(1/1008) Tumorigenicity of mouse thymoma is suppressed by soluble type II transforming growth factor beta receptor therapy.

Many types of tumor cells overexpress transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), which is believed to promote tumor progression. We hypothesized that overexpression of the extracellular region of the type II TGF-beta receptor (soluble TbetaRII) would compete for or block TGF-beta binding to TbetaRs on immune cells, preventing TGF-beta-mediated immunosuppression and consequently resulting in the eradication of tumor cells. We tested this in the mouse thymoma cell line EL4, which has been reported to suppress cellular immunity by secreting a large amount of TGF-beta. Transduction of EL4 with recombinant retrovirus encoding soluble TbetaRII resulted in the secretion of heterogeneously glycosylated, 25 to 35 kDa truncated TbetaRII. Inoculation of 1 x 10(4) to 5 x 10(4) soluble TbetaRII-modified EL4 cells (EL4/Ts, EL4 cells transduced with recombinant retrovirus encoding soluble TbetaRII and neomycin resistance gene) s.c. to mice showed reduced tumorigenicity, as indicated by lower overall tumor incidence (7%, 1 of 14; P < 0.001) compared with unmodified EL4 (100%, 9 of 9) or vector-modified EL4 cells (EL4/neo, EL4 cells transduced with recombinant retrovirus encoding neomycin resistance gene; 100%, 4 of 4). Administration of mitomycin C-treated EL4/Ts cells (1 x 10(6)) after EL4 inoculation (1 x 10(4)) reduced tumor incidence from 100% (5 of 5 in mice inoculated with mitomycin C-treated EL4/neo) to 40% (4 of 10, P < 0.05), indicating that supply of soluble TbetaRII could actually block TGF-beta-mediated tumorigenesis. In vitro tumor cytotoxicity assays revealed 3-5-fold higher cytotoxic activity with lymphocytes from EL4/Ts-bearing mice compared with those from EL4- or EL4/neo-bearing mice, indicating that the observed tumor rejection was mediated by restoration of the tumor-specific cellular immunity. These data suggest that expression of soluble TbetaRII is an effective strategy for treating highly progressive tumors secreting TGF-beta.  (+info)

(2/1008) Invasive thymoma with long-term survival by extensive reoperation.

The recurrence of invasive thymoma is often observed; however, no accepted treatment of recurrent invasive thymoma has yet been established. We herein report a 41-year-old woman with invasive thymoma and pleural dissemination who demonstrated long-term survival after undergoing 4 operations. Based on our findings, reoperation is thus suggested in patients with intrathoracic recurrence and long-term survival can be expected.  (+info)

(3/1008) Primary mediastinal malignancies: findings in 219 patients.

The purpose of this study was to determine the demographics, histology, methods of treatment, and survival in primary mediastinal malignancies. We did a retrospective review of the statewide New Mexico Tumor Registry for all malignant tumors treated between January 1, 1973 and December 31, 1995. Benign tumors and cysts of the mediastinum were excluded. Two hundred nineteen patients were identified from a total of 110,284 patients with primary malignancies: 55% of tumors were lymphomas, 16% malignant germ cell tumors, 14% malignant thymomas, 5% sarcomas, 3% malignant neurogenic tumors, and 7% other tumors. There were significant differences in gender between histologies (P < 0.001). Ninety-four percent of germ cell tumors occurred in males, 66% of neurogenic tumors were in females; other tumors occurred in males in 58% of cases. There were also significant differences in ages by histology (P < 0.001). Neurogenic tumors were most common in the first decade, lymphomas and germ cell tumors in the second to fourth decades, and lymphomas and thymomas in patients in their fifth decades and beyond. Stage at presentation (P = 0.001) and treatment (P < 0.001) also differed significantly between histologic groups. Five-year survival was 54% for lymphomas, 51% for malignant germ cell tumors, 49% for malignant thymomas, 33% for sarcomas, 56% for neurogenic tumors, and 51% overall. These survival rates were not statistically different (P > 0.50). Lymphomas, malignant germ cell tumors, and thymomas were the most frequently encountered malignant primary mediastinal neoplasms in this contemporary series of patients. Demographics, stage at presentation, and treatment modality varied significantly by histology. Despite these differences, overall five-year survival was not statistically different.  (+info)

(4/1008) Promoter element for transcription of unrearranged T-cell receptor beta-chain gene in pro-T cells.

