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Last Modified, June 13, 2021
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mRNA translation is a therapeutic vulnerability necessary for bladder epithelial transformation

JCI Insight

2021 Rucha Deo; Jessie Horn; Jonathan Wright; Rowan Hough; Hung-Ming Lam; Sujata Jana; Yuzhen Liu; Andrew Hsieh

Using genetically engineered mouse models, this work demonstrates that protein synthesis is essential for efficient urothelial cancer formation and growth but dispensable for bladder homeostasis. Through a candidate gene analysis for translation regulators implicated in this dependency, we discovered that phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF4E at serine 209 is increased in both murine and human bladder cancer, and this phosphorylation corresponds with an increase in de novo protein synthesis. Employing an eIF4E serine 209 to alanine knock-in mutant mouse model, we show that this single posttranslational modification is critical for bladder cancer initiation and progression, despite having no impact on normal bladder tissue maintenance. Using murine and human models of advanced bladder cancer, we demonstrate that only tumors with high levels of eIF4E phosphorylation are therapeutically vulnerable to eFT508, the first clinical-grade inhibitor of MNK1 and MNK2, the upstream kinases of eIF4E. Our results show that phospho-eIF4E plays an important role in bladder cancer pathogenesis, and targeting its upstream kinases could be an effective therapeutic option for bladder cancer patients with high levels of eIF4E phosphorylation.

Effect of Bamlanivimab vs Placebo on Incidence of COVID-19 Among Residents and Staff of Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities A Randomized Clinical Trial


2021 Elizabeth Brown

Importance: Preventive interventions are needed to protect residents and staff of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities from COVID-19 during outbreaks in their facilities. Bamlanivimab, a neutralizing monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2, may confer rapid protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. Objective: To determine the effect of bamlanivimab on the incidence of COVID-19 among residents and staff of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Design, Setting, and Participants: Randomized, double-blind, single-dose, phase 3 trial that enrolled residents and staff of 74 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in the United States with at least 1 confirmed SARS-CoV-2 index case. A total of 1175 participants enrolled in the study from August 2 to November 20, 2020. Database lock was triggered on January 13, 2021, when all participants reached study day 57. Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive a single intravenous infusion of bamlanivimab, 4200 mg (n=588), or placebo (n=587). Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was incidence of COVID-19, defined as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and mild or worse disease severity within 21 days of detection, within 8 weeks of randomization. Key secondary outcomes included incidence of moderate or worse COVID-19 severity and incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: The prevention population comprised a total of 966 participants (666 staff and 300 residents) who were negative at baseline for SARS-CoV-2 infection and serology (mean age, 53.0 [range, 18-104] years; 722 [74.7%] women). Bamlanivimab significantly reduced the incidence of COVID-19 in the prevention population compared with placebo (8.5% vs 15.2%; odds ratio, 0.43 [95% CI, 0.28-0.68]; P<.001; absolute risk difference, -6.6 [95% CI, -10.7 to -2.6] percentage points). Five deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported by day 57; all occurred in the placebo group. Among 1175 participants who received study product (safety population), the rate of participants with adverse events was 20.1% in the bamlanivimab group and 18.9% in the placebo group. The most common adverse events were urinary tract infection (reported by 12 participants [2%] who received bamlanivimab and 14 [2.4%] who received placebo) and hypertension (reported by 7 participants [1.2%] who received bamlanivimab and 10 [1.7%] who received placebo). Conclusions and Relevance: Among residents and staff in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, treatment during August-November 2020 with bamlanivimab monotherapy reduced the incidence of COVID-19 infection. Further research is needed to assess preventive efficacy with current patterns of viral strains with combination monoclonal antibody therapy. Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT04497987.

