Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 39 in total

  1. Chew MM, Gan SY, Khoo AS, Tan EL
    BMC Cancer, 2010;10:574.
    PMID: 20964870 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-574
    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a type of neoplasm that is highly prevalent in East Asia and Africa with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), genetic, and dietary factors implicated as possible aetiologic factors. Previous studies suggested the association of certain cytokines with the invasion and metastatic properties of NPC. The present study examined the roles of EBV latent membrane protein-1 (LMP1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) and laminin in the regulation of matrix-metalloproteinases (MMPs) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in NPC. The effects of these factors on bmi-1, an oncogene, and ngx6, a tumour suppressor gene, were also investigated.
  2. Norsa'adah B, Rampal KG, Rahmah MA, Naing NN, Biswal BM
    BMC Cancer, 2011;11:141.
    PMID: 21496310 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-11-141
    Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality among women in Malaysia. Delayed diagnosis is preventable and has major effects on patients' prognosis and survival. The objectives of our study were to identify the magnitude of delayed diagnosis and its associated factors in women with breast cancer in Malaysia.
  3. Abdulamir AS, Hafidh RR, Mahdi LK, Al-jeboori T, Abubaker F
    BMC Cancer, 2009;9:403.
    PMID: 19925668 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-9-403
    The seroprevalence of IgG antibodies of Streptococcus gallolyticus subspecies gallolyticus, CIP 105428, was evaluated to investigate the controversial association of S. gallolyticus with colorectal carcinoma and adenoma in attempt to investigate the nature of such association if any, by exploring the mRNA expression of NF-kappaB and IL-8. Moreover, the serological behavior of S. gallolyticus IgG antibodies was compared to that of an indicator bacterium of bowel, Bacteroides fragilis.
  4. Hafid SR, Radhakrishnan AK, Nesaretnam K
    BMC Cancer, 2010;10:5.
    PMID: 20051142 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-5
    Dendritic cells (DCs) have the potential for cancer immunotherapy due to their ability to process and present antigens to T-cells and also in stimulating immune responses. However, DC-based vaccines have only exhibited minimal effectiveness against established tumours in mice and humans. The use of appropriate adjuvant enhances the efficacy of DC based cancer vaccines in treating tumours.
  5. Sim X, Ali RA, Wedren S, Goh DL, Tan CS, Reilly M, et al.
    BMC Cancer, 2006;6:261.
    PMID: 17078893
    From 1968 to 2002, Singapore experienced an almost three-fold increase in breast cancer incidence. This increase appeared to be different across the three main ethnic groups: Chinese, Malays and Indians. This paper used age-period-cohort (APC) modelling, to determine the effects of age at diagnosis, calendar period, and birth cohort on breast cancer incidence for each ethnic group.
  6. Tan EL, Selvaratnam G, Kananathan R, Sam CK
    BMC Cancer, 2006;6:227.
    PMID: 16995954
    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a common epithelial neoplasm among the Chinese populations in Southern China and South East Asia. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is known to be an important etiologic agent of NPC and the viral gene products are frequently detected in NPC tissues along with elevated antibody titres to the viral proteins (VCA and EA) in a majority of patients. Elevated plasma EBV DNA load is regarded as an important marker for the presence of the disease and for the monitoring of disease progression. However, other serum/plasma parameters such as the levels of certain interleukins and growth factors have also been implicated in NPC. The objectives of the present study are, 1) to investigate the correlations between plasma EBV DNA load and the levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, TGF-beta1 and SCF (steel factor) and 2) to relate these parameters to the stages of NPC and the effect of treatment.
  7. Ismail R, Allaudin ZN, Abdullah R, Mohd Lila MA, Nik Abd Rahman NM, Abdul Rahman SO
    BMC Cancer, 2016 07 13;16:461.
    PMID: 27411985 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-016-2530-8
    BACKGROUND: Cancer therapies that kill cancer cells without affecting normal cells is the ultimate mode of treating cancers. The VP3, an avian virus-derived protein, can specifically initiate cell death through several signal transduction pathways leading to apoptosis. In cancer, chemoresistance and cell survivability implicate the cell surface protein, CD147.

