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Cancers, Volume 16, Issue 3 (February-1 2024) – 208 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Immune checkpoint inhibition serves as a targeted therapeutic strategy for patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer (GC). It is being investigated in various combinations, with and without chemotherapy, across multiple therapeutic modalities in clinical trials. Compared with traditional therapies, immunotherapy has shown strong effectiveness with tolerable toxicity levels. In this review, we have outlined the recent advancements in immunotherapy for advanced GC, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), cancer vaccines, VEGF-A inhibitors, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, along with existing challenges associated with these therapeutic approaches. View this paper
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18 pages, 827 KiB  
Review
Claudin 18.2 as a New Biomarker in Gastric Cancer—What Should We Know?
by Maria Cecília Mathias-Machado, Victor Hugo Fonseca de Jesus, Alexandre Jácome, Mauro Daniel Donadio, Marcelo Porfirio Sunagua Aruquipa, João Fogacci, Renato Guerino Cunha, Leonard Medeiros da Silva and Renata D’Alpino Peixoto
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030679 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 3063
Abstract
Gastric cancer (GC) remains a formidable global health challenge, ranking among the top-five causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The majority of patients face advanced stages at diagnosis, with a mere 6% five-year survival rate. First-line treatment for metastatic GC typically involves a fluoropyrimidine [...] Read more.
Gastric cancer (GC) remains a formidable global health challenge, ranking among the top-five causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The majority of patients face advanced stages at diagnosis, with a mere 6% five-year survival rate. First-line treatment for metastatic GC typically involves a fluoropyrimidine and platinum agent combination; yet, predictive molecular markers have proven elusive. This review navigates the evolving landscape of GC biomarkers, with a specific focus on Claudin 18.2 (CLDN18.2) as an emerging and promising target. Recent phase III trials have unveiled the efficacy of Zolbetuximab, a CLDN18.2-targeting antibody, in combination with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy for CLDN18.2-positive metastatic GC. As this novel therapeutic avenue unfolds, understanding the nuanced decision making regarding the selection of anti-CLDN18.2 therapies over other targeted agents in metastatic GC becomes crucial. This manuscript reviews the evolving role of CLDN18.2 as a biomarker in GC and explores the current status of CLDN18.2-targeting agents in clinical development. The aim is to provide concise insights into the potential of CLDN18.2 as a therapeutic target and guide future clinical decisions in the management of metastatic GC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biomarkers)
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18 pages, 13902 KiB  
Article
Macrophages Promote Subtype Conversion and Endocrine Resistance in Breast Cancer
by Xiaoyan Zhang, Fengyu Yang, Zhijian Huang, Xiaojun Liu, Gan Xia, Jieye Huang, Yang Yang, Junchen Li, Jin Huang, Yuxin Liu, Ti Zhou, Weiwei Qi, Guoquan Gao and Xia Yang
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030678 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Background: The progression of tumors from less aggressive subtypes to more aggressive states during metastasis poses challenges for treatment strategies. Previous studies have revealed the molecular subtype conversion between primary and metastatic tumors in breast cancer (BC). However, the subtype conversion during lymph [...] Read more.
Background: The progression of tumors from less aggressive subtypes to more aggressive states during metastasis poses challenges for treatment strategies. Previous studies have revealed the molecular subtype conversion between primary and metastatic tumors in breast cancer (BC). However, the subtype conversion during lymph node metastasis (LNM) and the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Methods: We compared clinical subtypes in paired primary tumors and positive lymph nodes (PLNs) in BC patients and further validated them in the mouse model. Bioinformatics analysis and macrophage-conditioned medium treatment were performed to investigate the role of macrophages in subtype conversion. Results: During LNM, hormone receptors (HRs) were down-regulated, while HER2 was up-regulated, leading to the transformation of luminal A tumors towards luminal B tumors and from luminal B subtype towards HER2-enriched (HER2-E) subtype. The mouse model demonstrated the elevated levels of HER2 in PLN while retaining luminal characteristics. Among the various cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME), macrophages were the most clinically relevant in terms of prognosis. The treatment of a macrophage-conditioned medium further confirmed the downregulation of HR expression and upregulation of HER2 expression, inducing tamoxifen resistance. Through bioinformatics analysis, MNX1 was identified as a potential transcription factor governing the expression of HR and HER2. Conclusion: Our study revealed the HER2-E subtype conversion during LNM in BC. Macrophages were the crucial cell type in TME, inducing the downregulation of HR and upregulation of HER2, probably via MNX1. Targeting macrophages or MNX1 may provide new avenues for endocrine therapy and targeted treatment of BC patients with LNM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Tumor Microenvironment)
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13 pages, 267 KiB  
Review
New Approaches for the Treatment of AML beyond the 7+3 Regimen: Current Concepts and New Approaches
by Jaime L. Roman Diaz, Mariola Vazquez Martinez and Farhad Khimani
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030677 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1720
Abstract
Fifty years have passed since the development of the first chemotherapy regimen for treating acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), with the approval in 1973 of the cytarabine daunorubicin (7+3) regimen. Until recently, patients diagnosed with AML had very limited treatment options and depended primarily [...] Read more.
Fifty years have passed since the development of the first chemotherapy regimen for treating acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), with the approval in 1973 of the cytarabine daunorubicin (7+3) regimen. Until recently, patients diagnosed with AML had very limited treatment options and depended primarily on chemotherapy in combinations, doses, or schedules of the same drugs. Patients with advanced age, comorbidities, or relapsed or refractory disease were left with no effective options for treatment. New advances in the understanding of the biology and the molecular and genetic changes associated with leukemogenesis, as well as recent advances in drug development, have resulted in the introduction over the last few years of novel therapeutic agents and approaches to the treatment of AML as well as a new classification of the disease. In this article, we will discuss the new classification of AML; the mechanisms, actions, and indications of the new targeted therapies; the chemotherapy combinations; and the potential role of cellular therapies as new treatment options for this terrible disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Biology and Treatment of Acute Leukemia)
14 pages, 709 KiB  
Review
The Impact of the Gut Microbiome, Environment, and Diet in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer Development
by Rui Dai, Bridget N. Kelly, Amarachi Ike, David Berger, Andrew Chan, David A. Drew, David Ljungman, David Mutiibwa, Rocco Ricciardi, Gerald Tumusiime and James C. Cusack
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030676 - 5 Feb 2024
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
Traditionally considered a disease common in the older population, colorectal cancer is increasing in incidence among younger demographics. Evidence suggests that populational- and generational-level shifts in the composition of the human gut microbiome may be tied to the recent trends in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis. [...] Read more.
