Combination therapy, a treatment modality that combines two or more therapeutic agents, is a cornerstone of cancer therapy. The amalgamation of anti-cancer drugs enhances efficacy compared to the mono-therapy approach because it targets key pathways in a characteristically synergistic or an additive manner. This approach potentially reduces drug resistance, while simultaneously providing therapeutic anti-cancer benefits, such as reducing tumour growth and metastatic potential, arresting mitotically active cells, reducing cancer stem cell populations, and inducing apoptosis. The 5-year survival rates for most metastatic cancers are still quite low, and the process of developing a new anti-cancer drug is costly and extremely time-consuming. Therefore, new strategies that target the survival pathways that provide efficient and effective results at an affordable cost are being considered. One such approach incorporates repurposing therapeutic agents initially used for the treatment of different diseases other than cancer. This approach is effective primarily when the FDA-approved agent targets similar pathways found in cancer. Because one of the drugs used in combination therapy is already FDA-approved, overall costs of combination therapy research are reduced. This increases cost efficiency of therapy, thereby benefiting the “medically underserved”. In addition, an approach that combines repurposed pharmaceutical agents with other therapeutics has shown promising results in mitigating tumour burden. In this systematic review, we discuss important pathways commonly targeted in cancer therapy. Furthermore, we also review important repurposed or primary anti-cancer agents that have gained popularity in clinical trials and research since 2012.
Cancer is a multi-stage process resulting from aberrant signaling pathways driving uncontrolled proliferation of transformed cells. The development and progression of cancer from a premalignant lesion towards a metastatic tumor requires accumulation of mutations in many regulatory genes of the cell. Different chemopreventative approaches have been sought to interfere with initiation and control malignant progression. Here we present research on dietary compounds with evidence of cancer prevention activity that highlights the potential beneficial effect of a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables. The Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli is a rich source of glucosinolates, which are metabolized to isothiocyanate compounds. Amongst a number of related variants of isothiocyanates, sulforaphane (SFN) has surfaced as a particularly potent chemopreventive agent based on its ability to target multiple mechanisms within the cell to control carcinogenesis. Anti-inflammatory, pro-apoptotic and modulation of histones are some of the more important and known mechanisms by which SFN exerts chemoprevention. The effect of SFN on cancer stem cells is another area of interest that has been explored in recent years and may contribute to its chemopreventive properties. In this paper, we briefly review structure, pharmacology and preclinical studies highlighting chemopreventive effects of SFN.
Background Bronchial carcinoids are neuroendocrine tumors that present as typical (TC) and atypical (AC) variants, the latter being more aggressive, invasive and metastatic. Studies of tumor initiating cell (TIC) biology in bronchial carcinoids has been hindered by the lack of appropriate in-vitro and xenograft models representing the bronchial carcinoid phenotype and behavior. Methods Bronchial carcinoid cell lines (H727, TC and H720, AC) were cultured in serum-free growth factor supplemented medium to form 3D spheroids and serially passaged up to the 3rd generation permitting expansion of the TIC population as verified by expression of stemness markers, clonogenicity in-vitro and tumorigenicity in both subcutaneous and orthotopic (lung) models. Acetazolamide (AZ), sulforaphane (SFN) and the AZ + SFN combination were evaluated for targeting TIC in bronchial carcinoids. Results Data demonstrate that bronchial carcinoid cell line 3rd generation spheroid cells show increased drug resistance, clonogenicity, and tumorigenic potential compared with the parental cells, suggesting selection and expansion of a TIC fraction. Gene expression and immunolabeling studies demonstrated that the TIC expressed stemness factors Oct-4, Sox-2 and Nanog. In a lung orthotopic model bronchial carcinoid, cell line derived spheroids, and patient tumor derived 3rd generation spheroids when supported by a stroma, showed robust tumor formation. SFN and especially the AZ + SFN combination were effective in inhibiting tumor cell growth, spheroid formation and in reducing tumor formation in immunocompromised mice. Conclusions Human bronchial carcinoid tumor cells serially passaged as spheroids contain a higher fraction of TIC exhibiting a stemness phenotype. This TIC population can be effectively targeted by the combination of AZ + SFN. Our work portends clinical relevance and supports the therapeutic use of the novel AZ+ SFN combination that may target the TIC population of bronchial carcinoids.
In the original publication the nickname of the 4th author was used instead of her real name-Zhenya Morgatskaya should be Evgeniya Morgatskaya.
Bronchial carcinoids (BC) derive from the pulmonary neuroendocrine cell system while neuroblastoma (NB) derives from the neural crest and represents the peripheral nervous system. Nevertheless, their production of serotonin and catecholamines, respectively, permits comparison as neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). BC are most often diagnosed in adults accounting for 1-5% of all invasive lung malignancies in the adults. NB, primarily a pediatric cancer, accounts for 7-8% of all childhood cancers with the highest incidence in children younger than 5 years, and frequent metastasis to liver, skin, bone, and brain. The major standard treatments for BC is surgery followed by endocrine therapy and chemotherapies. NB patients on the other hand receive treatments according to presenting stage with chemotherapies dominant and now newer immunotherapies at more advanced stages. In general BC are more indolent but when less differentiated can be aggressive portending a poorer outcome. NB in contrast often present at an advanced stage and if high stage the overall survival approaches 25% despite extensive and other therapies. Early stage diagnosis still remains a challenge since symptomology depends on their neuroendocrine manifestation. Here we summarize the current knowledge and challenges in the management of BC and NB.
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