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ISSN / EISSN : 2072-6694 / 2072-6694
Current Publisher: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 9,685
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Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092230

Abstract:
Ultrasound scores are used to determine whether thyroid nodules should undergo Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) or simple clinical follow-up. Different scores have been proposed for this task, with the American College of Radiology (ACR) TIRADS system being one of the most widely used. This study evaluates its ability in triaging thyroid nodules deserving FNA on a large prospective monocentric Italian case series of 493 thyroid nodules from 448 subjects. In ACR 1–2, cytology never prompted a surgical indication. In 59% of cases classified as TIR1c-TIR2, the FNA procedure could be ancillary, according to the ACR-TIRADS score. A subset (37.9%) of cases classified as TIR4-5 would not undergo FNA, according to the dimensional thresholds used by the ACR-TIRADS. Applying the ACR score, a total of 46.5% thyroid nodules should be studied with FNA. The ACR system demonstrated a sensitivity and specificity of 58.9% and 59% in the identification of patients with cytology ≥TIR3A, with a particularly high false negative rate for ACR classes ≥3 (44.8%, 43/96), which would dramatically decrease (7.3%, 7/96) if the dimensional criteria were not taken into account. In ACR 3–4–5, a correspondence with the follow-up occurred in 60.3%, 50.2% and 51.9% of cases. The ACR-TIRADS is a useful risk stratification tool for thyroid nodules, although the current dimensional thresholds could lead to an underestimation of malignant lesions. Their update might be considered in future studies to increase the screening performances of the system.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092218

Abstract:
Obesity is an increasing health challenge and is recognized as a breast cancer risk factor. Although obesity-related breast cancer mechanisms are not fully understood, this association has been linked to impaired hormone secretion by the dysfunctional obese adipose tissue (hyperplasic and hypertrophic adipocytes). Among these hormones, altered production of androgens and adipokines is observed, and both, are independently associated with breast cancer development. In this review, we describe and comment on the relationships reported between these factors and breast cancer, focusing on the biological associations that have helped to unveil the mechanisms by which signaling from androgens and adipokines modifies the behavior of mammary epithelial cells. Furthermore, we discuss the potential crosstalk between the two most abundant adipokines produced by the adipose tissue (adiponectin and leptin) and the androgen receptor, an emerging marker in breast cancer. The identification and understanding of interactions among adipokines and the androgen receptor in cancer cells are necessary to guide the development of new therapeutic approaches in order to prevent and cure obesity and breast cancer.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092225

Abstract:
Adoptive T-cell therapy using autologous T cells genetically modified to express cancer-specific chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) has emerged as a novel approach for cancer treatment. CAR-T cell therapy has been approved in several major jurisdictions for treating refractory or relapsed cases of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. However, in solid cancer patients, several clinical studies of CAR-T cell therapy have demonstrated minimal therapeutic effects, thus encouraging interest in better integrating CAR-T cells with other treatments such as conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. Increasing evidence shows that not only do chemotherapy drugs have tumoricidal effects, but also significantly modulate the immune system. Here, we discuss immunomodulatory effects of chemotherapy drugs on circulating leukocyte populations, including their ability to enhance cytotoxic effects and preserve the frequency of CD8+ T cells and to deplete immunosuppressive populations including regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. By modulating the abundance and phenotype of leukocytes in the blood (the ‘raw material’ for CAR-T cell manufacturing), we propose that prior chemotherapy could facilitate production of the most effective CAR-T cell products. Further research is required to directly test this concept and identify strategies for the optimal integration of CAR-T cell therapies with cytotoxic chemotherapy for solid cancers.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092236

Abstract:
Metronomic chemotherapy treatment (mCHT) refers to the chronic administration of low doses chemotherapy that can sustain prolonged, and active plasma levels of drugs, producing favorable tolerability and it is a new promising therapeutic approach in solid and in hematologic tumors. mCHT has not only a direct effect on tumor cells, but also an action on cell microenvironment, by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis, or promoting immune response and for these reasons can be considered a multi-target therapy itself. Here we review the state of the art of mCHT use in some classical tumour types, such as breast and no small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), see what is new regarding most recent data in different cancer types, such as glioblastoma (GBL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and new drugs with potential metronomic administration. Finally, a look at the strategic use of mCHT in the context of health emergencies, or in low –and middle-income countries (LMICs), where access to adequate healthcare is often not easy, is mandatory, as we always need to bear in in mind that equity in care must be a compulsory part of our medical work and research.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092216

