Adenovirus-mediated wild-type p53 gene transfer as a surgical adjuvant in advanced head and neck cancers. (57/5027)

A high incidence of locoregional failure contributes to the poor overall survival rate of around 50% for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). In vitro and in vivo preclinical work with adenovirus-mediated wild-type p53 gene transfer using the recombinant p53 adenovirus (Ad-p53) has shown its promise as a novel intervention strategy for SCCHN. These data have translated into Phase I and Phase II studies of Ad-p53 gene transfer in patients with advanced, locoregionally recurrent SCCHN. The safety and overall patient tolerance of Ad-p53 has been demonstrated. Of 15 resectable but historically noncurable patients in the surgical arm of a Phase I study, 4 patients (27%) remain free of disease, with a median follow-up time of 18.25 months. Surgical and gene transfer-related morbidities were minimal. These results provide preliminary support for the use of Ad-p53 gene transfer as a surgical adjuvant in patients with advanced SCCHN. The implications of our findings for the management of SCCHN in general are discussed.  (+info)

Second esophageal tumors in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: an assessment of clonal relationships. (58/5027)

Patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) often develop second carcinomas elsewhere in the upper aerodigestive tract. Some of these paired tumors share a common origin, reflecting the ability of a single progenitor cell to replicate, expand, and populate contiguous regions of the upper aerodigestive tract-a process referred to as clonal expansion. The geographical limitations of clonal expansion, however, have not been adequately addressed. For example, it is not known whether a neoplastic clone from the oral cavity, pharynx, or larynx can migrate to the esophagus. We compared paired tumors from 16 patients with HNSCC and a second squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus (ESCC) for patterns of allelic loss on chromosomal arms 3p, 9p, and 17p. Losses at these loci occur early during neoplastic transformation of the respiratory tract. In 14 cases (87%), the paired tumors had discordant patterns of allelic loss, suggesting that these tumors were not clonally related. Conversely, two (13%) of the 16 paired tumors had identical genetic alterations, which suggests clonal expansion as the mechanism underlying tumor multifocality. One clone spread from the hypopharynx into the cervical esophagus, and the other spread from the tonsil to the distal esophagus. Although most second ESCCs appear to arise as independent neoplasms, a clonal population of neoplastic cells is capable of traveling across substantial distances to give rise to second tumors at different anatomical sites.  (+info)

Antitumor activity of ZD1694 (tomudex) against human head and neck cancer in nude mouse models: role of dosing schedule and plasma thymidine. (59/5027)

We studied the antitumor activity and toxicity of ZD1694 (tomudex), a specific inhibitor of thymidylate synthase (TS), in nude mice bearing human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma A253 and FaDu xenografts. Mice were treated by single i.v. push (i.v. x 1), i.v. push once a week for 3 weeks (weekly x 3), and i.v. push once a day for 5 days (daily x 5), and the maximum tolerated doses (MTDs) of ZD1694 were 300 mg/kg, 60 mg/kg/week, and 30 mg/kg/day, respectively. ZD1694 was moderately active against both A253 and FaDu xenografts. Antitumor activity was schedule-dependent in both tumors: weekly x 3 > or = i.v. x 1 >> daily x 5. In contrast, the rank order of toxicity was daily x 5 >> weekly x 3 > or = i.v. x 1. ZD1694 at the MTD produced 20% complete tumor regression and 20% partial tumor regression (PR) with i.v. x 1 and weekly x 3 schedules and 12-day tumor growth delay with daily x 5 schedule against FaDu xenografts. No complete tumor regression was achieved with ZD1694 with any schedule against A253; a 20% PR, 40% PR, and 10-day tumor growth delay were observed with i.v. x 1, weekly x 3, and daily x 5 schedules, respectively. The data indicate that ZD1694 was slightly more effective against FaDu than against A253. Of interest and potential clinical importance was the observation that ZD1694 was still active at doses lower than the MTD (> or =1/3 MTD), which showed a high therapeutic index and wide safety margin. Study of ZD1694 compared with 5-fluorouracil and 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine at the MTD revealed that the antitumor activity of ZD1694 was comparable with or superior to 5-fluorouracil and 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine against both A253 and FaDu xenografts, with less toxicity. High plasma thymidine in mouse relative to human (approximately 1.3 microM and <0.1 microM, respectively) may complicate the study of antitumor activity and toxicity of TS inhibitors with human tumor xenografts grown in the mouse. To test this hypothesis, we preadministered methoxypolyethyleneglycol-conjugated thymidine phosphorylase (MPEG-TPase; 2500 units/kg/dose) to reduce mouse plasma thymidine, then treated with various doses of ZD1694 using the daily x 5 or i.v. x 1 schedules in the A253 tumor model. MPEG-TPase significantly increased the toxicity of ZD1694; the MTD of ZD1694 plus MPEG-TPase was reduced 3- and 10-fold compared with ZD1694 alone for i.v x 1 and daily x 5 schedules, respectively. However, preadministration of MPEG-TPase did not potentiate the antitumor activity of ZD1694 with either schedule. The data indicate that the study of TS inhibitors in rodent models may not be suitable for predicting a safe dose for clinical study. However, rodent models, particularly human tumor xenografts, are still useful models for evaluation of antitumor activity and schedule selection for TS inhibitors.  (+info)

