Preclinical evaluation of 9-chloro-2-methylellipticinium acetate alone and in combination with conventional anticancer drugs for the treatment of human brain tumor xenografts.
Arguello F. Alexander MA. Greene JF Jr. Stinson SF. Jorden JL. Smith EM. Kalavar NT. Alvord WG. Klabansky RL. Sausville EA.
Division of Cancer Treatment, Diagnosis and Centers, Laboratory of Drug Discovery, Research and Development, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute-FCRDC, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.
Some ellipticine derivative salts, including 9-chloro-2-methylellipticinium (CME), have been found to have a marked selectivity against all eight brain tumor cell lines of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's disease-oriented in vitro screen. We initiated in vivo antitumor studies to explore the feasibility for further development of this class of compounds. We found that CME was extremely toxic to nude mice when given i.p. at a dose of 25 mg/kg for 3 consecutive days. Animals treated by this route experienced an increase in hepatic transaminases and histopathological changes in the liver, compatible with mitochondrial damage. In contrast, when the portal circulation was bypassed and the same dose of CME was given i.v., animals tolerated daily bolus injections for 5 consecutive days. This 5-day i.v. bolus schedule had consistent antitumor activity, with 28.1% growth delay on s.c. implanted human U251 gliomas. When the potentially high peaks of CME in the portal circulation were avoided by using a 3-day continuous infusion with osmotic minipumps implanted i.p. to release 3.4 mg kg(-1) h(-1) or 6.6 mg kg(-1) h(-1) CME, there were only modest increases in liver enzymes and leukopenia, but no meaningful antitumor activity was observed. In contrast, continuous infusion in the s.c. space was well tolerated and was accompanied by a demonstrable growth delay in s.c. U251 human gliomas of 37.8%. When CME was used in conjunction with carmustine, etoposide or cisplatin, no synergistic activities were observed, but additive effects were demonstrated. Our pharmacokinetic and disposition studies with CME argue against the notion that large and invasive tumors in the brain lack blood-brain barrier features. When CME was used in animals bearing orthotopically implanted U251 gliomas in the brain of nude mice, the survival of the treated animals was not better than vehicle controls, and the addition of CME to carmustine therapy did not improve the survival of those animals treated with carmustine alone. We conclude that, in spite of its marked cytotoxicity in vitro on a variety of human brain tumor cell lines, including U251 glioma cells, CME has a modest antitumor effect on extracranially implanted U251 glioma tumors, and no beneficial effect in animals bearing the same U251 tumor in the brain, owing to a poor penetration into the brain parenchyma.
Elevated activity of N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Yao M. Zhou DP. Jiang SM. Wang QH. Zhou XD. Tang ZY. Gu JX.
Gene Research Center and Department of Biochemistry, Shanghai Medical University, PR China.
Cell-surface glycoproteins are regarded as candidates for involvement in the spread of tumor cells. N-linked beta1-6 branched oligosaccharides may contribute directly to the malignant or metastatic phenotypes of tumor cells. Increased beta1-6 branching has been associated with an increased level of N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (GlcNAc transferase V), the glycosyltransferase that initiates the beta1-6 branching. In this report, 33 pathologically verified hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) specimens, six non-cancerous tissues surrounding HCC and five normal liver specimens have been studied. We have quantified N-linked beta1-6 branched oligosaccharides indirectly by measuring GlcNac transferase V activity. The average GlcNac transferase V activities in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), noncancerous tissues surrounding HCC and normal liver tissues were 324.2 +/- 269.8, 84.8 +/- 20.7 and 7.0 +/- 6.2 pmol product h(-1) mg protein(-1) (P < 0.05) respectively. In addition, the activity was correlated with the TNM classification of HCC. The average activities of GlcNAc transferase V in stages T1, T2-3 and T4 were 77.6 +/- 57.8, 369.0 +/- 294.7 and 329.9 +/- 205.9 pmol product h(-1) mg protein h(-1) respectively (P < 0.05), showing that the activity of the enzyme in advanced HCC was higher than that in early HCC. Our preliminary results indicated that GlcNAc transferase V activity increased in human HCC and was correlated with its progression.
Assessment of the proliferation index in gastric carcinomas with the monoclonal antibody MIB 1.
Broll R. Mahlke C. Best R. Schimmelpenning H. Strik MW. Schiedeck T. Bruch HP. Duchrow M.
