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  • Salo, Tuula; Sutinen, Meeri; Apu, Ehsanul Hoque; Sundquist, Elias; Cervigne, Nilva K.; de Oliveira, Carine Ervolino; Akram, Saad Ullah; Ohlmeier, Steffen; Suomi, Fumi; Eklund, Lauri; Juusela, Pirjo; Astrom, Pirjo; Bitu, Carolina Cavalcante; Santala, Markku; Savolainen, Kalle; Korvala, Johanna; Paes Leme, Adriana Franco; Coletta, Ricardo D. (2015)
    Background: The composition of the matrix molecules is important in in vitro cell culture experiments of e.g. human cancer invasion and vessel formation. Currently, the mouse Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm (EHS) sarcoma -derived products, such as Matrigel (R), are the most commonly used tumor microenvironment (TME) mimicking matrices for experimental studies. However, since Matrigel (R) is non-human in origin, its molecular composition does not accurately simulate human TME. We have previously described a solid 3D organotypic myoma disc invasion assay, which is derived from human uterus benign leiomyoma tumor. Here, we describe the preparation and analyses of a processed, gelatinous leiomyoma matrix, named Myogel. Methods: A total protein extract, Myogel, was formulated from myoma. The protein contents of Myogel were characterized and its composition and properties compared with a commercial mouse Matrigel (R). Myogel was tested and compared to Matrigel (R) in human cell adhesion, migration, invasion, colony formation, spheroid culture and vessel formation experiments, as well as in a 3D hanging drop video image analysis. Results: We demonstrated that only 34 % of Myogel's molecular content was similar to Matrigel (R). All test results showed that Myogel was comparable with Matrigel (R), and when mixed with low-melting agarose (Myogel-LMA) it was superior to Matrigel (R) in in vitro Transwell (R) invasion and capillary formation assays. Conclusions: In conclusion, we have developed a novel Myogel TME matrix, which is recommended for in vitro human cell culture experiments since it closely mimics the human tumor microenvironment of solid cancers.
  • Pollari, Marjukka; Pellinen, Teijo; Karjalainen-Lindsberg, Marja-Liisa; Kellokumpu-Lehtinen, Pirkko-Liisa; Leivonen, Suvi-Katri; Leppä, Sirpa (2020)
    Objectives Testicular diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (T-DLBCL) is a rare and aggressive extranodal lymphoma. We have previously shown that high content of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and PD-1 expressing TILs associate with better survival in T-DLBCL. In this study, we have further characterized distinct TIL subtypes and their proportions in association with patient demographics and survival. Methods We used multiplex immunohistochemistry to characterize TIL phenotypes, including cytotoxic T-cells (CTLs; CD8(+), OX40(+), Granzyme B+, Ki-67(+), LAG-3(+), TIM-3(+), PD-1(+)), CD4(+)T-cells (CD3(+), CD4(+), TIM-3(+), LAG-3(+)), regulatory T-cells (Tregs; CD3(+), CD4(+), FoxP3(+)), and T helper 1 cells (Th1; CD3(+), CD4(+), T-bet(+)) in 79 T-DLBCLs, and correlated the findings with patient demographics and outcome. Results We observed a substantial variation in TIL phenotypes between the patients. The most prominent CD8(+)TILs were Ki-67(+)and TIM-3(+)CTLs, whereas the most prominent CD4(+)TILs were FoxP3(+)Tregs. Despite the overall favorable prognostic impact of high TIL content, we found a subpopulation of T-bet(+)FoxP3(+)Tregs that had a significant adverse impact on survival. Lower content of CTLs with activated or exhausted phenotypes correlated with aggressive clinical features. Conclusions Our results demonstrate significant variation in TIL phenotypes and emphasize the adverse prognostic impact of Tregs in T-DLBCL.
