increased number of ADCs approved or in late clinical development in only five years. Target and payload diversification, along with novel conjugation and linker technologies, are at the forefront of next-generation ADC development, renewing hopes to broaden the scope of these targeted drugs to difficult-to-treat cancers and beyond. This review highlights recent trends in the ADC field, focusing on construct design and mechanism of action and their implications on ADCs’ therapeutic profile. The evolution from conventional to innovative ADC formats will be illustrated, along with some of the current hurdles, including toxicity and drug resistance. Future directions to improve the design of next-generation ADCs will also be presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation in Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs))
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

11 pages, 1647 KiB  
Article
The Transabdominal Lumbar Approach (TALA) for Robotic Renal Surgery—A Retrospective Single-Center Comparative Study and Step-by-Step Description of a Novel Approach
by Franziska Maria Heining, Uwe Bieri, Tilo Niemann, Philipp Maletzki, Christopher Tschung, Jean-Pascal Adank, Fabian Rössler, Antonio Nocito and Lukas John Hefermehl
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020446 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 717
Abstract
The transperitoneal approach (TP) and the retroperitoneal approach (RP) are two common methods for performing nephrectomy or partial nephrectomy. However, both approaches face difficulties, such as trocar placement and limited working space (RP). TP is impaired in the case of dorsal tumors and [...] Read more.
The transperitoneal approach (TP) and the retroperitoneal approach (RP) are two common methods for performing nephrectomy or partial nephrectomy. However, both approaches face difficulties, such as trocar placement and limited working space (RP). TP is impaired in the case of dorsal tumors and dissection of the renal artery can be challenging due to the anatomic localization dorsally to the renal vein. A hybrid approach that combines both methods has been previously reported in a case series, but not evaluated systematically. This study proposes a modified hybrid approach, which we call the transabdominal lumbar approach (TALA), involving late robotic docking after elaborating the retroperitoneum using conventional laparoscopy. The study compares the last 20 consecutive patients who underwent RP and the last 20 patients who underwent TALA at our institution. The investigated variables include operative time and amount of blood loss, hospitalization duration, postoperative analgesia requirement, and postoperative complications. The study found no significant difference in operative time, blood loss, ischemia time, or hospital stay between the two groups. The TALA group had fewer complications regarding Clavien–Dindo category 3, but one complication of category 4. In Conclusion, TALA is a safe and promising approach that combines the advantages of RP and TP. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 5666 KiB  
Article
The Clinical, Genomic, and Transcriptomic Landscape of BRAF Mutant Cancers
by Suzanne Kazandjian, Emmanuelle Rousselle, Matthew Dankner, David W. Cescon, Anna Spreafico, Kim Ma, Petr Kavan, Gerald Batist and April A. N. Rose
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020445 - 19 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1498
Abstract
Background: BRAF mutations are classified into four molecularly distinct groups, and Class 1 (V600) mutant tumors are treated with targeted therapies. Effective treatment has not been established for Class 2/3 or BRAF Fusions. We investigated whether BRAF mutation class differed according to clinical, [...] Read more.
Background: BRAF mutations are classified into four molecularly distinct groups, and Class 1 (V600) mutant tumors are treated with targeted therapies. Effective treatment has not been established for Class 2/3 or BRAF Fusions. We investigated whether BRAF mutation class differed according to clinical, genomic, and transcriptomic variables in cancer patients. Methods: Using the AACR GENIE (v.12) cancer database, the distribution of BRAF mutation class in adult cancer patients was analyzed according to sex, age, primary race, and tumor type. Genomic alteration data and transcriptomic analysis was performed using The Cancer Genome Atlas. Results: BRAF mutations were identified in 9515 (6.2%) samples among 153,834, with melanoma (31%), CRC (20.7%), and NSCLC (13.9%) being the most frequent cancer types. Class 1 harbored co-mutations outside of the MAPK pathway (TERT, RFN43) vs. Class 2/3 mutations (RAS, NF1). Across all tumor types, Class 2/3 were enriched for alterations in genes involved in UV response and WNT/β-catenin. Pathway analysis revealed enrichment of WNT/β-catenin and Hedgehog signaling in non-V600 mutated CRC. Males had a higher proportion of Class 3 mutations vs. females (17.4% vs. 12.3% q = 0.003). Non-V600 mutations were generally more common in older patients (aged 60+) vs. younger (38% vs. 15% p < 0.0001), except in CRC (15% vs. 30% q = 0.0001). Black race was associated with non-V600 BRAF alterations (OR: 1.58; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Class 2/3 BRAFs are more present in Black male patients with co-mutations outside of the MAPK pathway, likely requiring additional oncogenic input for tumorigenesis. Improving access to NGS and trial enrollment will help the development of targeted therapies for non-V600 BRAF mutations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metastatic Melanoma: From Gene Profiling to Targeted Therapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1966 KiB  
Article
Trends and Age-Period-Cohort Effect on Incidence of Male Breast Cancer from 1980 to 2019 in Taiwan and the USA
by Jhao-Yang Peng, Yu-Kwang Lee, Rong-Qi Pham, Xiao-Han Shen, I-Hui Chen, Yong-Chen Chen and Hung-Shu Fan
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020444 - 19 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1085
Abstract
Although male breast cancer (MBC) is globally rare, its incidence significantly increased from 1990 to 2017. The aim of this study was to examine variations in the trends of MBC incidence between populations in Taiwan and the USA from 1980 to 2019. The [...] Read more.