Traditionally considered a disease common in the older population, colorectal cancer is increasing in incidence among younger demographics. Evidence suggests that populational- and generational-level shifts in the composition of the human gut microbiome may be tied to the recent trends in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis. This review provides an overview of current research and putative mechanisms behind the rising incidence of colorectal cancer in the younger population, with insight into future interventions that may prevent or reverse the rate of early-onset colorectal carcinoma. Full article
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13 pages, 2992 KiB  
Article
Efficacy and Mechanism of Hypofractionation Radiotherapy Combined with PD-1 Inhibitors in a Model of Head and Neck Melanoma
by Gaofei Yin, Wei Guo, Xiaohong Chen, Yang Zhang and Zhigang Huang
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030675 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Head and neck mucosal melanoma is one of the most common types of melanoma in China, but the prognosis is worse than other types, and there is no effective treatment plan to improve patient survival. This study analyzes the efficacy of hypofractionation radiotherapy [...] Read more.
Head and neck mucosal melanoma is one of the most common types of melanoma in China, but the prognosis is worse than other types, and there is no effective treatment plan to improve patient survival. This study analyzes the efficacy of hypofractionation radiotherapy combined with PD-1 inhibitor in the treatment of head and neck mucosal melanoma, as well as its impact on the tumor immune microenvironment. NPSG mice were used to construct a humanized bilateral lesion tumor model of the humanized immune system. The models were divided into an RT (8 Gy)+anti PD-1 group, an RT (2 GyX4)+anti PD-1 group, an Anti PD-1 group, an RT (8 Gy) group, and a blank group. Differences in efficacy and immune cells in blood, lymph nodes, and tumor tissues were compared between different treatment groups. The treatment effect of RT (8 Gy)+anti PD-1 was better than the other groups with a tumor growth inhibition value (TGI) over 60%. Significant recruitment and activation of CD8+T cells were found in the blood, lymph nodes, and tumor tissues and significantly inhibited the level of PD-1+CD8+T cells in the group of RT (8 Gy)+anti PD-1. This study confirmed the efficacy of hypofractionation radiotherapy combined with PD-1 inhibitors, which can inhibit tumor growth and produce distant effects. The appearance of a distant effect is related to the enhancement in the number and activity of CD8+T cells in the local tumor and peripheral blood and lymph nodes. This study confirms the therapeutic and immune regulatory effect of hypofractionation radiotherapy combined with PD-1 inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy)
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18 pages, 2985 KiB  
Systematic Review
AI-Driven Models for Diagnosing and Predicting Outcomes in Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Mohammed Kanan, Hajar Alharbi, Nawaf Alotaibi, Lubna Almasuood, Shahad Aljoaid, Tuqa Alharbi, Leen Albraik, Wojod Alothman, Hadeel Aljohani, Aghnar Alzahrani, Sadeem Alqahtani, Razan Kalantan, Raghad Althomali, Maram Alameen and Ahdab Mufti
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030674 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 3324
Abstract
(1) Background: Lung cancer’s high mortality due to late diagnosis highlights a need for early detection strategies. Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, particularly for lung cancer, offers promise by analyzing medical data for early identification and personalized treatment. This systematic review evaluates AI’s [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Lung cancer’s high mortality due to late diagnosis highlights a need for early detection strategies. Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, particularly for lung cancer, offers promise by analyzing medical data for early identification and personalized treatment. This systematic review evaluates AI’s performance in early lung cancer detection, analyzing its techniques, strengths, limitations, and comparative edge over traditional methods. (2) Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis followed the PRISMA guidelines rigorously, outlining a comprehensive protocol and employing tailored search strategies across diverse databases. Two reviewers independently screened studies based on predefined criteria, ensuring the selection of high-quality data relevant to AI’s role in lung cancer detection. The extraction of key study details and performance metrics, followed by quality assessment, facilitated a robust analysis using R software (Version 4.3.0). The process, depicted via a PRISMA flow diagram, allowed for the meticulous evaluation and synthesis of the findings in this review. (3) Results: From 1024 records, 39 studies met the inclusion criteria, showcasing diverse AI model applications for lung cancer detection, emphasizing varying strengths among the studies. These findings underscore AI’s potential for early lung cancer diagnosis but highlight the need for standardization amidst study variations. The results demonstrate promising pooled sensitivity and specificity of 0.87, signifying AI’s accuracy in identifying true positives and negatives, despite the observed heterogeneity attributed to diverse study parameters. (4) Conclusions: AI demonstrates promise in early lung cancer detection, showing high accuracy levels in this systematic review. However, study variations underline the need for standardized protocols to fully leverage AI’s potential in revolutionizing early diagnosis, ultimately benefiting patients and healthcare professionals. As the field progresses, validated AI models from large-scale perspective studies will greatly benefit clinical practice and patient care in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Trachea, Bronchus and Lung Cancer Management)
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12 pages, 248 KiB  
Review
Oligometastasis of Gastric Cancer: A Review
by Itaru Yasufuku, Hiroshi Tsuchiya, Seito Fujibayashi, Naoki Okumura, Yuki Sengoku, Masahiro Fukada, Ryuichi Asai, Yuta Sato, Jesse Yu Tajima, Shigeru Kiyama, Takazumi Kato, Yoshihiro Tanaka, Katsutoshi Murase and Nobuhisa Matsuhashi
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030673 - 5 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
The concept of oligometastasis is not yet fully established in the field of gastric cancer. However, metastatic lesions that are localized, technically resectable at diagnosis, present a certain response to preoperative chemotherapy, and present favorable survival outcomes with local treatments, sometimes in combination [...] Read more.
The concept of oligometastasis is not yet fully established in the field of gastric cancer. However, metastatic lesions that are localized, technically resectable at diagnosis, present a certain response to preoperative chemotherapy, and present favorable survival outcomes with local treatments, sometimes in combination with chemotherapy, are recognized as oligometastasis in the field of gastric cancer. Oligometastasis is noted in European Society for Medical Oncology guidelines and Japanese gastric cancer treatment guidelines, and local treatment is mentioned as one of the pivotal treatment options for oligometastasis. Solitary liver metastasis or a small number of liver metastases; retroperitoneal lymph node metastasis, especially localized para-aortic lymph node metastasis; localized peritoneal dissemination; and Krukenberg tumor are representative types of oligometastasis in gastric cancer. The AIO-FLOT3 trial prospectively evaluated the efficacy of multimodal treatments for gastric cancer with oligometastasis, including surgical resection of primary and metastatic lesions combined with chemotherapy, confirming favorable survival outcomes. Two phase 3 studies are ongoing to investigate the efficacy of surgical resection combined with perioperative chemotherapy compared with palliative chemotherapy. Thus far, the evidence suggests that multimodal treatment for oligometastasis of gastric cancer is promising. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Oligo-Recurrence of Various Cancers)
21 pages, 1661 KiB  
Systematic Review
Safety, Efficacy, and Immunogenicity of Therapeutic Vaccines for Patients with High-Grade Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN 2/3) Associated with Human Papillomavirus: A Systematic Review
by Caroline Amélia Gonçalves, Gabriela Pereira-da-Silva, Renata Cristina Campos Pereira Silveira, Paulo César Morales Mayer, Adriana Zilly and Luís Carlos Lopes-Júnior
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030672 - 5 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1486
Abstract
Despite the knowledge that HPV is responsible for high-grade CIN and cervical cancer, little is known about the use of therapeutic vaccines as a treatment. We aimed to synthesize and critically evaluate the evidence from clinical trials on the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity [...] Read more.