  • Fontana, Flavia; Bartolo, Raquel; Santos, Helder A. (Springer International Publishing AG, 2021)
    Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
    During the last 20+ years, research into the biomedical application of nanotechnology has helped in reshaping cancer treatment. The clinical use of several passively targeted nanosystems resulted in improved quality of care for patients. However, the therapeutic efficacy of these systems is not superior to the original drugs. Moreover, despite extensive investigations into actively targeted nanocarriers, numerous barriers still remain before their successful clinical translation, including sufficient blood-stream circulation time and efficient tumor targeting. The combination of synthetic nanomaterials with biological elements (e.g., cells, cell membranes, and macromolecules) is presently the cutting-edge research in cancer nanotechnology. The features provided by the biological moieties render the particles with prolonged bloodstream circulation time and homotopic targeting to the tumor site. Moreover, cancer cell membranes serve as sources of neoantigens, useful in the formulation of nanovaccines. In this chapter, we will discuss the advantages of biohybrid nanosystems in cancer chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and combined therapy, as well as highlight their preparation methods and clinical translatability.
  • Pekkala, Satu; Keskitalo, Anniina; Kettunen, Emilia; Lensu, Sanna; Nykänen, Noora; Kuopio, Teijo; Ritvos, Olli; Hentilä, Jaakko; Nissinen, Tuuli A.; Hulmi, Juha J. (2019)
    Colorectal cancer (CRC) and cachexia are associated with the gut microbiota and microbial surface molecules. We characterized the CRC-associated microbiota and investigated whether cachexia affects the microbiota composition. Further, we examined the possible relationship between the microbial surface molecule flagellin and CRC. CRC cells (C26) were inoculated into mice. Activin receptor (ACVR) ligands were blocked, either before tumor formation or before and after, to increase muscle mass and prevent muscle loss. The effects of flagellin on C26-cells were studied in vitro. The occurrence of similar phenomena were studied in murine and human tumors. Cancer modulated the gut microbiota without consistent effects of blocking the ACVR ligands. However, continued treatment for muscle loss modified the association between microbiota and weight loss. Several abundant microbial taxa in cancer were flagellated. Exposure of C26-cells to flagellin increased IL6 and CCL2/MCP-1 mRNA and IL6 excretion. Murine C26 tumors expressed more IL6 and CCL2/MCP-1 mRNA than C26-cells, and human CRC tumors expressed more CCL2/MCP-1 than healthy colon sites. Additionally, flagellin decreased caspase-1 activity and the production of reactive oxygen species, and increased cytotoxicity in C26-cells. Conditioned media from flagellin-treated C26-cells deteriorated C2C12-myotubes and decreased their number. In conclusion, cancer increased flagellated microbes that may promote CRC survival and cachexia by inducing inflammatory proteins such as MCP-1. Cancer-associated gut microbiota could not be rescued by blocking ACVR ligands.
  • Bitu, Carolina C.; Kauppila, Joonas H.; Bufalino, Andreia; Nurmenniemi, Sini; Teppo, Susanna; Keinanen, Meeri; Vilen, Suvi-Tuuli; Lehenkari, Petri; Nyberg, Pia; Coletta, Ricardo D.; Salo, Tuula (2013)
  • Magnussen, Synnove Norvoll; Hadler-Olsen, Elin; Costea, Daniela Elena; Berg, Eli; Jacobsen, Cristiane Cavalcanti; Mortensen, Bente; Salo, Tuula; Martinez-Zubiaurre, Inigo; Winberg, Jan-Olof; Uhlin-Hansen, Lars; Svineng, Gunbjorg (2017)