Surgical Research, Surgical Clinic, Medical University of Luebeck, Germany.
Our study aimed to reveal whether the proliferation index of tumor cells, calculated with the monoclonal antibody (mAb) MIB1, is of prognostic relevance in patients with a gastric carcinoma and shows any correlation to well-known clinicopathological factors (TNM categories, stage, grade, Lauren type). We examined formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of samples from 94 patients, who underwent surgery for an adenocarcinoma of the stomach between 1988 and 1991. Specimens were immunohistochemically stained using the mAb MIB1 in combination with the alkaline-phosphatase/anti-(alkaline phosphatase) technique. The proliferation index (PI) was estimated in various areas of interest (tumor center and periphery and in lymph node metastases of compartments I and II), by always counting 200 tumor cells in three different high-power fields per specimen, and calculated as the percentage of MIB1-positive tumor cell nuclei relative to all tumor cell nuclei in the area examined. The total PI in the primary tumor was 47.2% and slightly higher in the center (49.1%) compared to the periphery (44.7%). Surprisingly in lymph node metastases the PI was lower than in the primary tumor (compartment I: 39.5%, compartment II: 33.6%). Tumors with distant metastases revealed a higher proliferative activity (55.1%) than tumors without (44.3%). The PI increased significantly from well to poorly differentiated carcinomas (P < 0.01), whereas the intestinal Lauren type showed a lower PI than the diffuse type. No difference in survival was found between patients with a median PI or less and those with a PI above the median (47.2%). Our results show that the proliferation index in gastric carcinomas has no prognostic relevance and therefore is of low clinical value.
5-Fluorouracil plus interferon alpha-2a compared to 5-fluorouracil alone in the treatment of advanced colon carcinoma: a multicentric randomized study.
Palmeri S. Meli M. Danova M. Bernardo G. Leonardi V. Dastoli G. Rausa L. Russo A. Filippelli G. Palmieri G. Russo A. Della Vittoria Scarpati M. Lo Russo V. Di Lauro L. Colucci G. Bruni G. Piazzi M. Gebbia N. Spada S.
Institute of Clinical Medicine I, University of Palermo, Italy.
Biochemical modulation is one of the most interesting fields in cancer chemotherapy. Interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) is a cytokine that is able to influence the pharmacodynamics of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) through a number of mechanisms. With the aim of confirming some data emerging from the literature, we initiated a multicentric randomized study comparing the combination of 5FU and IFNalpha-2a with 5FU alone in the treatment of advanced or metastatic colon cancer. A group of 205 colon cancer patients (104 in the 5FU arm and 101 in the 5FU + IFNapha-2a arm) were included in the final intention-to-treat analysis. Rectal cancers were not considered eligible. All patients had measurable disease, were aged 75 years or less, had a Karnofsky index of at least 60 and had good bone marrow, renal, liver and cardiac functions. No previous chemo-immunotherapy was allowed. The treatment was 750 mg/m2 5FU (4 h i.v. infusion) on days 1 5 and then i.v. bolus weekly, starting from day 12, with or without IFNalpha-2a given s.c. three times weekly (starting dose 3 x 10(6) IU rising to 9 x 10(6) IU, if tolerated). Patients were treated until progression or, if responsive, for a maximum of 48 weeks and then observed for a period of 2 years. The primary end-point of the study was objective clinical response (OR); secondary parameters were time to progression, overall survival, and time to death after progression. WHO criteria were used for both clinical response and toxicity measurements. Dose reduction was planned a priori in the event of significant toxicity due to 5FU, IFNalpha-2a or both. Association between primary and secondary end-points and treatment was studied by univariate and multivariate analysis. Altogether, 47 patients achieved a documented response. A 25% OR was observed in the combination arm while a 21% OR was seen in the 5FU arm; this difference is not statistically significant (P = 0.6). Patients with a small tumour burden (below 5 cm2) showed a higher probability of response in both arms. Patients in the experimental arm had a higher but not statistically significant cumulative progression-free probability. Median survival was 47.1 weeks overall, while it was 43.7 and 48.5 weeks in the control and experimental arms, respectively. The combination was clearly more toxic than 5FU alone, leukopenia being the most frequent side-effect in the experimental arm and nausea and vomiting in the control arm. In conclusion these results are quite disappointing and 5FU + IFNalpha-2a can not be considered a standard treatment for advanced colon cancer.