Despite the knowledge that HPV is responsible for high-grade CIN and cervical cancer, little is known about the use of therapeutic vaccines as a treatment. We aimed to synthesize and critically evaluate the evidence from clinical trials on the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of therapeutic vaccines in the treatment of patients with high-grade CIN associated with HPV. A systematic review of clinical trials adhering to the PRISMA 2020 statement in MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, CENTRAL Cochrane, Web of Science, Scopus, and LILACS was undertaken, with no data or language restrictions. Primary endpoints related to the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of these vaccines were assessed by reviewing the adverse/toxic effects associated with the therapeutic vaccine administration via histopathological regression of the lesion and/or regression of the lesion size and via viral clearance and through the immunological response of individuals who received treatment compared to those who did not or before and after receiving the vaccine, respectively. A total of 1184 studies were identified, and 16 met all the criteria. Overall, the therapeutic vaccines were heterogeneous regarding their formulation, dose, intervention protocol, and routes of administration, making a meta-analysis unfeasible. In most studies (n = 15), the vaccines were safe and well tolerated, with clinical efficacy regarding the lesions and histopathological regression or viral clearance. In addition, eleven studies showed favorable immunological responses against HPV, and seven studies showed a positive correlation between immunogenicity and the clinical response, indicating promising results that should be further investigated. In summary, therapeutic vaccines, although urgently needed to avoid progression of CIN 2/3 patients, still present sparse data, requiring greater investments in a well-designed phase III RCT. Full article
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12 pages, 1809 KiB  
Article
Real-World Data on Institutional Implementation of Screening for Mismatch Repair Deficiency and Lynch Syndrome in Endometrial Cancer Patients
by Carmen Joder, Andrea Gmür, Wiebke Solass, Lucine Christe, Manuela Rabaglio, Muriel Fluri, Tilman T. Rau, Flurina A. M. Saner, Laura Knabben, Sara Imboden, Michael D. Mueller and Franziska Siegenthaler
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030671 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1095
Abstract
Lynch syndrome is an inherited tumor syndrome caused by a pathogenic germline variant in DNA mismatch repair genes. As the leading cause of hereditary endometrial cancer, international guidelines recommend universal screening in women with endometrial cancer. However, testing for Lynch syndrome is not [...] Read more.
Lynch syndrome is an inherited tumor syndrome caused by a pathogenic germline variant in DNA mismatch repair genes. As the leading cause of hereditary endometrial cancer, international guidelines recommend universal screening in women with endometrial cancer. However, testing for Lynch syndrome is not yet well established in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate adherence to our Lynch syndrome screening algorithm. A retrospective, single-center cohort study was conducted of all endometrial cancer patients undergoing surgical treatment at the Bern University Hospital, Switzerland, between 2017 and 2022. Adherence to immunohistochemical analysis of mismatch repair status, and, if indicated, to MLH1 promoter hypermethylation and to genetic counseling and testing was assessed. Of all 331 endometrial cancer patients, 102 (30.8%) were mismatch repair-deficient and 3 (0.9%) patients were diagnosed with Lynch syndrome. Overall screening adherence was 78.2%, with a notable improvement over the six years from 61.4% to 90.6%. A major reason for non-adherence was lack of provider recommendation for testing, with advanced patient age as a potential patient risk factor. Simplification of the algorithm through standardized reflex screening was recommended to provide optimal medical care for those affected and to allow for cascading testing of at-risk relatives. Full article
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17 pages, 4517 KiB  
Article
Bortezomib in Combination with Physachenolide C Reduces the Tumorigenic Properties of KRASmut/P53mut Lung Cancer Cells by Inhibiting c-FLIP
by Thanigaivelan Kanagasabai, Zerick Dunbar, Salvador González Ochoa, Tonie Farris, Sivanesan Dhandayuthapani, E. M. Kithsiri Wijeratne, A. A. Leslie Gunatilaka and Anil Shanker
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030670 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Background: Defects in apoptosis regulation are one of the classical features of cancer cells, often associated with more aggressiveness and failure to therapeutic options. We investigated the combinatorial antitumor effects of a natural product, physachenolide C (PCC) and bortezomib, in KRASmut/P53 [...] Read more.
Background: Defects in apoptosis regulation are one of the classical features of cancer cells, often associated with more aggressiveness and failure to therapeutic options. We investigated the combinatorial antitumor effects of a natural product, physachenolide C (PCC) and bortezomib, in KRASmut/P53mut lung cancer cells and xenograft mice models. Methods: The in vitro anticancer effects of the bortezomib and PCC combination were investigated using cell viability, migration, and invasion assays in 344SQ, H23, and H358 cell lines. Furthermore, the effects of combination treatment on the critical parameters of cellular metabolism, including extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation based on the oxygen consumption rate of cancer cells were assessed using Seahorse assay. Finally, the antitumor effect of the bortezomib (1 mg/kg) and PCC (10 mg/kg) combination was evaluated using xenograft mice models. Results: Our data showed that the bortezomib–PCC combination was more effective in reducing the viability of lung cancer cells in comparison with the individual treatments. Similarly, the combination treatment showed a significant inhibition of cell migration and invasion of cancer cells. Additionally, the key anti-apoptotic protein c-FLIP was significantly inhibited along with a substantial reduction in the key parameters of cellular metabolism in cancer cells. Notably, the bortezomib or PCC inhibited the tumor growth compared to the control group, the tumor growth inhibition was much more effective when bortezomib was combined with PCC in tumor xenograft mice models. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that PCC sensitizes cancer cells to bortezomib, potentially improving the antitumor effects against KRASmut/P53mut lung cancer cells, with an enhanced efficacy of combination treatments without causing significant side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Cancer Biology)
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10 pages, 679 KiB  
Review
Radiation Segmentectomy for the Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Practical Review of Evidence
by Sophia N. Mourad, Cynthia De la Garza-Ramos and Beau B. Toskich
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030669 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1359
Abstract
Radiation segmentectomy is a versatile, safe, and effective ablative therapy for early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma. Advances in radiation segmentectomy patient selection, procedural technique, and dosimetry have positioned this modality as a curative-intent and guideline-supported treatment for patients with solitary HCC. This review describes key [...] Read more.