    Background: Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) receptor (uPAR) is up-regulated at the invasive tumour front of human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), indicating a role for uPAR in tumour progression. We previously observed elevated expression of uPAR at the tumour-stroma interface in a mouse model for OSCC, which was associated with increased proteolytic activity. The tumour microenvironment regulated uPAR expression, as well as its glycosylation and cleavage. Both full-length- and cleaved uPAR (uPAR (II-III)) are involved in highly regulated processes such as cell signalling, proliferation, migration, stem cell mobilization and invasion. The aim of the current study was to analyse tumour associated factors and their effect on uPAR cleavage, and the potential implications for cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Methods: Mouse uPAR was stably overexpressed in the mouse OSCC cell line AT84. The ratio of full-length versus cleaved uPAR as analysed by Western blotting and its regulation was assessed by addition of different protease inhibitors and transforming growth factor - beta 1 (TGF-beta 1). The role of uPAR cleavage in cell proliferation and migration was analysed using real- time cell analysis and invasion was assessed using the myoma invasion model. Results: We found that when uPAR was overexpressed a proportion of the receptor was cleaved, thus the cells presented both full-length uPAR and uPAR (II-III). Cleavage was mainly performed by serine proteases and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) in particular. When the OSCC cells were stimulated with TGF-beta 1, the production of the uPA inhibitor PAI-1 was increased, resulting in a reduction of uPAR cleavage. By inhibiting cleavage of uPAR, cell migration was reduced, and by inhibiting uPA activity, invasion was reduced. We could also show that medium containing soluble uPAR (suPAR), and cleaved soluble uPAR (suPAR (II-III)), induced migration in OSCC cells with low endogenous levels of uPAR. Conclusions: These results show that soluble factors in the tumour microenvironment, such as TGF-beta 1, PAI-1 and uPA, can influence the ratio of full length and uPAR (II-III) and thereby potentially effect cell migration and invasion. Resolving how uPAR cleavage is controlled is therefore vital for understanding how OSCC progresses and potentially provides new targets for therapy.
  • Carnielli, Carolina Moretto; Soares Macedo, Carolina Carneiro; De Rossi, Tatiane; Granato, Daniela Campos; Rivera, Cesar; Domingues, Romenia Ramos; Pauletti, Bianca Alves; Yokoo, Sami; Heberle, Henry; Busso-Lopes, Ariane Fidelis; Cervigne, Nilva Karla; Sawazaki-Calone, Iris; Meirelles, Gabriela Vaz; Marchi, Fabio Albuquerque; Telles, Guilherme Pimentel; Minghim, Rosane; Prado Ribeiro, Ana Carolina; Brandao, Thais Bianca; Castro, Gilberto de; Alejandro Gonzalez-Arriagada, Wilfredo; Gomes, Alexandre; Penteado, Fabio; Santos-Silva, Alan Roger; Lopes, Marcio Ajudarte; Rodrigues, Priscila Campioni; Sundquist, Elias; Salo, Tuula; da Silva, Sabrina Daniela; Alaoui-Jamali, Moulay A.; Graner, Edgard; Fox, Jay W.; Della Coletta, Ricardo; Paes Leme, Adriana Franco (2018)
    Different regions of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) have particular histopathological and molecular characteristics limiting the standard tumor-node-metastasis prognosis classification. Therefore, defining biological signatures that allow assessing the prognostic outcomes for OSCC patients would be of great clinical significance. Using histopathology-guided discovery proteomics, we analyze neoplastic islands and stroma from the invasive tumor front (ITF) and inner tumor to identify differentially expressed proteins. Potential signature proteins are prioritized and further investigated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and targeted proteomics. IHC indicates low expression of cystatin-B in neoplastic islands from the ITF as an independent marker for local recurrence. Targeted proteomics analysis of the prioritized proteins in saliva, combined with machine-learning methods, highlights a peptide-based signature as the most powerful predictor to distinguish patients with and without lymph node metastasis. In summary, we identify a robust signature, which may enhance prognostic decisions in OSCC and better guide treatment to reduce tumor recurrence or lymph node metastasis.
