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Journal of Oncology publishes research related to breast cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, skin cancer, head and neck cancer, paediatric oncology, neurooncology as well as genitourinary cancer.
Journal of Oncology maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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Novel Blood Indicators of Progression and Prognosis in Renal Cell Carcinoma: Red Cell Distribution Width-to-Lymphocyte Ratio and Albumin-to-Fibrinogen Ratio
Objective. To evaluate the value of preoperative red cell distribution width-to-lymphocyte ratio (RLR) and albumin-to-fibrinogen ratio (AFR) to the prognosis of patients after renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Methods. From 2012 to 2016, a total of 273 RCC patients underwent radical nephrectomy or partial nephrectomy. This study retrospectively analyzed this group of patients. X-tile software was used to determine the optimal values of RLR and AFR in the peripheral blood. The nomogram constructed with independent factors was used to predict the survival outcome of the patients after RCC. Results. The RLR of the RCC group was higher than that of the normal control group (), whereas the AFR of the RCC group was lower than that of the normal control group (). RLR and AFR are related to tumour type and tumour-node-metastasis (TNM) stage ( for all). Cox regression analysis showed that the independent prognostic factors affecting overall survival and disease-free survival in the RCC group were symptom, tumour type, TNM stage, Fuhrman grade, RLR, and AFR ( for all). The nomogram constructed by multiple factors has better predictive power for patients after RCC. Conclusion. Preoperative RLR and AFR can serve as potential biomarkers to predict the prognosis of postoperative RCC patients and improve the predictability of patient recurrence and survival.
Integrative Analysis Reveals the Landscape of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF) Family Genes in Pan-Cancer
Inside the cancer microenvironment, reduced O2 concentration, termed as hypoxia, is a common phenotype and leads to cancer progression. However, little is known about how and when those HIF members are dysregulated in distinct cancers. Here, by integrating a full range of data of thousands of patients, we comprehensively analyzed the genetics, epigenetics, and transcriptomic level of HIF genes and further defined pathways triggered by disrupted hypoxia-inducible factors. We reveal the expression landscape of HIF family genes and further demonstrate that copy number variations underlie such dysregulation. Further analysis indicates that HIF genes associate with cancer hallmarks such as cell cycle and DNA damage response. Drug resistance analysis showed that HIF globally impacts drug effectiveness such as docetaxel. In summary, the overall analysis reveals the landscape of HIF genes in pan-cancer and may assist mechanism research about hypoxia.
Bellidifolin Inhibits Proliferation of A549 Cells by Regulating STAT3/COX-2 Expression and Protein Activity
Objectives. Bellidifolin (BEL) is one type of tetraoxygenated xanthone that is particularly found in Swertia and Gentiana (Gentianaceae). Despite its broad range of pharmacological activities, it is still unclear whether BEL could be used for lung cancer treatment. Hence, we presently demonstrate the roles of BEL towards the proliferative inhibition of the prototypical A549 lung cancer cells. Materials and Methods. The antiproliferative activity of BEL was initially verified by cellular experiments. A network pharmacology method was then pursued to assess BEL potential molecular targets from the platform for pharmacological analysis of Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology Database and Analysis Platform (TCMSP). Disease enrichment of potential targets and construction of compound-target-disease network maps were performed based on a total of 20 diseases. Two core targets related to the BEL-mediated effect in A549 cells were obtained by importing potential targets into a protein-protein interaction database (STRING) and also analyzing respective data of related targets into this database. Last, these core targets were examined by in vitro analysis and molecular docking. Results. CCK8 assays indicated that treatment with 50–100 μm BEL had an inhibitory effect on the proliferation of human A549 lung cancer cells, whereas this effect was time- and concentration-dependent. As control, treatment with 50–100 μm BEL did not inhibit the proliferation of normal lung epithelial cells (BEAS-2b cell line). H&E staining of BEL-treated A549 cells showed that, upon an increase of drug concentration, nuclear condensation and fragmentation were largely observed. Cell cycle analysis showed that in vitro treatment with 75–100 μm BEL could block A549 cells in S and G2 phases. Western blot analyses showed that after 72 hours of BEL treatment, the level of caspase-8/3 in A549 cells increased, and the level of PARP1 decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Network pharmacology analysis also indicated that lung cancer was the major disease susceptible to BEL treatment. At the same time, STAT3 and COX-2 were identified as two core targets of BEL in lung cancer treatment. Functional analyses further revealed that the cytotoxicity effect of BEL in A549 cells potentially involved the STAT3/COX-2 pathway. Moreover, molecular docking analysis indicated that BEL structure properly matches with COX-2 and STAT3 in space shape, thus illustrating the putative molecular mechanism of BEL’s anticancer effect. Conclusions. Based on a series of in vitro analyses, network pharmacology, and molecular docking, the potential mechanism involving the antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of BEL in lung cancer cells was investigated. Our study may help providing some theoretical basis for the discovery of novel phytotherapy drugs applicable for the treatment of lung cancer.