    METHODS: In this study, transfection of VP3 and silencing of CD147 genes was achieved through the treatment of tumors with pVIVO1-GFP/VP3 (VP3), psiRNA-CD147/2 (shCD147/2), and their combination of CT26 colon cancer cell-induced in mice. The effectiveness of tumor-treatment was ascertained by electrophoresis, TUNEL assay, and flow cytometry analysis. While histopathological and biochemical analysis were used as toxic side effect identification.

    RESULTS: The tumor growth delay index (TGDI) after treatment with VP3, shCD147/2, and their combination treatments increased by 1.3-, 1.2-, 2.0- and 2.3-fold respectively, over untreated control. The VP3-shCD147/2 combination treatment was more efficacious then either VP3 or shCD147/2 alone in the retardation of mouse CT26 colorectal cell tumor allograft.

    CONCLUSION: The antitumor effect of the combination treatment is the result of synergistic effects of VP3 and shCD147/2 on the tumor cells resulting in apoptosis. Thus, the study shows that combination of VP3 and shCD147/2 treatment can be developed into a potential approach for anticolorectal cancer treatment regimen.

  8. Miao H, Hartman M, Verkooijen HM, Taib NA, Wong HS, Subramaniam S, et al.
    BMC Cancer, 2016 10 21;16(1):820.
    PMID: 27769212
    BACKGROUND: CancerMath is a set of web-based prognostic tools which predict nodal status and survival up to 15 years after diagnosis of breast cancer. This study validated its performance in a Southeast Asian setting.

    METHODS: Using Singapore Malaysia Hospital-Based Breast Cancer Registry, clinical information was retrieved from 7064 stage I to III breast cancer patients who were diagnosed between 1990 and 2011 and underwent surgery. Predicted and observed probabilities of positive nodes and survival were compared for each subgroup. Calibration was assessed by plotting observed value against predicted value for each decile of the predicted value. Discrimination was evaluated by area under a receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) with 95 % confidence interval (CI).

    RESULTS: The median predicted probability of positive lymph nodes is 40.6 % which was lower than the observed 43.6 % (95 % CI, 42.5 %-44.8 %). The calibration plot showed underestimation for most of the groups. The AUC was 0.71 (95 % CI, 0.70-0.72). Cancermath predicted and observed overall survival probabilities were 87.3 % vs 83.4 % at 5 years after diagnosis and 75.3 % vs 70.4 % at 10 years after diagnosis. The difference was smaller for patients from Singapore, patients diagnosed more recently and patients with favorable tumor characteristics. Calibration plot also illustrated overprediction of survival for patients with poor prognosis. The AUC for 5-year and 10-year overall survival was 0.77 (95 % CI: 0.75-0.79) and 0.74 (95 % CI: 0.71-0.76).

    CONCLUSIONS: The discrimination and calibration of CancerMath were modest. The results suggest that clinical application of CancerMath should be limited to patients with better prognostic profile.

  9. Chow YP, Alias H, Jamal R
    BMC Cancer, 2017 02 10;17(1):120.
    PMID: 28183295 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-017-3103-1
    BACKGROUND: Relapsed pediatric B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) remains as the leading cause of cancer death among children. Other than stem cell transplantation and intensified chemotherapy, no other improved treatment strategies have been approved clinically. Gene expression profiling represents a powerful approach to identify potential biomarkers and new therapeutic targets for various diseases including leukemias. However, inadequate sample size in many individual experiments has failed to provide adequate study power to yield translatable findings. With the hope of getting new insights into the biological mechanisms underpinning relapsed ALL and identifying more promising biomarkers or therapeutic targets, we conducted a meta-analysis of gene expression studies involving ALL from 3 separate studies.

    METHOD: By using the keywords "acute lymphoblastic leukemia", and "microarray", a total of 280 and 275 microarray datasets were found listed in Gene Expression Omnibus database GEO and ArrayExpress database respectively. Further manual inspection found that only three studies (GSE18497, GSE28460, GSE3910) were focused on gene expression profiling of paired diagnosis-relapsed pediatric B-ALL. These three datasets which comprised of a total of 108 matched diagnosis-relapsed pediatric B-ALL samples were then included for this meta-analysis using RankProd approach.