  • Riihila, Pilvi; Nissinen, Liisa; Farshchian, Mehdi; Kallajoki, Markku; Kivisaari, Atte; Meri, Seppo; Grenman, Reidar; Peltonen, Sirkku; Peltonen, Juha; Pihlajaniemi, Taina; Heljasvaara, Ritva; Kahari, Veli-Matti (2017)
    Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is one of the most common metastatic skin cancers with increasing incidence. We examined the roles of complement component C3 and complement factor B (CFB) in the growth of cSCC. Analysis of cSCC cell lines (n = 8) and normal human epidermal kerati-nocytes (n = 11) with real-time quantitative PCR and Western blotting revealed up-regulation of C3 and CFB expression in cSCC cells. Immunohistochemical staining revealed stronger tumor cell specific Labeling for C3 and CFB in invasive cSCCs (n = 71) and recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa-associated cSCCs (n = 11) than in cSCC in situ (n = 69), actinic keratoses (n = 63), and normal skin (n = 5). Significant up-regulation of C3 and CFB mRNA expression was noted in chemically induced mouse cSCCs, compared to benign papillomas. Knockdown of C3 and CFB expression inhibited migration and proliferation of cSCC cells and resulted in potent inhibition of extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 activation. Knockdown of C3 and CFB markedly inhibited growth of human cSCC xenograft tumors in vivo. These results provide evidence for the rotes of C3 and CFB in the development of cSCC and identify them as biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets in this metastatic skin cancer.
  • Al-Samadi, Ahmed; Awad, Shady Adnan; Tuomainen, Katja; Zhao, Yue; Salem, Abdelhakim; Parikka, Mataleena; Salo, Tuula (2017)
    The crosstalk between immune cells, cancer cells, and extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by cancer cells remains poorly understood. We created three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models using human leiomyoma discs and Myogel to study the effects of immune cells on highly (HSC-3) and less (SCC-25) invasive oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) cell lines. Additionally, we studied the effects of EVs isolated from these cell lines on the cytotoxicity of CD8(+) T and NK cells isolated from three healthy donors. Our analysis included the effects of these EVs on innate immunity in zebrafish larvae. Activated immune cells significantly decreased the proliferation of both OTSCC cell lines and associated with a diminished invasion area of HSC-3 cells. In general, EVs from SCC-25 increased the cytotoxic activity of CD8(+) T and NK cells more than those from HSC-3 cells. However, this effect varied depending on the source and the immune and cancer cell subgroups. In zebrafish, the amount of IL-13 mRNA was decreased by SCC-25 EVs. This study describes promising in vitro and in vivo models to investigate interactions between immune cells, cancer cells, and EVs.
  • Ylösmäki, Erkko; Cerullo, Vincenzo (2020)
    The approval of the first oncolytic virus (OV) for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and the recent discovery that the use of oncolytic viruses may enhance cancer immunotherapies targeted against various immune checkpoint proteins have attracted great interest in the field of cancer virotherapy. OVs are designed to target and kill cancer cells leaving normal cell unharmed. OV infection and concomitant cancer cell killing stimulate anti-tumour immunity and modulates tumour microenvironment towards less immunosuppressive phenotype. The intrinsic capacity of OVs to turn immunologically cold tumours into immunologically hot tumours, and to increase immune cell and cytokine infiltration, can be further enhanced by arming OVs with transgenes that increase their immunostimulatory activities and direct immune responses specifically towards cancer cells. These OVs, specifically engineered to be used as cancer immunotherapeutics, can be synergized with other immune modulators or cytotoxic agents to achieve the most potent immunotherapy for cancer.
  • Apu, Ehsanul Hoque; Akram, Saad Ullah; Rissanen, Jouni; Wan, Hong; Salo, Tuula (2018)
    Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) is an adhesion receptor in desmosomes, but its role in carcinoma cell migration and invasion is mostly unknown. Our aim was to quantitatively analyse the motion of Dsg3-modified carcinoma cells in 2D settings and in 3D within tumour microenvironment mimicking (TMEM) matrices. We tested mutant constructs of C-terminally truncated Dsg3 (Delta 238 and Delta 560), overexpressed full-length (FL) Dsg3, and empty vector control (Ct) of buccal mucosa squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC/Y1) cells. We captured live cell images and analysed migration velocities and accumulated and Euclidean distances. We compared rodent collagen and Matrigel. with human Myogel TMEM matrices for these parameters in 3D sandwich, in which we also tested the effects of monoclonal antibody AK23, which targets the EC1 domain of Dsg3. In monolayer culture, FL and both truncated constructs migrated faster and had higher accumulated distances than Ct cells. However, in the 3D assays, only the mutants invaded faster relative to Ct cells. Of the mutants, the shorter form (Delta 238) exhibited faster migration and invasion than Delta 560 cells. In the Transwell, all of the cells invaded faster through Myogel than Matrigel coated wells. In 3D sandwich, AK23 antibody inhibited only the invasion of FL cells. We conclude that different experimental 2D and 3D settings can markedly influence the movement of oral carcinoma cells with various Dsg3 modifications.
