Last updated: August 3, 2020
The oncogenic and druggable hPG80 (Progastrin) is overexpressed in multiple cancers and detected in the blood of patients
EBiomedicine by THE LANCET déc. 2019
Authors : Benoit You Frédéric Mercier Eric Assenat Carole Langlois-Jacques Olivier Glehen Julien Soulé et al.
In colorectal cancer, hPG80 (progastrin) is released from tumor cells, promotes cancer stem cells (CSC) self-renewal and is detected in the blood of patients. Because the gene GAST that encodes hPG80 is a target gene of oncogenic pathways that are activated in many tumor types, we hypothesized that hPG80 could be expressed by tumors from various origins other than colorectal cancers, be a drug target and be detectable in the blood of these patients. […]
Research in context
Evidence before study
The National Cancer Institute recently highlighted the need forbiomarkers to improve early detection of cancers, monitor treatment effects and detect disease relapses. Therefore, the identification of a new tumor blood-based marker with broad expression across tumor types might have a significant impact on diagnostic and follow-up of patients. hPG80 (progastrin) was shown to be over-expressed in human colorectal tumor cells. Interestingly, GAST is a direct target of the Wnt/ß-catenin/Tcf4 oncogenic pathway. Since this pathway is activated inmany other cancers and plays a major function in cancer stem cells survival, we hypothesized that hPG80 (i) might be expressed by other types of cancers, and would be present in the blood of patients with tumors different from colorectal cancers and (ii) might be a drug target for various type of cancers.
Added value of this study
Here we show that hPG80 is expressed by the tumor and present in the blood of 11 different types of cancer patients. Two retrospective kinetic studies where blood samples were collected regularly from cancer patients undergoing different treatments revealed strong associations between longitudinal hPG80 . .....
concentrations and anti-cancer treatment efficacy. We provide data showing the decrease of hPG80 after surgery in a cohort of patients with peritoneal involvements from gastroin-testinal cancers, treated with peri-operative chemotherapy regimens and cytoreductive surgery. We also show the correlationbetween hPG80 levels and standard imaging in a cohort of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, managed with local or systemic treatments, including patients with no detectable levels of alpha-fetoprotein. Finally, we show that targeting hPG80 with our humanized antibody decreases self-renewal capacity of cancer stem cells from various origins.
Implications of all available evidence
The technology we developed to detect hPG80 in the blood isr obust, reliable and inexpensive, making this test easy to implement by oncologists. This technology could be used to improve early cancer diagnosis and treatment efficacy monitoring. Furthermore, in this study we show that our anti-hPG80 therapeutic antibody, that was initially found to target the Wnt pathway and decrease self-renewal capacity in cancer stem cells from colorectal cancer, is envisioned to have the same effect on tumors from other origins.
Direct Comparison of Diagnostic Performance of 9 Quantitative Fecal Immunochemical Tests for Colorectal Cancer Screening
Gastroenterology, 2017 September
Authors : Anton Gies1, Katarina Cuk2, Petra Schrotz-King1, Hermann Brenner
A variety of fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) for hemoglobin (Hb) are used in colorectal cancer screening. It is unclear to what extent differences in reported sensitivities and specificities reflect true heterogeneity in test performance or differences in study populations or varying pre-analytical conditions. We directly compared the sensitivity and specificity values with which 9 quantitative (laboratory-based and point-of-care) FITs detected advanced neoplasms (AN) in a single colorectal cancer screening study. […]
Targeting the Wnt pathway and cancer stem cells with anti-progastrin humanized antibodies:
a major breakthrough for K-RAS mutated colorectal cancer treatment
Clinical Cancer Research, 2017 June
Authors : Alexandre Prieur, Monica Cappellini, Guillaume Habif, Marie-Paule Lefranc, Thibault Mazard, Eric Morency, Jean-Marc Pascussi, .../... Chris Planque, Eric Assenat, Frédéric Bibeau, Jean-François Bourgaux, Pascal Pujol, Alain Sézeur, Marc Ychou and Dominique Joubert
Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) suffer from disease relapse mainly due to cancer stem cells (CSC). Interestingly, they have an increased level of blood progastrin, a tumor-promoting peptide essential for[…]
Nature reviews, 2017 May
Authors : William G. Kaelin Jr
An alarming number of papers from laboratories nominating new cancer drug targets contain findings that cannot be reproduced by others or are simply not robust enough to justify drug discovery efforts. This problem probably has many causes, including an underappreciation of the danger of being misled by off-target effects when using pharmacological or genetic perturbants in complex biological assays. This danger is particularly acute when, as is often the case in cancer pharmacology, the biological phenotype being measured is a […]
Global, Regional, and National Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Years of Life Lost, Years Lived With Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life-years for 32 Cancer Groups, 1990 to 2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study.
JAMA Oncol. 2016 Dec 3.
Authors : Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration, Fitzmaurice, Allen, Barber, Barregard, Bhutta, Brenner, Dicker .../... Zaidi, Zaki, Zenebe, Murray, Naghavi.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Current estimates on the burden of cancer are needed for cancer control planning. OBJECTIVE:
To estimate mortality, incidence, years lived with disability (YLDs), years of life lost (YLLs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 32 cancers in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. […]