Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    The angiogenic factor platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor thymidine phosphorylase is up-regulated in breast cancer epithelium and endothelium
    Fox, SB ; Westwood, M ; Moghaddam, A ; Comley, M ; Turley, H ; Whitehouse, RM ; Bicknell, R ; Gatter, KC ; Harris, AL (STOCKTON PRESS, 1996-02-01)
    Tumour angiogenesis is a complex multistep process regulated by a number of angiogenic factors. One such factor, platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor has recently been shown to be thymidine phosphorylase (TP). TP catalyses the reversible phosphorylation of thymidine to deoxyribose-1-phosphate and thymine. Although known to be generally elevated in tumours, the expression of this enzyme in breast carcinomas is unknown. Therefore, we used ribonuclease protection assays and immunohistochemistry to examine the expression of TP in 240 primary breast carcinomas. Nuclear and/or cytoplasmic TP expression was observed in the neoplastic tumour epithelium in 53% of tumours. Immunoreactivity was also often present in the stromal, inflammatory and endothelial cell elements. Although endothelial cell staining was usually focal, immunoreactivity was observed in 61% of tumours and was prominent at the tumour periphery, an area where tumour angiogenesis is most active. Tumour cell TP expression was significantly inversely correlated with grade (P = 0.05) and size (P = 0.003) but no association was observed with other tumour variables. These findings suggest that TP is important for remodelling the existing vasculature early in tumour development, consistent with its chemotactic non-mitogenic properties, and that additional angiogenic factors are more important for other angiogenic processes like endothelial cell proliferation. Relapse-free survival was higher in node-positive patients with elevated TP (P = 0.05) but not in other patient groups. This might be due to the potentiation of chemotherapeutic agents like methotrexate by TP. Therefore, this enzyme might be a prediction marker for response to chemotherapy.
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    Association of tumour necrosis factor alpha and its receptors with thymidine phosphorylase expression in invasive breast carcinoma
    Leek, RD ; Landers, R ; Fox, SB ; Ng, F ; Harris, AL ; Lewis, CE (CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE, 1998-06-01)
    Angiogenesis is an essential requirement for tumour growth and metastasis and is regulated by a complex network of factors produced by both stromal cells and neoplastic cells within solid tumours. The cytokine tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and the enzyme thymidine phosphorylase (TP) are two factors known to promote tumour angiogenesis. We have demonstrated recently that high numbers of tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) are significantly associated with increased tumour angiogenesis and poor prognosis in invasive carcinoma of the breast. We have also shown that TAMs are a major source of TNF-alpha in invasive breast carcinomas, and that macrophage-like stromal cells as well as tumour cells synthesize TP in such tumours. However, little is known of the factors that regulate the production or activity of these factors in the tumour microenvironment. As TNF-alpha has been shown to up-regulate TP expression in tumour cells in vitro we performed an immunohistochemical study to investigate the possibility that TNF-alpha may be involved in the regulation of TP expression by malignant breast epithelial cells in vivo. To do this, we used a cocktail of non-neutralizing monoclonal anti-TNF-alpha antibodies to visualize both TNF-alpha-expressing macrophages and TNF-alpha bound to its receptors on tumour cells and endothelial cells in a series of 93 invasive carcinomas of the breast. A semiquantitative grading system was then used to compare these staining patterns with that for TP in the same biopsies. TNF-alpha immunoreactivity was also compared with various important tumour variables known to relate to outcome in this disease (microvessel density, node status, grade, stage, receptor status and macrophage infiltration), as well as relapse-free and overall survival data for these patients. Our data show significant positive correlations between TNF-alpha bound to its receptors on tumour cells and: (1) TP protein production by tumour cells, and (2) axillary lymph node status (i.e. metastasis). These results suggest that tumour cell responsiveness to TNF-alpha produced by neighbouring TAMs may play a part in the regulation of TP expression by tumour cells as well as their metastatic behaviour. This may explain, in part, the relationship between increased macrophage infiltration and angiogenesis in breast cancer, and further supports the contention that TAMs may represent an important target for future anti-angiogenic therapies.
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    Human AP endonuclease 1 (HAP1) protein expression in breast cancer correlates with lymph node status and angiogenesis
    Kakolyris, S ; Kaklamanis, L ; Engels, K ; Fox, SB ; Taylor, M ; Hickson, ID ; Gatter, KC ; Harris, AL (CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE, 1998-04-01)
    Human AP endonuclease (HAP1) plays a major role in the repair of apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites in cellular DNA. We used immunohistochemistry to examine the expression of HAP1 in normal breast and in 102 primary breast carcinomas. In normal breast epithelium, HAP1 had a uniformly nuclear localization. However, in lactating glandular epithelium, the expression of HAP1 was predominantly cytoplasmic. In carcinomas, both nuclear and cytoplasmic (44%), cytoplasmic (28%) or nuclear staining (24%) were observed. In four cases (4%), no HAP1 expression was detected. All patterns of expression for HAP1 were demonstrated for ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS), although comedo-type DCIS were usually accompanied by mostly cytoplasmic staining. Similarly, the HAP1 expression in regions of invasive tumour necrosis was cytoplasmic. Pure nuclear HAP1 expression was significantly correlated with low angiogenesis (P = 0.007) and negative lymph node status (P = 0.001). In contrast, cases with cytoplasmic as well as nuclear staining were associated with poor prognostic factors, such as high angiogenesis (P = 0.03) and node positivity (P = 0.03). The pure nuclear staining may be related to better differentiation, as in normal breast, and hence better prognostic features, and cytoplasmic staining to a more metabolically active phenotype with high protein synthesis, as in lactating breast.