  • Väyrynen, Otto; Piippo, Markku; Jämsä, Hannaleena; Väisänen, Tuomas; de Almeida, Carlos E. B.; Salo, Tuula; Missailidis, Sotiris; Risteli, Maija (2018)
    Chemoradiation is an established approach in the treatment of advanced oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC), but therapy may cause severe side-effects due to signal interchanges between carcinoma and the tumour microenvironment (TME). In this study, we examined the potential use of our human 3D myoma disc and Myogel models in in vitro chemoradiation studies by analysing the effects of ionizing radiation (IR) and the combined effect of heparanase 1 (HPSE1) inhibitors and IR on OTSCC cell proliferation, invasion and MMP-2 and - 9 production. Finally, we analysed the long-term effects of IR by studying clones of previously irradiated and invaded HSC-3 cells. We found that in both human uterine leiomyoma-based extracellular matrix models IR inhibited the invasion of HSC-3 cells, but blocking HPSE1 activity combined with IR induced their invasion. Low doses of IR increased MMP expression and initiated epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cells cultured on myoma discs. We conclude that myoma models offer consistent methods for testing human carcinoma cell invasion and phenotypic changes during chemoradiation treatment. In addition, we showed that IR had long-term effects on MMP-2 and - 9, which might elicit different HSC-3 invasion responses when cells were under the challenge of HPSE1 inhibitors and IR.
  • Dourado, Mauricio Rocha; Korvala, Johanna; Åström, Pirjo; De Oliveira, Carine Ervolino; Cervigne, Nilva K.; Mofatto, Luciana Souto; Bastos, Debora Campanella; Pereira Messetti, Ana Camila; Graner, Edgard; Paes Leme, Adriana Franco; Coletta, Ricardo D.; Salo, Tuula (2019)
    As one of the most abundant constituents of the tumour microenvironment (TME), cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) display critical roles during tumour progression and metastasis. Multiple classes of molecules including growth factors, cytokines, proteases and extracellular matrix proteins, are produced by CAF to act as mediators of the stroma-tumour interactions. One of the main channels for this communication is associated with extracellular vesicles (EV), which are secreted particles loaded with protein and genetic information. In this study, we evaluated the effects of EV derived from CAF primary human cell lines (n = 5) on proliferation, survival, migration, and invasion of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells. As controls, EV from human primary-established normal oral fibroblasts (NOF, n = 5) were used. Our in vitro assays showed that CAF-EV significantly induces migration and invasion of OSCC cells and promote a disseminated pattern of HSC-3 cell invasion in the 3D organotypic assay. Furthermore, gene expression analysis of EV-treated cancer cells revealed changes in the pathways associated with tumour metabolism and up-regulation of tumour invasion genes. Our findings suggest a significant role of CAF-EV in promoting the migration and invasion of OSCC cells, which are related to the activation of cancer-related pathways.
