bims-netuvo Biomed News
on Nerves in tumours of visceral organs
Issue of 2022‒07‒10
nine papers selected by
Maksym V. Kopanitsa
The Francis Crick Institute

  1. Adv Biol (Weinh). 2022 Jul 07. e2200039
      Perineural invasion (PNI) refers to the cancerous invasion of nerves. It provides an alternative route for metastatic invasion and can exist independently in the absence of lymphatic or vascular invasion. It is a prominent characteristic of specific aggressive malignancies where it correlates with poor prognosis. The clinical significance of PNI is widely recognized despite a lack of understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis. The interaction between the nerve and the cancer cells is the most pivotal PNI step which is mediated by the activation or inhibition of multiple signaling pathways that include chemokines, interleukins, nerve growth factors, and matrix metalloproteinases, to name a few. The nerve-cancer cell interaction brings about specific changes in the perineural niche, which not only affects the regular nerve functions, but also enhances the migratory, invasive, and adherent properties of the tumor cells. This review aims to elucidate the vital role of adhesion molecules, extracellular matrix, and epithelial-mesenchymal proteins that promote PNI, which may serve as therapeutic targets in the future.
    Keywords:  adhesion; cancer; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; perineural invasion
  2. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jul 01. pii: 3248. [Epub ahead of print]14(13):
      Growing evidence shows that nerves play an active role in cancer development and progression by altering crucial molecular pathways and cell functions. Conversely, the use of neurotropic drugs, such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), may modulate these molecular signals with a therapeutic purpose based on a direct antitumoral effect and beyond the TCA use to treat neuropathic pain in oncology patients. In this review, we discuss the TCAs' safety and their central effects against neuropathic pain in cancer, and the antitumoral effects of TCAs in in vitro and preclinical studies, as well as in the clinical setting. The current evidence points out that TCAs are safe and beneficial to treat neuropathic pain associated with cancer and chemotherapy, and they block different molecular pathways used by cancer cells from different locations for tumor growth and promotion. Likewise, ongoing clinical trials evaluating the antineoplastic effects of TCAs are discussed. TCAs are very biologically active compounds, and their repurposing as antitumoral drugs is a promising and straightforward approach to treat specific cancer subtypes and to further define their molecular targets, as well as an interesting starting point to design analogues with increased antitumoral activity.
    Keywords:  antitumor therapy; central nervous system; drug repurposing; imipramine; tricyclic antidepressants
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 30. pii: 7299. [Epub ahead of print]23(13):
      The usage of beta blockers in breast cancer (BC) patients is implicated in the reduction in distant metastases, cancer recurrence, and cancer mortality. Studies suggest that the adrenergic pathway is directly involved in sympathetic-driven hematopoietic activation of pro-tumor microenvironmental proliferation and tumor cell trafficking into the circulation. Cancer-associated macrophage-like cells (CAMLs) are pro-tumor polynucleated monocytic cells of hematopoietic origin emanating from tumors which may aid in circulating tumor cell (CTC) dissemination into the circulation. We examined the linkage between Beta-2 adrenergic receptor (B2AR) signaling in CAMLs and CTCs by establishing expression profiles in a model BC cell line (MDA-MB-231). We compared the model to CAMLs and CTCs found in patents. Although internalization events were observed in patients, differences were found in the expression of B2AR between the tumor cell lines and the CAMLs found in patients. High B2AR expression on patients' CAMLs was correlated with significantly more CAMLs in the circulation (p = 0.0093), but CTCs had no numerical relationship (p = 0.1565). High B2AR CAML expression was also significantly associated with a larger size of CAMLs (p = 0.0073), as well as being significantly associated with shorter progression-free survival (p = 0.0097) and overall survival (p = 0.0265). These data suggest that B2AR expression on CAMLs is closely related to the activation, intravasation, and growth of CAMLs in the circulation.
    Keywords:  beta-2 adrenergic receptor; breast cancer; cancer-associated macrophage-like cells; circulating tumor cells; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition cells
  4. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 900478
      Purpose: The study aimed to construct and evaluate a CT-Based radiomics model for noninvasive detecting perineural invasion (PNI) of perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (pCCA) preoperatively.Materials and Methods: From February 2012 to October 2021, a total of 161 patients with pCCA who underwent resection were retrospectively enrolled in this study. Patients were allocated into the training cohort and the validation cohort according to the diagnostic time. Venous phase images of contrast-enhanced CT were used for radiomics analysis. The intraclass correlation efficient (ICC), the correlation analysis, and the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression were applied to select radiomics features and built radiomics signature. Logistic regression analyses were performed to establish a clinical model, a radiomics model, and a combined model. The performance of the predictive models was measured by area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), and pairwise ROC comparisons between models were tested using the Delong method. Finally, the model with the best performance was presented as a nomogram, and its calibration and clinical usefulness were assessed.