Radiation segmentectomy is a versatile, safe, and effective ablative therapy for early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma. Advances in radiation segmentectomy patient selection, procedural technique, and dosimetry have positioned this modality as a curative-intent and guideline-supported treatment for patients with solitary HCC. This review describes key radiation segmentectomy concepts and summarizes the existing literary knowledgebase. Full article
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14 pages, 312 KiB  
Article
An Accelerated Failure Time Model to Predict Cause-Specific Survival and Prognostic Factors of Lung and Bronchus Cancer Patients with at Least Bone or Brain Metastases: Development and Internal Validation Using a SEER-Based Study
by Phillip Oluwatobi Awodutire, Michael W. Kattan, Oluwatosin Stephen Ilori and Oluwatosin Ruth Ilori
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030668 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
Background: This study addresses the significant challenge of low survival rates in patients with cause-specific lung cancer accompanied by bone or brain metastases. Recognizing the critical need for an effective predictive model, the research aims to establish survival prediction models using both parametric [...] Read more.
Background: This study addresses the significant challenge of low survival rates in patients with cause-specific lung cancer accompanied by bone or brain metastases. Recognizing the critical need for an effective predictive model, the research aims to establish survival prediction models using both parametric and non-parametric approaches. Methods: Clinical data from lung cancer patients with at least one bone or brain metastasis between 2000 and 2020 from the SEER database were utilized. Four models were constructed: Cox proportional hazard, Weibull accelerated failure time (AFT), log-normal AFT, and Zografos–Balakrishnan log-normal (ZBLN). Independent prognostic factors for cause-specific survival were identified, and model fit was evaluated using Akaike’s and Bayesian information criteria. Internal validation assessed predictive accuracy and discriminability through the Harriel Concordance Index (C-index) and calibration plots. Results: A total of 20,412 patients were included, with 14,290 (70%) as the training cohort and 6122 (30%) validation. Independent prognostic factors selected for the study were age, race, sex, primary tumor site, disease grade, total malignant tumor in situ, metastases, treatment modality, and histology. Among the accelerated failure time (AFT) models considered, the ZBLN distribution exhibited the most robust model fit for the 3- and 5-year survival, as evidenced by the lowest values of Akaike’s information criterion of 6322 and 79,396, and the Bayesian information criterion of 63,495 and 79,396, respectively. This outperformed other AFT and Cox models (AIC = [156,891, 211,125]; BIC = [158,848, 211,287]). Regarding predictive accuracy, the ZBLN AFT model achieved the highest concordance C-index (0.682, 0.667), a better performance than the Cox model (0.669, 0.643). The calibration curves of the ZBLN AFT model demonstrated a high degree of concordance between actual and predicted values. All variables considered in this study demonstrated significance at the 0.05 level for the ZBLN AFT model. However, differences emerged in the significant variations in survival times between subgroups. The study revealed that patients with only bone metastases have a higher chance of survival compared to only brain and those with bone and brain metastases. Conclusions: The study highlights the underutilized but accurate nature of the accelerated failure time model in predicting lung cancer survival and identifying prognostic factors. These findings have implications for individualized clinical decisions, indicating the potential for screening and professional care of lung cancer patients with at least one bone or brain metastasis in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Methods and Technologies Development)
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14 pages, 5715 KiB  
Article
Head-to-Head Comparison of [18F]PSMA-1007 and [18F]FDG PET/CT in Patients with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
by Natalia Andryszak, Daria Świniuch, Elżbieta Wójcik, Rodryg Ramlau, Marek Ruchała and Rafał Czepczyński
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030667 - 4 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1433
Abstract
Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) exhibits high aggressiveness and a notably poorer prognosis at advanced stages. Nuclear medicine offers new possibilities, not only for diagnosis but also potentially promising therapeutic strategies. This prospective study explores the potential of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) as [...] Read more.
Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) exhibits high aggressiveness and a notably poorer prognosis at advanced stages. Nuclear medicine offers new possibilities, not only for diagnosis but also potentially promising therapeutic strategies. This prospective study explores the potential of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) as a diagnostic and therapeutic target in TNBC. Methods: the research investigates PSMA expression in vivo among TNBC patients using [18F]PSMA-1007 PET/CT and compares it head-to-head with the standard-of-care [18F]FDG PET/CT. Results: The study involves 10 TNBC patients, revealing comparable uptake of [18F]PSMA-1007 and [18F]FDG in primary and metastatic lesions. Nodal metastases were found in eight patients, showing similar SUVmax values in both modalities. Two patients had uncountable lung metastases positive in both [18F]FDG and [18F]PSMA-1007 scans. PET-positive bone metastases were identified by 18F-PSMA in four patients, while elevated [18F]FDG uptake was found only in three of them. Distant metastases displayed higher SUVmax values in the [18F]PSMA-1007 PET/CT, as compared to [18F]FDG. Additionally, brain metastases were exclusively detected using [18F]PSMA-1007. Conclusions: the findings provide valuable insights into the expression of PSMA in TNBC and underscore the potential clinical significance of [18F]PSMA-1007 PET/CT in enhancing both diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for this aggressive breast cancer subtype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Triple Negative Breast Cancer Therapy Resistance and Metastasis)
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23 pages, 1652 KiB  
Review
Management of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in 2024: The Multidisciplinary Paradigm in an Evolving Treatment Landscape
by Emily Kinsey and Hannah M. Lee
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030666 - 4 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3199
Abstract
Liver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) makes up the majority of liver cancer cases. Despite the stabilization of incidence rates in recent years due to effective viral hepatitis treatments, as well as improved [...] Read more.
Liver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) makes up the majority of liver cancer cases. Despite the stabilization of incidence rates in recent years due to effective viral hepatitis treatments, as well as improved outcomes from early detection and treatment advances, the burden of HCC is anticipated to rise again due to increasing rates of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease and alcohol-related liver disease. The treatment landscape is evolving and requires a multidisciplinary approach, often involving multi-modal treatments that include surgical resection, transplantation, local regional therapies, and systemic treatments. The optimal approach to the care of the HCC patient requires a multidisciplinary team involving hepatology, medical oncology, diagnostic and interventional radiology, radiation oncology, and surgery. In order to determine which approach is best, an individualized treatment plan should consider the patient’s liver function, functional status, comorbidities, cancer stage, and preferences. In this review, we provide an overview of the current treatment options and key trials that have revolutionized the management of HCC. We also discuss evolving treatment paradigms for the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights on Therapy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma)
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15 pages, 1629 KiB  
Article
MicroRNAs Associated with Androgen Receptor and Metastasis in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
by Mamoun Ahram, Bayan Abu Alragheb, Hassan Abushukair, Randa Bawadi and Maysa Al-Hussaini
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030665 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1206
Abstract
It is crucial to identify novel molecular biomarkers and therapeutic targets for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The androgen receptor (AR) is a regulator of TNBC, acting partially via microRNA molecules (miRNAs). In this study, we used PCR arrays to profile the expression of [...] Read more.