  • Lei, Jieping; Rudolph, Anja; Moysich, Kirsten B.; Behrens, Sabine; Goode, Ellen L.; Bolla, Manjeet K.; Dennis, Joe; Dunning, Alison M.; Easton, Douglas F.; Wang, Qin; Benitez, Javier; Hopper, John L.; Southey, Melissa C.; Schmidt, Marjanka K.; Broeks, Annegien; Fasching, Peter A.; Haeberle, Lothar; Peto, Julian; dos-Santos-Silva, Isabel; Sawyer, Elinor J.; Tomlinson, Ian; Burwinkel, Barbara; Marme, Frederik; Guenel, Pascal; Truong, Therese; Bojesen, Stig E.; Flyger, Henrik; Nielsen, Sune F.; Nordestgaard, Borge G.; Gonzalez-Neira, Anna; Menendez, Primitiva; Anton-Culver, Hoda; Neuhausen, Susan L.; Brenner, Hermann; Arndt, Volker; Meindl, Alfons; Schmutzler, Rita K.; Brauch, Hiltrud; Hamann, Ute; Nevanlinna, Heli; Fagerholm, Rainer; Doerk, Thilo; Bogdanova, Natalia V.; Mannermaa, Arto; Hartikainen, Jaana M.; Van Dijck, Laurien; Smeets, Ann; Flesch-Janys, Dieter; Eilber, Ursula; Radice, Paolo; Peterlongo, Paolo; Couch, Fergus J.; Hallberg, Emily; Giles, Graham G.; Milne, Roger L.; Haiman, Christopher A.; Schumacher, Fredrick; Simard, Jacques; Goldberg, Mark S.; Kristensen, Vessela; Borresen-Dale, Anne-Lise; Zheng, Wei; Beeghly-Fadiel, Alicia; Winqvist, Robert; Grip, Mervi; Andrulis, Irene L.; Glendon, Gord; Garcia-Closas, Montserrat; Figueroa, Jonine; Czene, Kamila; Brand, Judith S.; Darabi, Hatef; Eriksson, Mikael; Hall, Per; Li, Jingmei; Cox, Angela; Cross, Simon S.; Pharoah, Paul D. P.; Shah, Mitul; Kabisch, Maria; Torres, Diana; Jakubowska, Anna; Lubinski, Jan; Ademuyiwa, Foluso; Ambrosone, Christine B.; Swerdlow, Anthony; Jones, Michael; Chang-Claude, Jenny (2016)
    Immunosuppression plays a pivotal role in assisting tumors to evade immune destruction and promoting tumor development. We hypothesized that genetic variation in the immunosuppression pathway genes may be implicated in breast cancer tumorigenesis. We included 42,510 female breast cancer cases and 40,577 controls of European ancestry from 37 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (2015) with available genotype data for 3595 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 133 candidate genes. Associations between genotyped SNPs and overall breast cancer risk, and secondarily according to estrogen receptor (ER) status, were assessed using multiple logistic regression models. Gene-level associations were assessed based on principal component analysis. Gene expression analyses were conducted using RNA sequencing level 3 data from The Cancer Genome Atlas for 989 breast tumor samples and 113 matched normal tissue samples. SNP rs1905339 (A > G) in the STAT3 region was associated with an increased breast cancer risk (per allele odds ratio 1.05, 95 % confidence interval 1.03-1.08; p value = 1.4 x 10(-6)). The association did not differ significantly by ER status. On the gene level, in addition to TGFBR2 and CCND1, IL5 and GM-CSF showed the strongest associations with overall breast cancer risk (p value = 1.0 x 10(-3) and 7.0 x 10(-3), respectively). Furthermore, STAT3 and IL5 but not GM-CSF were differentially expressed between breast tumor tissue and normal tissue (p value = 2.5 x 10(-3), 4.5 x 10(-4) and 0.63, respectively). Our data provide evidence that the immunosuppression pathway genes STAT3, IL5, and GM-CSF may be novel susceptibility loci for breast cancer in women of European ancestry.
