Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) constitute a family of mesenchymal -origin malignancies that can occur anywhere in the body. Comprising more than 50 distinct histological subtypes, STS share several distinctive features that include frequent local recurrence after definitive therapy, marked chemoresistance, and frequent metastasis, especially to the lungs. These features translate to a dismal outcome, especially for those patients harboring high grade complex karyotype STS histologies, consisting mainly of leiomyosarcoma and high grade pleomorphic sarcoma ( malignant fibrous histiocytoma and fibrosarcoma). To improve STS therapeutic outcome it will be critical to develop novel agents that capitalize on underlying STS points of molecular vulnerability; however, progress towards this urgent goal are hampered by our minimal understanding of the molecular determinants underlying STS prog ression and dissemination. Tumor cells, including STS, respond to signaling cascades that control growth regulation processes and other components of the malignant process such as motility, invasion, induction of apoptosis, etc. Among theses signaling mechanisms, the AKT kinase pathway may be particularly important in STS growth and dissemination. Phosphorylation of AKT is a critical step in this cascade, had has been associated with impaired STS prognosis when identified in STS tissues. In human STS cell lines and human STS xenografts growing in immuno -incompetent mice, AKT inhibition interferes with STS growth, perhaps by disrupting AKT interaction with vimentin, a critical structural protein that may also have oncologically-relevant functional properties. Our group is apparently the first to identify the existence of AKT -vimentin interactions. We propose to study the regulation of this interaction, hoping to learn more about the mechanisms underlying these interactions, the functional significance of this interaction regarding how it impacts on STS proliferation and metastasis in vivo, and finally to test preclinical therapeutic approaches to AKT and vimentin blockade, hoping to demonstrate preclinical relevance using human STS xenograft mouse models and murine sarcoma models.
Soft tissue sarcoma is a form of malignancy that occurs anywhere in the body and is ultimately lethal to approximately 50% of those afflicted, usually secondary to uncontrollable local or distant tumor recurrence especially in the subset of complex Karyotype high grade pleomorphic sarcomas. The process of dissemination is not adequately controlled due to our lack of knowledge of pertinent molecular pathways driving the proliferation and dissemination of this disease. This research focuses on one such pathway which appears to be particularly active in soft tissue sarcoma (the AKT regulation of vimentin expression and function) which may ultimately prove to be relevant as a potential point of soft tissue sarcoma therapeutic vulnerability.
|Zhang, Yan; Young, Eric D; Bill, Katelynn et al. (2013) Heterogeneity and immunophenotypic plasticity of malignant cells in human liposarcomas. Stem Cell Res 11:772-81|
|Ghadimi, Markus P; Young, Eric D; Belousov, Roman et al. (2012) Survivin is a viable target for the treatment of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Clin Cancer Res 18:2545-57|
|Ghadimi, Markus P; Lopez, Gonzalo; Torres, Keila E et al. (2012) Targeting the PI3K/mTOR axis, alone and in combination with autophagy blockade, for the treatment of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Mol Cancer Ther 11:1758-69|
|Zhang, Pingyu; Bill, Katelynn; Liu, Juehui et al. (2012) MiR-155 is a liposarcoma oncogene that targets casein kinase-1Ã½Ã½ and enhances Ã½Ã½-catenin signaling. Cancer Res 72:1751-62|
|Demicco, Elizabeth G; Torres, Keila E; Ghadimi, Markus P et al. (2012) Involvement of the PI3K/Akt pathway in myxoid/round cell liposarcoma. Mod Pathol 25:212-21|
|Demicco, Elizabeth G; Maki, Robert G; Lev, Dina C et al. (2012) New therapeutic targets in soft tissue sarcoma. Adv Anat Pathol 19:170-80|
|Brewer Savannah, Kari J; Demicco, Elizabeth G; Lusby, Kristelle et al. (2012) Dual targeting of mTOR and aurora-A kinase for the treatment of uterine Leiomyosarcoma. Clin Cancer Res 18:4633-45|
|Torres, Keila E; Zhu, Quan-Sheng; Bill, Katelynn et al. (2011) Activated MET is a molecular prognosticator and potential therapeutic target for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Clin Cancer Res 17:3943-55|
|Lopez, Gonzalo; Torres, Keila; Lev, Dina (2011) Autophagy blockade enhances HDAC inhibitors' pro-apoptotic effects: potential implications for the treatment of a therapeutic-resistant malignancy. Autophagy 7:440-1|
|Sakharpe, Aniket; Lahat, Guy; Gulamhusein, Taher et al. (2011) Epithelioid sarcoma and unclassified sarcoma with epithelioid features: clinicopathological variables, molecular markers, and a new experimental model. Oncologist 16:512-22|
Showing the most recent 10 out of 21 publications