    RESULTS: Our analysis identified a total of 1795 upregulated probes which corresponded to 1527 genes (pfp  1), and 1493 downregulated probes which corresponded to 1214 genes (pfp 

  10. Lai KN, Ho WK, Kang IN, Kang PC, Phuah SY, Mariapun S, et al.
    BMC Cancer, 2017 02 22;17(1):149.
    PMID: 28222693 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-017-3099-6
    BACKGROUND: Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 has led to the accurate identification of individuals at higher risk of cancer and the development of new therapies. Approximately 10-20% of the genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 leads to the identification of variants of uncertain significance (VUS), with higher proportions in Asians. We investigated the functional significance of 7 BRCA1 and 25 BRCA2 variants in a multi-ethnic Asian cohort using a case-control approach.

    METHODS: The MassARRAY genotyping was conducted in 1,394 Chinese, 406 Malay and 310 Indian breast cancer cases and 1,071 Chinese, 167 Malay and 255 Indian healthy controls. The association of individual variant with breast cancer risk was analyzed using logistic regression model adjusted for ethnicity, age and family history.

    RESULTS: Our study confirmed BRCA2 p.Ile3412Val is presented in >2% of unaffected women and is likely benign, and BRCA2 p.Ala1996Thr which is predicted to be likely pathogenic by in-silico models is presented in 2% of healthy Indian women suggesting that it may not be associated with breast cancer risk. Single-variant analysis suggests that BRCA1 p.Arg762Ser may be associated with breast cancer risk (OR = 7.4; 95% CI, 0.9-62.3; p = 0.06).

    CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that BRCA2 p.Ile3412Val and p.Ala1996Thr are likely benign and highlights the need for population-specific studies to determine the likely functional significance of population-specific variants. Our study also suggests that BRCA1 p.Arg762Ser may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer but other methods or larger studies are required to determine a more precise estimate of breast cancer risk.

  11. Magaji BA, Moy FM, Roslani AC, Law CW
    BMC Cancer, 2017 05 18;17(1):339.
    PMID: 28521746 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-017-3336-z
    BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death globally. It is the second most common cancer among both males and females in Malaysia. The economic burden of colorectal cancer is likely to increase over time owing to its current trend and aging population. Cancer survival analysis is an essential indicator for early detection and improvement in cancer treatment. However, there was a scarcity of studies concerning survival of colorectal cancer patients as well as its predictors. Therefore, we aimed to determine the 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates, compare survival rates among ethnic groups and determine the predictors of survival among colorectal cancer patients.
    METHODS: This was an ambidirectional cohort study conducted at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All Malaysian citizens or permanent residents with histologically confirmed diagnosis of colorectal cancer seen at UMMC from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2010 were included in the study. Demographic and clinical characteristics were extracted from the medical records. Patients were followed-up until death or censored at the end of the study (31st December 2010). Censored patients' vital status (whether alive or dead) were cross checked with the National Registration Department. Survival analyses at 1-, 3- and 5-year intervals were performed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Log-rank test was used to compare the survival rates, while Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was carried out to determine the predictors of 5-year colorectal cancer survival.
    RESULTS: Among 1212 patients, the median survival for colorectal, colon and rectal cancers were 42.0, 42.0 and 41.0 months respectively; while the 1-, 3-, and 5-year relative survival rates ranged from 73.8 to 76.0%, 52.1 to 53.7% and 40.4 to 45.4% respectively. The Chinese patients had the lowest 5-year survival compared to Malay and Indian patients. Based on the 814 patients with data on their Duke's staging, independent predictors of poor colorectal cancer (5-year) survival were male sex (Hazard Ratio [HR]: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.76), Chinese ethnicity (HR: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.07,1.85), elevated (≥ 5.1 ng/ml) pre-operative carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA) level (HR: 2.13; 95% CI: 1.60, 2.83), Duke's stage C (HR: 1.68; 95% CI: 1.28, 2.21), Duke's stage D (HR: 4.61; 95% CI: 3.39, 6.28) and emergency surgery (HR: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.07, 2.15).
    CONCLUSIONS: The survival rates of colorectal cancer among our patients were comparable with those of some Asian countries but lower than those found in more developed countries. Males and patients from the Chinese ethnic group had lower survival rates compared to their counterparts. More advanced staging and late presentation were important predictors of colorectal cancer survival. Health education programs targeting high risk groups and emphasizing the importance of screening and early diagnosis, as well as the recognition of symptoms and risk factors should be implemented. A nationwide colorectal cancer screening program should be designed and implemented to increase early detection and improve survival outcomes.
  12. Schliemann D, Donnelly M, Dahlui M, Loh SY, Tamin Ibrahim NSB, Somasundaram S, et al.
    BMC Cancer, 2018 Sep 10;18(1):881.
    PMID: 30200904 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-018-4769-8
    BACKGROUND: Breast and colorectal cancer are the two most common cancers in Malaysia. Low awareness coupled with stigma and erroneous beliefs delay help-seeking behaviours, lead to late presentation and contribute to poor detection rates. Promoting cancer awareness through mass media may be effective in improving cancer-related knowledge and uptake in screening tests. However, research is sparse regarding the cultural translation and implementation of mass media campaigns in Malaysia (and Asia) in terms of raising awareness about colorectal and breast cancer.