  • Salo, Sirpa; Bitu, Carolina; Merkku, Kalle; Nyberg, Pia; Bello, Ibrahim O.; Vuoristo, Jussi; Sutinen, Meeri; Vahanikkila, Hannu; Costea, Daniela E.; Kauppila, Joonas; Lehenkari, Petri; Dayan, Dan; Vered, Marilena; Risteli, Juha; Salo, Tuula (2013)
  • Dufva, Olli; Pölönen, Petri; Brück, Oscar; Keränen, Mikko A. I.; Klievink, Jay; Mehtonen, Juha; Huuhtanen, Jani; Kumar, Ashwini; Malani, Disha; Siitonen, Sanna; Kankainen, Matti; Ghimire, Bishwa; Lahtela, Jenni; Mattila, Pirkko; Vähä-Koskela, Markus; Wennerberg, Krister; Granberg, Kirsi; Leivonen, Suvi-Katri; Meriranta, Leo; Heckman, Caroline; Leppä, Sirpa; Nykter, Matti; Lohi, Olli; Heinäniemi, Merja; Mustjoki, Satu (2020)
    Understanding factors that shape the immune landscape across hematological malignancies is essential for immunotherapy development. We integrated over 8,000 transcriptomes and 2,000 samples with multilevel genomics of hematological cancers to investigate how immunological features are linked to cancer subtypes, genetic and epigenetic alterations, and patient survival, and validated key findings experimentally. Infiltration of cytotoxic lymphocytes was associated with TP53 and myelodysplasia-related changes in acute myeloid leukemia, and activated B cell-like phenotype and interferon-γ response in lymphoma. CIITA methylation regulating antigen presentation, cancer type-specific immune checkpoints, such as VISTA in myeloid malignancies, and variation in cancer antigen expression further contributed to immune heterogeneity and predicted survival. Our study provides a resource linking immunology with cancer subtypes and genomics in hematological malignancies.
  • Vayrynen, Otto; Astrom, Pirjo; Nyberg, Pia; Alahuhta, Ilkka; Pirila, Emma; Vilen, Suvi-Tuuli; Aikio, Mari; Heljasvaara, Ritva; Risteli, Maija; Sutinen, Meeri; Salo, Tuula (2019)
    Pro-tumorigenic activities of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 9 have been linked to many cancers, but recently the tumour-suppressing role of MMP9 has also been elucidated. The multifaceted evidence on this subject prompted us to examine the role of MMP9 in the behaviour of oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) cells. We used gelatinase-specific inhibitor, CTT2, and short hairpin (sh) RNA gene silencing to study the effects of MMP9 on proliferation, motility and invasion of an aggressive OTSCC cell line, HSC-3. We found that the migration and invasion of HSC-3 cells were increased by CTT2 and shRNA silencing of MMP9. Proliferation, in turn, was decreased by MMP9 inhibition. Furthermore, arresten-overexpressing HSC-3 cells expressed increased levels of MMP9, but exhibited decreased motility compared with controls. Interestingly, these cells restored their migratory capabilities by CTT2 inhibition of MMP9. Hence, although higher MMP9 expression could give rise to an increased tumour growth in vivo due to increased proliferation, in some circumstances, it may participate in yet unidentified molecular mechanisms that reduce the cell movement in OTSCC.