    Results: Finally, 15 radiomics features were selected to build a radiomics signature, and three models were developed through logistic regression. In the training cohort, the combined model showed a higher predictive capability (AUC = 0.950) than the radiomics model and the clinical model (AUC: radiomics = 0.914, clinical = 0.756). However, in the validation cohort, the AUC of the radiomics model (AUC = 0.885) was significantly higher than the other two models (AUC: combined = 0.791, clinical = 0.567). After comprehensive consideration, the radiomics model was chosen to develop the nomogram. The calibration curve and decision curve analysis (DCA) suggested that the nomogram had a good consistency and clinical utility.
    Conclusion: We developed a CT-based radiomics model with good performance to noninvasively predict PNI of pCCA preoperatively.
    Keywords:  CT; nomogram; perihilar cholangiocarcinoma; perineural invasion; radiomics
  5. Radiat Oncol. 2022 Jul 07. 17(1): 118
      BACKGROUND: Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is an uncommon malignancy with high recurrent rate and poor prognosis. This study investigates the recurrent patterns of postoperative GBC, with the aim to guide the adjuvant treatments, including the radiotherapy.METHODS: Retrospectively analyzed the 109 GBC patients who underwent surgery in our institution from January 2013 to 2018. Clinical follow-up revealed 54 recurrent cases, of which 40 had detailed locations of recurrence. The sites of recurrence were recorded and divided into the tumor bed, corresponding lymphatic drainage area, intrahepatic recurrence, and the other distant metastasis.
    RESULTS: The median follow-up time is 34 months (IQR: 11-64). The median disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were 48.8 months and 53.7 months, respectively. Through univariate analysis, risk factors for DFS and OS include tumor markers (CA199 and CEA), hepatic invasion, perineural invasion, lymphovascular invasion, TNM staging and tumor differentiation. Through multivariate analysis, risk factors for DFS include hepatic invasion and TNM staging, and for OS is TNM staging only. Of the 40 cases with specific recurrent sites, 29 patients (29/40, 72.5%) had recurrence in the potential target volume of postoperative radiotherapy (PORT), which include tumor bed and corresponding lymphatic drainage area. The common recurrent lymph node groups included abdominal para-aortic lymph node (No.16, 15/29), hepatoduodenal ligament lymph node (No.12, 8/29), retro-pancreatic head lymph node (No.13, 7/29) and celiac axis lymph node (No.9, 4/29). Twenty cases with recurrences inside the potential PORT target volume were accompanied by distant metastasis. Another 11 cases had distant metastasis alone, so totally 31 cases developed distant metastasis (31/40, 77.5%), including 18 cases with hepatic metastasis.
    CONCLUSION: The recurrence and metastasis rates are high in GBC and adjuvant therapy is needed. Up to 75% of the recurrent cases occurred in the potential target volume of postoperative radiotherapy, suggesting that postoperative radiotherapy has the possible value of improving local-regional control. The potential target volume of radiotherapy should include the tumor bed, No.8, No.9, No.11, No.12, No.13, No.14, No. 16a2, No. 16b1 lymph node groups.
    Keywords:  Adjuvant radiotherapy; Gallbladder cancer; Patterns of recurrence; Target volume
  6. Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 05. 12(1): 11323
      The right and left side of the colon derived from the midgut and hindgut, respectively. Previous studies have reported different characteristics of right-sided colon cancer (RCC) and left-sided colon cancer (LCC), but oncological outcomes remain unclear. This study compared the outcomes of RCC and LCC. This retrospective study included 1017 patients who received curative colectomy for stage I-III colon cancer at a single institute between August 2008 and December 2019. Overall survival (OS) and time to recurrence (TTR) were analyzed as outcome measurements. No significant difference in the OS or TTR of patients with RCC and LCC were observed. In subgroup analysis, RCC was associated with shorter TTR than LCC in stage II colon cancer (HR 2.36, 95% confidence interval 1.24-4.48, p < 0.01). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that right sidedness, R1 resection, low body mass index (BMI) and adjuvant chemotherapy were independent factors for poor prognosis for stage II colon cancer. Low BMI, perineural invasion, higher T stage and N2 stage were independent factors for poor prognosis for stage III colon cancer. The results were confirmed by multivariate analysis after propensity score matching. Our study revealed that RCC was an independent risk factor for recurrence in stage II colon cancer.
