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  • Journal article
    Glasspool RM, Brown R, Gore ME, Rustin GJS, McNeish IA, Wilson RH, Pledge S, Paul J, Mackean M, Hall GD, Gabra H, Halford SER, Walker J, Appleton K, Ullah R, Kaye Set al., 2014,

    A randomised, phase II trial of the DNA-hypomethylating agent 5-aza-2 '-deoxycytidine (decitabine) in combination with carboplatin vs carboplatin alone in patients with recurrent, partially platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer

    , British Journal of Cancer, Vol: 110, Pages: 1923-1929, ISSN: 1532-1827

    Background: Our previous laboratory and clinical data suggested that one mechanism underlying the development of platinum resistance inovarian cancer is the acquisition of DNA methylation. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the DNA hypomethylating agent 5-aza-20-deoxycytodine (decitabine) can reverse resistance to carboplatin in women with relapsed ovarian cancer.Methods: Patients progressing 6–12 months after previous platinum therapy were randomised to decitabine on day 1 and carboplatin (AUC 6) onday 8, every 28 days or carboplatin alone. The primary objective was response rate in patients with methylated hMLH1 tumour DNA in plasma.Results: After a pre-defined interim analysis, the study closed due to lack of efficacy and poor treatment deliverability in 15 patients treated withthe combination. Responses by GCIG criteria were 9 out of 14 vs 3 out of 15 and by RECIST were 6 out of 13 vs 1 out of 12 for carboplatin andcarboplatin/decitabine, respectively. Grade 3/4 neutropenia was more common with the combination (60% vs 15.4%) as was G2/3 carboplatinhypersensitivity (47% vs 21%).Conclusions: With this schedule, the addition of decitabine appears to reduce rather than increase the efficacy of carboplatin in partiallyplatinum-sensitive ovarian cancer and is difficult to deliver. Patient-selection strategies, different schedules and other demethylating agents shouldbe considered in future combination studies.

  • Journal article
    Funes JM, Henderson S, Kaufman R, Flanagan JM, Robson M, Pedley B, Moncada S, Boshoff Cet al., 2014,

    Oncogenic transformation of mesenchymal stem cells decreases Nrf2 expression favoring in vivo tumor growth and poorer survival

    , Molecular Cancer, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1476-4598

    BACKGROUND: The transcription factor Nrf2 is a key regulator of the cellular antioxidant response, and its activation by chemoprotective agents has been proposed as a potential strategy to prevent cancer. However, activating mutations in the Nrf2 pathway have been found to promote tumorigenesis in certain models. Therefore, the role of Nrf2 in cancer remains contentious. METHODS: We employed a well-characterized model of stepwise human mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transformation and breast cancer cell lines to investigate oxidative stress and the role of Nrf2 during tumorigenesis. The Nrf2 pathway was studied by microarray analyses, qRT-PCR, and western-blotting. To assess the contribution of Nrf2 to transformation, we established tumor xenografts with transformed MSC expressing Nrf2 (n = 6 mice per group). Expression and survival data for Nrf2 in different cancers were obtained from GEO and TCGA databases. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS: We found an accumulation of reactive oxygen species during MSC transformation that correlated with the transcriptional down-regulation of antioxidants and Nrf2-downstream genes. Nrf2 was repressed in transformed MSC and in breast cancer cells via oncogene-induced activation of the RAS/RAF/ERK pathway. Furthermore, restoration of Nrf2 function in transformed cells decreased reactive oxygen species and impaired in vivo tumor growth (P = 0.001) by mechanisms that included sensitization to apoptosis, and a decreased hypoxic/angiogenic response through HIF-1α destabilization and VEGFA repression. Microarray analyses showed down-regulation of Nrf2 in a panel of human tumors and, strikingly, low Nrf2 expression correlated with poorer survival in patients with melanoma (P = 0.0341), kidney (P = 0.0203) and prostate (P = 0.00279) cancers. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that oncogene-induced Nrf2 repression is an adaptive response for certain cancers to acquire a pro-oxidant state that favors cell survival and in vivo tum

  • Patent
    Gabra H, 2011,

    Cancer methods.

    , WO/2011/128701

    A method of treating a patient having a cancer in which HER2, HER4, FGFR1, EPHA2 and/or FGFR3 is upregulated and/or in which HER2, HER4, FGFR1, EPHA2 and/or FGFR3 mediated-signaling is upregulated, the method comprising administering to the patient a compound comprising or consisting of an OPCML polypeptide (SEQ ID NO: 1), or a fragment thereof which comprises at least one Ig domain of OPCML, or a variant thereof having at least 90% sequence identity with the OPCML polypeptide or the fragment thereof, or a nucleic acid molecule which encodes the OPCML polypeptide or fragment or variant thereof.

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