In This Issue
In This Issue
Identification of drug candidate against prostate cancer from the aspect of somatic cell reprogramming
Prostate cancer (PCA) is one of the leading causes of cancer death in men. Although there are many therapeutic options available, malignant PCA may often be resistant to treatment. Kosaka and colleagues sought to use a specialized cell selection system to isolate PCA cells that are resistant to a particular chemotherapeutic agent, docetaxel. After isolating the cells, the authors identified a non-chemotherapeutic drug, ribavirin, that improved the efficacy of docetaxel in killing PCA cells. Ribavirin is an antiviral drug that has not previously been proposed as an anti-PCA therapy. Kosaka and coworkers propose that, through a novel mechanism of genetic reprogramming, ribavirin had the effect of “converting” docetaxel-resistant PCA cells to docetaxel-sensitive cells. The authors call their novel method Drug Efficacy Reprogramming and suggest that it may open entirely new avenues for drug discovery in the fight against cancer.
CD146 and IMP3 predict prognosis of asbestos-induced rat mesothelioma
People exposed to asbestos are at risk of developing mesothelioma, a malignancy with a very high incidence of death. One of the dangerous features of this cancer is the surreptitious nature of early disease. By the time a patient presents to a physician, the cancer has often progressed to a late stage of disease, making it more difficult to treat. Okazaki and colleagues describe their work on the identification of early markers of malignant mesothelioma. The authors describe two markers, CD146 and insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3), that could be identified in malignant mesothelioma cells prior to progression to the advanced stage, and were correlated with survival in their in vivo model. These exciting findings point toward CD146 and IMP3 as being early predictors of more dangerous disease.
Histological and prognostic importance of CD44+/CD24+/EpCAM+ expression in clinical pancreatic cancer
A significant research effort is underway to understand cancer stem cells, a subpopulation of cancer cells that may play a role in determining overall malignant potential. In pancreatic cancer, a rapidly progressive and deadly disease, cells expressing CD44+/CD24+/EpCAM+ have been suggested to be cancer stem cells. In this work, Ohara and colleagues studied a large sample of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma specimens. The authors found that triple-positive cells were correlated with high proliferation, but that their expression was not a predictor of patient outcome. In contrast, the expression of CD44+/CD24+ was a predictor of poor outcome, suggesting some relationship between these markers and the overall malignant potential of the pancreatic cancer. This finding encourages further work into the understanding of CD44+/CD24+ cells as they may serve as markers of poor prognosis, potentially through a role as cancer stem cells.