Cancer Insight (CI) is an open access, peer-reviewed journal with broad scope covering all areas of cancer research, especially novel concepts, new methods, new regimens, new therapeutic agents, and alternative approaches for early detection and intervention of cancer. Cancer Insight aims to disseminate and communicate scientific advancement and impactful discoveries on the field of oncology to researchers, academics, clinicians, and the public worldwide.
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Approximately 28 million individuals in the United States face the risk of developing precancerous colonic adenomas (polyps) and potentially progressing to colorectal cancer (CRC). While a promising strategy for CRC prevention involves pharmacological intervention, such as cancer chemoprevention or interception, currently, there are no FDA-approved drugs capable of preventing the formation or progression of adenomas to adenocarcinoma. Numerous clinical, epidemiological, and preclinical studies have offered compelling evidence supporting the efficacy of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in CRC chemoprevention. However, the prolonged use of NSAIDs is not FDA-approved due to potential life-threatening toxicities resulting from cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition and the depletion of physiological prostaglandins. Despite indications that the COX inhibitory activity of NSAIDs may not be essential for their antineoplastic effects, the absence of a well-defined target impeded the development of derivatives that do not inhibit COX. Earlier research suggests that the inhibition of cyclic guanosine monophosphate phosphodiesterase (cGMP PDE) may be responsible, at least in part, for the antineoplastic activity of the NSAID sulindac. This could potentially offer a novel target for CRC chemoprevention. To identify the cGMP PDE isozyme(s) contributing to the antineoplastic activity of sulindac, we synthesized a chemically diverse library of over 1500 compounds, all sharing the indene scaffold of sulindac. Subsequently, we screened these compounds for their impact on cancer cell growth and PDE inhibitory activity. From this screening, a series of lead compounds emerged. These compounds lacked COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitory activity, surpassing sulindac in potency to inhibit CRC cell growth. Importantly, they demonstrated greater selectivity by not affecting normal cell growth. Through chemical optimization, we identified several development candidates that selectively inhibit PDE5 and/or PDE10. These compounds activate cGMP/PKG signaling, suppressing Wnt/β-catenin transcription. This action counters the growth advantages resulting from APC or CTNNB1 mutations, which are responsible for most human CRCs. This review delves into the scientific literature supporting PDE5 and/or PDE10 as potential targets for CRC chemoprevention or interception. Our findings suggest a promising avenue for developing drugs that may effectively intervene in the progression of colorectal cancer, offering hope for improved preventive strategies in the future.
The paramount prerequisite for effective anti-cancer drugs is their ability to eradicate malignant cells while sparing non-cancer cells. The divergence in properties between malignant and non-cancer cells establishes a "therapeutic window," a critical consideration for achieving desirable treatment outcomes. Central to this is the imperative of a cancer drug's "selectivity and specificity." Taxanes, a pivotal class of successful anti-cancer drugs, continue to serve as the linchpin of cancer treatment due to their efficacy across a spectrum of cancer types. Operating as broad-spectrum chemotherapeutic agents, taxanes exert cytotoxic effects on proliferative cancer cells by binding to and stabilizing microtubules, disrupting mitosis, inducing mitotic catastrophe, and resulting in cell death. The distinct proliferative nature of cancer cells, as opposed to less proliferative non-cancer cells, affords taxanes a measure of specificity and selectivity. Nevertheless, sporadic yet recurring evidence suggests that taxanes also operate through non-mitotic mechanisms. Taxanes' binding and stabilization of microtubules lead to micronucleation and subsequent cell death, impacting both mitotic and non-mitotic cells. Recent discoveries indicate that the flexible and weakened nuclear envelope of malignant cells renders them sensitive to taxane-mediated micronucleation and cell death during various phases of the cell cycle. Conversely, non-cancerous cells typically exhibit a more robust and sturdy nuclear envelope, rendering them more tolerant to taxane-induced nuclear envelope fragmentation and subsequent micronucleation and cell death. The expression levels of nuclear envelope structural proteins, particularly Lamin A/C, emerge as indicators of taxane sensitivity. This evolving understanding underscores that nuclear envelope malleability, in conjunction with a high proliferation rate, is a pivotal determinant of taxane specificity and selectivity against malignant cells. These insights necessitate reconsidering oncological strategies to augment taxane efficacy, overcome resistance, and mitigate side effects.