    METHODS: A collaborative partnership comprising researchers from Malaysia and the UK as well as policy makers, public health experts and non-government organisations from Malaysia was formed to design, deliver and evaluate the Be Cancer Alert Campaign. Each awareness-raising campaign will run for five weeks (Colorectal Cancer in April 2018, followed by Breast Cancer in October 2018). Evaluation of the campaigns will take place in Gombak district (Colorectal Cancer) and Petaling district (Breast Cancer) respectively, in the form of a pre-post randomly selected household survey and collection of service utilisation data. Occupants who are aged 40-years and above and are able to answer questions independently will be selected from each household. A sample of 730 with 80% power will detect a change of 6.09% in knowledge that unexplained lump or swelling is a symptom of breast cancer or changes in bowel habits is a symptom of colorectal cancer.

    DISCUSSION: Malaysia and most South-East Asian countries have a low middle-income economy, with limited resources for cancer control. Late-staged cancers impose a significant economic burden on patients, households, communities, employers, health systems and governments. Our proposed strategy for the implementation of the culturally sensitive mass media cancer awareness-raising campaign will serve as a blueprint for cancer prevention and control policy in South-East Asian countries where the burden of cancer is increasing and there are high cancer death rates.

  13. Phang ZH, Saw XY, Nor NFBM, Ahmad ZB, Ibrahim SB
    BMC Cancer, 2018 Nov 14;18(1):1112.
    PMID: 30428857 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-018-5012-3
    BACKGROUND: Sacral chordoma is a locally aggressive malignant tumour originating from ectopic notochordal cells. The natural history of sacral chordoma is a slow growing tumour arising at the midline of the lower sacrum that can invade the sacrum and progressively increase in size expanding cranially and anteriorly. Metastasis is very rare even when the tumour is large. Sacral chordoma affects males more than females and is more commonly found in middle age and elderly patients.

    CASE PRESENTATION: A 25 years old female had neglected an extremely large midline sacral mass for 2 years. On presentation to hospital, she had been bed bound for the past 2 years. The sacral mass was so large that it prevented her from lying down supine and sitting on the wheelchair comfortably. Clinical examination showed a 40 cm × 30 cm × 20 cm hard mass over the sacrum that involved both buttocks and the gluteal fold. Neurological exam of bilateral lower limb was normal. Computed Tomography Scan of the Pelvis showed a large destructive sacrococcygeal mass measuring 43 cm × 38 cm × 27 cm with extension into the presacral space resulting in anterior displacement of the rectum, urinary bladder and uterus; and posterior extension into the dorsal soft tissue with involvement of the gluteus, piriformis, and left erector spinae muscles. Biopsy taken confirmed Chordoma. This patient was managed by a multidisciplinary team in an Oncology referral centre. The patient had undergone Wide En Bloc Resection and Sacrectomy, a complex surgery that was associated with complications namely bleeding, surgical site infection and neurogenic bowel and bladder. Six months post operatively the patient was able to lie supine and sit on wheelchair comfortably. She required extensive rehabilitation to help her ambulate in future.

    CONCLUSION: This is a rare case of neglected sacral chordoma in a young female treated with Wide En Bloc Resection and Sacrectomy associated with complications of this complex surgery. Nevertheless, surgery is still worthwhile to improve the quality of life and to prevent complications secondary to prolonged immobilization. A multidisciplinary approach is ideal and team members need to be prepared to address the complications once they arise.