It is crucial to identify novel molecular biomarkers and therapeutic targets for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The androgen receptor (AR) is a regulator of TNBC, acting partially via microRNA molecules (miRNAs). In this study, we used PCR arrays to profile the expression of 84 miRNAs in 24 TNBC tissue samples, which were equally classified according to AR expression and/or metastasis. Several bioinformatics tools were then utilized to determine the potentially affected protein targets and signaling pathways. Seven miRNAs were found to be significantly more highly expressed in association with AR expression, including miR-328-3p and miR-489-3p. Increased expression of miR-205-3p was found to be significantly associated with metastasis. Certain miRNAs were specifically found to be differentially expressed in either metastatic or non-metastatic AR-positive tumors. A gene ontology (GO) analysis indicated biological roles in the regulation of transcription, cellular response to DNA damage, and the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling pathway. The GO analysis also showed enrichment in kinase and transcription factor activities. The TGF-beta and a number of kinase-dependent pathways were also retrieved using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses. This study offers an understanding of the role of AR in TNBC and further implicates miRNAs in mediating the effects of AR on TNBC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in TNBC: New Markers for Innovative Treatments)
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24 pages, 16730 KiB  
Review
Management of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Scalp: The Role of Imaging and Therapeutic Approaches
by Júlia Verdaguer-Faja, Agustí Toll, Aram Boada, Álvaro Guerra-Amor, Carla Ferrándiz-Pulido and Ane Jaka
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030664 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1597
Abstract
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the second most common subtype of skin cancer. The scalp is one of the most frequently affected locations and is associated with a higher rate of complications, compared to other locations. In addition, it has a characteristic [...] Read more.
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the second most common subtype of skin cancer. The scalp is one of the most frequently affected locations and is associated with a higher rate of complications, compared to other locations. In addition, it has a characteristic thickness and anatomical structure that may influence both growth pattern and treatment of primary cSCC; while clinical peripheral margins may be easily achieved during the surgery, vertical excision of the tumor is limited by the skull. Despite having a unique anatomy, current guidelines do not contemplate specific recommendations for scalp cSCC, which leads to inconsistent decision-making in multidisciplinary committees when discussing tumors with high risk factors or with close margins. This article provides specific recommendations for the management of patients with scalp cSCC, based on current evidence, as well as those aspects in which evidence is lacking, pointing out possible future lines of research. Topics addressed include epidemiology, clinical presentation and diagnosis, imaging techniques, surgical and radiation treatments, systemic therapy for advanced cases, and follow-up. The primary focus of this review is on management of primary cSCC of the scalp with localized disease, although where relevant, some points about recurrent cSCCs or advanced disease cases are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Concepts and Recent Advances in the Management of Skin Cancer)
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19 pages, 2652 KiB  
Review
Insight into Recent Advances in Degrading Androgen Receptor for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
by Qiao-Hong Chen, Erick Munoz and Dennis Ashong
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030663 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2495
Abstract
Induced protein degradation has emerged as an innovative drug discovery approach, complementary to the classical method of suppressing protein function. The androgen receptor signaling pathway has been identified as the primary driving force in the development and progression of lethal castration-resistant prostate cancer. [...] Read more.
Induced protein degradation has emerged as an innovative drug discovery approach, complementary to the classical method of suppressing protein function. The androgen receptor signaling pathway has been identified as the primary driving force in the development and progression of lethal castration-resistant prostate cancer. Since androgen receptor degraders function differently from androgen receptor antagonists, they hold the promise to overcome the drug resistance challenges faced by current therapeutics. Proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs), monomeric degraders, hydrophobic tagging, molecular glues, and autophagic degradation have demonstrated their capability in downregulating intracellular androgen receptor concentrations. The potential of these androgen receptor degraders to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer is substantiated by the advancement of six PROTACs and two monomeric androgen receptor degraders into phase I or II clinical trials. Although the chemical structures, in vitro and in vivo data, and degradation mechanisms of androgen receptor degraders have been reviewed, it is crucial to stay updated on recent advances in this field as novel androgen receptor degraders and new strategies continue to emerge. This review thus provides insight into recent advancements in this paradigm, offering an overview of the progress made since 2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Cancer Biology)
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2 pages, 173 KiB  
Editorial
Cell-Free DNA: Unveiling the Future of Cancer Diagnostics and Monitoring
by Edoardo Francini, Pier Vitale Nuzzo and Giuseppe Nicolò Fanelli
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030662 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 828
Abstract
As we conclude this Special Issue of 21 published articles dedicated to cell-free DNA (cfDNA) as a prognostic and predictive biomarker in solid cancers, we find ourselves gazing at a vibrant landscape of research on cfDNA [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Free DNA as Prognostic and Predictive Biomarker in Solid Cancers)
2 pages, 157 KiB  
Comment
Comment on Wu et al. Baveno VII Criteria Is an Accurate Risk Stratification Tool to Predict High-Risk Varices Requiring Intervention and Hepatic Events in Patients with Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Cancers 2023, 15, 2480
by Manon Allaire and Dominique Thabut
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030661 - 4 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 549
Abstract
We read with great interest the original research conducted by Wu et al [...] Full article
13 pages, 4526 KiB  
Article
Is CT Radiomics Superior to Morphological Evaluation for pN0 Characterization? A Pilot Study in Colon Cancer
by Marta Zerunian, Ilaria Nacci, Damiano Caruso, Michela Polici, Benedetta Masci, Domenico De Santis, Paolo Mercantini, Giulia Arrivi, Federica Mazzuca, Pasquale Paolantonio, Emanuela Pilozzi, Andrea Vecchione, Mariarita Tarallo, Enrico Fiori, Elsa Iannicelli and Andrea Laghi
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030660 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 860
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare CT radiomics and morphological features when assessing benign lymph nodes (LNs) in colon cancer (CC). This retrospective study included 100 CC patients (test cohort) who underwent a preoperative CT examination and were diagnosed as pN0 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare CT radiomics and morphological features when assessing benign lymph nodes (LNs) in colon cancer (CC). This retrospective study included 100 CC patients (test cohort) who underwent a preoperative CT examination and were diagnosed as pN0 after surgery. Regional LNs were scored with a morphological Likert scale (NODE-SCORE) and divided into two groups: low likelihood (LLM: 0–2 points) and high likelihood (HLM: 3–7 points) of malignancy. The T-test and the Mann–Whitney test were used to compare 107 radiomic features extracted from the two groups. Radiomic features were also extracted from primary lesions (PLs), and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was used to test a LN/PL ratio when assessing the LN’s status identified with radiomics and with the NODE-SCORE. An amount of 337 LNs were divided into 167 with LLM and 170 with HLM. Radiomics showed 15/107 features, with a significant difference (p < 0.02) between the two groups. The comparison of selected features between 81 PLs and the corresponding LNs showed all significant differences (p < 0.0001). According to the LN/PL ratio, the selected features recognized a higher number of LNs than the NODE-SCORE (p < 0.001). On validation of the cohort of 20 patients (10 pN0, 10 pN2), significant ROC curves were obtained for LN/PL busyness (AUC = 0.91; 0.69–0.99; 95% C.I.; and p < 0.001) and for LN/PL dependence entropy (AUC = 0.76; 0.52–0.92; 95% C.I.; and p = 0.03). The radiomics ratio between CC and LNs is more accurate for noninvasively discriminating benign LNs compared to CT morphological features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Section "Methods and Technologies Development")
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16 pages, 888 KiB  
Article
Extra-Capsular Spread of Lymph Node Metastasis in Oral, Oropharyngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer: A Comparative Subsite Analysis
by Yung Jee Kang, Goeun Park, Sung Yool Park, Taehwan Kim, Eunhye Kim, Yujin Heo, Changhee Lee and Han-Sin Jeong
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030659 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Background: The extra-capsular spread (ECS) of lymph node metastasis (LNM) is a hallmark of aggressive primary tumor phenotype in head and neck cancer (HNC); however, the factors influencing ECS are poorly understood. Patients and Methods: This was a retrospective study, including 190 cases [...] Read more.