Nongenetic Determinants of Risk for Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer

JNCI Cancer Spectr

2021 Ulrike Peters; Tabitha Harrison; Yi Lin; Polly Newcomb; Lori Sakoda; Li Hsu

Background: Incidence of early-onset (younger than 50years of age) colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasing in many countries. Thus, elucidating the role of traditional CRC risk factors in early-onset CRC is a high priority. We sought to determine whether risk factors associated with late-onset CRC were also linked to early-onset CRC and whether association patterns differed by anatomic subsite. Methods: Using data pooled from 13 population-based studies, we studied 3767 CRC cases and 4049 controls aged younger than 50years and 23437 CRC cases and 35311 controls aged 50years and older. Using multivariable and multinomial logistic regression, we estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the association between risk factors and early-onset CRC and by anatomic subsite. Results: Early-onset CRC was associated with not regularly using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.21 to 1.68), greater red meat intake (OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.16), lower educational attainment (OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.16), alcohol abstinence (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.08 to 1.39), and heavier alcohol use (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.50). No factors exhibited a greater excess in early-onset compared with late-onset CRC. Evaluating risks by anatomic subsite, we found that lower total fiber intake was linked more strongly to rectal (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.14 to 1.48) than colon cancer (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.02 to 1.27; P=.04). Conclusion: In this large study, we identified several nongenetic risk factors associated with early-onset CRC, providing a basis for targeted identification of those most at risk, which is imperative in mitigating the rising burden of this disease.

Real-World Data on the Impact of COVID-19 on Endoscopic Procedural Delays

Clin Transl Gastroenterol

2021 Rachel Issaka

INTRODUCTION: The initial surge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic prompted national recommendations to delay nonurgent endoscopic procedures. The objective of this study was to provide real-world data on the impact of COVID-19 on endoscopic procedures in a safety-net healthcare system and cancer center affiliated with a tertiary academic center. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study used a combination of electronic health record data and a prospective data tool created to track endoscopy procedures throughout COVID-19 to describe patient and procedural characteristics of endoscopic procedures delayed during the initial COVID-19 surge. RESULTS: Of the 480 patients identified, the median age was 57 years (interquartile range 46-66), 55% (n = 262) were male, and 59% self-identified as white. Colonoscopy was the most common type of delayed procedure (49%), followed by combined esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and colonoscopy (22%), and EGD alone (20%). Colorectal cancer screening was the most common indication for delayed colonoscopy (35%), and evaluation of suspected bleeding (30%) was the most common indication for delayed combined EGD and colonoscopy. To date, 46% (223/480) of delayed cases have been completed with 12 colorectal, pancreatic, and stomach cancers diagnosed. Sociodemographic factors, procedure type, and sedation type were not significantly associated with endoscopy completion. The median time to endoscopy after delayed procedure was 88 days (interquartile range 63-119) with no differences by procedure type. DISCUSSION: To minimize potential losses to follow-up, delayed, or missed diagnoses and to reduce progression of gastrointestinal diseases, all efforts should be used to ensure follow-up in those whose endoscopic procedures were delayed because of COVID-19.

SWOG S1820: Altering Intake, Managing Symptoms for bowel dysfunction in survivors of Rectal Cancer (The AIMS-RC intervention trial)

Contemp Clin Trials Commun

2021 Stacey Cohen; Katherine Guthrie; Kathryn Arnold

Objective: To describe the study protocol of SWOG S1820, a trial of the Altering Intake, Managing Symptoms intervention for bowel dysfunction in survivors of Rectal Cancer (AIMS-RC). Design: SWOG S1820 is a multi-site, randomized trial of 94 post-treatment survivors of rectal cancer, comparing the intervention and attention control arms. Setting: Affiliated institutions of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) and the National Clinical Trial Network (NCTN). Participants: Survivors of rectal cancer who are between 6 and 24 months after treatment completion. Intervention: AIMS-RC is a 17-week, 10 session telephone coaching program to help survivors of rectal cancer track their symptoms and improve their diets for better health and bowel function. It includes telephone-based coaching, resource manual, and personalized text/email messaging for motivation in between the telephone sessions. Main outcome measures: Bowel function, low anterior resection syndrome score, quality of life (QOL), dietary quality, motivation, self-efficacy, positive/negative affect, feasibility, adherence, retention, acceptability. Analysis: Thirty-seven participants per arm (74 total) provide 80% power to detect this 0.5 standard deviation effect size, based on a two-sample t-test with a 1-sided alpha=0.1. A total of 94 randomized participants will be accrued to account for 7% ineligibility and 15% attrition at 6 months.