Ferroptosis, a recently identified form of programmed cell death, is characterized by the accumulation of lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species, and elevated free iron levels, involving the regulation of glutathione metabolism, iron metabolism, lipid metabolism, and oxidative stress biology. Tumor metastasis, a critical hallmark of malignancy and a key contributor to cancer recurrence and mortality, has been extensively linked to iron dysregulation, highlighting the potential of agents inducing iron-mediated cell death as promising strategies for preventing and treating metastasis. This review offers a comprehensive understanding the regulatory mechanisms underlying ferroptosis and its crucial role in the three distinct stages of metastasis: invasion, circulation, and colonization.
Despite the advantages of nanoscale drug delivery systems, traditional nanoparticles often encounter challenges such as detection and elimination by the immune system. To circumvent these limitations, scientists have created biomimetic nanoparticles that extend circulation time, decrease clearance rates, and optimize drug delivery. The integration of cell membranes onto nanoparticle surfaces yields Cell Membrane-coated Nanoparticles (CMNPs) that exhibit behavior akin to actual cells while offering superior structural robustness and stability. A variety of cell membranes, including those of red blood cells, white blood cells, and cancer cells, lend unique properties and targeting capabilities to CMNPs. This review outlines the diagnostic and therapeutic roles of CMNP-based drug delivery systems in oncology and contemplates their possible clinical impact.
Objective: The DSS was utilized to construct colitis model of mouse. The colitis mice were colonized with gut microbiota. The effects of gut microbial metabolites on colitis were studied. The mechanisms of gut microbial metabolites to improve intestinal immunity were also further explored. Methods: The male BALB/c mice were selected to construct colitis mouse model with DSS and colonized with gut microbiota. The content of short-chain fatty acids in intestinal metabolites of mice during modeling were detected with GC-MS. After the mice were sacrificed, the colon tissue was stained to observe the colitis in different groups of mice. The contents of IL-22 and IL-17 in colon tissue was determined with ELISA method. To study the mechanism of relieving colitis, qRT-PCR and western blotting were used to study the horizontal of Ffar2 gene and pSTAT3 and pAKT in colon tissue, respectively. The congenital lymphocytes were isolated and purified, and the migration ability of the congenital lymphocytes was examined by cell scratch plane migration test. Results: The colonization of the gut microbiota had significant effects on the contents of short-chain fatty acids in the intestinal metabolites of colitis mice, of which the effect on the content of acetic acid and butyric acid was more significant. The colonization of gut microbiota could effectively relieve colitis in mice and effectively promote the secretion of IL-22 in colon tissue. Studying the remission mechanism indicated that colonization of gut microbiota with colitis could effectively promote the expression of Ffar2 gene in colon tissue and increase the expression of pSTAT3 and pAKT protein. The migration ability of the lymphocyte was significantly upregulated in the model group compared with the other groups, demonstrating that DSS can effectively activate the lymphocyte; The migration of congenital lymphocyte in the experimental group was significantly alleviated than that in the model group, but it was up-regulated than that in the positive control group, and the colonic tissue of the positive control group was similar to that of the normal group. Conclusion: The short-chain fatty acids in the intestinal flora metabolites can promote the gene expression of the metabolite-sensitive receptor Ffar2. The effective combination of short-chain fatty acids and Ffar2 receptors can promote the phosphorylation of STAT3 and AKT proteins, effectively promote the secretion of IL-22 in intestinal ILC3 cells, alleviate colitis in mice, and thereby improve their intestinal immune function.
Tripartite motif-containing (TRIM) proteins consist of over 80 proteins, the majority of which exhibit E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. E3 ligases have a critical role in various cellular processes by specifically recognizing and ubiquitinating substrate proteins to promote their proteasomal degradation or alter their activities. Numerous studies have indicated that TRIMs are involved in carcinogenesis through various mechanisms. However, the regulatory mechanisms delimitating TRIMs’ function as E3 ligases has not yet been specifically addressed in a previous review article. In this review, we focus on recent advancements in understanding how certain TRIMs function solely as E3 ligases during cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and metastasis. We comprehensively summarize the target proteins of TRIMs involved in disordered signaling pathways such as Wnt/β-catenin, PI3K/AKT, NF-κB, p53, ERK, and STAT3, as well as those regulating the cell cycle and glycolysis. Following ubiquitination modification by TRIM E3 ligases, these target proteins either undergo proteasome-mediating degradation, maintain steady levels, or get activated/inactivated. This review provides a foundation for the development of E3 ligase-based cancer treatments.