Although male breast cancer (MBC) is globally rare, its incidence significantly increased from 1990 to 2017. The aim of this study was to examine variations in the trends of MBC incidence between populations in Taiwan and the USA from 1980 to 2019. The Taiwan Cancer Registry database and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute of the USA were used. The age-standardized incidence rate was calculated using the world standard population in 2000. The long-term trends of the age, time period, and birth cohort effect on MBC incidence rates were estimated using the SEER Age-Period-Cohort Web Tool. The results revealed that the incidence of MBC in both countries increased from 2010 to 2019 (Taiwan: average annual percentage change (AAPC) = 2.59%; USA: AAPC = 0.64%). The age and period effects on the incidence rates in both countries strengthened, but the cohort effect was only identified in Taiwan (Rate ratio: 4.03). The identified cohort effect in this study bears resemblance to that noted in a previous investigation on female breast cancer in Taiwan. This suggests the possible presence of common environmental factors influencing breast cancer incidence in both genders, such as a high fat diet and xenoestrogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 6473 KiB  
Systematic Review
Is Unplanned Excision of Soft Tissue Sarcomas Associated with Worse Oncological Outcomes?—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Felipe Larios, Marcos R. Gonzalez, Kim Ruiz-Arellanos, George Aquilino E Silva and Juan Pretell-Mazzini
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020443 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 948
Abstract
Background: Soft tissue sarcomas are a group of rare neoplasms which can be mistaken for benign masses and be excised in a non-oncologic fashion (unplanned excision). Whether unplanned excision (UE) is associated with worse outcomes is highly debated due to conflicting evidence. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Soft tissue sarcomas are a group of rare neoplasms which can be mistaken for benign masses and be excised in a non-oncologic fashion (unplanned excision). Whether unplanned excision (UE) is associated with worse outcomes is highly debated due to conflicting evidence. Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis following PRISMA guidelines. Main outcomes analyzed were five-year overall survival (OS), five-year local recurrence-free survival (LRFS), amputation rate and plastic reconstruction surgery rate. Risk ratios were used to compare outcomes between patients treated with planned and unplanned excision. Results: We included 16,946 patients with STS, 6017 (35.5%) with UE. UE was associated with worse five-year LRFS (RR 1.35, p = 0.019). Residual tumor on the tumor bed was associated with lower five-year LRFS (RR = 2.59, p < 0.001). Local recurrence was associated with worse five-year OS (RR = 1.82, p < 0.001). UE was not associated with a worse five-year OS (RR = 0.90, p = 0.16), higher amputation rate (RR = 0.77, p = 0.134), or a worse plastic reconstruction surgery rate (RR = 1.25, p = 0.244). Conclusions: Unplanned excision of Soft Tissue Sarcomas and the presence of disease in tumor bed after one were associated with worse five-year LRFS. Tumor bed excision should remain the standard approach, with special consideration to the presence of residual disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systematic Review or Meta-Analysis in Cancer Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 635 KiB  
Article
Lenvatinib Exacerbates the Decrease in Skeletal Muscle Mass in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Whereas Atezolizumab Plus Bevacizumab Does Not
by Kenji Imai, Koji Takai, Shinji Unome, Takao Miwa, Tatsunori Hanai, Atsushi Suetsugu and Masahito Shimizu
Cancers 2024, 16(2), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16020442 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 806
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate chronological changes in skeletal muscle index (SMI), subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue indices (SATI and VATI), AFP, PIVKA-II, and ALBI scores during atezolizumab plus bevacizumab (AB) or lenvatinib (LEN) treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the effect of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate chronological changes in skeletal muscle index (SMI), subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue indices (SATI and VATI), AFP, PIVKA-II, and ALBI scores during atezolizumab plus bevacizumab (AB) or lenvatinib (LEN) treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the effect of these changes on survival. A total of 94 patients with HCC (37 were on AB and 57 on LEN) were enrolled. SMI, SATI, VATI, AFP, PIVKA-II, and ALBI scores were analyzed at the time of the treatment introduction (Intro), 3 months after the introduction (3M), at drug discontinuation (End), and the last observational time (Last). The differences between chronological changes were analyzed using the Wilcoxon paired test. The independent predictors for survival and the changes in SMI during AB or LEN (c-SMI%) were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards model treating all these factors as time-varying covariates and the analysis of covariance, respectively. SMI in the AB group was maintained over time (42.9–44.0–40.6–44.2 cm2/m2), whereas that in the LEN group significantly decreased during the Intro–3M (p < 0.05) and 3M–End (p < 0.05) period (46.5–45.1–42.8–42.1 cm2/m2). SMI (p < 0.001) was an independent predictor for survival together with AFP (p = 0.004) and ALBI score (p < 0.001). Drug choice (AB or LEN; p = 0.038) and PIVKA-II (p < 0.001) were extracted as independent predictors for c-SMI%. AB treatment was significantly superior to LEN in terms of maintaining skeletal muscle, which is an independent predictor for survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cancer Cachexia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Back to TopTop