Dataset of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) risk associated with serum polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) by age at diagnosis and histologic types

Data Brief

2021 Chu Chen; Stephen Schwartz

In a population-based case control study of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), we reported a strong positive association between serum levels of Wolff's Group 1 (potentially estrogenic) polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) and risk of TGCT, and the observed associations were similar for both seminoma and non-seminoma. While the observed specific associations between TGCT and Wolff's Group 1 PCBs cannot be easily explained by bias or confounding, a question can still be asked, that is, could the relationship between PCBs and TGCT differ by age at diagnosis? PCBs tend to bioaccumulate, with more heavily chlorinated PCB congeners tending to have longer half-lives. Half-lives of PCB congeners were reported ranging from 4.6 years for PCB-28 to 41.0 years for PCB-156. The half-life for the heavy PCB congeners (17.8 years) was found to be approximately twice that for the light PCBs (9.6 years) in early studies. Therefore, the same PCB concentration measured in a 20-year-old vs. a 55-year-old is unlikely to represent the same lifetime PCB exposure or type of PCB exposure. In this analysis, we stratified the data by median age of diagnosis of TGCT and further stratified by histologic type of TGCT (seminoma vs non-seminoma) to explore if the risk of TGCT associated with PCB exposures differs by age.

Change to a Higher Carbohydrate Diet and Energy Expenditure among Postmenopausal Women

J Nutr

2021 Lesley Tinker; Ross Prentice; Marian Neuhouser


Gene expression signatures for tailoring adjuvant chemotherapy of luminal breast cancer: stronger evidence, greater trust

Ann Oncol

2021 William Barlow


The PI3K/mTOR inhibitor Gedatolisib eliminates dormant breast cancer cells in organotypic culture, but fails to prevent metastasis in preclinical settings

Mol Oncol

2021 Laura Pisarsky; Cyrus Ghajar; Ryann Shor; Jinxiang Dai

Dormant, disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) are thought to be the source of breast cancer metastases several years or even decades after initial treatment. To date, a selective therapy that leads to their elimination has not been discovered. While dormant DTCs resist chemotherapy, evidence suggests that this resistance is driven not by their lack of proliferation, but by their engagement of the surrounding microenvironment, via integrin-β1 mediated interactions. Because integrin-β1-targeted agents have not been translated readily to the clinic, signaling nodes downstream of integrin-β1 could serve as attractive therapeutic targets in order to sensitize dormant DTCs to therapy. By probing a number of kinases downstream of integrin-β1, we determined that PI3K inhibition with either a tool compounds or a compound (PF-05212384; aka Gedatolisib) in clinical trials robustly sensitizes quiescent breast tumor cells seeded in organotypic bone marrow cultures to chemotherapy. These results motivated the pre-clinical study of whether Gedatolisib-with or without genotoxic therapy- would reduce DTC burden and prevent metastases. Despite promising results in organotypic culture, Gedatolisib failed to reduce DTC burden or delay, reduce or prevent metastasis in murine models of either triple negative- or estrogen receptor-positive- breast cancer dissemination and metastasis. This result held true whether analyzing Gedatolisib on its own (vs. vehicle treated animals), or in combination with dose dense doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (vs. animals treated only with dose dense chemotherapies). These data suggest that PI3K is not the node downstream of integrin-β1 that confers chemotherapeutic resistance to DTCs. More broadly, they cast doubt on the strategy to target PI3K in order to eliminate DTCs and prevent breast cancer metastasis.

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits

Nat Genet

2021 Robert Kaplan; Alex Reiner

Glycemic traits are used to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic health. To date, most genetic studies of glycemic traits have focused on individuals of European ancestry. Here we aggregated genome-wide association studies comprising up to 281,416 individuals without diabetes (30% non-European ancestry) for whom fasting glucose, 2-h glucose after an oral glucose challenge, glycated hemoglobin and fasting insulin data were available. Trans-ancestry and single-ancestry meta-analyses identified 242 loci (99 novel; P < 5 × 10-8), 80% of which had no significant evidence of between-ancestry heterogeneity. Analyses restricted to individuals of European ancestry with equivalent sample size would have led to 24 fewer new loci. Compared with single-ancestry analyses, equivalent-sized trans-ancestry fine-mapping reduced the number of estimated variants in 99% credible sets by a median of 37.5%. Genomic-feature, gene-expression and gene-set analyses revealed distinct biological signatures for each trait, highlighting different underlying biological pathways. Our results increase our understanding of diabetes pathophysiology by using trans-ancestry studies for improved power and resolution.