  14. Veettil SK, Lim KG, Ching SM, Saokaew S, Phisalprapa P, Chaiyakunapruk N
    BMC Cancer, 2017 Nov 14;17(1):763.
    PMID: 29137605 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-017-3757-8
    BACKGROUND: Beneficial effects of aspirin and non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) against recurrent colorectal adenomas have been documented in systematic reviews; however, the results have not been conclusive. Uncertainty remains about the appropriate dose of aspirin for adenoma prevention. The persistence of the protective effect of NSAIDs against recurrent adenomas after treatment cessation is yet to be established.

    METHODS: Our objective was to update and systematically evaluate the evidence for aspirin and other NSAIDs on the incidence of recurrent colorectal adenomas taking into consideration the risks of random error and to appraise the quality of evidence using GRADE (The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach. Retrieved trials were evaluated using Cochrane risk of bias instrument. Meta-analytic estimates were calculated with random-effects model and random errors were evaluated with trial sequential analysis (TSA).

    RESULTS: In patients with a previous history of colorectal cancer or adenomas, low-dose aspirin (80-160 mg/day) compared to placebo taken for 2 to 4 years reduces the risk of recurrent colorectal adenomas (relative risk (RR), 0.80 [95% CI (confidence interval), 0.70-0.92]). TSA indicated a firm evidence for this beneficial effect. The evidence indicated moderate GRADE quality. Low-dose aspirin also reduces the recurrence of advanced adenomas (RR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.44-0.99]); however, TSA indicated lack of firm evidence for a beneficial effect. High-dose aspirin (300-325 mg/day) did not statistically reduce the recurrent adenomas (RR, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.68-1.18]). Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors (e.g. celecoxib 400 mg/day) were associated with a significant decrease in the recurrence of both adenomas (RR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.59-0.72]) and advanced adenomas (RR, 0.45 [95% CI, 0.33-0.57]); however, this association did not persist and there was a trend of an increased risk of recurrent adenomas observed 2 years after the withdrawal.

    CONCLUSION: Our findings confirm the beneficial effect of low-dose aspirin on recurrence of any adenomas; however, effect on advanced adenomas was inconclusive. COX-2 inhibitors seem to be more effective in preventing recurrence of adenomas; however, there was a trend of an increased risk of recurrence of adenomas observed after discontinuing regular use.

  15. Naing C, Aung K, Lai PK, Mak JW
    BMC Cancer, 2017 01 05;17(1):24.
    PMID: 28056862 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-016-2997-3
    BACKGROUND: Human chromosomes are capped and stabilized by telomeres. Telomere length regulates a 'cellular mitotic clock' that defines the number of cell divisions and hence, cellular life span. This study aimed to synthesize the evidence on the association between peripheral blood leucocytes (PBL) telomere length and the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC).

    METHODS: We searched relevant studies in electronic databases. When two or more observational studies reported the same outcome measures, we performed pooled analysis. All the analyses were performed on PBL using PCR. The odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to assess the strength of association.

    RESULTS: Seven studies (with 8 datasets) were included in this meta-analysis; 3 prospective studies, 3 retrospective studies and 1 study with a separate prospective and retrospective designs. The pooled analysis of 4 prospective studies (summary OR 1.01, 95% CI: 0.77-1.34, I (2):30%) and 4 retrospective studies (summary OR 1.65, 95% CI: 0.96-2.83, I (2):96%) showed no relationship between PBL telomere length and the CRC risk. A subgroup analysis of 2 prospective studies exclusively on females also showed no association between PBL telomere length and the CRC risk (summary OR, 1.17, 95% CI:0.72-1.91, I (2):57%).

    CONCLUSION: The current analysis is insufficient to provide evidence on the relationship between PBL telomere length and the risk of CRC. Findings suggest that there may be a complex relationship between PBL telomere length and the CRC risk or discrepancy between genetics, age of patients and clinical studies. Future well powered, large prospective studies on the relationship between telomere length and the risk of CRC, and the investigations of the biologic mechanisms are recommended.

  16. Al-Khayal K, Alafeefy A, Vaali-Mohammed MA, Mahmood A, Zubaidi A, Al-Obeed O, et al.
    BMC Cancer, 2017 01 03;17(1):4.
    PMID: 28049506 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-016-3005-7
    BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 3(rd) most common type of cancer worldwide. New anti-cancer agents are needed for treating late stage colorectal cancer as most of the deaths occur due to cancer metastasis. A recently developed compound, 3c has shown to have potent antitumor effect; however the mechanism underlying the antitumor effect remains unknown.