Minicircle: an improved DNA molecule for in vitro and in vivo gene transfer. (60/5027)

Minicircles are a new form of supercoiled DNA molecule for nonviral gene transfer which have neither bacterial origin of replication nor antibiotic resistance marker. They are thus smaller and potentially safer than the standard plasmids currently used in gene therapy. They were obtained in E. coli by att site-specific recombination mediated by the phage lambda integrase, which was used to excise the expression cassette from the unwanted plasmid sequences. We produced two minicircles containing the luciferase or beta-galactosidase gene under the control of the strong human cytomegalovirus immediate-early enhancer/promoter. Comparing maximal differences, these minicircles gave 2.5 to 5.5 times more reporter gene activity than the unrecombined plasmid in the NIH3T3 cell line and rabbit smooth muscle cells. Moreover, injection in vivo into mouse cranial tibial muscle, or human head and neck carcinoma grafted in nude mice resulted in 13 to 50 times more reporter gene expression with minicircles than with the unrecombined plasmid or larger plasmids. Histological analysis in muscle showed there were more transfected myofibers with minicircles than with unrecombined plasmid.  (+info)

Chromosomal aberrations identified in culture of squamous carcinomas are confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridisation. (61/5027)

AIMS: Chromosomal aberrations in tumour cells are often not discernable by direct analysis. Although cell culture allows qualitative analysis of the karyotype, potential selection and evolution during growth in vitro may yield misleading data. To determine whether aberrations observed in vitro are representative of the original lesion, chromosomal aberrations found after prolonged growth in vitro of two squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SSCHN) were evaluated with fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) on the original tumour nuclei. METHODS: Specific karyotypic aberrations identified in cultures of two squamous cell carcinomas were targets for FISH analysis on tumour sections. Chromosome painting mixtures were selected based on in vitro karyotypic data. FISH was performed on cultured interphase and metaphase cells, and on histological sections from the original tumours. RESULTS: The 9cen and 17cen probes yielded FISH signals consistent with the aneusomies predicted for the respective chromosomes from the culture karyotypes. Whole chromosome 9 paint confirmed the prior existence in the tumours of i(9p) and i(9q), although only the latter hybridised with the 9cen probe. FISH data also supported in vivo representation of the diploid and tetraploid tumour subclones observed in cultures. In tumour HFH-SCC-8a, FISH results were generally concordant between cultured interphase and metaphase cells and the histological sections, and improved the interpretation of marker chromosomes identified in culture. CONCLUSION: The karyotypes obtained in these cases after prolonged passage in culture were consistent with the genetic alterations in the original tumours.  (+info)

Preferential impairment of nitric oxide-mediated endothelium-dependent relaxation in human cervical arteries after irradiation. (62/5027)

BACKGROUND: Vascular abnormalities are a major cause of postoperative complications in irradiated tissues. Endothelial cell dysfunction characterized by diminished endothelium-dependent relaxation may be involved. We examined the endothelium-dependent relaxation and morphology of the endothelium in irradiated human cervical arteries. METHODS AND RESULTS: Irradiated arteries were taken from the neck region of patients who had radiation therapy. Arteries from patients who did not receive radiation therapy were used as controls. Endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine and A23187 was impaired in irradiated arteries. Norepinephrine-induced contraction and sodium nitroprusside-induced relaxation were unchanged. In control arteries, N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine and indomethacin each caused a partial inhibition of endothelium-dependent relaxation. In irradiated arteries, the impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation was unaffected by these agents, but it was abolished by high K(+). Acetylcholine produced similar degrees of hyperpolarization in control and irradiated arteries. Immunohistochemical examination for endothelial nitric oxide synthase indicated no expression in the endothelium of irradiated arteries. Electron scanning microscopy showed morphologically intact endothelial cells in irradiated arteries. CONCLUSIONS: In irradiated human cervical arteries, the nitric oxide- and prostacyclin-mediated endothelium-dependent relaxation, but not endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor-mediated relaxation, are specifically impaired, without significant morphological damage of the endothelium. The impaired nitric oxide-mediated relaxation was associated with a lack of endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression. Our results suggest the importance of impaired endothelial function in irradiated human blood vessels, which may partly explain the development of vascular stenosis and poor surgical wound healing in irradiated tissues.  (+info)