Abstract:
To evaluate the relative efficacy of novel retinoblastoma treatments, eye classification-specific success rates for current standard-of-care intravenous chemotherapy regimens must be known. This meta-analysis included studies if: (1) patients received intravenous chemotherapy for retinoblastoma, (2) globe salvage data was reported, (3) only intravenous chemoreduction (with/without local consolidation) was used. The outcome measure was globe salvage success without need for salvage radiotherapy, subdivided by disease classification and chemotherapy regimen. Data from 27 studies (1483 eyes) were pooled. By Reese–Ellsworth classification, globe salvage rates were 85% (95%CI:73–92%) for Group I, 78% (95%CI:70–85%) for Group II, 68% (95%CI:56–78%) for Group III, 47% (95%CI:34–60%) for Group IV, and 35% (95%CI:26–45%) for Group V (Va: 35% [95%CI:21–54%]; Vb: 42% [95%CI:29–56%]; those without sub-classification: 31% [95%CI:19–47%]). By International Classification, globe salvage rates were 93% (95%CI:80–97%) for Group A, 83% (95%CI:73–89%) for Group B, 73% (95%CI:54–86%) for Group C, 40% (95%CI:31–51%) for Group D, and 19% (95%CI:5–50%) for Group E. Standard carboplatin-etoposide-vincristine out-performed two-drug regimens (odds ratio (OR) = 1.9 (95%CI:1.3–3.0) for Groups I-IV and OR = 2.1 (95%CI:1.3–3.4) for Group V; p = 0.002 for each). For eyes with diffuse vitreous seeds (Vb), an enhanced regimen out-performed standard chemotherapy (OR = 2.4 [95%CI:1.3–4.7]; p = 0.004). In conclusion, two-drug regimens were less effective for all eyes, whereas enhanced regimens were more effective for eyes with vitreous seeds. Novel therapies can now be compared to these baseline globe salvage rates.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092219

Abstract:
Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by loss of anti-tumor T cell immunity. Despite moderate success of treatment with anti-PD1 antibodies, effective treatment is still challenged by poor T cell-mediated control of MM. To better enable identification of shortcomings in T-cell immunity that relate to overall survival (OS), we interrogated transcriptomic data of bone marrow samples from eight clinical trials (n = 1654) and one trial-independent patient cohort (n = 718) for multivariate analysis. Gene expression of V-domain Ig suppressor of T cell activation (VISTA) was observed to correlate to OS [hazard ratio (HR): 0.72; 95% CI: 0.61–0.83; p = 0.005]. Upon imaging the immune contexture of MM bone marrow tissues (n = 22) via multiplex in situ stainings, we demonstrated that VISTA was expressed predominantly by CD11b+ myeloid cells. The combination of abundance of VISTA+, CD11b+ cells in the tumor but not stromal tissue together with low presence of CD8+ T cells in the same tissue compartment, termed a high VISTA-associated T cell exclusion score, was significantly associated with short OS [HR: 16.6; 95% CI: 4.54–62.50; p < 0.0001]. Taken together, the prognostic value of a combined score of VISTA+, CD11b+ and CD8+ cells in the tumor compartment could potentially be utilized to guide stratification of MM patients for immune therapies.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092221