Detection of Genetic Mutations by Next-Generation Sequencing for Predicting Prognosis of Extensive-Stage Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Some studies have revealed that specific genetic mutations could be associated with chemotherapy response or even survival in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). Our retrospective study aimed to identify the correlation between genetic mutations and progression-free survival (PFS) in extensive-stage SCLC after first-line chemotherapy. A total of 75 patients with extensive-stage SCLC confirmed by histopathology from February 2018 to February 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. The biopsy specimens of all patients were analyzed by Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). All patients received first-line chemotherapy and follow-up at Shanghai Chest Hospital. Eleven genes were mutated in, at least, 10% of the 75 patients, including TP53 (96%), RB1 (77%), SMAD4 (32%), NOTCH1 (21%), PTEN (16%), FGFR1 (16%), KDR (15%), PIK3CA (15%), ROS1 (15%), BRCA2 (13%), and ERBB4 (10%). The median number of mutated genes among all patients was 5. Patients with more than 5 mutated genes (PFS = 6.7 months, ), mutant TP53 (PFS = 5.0 months, ), and mutant BRCA2 (PFS = 6.7 months, ) had better PFS after first-line chemotherapy than other patients. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that patients who achieved a PR (HR 3.729, 95% CI 2.038–6.822), had more than 5 mutated genes (HR 1.929, 95% CI 1.096–3.396), had BRCA2 mutations (HR 4.581, 95% CI 1.721–12.195), and had no liver metastasis (HR 0.415, 95% CI 0.181–0.951) showed improvements in PFS after first-line chemotherapy. In conclusion, the number of mutated genes and BRCA2 mutation status in extensive-stage SCLC were significantly related to PFS after first-line chemotherapy.
Prevalence of Angiogenesis, Proliferation, and Apoptosis Markers of Cervical Cancer and Their Correlation with Clinicopathological Parameters
The aim of the study is to investigate the expression of angiogenesis (VEGF and PDGF), angiogenesis inhibitor markers (angiostatin and endostatin), proliferation (Ki67), and apoptosis markers (p53 and p16) of cervical cancer in Indian population and to correlate them with the clinicopathological profile. It is a descriptive study of consecutive cases of cervical cancer from Saveetha Medical College and Hospital between January 2017 and December 2018. The expression of angiogenesis, angiogenesis inhibitor markers, Ki67, p53, and p16 in 60 cases of cervical sections were detected by the immunohistochemical method and analyzed with clinicopathological data. VEGF expression was positive in 16 cases (26.67%) and negative in 20 cases (33.33%). As of PDGF, 3 cases (3.33%) have shown positivity to PDGF and 33 cases have shown negativity. Angiostatin and endostatin expression was reported to be positive in 10 (16.67%) and 21 (35%) cases, respectively. Most of the cases 57 (95%) have shown both p16 and Ki67 positivity. Although p53 expression was positive in 48 cases (80%), the remaining 12 cases (20%) were p53-negative. The PDGF expression was significantly correlated to the stage of tumors. No statistically significant association was observed between angiogenesis inhibitor markers and clinicopathological parameters. A significant positive correlation was noticed between the Ki67 expression and stage of tumors.
Identification of Monotonically Differentially Expressed Genes across Pathologic Stages for Cancers
Given the fact that cancer is a multistage progression process resulting from genetic sequence mutations, the genes whose expression values increase or decrease monotonically across pathologic stages are potentially involved in tumor progression. This may provide insightful clues about how human cancers advance, thereby facilitating more personalized treatments. By replacing the expression values of genes with their GeneRanks, we propose a procedure capable of identifying monotonically differentially expressed genes (MEGs) as the disease advances. Using three real-world gene expression data that cover three distinct cancer types—colon, esophageal, and lung cancers—the proposed procedure has demonstrated excellent performance in detecting the potential MEGs. To conclude, the proposed procedure can detect MEGs across pathologic stages of cancers very efficiently and is thus highly recommended.