Randomized study of a short course of weekly cisplatin with or without amifostine in advanced head and neck cancer. EORTC Head and Neck Cooperative Group. (63/5027)

BACKGROUND: Cisplatin is one of the most active cytotoxic agents available for the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer. In a previous phase II study with weekly administration of cisplatin, a response rate of 51% was achieved. However, only in a minority of the patients the planned high dose intensity of 80 mg/m2/week could be reached because of toxicity, mainly thrombocytopenia and ototoxicity. Amifostine is a cytoprotective drug that can diminish the toxicity of alkylating agents and platinum compounds. Therefore the effect of amifostine on toxicity and activity of weekly cisplatin was investigated in a randomized study. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer were eligible. Patients were randomized to weekly cisplatin 70 mg/m2 for six cycles preceded by amifostine 740 mg/m2, or cisplatin only. Cisplatin was administered in hypertonic saline (3% NaCl) as a one-hour infusion; amifostine was administered as a 15-minute infusion directly before the administration of cisplatin. RESULTS: Seventy-four patients were entered in the study. The median number of cisplatin administrations was 6 (range 2-6), equal in both arms. In both treatment arms the median dose intensity of cisplatin achieved was the planned 70 mg/m2/week. In the cisplatin only arm 6 out of 206 cycles were complicated by thrombocytopenia grade 3 or 4 versus 1 of 184 cycles in the amifostine arm (P = 0.035). Hypomagnesaemia grade 2 + 3 was significantly less observed in the amifostine arm (P = 0.04). Neurotoxicity analyzed by serial vibration perception thresholds (VPT) showed a diminished incidence of subclinical neurotoxicity in the amifostine arm (P = 0.03). No protective effect on renal and ototoxicity could be shown. Hypotension was the main side effect of amifostine but only of relevance in one patient. The antitumor activity of cisplatin was preserved as 63% of the evaluable patients in the amifostine arm responded compared to 50% of the evaluable patients in the cisplatin alone arm. CONCLUSION: Our study indicated that in combination with weekly administered cisplatin amifostine reduced the risk of thrombocytopenia, hypomagnesemia as well as subclinical neurotoxicity, but did not result in a higher dose intensity of cisplatin. Addition of amifostine did not compromise the antitumor effect of cisplatin.  (+info)

Relationship among 201T1 uptake, nuclear DNA content and clinical behavior in metastatic thyroid carcinoma. (64/5027)

A prospective study of 201TI uptake was performed to compare 201TI uptake with nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) content and clinical behavior of tumors in metastatic thyroid carcinoma and to assess the significance of 201TI uptake in evaluating clinical characteristics of thyroid carcinoma. METHODS: Fifty-six patients with metastases of differentiated thyroid carcinoma had 201TI scintigraphy. Grade of 201TI uptake was semiquantitatively assessed according to tumor-to-background ratio on 2-h late scan. Nuclear DNA content was analyzed within 3 wk of 201TI study by flow cytometry using biopsy material and was classified as diploidy or aneuploidy. Patients were followed up to examine incidence of tumor growth and/or anaplastic transformation. RESULTS: DNA content was diploidy in 48 patients and aneuploidy in 8 patients. 201TI uptake in the DNA-aneuploid group (2.61 +/- 0.29) was significantly higher than that in the DNA-diploid group (1.82 +/- 0.35, P < 0.01 for both groups). Tumor growth was observed in all patients with DNA aneuploidy but in only 5 of 48 patients with DNA diploidy (P < 0.01). Anaplastic transformation was observed in 3 patients in the DNA-aneuploid group but in none of the patients in the DNA-diploid group. CONCLUSION: High 201TI uptake indicates greater incidence of abnormal DNA content with aggressive clinical behavior of metastatic tumors. Thus, 201TI scintigraphy may be useful in characterizing metastatic thyroid carcinoma and in identifying those patients with poorer prognoses.  (+info)