    METHODS: 3c-induced inhibition of proliferation was measured in the absence and presence NAC using MTT in HT-29 and SW620 cells and xCELLigence RTCA DP instrument. 3c-induced apoptotic studies were performed using flow cytometry. 3c-induced redox alterations were measured by ROS production using fluorescence plate reader and flow cytometry and mitochondrial membrane potential by flow cytometry; NADPH and GSH levels were determined by colorimetric assays. Bcl2 family protein expression and cytochrome c release and PARP activation was done by western blotting. Caspase activation was measured by ELISA. Cell migration assay was done using the real time xCELLigence RTCA DP system in SW620 cells and wound healing assay in HT-29.

    RESULTS: Many anticancer therapeutics exert their effects by inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, we demonstrate that 3c-induced inhibition of cell proliferation is reversed by the antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine, suggesting that 3c acts via increased production of ROS in HT-29 cells. This was confirmed by the direct measurement of ROS in 3c-treated colorectal cancer cells. Additionally, treatment with 3c resulted in decreased NADPH and glutathione levels in HT-29 cells. Further, investigation of the apoptotic pathway showed increased release of cytochrome c resulting in the activation of caspase-9, which in turn activated caspase-3 and -6. 3c also (i) increased p53 and Bax expression, (ii) decreased Bcl2 and BclxL expression and (iii) induced PARP cleavage in human colorectal cancer cells. Confirming our observations, NAC significantly inhibited induction of apoptosis, ROS production, cytochrome c release and PARP cleavage. The results further demonstrate that 3c inhibits cell migration by modulating EMT markers and inhibiting TGFβ-induced phosphorylation of Smad2 and Samd3.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings thus demonstrate that 3c disrupts redox balance in colorectal cancer cells and support the notion that this agent may be effective for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

  17. Tajul Arifin K, Sulaiman S, Md Saad S, Ahmad Damanhuri H, Wan Ngah WZ, Mohd Yusof YA
    BMC Cancer, 2017 12 21;17(1):879.
    PMID: 29268718 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-017-3883-3
    BACKGROUND: Chlorella vulgaris (ChV), a unicellular green algae has been reported to have anticancer and antioxidant effects. The aim of this study was to determine the chemopreventive effect of ChV on liver cancer induced rats by determining the level and expression of several liver tumour markers.

    METHODS: Male Wistar rats (200-250 g) were divided into 4 groups according to the diet given: control group (normal diet), ChV group with three different doses (50, 150 and 300 mg/kg body weight), liver cancer- induced group (choline deficient diet + 0.1% ethionine in drinking water or CDE group), and the treatment group (CDE group treated with three different doses of ChV). Rats were killed at 0, 4, 8 and 12 weeks of experiment and blood and tissue samples were taken from all groups for the determination of tumour markers expression alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), M2-pyruvate kinase (M2-PK) and specific antigen for oval cells (OV-6).

    RESULTS: Serum level of TGF-β increased significantly (p < 0.05) in CDE rats. However, ChV at all doses managed to decrease (p < 0.05) its levels to control values. Expressions of liver tumour markers AFP, TGF-β, M2-PK and OV-6 were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in tissues of CDE rats when compared to control showing an increased number of cancer cells during hepatocarcinogenesis. ChV at all doses reduced their expressions significantly (p < 0.05).

    CONCLUSIONS: Chlorella vulgaris has chemopreventive effect by downregulating the expression of tumour markers M2-PK, OV-6, AFP and TGF-β, in HCC-induced rats.

  18. Salmasi S, Lee KS, Ming LC, Neoh CF, Elrggal ME, Babar ZD, et al.
    BMC Cancer, 2017 12 28;17(1):903.
    PMID: 29282008 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-017-3888-y
    BACKGROUND: Globally, cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality. High treatment cost, partly owing to higher prices of anti-cancer drugs, presents a significant burden on patients and healthcare systems. The aim of the present study was to survey and compare retail prices of anti-cancer drugs between high, middle and low income countries in the South-East Asia, Western Pacific and Eastern Mediterranean regions.