Background: The extra-capsular spread (ECS) of lymph node metastasis (LNM) is a hallmark of aggressive primary tumor phenotype in head and neck cancer (HNC); however, the factors influencing ECS are poorly understood. Patients and Methods: This was a retrospective study, including 190 cases of oral tongue cancer (OTC), 148 cases of oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) (118 HPV-positive and 30 HPV-negative), and 100 cases of hypopharyngeal cancer (HPC). Tumor dimension, tumor biological variables (lymphovascular/perineural invasion and histologic grade), and LNM variables (LNM number and size) were analyzed according to the presence of ECS using multivariable logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses. Results: LNM variables were significant factors for ECS in all subsites of HNC (p < 0.05), except HPV-positive OPC. In OTC, tumor dimensional variables were significantly related to ECS (p < 0.01). Meanwhile, in OPC and HPC, neither the primary tumor dimension nor the T status were significant factors for ECS occurrence. The predictability of ECS by ROC curve using multiple variables was 0.819 [95% confidence interval: 0.759–0.878] in OTC, 0.687 [0.559–0.815] in HPV-positive OPC, 0.823 [0.642–1.000] in HPV-negative OPC, and 0.907 [0.841–0.973] in HPC. Conclusion: LNM variables were correlated with ECS occurrence for most HNC subsites, and site-dependent primary tumor characteristics might contribute differentially to the ECS development of LNM in HNC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Head and Neck Cancer Metastases)
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13 pages, 758 KiB  
Review
A Meta-Analysis and Review of Radiation Dose Escalation in Definitive Radiation Therapy between Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Adenocarcinoma of Esophageal Cancer
by Yu Liou, Tien-Li Lan and Chin-Chun Lan
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030658 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1114
Abstract
Esophageal cancer, ranked as the eighth most prevalent cancer globally, is characterized by a low survival rate and poor prognosis. Concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CCRT) is the standard therapy in the non-surgical treatment of localized carcinoma of the esophagus. Nevertheless, the radiation doses employed [...] Read more.
Esophageal cancer, ranked as the eighth most prevalent cancer globally, is characterized by a low survival rate and poor prognosis. Concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CCRT) is the standard therapy in the non-surgical treatment of localized carcinoma of the esophagus. Nevertheless, the radiation doses employed in CCRT remain notably lower compared to the curative definite chemoradiation therapy utilized in the management of other carcinomas. In order to increase the local control rates and enhance the treatment outcomes, several clinical trials have used high-dose radiation to analyze the effect of dose escalation. Despite the integration of technically advanced RT schemes such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), the results of these trials have failed to demonstrate a significant improvement in overall survival or local progression-free survival. In this review, we investigated previous clinical trials to determine the ineffectiveness of radiation dose escalation in the context of CCRT for esophageal cancer. We aim to clarify the factors contributing to the limited efficacy of escalated radiation doses in improving patient outcomes. Furthermore, we delve into recent research endeavors, exploring prospective radiation dose modifications being altered based on the histological characteristics of the carcinoma. The exploration of these recent studies not only sheds light on potential refinements to the existing treatment protocols but also seeks to identify novel approaches that may pave the way for more efficacious and personalized therapeutic strategies for esophageal cancer management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Esophageal Cancer Management (Volume II))
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18 pages, 3649 KiB  
Article
miR-622 Increases miR-30a Expression through Inhibition of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α to Improve Metastasis and Chemoresistance in Human Invasive Breast Cancer Cells
by Chun-Wen Cheng, Yu-Fan Liu, Wen-Ling Liao, Po-Ming Chen, Yueh-Tzu Hung, Huei-Jane Lee, Yu-Chun Cheng, Pei-Ei Wu, Yen-Shen Lu and Chen-Yang Shen
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030657 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) plays a pivotal role in the survival, metastasis, and response to treatment of solid tumors. Autophagy serves as a mechanism for tumor cells to eliminate misfolded proteins and damaged organelles, thus promoting invasiveness, metastasis, and resistance to treatment under [...] Read more.
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) plays a pivotal role in the survival, metastasis, and response to treatment of solid tumors. Autophagy serves as a mechanism for tumor cells to eliminate misfolded proteins and damaged organelles, thus promoting invasiveness, metastasis, and resistance to treatment under hypoxic conditions. MicroRNA (miRNA) research underscores the significance of these non-coding molecules in regulating cancer-related protein synthesis across diverse contexts. However, there is limited reporting on miRNA-mediated gene expression studies, especially with respect to epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and autophagy in the context of hypoxic breast cancer. Our study reveals decreased levels of miRNA-622 (miR-622) and miRNA-30a (miR-30a) in invasive breast cancer cells compared to their non-invasive counterparts. Inducing miR-622 suppresses HIF-1α protein expression, subsequently activating miR-30a transcription. This cascade results in reduced invasiveness and migration of breast cancer cells by inhibiting EMT markers, such as Snail, Slug, and vimentin. Furthermore, miR-30a negatively regulates beclin 1, ATG5, and LC3-II and inhibits Akt protein phosphorylation. Consequently, this improves the sensitivity of invasive MDA-MB-231 cells to docetaxel treatment. In conclusion, our study highlights the therapeutic potential of inducing miR-622 to promote miR-30a expression and thus disrupt HIF-1α-associated EMT and autophagy pathways. This innovative strategy presents a promising approach to the treatment of aggressive breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Cancer Biology)
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16 pages, 1047 KiB  
Review
Physical Activity, Insulin Resistance and Cancer: A Systematic Review
by Santiago Navarro-Ledesma, Dina Hamed-Hamed, Ana González-Muñoz and Leo Pruimboom
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030656 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
Introduction: Insulin resistance (IR), a key aspect of type 2 diabetes and a defining characteristic of obesity and its associated conditions, emerges as a mechanistic pathway potentially implicated in cancer pathophysiology. This presents an appealing intervention target for cancer patients. The objective of [...] Read more.
