bims-ovdlit Biomed News
on Ovarian cancer: early diagnosis, liquid biopsy and therapy
Issue of 2022‒12‒25
seven papers selected by
Lara Paracchini
Humanitas Research

  1. Ann Oncol. 2022 Nov 28. pii: S0923-7534(22)04733-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: In the phase III PAOLA-1 study, the addition of maintenance olaparib to bevacizumab in patients with newly diagnosed high-grade ovarian cancer (HGOC) resulted in prolonged progression-free survival (PFS), particularly for homologous recombination deficiency-positive tumors, including those with a BRCA mutation (BRCAm). The magnitude of benefit from olaparib and bevacizumab according to the location of mutation in BRCA1/BRCA2 remains to be explored.PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with advanced-stage HGOC responding after platinum-based chemotherapy + bevacizumab received maintenance therapy bevacizumab (15 mg/kg q3w for 15 months) + either olaparib (300 mg b.i.d. for 24 months) or placebo. PFS was analyzed in the subgroup of patients with BRCA1m/BRCA2m according to mutation location in the functional domains of BRCA1 [Really Interesting Gene (RING), DNA-binding domain (DBD), or C-terminal domain of BRCA1 (BRCT)] and BRCA2 [RAD51-binding domain (RAD51-BD); DBD].
    RESULTS: From 806 randomized patients, 159 harbored BRCA1m (19.7%) and 74 BRCA2m (9.2%). BRCA1m in RING, DBD, and BRCT domains was detected in 18, 40, and 33 patients, and BRCA2m in RAD51-BD and DBD in 36 and 13 patients, respectively. After a median follow-up of 25.5 months, benefit from maintenance olaparib + bevacizumab was observed irrespective of location of BRCAm. The benefit was particularly high for those with BRCA1m located in the DBD, with 24-month PFS estimated to be 89% and 15% [olaparib + bevacizumab versus placebo + bevacizumab hazard ratio = 0.08 (95% confidence interval 0.02-0.28); interaction P = 0.03]. In BRCA2m patients, 24-month PFS rates for those with mutations located in the DBD were 90% and 100% (olaparib + bevacizumab versus placebo + bevacizumab), respectively.
    CONCLUSIONS: Advanced-stage BRCA-mutated HGOC patients reported PFS benefit from maintenance olaparib and bevacizumab regardless of mutation location. The benefit is particularly high for patients with mutations located in the DBD of BRCA1. Mutations located in the DBD of BRCA2 are also associated with excellent outcome.
    Keywords:  BRCA mutation; PARP inhibitor; genotype; location of mutation; olaparib; ovarian cancer; type of mutation
  2. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Dec 01. pii: 3009. [Epub ahead of print]12(12):
      Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer characterized by a very poor prognosis. Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The preinvasive lesions, the mesothelial hyperplasia and its possible evolution are the focus of the majority of the studies aiming to identify the treatable phase of the disease. The role of BAP-1 and MTAP in the diagnosis of mesothelioma in situ and in the prognosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma is the main topic of recent studies. The management of preinvasive lesions in mesothelioma is still unclear and many aspects are the subject of debate. The diagnosis, the disease staging and the accurate, comprehensive assessment of patients are three key instants for an appropriate management of patients/the disease.
    Keywords:  atypical mesothelial hyperplasia; invasive diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma; mesothelioma genetics; mesothelioma histopathology; mesothelioma immunohistochemistry; pleural mesothelial hyperplasia
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Dec 16. pii: 16019. [Epub ahead of print]23(24):
      In recent years, many studies have highlighted the possible close correlation between human diseases and definite patterns of microbial organisms colonizing various organs. Even at sites traditionally considered sterile, such as the upper female reproductive tract (FRT), it is now well-recognized as hosting a low biomass of different bacterial phyla. Additionally, the data from recent studies highlight a possible link between lower and upper FRT dysbiosis with a potential predisposition to cervical and ovarian cancer. Acinetobacter, chlamydia, increased mycoplasma, and lactobacillary scarcity in the upper FRT have all been linked to a predisposition to ovarian cancer. Additionally, a high-diversity vaginal community state type (CST) is linked to the presence and persistence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), resulting in decreased cellular p53 activity and a reduction in the immune activity of T lymphocytes, resulting in cervical and ovarian cancer predisposition. While these findings are still far from being clarified in all aspects, in patients with multiple risk factors for ovarian cancer, a Lactobacillus crispatus treatment with a product with a proven ability to restore a favorable CST should be considered as an add-on therapy.
    Keywords:  AHCC; HPV; cancer; lactobacillus; lentinula edodens; microbiota
  4. Oncogene. 2022 Dec 22.
      The tumour suppressor BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) is the most frequently mutated cancer gene in mesothelioma. Here we report novel functions for BAP1 in mitotic progression highlighting the relationship between BAP1 and control of genome stability in mesothelioma cells with therapeutic implications. Depletion of BAP1 protein induced proteasome-mediated degradation of BRCA1 in mesothelioma cells while loss of BAP1 correlated with BRCA1 loss in mesothelioma patient tumour samples. BAP1 loss also led to mitotic defects that phenocopied the loss of BRCA1 including spindle assembly checkpoint failure, centrosome amplification and chromosome segregation errors. However, loss of BAP1 also led to additional mitotic changes that were not observed upon BRCA1 loss, including an increase in spindle length and enhanced growth of astral microtubules. Intriguingly, these consequences could be explained by loss of expression of the KIF18A and KIF18B kinesin motors that occurred upon depletion of BAP1 but not BRCA1, as spindle and astral microtubule defects were rescued by re-expression of KIF18A and KIF18B, respectively. We therefore propose that BAP1 inactivation causes mitotic defects through BRCA1-dependent and independent mechanisms revealing novel routes by which mesothelioma cells lacking BAP1 may acquire genome instability and exhibit altered responses to microtubule-targeted agents.
  5. Nat Immunol. 2022 Dec 21.
      T cell dysfunctionality prevents the clearance of chronic infections and cancer. Furthermore, epigenetic programming in dysfunctional CD8+ T cells limits their response to immunotherapies, including immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). However, it is unclear which upstream signals drive acquisition of dysfunctional epigenetic programs, and whether therapeutically targeting these signals can remodel terminally dysfunctional T cells to an ICB-responsive state. Here we innovate an in vitro model system of stable human T cell dysfunction and show that chronic TGFβ1 signaling in posteffector CD8+ T cells accelerates their terminal dysfunction through stable epigenetic changes. Conversely, boosting bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling while blocking TGFβ1 preserved effector and memory programs in chronically stimulated human CD8+ T cells, inducing superior responses to tumors and synergizing the ICB responses during chronic viral infection. Thus, rebalancing TGFβ1/BMP signals provides an exciting new approach to unleash dysfunctional CD8+ T cells and enhance T cell immunotherapies.