Nanomaterials have shown great potential in anti-tumor applications and are currently the focus of research. This review article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges encountered in oncology treatment and how nanomaterials are being utilized to overcome these obstacles. The authors discuss the limitations of conventional treatments, including limited efficacy, side effects, and toxicity issues. They highlight the importance of early tumour diagnosis and personalized treatment plans, as well as the need for innovative therapeutic approaches such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and gene therapy. The article primarily focuses on how nanomaterials can be engineered to achieve specific recognition and aggregation within tumour tissues through surface modifications involving targeting molecules such as antibodies, peptides, and receptor ligands. This surface modification technique facilitates improved targeting in the targeting of photodynamic therapy, while minimizing harm to normal tissues. The authors also discuss the potential and future prospects of nanomaterials in tumour therapy, including breakthroughs in their application, biosafety concerns, biocompatibility issues, preparation processes, clinical translation challenges, interdisciplinary cooperation, international exchange, relevant regulations and ethical guidelines. Overall, this review highlights the substantial potential of nanomaterials in oncology treatment, emphasizing the need for careful consideration of safety concerns to ensure their safe and effective application. The authors conclude that strengthening interdisciplinary cooperation and international exchange will contribute to the healthy development of nanomaterials in oncology treatment.
Macrophages are a type of white blood cells that can exist in two different functional states, known as M1 and M2. M1 macrophages secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines that can promote tumor growth and metastasis, whereas M2 macrophages secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines that can inhibit tumor progression. This phenomenon, referred to as macrophage polarization, has been implicated in the development and progression of cancer. Furthermore, macrophage polarization is currently being investigated in the context of COVID-19 severity. It is believed that M1 macrophages may contribute to the excessive inflammation observed in severe COVID-19 cases, while M2 macrophages may confer protection against the disease. Hence, comprehending the role of macrophage polarization in both cancer and COVID-19 has the potential to enhance treatment strategies for both conditions.
The stages of liver fibrosis can reflect the severity of chronic viral hepatitis and the probability of liver cancer. Biopsy is still regarded as the reference for staging fibrosis, but the invasive method is not suitable for first-line screening. In recent years, noninvasive methods for detecting virus-driven liver fibrosis have been developed rapidly, which mainly include biological (serum biomarkers indexes) and physical (imaging assessment of liver stiffness) strategies. In this review, we introduce these noninvasive methods, enumerate their diagnosis performances and discuss the role of ferroptosis. At last, we propose directions for future researches.
Although docetaxel treatment yields a high survival rate for prostate cancer (PCa), resistance eventually develops in many patients. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of docetaxel resistance is essential for improving treatment strategies. Cytokines, which play a role in cell signaling and immune responses, have been implicated in drug resistance mechanisms. The study revealed that interleukin-8 (IL-8) was consistently overexpressed in both docetaxel-resistant PCa cell lines. Thus, the expression levels of cytokines released from docetaxel-sensitive (PC-3- and DU-145) and resistant (PC-3/R-DU-145/R) PCa cells were compared. IL-8 was found to be commonly expressed in resistant cell lines. This finding led to the hypothesis that IL-8 could play a key role in mediating PCa cell resistance to docetaxel. IL-8 siRNA treatment increased docetaxel sensitivity in both resistant cells. To demonstrate the mechanism of IL-8-related resistance, MDR1 expression was evaluated. After IL-8 siRNA treatment MDR1 expression was reduced in both resistant cells suggesting that IL-8 regulates the docetaxel resistance of PCa cells via modulation of multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1). By expanding the knowledge of the cytokines and their effect mechanisms, novel approaches can be developed for the treatment of docetaxel-resistant prostate cancer. Further investigations into the role of IL-8 in docetaxel resistance could offer valuable insights into the development of effective treatment strategies for PCa patients.