  7. J Surg Oncol. 2022 Jul 07.
      BACKGROUND: Extrapancreatic nerve plexus (PL) invasion of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an important factor for determining resectability and surgical method. We sought to clarify the characteristics of PDAC with PL invasion and clinical impact of the resection margin status on prognosis for PDAC with PL invasion.METHODS: A total of 242 patients with pancreatic head cancer who underwent pancreatectomy were evaluated. Clinicopathological data and patient survival were analyzed.
    RESULTS: Pathological PL invasion was observed in 68 patients (28.1%). Patients with PL invasion had significantly shorter disease-free survival (DFS) and showed trends toward worse overall survival (OS) than those without PL invasion. While multivariate analysis revealed that PL invasion was not an independent prognostic factor, PL invasion was associated with extensive venous invasion and a high percentage of lymph node metastases, both of which were independent factors affecting DFS and OS. Among patients with PL invasion, there was no significant difference in DFS and OS between the R0 and R1 resection groups.
    CONCLUSIONS: PL invasion is a common pathological feature of aggressive PDAC with high propensity for invasiveness and metastatic potential. The microscopic resection margin status may not affect the survival of pancreatic head cancer patients with PL invasion.
    Keywords:  nerve plexus invasion; pancreatic cancer; pancreaticoduodenectomy; resection margin status
  8. Zhonghua Bing Li Xue Za Zhi. 2022 Jul 08. 51(7): 634-639
      Objective: To investigate the clinical and pathological features and prognosis of patients with microfocal prostate adenocarcinoma. Methods: Clinical and pathological data of the patients diagnosed with microfocal adenocarcinoma on prostate biopsy at the West China Hospital from 2013 to 2019 were collected. Microfocal adenocarcinoma was defined as follows: Gleason score of 3+3=6, total number of the cores ≥10, number of the positive cores ≤2, and proportion of the tumor in each positive core<50%. Clinicopathological parameters, treatment plans and follow-up data were collected. Pathological information of the biopsy and radical resection specimens was used to analyze the correlation between pathological parameters in the biopsy report and adverse pathological features of radical resection specimens, including increased Gleason score, capsule invasion, positive surgical margin and perineural invasion. Results: A total of 206 cases of microfocal adenocarcinoma were diagnosed on prostate biopsies from 2013 to 2019, accounting for 6.7% of all adenocarcinoma cases. There were 139 cases of 1 positive core and 67 cases of 2 positive cores. Patients with microfocal adenocarcinoma were younger than those with non-microfocal adenocarcinoma (69 years versus 71 years, P<0.001). Compared with patients with non-microfocal adenocarcinoma, the pre-biopsy total prostate specific antigen (tPSA) and free prostate specific antigen (fPSA) levels in patients with microfocal adenocarcinoma were both lower (11.2 μg/L2 versus 23.7 μg/L2; 1.4 μg/L2 versus 3.0 μg/L2, P<0.001), the fPSA/tPSA level was higher (12.9% versus 10.7%, P<0.05), the prostate volume was larger (38.9 mL versus 34.3 mL, P<0.05), and the PSA density was lower (0.3 μg/L2 versus 0.8 μg/L2, P<0.001). 130 patients underwent radical prostatectomy, 30 patients chose active monitoring, 31 patients chose endocrine or radiation therapy, and 15 patients were lost to follow-up. Three patients in the active surveillance group underwent radical prostatectomy for disease progression after 21-39 months observation. Biochemical relapses occurred in two patients in the radical prostatectomy group. The remaining patients have no disease progression or recurrence at present. Compared with radical prostatectomy specimens, Gleason score in the biopsy material was increased in 64/115 patients (55.7%). Among resection excision specimens, 14 cases (12.2%) had extraprostatic extension (EPE), 35 cases (30.4%) had perineural invasion, and 16 cases (13.9%) had a positive margin. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that low fPSA/tPSA ratio and 2 positive cores were independent risk factors for Gleason score increase in the radical prostatectomy specimens. A low fPSA/tPSA ratio was an independent risk factor for perineural invasion. Low fPSA/tPSA ratio and low prostate volume were associated with a positive margin in radical prostatectomy specimens. Conclusions: In this study, patients diagnosed with microfocal adenocarcinoma on prostate biopsy account for a high proportion of the patients with increased Gleason score in the radical prostatectomy specimens, and there is a certain proportion of adverse pathological features in the radical specimens. Therefore, for the patients with only a small amount of low-grade adenocarcinoma found in biopsy, PSA levels and PSA density should be taken into consideration in treatment selection.