Introduction: Insulin resistance (IR), a key aspect of type 2 diabetes and a defining characteristic of obesity and its associated conditions, emerges as a mechanistic pathway potentially implicated in cancer pathophysiology. This presents an appealing intervention target for cancer patients. The objective of this study is to conduct a systematic review, examining the scientific evidence regarding the impact of physical activity on modifying insulin resistance in individuals with cancer. Methods: The selection criteria were specific: only randomized controlled clinical trials published in the last 13 years and written in English or Spanish were included. The databases utilized for the search included PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, EBSCO, and WEB OF SCIENCE. The protocol for this review was duly registered in the International Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42023435002). The final search was conducted on 14 May 2023. Results: The outcomes were assessed using the tool proposed by the Cochrane Handbook to evaluate the risk of bias in the included studies. Among the 12 studies incorporated, 8 demonstrated a low risk of bias, two had an unclear risk of bias, and the remaining two showed a high risk of bias. The variety of exercise types used across all studies was extensive, making definitive conclusions challenging. Physical activity was linked to enhanced insulin sensitivity in seven studies, while five studies showed no significant changes in insulin resistance between the intervention and control groups. Importantly, none of the interventions employed in the included studies exhibited adverse effects on the study participants. Conclusions: The role of exercise as a medicine against insulin resistance has been evidenced in many different studies, mostly related to obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Engaging in physical activity could be a healthy option to combat the effects of insulin resistance in cancer patients, although evidence is weak and limited, according to the results of our systemic review. We further found that literature is lacking at the level of optimal doses, timing, and type of exercise. More studies are needed with more defined PA programs in type and length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic From Basic Research to a Clinical Perspective in Oncology)
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13 pages, 2202 KiB  
Article
Suspicious Ultrasound-Occult Non-Calcified Mammographic Masses, Asymmetries, and Architectural Distortions Are Moderate Probability for Malignancy
by Ethan O. Cohen, Rachel E. Perry, Ravinder S. Legha, Hilda H. Tso, Kyungmin Shin, Megan E. Speer, Kanchan A. Phalak, Jia Sun and Jessica W. T. Leung
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030655 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 763
Abstract
Suspicious non-calcified mammographic findings have not been evaluated with modern mammographic technique, and the purpose of this work is to compare the likelihood of malignancy for those findings. To do this, 5018 consecutive mammographically guided biopsies performed during 2016–2019 at a large metropolitan, [...] Read more.
Suspicious non-calcified mammographic findings have not been evaluated with modern mammographic technique, and the purpose of this work is to compare the likelihood of malignancy for those findings. To do this, 5018 consecutive mammographically guided biopsies performed during 2016–2019 at a large metropolitan, community-based hospital system were retrospectively reviewed. In total, 4396 were excluded for targeting calcifications, insufficient follow-up, or missing data. Thirty-seven of 126 masses (29.4%) were malignant, 44 of 194 asymmetries (22.7%) were malignant, and 77 of 302 architectural distortions (AD, 25.5%) were malignant. The combined likelihood of malignancy was 25.4%. Older age was associated with a higher likelihood of malignancy for each imaging finding type (all p ≤ 0.006), and a possible ultrasound correlation was associated with a higher likelihood of malignancy when all findings were considered together (p = 0.012). Two-view asymmetries were more frequently malignant than one-view asymmetries (p = 0.03). There were two false-negative biopsies (98.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity). In conclusion, the 25.4% likelihood of malignancy confirms the recommendation for biopsy of suspicious, ultrasound-occult, mammographic findings. Mammographically guided biopsies were highly sensitive and specific in this study. Older patient age and a possible ultrasound correlation should raise concern given the increased likelihood of malignancy in those scenarios. Full article
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16 pages, 3216 KiB  
Article
Protein Arginine Methylation Patterns in Plasma Small Extracellular Vesicles Are Altered in Patients with Early-Stage Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
by Kritisha Bhandari, Jeng Shi Kong, Katherine Morris, Chao Xu and Wei-Qun Ding
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030654 - 3 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) contain lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, which often resemble their cells of origin. Therefore, plasma sEVs are considered valuable resources for cancer biomarker development. However, previous efforts have been largely focused on the level of proteins and miRNAs in [...] Read more.
Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) contain lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, which often resemble their cells of origin. Therefore, plasma sEVs are considered valuable resources for cancer biomarker development. However, previous efforts have been largely focused on the level of proteins and miRNAs in plasma sEVs, and the post-translational modifications of sEV proteins, such as arginine methylation, have not been explored. Protein arginine methylation, a relatively stable post-translational modification, is a newly described molecular feature of PDAC. The present study examined arginine methylation patterns in plasma sEVs derived from patients with early-stage PDAC (n = 23) and matched controls. By utilizing the arginine methylation-specific antibodies for western blotting, we found that protein arginine methylation patterns in plasma sEVs are altered in patients with early-stage PDAC. Specifically, we observed a reduction in the level of symmetric dimethyl arginine (SDMA) in plasma sEV proteins derived from patients with early- and late-stage PDAC. Importantly, immunoprecipitation followed by proteomics analysis identified a number of arginine-methylated proteins exclusively present in plasma sEVs derived from patients with early-stage PDAC. These results indicate that arginine methylation patterns in plasma sEVs are potential indicators of PDAC, a new concept meriting further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biomarkers in Cancers (Volume II))
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9 pages, 549 KiB  
Article
Lymphedema and Trismus after Head and Neck Cancer, and the Impact on Body Image and Quality of Life
by Coralie R. Arends, Lisette van der Molen, Josephine E. Lindhout, Karoline Bragante, Arash Navran, Michiel W. M. van den Brekel and Martijn M. Stuiver
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030653 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 852
Abstract
Background: To assess the prevalence of chronic lymphedema and trismus in patients > 6 months after head and neck cancer (HNC) treatment, and to explore how the severity of these conditions correlates with body image and quality of life. Methods: The cross-sectional sample [...] Read more.