    METHODS: Cross-sectional survey design was used for the present study. Pricing data from ten counties including one from South-East Asia, two from Western Pacific and seven from Eastern Mediterranean regions were used in this study. Purchasing power parity (PPP)-adjusted mean unit prices for 26 anti-cancer drug presentations (similar pharmaceutical form, strength, and pack size) were used to compare prices of anti-cancer drugs across three regions. A structured form was used to extract relevant data. Data were entered and analysed using Microsoft Excel®.

    RESULTS: Overall, Taiwan had the lowest mean unit prices while Oman had the highest prices. Six (23.1%) and nine (34.6%) drug presentations had a mean unit price below US$100 and between US$100 and US$500 respectively. Eight drug presentations (30.7%) had a mean unit price of more than US$1000 including cabazitaxel with a mean unit price of $17,304.9/vial. There was a direct relationship between income category of the countries and their mean unit price; low-income countries had lower mean unit prices. The average PPP-adjusted unit prices for countries based on their income level were as follows: low middle-income countries (LMICs): US$814.07; high middle income countries (HMICs): US$1150.63; and high income countries (HICs): US$1148.19.

    CONCLUSIONS: There is a great variation in pricing of anticancer drugs in selected countires and within their respective regions. These findings will allow policy makers to compare prices of anti-cancer agents with neighbouring countries and develop policies to ensure accessibility and affordability of anti-cancer drugs.

  19. Vasaikar S, Tsipras G, Landázuri N, Costa H, Wilhelmi V, Scicluna P, et al.
    BMC Cancer, 2018 02 06;18(1):154.
    PMID: 29409474 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-018-4012-7
    BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor with median survival of 12-15 months. Owing to uncertainty in clinical outcome, additional prognostic marker(s) apart from existing markers are needed. Since overexpression of endothelin B receptor (ETBR) has been demonstrated in gliomas, we aimed to test whether ETBR is a useful prognostic marker in GBM and examine if the clinically available endothelin receptor antagonists (ERA) could be useful in the disease treatment.

    METHODS: Data from The Cancer Genome Atlas and the Gene Expression Omnibus database were analyzed to assess ETBR expression. For survival analysis, glioblastoma samples from 25 Swedish patients were immunostained for ETBR, and the findings were correlated with clinical history. The druggability of ETBR was assessed by protein-protein interaction network analysis. ERAs were analyzed for toxicity in in vitro assays with GBM and breast cancer cells.

    RESULTS: By bioinformatics analysis, ETBR was found to be upregulated in glioblastoma patients, and its expression levels were correlated with reduced survival. ETBR interacts with key proteins involved in cancer pathogenesis, suggesting it as a druggable target. In vitro viability assays showed that ERAs may hold promise to treat glioblastoma and breast cancer.

    CONCLUSIONS: ETBR is overexpressed in glioblastoma and other cancers and may be a prognostic marker in glioblastoma. ERAs may be useful for treating cancer patients.

  20. Thriumani R, Zakaria A, Hashim YZH, Jeffree AI, Helmy KM, Kamarudin LM, et al.
    BMC Cancer, 2018 04 02;18(1):362.
    PMID: 29609557 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-018-4235-7
    BACKGROUND: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from exhaled breath from human bodies have been proven to be a useful source of information for early lung cancer diagnosis. To date, there are still arguable information on the production and origin of significant VOCs of cancer cells. Thus, this study aims to conduct in-vitro experiments involving related cell lines to verify the capability of VOCs in providing information of the cells.

    METHOD: The performances of e-nose technology with different statistical methods to determine the best classifier were conducted and discussed. The gas sensor study has been complemented using solid phase micro-extraction-gas chromatography mass spectrometry. For this purpose, the lung cancer cells (A549 and Calu-3) and control cell lines, breast cancer cell (MCF7) and non-cancerous lung cell (WI38VA13) were cultured in growth medium.

    RESULTS: This study successfully provided a list of possible volatile organic compounds that can be specific biomarkers for lung cancer, even at the 24th hour of cell growth. Also, the Linear Discriminant Analysis-based One versus All-Support Vector Machine classifier, is able to produce high performance in distinguishing lung cancer from breast cancer cells and normal lung cells.

    CONCLUSION: The findings in this work conclude that the specific VOC released from the cancer cells can act as the odour signature and potentially to be used as non-invasive screening of lung cancer using gas array sensor devices.

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