  • Sundquist, Elias; Renko, Outi; Salo, Sirpa; Magga, Johanna; Cervigne, Nilva K.; Nyberg, Pia; Risteli, Juha; Sormunen, Raija; Vuolteenaho, Olli; Zandonadi, Flavia; Leme, Adriana F. Paes; Coletta, Ricardo D.; Ruskoaho, Heikki; Salo, Tuula (2016)
    The invasion of carcinoma cells is a crucial feature in carcinogenesis. The penetration efficiency not only depends on the cancer cells, but also on the composition of the tumor microenvironment. Our group has developed a 3D invasion assay based on human uterine leiomyoma tissue. Here we tested whether human, porcine, mouse or rat hearts as well as porcine tongue tissues could be similarly used to study carcinoma cell invasion in vitro. Three invasive human oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (HSC-3, SCC-25 and SCC-15), melanoma (G-361) and ductal breast adenocarcinoma (MDA-MB-231) cell lines, and co-cultures of HSC-3 and carcinoma-associated or normal oral fibroblasts were assayed. Myoma tissue, both native and lyophilized, promoted invasion and growth of the cancer cells. However, the healthy heart or tongue matrices were unable to induce the invasion of any type of cancer cells tested. Moreover, when studied in more detail, small molecular weight fragments derived from heart tissue rinsing media inhibited HSC-3 horizontal migration. Proteome analysis of myoma rinsing media, on the other hand, revealed migration enhancing factors. These results highlight the important role of matrix composition for cancer invasion studies in vitro and further demonstrate the unique properties of human myoma organotypic model. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Salo, Tuula; Dourado, Mauricio Rocha; Sundquist, Elias; Apu, Ehsanul Hoque; Alahuhta, Ilkka; Tuomainen, Katja; Vasara, Jenni; Al-Samadi, Ahmed (2018)
    Alongside cancer cells, tumours exhibit a complex stroma containing a repertoire of cells, matrix molecules and soluble factors that actively crosstalk between each other. Recognition of this multifaceted concept of the tumour microenvironment (TME) calls for authentic TME mimetics to study cancer in vitro. Traditionally, tumourigenesis has been investigated in non-human, three-dimensional rat type I collagen containing organotypic discs or by means of mouse sarcoma-derived gel, such as Matrigel (R). However, the molecular compositions of these simplified assays do not properly simulate human TME. Here, we review the main properties and benefits of using human leiomyoma discs and their matrix Myogel for in vitro assays. Myoma discs are practical for investigating the invasion of cancer cells, as are cocultures of cancer and stromal cells in a stiff, hypoxic TME mimetic. Myoma discs contain soluble factors and matrix molecules commonly present in neoplastic stroma. In Transwell, IncuCyte, spheroid and sandwich assays, cancer cells move faster and form larger colonies in Myogel than in Matrigel (R). Additionally, Myogel can replace Matrigel (R) in hanging-drop and tube-formation assays. Myogel also suits three-dimensional drug testing and extracellular vesicle interactions. To conclude, we describe the application of our myoma-derived matrices in 3D in vitro cancer assays. This article is part of the discussion meeting issue 'Extracellular vesicles and the tumour microenvironment'.
  • Sonnenblick, Amir; Salmon-Divon, Mali; Salgado, Roberto; Dvash, Efrat; Pondé, Noam; Zahavi, Tamar; Salmon, Asher; Loibl, Sibylle; Denkert, Carsten; Joensuu, Heikki; Ameye, Lieveke; Van den Eynden, Gert; Kellokumpu-Lehtinen, Pirkko-Liisa; Azaria, Amos; Loi, Sherene; Michiels, Stefan; Richard, Francois; Sotiriou, Christos (2020)
    We investigated the value of reactive stroma as a predictor for trastuzumab resistance in patients with early HER2-positive breast cancer receiving adjuvant therapy. The pathological reactive stroma and the mRNA gene signatures that reflect reactive stroma in 209 HER2-positive breast cancer samples from the FinHer adjuvant trial were evaluated. Levels of stromal gene signatures were determined as a continuous parameter, and pathological reactive stromal findings were defined as stromal predominant breast cancer (SPBC; >= 50% stromal) and correlated with distant disease-free survival. Gene signatures associated with reactive stroma in HER2-positive early breast cancer (N = 209) were significantly associated with trastuzumab resistance in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative tumors (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.27 p interaction = 0.014 [DCN], HR = 1.58, p interaction = 0.027 [PLAU], HR = 1.71, p interaction = 0.019 [HER2STROMA, novel HER2 stromal signature]), but not in ER-positive tumors (HR = 0.73 p interaction = 0.47 [DCN], HR = 0.71, p interaction = 0.73 [PLAU], HR = 0.84; p interaction = 0.36 [HER2STROMA]). Pathological evaluation of HER2-positive/ER-negative tumors suggested an association between SPBC and trastuzumab resistance. Reactive stroma did not correlate with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), and the expected benefit from trastuzumab in patients with high levels of TILs was pronounced only in tumors with low stromal reactivity (SPBC