Background: To assess the prevalence of chronic lymphedema and trismus in patients > 6 months after head and neck cancer (HNC) treatment, and to explore how the severity of these conditions correlates with body image and quality of life. Methods: The cross-sectional sample included 59 patients, treated for HNC between six months to three years ago. Physical measurements were performed to assess the presence of external lymphedema and trismus (<36 mm). Furthermore, participants completed two questionnaires regarding body image (BIS) and quality of life (UW-QoL V4). Results: Lymphedema prevalence was 94.1% (95% CI 0.86–0.98), with a median severity score of 9 (range 0–24). Trismus prevalence in this sample was 1.2%. The median BIS score was 2, indicating a positive body image. The UW-QoL score showed a good QOL with a median of 100. Only the domain of saliva and overall related health had a lower median of 70 and 60, respectively. There was no correlation between lymphedema and body image (r = 0.08, p = 0.544). Patients with higher lymphedema scores reported poorer speech with a moderate correlation (r = −0.39, p = 0.003). Conclusion: Lymphedema is a highly prevalent, but moderately severe late side-effect of HNC with a limited impact on quality of life domains except for speech, in our cohort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life)
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22 pages, 13643 KiB  
Review
Role of Post-Translational Modifications in Colorectal Cancer Metastasis
by Na Peng, Jingwei Liu, Shuangshuang Hai, Yihong Liu, Haibo Zhao and Weixin Liu
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030652 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1208
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignant tumors of the digestive tract. CRC metastasis is a multi-step process with various factors involved, including genetic and epigenetic regulations, which turn out to be a serious threat to CRC patients. Post-translational modifications [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignant tumors of the digestive tract. CRC metastasis is a multi-step process with various factors involved, including genetic and epigenetic regulations, which turn out to be a serious threat to CRC patients. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins involve the addition of chemical groups, sugars, or proteins to specific residues, which fine-tunes a protein’s stability, localization, or interactions to orchestrate complicated biological processes. An increasing number of recent studies suggest that dysregulation of PTMs, such as phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and glycosylation, play pivotal roles in the CRC metastasis cascade. Here, we summarized recent advances in the role of post-translational modifications in diverse aspects of CRC metastasis and its detailed molecular mechanisms. Moreover, advances in drugs targeting PTMs and their cooperation with other anti-cancer drugs, which might provide novel targets for CRC treatment and improve therapeutic efficacy, were also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Metastasis)
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14 pages, 1430 KiB  
Article
Comparison of PIV and Other Immune Inflammation Markers of Oncological and Survival Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy
by Pierluigi Russo, Giuseppe Palermo, Roberto Iacovelli, Mauro Ragonese, Chiara Ciccarese, Giuseppe Maioriello, Fabrizio Fantasia, Francesco Pio Bizzarri, Filippo Marino, Koosha Moosavi, Domenico Nigro, Giovanni Battista Filomena, Filippo Gavi, Francesco Rossi, Francesco Pinto, Marco Racioppi and Nazario Foschi
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030651 - 3 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
Inflammation is widely acknowledged as a significant characteristic of cancer, playing a substantial function in both the initiation and advancement of cancers. In this research, we planned to compare pan-immune inflammation markers and other well-known markers (systemic immune inflammation index and neutrophil to [...] Read more.
Inflammation is widely acknowledged as a significant characteristic of cancer, playing a substantial function in both the initiation and advancement of cancers. In this research, we planned to compare pan-immune inflammation markers and other well-known markers (systemic immune inflammation index and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio) to predict prognosis in individuals treated with radical cystectomy for bladder cancer. Methods: In this retrospective analysis, we focused on preoperative PIV, systemic immune inflammation index (SII), and neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in 193 individuals managed with radical cystectomy for bladder cancer between January 2016 and November 2022. Multivariable logistic regression assessments were performed to assess the predictive capabilities of PIV, SII, and NLR for infiltration of lymph nodes (N), aggressive tumor stage (pT3/pT4), and any non-organ limited disease at the time of RC. Multivariable Cox regression analyses were conducted to assess the predictive impact of PIV on Relapse-free survival (RFS), Cancer-specific survival (CSS), and Overall survival (OS). Results: Our individuals were divided into high PIV and low PIV cohorts using the optimal cut-off value (340.96 × 109/L) based on receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for relapse-free survival. In multivariable preoperative logistic regression models, only SII and PIV correlated with the infiltration of lymph nodes, aggressive disease, and any non-organ confined disease. In multivariable Cox regression models considering presurgical clinicopathological variables, a higher PIV was associated with diminished RFS (p = 0.017) and OS (p = 0.029). In addition, in multivariable Cox regression models for postoperative outcomes, a high PIV correlated with both RFS (p = 0.034) and OS (p = 0.048). Conclusions: Our study suggests that PIV and SII are two very similar markers that may serve as independent and significant predictors of aggressive disease and worse survival impacts on individuals undergoing radical cystectomy for bladder neoplasm. Full article
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18 pages, 697 KiB  
Review
Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) in Posterior Cranial Fossa Tumors: A Scoping Review of Diagnostic, Prognostic, and Therapeutic Perspectives
by Danai-Priskila V. Mousa, Georgios Mavrovounis, Dionysios Argyropoulos, George Stranjalis and Theodosis Kalamatianos
Cancers 2024, 16(3), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16030650 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) has been implicated in several human cancers. This review aims at mapping the available literature on the involvement of ALK in non-glial tumors localized in the posterior cranial fossa and at identifying diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic considerations. Following the [...] Read more.
Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) has been implicated in several human cancers. This review aims at mapping the available literature on the involvement of ALK in non-glial tumors localized in the posterior cranial fossa and at identifying diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic considerations. Following the PRISMA-ScR guidelines, studies were included if they investigated ALK’s role in primary CNS, non-glial tumors located in the posterior cranial fossa. A total of 210 manuscripts were selected for full-text review and 16 finally met the inclusion criteria. The review included 55 cases of primary, intracranial neoplasms with ALK genetic alterations and/or protein expression, located in the posterior fossa, comprising of medulloblastoma, anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, histiocytosis, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors, and intracranial myxoid mesenchymal tumors. ALK pathology was investigated via immunohistochemistry or genetic analysis. Several studies provided evidence for potential diagnostic and prognostic value for ALK assessment as well as therapeutic efficacy in its targeting. The available findings on ALK in posterior fossa tumors are limited. Nevertheless, previous findings suggest that ALK assessment is of diagnostic and prognostic value in medulloblastoma (WNT-activated). Interestingly, a substantial proportion of ALK-positive/altered CNS histiocytoses thus far identified have been localized in the posterior fossa. The therapeutic potential of ALK inhibition in histiocytosis warrants further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Signaling Pathways and Metabolism in Brain Tumors)
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