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Publications

Enhanced Detection of Cancer Biomarkers in Blood-Borne Extracellular Vesicles Using Nanodroplets and Focused Ultrasound

Cancer Res. 2017 Jan 1;77(1):3-1

Paproski RJ, Jovel J, Wong GK, Lewis JD, Zemp RJ.

Abstract

The feasibility of personalized medicine approaches will be greatly improved by the development of noninvasive methods to interrogate tumor biology. Extracellular vesicles shed by solid tumors into the bloodstream have been under recent investigation as a source of tumor-derived biomarkers such as proteins and nucleic acids. We report here an approach using submicrometer perfluorobutane nanodroplets and focused ultrasound to enhance the release of extracellular vesicles from specific locations in tumors into the blood. The released extracellular vesicles were enumerated and characterized using micro flow cytometry. Only in the presence of nanodroplets could ultrasound release appreciable levels of tumor-derived vesicles into the blood. Sonication of HT1080-GFP tumors did not increase the number of circulating tumor cells or the metastatic burden in the tumor-bearing embryos. A variety of biological molecules were successfully detected in tumor-derived extracellular vesicles, including cancer-associated proteins, mRNAs, and miRNAs. Sonication of xenograft HT1080 fibrosarcoma tumors released extracellular vesicles that contained detectable RAC1 mRNA with the highly tumorigenic N92I mutation known to exist in HT1080 cells. Deep sequencing serum samples of embryos with sonicated tumors allowed the identification of an additional 13 known heterozygous mutations in HT1080 cells. Applying ultrasound to HT1080 tumors increased tumor-derived DNA in the serum by two orders of magnitude. This work is the first demonstration of enhanced extracellular vesicle release by ultrasound stimulation and suggests that nanodroplets/ultrasound offers promise for genetic profiling of tumor phenotype and aggressiveness by stimulating the release of extracellular vesicles.

PubMed

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Dr. Nawaid Usmani and team receive funding for their PRIME study!

The PRIME Study – Prevention and Intervention for MEtabolic syndrome:

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and newer manipulations of androgen receptor signaling have improved outcomes for advanced prostate cancer (PCa) patients.  The toxicities of ADT are many, including an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome (MS; defined as at least 3 of: hyperglycemia; abdominal obesity; hypertriglyceridemia; reduced HDL cholesterol; and/or hypertension). MS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease mortality, stroke mortality, and all-cause mortality.  The prevalence of MS in men receiving ADT is at least 50% and contributes to decreased quality of life and increased non-cancer-related mortality.  Metformin holds promise as a countermeasure to MS development, and also has been shown to suppress PCa growth in pre-clinical models.

We hypothesize that the addition of metformin to ADT will reduce the rates of MS in men with advanced PCa, diminishing important toxicities of a therapy universally used in advanced disease.

We propose a double-blind, randomized phase III study of metformin or placebo in men with PCa starting intermittent ADT. The primary endpoint is the difference in MS rates at 1 year.  Other aims include evaluation of the influence of metformin on: individual MS components at additional time points; mean serum insulin levels and measures of insulin resistance; weight and quality of life.

A finding that metformin reduces MS incidence and/or has other benefits would change practice, as it would provide a practical and inexpensive strategy to reduce toxicity of an intervention employed in most men with advanced PCa.

- Catalina Vasquez