Abstract:
Because of their reluctance to visit the hospital due to concerns about contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), patients with colorectal cancer have been affected by delays in care during the pandemic. This study assessed the effects of the pandemic on the clinical characteristics and surgical treatment patterns of colorectal cancer patients at a tertiary medical facility in Korea. Patients who underwent colorectal cancer surgery at our institution between March and September 2020 were analyzed. Clinicopathological and treatment characteristics were compared with those of patients who underwent surgery in 2018 and 2019. The patients who did not undergo tumor resection (4.1% vs. 1.8%, p < 0.001) and who received neoadjuvant treatment (16.7% vs. 14.7%, p = 0.039) were significantly higher during the COVID period. The minimally invasive approach was performed less during the COVID period (81.2% vs. 88%, p < 0.001). More patients in the COVID period required combined resection of organs adjacent to the tumor (4.8% vs. 2.8%, p = 0.017). Surgical aggressiveness, as shown by the proportion of patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery and adjacent organ resection, was significantly influenced by the pandemic. In addition, resectability decreased during the COVID period. These characteristics will likely influence long-term oncological outcomes, indicating the need for long-term monitoring of this cohort.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092235

Abstract:
Faithful DNA replication during cellular division is essential to maintain genome stability and cells have developed a sophisticated network of regulatory systems to ensure its integrity. Disruption of these control mechanisms can lead to loss of genomic stability, a key hallmark of cancer. Ubiquitination is one of the most abundant regulatory post-translational modifications and plays a pivotal role in controlling replication progression, repair of DNA and genome stability. Dysregulation of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) can contribute to the initiation and progression of neoplastic transformation. In this review we provide an overview of the UPS and summarize its involvement in replication and replicative stress, along with DNA damage repair. Finally, we discuss how the UPS presents as an emerging source for novel therapeutic interventions aimed at targeting genomic instability, which could be utilized in the treatment and management of cancer.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092229

Abstract:
Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has been used as a non-invasive biomarker for detecting cancer-specific mutations. However, the mutational profile of cfDNA in Thai patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been investigated. Here, we demonstrated the utility of using whole-exome sequencing (WES) of cfDNA to define the somatic mutation profiles of HCC in Thai patients. The comprehensive profile of cfDNA was determined with WES to identify variants in matched cfDNA and germline DNA from 30 HCC patients in Thailand who underwent nonoperative therapies. The level of cfDNA was higher in HCC patients compared with chronic hepatitis patients (p-value < 0.001). Single nucleotide variants were present in somatic genes in cfDNA, including in ZNF814 (27%), HRNR (20%), ZNF492 (20%), ADAMTS12 (17%), FLG (17%), OBSCN (17%), TP53 (17%), and TTN (17%). These same mutations were matched to HCC mutation data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and a previous Thai HCC study. The co-occurrence of HRNR and TTN mutations in cfDNA was associated with shorter overall survival in HCC patients (hazard ratio = 1.60, p-value = 0.0196). These findings indicate that the mutational profile of cfDNA accurately reflected that of HCC tissue and suggest that cfDNA could serve as a useful biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis in Thai HCC patients. In addition, we demonstrated the use of the pocket-sized sequencer of Oxford Nanopore Technology to detect copy-number variants in HCC tissues that could be applied for onsite clinical detection/monitoring of HCC.
Published: 6 May 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13092233

Abstract:
Psychological resilience is considered a major protective psychological mechanism that enables a person to successfully handle significant adversities, e.g., a cancer diagnosis. Higher levels of resilience have been associated with higher levels of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in breast cancer (BC) patients, but research examining the longitudinal process of resilience is limited. The aim of this population-based longitudinal study was to investigate resilience and HRQoL from diagnosis to one year later in 418 Swedish women with primary BC. Resilience was measured with the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale 25, and HRQoL was measured with the Short Form Health Survey. The participants responded to questions regarding demographic and study-specific variables. Clinicopathological variables were collected from the Swedish National Quality Register for Breast Cancer. The mean score for resilience was 70.6 (standard deviation, SD = 13.0) at diagnosis and 68.9 (SD = 14.0) one year later, p < 0.001. The level of trust in the treatment and financial situation demonstrated the greatest association with the change in resilience levels. No oncological treatment modality was associated with a change in resilience levels. HRQoL decreased over time in the cohort. Resilience was positively associated with HRQoL at one year post diagnosis, which demonstrates that resilience is an important factor in maintaining HRQoL.
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