The hallmark of T- and B-lymphocyte development is the rearrangement of variable (V), diversity (D), and joining (J) segments of T-cell receptor (TCR) and immunoglobulin (Ig) genes to generate a diverse repertoire of antigen receptor specificities in the immune system. The process of V(D)J recombination is shared in the rearrangement of all seven antigen receptor genes and is controlled by changes in chromatin structure, which regulate accessibility to the recombinase apparatus in a lineage- and stage-specific manner. These chromatin changes are linked to transcription of the locus in its unrearranged (germline) configuration. To understand how germline transcription of the TCRbeta-chain gene is regulated, we determined the structure of germline transcripts initiating near the Dbeta1 segment and identified a promoter within this region. The Dbeta1 promoter is active in the presence of the TCRbeta enhancer (Ebeta), and in this context, exhibits preferential activity in pro-T versus mature T-cell lines, as well as T- versus B-lineage specificity. These studies provide insight into the developmental regulation of TCRbeta germline transcription, one of the earliest steps in T-cell differentiation.  (+info)

(5/1008) Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor metastases to the thyroid gland: differential diagnosis with medullary thyroid carcinoma.

Neuroendocrine tumors (NET) of the thyroid gland are rare. Apart from medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), metastases of gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) NET may also occur. Features of six patients (five men, one female: age range, 39-67 years) with thyroid metastases from a GEP-NET are described. Thyroid metastases were bilateral in all patients and were associated with enlarged neck lymph nodes in five. In four cases, the thyroid tumor was either the first sign of the disease (n = 2) or was an isolated site of recurrence (n = 2). The tumors were well (n = 3) or poorly differentiated (n = 3). Five tumors for which the primary site could be determined corresponded to foregut-derived tumors (3 lungs, 1 thymus and 1 pancreatic NET). One tumor demonstrated calcitonin (CT) production as shown by immunohistochemistry and elevated plasma CT levels. However, the disease history and the clinical features strongly favored a metastasizing GEP-NET. No tumoral RET proto-oncogene mutation was found in this patient. The differential diagnosis between metastatic GEP-NET and MTC is crucial because prognosis, work-up, and treatment differ greatly.  (+info)

(6/1008) Dermatomyositis associated with invasive thymoma.

We report a case of dermatomyositis (DM) associated with invasive thymoma in a 22-year-old woman who was admitted to our hospital complaining of dyspnea which required ventilation support. The reddened elevated scaly eruptions were prominent over the extensor surfaces. Chest X-ray and computed tomography showed mediastinal masses, which were diagnosed as mixed type thymoma. Muscle and skin biopsy specimens were compatible with DM. She was treated with methylprednisolone pulse therapy followed by extended removal of the anterior mediastinal tumor and subsequent radiotherapy. She has had a good clinical course without recurrence of thymoma or DM for more than 3 years. The role of thymoma in the development of DM is discussed.  (+info)

(7/1008) Novel endogenous type D retroviral particles expressed at high levels in a SCID mouse thymic lymphoma.

A xenograft model of the human disease Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) was investigated with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Transplantation of human LCH biopsy material into SCID mice resulted in the generation of mouse tumors resembling lymphomas. A thymoma cell line (ThyE1M6) was generated from one of these mice and found to display significant levels of Mg2+-dependent reverse transcriptase activity. Electron microscopy revealed particles with type D retroviral morphology budding from ThyE1M6 cells at a high frequency, whereas control cultures were negative. Reverse transcription-PCR of virion RNA with degenerate primers for conserved regions of various mouse, human, and primate retroviruses amplified novel sequences related to primate type D retroviruses, murine intracisternal A particles, Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus, and murine long interspersed nuclear elements but not other retroviral classes. We demonstrate that these sequences represent a novel group of endogenous retroviruses expressed at low levels in mice but expressed at high levels in the ThyE1M6 cell line. Furthermore, we propose that the activation of endogenous retroviral elements may be associated with a high incidence of thymomas in SCID mice.  (+info)

(8/1008) Sequences between the enhancer and promoter in the long terminal repeat affect murine leukemia virus pathogenicity and replication in the thymus.

We previously showed that the 93-bp region between the enhancer and promoter (named DEN for downstream of enhancer) of the long terminal repeat (LTR) of the MCF13 murine leukemia virus is an important determinant of the ability of this virus to induce thymic lymphoma. In this study we observed that DEN plays a role in the regulation of virus replication in the thymus during the preleukemic period. A NF-kappaB site in the DEN region partially contributes to the effect of DEN on both lymphomagenicity and virus replication. To further study the effects of DEN and the NF-kappaB site on viral pathogenicity during the preleukemic period, we examined replication of wild-type and mutant viruses with a deletion of the NF-kappaB site or the entire DEN region in the thymus. Thymic lymphocytes which were infected with wild-type and mutant viruses were predominantly the CD3(-) CD4(+) CD8(+) and CD3(+) CD4(+) CD8(+) cells. The increase in infection by wild-type virus and both mutant viruses of these two subpopulations during the preleukemic period ranged from 9- to 84-fold, depending upon the time point and virus. The major difference between the wild-type and both mutant viruses was the lower rate and lower level of mutant virus replication in these thymic subpopulations. Significant differences in replication between wild-type and both mutant viruses were seen in the CD3(-) CD4(+) CD8(+) and CD3(-) CD4(-) CD8(-) subpopulations, suggesting that these thymic cell types are important targets for viral transformation.  (+info)